Drobo 5D3 red lights and not being recognized by dashboard

I had a few power outages and iMac automatically shutting down. I was able to run Disk Warrior but it gave me a warning that it could not rebuild the directory. error 2153,490,753). I followed all the steps to uninstall and reinstall the dashboard. Now my Drobo will not connect to the dashboard at all and the lights have gone from green to red.

All my work is on this Drobo. It always made a ton of noise since I bought it. Are they supposed to make a churning sound? Can I get support if I buy the Drobo Care extended warranty?

Quick observation: If you have Drobo Dashboard running, then Disk Warrior will default to error. Exit completely from Drobo Dashboard and even close the icon in the shortcut (top bar) if it is visible before running DW.

Hey Twin Tiger! thank you for giving me hope. I have been sick to my stomach about this as it is my peak season with senior photography and I can’t access their files and no one from Drobo is responding to me. You rock.
My Disk Warrior can not find the Drobo now. It isn’t showing up on my computer at all. Now the light is yellow and no green lights next to my 4 hard drives. I am distraught about this.

OK. Next action. Let’s see if this helps.
You need 2 spare HDDs (small capacity is fine)

You can try to activate the Drobo without any HDDs and see if you can first regain normal connectivity. Then use the spare HDDs to then help reset (flush) it.

1 Shut down your Drobo completely (even remove the power cord)
2 Remove all your HDDs (note their order and the slots they came from - I would mark them)
3 Restart the empty Drobo to get it to mount on your Mac so it becomes active (and update any firmware).
4 Insert the 2 spare HDDs whilst it is running
5 Let the Drobo format them (all green) and perform a factory reset as well.
6 Shutdown the Drobo (remove power again) and remove the 2 spare HDDs
7 Insert you original HDD array in the original order and slots
8 Power on and Restart.

Do NOT remove or insert your original HDDs whilst the Drobo is running or you will lose all data.
Hope this proves useful for your data recovery.
If it does, use some spare HDDs to make any external copy for further peace of mind.

I think I really mess it up. I removed the HDD while it was off but don’t recall the order. I just turned it back on again and got this message.

Do you know if the Drobo support for $350 will replace the Drobo. I feel like with all the sound it makes, it isn’t running properly.

OK. Still here.
First, can you remove your HDDs when the Drobo is off and then restart without HDDs. Can you computer see it? Can Drobo Dashboard see it? Is it making any noises?

Take a snapshot of your HDDs to remind you which order they are in now too!!

So I shut it down again by the toggle because I can’t eject it from the dashboard. I took them all out. Started it up again. It first had the green light on far left then blue lights across, now the green light turned yellow and is making a ton of noise.
Question, I have to get these files stat. If the Drobo is broken, can I get another one and put these drives back in? Do I need to send these drives out to get the data? Do I only need to send one out since they back up to all the others? What steps should I take to get my files?
Thank you so much. You seem very knowledgeable with the Drobo.

I’m not so knowledgeable, but will try and help where I can.

Answering your last question first, if you have your HDDs in order, you can insert them into another powered-off Drobo that can accept all you HDDs in the same order and it should start up and your data should be accessible. I worry about your earlier comment that you did not mark them in order before you removed them? Has this been resolved? Note that you can only use Drobo machines, not other RAID manufacturers.

Back to your empty Drobo, is the noise coming from the fan at the back of the unit? Can you ‘see’ it on your Mac? Do you have any spare (2) HDDs we can follow-up with a reset?

Yes the noise is from the back. It has always made this noise and everyone has always commented on how loud this thing is. Churning like a motor or fan. The light is staying yellow. I went back to amazon to see which drive I bought in order and I think I have it.

The website it allowing me to buy the DroboCare but I haven’t clicked purchase yet because of lack of phone support with Drobo. They may not replace this machine and keep the. money.

I can’t comment on DroboCare (I don’t know), but if it is still under warranty, and the fan is beating away, it would be worthwhile pursing that through the company from which you purchased it.

The HDD order is VERY important, as if you flip them around, you will probably lose all data, as it will start to reformat them.

If we can get your current Drobo working, then perhaps you can copy off your data in the first instance.

With the Drobo on (without HDDs), can your Mac see it through Finder, or even with the Drobo Dashboard?

Thank you! So what I am gathering is that this Drobo is probably dead. The Mac does not recognize it nor does the dashboard. It is out of warranty however in my Drobo account it is letting me choose the option to buy Drobo care which states it will start from the date of purchase so I could still get 3 months out of my $350 at least if they could replace the Drobo so I can put back my HDDs into a working one. However…I truly can’t be sure of the HDD order and I don’t want the Drobo to reformat them.
My other option is through the PPA Professional photographers of America, they have indemnity and I can send out my HDD to retrieve the files and they have a 98% success rate. I am afraid to use a Drobo again after seeing all the people having them fail. Do you think this is a good solution?

Some quick last items: check your data cable? change it over? try another port? Plug the Drobo into a wall outlet, not a power board, restart? Turn off your Drobo and Mac completely and restart both?
… my last thoughts.

If you are going to give up on your Drobo, it would still be worthwhile finding someone nearby who allows you to use their Drobo to retrieve your data from your HDD array. If that is not an option, then you are probably only left with seeking professional data recovery assistance.

Ahead, whilst a RAID array provides HDD redundancy, a single point of failure remains with the RAID machine itself (as you now know), so always keep a current external copy of your important data.

Unbelievable ! I did a last ditch effort with what you said. I shut it all down. Rebooted again… but this time it magically worked!

I want to cry I am so happy!! I can work and make money again!

I’m very happy for you.
Make sure you create that external data copy and keep it updated.

When you have time, exit from Drobo Dashboard and run Disk Warrior to clear out any remaining directory issues on the array.

Lastly, if your fan noise still is an issue I would contact Drobo and at least ask about it.

EDIT: If you find that you must replace the fan at some stage, here is a previous post about doing it yourself - or getting a local electronics shop to do it for you, in the linked website.

Thanks. The fan has long since been replaced and forgotten.