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Multiple external drives possible?


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46 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Hardin Thicke

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:41 PM

I'm running out of space on my external drive. Can I use a second drive, and just swap them when I want to? Ideally, I'd like to move the 500GB's worth of saved movies over to a 1 or 2 TB drive, but I don't know it that's possible. Any advice?

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#2 OFFLINE   mcutler

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:24 PM

I have been swapping external hard drives with no problem, but I don't think there is any way to have more than one at a time show up on screen.

#3 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:51 PM

You can have as many individual drives as you want.

Some receivers (Hopper, 922) also support simultaneously connections of more than one. I believe the 922 and Hopper both support up to 4 external hard drives connected simultaneously through the use of a powered hub.

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#4 OFFLINE   Hardin Thicke

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:29 PM

Thanks for the information. I'm running an ancient ViP722. Is it possible to hook the present drive and the new drive to a PC, and just copy the current the data across to the new drive?

#5 OFFLINE   mcutler

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:52 PM

I also have the 722, and to my knowledge, it does not support showing more than one hard drive at a time.

These drives have a special Dish formatting process and copying it to a computer hard drive, or from one hard drive to another, is no simple task. I would not go so far as to say it is impossible, but I don't think it easy to accomplish.

#6 OFFLINE   TheGrove

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:20 AM

I'm running out of space on my external drive. Can I use a second drive, and just swap them when I want to? Ideally, I'd like to move the 500GB's worth of saved movies over to a 1 or 2 TB drive, but I don't know it that's possible. Any advice?


As others have said you can have multiple drives, just not connected at the same time.

To move your movies you will have to copy them off of the EHD onto the local drive of you 722. Then plug your new EHD in and move them back off. I'm going to have to do this over the weekend to get the movies from my old 622 copied to the new 2TB EHD I bought for my Hopper.

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#7 OFFLINE   Hardin Thicke

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:13 AM

Gotcha! That's very helpful information. It sounds like a long, drawn out process to have to restore each movie to the DVR, but I guess is worth the effort. Thanks very much!

#8 OFFLINE   DaveM

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:57 AM

On a related note, as someone who just recently joined (and is enjoying) the EHD revolution, what happens when the original receiver, a 722k in my case, eventually gives up the ghost? I was under the impression that any new receiver, as long as it's registered to the account, will recognize any or all of the individual EHDs that I've accumulated so far. Is this correct?

That is, my biggest fear is that, when it's time to swap out receivers, the movies on my EHD won't be accessible or recognized with my new receiver. Any horror stories, or is there nothing to fear? Also, do the EHDs need to be registered with Dish, as well, in some kind of fashion, or does nothing need to be done? I haven't done anything of this sort so far. Just fired the EHD up...and everything worked.

#9 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:23 PM

Your EHD is tied to your account not to the receiver, so if the receiver has to be replaced, the EHD will transfer and work with the new receiver.

If you are proficient with linux, you can copy programming from one EHD to another (already formatted by your receiver), just copy the DISHARC folders. You cannot tell which programs you are copying, so it is best used to move to a larger drive, just capy them all and go.

The ONLY way to play the EHD is with the receiver.
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#10 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:51 PM

Your EHD is tied to your account not to the receiver, so if the receiver has to be replaced, the EHD will transfer and work with the new receiver.

If you are proficient with linux, you can copy programming from one EHD to another (already formatted by your receiver), just copy the DISHARC folders. You cannot tell which programs you are copying, so it is best used to move to a larger drive, just capy them all and go.

The ONLY way to play the EHD is with the receiver.


Do you mean on any DVR on the same account ?

#11 OFFLINE   scottchez

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:52 PM

Sure wish you could NAME your hard drives. LIke Movies, Sports, and TVShows. I have 3
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#12 OFFLINE   TheGrove

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:49 AM

Gotcha! That's very helpful information. It sounds like a long, drawn out process to have to restore each movie to the DVR, but I guess is worth the effort. Thanks very much!


FWIW, you don't have to do them one-by-one. When you are selecting what to transfer you can select multiple moves to transfer at one time. I did this on our old 722 that we replaced with a Hopper and transferred 140 shows at one time.

