Drobo Pro wont format

After many fights with the pro the drobo pro will not format and assign a drive letter. I have done firmware upgrades and dashboard upgrades.
DB 1.6.8
FW 1.15

I can see all 8 640 gig drives, and they are all green, I can do a erase with out any issues, it is plugged in usb, host server is a 03 64bit sp2. Does any one have any suggestion on what to do here?

What do U see inside your Computer Management? I’m trying to ascertain whether ur W2K3SP2 64-bit is able to detect the presence of the 2 or 16TB of NTFS partition created & formatted by the Dashboard. Under normal start-up sequence, the Dashboard should see the BeyondRAID & ask you to format the raw parition and assigned Drive F: or the next available Drive letter. Since you said you are able to reset or “ERASE” the config, so that means ur server is talking to the Pro via the USB but the Daskboard is having problems partitioning ur Pro. Also, device manager shows any yellow or red “unknown” device?

I do see it in disk manager, do red x or anything in device manager, i was able to carve out a 2tb as Z and can read and write to it. being 64 bit there is no reason why it can do larger than 4 tb. I am using 8 640 gig wd enterprise drives 64 mb cache drives

Bingo! I believe you selected the WinXP NTFS format option that explains the 2TB limit. Even w/ ur 8 x 640GB, you should be able to “carve” a 16TB vol & Drive Z: Recommend to try to a different format option. I’ve replaced my DroboPro w/ an Elite. So, I couldn’t simulate ur symptom. May be I should borrow a Pro from my colleague over the weekend to experiment. Good luck!

According to MS, all Windows Server 2003 versions from SP1 and onward should support GPT volumes.

I know on a Windows machine that doesn’t support GPT (XP 32-bit, for example), you’ll see the disk in Disk Management, but it’ll be an unknown partition type and therefore not mount.


Or the easiest solution, format on Win 2008 Server, Vista or Win 7.

Jennifer to the rescue! :slight_smile:

Win 2003 Server drives me nuts. LOL

well a erase of the volume and a reboot, the drive (drobo) has not come back up.
guess i get to go drive to our colo to look at it…

weird part is we have a mac mini with osx server with a drobo fw800 with no issues at all… weird…

So do you see the Drobo disk in Disk Management? (diskmgmt.msc)

no its does not show up in disk mgmt, there are 3 options in format the top which is xp which has a 2 tb limit, middle which is for larger options and the slider goes to 16tb but wont format anything larger than 2tb and 3rd is fat32…

it think it may be time to replace them with a 08 server virt machine…

Weird part is I just ordered a new pro last week and ordered a pro and elite today as our mac server in another office died today.

So to be clear, you’re in the Dashboard on the W2K3 server, you are trying to create and format a volume, you ARE selecting the 16TB option - and it’s not working?

1 - Does the Drobo format the 16TB volume?
2 - And you can then just NOT see it in W2K3?
3 - You say it’s a VM you’re using - what hypervisor are you using and how is the Drobo connected to you W2K3 VM?


1-no, i can scale upto 16tb and and wont format, i can format 2tb drives.
2- correct I cant not see it
3-No I am going to switch to a VM, the drobo is connected via usb.

I have just bought 2 1950’s and bought a drobo elite and 2 copies of vsphere 4 std, I plan in downloading the vsphere 4 enterprise and vmotion the servers then create a vm of server 08 r2 64bit and then move the storage over to it as a vstorage…

I will let everyone know as we our company we own a drobo, 4 pros and a elite.
drobo honestly does nothing but sit on shelf
pro1- on my desktop connected via fw central media storage
pro2- the one that wont format
pro3- new mac mini osx server 8 1 tb drives 8 1tb drives
pro4- off site back up to 3 with a mac mini 10.6 install connected fw800, comb 1.5 and 2 tb drives
elite1- going to load with 8 1tb drives vmfs format all virt machines.

Since you seem to have a bunch of Drobos… Are there any other Drobo units that are formatted 16TB that you can (temporarilly) connect to the Server 2K3 machine? That ought to solve the question of whether it’s the machine or the specific Drobo.

Definitely sounds like Server 2K3 isn’t recognizing the GPT though… This is 32-bit Server 2K3, yes?

No it is 64B bit 2k3 enterprise machine, I have a win 7 usb that is formatted to 16tb, and a OSX ma chine with 16tb.
This drobo was a replacement from drobo on a bad unit, I have no other units that wont format, but its the only 2k3 machine

Oh wow, that’s really weird, as far as I know, 64-bit 2K3 (and XP 64-bit, as it’s built on the same core) should natively support GPT.

Hmmm… Recommend opening a support ticket, maybe DRI can find something in the logs.

Basically it is a physical server, I am rebuilding it as a virtual server.(08r2)
My I am in the process or building an elite as a 2 tb lun with vsphere 4. I will be converting all storage to drobo units.

Can you format that drobo on another computer?

for some reason it cant get it to format on a 2k3 64bit ent box.
drobo pro with 8 640 gig 64mb cache wd black drives, I did a clean load with an older server i had (08r2 64bit) hooked up usb to server and it came right up. SO no issues now doesnt make sense…

side note this is now the 4th drobo we now have in production in our office.
drobo pro 1- mac mini osx server via fw 800 with 4 1.5tb drives.
drobo pro 2- mac back up to 1 offsite archive with 8 2tb wd drives
drobo elite 1- 8 1tb hitachi drives connected to 3 dell pw 1950 vsphere 4 ess +
drobo pro 3- the on i spoke about earlier, is used for archive back ups

** we also have a pro and drobo on the office for general use mostly a large file store of music we share. Ill post a picture of the 3 rack mounted at our colo.