DISH External Hard Drive Partitions and sizes

Almighty1

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Apr 29, 2009
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I know bookworm370 mentioned that DISH Hopper 3 partitions everything into 500MB sized partitions but earlier today, I took different models of WD 2TB 2.5" external drives which are self-powered but connected to a USB 3.0 Powered hub that were used on the Hopper 3 and then connected them to different Windows 10/11 machines and this is what it shows:
1695524395382.png


It shows the total drive as 2TB when it uses 1000KB per MB or 1.862GB I guess if it uses the 1024KB per MB but my question is when you look at the partition sizes and add them up, they are almost 3TB instead of 2TB?
 
I know bookworm370 mentioned that DISH Hopper 3 partitions everything into 500MB sized partitions but earlier today, I took different models of WD 2TB 2.5" external drives which are self-powered but connected to a USB 3.0 Powered hub that were used on the Hopper 3 and then connected them to different Windows 10/11 machines and this is what it shows:
View attachment 165358

It shows the total drive as 2TB when it uses 1000KB per MB or 1.862GB I guess if it uses the 1024KB per MB but my question is when you look at the partition sizes and add them up, they are almost 3TB instead of 2TB?
456+456+930=1860, I think you're counting the first one in GB but it's in MB (which I wouldn't count that as usable space)
 
456+456+930=1860, I think you're counting the first one in GB but it's in MB (which I wouldn't count that as usable space)
Thanks for pointing out the first one is MB, you are right that I was looking it as GB. LOL. Maybe that 1GB is used to hold some other information such as how it determines if it's connected the same account or not as that information would not be on the recordings themselves? But in any case, I thought from reading what bookworm370 had said from actual experience, it was supposed to be 456GB+456GB+456GB+456GB as each partition would be 500GB each using 10 bit translation and not 8 bit translation which would be 456GB and ofcourse even with everything added up which is 1842GB+1GB=1843GB, there still would be 19GB unaccounted for since Windows is using 8 bit translation on all the numbers. I wonder how it determines when to do 500MB partitions and when it decides to do larger sized partitions. Would be interesting to see how it will partition HDDs larger than 2TB.
 
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The first partition is generally like a system partition. It will have files on it that the system csn read saying this belongs here and this is how things work. As for the actual storage partitions I have no idea why it would make two at 465 and one at 930, you'd think it would just be four at 465.
 
When did you format that drive? They might have changed something in the last (innermost) partition. This is the first time I've seen more than 500G (rounded) per partition size. Can you do a GPARTD on the drive and see if the last one is really a physical partition? Normally, you can only have four primary partitions on a drive. Dish and everyone else handles it as having 1-3 primary partitions and then an extended logical partition that has multiple 500G logical partitions inside it.

My guess is that Windows is just showing you partitions, not if they are extended or primary, even though it says primary. With the way it's formatted, if they were all physical primaries no other partitions (primary or extended) can be created on the drive. GPARTD, or the free version of AOMIE Partition Assistant (a whole lot more powerful than gpartd) should show you exactly how it's laid out.
 
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bookworm370 - I have 7 drives in total even though only 3 are connected and they all have the same results. 6 of them are Western Digital 2.5" 2TB My Passport Ultra which were bought in 2016 or before but the same model. Each one was formatted in a different year(s) 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 as each was formatted after the previous drive was full of recordings. The 7th one was formatted yesterday which is also a Western Digital 2.5" 2TB current model as I just got it directly from Western Digital a week ago. All 7 showed the exact same partition table except the total capacity is slightly different between the first 6 and the last one because it probably uses a different internal drive model. What I also noticed is you know with the Hopper 3 when the drive is connected already at bootup or even when I plug it in when the Hopper 3 is already fully restarted, the behavior is different between the way the model from the first 6 behaves compared to the 7th one. What happens is you can see the HDD activity led blink for maybe 5 minutes which is either one drive or three drives before you will see the message of each drive detected which will never be at the same time but if there are more than one drive, it will detect the first one then maybe detect the next one a minute later with detect meaning the message that calls it External Drive x so all drives not detected yet would all had the HDD Led blink until they get detected. This also takes the same amount of time even on 3.5" 2TB Western Digital and Samsung drives. However, the 7th drive mentioned above takes 1-2 seconds to show the detection after I plugged it in while the Hopper 3 is up and running. The other thing interesting is when looking at the transfer progress, it takes a shorter amount of time before the bar shows more green. All 7 of them have USB 3.2 cables which Western Digital on the box calls Superspeed USB-A 5.0 Gbps cables. I compared the boxes and it appears the first 6 mentions Windows 8 but no mention of hardware encryption anywhere while the 7th one mentions Windows 10+ and 256bit AES hardware encryption. The 7th drive is where the screenshot came which I actually formatted twice before doing the screenshot with the same results. The first time, I forgot to disconnect one of the existing 3 drives on the Radio Shack USB 3.x hub (I need to look for the box to find what x is but it was Radio Shack a few years before they gone under) because I unplugged a powered off USB 3.0 to SerialATA/Parallel HDD cable connected 3.5" drive instead and it asked to format which I selected on the main screen when prompted but on the next screen, nothing happens when I click on format until I disconnected one of the three other drives except the format finished in 1 minute and when the drive was selected, it did show 0% used and also the capacity was correct when I selected recordings to transfer but not proceed with the transfer which was why I connected the drive to Windows originally to format it but all I could do was delete the partitions and then add a single simple partition in NTFS with the defaults using 100% of the capacity and assigned the drive letter as D: but while it did partition, the format failed and never started even though it was assigned a drive letter as it kept saying the drive was offline and said to assign a drive letter so I did which shows up correctly but manual format would still not proceed with the exact same message of being offline and to assign a drive letter and manually format so I did the safety hardware eject and plugged it back into the Hopper 3 which did the two layer format prompt again and after sometime, didn't time it but it was more than 5 minutes, the format progress screen disappeared but the drive never got detected even 7-8 hours later so I connected it back to the computer to do the screenshot and when I plugged it in, it took 1-2 seconds to show the device was detected as External Device 1. During that 6-7 hours, I also connected the other 6 drives and they all had the same partition table as the screenshot where there were 4 partitions, the first one being 1GB, then two 500GB partitions followed by the 1GB partition.

