Drobo 5N, not starting up

ah maybe something did happen to unfortunately break…
i think it would be good to try raising a ticket with the support team if you can, though if it is just the main chassis hardware, there seems to be a very good chance that the diskpack is ok.

for example, when my drobo-s-gen2 had a faulty power toggle switch, i was able to follow the migration process, and access all my data again, for example as mentioned here:

Hello rswelter,
Would you contact us at followup@drobo.com

Thank You.

I had asked sales if I could purchase a $2.00 switch (my est.) in lieu of purchasing a one time Drobo care incident of over a hundred $ and was denied.


switch not the problem.

any ideas from anyone. Support says I am out of luck with drobo care ? warranty.

What did you end up doing? I have this same problem…

i think its a power supply issue. i sold unit as is on ebay then built my own freenas.

drobo support was no help.

I have two Drobo 5N’s and one day I found one of them shut off. I did all of the removing the disk pack and dusting about once a year (I’m a clean freak that way) and tried swapping disk packs (each disk is labelled to go back in the corresponding slot), swapping the power cords, and nothing. The one specific Drobo will not turn on but the fan is running when plugged in; while the other is perfectly fine regardless of power cord or disk pack. There is clearly something wrong with the Drobo case. Since it is out of warranty, I opened up the case and I cannot visually see anything wrong (e.g., signs of burning) but I’m no electrical engineer.
Not sure if anyone ever had this issue and fixed it.
I’ll be upfront, I’m looking elsewhere for my next NAS - I’ve given up on Drobo;

  1. with the lack of availability for Drobos for ordering. I ordered a 5D3 in January 2020 - still waiting May 2020. Yeah, I know COVID but I ordered mine before COVID.

  2. so many complaints regarding Catalina with not finding NAS or 5D3 Thunderbolt 3 not working

  3. even before Catalina - there were issues with connecting to the 5N’s on occasion… unacceptable.

  4. hearing about people having to just throw out their Drobo… what? really? cannot get support?

I’m looking elsewhere – Drobo has gone down hill.

Did anyone figure anything out? I am having the EXACT SAME ISSUE. Had to resort to buying another 5N on eBay. It won’t arrive until 6/25 at the earliest. I shutdown my 5N (been working perfectly since 2013) so I could relocate it on the shelf. I thought it was completely shutdown and removed the power connector. Evidentally it wasn’t 100% shutdown as when I plugged the PS back in, I got the fast fan. Pulled drives, SSD cache, etc. Same issue. So disappointed.

I have the exact same issue on a 5N2. Plug in, fast fan, no lights, power button does nothing. I’ve tried two power supplies. Neither fix the issue but both power my 5N just fine.

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Same exact issue here with a 5N2.

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Same issue with one of my 2 Drobo 5Ds… tried a new power plug, nothing, there is a burnt smell when p[lugging in the Drobo, can’t get a hold (via email or phone) of Drobo support or sales, was thinking about buying an 810i, bummed the 12 drive Drobo was discontinued…not sure where to go from here… Drobo is leaving me with no option but to migrate to another NAS that has tech support and sales support… Any suggestions? I need something that can take the place of 2 Drobo 5Ds… preferably 10 drive + capacity so I have room n for future growth.

Not sure if it fits your situation, but I’ve been having trouble with my 5N and found a solution going for a Synology DS920+.

My 5N2 did the same thing the other day. No lights just full speed fan :frowning: Anyone have any luck getting it fixed. Drobo hasn’t been much help since its out of warranty and I haven’t found one instock to replace it with. Need to get to my data. Hopefully it’s still there.

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same for my 5N , firmware update poped up , flashed , shut down , afterwards its brick , none of leds , just high speed fan. Power supply is fine.

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Hi all. Same thing happened to me.

Drobo 5N after a reboot the lights never came back up, just the fan is on max.

A question if anyone has experience, since I know Drobo Support will most probably not help in any way as usual.

I have another Drobo 5N2, it also has 5 bays, it works ok (for now :stuck_out_tongue:) .

Will I be able to access data on the drives if I swap them from the dead 5N to the 5N2?

Is everything on the drives or does the drobo has some internal memory as well that will prevent this kind of swap to work?

I do not want to lose this data on the dead 5N. So the main question is will the Drobo 5N2 start wiping these drives if I switch them from the dead 5N. Or will it “get” the fact that they are a set of drives from another Drobo.

The plan is to:

  1. Turn off Drobo 5N2 mark existing drives and remove them
  2. Factory reset the 5N2 (not sure if this step is necessary??)
  3. Power off the 5N2
  4. Move the drives to corresponding bays from the dead 5N to 5N2
  5. Power on 5N2
  6. Hopefully the diskpack is recognized and I see all the shares and data there.

Any info, tips, what to look out for for this kind of drive swap from 5N to 5N2 very very very very much appreciated.

And FYI to drobo support if you are reading this. This was the last straw. Going back to RAID1 and some other NAS solution. Your devices are garbage. The device was in a cool place, no dust, on stable UPS power. After your last firmware update this happened for the first time, all lights were off. But at that time powering it on with the switch worked. Now its completely gone. I had a few Drobos so far. Almost never do the drives fail. Always the device itself dies in some weird way. Sorry for the rant but omg…

One of my 5D3s just fell ill with the fast-fan-no-lights ailment. No drobocare, I suppose there’s no recourse, right?

Just had this happen on my oldest 5N. Did a remote restart as it had been up for almost six months. Didn’t come back, three others had no issues. Disconnected power and let sit for a few minutes. Fans turn on as soon as power is connected, power button does not turn on, no lights on front panel.

Swapped power with the 5N sitting next to it and the power works fine on the second unit, know good power moved doesn’t change the issue. Both power supplies are connected to a UPS. Moved power supply to non-UPS protected power, no change. Move power supply to power strip, no change.

So, I don’t believe the power supply is to blame. Unfortunately I haven’t seen a Drobo in stock anywhere. So currently a replacement unit is not an option.

hi kristian, just wondering if you tried this out and if you had any luck?

before i saw this post I did exactly your plan (apart from factory reset) from 5N to 5N with no luck.

I also have a populated and working 5N2 which I could similarly remove the disk array from and try migrate the 5N disk array into to access the data. I dont really want to unless there’s a glimmer of hope it might work as concerned this may increase the llikelihood of triggering a similar problem in the working 5N2. Many thanks!

Hi @luxlondon

It worked for me. Just mark the drives you have in the working Drobo 5N2 from 1-5 (to make sure you will put them back in the right order).

Turn off the 5N2, remove the drives, insert the drives from the dead drobo (again pay attention to the order) and turn on.

Just remember to do the swapping when it is OFF. If its on you will probably mess it up.

From what I gathered, all the drobo configuration is on the drives. so swapping like this does not break any configuration.

Good Luck :slight_smile:

I can be added to this list of same issue. High fan speed but system appears to be powered off and will not respond to power on. The system is in a well ventilated area and I use canned air to blow out dust ~2 times a year.

I am not buying another Drobo to move the disks to. The system started acting funny, where the logs had an “internal” error and would which marked the system as in rebuild mode. The system rebuilt in time, but throughout the disks were “good”. This happened 2-3 times…at which point I ensured I had copies of my most critical data. There is still stuff I would be unhappy to lose…but not cause me problems (other than disappointment).

I am going to try as much probing as I can to try and revive it per the same thoughts as those who posted above. Will post back here with what I did if something seems to work.