Drobo FS will not mount

Drobo: Drobo FS
Computer: Mac Mini running 10.9.4


[a long read - please bear with me]
[much of what you are about to read happened literally now months ago, so please don’t expect a perfect memory of events]

I hope someone can help me. I’ve been trying to fix an issue I’ve had with my Drobo since the beginning of July. It is now Mid-September.

In July I want down to the basement where my two Drobo FSs are. On one of them, a red light was on next to the fourth slot (3TB Drive).

I went to the store and purchased a 4TB drive to replace it. The normal ‘data protection mode’ was activated and I waited. It became apparent several hours later that the Drobo unit was cycling between data protection mode and telling me that data protection could not occur because I needed to add a new drive. This would cycle through both of these state about every 20 minutes of so. Each time the Drobo was in data protection, it would make some progress, then stop and cycle.

I called Drobo tech support and began a LONG (months) conversation with three tech where I was asked to jump through many hoops. In the end they asked me to send the drive into a third party data recovery team. I haven’t because I simply can’t afford the thousands of dollars that this would require (have a small child in day care).

The following represents the gist of what I have done to try to fix it in chronological order:

  1. Add 4TB drive to slot 4

    • Drobo cycled (see above)
  2. Drobo support told me that drive from slot 5 also having trouble. Sent Diagnostics.

  3. Put Drobo into Read-Only mode

  4. Cloned drive (up to 86%) from slot 5 using Data Rescue for Mac. Stopped because Data Rescue locked up.

  5. Put Cloned drive back into Drobo. Sent Diagnostics.

  6. Tried to Reverse Clone drive from Slot 5. After a couple of weeks, Drive cloned to 29% (over lapping initial 86%)

  7. Data Rescue locked up again.

  8. Put Cloned drive back into Drobo into Slot 5. Sent Diagnostics.

  9. Drobo in data recovery mode (while in Read-Only so really, nothing happening)

  10. Contacted Drobo support and they told me to send data pack in to get repaired before taking Drobo out of Read-Only mode. I can’t afford this as I have a young one in day care which is very expensive in Canada (more than the mortgage payment).

  11. I took the Drobo out of Read Only mode with the cloned drive in slot 5 and one of the drives which was initially trying to do data protection in slot 4.

  12. Like a miracle the Drobo seemed to be doing its data protection. There was no weird cycling, just good clean “Data protection” happening.

  13. When Drobo was finished protecting the data, the lights turned all green. I was ECSTATIC! This data means a lot to me.

  14. In dashboard where you pick the Drobo to look at, the light is read. Under Status, (where you can see all the drives) it’s all green. Under this there is an exclamation point that says “Mount Failed”.

  15. I contacted Drobo again, and they told me that all data is lost. [I am wondering if they are just tired of dealing with me because I’ve been so persistent].

My questions are these…

Is it possible that all the data is actually fine on the Drobo even though I can’t get it to mount?

How can I force a mount from a Drobo FS?

I have a second Drobo FS which is in use now with different data. Can I put the Drobo Disk pack into the other Drobo FS to see if it will mount from there?

Can I get my data back?


Thanks :slight_smile: