Drobo 5N2 - failed after firmware update

After I applied a firmware update to my Drobo 5N2 the unit keep trying to boot for a long time so I let it go all night. Woke up to all yellow lines… did what tech support said to try, taking the drives out and rebooting, Any ides?

I did a firmware update (4.2.1-8.123.114095) my Drobo5N yesterday. I’ve got two WD Red 6TB drives in it. On reboot it decided drive B was bad/missing so set about a 12 hour data protection process. This morning drive A was all good, drive B dead. However on rebooting the Drobo again it decided drive B is good after all. So it’s currently doing a 10 hour remap of both drives.

Anyone else had this problem? I’ve raised a support case and will update with conclusion.

Almost the same problem, I have WD RED 6TB in slots 3 and 4, 3 went red, 4 went dark, reinstalled the one in slot 3 and it came back on line, tried a 2 TB in slot 4, then went back to the 6 again. Slot 4 still dark, after several more attempts sliding the disk in and out it finally spun up. Does not exactly fill one with confidence though. Not the unit is in a data protection in progress mode, and I suspect it will be that way for some time. So I am now on firmware 4.2.2. A little frustrated, and a little less confident in my backup, but I’ll be looking hard to make sure all is good when the data protection is complete.

Update! More problems on my 5N2 after 4.2.2 update. Tried a reboot and the 6TB drives were once again having issues coming back on line.

After 25 hours of waiting for the data manipulation, I finally got all green lights, waited 2 days and figured I better try a reboot before it finds a reason to do it on its own. Once again the 5N2 struggled with the 6TB drives, one of them absolutely would not come back online, after several tries I took an old 2TB drive and put it in that bay and it came up and is green, but of course I lost a lot of space.
Do I change out the 6TB drives for something else? Could someone provide me with information on what to change them too, I have always used WD drives, and truly NEVER had problems. Is there a firmware issue in Drobo? This is all very confusing, and concerning. Everything was fine until 4.2.2, reboots, were without problem, drives all came back green. I have a hard time thinking it is something else when I have had the 6TB drives in, and working flawlessly for 2 years or so that they would really be the problem.
I would appreciate any help, ideas, or anyone else that is experiencing issues with Drobo after the update to 4.2.2.

Thank you


My 5N2 has had solid yellow lights for a wee. What upsets me more I have not heard from tech support since Sunday. I have Drobocare but can’t reach them. Does anyone have their phone number?



Today attempted 4.2.2 fw update for one of our DROBO 5N2s, appeared to be going well, but noticed NO lights on the unit and the fan is running on high.
No lights after 2 hours and fan still running.

Any ideas on this issue?

We have a second 5N2, an old FS and 2 new 5Cs, and have had Drobo’s forever with little problems until now. (~50TB in house)

Drobo5n(4.2.1-8.123.114095) marking drives bad that are likely not bad. Also, not mounting new drive. My perception is there is something wrong with this firmware version.

One of my 10TB drives failed so I ordered a new one after 44 hours of data protection all went well

then I got a notification that there is firmware update available so I installed it, after the installation my Drobo rebooted and now it won’t even detect a single drive in it
tried rolling back the firmware still same. not sure what to do now . I have too many important documents on it.

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An update to this. Luckily my WD Red Drives were under warranty, and WD has replaced my 2 6TB WD Red Drives with 2 WD 6TB Red Drives. Sounds like an easy in and out, but really after doing some research they were not EXACTLY the same drive. In my research I found out that WD (and other manufacturers) have changed the way data is written to some drives. They changed it to Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR), instead of the type that we have all used for years which is Conventional Magnetic Recording. I am going to reference a link here to a useful article to help in explaining that aspect of things, as they have done it much better than I could. The basic problem with SMR as I understand it, is particularly if your server unit has problems with one of those SMR drives, the drives write slower (I believe is what was stated) and your server stops recognizing them. One tell-tale sign (on my DROBO anyway) is the spinning disks picks up an SSD moniker in its identification instead of the usual SATA as part of the ID. Since the replacement drives arrived, I have installed them, they were identified correctly as HDD and SATA, and so far have worked flawlessly. So…I believe the problems I had written about above is now rectified.
So, how to identify these disks that are not really designed for NAS devices? First as I mentioned, the DROBO identifed mine as SSD which there of course are not. Second is the product ID number, the CMR drives have the following number structure: WD60EFRX-68L, The EFRX is the thing to look for. If you have an ID which contains EFAX instead of EFRX, that is the SMR drive, and at this point in what I have researched and discovered this COULD be the cause of problems that have been noted here. See this article for more information: https://www.servethehome.com/wd-red-smr-vs-cmr-tested-avoid-red-smr/
Feel free to ask questions, but I am no expert by any means, just needed to find a way to get my server back on line and back to capacity, but I will be glad to help with my experiences that I found while doing the research.

As I say, this problem SEEMS to have been resolved for me with the new CMR drives being installed and all SMR drives removed from my DROBO.

Good Luck to all,