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Multiple external drives possible?


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46 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   JeffN9

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

I have been following all of the EHD threads since I got my 922 almost two years ago. The general consensus has been that yes you should have a powered hub if you have more than one EHD. If you are only using two you can plug one into the back usb and one into the front but then you will have a usb cable sticking out of the front door. The my 922 drop down will still show ext. device 1 and ext. device 2 in either case.

What I have read in the past is that you should only have the new EHD plugged in when formatting. You should only connect the old drive after the new one has finished formatting. One person reported losing all recordings on the old EHD when formatting the new one. This could be the reason you had the problems at first with the old drive, be careful.

The issue I have had since day 1 is the 922 not seeing one or both EHD's sometimes after the nightly update. I have to re-boot to get them back but only one comes back sometimes. I have a 1tb WD and a 2tb WD. There has been a lot of discussion about disabling the drives sleep mode as a remedy for this issue but others seem to have no problems without doing that.

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#27 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

I have been following all of the EHD threads since I got my 922 almost two years ago. The general consensus has been that yes you should have a powered hub if you have more than one EHD. If you are only using two you can plug one into the back usb and one into the front but then you will have a usb cable sticking out of the front door. The my 922 drop down will still show ext. device 1 and ext. device 2 in either case.

We got our original 922 in April 2011, which was replaced by Dish in July 2012 with a remanufactured 922.

Anyway, at one point, I did think about using the front USB port, but I didn't like the idea of the open door & a cord hanging out the front of my 922. Beyond that, I am glad to hear that the consensus has been that you need a powered USB hub when more than one EHD is hooked up, as that confirms my independent "research".

What I have read in the past is that you should only have the new EHD plugged in when formatting. You should only connect the old drive after the new one has finished formatting. One person reported losing all recordings on the old EHD when formatting the new one. This could be the reason you had the problems at first with the old drive, be careful.

I wish I had run across that info before starting my effort. I had thought a bit about both approaches, but I ended up deciding to have both EHD's plugged in, as I thought this might be the point where the 922 would tag the new one as external storage device 2 since external storage device 1 was already there (such that, if I did them separately, I thought the 922 might tag the new EHD as external storage device 1 since there was nothing else there to be detected). However, once I started the formatting process with both plugged in to my non-powered hub, I really started getting a bit freaked out as I started wondering if it might be possible for the 922 to mistakenly reformat the old EHD (while erasing 1.9+ TB of recorded movies that took a fair bit of effort to record, transfer and save), versus formatting the new empty EHD. After the problems I experienced (and despite the fact that it looks like my old EHD and its recorded contents eventually survived), I am not interesting in tempting fate a second time, even with an adequately powered USB hub. So, I will follow what you described in terms of only having the new EHD plugged into my 922 when I attempt to format it again.

The issue I have had since day 1 is the 922 not seeing one or both EHD's sometimes after the nightly update. I have to re-boot to get them back but only one comes back sometimes. I have a 1tb WD and a 2tb WD. There has been a lot of discussion about disabling the drives sleep mode as a remedy for this issue but others seem to have no problems without doing that.

Well, with my luck, I will probably have the same issue, which is too bad (although I am still going to give it a shot to see what happens). As mentioned in a previous post, Dish officially only supports one EHD plugged in at a time, and maybe there are a number of potentially good reasons for that. Both my first and second 922's have occasionally had issues with the nightly updates (usually in the form a non-updated channel guide with a lot of "no info available" entries), so I may well have the same EHD issues as you have described.

#28 OFFLINE   olds403

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:21 PM

I have 6 drives connected to my 722, using powered switches. There can only be one drive powered up at one time. Using the powered switch, when I disconnect one drive (and it powers down) I can then push the button for another drive (powering it up) and it connects with no issues. I am using Kensington switches, if there is more than one drive connected directly to the DVR and powered up it will cause an error. If you connect one to the front and one to the back ONLY ONE can be powered at any one time.

#29 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:24 PM

I have 6 drives connected to my 722, using powered switches. There can only be one drive powered up at one time. Using the powered switch, when I disconnect one drive (and it powers down) I can then push the button for another drive (powering it up) and it connects with no issues. I am using Kensington switches, if there is more than one drive connected directly to the DVR and powered up it will cause an error. If you connect one to the front and one to the back ONLY ONE can be powered at any one time.

Do you know if this constrained approach is only limited to 722's or does it also apply to 922's as well?

#30 OFFLINE   JeffN9

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:27 PM

The 922 and Hopper are built to handle up to 4 EHD's at one time.

