Drobo 5N overheated and melted the doors

My Drobo 5N overheated and melted the doors. I never received a notice by email that there was a problem. Once I noticed that the Drobo lights were orange and red, I turned it off by the switch on the back. A few hours later I checked on it and it was still really hot. Maybe it never really turned off or there’s another problem. I unplugged it then, which I should have probably done earlier. The green light on the power button continued to flash for quite some time even after being unplugged. Does that indicate anything? The drives finally cooled down enough that I could touch them and I removed them. It’s all cooled down now but I’m guessing this unit is toast - pun intended. I’m thinking about ordering a 5N2 and hoping the drives will work if I just plug them in to the new unit.

WOW… That got really hot!

According to the migration chart, the drives can be transferred to the 5N2.

Do you think it’s possible even though all of the lights are red now? I put the drives back in and started it to see what happens. One of the five lights is flashing and the other four are steady red. Never been in this situation before. I just got a 5N2. I’m just afraid to move the drives over before I’m sure I should do so (as in proper shutdown before migration.)

Update on the 5N: I disassembled it enough to see that the fan is broken. Photo attached. It must have overheated but I’m surprised that there was no automatic shutdown due to overheating.

So I’ve booted up the Drobo again and it is working. It didn’t boot yesterday. Seems OK now. But I did pull off the damaged doors. And it does need a new fan which seems easy to install. But I purchased the 5N2 so I think I’m going to move the drives over.

I moved my drives to the 5N2 and it worked. The unit is rebuilding for the next 10 hours. But I am able to access everything and it seems like there are zero issues.

Glad you were able to save your data. Backups are a must!

That’s the point of the Drobo, so I don’t have to back it up.
They gave me an RMA number and their Sunnyvale facility is about 15 minutes from my home so I’m taking it there tomorrow.

Success on the dropoff. They were really nice at Drobo headquarters. Listened to my issues so they can figure out why it didn’t shut off from overheating. Sounds like they will replace it.

Good news for sure, but I highly recommend another form of backup if your data is important. While Drobo is great at protecting files from hard drive failures, it offers little protection against a failure of the hardware itself or file corruption.

(I just saw that)

From the picture I guess you put your computer and the drobo in a small cabinet any maybe closed the door? I also guess your disks were some server-like (like 7200RPM or even faster). Such disks get hot, and if you don’t let the air out, it can get hot.

Modern disks also have a temperature history, so you could read that with some S.M.A.R.T. tool if you can connect such a disk directly to a computer. It also says what the allowable temperature range is.
For example one on my Drobo disks says:

SCT Status Version:                  3
SCT Version (vendor specific):       258 (0x0102)
SCT Support Level:                   1
Device State:                        Active (0)
Current Temperature:                    28 Celsius
Power Cycle Min/Max Temperature:     25/28 Celsius
Lifetime    Min/Max Temperature:     12/41 Celsius
Under/Over Temperature Limit Count:   0/0
Vendor specific:
01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

SCT Temperature History Version:     2
Temperature Sampling Period:         1 minute
Temperature Logging Interval:        1 minute
Min/Max recommended Temperature:      0/60 Celsius
Min/Max Temperature Limit:           -41/85 Celsius

Personally I think it’s partly Datarobotics’ fault not to provide a reasonable printed manual that states the operating conditions of the device.