1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

R15 Harddrive dead, need help

Discussion in 'DIRECTV SD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by SEGA, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. weattv

    weattv Mentor

    44
    0
    Oct 15, 2007
    There might be better options these days than buying a DirecTiVo from weaknees. They charge $289 for a 70-hour model -- the one that's going often for $20 on eBay these days, & even has a legitimate ID number & is said to be working, & comes with all parts.
     
  2. styrum

    styrum Cool Member

    15
    0
    Nov 10, 2007
    I confirm: this way works! I got fed up with R15 locking up even after I had done the "Down Arrow+Record" reformatting (BTW the new firmware displays the progress of the reformatting process!). So, when updating my PC recently I was left with an about 3 yr.old 160GB PATA Samsung HDD - exactly what's needed! While having it connected to my new PC, using regular Windows Disk Manager application, I deleted the partition and then created it again (but didn't do any formatting). Then I simply turned off and opened the R15 and replaced the drive (didn't even disconnect the antenna and other cables!) Well, it's kind of laborious actually: You will have to handle 5 screws to take off the cover, then 4 screws to remove the pedestal to which the hard drive is attached, then 4 more screws to detach the drive from the pedestal. Of course, you will have to deal with all these 13 screws one more time to put everything back together. The HDD is one of the two noise sources in the R15 (the other is the fan), so they have rubber washers on the screws between the HDD and the pedestal. However, there are no washers between the pedestal and the case. If you find them of suitable size and put it there, I think it can make the R15 quieter.

    I turned on the DVR and while it was saying "almost there..." I pushed the Down Arrow and Record button together and had held for about 10 seconds before the Reformatting screen appeared. After the reformatting had been done (yeah, about 2 hours!) it apparently rebooted. I got scared when the screen was black for quite a while (half a minute or so), but then it it came up with the regular guided setup process. So it's working now and hasn't got stuck ever since (about 2 weeks)!:hurah:
     
  3. Jhon69

    Jhon69 Hall Of Fame

    4,714
    5
    Mar 27, 2006
    Central San...
    I'm going to put a post in here for all R15 users.First be sure you OWN your R15.If you had your R15 before March 2006 you should OWN it.After March 2006 you are LEASING your R15.With DirecTV's Protection Plan DirecTV will replace your R15 for FREE,without it's $19.95 S&H.

    Also even if you do OWN your R15 it would be a good idea to check with DirecTV.You may be in an area that will need DirecTV's R22-100.DirecTV's Tech Support should be able to tell you this information.:)
     
  4. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    4,317
    10
    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well, I'm going to toss in my $.02 worth also.

    If you LEASE your R15 and the HDD dies, you will get stuck with a 2 year programming commitment extension if you decide to get it replaced for the $20 S & H option. If you have the protection plan, you get it replaced at no extra charge and no programming commitment extension BUT you pay $72/year for this priviledge. I do not find the protection plan cost-effective.

    Meanwhile, if you decide to replace the HDD yourself, there is no programming commitment extension, no visit from a technician that might exchange your DVR with a reconditioned clunker, no problem at all.
     
  5. Jhon69

    Jhon69 Hall Of Fame

    4,714
    5
    Mar 27, 2006
    Central San...

    Ah yes but if your R15 is Leased and you replace the HDD then it turns out to be something else.Then you send it back to DirecTV they notice the seal is broken.Then DirecTV has the option of blaming you and might possibility bill you for the total cost of the R15.:eek2:
     
  6. downrange

    downrange Cool Member

    17
    0
    Jan 29, 2007
    can someone tell me something about the formatting (r15-500)? my dvr had the pwr and rec buttons flickering yesterday morning with a faint clicking coming from the back and seemed to be dead (was having skipping in recorded programs for about 2 days before this).

