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Process for formatting 3TB WD drive on HR44-500


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#1 OFFLINE   Bruce M.

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 10:52 AM

I received a replacement recently for a WD 3TB green external drive that had gone bad after 2 month's use (with a Thermaltake enclosure) .  I had hooked it up to an HR34 with no problems.  That unit was faulty for other reasons, so DTV came out and gave me an HR44-500.  The external drive hooked up with that fine, as well.  One day, though, I came home from a business trip to find a blue screen telling me that my drive had an "error", I should reboot, etc.  After several tries, and consultation with this board, it appeared that the drive was bad.

 

So I got a new one.  This time, though, the HR44 is not "seeing" it.  I take it from several posts on this subject I found here that this means that I should format or initialize the drive on a computer.  What exactly is the process for this, if I may ask?  I have a desktop running Windows 7... 


Edited by Bruce M., 25 October 2013 - 10:53 AM.


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#2 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 10:58 AM

You need to hook it up to any other machine and just setup a partition on it then hook it up to the HR44-500 and it will re-partition and format the drive.


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#3 OFFLINE   Bruce M.

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:48 AM

Sorry to be dense, but hook it up how?  With a USB cable?  With it still in the enclosure, or taken out?  And once it is hooked up to my desk top, how do I set up a partition, as you say?



#4 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 12:24 PM

Sorry to be dense, but hook it up how?  With a USB cable?  With it still in the enclosure, or taken out?  And once it is hooked up to my desk top, how do I set up a partition, as you say?

 

Hook it up just as you would if you were going to use the drive on the machine. 

 

Here's how to format using Win7:

 

http://pcsupport.abo...e-windows-7.htm


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#5 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 12:25 PM

Sorry to be dense, but hook it up how?  With a USB cable?  With it still in the enclosure, or taken out?  And once it is hooked up to my desk top, how do I set up a partition, as you say?

The options depend on the enclosure and your computer.  If you have a relatively recent desktop PC you probably have a Serial ATA (SATA) interface for your hard drive.  If so, you can attach the DVR drive to the PC with a SATA cable (there may be an unconnected cable inside your PC, otherwise you'd need to add one). If you have a laptop, the options are eSATA (the same as the DVR) or USB.  If you laptop has a eSATA port, that is the easiest - just plug and play,  If you only have USB available then, if you enclosure supports USB, you can use that (since you won't be moving any data, the slower USB conncetion won't matter).

 

If you don't have a SATA connection of some kind on your PC, and your enclosure doesn't support USB, you'll need to buy additional equipment.  You'll need some sort of a SATA/USB interface or enclosure to use temporarily to initialize the drive.  Something like this would work: http://www.radioshac...oductId=3032177


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#6 OFFLINE   Bill Broderick

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 12:45 PM

If your PC is relative new, you may even have an esata jack available (I did).  If so, you can connect the hard drive (in the enclosure) to the computer exactly the same way that you would connect it to your DVR.

 

 

Also, you only need to initialize the hard drive.  You don't need to format it.  Just follow the first two steps in the link that RunnerFL provided.  If the "initialize disc" window doesn't appear, just find the drive that you just connected and right click on it.  You should have the option to initialize it there.



#7 OFFLINE   Bruce M.

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 03:47 PM

Ok.  This is super.  Thanks.  My laptop is more modern than my desktop, so I'll start there.  Seems an esata jack would be ideal, although offhand I don't know whether I have one or not in either machine.  I will find out tonight!....

 

That said, I just remembered that my laptop has Win 8, so I've found instructions for formatting (and initializing) in WIN 8, too.



#8 OFFLINE   Bruce M.

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 08:29 PM

Well, it turns out that neither my laptop nor my desktop has an esata connection, but my work computer does.  So, I took the drive into work, and hooked it up, and followed the above instructions for initializing a drive.

 

Unfortunately, no go.  The drive does not show in the menu as even existing--no show, and no box for initializing.

 

I figure it's either a DOA drive, or my esata connection is not live.  I left the drive there, so tomorrow I will bring in a usb cable and try that, since the enclosure (http://www.amazon.co...1?ie=UTF8&psc=1) is USB 2.0 compatible....



#9 OFFLINE   Bruce M.

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 03:59 PM

So this is getting more complicated.  Using the USB connection, the drive showed up.  So, too, did the box for initializing.  I am given a choice for MBR or GBT.  GBT is for drives greater than 2 TB.  When I select that, I get the blue circle of death for about a minute, and then a message that says the drive cannot be located, even though the system recognizes an "unallocated, non-initialized" drive.

 

If I select MBR for yucks, I get an immediate message saying something about a "cyclic" error...?

