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Defragging external 2TB FantomDrive?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by thescher, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Dec 9, 2012 #1 of 34
    thescher

    thescher New Member

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    Does anyone know if there is a way to defraggment an external HD connected to my HD24 using an eSATA cable. I am using a 2TB FantomeDrive HD and because all storage is either on your internal or external drive, there's no using both - when it gets 50% full or more it starts slowing down/freezing my menu & guide. It's real bad when I try to select a an On-Demand channel like 1000 or higher. I was @ 85% and it did get much better when I deleted 35%. But I figure there is a lot of data gaps just like on your computer when you delete stuff. I think it's slowing down the speed at which it can search for stuff on the HD. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Dec 9, 2012 #2 of 34
    CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Due to the file system, there is no need to defrag these. I suspect your drive is just getting flaky. I'm sure one of the 'nix/xfs guru's can explain the in's and out's of it, but my understanding is defrag is not necessary for xfs and the block or sector sizes in use.
     
  3. Dec 9, 2012 #3 of 34
    RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, no need to defrag at all, it's not Windows.

    Perform a menu reboot and when you see the onscreen message about "diagnostics" press select. You'll get a test menu where you can test the drive.
     
  4. Dec 9, 2012 #4 of 34
    CCarncross

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    Havent the fantom's been out of production for quite awhile now, meaning that drive might be getting long in the tooth, or am I confusing it with another model?
     
  5. thescher

    thescher New Member

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    Mar 18, 2012
    Thanx for the info - I guess I need to hook it up to my Mac and find a compatibility program & burn the shows I want to save so I can delete them and keep the drive data size down. I mean it's amazing how many shows that you can get on 2TB!
     
  6. thescher

    thescher New Member

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    Mar 18, 2012
    How do you do a menu reboot? And I just bought this unit last spring - don't think it's that old. They're still selling them @ tigerdirect.com with all different configurations such as USB 2.0, eSata, firewire interfaces
     
  7. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    You won't be able to view the recording on anything other than the DVR they came from. They're encoded to that receiver ID (RID).

    Go to Menu->Settings & Info->Restart.

    Choose the restart option. Do not choose Reset or Reset Everything. Reset will restore factory defaults to your settings, and Reset Everything will reformat the drive and start from scratch.

    Mike
     
  8. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    The Menu Reboot Option is much easier on your DVR because it performs a Graceful Shutdown of your DVR rather than pulling the power plug which is harmful for your hard drive.

    Or you can Hit the Red Button on the Front Panel of your DVR (inside the little plastic door on the front).
     
  9. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    Red button is pretty much the same as just pulling the power plug. Red button reset and pulling the power plug should only be done if the unit is completely locked up and you can't do a menu reboot.
     
  10. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    Exactly. Only use RBR if the DVR is Locked up.
     
  11. sbl

    sbl Icon DBSTalk Club

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    Windows has nothing to do with fragmentation - it's all in the design of the file system. Most any general purpose file system can get fragmented, especially one where allocation size can be small. The specialized system used in DVRs uses large, fixed-size allocations meaning it never gets fragmented the way a general-purpose file system can.
     
  12. Red Orc

    Red Orc Legend

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    IIRC DVR's don't record different programs as individual files.
    All recordings are saved as one big fused file and there are flags/index marks where each individual recording starts.
     
  13. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    I beg to differ. When I was a Windows user I was defragging every weekend.

    And Microsoft's design is pretty poor thus my comment on not having to worry about defragging an HR because it doesn't run Windows.
     
  14. Red Orc

    Red Orc Legend

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    You probably didn't need to defrag nearly that often unless you were constantly moving files from one drive/partition to another or running an app like emule every day.
     
  15. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    Both Windows and a 3rd party disk analizer were telling me to defrag on a near weekly basis.
     
  16. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    It's not harmful to the HDD; when it loses power the actuator just retracts to a neutral position.

    It might be harmful to data, but that is rare. As current drains out (and as the actuator is retracting) it can spew a little bit of write data over adjacent sectors, which can corrupt a file or corrupt a tiny part of the database catalog in an extremely-rare worst-case scenario. Odds against that being problematic are very strong, but not a sure thing. Data it is trying to write is media data (which you have already decided you don't need if you are shutting the system down) or indexing data, which picks up right where it left off at reboot, so not really a problem.

    A graceful shutdown lets the DVR decide on a stopping point and stop writing before it reboots. A rude one doesn't let it wait. But the difference is pretty small, and the end result is just about the same, so do a menu reboot if possible just to ever-so-slightly increase those already-lottery-sized odds if you can; RBR or yank the power cord if you can't, and don't look back. It really doesn't matter all that much, but a menu reboot can be done without leaving your Barcalounger.
     
  17. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    While this is all true it isn’t a certainty. It is not true that sudden power loss it never harmful to a hard drive. The hardware is designed to minimize the probability to the maximum extent possible but depending conditions and what the drive is doing it’s nowhere near possible to it’s “not harmful to the HDD” 100% of the time.

    Over the past 25ish years I’ve installed hundreds of hard drives (yes, I know that sounds like such a huge exaggeration that it can’t possibly be true but it is and mostly due to some rather stupid ideas on a managers part). I can tell you that given the right set or circumstances; temperature, movement, reading/writing, age of drive (this is a big one), etc., it is certainly possible to have hardware failure from sudden power loss...or more to the point, sudden power loss followed by immediate restoration of power.

    Even with journaling the data is not immune to corruption. And, this is probably more likely that harming the drive.

    In the end the percentages are small but certainly not insignificant. I realize you’re saying it’s easier but only marginally safer to do menu restarts but I feel you have down played the potential hazards. In my experience, do it often enough and sooner or later it will catch up with you.

    Additionally, assuming there’s five million DVRs, assume a life of four years, assume high MTBF you can expect that thousands of drives, won’t last the four years. For this reason alone I would never potentially hasten the demise of a drive with an RBR.

    IMHO, an RBR is enough of a potential hazard that I recommend it only be done when there's no other choice. To be clear, I do this so rarely that when I'm forced to I'm not very concerned about it. It just don't think it should be a matter of course.

    My 2¢ FWIW.

    Mike
     
  18. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    Mike, someone else who knows a lot more about hard drives than I will ever know stated something very similar to what you stated and therefore told me it was always better to do a Menu Reboot because of the "Graceful Shutdown" not only for the Data but to protect the Life of the Hard Drive. :)
     
  19. PokerJoker

    PokerJoker Godfather

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    It is not possible for you to do that. There is no magic conversion program. The recordings are encrypted and will only play back on the one specific DVR that made them.

    Yes, that does mean that if your HR24 ever dies, and you get a replacement, all your old recordings will be lost. Forever. You can complain to DirecTV all you want, swear at them and threaten to sue, it won't do any good.

    (The only exceptions are local-broadcast recordings made off-the-air via an add-on AM21 tuner fed from an antenna. Those aren't encrypted.)

    The only current method to copy a DirecTV recording into a PC in HD is to use a component-video HD capture device or card (Hauppauge Colossus or similar). Then you have to laboriously play back each recording in real time, while capturing it. This is obviously time-consuming, and there is a slight reduction in picture quality.

    Keith
     
  20. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    It would be Nice if Directv would change the way they marry the RID # to the Recording and use the User's Account Number instead then if your DVR died due to problems other than a bad hard drive, you could get a Replacement DVR put the old drive in that unit and have all of your Recordings intact for viewing.
     

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