Need recommendations for Raid setup for Hopper 3


SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Pub Member / Supporter
Jul 29, 2005
Plain City, OH
I have three 2 terabyte powered Western Digital Mybook Drives connected to my 2 Hopper 3 receivers. The 2007 WD Mybook does not support SMART protocol.

I noticed the Family Room Hopper 3 is checking this drive every night from 1:30 AM till ~ 3 AM. The displayed message is 770 - Checking External Hard Drive. A routine test is being performed on your external hard drive. This test can take up to 50 minutes to complete. Once the test is completed or stopped , your receiver will reset. The reset process should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

Of coarse the routine test actually takes 1.5 hours. This hard drive contains over 100 movies. Other than the blank screen problem the first time, it appears that the movies all work.

My guess is that the Hopper 3 tests this drive nightly since it does not register the SMART status.

I am thinking of replacing this drive with a Raid setup to protect my content. What is everyone using to setup their External Raid? I want to make sure that the Raid setup would work well with my Hopper 3.

I called Dish and was eventually escalated to advanced support. The advanced support agent agrees that the external hard drive check is probably due to the drive not displaying SMART status though he did say that it could indicate that the drive is starting to fail. The agent said that the stated requirements were size between 50 GB and 2 TB, external powered, and at least USB 2.
He did not know about Raid setup. I mentioned satelliteguysus and he will look at the web site. He also was unaware that many people have problems playing content from their external drive the first time they do it. The first person (lower level support) mentioned that Dish now sells external drives.
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What you need is a hardware RAID 1 array, where the RAID 1 maintains identical files on two identical hard drives. If one drive fails, replace it with another IDENTICAL drive and the RAID will re-create the files on the replacement drive. You constantly have mirror copies of all your data.

This is not just 2 identical external drives plugged into some box, you must put identical internal drives in the RAID 1 device.
I recommend using a Vantec NexStar RAID enclosure. Less than $50 at Amazon.

I have 3 RAID enclosures, 2 are different models of Vantec (they upgraded the previous model I had) and one is an enclosure I bought from a fellow SatGuy.

Naked drives are cheap. 2TB for $60-$120. You MIGHT want to consider buying three identical drives, keeping one as a spare.
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On the iPhone app, your like just shows as unsupported. Could you add the model "in the clear?"
I copied out part of the link and found it. $249. Reds.

Not a bad deal at all, I would say.
I bought the WD 4TB My Book Duo Desktop RAID External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBLWE0040JCH-NESN at Best Buy for $267.49 total with tax. It should arrive next week. I used Best Buy instead of Amazon so that I can return the unit if it does not work correctly. Plus shipping is free.

I looked at several hard drive enclosures such as the ICYRaid 2 bay,, Akita NT2 U3.1, and the Vantec NexStar. They vary in price from $50 for the Vantec, $100 for the Akita, and $108 for the ICYRaid. Of coarse that is before tax and shipping. It also does not include the 2 drives.

In the end I picked the Western Digital Duo because I like the 3 year warranty and that both hard drives and the enclosure are all supplied by the same manufacturer. If there are problems, I don't need to have them claim incompatibilities.

Since this is a USB 3.0 drive, have you noticed any difference in transfer speed when using the Hopper USB 3 port versus the USB 2 port?

I am also eager to find out if this drive eliminates the issue of getting a blank screen the first time you try to play an event on the external drive.

Of course, it will take me a long time to transfer all of the content on my old WD drive to the Hopper 3 and then to the new Raid 1 drive.
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My new WD 4 TB Mybook Duo arrived yesterday. It took ~ 10 hours to transfer all of my movies from my old WD Mybook to the Hopper 3. After all of the movies were successfully transferred off of the old drive the Hopper 3 had a message that the drive needed to be formatted. I did not let the Hopper 3 format the drive since it was already formatted. I plan to keep it as a spare but I don't plan to use it. The Hopper 3 was doing an external drive check every night. This was probably due to the fact that that old drive does not support SMART status.

I hooked the new WD Duo drive to a computer and used the WD drive essentials software to change the configuration from Raid 0 to Raid 1.

I then hooked it into the USB 3 port of my Living Room Hopper 3. It recognized the new drive and offered to format it. I was surprised that it only took 2 minutes to format the drive. It must be a quick format.

I then attempted to transfer the movies on the Hopper 3 back to the new drive. Each time the transfer would initiate and 1 minute later I would get a message that the transfer failed. I was about ready to give up but I decided to do a reset of my Hopper 3. After the reset, the transfers worked. The transfer speed is slower but that is probably due to the Raid 1 configuration since I am actually writing to 2 drives. The estimated time was 1742 minutes. It has been transferring for 8 hours so far and it is about 40% done. It estimates 588 minutes left.
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Hmmm. I guess I should have recommended moving just 2 or 3 programs first as a test.

In any event, I believe the RAID adds about 30% to the time of transfer. And IIRC, others have posted USB 3 transfer speeds being about a third faster. Not certain about that, perhaps someone can correct or confirm.
I'm actually surprised it's working at all since 2 TB is supposed to be the largest that you can use on a hopper
Hmmm. I guess I should have recommended moving just 2 or 3 programs first as a test.

In any event, I believe the RAID adds about 30% to the time of transfer. And IIRC, others have posted USB 3 transfer speeds being about a third faster. Not certain about that, perhaps someone can correct or confirm.

I tested it originally by only transferring 2 movies. When that was successful, I then selected the remainder. It finished and was successful.

However, the drive will not play a movie on the external drive the first time. You get the message that it needs to be activated and spin up. The second attempt is successful. Dish still needs to fix this. This problem started with the new software interface. Dish is aware of the problem. What baffles me is that a few people claim they do not have this problem.

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