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

FAP interface bad but drive OK?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by reber1b, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. reber1b

    reber1b Legend

    169
    1
    Jun 14, 2007
    I bought two 750gb FAP's a little over 2 years ago, and both failed in less than 2 years. Connecting them to my desktop computer's USB port, and using the utility software, I could only conclude that they were dead meat. After some Googling, I learned that in the majority of cases in which the drives were taken out of their enclosures, those drives were OK, and therefor it must have been the interface that failed. This week I took one of my FAP's apart and connected the drive to a desktop computer. On subsequent bootup my BIOS recognized it and showed the make and model number as it would on any working hard drive. After bootup I checked Computer Mgt / Disk Mgt
    feature of Control Panel (Win2000) and noted that the drive was shown as "Healthy" and with a single large partition. When I clicked its drive letter in Windows Explorer a dialog box reported the drive as not formatted, and asked if I wanted to format it, to which I clicked "No". I am assuming Windows sees a drive formatted by another OS as not being formatted.

    At this point I'm trying to decide whether or not to gamble on the cost of an eSATA enclosure such as the Antec MX-1. Each FAP was about 75% full when it failed, and I'd sure like to recover that programming if possible. I would appreciate any input offered in this matter, and thanks in advance.
     
  2. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    4,153
    100
    Aug 31, 2002
    My best guess is that you have figured this out pretty well. If it helps, I had a Weaknees enclosure that failed a year or so ago. I, too, suspected the enclosure, as the fan was not working. I bought an Antec after researching what the best option might be right here on this forum, slapped the existing drive in, and went directly back to using that drive including all of its previous recordings. Apparently, the HBA card in the Weaknees enclosure had failed.

    Good luck; post back and let us know.
     
  3. jagrim

    jagrim Hall Of Fame

    1,910
    65
    Aug 25, 2006
    I recently had an MX-1 fail. I thought at first that the hard drive was going bad as the STB was rebooting several times a day. Since I had a spare MX-1 case, I put the old drive in the new case and didn't lose a thing when I plugged it in.

    In the future, I plan on picking up a "new spare case" when they are on sale.
     
  4. awalt

    awalt Legend

    226
    5
    Jul 30, 2007
    Some people here, including me, thought they had an FAP drive failing, but it turned out that replacing the eSata cable fixed the problem. Mind you this could still be a problematic interface, but for whatever reason a new cable fixed the problem. If you have one around, you may want to try that first, as it's easy to test.
     
  5. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

    6,503
    98
    Mar 18, 2006
    Teays...
    Had a FAP fail. Removed the drive from the case and installed it in an MX-1 and BOOM, my recordings were back. I recently copied those recordings from the 750 to a 1.5.

    Go buy an MX-1 at BB and give it a try. If it doesn't work, return it. Or there was a member here selling his used one for $25 shipped.
     
  6. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    8,969
    1
    Nov 13, 2007
    Hard drives, though they will all fail eventually, are made pretty well.

    Hard drive ENCLOSURES, on the other hand...
     
  7. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    7,058
    60
    Jul 19, 2005
    Jackson
    Many of the FAP failures seemed related to the power bricks going bad..
     
  8. reber1b

    reber1b Legend

    169
    1
    Jun 14, 2007
    Thanks for the input guys, I ordered an MX-1 today. Will report success (or lack of) after the Antec gets here.
     
  9. xtc

    xtc Legend

    276
    1
    Jun 26, 2004
    I am in the same situation, looks like my FAP 750GB is dieing and my HR20-700 can't even boot up with it anymore. I might have to buy that MX-1. I have never dealt with hard rive enclosures. How do you take apart the FAP and put it inside the MX-1? do you just literally take it out of the FAP and slide it into the MX-1 or is there some work to be done and some kind of hard drive installation knowledge required?

    Also you mentioned you copied your recordings from a 750GB to a 1.5TB ? How did you do this? can you please explain in detail? thanks!
     
  10. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

    6,503
    98
    Mar 18, 2006
    Teays...
    The hardest part is getting the drive out of the FAP. Google "remove drive from Free Agent Pro" and you will get some results. Here is one:

    http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=170188

    The youtube video shows removing the drive from an older housing but can give you an idea.

