Very strange and irritating problems with 2nd gen Drobo

I have a Gen 2 Drobo which I’m having huge issues with. The issues are of different kinds, and pretty hard to describe in a good way. But I’ll try anyway.

I have not opened a support case yet, mainly because I don’t really know how to describe the issues. So I’ll try here and we’ll see what You guys say.

The Drobo is connected via USB to a modern high-performance PC running 32bit Vista. Drobo firmware and dashboard are upgradet to the latest versions. Vista and all the drivers are updated as well. The PC have a very solid and stable setup, with 9.9 stability points (Performance and Stability, Administrative tools).

Drobo running 3x1.5 TB + 1 TB. The volume is set up to 16TB. It’s over 90% full right now.

Issue #1: Boot time

Taken that my PC does recognize the Drobo at boot time, the boot takes hours, literally. I haven’t clocked it, but I’d say ~2 hours. Drobo mounts just fine after boot is complete. Is this boot time normal?

Issue #2: Drobo not recognized

Most of the times i boot my computer, the drobo is not recognized at boot time. When this happens, it does not mount after boot is complete (boot takes under a minute in this case). Rebooting the drobo sometime helps, letting Vista recognize the drobo and mounting it. But often I just get the “A USB device failed to”-message. Most of the times, the only way to solve this is to shut down the PC, reboot the drobo, and turn on the PC when the drobo is in the boot state.

Issue #3: Drobo fails when rebooting.

My Drobo constantly get’s in the “continuous reboot”-state, flashing red and blue lights and then spinning the drives down. I have found a workaround that actually works basicly every time: Turn off the drobo. Pop a drive but let it stay in the casing. Turn on the drobo, and reseat the drive when the status lights start to move from left to right. The drobo then boots as it should, and there’s no relayout. The method described in the KB sometimes work, but mostly not.

This issue have increased heavilly as I’ve filled my Drobo with data. I never had this issue six months ago.

The really strange thing is that all these issues seems complete random! I can reboot my computer several times, with the drobo being recognized and the boot time only 15-20 minutes or so. And then randomly, the drobo enters the continuous reboot state. Even after dealing with the continuous reboot issue, the Drobo wont mount. Even after power cycling both the drobo and PC, the problem persists. Then, out of nowhere, the PC boots up fine, the drobo mounts, and everything is working ok. For a while…

It has happened that the drobo entered the continuous reboot state out of the blue while the computer is up and running and everything is ok, but normally it only happens during reboot (I tend to try to not reboot/shut down my computer, but sometimes it’s unavoidable, and my drobo gives me a headache almost every time :confused:

I’ve had very similiar issues with the drobo hooed to a Dell XPS M1330 laptop.

So, what do you think? Is there a possible technical issue? Should I create one support ticket for all of my issues (since they probably are related), or should I create one for each kind of issue? Should I try to have my Drobo replaced? (It’s still less than a year since I bought it).

I’m really thankful for all replies! :slight_smile:


I haven’t seen issues #2 or #3, but I have seen issue #1 on my Vista x64 machine with Drobo connected directly. I have a large volume (3.6 TB at the time, now it’s 5.42 TB) and it would take 10-15 minutes between the Windows scrolling-bar boot screen to the windows logo and login screen.

I normally have my Drobo on DroboShare though, and don’t have these delay problems there.

Generally speaking it’s better to create a support ticket for each individual issue. That way DRI’s metrics are better represented, especially if one of the issues can be resolved before another, etc. It’ll prevent things from falling through the cracks.

I’m thinking, is it possible that my extremely long boot time is due to the fact that I have a farily large volume (5.5 TB in reality, 8 TB volume, not 16 TB as I wrote earlier) that is very full, and that the drobo slows down considerably when it’s very full?

I do have a Drobo Share which I haven’t put into use yet, mainly due to considerations about upload speed. I guess I’m used to use µTorrent, although it would be very nice to run all torrents on the Drobo Share, freeing up resources on the PC (Which also serves as an HTPC). Rign now I have the PC hooked straight to the cable modem for speed reasons, but I’m not sure how much upload speed I would loose, if any, by running all torrents through drobo share hooked up to a WRT54GL running DD-WRT. It would probably solve many of my issues, as the drobo wouldn’t reboot just because I rebooted my computer.

I think I will go ahead and hook up my drobo share, and see if I have any issues left after that :slight_smile:

I’m in the same boat using uTorrent on a PC right now… I was going to share the Drobo from another PC, but that PC is running XP 32-bit so it can’t directly mount my 16TB (5.42 actual) volume.

As far as data transfer speed goes, DroboShare is slower than a connected PC. But for the purpose of torrents, unless you have a 80+ Mbps Internet connection, you won’t notice a difference - the Internet download speed is still going to be the limiting factor.

I’ve experienced your issue #3 and found the problem for me was with the power cord. With some of the earlier Drobos, there was an issue with extra plastic (too thick) around the plug which plugs into the Drobo and it would not fully connect until it was really pushed in hard. When initially attached, there seemed to be enough power for the Drobo to boot and the lights to light but not enough for the drives to work properly and so, the Drobo would keep rebooting. Try turning/twisting your power cord into the back of the Drobo and see if it goes in a bit further. There will be resistance because the plastic casing on the plug is slightly too large for the hole but with the twisting it will fit.

I was having several problems with my Drobo until I found this issue mentioned on the old forums. Once my power cord was fully engaged, my problems went away.

@walle yes please open a support case if you have not already.