Drobo 5D stop working

Hi, sorry for my english but I’m Italian and i will try to explain my problem. This morning, wile i was copiyng data from a Drobo 5D to a 5N my 5D stop working. The only light I can see is a blinkng green light in the power supply. I tried with the 5N power supply but the problem is the same. The support tells me that I need a new drobo 5D for migration and for me it could be ok because I really need my files, because they are important for my work. Till yesterday I backuped my 5D data in three hard drives but yesterday evening I putted that drives into e new 5N and I started new backup in the night. Unfortunately this morning the 5D stop working and the backup was not finished.
If I will buy a new drobo 5D, mirroring will keep all my data?
If not, the new drobo will erase all the content of my drives?
Exist a way to make a phisical copy of the drives to preserve the data for, eventually, a data recovery?
Thank you in advance and sorry, again, if my english is not correct.


hi daniele,
if support has advised a migration, then i can say that a migration of diskpack drives is possible (i have done this myself on one of my drobos) and all my data was ok.

it is very important that all drives are only removed (or only put inside) when power is all “OFF” and cables are “un-plugged and removed”

the part about erasing drive content is mainly about what happens if a drive is put in while power is already on.

the support team may have already mentioned the process page or might be going through the migration process with you, but please find the migration page below for you in case useful:

(that page usually suggests updating the firmware on both drobos, but if your current drobo is not working, then you could try updating the firmware of the new drobo and to reboot it empty one time to make sure the firmware did update - but please remember to switch off and unplug the drobos before any diskpack swapps)

if you get stuck or need some realtime guidance to play safe please do call the support team if you have doubts before swapping, and there might even be an italian-speaker available too - my italian is quite limited to bonjorno and molto benne :slight_smile:

Hi Paul, thank you very much. Support says:

"Migrating disk pack from 5D model only works for another 5D or 5Dt. Any other models cannot be used as a target device for the disk pack.

Alternatively you may consider using data recovery service"

But honestly I’d prefer don’t use a data recovery service. The migration procedure it seems very simple, my only fear is if drobo does not recognize something in the drives it starts formatting. It would be good if I will able to put drobo in “read only” mode to preserve the drive if something goes wrong because, if migration will not work my only chance will remain the data recovery service.
I know, I’m paranoid, but I some data are very important for my work.

hi daniele,
ok it is good you know which replacement model to get - perhaps the same model (a 5d) will be good.

actually there “is” some kind of read only mode, but usually that is only suggested for when there are problems accessing the data normally, or when a unit is stuck in a rebooting loop…

the best thing would probably be to have the drives professionally block cloned, before putting them in another unit, and then to just put the clones into the replacement drobo as part of the migration process (without using any read only mode), but this will take time, and would cost something for the service and the new drives.

Nothing is without some kind of risk though… for example the person cloning the drives might have had an argument with their partner that same morning, and become distracted and clones the empty destination onto the full source drive…

(or in my case, just because i follow a pasta recipe with all the right ingredients, does not mean that my sauce will be perfect) :slight_smile:

in theroy, putting the destination drobo into a readonly mode “could” work as a way to simply help facilitate a migration process, where you could then start accessing the data again (and start copying the data somewhere else as well as making a backup), before turning off read only mode…BUT you would need to please verify this with the support team first, because i honestly have not tried this daniele

I had a 5D stop working (would not power on, power supply light blinking) about two years after I bought it. I contacted Drobo support and I was able to exchange the 5D (with all drives and SSD pulled out) for a new 5D. I put all my drives back in (in the same slots they had been in) along with the MSATA SSD in the cache slot and initially all the drives were seen as good but the MSATA SSD was not active so I pulled the SSD. Shortly after that one of my drives was listed as bad and needed replacement. I pulled the faulty drive and replaced it with a new one and all is good now. I’m happy that I did not lose any data however this experience has me wondering about 5D reliability. If this unit dies like the first one and I can not get a free replacement I will not be happy. What is the point of filesystem redundancy when the entire unit can stop functioning (without warning BTW)?

Hi, and thanks for your replies. The situation is still the same because support says me that they will give me a new Drobo 5D. I sent my damaged drobo this morning and i will wait the new one. When I’ll receive the new one i will follow the instruction they gave me:
• insert all the drive in the same position
• plug the drobo to the computer
• plug the drobo to the power supply
• switch on the drobo

… pray

Support didn’t tell me about the “read only” mode or about the firmware version but, when I’ll have the new drobo I will ask to the support for the exact procedure. Again.

ok daniela, it should be ok, and i will keep my fingers crossed for you here too

Hi, support says me they will send the new drobo probably next week, but I’m hurry because some clients waits for me and I can’t wait anymore. I have a friend with a new Drobo 5D and he tell me he can loan me his Drobo before starting use it.
Do you think is possible do the migration process with his one?

hi daniele, if your friend’s drobo is working fine without issue, then it should be ok for use in migration.
this is how i would do it.

They will need to power all OFF, and unplug all cables from their drobo 5D
and remove all of their drives (and remember the order of the diskpack for later)
and keep their drives somewhere safe.

then to power up their computer and empty 5d
and use dashboard to upgrade the firmware to the latest version
and reboot their drobo 5d, and verify in dashboard that the new firmware version is being used.
then, to reboot the computer and their drobo 5d again, to make sure the new firmware is still being used.

then to power all OFF and unplug all cables from their drobo 5d
then for you to put your own 5d diskpack drives into their 5D (still with all power OFF and cabes unplugged)
then for you to power up their 5d (with your disks already inside)
(it should boot up with blue lights sequence, from 1 through to 10 from right to left usually)
if it pauses for a while during this sequence, please allow it plenty of time
then the drobo will likely go into standby mode
and if you power up the computer, and launch dashboad
and then connect their drobo 5D via usb again,
does it now wake up shortly afterwards, and then start to be recognised by dashboard, and by the computer again?

(whenever they want to use their diskpack again, they will need to folllow a similar migration process, remembering that it is very important that all drives are only removed (or only put inside) when power is all “OFF” and cables are "un-plugged and removed.

Hi Paul and thank you again.
Support says: it would probably be best to first insert the drives and only then update the firmware to the latest version. This way the disk pack will accept the latest firmware.
Please note that it would be best to create a backup of important files before proceeding with the firmware update.

Me: So you suggest to insert the drives into new unpacked drobo and plug it to computer. Than make a backup of the important files and only after do the firmware update?

Support: that is correct. Or you can do the same using your friend’s Drobo unit, assuming it’s not yet on the latest version.

Is the firmware version important or not?
Thank you


Hi guys, this morning I tried to do the migration to my friend’s 5D and all gone well and I have all my data again. Now I’m backupping in the 5N. Sorry for my obsession but I had difficult days. Thank you very much for your patience. And thank you Paul, you have been very important with your support.

ah many thanks daniele, am glad you got access to your data again :slight_smile:
and you deserve to have a nice hot chocolate to relax while you backup the data :slight_smile: