Getting Drobo 5N status or health without Dashboard

I am trying to gather all the info I can for an issue I am having. Right now my 5N is in protect mode (Flashing Green+Yellow). And has been there since Sunday(Today is Wed so 3 days).

My Dashboard won’t connect anymore saying it can’t see it. Previously it had connected and then dropped in approx 2-3 minute cycle.

Is there anyway I can find what (if anything it is actually doing)? It does make a constant hum but is not making the normal(in the past) R/W sounds.

I have seen mention of connecting via SSH, but that seems to require a special version of the firmware to have been installed already.

In some cases it is not unusual for the Drobo not to be recognized in the Dashboard, as long as the Drobo is not restarting or rebooting during the data protection everything is okay:

Thanks for the feedback

I’d like to confirm two more things I hope are OK.

  • When processing the protection, I hear estimates of approx 1TB per 24 hours. Just confirming that is fo the amount of actual data stored vs the amount of space avail for data. In my case 5.7TB vs 12TB (started Sunday afternoon so hopefully will end soon?)

  • If my system(5N) was rebooting I would be seeing more than the flashing green+yellow lights. The blue(along bottom) would also be flashing and my green+yellow would also have sone red in there. (Yellow+green) is all I’m seeing now, but my drive at the start had been connecting and disconnecting on a 3 minute cycle before going totally offline. Even when the dashboard was connected it never gave me a time estimate or mentioned data protection. As far it was concerned things were fine.

10 days out now and Data Protection is still going.
No Dashboard access or any indication other than those blinking yellow+green lights.
actual data approx 6TB capacity 12+ TB

Its now 15 days since the “Recovery” started

No access to files. Dashboard can’t find. So only feedback are those blinking Yellow+Green lights :frowning:

So at this point it’s working out to more than two days per TB. (these are mostly WD-Red drives, one recent Seagate) Whats the slowest anyone has seen? I’m trying to figure out at what point I should consider this lost and replace it

Are they SMR drives?
Drobo only supports CMR drives.

They had all been in use for at least a few weeks, and the most recent WD-Red added (6TB for months, the 4TB had been there for over a year) said it was a non SMR when I checked the serial number.
While I don’t love how long it’s taking, what really frustrates me is that I have no idea if it is actually doing anything. For all I know it’s in a loop and only blinking the lights and nothing else. When you make something a black box that black box better work and have great recovery when something is wrong. Otherwise give me some REAL status/progress info. Even if I can’t access the data itself, the Dashboard should give some status, but it can’t even reach the Drobo

Ok. You have described something that should not be happening. If you are in recovery mode you should still be able to access data (just DON’T write to it), so it is likely in a loop.

Assuming you have an external backup of your data, would recommend turning off and restarting.

As a guide for timing, I upgraded from a 6TB HDD to 12TB HDD recently and it took 26hrs, and my data was accessible throughout, although I chose not to access it.

Thanks for the info. Sadly you are confirming my thinking.

While the majority of it is recreate-able with work (I had been centrally organizing and cleaning up and hadn’t deleted the originals yet) there is some that will be lost.

I guess I’ll take one last shot at trying to find a way to confirm/deny what is actually happening inside and then bite the bullet and restart. And of course start investigating an alternative (for me and clients) for a replacement.

Any experience with what percentage of devices restarted during recovery are lost? The upside, this might give me blank drives to reformat to the higher density (currently max 16TB). Of course will only use for temp storage going forward :frowning:

Do you have a support case, if so would you forward to me so I may review the diagnostic file.

@Valorie I do not have a support case. The dashboard can not see the device (5N) so I am not sure what the diagnostic file would get diagnostics from.(believe I had tried o get diagnostics early in this process but don’t know if it was uploaded)

And at this point every diagnostic step I have seen require access to the device. And steps needed to get that access seem to require stopping the “Data Protection” process which everything seems to say stopping will most likely lose the data. Kind of between a rock and a hard place.

No change. It’s still just blinking :frowning:

So since I’ll be able to make some extended time to work on it tomorrow, looks like it’s time to interrupt and see if I can access or have lost the data.

Waiting 20 days (avg 3 days per TB) with no feedback/access is long enough.


At this point it’s just my personal work habit/training kicking in. Document all steps taken and results in handling an issue for future reference.

The one consistent thing is, this thing likes to make me wait with no info.

  • Can’t do an actual restart since that requires the dashboard to be talking to the device so I just did a power down.

  • First indication is that yes it had been sitting there in a loop for an extended time(maybe almost entire, I had heard some activity in the very beginning 20 days ago).

  • When I toggled the power switch I could hear drives power up and generate some R/W activity. After a few seconds the Green/Yellow lights stopped blinking and then the blue lights at the bottom started their light show. So far, kinda what I expected.

  • Then the Blue lights went out, but the device is still humming and if I touch (lightly) the drives I can still feel vibration (strongest on one).

  • So the doc said it may 2 minutes or so for the process to complete, but from what I remember it usually completed shortly after the blue lights went out. it’s been over a half hour.

  • Hmm now I am hearing little bursts of R/W activity. They’ve been popping up every 15-20 seconds for the last 15-20 mins. So guess I’ll give it a little time and see if anything informative happens.

  • Current status:
    Dashboard (3.5.1) can’t see the Drobo
    OSX 10.15.6 can’t mount it since it can’t find it either
    No lights active at all on Drobo (no blue/green/yellow/red)
    Intermittent R/W activity sounds along with background hum (assume fan)
    Its been just under an hour since I started showdown by hitting toggle switch

The next part in my ongoing saga with my Drobo 5N

Took another “Hail Mary” and it looks like a chance it may be doing something positive, :slight_smile:

After leaving it in “Shutting down” status over night (all lights off but one drive warm, some vibration and heard tiny R/W bursts every 2-3 seconds)

  • Hit the power rocker one more time

  • Seems the Drobo thought it had actually been powered down all the time

  • When I hit the power rocker it appeared to go thru a power up process. It was slower than I remember and spent some time at various stages (all red, then occupied solid yellow, flashing yellow, various blue light variations not related to data)

  • Then finally it seemed to actually have started the “Data Protection” process. That thing it had been claiming to be doing for the past 3 weeks. Now visible to Dashboard and drive mounts and I can see data. I shut down Plex so the only automated access wouldn’t happen during this recovery(Even though it says I can. Honestly I’m to nervous). It says it will take approx 18 hours.

  • Fingers crossed, lets see what happens

An unexpected happy ending to my story (at least so far, we’ll see what happens next)

After the second (much shorter, 18 hours vs 3 weeks) “Data Protection” process my Drobo 5N is now reachable via the Dashboard and my Mac OS(I can see/access files).

It still has one drive displaying a weird state. Its box light is Green. It’s summary light on the Dashboard is Green, but if I open up that one specific drive it is yellow and has a “Warning” status.(This of course makes me nervous)

Time for some followup steps

  • Make backup of entire contents
  • Figure out if I have the 16TB limit or not. When I see avail space on my Finder window under MacOS (10.15) it says I have 62TB
  • If I have the 16TB limit, make backup, reformat and reload.
  • Reconsider my options going forward

Lessons learned. Always have more than one copy of your data in its final format, not just recreatable. Be careful of blackboxes, make sure you can get info out of your infrastructure. preferably more than one way