Trouble starting Drobo -- Possible impending drive failure?

The Drobo has always been hard to start, often requiring several tries. (Yes, I know startup is a slow progress but sometimes the initial lights just go off and nothing happens.) I had an answer that it might be the power brick and have a new one on order. But I’m wondering if the five 6TB Seagate Iron Wolf drives are a marginal load? And wondering if one may be suspect: I can hear a sort of very quiet and intermittent grinding or vibrating sound from the unit when it is not doing any activity that shows on the light on the lower right. That has been the case for a long time. (But I’ve never had any red or orange lights indicating any failure.) Putting my fingers lightly on the drives, bay 3 seems to be the one with the sounds. I wonder if I should remove that drive and see if startup goes smoother? Or is it normal for some sounds like that? The capacity is 13.46 TB with 8.16 used. I don’t have DDR on.

If I do remove that drive, should I leave that bay empty or move any of the other drives around?

Thanks for any help!

There’s nothing about the make & model of drives that should be a problem, Seagate IronWolf Pro are on the recommended list & being 7200rpm rather than 5400 they use slightly more power than what you have. Seagate Enterprise Capacity can be an issue for peak power requirements…


Drobos are never what you’d call silent, & plenty of disk activity takes place when you’re not actively using them for background housekeeping purposes (optimizing data distribution etc.).

That said, if one drive in particular is noisy, or gets noticeably warmer than the others, you might want to consider replacing it.

I always recommend Dual redundancy once drives get over about 4TB, the chances of a rebuild for a replaced drive failing become quite significant with huge drives & only single parity. If a rebuild fails because of an unrecoverable read error you’re in a world of hurt trying to recover your data, just saying. I wouldn’t be messing with what drives are there without good reason, especially using only single redundancy, doing so will trigger a rebuild, rebuilds have risks attached.

Thanks!! Advice I never heard before, and very valuable to protect my Lighroom collection of 170,000 files!! (I do keep 2 rotating backups, one offsite.) The Dobo shows 21.63 TB total with 8.16 used (38%.)

I’ll do that as soon as it quits writing metadata from all my Smug galleries – due to a bug with Lightroom 11.2. I’ve rolled back to 11.1 to await the upcoming bug fix, but apparently I need to let a bunch of metadata writing proceed to make things happy.

Since I started whining about difficulty starting the Drobo, it started easily the last several times! Go figure…