First Drive Failure

After many years and two Drobo devices, this morning I experienced my first hard drive failure. Nice to know the Drobo-generated email alerts are working and the rebuild is in progress!

I lost a desktop Seagate 3 TB drive (still in warranty), and I will be replacing it with a HGST Deskstar NAS 6 TB drive.

Data protection finished last night and the lights are green, but the dashboard also shows that Bay 2 has a Health Warning. From what I could see in the diagnostic logs the drive had 13 “failures” … from what I don’t know. I did a soft restart (thru the GUI…not the power switch) with no change in status, everything still show up green otherwise.

Ticket submitted…any other ideas?

Is bay 2’s Health Warning the Drobo’s interpretation of the SMART status of the drive? I would shut down and remove that drive, put it in computer and check it with one of the SMART utilities - you might want to check the others while you’re at it. Now, wouldn’t a decent SMART utility implemented as a Drobo app be a useful thing? I’m not at all sure it would be possible though, since the individual drives seem to be obfuscated from the Linux operating system - it just sees the big block of storage handed to it by BeyondRAID. As a matter of curiosity, what make/model is your suspect drive?

It is a 3TB Toshiba I installed two months ago.

Thanks. Unlike WD, Seagate and HGST, I don’t have much experience of Toshiba drives, I’m afraid; just one Toshiba hybrid SSHD in a laptop, which seems to work well enough.

No diagnostic software available for Toshiba drives that I can find. This is the last time I go with cheap desktop drives. Both my “problem” drives were bought on sale for less than $30/TB.

Well, according to the emails I got, the Toshiba drive just failed and came back online. Guess I need to yank it when I get home.

That’s two drives failing within days! Guess that’s what happens when I buy “cheap” storage.

now youre getting me a bit worried lol
i got those WD15EADS wd greens for about £42 each (though it was back in the days of my eads upgrade project) :slight_smile:

Did you run the WDIDLE3 utility on your WD Green drives, Paul? The factory setting of the Idle3 timer for these drives is only 8 seconds, so after being idle for only 8 seconds they park their heads on a ramp just off the edge of the platters. That’s fine for their intended use, which is as secondary storage and USB-connected external backup storage; you copy your files and eight seconds after the last file finishes copying the heads park and the power consumption and heat output are reduced. For other uses a longer idle time is preferred, such as 5 minutes (as per the WD Red drives), or completely disabled (as per the WD Black drives). Otherwise they go through an endless park/unpark sequence, which affects performance and causes wear on the mechanism.

I’m not saying WD Green drives are bad (though some misinformed people do). They are designed for a particular purpose and for that purpose they are very good. However some people choose to use them for a different purpose and it was decent of WD to make the WDIDLE3 tool available to such users. They would, of course prefer people to use their Red drives in a Drobo. I have three 5 TB WD Greens (WD50EZRX) in my 5N but I did set their Idle3 timers to 5 minutes first.

thank you for the information johnm,
i didnt change any settings via the tool (only used the wdutil wd diagnostics checker to run scans and check smart before putting into a drobo)

my use of drobo with those drives is usually as low-usage - while some folders are more primary than others the overall use is mainly storage with infrequent acess now.

one question for you (though am sorry to borrow dragonloards thread) :slight_smile: is this:
i thought the ears and ezrx drives were using the new 4k sizes which are not compatible if natively used in a drobo? how did you get those to work fine for you?

While the drives use 4 kiB sectors internally, they are translated so that the operating system sees them as 512 B sectors (so-called 4Ke512 drives). Currently there are very few native 4K drives (designated 4KN) available and those that are tend to be enterprise class ones. Look at the Advanced Format “AF” logo on the drive label. If one corner of the box around the letters is rounded, it uses translation (4Ke512). If two corners are rounded, it’s native 4K (4KN).

[Edit: adding more information and link]
There’s a Drobo knowledge base article here: Essentially, with the appropriate firmware you can use 4Ke512 drives in pretty much any Drobo, past or present, though I don’t see specific mention of the 5N.

oh ok, thanks very much for the information john

btw just on this topic, it looks like the latest Drobo B810n now supports the native 4kn drive :slight_smile:
(on bottom spec sheet)