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HDD shot or HR24-500 shot?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Rich, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I own a 24-500 and have put a 2TB internal drive in it. I know it's a WD drive, but have no idea which model it is.

    Recently, I haven't been able to watch a full baseball game without the picture totally pixellating. Happened again last night. I used my MRV to switch to another HR that was backing up the game. That worked fine on the 24-500 that the pixellation occurred on.

    Since the same 24-500 was used to view the rest of the game without problems, I have a pretty good idea what's wrong. Do you? What would be the first thing you would do?

    Clue #1: The pixellation problem only occurs on the 24-500, not on any of my other 11 active HRs. I've ruled out the dish, SWMs, cabling, etc. by that statement.

    So, what would you do? What step should be first?

    Rich
     
  2. nsolot

    nsolot AllStar

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    Pull the 2TB drive out of the HR24:

    1) Insert a known good drive into the HR24 and see if it pixelates
    2) Hook the 2 TB drive up to a PC and run it against one of the good diagnostics programs.

    My hunch is the drive is dropping sectors. Knowing you Rich, if you don't know exactly which model WD drive is in that unit, the drive is at least a couple years old by now.
     
  3. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Good catch, the drive has to be over three years old. But there's still an easier way to go about being sure it's the drive without opening the box.

    Rich
     
  4. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    eSATA.
     
  5. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

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    Reboot / press select when you see the 'testing' screen and select advanced diagnostics on the hard drive.
     
  6. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    This would be my guess to check the hard drive controller.
     
  7. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    BINGO! Just installed the external drive on it. That was quick....:lol:

    Rich
     
  8. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    First thing I always do when I suspect a bad HDD. Sure hope it's that simple. I like that 24-500.

    Rich
     
  9. Jerry_K

    Jerry_K Godfather

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    Your statement that cabling had to be OK because all other unit work it almost correct. The one cable going to the HR24-500 could be bad. Or that location on the switch. If you had connected a known good device to the HR24 cable you could rule that cable out of the equation.
     
  10. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Given that this was on a SWiM and DECA setup, the cabling was being tested to some degree [or enough that other problems might have shown up].
     
  11. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Did all the easy stuff before I posted. But, you have a good point. Thanx.

    Rich
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    My thoughts too, but I did switch cables the other day with the 20-700 in the same room and it didn't help. Been going on for a while, just been too lazy to do something about it. Pretty sure it's the HDD.

    Rich
     
  13. nsolot

    nsolot AllStar

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    Throwing an eSata drive on the box is a GE test for me, however keep in mind you are changing 2 variables, so it's less than perfect test.

    FWIW, I have little faith in the internal drive diagnostics. Maybe they have gotten better over time, but approx 2 years ago I had a HR22 that would freeze for a few seconds and then resume. That HDD passed the drive diagnostics on the HR22 100%, but when I put it on a PC, the WD diagnostics threw up lots of errors. WD replaced the drive no further questions when I emailed the the diagnostics report.

    Plus, as discussed on another thread, I don't think we can expect more than 2-3 years of good performance from a drive in a HR DVR setup. I know... others do not agree with me ...
     
  14. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I've had drives last over 5 years in my two HR20s, but I've had other drives fail after a year [in a PC].
     
  15. nsolot

    nsolot AllStar

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    Yup. Me too. I think I can predict my wife better than HDD performance!

    Now I have a label on every HDD (and my UPS) for date placed in service, and then I decide whether to roll the dice... or be proactive.

    To quote Clint, "Do I feel lucky?"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0-oinyjsk0
     
  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Just ordered a new one. Watched the game last night on the eSATA drive and it was perfect. When I install the new HDD, I'll check and see how long it's been in use. I know I had it on a 20-700 before I installed it in the 24-500. Has to be more than three years old. I'll know for sure Wednesday.

    Rich
     
  17. nsolot

    nsolot AllStar

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    I'm curious, Rich. What you find out when you pulled the drive out?
     
  18. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Actually I wrote one of my longest posts yesterday detailing what happened, then unintentionally lost it. Got disgusted with myself and gave up.

