Magic hidden commands to reformat 722 hard drive

RTCDude

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 20, 2005
94
0
San Jose, CA
Can someone point to the magic hidden commands to reformat the hard drive from the remote. This is on a 722. Search is useless trying to find this.
 

RTCDude

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 20, 2005
94
0
San Jose, CA
That sequence didn't appear to work. Seems I remember that there was a list somewhere here that documented all of the hidden operations in the Diagnostics menu. Anybody else recall this?
 

peano

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 6, 2004
849
0
This may work:

5200/9200 models

Format HDD:
You should be at the Memory Dump screen.
Press Play, Play, Recall
You will lose all recordings!

HDD Short Diagnostics (DST-1):
You should be at the Memory Dump screen.
Press Pause, 1

HDD Long Diagnostics (DST-2):
You should be at the Memory Dump screen.
Press Pause, 2
If errors are found it may format the hard drive!

HDD Long Diagnostics (DST-2) including Transfer Rate test:
You should be at the Memory Dump screen.
Press Pause, 3
If errors are found it may format the hard drive!

HDD FET Diagnostics:
You should be at the Memory Dump screen.
Press Pause, 6

Diagnostics + Reset LBA Failure Condition:
You should be at the Memory Dump screen.
Press Pause, 8
You may lose all recordings!
 

primestar31

SatelliteGuys Master
Mar 15, 2005
8,390
4,660
Beta Omicron Delta III
On my VIP622, I suspected my drive was going bad. I did the:

HDD Short Diagnostics (DST-1):
You should be at the Memory Dump screen.
Press Pause, 1

It ran for around 1 minute, and came up with a HDD_READ_ERROR. I couldn't break out of that, so I rebooted the receiver. Now, both the right-hand lights on TV1 and TV2 blink red in tandem, and I can't get the receiver to even boot up all the way. I've even tried a pull the power cord reset, but nothing helps. Is there anyway to dump the NVRAM from the front panel, or something else I can do to at least get it booted up? I assume that when it got the read error during diags, it caused the complete failure of the receiver, maybe due to it loading the error into ram. That's why I'm hoping there's a way to clear it, even if it doesn't completely power up beyond the blinking lights. Or am I completely finished, and the receiver needs to be swapped out? I'm hoping to at least get it going over the weekend, until I can get Dish to send me another one. Thanks!
 

peano

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 6, 2004
849
0
Try plugging in a USB thumb drive into the front or back port. That may let you get to the menu to clear NVRam.
 

primestar31

SatelliteGuys Master
Mar 15, 2005
8,390
4,660
Beta Omicron Delta III
Try plugging in a USB thumb drive into the front or back port. That may let you get to the menu to clear NVRam.
This post will be long, but perhaps it'll eventually help somebody else with the same issue.

Ok, after I posted the above message, I started just searching the web in general for this same issue. I discovered a posting that mentioned plugging in a thumb drive, and that it would allow the menu to come up. It didn't work for me. I tried both front and rear USB ports, and several different known-good thumb drives. I then opened up my receiver, and unplugged the bad 500gig drive I had installed in mid April 2009 (which was a brand-new Seagate ST3500830SCE from Computer Geeks). Really sucks that it only lasted 1.5 years. After plugging the receiver back in, it still had the 2 blinking red lights in tandem. I then powered down again, and reinstalled the original Maxtor 320gb drive that the receiver came with, it's just sitting loose on top of the receiver, on a small cardboard pad so it can't short out. Powered back up, no difference, still blinking lights....

Ok, at this point, I called Dish, India tech or bust, crap. I got an India tech..... I described what was going on very slow and carefully. She kept repeating it back WRONG, which started to piss me off, but I remained calm (I used to work a computer helpdesk, so incompetence at even that level drives me nuts. What's so hard about hearing something right, and repeating it correctly?). She eventually mentioned that the receiver was in "boot recovery mode", and that it would clear in about 4 hours. She said at that point, to power cycle it before turning it on past the screen-saver mode. So, If I had left it alone in the beginning, I might have at least got it booted much sooner. Anyway, 4 hours finally passed from the last time I messed with it. The 2 lights stopped blinking and turned off, and screen-saver mode came up, like she said. I power cycled it by pulling the power cord, waited 1 minute, and plugged it back in. It was back to the 2 blinking lights! ARGGGGGHHHH!!!

