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3TB and 4TB Drives. The Danger!


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192 replies to this topic

#126 OFFLINE   rbpeirce

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 10:30 AM

FYI, OSX is BSD which is a variant of Linux.


Other way around. BSD is a variant of AT&T Unix and Linux came later as a way to get a PD form that was very similar.

Over the years they have gone slightly different ways but I am willing to bet that C source code for Linux programs would compile under OS X without too much trouble if it ran in a terminal window. There might be issues with libraries, but that might only be an issue for programs specifically needing Linux capabilities not present in BSD.

As an example, I had source from the old Unix ToolChest (System III) that I was able to compile with no problem under OS X. However, much of that has been replaced by GNU programs which I guess is the Unix variant of Linux.

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#127 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 10:38 AM

I've been using eSATA setups on my HR2x's since 2006, in all that time I've only lost 2 HDD's between my 3 DVR's....but several had been upgraded multiple times as larger capacity hdd's hit that pricepoint...like going from 1TB drives a few years ago, to 1.5TB, and finally 2TB's where I sit until they increase the allowable size on the HR2x line.

#128 ONLINE   Rich

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:59 AM

I've been using eSATA setups on my HR2x's since 2006, in all that time I've only lost 2 HDD's between my 3 DVR's....but several had been upgraded multiple times as larger capacity hdd's hit that pricepoint...like going from 1TB drives a few years ago, to 1.5TB, and finally 2TB's where I sit until they increase the allowable size on the HR2x line.


That's what I did too. Spent a lot of money doing it. With multiple HRs, I don't think I really need an HDD larger than 2TBs. Very rarely do I ever approach 20% Available on any of my HRs.

Rich

#129 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:18 PM

[The Home Media Server] should have had at least 2 (RAID1) "storage cartridges" (ie consumer removable disk magazines). If Joe Consumer (and Joe Installer) can handle inserting and removing CDs and DVDs they can sure handle a disk cartridge. I can recall my 5-year-old son swapping Nintendo cartridges!

The obvious solution now is for DTV to come out with an HR34 model without internal storage and sell something similar to a TenBox (only with removable drives). And fix the program locking.

For several years HP sold a PC with a drive bay where users could plug in a USB drive and swap it out at will. It looked great and worked well, but HP stopped doing it because the plug-in drives were of course proprietary, undersized and expensive.

I love your idea of extending this to the HMC, and either allowing users to swap drives or if nothing else, giving techs spare drives to plug in during a service call. It's plug-and-play at its simplest.

This would require a much larger chassis, though, and likely will raise the cost of the devices, so unfortunately I don't see it happening. Would be really nice though ...

#130 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 04:10 PM

That's what I did too. Spent a lot of money doing it. With multiple HRs, I don't think I really need an HDD larger than 2TBs. Very rarely do I ever approach 20% Available on any of my HRs.

Rich


I spent a lot of money buying Owned DVRs so I could Upgrade the Internal Hard Drives with 2 TB Hard Drives and now I am happy to have 7 DVRs with 14 Terabytes of Hard Drive Capacity.

3 of my 7 DVRs Backup the other 4 DVRs and that is their Sole Purpose.

And I just Love my WHDVR Service.
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#131 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 07:24 AM

If you think about it, if some people only have an hour or two each day to watch TV, why do they record at a rate more than that? That'll produce a backlog of recorded shows that will never be watched. It's kind of like an electronic version of hoarding.


I do kind of agree on the hoarding comment. :)

We over-record, but we do so for the times where are no new network shows on. Take the week before Thanksgiving. There will be no new shows on, so nothing will be recording. We will use this time to check out new series. For example, we are recording Vegas. We watched the Pilot and liked it, but not enough yet to have it bump 5-0 or Castle or Person of Interest. So episodes will pile up and we will get to it when nothing new is available. The network season is getting shorter and shorter, so we just make sure we always have something new.

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#132 OFFLINE   bobcamp1

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 07:37 AM

I've been using eSATA setups on my HR2x's since 2006, in all that time I've only lost 2 HDD's between my 3 DVR's....but several had been upgraded multiple times as larger capacity hdd's hit that pricepoint...like going from 1TB drives a few years ago, to 1.5TB, and finally 2TB's where I sit until they increase the allowable size on the HR2x line.


Only the HR34 will ever support more that a 2.2 TB hard drive. There is a universal barrier at play here. Older PCs using BIOS also can't ever support more than 2.2 TB. The fix for the older receivers involves a significant firmware change and either playing games with the partition table (always dangerous) or formatting the hard drive, which would tick off just about everybody. It may even be a chipset limitation which would make it physically impossible.

In fact, I think the HR34 is the only DVR on this planet today that supports more than 2.2 TB hard drives.

