HR-24 good for the foreseeable future?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by cwdonahue, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Apr 24, 2019 #41 of 100
    Rich

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    Far as I can tell all they do is set the returned 24s back to default settings. If they had the decency to put new HDDs in them the refurbs would work a lot better and a lot longer.

    Rich
     
  2. Apr 24, 2019 #42 of 100
    Rich

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    I did open just about every box I got from them for years and saw what you saw many times. It's a lot easier to wipe out all the settings and content. Doesn't help the old HDDs a bit. Even if they took the time to open the boxes what could they do besides stick a new HDD in them? If there was some secret step that fixes HRs we'd know about it by now.
    Rich
     
  3. Apr 24, 2019 #43 of 100
    slice1900

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    Age of hard drive doesn't matter, so long as they properly reformatted it to remove any vestigates of the old filesystem. But I doubt they do that - probably just a "reset and clear everything" and good to go.

    There's no way they'd invest $50 for a new hard drive in equipment that's nearly fully depreciated. They'd rather spend that $50 on building a new HD client that will have five more years of useful life, which is why they are pushing customers towards those. People who insist on an HR24 get what they get, unless they are like you and willing to spend money on an SSD to make them perform decently.
     
  4. Apr 24, 2019 #44 of 100
    Rich

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    Going from the 21s to the 23 wasn't pleasant either. When I got the 23 I had 20-700s in service and the difference in performance was very noticeable. The 20-700s just worked well the 23 sure didn't. Very disappointing experience, I expected a much better DVR than what I got. But, yeah, I'm not surprised when someone says they have a 23 that works well. They can't all be bad. I had a lot of 20-100s sent to my house in 2007, not one worked, most couldn't be activated. I still see posts about how well they still work, I don't doubt the posters. The 24s were a Godsend.

    Rich
     
  5. Apr 24, 2019 #45 of 100
    Rich

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    For practical purposes the age of an HDD certainly matters. In a D* DVR. Who is gonna properly reformat it? Real life, I mean. All you get with a refurb, the most you get, is Reset Everything from the Settings Menu.

    Rich
     
  6. Apr 24, 2019 #46 of 100
    SledgeHammer

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    Hard drives don't slow down over time. 7200 RPM is 7200 RPM. What Slice was saying that the way DirecTV writes to them is sloppy (i.e. they don't clean up, the file system gets heavily fragmented, indexes get corrupted, etc.) which causes them to degrade performance. From what we've seen a factory reset and clearmybox do NOT do a full drive wipe.

    If Slice is correct, you should be able to take an old HD, attach it to a PC, delete the partitions, throw it back in the DVR and then it should be "brand spankin' new". Actually, your SSDs will degrade more over time then a HD.
     
  7. Apr 24, 2019 #47 of 100
    slice1900

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    IIRC Directv uses the XFS filesystem on their DVRs (a niche Linux filesystem) which may not even be partitioned (or if it does I doubt it uses the DOS style partition map Windows does) The only way to be sure is to nuke it from orbit...er I mean do a full wipe. Write zeros to it, or if you don't have a handy utility to do that, use one of the "data eraser" programs that writes random data to the whole drive. Only then can you be 100% sure that when it is put back into the DVR the DVR will think it is empty or corrupt and format a fresh filesystem on it.

    Using built in Windows utilities to format/partition it isn't going to accomplish anything because all Windows utilities assume the world is Windows only and usually does the wrong thing for Linux/Mac filesystems.
     
  8. Apr 24, 2019 #48 of 100
    SledgeHammer

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    I believe if you attach a Linux drive to Windows, it'll tell you its unpartitioned or a partition of an unknown type. If you format it to NTFS and then let the DVR format it back to whatever they use, that should nuke it entirely.
     
  9. Apr 24, 2019 #49 of 100
    TheRatPatrol

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    I wonder how many 24’s they made? I’m sure someone out there knows. :)
     
  10. Apr 25, 2019 #50 of 100
    slice1900

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    It doesn't, that's the thing. Windows doesn't really do that much when you "format" a drive. It writes a DOS partition label (if it isn't already) and an NTFS filesystem header, very little of the drive is changed.

    XFS has redundancy built in - it contains what it needs to recover the filesystem in several places, and what Windows does to it doesn't erase that all so when you put it back in the DVR it it probably isn't forced to create a new XFS filesystem from scratch - so all the fragmentation that slows it down would remain.
     
  11. Apr 25, 2019 #51 of 100
    slice1900

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    Maybe a few people inside Directv know, but there's no way any of us could find out unless they used consecutive serial numbers.
     
  12. Apr 25, 2019 #52 of 100
    dreadlk

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    You better believe that hard drives do wear out and as they do the speed of reading and writing decrease.
    Formatting the drive will not fix the problem.

