Use existing HD


I upgraded my Imac from 500 GB to 2TB internal HD. Can I just put the old 500 MB HD into the Drobo - it still has all the old data on it?

Thank you



drobo will IMMEDIATELY wipe it - without any warning[hr]
or do you mean “does it matter if it has data on it” in which case the answer is:

yes you can put it into drobo and drobo will wipe it and start using it without any problems :slight_smile:

(i just wanted to get the “dont lose your data” message posted fast :wink:

Hello Dochris,

thank you for your quick reply. The data on the old disk does not matter anymore. It is:

  • copied onto the new 2TB internal HD and the computer is working. All software is running
  • I have a bootable backup on the Drobo anyway
  • I have another Drobo offsite with all the data on it

I just wanted to find out if I have to delete the data of the old HD before I put it into the Drobo. The Drobo can wipe the data, I do not care.

Thanks again

in that case just put it in to drobo - drobo completely ignores anything already on the disk and wipes it :)[hr]
i was just worried as some people think drobo acts like a regular hard drive caddy i.e. i put my hard disk full of important data in it - and suddenly it is now available via drobo…which is NOT how it works at all!

Can you actually put in 2 new discs into the Drobo at the same time or is it better to wait until Drobo has finished the re-layout process before you put in a second disc?

put as many as you like in - drobo will prompt you to format the volume

On my new Drobo FS, when I put drives that were previously in other NAS units I got an error message that they weren’t compatible with the firmware. This happened with 5 different drives. So I decided to remove the partitions ( they were Linux partitions) and formatted them to HFS+. Put it in and it worked great. The Drobo erased the disk and all was fine. Perhaps the Drobo cannot deal with oddly partitioned disks.


that is very strange, i have never heard of that before.

I know which got me really nervous. I even pulled a drive from one of my other Drobos and the same thing happened. Something about disk packs not being compatible with this firmware and if I’d like to check for an update. Sure enough deleting the partitions allowed it to work.

I don’t know what to make of it. The FS seems to be great otherwise.


I’d file a case with support so they can raise a bug report internally. It looks like whatever mechanism they use to recognize a drive that has been in a Drobo before is having a “false positive” on drives from other Drobos or from Linux, and they are not correctly offering you the choice to reformat that drive.

You should not need to have to play with the partition tables in order to get the Drobo to accept the drive, 95% of DRI’s target customer base would not know how to do that, and may not have a spare computer or USB case/dock/adapter cable to do it in.

if the issue only arises with particularly unusually formatted drives (i.e. specific linux filesystems) - then i suspect that someone capable of setting up and running an “unusual” OS would be able to wipe a drive.

DRI’s target base will probably never see a non-NTFS/HFS formatted drive in their life!

Probably true, but there are cases like these:
a) migrating drives from one Drobo to another

b) re-using drives from another NAS that you replaced with a Drobo

that are clearly the kinds of thinks that the bulk of DRI’s customers may do.

It looks like there’s a bug under here that they should be made aware of and deal with.

migrating drives from one drobo to another is supported in some cases and not in others, if it is supported, the drobo will simply boot, if it is not - then it will prompt you and you can return the drive to its original drobo.

true from a different NAS would cause issues, but if i read the OP right - he was trying to set up his drobo.

i suspect just adding the drive to an existing drobo - it would have wiped it, it was the fact that drobo was trying to start-up from that drive was causing the issue, in which case i think that just leaving the drive ni drobo and doing a “reset” of drobo would have also wiped it successfully.

You should have been able to go into advanced controls > tools tab and RESET the drives without having to format them in another system.

If I’m adding one pre-used drive to an existing Drobo with two or three drives in, won’t that wipe the whole thing?

Yes, any data on a drive used in a different system will be wiped when put into the drobo.

Unless I misread this forum. I was under the impression it was a brand new set up and the user put drives from a different system in a brand new FS.

I was moving 4 drives from an older Drobo and one drive from a dlink dns323 (linux) to the FS. I thought I would put them in, turn it on, and be given the option to format. Instead, I was present with the set incompatible with the current firmware and it asked if I wanted to check for a firmware upgrade. There was one so I figured it was that, but the problem remained. I then went about adding them one at a time. Same thing. Tried other drive that had linux partitions and the same thing happened. So I deleted the partitions on one of the drives on an external esata drive holder that is easy to insert and remove a drive. The first one worked, so I tried another and it worked too. I then populated the Drobo FS. I have 3 drives to go and I guess they will now work, but if I had to press RESET I would lose everything on the 2 drives that have data on them.

I do think Drobo should have just asked if I wanted them formatted. You should not have to press RESET as that will erase all the drives. Something is wrong with all of this.


hats the issue , i dont think it was clear previously - drobo FS was trying to upgrade yoru existing drobo diskpack - which is sensible - you dont really want it automatically wiping drives which may have data on!

it couldn’t do the upgrade, but asked to check if there was a newer firmware which perhaps could handle the upgrade,.

hang on - what do you mean yo uhave drives to go…

and you are concerned abtou wiping data???

STOP WHAT YOU are doing now! (i’ll post again in a moment…)

That is precisely the point. It was only after a while that I realized that RESET did the job. Much safer to deleted the partitions on another system. I had no idea what was happening at first.


You put a newly formatted blank drive in your drobo correct?

this created a brand new droboFS disk pack - totally blank and currently in your droboFS

if you have two drives with data on them DO NOT insert them into your droboFS… it will WIPE them and add their storage capacities them to your NEW disk pack.[hr]
so i have tried re-reading the thread, but its not clear… you had FOUR drives from an old drobo.

so where are these two drives with data on, from? you don’t think that two of the four from your old drobo have data on and two do not, do you?

from reading the thread it sounds almost as if you dont get the concept of how drobo pools storage. and you think that you were creating partitions on individual drives rather than on the drobo disk pack as a whole, and that when you add those drives back into your new drobo those partitions will again become accessible?

i very much hope i am mis-reading this as fi that is correct you ay have already wiped half of your old disk pack, and when you add the left over drives into your new droboFS then those will be wiped too…

please do update us!