Solution Drobo 5D USB 3 disconnect or slow data transfer

Just bought a USB 3.0 hub and connected the Drobo… :worried::worried: still the same wavy speed horror. Drobo support, please do something!!!

UPDATE Oct 17:
Drobo support is horrible. They simply say that they are not aware of any issues with firmware/USB. Can’t believe it …
My decision to move away from Drobo is made. Will replace the Drobo with a larger Synology in a few months.
For now I have connected my Drobo Gen 3 to my Synolgy NAS via USB and it works fine. Can access my Drobo data now from everywhere.

Did not work for me. :worried:
The latest Drobo firmware update must be the reason for all these problems. It is very annoying and I dump Drobo completely and go for a 2nd Synology NAS in some months.

I’m sorry I didn’t update earlier. But I believe I’ve found one issue that has not been mentioned elsewhere.

There is some kind of compatibility issue between Drobo and Western Digital software. When WD’s Security or Drive Utilities apps are installed, the Drobo exhibits the speed and connectivity issues mentioned above, making the Drobo entirely useless. As far as I can tell, WD Discovery and Backup apps do not have the same drastic negative impact on Drobo performance.

However, even without the WD Security and Drive Utilities apps installed, the Drobo dashboard sometimes does not recognize a Drobo is connected even as I can access all my files at expected speeds through Windows Explorer. And I’ve sometimes received a few device controller errors (I believe but am not positive for both the Drobo and for an external HD) as I’ve attempted to backup my files on the Drobo to an external WD passport hard drive, which seems to have had some issues completing as it used to before all my problems began a few months ago.

I’ve been in touch with both WD and Drobo support. Both effectively said it is something the other company should look into. Drobo said that the security app encrypting and decrypting the drive would cause a performance drop, but it seems a stretch to me that the impact would slow the Drobo to hover close to 0 mb/s. And that doesn’t explain why the Drive Utilities app would have the same negative impact. WD said they “do not have expertise on third party enclosures” and suggested I run diagnostics on the individual drives in the Drobo.

I’m using Windows 10 with 4 WD Red 3 TB drives in a 5D3. All software is up to date, and the problem(s) persisted after buying a new computer.

I’m not a technical person so am hoping someone else here is and might have some ideas. I’m also curious if anyone else can replicate the same findings. But mostly I’m hoping Drobo and WD fix this issue, as I imagine I can’t be the only one.

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My problems were similar to yours described July 18. After the last Windows 10 update my 5D3 with 4 Seagate 4TB was not recognized by Windows anymore and had horrible performance (extreme wavy). Drobo support said they don’t know of any issues like this. Instead of helping they simply leave you alone with the problem. I decided then for a rather unusual solution. Instead of directly attaching to the PC’s USB 3.1 I connected it to my Synology NAS USB 3.0 as an external device and it has been working fine so far. Can’t use Drobo dashboard anymore. Advantage is I can access my Drobo now from anywhere and anytime.

I’ll add my name to the ever growing list. My 5D3 exhibits the same issues, slow read and write, constant rebooting.

I have a 5D3 and a Drobo pro connected to the same Laptop (Precision 5520) and the Pro has zero issues, the 5D3 is absolutely garbage and unreliable in comparison. This is utterly disappointing seeing as it’s, like 700$ worth of device. I contact Drobo on the issue back in June and was given a new replacement… that exhibits the same exact issues. Don’t get me started on the continues absence of TB3 support on windows too.

Hoping that this gets sorted sooner than later, really doesn’t feel like Drobo is doing anything at all though.

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+1 for this issue.

I’m in the middle of copying all my data off the Drobo at an abysmal 30MB/s. 12TB to copy, so will take days at this rate. Another thing I’ll add is that I’m copying to one of those USB Hard Drive Docking Stations. That too is flakey i.e. first time I plugged it in and ran CrystalDisk on a blank Seagate Iron Wolf, I was seeing 270MB/s - plugged it in a second time (and multiple times thereafter) and only saw 30MB/s - even after reboots etc. Then tried the generic USB hub hack mentioned here - and now it was showing 270MB/s again. So may not be issue specific to Drobo. Maybe something with latest Windows 10?

Once all my data is copied off the Drobo, I plan on updating volume from 16TB->64TB. Will try the USB hub hack with the Drobo at that time.

Just an update to my previous post. Tried the suggestion of removing all USB devices from Device Manager, doing a scan to add them back. Then installing the USB drivers that came with my motherboard (they’re old - 2013 and only Windows 8 is listed, but installed anyway). After reboot, both the Drobo and the USB Docking Station came up as USB 3.0 devices and speed is back up to 270MB/s. Let’s see if it lasts.

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Just an update to everyone that I never got my problems solved for either of my Drobo units mentioned above. At one point my issue was elevated to an engineering person on the phone because, I think, of my persistence. Drobo CS kept closing my ticket after not responding for two weeks and I kept replying (politely) to that message so that I would be back in the queue.