On a related note, as someone who just recently joined (and is enjoying) the EHD revolution, what happens when the original receiver, a 722k in my case, eventually gives up the ghost? I was under the impression that any new receiver, as long as it's registered to the account, will recognize any or all of the individual EHDs that I've accumulated so far. Is this correct?

That is, my biggest fear is that, when it's time to swap out receivers, the movies on my EHD won't be accessible or recognized with my new receiver. Any horror stories, or is there nothing to fear? Also, do the EHDs need to be registered with Dish, as well, in some kind of fashion, or does nothing need to be done? I haven't done anything of this sort so far. Just fired the EHD up...and everything worked.


As others have said the EHD is connected to the account, not the DVR. So once you have programming saved to the EHD it is viewable by any DVR on the account. Likewise if your receiver dies or you replace/upgrade it when the new one is activated you will be able to plug the EHD in and get your recordings.

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#13 OFFLINE   DaveM

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:04 AM

Thanks guys. That's what I figured.

Also, just to clarify, when you say that the EHD is tied to the account, again, is there anything I need to do in terms of contacting Dish to let them know I have an EHD hooked up and in use with my current 722K -- or is no further action needed on my part? That is, when I go to My Equipment on Dish's site, it currently says "No" under External Drive Enabled. Yet, obviously everything worked perfectly when I hooked up and initialized/formatted the EHD myself.

Or rather, is that equipment notation on their site only for folks who are using an EHD to convert a non-DVR receiver to a DVR one, and for which Dish still charges a fee?

Just want to make sure that I don't need to actually contact them to "tie" the EHD to my account.

#14 OFFLINE   Ray C@DISH Network

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:20 AM

The EHD feature is automatic with ViP DVR (612/622/722/722k/922 and Hoppers) so it does not require any action from you other than connecting the EHD to your receiver. External Drive Enabled online deals with the activation fee for the 211k.

If you replace your receiver, the EHD should work with the replacement receiver once it is activated on your account. Please let me know if you have further questions. Thanks.

Thanks guys. That's what I figured.

Also, just to clarify, when you say that the EHD is tied to the account, again, is there anything I need to do in terms of contacting Dish to let them know I have an EHD hooked up and in use with my current 722K -- or is no further action needed on my part? That is, when I go to My Equipment on Dish's site, it currently says "No" under External Drive Enabled. Yet, obviously everything worked perfectly when I hooked up and initialized/formatted the EHD myself.

Or rather, is that equipment notation on their site only for folks who are using an EHD to convert a non-DVR receiver to a DVR one, and for which Dish still charges a fee?

Just want to make sure that I don't need to actually contact them to "tie" the EHD to my account.



#15 OFFLINE   DaveM

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:34 AM

The EHD feature is automatic with ViP DVR (612/622/722/722k/922 and Hoppers) so it does not require any action from you other than connecting the EHD to your receiver. External Drive Enabled online deals with the activation fee for the 211k.

If you replace your receiver, the EHD should work with the replacement receiver once it is activated on your account. Please let me know if you have further questions. Thanks.



Thanks, Ray. And the rest of the folks who chimed in as well. All is good.

#16 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:49 AM

And last word: EHD of 211/211k/411 is not compatible with 612/622/722/722k/922/813. It is more like a System Drive.

#17 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:02 PM

You can have as many individual drives as you want.

Some receivers (Hopper, 922) also support simultaneously connections of more than one. I believe the 922 and Hopper both support up to 4 external hard drives connected simultaneously through the use of a powered hub.

Stewart,

I have a 922 that I have been using a 2 TB external hard drive with for several months, and since it is now essentially full, I recently purchased another identical EHD unit.

Before I hook up the new EHD via a powered USB hub, I have a couple of questions for you:

1) The 922 named my first EHD "External Device 1". After I attach the second EHD, will my 922 be able to detect that I now have two connected EHD units and will name the second one "External Device 2"?

2) Can you transfer recorded movies from one EHD directly to the other EHD, or do you have to move the movies back to the internal drive inside the 922 and then over to the other EHD?

By the way, I previously sent a PM to Ray C (@DIRT) about this subject and he said that although he had heard about people successfully hooking up more than one EHD to a Dish DVR, that the official stance of Dish is that they only support 1 EHD connected to a receiver at a time.

