Can a replacement hopper use the original's hard drive temporarily? (1 Viewer)

z71px

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 5, 2015
10
4
CO, USA
Sorry if this is a FAQ. I looked but didn't see this exact question being asked.

My leased Hopper died—won't power on even after plug reset. The fan runs at top speed but everything else is dead, no lights, power button unresponsive, drive doesn't spin up, nothin'. Dish sent a replacement, a refurbished unit which I haven't yet activated or even plugged in. I have to send the old Hopper back soon.

You can guess where this is going. 2 years' worth of my wife's "watch later" recordings are on the DVR, and I'd like to transfer them to the new Hopper. The Dish CSR said they're not recoverable, since I didn't make a backup on an external drive and can't make one now that the receiver won't even power on.

So I thought maybe swap the drives. I can't take them out because of the tamper detection stickers, but I can put in some longer SATA cables to have the new Hopper use the old hard drive. Then I'm hoping I can use an external hard drive to do what I should've done before: make a backup.

So has anyone done this? Assuming the old drive is OK, will it work in the new Hopper? Does the new Hopper have to be activated first? If it does work and I get the recordings backed up, will the replacement Hopper still work when I reconnect it to its own drive?
 

Jim5506

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Oct 19, 2004
7,352
2,046
Lubbock, Texas
I believe since the ViP series of DVRs that Dish DVRs do not have the HDD coded to match the motherboard (married) anymore, so, I'd activate the new receiver and try jumpering the old HDD to the new receiver and see what happens.

If it works, you can get an EHD and copy all the wife's content to it and then put things back in order and send the old dead receiver back and still have all the recordings plus the new receiver.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheKrell

z71px

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 5, 2015
10
4
CO, USA
So the new Hopper has to be activated before I can access the DVR and copy stuff over to the EHD?

Do I need to swap G4 cards?
 
Last edited:

dishrich

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
3,290
342
Springfield, IL
So I thought maybe swap the drives. I can't take them out because of the tamper detection stickers

As long as the sticker is over the actual drive & the holder it screwed in, sure you can...just leave the original drive in it's bracket, then unscrew the holder itself from the board, then get a piece of insulating material (I used a plastic container lid), plug the new drive in & just lay it in the same area on the plastic; you do NOT have to put the drive back in the holder. The receiver will work fine & you can x-fer the contents off the drive.
Then just put the other drive back in; NO need to touch the sticker & no one will be the wiser...
 

z71px

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 5, 2015
10
4
CO, USA
Clever! I went ahead did this.

Without swapping the G4 cards or anything, I plugged in the new Hopper with the old drive attached, and just the HDMI connection to my TV. After a minute of "starting up", the Hopper checked my switch configuration and then tried acquiring a satellite signal. I didn't have the coaxial cable plugged in, so of course there was no signal to get. At that point I just pressed the Menu button on the front panel, and it took me to the menu.

The good news is I can go to DVR and see all the recordings. The old drive works!

The bad news is when I go to Recordings Transfer, I get "To manage DISH recordings on your External Hard Drive this feature must be activated" and points me to the Dish website and phone number.

I think I have no choice but to hook up the coax and let the new Hopper phone home, do whatever I need to do to activate it, and then activate the EHD feature so I can make the backups. Then reattach the new Hopper's own drive and hope it doesn't freak out. Right?
 

z71px

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 5, 2015
10
4
CO, USA
Indeed...shouldn't have waited.

So I attached the rest of the cables to the new Hopper, plugged it in and let it do its thing. The setup wizard took a good hour and half to do the "20 minutes" of downloading. It did 3 download/reboot cycles, with some excruciatingly long pauses at "99%" and "100%" complete—par for the course, I guess. When prompted, I went online and activated the receiver.

All seems good so far; I didn't have to do anything special to activate the EHD feature. I just needed to activate the new Hopper. I attached my EHD, formatted it, and began transferring recordings. Over the USB 2.0 link and if the estimated time remaining is to be believed, it looks like about 12 hours' worth of recordings transfer every hour. Looks like I have my "work" cut out for me.