#31 OFFLINE   JeffN9

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:45 PM

I wish I had run across that info before starting my effort. I had thought a bit about both approaches, but I ended up deciding to have both EHD's plugged in, as I thought this might be the point where the 922 would tag the new one as external storage device 2 since external storage device 1 was already there (such that, if I did them separately, I thought the 922 might tag the new EHD as external storage device 1 since there was nothing else there to be detected). However, once I started the formatting process with both plugged in to my non-powered hub, I really started getting a bit freaked out as I started wondering if it might be possible for the 922 to mistakenly reformat the old EHD (while erasing 1.9+ TB of recorded movies that took a fair bit of effort to record, transfer and save), versus formatting the new empty EHD. After the problems I experienced (and despite the fact that it looks like my old EHD and its recorded contents eventually survived), I am not interesting in tempting fate a second time, even with an adequately powered USB hub. So, I will follow what you described in terms of only having the new EHD plugged into my 922 when I attempt to format it again.


Well, with my luck, I will probably have the same issue, which is too bad (although I am still going to give it a shot to see what happens). As mentioned in a previous post, Dish officially only supports one EHD plugged in at a time, and maybe there are a number of potentially good reasons for that. Both my first and second 922's have occasionally had issues with the nightly updates (usually in the form a non-updated channel guide with a lot of "no info available" entries), so I may well have the same EHD issues as you have described.


If you have the same problems I have had with the 922 not seeing the EHD's it won't matter which one is initially labeled device 1 and device 2. Mine constantly changes positions. The drive labeled 1 might be 2 tomorrow. The only way I can tell them apart without actually viewing the content is by looking at the size and available space.

Also I had this same problem when I only had one drive connected. Having two has not hurt or helped.

#32 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

If you have the same problems I have had with the 922 not seeing the EHD's it won't matter which one is initially labeled device 1 and device 2. Mine constantly changes positions. The drive labeled 1 might be 2 tomorrow. The only way I can tell them apart without actually viewing the content is by looking at the size and available space.

Also I had this same problem when I only had one drive connected. Having two has not hurt or helped.

Interesting about the numbering scheme. When I previously traded PM's with Stewart Vernon on this, he stated, "Basically, I don't know what it actually names the device during format... but I think the 'External Device X' labeling is just for the dropdown selection and is in the order that the drives are detected". This sounds pretty much the same as what you have experienced with the device 1 and device 2 "switching places" from time to time. It's too bad it works like this, as it would be nice (or better) IMO for device 1 to stay 1 and for 2 to stay as 2.

Despite my other problems, I haven't had any occurrences where the 922 didn't see my single EHD. But I'll see what happens when I get both of my EHD's finally hooked up together.

#33 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

That does sound like a mess of problems. For full disclosure I should probably have said that while I do have more than one external drive, I don't have a spare USB hub and haven't had a need to try and leave more than one drive connected at the same time.

Also, I had acquired my drives at different times... and at a point before it was possible to use multiple drives anyway (got them when I had a 722 before moving to the 922) so each one was formatted when it was the only drive connected.

That seems like a major bug if you can't format one drive while another is connected.

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#34 OFFLINE   DoyleS

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:23 PM

I would get pretty scared having the system tell me it was formatting a drive if I had a known drive full of movies and a new drive connected at the same time. I would be afraid of having it format the wrong drive. I have a couple drives but formatted them separately and plug them in separately. So far no need to have all plugged in and running at the same time. I use the internal drive for that and always move the other stuff to an EHD for later use.
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#35 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

I would get pretty scared having the system tell me it was formatting a drive if I had a known drive full of movies and a new drive connected at the same time. I would be afraid of having it format the wrong drive. I have a couple drives but formatted them separately and plug them in separately. So far no need to have all plugged in and running at the same time. I use the internal drive for that and always move the other stuff to an EHD for later use.

Well, like I said, I did get freaked out a bit when the formatting started on my new (second) drive, as to whether something might screw up with having the first drive simultaneously plugged in. I ended up lucking out, but believe me, I won't do that again.

At this point, we have 145 HD movies on the internal HD, 488 HD movies on the original 2 TB EHD, and another 580 hard-copy Blu-Rays & DVD's in a media cabinet. With over 1200 movie titles to keep track of so far (and with more to go on the new second 2 TB EHD), I have an alphabetized multi-paged spreadsheet that lists where they all are so when we want to specifically watch something, we can look it up and fairly quickly go to the desired location and directly access it without too much bother. This is why I was hoping that I could hook up more than one EHD at the same time and be able to do this in real time and without plugging & unplugging devices, booting up not-in-use EHD's, responding to screen prompts and the like.

Edited by DEC, 02 January 2013 - 05:13 PM.


#36 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:20 PM

Connecting just one new HDD for formatting purpose would be easiest way to avoid the fear.

If you are [re]connected already formatted and 922 ask you to format, just say no and disconnect it for future troubleshooting.

Edited by P Smith, 02 January 2013 - 05:47 PM.


#37 OFFLINE   JeffN9

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

Despite my other problems, I haven't had any occurrences where the 922 didn't see my single EHD. But I'll see what happens when I get both of my EHD's finally hooked up together.


