Drobo 5D - Loud fan noise

My 5D’s fan has been really loud lately – anyone have any suggestions on how to proceed?

– Thanks, Verne

hi verne, there might be a few causes for the fan to be noticably louder…

  • maybe something is accessing the drobo, like a program with a database, or spotlight on a mac or search indexing / antivirus?

  • can you see anything in dashboard to indicate the amount of used space, and/or free space changing values bit by bit? if so, that could show that something is updating files on the drobo (and also the activity light on the drobo itself if that is on or flickering?)

  • what about the ambient temperature of where you are and in case the drobo got pushed up against a wall or something to block airflow?

  • another cause could be that the internal temperature of one of more drives is causing the fan (possibly if a drive went bad or was reallocating lots of sectors, or just if some drives are spinning at a very fast rate, as that can generate more heat i think)

  • also, from time to time, a drobo can do a data integrity check where it verifies all the datablocks for you (also known as scrubbing)… maybe that is running in the background and that the fan will slow down again once the normal activity (and generated heat) goes back down?

Drives are all good, and I’ve just pulled the drives and vacuumed the Drobo.

Prior to that, the fans were making an annoying pulsing sound, throbbing up and down in frequency but the cleaning seems to have calmed that down … for now. There was a noticeable amount of dust and lint on the unit.

If this happens again I may request a hot swap - do you know how Drobo works something like this?

Computer: Late 2014 iMac Retina iMac 5K/32GB/3TB Fusion/4Ghz core-i7/AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4096MB, macOS Sierra 10.12.3.
Drobo 5D: 10TB Seagate, 2x6TB WD Red, 2x8TB Seagate, 250GB Crucial mSATA SSD. Capacity: 25.28TB/5.68TB free. Write operation generally 80-90 MB/sec, peak around 120-160 MB/sec. AJA test 222 MB/sec write, 231 MB/sec read.

If you decide to replace the fan yourself…

ah dust gets everywhere… :slight_smile: i think the only time ive seen things where a ‘bit’ of dust seemed to be ok was with desktop computers that didnt have a case cover (for ease of access) in a slightly humid environment. (i think in some cases it may be better to “blow” the dust off, just in case a vacuum hoover generates a static charge or something but if you managed to improve things a little by removing some dust that is good.

Ugh … fan noise is driving me crazy, going up and down in frequency.

The 5D is covered by DroboCare so I’d hesitate to begin disassembling it myself - I’m sure it would do bad things to my warranty.