Need to migrate a disk pack from dead 5N2

I updated the firmware on my Drobo device, and after the dashboard rebooted the NAS, none of the lights come on. The ran runs, and power seems fine, but the disks don’t spin up and no lights come on. I’ve tried all sorts of troubleshooting but this thing seems dead. Of course, it’s out of warranty so support won’t help. So…

Now I’m trying to recover my data (roughly 35TB). I have no reason to think there’s a problem with any of the disks, so it seems the best option is to find another functional 5N2 and move my disk packs to that, in order to bring the array back online. Online docs for this migration indicate that the two devices should be at the same firmware level, but… 1) I have no clue if the firmware update successfully applied, and 2) if it didn’t, I could only make a bad guess at what firmware level it was at previously.

So, I’m curious… has anyone else done this process without ensuring the same firmware levels? Is there a risk of destroying the array if the firmware doesn’t match? Apparently, there’s 3rd party software (USF Explorer) that can mount a BeyondRAID volume for recovery, but that software is pretty damn expensive, and I’d need to assemble a computer to connect up all the disks… so I’m hoping for a better option.

And last, does anyone have a functional 5N2 they’d be willing to sell? Or have an idea where to find one? (There’s a couple used up on eBay, but they’re listed for more than I paid when it was new, so that’s even worse than the software recovery route.)

Thanks for any advice!

Hello there!

As long as your target 5N2 is at a newer version of firmware than your old 5N2, you should be good to go. So, make sure your “new” 5N2 is at the latest firmware version.

I don’t have a 5N2 to sell, but I see them come up on eBay every so often. You can also ask Drobo support. They sometimes loan them out for 100$, but they have not been readily available of late.

Lastly, I would check if the power cord is bad. This is almost always what goes bad on these units. You might be able to salvage your existing unit, or at least get it up running long enough to back up your data. You may want to try running the Drobo with no drives inserted, to see if it can be seen in the Dashboard.

I’ve only read about UFS Explorer but have never used it myself. I would keep that as a last resort.

Good luck!



1 Like

I had a 5N that died…I bought a 5N2 and took the drive pack out of the 5N and put it in the 5N2 and all was fine. The one thing support warned me about before my migrating was the discs must stay in the same order (Top drive goes into Top slot, 2nd drive goes in 2nd slot, etc) apparently changing the order could cause your data to be lost.

1 Like

THank you for this! If the power cord was bad, would it still power the fan on the unit? I figured since the fan was running, that power would be fine. Not necessarily the case?

1 Like

A common issue found all over this forum is that power supplies can supply some power, but not enough. So, you’ll see problems like what you’re describing where the Drobo turns on but the power supply doesn’t give enough power for proper operation.

It’s a cheaper potential fix than replacing the whole unit. And if you buy from a retailer that has a generous return policy, you can always refund it if it turns out the issue wasn’t the power supply.

I hope that helps!