green orange blinking and no access

Quick intro:
I just spent the last two weeks swapping out 1TB for 2TB in my Drobo. I had access the whole time, it was slow, but all was well. Before this migration I started with four 1TB drives organized into two 2TB volumes and had about 2.5 TB of data. Drobo is connected via USB to win 7 computer. I’ve had the drobo about 3 years and have migrated successfully before.

After rebooting my computer following completion of migrating all drives, my drobo is stuck flashing red & green with no apparent disk activity. It’s been like this now for about thirty hours. And I can’t connect to it - dashboard doesn’t see it and the computer (running win 7) doesn’t see either of the two 2TB volumes either.

Sunday evening, drobo dashboard said it had about 8 hour left on the data protection (following swapping the fourth drive) and my experience was the last few hours were usually pretty accurate.

Yesterday, on Monday morning, 11 Oct, the second drobo dashboard window (with the data protection progress bar) was gone and it looked complete - the drive map was looking good. I cancelled out of the popoups for addidng a new volume (I have two 2TB volumes set a long time ago) and I cancelled out of the popup that wanted to update the bios - I was unable to update the rom several times - before I started the drive migrations - not sure why).

So, whould I just let it wait another few days or is something serious wrong?

I subsequently tried rebooting the computer several times and reseating the USB cable. but nothing seems to affect the drobo. It just sits there flashing red green on all drives and showing capacity on the blue lights at about half - which is about right.

some thoughts - perhaps the final migration did not complete and was still in process when I rebooted the computer. I think this is unlikely, but it’s the only thing I can think of right now that may have caused the present unhappiness. I certainly thought it was done, but I didn’t reopen the second ‘data protection’ window and double check…

suggestions welcome,

flashign RED an green?

or flashing yellow and green?

thank you for the quick reply. It’s probably orange & green flashing. (it’s a very dark orange)…

Please open a support case.

Thank you. I created a new support case.
Your Question has been Submitted
Question Reference #101012-000096

Everything remains the same. Green & orange (or red?) drive lights and no access and no apparant drive activity.

I presume all of my data is safe and so I don’t want to do anything to harm it. Thank you again for your quick response.

thanks again,

they will be orange - the red is a really deep primary colour red

Thank you. It makes sense that it would be alternating flashing orange and green if it’s protecting the data - and the case of red & green is not described. But then, I did not find a case of this type of incident - and I would expect signs of drive activity and access to the data since that is the expected behavior and matches my previous experience.
Thank you again for the quick replies and I continue to welcome additional suggestions.

Right now I’m waiting to hear something from the drobo support team and will report back anything that’s helpful.

Hello Jennifer,
When do you expect that I may hear something from the support folks?

Also, I did more searching and confirmed that I should not try to turn off the drobo and so I won’t.
Can I safely shut down Drobo while data protection is in progress?

I don’t think my drobo ever powered off - even when I rebooted after it was done with the last rebuild.


We work cases in case # order. If you want immediate assistance you can call our number.

If necessary, you can shut down your host computer and then disconnect the data cable from the Drobo product.

Thank you. It appears that rebooting my computer and removing the usb cable have no effect on the drobo - it just keeps flashing. So I’ll just leave it going and wait to hear from support. I’m able to use the computer - but obvously, I’d like to be able to get back to most of my data quickly.
thanks again,

Kind of ironic. I’m having the same problem here. Drobo 2nd Gen unit. I had four 1.5TB drives, swapped in a 2TB WD Green drive and started the rebuild process. At 8 hours left it disconnected itself from the computer. The next day I checked and still the same thing. Flashing green and orange. One thing I noticed is that when I removed the front plate and felt the drives they were cool to the touch and not spun up. As I submitted a support ticket I came across this article and followed the steps to “reset” the Drobo. It connected itself again and started the rebuild process again. Except this time I figure it must have resumed where it left off with only 12 hours left or so. Then today with 2 hours left on the rebuild it disconnected itself again. I waited the 4 hours or so until the drives spun down and repeated the process. Now after booting backup the second time it took about 45 minutes and the process finally completed. This is very strange though. I’ve never had any problems like this until now. This is my second Drobo unit and a third one just arrived yesterday. I’m about to take the plunge and swap another 1.5TB drive out in favor of a 2TB WD Green. I will post updates as it progresses.

Update 1: So far so good. Dropped the next drive in and says 50 hours to rebuild.


Wow, that’s very interesting - it sounds like the exact same issue except that I think it happened for me perhaps in the final minutes of the final drive after hundreds of hours of rebuilds - instead of on the first one as in your case.

Thank you for that article - i had searched the forum and kb and had not seen that one. I feel reassured that at least I am not alone with this issue and there is a way ahead!

My main hope was that it would eventually just get fixed - and my main fear was that it was eating my data - but I thought it most likely that it was doing nothing since it didn’t seem that the drives were spinning…

Armed with the article

“The rebuild process is taking an excessive amount of time and the disks are spinning down while in the middle of the rebuild. Is something wrong here?” http://support.datarobotics.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/167

I think I will eject all of the drives and power cycle and reinsert and see if it works. Sounds like it won’t don any harm anyway.

Once you did that were you able to access your data again?

thanks again,

Yeah, both times after going through those steps I was able to immediately access my data again while it finished the rebuild. I hope this next rebuild goes smoothly as I’ll be gone for four days and need access to the data while I’m gone.

Thank for the quick reply and Good luck to you! I’m going to follow this recipe now:

drobo steps 20101012 (customized from the following two articles for the specific situation)

How do I safely shut down my Drobo?

