HR24-500 external drive replacement advice, please

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by antennahead, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. antennahead

    antennahead Cool Member

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    Hey guys. I'm a long term member that doesn't hang out much here, but I always appreciate the knowledge and info. I could use a little help from the experts.

    I have a HR24-500 that was a replacement from AT&T for my previous box that died about a year ago. I think the hard drive is starting to fail on this refurbed box. Recordings will freeze up, and at the same time the drive is making these weird high pitched electronic sounds ......... similar to what an old school modem sounded like when transmitting. Unplugging/rebooting the unit corrects the problem for a time, but it always returns. I took the unit apart and cleaned the dust off the fan, which IS working properly, as far as I can tell, and is not responsible for the noise I'm hearing.

    I've read quite a few threads here concerning an external replacement drive. From what I can gather the max storage supported is 2TB. Is this correct? Additionally, a SSD should allow for faster menu times, correct? Finally, I will need a drive that connects via eSATA, yes? I have also read where someone stated that AT&T may have had new updated firmware for these Receivers that messes with the eSATA connectivity ..... is this true or not? Lastly, if I go to a 2TB external drive the Receiver will recognize it and the internal drive will stop being recognized, so while I won't be able to access those recordings, the issues I'm now having should stop, yes?

    Is there anything else I am missing?

    I'd prefer to do this without breaking the bank, so any recommendations on specific drives that would work while being economical would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for any and all help/advice with this request.

    John
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  2. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    There is no HR25. There is an H25, but it is not a DVR. So you probably have an HR24-500.

    Replacing the internal drive (with another hard drive, or with an SSD), is one option. Ditto using an external eSATA drive or enclosure into which you can place an SSD.

    I'm not aware of anything impacting eSATA on the older HR2x series products. The newest box, the HS17, originally had an eSATA port, but newer units do not have one. But if you have an eSATA port on your unit, the software should recognize and use it.

    You are correct, once you install an external SATA drive, the internal drive is no longer recognized.
     
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  3. antennahead

    antennahead Cool Member

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    Typo on my part, heading is correct, body should say it is the HR24-500. Thanks.
     
  4. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    If you add an external drive it will use it but the old HDD will still spin up so if the noise was coming from the old HDD and is bothering you it will probably still be making the noise. Since you have already been inside it you could unplug the power to the old HDD.
     
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  5. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    I would put aside old HDD and install my own one inside; if DTV will ask to return the IRD, I'll install back old drive
     
  6. jones_hdtv

    jones_hdtv AllStar

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  7. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    We used to be able to disconnect the internal drive without impacting the HR but that stopped a few years ago. I don't think we can do that anymore.

    Rich
     
  8. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Will the DVR continue to operate if the internal HD crashes?

    I'd hate to suggest an external if a mechanical failure of the internal might put it out of commission.
     
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    If the HDD is totally shot? To the point where the diagnostics will tell you the HDD is shot? I can't answer that. Been a long time since I had an HDD totally fail. I do have HRs with internal HDDs that are so bad the HRs are unwatchable. They still work well with SSDs mounted externally. I'm pretty sure the HRs won't work without an internal drive. Would a totally shot HDD give the same result as having no internal drive in the HR? It seems logical, but the only way to really tell is by using an HDD internally that is truly shot.

    Rich
     
  10. antennahead

    antennahead Cool Member

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    When I took it apart I removed the 4 screws holding down the drive and lifted it up so I could easily clean the dust off the fan blades with a Q-Tip. I plugged it in with the drive still unscrewed and I verified the noise was coming from the drive itself and not the fan. I put it all back together and when I got it reconnected to my AV set-up and powered it on, it made the noises for about 5 seconds and stopped. The unit re-booted and has worked fine for the last 24 hours, noise free as well. I could be wrong, but I've been guessing that since recorded shows freeze, as if paused on a scene, the problem might be the drive failing to spin freely.

    All this discussion of whether or not the receiver will work with the internal drive unplugged, or shot, now has me concerned, especially since my initial thoughts were to unplug it if I added an external drive, to eliminate the noise from the internal drive. Since the receiver recognizes and uses the external drive once attached, I'm surprised they still spin up the internal drive. You'd think they would just power it down. Is there software stored on that drive, other than just recordings?

    I guess I'm going to limp along until it gets worse, then bite the bullet and try an external drive and see what happens. Thanks for all the responses and advice.

    John
     
  11. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    If convenient you could try your receiver with the internal unplugged. (Since you have already opened the receiver I'll skip any comments about violating the warantee.)
     
  12. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    no
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I'm pretty sure none of the HRs will work if the internal drive is disconnected.

    Rich
     
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  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I've never seen anything that made me think the internal HDDs were doing anything but spinning. We used to be able to disconnect the internal drives but a software update stopped that. I don't think anything has changed in that respect. Would putting an external drive on the HR cause the noise of the internal drive to abate? That might work. You had the box open, the HDD should have been a Pipeline Seagate 500 GB drive. Is that what you saw?

    All my HRs have SSDs on them with the internal drives in place. I hear no noises from any of them. I'd try an external drive, you can pick up a 2TB HDD at a reasonable price. Look at the Seagates that are 7200 RPM drives. Or do yourself a favor and stick an SSD on it. More money, better performance...way better.

    Rich
     
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  15. Delroy E Walleye

    Delroy E Walleye AllStar

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    Whether or not the internal drive actually needs to be connected or not while using external, I haven't personally verified yet.

    But I'm fairly certain (from my own experience listening) that the internal drive only spins-up upon rebooting, then doesn't stay spun-up after that.

    The fan coming on every so many seconds at very low speed is the only noise I can hear coming from the HR after it's booted up. (I can definitely hear the internal HDD spinning and clicking at first, though.)
     
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  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I think the internal drives keep spinning, I don't see any way to stop them from spinning. I've had a lot of boxes opened and running and, IIRC, the internal HDDs do keep working. I do know there was a time when we could disconnect the internal HDDs and have no problems. I did that. Then an update came down and took that ability away from us. I have no idea if things have changed again.

    Rich
     
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  17. antennahead

    antennahead Cool Member

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    Thanks guys. It's only briefly made the noises twice now since I opened it up. I'll limp along here until it goes wacky again and probably go the 2TB external HDD route. "If" I could be positive that connecting the external drive would stop any more internal drive noise, I'd possibly spring for the SSD. There seems to be conflicting opinions on whether the issue would stop once I went external. Maybe I'll end up being a guinea pig on this one :) If the noise continued, it would be cheap enough to then replace the internal Pipeline Seagate 500 GB drive.
     
  18. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    And you could enlighten us with short experiment's result - does current FW version allow to run external HDD, when internal HDD is not connected or totally dead ?
     
  19. antennahead

    antennahead Cool Member

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    Aug 3, 2007
    Good point. I could try the external drive with the internal disconnected. If it doesn't work, but works after reconnecting the internal drive then there is the answer. Of course there is still the issue of whether or not the internal HDD will drive me crazy with the noise, or be silent :)
     

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