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Working eSata Setups:

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by houskamp, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. waynenm

    waynenm I like this stuff.

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    And...I'm happy, actually thrilled to report the WD20EVDS drive in an Antec MX-1 enclosure is now working for me, so far, so good. Hopefully the HR22 can now survive for a while.
     
  2. kaplan59

    kaplan59 New Member

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    Oct 24, 2010
    Before settling on the WD20EVDS + Antec MX-1 solution to expand the DirecTV HR24 DVR to 2TB, I tried the following two other combinations which did NOT work with the HR24. These were left over drive + enclosure combinations which were used with my old cable company's DVR solution.

    1. WD20EVDS + Vantec NST-360SU-BK (3.5" eSATA + USB2.0 External Enclosure)
    WD20EVDS was recognized and formatted by the HR24, but the combined operation of drive and Vantec enclosure was very poor and unreliable. I setup two simultaneous HD recordings, and went back to watch the first while recording the second, and the HR24 hung for about 20 seconds, then proceeded to say that it stopped recording one of the programs. Then when trying to watch the other, it deleted that one as well. Trying to bring up the Guide and List menus took forever. Single HD recordings were not saving successfully and would hang the HR24 when trying to watch the recording. Obviously this combination was not good with the HR24. Checked to make sure the WD20EVDS was not faulty by using it with a Mac and PC, both successfully BTW with the Vantec enclosure.

    2. WD1001FALS 1TB Caviar Black + Vantec NST-360SU-BK
    HR24 recognized a drive connected, and took two hours to run a diagnostic on the drive, saying it fixed one error. No formatting notifications were shown though. After completing the diagnostic scan, the HR24 only continued to use its internal hard drive and did not use the external drive in the Vantec enclosure although the Vantec light kept blinking like crazy. I was surprised that the WD1001FALS was not even recognized to be formatted with this combination. Combination works great on a Mac and PC however.

    The combination with by far the most success stories on this and other forums is the WD20EVDS + Antec MX-1 solution. I picked up an MX-1 from Fry's, installed the WD20EVDS, and connected to the HR24. This combination worked flawlessly out of the chute, but since "Murphy" had been following me around all day, the Antec power supply was emitting a loud, high pitched hissing/static squeal. It was loud enough to notice sitting on the couch 10 feet away. Power supply noise is never good, so went back to Fry's and was able to swap the power supply from another MX-1 box to one that makes no noise, as it should. The MX-1 + WD20EVDS works like a charm now with the HR24. :D
     
  3. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Another point to use 'controller-less' enclosure.
     
  4. FalconEddy

    FalconEddy New Member

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    Oct 25, 2010
    New to DirecTV and this forum, but have been using Dish Network since their inception; and EchoStar C-band prior to that.

    I tried this combination today in an attempt to get at least 1TB of recording space from my HR24-200, unsuccessfully.

    I had a 500GB MyBook that went belly up after a couple of years, and a 1TB MyBook that was working (but only had a USB connection). The 500GB drive had been out of that enclosure for a couple of months, and today I remembered it had a SATA connection as well as a USB connection.

    The eSATA cable was a real PITA to get connected to the HR24 because the jack on the unit was a bit off center; but, I eventually (and fairly gently) got the cable into the slot.

    The external drive wasn't recognized on the first attempt when powering up the HR24, but then recognized it on the second attempt after checking to be sure the connection was good on both sides of the eSATA cable.

    I got the 'formatting drive' message, and waited for the HR24 to go through its system checks and downloads. Downloads never got above 29% complete before exiting and sending a broadcast signal to our HDTV. One time it never got higher than 2%!

    All seemed fine at first, but the HR24 kept locking up while I was setting up a Custom guide. After pressing the red 'reset' button on the HR24 to get it up and running again (on seven occassions), I decided to not touch the remote or any controls to see what would happen. It still locked up.

    So, I've speculated that either the bare drive itself isn't compatible with the HR24, or the MyBook enclosure is creating issues (internal controller, etc). In any event, it's not a drive/enclosure that's specifically engineered for this particular type of AV application; hence, the lockups.

    This all took place before I found this fourm.

    Recently, I was searching this site and noticed where some of you have been successful using the WD20EVDS drive with an Antec MX-1 enclosure; which is great news! However, I'm interested to see how many people are successfully using this drive with the Thermaltake BlacX eSATA USB Docking Station. I believe this would make an excellent combination, but don't want to go that route if only one person got it to work. (Even a 1TB drive that worked in this docking station would be fine)

    I use something very similar to this docking station approach on a daily basis for audio recording work, and it makes changing out drives much easier than having to open up an enclosure.

    Regards,
    FalconEddy
     
  5. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Plenty ppl using BlacX 'enclosure' - a dock.
     
  6. Volman

    Volman Godfather

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    Jul 13, 2007
    What is a "controller-less" enclosure?Examples?

    Fred
     
  7. jangell2

    jangell2 Godfather

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    Apr 6, 2004
    Has anyone tried mounting the WD20EVDS directly inside the DVR? I have a HR20 and my current esata setup (a thermaltake case which has always felt very hot, I forget the drive at the moment) is showing signs of failing.

    I wondering if I'd be better off just installing directly into the DRV case. Would that require formatting the drive first? Is there a thread discussing doing this?
     
  8. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    You keep mentioning them. How about a link?

