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how to unlock a hard drive from hr21-700 to use in a computer


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57 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   chevyman601

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 10:56 PM

i want to use the old hard drive from my hr21-700 as a normal hard drive in a computer as i replaced it with a 1TB drive. but the drive is locked with ATA Security and doesn't show up in the bios or spin-up

thanks
SlimLine5|Zinwell WB616(x2) & WB68 Multi-Switches|All RG-6 Quad
2 - HR20-700(0x458)|HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch│OTA & mpg4 Locals│static IP|
1 - HR20-100(0x458)(1Tb-int)│HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch│OTA & mpg4 Locals│static IP|
4 - HR21-100[0x459)1Tb-int|(3x(0x459)│HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch|static IP's|
4 - HR10-250(6.4a)Component│1080i│No Stretch│OTA Locals|
(temp disabled units in red)
all units owned![All Units Networked-wired]
Customer Since USSB

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#2 OFFLINE   wilbur_the_goose

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 05:42 AM

Personally, I wouldn't do that.

Remember - it's a leased box. You don't actually own that HD.

#3 OFFLINE   houskamp

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 06:01 AM

Those drives don't spinup properly for computer use either..

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#4 OFFLINE   Tom Robertson

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 01:21 PM

First off, I suggest we don't presume. For instance, I own several HR2x units and we know others here do to. (That said, one hopefully waits for the warranty to expire first...) :)

Second, while I haven't used a drive as a primary drive in a computer, it works very nicely for a secondary drive.

As for how to unlock the drive, check with the drive manufacturers support knowledgebase. I suspect they have a utility. (Or google is thine best friend.) :)

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#5 OFFLINE   chevyman601

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 03:39 AM

Personally, I wouldn't do that.

Remember - it's a leased box. You don't actually own that HD.


all of my units are OWNED!
SlimLine5|Zinwell WB616(x2) & WB68 Multi-Switches|All RG-6 Quad
2 - HR20-700(0x458)|HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch│OTA & mpg4 Locals│static IP|
1 - HR20-100(0x458)(1Tb-int)│HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch│OTA & mpg4 Locals│static IP|
4 - HR21-100[0x459)1Tb-int|(3x(0x459)│HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch|static IP's|
4 - HR10-250(6.4a)Component│1080i│No Stretch│OTA Locals|
(temp disabled units in red)
all units owned![All Units Networked-wired]
Customer Since USSB

#6 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 02:51 PM

Try an Internet search for “MHD3”. This is a program that will reformat and unlock drive used in old UltimateTV units. PM me if you can’t find it.

#7 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 03:04 PM

I had no problem taking a 320GB drive from an HR21 and using it with a computer. The OS I installed re-formatted it. I don't recall if it was a Vista, Red Hat or Ubuntu install I did first.

Oh, and yes, I own the HR21...which now has a 1TB drive installed.

#8 OFFLINE   durl

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 03:31 PM

I had no problem taking a 320GB drive from an HR21 and using it with a computer. The OS I installed re-formatted it. I don't recall if it was a Vista, Red Hat or Ubuntu install I did first.

Oh, and yes, I own the HR21...which now has a 1TB drive installed.


Along the same lines, could I pull the HR10-250 drive out of its box, put it in a PC, and install Windows onto it?

I have a couple of old HR10s that Directv said I could keep (one had the perpetual reboot syndrome and the other's access card reader went kaput) so I was thinking about buying an enclosure, dropping both drives into it, and attaching it to my media server. Sound feasible?

#9 OFFLINE   CobraGuy

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:10 AM

all of my units are OWNED!


You sure? Where did you buy them?

#10 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:23 AM

OK, let's take his word for it. It is possible to own an HR21, as Tom says. I think we all agree that it is a huge mistake to try to open a piece of leased equipment but if he says he owns it, as far as I'm concerned he owns it.
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#11 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:51 AM

Along the same lines, could I pull the HR10-250 drive out of its box, put it in a PC, and install Windows onto it?

