Is 5N2 backward compatible with 5N?

I have drives that were created on a 5N2 which has failed and wondered if the drives would be readable on a 5N. Has anyone had any experience of this please?

Hello there!

Ofiicially, Drobo 5N2 can accept disk packs from 5N and 5N2 and Drobo 5N can only accept disk packs from 5N.

That said, if your 5N is on the latest firmware, it MIGHT work with a 5N2 disk pack, even if unsupported. The only way to know for sure would be to test with some spare disks.

I hope that helps!



Hi Dom,

Thanks very much for this, it’s really helpful.

Do you know if there are any forward migration options outside of another 5N2? I am fast running out of options to recover my data from the 5N2 and cannot buy another 5N2 new or used in the UK. With the proprietary RAID making it very hard to find a solution.

Hello again,

Maybe you could fix your existing 5N2? More often than not, the power supply is what goes bad and they keep humming along after replacing that piece.

Outside of repairing or replacing your 5N2, the only other solutions I’ve found are 1) UFS Explorer or 2) recovery companies (which likely use UFS Explorer), or 3) getting a loaner from Drobo support. They will sometimes loan a 5N2 for about 99$, but it depends on availability.

If you’d like to try option 1, here is the link: How to recover files from Drobo.

Good luck!


Hi Dom,

Thank you for all your help, I will certainly try all your suggestions. I have spoken to two data recovery companies and have been put off with their inability to listen to what I was saying, not to mention the £2,400.00 price tag. I realise their job is to retrieve data from corrupted drives, however, as I have tried to explain to them, I don’t believe the drives are corrupt, instead, I believe it is the Drobo itself. The fact that none of the drives don’t spin up and the Drobo is stuck in boot (all yellow lights) suggests it’s the unit rather than any of the 5 drives. Plus I believe the toggle switch is faulty, it doesn’t return to down position when activated.

Thanks again for all your suggestions, you’re a star.


As an update, I have had an engineer look at the Drobo, and he has confirmed that it is the controller chip which has gone, due to a short on the main board of the Drobo, possible overheating. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the chips are easy to get hold of (from China). He also mentioned that EFS isn’t easy to use and wasn’t sure how you’d interrogate 5 drives when I don’t have the Drobo to house them. Back to the drawing board…