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Upgrading the internal hard drive on an HR24


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#1 OFFLINE   anleva

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:01 AM

I have had the great fortune of picking up an owned HR24-500. I'm debating upgrading the internal drive to a 2TB WD20EADS myself. Not sure what I'm getting myself into however.

Anybody have any instructional tips on how this thing comes apart and what tools you need to have handy? Is there a schematic or service manual anywhere out there? It certainly doesn't look as straightforward as an HR20. Or maybe I should not even bother and just add it externally.

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#2 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:08 AM

OK, I'm probably the only person who will freely admit that he's tried this.

Why? because I took the pictures in the first look and I had DIRECTV's permission. So I have a bit of advice for you: don't do it.

I'm not going to give you detailed instructions, but I'm going to tell you that it took every flathead screwdriver I had, plus plastic putty knives and folded up pieces of paper. That was just to get the case off. I also removed a bunch of screws that I didn't need to, apparently.

It took me close to an hour to do all this and I darn near broke the front panel several times.
Then I got the thing open and you'll find two things: The drive is secured to the sled with wire and the SATA cable is so short it sits flush against the drive. Look at the pictures in the first look.

It was hard to be sure but the sled might also be soldered in.

As far as 2TB is concerned, I am not 100% sure you can even go up that high with an HR24. I know there are some other members of the HR2x family that won't run a 2TB internal.

My suggestion to you, sir... is eSATA.
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#3 OFFLINE   anleva

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:29 AM

Thank you Stuart, this is just the sort of advice I needed! :eek2:

That is not the sort of project I really want to get myself into. Looks like eSata and an external enclosure is really the best way to go here.

#4 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:14 PM

Yes the HR24 will handle a 2 TB Hard Drive such as the WD20EADS or WD20EVDS just fine with no problems whatsoever.

Replacing the Internal Hard Drive makes the DVR much Quieter than an eSATA Drive Enclosure. And there are problems sometimes when the DVR Reboots and doesn't recognize the External Drive because the eSATA Controller takes too long to respond so the DVR thinks there is no eSATA Drive attached and boots back up using the Internal Drive. Then you suddenly realize that your Recordings are gone.

They are not gone but just residing on your eSATA Drive which is not being used. Then you have to Reboot again and again until you get lucky and the External Drive is finally recognized.
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#5 OFFLINE   matt

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:29 PM

richierich were you able to get yours open and the drive swapped out?
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#6 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:40 PM

Hey look, You all do what you want to with your owned receivers. I don't want to hear about leased ones, we've been down that road before. But I'm just telling you it's an incredible pain to do and even if you're super-careful there's a pretty big chance that you'll destroy that owned DVR.
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#7 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:49 PM

Yes and it was a Piece of Cake!!! :)

I would not encourage anyone to Open up your DVR though unless you know what you are doing and you OWN your DVR.

You could get shocked or you could do something that would screw up the DVR. Then your Warranty wouldn't apply.

So Proceed at your own Risk and only if you Own your DVR!!!

Edited by Richierich, 20 April 2010 - 03:10 PM.

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#8 OFFLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:06 PM

Yes and it was a Piece of Cake!!! :)

I would not encourage anyone to Open up your DVR though unless you know what you are doing and you OWN your DVR.

You could get shocked or you could do something that would screw up the DVR. Then your Warranty wouldn't apply.

So Proceed at your own Risk and only if you Own your DVR!!!


Rich it was a piece of cake for you because you had someone else do it .. let's be honest here. ;)
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#9 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:17 PM

Yes Doug I did have someone who works with Directv and does these things all the time and it cost me a piece of Chocolate Cake with Breyer's French Vanilla Ice Cream!!!

I don't encourage others to do it unless they are good at replacing a drive in a PC for example and they Should Own their Own HR24-500. I have stated that if you are not adept at doing this it could possibly hurt you as if you got shocked or damaged the unit.

Proceed At Your Own Risk!!! Buyer Beware!!!

Knowing what I know now about the Process I could do it in 30 minutes or less and I am not a Rocket Scientist!!! :lol:

Actually my HR24-500 is Performing Flawlessly and I have tons of Recording Capacity!!! 2 TB Drives Rock My World!!!