    I had an old 160GB laying around that I swapped in and after a couple minutes more of the dvr lights flickering it finally started up. the "formatting hdd xx:xx:xx" message came up and 2 hours later it reached "100%"; then it just sat there. I left it for ~40 minutes but nothing more was happening. I finally unplugged it and it started over again at 0% (another 2-hour format)

    I can see why the dvr buttons would be needed to force a low-level format once the disc has a fat/ntfs partition but the one I swapped in was from a linux machine (ext2 partitions); the dvr seemed to know it had 'no partition(ing)' so started low-level format by itself so how come it seemed to be hung at 100%? do I need to wait even longer than 40 minutes at that point? and if I have to format the drive with windows first, is it fat32? ntfs?
     
  7. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    4,317
    10
    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Hello and welcome to DBSTALK.COM! :welcome_s

    Don't believe everything you read in this thread as it is almost a year old!!

    The firmware in the R15 should now accept a native (blank) HDD and automatically format it and prep it for use simply by installing it. However, others have said that the drive from an R15 can be viewed on a linux machine so maybe your R15 is being confused by some of the linux info on the drive you are trying to use.

    My suggestion would be to put the drive back in the linux machine and format it there to remove any possible files that have hung around. Or you could put it in a windows machine and format it for FAT32 or NTFS which, of course, would completely overwrite any linux info. Then I'd try installing it in the R15 again and let it do it's thing.
     
  8. downrange

    downrange Cool Member

    17
    0
    Jan 29, 2007
    thanks, and thanks :)

    do you know why the format hits 100% then just hangs? or some trick to get past it?

    I formatted the disc with ntfs (a single 160G partition) after last night's hang, hit rec-dn arrow, let it format again for 2 hours then just like last night it gets to "100%" but never does anything else. tonight I let it sit at 100% for two hours before hitting the reset button by the access card (and again it wants to start all over formatting at 0%).

    edit: the problem with this dvr seems to be almost certainly the original hd is dead. I took out my drive, put back the original and I just get the constant flickering of pwr and rec buttons just like the morning I came out and saw the dvr was dead. then I put my drive back in, a couple flickers later it was powering up wanting to format it. I just don't understand why it stops doing anything once it reaches 100%.
     
  9. downrange

    downrange Cool Member

    17
    0
    Jan 29, 2007
    well I tried a 30G disc just to see if the format would complete but about halfway through it failed, maybe because it's too small. I'll buy another 160G disc so long as I know the DVR will still work afterward so I was hoping the 30G test would at least confirm that.

    anyway, all I really want is to be able to watch tv :) is the formatting (and a drive) utterly critical to just being able to watch live programs? once I hit the "100%" mark the orange light just stays lit (hdd still warm) and it seems like anything I do to interrupt it simply starts the entire 2-hour format over again once I power the dvr back on.

    so does anyone know how I can just tell this stupid thing "forget the damn drive, just show me some channels" :)
     
  10. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

    8,024
    0
    Jun 9, 2006
    The format shouldn't take but a few minutes. It's possible that it's not the drive thats bad, but the drive controller on the R15s motherboard.
     
  11. downrange

    downrange Cool Member

    17
    0
    Jan 29, 2007
    aren't there any service menus I can get at using buttons on the box, to either see what's the matter or force something to happen? I hit the reset button, pressed and held four buttons on the case and some grid with "RF RCU MODE" came up but I don't know what any of it is.

    tbh I really don't care if I can't save programs, I just want to watch tv. but every damn time I start it with one of the 'unformatted' drives it wastes my time either saying "format failed" for a 30G and 60G drive or hangs at 100% for the 160G drive. I've been reading posts here about how the dvr software is stored in eeprom and/or flash so how do I force this thing to skip the reformats and just let me get the dvr software started so I can watch tv?
     
  12. vlj9r

    vlj9r AllStar

    93
    0
    Nov 23, 2005
    My 160gig replacement drive took close to two hrs to format before it was ready for use.
     
