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Help! HR20 switches from External to Internal Drive!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by xtc, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. xtc

    xtc Legend

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    Jun 26, 2004
    I'm having a very frustrating problem. I have a HR20-700 and I've been using a Seagate Free Agent Pro 750GB External Drive with it for a couple of years now without any problems. But now, for some reason, my HR20 seems to be switching from this external drive to it's internal drive by itself! I never actually see the switch, but I would leave the room with the External drive displayed on my HR20 and then come back to see the Internal drive is displayed! It's happening every day now. I am guessing the HR20 is for some reason rebooting itself which is causing this problem. I know the proper way to restart the HR20 if you have an external drive is to unplug the HR20, Unplug the External Drive, wait a minute then Plug the External Drive, wait for it to finish spinning and plug in the HR20. But when the HR20 reboots itself, I obviously do not have the chance to properly do all this plugging/unplugging which is causing this whole switch from the External to Internal hard drive when i come back to the room and turn on the tv.

    I have never actually seen the reboot/swich from External to the Internal drive happen, but I would leave the TV on with the HR20 working properly with the External drive, but I could come back a few hours later and see that the HR20 has switched to the Internal Drive.

    I am not sure what the problem is. First I thought it was the eSata cord, but why would it be working fine, and then the switch happens without anything being physically touched. So I ruled that out. Is the External drive the problem? Is it Dieing? Is it the HR20 the problem? Is it Dieing? I do have only 3% space left on the external hard drive, but I don't think that can be the problem because many times in the past, I had 0% left and it never rebooted/switched to the Internal drive.

    When I see that the drive has been switched to the Internal drive, I physically unplug the HR20, unplug the External drive, wait a minute, Plug the External drive, wait for it to spin, then plug in the HR20 and everything is fine - the external drive is displaying, but it seems that sometimes, maybe 1.5 hours later, it switches back to the Internal (probably a reboot that I did not witness)

    Please, someone help me with this!
     
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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  3. bnash972

    bnash972 AllStar

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    Jan 29, 2007
    The same thing happend to me today!!! Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750 on HR20/700.

    I've been running the setup for two years, no issue. I got home from work today and the DVR is running off the internal drive.

    AFTER the issue was noticed I unplugged the DVR. Brought the DVR back up. Still the same problem.

    HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :confused:

    EDIT: I didn't power cycle both the drive and the DVR, only the DVR. Per my post below, my drive appeared to be severely overheating due to poor ventilation of my new cabinet. Placing the drive in an open air environment, allowing it to cool, power cycling both the drive and DVR brought it back online. More details below.
     
  4. Villager

    Villager Legend

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    Feb 8, 2007
    There is a good chance that the problem is that the power transformer (the unit that plugs into the wall) has gone bad. The Seagate has a five-year warranty if I remember correctly. Check if the unit is lighting up and staying lit. When they sent me a replacement drive and transformer, I used my old drive with the new tranformer, and all was well. Several other people reported the same problem.
     
  5. xtc

    xtc Legend

    276
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    Jun 26, 2004
    Do you think this is the case with my problem too? (original post in this thread)

    My drive lights up fine, but I am still having this problem. If I call Seagate, I am guessing they will want to take back the "defective" drive, which contains almost 750GB of programming. Did they let you keep your old drive and just sent you a new one with a new power transformer? I do not want to part with my current drive because for now, at least for a short time, i AM able to access it through the HR20, the problem is the HR20 switching to the Internal drive after a relatively short time (1-2 hrs) That's why i am not sure if the problem is the External drive or the HR20 itself. Because if the problem is just the HR20 rebooting itself, I think it's normal for it to not recognize my external drive after powering back up because it was powered up/down improperly.

    HOWEVER after the HR20 reboots itself and displays the Internal drive, it never seems to reboot itself again - all seems fine. So I am guessing the problem is some kind of communication problem between the HR20 and the External Drive, not a problem with the HR20 itself since it works fine and does not reboot when there is no external drive plugged in. So I am still not sure what to do. I doubt DirecTV can help me since its an external drive issue and if I call Seagate, I don't want to give up my old drive just to receive a new one which may or may not work right.
     
  6. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    Even if it is a Bad Transformer I would put a UPS on it so it does not reboot when it gets a momentary Glitch. I have two very expensive Battery Backup/Line Conditioners/Automatic Voltage Regulator on my Home Entertainment Systems and mine have never rebooted that I know of.

    I just bought two more APC UPS units (BE550G & a BE750G) and they are worth alot when it comes to saving electronics from rebooting, overworking, bad power, etc.

    Just a thought.
     
  7. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Grumpy Grampy

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    Feb 5, 2009
    I use $39.95 generic models from the local Chinese Computer Emporium on each HR and they work great too. :lol:

    TBlazer07Poor :D
     
  8. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    Mar 18, 2006
    Teays...
    If swapping the PS fails and you have no other place to turn, you can remove the drive from the FAP (instructions and a u-tube video can be found via google) and place it in a MX-1.

    I had a similar problem after we lost power from the snow storm a couple of weeks ago, except in my case the HR20 would not even recognize the FAP.

    But as has been mentioned, a UPS is ALWAYS a good idea for both the HR2x and any external drives.
     