Thanks,
Don

#18 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:09 PM

1) yes
2) not directly, two moves: to DVR and to EHD#2

#19 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:12 PM

1) yes
2) not directly, two moves: to DVR and to EHD#2

Thanks! Now I just need to dig up a spare powered USB hub.

#20 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:29 PM

you don't need powered hub, your drives must be self powered

#21 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:47 AM

Good point ... I'll check that out.

#22 OFFLINE   Hardin Thicke

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:01 AM

Follow-up:
Thanks again for the advice. I picked up a 2TB Seagate Backup Plus drive. I plugged it into the DVR, and it immediately requested to format. Afterwards, I moved a number of programs over the the new drive, then began the tedious process of moving "files" off the old drive and onto the DVR, then plugging in the new drive and transferring them over there. It is a time consuming process although you can still view the television while it's being done. I'm still in the process of transferring, and have been setting it up to work while I sleep. 32G of programs seem to take a couple of hours to transfer. Although I shut the DVR off when plugging and unplugging the drive, I find it a bit disconcerting to just yank the USB connector out of the DVR. I hope this is the accepted procedure.

Edited by Hardin Thicke, 02 January 2013 - 09:54 AM.


#23 OFFLINE   boba

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:12 AM

I'm running out of space on my external drive. Can I use a second drive, and just swap them when I want to? Ideally, I'd like to move the 500GB's worth of saved movies over to a 1 or 2 TB drive, but I don't know it that's possible. Any advice?

Is there a reason you are transferring the 500 GB's information to another drive? To view what is on that drive all you have to do is plug it in. You can record new programming on the 2TB just by connecting it to the receiver.

#24 OFFLINE   Hardin Thicke

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:51 AM

Yes, I thought about doing that. But I think I'd rather have all of my "movies" on one drive and not have to wonder where a particular one was located. It took a number of years to fill 500GB, so I'm guessing that 2TB will last me years. It also makes it easier for my technically challanged wife, who only recently discovered the "Media" folder on the DVR recordings area.

#25 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:27 AM

Well, it's a bit of a convoluted story, but I ended up running into a bunch of initially scary problems with both of my EHD's and even with the internal HD in my 922 in the process. I am now fully convinced that powered USB hubs are either required or at least recommended for simultaneously running two 2 TB EHD's off of the single USB port on the rear of my 922. Here's a summary of what happened on December 30th & 31st ...

As previously mentioned, I have a ViP 922 Duo DVR. In conjunction with that, I have been using a Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB external hard drive directly connected to the single USB port on the back of the 922 for a little over a year with no problems, and since the EHD is 96% full with 488 recordings, I recently purchased another identical Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB EHD unit.

Ideally, I wanted to simultaneously hook up both of these EHD's to my 922 by way of a USB hub, but I wasn't sure that the 922 could handle this arrangement and then I came across this thread. I was encouraged by what Stewart Vernon posted on December 18th in that a 922 was able to simultaneously handle up to 4 EHD's with a powered USB hub. Beyond that, I was also hoping that since my 922 originally named the original EHD "External Device 1", that after I connected the second EHD, that my 922 would be able to name it "External Device 2" (which P Smith responded would be the case). In this way, I would be able to more easily keep track of where recorded movies were physically located (i.e., either on the internal HD or on External Device 1 or External Device 2).

Also, I didn't have a spare powered USB 2.0 hub, so I decided to use a non-powered USB 2.0 hub I had (especially after P Smith posted that I wouldn't need a powered hub for this). I disconnected my original EHD from the 922, connected the non-powered hub to the rear USB port and reconnected the first EHD into the hub. I got the normal USB storage device disconnected and connected screen prompts, and I clicked OK to both. I then connected the new EHD to the hub and got screen message 867 alerting me that the new EHD needed to be formatted to work with the Dish system. I clicked OK and then got screen message 869, "USB storage device is formatting, please wait", along with the status bar of small green boxes. This process went on for about an hour and a half, with the status bar green lights sequentially blinking, and then without warning, the picture behind the screen message box (from a channel we had been previously looking at) froze, the sequentially blinking status bar green lights froze in one position, and less than one minute later, the 922 shut down all by itself and went into an automatic restart mode.