I have a couple of old HR10s that Directv said I could keep (one had the perpetual reboot syndrome and the other's access card reader went kaput) so I was thinking about buying an enclosure, dropping both drives into it, and attaching it to my media server. Sound feasible?


XP and Vista will low level format the drive before doing the install...I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work.

#12 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:47 AM

XP and Vista will low level format the drive before doing the install...I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work.


If the drive is locked with ATA security, then it won’t be that simple. I don’t know how this works with the HR10’s and HR2x’s, but on the old UltimateTV DVR’s, they would use ATA security to lock the drive. If you put a used UTV drive in a computer, it would act like it wasn’t even there. Basically, it’s a hardware level data encryption and unless the controller passes the right key to the drive when it spins up, the drive never responds back, not even with its model number or drive parameters. The controller just assumes nothing is there.

The program I mentioned in my earlier post, MHD3, is used to unlock a drive that is using this ATA security. It won’t decrypt the data, but it will send the drive an “override” unlock code that will then allow it to be reformatted, thus removing the encryption (and the data, too). It has to be run from a bootable floppy (or something emulating that). It’s advisable run it with nothing but the locked drive connected to the primary controller to prevent accidental erasure of a good drive. Also, it takes a while, as in hours. I seem to remember it being something like an hour for every 30GB.

There is a way to get around ATA security without destroying the data, but I’ll not go into that as it might be construed as “hacking” and that’s not allowed here.

#13 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 09:52 AM

If the drive is locked with ATA security, then it won’t be that simple. I don’t know how this works with the HR10’s and HR2x’s, but on the old UltimateTV DVR’s, they would use ATA security to lock the drive. If you put a used UTV drive in a computer, it would act like it wasn’t even there. Basically, it’s a hardware level data encryption and unless the controller passes the right key to the drive when it spins up, the drive never responds back, not even with its model number or drive parameters. The controller just assumes nothing is there.

The program I mentioned in my earlier post, MHD3, is used to unlock a drive that is using this ATA security. It won’t decrypt the data, but it will send the drive an “override” unlock code that will then allow it to be reformatted, thus removing the encryption (and the data, too). It has to be run from a bootable floppy (or something emulating that). It’s advisable run it with nothing but the locked drive connected to the primary controller to prevent accidental erasure of a good drive. Also, it takes a while, as in hours. I seem to remember it being something like an hour for every 30GB.

There is a way to get around ATA security without destroying the data, but I’ll not go into that as it might be construed as “hacking” and that’s not allowed here.


Okay, then I guess they don't use it in the HR21 because it seems to be working just fine in my computer. I was also able to see the DirecTV partitions before deleting and formatting them. It was my understanding that ATA security wouldn't prevent you from formatting a drive...just accessing the data on it.

#14 OFFLINE   durl

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 10:38 AM

I don't care about keeping the data on the HR10 drives. I'd be content to reformat them and make them usable with my server.

#15 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 12:45 PM

Okay, then I guess they don't use it in the HR21 because it seems to be working just fine in my computer. I was also able to see the DirecTV partitions before deleting and formatting them. It was my understanding that ATA security wouldn't prevent you from formatting a drive...just accessing the data on it.


It depends on the security level. There is a user password and a master password and levels for each:

http://www.t13.org/D...rifications.pdf

Basically, the UTV set a “master password” with “high capability” security. At that point, the only command the drive will respond to without the password is a full erase. Because the drive won’t even respond to a device inquiry, the full erase command has to be sent “blindly” from the controller and this can’t be done under O/S control. That’s basically all the MHD3 program does and the reason why it has to be run from a “boot” disk.

#16 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 01:47 PM

It depends on the security level. There is a user password and a master password and levels for each:

http://www.t13.org/D...rifications.pdf

Basically, the UTV set a “master password” with “high capability” security. At that point, the only command the drive will respond to without the password is a full erase. Because the drive won’t even respond to a device inquiry, the full erase command has to be sent “blindly” from the controller and this can’t be done under O/S control. That’s basically all the MHD3 program does and the reason why it has to be run from a “boot” disk.


