Temporarily Swap Out Drives Without Data Loss?

Per my earlier request for help with lost IP address on a Drobo FS after a MTU change, would anyone know if its possible to temporarily remove the existing drives with data, put in different ones, hard reset the Drobo Fs by the pin process, and finally put back in the original drives? All without data loss? I have approximately 4 tb that I don’t want to lose.


Assuming that you keep the original disk pack together, without separating any of the disk, or exchanging disk with any other disks:
You should be able to remove your disk pack. Mess around with the DroboFS, then later on, put the original disk pack back into the Drobo.
So, you want to pull out the Drobo set of disks. Perform some operations on your Drobo with an alternate disk pack. Upgrade firmware, reset the thing a fews times, whatever. Then, you will return the original disk pack. Should be safe and you will not lose any data.

You have that 4TB of data backed-up somewhere? That would increase comfort level of doing this, of course. But, it should work. In theory.

Hi Yoyoma,
Thanks for the encouragement about swapping out the HHDs. What you describe is exactly what I was thinking of doing. I think in theory the process should work but my concern is that the Drobo might want to format the discs when I put the original complete set back in and therefore erase all of my content. I wish I did have the 4 tb backed up but as you can imagine, those options are limited or very expensive. I may give it a couple of days before I do the work just to see if one of the senior advisors might already have had experience with the process. :slight_smile:

Well now, that is odd. Checking the KB, here.
And it is not quite clear. If you reset the Drobo FS without disks in it, you could suffer data loss. Why? When you put the disk back in, will the FS unit mark them somehow, or not recognize them? You would be wise to get more informaiton, than my plain advice.

If you could get that 4TB offloaded, then the warning wouldn’t be an issue and we could figure this out much more easily.

Hi yoyoma, I found this Drobo support site http://support.datarobotics.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/274 and I am getting more encouraged as I really think it supports temporarily removing the disc pack, performing a pin reset with different discs, and then reinstalling the original discs.

With the Drobo FS any Pin Reset, with or without drives, will result in data loss.

Ah, good to know!
Does this also mean that one cannot pull a disk pack from a failed Drobo FS and install it in a new Drobo FS? Without losing data, I mean.

You can move a drive pack from one Drobo FS to another and not lose data.


With all due respect, either your answer is very wrong and is going to cause that member to lose 4TB of data, or the two KB articles linked above are very wrong. Both KB’s indicate that Drobo FS (and Drobo ELite in one case) is an exception to the general rule that disk packs can be swapped in Drobos. But that general rule was always applied to directly connected Drobos, not NAS Drobos.

I don’t own an FS but I do know an inconsistency when I see one, and this is not a good topic for that inconsistency :slight_smile:


You can move drive packs between the same units, this goes for all units.

There are units that you cannot migrate a disk pack to without losing data. A drive pack from a 4 bay Drobo cannot be moved to a Drobo FS unit without data loss.

Any Pin reset on a Drobo FS, with or without drives, will result in data loss.

This KB article http://support.datarobotics.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/274 is about migrating disk packs.

This KB article http://support.datarobotics.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/431/related/1/kw/drobo%20fs/page/3/r_id/ is about formatting the Drobo FS. At the bottom of the KB article is says “Warning: Doing a pinhole reset on Drobo FS without drives installed will result in data loss.”

This KB article http://support.datarobotics.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/433 is on moving the drives to a replacement unit and can be followed to change drive packs in a Drobo FS.

Neil and Kurt,
I have opened a ticket with Drobo support and hopefully they can officially confirm or deny the process I am considering will work without data loss. Thanks for your input and it looks like my options are to 1) wait (hopefully not more than a few days) or 2) take the risk and do the disc pack swap.


This is the confusing part. The KB doesn’t elaborate. I would like to know WHY?

hi what does the pin reset do?

From what I am told by Drobo Tech support, they no longer suggest a pin reset at any time. It will assure that your drives will be formatted and therefore all of your data will be lost. I spoke to them again today and they now believe my issues are related to a bad nic card in my Drobo FS and they are sending me a replacement. I did not do a pin reset and according to the FAQs, I should be able to retain all of my data. So I have my fingers crossed!