drobo bay still showing red after replacing two drives


I have a Drobo 5D 15tb of space (5x3tb).

The top bay turned red indicating it needed more space, so I bought two 4tb WD red drives. I replaced the top drive (bay 0) and waited 2 days as it was flashing yellow and green indicating it was protecting data. I waited for that to finish and placed the second 4tb into bay 1 and waited another two days for it to finish protecting/transferring data.

It’s finished and now bay 3 has turned red, saying space is critically low. My drobo is also being super loud! Making constant loud noises, it’s not usually like this at all. It says all bays are good (although Bay 0 is marked as 'healed’??), but I’m really worried, so I’m just checking this is all correct and I definitely need to purchase another hard drive? I thought two would be enough, it’s as if the extra space has made no difference.

It says my used space is 11.40 TB and max capacity is 16tb, with 3% (363.45 gb) available. I don’t use the dual disk redundancy.

My firmware is up to date, I use a Mac with Yosemite.

The drives go like this:

4tb (newly added - says healed?), 4tb (newly added), 3tb (now red?), 3tb, 3tb.

I’ve tried powering off the drobo, taking out all drives individually and putting them back in and no change to the red light or loud noise.

Drobo support told me to ask here, as my machine is out of warranty. Any help would be much appreciated :frowning:

hi, the noise might just be due to all the recent days of rebuilding work, especially if it is just the fan at full power. (if you can hear any other noises though, such as or bearings or metal grinding etc then thats not so good?)

if i do my maths correctly, if you have now upgraded the 2x3tb drives into 2x4tb drives, then it should end up giving you 13tb of raw available space (*0.9 for overhead) = about 11.7tb usable for data.
so if you only have a few percent free, then that is probably why it is also flagging up the 3rd slot (3tb) as red, because the drobo truely is low on space.

can you remember how much data and free space you had on the drobo (before you started upgrading drives?)
and do you know if anything else is still possibly still saving data to the drobo, or at least since before the upgrade and during it?

(i believe healed means there was some kind of an issue but that was fixed, though might be worth keeping an eye on in case it goes to warning, and maybe in future would be good to replace that drive with another, but id wait a little first t let your drobo cool down a bit and see if the fan slows down.

(2 days to rebuild after each drive seems pretty quick though i must admit… are al the other drive bays a solid colour? ideally green)

IF initial set-up is 5x 3TB drives and Drobo is running low in disk space.

Case 1 - Single Disk Redundancy Mode

  • In this case, user will need to upgrade 2 drives to higher capacity.
  • First Bay light up RED (SOLID), swap 4TB. Wait for rebuilding to completes.
  • After that 2nd Bay light up RED, swap 4TB, waiting for rebuilding to completes.
  • Overall disk space increased.

case 2 - Dual Disk Redundancy Mode

  • In this case, user will need to upgrade 3 drives to higher capacity.
  • First Bay light up RED (SOLID), swap 4TB. Wait for rebuilding to completes.
  • After that 2nd Bay light up RED, swap 4TB, waiting for rebuilding to completes.
  • Finally 3rd Bay light RED, swap with 4TB, wait for rebuilding to completes
  • Overall disk space increased.

Hi thanks for your reply Don! So the initial set up was 5 x 3tb (single disk mode), I replaced bay 0 and 1 with new 4tb drives. The new drive in bay 0 says healed, so maybe there was a problem with it initially.

Do you think I will need to purchase another 2 4tb drives again…or will I be ok with replacing just one more this time?

The sound definitely isn’t the fan, it sounds like a metal noise, really loud. I’ve kept it turned off as it doesn’t sound good, turned it on today and it’s the same, been like this for a few hours.

I can’t remember how much free space I had beforehand, it was pretty low though. The drives are all a solid green apart from the 1 solid red. I feel better now knowing I probably do just need more space, now I’m just worried about the noise! Hmmmm[hr]
Also, I don’t think anything else is still saving data to the drobo. I disconnected it from my computer to check, unless you mean something else?

Thanks for all of your help so far :slight_smile:

Healed means that the Drobo found a problem with the disk (for example, read or write errors when writing to the disk), but was able to cope with it.