The rebuild process is taking an excessive amount of time and the disks are spinning down while in the middle of the rebuild. Is something wrong here?

Symptoms recap - many hours into a rebuild (apparently finished), rebooted computer but drobo dashboard did not find the drobo.

Forty plus hours later drive lights are still blinking green orange (as if in rebuild process) but drives are not spinning, computer still does not see the drobo which is connected via usb, and the dashboard is still not connected.

Shutting down the conputer and disconnecting the usb has no effect on the drobo. Specificallly, the power light on Drobo does not turn orange.

Do the following:
Shut down the computer.

Remove the USB cable

Unplug Drobo’s power cord

Eject all drives

Start the computer

reconnect the usb cable…

Reconnect the power cord to Drobo

Drobo appears in Drobo Dashboard. No hard drives detected.

Put Drobo in standby mode. Dashboard, Advanced Controls -> Tools -> Standby. Power light turns orange.

Disconnect the drobo power cord.

Re-seat all drives

Reconnect the power cord

Drobo should re-enter the rebuild process and be available…

Will let you know how it works…
I followed the recipe above. And some weirdness. IN particular, the it did not appear to re-enter the rebuild process.

Good news: the two drobo volumes E:/ (drobo) and F:/ (drobo2) appear in explorer and it seems like the files are there.

Weird news: the dashboard storage pack shows 3.99 TB bree, 1.44 TB unallocated, and a TINY 7.33 GB used. But on the bottom it shows the E & F volumes with 1.11 TB and 1.40 TB used on each respectively with max ov 2TB on each.

On advanced controls - it shows 7.33 GB used (not TB) and 5.43 TB (100%) free. Data protection - data is at risk…
And the Red Drobo disk pack popup square is up on the bottom right of the screen.

On the drobo and in the adv controls, there are no lights at all except the power light that is blinking green. (and when I look at files in exporer, the activity light flashes per normal)…

“What should the lights look like during a normal boot process for my Drobo?”

says that if you don’t get a solid green power light then the drobo will not mount…

So bottom line is something is still very wrong…

suggestions welcome.

ok, I looked through the manual and searched online and did not find any info about the blinking green power light.

So, I figured I’d try to reboot the computer to see if anything improved.

Result is the power light went right on blinking green - until just at boot up it went green and at first all of the drive lights went green and then the bottom one turned red.

dashboard still shows the weird 7.33 GB (not TB) used, but correctly shows the volumes and the drives show up in explorer. and the adv controls correctly mirrors what the lights on front look like - that is all green drive lights except for the bottom one is red. and they all correctly show 2tb.

So, rebooting seems to have improved the situation a little bit. at least most of the drive lights are on right, but it’s still weird.

so the solid red light means - add a drive here - weird since there is one there and the adv controls shows it as a 2 tb - alghough all red. so maybe it didn’t get seated properly. so eject & reseat. still red.

but then the dashboard went to “no drobo is detected”! really odd, since the two drives are still in explorer and accessible.

try to reboot again…

Very strange behavior indeed. I would call them up tomorrow if you can. Just because it might take a while for them to look at your support ticket.

rebooting did not make the drobo come back in the dashboard. but all is still the same - the two drives (E: and F: ) show up in explorer and data appears to be there.
bottom light drive light is still red.

I’m going to try the recipe above again…
did the recipe (shuting down, popping drives, etc) again and at first it looked like it was going to be the same - red light for bottom drive and all the status the same except this time it said 101 GB (not TB) used…

Then after several minutes, the capacity lights started to fill up and the green power light stopped blinking and then ta da - the lights started flashing green orange again!

So, now at least it seems to be in a recognized state. the rebuld process seems to be going, disk activity seems to be occuring, data seems to be accessible, etc.

and the dashboard correctoy shows 2.51 TB used, 1.48 TB free, and 1.44 TB unallocated. (of course I would prefer that it was all in one big volume - and there was a way to do it without copying all the data off and rebuilding from scratch, but that tale has been told before…)

Anway, it’s now midnight and it appears to be rebulding - current estimate is 68 hours remaining (and nothing is accessing the drives) So we’ll see what it looks like in the morning.

Of course I still welcome any ideas as to what may be going on (or what was going on)…

and thanks for the advice and support! I hope these details will help others.

whoops, one quick alibi (since it feels a little like we’ve been throwing chicken bones and lobster claws to divine a solution).

Anyway, when I brought up the drobo without drives on this last go around with the recipe, I was prompted (as per normal) to upgrade the firmware (from version 1.3.0 to 1.3.7)

I tried this several times before I started the whole drive upgrade process a couple of weeks ago, but I thought perhaps it would work without any drives - and maybe it would help.

I got the same, “unable to download update” message when I tried to do it by downloading and also when I held down the control key and tried to load the one I had downloaded and then I “checked for upgrades” and tried to do it from the web one more time.

I mention this only because I’m not sure what may have helped my drobo get back to a known state - maybe it was the fact that I tried to upgrade the firmware in the middle of the recipe - probably not, but now you know…


I also found forum articles that explain that the tdz firmware file is really a zip -and successfullly extracted the tdf firmware update files. Now when this rebuild is all done, I’ll try agin with the manual firmware update to 1.3.7!

Curious, though, that this known problem seems to persist. From a year ago:

Cannot install 1.3.5 firmware…


just another note - after all this power cycling and getting it to restart rebuilding and mounting and not mounting,…

once you do get back to a safe state (all solid green lights) i would definitely run chkdsk on your volumes!

That’s a good idea. As soon as this next rebuild is done I’m going to do that. 75 hours to go. Docchris, do you use dual disk redundancy on your DroboPro? And did you have Drobos before that?