Yellow light for old volume

Drobo 5D3 and dashboard show a yellow light and asking if I want to format the new volume. Problem is… it’s not a new volume. It’s been in there for 2 years.

Sometimes drobo won’t show in dashboard and I’ll have to manually restart the drobo.

Should I just reformat it as it suggests?

Hi there.
You can reformat, but you will lose all data. If you have an external backup then you could proceed, and would need to reload your data.

If you want to trouble shoot it further, can you post some screenshots of your Dashboard as it is not clear from your post what your setup is and what’s at play.

it says it’s only going to reformat the one drive.

If it’s only going to format the one drive, I don’t mind trying it. If it doesn’t work I don’t mind going and buying a new drive. But I’ve read a few of the other similar problems with yellow light and they say that even with a new drive, the same yellow light appears. I’ve tried shut down and resetting the drives (in the same location). Maybe I should rearrange the drives and see what happens (?)

Thanks for sharing some images.
If you rearrange your HDD array you will definitely lose all your data.
It seems that something has gone wrong with a single drive.

My advice:
While you can, make an external backup of your data (if not already)
I would then let Drobo reformat and reallocate all your data across the full HDD Array.
Optionally, replace that specific drive with a new 4TB or greater HDD capacity

Likely if you let the Drobo reformat your ‘problem’ HDD it will return to ‘green’ but be noted as ‘Healed’ which is still OK to use.

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Ok great, thanks for your replies. I will try a reformat of the existing one and head out to buy a new replacement volume. Cheers

Well I shut it down using the dashboard, replaced the 4TB with an new 8TB and now I’ve got all reds with one flashing, cycles through to all solid yellows and then seems to try and restart. This is not looking good.

Did you make an external backup beforehand?
Also, what was the result after you let it format the original 4TB?

I can’t back up 26TB. I shut it down again and restarted. Now it’s saying data protection is taking place and not to remove any drives until it’s completed. The second message keeps coming up to reformat the new volume. So I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I guess it can take a while to do its thing. I can still access the content on it, so that’s encouraging.

The only other thing I noticed was the bottom drive was pretty hot. I have recently moved the drobos location and positioning (was on its side before, now sitting “normally”). But the ventilation should be better now, not worse.

OK - ride out the data protection. Could be 24-48 hours though.
Post again when you have some news.
Good Luck.

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Thanks for your help TT. It’s all green now and seems to be running normally. I was stressed for a bit. I want to make my MacOS home folder on my drobo, so a failure like it was shaping up to be was a worry.

If you now check your Drobo capacity on the Dashboard, I’m sure your data won’t be across all 26TB, as there is data duplication in place.
If you can afford to, purchase some external HDDs (or repurpose some old ones) and copy your data across to them as your external backup of your working Drobo just for peace of mind.

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Capacity It says 14.12TB used, 3.9TB unallocated space, free space 1.87TB

Usage it says 19.9TB availed for data, 0 reserved for expansion, 7.35TB used for protection and 35.02GB overhead…

Doesn’t seem right to me…

It keeps saying there is a volume that isn’t formatted. But all drives are green. There is a “1” in orange circle saying I need to format it…

Can you post some screen shots of the Dashboard? Just want to be sure,
I assume you can access all your data in the meantime?

Hi, yes, all data accessible. I click to “remind me later” for the formatting. I’m pretty sure previous times I’ve replaced drives It’s just done everything automatically. The other thing that may be of relevance is the firmware… the dashboard is running on 3.3.0 because I’m still on El Capitan. New computer with Catalina is arriving soon where I will be able to update the firmware image image image image image / dashboard to the latest.

Your last image is the explanation.

Despite the 30TB of HDD capacity that you have now loaded in your Drobo, when your Drobo was originally set up it was only provisioned for 16TB maximum volumes. With more recent firmware updates, this has now been increased on the 5D3 to a single 64TB volume. So what you’re seeing is normal, and what happened is you progressively added capacity which exceeded the original 16TB set volume size, so Drobo created another volume for you to use. This is known as ‘thin-provisioning’.

The volume size is set when Drobo was first initialized, and cannot be changed unless you do a complete factory reset, which of course would also erase your data stored on it.

If you want to only have data stored in 1 volume, you would need to:

Copy off your data to external HDDs (14TB+)
Ensure your Drobo has the latest firmware installed
Perform the full factory reset of your Drobo
Confirm on your Dashboard that you have a single volume (equal to your HDD array capacity as loaded)
Reinstall your data.

Alternatively, if you wanted to run 2 volumes, you could format the second volume, but you would be limited to 16TB Capacity (in both) minus data protection - and that would depend on how it magically utilises the variety of HDDs you have currently. If you swap-in larger HDDs later on, again the Drobo would create yet another 16TB volume and on it goes. Each volume would show up on your computer screen as a separate icon (as separate external HDDs) and you could also move data between them.

Good Luck - probably not what you wanted to read, but you will run out of storage capacity on the first volume again shortly and wonder why.

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Ah. Ok… obviously I would prefer everything as one volume… not sure how I’m going to do this I may be able to use drives in my old computer for temporary storage while sorting out the drobo on the new computer… thanks for your help.

Well I am finally underway. After buying 3 x 5 TB external drives to get the data off my drobo, I have restored it to factory setting and created a 64TB volume. If I ever need more than that, then something has gone incredibly wrong! So far the speeds using thunderbolt with the new Mac are insane. A transcode that would take over 24 hours before while using the internal drives of the Mac - is now taking a few hours using the drobo. Not to mention doing multiple tasks at the same time both into and out of the drobo. Home folder of Mac set up on drobo - only potential issue I see is if the Mac starts up before the drobo it may start looking for a home folder that it can’t find yet as the drobo spools up. Thanks again for your help.

Good to hear.
Best to follow the Drobo Drive Selector fo the selection of your HDDs in the future too

Note that there is an issue with HDDs that use the new Shingled Data Protocol.

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