Since I’ve gotten a Drobo, I have to say, I really enjoy it. It’s nice having a user friendly RAID array of drives not just for the capacity they provide, but for the data protection they provide. In case you’re wondering about more reasons why you’d want one, check out this previous Photofocus article here.

So I’ve been dragging my feet on this for quite a while. I know I’ve needed to do it, but for fear of it being a “big deal” I’ve been putting off migrating and updating from my Drobo Generation 3 to my new Drobo 5D. “It’s the busy season” I kept telling myself. “If something goes wrong I don’t have time to deal with it”. Excuses, excuses.

Finally, after doing a bit of research, all the signs point to “Lisa, get over yourself. This isn’t brain surgery.” Drobo has a helpful page here to assist in migration and after verifying that moving from the Drobo Gen 3 to Drobo 5D was really just a few simple steps, I decided to get on with it. Here’s what happened:

Step 1: Upgrade Firmware on Both Drobos

Seems simple enough, but wait…my new 5D doesn’t have any drives because it’s brand new. After reasoning with myself that that doesn’t matter, the firmware writes internally to the device, I looked again at the quick start instructions to get it up and running and noticed it says you should put drives in first. Well how am I going to verify the firmware, without turning it on, and if it says to put drives in it first, I can’t do that because it will only erase the data on the drives that I’m trying to put in there. Ugh! So I took a leap and just plugged it in to my computer anyway. Up popped the 5D in my Drobo Dashboard. I went to Tools then software updates and Drobo Dashboard reported it was all up to date on both software and firmware. While I was at it, I double checked my Drobo Gen 3. Same story. Sweet! On to step 2.

Step 2: Power off Drobos and Move Drives

No problems here. Easy peasy.

Step 3: Power on and Connect Your New Drobo

The 5D mounts in Drobo Dashboard and I breathe a sigh of relief until I see the color green turn to red. Here’s where I ran into a glitch. An error pops up that I don’t have the proper firmware and there may be an updated version that will fix it.


Ugh! What?! I checked that!! I go back to the Drobo Dashboard Tools and check for new updates. Nada. Says everything is fine. So I decide to go back to the Drobo support website and search for the latest firmware (which can be found in this article).  After checking the version numbers, indeed, my Drobo Dashboard was withholding the truth from me. There WAS another update! Thankfully, right next to the article telling me there was an update, I found not only the link to download it, but the link on how to install it manually (which was super simple). Once I installed it and restarted, voila! Everything turned green and the new 5D was ready to go.

I was relieved that although the road wasn’t 100% smooth sailing, the hiccups were just that…minor and fleeting. Now after a 15 minute investment of time, I’m all set and ready to focus back on more important things like PHOTOS!