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HD20: eSata stuck on Formatting

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by JT99, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Jul 3, 2010 #1 of 12
    JT99

    JT99 New Member

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    Jul 3, 2010
    This is my first post to this forum and I apologize if this issue has been resolved in another thread. I looked but gave up after several hours.

    I have a HD20-700 with a Hitachi DeskStar 1TB drive in a Kingwin enclosure which worked great for almost 3 years. In early June, I got stuck in ‘Step 1 of 2…’ after a reboot that was not initiated by me. After several calls to D*, downloading new software, discussions on the D* Technical Forum and attempts to reformat, I concluded the drive was bad. Fortunately or unfortunately the drive was still under warranty. The new drive arrived, I installed it in the Kingwin enclosure and followed the correct startup procedure. It made it to ‘Formatting Storage Device…’ where it remained for +8 hours.

    I have reversed the eSata cable, replaced the eSata cable, rebooted to no avail. On some reboots, it would stick in ‘Step 1 of 2…’ and other times it would go to ‘Formatting…’ after a few minutes in ‘Step 1 of 2…’. Currently it is stuck in ‘Formatting…’ since 11:15 last night.

    I plan to download Hitachi’s Drive Fitness Test software, but was hoping for some suggestions prior to that.

    BTW, the internal drive works fine, so there is nothing wrong with the DVR.

    Thanks,
     
  2. Jul 3, 2010 #2 of 12
    TITAN_53

    TITAN_53 Godfather

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    My HR20-100 started formatting itself also (stock drive) and I let it run at least 3 days and it formatted more than once reporting a different # of errors each time. I assumed the unit was dead but didn't get around to replacing it so after a few days of it being unplugged I hooked it back up just to see what happened and it's been running about a week now with no problems.

    Why it took that long and had to be done several times I do not know but I do know it is working now so I'm good with it for now.
     
  3. Jul 3, 2010 #3 of 12
    JT99

    JT99 New Member

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    Jul 3, 2010
    Mine has never finished a reformat on the external drive. Maybe I'm too impatient and shouldn’t consider 12 hours too long? Since it’s 4th of July BBQ time and the weather is perfect, I should probably stay outside and let it go all weekend.
     
  4. Jul 3, 2010 #4 of 12
    TITAN_53

    TITAN_53 Godfather

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    I would be questiong it after 12 hours too so I wouldn't say you are impatient. I would suggest forgetting about it for a few days if possible though. That's what I did and it turned out to work. I would've never imagined it taking that long or needing to format multiple times like that but apparently my drive was pretty messed up.
     
  5. Jul 4, 2010 #5 of 12
    CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

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    Jackson
    Well you replaced the cable and the drive, that leaves 2 other variables, its either the enclosure itself or the port has gone bad on your HR20...personally I will not use Hitachi "Deathstar" drives.....
     
  6. Jul 4, 2010 #6 of 12
    JT99

    JT99 New Member

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    Jul 3, 2010
    I was thinking enclosure, but the port - ugh! How will I ever convince D* that the port is bad? I could test the drive ushing Hitachi's utilities, but I hesitate to stop the reformatting if there is a chance that it's doing something. However, since I can hear no clicking in the hard drive itself, I'm really wondering if it's doing anything.

    Yeah, I heard all the stories about the 'Deathstar' drives, but since the original served me well I thought I would give it another chance. Maybe that was a bad decision.
     
  7. Jul 4, 2010 #7 of 12
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "I guess" the first thing I'd go after is connecting the drive & enclosure to a PC and run all the test I can from there. If you can validate the cable/enclosure/drive are working well, then give the DVR a second chance and if it still doesn't work, then with this data, I'd then call DirecTV.
     
  8. Jul 4, 2010 #8 of 12
    JT99

    JT99 New Member

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    Jul 3, 2010
    I just tried to test the drive using Hitachi's Drive Fitness Test. It couldn't find the drive and according to Hitachi's instructions that means the drive is defective. So they replaced my bad drive with a defective one. It's back in the box ready to be returned.

    I'll be back with a status when the new one arrives. If it doesn't work, my next step is the enclosure.

    Thanks for all the help and suggestions.
     
  9. Jul 6, 2010 #9 of 12
    jgriffin104

    jgriffin104 Mentor

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    Sep 21, 2006
    Did you take the drive out of the external case and hook it directly to the sata connection on you PC?
     
  10. JT99

    JT99 New Member

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    Jul 3, 2010
    Yep, but with the next one, even before I put it into the enclosure I'll check it on the PC. I might even unplug the PC's hard drive and use that sata connection.
     
  11. JT99

    JT99 New Member

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    Jul 3, 2010
    The new hard drive arrived. I tested it on a PC and it checked out OK. I installed it in the enclosure and it got stuck on formatting again. I retested the hard drive and it still checks out OK.

    My next step is a new enclosure. I just ordered an Antec MX-1 from Amazon. If the problem ends up being the eSata connection on the DVR, hopefully I’ll be able to return the enclosure to Amazon.

    I’ll keep you posted.
     
  12. JT99

    JT99 New Member

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    Jul 3, 2010
    Looks like it was the enclosure all along. I got the Antec MX-1 (thanks for the recommendation) from Amazon and it’s a very solid looking enclosure. It took about 15 seconds to format and that was my first indication of success.

    I learned a lot from this experience, so let me share. If you have problems with an external drive, don’t immediately assume it’s a bad drive – that’s what I did.
    1. Go to your drive’s web site and download their drive test program. You will probably have to burn it to a disk and create a bootable disk. Do not expect normal PC drive evaluation software to work.
    2. Remove your external drive from its enclosure.
    3. Change the boot sequence on your PC to look at the CD/DVD drive first. This needs to be done by accessing the bios during the booting process. Once it’s changed, stop the booting process.
    4. Unplug the PC and open the case.
    a. Plug your questionable drive into an available slot. BTW, this is where I went wrong – I think. I used an available slot, but I don’t think the PC recognized the slot and I assumed the drive was bad.
    b. I recommend that you unplug the hard drive in your PC and plug the external drive into that connection. Then you will have no doubt as to your PC’s ability to access the drive.
    5. Reboot your PC and follow the directions to test the drive.
    a. If it’s bad, check the warranty via the drive’s web site. You will need the serial number on the drive.
    b. If it’s under warranty, follow their instructions for replacement; otherwise, check this site for recommended replacements.
    6. If the drive is not bad, I would verify the eSATA cable.
    a. Unplug and swap ends.
    b. Buy a new one.
    7. If it’s not the drive or the cable, then check the warranty on the enclosure. If it’s not in warranty, check this site for recommended replacements. I don’t know how to test an enclosure.
    8. If it’s not the enclosure, you must have a bad eSATA port on the DVR.

    Good luck and many thanks for all your help.
     

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