Once and for all: what the * does record-down arrow do exactly?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by wmldwilly, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. wmldwilly

    wmldwilly New Member

    May 28, 2007
    Okay so I'm hoping to find out, once and for all, as of this very day in June 2016, what the hell is holding down record and down-arrow on the faceplate during startup supposed to officially and truly do?

    Here's my experiment just today:

    With an HR21-700 with no internal drive connected and an external 2tb drive connected I did the following:

    Start the DVR, over the course of 2 mornings whenever I had time recorded a show. Ended up with 3 1 hour shows on the new drive.

    after a few days of the DVR and its new drive whirring along normally (and serving signal to a slingbox), I restarted the box, holding down record and down-arrow during the final startup screen.

    the machine gave me the yellow record light, and a "scanning disk..." blue screen with a progress bar that inched up over time (very slowly).

    presumably about 90 minutes later judging by how much completion was shown on the progress bar over the course of about 15 minutes and extrapolating I was unable to continue puttering about and watching it. I had to move on with my day.

    I come back to it tonight and it's back to receiving signal and showing picture as per normal. Presumably the scanning disk run completed and any BIST it might have dropped into had timed out and the DVR returned to normal operation all by itself. I certainly wasn't around to see it.

    I take a look at my recorded shows, and they're still there.

    Also, home sharing is still turned on and configured right as I can see content on other DVRs in my home.

    So the ultimate be-all end-all answer i'm looking for to this often asked and more often under-answered question:

    When one holds down record and down arrow on the faceplate during the appropriate point in time in the startup sequence, IS it or IS IT NOT supposed to re-format your drive and wipe out all your recorded content? If it IS supposed to reformat, are we as a community absolutely, positively certain that the record=down arrow is supposed to wipe the drive in question and consequently wipe out any existing shows? As in what us computer nerds would typically call a "reformat" ?

    I ask because I've seen both answers in conflict with each other on these forums and want to plant a flag in a post that clears up the confusion.

    So a little poll:

    1) starting up your DVR and at the proscribed time holding down record and down-arrow on the face plate WILL REFORMAT YOUR DRIVE, RECREATE THE PARTITIONS, and leave you with a drive with NO previously recorded shows present or settings like turning on content sharing with other machines.


    2) starting up your DVR and at the proscribed time holding down record and down-arrow on the face plate WILL REFORMAT YOUR DRIVE, do whatever else it requires under the hood, **but you will NOT lose previously recorded shows NOR settings like turning on content sharing with other machines

    As for me the person asking the question, I have empirical evidence that #1 is false, and #2 is true but I'm seeking expert reassurance.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

    Nov 2, 2007
    NE FL
    I've been with DIRECTV since 1998 and here on this site for about 10 years, and this is the first I've heard about this often asked question.

    So while I don't know, #2 doesn't make any sense. If the drive is reformatted, you're not going to have any recordings left on it.
  3. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    1) There was a key sequence that would format your hard drive if you used it on boot. I don't remember the exact sequence and I believe that has long since been removed.

    2) Not even possible... If the drive is formatted all is lost. It is impossible to format a hard drive and keep the contents.
  4. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    If you truly are looking to reformat the drive I believe if you go to the Menu and find reset option and choose the 3rd option on the screen it will warn you that all recordings will be lost and do you really want to do this. This is supposed to put the receiver back like it was the day it came out of the box.
  5. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    Though I'm not sure I ever used this option, is it a true format or just a Linux version of clearing the master file table?
  6. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    True format. New disk label, partitions and everything.
    1 person likes this.

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