Need Help/Advice with 5N Issues after 3.2.3

I posted recently about an issue with my drobo after the latest update where it stayed offline for a long time after it was updated.

But I have more problems with it now.

I have 5 3TB Seagate NAS drive in it, and drive 4 LED on the side of the drive went off for a moment then I got a warning it was in recovery mode. About 8 hours later the recovery/rebuild finished and started working again but that 4th drive shows a different status to the other drives.

Well few days after this the drive LED went off again, and the rebuild started again. During the rebuild the drive again went off and Dashboard reported that the drive was unplugged even though it is still in the drobo. Not sure realy what to do from here, I didn’t want to have a possible dead drive plugged in incase something else bad happened, so I unplugged the network cable so there is no chance of it being accessed again till I find out what to do.

Do these units have a 1 year or 3 year or longer warranty ? I purchased my 5N in November 2013. Just looking at the receipt and there is no mention about warranty.

I don’t want to turn the unit off yet cause I am not sure if it is safe to do so or not and not sure if the 5N is rebuilding the raid without that #4 drive. But since that #4 drive LED was off I unplugged the drive and plugged it in to my PC to run a surface scan. While typing this the drive is showing a huge number of errors on the scan. Ive actualy not seen a drive with this many error in many years.

I am curious now though, using windows 8 and a tool called HDtune, if surface scanning a drive once used in a drobo, should it show a clean scan or will there be read errors cause of some custom filesystem not known by windows?

And after these issues with the latest firmware, how do I go back to a previous firmware, and will my data remain after a roll back ? All I see in this forum and other forums is people complaining after Drobo failures since this latest firmware. I am starting to believe this now after my problems.

So, can I shut down my 5N while all drive LED are yellow, or do I have to insert a new HDD first and let the system repair itself first. I would like to shut it down and run a surface test on each drive now. I will be destroyed if I lose the data on it. Also while there is one drive missing from it can I copy file off it even when the LED are yellow or will that put too much stress on the remaining HDDs

If the drive indicator is not illuminated that means that the drive is not present. Since it clearly is present, is it seated correctly in its slot and latched in?

If you’re fortunate enough to live in Europe then it has a two year warranty, otherwise a one year warranty.

The lights next to the other drives will give you an indication of what the Drobo is doing. If they are flashing yellow/green it is recalculating the contents of the missing drive and re-ordering your data to make best use of the remaining drives. If they are all green then it has finished that process.

You don’t say what you’re using to perform the surface scan and I don’t know the HDTune tool but if they can examine the raw drive and find bad blocks there then it looks as though it’s failing. Windows won’t find a recognisable filesystem on a drive removed from a Drobo. The most useful test would be to check the drive’s SMART status. There’s both free and not so free software available to do that.

There are no issues with the latest firmware that Drobo are admitting to but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. It does seem as though you have a bad drive through.

If the lights are flashing yellow/green then it’s best not to shut it down, but if you absolutely must then use the power switch to do it and don’t just unplug it from the wall and the chances are it will pick up where it left off when you power it up again. Much better though to leave it powered until it has finished its data protection. If you have sufficient space on the remaining drives you don’t need to fill the empty slot yet, but if you have a spare drive you can. If you can access your 5N’s shares then you can copy files off it while it is in data protection mode, though it is not unknown for the shares to be unavailable for extended periods while that process is taking place. Given that you’ll “be destroyed” if you lose data I’d leave it powered and try to do some copying (or, failing that, leaving it rebuilding) instead of doing surface scans.

The Drobo took aprox 18 hours to rebuild from 5 drives down to 4 drives, I got a replacement 3TB ready to slot in after I done my backup. The drive I removed I surface scanned and showed many errors, so low level formatted it and scanned it again and it shows 100% clean. Have not yet had the time to run the SeaTools software on it but will do so soon.

I might use this drive in the PC for some time and retest it again later.

hi skozy,
if the drive surface scan shows errors, then yes it seems like that drive had some troubles.
but as far as i know, if you low level format it, and its showing 100% good, it might just simply be that the bad sectors are no longer marked as bad, but that actual data might be lost if you keep using it.

maybe its good to just use it in your computer as a standalone drive as an extra backup (eg one that you wont mind if it suddenly loses data etc)?

What exactly constitutes a “low level” format these days? Modern drives handle the remapping of bad sectors in their own firmware and you can’t change that. Regardless, use that drive as you will (preferably as a doorstop or paperweight), just don’t try to use it in a Drobo. I’m glad your patience paid off in the end.

Yeah the term low level these days is different from the dos days. Its the software term for the program I used, basically writes Zero from sec 1 > whatever it end sector is.

That drive has been scanned 2x now after being Zero’d. I will be putting it in the pc and copy a drvie to it, then another drive etc, and after a few time doing that rescan it. I don’t want to reuse it in the drobo, but the drives SMART says there is nothing wrong using Seatools on my last check. So also cant RMA it. I will probably put it in a caddy or an old PC.

if the drive was smaller, there are some famous tools like spinrite which have lots of deep info such as errors per second or something like that, but i think you have to wait for the new version to support 3tb drives as i think the latest current one only goes up to a certain amount of TB[hr]
(it may well be that the drive is having “softer” errors, more often then desired, but that they have not yet progressed into a “hard” error yet, hence why seagate tools doesnt find it?) i wonder if WD util would work on a seagate drive?[hr]
edit: there “might” be a way to run spinrite on a portion of the drive (which might indicate some more info even if only on a smaller part of the drive) but am not sure. (and its paid for software) though there is a trial of sorts but please check the website.