Drobo FS 'floating' faulty drive

O.K., Drobo appliance is older product, 4-bay, populated w/3TB drives. Several years old, so out of DroboCare…

Bay 1 indicated bad - red light - so replaced drive; after 215 hours of “data protection” and healing, the brand new drive ran a green light and - within minutes - turned red again; same bay, different drive, same capacity (new drive was fresh from package).

So: tested old (removed) drive through dock and diagnostics… old drive tests out fine.

Seems like maybe a bad sensor/plug in Drobo. But…

Today I go in… Bay #1 (which had read the fault in both new and old drive) is now green; bay #4 is now red.

What to believe? Is bay 1 somehow hinkey, or is it just finally now paying attention? And: why indicate a faulty HW aspect of a drive, when drive is actually o.k. (checked for recalls/ warnings on HD - Samsung - and there were none). Finally: what to do about bay 4 - is that a real fault or another aspect of a ‘floating fault’?

Any help/ advise

hi rick,
am not sure if this is related to the other post you made mentioning pinhole resets…?

but when you say a red light - do you know if it was flashing/blinking red?

usually a red light just means that a the drobo is getting rather full - whereas a blinking light as far as i remember means bad drive.

when all drives are the same size, im pretty sure that the drobo shows a red light (from top to bottom) in that order, so it might just be that the drobo was getting full, and showed you a red light, and then you replaced it with another drive (of same capacity?) and then the rebuild was successful, but it then still was getting full - since no new space was made available :slight_smile:

sorry if i misunderstood anything - usually if you swap out a 3tb for another 3tb, there is no gain in raw capacity.
and for example if you swap a 1tb for a 2tb, you might need to swap out a 2nd 1tb for a 2nd 2tb, to get any actual gain in free space.

btw when your top bay was having a solid red light, could you still access the drobo and data?
and can you still access it now?[hr]
(any drive swaps are best to do 1 at a time though, so each time the drobo rebuilds etc, it will take about the same time - approx 1 hour per 1tb of data)

Thanks! I think you answered it. To answer a few of your points:

• no, this post was separate from my other post - one is an appliance for work, another is an appliance for home; 2 separate appliances, 2 separate problems.

• the light, in both cases (the faux-‘faulty’ drive and the now 4th-bay) is solid red. And so, with your help, I suspect you’ve hit the nail on the head: I’m running out of space.

This legacy, 4-bay appliance is what we’ve used at work for archives of pretty much every student project and class document for the past 8 years. I’ve been getting space warnings for a while (and haven’t done anything); I thought red lights only ever indicated faults, but after your advice I see this is all related. Thanks!

ah ok cool, thanks for the info rick.

one thing just to bear in mind, is that each “rebuild” essentially makes good use of all the drives, (and any weak drives can get more stressed over time). Other/newer models support DDR for 2 drive failures, but as the fs has 4slots im pretty sure it is only having SDR protection (eg against a single drive failure)

you might already have other backups etc, though if the student work is quite important and if you only have it on the drobo, then it might be a good idea to make a backup first, before doing another rebuild etc. (eg copy and paste / verify etc) if possible.

I have been having a similar problem. I have a 5 bay Drobo FS, with over 3TB free space. Dual disk redundancy set. Firmware 1.2.6
It goes from recognising all five drives to seeing a drive as failed, to showing drive bays as empty.

I am guessing this may be a problem in recognising the drives connected. It also is alternating the drive bays it shows as empty or failed. I have (several times) powered down, ejected drives, reset unit through dashboard, turned off, reseated drives, started up, and it is fine, and then will show a different drive failed and some other drive bays as empty.

hi mushenko,
if you are able to please make a new separate post, and to then reply back here to paste a link to it, with more info such as which drives in which slots (makes, sizes) when it was working, and same again for now, and we can try to help :slight_smile:


The symptoms seem similar, but I think this is something quite different. Sorry. I’m a kind of a newbie; I only know a little and the community of experts at this forum ended up helping me; they’re good people. I don’t know much; it smells like your thing could be a firmware or maybe a router/network problem (or something else entirely). Sorry I can’t help you.

This forum is full of Very Smart People - there’s a guy “Paul” who’s very smart, and “Don” who saved my bacon. Others as well. Best of luck and I hope you can find a fix for this…

hehe thanks (am sure there are smarter people) :slight_smile: