Drobo 5D - Critical after adding WD 6TB RED Drive (SMR?)

For the full details and images, please see my reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/drobo/comments/g58m2l/added_5th_drive_to_my_5d_now_nothing_seems_to/

To summarize, my Drobo 5D was running out of space so I purchased a WD 6TB RED drive to put into empty bay 4. The drive is listed as compatible on Drobos website.

Shortly after installing the drive, the Drobo went into a critical state.

After a lot of troubleshooting and research - it seems that WD secretly changed their RED drives to SMR, which has caused the issue with my Drobo. My Drobo’s Bay 0-3 are all 3TB WD RED drives.

I currently cannot access my Drobo 5D. I’ve removed the 6TB drive from bay 4, so it is empty again. All of the lights are red, with Bay 1 flashing red. I’m not sure the safest way to proceed.

Again, there are images and more detailed steps listed in the reddit post. Any help would be appriciated.

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Following the revelation on 16 April 2020 by willbird287, that WD had finally admitted their 2TB - 6TB WDxxEFAX WD Red drives are using a SMR based technology, and these “DM-SMR” drives, are likely be why Drobos are having trouble identifying their type correctly, it seems reasonable that Drobo should now identify this issue on their https://www.drobo.com/storage-products/choose-drive/ webpage by either removing WD Red drives from their list or adding a footnote accordingly.



If I was a company like Drobo or any other NAS/RAID system, I’d never recommend WD drives again. It has been a huge breach of trust and deception on their part.

I’m just hoping a support tech can walk me through the best way to get my drobo back online. On reddit, users have suggested cloning the flashing red drive using linix and putting the cloned drive in its bay.

Hopefully their support can help confirm or recommend the best action to take.

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I have opened a support ticket with WD, and they are offering to replace my 2 x 6 TB EFAX SMD drives with other suitable drives. I will ask them what models they are proposing to replace them with.

It will take me a few days to get them safely extracted from my 5D3 and able to be returned to WD, and then another week for them to send me replacements, and then another few days to get them into my drobo. What a waste of my time and mental energies.