Drobo-FS behavior "Flakey"

I own two Drobo-FS boxes, both about three years old. The one at home just started to behave in a flakey manner, not dissimilar to some other posts I’ve noticed here.

My Drobo is on a home LAN, with an IP in the router’s 192.168.x.x. IP space, connected to a Windows 7 (Pro, 64-bit) PC (and laptops). It has several shares (e.g. \Software, \Backup) to which everyone has rights.

Yesterday I wanted to copy some files to \drobo-fs\Software, but the icon in Windows Explorer had a red X by it, and Windows said it couldn’t find it. When I fired up Drobo Dashboard, it didn’t see the Drobo, but eventually found it, but the Shares were still not accessible in Windows.

I shut down the PC, powered off the Drobo, brought both back up, and everything seemed OK. I copied my files (I hope), and went to sleep.

Today, I wanted to read the files, but again see red X’s. In fact, they sometimes flash between green checks and red X’s. Drobo Dashboard again cannot “see” the Drobo (it does sometimes find it, but while writing this note, I check, and saw that it found it, it “lost” it, it found it again, it “lost” it, and then said “I’ve been looking for 5 minutes for a Drobo …”). Just a sec – I’m going to bring up a fresh Dashboard and try again … hmm, I can see the Drives list on a Windows Explorer view just behind this window, and it keeps changing as Drobo Shares pop into and out of existence …

Well, Dashboard still isn’t finding my Drobo now. I can tell you the Dashboard version is 2.5.2, and I do try to keep my Drobo firmware up-to-date, but can’t get Dashboard to tell me what the revision is. However, I suspect it is 1.2.6, as this is the revision on my other Drobo.

This is a distressing problem, particularly with valuable data at stake. Are the data safe? Is there a fix? What are the upgrade options? [I’d be willing to replace the FS with a 5N, but don’t want to lose the data, particularly since I can’t easily “backup my data first”, as I can’t get to it …].

I’d appreciate any suggestions or help. I didn’t see a fix mentioned here, but if I’ve overlooked it, please point me in the right direction.

Bob Schor