Initialize drive for new Drobo?

I had some trouble setting up a new drobo (5N) and wanted to know if there is another way to overcome this problem:

I regularly have to upgrade my old drobo (5N) with new drives to increase capacity or replace drives that are marked as “bad”.
Last week I happened to buy another drobo (5N) for using surplus drives (only the “good” ones) and wanted to do a quick basic setup of ssh, DroboApps and what not. I had an old 1.5TB drive lying around and wondered why all bays of the new drobo went “red” after insertion. I messed around with the device and tried all combinations of reboot / insert drive I could think of. It took me some time before I realized that the drobo was apparently missing additional drives from the “disk pack” the old drive was a part of. How should the device know that this is the only drive I am going to insert and that it should just initialize the drive and start from scratch?
You can always start with a fresh drive and add previously used drives to this disk pack without any trouble.

So my question would be: Is there a way to setup a new drobo without having a single drive that has not been used in a drobo before?
(UPDATE: So I guess the only way would have been a pinhole reset?)

This case isn’t mentioned in the drobo knowledge base. g
I even put the drive in an external enclosure and started a “secure format”… but since I wanted a quick basic setup…I aborted this approach after 10+ minutes because I was not certain if this would destroy any traces of “this is part of a disk pack” and it would have taken at least 1h to complete.

Can I ask what type of drives you are running on your new 5N? Are you running enterprise or desktop drives? Are you running dual disk redundancy?

Unfortunately, the Drobo can’t setup a disk pack with just 1 drive, as it is a RAID box that requires multiple drives to incorporate redundancy. Even with 2 drives you won’t have much storage considering the Drobo will be using its largest capacity drive for redundancy. The unit isn’t really designed to be used with just 1 single drive.

Are you sure you were booting with drives all from the same disk pack?
Was this a drive that was pulled from the disk pack because you replaced it with a larger drive to add capacity? If you are trying to boot with drives from the previous disk pack it may not work as some of the drives would have been pulled at different times after the data on the disk pack had been relayed out, to add capacity. If you don’t have any important data left over on those drives from the previous disk pack, I would recommend just building a new disk pack with those drives.

That should clear it brand new so that you can just hot-add it to your disk pack. You can add the drive while it is powered on, just make sure all the drive bay lights are green prior to inserting the drive into the unit.

For the sake of a quick setup I took one unused 1.5TB desktop drive from the shelf. Therefore dual disc redundancy was not available.

For clarification: This was not going to be a favored configuration. This was only for initial device setup to save some time onsite. Where additional drives will be added and the old 1.5TB one removed.

But I know that I can setup a new drobo with a single pristine drive. Of course there is no redundancy at this point - but the Drobo should accept the drive, ask for a second one and be accessible nevertheless.

At that time I only had a single old/used drive available. So yes, I am sure all drives were from the same disk pack. :slight_smile:
Yes, this was a drive I pulled from a Drobo to replace it with a larger drive.
No I had no important data on this drive and my goal was to “initialize” a fresh Drobo and I was not trying to revive a bunch of old drives to access the old data.

I didn’t have the time to finish the process so I can’t tell. I had hoped wiping a good portion of the beginning of the drive would have been sufficient. …but this did not work out as hoped.