Drobo critical after new setup

I’ve acquired an empty Drobo 5N from a mate and stuck some new drives in it. First off I put 2x 2TB drives, both had green lights but after it went through it’s set up the System health was critical (both drives have green lights). A quick read suggested you need 4 drives on a new install if this happens so I bought another 2x 2TB drives/ Again 4 green lights and after set up a critical health status again, however this time it also gave me a red light on bay 1 so I moved this drive to bay 5 and reset the system.

I now have 4 green lights, but again once it’s started up I get critical health.

Any suggestions?

Seems unusual for certain. How much data is on your Drobo and what are the individual drive model numbers?

I have 4 of these

Seagate BarraCuda 2 TB Internal Hard Drive HDD – 3.5 Inch SATA 6 GB/s 7200 RPM 256 MB Cache

All are brand new and empty.

Problem will be SMR drives then.
CMR and SMR Hard Drives | Seagate UK
Other reference.
Can I really use any hard drive I want in Drobo?

Please note at the bottom of that

  • All SMR drives are incompatible and not recommended for use with Drobo

Oh joy, that’s £200 down the drain.

Thanks anyway :slight_smile:

OK, the plot thickens :wink:

This page suggests that the drives are useable though it doesn’t list the 5N only the 5N2.

The other link shows drives as being SMR but which drives are not?

Before I waste another pile of cash, how do I work out which drives WILL work and which will not? Or do I keep the drives I have and get a different box? As I say, the Drobo was given to me by a mate.

Does anyone know if the Seagate Ironwolf will work for example?


First link I gave shows which of Seagate’s drives are SMR & which CMR
CMR and SMR Hard Drives | Seagate UK
It also shows the IronWolf drives as CMR (which is what’s needed)

The page you linked shows BarraCuda Pro as useable, not plain BarraCuda. The latter being SMR & the former CMR.

There’s not such a helpful table as I linked when it comes to Western Digital, however Red Plus are CMR (not plain Red).
There’s a table here of WD drives to avoid though.
WD publishes complete list of SMR drives following user backlash | TechSpot

If you want an actual recommendation then Drobo suggest IronWolf Pro, or WD Red Pro
I’d tend to agree, both are CMR, both are 7200rpm & both have decent warrantee.

The slower IronWolf or WD Red Plus should be OK though, if that’s all budget permits.

There are potential issues using SMR drives in other manufacturer’s boxes too, they really don’t play well with RAID, particularly during rebuilds after a drive fails.

Yes thanks, so many tabs open I lost track of that one.

I’ve gone with a couple of ironwolf 4tb, yes budget is an issue at the moment.

One final thing you might know. SHOULD the barracudas at least work, if not reliably? The other concern is that the drobo itself has an issue rather than specifically the drives.

Thanks again for your help cyber_beardy, I have read more about drives in the last few hours than the rest of my life :slight_smile:

Somewhere other than a Drobo / NAS, they’ll work, they’re fine when used in a desktop PC as intended, or singly as external drives.

I would NOT use them in any sort of RAID though, especially not one with data on, they might appear to work, the worst problem comes when you replace a drive, during the rebuild process they run out of fast cache, slow right down, often get marked as failed, & then the entire rebuild fails… meaning all data gets lost at that point.

Can’t tell anything about the unit while it has SMR drives fitted, two CMR IronWolf drives should do to set it up though, more can be added later to expand &/or enable dual redundancy, something I’d actually recommend doing with drives of 4TB or greater once you have enough of them. You should only need 2 drives to set it up with single redundancy, dual can be enabled once you have 3 or more without losing data.

In ordinary times where units were in stock I’d suggest just proceeding with IronWolf or similar CMR NAS rated drives, since if the unit was problematic you could get another & move the pack without data loss.

In the current “no stock anywhere” situation, it’s up to you if you want to take the risk or simply start off with a competitor’s unit. Whatever you decide I wouldn’t recommend SMR drives in any sort of NAS though.

I miss the days when picking drives wasn’t a problem.