What happens if the file transfer is happening when the Hopper wants to do its 1AM update check & reboot? I assume it won't wait, and won't resume after the boot :/
 

ChadT41

THE BEST THERE HAS EVER BEEN
Pub Member / Supporter
Apr 20, 2014
10,891
4,333
Mesa, Az
Depends on the software it's registering. If the normal 517, in theory it should skip the update for the transfer, but that is only in theory... Not sure what it will do in practicality. Also, it may be better to break it up into chunks because doing one mass transfer can sometimes cause it to freeze up after some time.
 

z71px

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 5, 2015
10
4
CO, USA
The transfers to the EHD went fine. It looks like the Hopper delays its nightly reboot until it's done with the current batch of transfers. I did have to do it in small batches because there were sometimes errors.

I reconnected the new Hopper's original, unused hard drive and let it go through its paces of getting itself going. I got a little nervous as it was very slow to start up (blank screen for 5 minutes) and then wasn't tuning anything in and seemed to freeze up when I went to the Diagnostics. I did a soft reset from the front panel, and after another slow start it did better.

Transfers from the EHD to the new Hopper seem to work OK, I mean I see them all in the DVR, but all the videos are unplayable. There's no error message. The screen goes black and then I get the "Event playback finished" screen. If I press the play button to start over, it just gives me the blank screen and then switches to pause mode. Pressing play again = blank screen. Pressing pause shows the time bar (progress meter-like thing), which has the right info about what's supposed to be playing and how long the recording runs. The current position is the beginning of the file.

But yeah, no luck.

Suggestions?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tron2012

boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
11,351
1,033
Dorchester, TX.
Hoppers normally take 24-48 hours before you can transfer from EHD to a new hopper so be patient you are doing what may never have been done before.
 

Tron2012

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 6, 2012
1,149
421
IL Suburbs
Don't recall off hand as I occasionally use my EHD for some saves of favorite things, but is there still a way to watch directly from the EHD? Thought at one time there was, unless it may have been DVR's from my pre-Hopper days. That would at least tell you that the recording itself is OK if playback from the EHD works.
 

charlesrshell

SatelliteGuys Crazy
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Jan 14, 2006
9,021
3,799
O'Fallon, IL
Don't recall off hand as I occasionally use my EHD for some saves of favorite things, but is there still a way to watch directly from the EHD? Thought at one time there was, unless it may have been DVR's from my pre-Hopper days. That would at least tell you that the recording itself is OK if playback from the EHD works.
Yes, I play from the EHD all the time.
 

KKlare

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 18, 2003
2,397
13
Los Alamos, NM
To play from the EHD just select the gray button (whatever you named your recorder) on the DVR menu. It should drop down the 1 or 2 selections for drives after the internal. Then go thru the icons in your ordering. I have like 12 drives possible. You can connect up to 4 at a time but after the first 2 they will not play, they only read and write to the internal. Currently I send to drives alphabetically because it changes less with time than by ratings. Allow extra space, although most of mine are 90-99% full. -Ken
 

z71px

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 5, 2015
10
4
CO, USA
To play from the EHD just select the gray button (whatever you named your recorder) on the DVR menu.
Hey, that works! Thanks! She's going to be very happy.

However, it looks like I can only play recordings that I haven't yet transferred from the EHD to the Hopper. If I move the unplayable ones back to the EHD, they remain unplayable. :(

Hoppers normally take 24-48 hours before you can transfer from EHD to a new hopper so be patient you are doing what may never have been done before.
Hmm... I will try again in a day or two, then.
 

thomasjk

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 10, 2006
2,215
521
Charlotte, NC
Hey, that works! Thanks! She's going to be very happy.

However, it looks like I can only play recordings that I haven't yet transferred from the EHD to the Hopper. If I move the unplayable ones back to the EHD, they remain unplayable. :(


Hmm... I will try again in a day or two, then.
The unplayable ones may be corrupt. You indicated the earlier that you had problems with the previous Hopper.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ChadT41

krauser1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 27, 2008
289
8
Atlanta, GA
I can say here that I've successfully swapped hard drive units (basically the entire enclosure, keeping the "seal" in place) in a 922. After keeping my original hard drive and putting the replacement hard drive in the bad unit, dish never said a word about it. After all they didn't lose anything, they had a perfectly good hard drive in a dead 922. Still works like a charm. No recordings lost and they were still in their folders they were originally placed in.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Latest posts

Top