How to update Drobo S (Gen 2) firmware and Dashboard software

I have a Drobo S (Gen 2) with (5) drives that has been running flawlessly for almost 3 years connected to my Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit system. The Drobo looks fine – no error lights – no apparent issues.

In the past couple of days, the Dashboard (2.2.3) has been a bit flaky and doesn’t always see the attached Drobo. And when the dashboard is flaky, the Drobo responds a bit sluggishly when I try to view it in Windows Explorer. A reboot of my system and a power re-cycle on my Drobo normally fixes the issue.

I have not updated the Drobo firmware (2.1.3 [5.34.50338]) since I bought the unit back in Nov 2012. I have not updated the Dashboard (2.2.3) software since then either because attempts to check for updates always results in a “cannot contact update server.” My motto is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I can see that the latest firmware is 2.1.5 and the latest dashboard is 2.6.4. I figure I should go ahead and finally update the firmware and dashboard.

My question is how do I do that? Can someone point me to instructions to do the firmware and dashboard upgrade? I couldn’t find documentation on doing firmware upgrades.

Do I have to update the dashboard before I update the firmware?

Do I uninstall the dashboard 2.2.3 before installing 2.6.4?

Based on the firmware release notes there are fixes for dual drive redundancy (which I’m using) and Windows 7 performance optimization. Will this firmware upgrade “re-organize” the data on the Drobo therefore I should expect a few hours of re-configuration time while the Drobo updates?

Thanks in advance for any assistance!


Try uninstalling the current Drobo Dashboard version you have, then reboot your PC, then install the latest 2.6.4 version, then reboot PC.

Then go ahead and download the latest 2.1.5 firmware, and perform a manual update to it.

I would recommend you perform the update without your drives inserted.

  • Shutdown Drobo unit.

  • Remove ALL drives.

  • Boot up Drobo unit, and perform manual update.

  • Shutdown unit, and reseat drives.

  • Boot up unit.

“Will this firmware upgrade “re-organize” the data on the Drobo therefore I should expect a few hours of re-configuration time while the Drobo updates?”

No, I don’t think it does that…

KelvinY, thank you for the detailed upgrade instructions…

Should I remove the drives before I uninstall the old dashboard software and install the 2.6.4 version?

Or should I do the dashboard upgrade with the drives installed and then remove them before the firmware upgrade?



hi just a thought…
if you have any spare capacity somewhere else (such as another external drive) and are able to backup your data beforehand, i would suggest it (where possible).

i really like your motto :smiley: and if you have the means for a backup, then "for the better part of a day, more peace of mind can come your way) :slight_smile:

I have an external USB hard drive that I ROBOCOPY the entire contents of my Drobo to before I change or upgrade anything.

So I’ll have an up-to-the-minute Drobo backup before I update the dashboard and the firmware.

I’d still like to know if I should remove the drives from the Drobo before I do the dashboard update or only before I do the firmware update.


Hello Mark,

It doesn’t matter if the drives were inserted for a Dashboard update.
But you might want to consider performing a firmware update on an empty Drobo…


10-4. I’ll leave the drives in for the dashboard install but will remove them for the firmware upgrade.

I’ll update this post when I complete the process.