 

Any ideas? 



#10 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 06:35 PM

All you need to be doing is making some sort of change to the drive.  It doesn't matter if you go with GPT or MBR.   Since neither seem to be working it's looking like the drive may be bad. 

 

What's giving you the "blue circle of death"?   

 

Is the drive making noises like it's spinning up and spinning down?


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#11 OFFLINE   Bruce M.

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:32 PM

Yes, it's making normal noises.  Clicks and whirls for about 15 seconds, then quiets down and spins normally.

 

Moreover, before I try to initialize the drive I also get a message that "the drive is working normally", or something like that. 

 

The blue circle comes after I select GBR and then "ok".

 

Apparently, this is a known problem for some when initializing drives in Windows.  See, e.g., http://www.winhelp.u...html#initvista7

 

Unfortunately, the cure seems as bad as the disease, from what I can make of it.  I'll struggle through this a bit more and post if I figure it out...



#12 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 11:21 PM

Sounds like what you tried may have altered the partition table or disk label on the drive.  That should be enough to get the HR44 to see it.


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#13 OFFLINE   Bruce M.

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:16 PM

Believe I found the problem.  More diagnostics on the drive indicated it had at least one "bad block."  Returning and trying again, this time under warranty.



#14 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:38 AM

one bad block is nothing for modern drives;

just run MHDD or Victoria's SCAN+REMAP plus take SMART before and after that and post results here



#15 OFFLINE   Bruce M.

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 10:25 AM

Final (it appears) update:

 

Returned the bad drive to Amazon.  Got a new one.  The new drive initialized quickly and easily.  Plugged it in to the HR44, which formatted it fine.  I'm back in business.   Thanks to everybody for input.

 

A related question:  If I now want to watch a program remaining on the 44's internal drive, is it sufficient merely to turn off the external drive before I turn the TV on?  Or do I have to reboot the receiver with the external drive off as well? I do realize that to switch back to the external drive, I'd have to reboot....



#16 OFFLINE   Bruce M.

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 11:11 AM

I spoke too soon.  After turning the TV off and doing something else for 45 minutes or so, I returned to start programming some shows.  All I did is turn the TV off. The external drive remained connected.

 

Nevertheless, when I turned it back on, I got the internal drive, not the external drive.  I rebooted both, and now the 44 is not seeing the external drive!  

 

It seems to me very unlikely that the external drive would initialize, format and operate just fine, then crap out after I turned the TV off.  Could it be the HR44? 


Edited by Bruce M., 07 November 2013 - 11:11 AM.


#17 OFFLINE   maerativo

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 11:34 AM

You will need to reboot the receiver (DVR) in order to switch between external and internal drives and back again. You should have a few seconds when the DVR is powered down during the reboot process to shut off the power to the external drive. The DVR should "see" the internal drive when it powers back up. It's not a good idea to power down the external drive while the DVR is powered and operating normally.


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#18 OFFLINE   maerativo

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 11:40 AM

I spoke too soon.  After turning the TV off and doing something else for 45 minutes or so, I returned to start programming some shows.  All I did is turn the TV off. The external drive remained connected.

 

Nevertheless, when I turned it back on, I got the internal drive, not the external drive.  I rebooted both, and now the 44 is not seeing the external drive!  

 

It seems to me very unlikely that the external drive would initialize, format and operate just fine, then crap out after I turned the TV off.  Could it be the HR44? 

Check to see if the TV controls power to the external drive, it should NOT. Check all cables that connect the external drive to the DVR at the external drive and the DVR. What is the external drive enclosure you are using and what is the hard drive?


Edited by maerativo, 07 November 2013 - 01:19 PM.

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#19 OFFLINE   Bruce M.

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:08 PM

External is a 3TB WD commonly recommended for this application.  Enclosure is a Thermaltake, similarly recommended...

 

The enclosure worked fine with my previous HR 34, and with this 44 (perhaps 3 weeks, during which of course we turned the TV off and on regularly, and the external drive remained hooked up just fine), until the original drive appeared to fail.  Then, I got a new drive.  That was bad out of the box.  Then, I got this current drive.  Worked this morning with the HR44 once I initialized it, as described in this thread. Then, I turned off the TV after the install, turned it back on 45 minutes later, and the internal drive had reconnected.  Rebooted the 44 and the external drive, but to no avail--the 44 will no longer pick up the external drive.

 

TV power off and on does NOT affect drive power.  Cables are all the same as the ones that worked fine with prior drives and receivers. 


Edited by Bruce M., 07 November 2013 - 04:27 PM.


#20 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:36 PM

How long did the external spin up before you re-powered the connected Genie? 


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