I don't have a real Linux machine here anymore as I only have Windows Subsystem for Linux running with Ubuntu. I haven't done partitioning in such a long time in Windows that the last time I did it was in the 2000s in Windows XP prior to this so when I deleted and partition the drives, I had to actually google the various types of partitions that can be created which included I believe simple, spanned, striped and I think the last one was mirrored but I chose Simple and just took the defaults as the size was the entire drive so basically to get the drive to format the second time on the Hopper 3, I deleted the existing partitions and created a new simple partition using the defaults and 100% of the space but couldn't get the format part working which probably didn't matter as the Hopper 3 probably only need to see it was some other type of FS and not what it wants before it will partition and format even though they call it formatting.

I just tried gparted on Ubuntu under WSL but it seems to only see the virtual hdd's and not the physical hdd's. Not sure if Windows based partition managers will show the actual layout out or not.

Update, I was originally going to use the free one from Minitool but then decided on AOMIE instead and this is not the 7th drive but the 1st of the 6 drives that was not plugged in to the USB 3.x hub on the Hopper 3 that was formatted in 2016 and this is what it shows, I blurred out Disk 0 which is my computer's internal 1TB SSD so only the information for the drive in question formatted by the Hopper 3 shows:

1695592807266.png


And this is one where the formatted date was sometime after November 7, 2012 but prior to February 7, 2016 on a Hopper 1 aka Hopper 2000 on a 3.5" 2TB Samsung which is connected to a ThermalTake BlackX docking station which worked with the Hopper 1 but not the Hopper 3 unless I connected the same HDD using a USB 3.0 to SATA/PATA cable instead as it will keep responding will only show a partial recordings list and when one tries to watch, it will say waiting for device to spin up or something to that effect:
1695593656677.png
 
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Looks like even the older model has encryption but it just doesn't specify what type of hardware encryption and if it's turned on by default or not:
"Secure your files
WD Security™ allows you to set password protection and hardware encryption for your drive to help protect your files from unauthorized use or access."

So it could even be 256 bit AES hardware encryption as well according to this...

even though this seems to indicate the encryption is automatic with the controller board so you can't use the same drive with another controller as it won't work...

View: https://www.reddit.com/r/linuxquestions/comments/yfvfzl/how_to_use_hardware_encryption_on_wd_my_passport/
 
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Looks like even the older model has encryption but it just doesn't specify what type of hardware encryption and if it's turned on by default or not:
"Secure your files
WD Security™ allows you to set password protection and hardware encryption for your drive to help protect your files from unauthorized use or access."

So it could even be 256 bit AES hardware encryption as well according to this...

even though this seems to indicate the encryption is automatic with the controller board so you can't use the same drive with another controller as it won't work...

View: https://www.reddit.com/r/linuxquestions/comments/yfvfzl/how_to_use_hardware_encryption_on_wd_my_passport/


I could be wrong, but I don’t think Dish uses any on-HD encryption (based on what was hinted at in some previous conversations).

Rather, I think they encrypt the data by daisy-chaining the AES HW encryption engine, in the Broadcom SOC, to HD controller engine in the Broadcom SOC, as the data as it’s DMA’ed out to the HD. This allows Dish to use slightly less expensive HDs.
 
I could be wrong, but I don’t think Dish uses any on-HD encryption (based on what was hinted at in some previous conversations).

Rather, I think they encrypt the data by daisy-chaining the AES HW encryption engine, in the Broadcom SOC, to HD controller engine in the Broadcom SOC, as the data as it’s DMA’ed out to the HD. This allows Dish to use slightly less expensive HDs.
Yes, that might be the way how DISH does it. What I was talking about was Western Digital External Hard Drives hardware encryption which are two different things as the controller inside there would encrypt all data going through it so you can't take the internal HDD from that enclosure and connect it any other way or even to a identical model's enclosure as each controller has their own hardware id or something that needs to match.