This is unacceptable. I was patient, polite, and spent 5-8 hours every week or every other week for something like 7 or 8 months, trying various solutions and often the same solutions over and over again. If you didn’t read all of the thread above, I also tried using different USB PCI cards in different PCs and USB3 docs and so forth all to no avail. Every time losing hours or days trying to jury rig a solution instead of Drobo Customer Service helping.

I asked if I could somehow flash to a previous firmware as I’m fairly convinced this is the only real solution, but this fell on deaf ears. I think it might not even be possible. I sent in my logs I don’t know how many times and danced a merry jig of hard drives and devices while carefully monitoring copies and performance over lengthy periods of time in order to help give them data to work with. I captured video of the issue and sent it along so they could see the behavior. I did this with 2 PCs and a Macbook Pro (which never suffered the issues, so it’s clearly a Windows PC/USB3/Drobo issue) every time there was another go around with a copy/connection attempt. I never ranted or raved, insulted or was down on them. I pointed them to this thread to show that I was not alone and there is some sort of persistent issue going on here. I gave up entirely some time in September or October (I can’t remember). I thought I’d come back here randomly to see if anyone had more luck than I have had. Looks like you’re all suffering the same issues as I am–with your units and with Drobo CS.

My company has already decided to move to a competitor product. The CS issues alone make Drobo untenable as a professional solution. If you’re facing this issue and waiting for Drobo CS to do something about it, I suggest you do the same.

If anyone at Drobo reads this and would like to discuss this further, you have my email many times over. I’m still willing to help you find a solution, but I’m done chasing you down to make it happen. I’m sorry it’s come to this point. Up until these issues, my Drobos worked perfectly.


Has this lasted for you? I tried exactly this (even went so far as to buy an out-of-date USB3 PCI card with an old drivers CD) and my speeds gradually declined over the next few days until the “Wavey” issues and connectivity problems returned.

Unfortunately it did not. After a reboot or two, it went back to USB 2.0. And subsequent attempts to repeat steps of removing USB devices and re-installing drivers did not work. After pulling my hair out for an hour or two, decided to just re-install Windows 10 from scratch (using 1903) - note that my PC was previously upgraded from Windows 7, so there might have been a lot of old stuff lying around. But with fresh install, I’m happy to say that the Drobo has been running at USB 3.0 speeds without issue. Rebooted both PC and Drobo a few times to verify, but each time it came back up at USB 3.0. So as a last resort, its worth a try.

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So, maybe unfortunately, I found that reinstalling Windows 10 in the past from scratch would give me my performance back, but only temporarily. I must have done this 5 or 6 times when comparing different hardware and settings/drivers throughout my odyssey :). I hope yours stays solid! But I would be curious to know if you end up with the same issues I have. The way I spoke about it to the Drobo engineer was that it was like something was getting gradually “corrupted” until all the old behaviors returned. It only took an hour or two before the “waves” would start to return, very gradually at first, but within about 8-20 hours of long transfers, I would be back to the same old issues.

My co-workers got really tired of me saying “I solved it this time!” only to gripe a day or three later about how I actually hadn’t.

Hope your situation isn’t like mine!

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I joined the forum just for two things - One is to say thank you to js242 for posting the solution to my problem and the second it to post the exact search phrase (“drobo 5d3 slow performance”) that I used in order to increase the likehood that others who have the same issue and use the same (or similar) search phrase(s) may find this solution.

I had exactly the same issues as described above and for me it was the darn Western Digital software that I installed after buying and attaching a new WD MyBook Duo. Lo and behold, after de-installing the WD software my Drobo 5D3 is performing as before again. Cost me 3 hours of my life. Thank you Western Digital for wasting my time. That’s some way to force customers to abandon a competitors product. Bastards.

On another note, during the process, I exchanged a couple of cables and found that connecting the Drobo to a regular Type A USB 3.1 port yields a hugely faster and rock solid connection than connecting it to a Type-C Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 Gen 2 combo port, at least on a Gigabyte Designare Z390 motherboard, where I was getting the up and down tranfer rates that others described with a maximum of about 110 but an average of maybe 40 Mb/s transfer rates. With the USB 3.1 Type A connection I get a consistent ~210 Mb/s, without any drops whatsoever. So from now on I will avoid Type-C for USB and only use it for Thunderbolt.

Thanks again and hopefully others will find this solution, too.



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Glad I could help! Less glad that others are still having the same problem I have.

I know this is 2-3 years later but THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU js242! I recently toasted the array in my Drobo. Inadvertent clean command and 7TB was gone. No worries, I have BackBlaze it’s all backed up. They sent me the encrypted drive with my data.

Attached it, entered the password, all my data is there. Started the transfer and bam, files are moving like molasses on a winter day. Spent HOURS chasing drivers and reboots and yada yada yada, Found your comment. Removed the password from the encrypted drive. Removed the WD security software and viola! it’s moving files as it should. Prior to the removal it took 6 hours to move less than 300GB of data on a USB 3.0 connection. Afterwards, moved 400GB in under an hour.

Did I say Thank you?