DCT6208 hard disk increase / replace - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-12-2006, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I know that this topic was discussed few times, but I feel like there is no common agreement what is happening when you try to replace hard disk in DCT6208 box. Some people afraid to open the box because they think that provider will punish them for doing this, and some just don't want to spend some money and time to experiment with this matter.

So I'd like to open new topic and hope that everyone who tried to replace hard disk in DCT6208 cable box will share results of their experience so many people can benefit and find out how to expand disk capacity for more hours of PVR recording.

Here is what I tried to my recently bought on eBay DCT6208 and results:

1. Unpacked DCT6208 and performed factory reset (press 2 buttons + power on). Called COGECO provider, gave them GI number and asked to activate my new box. COGECO is good with this, they never ask where and how I got the box. They just add it to my account and send an activation signal. After 20 minutes box was ready to go. PVR 80GB is ready to record the programs.

2. I opened the box. I did not have a special screwdriver that Motorola used on this box cover, so I had to use plyers and some imagination how to unscrew these special screws. After 15 minutes of fight cover was successfully opened. Than unscrewed 4 screws for hard disk caddy + 4 screws for hard disk and 80 GB Seagate hard disk is out.

3. Installed brand new Seagate IDE 320 GB 7200 rpm hard disk that I bought couple of days before. Within couple of minutes box recognized the disk, formatted it and reported 160GB of available hard disk capacity. Tried to record few movies - no problem, everything works like a charm. I realized that no matter what I put into this box it can only see 160 GB.

4. Took original 80GB disk with several movies previously recorded on it and put it back to the box. Worked with no problem. It means that you can have several disks with different content and replace them any time. Box won't re-format disk if this disk was previously used in this box.

5. Connected original 80GB disk and new 320 GB disk to computer in order to try to clone 80GB to 320 GB as I saw in one forum here saying that you can "ghost" original disk and increase the size. Nada. Computer does not recognize this disk and even does not see any partition on it so software like Ghost (I tried all versions) or PQDI cannot clone hard disk. Too bad but this DOES NOT work.

6. Since this box cannot see more than 160GB, I went to computers store and replaced 320GB disk with 2 disks 160GB each. It was almost the same price for 2 drives 160GB as one 320 GB disk (just added $30). Installed new 160GB into DCT6208 and it recognized and prepared it within 2 minutes. Recorded several movies - no problem at all.

So, here is my conclusion:

If you want get inexpensive PVR don't buy expensive DCT6412 or DCT6416 for $600 and up. Just get DCT6208 on eBay for approx. $120, add 160GB hard disk for $70, and you are ready to go. Entire project approx. $200 and you get 160 GB for PVR. The only problem is with DCT6208 you get only one tuner so you cannot watch one channel while recording another. This is not very big problem because in most cases I record something when I sleep or at work anyway.

Any feedbacks or sharing experience are welcome.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-12-2006, 10:23 PM
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I have a box I rent for Comcast, or Time Warner now. Its a DCT6416 III . I have recorded some shows for my Mom that I wanted to put on DVD. I have been hoping for a way to make them all play with out stopping at the end of each one. All the USB ports on the machine are dead, the firewire port works & I can get my laptop to recognize the box but I don't seem to be able to get access to the hard drive. I was thinking about opening the box pull the harddrive & connect it to a computer, but from reading your post the computer won't recognize it anway. So I guess I will just copy the shows 1 by 1 to my DVD recorder. Thanks for sharing your expirence Jim
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-16-2006, 03:15 PM
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I bought 3 dct6208 last winther and since cogeco is now offering more Hd chanel I got my hands out of my a??? and replaced the 4 condencer that where busted and voila my 80 GIg worked like a charmed.

I read that the 160gig limit is due to the chipset used, the south bridge only reconise up to 160 GIg. A compter Ghost program can't copy the disk because there's bit diferent telling that hard drive belongs to a voideo equipement and not a computer equipement. But I have a procedure with a LINUX floppy to clone an 80GIG ont a 160. But I didn't try it yet.
I'm more interested in sing an USB external HARD drive. That's what I'm betting on. So if anyone has succes with USb dribe on DCT6208 please answer.

thanks
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-27-2006, 10:40 AM
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THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this information!!! I live in the sticks with a no name cable co, family business. They are so far behind the times that they only offer the basic Motorola HD regular box, no DVR boxes for rental. Luckily they were nice enough to activate my 6208 I bought on eBay, but the 80GB capacity has always been an issue for me. I have wanted to do something like this since I own the box. Satellite was not an option either since I get broadband through the cable co at a discounted rate if I get cable also (no DSL in our area), if I wanted a dish then you have to pay a lot more for internet and their DVR's at the time would not record HD content. Anyway I am going to buy a 160GB hard drive right away and try this out. What brand and specs did you go with on your 160GB hard drive?
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-13-2007, 07:13 PM
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I recently bought a DCT 6200 a HD box from blockbuster without the dvr function
My question is alexgarin mentioned he pressed 2 buttons plus power on
which 2 buttons and if you can give a little more detail on the reset
I am considering attempting to uninstall a 160gig drive from my pc that I did not have to format on install into my newly purchased HD receiver without DVR features any help would be great!
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-31-2007, 08:05 AM
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Please remember that after 01/07/2007 cable companies are not allowed to add new boxes - so if you buy your own, unless it's OCAP / Cable Card compatible it will more than likely never get added to the system.