#133 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:28 AM

The fact is there isn't a demand because your average consumer just doesn't need it.

I disagree. In the case of the DIRECTV implementation, there are a number of impediments:
  • users can't bring themselves to "waste" the internal drive
  • little to no marketing of the feature
  • weak official documentation of the feature
  • uncertainty of what hardware will get you what you want
  • significantly more hardware combinations don't work 100% than do
  • having to reprogram recording preferences with each drive
  • all of your eggs in a bigger basket that cannot survive a DVR failure

If HD storage space was a primary driver of consumers needs for a DVR then cable companies would have increased their HD years ago.

Most cable DVRs don't need a whole lot of space because so much of the content is instantly available via VOD. Some cable setups don't even require a DVR for VOD. DIRECTV can't provide that kind of VOD accessibility so their customers need to store it locally.

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#134 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 08:32 AM

Older PCs using BIOS also can't ever support more than 2.2 TB.

You have to go back to Y2K's demon child, Windows Me, to find an operating system that relies on the motherboard BIOS for its low level hard drive functions.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#135 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 11:11 AM

Only the HR34 will ever support more that a 2.2 TB hard drive. There is a universal barrier at play here. Older PCs using BIOS also can't ever support more than 2.2 TB. The fix for the older receivers involves a significant firmware change and either playing games with the partition table (always dangerous) or formatting the hard drive, which would tick off just about everybody. It may even be a chipset limitation which would make it physically impossible.

In fact, I think the HR34 is the only DVR on this planet today that supports more than 2.2 TB hard drives.


Where is a 'magic' number 2.2 came from ?

No one did post partitioning of the HR34 with 3 TB drive. I would say it's using 2 TB of total space these 3/4 TB drives.

Dish is supporting 3 TB for EHD.

No need to do "a significant firmware change" (why you exaggerating ?), just a few changes related to buffer size (512->4096) and corresponding use of it.

#136 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 12:52 PM

No one did post partitioning of the HR34 with 3 TB drive. I would say it's using 2 TB of total space these 3/4 TB drives.


And you would be wrong... I'm pretty sure I posted the partition information and it is using all 3TB of a 3TB drive, all 4TB of a 4TB JBOD, all 6TB of a 6TB JBOD and all 12TB of a 12TB JBOD. My 9TB RAID 5 Array is using all 9TB.
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#137 ONLINE   Rich

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 01:26 PM

And you would be wrong... I'm pretty sure I posted the partition information and it is using all 3TB of a 3TB drive, all 4TB of a 4TB JBOD, all 6TB of a 6TB JBOD and all 12TB of a 12TB JBOD. My 9TB RAID 5 Array is using all 9TB.


Don't understand that. I know what a JBOD is but I don't understand what you're doing with all of the setups. In short, I'm lost. Whoosh.

Rich

#138 OFFLINE   palmgrower

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 01:52 PM

I'm lost as well, please explain.

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#139 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 02:08 PM

Dish is supporting 3 TB for EHD.

I'm relatively certain that this is a false statement.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#140 OFFLINE   bobcamp1

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 02:08 PM

Where is a 'magic' number 2.2 came from ?

No one did post partitioning of the HR34 with 3 TB drive. I would say it's using 2 TB of total space these 3/4 TB drives.

Dish is supporting 3 TB for EHD.

No need to do "a significant firmware change" (why you exaggerating ?), just a few changes related to buffer size (512->4096) and corresponding use of it.


The MBR can only support 2^32 unique LBAs, because it only supports 32-bit values for them.

2^32 * 512 bytes/sector = 2.2 TB. No partition can go past the 2.2 TB point on the hard drive when using MBR.

You need to replace the MBR with a GPT, update all the built-in disk tools (ex. gdisk not fdisk) accordingly, and whatever little misc. things the software and/or firmware might need to get it to work. It's not trivial, especially when trying to do it remotely for millions of customers with existing boxes full of recordings they'd like to keep.

It's a lot easier to do what D* did -- create a new branch of software for a new device and have that device support it from its initial release.

It was thought that advanced format drives would set this limitation to 17.6 TB, but to make them backward compatible they emulated 512 bytes/sector. Each one of those emulated sectors needs a unique LBA entry, and you have the same exact problem.

The THR22-100 (and all Tivos) have the same problem, as the Apple Partition Manager is also limited to 32-bit LBA entries.

Edited by bobcamp1, 05 October 2012 - 02:15 PM.


#141 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 04:06 PM

Don't understand that. I know what a JBOD is but I don't understand what you're doing with all of the setups. In short, I'm lost. Whoosh.

Rich


I tested each setup out using 2 RAID enclosures that I have to verify that the HR34 was in fact using the entire drive. One enclosure holds 2 drives. With that enclosure I tested 3TB RAID 1 (2x3TB drives), 6TB JBOD (2x3TB drives) and 4TB JBOD (2x2TB drives). The other enclosure I have holds 4 drives and supports RAID 5. With it I tested 12TB JBOD (4x3TB Drives) and I settled on using 9TB RAID 5 (4x3TB Drives).
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#142 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 04:13 PM

I'm relatively certain that this is a false statement.


Then you'll eat a crow ! Ready ?

#143 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 04:15 PM

The MBR can only support 2^32 unique LBAs, because it only supports 32-bit values for them.

2^32 * 512 bytes/sector = 2.2 TB. No partition can go past the 2.2 TB point on the hard drive when using MBR.

You need to replace the MBR with a GPT, update all the built-in disk tools (ex. gdisk not fdisk) accordingly, and whatever little misc. things the software and/or firmware might need to get it to work. It's not trivial, especially when trying to do it remotely for millions of customers with existing boxes full of recordings they'd like to keep.

It's a lot easier to do what D* did -- create a new branch of software for a new device and have that device support it from its initial release.

It was thought that advanced format drives would set this limitation to 17.6 TB, but to make them backward compatible they emulated 512 bytes/sector. Each one of those emulated sectors needs a unique LBA entry, and you have the same exact problem.

The THR22-100 (and all Tivos) have the same problem, as the Apple Partition Manager is also limited to 32-bit LBA entries.


OK. I would use TiB when giving the number, but not everyone could separate computer's and marketing count of bytes. :eek2:

Now turn on your math skills again and do same for newest HDD which has 4K sector's size.
Continue counting ... what is your result ?


EDIT: Done ? So you would still using MBR and it would not required that dramatic changes in FW.

Edited by P Smith, 05 October 2012 - 04:24 PM.


#144 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 04:48 PM

I tested each setup out using 2 RAID enclosures that I have to verify that the HR34 was in fact using the entire drive. One enclosure holds 2 drives. With that enclosure I tested 3TB RAID 1 (2x3TB drives), 6TB JBOD (2x3TB drives) and 4TB JBOD (2x2TB drives). The other enclosure I have holds 4 drives and supports RAID 5. With it I tested 12TB JBOD (4x3TB Drives) and I settled on using 9TB RAID 5 (4x3TB Drives).


Can't find your post where the big drives/volumes partitions posted ...

#145 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 06:31 PM

Can't find your post where the big drives/volumes partitions posted ...


Well here's where I at least posted the size of DirecTV's partition for each setup.

http://www.dbstalk.c...3&postcount=174

You can search for the rest.
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#146 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 06:58 PM

I did expect fdisk output ...

#147 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 07:09 PM

I did expect fdisk output ...


Then you should do some testing.

Oh, and fdisk won't work with GPT. But you already knew that, right?
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#148 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 12:20 AM

GPT ? I don't remember if it was mentioned. For sure 4K drives could work with MBR just fine. As it done by dish for support big EHD drives.

#149 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 07:29 AM

Well written post. What I'd REALLY like is the ability to use a NAS on my network to backup/store stuff on the HR34.


Conceptually that would be really nice.

From a practical perspective it creates a lot of issues. NAS has to be carefully engineered in a large enterprise environment. Even there it's not suitable for all purposes.

I've been doing high-end enterprise-scale software engineering for 30 years (storage focus the last 12 years). If I were developing DTV's software I would never consider supporting NAS. Would be asking for disaster.

#150 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 07:51 AM

The fact is there isn't a demand because your average consumer just doesn't need it. If HD storage space was a primary driver of consumers needs for a DVR then cable companies would have increased their HD years ago.

This board is full of power users and even here only a small % use them. I'd be interested to see what % of DISH subs use this feature and it has everything that people here are asking for. I still bet it's a small % of DVR users that have the ability to do so.


That's the answer I've been getting for years. I believe it. I think it's typical of the Great American Herd to ignore the good things technology can provide. Or just not understand it. I don't think the eSATA function is a "good" thing, I think (hell, I know) it's a "great" thing.

But, I do believe you're correct in your assumptions.


Most companies belong to another kind of herd - the Good Enough Herd. In the technology realm the most successful member of that herd was/is Micro$oft. Most companies like that model and follow it like a religion. DTV is a full member of that herd.

If you don't have to make something better then the greater herd will just keep sending you money.

Another company has emerged that has a different approach. Innovate and provide something that consumers will want once they see it. Apple.

Proven that it's better for consumers and the company. Way better. Think I recently read that the iPhone is bigger revenue than all of Micro$oft!

Whether you prefer the products of one or the other of the mentioned companies, it doesn't matter. The comparative financial performance is a direct representation of how the majority of consumers have voted.

The chances of DTV adopting that model are... well, very slim.




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