Pinhole Reset

Wondering if anyone has actually had to perform the “Pinhole Reset” of their Drobo 5N and had it actually work?

Tried multiple times on two different ones and it still kept the same Static IP that was previously configured. Also, “Yes” I did ensure that the reset button was firmly pressed throughout the process. :slight_smile:

Drobo are using the latest Firmware.

Thanks for any feedback.

hi mister,
is there a way for you to confirm the firmware (in case theres been a “newer” version since?)

Drobo firmware is/was at version 3.1.0 and Dashboard is 2.5.1 [62432].

Drobo support told me that the Static IP is on the Drive Pack??:

Of course this really doesn’t make sense… Anyways, I went ahead and put in 4 other drives and did a Pinhole Reset. Same thing, able to ping the IP but nothing as far as being able to connect via the dashboard (on two different systems) and it still kept the old static.

Just wished that there was a way to completely reset the unit to factory settings manually.

Did you check for any DHCP reservations on the DHCP server (or router) end?
Just a sanity check to make sure you’re not chasing rainbows…

Yep, there used to be a Static assigned on the router as well as on the Drobo itself. I have long since deleted the entry off of the router and had that rebooted.

I have flushed DNS on my computer (Ipconfig /FlushDNS) and even rebooted that just to be sure. Drobo Support asked me to direct connect to my second NIC which I did. Drobo never picked up the “169.x.x.x” IP Address that they said it should. Instead it was still responding to a ping using the static address previously set and yet unable to view in Dashboard. There is not any firewall or AV issues since all of this worked previously and nothing has changed on my client side.

This is frustrating if they are saying that the “Pinhole Reset” will not completely reset the unit unless the drive pack is in. That makes no sense at all. If I wanted to sell my Drobo, does that mean I have to wipe all of my data with the Pinhole Reset so that the next person can have the unit back at Factory settings???

I will be on the phone with support again today and will try to get to the bottom of this. Will post back with anything I discover.

I apologize for the misinformation; the static IP is stored on the unit itself, not the pack. This is so that you can connect it empty to the network for initial configuration.

Make sure you’re depressing the reset button as far as it will go and holding it there, until it completes the boot cycle and the top drive light is solid red. If the drives are in, keep it depressed until all the drive lights are solid green. This process takes ~30s - 1 min. If this is how you’ve been doing the manual reset or try this and it still doesn’t work, ask for the ticket to be escalated.


Thanks for the confirmation that this is not on the Drive Pack. I have been doing this process as described. Both without drives and with some drives that I could spare (to have wiped) in order just to try and get the unit detected in the Dashboard. All to no avail.

I will be escalating this today and hopefully there is another answer other than having to RMA the unit. Otherwise this will be the 2nd unit in ~30 days that has had to have been RMA’d…

Just curious though if anyone has had to perform the “Pinhole Reset” and if indeed it did work for them?

Okay, just got off the phone with Tech Support and they are going to try to test the Pinhole Reset to verify what I have told them. In all my remediation efforts, it appears to me that a Pinhole Reset does NOT work. This was done one two different units, one has already been RMA’d and this one may go the same route.

Basically, I have not seen or heard back from anyone confirming or rebutting my claim. So it will be tested by the next support tier (hopefully along with Engineering)

Again, they stated that the Static IP is on the Drive Pack and not the Unit. So I replied that if that is the case then why does the unit still respond to a ping with the old IP Address when the Drive Pack and mSATA is totally removed?

Anyone brave enough to test this theory?

**** Be warned that right now, even though my Drive Pack is safe I cannot get to the Drobo via Dashboard nor can I get to any shares. All that works is that I am able to Ping the unit, this all started when I wanted to simply remove the mSATA to test performance speed…

  1. Assign a Static IP Address via Dashboard
  2. Reboot the unit and verify the Static is still there
  3. Shutdown the unit, remove the Drive Pack and any mSATA
  4. Clear out any DHCP leases on your router for the MAC of the Drobo
  5. Reboot your router to ensure it is all cleared
  6. Boot the Drobo Unit and see if it still has the Static (which it will)
  7. Perform a “Pinhole Reset” and I bet you will still have the Static you first assigned… :frowning:

I’d try it but I don’t have a 5N… another “just to make sure” though… You’re doing a complete power unplug for the pinhole reset, right?

Yes, I performed it both ways:

  1. Unplug after the Unit powers up (with no drives) and only the top drive light has turned red.

  2. Powered down with the switch after the Unit powers up (with no drives) and only the top drive light has turned red.

All had the same result.

