Drobo 5D - firmware update fail HELP

My previous Drobo died and the company no longer supply temporary units to help you get your data so I bought a second hand 5D. It appeared to be working fine and I should have left it at this, but I decided to upgrade the latest firmware 4.2.3 and now it appears to be bricked.

It gets half way through the boot process and stops - the green power light is on and there is one blue light on about halfway along the bottom.

Is there an easy way to re flash the firmware? There are a few posts which are a bit beyond my skill set.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hello there!

With your Drobo in this state, is it accessible/visible by Drobo Dashboard?

Can you try the following:

  • Turn off Drobo
  • Remove all disk, keeping track of the order they were in
  • Turn on Drobo
  • Does the unit boot any better?

If the unit boots up with no drives (the top bay should be red), try the same procedure as above but with a spare HDD in the first bay to see if the Drobo works at all.

If the unit does not boot with no drives or a spare drive, you can maybe try a pinhole reset:

  1. Power down Drobo
  2. Remove all drives
  3. Unplug the power brick
  4. Press the pinhole button in the back of the unit, next to the power port (and keep pressing it until the process is complete)
  5. Press the power switch (and keep pressing it until the process is complete)
  6. Insert the power brick (while somehow still keeping the pin in and the power switch pressed)
  7. Wait until the lights come on

I’ve never owned a DAS model of Drobo (mine were all NAS models), so I assume the pinhole reset works in the same way for the 5D.

If your unit now boots and is visible in Dashboard, try to apply the latest firmware once again (with no drives in). Once complete, shut down Drobo, reinsert the drives in the correct order and start Drobo. Check if your data is intact.

If Drobo boots without drives, with a single drives, or after a reset of the firmware but not with your disk pack, I would assume one of two things is wrong with the unit: 1) the power supply is going bad and can supply enough power for a single drive but not for the additional power draw of multiple drives (this is pretty common and a relatively easy fix); 2) there is something wrong with your disk pack (maybe a bad drive). If you still have your old Drobo’s power supply, test with that one if you know it is still good.

I hope that helps!



Thanks Dom for the reply.

I’m sorry to say that I have already tried all of the above. With the disk pack in it would only switch on with orange lights on and the fan running, but with the drives out, it would at least partly boot to the state that I mentioned.

It is also not appearing in dashboard, either with the thunderbolt cable or the USB cable.

For what it us worth I have submitted a service request on the Drobo site, but I’m not expecting a reply. If no reply after a few days then I might need to crack the case and attempt a serial connection to see if I can write the firmware - not something I have done before and I really don’t have the time.

If anyone could post instructions/commands on how to update the firmware over the SSH connection for extreme novices like myself it would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise I will have just wasted more money on these devices and have to resign myself to this fate.


PS if anyone knows of anyone who can loan a unit in Australia so I can get some of my movies and other data from the disk pack it would be greatly appreciated.