    Once you have the drive out, sliding it in the new MX-1 takes about a minute. Just slides right in.


    Read this: http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=167440 Read all of it. Twice. :)
     
  11. reber1b

    reber1b Legend

    169
    1
    Jun 14, 2007
    Here's a website with photos on disassembling a FAP
    http://thydzik.com/how-to-disassemble-a-seagate-freeagent-pro/
     
  12. reber1b

    reber1b Legend

    169
    1
    Jun 14, 2007
    Here's an update on my progress (see OP). My MX-1 came from Amazon yesterday. Slipping the drive in was about a ten minute job -- no problems there. I powered down the HR20 the drive was associated with, connected the MX-1, powered it up, waited several minutes and started up the HR20. Went right to the playlist, and there was all my old programming -- miracle of miracles I thought -- until I tried to play one of the movies, and all I got was the following banner message, "All or part of this program was not recorded due to a problem at broadcast time. Please wait while we scan the recording for viewable content." After about 2 minutes I was asked if I wanted to delete the program, to which I selected "No, don't delete", and was returned to the playlist. I tried this on several different programs with the same results each time. Finally, I rebooted the HR20 and forced a software update thinking vainly that this might help, but still no luck.

    Right now I'm thinking that I must be overlooking something. The programming shows up in the playlist, and the DVR can even see if a particular movie or episode has been seen -- titles in gray instead of white, and menu shows "Resume" / "Start Over" OR "Play" -- but will not play them. It's been about 8 or 9 months since this one failed (or rather, since the enclosure / interface failed). I keep wondering if somehow that time interval is contributing to the problem.

    All suggestions will be appreciated.
     
  13. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,139
    28
    Sep 16, 2006
    If I had to guess, I would say the interface failure caused the programs to record corrupt data. Are there any programs on there that you have already watched and know was ok before, that gives you that message?
     
  14. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    5,916
    1
    Jan 10, 2007
    As Davenlr said, I would assume that the enclosure dumping might have corrupted some data on the drive. In which case you might just have to start from scratch sadly (or if just some recordings are messed up, delete those).

    Back on the original subject, sadly most enclosures are not made to handle the heat/stress of DVR 24/7 use. If you think about it most enclosures are made to be hooked up and used for short periods of time, not constantly. That is why ones like the MX-1 are so much better for DVR usage as they are cooled at least to keep some of the heat problems at bay.
     
  15. reber1b

    reber1b Legend

    169
    1
    Jun 14, 2007

    Several of the programs I tried to play were programs I am certain I had watched before the FAP failed. Both of my failed FAP's worked perfectly right up to the point of failure. I know D* doesn't support eSATA usage, but maybe I'll see if I can find a techie that is interested enough to check into the situation.
     
  16. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    5,916
    1
    Jan 10, 2007
    When the enclosure dumped it could have corrupted some of the data though still, maybe some of the indexs and such.

    When hardware fails, weird stuff can happen.
     
  17. reber1b

    reber1b Legend

    169
    1
    Jun 14, 2007
    Today I finally had success. I had been right about the receiver that hard drive was associated with. Today I tried a different eSATA cable, still to no avail. Then, as a last ditch attempt I hit the red reset button, and when the receiver booted up, it picked up the external drive and played every title I selected. I had been doing soft reboots up until today. I still can't understand why the receiver NOT associated with the drive picked it up after a soft reboot, while the receiver associated with the drive would not, and required a RBR.
     
  18. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    5,916
    1
    Jan 10, 2007
    Dunno, but glad you got it working ;)
     
  19. BuffaloDenny

    BuffaloDenny Icon

    691
    4
    Mar 19, 2007
    I'm a little confused on this. Are you saying the receiver was reading the internal drive until the RBR, when it finally picked up the external? If so, how did the internal have the same programs to test as the external had on it?
     
  20. reber1b

    reber1b Legend

    169
    1
    Jun 14, 2007
    The answer to your first question is yes. I tried 3 soft reboots, and each time it picked up the internal drive, but when I did a red button reset, it picked up the external drive. I'm not sure I understand your second question.
     

Share This Page