DroboFS - Out of space replacement drive not working


I’m a Drobo newbie and would appreciate any help I can get. I’ve tried searching the forums and can’t find anything that quite fits my situation. The person who set this up and would have details of its original configuration is unfortunately gone. We also have no backup whatsoever. I’ll try to be as succinct as possible.

-User cannot mount share, dashboard cannot connect to it, and device wont respond to pings, LED for Drive 1 is solid red.
-Hard boot the device and the dashboard can now see it. Alert says drobo is out of space please add or replace indicated disk (Drive 1) to increase capacity. Status shows: 5 x 1TB drives in the unit, Used space 3.58TB, Free space 258MB, Total 3.58Tb
-Cold swap Drive 1 for a 4TB drive. When it boots Drive 1 shows 4TB drive and it is solid red, alert says replace Drive 1 to increase capacity, status shows: 1 x 4TB drive + 4 x 1TB drives, Used Space 19.5MB, Free Space 3.58TB, Total 3.6TB
-After 30 min Used Space does not change, unit LEDs and dashboard do not indicate any type of drive writing activity nor any messages about protection mode so I hotwap original drive and reboot.
-Dashboard shows 5x 1TB drives, Drive 1 solid red, Used Space 3.58TB, Free Space 258MB, Total Space 3.58TB, Drobo critically low on space, replace disk 1 to increase capacity, and red LED on Drive 1.
-Pull Drive 1 while the unit is on, wait until the dashboard reflects bay 1 is empty, used space still at 3.58TB, then add the 4Tb drive (unit still on). Dashboard sees the 4TB drive, it is solid red in dashboard and on LED. Alert says Drobo is low on capacity add or replace Drive 1 to increase capacity.
-Used space 3.58TB, Free Space 258MB, Total 3.58TB for about 20 min then Free space climbs to 18.25GB (strangely enough dashboard says that’s 0%) and Total space 3.6TB. No indication of any drive writing in dashboard or LEDs. Second alert appears: Drobo cannot protect your data against hard drive failures until you provide at least 2 hard drive for SDR, or 3 for DDR…

It has been in this final state for 24 hours: new 4TB drive in bay 1, original 1TB drives in the rest, Drive 1 LED is solid red with no message or indication that drive is being written to, Used space 3.58TB, Free Space 18.25GB, Total 3.6TB, two alerts: low capacity, replace Drive 1 to increase capacity, and Drobo cannot protect your data against hard drive failures.

I know I’m going to have to replace a second drive, maybe a third, to restore health, but i’m hesitant to do so until the 4TB drive in bay 1 is green. I don’t want to lose data because we have no back up. At this point, all I really care about is the data.

Dashboard Version 2.8.2
Firmware 1.2.7
single Ethernet port, no usb or Firewire

Just an update in case this helps anyone else. Patience is a virtue.

For 48 hours, neither the Drobo nor the dashboard gave any indication that anything was going on. The light on the new 4TB drive was solid red, the others were green, and those two error messages remain. I mostly left it alone for lack of any other options. Finally after 48 hours Drive 1 showed as green and Drive 2 was solid red with a message saying that Drive 2 needed to be replaced with a larger drive to increase capacity. Hot swapped Drive 2 with a 4TB drive and this time the thing went into data protection mode immediately. The LEDs and dashboard are flashing green and amber and it states that it’ll be done in anywhere from 8 hours (three hours ago) to ten hours (one hour ago) to now 7 hours… it’ll take some time and I’m ok with this.

All 3.58TB of my data came back, I now have 6.30TB total space and I’m happy. I’ll be looking into backing this thing up for our users.

hi comicsans,
as a first thought, am glad that you were able to access your data again. (that is always good to see) :slight_smile:

just to mention that the usual process for upgrading a drive into a larger one, as in your case, is to actually Hot-swap the drive. for example to remove the solid red (as indicated) drive, while the drobo is on and running, and to wait for it to recognise this fact (by way of looking at the physical unit, as well as dashboard), and then to insert the new/empty/blank/un-needed drive, and for the drobo to then recognise this fact.

the rebuild will usually take about 1 day per 1TB of data that you have on it, (unless you or something else is accessing the drobo much during the rebuild, in which case it could take a little longer), and in some rare cases, it could be possible for the computer or dashboard to lose connectivity with the drobo for a bit of time during the rebuild).