Drobo

Drive in slot 1 fails

I had posted earlier about WD Green drives. Replies assured me that these drives are fine. But in my case, out of 5 WD Green (WD 20EARS) drives, 2 failed, but 3 are fine.

I started my Drobo with 4x 2TB WD 20EARS drives filled from top down. When one of the drives failed I replaced it with another of the same model.

When another failed, I replaced it with a Seagate Barracuda LP. That worked for a few hours even after the rebuild. Then after about 3 days, that showed fail as well. The failed drives, 2 WD and one Seagate all work fine in an external casing.

Anyway, I got one of the WDs replaced under warranty. They gave me a WD 20EARX drive. I put that in. All was fine for about a week. Then that failed too.

Its was then that I noticed that all three failed drives were in Slot 1, the top slot. So I’ve put the previously failed drive in the bottom slot to check it out.

My Drobo S is connected over Firewire 800 to an iMac 27" running MacOSX 10.6.6. And there’s UPS to both. I always shutdown from the Tools in Drobo Dashboard. And all the drives I’ve mentioned are 2 TB.

im finding about 3 in 10 of the wd30ezrx / wd20ears i buy are failing within the first week. (im buying them in batches of 10)

i dont know if their quality control is falling or what, but it does seem unusual

I stumbled onto this page today:
http://www.drobo.com/resources/choose_drives.php

All of a sudden WD Caviar Green drives apparently aren’t supported in a DroboPro? That wasn’t the case when I invested in all my drives.

wow thats new!

i ONLY had WD20EARS/WD20EADS in my 'pro

Interesting, there’s definitely a trend there for recommending “consumer” drives for “consumer” Drobo units, while enterprise/business drives for the business-class Drobos.

While I understand the reasoning, I think a footnote is needed for the DroboPro, as it was sold directly from DRI bundled with WD Green “consumer” SATA drives. “Not Supported” seems too harsh, unless there really has been some firmware or hardware change to the DroboPro units that makes it no longer work. Not to mention, especially in the DroboPro scope, the ability to use cheaper consumer drives is (was?) one of the major selling points.

well even then, im not sure (unless they have updated the firmware so that it doesnt wait for error recovery) that there is any noticeable difference

of course if they have put a change through in the firmware it should have come with a MASSIVE warning saying “this breaks compatibility with all those consumer drives you are currently using in your drobopro”

“Not supported” is the standard escape clause for support techs to hand responsibility to the end-user. In my techrep days, it was a real life-saver on those nightmare calls when someone wanted me to fix their computer so the screen wouldn’t go wonky every time the air conditioner just above it kicked on.

In this case, revoking support is highly dubious, and doing so with no communication to customers just makes Drobo look like a fly-by-night operation.

I agree (I’ve helped my own support on occasion in the past), I just think there needs to be a clear distinction made between “Unsupported. Might work, but no support will be given.” and “Not supported. Will put your data at risk. Do not use.”

I can just hear a bunch of people contacting support phone asking “Is my data at risk? Should I replace the drives now?? What should I do???”

About 5 months I had a bunch of GP drives in my Drobo; then I kept experiencing issues with Bay 5 in my case. I opened up a case with DR hoping they could give me some answers. They said that my drive in Bay 5 failed and I need to replace it. At the time it was a 2TB WD GP drive. So I took another 2TB WD GP drive I had stored up for cases like this. Well it turned out a few days later, in the middle of a layout, I got another error; reposted the logs to DR and they told the drive in there had failed as well. Not only that, my computer would no longer recognize the Drobo. Well this was getting unsettling. DR said they escalate my case to an engineer to look at. After waiting a week of waiting they replied insisting it was a drive problem. I had a 2TB Seagate Barracuda LP at hand that was originally destined for a media server I was building for a friend. After going through the self-relay, it appeared to me the the issue was fixed, and my computer was detecting the Drobo, and I thought I was fine. I had a couple file system errors which I fixed by having the directory rebuilt.

Skip to last week. Bay 5 giving me an error telling me drive in there failed. “Not this again,” I thought, so I took a WD drive I had for a spare plugged in, but the drive wasn’t even detected. I was sure the drive was good because I had tested it before. so I took another Seagate Barracuda LP for the job, still no detection. I put the original “broken” drive in, and then it started relaying again. I figured at this point, it was unlikely a drive was at fault; I opened up another case with DR. A couple days later I’m told my unit has issues and it needs to be replaced. I’m pretty sure they should have done this the first time around. Now all is fine.

Neils, I think you should open up a case with DR if you haven’t already and if they insist that the drive is at fault (and you know the drive is fine) insist on a replacement Drobo. I know it is difficult for engineers to admit their products are the fault, so you need to insistent.

Good luck.