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3TB and 4TB Drives. The Danger!


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#176 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:43 AM

You got it backwards:

'hdparm -I' knows that this is a native 4k disk:
       Model Number:       ST3000DM001-9YN166
       Logical  Sector size:                   512 bytes
       Physical Sector size:                  4096 bytes
       Logical Sector-0 offset:                  0 bytes
       device size with M = 1024*1024:     2861588 MBytes
       device size with M = 1000*1000:     3000592 MBytes (3000 GB)

Here is good reading about 4K sectors, emulation etc : http://www.seagate.c...ives-master-ti/


Pardon my butting in on this argument, but what you are showing here is a AF drive in 512e mode. That's fine...this is required for a lots of software (like backup/restore programs) that interact with the drive at a sector level and are not 4K sector aware.

But I am unclear about what that has to do with the original issue of MBR vs. GPT. I guess you could have a MBR drive, using 4k logical and physical sectors exceed the 2.2TB limit, but both your hardware and your OS (and any direct disk accessing software) would have to understand 4K sectors. Boot from a "traditional" disk and add a driver and you can avoid some of the hardware (BIOS) issues, and maybe you could run via 512e on the storage only drive.

But 512e is not a good solution for a DVR since you will often have the situation of misaligned file boundaries. If one video file uses 3 emulated 512 sectors inside one 4K sector, and then the next file wants to use the other 5, you'd have to read the entire 4K sector into memory, merge the new data with the old, and then rewrite the entire sector. This is bound to happen since the DVR software, by definition in this example, thinks it is running on a 512 byte sector drive. Now imagine doing this for 5 write and 3 read processes at once and you pretty soon get someplace I don't think you want to be.

Sure, there are plenty of ways to get 4K sector drives to work...but given the parameters of a DVR I think you either want it done via 512 byte emulation in some dedicated hardware (i.e. a USB drive, which is how Dish does it) or you want to do it through native 4K sector support in the OS (which is exactly what DirecTV has done in the HR34).

Edited by Diana C, 10 October 2012 - 11:05 AM.
corrected misspelling

Dish Network Customer from 9/1998-11/2001
DirecTV Customer 10/2001 - 7/2014

FiOS TV/TiVo Customer since 6/2014
Moderator, DBSDish.com 1999-2000
Co-Founder and Administrator, DBSForums.com 2000-2006

Current setup:
DirecTV: HR34-700 (1TB) / HR24-100 (1TB) / HR24-500 (1TB) / HR21-700 (320GB) / HR21-100 (1TB) / 2 H25s / C41-500 / SWiM16 / Nomad / CCK

FiOS: 2 Tivo Roamio Pros (6 TB total) / 5 Tivo Minis attached via MOCA


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#177 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:04 AM

About the same for OTA yet they have a product for that.

The problem is a catch-22. The "average consumer" doesn't have a clue about what might happen (many don't even backup their computers). And most won't ever see a hardware failure. But when someone gets hit, even more so now with a "Home Media Server" and likely pending storage increase, it's gonna hurt. Until they get hit they won't know to ask for solutions. And with no official product available to solve it they aren't alerted to the possibilities.

You can bet that nobody at DTV or a retailer is going to tell a customer what will happen if a DVR fails unless they are directly asked about it. They have nothing to "up sell" and they sure don't want to advertise their weaknesses.

Consider if just 1 company, cable, DISH, whatever, starts selling a more resilient device, even as an optional premium product. Then they will be explaining to consumers why they might want it. This will create demand for a product that doesn't currently (officially) exist. Because people like reliable products. Then all the sudden all the competitors will have to offer a more reliable product. Why be the follower? Try leading for a change.

The workaround is a PITA for most.


That workaround was the best I could think of. Yeah, it would be a PITA for most folks. And it was/is expensive. But it works quite well.

Rich

#178 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:10 AM

I'm afraid of D* taking over the external function. They haven't "blessed" any HDDs or external devices. They made a mistake by suggesting the Seagate eSATA and were right about suggesting the WD device. Aside from that, they've been quiet. The Seagate bombed, by the way. I just hope they leave the choices of what we use to us and don't try to shove something we don't want down our throats.

