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How To: Copy and Replace Internal Hard Drive

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by marty45714, Sep 25, 2007.

I know that If I open my HR20 DVR

  1. I will void the remaining warrany and will violate the lease agreement if I do not own it.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. I am not going to open my HR20 DVR.

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  1. Sep 25, 2007 #1 of 305
    marty45714

    marty45714 Godfather

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    Updated 9-21-08: I have been keeping this original post up to date with the optimal instructions as other users post their experiences and report new/better ways of accomplishing this task. Hopefully this will eliminate the need for reading every post in this thread as it continues to grow.

    I received Earl's permission to post this, but with the following prerequisites:

    Please take the poll above to show that you are aware of the risks of opening your DVR. Please DO NOT DISCUSS extracting programs from the DVR in this forum. This will NOT be tolerated by the moderators! Okay, here we go!!!

    Thank you's: I did not come up with this process entirely on my own. My desire to do it was based on the fact that I did it in the past to my DirecTivos and I wanted to see if I could do it again. Many thanks to 'P Smith' and 'llowery' who posted the original messages that gave me the knowledge to get started when working with the filesystems. It took a few private messages back and forth from them until I was able to complete this process.

    FYI- I have successfully performed this upgrade on 2 HR20-700's, so this is NOT theory or speculation. It actually works, and I maintained all settings and content from before, plus gained extra space.

    First, why did I want to do this?

    1) I don't want an external hard drive box on top of or beside my HR-20 making more noise and using more power.

    2) I want to retain all of my settings, recording lists, and current recorded shows.

    3) The same reason a dogs licks... Well you get the idea, I wanted to do it as a challenge.

    Second, What do I need to do this?

    1) A T10 Torx screwdriver. My regular T10 worked for me. Another contributor to this thread notes:

    The screws holding the cover on my HR20 are security Torx screws so a normal driver will not work. (Driver needs a hole drilled in the tip on the long axis which will fit over the post inside the screw hole.) One source for such a driver is:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=360-097

    2) A Phillips screwdriver.

    3) A computer with SATA interface.

    4) Proper software for the computer. You could possibly do this completely with Linux. I didn't. I used Ghost, MBR Tool and Tiny Hexer.

    5) A SATA internal hard drive. I used a 1TB Hitachi Deskstar.

    6) A pair of snips.

    7) Possibly a pair of pliers depending on your unit.

    Lastly, let's get to it!

    1) Take out the 5 T10 Torx screws from the back of the unit.

    2) Note that you are breaking a seal that violates the warranty when you remove the cover.

    3) Slide the cover towards the back of the unit and it will come unlatched, then you can remove it.

    4) Remove the SATA connector, Power connector and Fan Power connector from the internal hard drive.

    5) Find the 2 plastic fasteners that attach the drive mount to the frame. Place your Torx screwdriver in the center of them and push the plastic pin downward. This will release them and they can be removed.

    6) Use a phillips screwdriver to remove the ground wire. You can't remove the Torx side unless you have some type of tamper-proof driver, as far as I can tell.

    7) Now is the hardest part. I have done this on 2 different HR20's and they were both different. You have to remove the 2 screws holding the drive mount to the front of the unit. On one of mine, their were nuts holding them, so I just removed the nuts with a pair of pliers. That was fairly easy and I didn't have to remove the front panel. On my other unit, they were screwed in from the front, so you have to remove the front panel and unscrew them with your Torx screwdriver. It takes some patience and coodination to remove the front panel. Good luck!

    8) You have to snip the tie wrap on the fan power connector in order to remove the hard drive.

    9) Remove the hard drive mount (and hard drive) from the unit.

    10) You need to install the new drive into the HR20 temporarily and power it up. Let the HR20 format the drive and then shut it back down. This is important because you have to write down the partition information from the new drive.

    11) Now is the fun part. Hook your new drive and current internal drive up to a computer with a SATA interface.

