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Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few questions for the group re my dead living room DVR.

When we went to watch TV tonight, we discovered a dead DVR. Box was off and unresponsive. Hard reset and receiver self check produced a diagnostics code 14-792. I am on the protection plan so D*TV is sending a replacement (also got 2 free months Showtime which was nice). I have two questions: 1.) does anyone know what the code means (I assume it is a drive failure), 2.) csr said no way to recover recordings - is this true? I would think you could pull the drive and run a disk repair utility to fix/salvage recordings - is that possible? Would opening it violate my terms?
 

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Hall Of Fame
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It is possible to run something like Spinrite on it, but you cant take the drive out of a leased box.

If you reboot, and press select on the front during the self test, you can run a surface scan. It can take a few hours, maybe run overnight, and has no guarantees.

And 14 codes are definitely hard drive.
 

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Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Trying to run the surface scan by restarting and holding select during self check. It says "entering diagnostic mode" then gives me the same diagnostic code. Am I trying to initiate the surface scan correctly? If so, not being able to advance into diagnostic mode and surface scab must mean this thing is gone? If opening it is out, does anyone have any other ideas? I've had this one for about 14 months - is it common for them to die so quickly? Too bad you can't get a DVR that uses a ssd....
 

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Geek til I die
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dpeters11 said:
I've had much older hardware. And not sure SSD is a good idea on a DVR, has a limited number of writes per sector.
Might not be a problem if you dont delete programs but just let them roll off the end as new ones are recorded. Guess it depends if the buffers are written in reserved space, or just at the end of available space.
 

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DaBears
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Davenlr said:
Might not be a problem if you dont delete programs but just let them roll off the end as new ones are recorded. Guess it depends if the buffers are written in reserved space, or just at the end of available space.
Size vs cost have always stopped me from trying this. However once I get my 34 I'll probably take one of my other 24s and try it just to see how it is.
 

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Mr. FixAnything
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27,578 Posts
Some DVR has no VOID label, so theoretically speaking you could get the drive out, run MHDD (from CD) or Victoria under Windows; it could remap bad sectors and allow to watch those recordings what are not damaged beyond processing.
 

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Cool Member
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I also have the 14-XXX error (don't remember the entire code) on a 3 year old box. Tech support said there is no way to recover anything, and this will cause a household revolt. Can I also try the diagnostic test? It's a leased unit, but is there any method to recover the programs? I'm probably not savvy enough to remove the drive and run those test programs you described.

For future reference, how would I backup programs. It's possible on cell phones and computers, why not DVR's?
 

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Godfather
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skbkrb said:
I also have the 14-XXX error (don't remember the entire code) on a 3 year old box. Tech support said there is no way to recover anything, and this will cause a household revolt. Can I also try the diagnostic test? It's a leased unit, but is there any method to recover the programs? I'm probably not savvy enough to remove the drive and run those test programs you described.

For future reference, how would I backup programs. It's possible on cell phones and computers, why not DVR's?
Two options for that, one is the DirecTV Nomad. If you have the networked Whole Home, you can plug that in and get recordings transferred to lower-res video files for iPad use.

The other is to record from the analog outputs to a DVD recorder or a high def usb card. Not real easy to automate that.

I guess the third would be to have a second receiver record the same things which is what I do.

As for backing up, like a computer? Not possible for mortals.
 

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Cool Member
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thanks for the tips on future backup options.

For the current situation, I have the code 14-292. I hit select and it seems to acknowledge and try to enter diagnostic mode, but no further progress. DTV support says I have no way to recover the files, just want to see if there are other options.

You can send memory cards and hard drives to recovery firms even though it's real expensive to get the data. Is that an option here?

I've seen others mention they aren't allowed to remove the hard drive, but if I replace it after data is recovered, will DTV still know? I guess if I did recover files, I probably wouldn't be able to transfer them to the new drive or read them another way?

thx
 

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Mr. FixAnything
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27,578 Posts
You could if you have extensive knowledge of the DTV meta data what is organized files from EXT3+XFS well known file system into DVR user available system.
Sending to recovery 'data' ie just files will cost you (320 or 500 GB drive) around $3000 and you'll endup with pieces but DVR system.
I would think before ...
 

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New Member
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In my experience a failing power supply can produce hard drive symptoms including the 14 error. -- Pulling the hard drive and running PC diagnostics shows a drive in perfect health. So you may be able to save your DVR and its recording by replacing the power supply.
 

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Broadcast Engineer
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dpeters11 said:
I've had much older hardware. And not sure SSD is a good idea on a DVR, has a limited number of writes per sector.
Plus it would give you about 15 hours of recording time and cost you about a grand.

Media server RAIDS and DVRs are both written to constantly, so no SSD for them.
 
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