Drobo

Drobo Fan resonance

He There,

2 days ago I just bought my new Drobo (V2) incl. 2x 1TB WD Green HD’s (WD10EADS).
The Drobo is connected to a Mac mini with a FireWire 800 > 400 cable and placed in an open space.

The first thing I noticed about the Drobo is that the fan spins up very often. When I’m watching a movie that is being streamed from the Drobo the fan is on during 75% of the movie. It seemed to me that the fanspeed was not that high when it spins up to cool the HD’s, but the fan made an additional sound besides the “blow-sound”.

You can here some sort of a low-tone resonance coming out of the Drobo casing. The sound is hearable when the Drobo starts cooling and the fan spins up in what I think is the 1st or 2nd stage of the fan speed. When I boot up the Drobo the fans are also hearable but without the resonance and after a 1 minute or 2 the fan noise goes away. But the resonance is very annoying! The front-plate is attached correctly so I think that can not be the cause of the resonance.

I really don’t mind the fan spinning up but the resonance is driving me crazy. Also the fan spins up almost every 10 minutes. Even when the Drobo is idle and no data is being accessed on the Drobo.

Today I went back to the shop where I bought the Drobo (I work there too) and brought home our Demo/Store-unit. I put in the two WD drives and this Drobo makes the same resonance sounds, although it seems a bit less. The fan is also spinning up the same amount of times but “data protection is in progress” so this process may be causing the HD’s to heat up and the fan spinning up. But still the same annoying resonance sound!!!

My questions are:

  • Are there any people experiencing the same “resonance sound”?
  • Is there something I can do or you did about this annoying sound?
  • How often does the fan spin up when you are watching a movie?

I live in the country and I’ve only recently stopped looking out the window to see who is idling their vehicle in my driveway when my Drobo V2 fan in the next room kicks in. The mini fridge near it is much quieter.

When my warranty is up at the end of the summer I plan to open it up and see what can be done, perhaps trying different replacement fans.

Does the drobo make the same audible sound when there are no drives in?

I can’t test that right now because the Drobo’s Data protection is in progress. But when it finishes I’ll test if the Drobo makes the same sound…

But if it does…what to do then? I already contacted Drobo Support but haven’t heard back from them…

Please remember we are not open on weekends. Mondays are busier but we will get to your case asap.

Ok thanks for the fast responds!

How can I make the fan spin up when there are no HD’s in the Drobo?

When the unit gets warm enough. Usually the fan first comes on when you first boot it up.

Commonly we hear “sounds” when the drives are vibrating in the chassis. Not the fan causing the sounds.
If it is the fan, then you drobo can be replaced.

Do you have both fans in adjoining bays? Try the 1st then the 4th bay for your two drives. See if you can hear the same sounds.

Drobo 1
On the first Drobo (the one I bought) I’ve put the HD’s in bay 1 and 2 (from top to bottom) then I noticed the sound(resonance). After a while I’ve put the HD’s in bay 1 and 4. Still, the same sound(resonance).

Drobo 2
On the second Drobo (also V2 and our DEMO-store unit) I’ve put the HD’s in bay 1 and 2, but still the same sound. Although I thought that Drobo 2 is a bit less noisy than Drobo 1.

I’ll try more combinations and let you know…

Mine makes a resonating sound too, but only when the hard drives are spinning, and the face plate is on. The fan does not make any noticable sounds when on.

OK! But when I’m watching a movie data on the Drobo is being accessed. That means the HD’s are spinning. But that doesn’t mean the fan is spinning. In fact for a while I can’t hear the fan spinning - while I’m watching a movie - but after a minute or 5 the fan kicks in and I hear the resonating sound. The fans keeps on cooling the HD for about 5 minutes and then stops…but 5 minutes after it stops it wil spin up again… Like I said a few posts earlier, I wouldn’t mind hearing the fan blowing air through the Drobo, but the resonating sound is truly an issue. If it keeps resonating I’m planning on returning the Drobo…

OK! I’ve tested Drobo 1 and Drobo 2 extensively with the following results:

Drobo 1 (the one I bought)

  1. Connected the Drobo without any HD’s >>> resonating noise!
  2. Connected the Drobo with 2 HD’s in bay 1 and bay 2 >>> resonating noise!
  3. Connected the Drobo with 2 HD’s in bay 3 and bay 4 >>> resonating noise!
  4. Connected the Drobo with 2 HD’s in bay 1 and bay 4 >>> resonating noise!
  5. Connected the Drobo with 2 HD’s in bay 2 and bay 4 >>> resonating noise!

Drobo 2 (the store Demo unit)

  1. Connected the Drobo without any HD’s >>> resonating noise! (but less noise than Drobo 1)
  2. Connected the Drobo with 2 HD’s in bay 1 and bay 2 >>> resonating noise! (but less noise than Drobo 1)
  3. Connected the Drobo with 2 HD’s in bay 3 and bay 4 >>> resonating noise! (but less noise than Drobo 1)
  4. Connected the Drobo with 2 HD’s in bay 1 and bay 4 >>> resonating noise! (but less noise than Drobo 1)
  5. Connected the Drobo with 2 HD’s in bay 2 and bay 4 >>> resonating noise! (but less noise than Drobo 1)

Conclusion

  1. Both Drobo 1 and Drobo 2 make an annoying resonating noise when the fan spins up!
  2. The noise is more audible when the fan is in a lower fanspeed!
  3. The noise coming from Drobo 2 is still unacceptable to me for a product at this price-point…
  4. The noise is not coming from the HD’s.
  5. I’m very disappointed in the Drobo :frowning:

@ Jennifer - I hope you can help me find a solution for this problem… :slight_smile: If the Drobo needs to be replaced, how will this work? Do I have to replace it
at the store where I bought the Drobo?

IF it’s a brand new purchase, I would do it at the store, much faster.

If your drobo is under warranty we can do an exchange with no problems. Just open a support case.

But does that mean that Drobo accept DOA’s? And the store can send it back to the distributer?

I’m not sure I understand your question.

Your drobo is not DOA.

I suggested the store because usually a reseller is quicker in doing a return.

What I meant is that if I return the Drobo to the reseller (which is where I work) can they send the Drobo back to the distributer or Data Robotics and receive a new one to sell…?

Oh! And I already registered the serial number… How can I “un-register” this serialnumber?

well, yes, if its faulty, which an unusual resonance is (a fault). it doesnt have to be actually DoA

@burkan, I would assume. I actually don’t deal with the RMA’s and returns, so I can’t answer that question.

Just register with the new serial number if you mean product registration.
If you mean DroboSpace, just change your serial number when you edit your profile.

OK!

Thanks for the answers. I received an email from Drobo Support and they asked me the same questions you asked (if the Drobo keeps making the same noise without drives then the Drobo needs to be replaced).

I emailed them back and waiting for an answer… :slight_smile:

But thanks for your help!