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External eSATA drive problems

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by rmplatt, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. rmplatt

    rmplatt Mentor

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    Aug 24, 2008
    I hooked up a seagate NCQ Barracuda 7200 rpm 1TB drive in an Antec MX-1 via eSata to my HR21-100, but I'm having a couple of issues.

    1st- The DVR becomes a bit quirky. The picture will freeze occasionally, the sound will continue, and the unit becomes unresponsive to any button presses. It will release itself and pick up the video after about a minute.

    2- After hooking it up, I recorded a movie on it, then later did a complete shutdown and switched back to my internal drive, I copied some settings and watched a few shows, and dubbed some to DVD. But when I switched back to the eSata drive, it did a total reformat again, even though it already did a reformat when I initially installed it. Needless to say the recorded movie wasn't there, nor were any shows and settings I had already put in.

    3- The guide is painfully slow to update. Is there a way to force a guide download, I don't even have a full day at this point an hour later.

    I see that some of the Seagate FAP drives are unsuitable for this use, but the Barracuda drive is different, right? It is a ST31000340AS and seagate dot com states the specs as;
    * 105 MB/s sustained data rate
    * 32-MB cache buffer

    Will this continue to happen, and what is the cause, is it the cable? I used the one that came with the Antec enclosure. Is it the drive itself? And why the re-formatting, how can I avoid this so I can switch back and forth to my internal.

    Thanks to anyone
     
  2. eatswodo

    eatswodo AllStar

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    Nov 19, 2005
    Your first symptom was something I experienced regularly with a FAP 750 hooked up to my HR20-700. I eventually attributed it to the FAP running too hot. I retired it and went back to the internal drive. The FAP passed Seagate diagnostics, and has been running flawlessly as a backup drive on my Mac ever since.

    What that means is that I really have no idea why it misbehaved. I'm going to keep going with the internal drive for the time being, and be careful about managing space.

    I didn't experience either of your other symptoms, so can't comment on those.
     
  3. rmplatt

    rmplatt Mentor

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    Aug 24, 2008
    If I don't get any other help here, I think my next step will be to open the dvr and try to swap out the drive directly. If I still have problems then I'll have to return the drive.

    :nono2: I had really hoped this would go smoother.
     
  4. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    is the drive set for 1.5 or 3.0? try the other speed too..
     
  5. rmplatt

    rmplatt Mentor

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    Aug 24, 2008
    yeah, I just got done reading about that in some of the other threads, but one thing...

    How do I do that?? It IS set for 3.0 out of the box, and doesn't come with any documentation.

    Thanks
     
  6. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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  7. rmplatt

    rmplatt Mentor

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    Aug 24, 2008
    thanks, actually found that online too. I'll have to see if I have a jumper on an old drive laying around.
     
  8. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

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    Jan 10, 2007
    houskamp, what do you have your drive set to?
     
  9. rmplatt

    rmplatt Mentor

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    Aug 24, 2008
    Okay, actually found that the jumper was set to limit to 1.5 out of the box, so I removed the jumper and now it should run at 3.0.

    I've seen others on this board say that it doesn't matter because the transfer demands are not so high with a DVR application, but I'll see if it works, otherwise I'll hook it up to a pc and reformat with a sector check.

    I'm a mac guy, but I have a peecee in the basement. Can anyone let me know how to check for bad sectors, or what programs to use.

    As I write this, my drive just booted up in 3.0g throughput, and immediately displayed the freezing with sound problem. ugh. It also reformatted again... blowing away the few recordings I had made.
     
  10. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    I'm running at 3.0..
    I wonder if your case or cable is bad..
     
  11. rmplatt

    rmplatt Mentor

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    Aug 24, 2008
    Question: If either the case or cable was bad, would this be the effect, random freezes and unresponsiveness, or would it simply not work.

    Putting it inside would answer those questions for me, but I need to get a security torx bit to try that.
     
  12. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Joys of electronics.. any flaky connection can cause these type of problems..
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Piscataway, NJ
    If the jumper cable was bad the eSATA would not take control of the DVR. I would be more inclined to think you drove the DVR slightly batty trying to run the eSATA at 1.5. How do you fix a wacked out 21? I don't have the foggiest idea.

    A few weeks ago I disobeyed one of the fundamentals of the Book of Fred and bought a cheap ($40) Monoprice HDMI switcher and one of the HR20s I had hooked up to it has never quite recovered. The only thing bad thing it does now is occasionally randomly reboot. Oh, and the 1TB FAP I had hooked up to it kept locking up and got returned. Put a 750 FAP on it and that's fine, but that is what happens when you buy cheap components without doing your homework.

    My point is this: These things are sensitive and you really have to know which components will work with the 20/21s and how to hook them up properly. Try running the DVR for a couple days without the external drive and then try it again. Maybe your 21 just needs a little time to heal.

    Wonder how long it will take for someone to ask if you are using a UPS? Or a surge protector?

    Rich
     
  14. fredtsb

    fredtsb New Member

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    Aug 16, 2008
    Are you using a UPS? Or a surge protector?
     
  15. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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    :hurah: :hurah: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  16. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Actualy there have been reports of certain esata cables not engaging right and causing flaky connections..
     
  17. rmplatt

    rmplatt Mentor

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    Aug 24, 2008
    yeah, a buddy of mine is bringing a cable with him next weekend for a labor day cookout, and I'll swap it out.

    Just one more thing to add to my troubleshooting list.

    1. format drive on pc, check for bad sectors, if fine, then
    2. swap eSATA cable if still no good, then,
    3. crack the case on the hr21, and swap the drive, if that works then,
    4. replace entire mx-1 enclosure and
    5. start over, if it still doesn't work,
    6. return drive, and get a different brand. If that doesn't work,
    7. shoot myself in the foot.

    that about covers it, right?
     
  18. houskamp

    houskamp New Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    hopefully we got it fixed before #7 :grin:
     
  19. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    All my eSATA jumpers are Cavalry jumpers. They all work on FAPs, but not each jumper works with each Cavalry eSATA. You explain that, I can't. I look at them, they look the same, I actually used a metric ruler to measure precisely the critical parts and they are all the same, but some work with some Cavalrys and some don't. This stuff gets nuttier and nuttier as time goes by.

    Rich
     
  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    How large a hard drive do you want? Send me a PM and I'll tell you what to buy and where to get it and save you some money. This offer is for the OP only.

    Rich
     

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