Drobo Mini overheating and shutting down

Drobo Mini has started overheating (top is hot to touch) and then abruptly shutting down, showing a solid red light. Fans are pushing a little air, but not as much as they used to, all vents are clear/clean. Warranty expired 2 months ago of course :confused:

Latest firmware (3.5.0) and Drobo Dashboard (2.8.1), Mac OS 10.11.5

Any ideas? Thank you for your time.

hi, is that the power light which shows red? (if so i think that does indicate that the unit is aware that it is overheating)

its unfortunate that the warranty hs ended, though if you happen to have any more info about the drives you are using, it could be handy in case someone can spot a particular drive that has possibly been known to overheat in enclosures (just in case it is that), but also maybe you could check the power usage ratings of the psu and those drives and the mini, just in case the problem has only started happening since using certain drives (if you can remember when it started happening?)

Thanks Paul, it is the power light that is solid red after shutdown. No new drives, I have 3 HGST 5400rpm 1.5Tb drives installed since it was new two years ago, all drives are listed as “healthy”, total used capacity at 62% with single drive redundancy. Problem just surfaced about two weeks ago, Drobo will still power on and function normally for 30-60 mins, then abrupt shutdown.

thanks for the info teryn,
one thing you could try, could be to power all off and remove all cables from the drobo, and then use a compressed air can in case you there is any dust in the mechanism (that is not visible)…

… but short of trying to change the fan your self (if that would fix it), you could try getting a new psu, just in case the existing one is having a problem and not being able to provide enough power to the fan.

you might be able to raise a 1-time paid ticket with support though, as they may be able to tell from the diagnostics exactly which part is having a problem, though depending on the cost plus parts, it may be better to upgrade to another drobo. (if you do though, there is a migration process you can use which can be found here)

Thanks again Paul, the way Drobo support explained the single support incident it did not sound very useful, merely diagnostic over email and no parts or anything. I’ll try the compressed air to see if there is a lot of dust I cannot see, but looking at the cost of another empty Drobo Mini of around $650…I’ll probably go with a standard RAID appliance and not be locked in to a proprietary file format that can only be resolved with another Drobo to access my files in the event of another hardware failure. Honestly pretty disappointed with my first Drobo support experience.

ah thats fair enough, hopefully the compressed air can dislodge something that is there, (and it might need a gentle turn of the fan and a few attempts to dislodge, though with all power off and unplugged etc)

i have seen the drobo gen3 (which is also 4 slots and supports DDR as well, for about £229) so that might be a good option if you so wish.

another thing you could try (and this is probably not very scientific, though if you happen to have spare drives) could be to power all down, and remove your disk pack drives (remembering the ordering for future)… and then to essentially try creating a new (separate) disk pack with just 1 or 2 drives (which do not have any data on them that you need etc)…

… and then, if those drives happen to work fine, (especially if they are ideally drives from a different manufacturer or model) then it could indicate that some of the drives from the original diskpack were overheating in some way.

(please only remove or insert diskpacks in their entirety and only when cables and power is all OFF and unplugged)

if you also get a chance, would you be able to mention any more details about those particular hard drives, such as firmware version and what they show in terms of power consumption?

I would also recommend trying some other drives before you completely give up.

I had issues with my Drobo Mini in regards to excessive heat early on. At the time I was using the HGST 1TB 7200RPM drives (x4) as they were the largest and fastest ones I could find.

I will say the Drobo Mini throughput was amazing with those drives, but I could have used the unit as a stove the top was that hot.

In my case, it was more noticeable when there was a lot of drive traffic, the unit would continue to run under milder conditions.

I ended up removing two of the HGST drives and replaced them with 5400RPM drives. While the throughput dropped (as one would expect) the unit has been much better on the heat front.

I actually started extracting the Samsung 2TB drives from the Seagate Slim External Drives because down here they were cheaper than buying the bare drives.

While they are 5400RPM drives, they have been performing nicely and the unit has been really stable.

ive always wonderered about those enclosed drives being cheaper…

it now seems that if a hard drive manufacturer makes say 1000 drives a week
and if the makers of a single-enclosure unit make 1000 enclosures a week,
then each maker is having a certain amount of product that they are selling and shipping out.

and generally speaking, a basic user / home consumer, will only really buy a drive when they need it, or single-drive enclosure when they need it. (sure some might buy 1 or 2 extra drives, and maybe re-use the same stand-alone enclosure with all of the drives depending on how they are planning on using things)

so then if the enclosure company goes to the hard drive makers, and says hey i’ll buy 1000 drives off you a week, the hard drive company will probably say “thanks very much” - heres a 75% of the cost, deal, for your bulk purchase (which means selling a lot more than they might sell in one go) but the enclosure company has to promise to only sell them as part of a bundle and not to resell individually to undercut the drive manufacturer.

(this will probably suit the enclosure company as they can then ship off multiple units of their product, to multiple people, and even multiple enclosures to the same people) :slight_smile:

so even if some hardware manufacturers never sell to the public, and only to distributors etc, the above is probably what happens in theory, hence why the bundles drives can be cheaper :slight_smile:

btw maybe a TEG hooked up to a mini fan could be useful in some way michael :smiley: