Can I move my disk pack ( drives ) from one Drobo storage device to another?

Article Id: AA-01707 Last updated date: 08-21-2017

Article Id: AA-01707 Last updated date: 04-11-2017

This Knowledge Base article will guide you through the steps in order to migrate a disk-pack from one Drobo to another. While migrations between Drobo's of the same family are supported, it is important that these guidelines are followed. Read our web page entitled Drobo Migration to see which Drobo disk packs can be migrated to other Drobo products.

Important! In order to safely migrate a Drobo disk-pack onto another Drobo, the following criteria must be met:


  • In order to migrate a disk pack to a newer unit the source Drobo must be in a stable state. Specifically, you must be able to access your data and the bay lights must all be green.  If the Source Drobo is not working in any way contact Support before moving your drives.


  • Ensure that all Drobo's are using the most current firmware and the latest Drobo Dashboard
  • Moving drives from one Drobo to another must be done as a pack or as a whole set.
  • Moving a drive individually will erase all data on that drive and add the space to the capacity of the destination system.
  • Disk-pack migration is usually a one-way process, meaning that it is important that you validate that your disk-pack can be migrated.
  • You should never mix and match drives from different disk-packs unless you intended to erase the data on the drives.
  • It is recommended that disk-packs are not >90% full.
  • If a Drobo is in a relayout process, it is strongly recommended that you wait for the relayout to complete before migrating the disk-pack onto another Drobo.
  • If your current Drobo is formatted for 16TB or something less and you migrate drives to newer Drobo, the volume will stay at 16TB or whatever you have chosen. See the following knowledge base article if you wish to achieve 64TB volume size.

How to move a diskpack?

  • Safely shut down both the source and destination units. For instructions, see: How do I safely shut down my Drobo?
  • Remove all the drives from the original unit.
  • Insert them into the destination unit, making sure they make a firm connection with the backplane.
  • Connect the data cable and power cord to your destination unit and start it up.

If you do not see your desired migration path listed above, the only way to "migrate" your data is to use your computer. In other words, you must have both devices connected to your computer and simply copy the data from one Drobo device to the other. Please see for more information.

Drobo 1st Gen and 2nd Gen! The following applies to users that own a Drobo 1st or 2nd Generation and are wanting to migrate their disk-pack onto the Drobo 3rd Generation, migration to the Drobo 5D3 is not supported.

  • Drobo 1st Gen must be on firmware 1.3.6 or later (1.3.8 Recommended).
  • Drobo 2nd Gen must be on firmware 1.4.2. 
  • If the Drobo was initially formatted on firmware version 1.0.3 or earlier, the disk-pack cannot be migrated onto the new Drobo. Therefore, data will need to be copied onto the new Drobo.
  • If you purchased your Drobo 1st Gen on or Before JAN-2008 you may need to call support to validate that your disk pack can be migrated.
  • Ensure that a proper shutdown is performed on the Drobo 1st Gen by placing the Drobo into Standby via Drobo Dashboard, and then ejecting the power connector.

*If you have been upgrading your 1st generation Drobo all along, you might not be aware of what the firmware version was when you first created the disk pack. Unfortunately, there is no full-proof way of determining this. However, if you recall that the largest volume size allowed was 2TB (i. e., 4TB, 8TB and 16TB were not available) AND you were running Windows Vista or OS X, then there is a good chance that you will not be able to migrate the disk pack. You can, however, copy the data to other media, add the drives from your 1st generation Drobo to your new Drobo storage device and then copy the data back to your newer Drobo. This will at least allow you to use the hard drives accordingly.

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