Drobo5N any disk inserted reads "drive failure"

I have had a Drobo 5N for many years, has been running fine so far. Last week a drive failure error came up. I removed he drive and tested it, it had a couple of bad blocks but formatted fine for MacOs. I had a spare drive of the same size which I also ran a full surface scan on, which passed without any bad blocks. However no matter which drive I put back in the Drobo, I get the same drive failure error immediately. Is it possible that there is something wrong with the bay as opposed to the drive? I am happy to just buy a new drive and try with that, but was keen to hear some opinions as to whether it is more likely a Drobo issue? Thanks

Well SATA connectors aren’t the most robust connector ever built. The original specifications were set on the basis of 50 (yes you read the tiny number correctly) insertion & removal cycles, & that assumes good alignment & no strain or rough treatment. Most manufacturers state theirs will do 500, but, they tend to be Chinese manufacturers, so I’d take that with a pinch of salt…

Yes it’s entirely possible there’s something wrong with the bay, dust-bunnies being the prime suspect, but the pins in the connector itself are also on the list of potential suspects, without going any deeper.