    Update 9/21/08
    This process has evolved since the inception of this thread and continues to get less complex. Beginning with the 0.3.7-7 release of the Gparted Live Linux distribution, all of the data copying can now be accomplished using bootable Gparted Live media.


    The original steps 12-20 have been deleted to give the details of the new/correct procedure. Thanks go to daniellee and ntrance for providing this process through trial and error. To complete this process you need to burn and use the GParted Live CD, gparted-live-0.3.7-7 or later. The version of the CD is important because some models of DVR drives power up in standby mode and therefore must be given the "spin up" command by Linux. This command only occurs using GParted Live versions 0.3.7-7 and later.

    Step 1 – Let the HR20 format the new ESATA drive.

    a) Shut down the HR20

    b) Connect the ESATA drive & turn it on.

    c) Restart the HR20

    d) Confirm that the HR20 is now using the ESATA drive instead of the internal drive.

    Step 2 - Perform a “graceful power down”

    a) This is achieved by doing a menu reset and disconnecting the HR20’s power just at the point when all the LED lights go off. This is a crucial step – the linux mount commands will fail with a “Can’t read from Superblock” error if this step isn’t taken. It is imperative that both drives experience a “graceful power down” while connected to the HR20.

    b) After the HR20 is powered off, turn off the ESATA drive and remove the bare drive from the ESATA enclosure.

    Step 3 – Connect the drives to the PC & copy.

    a) Get/burn a linux boot cd of GParted Live CD, gparted-live-0.3.7-7 or later.

    http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php

    b) On the PC, connect the new drive to SATA0 and the original HR20 drive to SATA1 and boot up GParted Live CD.

    c) You can use qtparted in system menu to verify which drive is which under linux. It is very important that you know the drive letter (a or b or whatever) that linux is assigning to each drive so that you get the sd(drive letter) right in the mount commands below. Normally with the new drive on SATA0 and the original HR20 drive on SATA1 linux will see the new drive as sda and the original HR20 drive as sdb - but you should check it to be sure.

    d) Get a linux command line prompt and enter the following commands:

    mkdir /mnt/fap
    mkdir /mnt/hr20
    mount -t xfs -o rtdev=/dev/sda3 /dev/sda2 /mnt/fap
    mount -t xfs -o rtdev=/dev/sdb3 /dev/sdb2 /mnt/hr20

    (The next line will start the copying process and on my system took about 70 minutes to complete.)

    xfsdump -J - /mnt/hr20 | xfsrestore -J - /mnt/fap

    (After the dump/restore has finished enter:)

    umount /mnt/hr20
    umount /mnt/fap

    Step 4 – Check it out

    a) Shut down GParted Live CD and remove power from the PC

    b) Return the new SATA drive to the ESATA enclosure and reconnect the original HR20’s HD power & SATA cables.

    c) Close up everything, reconnect everything, turn on the ESATA drive and power-up the HR20.

    Step 5 – Enjoy More DirecTV HDTV

    Update 12/3/2007:

    Thanks to Rodhead who posted the process for replacing the drive in the HR20-100.
    Here is the process:

    Replacing the stock hard-drive in a HR20 model 100 is incredibly easy!

    I got two new HR20-100s last week, free from DirecTV. I bought a 1TB Western Digital SATA drive and decided to upgrade one DVR as a trial.

    Some notes about previous postings:

    a. there is no security tag of any kind on the back.

    b. the original drive was set to 300 MB/s transfer rate so there's no need to drop down to 150.

    Only Torx T10 and T15 screwdrivers are needed.

    Here's the procedure:

    1. Remove five screws form the back and slide the cover back a bit, up at the back and then away.

    2. The drive is mounted in a black plastic holder. The holder is attached to the box on the front side. A separate black plastic bracket clamps the holder down on the rear side. A fan on the underside of the holder vents out the box througn slots in the bottom.

    3. Unplug the fan cable from the motherboard. Unplug the SATA and power cables from the drive.

    4. Unscrew seven screws and remove the drive holder and bracket.

    5. Flip the holder over and detach the drive from the holder by unscrewing four screws. On one side they are clearly visible. On the other side, they must be acecssed through the fan blades.

    6. Pop in the new drive and reattach with screws.

    7. Put the holder back in the box and reattach the bracket.

    8. Plug in the fan cable, power and SATA cables.

    9. Close the box.

    You're done. Total time, 15 minutes at the most. Obviously, if you want to preserve drive contents you'll have to copy partitions as described earlier.

    If you see errors, problems, issues, etc. with this process, please message me and I will edit and make changes. I am also interested in hearing any alternate ways of doing this, or any ways that are easier or will save time.
     
  2. Sep 25, 2007 #2 of 305
    Ken S

    Ken S RIP

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    While I haven't done an HR20 copy I have done similar with a disk from an Audio Request (QNX OS partition) unit. I used Acronis True Image which handled a lot of the manual operations that you describe automatically.

    What I did was take out the original drive and slip it into a external enclosure....use Acronis...then put the new drive and restore. It has an option that allows you to change the size of a restored partition to take up any existing free space.

    Anyway...I can't be positive that True Image will work on the HR20...they do have a 30 day trial version...so it won't cost anything if anyone wants to try.

    Oh, True Image was also faster than several other imaging utilities I used.

    Thank you for spending the time to detail the rest of the process.
     
  3. Sep 25, 2007 #3 of 305
    RamaX

    RamaX AllStar

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    Thanks very much for the post, i found it intersting for the same reason you mentioned at one point....because it would be fun to try it.

    I do think it does bring to the forefront one thing ive been considering, why bother going internal rather than external.

    Yes i can apprecaite the fan noise issue, but then the external drive can be hidden away where you cant hear the noise as much (no need for it to be up front like the recvr). The power issue is defiantely a pro, but pretty small i think in comparison to some of the cons.

    By changing the internal as you said, you void the warranty, so def a con. Also you wouldnt need to go thru all this to go back to whats on your internal drive if you go external for backup. If you wanted to see what was on the internal drive, all you would have to do is disconnect the external, reboot and our good to go.

    Im considering all my options with backing up all i have on my various DVRs. Some would say ideally id like to get them on my PC. While havin access to my recvr would be fun, for backup purposes i think disks are best (why move from HD on recvr to a PC HD..?) So while i do think adding more HD space is something ill prob do at some point, i think wha im looking for is somethng i thought i read about, and then asked a CSR, and i want to ask abouthere again.
    Is there a way to replay more than one recorded "show" at a time. I couldve sworn i read somewhere that a new (i dont recal which HR20) model will do this. I wish i could recall where i read that before. Because i think THAT is really a feature worth having
    If you were able to select, for example, 15 episodes to be replayed one after the other without having to keep selcting after each one, then you could set a DVD recorder, select what you want and while you sleep that night, boom youve backed up those shows. Of course there may be copyright concerns, but hey you already CAN record these things, just not EASILY. Or if i want to watch a Newsradio marathon, i should be able to just select that series name and itll just keep playing, instead of back and forth.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  4. Sep 25, 2007 #4 of 305
    mtnagel

    mtnagel Hall Of Fame

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    You won't get me to try it (though I did replace a drive in a Directivo), but good job :up:
     
  5. Sep 25, 2007 #5 of 305
    Ken S

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    If you go to your LIST and select a folder and press PLAY the HR20 will play everything in the folder one by one without stopping.
     
  6. Sep 26, 2007 #6 of 305
    pixlpush

    pixlpush Cool Member

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    I've replaced and instant caked the hard drives in my directivo's more times than I care to remember. I'm fairly certain that I could do the majority of the steps blindfolded. That being said one of my favorite features of my HR20 was simply plugging an esata drive into the rear of it and being done with it. I don't really care to ever open the case of the hr20 if I don't have to. But good to know it can be done it you want to.
     
  7. Sep 26, 2007 #7 of 305
    marty45714

    marty45714 Godfather

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    My main reason is that my wife and I have 10 months invested in this thing already. It's too late in the game to start over (unless I want a divorce). So this was a good option, plus I had nice flashbacks of the HDVR2 days!

