As appears to be the case from other community members, Drobo’s technical support really isn’t worth much at all. First response was that my Drobo 5N is out of warranty and that I should buy a service ticket to get someone else to try to fix my issue. Once I reminded them that the problem was caused by a firmware update, that they supplied and recommended, then they made a feeble attempt to sort out the issue, by getting me to follow some instructions, that did absolutely nothing. Still have one dead Drobo!!! Then it was suggested that I might be eligible for an RMA, but no, my Drobo is apparently too old.
From my limited knowledge, it would appear that the hardware on the 5N has been upgraded over its life and that there are limits to the firmware upgrades suitable for the earlier 5Ns. Unfortunately, Drobo’s website doesn’t identify this information clearly, showing in the documents section that the latest and suggested firmware should be Ver. 4.2.1, despite the recommended and updated DroboDashboard software, indicating Ver. 3.5.16 as being the recommended upgrade. To make things even more confusing, in the discontinued model section, the 5N is listed here as well (only found this out later) and only recommends Ver. 3.5.12. As you can see, there is absolutely no consistency in relation to which firmware update is the right one, for my version of the 5N. And of course there are no warnings in the Firmware Release Notes that there could be an issue with the earlier versions of the 5N, or that firmware updates should be installed in a particular sequence.
From all of the community posts it would appear that Drobo is well aware of the issues with their firmware upgrades, but basically couldn’t care less about their customers, even though Drobo themselves are the ones who are causing the failure of customer machines, due to their negligence.
Thankfully, I had two 5Ns - with the second being a backup of the first - so I have not lost any data (as yet) but when considering a replacement NAS, I’m pretty sure I will be looking at other manufacturers, rather than buy another Drobo.
I also believe it is the right thing to do to let the photography community, know about the shabby service I have received.