    Rob
     
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  13. Apr 25, 2019 #53 of 100
    slice1900

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    No they do not. The only thing that can make them slow down is if they start getting bad sectors that are relocated. That will slow things down where those sectors are encountered, since an additional seek is required. You'll run out of spare sectors long before it has a measureable impact. You can use S.M.A.R.T. tools to check the relocated sector count, if it is increasing at all you should replace the drive because it is well on its way to failure. Generally you will not see the count change for the useful life of a drive unless it is subjected to extreme conditions (especially vibration) or is a dud.

    Let me put it this way, I've worked in and around enterprise datacenters for over two decades, specializing in storage architecture. I know more about this subject than you ever will. NO ONE retires hard drives early, which they could easily afford if it made even the slightest difference. If it did, it would be well known amongst me and my peers and companies would retire drives every couple years to keep them fast.
     
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  14. Apr 25, 2019 #54 of 100
    Rich

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    I've never said anything about RPMs slowing down on HDDs. What I've said is degraded HDDs slow down HRs. And that happens over time. Yes, I suppose you could reformat drives on a PC and get better performance but would it really be as good as putting an actual "brand spankin' new" HDD in or on the box? I've never done this and I wouldn't bother, I'd much rather buy a new HDD. Why don't you reformat the HDD in that 24 that you're having the 30 second remote command problem with? It would be interesting to see if that makes a significant difference.

    Rich
     
  15. Apr 25, 2019 #55 of 100
    jimmie57

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    Hard drives do wear out. That is why they have predicted failure times / stop / starts / etc.
    Since they spin so fast the bearings will wear out. Since the read write heads are positioned about the thickness of a hair from the discs the slightest bit of wear of the bearing will allow the heads to touch the disc. The touching messes up the head and scratches the disc making for corrupted data that has to be written again to have data that works. Sometimes you can actually hear it doing that.
     
  16. Apr 25, 2019 #56 of 100
    slice1900

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    No, this is 100% untrue. It sounds like you are talking about ancient technology from decades ago. Yes, it used to be true that a drive head could touch the platter and the drive could survive (known as a 'head crash') but it will result in the complete failure of any drive made in the last quarter century or so.

    Hard drives haven't even used actual bearings since the 90s, they use fluid bearings since that time which cannot wear out.
     
  17. Apr 25, 2019 #57 of 100
    Rich

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    Anything with moving parts is gonna wear out. I don't know where these ideas come from. I really don't know enough about HDDs to be having technical arguments about them but I do have a lot of hands on experience with devices with moving parts.

    Rich
     
  18. Apr 26, 2019 #58 of 100
    slice1900

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    Yes someday the mechanism will fail, but it isn't a slow degradation where "it works but it is slower". It works to the original spec, and then one day stops working at all (or throws so many errors it might as well not be working at all) For hard drives that generally happens long after the warranty period is expired.

    Hard drives rarely fail mechanically, usually it is electronics related - a capacitor goes bad, a solder joint on an SMD goes cold and breaks, that sort of thing. I've actually recovered data from dead hard drives that weren't backed up by sourcing a controller board of the exact date rev level off an identical drive on Ebay and swapping it.

    I've seen servers with hard drives operating 24x7 for well over a decade, eventually they get replaced not due to hardware problems but because the software is out of support and auditors identify it as a business risk. Those are some of the most difficult projects because no one knows all the details of what it does because the person who originally set it up didn't leave detailed records and isn't around any longer, so replacing it is often painful and expensive...
     
  19. Apr 26, 2019 #59 of 100
    dreadlk

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    They Slow down because the magnetic properties of the platters start to weaken and the mechanical parts start to wear causing repetitive reads or writes to get data. This is why you see a speed decrease in old drives. Bad sectors are the first sign that a drive is going to fail.
     
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  20. Apr 26, 2019 #60 of 100
    SledgeHammer

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    You're missing the "root cause". It's not the drive that's slowing down, it's the stuff on it. In the case of the HR24, the file system and database gets cluttered over time and clearly its not cleaning up after itself as well as it should.

    Same thing with Windows, if you set up your PC once in pristine condition and never upgrade apps or add / remove stuff, it'll stay just as fast as the day you set it up. It's when you install patches over the years, upgrade apps, etc. that it gets cluttered and slows down.

    If you've ever used SQL, you'll know about indexes. Well, as you add / remove rows over time, the indexes can become corrupted and / or fragmented and the DB will slow down big time. So a DB admin has to go in and re-build the indexes. They don't replace the hardware ;).

    As a software engineer, I can tell you, most companies couldn't care less about cleaning up after themselves. If you look around your hard drive, assuming you know where to look, you'll find tons of temp files that various apps left around. Not to mention registry entries, tasks, services, logs, etc.

    Uninstalling an app rarely cleans it up 100%.
     

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