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Update on software transmission glitch


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18 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   JoeDokes327

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 01:39 PM

Has DirecTV ever come up with a fix or patch for those of us who had their external hard drives fried by their software transmission glitch last month? My 2 TB WD still triggers scandisk on cold boot and goes to the internal drive on warm boot. If I hook it to my computer Windows doesn't recognize it but the BIOS does. Obviously I can probably do a reformat from DOS but wiping 1.5 TB of programming is a last resort to salvage the drive for another use.

Are they offering any compensation for trashing our ESATA drives or is "I'm sorry" the extent of their response?

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#2 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 01:45 PM

Has DirecTV ever come up with a fix or patch for those of us who had their external hard drives fried by their software transmission glitch last month? My 2 TB WD still triggers scandisk on cold boot and goes to the internal drive on warm boot. If I hook it to my computer Windows doesn't recognize it but the BIOS does. Obviously I can probably do a reformat from DOS but wiping 1.5 TB of programming is a last resort to salvage the drive for another use.

Are they offering any compensation for trashing our ESATA drives or is "I'm sorry" the extent of their response?

Since eSata (to this day) is an unsupported service by DirecTV....the risks are all for the users.
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#3 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 06:23 AM

What mythical software glitch are you referring to? Plain and simple, your drive hosed up during a reboot, you could run some drive diagnostics that would not destroy the contents of whats on the drive....Windows will not recognize drives with a Linux file system on them....you need to use a Linux OS that recognizes the ext3 file system...

#4 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 01:14 PM

IMHO I think you may be in a very small minority, and that may be only a minority that had coincidental HDD issues at the time of the "glitch". The "glitch" was bad guide data, not some magical hard-drive-frying bullet fired from outer space (if it were, why are you the only one it worked on?) which obviously would be completely not their intent.

It (bad guide data) happens every once in a while, to all DBS vendors. DTV's response was both timely and correct: force a reboot including a cache wipe. Case closed.

But even if you were to get them to accept your theory that they fried your eSATA, seeing as how its unsupported, that's still on you. I would not be holding my breath for an apology for something they probably believe they had no part in and even if so, are not responsible for.
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#5 OFFLINE   jahgreen

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 02:02 PM

And many of us don't want to be helping to subsidize folks using unsupported features.
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#6 OFFLINE   JoeDokes327

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 08:53 PM

IMHO I think you may be in a very small minority, and that may be only a minority that had coincidental HDD issues at the time of the "glitch". The "glitch" was bad guide data, not some magical hard-drive-frying bullet fired from outer space (if it were, why are you the only one it worked on?) which obviously would be completely not their intent.

It (bad guide data) happens every once in a while, to all DBS vendors. DTV's response was both timely and correct: force a reboot including a cache wipe. Case closed.

But even if you were to get them to accept your theory that they fried your eSATA, seeing as how its unsupported, that's still on you. I would not be holding my breath for an apology for something they probably believe they had no part in and even if so, are not responsible for.

1) It wasn't guide data it was a software "update"
2) It happened to thousands of DVR's simultaneously all over the country
3) It affected both internal and external hard drives
4) About 10% of both internal AND external drives did not recover after they retransmitted the software update
5) For those users whose DVR's with internal HD's were rendered unusable DIRECTV has been replacing their boxes with the HR24. Some external drive users have negotiated compensation on an individual basis but there has been no patch provided to repair the defective download

6) When I called DIRECTV about it, I asked if they could help me because it was an unsupported feature. His reply was "it was just unsupported for the first few months" then he proceeded to follow an algorithm in their system for diagnosing and fixing problems with eSATA drives. So in fact they are not only supporting it, they are marketing it as a feature. Unfortunately at the time the CSR was unaware that it was a system-wide problem caused by the update, so none of his recommendations were of any benefit.
7) They were negligent by sending an unannounced unrequested uneeded software update adding features I don't use, which apparently overwrote the boot sector of the drive making it unrecognizable by the DVR.
8) If they know what the problem is they should be able to mail me a CD or DVD that I can boot to my computer under Linux and reload the patched software without having to completely reformat my drive.
9) Maybe none of this would have happened if the "NEW" DVR I ordered didn't turn out to be a HR20-100 because "that's what we had on the truck that day". But they charged me the same amount as if they had given me a brand new HR24. And of course if I'd had the larger hard drive of the HR24 I would have needed to use an eSATA drive!!
10) So YES it IS their fault and they need to make it right one way or another.

#7 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 09:15 PM

1)
7) They were negligent by sending an unannounced unrequested uneeded software update adding features I don't use, which apparently overwrote the boot sector of the drive making it unrecognizable by the DVR.

Are you referring to the update that enabled 3D in May? That was pretty well announced, they said when 3D was coming, and that update was needed for support. It may not have been an update you were interested in, but was a big update for some.

