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Thread: Best idea's on adding external HD with a HR24 500 whole home system.

  1. #1
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    Best idea's on adding external HD with a HR24 500 whole home system.

    I would like to add an external hard drive to my hr24-500. And need to know what HD would be best to use/ most compatible, and easy to set up? Looking at 1-2 TB.

    Thanks,
    1J


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  3. #2
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    Several things to consider.

    First off, the boxes are NOT compatible with the new 3TB drives at this time. This may or may not be solved with a software patch in the future, but even in PC's most older computers need a controller card in order to use a 3+TB drive.

    Second: Do not cheap out on those "Green" drives - their power saving features tend to cause problems in applications outside of a regular 'desktop' computer. All of the manufacturers make a "Media grade" drive specifically designed for use in DVR's and media servers. Use one of those. I am partial to WD, and if there is a reason that I don't use WD for a particular application, I use Hitachi. I've had bad experiences with Seagates, but YMMV.

    Third, look for drives that do NOT use the new Advanced Format. Basically you do not want any drive that says anything about '4k sectors', you want '512k sectors'. The newer ones will work, but what happens is that when the drive controller 'fakes' the old format system it makes the drive do a lot of extra work, and it causes them to fail prematurely.

    Fourth - and this is the biggie - the external drive capacity REPLACES the internal drive. It does not add to it. So your unit has (I believe) 750GB internal. You will not get 2.75TB by adding the 2TB external drive, you will only have 2TB. IMO this is stupid and DirecTV should change it, but just don't be surprised when the capacity isn't what you expect. On this same note (which reinforces the stupidity of the setup), you will 'lose' everything stored on the internal drive while the external drive is connected. In order to go back and watch programs that were stored on the internal drive you have to disconnect the external drive and reboot. It's tedious and takes a lot of time, so for all intents and purposes consider the programs on the internal drive gone.

    As for setup, All you need to do is buy an external, POWERED enclosure that has an eSATA port. Install the new drive into the enclosure, plug it into the eSATA port on the back of the HR24 (not the USB port, that will not work), and do a red button reboot. The new external drive will be recognized automatically and it will ask you if you want to format it. Once formatted it's ready to go!
    Last edited by JerseyMatt; 06-06-2011 at 01:34 AM.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyMatt View Post
    Several things to consider.

    First off, the boxes are NOT compatible with the new 3TB drives at this time. This may or may not be solved with a software patch in the future, but even in PC's most older computers need a controller card in order to use a 3+TB drive.

    Second: Do not cheap out on those "Green" drives - their power saving features tend to cause problems in applications outside of a regular 'desktop' computer. All of the manufacturers make a "Media grade" drive specifically designed for use in DVR's and media servers. Use one of those. I am partial to WD, and if there is a reason that I don't use WD for a particular application, I use Hitachi. I've had bad experiences with Seagates, but YMMV.

    Third, look for drives that do NOT use the new Advanced Format. Basically you do not want any drive that says anything about '4k sectors', you want '512k sectors'. The newer ones will work, but what happens is that when the drive controller 'fakes' the old format system it makes the drive do a lot of extra work, and it causes them to fail prematurely.

    Fourth - and this is the biggie - the external drive capacity REPLACES the internal drive. It does not add to it. So your unit has (I believe) 750GB internal. You will not get 2.75TB by adding the 2TB external drive, you will only have 2TB. IMO this is stupid and DirecTV should change it, but just don't be surprised when the capacity isn't what you expect. On this same note (which reinforces the stupidity of the setup), you will 'lose' everything stored on the internal drive while the external drive is connected. In order to go back and watch programs that were stored on the internal drive you have to disconnect the external drive and reboot. It's tedious and takes a lot of time, so for all intents and purposes consider the programs on the internal drive gone.

    As for setup, All you need to do is buy an external, POWERED enclosure that has an eSATA port. Install the new drive into the enclosure, plug it into the eSATA port on the back of the HR24 (not the USB port, that will not work), and do a red button reboot. The new external drive will be recognized automatically and it will ask you if you want to format it. Once formatted it's ready to go!
    Nice post Matt.