  9. JerryElbow

    JerryElbow Legend

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    Jun 14, 2007
    Ever since the last software update, Free Agent Pro 750 Gb drives have been dropping like flies (mine included). There are a number of threads about this and yet the most common response is that it can't be the fault of the update and that it's just a coincidence that this drive (which, according to Seagage, was never designed to run 24x7 with any kind of DVR) is having such a sudden spike in its death rate. I keep hoping that DirecTV will figure out that the problem is on their end, fix it and release an update that will allow me to use my FAP 750 again as it has a number of movies in HD on it that are not yet available on Blu-Ray (such as all six Star Wars movies). Until then, I've bought a Westen Digital 1 Tb drive that is on DirecTV's list of approved external eSATA drives.
     
  10. BarkingGhost

    BarkingGhost Legend

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    Dec 29, 2007
    NE Atlanta...
    I have had external drives fail a couple of times, and leading up to the failure the HR21 will switchover to the internal drive.
     
  11. bnash972

    bnash972 AllStar

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    Jan 29, 2007
    Hey xtc and JerryElbow, I started another thread posting the question about moving data from one eSata to another. You CAN move data from one drive to another. It looks like it's not as easy as I would have hoped, but looks very doable.

    You might want to check this out:
    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=170426

    BTW...I got a new 58" Panny Plasma to replace my old rear projection beast for Christmas. Along with that I got a new cabinet for my components. My drive was out in the open behind my old TV, as of yesterday my drive was in the new cabinet. I touched the drive last night and the damn thing nearly left blisters on my fingers. So I think my issue was overheating. I've pulled the drive out of the cabinet and have it setting in the open again and no issues yet. But I'm not risking it. I'll be picking up a new drive this weekend and transferring my data. Going with the 1TB WD drive recommended by DirecTV.
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    D* has no "approved" eSATAs. Just "suggested" eSATAs. You're almost correct in saying that Seagate has no recommended eSATAs for the HRs. They do sell the Showcase line which they recommended originally for Dish DVRs and Pace DVRs (our 700 line of DVRs). The last time I talked to them, I got the impression that the Showcase wasn't a top priority with them. The Showcase only carries a one year warranty while most Seagate HDDs carry a five year warranty. I think that speaks volumes for what they think of the Showcases.

    Rich
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Has anybody noticed that Seagate doesn't even sell the FAPs with SATA HDDs in them anymore? Think there's a reason for that? If you got two years out of an FAP, judging from the many posts about them, you've done well. Give it up, buy an MX-1 Antec enclosure, and put a bare SATA drive in it and it will work in any HR. You could have bought the MX-1 for about $50-$60 and a Seagate or WD 1.5TB HDD for about $115 for a total of about $175 or less, if you search the Net for bargains. Bet you paid more for the WD "suggested" eSATA, no?

    Rich
     
  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Regarding reboots that you don't see, if you turn off the blue ring, the next time you get a reboot the blue ring will be on again. That's the easiest way to see if you are experiencing random reboots.

    Since the eSATAs come up much more quickly than the HRs, the HR should recognize the eSATA every time there is a reboot. My Antec MX-1s and Seagate Xtremes always do this. I wouldn't blame reboots, I'd be looking at the eSATA.

    Rich
     
  15. xtc

    xtc Legend

    276
    1
    Jun 26, 2004
    Well let me ask something, if someone has the Seagate Free Agent Pro external drive plugged into the HR20 and everything is working fine and displaying the programs on the Seagate, and then he unplugs just the HR20, then plugs it back in (the Seagate remains on and untouched during this) What normally happens when the HR20 finishes booting up? Will it display the Seagate drive or the Internal drive?
     
  16. bnash972

    bnash972 AllStar

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    Jan 29, 2007
    If everything is working properly, power cycling the HR20 with an external drive powered and attached the DVR should run off of the external drive after the re-boot. Key phrase "if everything is working properly".

    In my case the drive was locked up. Power cycling only the DVR didn't work. I had to power down DVR, then drive. Brought drive back up (after it cooled off), then DVR. Now running off of the drive again with no issue...knock on wood.
     
  17. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    That's one of the last things you should do with an eSATA. That will screw up the HDD in the eSATA. Follow the protocols as we've written them.

    To answer your question, the eSATA should be recognized by the HR and the eSATA should be viewable. But, you will run into lockups and other things and if you keep doing it, you will lose the eSATA.

    I think you have a bad FAP and you're gonna have to face that.

    Rich
     
  18. Villager

    Villager Legend

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    Feb 8, 2007
    If you go online to order the warranty replacement, you can give a credit card number. Then they will ship the new one one immediately, and you have a defined number of days (7-10 days?) to return the "defective" one. Then you can see if the problem is with the transformer or with the drive. It is possible that a failing transformer will supply enough power for the lights, but not enough to maintain the disc speed.
     
  19. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    I don't buy anything Chinese if I can help it. But whatever works. I wanted something to Protect my tremendous investment in two Home Entertainment Systems and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    I not only wanted Battery Backup but Line Conditioning/Surge Protection and Automatic Voltage Regulation as well as Meters than display the Wattage, Amperage and Volts along with how long the batteries will power everything connected. Very Nice but Expensive.
     
  20. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Grumpy Grampy

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    Well, my feeling is, since there are probably millions of D* HR's out there and multi-millions of other providers DVR's out there without backups at all, they aren't all dying that fast from reboots. I'm sure that was taken into consideration when they were being designed. In any case I do use them on all my HR's just to prevent annoying reboots whenever we have a drop in power. If I lose a TV show, I'll survive. If I lose a box entirely then DirecTV will replace it under my PP. My PDP and related equipment is covered under my homeowners insurance floater.
     

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