Drobo cannot currently protect your data

Was greeted with an ominous message starting up my Drobo FS backup device the other day.

A quick search on the Internet revealed a reference to this error message on a Data Robotics support page.

The rebuild or relayout process seems to be taking a long time — those green and yellow lights are still flashing. Is this expected behavior?

“A number of factors can cause your Drobo storage device to go into relayout/rebuild. During the relayout process, you will see a message indicating “Drobo cannot currently protect your data against hard drive failure.” This message tells you to take precautions. Do not turn off the power to your Drobo device during a relayout. However, you may disconnect it from your host computer, by ejecting (Mac) or Safely Removing Hardware (PC).”

Just like what could happen with a conventional RAID system, one or more of the hard drives inside my Drobo was out of sync. I let the Drobo rebuild itself and after a few hours, all was well again.



Filed under Third Party Hardware, Third Party Software, Troubleshooting

4 responses to “Drobo cannot currently protect your data

  1. I have had this happen to me twice in the past 6 weeks. Both times I noticed the red alert upon returning home, and within seconds the alert disappeared. Both times, looking at the Drobo FS showed 5 x green lights. So I figure while I was out it found an issue and fixed it by the time I was home?

  2. bsteeves

    Yes, that’s what happened. It indicates that there are enough bad sectors on one of your drives that the Drobo had to take action to re-layout the data. One of my pet peaves about the Drobo dashboard software is that it doesn’t tell you *which* drive has the problem, but that info is in the (encrypted) diagnostic file you can ask the dashboard to generate. If you send that file to Data Robotics, they can tell you which drive is starting to fail.

    Keep in mind that a disk can run for months or years with bad sectors and you won’t have any more issues, but the Drobo’s helpful early warning system is somewhat less than useful if it only gives you half the story!

  3. Vincent

    I pulled out and re-inserted a drive with the power off my Drobo 2nd gen, and because of that it’s been “relayout-ing” for three days now. And the estimated time keeps changing, from 3 to 46 to 192 hours, now it’s back to 47. Evidently if I had pulled out all for drives this wouldn’t have happened according to one of the countless help pages in the Drobo forums. I hate this damn box and have zero confidence in it.

    • David Scott

      Vincent, I’ve been having the same problem with my 2nd Generation Drobo. One of my original 1.5 T drives from 2008 failed 5 days ago and last night I finally opted to re-initiate the whole process of “re-laying out” in desperate hope that it can eventually get through the job. After 100 hours yesterday my Drobo started disconnecting from my iMac altogether and occasionally showing a red light on the new 2 T drive I put in. When that happened I opted to pull the drive (because what could it hurt since it was already disconnecting itself and showing a red light?). I then inserted the new (Toshiba 2T) drive in an external bay and via Disk Utility erased the sucker and gave it a Mac OS Extended, journaled format. I am aware that Drobo will re-format it but was wondering if there was something f***d up with its original generic Toshiba format that was causing Drobo to hang up. Anyway, if you ever read this and have the time I am interested in how your story played out. I have yet to call Drobo Support as everything I have read on line about procedure is already being followed to a “T”, except for my recent erase and reformat.. “Upgrade to a new Drobo” is not what I wish to hear from them…

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