    I agree with the majority of what you posted here, however, when you mention you will "LOSE" your internal programs when the EHD is set up, is kinda the wrong way to say it, as you know you don't lose it, just can't access it with the EHD.
    You mention that it's tedious and time consuming to go back, then in the next sentence you say to do it, unplug the EHD and reboot ....

    Doesn't sound like it's a big deal. (as long as you have access to unplugging it, it's not a big deal to do) .... really doesn't take much more time than a software update or typical reboot.

    Also, I have has great luck with the Seagate 750 and 1.5tb EHD's, however they are older units as I haven't bought a new one in 3 or so years, so no telling what kind of luck you'd have with the newer stuff ...
    Last edited by Jimbo; 06-06-2011 at 05:50 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I agree with the majority of what you posted here, however, when you mention you will "LOSE" your internal programs when the EHD is set up, is kinda the wrong way to say it, as you know you don't lose it, just can't access it with the EHD.
    That's why I put 'lose' in quotes and used the qualifier "while the external drive is connected"..

    You mention that it's tedious and time consuming to go back, then in the next sentence you say to do it, unplug the EHD and reboot ....

    Doesn't sound like it's a big deal. (as long as you have access to unplugging it, it's not a big deal to do) .... really doesn't take much more time than a software update or typical reboot.
    Exactly. It's not a big deal, but something doesn't need to be difficult in order to be tedious. Tedious means something takes too long, or happens too slow, or is boring. I just timed it, and a RBR takes 4 minutes 35 seconds from powerup to watchable. A software update could easily double that. Your average computer boots up in about 30 - 45 seconds. If you have a slow one it may be a minute, minute and a half. But would you put up with having to wait 5 -10 minutes for it to boot up every time you wanted to change a disk in the CD drive? I can't imagine waiting on that every time you want to switch between drives (imagine if it caught a software update during the reboot??). D* could very easily enable both drives simultaneously, and that's how it should be done. That's how EVERY other provider's (expandable) DVR works. The way it works now almost defeats the purpose of even having the eSATA port to begin with.

    Also, I have has great luck with the Seagate 750 and 1.5tb EHD's, however they are older units as I haven't bought a new one in 3 or so years, so no telling what kind of luck you'd have with the newer stuff ...
    Yeah a few years ago I had a Seagate crash not too long after I bought it, then the warranty replacement was DOA, and I had a bitch of a time with their customer service during this. It was enough to make me swear them off forever.
    Last edited by JerseyMatt; 06-06-2011 at 06:54 AM.

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    Matt I was curious on what Hitachi models your recommending. I'm looking in the 1.5-2tb range. I got the WD10EADS that I have seen recommended on here and so far I have not been able to get it to work-Very disappointed. I have a Thermaltake docking station and when I reset the reciver the first time it gave me a error message. Ever since no matter what I do I can't get it to read the drive, it just bypasses it and goes to the internal drive. Thanks

  7. #6
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    Hitachi is one brand that doesn't actually make a "media grade" drive (I should've put 'almost all'). They have consumer grade (Deskstar) and enterprise grade (Ultrastar). To be honest, the Deskstar drives have served me well, and they are relatively cheap. I use them in my media server. HOWEVER, I'll just say that for a DVR I would go with an Ultrastar, only because they are designed for the constant read/write it'll be doing. Even in a home/small business server the drives are mostly idle. In a DVR with the live buffer it is being written to and read from nonstop and that will put a serious hurt on a consumer drive. Ultrastars are about twice the price, but for that you're getting a full 5 year replacement warranty (vs 3 year on the Deskstar).

    The WDxxEADS drives are the 'green' ones. Like I said, they tend to be troublemakers outside of a plain vanilla computer. The other ones to stay away from are the WDxxEARS - these are the new Advanced Format version. For a WD I would recommend a WDBAAZ0015 or 20, which are Black drives with the old format, costing about 50% more than the green versions.

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