Gen 2 Drobo (USB/FireWire) Mounts and Dismounts

I have looked around to see if this has already been answered but my situation isn’t exactly the same as what I have found. Hopefully someone here will have some insight.

Currently this Drobo has difficulty staying mounted. Recently it has started to go away on its own but it was easily re-mounted by removing the cables and re-connecting; sometimes with a re-start. I re-connected yesterday to a i5 iMac running Mountain Lion and when it did re-mount it posted All lights went from RED then (from top to bottom) to GREEN, RED, GREEN, GREEN. Shortly after that it goes to all flashing ORANGE (YELLOW) indicating it is going through a re-layout right? After a few minutes it will dismount, A little while later it will re-mount. Then it will dismount… etc. This goes on for quite a while and now after about 16 hours it is not mounted and the lights are all flashing ORANGE.

Back 2 months in the past…

Frequently it would go from GREEN, ORANGE, GREEN, GREEN to all flashing ORANGE as if it were doing a layout but I had plenty of space left (400GB out of 2TB). This went on for a couple of weeks until one day the ORANGE went RED. I replaced the drive with a new spare, the machine went to all flashing ORANGE indicating a re-layout and all was good except for the fact that this continued for nearly 2 months. All my data was there (sort of) except for one of the partitions which was accidentally ejected a while back but was never able to re-mount. When I start up the Drobo fresh, the light that corresponds to the new drive goes to RED and stays that way until they all go ORANGE.

This Drobo is 2nd Gen connected via FireWire through FireWire-Thunderbolt cable. It has not been flashed to support drives greater than 2 TB. Will the Firmware flash fix this? I’d really like to get the data off of it/backed up before I mess with the hardware but I can’t keep it mounted long enough to complete the backup. Any ideas? If I mount it to my Linux or Windows machine will that make any difference? To me it seems like it’s the Drobo hardware that is flaky and not the computer OS. Can this diskpack be mounted in ANY other Drobo if necessary?

Any ideas here will be greatly appreciated.



as a 1st test, i would say plug it directly into your mac’s usb port and try that for a while to see how it behaves.
(you might need to first shutdown/reboot the 2 devices to prevent driver conflicts in memory)

if that does not work, then the best experience i have seen/heard, is a drobo plugged into a windows computer via usb.
(i have 2 drobo’s happily working fine on a win xp computer all on usb)

using one of the 2 methods above, will hopefully give you some more uptime stability, to allow you to copy/backup your data somewhere else before you do any upgrade planning)

(also, after the above, it would probably be a good idea to give the diagnostics log generation a go, to see if there are any glaring problems visible to support teams, before attempting the upgrade)

hope this helps a bit

Thanks Paul. These would have been my first to things to try. Can you point me the way to create the diagnostics long.



These could be power supply problems or intermittent connection. Does your power “brick” run particularly hot? Also, I’d check the Drobo power socket (the “barrel” which power cord goes in) for oxidation. For this I’d power the unit off, pull the drives out (for easier manipulation) and inspect the outer spring contact in the Drobo’s power socket, then scrub it carefully with a small screwdriver or such if needed. I’ve done this as a means of preventive maintenance on my V2 as, while it didn’t exhibit any problems, there were some signs of oxidation.
And yes, you’ll be able to use your diskpack in another unit of the same:
or different type with these remarks:

(that’s an interesting point zbig, do you know approximately how long you had been using your drobo before you noticed that? - ive had mine for an amount of years now and didnt know to check for that)

btw bill,
if you have a newer version, it might be in the help section:

but if you still have an older dashboard version, then you might be able to generate those from Rightclicking on the taskbar/systray icon in the bottom right of the screen when its running, and selecting generate diagnostic logs. it might just create them in the c: root or desktop in case you cant find them, but they will have .log at the end.

I got mine in 2009 and performed this little “maintenance” some year ago or so (when I also dealt with the resonance of the case). The thing is, while it didn’t actually fail, I didn’t quite like the standard power socket in my V2 from the get-go. In my opinion it’s not adequate for the amount of current it has to carry when powering a fully-loaded Drobo. If you look closely you’ll see that the outer springy contact (in this case negative) merely touches the plug in single point at its tangent (I’m not sure of the proper English word; does this sound right to you?). This way, it’s quite easy for the connection to go marginal. They seem to have drawn conclusions similar to mine as (based on pictures) it seems they’re using much more solid type of socket since the Drobo S on.

It’s a single tab contact -

\__ =====

Better connectors have more than one tab or hinging mechanisms that “grab on” for more contact assurance.

Exactly - like in many newer laptops.

thanks for the info,

im not sure of the exact word but i think i know what you mean… eg a bit like when batteries leak and just start to corrode or build up a discharge (liquid) which hardens and prevent 100% contact with the terminal etc. (in which case some fine sandpaper comes to the rescue) :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tip. Here is my current problem with hits issue
I can’t get the Drobo to go into standby because it’s not in the dashboard and it won’t go if I shut down the machine.

Currently I have all orange/yellow flashing lights signifying a re-layout but this is one of the initial problems I was having. It will stay in this mode for MONTHS. The only thing I know to do is pull the power cable. any wise words before I do so?


If it’s always flashing relayout that leads me to believe something is wrong with the physical Drobo chassis.
The backplane may have an “iffy” connection to the drive, the power supply might not be providing consistent power to the drives causing them to “drop out” from time to time, or something else.