Ok, I determined to wait ANOTHER 4 hours, and I did. This time the 2 blinking lights stopped blinking, but stayed on steady. Screen-saver mode was back! I hit the Power button on the remote, and it came up. It gave me the "hard-drive is corrupt, press select, and drive will format, and receiver will reboot" message. I did that, it worked for a minute or so, then rebooted. When it came back up, we are back to the 2 blinking lights! ARGGGGGHHHH again!!! It's now almost 11pm at night, so I said screw this, and went to bed. This morning, it was back to screen-saver mode. I powered up, and could watch channels. I did the remote sequence to "Clear NVRAM" that worked, and it said to power cycle it. I wanted to make sure that old error code was cleared out, and hoped that would do it. I then power cycled it, it came back up, and I'm back in business! I had to go and re-do all my default settings through the menus, but it all worked. I then tried a small 3 minute recording, and that also worked! I then plugged in my external hard-drive, and I could access the recordings I had moved there the day before.

So, back up and running for now, albeit with the smaller original drive the receiver came with when I bought it. That's ok for now however, at least it works. So, I'll eventually have to power it down again, and reinstalled this drive internally, and replace the case. Hopefully that will also go ok.... When this drive eventually goes, I'm going to just have Dish replace the whole receiver. It appears to be nearly impossible to find replacement drives anymore, unless you are willing to pay like $150 or so, for the few places that have them. I'm no longer willing to do that, there's just no advantage to OWNING the receiver anymore anyway. Yeah, I don't have a contract, and never did, but it's been about 4 years, so I would have been clear of a contract by now anyway...
 
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gherna1

Member
Sep 15, 2010
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Youngstown, NY
This post will be long, but perhaps it'll eventually help somebody else with the same issue.

Ok, after I posted the above message .....

I did the remote sequence to "Clear NVRAM" that worked, and it said to power cycle it. I wanted to make sure that old error code was cleared out, and hoped that would do it. I then power cycled it, it came back up, and I'm back in business! I had to go and re-do all my default settings through the menus, but it all worked. I then tried a small 3 minute recording, and that also worked! I then plugged in my external hard-drive, and I could access the recordings I had moved there the day before.

So, back up and running for now, albeit with the smaller original drive the receiver came with when I bought it. That's ok for now however, at least it works. So, I'll eventually have to power it down again, and reinstalled this drive internally, and replace the case. Hopefully that will also go ok.... When this drive eventually goes, I'm going to just have Dish replace the whole receiver. It appears to be nearly impossible to find replacement drives anymore, unless you are willing to pay like $150 or so, for the few places that have them. I'm no longer willing to do that, there's just no advantage to OWNING the receiver anymore anyway. Yeah, I don't have a contract, and never did, but it's been about 4 years, so I would have been clear of a contract by now anyway...
Hi! Thanks for the posting. I have the same situation, though I don't think it has to ACTUALLY do with the HDD. When something happens to it, the unit alerts you to the fact, and it allows you to use the unit as a regular receiver. I've tried disconnecting both cables from the HDD before and the unit keeps working fine after posting a message regarding a failed HDD. Perhaps it's caused by some setting in NVRAM that makes the unit think it has a HDD that does not work with it. (read on...).

In my case, what caused my situation is that I found some secret commands to format the internal or a new HDD, and became greedy. Instead of formatting the original 500GB drive, I hookep up a 2TB HDD. All seemed to have worked OK, until the unit rebooted. I was warned the HDD had failed, or something like that.

I thought to myself: OK, so it cannot handle such a large drive. I hooked up the original 500GB HDD and tried reformatting it. Again, all seemed fine, but after a reboot, the two red blinking lights appeared. Next, I tried booting the unit without a HDD at all, to no avail.

Your post would not help me much unless you specify how you did the "Clear NVRAM". Please elaborate.
 

Chuckde

New Member
Feb 22, 2017
2
0
California
Can someone point to the magic hidden commands to reformat the hard drive from the remote. This is on a 722K.
I installed a brand new seagate harddrive but I still keep getting hard drive failure error message.
Thanks everyone.
 

primestar31

SatelliteGuys Master
Mar 15, 2005
8,390
4,660
Beta Omicron Delta III
Can someone point to the magic hidden commands to reformat the hard drive from the remote. This is on a 722K.
I installed a brand new seagate harddrive but I still keep getting hard drive failure error message.
Thanks everyone.
Point your remote at the receiver and press these buttons in turn: "Menu-6-3-Info-Right-Left-TV/Video" to clear the NVRAM and then "Menu-6-3-Info-Right-Left-Play-Play-Recall" to format
 

Tampa8

Supporting Founder
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 8, 2003
17,655
6,954
Tampa/Eastern Ct
This post will be long, but perhaps it'll eventually help somebody else with the same issue.

