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Rattle of Hard Drive getting very annoying

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by kd4ao, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Jul 2, 2010 #1 of 28

    kd4ao Legend

    Jun 12, 2004
    I know there were several threads on the noisey hard drives a while back but I couldn't locate them. This has been going on for over 2 years now but over the last couple of months has gotten quite annoying. Sometimes the noise over powers the the audio of a show. And sometimes when all are off it gets to be the only thing you can hear in the room. I am not sure if this is happening to all HD DVRs or just the HR20s. Is this D's way of telling me I need to spring for a newer model or is everyone hearing it? I swear if this continues I will simply discontinue the DVR.

    Oh, one other question, does it go away if an eSata drive is attached?

    Sorry to be complaining, I know this was beat to death some time ago, but it just is finally getting to me.
  2. Jul 2, 2010 #2 of 28
    Marlin Guy

    Marlin Guy Hall Of Fame

    Apr 8, 2009
    My Hr20-700 makes little to no noise.
    I would say that you have a problematic about and should contact CS about getting it replaced.
  3. Jul 2, 2010 #3 of 28
    Lee L

    Lee L Hall Of Fame

    Aug 15, 2002
    It won't go away with esata because the noise is most likely a bad fan bearing. Also
    the internal drive keeps spinning with esata anyway. I took mine apart and oiled the fan and its nice and quiet now.
  4. Jul 2, 2010 #4 of 28

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    There was a lengthy thread on this...and only a comparatively small number of folks seemed to have the issue.

    Those who reported it seemed to be mostly HR20 users.

    If it continues to get worse, it might be time to call DirecTV for them to replace the HD DVR. As many others have stated (I had 2 HR20's without those symptoms)....some of those units might just be showing their age more than others. The hard drives should not make such noises.
  5. Jul 2, 2010 #5 of 28

    TimGoodwin Icon

    Jun 29, 2004
    I have 3 HR20's and all of the hard drives are loud. I even had on of them replaced with another HR 20, and the new one is just as loud.
  6. Jul 2, 2010 #6 of 28

    DogLover Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    Loud is such an inexact term, that it is always hard to judge a problem when that term is used. However, the "noise over powers the the audio of a show" is very specific. Start with those words when you call in. That's not normal. Better to have the DVR replaced on your schedule rather than to wait for it to catastrophically fail.
  7. Jul 2, 2010 #7 of 28

    kd4ao Legend

    Jun 12, 2004
    Thanks for all the comments. I have had a lot of experience with PCs and hard drives dating back about 30 years. Some drives have access mechanisms that are louder than others and this unit has one of those louder drives. It has not changed over the last 2 or 3 years. What has changed is the huge number of accesses taking place. This is caused by an anomoly in the firmware causing it. Sort of like continuous defragging. Most of the newer physically smaller drives with greater capacity are quieter because the access mechanism moves much less distance. A 2+ inch drive of 500GB capacity will be quieter than a 3+ inch drive of 10GB capacity.
    What I would like to understand is just what is being accomplished with all of the accesses. It bothered me most last evening when I was watching a BlueRay disc, HR20 off (not, just lights out), it was actually loud enough to interfer with quiet passages of audio.
    Now today it is very quiet. Must have finished what it was doing.

    Happy 4th all.
  8. Jul 2, 2010 #8 of 28

    videojanitor DBSTalk Club Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    I started noticing the same thing some time back -- both my HR20s seem to almost always be "busy" doing something -- lots of disk access "chatter." It's not crazy loud, but it is audible. Other machines (HR21, HR23, HR24) don't seem to have this issue. (???)
  9. Jul 2, 2010 #9 of 28

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    A new drive (internal or external) will be quiet. I haven't heard a peep from my HR20 since it got a new drive several months ago. It sounded like a jackhammer (well, an ant sized jackhammer anyway) before the swap. A 500GB drive will double your current recording capacity and is only about $40.
  10. DogLover

    DogLover Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    Yes, if the noise is caused by disk access, an external drive should solve the issue. As others have said, the drive still spins, even if the external is attached, but shouldn't be accessing any data.
  11. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    If you find that this is bothering you too much, then you should try and get a replacment or relocate the DVR to a place that shields the sound more

  12. bwaldron

    bwaldron Impossible Dreamer

    Oct 24, 2005
    The vented top of the HR20 tends to exacerbate the disk noise on the HR20, compared to the other models.
  13. videojanitor

    videojanitor DBSTalk Club Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    Very true.
  14. drpjr

    drpjr Icon

    Nov 23, 2007
    Yes, on the HR20-700s. The HR20-100s are vented on the sides.
  15. SlimyPizza

    SlimyPizza Legend

    Oct 14, 2006
    Your comments above mirror my own observations exactly for my HR20-700. The excessive disk access began a few firmware NR's ago and is extremely noticeable. I'm really getting unhappy with the DVR as it just makes too much noise. I don't have separate speakers or surround sound, etc, just the TV speakers and the disk noise when it randomly decides to go into access mode is annoyingly loud. Additionally, we were watching a DVD a few evenings ago and the DVR noise was obtrusive. I have no idea what the DVR is trying to accomplish with its excessive HD access, but I don't believe the noise is indicative of a pending hardware failure. It is simply the result of what is a noisy drive to begin with now put into overdrive with excessive disk accessing coinciding with a firmware release several months ago.

    I'm not encouraged to exchange the DVR because I don't know what model I'll get or what problems a newly refurbished unit might bring with it.
  16. markrubi

    markrubi Icon

    Oct 12, 2006
    My oldest HR20 is LOUD. My HR24 is quiet if not for the lights on front I would not know it's there.
  17. matt

    matt New Member

    Jan 11, 2010
    I had my HR20-100 in the bedroom for about a week and had to move it out, it kept waking me up. :mad:
  18. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    NY Hudson...
    I second this opinion, but with the noise now being louder than the television show you are watching, I say the time to make that call to DirecTV is now!
  19. videojanitor

    videojanitor DBSTalk Club Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    I agree with your assessment, based on the fact that I replaced the drive in one of my (owned) HR20s a few weeks ago, and although the new drive is extremely quiet, I can still hear the frequent accessing. It is no more or less than the original drive -- just quieter.
  20. poppo

    poppo Hall Of Fame

    Oct 10, 2006
    My HR20s still thrash away. I made the mistake of putting the external drives in the box and now it's worse than ever because of those vents. :nono2: And no it's not the drives going bad since it happens on all 3 of my HR20 and it all started at the exact same time.

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