Drobo 5D no longer sees any drives

My drobo just gave the the dreaded “Please add drives” error, and will not work or see any drives. I have over 20TB if data on the machine so I cannot lose any of it, and where in the heck does one “backup” that much data… oh yea, a Drobo!! LOL… :grin:

I know I have to now replace it, but they no longer make this model.

My question is, can I migrate from the 5D to a 5C and everything still work, or do I HAVE to find a 5D3?

I can’t afford $700 for a good few months, but the $350 for the 5C I can.

Any help is appreciated, Thanks

According to the Migration page, starting from a 5D you can move the pack to a 5D, 5D3, or 8D.

A 5C is no-go as a destination for that move, only the other direction 5C >>–> 5D/5D3

Used is an option if you can find one. You’ve also nothing to lose putting a couple of spare drives in & trying a pinhole reset. Worst case is it’s still broken.

One backs up that much data to another DAS/NAS made by Drobo or anyone else, or splits it over a couple of ~14TB external drives, or picks up a used/refurb tape drive. Or pays the bill to keep a copy on a service like Amazon Glacier (other cloud storage providers are available).

If one is wise, one budgets for backup space to begin with, & expands main & backup storage in tandem with each other. Really critical data one keeps another copy of offsite in addition.

That’s what I was afraid of, I can’t find anything on ebay that isn’t “for parts”, or over the cost of a new one, IF you can find a new one that is. I giess I’m just going to have to save back the money and hope I can find one when I have more than enough for it. :frowning:

Also, could it be that the power supply is weak? When I try to power it on, it power cycles 3 times before it finally starts up and I can hear/feel the drives starting. Goes through the standard start up, then it gives me the single red drive light.

Weak power supplies sometimes cause boot loops or non starting, if it starts normally & shows up in dashboard with no drives, you’re in with a fair chance replacing the PSU helps.

You’ve relatively little to lose by trying one, & a spare is useful to have around for testing purposes when you get odd behaviour, I’ve used a bench power supply in the past set to 12v as long as the device can support supplying enough current. With the right connectors even hooking it to a (sound & charged) car battery ought to do as a test for a short period.

UPDATE: I got a replacement power supply, it now powers on and sees all the drives in the unit


I’m getting the “too many drives removed” message, now what??

Is all my data lost now? At least on this unit? How do I get this back working without a complete wipe?
None of the drives were moved around.

What can I do? Can I purchase another drobo and put these in there and it’ll see them? Or do I need to invest more money to purchase all new drives and get restoration software (Don’t remember which one it was that works with drobos) and go that route?

Any help is appreciated, thanks

Have you tried removing & replacing the drives (powered off)? Might be worth a shot, especially if you feel comfortable opening it & ensuring the connectors are all clean (no dust bunnies). If you have access to enough spare drives (new or used, any capacity) this would be a good opportunity to check if the unit actually works or if it’s toast using drives where the content doesn’t matter.

You can also connect the drives individually to a computer & use an appropriate utility to read out the SMART data, just don’t let it initialize or otherwise write to any of them.

You could try loading the pack into another Drobo, but I’d hesitate unless I could find one of the same model & ideally same firmware, last thing you need is anything happening during migration with a damaged disk pack.

Personally I’d be inclined to try cloning the drives & working with the clones (or in the case of recovery software possibly with disk images), possibly with recovery software ReclaiMe Pro can deal with Drobo drives & lists imaging among the feature set, disks can be cloned using any Linux live distribution & dd from the command line. At least working with clones you know no new problems can be introduced on the old disks. UFS Explorer also claims support for recovering Drobo disk packs… Neither software is free.

The other advantage of working with cloned drives is that success or failure you’ll have enough drives to populate both a replacement and somewhere to keep a backup of it.

The last advantage of working with cloned drives, is you have the originals to send to a lab if that becomes your only option.

Would it help if I did the pinhole reset (with drives out of course) to see if It’ll reset and find everything again?

Can’t hurt with the drives out. Or with spares in.

That didn’t work, will find some extra drives, albeit smaller, for a test in this thing to see if it’s actually good or not. If so, then maybe 2 external drives and set up these drives on another machine, along with ReclaiMe Pro, save what I can to the externals and rebuild this drive… so much headaches, oh well, if I can get it all working again it’s worth it.

Thanks for the help, will update again once I can get all this worked on.

I think I figured what I did wrong, when I was initially trying to fix the original Red light of doom. I followed some things I found online and did the pinhole reset, minus the drives. I totally forgot about the mSATA I had installed. Could the fact that it may have been wiped then be causing my reinsert issue now?

If so, I believe I can do the recovery route.

Thanks in advance