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Defragging external 2TB FantomDrive?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by thescher, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Mike Greer

    Mike Greer Hall Of Fame

    Jan 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    Even better... Make the drives removable so if your DVR fails but the drive is good you can slide out the good drive and put it in your replacement DVR. Or if your drive dies DirecTV can just send you a replacement hard drive rather than some old beat to hell DVR from 5 years ago!

    Just sayin'!
  2. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    I wrote to them about making all the Receivers HD and have the eSATA connection.
    Then if you wanted a DVR it could be plugged into the unit.
    Also asked them about chaniging the marry process from to the particular DVR to the account number.
    Got an irrelavent email back in response.
  3. bobcamp1

    bobcamp1 Icon

    Nov 8, 2007
    Just to clear up a few things here:

    1. Defragging in general is snake oil on modern equipment. It may speed things up, it may slow things down, it may have no effect. It's so complex and unpredictable as to its effect on your PC that it's difficult to recommend it anymore one way or the other.

    2. Defragging a DVR is REALLY snake oil, as it needs the data at such a slow rate that delays caused by fragmentation aren't a problem.

    3. Defragging a SATA hard drive doesn't help all that much if you're using AHCI. It'll turn on native command queuing if the OS, controller, and hard drive support it (and almost all do). I don't know if the D* DVRs support this or not -- maybe the HR34 does.

    4. ALL operating systems and file systems experience "fragmentation". It just depends on how you define it. Linux chooses to scatter all the files randomly across the entire disk -- its free space is severely fragmented, and two files that may always load together might be on "opposite ends" of the hard drive. There are other pros and cons to this approach which I won't go into here. But if you had a hard drive like that in Windows, the defragger program would recommend a "smart" defragmentation to get the boot files next to each other and the free space to be contiguous. But since Linux has no defragmenting tools, and any tools that exist would ignore this because that behavior is by design, everything looks OK.

    5. TomCat is 100% correct about pulling the plug. If I remember correctly, the odds of causing temporary damage (i.e. bad data written) on a simple power loss are about 5 million to 1. Any journaled/modern file system will detect that and fix the error (note that doesn't count unsaved data, just file system damage).

    The odds of causing permanent damage on a simple power loss are about 40 million to 1, and then it's usually confined to one sector (maybe two) which gets remapped later. I don't think an RBR even qualifies here as power to the hard drive is maintained.

    Note that "simple power loss" means cleanly pulling the plug. It doesn't include the power going out in your house for a second or two. That usually involves a surge courtesy of your utility company when the power comes back on.
  4. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    Sounds Great to me but maybe it might just make too much sense for Directv to digest it as good for their customers.
  5. thescher

    thescher New Member

    Mar 18, 2012
    Thanx so much for all your replies. I have learned a lot. I think I'll try the menu reboot and just keep the drive as empty as I can.
  6. thescher

    thescher New Member

    Mar 18, 2012
    Hey one more thing I forgot to mention. I never shut the drive off even though I turn the DVR unit off. Would turning the external HD on & off do anything? I know I at least have to have the drive on first to get it to read the external drive. If not it will read the internal one.
  7. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    That is why I buy "Owned" HR24s because I had an External Hard Drive Enclosure and periodically it would Reboot and the External Drive Controller took too long to respond so the DVR would Reboot with the Internal Drive and then if I didn't notice Recordings would start showing up there and then I would realize that my older recordings weren't there and Blah Blah Blah...
  8. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    One step at a time.
  9. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    If i was the Senior Marketing Directv/Senior Vice President, I would be Monitoring this Website for Creative Suggestions as to how to make my Product Better!!!

    It only makes his job easier and yes I know we aren't the 90% of the Norm but if you can make us happy then you are definitely going to make them happy if they choose the features we want or like.
  10. wcr

    wcr Cool Member

    Sep 27, 2009
    When you "turn off" the DVR, it is really going into standby and will still record programs for you as well as receive programming updates. If you shut off the drive, the DVR will hang (or reboot) when it can't access the external drive.

    If you are unplugging the DVR, then you can turn off the external drive as well. Just be sure to turn it on before plugging in the DVR again. (I usually give it a good 5 count to ensure the drive has spun up.)
  11. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

    Jul 9, 2007
    Seems pretty obvious, doesn't it?!

    If they do skim for input they ignore most of it.

    Before early retirement I was a software engineer fairly high up the pyramid in a fortune 500 software company. Normally it's the Product Management department in charge of these things. For the most part there is little interest in minor to moderate things. Bugs only get fixed to make the noise go away. Minor and moderate enhancements are the same. The noise has to be pretty high to get action. Improving the clarity or execution of a policy or procedure is not even on the radar. All they really care about and spend their time doing is getting big "splashy" things done. Sometimes those splashy things are indeed worthwhile (example: HR34 & C31). More often the splash heard is the rock heading for the bottom. They don't care which way it is - splash is splash and it's what they get rewarded for.
  12. Mike Greer

    Mike Greer Hall Of Fame

    Jan 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    I could go with one step at a time - but for hell's sake, let's take the first step!:lol:
  13. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    Not close to real life ...

    Check posted info about files/folders on DTV DVR's drives. I did that long time ago when we discuss legal aspects of using Linux for the DVRs.
  14. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    Mike, it seems that you are replying mostly to my post, unless I miss my bet. And you may find it surprising that I agree (which is why I used the word "rare", implying that it was not a sure bet), but I think everyone has to try to understand what's going on and then use that to make their own decision. It's a little unclear what the odds are; we can only say that they are pretty low. And that is what makes your advice ("only when there is no other choice") good advice. Even lower odds (by avoiding it) is even better.

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