Drive Failure???

Hi there,

Hope somebody can help.

last night I get on my Drobo Gen 3 and 1 of my Drives starts blinking red. I went ahead with pulling the “Failed” Drive out but had trouble slipping it out. I decided to put it back in and low and behold It goes green again but the Drive over it starts blinking red. I have a hunch that Drobo is wrong about the drive failure but Im afraid to try and pull it out and pop it back in. Is this “normal behavior” what do you recommend I do? I ordered two new drives but I won’t get them for a few days as I live in the Caribbean.

Thanks in advance for your help.



hi alf, maybe the drive that initially failed, had some rubber feet that got stuck on the bottom. i think some samsung spinpoint drives had that issue but if you lift it up slightly as you press on the spring release clip that might help to remove it.

with what you mentioned happen, it might be worth waiting a bit to see what the drobo does, just in case the blinking is related to the failed one being put in again, though can you also have a look in dashboard for a couple of things when you get a moment?

firstly, does dashboard seem to show the same status or light, as what the physical drobo is showing you?
(can you also try exiting dashboard, and relaunching it)

secondly, in dashboard, can you click on each of the drive bays (or to use the dropdown for more info) to see if you can bring up any label messages about each drive, such as Warning or Healed etc?

one thing you could try (after leaving it at least overnight in case the status changes), could be to try using dashboard to shutdown the drobo, and then after about 5 minutes, to power up the drobo again, as a power cycle might help it recognise the status of the drives… however, if your drobo is currently accessible, then it is probably worth copying your data somewhere first, or at least the most important data, just to play safe, especially if you do not have a backup, beforehand if you can.

In my 4-bay drobo the top drive is suddenly constant red. The dashboard says my Drobo is critically low on capacity and that I should replace the hard drive indicated by the red light with a larger hard drive.

This puzzles me. I have this setup:

4 TB
4 TB
3 TB
3 TB

Why would it want to replace one of the 4 TB drives and not one of the smaller 3 TB drives?

Does this make sense? Could it be that the dashboard is wrong? And what would happen if I takeout one of the “green” 3 TB hard drives and replace it with a 4 TB harddrive? Wouldn’t that make more sense?

Kind regards,


Thank you Paul for your reply.

After leaving Drobo work over night and popping out the supposedly failed drive (the second one), it turns out that the first drive that supposedly failed (that went from red to green again) wasn’t being used in the protection process. I think this is the case because Dashboard was showing the slot empty.

My Gen 3 was set up with a 4Tb 6Tb 6Tb 3Tb and the two “failed drives” were the 6Tb drives. Ive obviously shut Drobo down until the new drives come in but I wonder what would happen if I just popped the 2 failed drives back in and turned Drobo back on?

On a side note. Can a Gen 3 Drobo hold 4 6Tb drives?

hi peter, i just saw your main thread and will post back some thoughts there for you soon:
hi alf, thanks for more info.
from this page it looks like the size is ok:

it may be possible that you happened to receive a bad batch of 6TB drives, (possibly they got knocked around during transpot or just a bad batch) though just as a question, can you check which version of dashboard and firmware you have?

if you are in support it may be worth raising a ticket with them too, in case they can ascertain the best steps in terms of which drives to remove of put in, though i wasnt sure… could you / or can you currently still access your data? (if so, i really would recommend making a backup first if you can)

Again, thank you Paul for the help.

In the last thread I started I had trouble with my Gen 3 because my new Mac wouldn’t mount and I found the solution was to connect Drobo via a USB HUB with its own power source. I bring this up because when I need to eject Drobo but I don’t want to shut it down it will remain awake a while unless I switch off the USB Hub. The issue Im having now with my 2 6TB dives failing is preceded by me reconnecting Drobo without it having slept. I don’t normally do that but it wasnt the first time either and nothing had ever gone wrong before. Do you think this might have anything to do with the failures?

About accessing my data, I don’t really know. Having only a 4TB and a 3Tb drive in there you can Imagine that Drobo is “Critically Low” on space and Im afraid of a third Drive failing, so Ive shut it down until my new drives come in. I then plan too update my back up of Drobo.

Dashboard is Running on version 2.8.5 Im not sure where to see what firmware version Im on but I always update as soon as Im prompted too.

Finally, about raising a ticket: Last time I did that with my new mac issue I paid 50 bucks and got ZERO help. I have lost faith.


ah the part about using extra convertors or hubs instead of a direct connection, can add more problems into the mix, but i think if they do, it would be more to do with some file corruptions, or mounting issues, and less to do with a physical drive failing?

when you get your new drives, you will probably be powering up your drobo at that time anyway, so i think if you can simply reboot the computer, and then power up dashboard and the drobo, and to see if you can still mount the drobo and find your files in the usual way that you do, and IF your files are still accessible, i would suggest backing them up before trying anything else.

what does the drobo show or do at this time?

if your files are not accessible though, and if the drobo drive bay lights are still solid colours and not blinking, then i would suggest using dashboard to shutdown the drobo, and the computer, and then when power is all off, to try changing your connection method, so that it simply connects directly to your computer, such as via a single usb cable.

then if you try powering up your drobo, do your files become accessible again?

My Gen 3 just did something very similar. It flagged slot 2 as being “empty”. It was not, and it was the drive in slot 1 that had failed, not slot 2. As the unit flailed trying to fix the redundancy of the unit by including a bad drive and not the actually good one, rebooting several times in the process, I lost the entire volume. I am not pleased.

I ultimately tested all 4 drives, found which one was really bad, and re-initialized the device with the 3 good ones. It’s working fine now, but all would have been much better if the Drobo properly identified the bad drive or even just didn’t try anything and let me figure it out.

I only use it as a backup, but it will take a while to replace all the data, and the backed up systems are vulnerable while I do. Incremental backups are lost forever.

And, yes, a Gen 3 can support 4x6TB drives – that’s what I had (and will have again when the bad one is RMA’ed). But mine was about 3/4 full, so that’s a lot of data to lose if something goes wrong as it did with mine.

sorry to hear about what happened sandshark,
its not good that the problem happened, though am glad you were able to get things working again.

(if you happen to have any logs or diagnostics, it might be good to get in touch with support to let them know, just in case as could be useful)

also thanks for the confirmation about those 6TB drives

Sorry to hear that sandshark! Luckily I could replace the 2 drives and Lost no data. I just shut it down until they came in and all worked well until now!

Now I’ve upgraded as prompted to Version 3.0.1 and Finder won’t mount Drobo. It is however visible in Disk Utility and Dashboard.

I should mention that my Drobo Gen 3 is connected to my computer via a USB Hub with its own power source. I would rather it not be that way but since I upgraded my MacBook to a Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) its the only way I can get it to work. Without it, I wouldn’t see my Drobo in Finder nor Dashboard and not even Disk Utility.

Maybe this new version of Dashboard fixes that issue? If it doesn’t and I have Drobo connected directly to my PC I would have to manually force a shut down.

Please help. This is becoming seriously painful to deal with.

hi alf, i saw some updates from you on other posts, i think you now have this issue fixed (based on those ones) though just to check here with you too?

Yes Sir, It seems that, for the moment, the issue is fixed.

Here is the YouTube Link for anybody who might be interested.


thanks alf, thats cool