Rich


I think you're 100% correct...there would be "official" external drive enclosures. DirecTV has shown that they like nice, predictable, installation configurations. This is not uncommon...most companies want to make things as cookie-cutter as possible - it is the easiest way to scale an operation. There is no way they would ever support "any old" ESATA drive/enclosure.

Dish Network Customer from 9/1998-11/2001
DirecTV Customer 10/2001 - 7/2014

FiOS TV/TiVo Customer since 6/2014
Moderator, DBSDish.com 1999-2000
Co-Founder and Administrator, DBSForums.com 2000-2006

Current setup:
DirecTV: HR34-700 (1TB) / HR24-100 (1TB) / HR24-500 (1TB) / HR21-700 (320GB) / HR21-100 (1TB) / 2 H25s / C41-500 / SWiM16 / Nomad / CCK

FiOS: 2 Tivo Roamio Pros (6 TB total) / 5 Tivo Minis attached via MOCA


#179 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:18 AM

So the fact that everyone in my family has to share the pain is going to make it less?

Sure not the way my family works. I'd be the one getting the mob of "customer" complaints. They can lynch me. :lol:


I get all the complaints from my family, too. I hate to see my wife, with fire in her eyes, heading for me with a problem. My son just depends on me to fix everything. My granddaughter comes to me and looks at me with those beautiful puppy dog eyes and asks me to fix what ever isn't working for her.

It's all a no-brainer. These are services that should be as reliable as anything else in the house. Would a similar failure rate be acceptable for a furnace, air conditioner, water heater, stove, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, ...? Those are all more reliable and to top it off one can get a service guy here with parts really quickly and when they are done it's back to full operation. May not even lose food. Lose a freezer full of food because of slow service and it's the same kind of $$ loss.


There you'll get the good old "it's only TV" answer.

I know it's just TV. If I lost 2 months worth of a series where the story evolves each episode then I pretty much lost the whole season. Total value is comparable to a freezer full of food. With DTV I know that a failure means that I lose it all regardless of how fast the service.


At least if you lose a freezer full of food for most reasons, your homeowner's insurance will cover it. Who covers what a person with 4TBs of content loses if his 34 fails?

I agree with everything you've said. But, we're gonna be told we're in the minority and we don't matter. Been thru this many times and the answer's always the same. We are anomalies. Nobody but a few of us take advantage of the eSATA function. Not enough people care. If all those answers are valid, why did D* allow larger external HDDs for the 34s?

Rich

#180 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:23 AM

I think you're 100% correct...there would be "official" external drive enclosures. DirecTV has shown that they like nice, predictable, installation configurations. This is not uncommon...most companies want to make things as cookie-cutter as possible - it is the easiest way to scale an operation. There is no way they would ever support "any old" ESATA drive/enclosure.


We've gone this long without their overt support, I'd like to see it stay that way. They have improved the eSATA function over the years and for that I salute them.

Rich

#181 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:05 PM

Pardon my butting in on this argument, but what you are showing here is a AF drive in 512e mode...

Tell that to bobcamp1, not to me - I did explain a couple times, but he still insist on his own mistake.

#182 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:10 PM

Pardon my butting in on this argument, but what you are showing here is a AF drive in 512e mode. That's fine...this is required for a lots of software (like backup/restore programs) that interact with the drive at a sector level and are not 4K sector aware.

But I am unclear about what that has to do with the original issue of MBR vs. GPT. I guess you could have a MBR drive, using 4k logical and physical sectors exceed the 2.2TB limit, but both your hardware and your OS (and any direct disk accessing software) would have to understand 4K sectors. Boot from a "traditional" disk and add a driver and you can avoid some of the hardware (BIOS) issues, and maybe you could run via 512e on the storage only drive.

