1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Access video/backup external hard drive

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by larrybrown, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. larrybrown

    larrybrown New Member

    2
    0
    Aug 22, 2010
    Newbie Question: Does anyone know if you can access the video on an external hard drive.?

    I am getting an Hr-24.

    From my research on the internet, the video files are encoded in a stream.str file on the hard drive.

    I want to be able to back up the external hard drive to another external hard drive in the event the main external hard drive with all my shows crashed.

    Can you back-up the contents from one drive to another?

    Can i then play the archived videos on the external drive on a pc?
     
  2. PokerJoker

    PokerJoker Godfather

    537
    7
    Apr 12, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Back it up? Yes, you can hook it and another drive to a computer and do a bit-perfect copy using disk-clone software; or use a hardware disk-cloning tool; or do a file-level copy using certain Linux versions. This works but is a) a hassle and b) prone to problems, both in getting the DVR powered-off at just the right moment so you can safely unplug the drive, and in getting the DVR to reliably recognize the drive when you plug it back in. This is why I don't do it.

    Play the video on a PC? Umm, nope. It's encrypted and locked to that one particular DVR. Even if you moved it to another similar DVR, the recordings wouldn't play, although you might still have your setup, series links, etc.

    The bottom line is that external drives (especially on DirecTV) are a poor idea for archiving shows you don't want to lose. It's just too easy for either the drive or the DVR to fail, and you're screwed in either case.

    If you do have shows that you just have to have copies of, a Hauppage HDPVR will make hi-def copies from the analog component output of the DVR. At least, until Hollywood forces the down-rezzing of that output, which may happen sooner than people think. (If SD quality is good enough for you, you can always make analog copies using a DVD recorder or PC capture card.)

    Always remember two things: DirecTV's position is "DVRs are for short-term timeshifting only" and Hollywood's position is "no backups or copies allowed". The consumer's position? Desn't matter.

    Keith
     
  3. larrybrown

    larrybrown New Member

    2
    0
    Aug 22, 2010
    You mention a problem with powering down the DVR, and the external hard drive not being able to be access from a PC.

    I am not sure i understand. Shouldn't you just be able to power off the DVR. Turn off the external drive. Then Plug the external drive into the pc, and be able to see the contents, and then do a backup?

    What kind of problems are encountered?

    thanks
     
  4. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    7,058
    60
    Jul 19, 2005
    Jackson
    There is a specific drive copy procedure that needs to be followed. The data on the drive is in a format that a regular PC will not recognize, you must use a linux boot disk, most of us here use gparted ver 4.6.1 or older IIRC. It will let you make an exact copy of the drive to either transfer all your shows over to a new drive(perhaps increasng up to 2TB in the process), or just make a backup copy if you feel the need. You cannot playback the recordings on a pc at all. In fact, those recordings can only be played back on the dvr that made them, not even a replacement dvr from Direct will be playback recordings made on another identical model dvr.
     
  5. PokerJoker

    PokerJoker Godfather

    537
    7
    Apr 12, 2008
    Las Vegas
    For one thing, you can't actually "power off" the DVR. It isn't like your PC. If you just push the DVR power-off button, all it does is shut off the panel lights and the video output. The DVR itself is still running and the drive is still in use and cannot be safely unplugged.

    The only safe way to unhook an external drive from a DirecTV DVR is to first do a DVR reset (from the menu), and then, right when all the panel lights go out, pull out the DVR's power plug. And if you don't get it at JUST the right time . . . you risk data corruption. Worse, when you hook it all back up, sometimes it can take four or more DVR resets before the external drive is recognized. Now you know why ALL external drive setups should be powered by a UPS.

    For another thing, a Windows PC or Mac can't actually "see" the drive, as was covered in another post.

    Keith
     
  6. lschwarcz

    lschwarcz Mentor

    78
    0
    Sep 1, 2006
    I know this is an older thread but has anyone posted the directions on how to actually backup an external disk?

    I have a Genie and am considering using an external 2TB hard disk. I'd like to have the ability to occasionally make a backup. I know that I wouldn't be able to view any of the content on any device other than my Genie but at least the programs would be saved.

    I don't currently have a Linux system setup but I do have a Mac that runs over Unix of course. Would that work? If not I have an older PC and I could make it a dual boot and install Linux on for this purpose.

    Thanks!
    Larry.
     
  7. hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

    5,957
    54
    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    I use a hardware solution from StarTeck, it's a drive cloner and it does 2 TB to 2 TB clones perfectly and they work on my HR24-200. It costs about 60 bucks, but it is very simple and seems reliable. You just drop the drives into the dock (two openings, one source, one target) and hit the mode button until the light glows RED, then hit the start button and wait a few hours. I do mine overnight.

    StarTech.com SATA Hard Drive HDD Duplicator Dock - eSATA USB Hard Disk Drive Duplicator - 2.5 / 3.5-Inch Hard Drive Cloner

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003WV5DLA/ref=pdp_new_dp_review


    (No computer needed)
     
  8. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    7,058
    60
    Jul 19, 2005
    Jackson
    its virtually the same process, and you dont need a computer that runs linux, you use a boot disk for this whole process, so any pc with the capability to connect the drives to will work. The whole process is really about doing a clone of the drive using a linux boot disk, so backing up is the same thing.
     
  9. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    101
    Aug 31, 2002
    Multiple resets would be unusual. If you have them, that is likely more due to a sketchy eSATA enclosure or cable. Use only the ones recommended by consensus in this forum.

    As to data corruption, technically yes, you will have data corruption if you yank the power cord indiscriminately. But that data corruption is limited to the recordings being done, and background indexing tasks. So is it a problem? Not really; you know you don't want a recording that is happening when you are doing a reboot (I hope), and on reboot indexing picks right up where it left off, meaning one piece of metadata might have to be reindexed.

    But wait; if you use RBR, that means that the drive finishes whatever it is indexing and pauses R/W then gives the DVR the go-ahead to reboot, which is exactly what you want and is designed NOT to cause such problems. So yes, the proper time to yank power is just as the reboot starts, which is indicated by either a black screen or the solid blue screen with lettering informing you that a restart has begun.

    And really, would any credible design put a button on the front of the DVR that could actually cause problems? Of course not.

    Bottom line, there is no danger to what is already on the HDD. If we are putting 2 and 2 together and thinking that it does corrupt something that has to do with recognizing the drive, common sense dictates that if there were a caused problem, that no number of reboots would ever get around corrupted data causing that. So the answer can only be that it doesn't. The multiple reset issue is something else quite removed from powering down the HDD.
     

Share This Page