Drobo FS - Failed Drive Bay?

Hi, I have a Drobo FS which I run with dual redundancy. It has been a lightly used so has been very a trusty NAS - until recently, .

Recently the second bay down reported a drive failure so I replaced it with a brand new Western Digital 2TB drive. It immediately reported the drive also as a failure. I did send it back as the drive although in a new sealed silver bag was not packaged well and you know how couriers can be with packages, yes?

So I ordered a Toshiba 2Tb drive some a completely different supplier to ensure I did not order another drive of possibly a faulty batch. I put this in and again the Drobo FS is reporting the brand new drive as faulty. Luckily one of the drives in the NAS was only a 250Gb drive so I swapped that with the new Toshiba drive and all appears to be well again and the Drobo started building the data protection.

As the new drive is now reporting OK in the bottom bay but not in the second from top bay do I have to assume the second from top bay has failed in some way? And maybe even both the original drive which I first swapped out with the new Western Digital, AND the new Western Digital were all ok, but the bay it self has failed? After all the Toshiba also showed as failed in this bay, but is OK in another? Has anyone else experienced this in a Drobo FS, or maybe a 5N?

Any advice appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Regards, Dib.

Is this the Western Digital Drive you purchased?
WD Red 2TB NAS Internal Hard Drive - 5400 RPM Class, SATA 6 Gb/s, 256MB Cache, 3.5" - WD20EFAX

Please check the model number closely.

Apparently WD has been secretly and deceptively using SMR hard drives without warning or label.

It’s being reported that SMR drives can cause issues in existing raid setups.

I purchased a 6TB WD RED Drive to go with my 3TB WD RED drives in my Drobo 5D. Long story short, everything went weird and now the drobo is critical. It ends up the 6TB RED is a SMR drive now. Like you, Bay 1 (the second from the top) is flashing red. Since the drobo was low on space - all the other drives are showing solid red.

Here is a post I made about it: https://drobocommunity.m-ize.com/t/drobo-5d-critical-after-adding-wd-6tb-red-drive-smr/148450
And here is a reddit post detailing the issues I’ve had since installing the drive: reddit post

I have an open ticket with Drobo and WD to see if I can get my drobo back online to get my data.

Hi Cbohaty,
I am sorry to hear your drobo is now in critical state.I have never even heard of SMR drives. I thought all SATA drives were “born equal”. I’ll have a read of your other post in a mo.

The drive I ordered and fitted was a " WD Blue 2TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 5400 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch"

Thankfully for me because I had dual redundancy after 15 hours my drobo managed to complete rebuilding with the 2nd new drive (Toshiba this time) in a bay where I had a very small drive. I am loathed to purchase a new drive for the second bay in case it wipes out the new drive or the drobo completely.

I look forward to hearing a response from WD or Drobo.

I suggest in the meantime, you make an external copy of your data as a safe-keep.

1 Like

Thank you.
My Drobo is only a backup of files from elsewhere, or trivial files which can be downloaded again like music MP3s, so it IS the backup.

That’s great to hear.
Looks like your issue isn’t SMR related like mine. Like you, I thought a hard drive was a drive. Often times, this spec isn’t even listed on the product specs sheet. In WD case, it seems like they were purposefully hiding the info from consumers who were asking about it.

Good luck!

1 Like

Yes it is bad of WD.

I have read that it is not just them using that format now. Plus I think WD, Seagate and Maxtor are all in essence the same company, so I assume that drive technology will soon be in their drives too?

Looks like it is Toshiba as well!

I have a Drobo 5N, I’ve had for a few years. I’ve had two drive failures in bay 1, the second bay down.

I replaced this drive a few years ago with WD40EZRX-00S.

Today after a power failure the Drobo reported this drive had failed. Leading up to these all drives reported as healthy.

I’m running the latest firmware for the Drobo, Dashboard and OS. The box is supporting an encrypted TM backup from multiple machines. It currently says its in a Data recovery mode… saying it will take 12+ hours to complete.

The other drives are older, problem free. I’m wondering if its an issue with the Drobo bay.