Ok, after I posted the above message, I started just searching the web in general for this same issue. I discovered a posting that mentioned plugging in a thumb drive, and that it would allow the menu to come up. It didn't work for me. I tried both front and rear USB ports, and several different known-good thumb drives. I then opened up my receiver, and unplugged the bad 500gig drive I had installed in mid April 2009 (which was a brand-new Seagate ST3500830SCE from Computer Geeks). Really sucks that it only lasted 1.5 years. After plugging the receiver back in, it still had the 2 blinking red lights in tandem. I then powered down again, and reinstalled the original Maxtor 320gb drive that the receiver came with, it's just sitting loose on top of the receiver, on a small cardboard pad so it can't short out. Powered back up, no difference, still blinking lights....

Ok, at this point, I called Dish, India tech or bust, crap. I got an India tech..... I described what was going on very slow and carefully. She kept repeating it back WRONG, which started to piss me off, but I remained calm (I used to work a computer helpdesk, so incompetence at even that level drives me nuts. What's so hard about hearing something right, and repeating it correctly?). She eventually mentioned that the receiver was in "boot recovery mode", and that it would clear in about 4 hours. She said at that point, to power cycle it before turning it on past the screen-saver mode. So, If I had left it alone in the beginning, I might have at least got it booted much sooner. Anyway, 4 hours finally passed from the last time I messed with it. The 2 lights stopped blinking and turned off, and screen-saver mode came up, like she said. I power cycled it by pulling the power cord, waited 1 minute, and plugged it back in. It was back to the 2 blinking lights! ARGGGGGHHHH!!!

Ok, I determined to wait ANOTHER 4 hours, and I did. This time the 2 blinking lights stopped blinking, but stayed on steady. Screen-saver mode was back! I hit the Power button on the remote, and it came up. It gave me the "hard-drive is corrupt, press select, and drive will format, and receiver will reboot" message. I did that, it worked for a minute or so, then rebooted. When it came back up, we are back to the 2 blinking lights! ARGGGGGHHHH again!!! It's now almost 11pm at night, so I said screw this, and went to bed. This morning, it was back to screen-saver mode. I powered up, and could watch channels. I did the remote sequence to "Clear NVRAM" that worked, and it said to power cycle it. I wanted to make sure that old error code was cleared out, and hoped that would do it. I then power cycled it, it came back up, and I'm back in business! I had to go and re-do all my default settings through the menus, but it all worked. I then tried a small 3 minute recording, and that also worked! I then plugged in my external hard-drive, and I could access the recordings I had moved there the day before.

So, back up and running for now, albeit with the smaller original drive the receiver came with when I bought it. That's ok for now however, at least it works. So, I'll eventually have to power it down again, and reinstalled this drive internally, and replace the case. Hopefully that will also go ok.... When this drive eventually goes, I'm going to just have Dish replace the whole receiver. It appears to be nearly impossible to find replacement drives anymore, unless you are willing to pay like $150 or so, for the few places that have them. I'm no longer willing to do that, there's just no advantage to OWNING the receiver anymore anyway. Yeah, I don't have a contract, and never did, but it's been about 4 years, so I would have been clear of a contract by now anyway...
Thank-you for taking the time to post all that. I am copying it to my Word documents for if (when?) I need it.
 

primestar31

SatelliteGuys Master
Mar 15, 2005
8,390
4,660
Beta Omicron Delta III
By the way, on NEWER remotes the "Tv/Video" button is the little gray "Input" button (with an "R" on it) on the upper left, just to the right of the "Menu" button.

They changed the name of it, but it still works for these commands.
 
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DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 9, 2006
4,953
855
Yeah, I had done the "magic sequence" many years ago, but since we've moved on to Hoppers, I didn't bother to keep the codes. I did it because I felt it was unecessary to go through the RMA. Well, it worked perfectly for years after.

Even owned equimpment can be RMA'd and replacements are still considered "owned" (I've done this a number of times with my previously owned equipment) for FREE (Protection Plan) or the shipping charges (no PP), so I would go that route if the OP can not get things to work.

Can anyone confirm if an OWNED RMA'd DVR with non-standard Dish internal HDD is accepted or does Dish consider that a void and may want full retail charges to replace the unit?
 

primestar31

SatelliteGuys Master
Mar 15, 2005
8,390
4,660
Beta Omicron Delta III
Can anyone confirm if an OWNED RMA'd DVR with non-standard Dish internal HDD is accepted or does Dish consider that a void and may want full retail charges to replace the unit?
I can't confirm that, but anybody that swaps out the drive for whatever reason, should KEEP the original drive, and just reinstall it in a case where they are sending back/swapping the receiver.

That way there's no question.

By the way, back after that post above, I sent in the 1.5 year old bad 500gb drive under warranty, and Seagate swapped it out for a brand new one.
 
Last edited:

navychop

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Jul 20, 2005
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Replacing the internal HDD will break a seal, IIRC.

NOW- do they really check that or care (technician)?
 

navychop

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I have seen such seals. But I agree with you. The GAS factor is probably pretty low.
 
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