But 512e is not a good solution for a DVR since you will often have the situation of misaligned file boundaries. If one video file uses 3 emulated 512 sectors inside one 4K sector, and then the next file wants to use the other 5, you'd have to read the entire 4K sector into memory, merge the new data with the old, and then rewrite the entire sector. This is bound to happen since the DVR software, by definition in this example, thinks it is running on a 512 byte sector drive. Now imagine doing this for 5 write and 3 read processes at once and you pretty soon get someplace I don't think you want to be.

Sure, there are plenty of ways to get 4K sector drives to work...but given the parameters of a DVR I think you either want it done via 512 byte emulation in some dedicated hardware (i.e. a USB drive, which is how Dish does it) or you want to do it through native 4K sector support in the OS (which is exactly what DirecTV has done in the HR34).


Whoosh... :lol:

Rich

#183 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:16 PM

That would be overstated statement about HW incapability without any technical point of that

- current HW is OK to work with 4K sectors, just need to do some updates on DVR Linux drivers and core as it was done in Linux world ...

#184 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:44 AM

That workaround was the best I could think of. Yeah, it would be a PITA for most folks. And it was/is expensive. But it works quite well.


You've certainly got the most robust arrangement I've ever heard of. (Although it can't handle a natural disaster :D)

It's the best you can do given the tools DTV gives us.

It's far from cheap or user friendly. DTV needs to give us better solutions.

#185 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:55 AM

There you'll get the good old "it's only TV" answer.


Sure. My wife has a wall of bookcases stuffed full of books. If those were lost would people say "they're only books"?

Both are entertainment. Personally I'm not big on books but I understand their value to people.

At least if you lose a freezer full of food for most reasons, your homeowner's insurance will cover it.


Food and books are easily replaceable.

Lots of DTV programming is not easily replaceable.

#186 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 12:22 PM

You've certainly got the most robust arrangement I've ever heard of. (Although it can't handle a natural disaster :D)


What can?

It's the best you can do given the tools DTV gives us.

It's far from cheap or user friendly. DTV needs to give us better solutions.


It was the only thing I could think of to do. If I hadn't spent the money for six owned HRs and 2TB drives for each one, it would have been a lot less, but it was worth it. I bought six 20-700s from MDU folks who had been the only owners and they all worked well. I bought them because D*'s replacement HRs were a royal PITA. I planned on using them as replacements, but they worked so well I sent a bunch of leased 20-700s and 21s back to D* and began to use the owned 20-700s. Naturally, with my luck, the 20-700s stabilized and I never had to use them as replacements.

Once all the HRs are programmed with the appropriate SLs, the system is more user friendly than I expected it to be.

Rich

#187 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 12:30 PM

Sure. My wife has a wall of bookcases stuffed full of books. If those were lost would people say "they're only books"?

Both are entertainment. Personally I'm not big on books but I understand their value to people.


Don't know what to say about that. "It's only TV" is a pretty common answer for all the problems we have. I don't like it either.

Food and books are easily replaceable.

Lots of DTV programming is not easily replaceable.


So true. Not impossible, but not easy either.

Rich

#188 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:49 PM

You've certainly got the most robust arrangement I've ever heard of. (Although it can't handle a natural disaster :D)

What can?


Now they will send us to an institution :grin:

If external storage could be moved from one DVR to another... then all you need is a pair of RAID storage devices with builtin replication and a fast pipe to a geographically distant location. Every block of data changed on A shows up on B. Lose A, still have all data at B. Standard operating procedure in enterprise computing for important stuff (accounting, inventory, etc).

Obviously that doesn't make sense - ever.

Would be a lot cheaper (no need for fast pipe) to have service at two locations and record everything at both. Of course then you definitely would want the ability to manage the DVR entirely from the internet.

#189 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 11:30 AM

Now they will send us to an institution :grin:

If external storage could be moved from one DVR to another... then all you need is a pair of RAID storage devices with builtin replication and a fast pipe to a geographically distant location. Every block of data changed on A shows up on B. Lose A, still have all data at B. Standard operating procedure in enterprise computing for important stuff (accounting, inventory, etc).

Obviously that doesn't make sense - ever.

Would be a lot cheaper (no need for fast pipe) to have service at two locations and record everything at both. Of course then you definitely would want the ability to manage the DVR entirely from the internet.


