Drobo S not taking any new drives - hard drive failure

I am trying to replace some drives in my Drobo S, it’s had a “failed drive” in the middle bay for quite some time, and no matter what I put in it it just keeps saying the drive is failed.

So, now I figured I’d try replacing a different drive, same thing. Two separate brand new from package drives marked as failed in multiple bays.

I’m not sure where to go next, this is quite frustrating as this is my second drobo to have unexplainable issues, the last time I lost all the data. This time, while I can still access the data, I don’t have a place to offload the data immediately available, and even if I did, would it be worth the hours of transferring data to try resetting it?

Well, it does sound like you have two brand new from package drives that you could reformat and use to hold data as you offload the Drobo to reset it… (if your data is not backed up somewhere, you should keep those drives and treat them as tape backups…)

hi, as trimble mentions, maybe you can use those drives temporarily to hold some data (assuming the drives are actually good working drives), in the meantime, especially if you had some data loss in the past…

one thing just to point out though, is to try not to remove any “non-failed”, eg working drives, from drobo as you might get other problems or too many drives removed errors.

when you can, could you post back with exactly which drive you had (& now have) in which slot, as well as the size and colour of all leds please?

If you have access to your data currently, i would try making some backups as much as possible,
and then after that you could try to fully exit dashboard (and to restart it), +/- windows / mac to see if the dashboard shows any newer information.

& then you could also try rebooting the drobo as well, in case it hanged for some reason (which might happen if there was a partial poweroutage?). (but please note, if you have removed one of your working drives, then you should only put that back in while drobo is OFF), and maybe after restarting, the drobo and dashboard will start flashing red for the actual failed drive and you could try putting in a replacement again.

it could also be that the 2 new drives, received some bad bumps in the post, but if you can also please post back your dashboard and drobo-s firmware it might be handy too in case the drive you are trying is a latest model etc.

Thanks for the advice -
Here is what I had in the device originally:
3TB (this was the original failed drive)

I replaced the middle bay with two separate brand new drives, 1 3TB WD Green and 1 3TB Seagate Barracuda, both labeled as
Since these drives do indeed work outside the Drobo, I could use them to hold data as I do have a drive dock. The Drobo has 3.53 TB of data on it currently, so not sure how long that will take.

The drobo has been rebooted several times during exploring this issue as well, no change in drive status.

Since I attempted replacing the bottom 2TB drive with a larger drive, but the drive reported as failed there as well, I replaced the original 2TB drive to that bay and data protection is currently in happening.
So I have the middle 3TB bay blinking red, and the rest are blinking yellow/green.

So I suppose my next steps are to:
backup data
Power down drobo
remove and rearrange drives
power on and reset/erase drobo to determine if a drive that is currently not considered failing becomes considered failing when moved to the middle bay.

Does that sound like the approach?

That sounds like a logical approach…

…but, here’s what I’d do. After rebuilding is all done, power down and remove the main disk pack. Set it aside. Power up the drobo with no drives in it. It will demand I insert a drive. I would put a single test drive into the top slot (I keep a stack of 80g drives around for testing just like this)… The Drobo may need to be reset, if so I would reset it with that one test drive in and see if it initializes that drive(creating a disk pack consisting of one drive), or if it marks it as failed. If all is clear, I would power down the drobo, move the initialized test drive to the center slot, and power it back up and see if it fails it. If it does, then I would suspect there is damage to that center slot, and seek a replacement unit ASAP. If it doesn’t, then maybe those two drives really were bad? Dunno.

Very good, I like that approach. Rebuilding is taking longer than anticipated, as it’s still going now. Says 25 minutes now, but I’ve always been lied to by timers on computers :slight_smile:

I will do that, but of course, make a copy of the stuff I need first. Funny thing is, I’ve taken the approach of set it and forget it with Drobo, it stores my Time Machine backups, and then I occasionally offload stuff for long term archive storage, and as I looked through the folders, I realized, I probably wouldn’t really care much if this was lost, and since 1.26TB are Time Machine backups, I might just ignore that folder and only backup the remaining info so I don’t have to spend days copying backups I will probably never need.

hi, for yoru rebuild, the drobo does this across all of the data, so could take about 3 and a half days
(any selective backups you do will probably be quicker, but if you copy data during a rebuild, both will encouter a bit of slow down)

if you had a way in the meantime though, maybe you can hook up one of the empty/troubleshooting drives in the dock to run a standalone drive test on it, at least the quick one just in case theres an obvious error in smart or similar?