eSATA Reformat Question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-14-2009, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a Motorola PVR from Armstrong Cable in Medina, OH. I'm planning on ordering an eSATA drive to attempt to expand the storage.

I've read mixed reviews as to whether it is truly disabled or not. Some say that it is, some say that it's not. Others say that Armstrong will tell you it is, even if it is not, as a way of not technically supporting that feature but not truly disabling it.

Whatever. That's not really my issue as I have decided to try it and return it if it does not funtion properly.

My question is that I've read that the DVR formats the drive for use. After this happens, is it ever possible to reformat the drive to say, NTFS or FAT or whatever to be able to be used as a normal storage drive again?

I don't want to buy a 1TB drive and assuming it works, eventually get rid of or upgrade the DVR and be stuck with an unusable drive. Please advise. Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-14-2009, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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i have a Motorola dct6412 III, by the way
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-14-2009, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumx4192 View Post

I have a Motorola PVR from Armstrong Cable in Medina, OH. I'm planning on ordering an eSATA drive to attempt to expand the storage.

It doesn't work anywhere. The Motorola DVRs don't currently support any options for storage expansion, so getting such a drive for that purpose will be a waste of your money. Sorry.

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Originally Posted by sumx4192 View Post

I've read mixed reviews as to whether it is truly disabled or not.

Dunno where you read that, but it definitely doesn't do eSATA or any other external storage.

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Originally Posted by sumx4192 View Post

Whatever. That's not really my issue as I have decided to try it and return it if it does not funtion properly.

It definitely won't.

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Originally Posted by sumx4192 View Post

My question is that I've read that the DVR formats the drive for use. After this happens, is it ever possible to reformat the drive to say, NTFS or FAT or whatever to be able to be used as a normal storage drive again?

With a DVR like a TiVo HD, Moxi or SA 8300HD, it would actually format the drive. And yes, the drive can then be reused on a normal PC; you'll need to go to the partitioning tool on your OS and remove the existing partitions or (quite possibly) make a new partition table (many use formats that Windows won't comprehend, for example). Once you do that, you can use it again as usual, no problem. Of course, this won't even be an issue with the Moto.
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-14-2009, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, well assuming that is correct, Armstrong in my area also offers the PACE Tahoe TDC775HD. I can get it switched out no problem cause i'm also having troubles with the HDMI and the series recording on my Moto box. Would this work?
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-15-2009, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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anyone have an idea? I don't wanna swap out the box for nothing but i'd really like to get this working. My fiancee and I work opposite shifts...she's a nurse and works night shift and I work days...so we often have to record alot of programming that she would otherwise miss and the built in storage is just not cutting it. It's the only way we can watch our favorite shows together. Help me out!
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-17-2009, 01:20 PM
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The TDC775D "CAN" work with E-SATA, but it would also have to not be turned off by your cable company.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-21-2009, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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ok, I got my new box... Pace tdc787x

I went to the diagnostic menu...SATA is enabled...yey.

So I hook up my new eSATA drive (Fantom GreenDrive 1TB) following the instructions in the manual (power down, unplug from wall, plug in new drive, power new drive, plug in DVR) and I didn't get any notification to format...

Anyone help me out?
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-23-2009, 06:36 PM
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To the OP - call your cable company before you give up. Cox in Tulsa just told me I could add esata to my Motorola 3416 and the highest drive he has seen work is 1.5TB. Doesn't hurt to ask.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-23-2009, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I did talk to them once. It was basically "We don't officially support it." but they didn't come right out and say it was disabled...and according to the diagnostic screen, it's not...it's just not working as I expected.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-23-2009, 07:26 PM
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Cox told me to check motorola's website to see what esata drives they support. All I found was that they say it is not supported. I called Motorola and the guy said that it is up to the cable provider to write their program to enable the esata, usb and firewire ports. He did not think it was enabled and did not have a list of supported drives...
Conflicting info...
I am just going to find a spare sata drive and try it...
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-23-2009, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by investmentcar View Post

Cox told me to check motorola's website to see what esata drives they support. All I found was that they say it is not supported. I called Motorola and the guy said that it is up to the cable provider to write their program to enable the esata, usb and firewire ports. He did not think it was enabled and did not have a list of supported drives...
Conflicting info...
I am just going to find a spare sata drive and try it...

No Dice
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-23-2009, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by investmentcar View Post

No Dice

And as I mentioned earlier, it's not going to work on a Moto DCH-3416. I'm not sure who you're talking to at Motorola, but they're wrong. It's not supported. The firmware doesn't even support more than 160 GB of storage. USB and eSATA drives won't be used at all.

Sorry to burst your bubble.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-24-2009, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumx4192 View Post

ok, I got my new box... Pace tdc787x

I went to the diagnostic menu...SATA is enabled...yey.

So I hook up my new eSATA drive (Fantom GreenDrive 1TB) following the instructions in the manual (power down, unplug from wall, plug in new drive, power new drive, plug in DVR) and I didn't get any notification to format...

Anyone help me out?

I'm gonna quote myself as a reminder that I still don't quite know why my eSATA isn't functioning properly.
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-30-2009, 11:30 AM
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First i would check in Diagnostics to see if the drive is even recognized by the DVR.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-30-2009, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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will that show up automatically there? or will it only show up once the drive has been formatted by the box? Cause I can't get it to format so I don't know if it will appear as recognized before it has been formatted
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post #16 of 16 Old 02-09-2010, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm still not having luck. The port is enabled but I never get a message to format the drive.
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