Unable to find Drobo 5N on my network

Few weeks back my Drobo 5N stopped working and communicating on my home network so I contacted Drobo Customer Support for an replacement as it seemed the Ethernet port had stopped communicating. After multiple emails back and forth with the support, Drobo Support decided to send me a replacement.

Two weeks later, I received my replacement and while opening the box, the unit had a burnt electronics smell coming from the Drobo unit with a scratched front panel with a sticker asking me to ship the front cover back to them.

The replacement unit’s Ethernet port is also not functioning. There are no lights and my router is unable to see it on the network. I have also tried connecting it directly to my PC’s Ethernet port as suggested by Drobo Support. Still same issue.

I have the latest Drobo Dashboard installed but the software cannot detect the unit.

Can anyone help me figure what is wrong with the unit?

Drobo Support keeps sending me the same email template they use and asking me to do the same procedure over and over again. Which is not working.

Maybe is good to do a good check on whether the old and replacement unit is indeed fault.

Testing the OLD Drobo 5N:

  1. Power down the old Drobo 5N and remove all the drives.

  2. Make sure that is no drives and direct connect the 5N to your PC or Mac.
    *Connect the network cable to the 5N and direct to the PC/Mac without any switch or network in between.

  3. Make sure your PC/Mac network port (Ethernet Port / NIC) is on DHCP.

  4. Now power ON the Drobo 5N without drives. Wait for it to complete its booting process.

  5. Check if the Drobo Dashboard on the PC or Mac detects and pick up the 5N?

  • If YES… that means the 5N is able to communicate with the Dashboard via the network port. 5N unit is working ok.
    In this case, Dashboard will likely prompt you to insert drives and the Top Most Drive Bay on the 5N will light up RED indicating to insert drive as well.

Do NOT insert existing or any drives into the Drobo 5N while is powered ON. Any drive(s) that is inserted will be FORMATTED and wipe out.

Repeat the above for the replacement unit if you need to verify if the unit’s ethernet port is ok. Same step… boot without drive, direct connect.

*Note… if the Dashboard is NOT able to detect the Drobo 5N. Make sure to check your PC or Mac that the OS Firewall is NOT blocking any of the Drobo Services.

For PC - Drobo Dashboard Service is not blocked
For Mac - DDService64d is not blocked

If direct connection Drobo 5N is verified to work properly and not issue with the Ethernet port, then maybe you may want to look into the router setting?? IF the 5N previously was set with a STATIC IP and recently you have make changes to the router network… there maybe a chance that the 5N static IP is not on the same subnet as the network or PC??

The old Drobo 5N was returned for a replacement to be sent to me.

The new Drobo 5N replacement when connected directly to my PC has no lights coming from the Ethernet port. Ping test also fails based on the IP Address I should assign my PC for Drobo 5N. Drobo Dashboard is unable to find the D5N.

I did the following Support sent me:

I had two 3TB WD Red HDDs installed on the D5N. Will I be able to pull all the files that was stored in the HDDs?

hi the “a scratched front panel with a sticker asking me to ship the front cover back to them” seems to be the norm,
eg when my drobo-s had a physical power switch fault, i got a replacement and usually the scratch panel gets used in shipping, and then we keep our own original one.

i followed the instructions from support and was able to end up with my disk pack working fine on the new drobo (though it was a das model).

do you have any other computer that you could try, to see if it recognises the drobo too? (just to change one more variable for testing)?

(actually just thinking about the cover, it might be the same front cover that gets shipped around to all) (joke) :smiley:


Like other RAID storage device… the disk array is not readable as individual drive. Meaning you can’t take each of the drive and plug it into a dock or external USB enclosure and read off the data. It does;t work that way same as Drobo Disk Pack.