Needless to say, the formatting process for the new EHD was interrupted and basically trashed at that point. Once the 922 restarted, I couldn't get it to recognize the new, partially formatted EHD (which didn't completely surprise me). It did however see the original EHD and I could see the titles of the recorded movies on it through the DVR menu. We had some programs we wanted to watch that evening, so I decided to resume the effort on the 31st.

After disconnecting the partially formatted EHD and reconnecting to the hub the next day, the 922 still couldn't detect it. I disconnected it again (and left it disconnected), and then went to the DVR menu listing of recorded movies on the original EHD. While I could see the listed movies, when I selected one and selected "start over", I only ended up with a black screen and no movie. After backing back out of this, I tried a couple more recorded movies on the original EHD and got the same black screen. I then disconnected the EHD & hub and restarted the EHD. I then did a full restart on the 922 (by unplugging it and waiting 30+ seconds). I then connected the original EHD directly into the rear USB port on the 922 (without the hub), and after calling up the DVR menu list of movies on the EHD, I got the same black screen after selecting a movie and starting it. I tried a couple more times without success and then repeated the separate restart of the EHD and 922.

Nothing changed after this, and on a whim, I then tried playing a recorded movie from the DVR menu list of movies on the internal hard drive of the 922. Unfortunately, I also got the black screen thing after trying to start 3 different movies, only this time, after a few seconds, the playback for movies (each supposedly 1-1/2 to 2+ hours long), was totally over and I got the typical screen message for deleting, going to media, or live TV. This whole situation worried me enough that I decided to get into a chat session with Dish customer service.

After going through the whole story, the first level CSR pretty much gave up and transferred me to the next level (although she did have me restart my 922 again just before she gave up and transferred me). While I had already restarted my 922 twice before, for some unknown reason, this last restart seemed to help quite a bit, as I was finally able to successfully start and briefly play a recorded movie from the internal hard drive. At that point, the 2nd level tech support person had me disconnect the original EHD, and then directly connect the partially reformatted EHD, and I got screen message 865, which like 867, said that the new EHD needed to be formatted to work with the Dish system. That was good news, and we ended the chat session since the 2nd level tech support person understandably wasn't going to hang around for the lengthy reformatting process for a 2 TB EHD.

However, before proceeding with the reformatting, I decided to hold off, as I was still concerned & puzzled about all of the undesirable stuff that had occurred the first time around. I then did quite a bit of online research & reading about powered and non-powered USB hubs as a function of EHD's, and the common thread that emerged from my perspective was that when simultaneously running more than one large capacity (≥ 1 TB) EHD, that even some so-called powered USB hubs don't end up cutting the mustard all that well (with some reported weird or catastrophic results with the EHD's, any recorded material on them, or even potentially with other peripherals, or the main unit, typically a computer or in my case, a DVR). Now I realize that you can't believe everything you see or read on the Internet and that problems & complaints often get more exposure than people having no problems with the same equipment or processes, but for me, I had read enough.

I decided to order a powered USB 2.0 hub. However, I then began reading a lot of reviews on powered hubs, and I couldn't believe the number of user complaints people had with even "big name" brands (Belkin, etc.), with reliability, durability, or out-of-the-box operational issues. For some of the more technical reviews, it also appeared that many of the hub manufacturer claims for how much voltage & current was actually being provided to the hub ports (or the methods of doing same), often varied wildly as compared to the stated claims & specifications, almost exclusively in the lesser direction.

So, I have finally decided to go with a Plugable Technologies 4-Port USB 3.0/2.0 Hub with 4A power adapter. It has relatively positive reviews and since it can deal with the typically higher power requirements of USB 3.0 (and is back-compatible with USB 2.0 & 1.1), I figured it would provide more than adequate power and performance to deal with my two 2 TB EHD's being simultaneously connected to my 922. Some might say this is an overkill approach, but for $30, I figured what the heck at this point.

Anyway, I will order the new hub shortly and will repeat the process I started on December 30th once I get my hands on it and will report back here as to the results.

Don




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