New Drobo (v2) & 3 Tb Disks: Is it a problem?

I ordered a new drobo (2nd Gen) and two 3tb drives. I have since learned that there is a 2tb limit on drives. My question is whether I can still use these drives, whether they will limit to 2tb (with the data being safe), and whether there will be an update later that will magically make use of the extra space?

Thank you

there is an update coming - but it is a bit behind schedule i think

it should be released this quarter (i.e by the end of june)

Thank you. So can I go ahead and use these drives now, or will that put my data at risk?

you can use the drives once the update is out - your drobo will simply not recognize 3 TB drives with the “old” firmware

Don’t hold your breath about the update. The 8-disk drobo for business was supposed to be updated by q1 of this year and they haven’t released it yet …


you will need to wait until the new firmware update for your 4-bay drobo 2nd gen will be released.
Until then only 2TB drives can be used.


you mean 3tb…

you can use 2tb already

As the new firmware was first due last year,

Then Februari 2011
Then March 2011
Now Q2 2011

I’m not recommending a Drobo to anyone anymore…
With only 3TB drives you can not use your Drobo at all. It won’t recognise the drives at all. If you want to use your Drobo, you will have to buy 2TB drives, and wait… wait… wait… until you can use your 3TB drives.

You are not the only one! I have a set of 3TB drives ready as well. Bought them the beginning of februari, because I thought I could use them very soon.

i dont think it was every due last year - its always been early this year

the drives only came out late last year

From the latest version of the KB page (

Minimum firmware levels for >2TB support:

Drobo 8-bay iSCSI SAN Storage for Business (B800i): Firmware 2.0.1
Drobo 8-bay File Sharing Storage for Business (B800fs): Firmware 2.0.1
DroboElite: Firmware 2.0.2
DroboPro FS: Firmware 1.1.0
DroboPro: Firmware 1.2.1
Drobo FS: Firmware 1.1.0
Drobo S: Firmware 2.1.0
Estimated Release Schedule For Other Models:

Q2 2011 = Drobo (4-bay)

Looks like all models are now released except the V1/V2 four-bay versions :frowning:

theres probably 2 likely reasons…

  1. to phase out the old models (which i have doubts as to that case since the 4-slot is still a very stable entry product for the masses)
  2. its not ready yet (due to complexities maybe in how the firware will fit into the free firmware space - or not having enough time / teams to spend on it yet)

(doesnt help you with your 3tb drives, but thats the main 2 reasons that spring to mind… if you can pick up some smaller WD EADS drives to keep you going, even just a couple - that could help you use it in the meantime, and have a single drive contigency, plus then then 3tb is ready you could pop in the other 2x3tb drives and end up with 4drives in it (with matching sizes which is always a bonus)[hr]
(im also in the same boat with my v1 and v2 drobo (gen1/gen2) and only reason i havent gone for 3tb drives yet was they sounded too new, were too expensive, but i couldnt find any WD20EADS drives so had to settle for 7xWD15EADS which i got quite cheap around 40 pounds) :)[hr]
Btw Nexist - where did you order your drobo from?
IF you really want, there might be a way to contact them for a refund/swaps if it was from DRI store itself or authorised reseller, because technically you shouldnt be sold something that you wont be able to use yet - even if theres firmware promised to be available in future date - but, that might be more hassle than it’s worth - so i’d still recommend the above.

(also, if you have time, try to borrow or buy a sata usb cable kit or something similar so that you can run a full surface scan on the drives before you use them in drobo - some drives need certain software probably from the manufacturers website - and it takes time to do, but ive done that using Western Digitals utils tool and it adds peace of mind knowing all sectors are clean before use.[hr]
(plus, despite the fact that drobo is likely to make you aware of a bad drive as you start using it - if you’ve prescanned it then that way you could RMA a bad drive sooner than later,)

Paul, I do think the Drobo V2 days are numbered- and that is why they no longer offer 3 year Drobocare contracts for it (alone among current models).

My guess is that they will come out with a V3 with USB 3.0 ports. It may not make it run much faster (the V2 Firewire didn’t either) but a $400 DAS box advertising “up to 16GB of storage” without eSata or USB 3.0 is quite dated now. Also consider that Firewire is basically “not supported”, more or less, on Windows. At least that is more or less what support will tell you when you report instabilities. And most experienced Drobo users here that run Windows.

I have failed to get FW working properly on XP or Win7 (very different boxes), so as far as I’m concerned it’s a USB2.0 box and the V2 was vaporware and somewhat misleading advertising. All just to say that USB3.0 is the only cheap way DRI can get out of this embarrassing little problem. Well, they could add eSata but they won’t… that doesn’t fit their product differentiation model.

it will almost certainly run much much faster - the silicon has gotten much faster and cheaper since it was released

The Drobo v2 and earlier versions are definitely on the way out.
There are much better/newer products already out.

However that should NOT stop Drobo from supporting them.
When i purchased my Drobo v2, it clearly stated up to 16TB support.

So at a minimum, they should update firmware up to the release of 4tb hard drives.
This is of course my opinion.

Not supporting 3 or 4tb drives would in my eyes be false advertising of the stated spec of the Drobo.


I hate to resurrect and older thread, but this is why I came poking around in here. Any word on the “Q2” update? There are 8 days left.

I have three 2TB and one 1TB right now, and a 3TB sitting on my desk waiting for the update. I really don’t want to go out and get another 2TB if I can help it, but I’m down to 58GB free space.

New link for status in 3TB firmware update:

Still says Q2 2011. They have 8 days if they want to meet that.

As the DRI folk don’t seem to come here any more, maybe we should start commenting on their Facebook page (politely of course) which they do seem to be updating, and is much more public…[hr]
There’s a comment on their Facebook page in reply to a question by someone called “Matt Tolputt” that says it will probably be another 4-5 weeks :frowning:

DRI has updated the support page. Now it just says later this year…

[quote]Drobo (4-bay) - later this year

We apologize for the delay! The release for 3TB drive support for the Drobo 4-bay units is almost complete however we are continuing to put the release through quality assurance testing. The good news is that the release will also support greater than 3TB drives when they become available (e.g. 4TB, 5TB). We want to ensure that we have tested the release thoroughly so that your data stays safe on your Drobo.[/quote]

Once DRI began adding support for 3TB+ drives in their product line, they moved through the devices fairly quickly…until the 4-bay Drobo. Meanwhile, they’ve released the B800i(fs) and firmware updates for every current product except the 4-bay Drobo. They also quietly stopped selling DroboCare contracts for Drobo for longer than 1 year.

Am I the only one who thinks Data Robotics is waiting out the clock on this?

P.S. Thanks for the FaceBook tip, Spiney. Since DRI no longer reads these forums, maybe it’s time to move on.

rdo those are decent observations.

i dont think they can or are going to try and wait the clock… they have promised and need to deliver and by the looks of it they are trying indeed. better to have some more weeks of testing then rush and have problems and “oops”… (oops was fun in independence day but not for our drobos :slight_smile: