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HR2x/R22 0x395: Is your Hard Drive loud?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Doug Brott, Jan 27, 2010.

Is your Hard Drive loud?

  1. Yes, I would describe it as loud

    0 vote(s)
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  2. No, I would not describe it as loud

    116 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I've run 20-700s without an internal and had no problems. Haven't done it in a long time, but it worked flawlessly. You don't even have to remove the HDD, just pull the SATA power cord to the internal. But that was before the diagnostic functions showed up, don't know what would happen now.

    Looking at the pictures of the HDD mounting in the 20-100s, I can see how the HDD could cause the case to resonate. The first time I saw a picture of a 20-100, my immediate comment was "It looks like a TiVo." But even the TiVos had better mounts than the 20-100. And people wonder why I've been so critical of the whole 100 series.

    So what are you gonna do now? Every time there is an NR, you're gonna have to take the whole thing apart and reboot it again.

    Rich
     
  2. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Kudos and Cheers for your great report TBlazer!

    Some interesting supplemental information for comparison:

    My HR20-700 (I actually have two, but one is leased and was never opened) actually had small/very thin rubber grommets between the screw head and plastic mounting bracket you showed...nothing substantial, but they were there. That might explain why I could not replicate those symptoms.

    Having been on the HR21-200 testing team, and that unit also being owned and upgraded to a larger-capacity drive....I also saw inside that while the mounting structure was different that in the HR20 series, is too had rubber grommets (but different ones, and thicker) between the screw head and mounting bracket locations. Those rubber/plastic grommets clearly are there for the purpose of reducing vibration transfer from the drive to the case.

    Since there were multiple locations in the manufacture of the HR20's....some may have had grommets and others not.

    Your information and photos are very helpful, and I would totally agree with all of your conclusions - they all makes sense.

    In theory, if you obtained and installed your own (not originally there) rubber grommets that would fit...perhaps this would improve things for you going forward as well.

    In any case (no pun intended) - this is a significant discovery, and I believe may have uncovered the root cause of many of the reported noise reports. This would also further reduce the firmware as the potential source itself.
     
  3. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Grumpy Grampy

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    NONONO ..... I put the original internal drive back in and for now am back to the eSata for the 750gig. :)

    Definately won't boot without the internal connected. Must be some sort of internal diags being run on bootup looking for the temp sensor. When I take the drive out and run the diag test (with the eSata attached) it locks up at the temp sensor test. Maybe if I waited "forever" it would eventually boot with an error msg of some sort.
     
  4. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    If you've got a 20-700, take the grommets out and just use screws. Machine screws with nuts will work on the two grommet points in the interior of the unit and you can just remove the grommets from the front panel and use the supplied screws. See what that sounds like and you'll not be casting aspersions on grommets anymore. Grommets cause a "floating" action between parts in all types of mechanical equipment and work very well to reduce vibration migration and loud sounds.

    The DLB NR caused me to lose two eSATAs and I replaced them immediately and they've been silent ever since. What are you holding on to noisy eSATAs for?

    I criticized his take on the noisy HDDs too, at first. But stats don't lie, and what I've gleaned from that poll leads me to believe that many of the drives are shot. I think he's right now.

    Rich
     
  5. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    All part of the journey.

    Rich
     
  6. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "Yeah"
    Cause - software change
    Source - hard drive
    resolution/remedy - better isolation of the drive and/or not having the cover in contact with it.
     
  7. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Grumpy Grampy

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    Wellllll, the firmware is still the "cause" because it introduced all the periodic head thrashing (?indexing?) that was never there before which in turn causes all the noise. :)

    The firmware isn't "defective" but whatever it is now doing (that it never did before) to the hard drive is causing this "noise" and inconvenience to a lot of people due to how the HR20(-100 in this case) was constructed. We can't expect everyone to run out and buy external drives to resolve the cabinet design issue which is rearing it's ugly head as increased noise due to the increased disk activity caused by the firmware! :)
     
  8. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    ...or better yet, replace the plastic ones with rubber ones that actually absorb vibration, instead of carry it to the case...
    The whole right/wrong thing never mattered (to me anyway), but thanks for your comments.

    The end goal here is to figure out the problem, and see how it could be addressed.

    TBlazer took and aggressive, but calculated move to hone in on the potential culprit there, and came up a winner - I would also agree with you that if this does not resolve someone's noise problem, the drive is likely defective.

    Hopefully this hard evidence now at least ends the never ending story of blame toward the firmware. Increase firmware reads/writes within the drive may have "accelerated" or "increased" the drive head activity....but was never the actual cause of the problem.
     
  9. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    That's probably the best and most concise explanation....and better than mine.
     
