Hard Drives Go Bad.
Hard drives go bad, it is just a simple fact of the technology. It isn’t a matter of if the hard drive will fail, it is a matter of when. In 2015 I purchased a Drobo 5D, so that I could get an easy to use redundant storage solution set up at home for the hundreds of thousands of photos I accumulate in the course of performing my job as photographer both in the studio and at events. I had the opportunity to buy a few used 2TB drives which were designed to be used in a storage environment such as a drobo, so even though I knew it would be taking a chance to use used drives I went ahead and purchased them so that I could get the unit started while spending a little less money. I knew they were just 2tb and I wanted to replace them with something larger in the future anyway, but just a month after installing I had one of the hard drives go bad in the unit. This was before I had fully committed to the unit, so I still had all of my photos on a couple of other drives and had the luxury of not being stressed about how the unit might perform.
What Happened Next?
Happily, I can say that it performed exactly as it should have. It rebuilt the storage, told me to remove the bad drive (easily located with the red light), and to replace it at my convenience. I purchased a brand new 4tb Western Digital Enterprise Edition storage drive to replace the dead 2tb drive. All I had to do was pop the drive into the slot, put the cover back on, and the Drobo took care of everything else! I didn’t lose a single file, and I had the use of the unit and access to my files during the process. I have to say that I’ve been using the Drobo 5D for 100% of my photos for the last 6 months and it has performed exactly as it should, quick and quiet. I can highly recommend this device for redundant storage.
On a related note, just having on site storage is never enough. You should also have an off site storage plan as well. I have Crash Plan installed on my editing computer, and it backs up all of the photos on my Drobo to cloud storage. So, in the event of fire or theft, or multiple hard drives go bad in the Drobo all at once, I still have my photos. Use the adage “Two is one, one is none” when it comes to backing up your photos, and you will never regret it.