Drobo Gen3 and Drobo Support enigma

Our 3rd gen 4 bay Drobo has begun to act very strange, to put it mildly.
It frequently shuts down unexpectedly. Very often, one or more drives are red as in missing - but not the same drives every time. The Drobo lights can say the lower bay is red, but the dashboard can report the top bay as missing a drive. Or the dashboard can mark the drive red, but still recognize it as a 4 TB drive. Restarting the drobo can result in another bay being red, and the dashboard can either report the drive missing (insert drive here) or see it as a 4 TB drive.
Taking the drives out (one at a time) and reinserting them does not necessarily mean they is recognized, most times nothing happens and after a while the lights on the drobo turn yellow and very shortly after the drobo shuts down.

This behaviour and the inconsistencies between what the lamps on the drobo and the dashboard tells us is confusing. Sometime the drobo has one red bay and the rest is green while the dashboard shows all red.
Sometimes the dashoard shows a red bay but still recognizes it as 4 TB, sometimes it shows the bay red and says insert disk here - also when a disk is inserted, and that is even if it is a brand new disk…

After having removed a “red drive” and reinserted it, sometime I can make the drobo start with blinking green and yellow lights like it is rebuilding data - it only takes about 48 hours every time, and usually results in the drobo showing 3 good (green) drives and one red. But after a rebuilding process it is like random which disk is red.
Also, while rebuilding the computer frequently come up with warnings like “Drobo is running critically low on storage” or “Insert disk” or “Several drives have been removed” and the like. Very confusing because drobo is apparently still rebuilding when these warnings pop up.

I fear that there is something wrong with it and it needs to be looked at by a professional. So i wrote Drobo support with this story and asked for the nearest service center of repair shop - assuming in my naivity that there would be one somewhere in Europe.

The answer I got was that they “understand the circumstances that you are in and we would like to do our best try and help”.

The best help apparently being that I can purchase Drobo Help. 89 Euros to get an answer about the nearest place to service the Drobo. i asked if they were serious - and got a quick answer back: “There are no service-centers we could recommend I’m afraid.
Drobo has one center in Europe to address the warranty exchanges.”

That’s it. That’s their best try.

Yes, it is 3 years and1 month old - but I must admit I had hoped it would last longer.

And I also expected that there would be some place, where I could have had it serviced. Somewhere in Europe, preferably, since I’m in Denmark.

Very disappointing if the only service they can provide is “Buy a new Drobo”.

If anybody has any ideas how to fix this, I’m very interested. Could it be that there is a way to reset the whole shebang and start over? Does the power supply not generete enough power to feed the drobe plus 4 drives? Would it be a solution to backup the drobo and then reformat?

What are your experiences with unstable drobos? What did you do?

Mine has 4 x 4 TB Western Digital drives, firmware 3.5.5 and dashboard 3.2.1 (Mac OS X 10.13.6)

Write here, or contact me on peter@headhouse.com

Kind regards,


I’m appalled at the lack of support for these VERY EXPENSIVE products. Really… THROW THEM AWAY AFTER TWO YEARS??? I was floored when we had issues with our one nearly new unit, and got ZERO support. Never again will a DROBO product darken the door of ANY of our companies

Had my Gen 3 since 2016, didn’t start using til early 2017. Had constant issues with Drobo not mounting, Finder doesn’t show the drive. Drobo support replied to my problem ticket about 6 months after I opened this issue, and they never had a solution, period! Today is March 2019, and I continue to had the sometimes the Drobo shows up, some times it doesn’t. Today I can’t even get it to mount period and I was looking for a solution, because you know the issue is Drobos issue, nor Apples issue. I’ve had Drobos for quite a number of years, this one, once I figure out how to get my data off, is my LAST one ever.

watch this video because this should fix the issue. Minimally I have had this issue since early 2017, this users steps correct the issue, not Drobo nor Apple… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsJAcfr73gs