  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Just looked at your pictures again. Gotta wonder what the people who designed the 20-100 were thinking. Constant movement always loosens up screws inserted into plastic and I think that's what I'm seeing. How do you tighten up a screw into plastic? Even Loc-Tite wouldn't work.

    About the 20-700s. Every one of my owned 20-700s has needed tightening of some screws. Two had very loose screws on the bracket on the side facing the front panel and that was causing vibration. One had a screw that had fallen out and was bouncing around in the internal of the HR. I've made a point of taking each of my owned 20-700s apart and snugging up all the screws I could find and a good number were loose. My three leased 20-700s are quite silent. Oh, the Mexican and Chinese 20-700s had loose screws, so we can't point to a particular 20-700.

    Rich
     
  11. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    This is what I have been saying all along that the increased activity has been causing some drives to exhibit louder noise being the type of drive or the way they were mounted as all of my later model DVRs have the rubber grommets to dampen vibration and noise.

    Glad we are getting somewhere with all of this. Now do you send it back and get a replacement DVR???
     
  12. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    The HR20 series was obviously the early guinea pig models which DirecTV used to launch their own hardware inventory.

    Yeah...build quality, and perhaps even some of the design was not the best. :eek2:

    As I participated in later HR21x and other hardware tests, and had several owned units, I could see marked improvement inside in some of those same design elements you cited.

    So apparently, they are learning....;)
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Why do you keep it if it makes noise that annoys you? Serious question, not flaming you.

    Take a look at the pictures of the 20-100's mounting scheme and that should answer your question.

    I agree with you on the NR causing the great outcry about noise and wrecking some HDDs completely. And I still think the DLB NR is to blame. But it happened and we can't do anything but gripe about it. I lost two eSATAs to it and replaced them and moved on.

    Rich
     
  14. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Early on....several folks said that the firmware itself may not have caused the problem, but rather, "amplified" whatever really was the problem.

    DLB certainly (in the 0368 national release) increased read/write activity due to its buffering actions. Other new features, including MRV may also increase hard drive head usage.

    The more hard drive activity, the more natural drive vibrations, and in turn, the more "noise" - especially if a drive is not well seated, mounted, or vibration-insulated in its design or installation.

    During this same time period, a few of the posters also had noises that were described as something well beyone something from vibration - likely deteriorating drive components themselves (heads, paltters, motor, etc.). As you pointed out previously as well, some of these drives are simply bad, and the updated firmware perhaps contributed to them going bad earlier than otherwise, but they were likely bad anyways. It happens - drives fail.

    This is all coming together to make sense on all fronts.
     
  15. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I see absolutely nothing wrong with the design of the 20-700s. In fact, I find the method of mounting the HDD most impressive. I've never heard a peep from my three 21-700s or my 21-200. Don't really know what's inside them, but the HDDs must be mounted better than the 20-100s HDDs. Couldn't be much worse.

    Rich
     
  16. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    I do...too much plastic inside....plain and simple. :eek2:

    But yes, I agree it could also have been much worse - I have been very fortunate apparently, as my 2 HR20 units have been working endlessly without incident for 3 1/2 years now....so they can't be the pits either if they lasted trouble free this long. :D
     
  17. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I don't think it is/was DLB, but changes in the code in the release that had DLB.
    Since DLB is dormant until you activate it, it's never active here and yet the bursts of head chatter are.
    This might be just splitting hairs, but "the release that had DLB in it" was what caused this and not DLB.
     
  18. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Grumpy Grampy

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    I don't think DLB itself was the issue. It may very well have been that firmware release when they starting using their new database format which included indexing the pictures and the new search etc. MRV also started on the same CE DLB started on.

    The -100 I worked on is NEVER used for DLB and rarely ever used for recording and it is (was) noisy as hell. It connects to a 7" TV in the kitchen by composite and my PC monitor by component. The drive activity in question is a periodic event with hours of silence inbetween. I think the DLB "connection" is just coincidence. There is a lot of new data that needs to be collected now then ultimately indexed.
     
  19. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I've got one leased 20-700 that I had to put in a cabinet because of what sounds like a transformer hum (I might not know that much about the mechanics of computers or the HRs, but transformers I am very familiar with). I doubt if that would cause any problems, but it's annoying enough for me to put it in a place where it doesn't annoy me. Transformers will hum and hum so loudly that it's almost hard to believe that they are still working. And I've never heard of a transformer that started humming and stopped completely.

    I've taken a lot of big transformers apart (air cooled, of course) and have never been able to find a reason for the hum, just ended up figuring the coils were at fault and there's not much you can do about that.

    My problem with that leased 20-700 has been going on for quite a while and I can't fault an NR for something like that.

    Rich
     
  20. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Grumpy Grampy

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    No transformers in an HR. You're hearing your hard-drive or fan.
     

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