If your 922 has never lost sight of the single EHD then you will probably be ok with two. I don't know which model 2tb WD you have but you might want to get the same model for the 2nd one. My 2tb WD is an Element and the 922 didn't see that on occasion when I had it plugged in by itself as an experiment.

FYI, the missing EHD problem followed to a 2nd 922. Because of the EHD issue Dish replaced my original 922 with a refurb but it didn't make any difference.

#38 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:48 PM

You should invest your time into disabling power saving feature(s) of the enclosure's controller and the HDD itself. To avoid disappearing your EHD.

#39 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:58 PM

If your 922 has never lost sight of the single EHD then you will probably be ok with two. I don't know which model 2tb WD you have but you might want to get the same model for the 2nd one. My 2tb WD is an Element and the 922 didn't see that on occasion when I had it plugged in by itself as an experiment.

FYI, the missing EHD problem followed to a 2nd 922. Because of the EHD issue Dish replaced my original 922 with a refurb but it didn't make any difference.

As I mentioned in my painfully long post on the first page, I originally purchased a Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB EHD a little over a year ago. When this got full, I purchased an identical Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB EHD last month. I have both in my possession, and it was the formatting of the new EHD in conjunction with the old EHD being plugged in at the same time that I was mostly posting about.

And so far, neither my original 922 nor the reman 922 have had any problems seeing the original EHD.

#40 OFFLINE   JeffN9

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:15 PM

Sorry, I did read your original post but forgot that you listed the WD models you had.

Did you turn off the power save (sleep mode) on either drive?

#41 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:18 PM

Did you turn off the power save (sleep mode) on either drive?

Nope ... not for either one (although I have yet to properly reformat the newer EHD and put it into operation).

#42 OFFLINE   JeffN9

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:03 PM

I wouldn't bother disabling the sleep mode unless you have issues. I know P. Smith will disagree and he is far more knowledgeable in this area than I' am but why fix something that isn't broke. It makes you wonder why one person with the exact same drive and receiver that you have has no problems for a year and you have issues all the time. If sleep mode was the culprit wouldn't both have problems?? For me I kind of like the idea of the drive spinning down when not being used.

If you follow the Hopper/Joey forum a lot of folks there have been having similar issues with disappearing EHD's, especially after installing the OTA module. Seems to me the EHD issue is some type of software bug that affects some receivers but not all.

#43 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:35 AM

As a follow-up (and after separately formatting my second Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB EHD), I connected my new Plugable Technologies 4-port powered USB 3.0/2.0 hub to the rear USB port on my 922 and then plugged in both of my EHD's to the hub on January 11th.

My 922 has had absolutely no problems seeing both EHD's ever since (in other words, I have not experienced any "disappearing EHD's", and this is after 8 daily start-ups). However, as JeffN9 previously indicated, I have noticed that the assignment of "External Device 1" and "External Device 2" switches around about 50% of the time between my two EHD's. While it would have been nice if the External Device 1 and External Device 2 tags could have been assigned & stayed permanently associated with each of my two EHD's, it isn't that big of a deal and I am doing the same thing as JeffN9 where I tell the two apart by looking at their respective size and available space when I go to transfer movies to one or the other from my 922's internal HD.

#44 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:39 AM

I'm pretty sure, allow to customize EHD volume's name would be easy to implement.
If you send a petition to SW Dept ... or some guy

#45 OFFLINE   DEC

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:55 AM

Well, like I said, it's really a minor issue that I can easily work around, so it's probably not worth petitioning anyone for some special implementation that the majority of folks probably wouldn't even care about.

BTW, just curious, but what is the "SW Dept"? (... software dept?)

#46 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:57 AM

yes

#47 OFFLINE   JeffN9

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:45 AM

As a follow-up (and after separately formatting my second Western Digital WD Elements 2 TB EHD), I connected my new Plugable Technologies 4-port powered USB 3.0/2.0 hub to the rear USB port on my 922 and then plugged in both of my EHD's to the hub on January 11th.

My 922 has had absolutely no problems seeing both EHD's ever since (in other words, I have not experienced any "disappearing EHD's", and this is after 8 daily start-ups). However, as JeffN9 previously indicated, I have noticed that the assignment of "External Device 1" and "External Device 2" switches around about 50% of the time between my two EHD's. While it would have been nice if the External Device 1 and External Device 2 tags could have been assigned & stayed permanently associated with each of my two EHD's, it isn't that big of a deal and I am doing the same thing as JeffN9 where I tell the two apart by looking at their respective size and available space when I go to transfer movies to one or the other from my 922's internal HD.


Thanks for the update. I was wondering what your experience had been like using two EHD's. I hope your 922 continues to see the EHD's.

Because of all the issues I had with my 922 Dish installed a Hopper and two Joey's for me on Sat. Yesterday I connected both of my EHD's to one USB port on the back of the Hopper using the same powered hub that I used on the 922. So far so good but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't have the same missing EHD problems. I haven't read any post's about that in the H/J forums lately so I'm hopeful:)




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