Reposting as information… maybe a moderator will sticky it.
Rules of the Drobo world:
Always have backups of important/critical data. Drobo’s fault tolerance is not a substitute for backups, it simply reduces downtime and data lost between the last backup and time of failure. This advice is not Drobo-specific. It applies equally to other fault-tolerant storage units as well.
If it’s an emergency phone support. A real-time conversation is much less frustrating than back-and-forth email or posts.
Follow instructions carefully and don’t try to “jump ahead” because (you think) you know better. Drobo world is different from the normal world you are accustomed to.
Don’t ever try to fix something yourself unless you are comfortable with losing your data and resetting, or you are under direct guidance from Drobo support.
Don’t mess with the partitioning.
Never move a Drobo with the drives installed. Always remove the drives before transporting. Remember that installation position doesn’t matter for Drobo - as long as all the disks of the “pack” are present. See Drobo KnowledgeBase for more detailed information.
Don’t fill it beyond 95% of its usable capacity. Since it gets EXTREMELY slow as a safety measure, this should be difficult, but so are many other self-destructive things and people die all the time…
Don’t expect undelete to work, it may appear to succeed, but it likely will give garbage data.
Don’t try to use “whole disk” encryption on a Drobo. It’s okay to encrypt individual files/folders or container files, just don’t encrypt the Drobo volume itself.
To avoid filesystem corruption, whenever possible, safely shut down/sleep Drobo before unplugging it from power. If you cannot do that for whatever reason, at least shut down connected clients so there are no pending operations. It may be worthwhile to have a UPS on connected clients so they can be set to automatically shut down when utility power is lost.
With the exception of FS models and DroboShare, Drobo does not maintain the filesystem - the attached computer does.
The first thing to do when encountering odd file problems is to run a filesystem repair.
Note: For Windows, never use the use the /R option of CHKDSK! It will waste a bunch of time, mark a large number of clusters as bad and may prevent you from using additional storage space you add in the future.
Note 2: It is a good idea to run ChkDsk (Windows) or Disk Utility (Mac OS) to verify the Drobo’s contents after any “dirty” shutdown - a “dirty” shutdown being anything that causes an unintended shutdown or reboot.
Don’t mount/use Drobo in an orientation other than the standard - the backplane is not designed for this.
When adding or replacing a drive, do it with the Drobo powered on (and not on standby). (Re-)Adding a drive when Drobo is off can potentially lead to conflict or data loss, especially if the drive was previously used in a Drobo, as Drobo may not know which disk pack should take precedence.
Whenever possible, let Drobo “catch up” after doing a large delete, especially if you’re low on free space. This will give Drobo time to complete its housekeeping that reclaims the space used by the deleted item(s).
For Drobo units with multiple non-network interfaces (for example, Drobo S has both USB and eSATA), don’t connect to more than one at any given time.
Do not generate a diagnostic log from Drobo Dashboard during a rebuild/relayout (lights flashing green/yellow), wait until after it is complete unless you are specifically instructed to do so by Drobo support. (Thanks Sky)
When removing/replacing drives, always do one drive at a time, waiting for the relayout to complete before proceeding. If lights are flashing green/yellow, DO NOT remove a drive, even if you have Dual-Disk Redundancy enabled.
(* Why? Because even though you’re protected from an additional drive failure, relayout is a drive-intensive process and can stress a marginal drive beyond the breaking point. If you’ve removed two drives, you are completely unprotected and an additional drive failure will lose your data. After all, you’ve allocated extra resource to be protected, why not stay protected whenever you can?)
Consult with Drobo support before performing a pin reset on an FS unit, even with no drives installed. Depending on the firmware version, a pin-reset on a FS unit will erase the next disk pack it sees.
See the note at the bottom of this Drobo Knowledgebase Article for more information.
Drobo FS firmware 1.2.4 and newer are safe for “no drives inserted” pin reset and will not erase the next disk pack it sees.
Do not attempt to defragment a Drobo. Drobo does its own internal housekeeping and data-arranging.
[*]Be mindful when comparing performance of Drobo to a standard hard drive connected on the same interface type. Drobo is doing extra processing for the data protection during disk access, so that involves some level of performance hit. Any protected or fault-tolerant storage system will encounter this. It’s similar to sending regular postal mail versus registered postal mail. Regular postal mail, gets to is destination quickly if it gets there. Registered postal mail is guaranteed (to an extent) to get there, but the extra checks during transit can slow down the delivery.