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esata larger than 2 TB

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by flava, Oct 10, 2007.

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  1. flava

    flava AllStar

    Jun 25, 2006

    I have made a few posts on this before, but I've gotten to the point that I have a new enclosure and drives and am ready to build another enclosure. My first enclosure had 3.75 TB configured as RAID 0. (Full details are in the following post.)


    It appears that it is only using about 2 TB of the space however.

    I have the following recorded, which brought me to that conclusion, based on calculations.
    26:23 of HD MPEG 4
    226:16 of HD MPEG 2
    50:13 of SD MPEG 2
    10% available free space

    Earl was going to check with the engineers, but I haven't heard back from him yet. I need to know if anyone has truly been successful getting this working. I know there was a claim that someone was using it, but I think that person may have had the same problem as me, he just didn't know it. So, if any of you are using a configuration like this and are absolutely positive that it is using all of the space, please let me know.

    I'd like to know a definite answer before I build it, but I think I already know the answer.

  2. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    search resources forum for a post named something like"esata this is the one" was a few months ago.. he had a 3.75 running too
  3. flava

    flava AllStar

    Jun 25, 2006
    yeah, that was the one guy I read about but I never heard back from him when I PM'd him and I don't think he's been on the board for quite awhile. I don't think he is actually getting all 3.75 TB, I think he is getting 2 TB out of it and wasting the rest of the space, just as I am probably doing.
  4. armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

    Nov 13, 2006
    Fort Pierce, FL
    Not reading any of the posts but going on HR20 theory. Doesn't it compartmentalize a percentage for showcase and such? Wouldn't that be relevant to the hard drive size? 250G x 10%= 2.5g.(2Tx10%=200g)?
  5. mephisto

    mephisto Mentor

    Sep 22, 2007
    From the few threads I've read it seems to me as if the HR20 filesystem only supports 2TB.
  6. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005

    When I first got your message... I did forward it on...
    Your post here has also "caught" their attention.

    They are going back to build something similar insize... and test it in lab... to see what the actual "limit" is.

    On the surface... first reply... they are positive it is more then 2TB..
    But they are going to go and verify... and make sure that it will work with larger sizes.... possibly even 16tb.......
  7. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

    Feb 12, 2007

    Can you look at the partition sizes on a computer?
  8. flava

    flava AllStar

    Jun 25, 2006
    Thanks Earl. Please let me know if / when you hear anything.

    I was scared to lose all of my recordings on the 3.75 TB enclosure so I haven't connected it to a computer. I have another enclosure that has the same controller card (Sil4726) that I built last night with five 500 GB drives. I recorded a bunch of stuff onto it last night and I can test with that one by connecting it to a computer tonight. I'm not sure if I'll be able to see the partition on the drive or not, but it's worth a shot.
  9. flava

    flava AllStar

    Jun 25, 2006
    OK, this is a little interesting. I have the 3.75 TB enclosure configured as RAID 0. I can see it in the SiI 4726 Manager as a total of 3490 GB. If I go to disk manager, I can't see the disk.

    I have another enclosure that I built last night with four 500 GB drives. I configured that in the SiI 4726 Manager as BIG, which isn't technically a RAID at all, but the description is Creates the maximum capacity permitted. If I go to disk manager on this enclosure, I see the drive and the partitions:
    518 MB
    15.01 GB
    1846.48 GB
    3 MB

    First I am going to reconfigure the 2 TB box as RAID 0 and reconnect to my HR20 and after it configures itself reconnect to a computer to see what I can see.

    Then I am going to add another 500 GB drive to the box, reconfigure the enclosure as RAID 0 again and see what happens and if I can still see anything.

    Then I am going to reconfigure the enclosure as BIG again and see what happens and if I can see anything.

    I'll post my results. These are 2 separate enclosures by they both are using the SiI 4726 chipset card, so I would think that the only real difference is the look of the box, everything else should be the same...
  10. flava

    flava AllStar

    Jun 25, 2006
    Well, I'm just as confused now as when I started. I've configured the drives in this enclosure every way I listed and have unexpected results.

    I couldn't see anything in Windows as far as partitions go at 2 TB RAID 0.

    I couldn't see the enclosure at all configured as RAID 0 with five 500 GB drives. I tried on two separate HR20-700s and then reconfigured it and tried again. No luck. Then I changed to BIG and the HR20s could see it but I couldn't see any details in Windows. Now, I have it connected to my HR20 with 5 drives as BIG but it appears to only be using one of the drives.

    So, 4 drives seem to work okay, configured as 2 TB (or 1862 GB to be more accurate). 5 drives doesn't seem to work, no matter how I configure it.
    These tests were all done on this enclosure.

    The other enclosure I have with five 750 GB drives is partially working, to the best of my knowledge it is using all of the drives (because I see all of the lights for the drives flashing regularly), but it is only using 2 TB of the available space.
  11. svcguy

    svcguy Mentor

    Apr 4, 2007
    What OS are you using? XP SP2 only supports drives up to 2TB (pretty sure, but someone correct me if I'm wrong). Your RAID card will present the array as one drive to Windows and Windows will happily only use 2TB. That explains your problems on the PC side, unless you're not using XP. As far as the HR20, I don't know the details of it's file system, but something tells me its probably based on Windows's file system.:nono:
  12. flava

    flava AllStar

    Jun 25, 2006
    I'm using XP SP2, however, NTFS supports up to 16 TB. FAT32 only supports 2 TB. But really Windows file systems don't come into play at all. All I need Windows for is to configure the 4726 card as a certain RAID level. Whatever I specify is programmed to the card and then it presents all the drives to whatever OS you have the drives connected to.

