Drobo Gen2 removing disk packs. - Bad blocks?

Hi guys,

It’s a long story, but, I have a question.

If I power down my Drobo, and pull the disks out of my disk pack, and individually plug them into a computer to check the SMART data, without writing changes to the disk, will this cause problems when I put the disk pack back into my Drobo?

Here’s the whole story:
I have a Drobo Gen2, and recently (after a few accidental disconnections because of a bad cable), my iTunes said my library was corrupted beyond repair. I decided to run a fsck in Disk Utility, during the night (while fsck was running), I closed my laptops lid without thinking. In the morning, i was greeted with the message that fsck had failed mid-way through (exactly when i put the machine to sleep, not surprisingly).
“Not to worry” i though, “I’ll just run fsck again”. I have a rather large drobo, 4x2TB drives, and about 3TB full, as a result fsck has always taken about 8 hours. After about 8 hours, I went back to my computer to be greeted with log messages stating how fsck had found errors, repaired, fscked again, found errors a second time, repaired, found errors a third time and failed to repair.

After that, my drive was not mountable, and fsck refused to touch it, even with fsck_hfs -rfd

At that point, in a panic, I bought diskwarrior, only for it to give me a memory warning, then something about the performance being reduced due to possible disk errors, then finally failing saying it was out of memory. (odd, because while it had used up all my active memory, I still had plenty of swap space)

I got on with DiskWarrior support, and the guy managed to get the disk mountable again using dd and some clever manual editing of my filesystem.

He claimed that it was a failing disk with bad blocks, I would be shocked that the Drobo didn’t pick this up if it’s true.
I suspect it isn’t though…

But, this is why I want to pull my disks out and check their smart status.

Since I am only using 3TB and I have 4 x 2TB hard drives, I can loose a drive, and still have enough free space left on the 3 to have redundancy after the relayout completes, as I understand it.


The easiest and fastest way to check SMART status will be to shut down your Drobo, and remove each drive to check its stats in a computer. After you have checked and re-inserted each drive into the Drobo, turn Drobo back on and it will work as if nothing had happened.
The key here is to NOT remove drives while Drobo is running. It will detect the missing drive as failed and rebuild the array. Each. Time.

By the way, I agree that the DiskWarrior tech displayed ignorance of what a Drobo is and what RAID does. If DiskWarrior had hardware problems with the volume, I would more easily believe it found Command Timeouts, which on an external drive would indicate communication errors (cable, USB controller, OS driver…) That’s fundamentally different than a disk that actually reports Unrecoverable Write Errors or Unrecoverable Read Errors. Another possibility is that DW tried to do a surface test of every sector on the volume. It’s simply impossible to verify e.g. 16TB (virtual volume size) of drive sectors on 6TB of physical disks. Never run a surface test on thin-provisioned volumes like what Drobo uses.

It won’t hurt to check SMART status of your drives, but as a former tech, I get really upset when a professional acts out of ignorance and sends a customer down the wrong path.

The “proper” way to do “individual drive stuff” would be to remove a drive, test it, let it relayout, stick the drive back in after done done the “individual drive stuff”
BUT the relayout puts a lot of stress on the drives, and may push a “going bad” drive over the edge.

So you are right in wanting to find the “going-bad” drive without triggering relayouts.

I can’t think of a reason why a basic SMART query would cause a problem, as long as you are only reading.
However, I don’t know what kind of magic happens in Droboland.

If you have a “forensic” (write-blocking) adapter, then that would be safe.

Let’s wait and see if Sky has a good answer. :slight_smile:

To my knowledge, OSX doesn’t do any writes to a drive until it finds a file systems it can mount. Since the Drobo will show as uninitialized, I would suspect it should be ok.


Manufacturer-supplied diagnostics (WDDiag, SeaTools, etc) would be safest, though they may not report SMART values per-se.

I agree with you and rdo that an actual drive problem would’ve been detected by Drobo, but I admire your thoroughness.

Fair enough. Good to know that the Drobo should detect bad sectors/blocks. I would have been supper pissed if that had not been the case.

I’ll report back what I find incase anyone is curious.

Please do - it’s always good to know how the story ends.