Specifically, Drobo’s BeyondRAID technology segments the disk into sections, and is able to ignore the section reporting errors and move the data elsewhere (rebuilding from the redundant copy).

thanks for more info emidee, (and jason about sections),

it is probably like don mentioned, and that its truly low on space but what i think would be a good prep test if possible, would be to try the following:

  • to power all off
  • to unplug all cables from drobo
  • to remove all drives (remembering the position)
  • to power up empty

(what happens now in terms of metal noise?)
if it does not happen, than it could be one of the hard drives that is causing the grinding / noise

(if the bad sound is still there, then i think the drobo pro has its psu internally, and that may have its own extra separate fan and might be the bearing on that, if so, at least you would know that the hard drives are not grinding)

if you do try this test, please only put the drives back into where they were Only once all power is off again.

Hello! Just an update on this, I left the drobo turned off over Christmas as I was away from home, just went to turn it on today to check everything and the drive in bay 0 (the one that said healed) is flashing red, saying it’s failed. The metal noise has stopped, so I’m thinking maybe it was a faulty drive? I’ve ordered a new 4tb drive. Crossing my fingers this is the case.

I can access the drobo and look through my files, but when I click on something, it says it can’t be accessed and may be corrupt :s. I’m hoping this is just because it’s so low on space? Anything else I should do let me know!

Also…when replacing drives, I just want to check I’m doing it right. I followed the steps on the website, (http://dashboardhelp.drobo.com/guide/240/zh/5D_Adding_Capacity_or_Drives.htm). Should I definitely have my drobo running when I replace drives? Sorry if that’s a silly question, I just don’t want another drive to fail!

Thanks for all of your help Paul :slight_smile:

hi emidee, thanks for more info,
while it is always possible that another drive could (or all could in theory) suddenly fail, the main process for replacing a failed drive is to remove it while unit is on, and to put in the replacement while unit is on.

for the (previously healed) drive that now failed, it might have had problems starting up properly and hence drobo marked it as failed/bad. if all the other lights are solid colours (ideally green), and if there is no activity light flashing, then you could try rebooting the drobo to see if it now lets you access a file as per normal (however), there may be a chance that the reboot manages to kickstart that drive to bootup properly, or that it triggers another rebuild, though as far as i know most firmwares will not unmark a failed drive, in the sense that once marked bad it remains bad (unless manipulated in some way by external programs etc)

either way its definitely good to have ordered a new drive, but one idea for you could be to use that new drive to make a backup of the data if it becomes fully accessible in the meantime, especially if you do not already have one or for very important files.

Okay, a few days on again.

So I replaced the failed drive (bay 0) with a new 4tb drive, it rebuilt the data, but still showed up red saying I need to add more memory. I bought a new 6tb drive, and because I had already previously replaced bay 0 and 1 with larger drives, I put the new 6tb drive in bay 2…. all of the drives turned red and a warning popped up telling me to put the original drive back. So I did. I then tried putting the 6tb drive into the red bay 0 to check if it’d change anything, it didn’t, it’s still red and telling me to replace the drive with a larger capacity one. No attempt at rebuilding data.

I’m stuck and frustrated at what to do now :frowning: I have a spare 6tb drive and don’t know where to put it, it seems happy enough me switching my 6tb back with the 4tb in bay 0, it doesn’t make any difference.

My data is backed up, multiple places, but drobo was keeping my peace of mind and was supposed to be the safest of all of these, as it’s v important data that I need keeping for years.

All I really want is for there to be enough space on the drobo that I can access my data speedily and transfer things to my desktop if I need to, I can’t do this as it takes 15 mins for a folder to load. I don’t need to add extra data, as I was going to purchase a new drobo for 2016.

any info would be appreciated, thanks for your time! if I’ve exhausted all of my possibilities I’ll try drobo support again :(.

hi emidee, thanks for the update,
i think if we go back a bit, if you can get the drobo to a stable state again (even with that red light), can you then try to move some large data files from drobo onto another place such as your desktop, (ideally via the copy / paste and verify method before deleting), and to try and get the free space to increase?

it might start to rebuild fine for you if you can get the free space up a bit, say another 8-12% if possible.
(though it may take a bit of time to reclaim the free space, but dashboard should show you the progress of that)

i’m looking for a new 4TB HDD,
can anyone help me to find the best one?

I found this article on google
and they suggest me to buy Seagate Barracuda.
how about that?

hi kinjo, it probably depends on where you are, but amazon might be a good place (i think its better if the order is fulfilled by them in case of needing to return but have a look around)

in terms of what drive, if you already have a 4TB drive in your system that has been working well, its probably good to try and get the same one again in terms of brand and model, simply because the firmware in your drobo might be more likely to recognise it, than buying the latest model.