Thanks Rodney,

Well, I guess the HR2x series doesn't use it. From what I've read of the Tivo folks and the stuff they do with their hard drives I have a feeling they don't either. I do appreciate the heads-up...now I'll know what's going on if I ever run into a drive acting like that.

#17 OFFLINE   chevyman601

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 07:26 PM

You sure? Where did you buy them?



I didn't buy them, they are replacements for the owned hr10-250 that died on the protection plan. my friend also has over 25 of them owned too, fact DTV came out and took pictures of his set up for there records because he has the most units of anyone and gave him a special CSR phone number.

Anyway he has 2 or 3 hard drives that came out of a 20 or 21 that are locked so maybe at one time they were locking them. the drives don't show in the post or spin-up. tried to put them in a hr21 but don't work and don't know what unit he took them out of, or i would put them back in to get them spun-up and swap the data cable to a computer and do a drive wipe. i found company that has a program that unlocks drive but they charge by the GB size of the drive which would cost almost half the price of a new drive.
SlimLine5|Zinwell WB616(x2) & WB68 Multi-Switches|All RG-6 Quad
2 - HR20-700(0x458)|HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch│OTA & mpg4 Locals│static IP|
1 - HR20-100(0x458)(1Tb-int)│HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch│OTA & mpg4 Locals│static IP|
4 - HR21-100[0x459)1Tb-int|(3x(0x459)│HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch|static IP's|
4 - HR10-250(6.4a)Component│1080i│No Stretch│OTA Locals|
(temp disabled units in red)
all units owned![All Units Networked-wired]
Customer Since USSB

#18 OFFLINE   Ken S

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 08:26 PM

I didn't buy them, they are replacements for the owned hr10-250 that died on the protection plan. my friend also has over 25 of them owned too, fact DTV came out and took pictures of his set up for there records because he has the most units of anyone and gave him a special CSR phone number.

Anyway he has 2 or 3 hard drives that came out of a 20 or 21 that are locked so maybe at one time they were locking them. the drives don't show in the post or spin-up. tried to put them in a hr21 but don't work and don't know what unit he took them out of, or i would put them back in to get them spun-up and swap the data cable to a computer and do a drive wipe. i found company that has a program that unlocks drive but they charge by the GB size of the drive which would cost almost half the price of a new drive.


Have you tried any of the low level partition tools? I guess I just got lucky with my drive. Anyway, the MHD tool may do what you want.

#19 OFFLINE   chevyman601

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 03:29 PM

Have you tried any of the low level partition tools? I guess I just got lucky with my drive. Anyway, the MHD tool may do what you want.


i'm out of town right now so it will have to wait till i get back, thanks
SlimLine5|Zinwell WB616(x2) & WB68 Multi-Switches|All RG-6 Quad
2 - HR20-700(0x458)|HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch│OTA & mpg4 Locals│static IP|
1 - HR20-100(0x458)(1Tb-int)│HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch│OTA & mpg4 Locals│static IP|
4 - HR21-100[0x459)1Tb-int|(3x(0x459)│HDMI│Native OFF /1080i│No Stretch|static IP's|
4 - HR10-250(6.4a)Component│1080i│No Stretch│OTA Locals|
(temp disabled units in red)
all units owned![All Units Networked-wired]
Customer Since USSB

#20 OFFLINE   newsposter

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 09:03 AM

OK, let's take his word for it. It is possible to own an HR21, as Tom says. I think we all agree that it is a huge mistake to try to open a piece of leased equipment but if he says he owns it, as far as I'm concerned he owns it.


if you cant open leased equipment then how do after market retailers legally upgrade units to bigger hard drives etc.?

is every upgraded unit 'owned'?
57 inch Hitachi 57F710S
Tivo Premiere
Panasonic E80 Dvd recorder
HR10-250 63 hrs w/DB8 antenna (parts :))
1/2 full Sony T60 (historical value)




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