Pooper. Hopefully support can confirm/deny proper behavior (and I hope what you’re seeing is not proper behavior).

BTW, right now I am on the phone with support and they have been talking to the engineers. They just put me on hold, but before that the tech told me that the engineer was replying that the Static is on the Drive Pack. However under certain circumstances it may be on the Unit itself…

Not exactly too clear on this response and the tech was unable to clarify…

Support at first said they were escalating to Engineering who would contact me. In the end he informed me that they are instead going to RMA this unit for me. When I asked about talking to an engineer, I was told that at this stage there would not be anything an engineer would be able to provide outside of all the troubleshooting we had already tried.

Not trying to make myself look good or anything, but I am architect myself with over 25 years. I am so badly wanting to disassemble the unit and see about any batteries or jumpers I can mess with to reset this thing, but will not do so to void the warranty.

While the techs I spoke to were nice, I am kinda disappointed overall. I would have loved to find out the root cause. In the end, I guess I will install the Drive Pack in the new unit, make sure that it is set to DHCP, get a Diagnostic and send it in to Support just to see if there is anything that the Drive Pack could have done to cause this and more than likely start offloading my data.

I have been a Drobo fan for over 5 years, but am seriously thinking about going back to either the Drobo FS (which never gave me any problems) or taking a look at UnRaid…

I apologize for the trouble you’ve had so far with the 5N. I assure you this isn’t normal behavior.

If the RMA replacement works fine, then I think the root cause is “It was broken.”

Given the behavior you’re seeing it might be that the reset button isn’t contacting well - I have a device that’s like this - although the button move and feels engaged, internally it seems to bounce - I have to hold the pin/stick just right for a successful reset.

Or it’s just confused beyond hope with a corrupt firmware and/or configuration stopping the reset - I got a router into that state once… I had to completely reload the firmware and have it clears it configuration before it acted normally again.

Drobo’s black box-ness can be both a blessing a curse. A blessing for the non-tech-savvy, and a curse for the curious like us.

Hope it gets resolved with the replacement.

I have received the replacement unit and things appear to be working well. I have even gone so far as to properly remove the mSATA and still have functionality (which was what caused the original issue). I will be obtaining a mSATA to SATA connector and upgrade the firmware. Once that is done I will put it back in.

In the meantime, I will be backing up my data and will try to “Pinhole Reset” once I have a complete backup. Currently have about 5TB of data so this will take a while. :slight_smile:

Thanks all for you assistance.

btw mirfster, (i called you mister before) :slight_smile:
make sure you spend a bit more time so you can verify / crc your backup, “before” you do the hustle…
i mean “do the pinhole” :slight_smile:

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Well, quick update. Replacement unit has been working fine. This time I made sure to have the Drobo itself set to DHCP and my Router basically has a DHCP reservation for the MAC. Things have been running fine, up until 2 days ago. We lost power and everything else in my wiring closet came back online.

They are all connected to a surge protector. When I went to access one of my shares on the Drobo, I discovered that once again I was back in the same boat. Able to ping the IP, yet unable to access it via UNC, Dashboard or even Telenet. Physically brought the unit from the closet and connected it directly to my 2nd NIC. Let it get the default IP of 169.x.x.x. Again able to ping, but nothing else…

Removed the Drive Pack, did the old “PinHole Reset”, ran all the same tests and got the same results. Talked to support and this will make my third RMA on the 5N…

They really need to add a USB port to the 5N, I cannot keep RMA’ing these units just to get back to my data. I have asked support to please find out what they did/saw from the last two units I returned. I doubt that they simply trashed them. Someone had to have at least diagnosed them and perhaps even refurbished them. I would love to know what they did and even what the cause could have been. Again, never had this with the FS Model…

That’s really unfortunate news. Obviously something about the power outage is really screwing things up.

When you RMAed your previous two 5Ns did you also RMA the power supply (unless it’s integrated)?

Not saying the problem shouldn’t be solved, but you may want to look at a UPS, especially if you have frequent power outages. It will make your computers happier in general. When I had a wiring closet I had an APC Back-UPS HS500 for it. Nice wall-mountable unit.

Have you continued to experience this problem with your Drobo 5N at all? I am having exactly the same issue with mine as of this week. Unfortunately, it is out of warranty so Drobo Support will barely even talk to me and my only option seems to be the forums or buying a new device. I can’t even seem to pay for support.

Anyway, I’m wondering if this problem has occurred with other people and if anyone has found any other solutions besides replacing the unit.