HR24-100 MX-1 and 3TB Drive

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by AndyInNYC, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. AndyInNYC

    AndyInNYC Cool Member

    26
    0
    Nov 2, 2009
    So, my WD20EURS failed and Western Digital RMA'd me a WD30EURS (3TB). I know that the HR24 will only use a max of 2TB, but I was under the (false?) impression that it would format and use a 3TB as a 2TB.

    Putting the 3TB drive in the MX-1 results in the external drive being ignored. I can't seem to get the machine to format/work with the 3TB.

    Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?

    WD is sending me a 2TB as a replacement (haven't decided whether to pay the $100 and keep the 3TB after sending back the defective 2TB), but if my experience is the 'norm', it may help others who thought they might use an external 3TB as a 2TB (and thus have a larger drive to swap somewhere else in the drive's life).

    Andrew
     
  2. UhClem

    UhClem Cool Member

    22
    0
    Oct 1, 2009
    I'm pretty sure there's an "easy" solution to the situation you describe. I've never had a need to use this technique, but I completely understand it, and would not hesitate to try it if I were in your spot.

    If you set up a Host Protected Area of 1 TB at the end of your 3TB drive, it will look just like a 2TB drive to the (HR24's Linux) OS. The write-up at Wikipedia [link] will give you some background and a fuller explanation. Near the end of that dissertation, you will see the section Identification and Manipulation, where the Linux command hdparm is mentioned several times. You can check out the manual page for hdparm here [link]; scroll down to the description of the -N option.

    For example, if your WD30EURS 3TB (in the MX-1) was attached via eSATA and assigned (by Linux) to (the device-file named) /dev/sdb. You would give the following commands:

    ============
    1. hdparm -N /dev/sdb
    This is interrogating the HPA state of the drive, but taking no action. You should get this response:
    /dev/sdb:
    max sectors = 5860533168/5860533168, HPA is disabled

    2. hdparm -Np3907029168 /dev/sdb
    This will "permanently" (the p following the N) set the max sectors (effective new size) of the drive to 3907029168 sectors, which is a 2TB drive size. Don't be alarmed about "permanently"; that only means that the setting will not be undone following a drive power-cycle (ie, non-volatile).

    I don't know what the response to this will be; I don't have a "scratch" drive (aka lab rat) to try it on :).

    3. hdparm -N /dev/sdb

    Will interrogate the (new) state of the drive and should respond:

    /dev/sdb:
    max sectors = 3907029168/5860533168, HPA is enabled

    [Consider this a partial, but reversible, lobotomy :)]

    Now you hook it up to your HR24, and proceed with a, for all intents, 2TB drive.

    When, as you foresaw, the time comes when you want to re-purpose that drive for normal/non-DVR use, as a full (original) 3TB guy, you would (back in Linux) do:

    5. hdparm -Np5860533168 /dev/sdb

    ==========
    You would do all of the above finnagling, for example, by booting a "Live Linux" either from burned ISO on CD, or a USB flash drive set-up. [Use a fairly recent version; ie, not the (ancient) gparted v3.6 from the Copy/Expand thread.] I would have all other disk drives disconnected, or un-powered, just to make sure you don't lobotomize the wrong patient. You still need to find out what device-name the (correct) patient has. Do this by using the command (good ol' hdparm again):
    [this will identify the drive, giving Model, Serial#, etc. - does no harm]

    hdparm -i /dev/sdX

    replacing X with a (then b c d etc.) till you see the WD EURS ID'd. That will be the /dev/sdX to use in the hdparm -Nxxx /dev/sdX commands.

    --UhClem
    "Life is such monotony, without a good lobotomy" --Roy Harper
     
  3. AndyInNYC

    AndyInNYC Cool Member

    26
    0
    Nov 2, 2009
    Wow!

    Followed your directions and the HR24 'saw' the drive and formatted it for use.

    Now to pull out the 'dead' drive and see if I can copy the recordings across to the new '2TB' drive.

    Thanks.

    Andrew
     
  4. AndyInNYC

    AndyInNYC Cool Member

    26
    0
    Nov 2, 2009
    Well, I guess I'm going to have to reprogram the entire Series Manager (like I can remember all the shows that lived on that machine).

    The 2TB drive is no longer seen at all in the BIOS/booted machine - can't copy what you can't see.

    I've tried different cables, jiggling it, etc. I spins up, but must be truly broken up inside. Other drives work on the port/power/data cable.

    Andrew
     
  5. UhClem

    UhClem Cool Member

    22
    0
    Oct 1, 2009
    Yeah, HPA is an obscure feature of the ATA spec, though not really intended for this usage. But that makes it an even niftier solution. Glad it worked.

    --UhClem

    PS. Maybe you could edit the Title/Subject for this thread to something like:
    "Using a 3TB drive (as a 2TB) in HR2x"
    to make it easier for the next seeker to find. (There are other possible scenarios where someone may want to do this.)
     
  6. rsblaski

    rsblaski Icon

    828
    4
    Jul 6, 2003
    Southern Nevada
    I wish this had been known to me a while back. I too had a bad 2Tb drive replaced with a 3Tb by WD. When I got it, it did work, albeit with a 2Tb max. D* then changed something in the firmware that made the HR lose the ability to use the drive at all. WD nicely exchanged the 3 for a 2, but it would be nice to still have that 3 since the HR34 can now use the entire drive. I would be able to use the 3Tb with my HR34 and then buy a cheaper 2Tb to use on my HR22.
     

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