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So… It seems that one of the drives in my Drobo is indeed totally screwed.

I have 3TB of data on it, 4x2TB drives, 3 of which (disk 1,2 and 4) are Hitachi DeskStars, and the final one (disk 3) is a WD Caviar Black drive.

The WD is so dead, that when I plugged them all into my computer to check the SMART logs for errors, my computer wouldn’t even recognize that anything was plugged in.

The platters spin up, but thats about all.

The Drobo, however, for some reason thinks its fine. I considered, since I could still have redundancy with 3x2TB disks (after the relayout of course) for 3TB of data, just pulling the drive… but my concern is that the Drobo might freak out and Red light and die or not be able to recover.

Im considering several options at the moment, one of which is buying 3 new 2TB drives and using DD to image the remaining 3 drives into the 3 new ones and popping them in the Drobo to see what happens. If it goes well, then great, if it doesn’t then I can fall back to my originals.

As it stands, the drive is mountable, but i think my Filesystem is effed… Badly…

Anyone have experience backing up disk packs?

You don’t want a known bad drive to be part of this disk pack any more than you want a known bad tire on your car. When a drive dies, it can cause problems to everything around it. “Half dead” simply means the drama isn’t over.

You have a good idea to back up the Drobo. I use rsync to copy everything to an external drive (actually, I use a BlacX dock and swap drives as necessary).
Purchase a new drive and as soon as you’ve finished copying all your data, pull the bad drive and replace it. Actually, it might be best to remove the bad drive as soon as you’ve finished copying your data.

You might also want to ask Tech Support what your Drobo thinks of this drive. I’m surprised that it hasn’t voted it off the island yet. I’m also curious if there are any other problems which you didn’t yet see.

P.S. Great detective work! :slight_smile:

(hi if you use any of those blacx/icydocks etc which can clone ide/sata drives with a “push of a button” - just make sure youve done a test or know 100% which slot is the source and which is the destination) :slight_smile:

+1 for what rdo said

We tried it once at work on our DroboPro (though in that case it turned out the DroboPro chassis needed replacement). It’s a good excuse to get approval for a drive cloning appliance - one of those bit-for-bit ones. :slight_smile:

DD will likely work too, as I don’t think it cares about what filesystem is there?

