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I'll let someone else that uses eSATA setups answer your questions about the hard drive and the dock.

As for moving the information to the external drive, you would need to pull the current drive out of the HR24, image it to the new drive, and then put the drive back. In the Tips and Resources forum here there are instructions for copying the drive.

Using an external drive over replacing the internal does have a few advantages. The biggest is that if the drive fails, you just replace the drive in the dock as opposed to opening the DVR back up. Also, there is the issue of your Terms of Service, which I'll discuss in a moment.

Replacing the internal drive has the advantage that you don't have another device taking up space on a shelf and you have one less power source.

I'll briefly put in the disclaimer though regarding opening the HR24. Most receivers are leased from DirecTV. As such, part of the lease agreement is that you will not modify or open the receivers. If you do open it and DirecTV finds out, they can hit you with a pretty hefty fee. It's up to you if you want to take that chance, but we cannot recommend it. If you actually own the HR24, you can do whatever you want with it. If you don't know if you own or lease it, you can call up DirecTV and ask a CSR and they should be able to tell you.

Basically, if you ordered the receiver from DirecTV as part of your original install, ordered it to add to your current install from DirecTV or a retailer, it is going to be a lease. There are only a few exceptions to how it would be owned.

- Merg
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