And you'd be paying for two accounts.

Rich

#190 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 05:03 PM

So the fact that everyone in my family has to share the pain is going to make it less?

Sure not the way my family works. I'd be the one getting the mob of "customer" complaints. They can lynch me. :lol:

This is no different than a home computer network. Our server has RAID storage too (and backups).

It's all a no-brainer. These are services that should be as reliable as anything else in the house. Would a similar failure rate be acceptable for a furnace, air conditioner, water heater, stove, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, ...? Those are all more reliable and to top it off one can get a service guy here with parts really quickly and when they are done it's back to full operation. May not even lose food. Lose a freezer full of food because of slow service and it's the same kind of $$ loss.

I know it's just TV. If I lost 2 months worth of a series where the story evolves each episode then I pretty much lost the whole season. Total value is comparable to a freezer full of food. With DTV I know that a failure means that I lose it all regardless of how fast the service.


!rolling

No, I don't think you understood my point. Everyone losing just a little means that most likely everyone will be able to find their shows online, and won't actually miss anything.

However, I see with the new genie ads, they have something listed that I have not yet seen, so I am hoping it comes soon and will be a far better resolution to the idea that you have lost your dvr. It appears as though they are trying to get it set up so that you can always go back and watch anything that was on in the last five weeks. I would assume this means they are trying to get a full on demand recording of every show for the last five weeks available to everyone. That will solve the issue of redundancy for 99.99% of their customers. Won''t help me, as I record seasons at a time, and then watch in big groups some shows, but as I know most people don't watch like I do....

#191 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 08:43 AM

And you'd be paying for two accounts.


Sure. Disaster-proof is expensive. Two accounts are nothing compared to a fat data pipe for replication.

#192 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:00 AM

!rolling

No, I don't think you understood my point. Everyone losing just a little means that most likely everyone will be able to find their shows online, and won't actually miss anything.

However, I see with the new genie ads, they have something listed that I have not yet seen, so I am hoping it comes soon and will be a far better resolution to the idea that you have lost your dvr. It appears as though they are trying to get it set up so that you can always go back and watch anything that was on in the last five weeks. I would assume this means they are trying to get a full on demand recording of every show for the last five weeks available to everyone. That will solve the issue of redundancy for 99.99% of their customers. Won''t help me, as I record seasons at a time, and then watch in big groups some shows, but as I know most people don't watch like I do....


That's the way we watch series, too. We can't be the only ones who watch a series after the season ends. They built that 34 with little thought. Just put out a five tuner HR with a paltry 1TB drive in it that we would fill up quickly, making it a necessity to purchase an external device and a huge HDD.

Putting content on VOD is a fix of sorts, but it would be much easier to allow us to have the ability to watch the contents of any HDD recorded on any HR within an account on any HR within that account. It's the only way I can see to solve the problem.

I'm waiting patiently for the first person who puts a 4TB drive on a 34 to have that 34 fail (and they will, don't kid yourselves about that) and with it goes all the programming on that huge drive. Lost forever.

Rich

#193 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:16 AM

!rolling

No, I don't think you understood my point. Everyone losing just a little means that most likely everyone will be able to find their shows online, and won't actually miss anything.

However, I see with the new genie ads, they have something listed that I have not yet seen, so I am hoping it comes soon and will be a far better resolution to the idea that you have lost your dvr. It appears as though they are trying to get it set up so that you can always go back and watch anything that was on in the last five weeks. I would assume this means they are trying to get a full on demand recording of every show for the last five weeks available to everyone. That will solve the issue of redundancy for 99.99% of their customers. Won''t help me, as I record seasons at a time, and then watch in big groups some shows, but as I know most people don't watch like I do....


There have been times in the past where we've lost a program due to a storm and we couldn't find it online - even months later.

Besides the time it takes to search for stuff online, when it's found it's always low-def. I put a lot of money into equipment and services for HD. DTV can stuff their low-def On Demand.

I've already outlined the right way to do things...

http://www.dbstalk.c...794#post3014794
http://www.dbstalk.c...523#post3067523




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