    The only reason I was looking in Disk Manager was to see if I could see the size of the partitions. I don't need to actually partition the drive, just see the size for troubleshooting purposes. Unfortunately I couldn't see the partitions in most cases.
  13. cartrivision

    cartrivision Hall Of Fame

    Jul 25, 2007
    Those numbers are what you would expect to see with a 1.5 TB disk, so I suspect that your RAID setup only looks like a 1.5 TB disk (two of the 750 GB disks) to the HR20.
  14. flava

    flava AllStar

    Jun 25, 2006
    Well, if I can trust the activity lights on the enclosure (and I think I can based on it only showing activity on one drive when I first set it up and knowing it was only using one drive), it writes to 4 drives at once. Then sometimes, it writes to 4 other drives at once. Usually only 4 drives are being written to at a time, but it uses and sees all 5 drives. But it may be capping each drive at a certain size and not using the entire 750 GB of each drive.
  15. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

    Aug 4, 2007
    Say, I tripped across your thread here, mine is at:


    where I started out trying to 'review' some of the folks in the past that have tried to get 'multi-terabyte' systems to work; most that got around to where you seem to be generally dropped 'off the planet' in responding to how things were working out.

    Keep at it! There seems to be two routes taken, either boxes based on the SIL4726 and the other on an unknown chip in what appears to be a Mobilraid box (but rebranded or something, into the SATAVault SR6600), very expensive (~$1300 less drives), but once again, the folks trying it out have dropped off the map and don't respond to any emails.

    Another person, erp2863, is trying to develop a 4drive box, is 'in' the thread link I put at the top.

    IMHO, the HR20 remains a 'toy' at best, without decent storage capability. The 1TB drives (still a bit $$) give a bit of breathing space, but now that the amount of HD material has 'exploded', and with upcoming VOD (who wants to redownload things because of sparse space? Not me!). So, I keep looking for some basic verification that 'real' storage is possible...!
  16. flava

    flava AllStar

    Jun 25, 2006
    I actually read your post a few nights ago but didn't have a ton to add because mine isn't really working correctly yet. I started this in late May, and was content to have the 2 TB of storage at that time, mostly because I didn't have the money or time to invest in any more digging. Now that I have a second enclosure with the same chipset, I can play around more with this one.

    I think it would be really helpful if DirecTV added space seen by the HR20 instead of just % available / used. It wouldn't have to be on the list screen, but maybe on the Setup / Info screen. At least that way I could easily tell how much space the HR20 was seeing without having to record things and try to calculate & estimate it myself.

    I'll let you know if I can figure anything else out. I may be waiting on some help from someone though because I am almost out of things to try.
  17. cowart

    cowart Mentor

    Aug 27, 2007
    Maybe you do need to partition the drive - you could use FDISK, which does not have the 2 Tb limitation
  18. Radio Enginerd

    Radio Enginerd Active Member

    Oct 5, 2006
    I don't have your answer but I wanted to comment and tell you, WOW. Very cool. That's A LOT of programing. How much did this setup cost you?
  19. erp2863

    erp2863 Mentor

    Aug 24, 2007
    You don't need to partition the disk array.

    I've found that when going back and forth between the HR20 internal disk, the external disk, and the PC, sometimes the disk array just doesn't want to be recognized by the HR20. My theory is that the quick format the HR20 performs when the external disk array is connected the first time does not always do a great job.

    When I've encountered this, I connect the array to the PC and use the SII4726 Disk Manager software to return the array to a JBOD. Then I reboot the PC and enter the RAID setup software that can be executed when the PC bios is booting, usually have to press F4 when you see the RAID controller come up. All of the drives should be shown. I then perform a full format on each disk. Once that is done, go back to the SII4726 software and create the RAID0 array again.

    Hope this helps...
  20. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

    Aug 4, 2007
    A basic question has been rattling around when I found this thread.

    I think that erp2863's largest box is 4/500GB drives, so 2TB total. I have seen NO posting of any array's larger than this, in fact, the few that have had larger array's are those who have 'gone missing'. I'm particularly interested that the ONE 'commercial' HR20 solution, the Tenbox, is 1.5TB (twin 750's), and that I have seen a couple of folks with twin drive setups working, again with 2/750's.

    I think it may come back to a 'problem' with the HR20 not being able to 'address' more than 2TB. It would be 'nice' if ERP had at least one 1TB or 750GB drive to put in the 4drive box (that worked fine with the 4/500) just to see if things got a little 'shaky' with something just over 2TB (it would, with a 750, be of course 2.25TB total in a Raid0 array).

    It all sounds a bit 'suspicious' to me, but I don't have the hardware in front of me, don't see the gyrations everything tries to go through. But...
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