moncler Ingredients1 pâte à pizza ronde ainsi que fine4 tomates allongées100g par feta4 cuillières à soupe qui remplace coulis qui prend place pour tomatesselPreparation- Faites chauffer le four à 220 °C (th. 7-8).- Sortez la pâte à pizza du réfrigérateur.- Coupez ces tomates en rondelles. Enlevez ces graines ainsi que ce jus ainsi que mettez des rondelles des tomate dans une passoire pour que ce reste du jus s’écoule. Coupez la feta en petits dés.- Déroulez la pâte à pizza en conservant le papier sulfurisé, sur une plaque allant au four. Découpez quatre disques dans la pâte. Retirez la pâte en trop.- Étalez ce coulis des tomates sur les disques signifiant pâte.- Disposez dessus ces rondelles signifiant tomate, en ces faisant se chevaucher. Salez.- Mettez ces mini-pizzas au four dans le but de 10 minutes de cuisson.- Parsemez des pizzas depuis dés d’un feta. Remettez-les au four afin de 5 à 10 minutes pour le cuisson, jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient bien dorées. Servez-les bien chaudes.Cette recette se révèle être extraite du livre Les mini-toques, pour le Nicole Seeman, une collaboration éditions Hachette pratique ainsi que HertaMini-club sandwich aux asperges doudoune moncler Ingredients1 épaule d’agneau désossée400 g du chair à saucisse2 morceaux prennent place à barde d’environ 20 cm prennent place à long3 tomates moyennes6 petites tomates2 courgettes100 g d’olives noires1 oignon1 oeuf2 tranches qui prend place pour pain avec mie4 cuil. à soupe d’huile d’olive5 cl qui prend place pour lait5 brins depuis persil plat2 brins avec thym2 branches d’un romarinsel, poivrePreparationDécoupez un chapeau chez l’ensemble des petites tomates et ainsi que les coupez la listes des autres en deux au sein de l’épaisseur : évidez-les et aussi réservez les chair.Coupez ces courgettes en tronçons qui prend place pour 4 cm puis évidez-les en partie. Hachez alors que la chair prélevée.Faites revenir l’oignon haché au sein de 1 cuil. à soupe d’huile. Mettez-le dans un saladier avec les soins de chair à saucisse, les olives hachées, système peut s’habituer thym effeuillé, une blessure persil et la moitié du romarin ciselés, les chair réservée des tomates d’ailleurs courgettes, l’oeuf et aussi notre corps pain du mie imbibé par lait. Salez, poivrez et aussi mélangez.Farcissez l’épaule avec l’ensemble des 2/3 d’un cette préparation. Donnez-lui une forme ronde. Cerclez-la avec les barde ainsi que ficelez-la en étoile.Préchauffez ce four sur th. 7 (210 °C). Mettez système peut s’habituer reste par farce au sein de les légumes. Réservez-les.Placez ce melon d’agneau parmi un plat huilé ensuite arrosez-le avec ce nouvel état reste d’huile. Faites-le cuire au four 40 min puis retournez-le.Ajoutez la listes des courgettes, ces tomates moyennes, 2 cuil. à soupe d’eau et ainsi que les poursuivez la cuisson 30 min.A 15 min sur les fin sur les cuisson, ajoutez les petites tomates.Entourez des petits farcis et ainsi que les décorez depuis romarin. Servez chaud.Melon d’hiver au thon moncler doudoune
moncler soldes Ingredients4 cuil. à soupe de Ketchup1 bouquet de cerfeuil1 bouquet de ciboulette1 petit oignon fraissauce Tabascosel, poivrePreparationPréparez la mayonnaise : versez ce jaune d’oeuf dans un bol. Ajoutez la moutarde. Mélangez. Versez l’huile goutte à goutte en fouettant. Lorsque la mayonnaise commence à épaissir, salez et poivrez. Ajoutez ce jus du demi-citron avec mélangez.Pelez mais aussi hachez très finement l’oignon frais. Effeuillez ce cerfeuil et aussi ciselez-le très finement ainsi que la ciboulette.Dans un bol, mélangez la mayonnaise et aussi ce ketchup. Ajoutez l’oignon, quelques gouttes de Tabasco, la ciboulette et aussi le cerfeuil. Salez, poivrez.Mayonnaise au safran moncler pas cher Ingredients2 kg avec darnes avec carpe2 carottes2 oignons2 gousses d’ail1 boîte (1/2) prennent place à champignons pour le Paris en morceaux1 bouquet garni2 cuil. à soupe d’un cognac50 cl qui prend place pour vin rouge1 cuil. à soupe prennent place à farine60 g sur beurre2 jaunes d’oeufs100 g du crème fraîche1 citronsel, poivrecroûtons fritsPreparationEpluchez avec émincez les oignons. Pelez et surtout écrasez l’ail. Epluchez et coupez les carottes en morceaux. Dans une cocotte, faites revenir l’outil tout avec la moitié du beurre. Quand les oignons sont translucides, ajoutez les darnes avec carpe mais aussi faites cuire plusieurs instants.Versez un cognac sur l’outil poisson et flambez. Mouillez avec un vin, ajoutez ce bouquet garni, les champignons ensuite leur jus, salez et poivrez. Laissez cuire 15 min à couvert mais aussi à petit bouillon.Mélangez le module reste prennent place à beurre et ainsi la farine. Retirez les darnes sur carpe ensuite gardez-les au chaud dans une soupière.En fouettant, incorporez un état de nocuité beurre manié à la sauce. Laissez cuire quelques instants ainsi que retirez ce bouquet garni. Hors du feu, ajoutez la crème fraîche, les jaunes d’oeufs puis l’appareil jus du citron. Mélangez et surtout versez sur un état de nocuité poisson.Servez aussitôt et surtout accompagnez des croûtons frits.Mayonnaise moncler

I’m of course not privy to Drobo’s internals BUT “dd” will likely do the trick so long as the special file you point it at really maps to the entire drive, with no special set-aside areas. That’s up to the OS, not “dd”.

sorry what is DD again?
are you refering to wDDialog?