  13. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    4,317
    10
    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Doubtful. One of my R15's is a reconditioned, leased unit. There was no seal on it when the installer brought it!! To be sure they don't suspect anything, if the unit does ever have to be returned in the future I'd keep the defective HDD around and put it back in before returning the unit. :D
     
  14. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    4,317
    10
    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    After it gets to 100% and then you reboot it, how far does it get before it decides to try reformatting again? Do you get "hello your DirecTV receiver is starting up"? There is a command to bypass setup and guide download and go directly to watching live TV. It is ACTIVE and DOWN buttons on front panel pressed simultaneously. Another command you might try while it is starting up is ACTIVE and UP. This supposedly takes you to System Setup and Info/Test directly. Worth a try!!
     
  15. bww

    bww Legend

    109
    2
    Feb 15, 2006
    I have an R15 which I own and it is about 4 years old. It works but lately the drive has been making more and more churning noise (it is in our bedroom) so I had this newer 160gb that was in a directivo (which we don't use anymore), it was a Seagate very similiar but newer then the one in the R15. I put the tivo one in the R15 and did the down arrow and record, then the diagnostic window came on for about 3-4 minutues and then the downloading satellite data for about 3-4 mintues and then live tv.

    I expected a long formatting process, however the whole thing only took about 7-8 minutes. Everything seems to be working fine (guide data is updating), Everything seems intact.

    Did this avoid the formatting because this drive was linux from the tivo? I am not complaining, it is very quiet and everything (I am writing this about 6 hours later)is working great.
     
  16. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    10,289
    35
    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    You should be fine. One thing to be aware of is if the R15 is owned or leased. I know you state that you own it, but "owning" a DirecTV receiver is a misnomer. Most people actually lease their DVR. Verify that you actually own it and not lease it.

    That being said, if you are leasing it, it is a violation of your subscriber agreement to open up the DVR and make any changes to it. If you own it, well, you just extended the life of your DVR.

    - Merg
     
  17. bww

    bww Legend

    109
    2
    Feb 15, 2006
    Yes I do really own it, purchased before leasing went into effect. Does anyone out there know why the drive seemed to skip the reformatting??
     
  18. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    10,289
    35
    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    It probably just performed a Quick Format. Think of when you used to format floppy diskettes. You could perform a quick format or a full format. In essence, the quick format just erases the list of files on the disk so that the computer thinks the disk is empty. Because of that it will just overwrite anything that it is there.

    - Merg
     
  19. glackowitz

    glackowitz Cool Member

    11
    0
    Sep 8, 2009
    I have an R15-500 and it started continually rebooting so I unplugged it. I plugged it back in and now it chirps and flashes the Rec and power light. I pressed the reset button but no fix. I pulled power and let it sit for awhile then plugged it back in and still get the hard drive noise but now only the Rec light flashes. I pulled the drive out and put it in my computer and it showed up and seems to run fine, shows alot of file folders. I placed it back in the Sat unit and all I get is flashing Rec light

    Is it possible My drive is ok and its something else?? or drive shows bad to the unit and needs a new one??

    Any thoughts??
    Thanks
    Glack
     
  20. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    10,289
    35
    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    There could still be issues with the drive. The problem might be in the boot sector, which you would be bypassing by putting it in your computer as a slave drive. If not your drive, there is something definitely wrong with your R15. Do you know if you own your receiver or if it is a lease? If you received it after March 2006, it is most likely a lease and the fee you paid for it was just an upfront lease fee. If that is the case, you DON'T want to open it up as that would be a violation of your Equipment Lease Agreement.

    Do you have the Protection Plan? If so, you can get the receiver replaced at no cost, whether the receiver is owned or leased. If owned, your replacement will also be tagged as owned.

    If you do not have the PP, you can still get it replaced for the cost of shipping ($20), although some people get that waived as well. If your receiver is currently owned, the new one will be a lease and will require an additional 2 year commitment.

    Unfortunately, any recordings and settings you have on your current receiver will not be able to be transferred over to the new one.

    - Merg

    BTW, Welcome to DBSTalk! :welcome_s
     

Share This Page