     
  8. Sep 26, 2007 #8 of 305
    kirkusinnc

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  9. Sep 26, 2007 #9 of 305
    kirkusinnc

    kirkusinnc AllStar

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    Another alternative program for copying and editing sectors is Winhex. Very powerful program. I haven't tried it in this situation but used it a couple of times to copy data from the drive in my old Creative Nomad Jukebox when I swapped drives there.
     
  10. Sep 26, 2007 #10 of 305
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    This was very interesting and informative. If you wanted, you could post pictures.

    I just have to say this, just gotta be responsible:

    If you open your HR20 you are voiding your warranty, and your lease agreement. There is every reason to think, SOMETIME in the future you will want a different DVR, and DIRECTV will want theirs back. At that point, your tampering will be fairly obvious.

    Please understand, seriously, that's a risk you have to be willing to take. It could mean an $800 charge on your bill.

    Sorry to be a downer, back to the mirth!
     
  11. Sep 26, 2007 #11 of 305
    mammut

    mammut AllStar

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    By using the gparted linux live cd I was able to copy my internal drive to the external without multiple boots etc. Just use fdisk and add a bs value to the dd command as shown below. Took about 2 hours to copy.

    dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=32768
     
  12. Sep 26, 2007 #12 of 305
    RamaX

    RamaX AllStar

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    OK heres the $64,000 question.....will this work with the R15, and if not (which is what im guessing, not hoping) than will something similar work on that model (cause thats the one i cloggesd up with stuff that i dont wanna delete hehe)
     
  13. Sep 26, 2007 #13 of 305
    marty45714

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    Guess you need to try it and post your results. I don't have an R15, so I can't help you.

     
  14. Sep 26, 2007 #14 of 305
    marty45714

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    Winhex will not allow you to write to the disk without buying the program. :(

     
  15. Sep 26, 2007 #15 of 305
    marty45714

    marty45714 Godfather

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    I was able to get the tamper proof screws off with a regular T10 driver, its the one that holds the ground strap on the drive that I couldn't get off, so I took off the other side of it.

     
  16. Sep 26, 2007 #16 of 305
    marty45714

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    Would you please post a step by step of the 'fdisk' process? Please give all the details.

     
  17. Sep 26, 2007 #17 of 305
    thekochs

    thekochs DirecTV 10yr+ Customer

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    Don't think I'll do this but question. If you don't care about current recordings and you are willing to set your configs from the HR20 UI with new drive again......is the above simplier ? I guess what I mean is mechanical steps aside, when you put the larger HDD in the HR20 and power up are you ready to go ? I ask because in Step 17 you mention you have to edit the MBR table in the new HDD to tell the HR20 there is a bigger disk.....is this only because of trying to keep the existing data/recordings or is there some reason this step is also needed if just a new larger HDD is used as I described without the legacy data retention ? Thx.

    Also, pics of the mechanical steps would be great !
     
  18. Sep 26, 2007 #18 of 305
    Ken S

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    Couldn't tell you. I've never owned an R15. I'm sure some of the mods here have that info...or you could ask in the R15 forum. Sorry, I can't be of more help.
     
  19. Sep 26, 2007 #19 of 305
    Ken S

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    If you just want to swap the drives and don't care about losing your settings, recorded content, etc. all you have to do is plug the drive in. The HR20 will format the new drive and use its full capacity just as it does with external drives. It seems they have the enough of the OS on a static memory chip of some sort to not require a HD to initialize and boot.
     
  20. Sep 26, 2007 #20 of 305
    armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

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    HHHmmmm, Must contemplate pluses and minuses. Would really love large disk space and ability to add an effective cooling fan. Vs the chance this thing craps out and I need a replacement.
    Since this has become a conversation. This seal that gets broken, is it made of wax? Without great detail of the possibilities, could its integrity possibly be maintained? Just yes or no.
     
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