#8 OFFLINE   RobertE

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 09:29 PM

1) It wasn't guide data it was a software "update"
2) It happened to thousands of DVR's simultaneously all over the country
3) It affected both internal and external hard drives
4) About 10% of both internal AND external drives did not recover after they retransmitted the software update
5) For those users whose DVR's with internal HD's were rendered unusable DIRECTV has been replacing their boxes with the HR24. Some external drive users have negotiated compensation on an individual basis but there has been no patch provided to repair the defective download

6) When I called DIRECTV about it, I asked if they could help me because it was an unsupported feature. His reply was "it was just unsupported for the first few months" then he proceeded to follow an algorithm in their system for diagnosing and fixing problems with eSATA drives. So in fact they are not only supporting it, they are marketing it as a feature. Unfortunately at the time the CSR was unaware that it was a system-wide problem caused by the update, so none of his recommendations were of any benefit.
7) They were negligent by sending an unannounced unrequested uneeded software update adding features I don't use, which apparently overwrote the boot sector of the drive making it unrecognizable by the DVR.
8) If they know what the problem is they should be able to mail me a CD or DVD that I can boot to my computer under Linux and reload the patched software without having to completely reformat my drive.
9) Maybe none of this would have happened if the "NEW" DVR I ordered didn't turn out to be a HR20-100 because "that's what we had on the truck that day". But they charged me the same amount as if they had given me a brand new HR24. And of course if I'd had the larger hard drive of the HR24 I would have needed to use an eSATA drive!!
10) So YES it IS their fault and they need to make it right one way or another.


1) FALSE
2) True
3) True
4) Links to your data, otherwise, FALSE
5) FALSE
6) Believing what a CSR says? 2x FALSE
7) FALSE
8) :lol: Uh..No, not going to happen...ever. Especially considering it WAS NOT the software update that caused the problem.
9) HR24s were affected as well, so again FALSE
10) I'll give you this one. They fixed the issue, they gave a nominal credit to those that whined about it.
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#9 OFFLINE   prospect60

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 10:46 PM

10% -- really? That would be somewhere on the order of 250000+ receivers (??) -- I can't remember the last tally about HD subscribers/receivers recently!

I can only think of 3 or 4 reports of folks here having fried Hard Drives and I'm guessing that is at least a few thousand receivers.

#10 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:12 PM

10% -- really? That would be somewhere on the order of 250000+ receivers (??) -- I can't remember the last tally about HD subscribers/receivers recently!

I can only think of 3 or 4 reports of folks here having fried Hard Drives and I'm guessing that is at least a few thousand receivers.

18 million customers and 60% HD, so that's about 10 million homes and there was NO WAY 10% had this problem.
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#11 OFFLINE   prospect60

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:39 PM

So conservatively 0.5 miillion DVR';s would have been burned -- assuming 1/2 the HD homes have a single DVR. You think you would have made the papers.

#12 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:29 AM

So conservatively 0.5 miillion DVR';s would have been burned -- assuming 1/2 the HD homes have a single DVR. You think you would have made the papers.

Maybe if those numbers were valid....but there is simply no evidence the issue was anywhere near as wide spread as that. Perhaps that is why it "never made the papers".
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#13 OFFLINE   PlanetBill

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:57 AM

I think I know what he's refering to. I lost an HR20-700. D* sent me another one (shucks:)).
However, eSata is not supported. I lost an almost completely full DVR. Happy? no, but they didn't hassel me about replacement.

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#14 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:26 AM

Maybe if those numbers were valid....but there is simply no evidence the issue was anywhere near as wide spread as that. Perhaps that is why it "never made the papers".


The biggest press the guide glitch made that wasn't a tech site was Consumerist. Everything else was tech related like CNET and the TWIT network.

#15 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 08:29 AM

So conservatively 0.5 miillion DVR';s would have been burned.

No wonder we have a DVR shortage right now. ;) :D

I lost an almost completely full DVR. Happy? no, but they didn't hassel me about replacement.

You're my kind of user, PlanetBill. I have all the George Carlin HBO specials on my hard drive right now. Would I be pissed if I lost them? You bet. But as I have said many times, anybody who relies on a hard drive for archival storage is a fool.

1) It wasn't guide data it was a software "update"

As a guy who was pretty active on this board that afternoon - what a fun day! - it was proven conclusively it was a guide data problem. DVRs that didn't get a software update that morning, including one of mine, were also affected.

Edited by Carl Spock, 19 July 2010 - 08:36 AM.

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#16 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 08:46 AM

So conservatively 0.5 miillion DVR';s would have been burned.

Actually, the more I think about this, the more sense this makes in the greater scheme of things. Assuming our estimates are correct (10,000,000 HD customers, half with DVRs), let's say the guide data problem took down 0.2% of the DVRs nationwide. That's still 10,000 DVRs that needed to be replaced instantly. This could be a factor in why DVRs are in short supply right this moment.

