SA Explorer 8300HD Summary Please - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-13-2008, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I've read through the many posts on trying to upgrade the storage capacity on the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD, but several of them are old and I'm hoping that someone here can give me a definitive answer to the problem of upgrading the storage capacity on them.

First, I live in South Florida, and have Comcast Cable. I believe that they purchased the defunct Adelphia system here a few years ago. I have 3 of their Explorer 8300HD units with a SATA port and 2 x 1384 ports on the back. I believe that the internal HD is only 80GB.

I called them and they told me that the SATA port on the back is NOT active, but I'm not sure if I believe them.

My questions are:

1) Is there a tested and proven way to upgrade the storage capacity by replacing the internal drive?

2) Is there a tested and proven way to upgrade the storage capacity by adding an external drive?

3) Where can I find the info on how to implement either #1 or #2 above?

Thanks for any help with this, I really appreciate it.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-14-2008, 06:36 AM
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Try this link. Someone here describes how he got his SATA drive to work after his cable company said they didn't support the connection: http://ask.pvrblog.com/2004/11/sata_drive_for_.html

Yes ma'am, it's working now. Turns out it was just a defective installer.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-28-2008, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I ordered and just received today a Seagate Free Agent Pro 500GB external dual interface drive (USB 2.0 and eSATA). I went out and got a true eSATA to eSATA cable, followed the instructions (unplug 8300HD power, plug in drive, power up drive, plug 8300HD power back in and let it boot).

Now, I get an error message that reads:

The External Recording Device is not functioning properly. Check all cables and connections.

Am I doing something wrong? I did verify that my 8300HD has SARA and not PASSPORT software.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-28-2008, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Crap, I bought the drive because it was a good deal from Tiger Direct ($100), and it sold out very quickly, but didn't bother to check the compatibility chart.

There are no entries for Comcast AND the Freeagent Pro drives, but looking at the list I see non-compatibility issues with Cox and TWC provided SARA 8300HD's and Freeagent drives, so I'm guessing that incompatibility is the problem.

Anyone know otherwise? Well, I can always use a 500GB external drive I suppose, or could return it, but this is a real bummer as I was looking forward to added recording space.

Thanks.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-24-2008, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, I ordered a Cavalry eSATA 500GB drive, and it works with my Comcast of South Florida SA Explorer 8300HD (I was pretty sure it would, since the database indicated that it worked with that box, albeit in other regions).

It asked if I wanted to format the drive, and I selected "Yes," and then started recording some HD programming to quickly fill up the internal drive.

My question is, how can I see how much space is now available on the new drive? Right now, when I go to "Available Recording Space," I only see the space from the internal drive.

Do I have to wait for it to fill up the internal drive first?

Thanks!
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-24-2008, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, never mind, as I rebooted the box again (I must have missed that in the instructions) and now the box shows as only 22% full, which makes sense if the internal drive is about 140GB (since the new external is 500GB).

Is there any way to tell which programs are stored where, or do I just have to remember this date and time, and that anything recorded before now is on the internal drive and anything recorded from this point on is on the external drive?

The whole thing about having to have the internal drive filled up first is a pain in the butt, but at least now I can record more than just a few HD programs. At 5-8% per 1 hour of HD, it was pretty useless, since I could only record between 12-20 hours of HD programming. Now I should have around 80-100 hours total!

In case anyone is interested, the Cavalry 500MB external eSATA drive can be had from buy.com for free shipping and no tax in most states for $89.95.
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