Views & opinions stated here are strictly those of Me and not Charter Communications.

I no longer work in Tech Ops as such I can only advise & suggest.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-28-2007, 02:59 PM
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I put a 160 gb IDE Western Digital in mine. Seems like it was working... then after a while it makes an error and the decoder resets on its own, ereasing everything. I've read somewhere that people have had some instability with 160 gb drives... I might try another drive (maybe a seagate?) or a smaller drive (120 gb if I can find one).

I've tried formatting it but the problems comes again after a few hours of recording.

Edit: Other info - When i get an error message, it says There is a problem detected, call 1-800 blablabla, error code: ACC or error code NH...
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-07-2007, 03:47 PM
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This is my first post anywhere, I've been an electronics tech for the past 34 years and still going. I decided about 3 weeks ago to go HD when I happened accross a Infocus LP640 HD projector....hmmmm... sort of. I decided to get a stb and found a Directv Samsung HD receiver tir160... works great but, I don't have directv connected any more since I got Charter Cable. The box works without direct tv for ATSC over the air reception and also has a cable connection in addition to the SAT connector... so I turned off the SAT and connected my roof antenna and my charter cable to the box, I did a channel scan and found about 20 ota channels and the normal <100 cable channels, nothing encrypted. I thought ok fine, charter can't seem to activate the Samsung, and the only HD was OTA. I went to the charter website and read the FAQ's and looked at their equipment that they supported... they had Motorola DCT's and the manuals for them. So I started looking on EBAY again, I found a Motorola DCT6208 listed in a odd area and it had 2 bids on it with 2 hours to go so I sniped it for $41 dollars, I got it from a Cable co. rep in Kentucky, completely legal box. All Serial numbers in place and on my note pad I called charter to activate the box,...... I was on the phone with 3 CSR's and the third one said it's our policy not to activate third party STB's. I was furious, I almost cancelled my Service. I have Cable,Internet, and phone with them. I went back to the website and got into a chat with an online CSR , she was very helpfull and checked with her supervisor and said she would check into it..... I was getting ready to sell the box. I got an email from her the next day saying that her supervisor understood the situation and that I could in fact get my box activated but I would have to take it into my local Charter office and they would get the s/n's off it and activate it. Later that afternoon I called the local office and talked to a very un-friendly CSR named
Stephanie, that said she would have to talk to the Tech and she would be right back, 2 minutes later (A new record low wait time) she came back and said that I could not activate my HD receiver on their system and she would call the other CSR and straigten her out..... (very nasty). I just want my HDTV to work. I was willing to pay for the HD Tier and the DVR programming...... $14 or so more a month. still no luck. I still haven't heard from Ms. Stephanie yet but I'm not holding my breath. I checked into Verizon
and for Directv, Phone, and Internet It would be 12 dollars a month cheaper.... But I've never had good luck with direct tv, I may just get the phone and internet and use the Samsung OTA. I will copy this post and send it to Charter, tonight, and probably have a service retention specialist calling me tomorrow. I hope this was entertaining an informative, I just needed to vent. My DCT6208 Had a 80G hard drive in it till about an hour ago, I found a
200G drive in my junk drawer and replaced it. I booted it up and yes it was limited to 160G. and I formatted it and it reports correctly in diagnostics. At least I can sell it easier next week with the bigger HD. Thanks for putting up with my rants.........
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-07-2007, 04:22 PM
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Here in the US, cable-company set top boxes cannot generally be purchased. If you find one off eBay here in the US, it is most likely stolen, and you *should not* buy it *under any circumstances*. Also, cable providers almost universally *will not* activate such boxes, so this sort of hacking is only really feasible in Canada, where you have to buy the box.

The only boxes you can buy, at least at present, are the Series3 TiVo and the TiVo HD, though I understand Moxi is coming out with a CableCARD-enabled box some time in the near future. The Sony DHG-HDD250/500 units also have a single CableCARD slot (S-card only, from what I understand), but they are out of production.
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-07-2007, 04:30 PM
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I was assured by BBB the source for this is real, and the explanation for sale was
discontinuance of this model. and they were unable to place in a new or existing
installation. They went with the DCH series.
Dual Tuners
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post #11 of 11 Old 04-13-2008, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jappy View Post

I put a 160 gb IDE Western Digital in mine. Seems like it was working... then after a while it makes an error and the decoder resets on its own, ereasing everything. I've read somewhere that people have had some instability with 160 gb drives... I might try another drive (maybe a seagate?) or a smaller drive (120 gb if I can find one).

I've tried formatting it but the problems comes again after a few hours of recording.

Edit: Other info - When i get an error message, it says There is a problem detected, call 1-800 blablabla, error code: ACC or error code NH...


I get the same thing. I even used the same brand drive as the original 80gb, only a 160 instead. Has anyone solved this yet? If I do the "2 buttons plus power", will it help? If so, what two buttons plus power??
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