Drobo FS - Long Time (days) to Delete a File

I’m using an iMac connected to a Drobo FS which I use for backup. I am trying to delete an old backup file about 48GB large. The iMac shows the delete operation is in progress (progress bar all the way to the right, like it should be done but it’s not) and it’s been like that for 3 days.

Any thoughts on what is going on? The file I tried to delete still shows up in the directory.

All equipment software is up to date, drobo firmware, dashboard, and iMac.


hi robin,
can you notice any changes taking place via dashboard, for example for the used space or free space?

i do know that on a das drobo, changes to files, or in this case, file or folder deletions, can complete more quickly from the computers perspective, but then actually require some time for the drobo to run through is space reclamation process, to essentially free up the blocks again.

im not sure about the mac, but maybe that backup file, being huge, will just need a longer time?
(if you can see the free space increasing bit by bit, every 5minutes or so, then maybe that bug file is just presented to the operating system as a big file, but might be made up of lots of files a bit like an iso file, and is being deleted in parts?)

btw, what happens if you find a spare, un-needed small file somewhere else, such as a 1MB file - does that 1MB file get deleted relatively quickly?[hr]
also, can i check what your main used and free percentages are on the drobo?
(if things were quite full, and you already had a solid red light and near or passed the 95% used mark, that might also account for slowdowns)

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your comments.

My Drobo has 5 drives: 3 x 2TB and 2 x 1TB. They are all Western Digital Black drives, which I have found to be extremely reliable.

The Dashboard reports 4.22TB Used (78%) and 1.16TB Free (22%). Total 5.39TB. The relative percentages don’t seem to be changing.

I deleted a small file from the same share as the large one and it was deleted immediately and removed from the directory.

It’s interesting to note that the large (49GB) file I’m trying to delete is still in the directory and is the same size as it was when I issued the command to delete it. The delete progress on the Mac still looks the same; it appears to be at the end, but isn’t done.

I’m into my 4th day waiting for the file to be deleted. I really don’t want to do anything (like restart the Drobo or cancel the delete) until the process is done.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I still have a couple of large files to delete but don’t want to start those until I know what’s happening with the current delete process. I’ve also suspended all further backups until the deletion ends.

thanks for the info robin,
ok the fact that the smaller file did delete, i think is a good sign, especially if it was on the same overall share / volume that the larger file is on.

is there any program on the mac (similar to sysinternals on windows), that can show you each and every file and process that is in use currently, as well as which programs or processes are locking/using each file?
maybe that kind of tool could be useful here.

what happens if you also try to open a new, separate finder window (possibly from another program’s, “file > open” menu, and try to browse to, or view that same path that contains the large file, and then to try refreshing that view too?

also, can you see any activity lights on the drobo being lit/flashing, as well as sense any noise or vibrations/disk usage coming from the main unit too?

(btw i tweaked a couple of words in my above post, into “spare” and “bit”, which is better then “space” and “butt” :slight_smile:

Okay, I got tired of waiting (4 days) and cancelled the delete. Then I launched the Terminal application and drilled down to the file and used a recursive delete (rm -r) to delete the file. It took 6 hours to successfully complete.

I also used the rm -r command to remove another large backup for a computer i no longer own. Anyway, I’ve got lots of space on the Drobo now!

Thanks Paul for taking the time to reply to my question.

ah youre welcome, and am glad you got things sorted :slight_smile: