... is not accesible. The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable.

I get this message when I try and go to my Drobo gen 2, 1x500GB drive, firewire 800 to win 7 64 bit. Its happened before and at the time I had a copy of the data so I just wiped and reformatted, however this time it is VITAL i recover that data.

Dashboard thinks its ok, the data seems to still be there, just windows isnt understanding the drive.

Please help

The data is VITAL, yet you get a Drobo and put ONE drive in it? It happened before but you were fine with the only copy of important data in constant risk? Sorry, that’s just stupid.

Have you tried chkdsk?

I would recommend chkdsk on your volume.

“The disk check could not be performed because Windows can’t access the disk.”

I did have a fully blown 2x1.5TB and 2x1TB, but after 3 months that lead to having to get a replacement, consistently slow speeds and finally the data wipe, ive moved to internal. I had one drive in it to use it purely as an external disk while I was doing some RAID setups, it was performing fine for a week or so before I did this so I assumed it wouldnt just delete everything for the short time I needed it…

The drive in explorer shows as 0 GB, it literally cant see anything, but dashboard still thinks everythings fine. Can change the drive letter which shows up, but not title if that makes any difference.


Being that it happened before, something bad happened and corrupted you data. Whether it’s the connected computer, a defective drive that hasn’t been marked as such, or a defective Drobo chassis, we don’t know.

I recommend shutting down the Drobo and connecting it to a known-good PC via USB.

Hold on… Your last comments confuse me… You only had one disk in it?
How many drives do you have in the Drobo? What lights and what colors??

This is my second chassis, different (new) drive from what happened before, different computer now too :frowning:

At the moment I have 1 drive, green, then a red in the bay below it. All the drobo dashboard says is it cant protect in the event of a failure, not that anything is wrong.

Hmm. This is a tough one. At one point in time you had more than one drive in the disk pack as Drobo wouldn’t let you create a disk pack consisting of only one disk.

Since you’re on a completely different Drobo setup (different chassis, different hard drive) and different computer, the source of corruption can be limited to extremely bad luck, misbehaving software, or unsafe removal (not using Safely Remove or gracefully shutting down the OS) practices.

It makes me shudder when people just yank out USB devices… I’ve completely scrambled data on USB keys and USB hard drives that way. Just because the interface supports hot unplug doesn’t mean the device accessing it was expecting it to be unplugged. Not saying that’s what’s happened here - just making a general comment.

Dashboard doesn’t handle the filesystem - it only peeks at how much data is being used. Dashboard doesn’t see a filesystem, but the Drobo has a drive and a configured disk pack, thus it doesn’t detect any problems.

Unfortunately I’m not sure what advise to give you at this point… by reducing the Drobo disk pack to a single drive, any chance of it relocating data to another drive in the event the drive is going bad has been eliminated.

Perhaps someone else will have an idea.

you can create single disk packs (drobo lets you use 50% of the capacity of a single disk), it just kind of defeats the point of having a redundant box if you remove some of that redundancy (i.e. the protection against a disk failure)


“Yes, you can set up your Drobo device with just one drive. However, you will not have any data protection if that single drive fails. The lights on the unit will tell you that you need to add another drive to protect against a drive failure. But the Drobo product will still be usable, and it will mirror the data on the single drive to protect against corruption or other soft failures (partial disk corruption). Using a minimum of at least two drives in the Drobo storage device will protect your data against a drive failure.”

Oh? That’s pretty cool! I could swear my Drobo didn’t set up anything when I stuck the first drive in, but maybe I just didn’t wait long enough.

Still doesn’t protect against a drive failure though it does give you some data redundancy if the drive isn’t completely corrupting all the stuff coming in.

Note: This does not count as wrongurgitation as I didn’t repeat something I read elsewhere - I was just simply wrong. :wink:

Cheers guys, as far as I can tell the advice is to try it on a diff computer? Ill give it a go, but for some reason I doubt that will work :frowning:

Because I only have one drive in, do you think the data will be in a format which would be usable outside a Drobo? Or is it still totally different.

Drives that have been used in a drobo need to be in a drobo in order to view the data.

Can you try mounting it from a Linux distro, like an Ubuntu LiveCD?
Or a BartPE boot CD might be worth a shot too.

Either way, DO NOT run any recovery utilities/functions - mount it READ-ONLY if you can.

We just want to see if there’s anything filesystem-wise still there at this point.

Geeky side note:
If you have a sufficiently-wealthy/geeky friend who can get a forensic kit like this T8 USB Forensic Bridge, that would ensure nothing changes on the Drobo - at least from the computer’s end (can’t stop the Drobo itself from doing whatever it needs to).
There may be cheaper solutions, just did a really quick search.

Could I run a Linux distro via virtual PC?

Probably yes, but you’ll have to fiddle with the USB filter which presents the drive to the guest OS “directly”, bypassing the host OS. In my opinion, you’re better off just launching the Ubuntu LiveCD than adding another potential point of failure.

Ive now confirmed its the same case on other machines. In Disk Management it notices the main 16GBish main partition + 128MB unallocated, however the main partition is noted as ‘RAW’, where as other drives have NTFS, FAT32 there etc.

Ive managed to find a few files here and there from previous emailings, however theres a few which would be so out of date I might as well start again. Any ideas?

Either way, DO NOT run any recovery utilities/functions - mount it READ-ONLY if you can.

and… how do we do tha using Win 7 or Win Vista??? Is there such a dialog in Dashboard? Can I stop re-layout for repairs? TIA

@dogie: Be sure the OS you use supports GPT volumes (ie, use Vista or Windows 7 - XP won’t cut it)

@equifoto: Not sure it’s possible software-wise in Windows, but a lot of the Linux-based tools are set up to only make changes after user verification.
I believe DRI has a read-only firmware, but it’s only for use in dire circumstances and needs to be obtained through support.
Relayout happens outside of the OS’es “knowledge” so I don’t think there’s a way to stop it.

If the data is vital, it’s probably a good time to consult with a data recovery service - they should be able to read the raw data off the Drobo and may be able to reconstruct the filesystem.

AFAIK there isnt any data recovery company which can read DRI’s internal FS

I was thinking they’d be reading what the Drobo’s spitting out. Strictly high-level filesystem reconstruction, versus low-level vacuum bits off the platters stuff.

maybe i guess, i have no idea whats drobos raw output would be like

i definitely wouldn’t be holding my breath :S