    Rich
     
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I've been using the Thermaltake docking station with the EVDS on both my 24-500 and 24-200 and both are working well. I also have a TT and EVDS on one of my 20-700s and that works well too. I know several members that are using the TT docking stations with success and are happy with them. I use the 2TB EVDS on the 24s and a 1.5TB Seagate Cuda on the 20-700. Much quieter than using the MX-1s.

    The My Book series of WD eSATAs have always been problematic with the HRs. They rarely work correctly.

    Rich



     
  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I have a 20-700 with a WD20EVDS internal and it works very well and very quietly. I also have two 20-700s with WD EADS 2TB HDDs in them and they are just a tad noisy. Not much, you have to put your ear to the box, but the seeking noise is definitely there. But the EVDS is silent. Right now, the EVDS is the only HDD that I would think about buying unless Seagate comes out with a 2TB Pipeline HDD that will fit into my owned 24-200.

    My other two owned 20-700s have 1.5TB Seagate's in them and the seeking noise is muted, but it's there and it's louder than the EADS drives.

    Been my experience that the 20-700s run much better and more dependably with a large internal drive.

    Rich
     
  11. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    For me - anyone, I'm making bypass by myself, using long eSATA-SATA cable thru any opening in a box or solder inside short half cable to enclosure's eSATA connector and connect it to a drive.
     
  12. jangell2

    jangell2 Godfather

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    Apr 6, 2004
    Did you have to format the drive before installing it into your HR20? Is there a thread around here with instructions on how to install internally into an HR20? I appreciate any info you can provide.

    Edit: I found this thread which I believe is what I'm looking for:
    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?p=2618820#post2618820
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    No, your HR will format it.

    I see you found a thread. This is one of those tasks that takes a bit of self-teaching as you go thru the process of replacing HDDs. Once you're done, you should be able to change out an HDD in 15-20 minutes. The hardest thing to figure out is how to get all the clips off.

    I have found that taking off the top cover first, then flipping the HR over so that it the bottom is towards you, then releasing the clip on your left on the side of the HR while keeping pressure on the front panel is the best way to begin. Then loosen every clip while pulling the front panel gently towards you will get the clips holding the front panel on to come loose and then all you have to do is get the last side clip off. The front cover has to come off. When you put it back together, just line up the clips and gently slap the front cover back on.

    Use the link.

    Rich
     
  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Easier to put an internal drive in, no?

    Rich
     
  15. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Obviously no - leased.
     
  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    And yet, you pop the top and run a cord out of the box or solder a cable in place? Why not just pop a large internal in it, you've already violated the agreement?

    Rich
     
  17. FalconEddy

    FalconEddy New Member

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    Oct 25, 2010
    Amen to that!

    In my case (pun intended), it was a WD10EACS (16MB cache) hard drive that wouldn't work properly.

    Thanks for the info Rich. I just ordered the 2TB EVDS and a TT dock.

    I guess my biggest disappointments with DirecTV (so far) are receiving a new HR24 recorder with a postage stamp sized hard drive, and the fact that they don't officially support external hard drives; not even the drives that have had a pass through their own QA department, and are being recommended by them. As a former Senior Director of Engineering Technology and Technical Support, that last one still has me scratching my head. :scratchin

    . . Falcon
     
  18. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Well get ready to scratch your head some more. Those two eSATAs that are "suggested" by D* are just 1TB and the Showcase doesn't work with every HR. I think the WD DVR Expander does. The Seagate Showcase was originally recommended for Pace (the folks who make our 700s) and Dish DVRs. In fact the picture for the Showcase was taken from Seagate's website and put, in total, on D*'s website. Imagine my surprise when I saw the picture and the recommendation for Dish DVRs on D*'s website!

    I called Seagate and told them that D* had several manufacturers of DVRs and the picture and recommendation came off Seagate's website pretty quickly. At the time, Seagate tech support told me that they would not be recommending any HDDs for DVRs. They do now. It's the Pipeline model and it only comes in a couple sizes, 1TB being the largest.

    I only buy the WD20EVDS models now and I'm really satisfied with them. One of the things to remember is that as you fill up an HDD, when you get to 30-20% Available space, the HR will usually begin to slow down. The nice thing about the 2TB drives is that it takes an almost obscene amount of recordings to fill one up and you shouldn't run into that slowing down problem with good HDD housekeeping.

    I have deliberately filled up a couple 2TB drives using them externally and they did bog down the HRs they were on. A simple reboot will usually fix this problem.

    What you have to understand about the external drives is the problems that would surely occur if D* were to support them. We're better off testing them ourselves than to be told which eSATA to buy and being limited to only those recommended by D*.

    Rich
     
  19. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    You got it wrong - SATA controllers(two) are integral part of main chip of any DVR.
    I'm talking about EXTERNAL box, what some ppl here naming eSATA enclosure. Usually the box came with power supply, fan and a CONTROLLER inside.
    I'm a proponent of that box what doesn't have the CONTROLLER and using short cable from internal drive to eSATA connector on the box.
    So, that my remark about soldering a [short] cable related to a box not DVR.
    NO any VIOLATION done by the mod.
     
  20. FalconEddy

    FalconEddy New Member

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    Oct 25, 2010
    Oh, I understand! And I agree.

    I guess I'm just tired of companies in general using a completely minimalistic approach to their hardware, while working a marketing spin that comes dangerously close to being a flagrant lie, just to gain marketshare. It's what's referred to as the 'eye of the beholder' loophole, since actual numbers are not implied.

    (e.g., 'Our HD DVR offers tons of storage space. . .')

    . . Falcon
     

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