Edited by Richierich, 20 April 2010 - 04:24 PM.

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#10 OFFLINE   Sim-X

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:21 PM

I'm planning to do mine when I get a HR24. Just did a 2TB EVDS on my HR22 - The first time was a nightmare for me, I broke a plastic thing inside and disconnected things I didn't have to. My 1st time doing an internal upgrade was using a 1.5TB EARS drive which blew. So I ended up getting a EVDS drive instead and re-did the entire procedure again and it went awesome the 2nd time around. Is the HR24 really that much harder than a 22?

I know the HR24's are not out everywhere yet but where would I be able to buy one that is mine?

There is a pretty nice guide for the HR boxes, why is this one so much harder? I def don't recommend everyone doing it but if you have done an older HR I would think one would be able to handle it wouldn't they?

#11 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:24 PM

Then let's be honest here. There is one person in this thread who has actually personally opened an HR24 (unless my friend Doug has, and if he has, it's with DIRECTV's blessing) and that one person is telling you that it is most definitely not a piece of cake and should not be attempted.

I have no doubt that there is a specific tool for opening these bad boys up, sort of like the tool they use to remove those anti-theft tags in stores. I'm sure that it makes things MUUUUUUCH easier.

But again, let's be completely clear. I have, with DIRECTV's permission, opened an HR24 (and an H24.) I did so with a combination of tools and parts that anyone could get at Home Depot, and I did so without any instructions. I found it to be a very daunting task.
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#12 OFFLINE   Sim-X

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:30 PM

Then let's be honest here. There is one person in this thread who has actually personally opened an HR24 (unless my friend Doug has, and if he has, it's with DIRECTV's blessing) and that one person is telling you that it is most definitely not a piece of cake and should not be attempted.

I have no doubt that there is a specific tool for opening these bad boys up, sort of like the tool they use to remove those anti-theft tags in stores. I'm sure that it makes things MUUUUUUCH easier.

But again, let's be completely clear. I have, with DIRECTV's permission, opened an HR24 (and an H24.) I did so with a combination of tools and parts that anyone could get at Home Depot, and I did so without any instructions. I found it to be a very daunting task.

Wow - I kinda wanna try now - except I don't fricken have one

If they gave you permission why wouldn't they give you the opening tool or at least some instructions?

I went back and looked at the 1st look, didn't see 2 many screws - is it just a lot of plastic tabs then? Prob with that things like that can break easy.

#13 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:30 PM

I'm planning to do mine when I get a HR24. Just did a 2TB EVDS on my HR22 - The first time was a nightmare for me, I broke a plastic thing inside and disconnected things I didn't have to. My 1st time doing an internal upgrade was using a 1.5TB EARS drive which blew. So I ended up getting a EVDS drive instead and re-did the entire procedure again and it went awesome the 2nd time around. Is the HR24 really that much harder than a 22?

I know the HR24's are not out everywhere yet but where would I be able to buy one that is mine?

There is a pretty nice guide for the HR boxes, why is this one so much harder? I def don't recommend everyone doing it but if you have done an older HR I would think one would be able to handle it wouldn't they?


Yes. It is just knowing how to undo the 3 clips on each side of the top, one at at time while keeping the lid held upwards so the clip doesn't slip back into the slot. Then do the other side and slide off the top of the case. Then you just have to take out the hard drive if you have ever done that in a PC it is pretty much straight forward.

Edited by Richierich, 20 April 2010 - 04:56 PM.

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#14 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:38 PM

I know the HR24's are not out everywhere yet but where would I be able to buy one that is mine?


As far as I know they are not available for sale through any retailer. A private sale would be your only option and that would still be hard to come by.

There is a pretty nice guide for the HR boxes, why is this one so much harder? I def don't recommend everyone doing it but if you have done an older HR I would think one would be able to handle it wouldn't they?


This is a completely different design and is most definitely designed to be more tamper-resistant. I have opened up several owned DVRs with DIRECTV's explicit permission, and you may look at the pictures in several of our first looks.

Getting to the drive in an HR21, HR22, or HR23 was relatively easy and required only a few tools you could get at any Home Depot. On the other hand, the case of the 24 series is completely different. It is not straightforward at all.

