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Do I Need to Format My Hard Drive

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by dinfire, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. dinfire

    dinfire New Member

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    Ever since the last receiver update for my DirecTV HD DVR receiver it's not worked properly. First it would always look for the satellite while watching shows. They told me I had an old receiver so I went and bought a new HD DVR receiver at Best Buy. They came and upgraded it the SWM system and it worked for a while. Then it slowly started not working properly. Anytime I watch anything on the DVR it freezes and I have to power cycle it to get it to start back up. When it does start back up it does a hard drive check that takes several hours and then it's 50/50 whether it will work. Sometimes it gets to the point where it's at step one of checking the satellite and just sits there forever. It keeps going through this cycle until it finally works. Once it does, I can't turn it off or it won't come back on and I have to power cycle it again. Eventually it will freeze again and I'll have to power cycle it. Called DirecTV and since I"m in a multi-dwelling unit, they washed their hands of it. The administrator of the MDU says he can't help me either. This receiver is five months old. My question is, does anyone know how to format the hard drive? I think it's my only recourse at this point aside from going and buying ANOTHER receiver. I know you can punch in a code to download software (i've also tried this a hundred times and it doesn't fix it). Is there a code to format the hard drive? Does anyone even think this will help? Any suggestions people can give me would be greatly appreciated as I don't want to spend another $200 at Best Buy for something I don't even own.
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Rebooting the receiver and pressing [hold] the down arrow and record button on the front panel, until the record light comes on, is how to reformat the drive.
    "Do I think it will help"? no. Sounds more like a "bad box". Since you lease this receiver, I'd be calling DirecTV [as many times as it takes] tech support and get them to replace it, but then I can be a real pain in the .... [as I "do it nicely"]
     
  3. turey22

    turey22 Hall Of Fame

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    reformat...

    Hit the red button reset...on the screen you will see "hello your DIRECTV..."

    then it will say "a few more seconds..." as soon as it goes to the black screen, after that screen, you hold the down arrow and rec button on the front of the box and hold them down for 10 sec...then the rec light should stay lit.

    if not you can always do a reset everything through the menus.
     
  4. turey22

    turey22 Hall Of Fame

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    I will go with oldschool and call DIRECTV.
     
  5. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    It's been a while; if I recall you hold down record and down arrow on the front panel as the machine reboots.
     
  6. turey22

    turey22 Hall Of Fame

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    :welcome_s
     
  7. dinfire

    dinfire New Member

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    Wow, thanks so much for the quick replies. I've called DirecTV like 10 times about this already and the best thing they'd offer me was a replacement receiver for free in exchange for a two-year commitment. I'm always nice, and I've even threatened to have the service turned off. They told me if I moved somewhere that couldn't get DirecTV that I would still have to pay them. Because I'm in a multi-dwelling unit, no one will help me. Both DirecTV and the manager of the MDU says it's the other guy's responsibility. I'm kind of screwed, honestly. I'm going to try and format the HD and see if that helps, but I doubt it will. How do you format from the menus? I've looked a bunch of times and I've never seen anything that will let me do it. Thanks so much for your help everyone. I really appreciate it.
     
  8. bakers12

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

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    Menu -> System Setup -> Reset -> Reset Everything
     
  9. turey22

    turey22 Hall Of Fame

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    is a reset everything like a reformat? seems like its to fast for a reformat but thats just me
     
  10. dinfire

    dinfire New Member

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    Thanks again! What will I lose if I reformat the HD? Anything? I don't care about losing favorites or anything like that. I just want this piece of junk to work for the Super Bowl. I won't have to call DirecTV and get it reactivated or anything?
     
  11. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    No, it will not format the drive.
     
  12. bakers12

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

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    Does it just mark everything on the hard drive as deleted (or something along those lines) as opposed to formatting the drive?
     
  13. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Reset everything isn't a reformat. It seems to simply "over write" the file table saying the drive is blank.
    Even with a front panel "reformat" [which has helped users after a reset everything] "the best" this seems to do is much like a "quick format" in a PC, as the time it takes to do this, is way too short to be a "full format" of a 300+ GB drive.
     
  14. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    It basically just deletes files. Some things are still left behind.

    It's been so long since I tested and compared a format to a reset everything that I honestly forget what differs.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    This may or may not be helpful to your situation, but before you re-format, you can run a couple of tests on your hard drive, and possibly even repair it using a DirecTV file system repair utility built into the HR. I ran it on one of my HR's overnight, and it is non-destructive, so you should not lose any of your recordings:
    • Do a menu-reset or an RBR.
    • After the "Just a few more seconds screen", you'll see a "receiver self-check" message. Press SELECT at that point to enter the "Diagnostics Menu"
    • Select "Advanced Menu", "Utilities", "Hard Drive Utilities"
    /steve
     
  16. dinfire

    dinfire New Member

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    Just got home from work and tried the HD format. It won't work. I hold the down arrow and the record button for 10 seconds when the screen goes black and it just completely ignores it and goes on with the process. Also tried using the diagnostics tool but it does the same thing it's been doing by saying something's wrong with the hard drive and then going through a two-hour hard drive check that never fixes anything. Gah.
     
  17. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    Sounds to me like you have a Dish Alignment problem or your Dish is not properly grounded and "static electricity buildup" may be causing your problems.

    Have you checked your grounding?
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    I had a similar experience last time I tried a format. No matter when I held the buttons, or for how long, I was unable to get it to work.

    They must have changed something in the s/w and it's no longer documented. /steve
     
  19. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    You can try this:

    Reboot the DVR and during boot time there is a "Just a few more seconds” screen, and then a screen that says "Running Receiver Self Check".

    Hit the SELECT button on the remote when this screen shows up and it takes you to a Diagnostics Menu Screen.

    Select "Advanced Tests", then "Utilities", and then "Hard Drive Utilities".

    There are several choices like "Short Test" and "Long Test" which I assume are the SMART tests.

    Then there is a “Fix Hard Drive Option” that takes several hours to run, which could be for fixing bad sectors/blocks.

    And then there is a fix hard drive option that takes several hours to run, which could be for fixing bad sectors/blocks. You can also select "Advanced Tests", then "Internal Test" to check most everything else.
     
  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I'm probably wrong about this, but I thought the front panel command was to hold down the Menu button and the down button in the blue LED ring and the Record button lights and then the (limited reformat) begins. Haven't done that in a long time and if I were you I would take Steve's suggestion and at least try to fix it yourself.

    Rich
     

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