    But, today's another day and I'll give it a shot. I got the EURS Thursday and took the two year old (Amazon can show you every purchase you made, in detail, for many years) EVDS out of the 24-500 and put the EURS in its place. Haven't had any problems with the 24-500 since. So, the easiest part went well.

    Prior to getting the EURS, TheRatPatrol sent me a PM telling me that he had a similar problem and VOS had suggested he try running the Surface Scan utility. I've ignored the diagnostics and was gonna do the same thing again, just toss the HDD and use the new EURS, but then I thought if it worked for him...

    So, I entered the diagnostic pages after installing the "bad" EVDS in a TT docking station on my old, weary 21-200. Now that was a trial. I used a new spare TT docking station and set it up as I always do. Boot up and get a blue screen that tells me my HDD is shot. Sit there looking at that screen and wondering why the 24-500 didn't show the same screen. That made no sense, so I shut the 200 and docking station down and put a small level on top of the HDD. Not level, the table and docking station showed level, but the HDD was not level. I took the HDD out of the TT and reinserted it with a slight smack on the top of the HDD to make sure it was seated properly. Now the HDD was level.

    Now, I'm sure the 200 will recognize the HDD, so I boot up and get the same message. This is why I don't have guns in the house. Two Advils and a tranquilizer later, I calm down and go back to troubleshooting. Still troubled by the fact that the 24-500 wouldn't show the same screen as my 21-200 keeps showing me. Makes no sense.

    Took an EARS that I knew was good an put it in the docking station and booted the TT and the 21-200 up...same screen comes up. I know the EARS is good. Only one thing left, something I've never had happen before. Could it be a bad eSATA to eSATA jumper cable? I've said many times I've never had a bad jumper cable. Replaced the cable that came with the dock with an old Cavalry jumper cable and the damn thing worked after booting up.

    Let me apologize to all the good folks that I've derided about "bad" jumper cables over the years. I finally got one that wouldn't work. My next step would have been to take my sledgehammer to the EVDS and be done with it.

    Took a few minutes to figure out how to use the diagnostics and ran the test. No results. Other than no problems found. So I ran the long Smart scan. I guess you don't get told what happens or what problems are found on either scan. But, the EVDS is working now and working well. No massive pixellations as I was seeing when it was in the 24-500, so I have to assume that the scans actually worked. I've watched several Yankee games since, and no problems at all.

    My thanx to TheRatPatrol for recognizing the problem and telling me how he fixed his problems with the scans and to VOS for his suggestions to him.

    I gotta admit I still don't know "why" all this happened or "what" the scans did, but it worked and that's really all I need to know.

    Now, I gotta try that "bad" jumper cable on another HR with a dock and see if it works on that. Betcha it will.....:lol:

    I really dislike long posts such as this one. I usually ignore them. I've tried to make this one readable. I think there's something to be learned from this experience. I know I learned quite a bit

    Rich
     
  19. nsolot

    nsolot AllStar

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    Sounds to me like the old drive was starting to have some marginal sectors and a good disk scan is getting the drive to remove bad sectors from use. If you attach the drive to a PC and run diagnostics that reads the SMART data, you will have a better idea if it reports a bunch of bad sectors. IME, this can get a drive running again for a while, but more often than not, the drive will start acting flaky again.

    Bad cables are one of the most frustrating problems to troubleshoot since it's not the first thing that comes to mind. Recently one HR24 starting doing wacky HDMI handshaking and a new HDMI cable seems to have made the problem go from unwatchable, to a bare flicker before the resolution corrects.

    If I follow your saga correctly, the original setup was internal drive so the bad eSata cable was just a wild goose chase (and source of new grey hairs), but unrelated to the original problem...
     
  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    It wasn't a pleasant experience, I can tell you that. By the time I found the "bad" cable, I was on the verge of sledgehammer time on that HDD. I find great satisfaction in beating things that don't work properly to death. Or many pieces..... :lol:

    Rich
     

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