I hope that guy was fired, whoever caused the guide data problem. DirecTV can't afford another glitch like this one. :P
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#17 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 08:58 AM

Actually, the more I think about this, the more sense this makes in the greater scheme of things. Assuming our estimates are correct (10,000,000 HD customers, half with DVRs), let's say the guide data problem took down 0.2% of the DVRs nationwide. That's still 10,000 DVRs that needed to be replaced instantly. This could be a factor in why DVRs are in short supply right this moment.

I hope that guy was fired, whoever caused the guide data problem. DirecTV can't afford another glitch like this one. :P

First the OP said this was a software update that caused this, not the guide data glitch.
Second the software was run through testing before and there was no sign of it crashing DVRs.
Third the software has had improvements in the boot system testing, so it would be more likely marginal hardware was "working" before the update, but now is being flagged as a problem after the update.

I think we all can feel for the OP for the loss of the recordings, but as they say "Stuff" happens and trying to store 1.5 TB of recordings is risky at best.
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#18 OFFLINE   Doug Brott

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:27 AM

1) It wasn't guide data it was a software "update"
2) It happened to thousands of DVR's simultaneously all over the country
3) It affected both internal and external hard drives
4) About 10% of both internal AND external drives did not recover after they retransmitted the software update
5) For those users whose DVR's with internal HD's were rendered unusable DIRECTV has been replacing their boxes with the HR24. Some external drive users have negotiated compensation on an individual basis but there has been no patch provided to repair the defective download


I think 10% is a bit of an exaggeration, but yes, I do recall a number of HDD being affected (e.g. there were a few DBSTalk posters that mentioned this .. but few does not equal 10%)

6) When I called DIRECTV about it, I asked if they could help me because it was an unsupported feature. His reply was "it was just unsupported for the first few months" then he proceeded to follow an algorithm in their system for diagnosing and fixing problems with eSATA drives. So in fact they are not only supporting it, they are marketing it as a feature. Unfortunately at the time the CSR was unaware that it was a system-wide problem caused by the update, so none of his recommendations were of any benefit.


This is conceivable .. I'd heard that this may become a pseudo-supported feature as generally speaking it's worked quite well in day-to-day usage.

7) They were negligent by sending an unannounced unrequested uneeded software update adding features I don't use, which apparently overwrote the boot sector of the drive making it unrecognizable by the DVR.


negligent? Seriously? I can tell you right now that there will be some percentage (albeit tiny) of HDDs that will fail after every software download. This is because the hardware device has actually been failing all along and the restart pushed it over the edge. You may in fact have fallen victim to this. If you don't have one of the DVR-compatible drives, then the on-the-fly disk checking isn't taking place to help keep your drive in tip-top shape. A manual scan may be helpful.

8) If they know what the problem is they should be able to mail me a CD or DVD that I can boot to my computer under Linux and reload the patched software without having to completely reformat my drive.


Why? :scratchin .. Wouldn't DIRECTV's solution be to replace your DVR if it were broken?

9) Maybe none of this would have happened if the "NEW" DVR I ordered didn't turn out to be a HR20-100 because "that's what we had on the truck that day". But they charged me the same amount as if they had given me a brand new HR24. And of course if I'd had the larger hard drive of the HR24 I would have needed to use an eSATA drive!!
10) So YES it IS their fault and they need to make it right one way or another.


Call and try to get it replaced since it's causing you so much trouble ...

Another option you may want to consider ...

To run the hard drive checks, please follow these steps:

  • reboot STB via Menu -> Parental, Fav's & Setup -> System Setup -> Reset -> Restart Receiver
  • when they see "Running receiver self-check" press select
  • You will see "Entering Diagnostics Mode..."
  • select Advanced Tests Menu -> Hard Drive utilities -> Surface Test
Warning: This process could take several hours to complete. You may want to run it overnight.

The good news is that every attempt is made to save programming. This is less destructive than a reformat all and could provide you with a more stable system if you are having problems that appear to be related to the hard drive.
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#19 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:32 AM

Another option you may want to consider ...

To run the hard drive checks, please follow these steps:

  • reboot STB via Menu -> Parental, Fav's & Setup -> System Setup -> Reset -> Restart Receiver
  • when they see "Running receiver self-check" press select
  • You will see "Entering Diagnostics Mode..."
  • select Advanced Tests Menu -> Hard Drive utilities -> Surface Test
Warning: This process could take several hours to complete. You may want to run it overnight.

The good news is that every attempt is made to save programming. This is less destructive than a reformat all and could provide you with a more stable system if you are having problems that appear to be related to the hard drive.

"Rule of Thumb" for this test on a good drive that is 2TB would be this test would take 10 hours minimum.
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