I'm not trying to toot my own horn here. Quite the opposite. I've done drive swaps in computers for 25 years. I've swapped drives in my own dvrs, and I've helped other people with it. But I would not attempt a drive swap in an HR24. The juice isn't worth the squeeze.
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#15 OFFLINE   Sim-X

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:40 PM

Yes. It is just knowing how to undo the 4 clips on each side of the top, one at at time while keeping the lid held upwards so the clip doesn't slip back into the slot. Then do the other side and slide off the top of the case.

I don't have one yet, but will be careful when doing mine. I'm guessing a lot of people are gonna wanna do an internal upgrade. Look how popular the internal upgrade thread is, just because it's not super easy doesn't mean it shouldn't be attempted. I think it's good to have some warnings and disclaimers but I love how well my new EVDS drive is working and no extra box next to the dvr. Along with some other benefits of course! I don't think internal upgrade is for everybody but a lot of people are still going to want to do it.

As far as I know they are not available for sale through any retailer. A private sale would be your only option and that would still be hard to come by.



This is a completely different design and is most definitely designed to be more tamper-resistant. I have opened up several owned DVRs with DIRECTV's explicit permission, and you may look at the pictures in several of our first looks.

Getting to the drive in an HR21, HR22, or HR23 was relatively easy and required only a few tools you could get at any Home Depot. On the other hand, the case of the 24 series is completely different. It is not straightforward at all.

I'm not trying to toot my own horn here. Quite the opposite. I've done drive swaps in computers for 25 years. I've swapped drives in my own dvrs, and I've helped other people with it. But I would not attempt a drive swap in an HR24. The juice isn't worth the squeeze.


Hopefully we see a photo tutorial thread once the box becomes more widespread. I know I got pretty frustrated when I first cracked open my HR22. Makes sense they would make them more tamper proof, a lot of projects is having the right tools. I would have been lost with out my security torx bit.

#16 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:44 PM

Yes. It is just knowing how to undo the 4 clips on each side of the top, one at at time while keeping the lid held upwards so the clip doesn't slip back into the slot. Then do the other side and slide off the top of the case.


I disagree with this statement.
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#17 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:44 PM

Hopefully we see a photo tutorial thread once the box becomes more widespread. I know I got pretty frustrated when I first cracked open my HR22. Makes sense they would make them more tamper proof, a lot of projects is having the right tools. I would have been lost with out my security torx bit.



I'm not sure you'll see such a tutorial here for some time, if ever.
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#18 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 05:17 PM

I corrected my post because I believe there are 2 clips on each side of the lid for a total of 6 clips and I will include pictures tomorrow of the lid turned upside down to show the clips.

Stuart has asked me not to provide pictures of my HR24 so I will not do so publicly in this forum.

However, if you want to ask me questions, please feel free to PM me.

However, I Do Not Advocate helping anyone who is going to Violate Directv Policy or Warranty Agreements. So if you Own Your Own HR24 I will assist you as far as pictures or information as long as you act responsibly and realize you are doing this at your Own Risk even though you Own Your Own HR24.

Edited by Richierich, 25 April 2010 - 01:03 AM.

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#19 OFFLINE   matt

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 05:18 PM

I love the idea of an internal drive but the HR24s look so sweet it would be worth the few extra $ for an external housing not to crack or break the HR24 housing to me after I thought about it.
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#20 OFFLINE   thekochs

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 06:19 PM

I'm not sure you'll see such a tutorial here for some time, if ever.


Stuart, I can appreciate DirecTV does not want this done and in fact they want the main stream folks to leave well enough alone but as I'm reminded over and over in this Forum...the 1%-ers live here...not the main stream. Are you saying DBSTalk would not allow a thread or post showing this ? Obviously, disclaimers would have to be on the top that you violate warranty, etc. but don't see why the HR24 would be any different showing folks so motivated (personally I'm not since don't use my DVR for archiving) to attempt than previous HRxx.

For those reading the How-To Thread in Info/Resources: http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=167440

Edited by thekochs, 20 April 2010 - 06:26 PM.

Input/Source Equipment
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