SATA drive for SA8300HD? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-08-2007, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a SA8300HD from Time Warner Cable...and I find that I don't have any space to save all the HD shows I want to...and would like to add an SATA external drive.

Does anyone have any recommended brands/hard drives that work well with this particular HD-DVR?

Thanks...
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-10-2007, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVD Freaky View Post

I have a SA8300HD from Time Warner Cable...and I find that I don't have any space to save all the HD shows I want to...and would like to add an SATA external drive.

Does anyone have any recommended brands/hard drives that work well with this particular HD-DVR?


I used a Maxtor MaXLine Pro 500 7H500F0 500GB which I got for $150 at Newegg. It works perfectly. The way I tested to see if it was sufficient is I simultaneously recorded 2 HD programs while simultaneously viewing a third recording of a HD program, all located on the same drive. There were no problems observed at all. If your drive cant do all three things at the same time then it does not have enough throughput to handle this application. The 8300HD will automatically use whichever drive (internal vs external) has the most free space, so make sure all three HD programs are located on the same external drive when testing.

A couple of things to look out for. First your SA8300HD needs to run the SARA software, not all 8300s do as there is another software package out there. You can tell which software you are using by browsing through the Diagnostic pages. Second you MUST use an eSata cable, you can use a regular external Sata enclosure but you must have the Sata to eSata cable. Or else use an eSata enclosure and a eSata to eSata cable. Anything else will not work. Third, there is a possibility that your cable company turned off the external port, but that is rare.

Maxtor sells a 320gb drive in an enclosure specifically marketed for these 8300 boxes called the "QuickView Expander" but I got more capacity (500gb) for less money by buying the drive and enclosure separately.

Mike Petro
Martinsville VA - Comcast - SARA 1.88.19.1
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-10-2007, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Very good info, Mike...thanks! I will do some shopping around for the model you recommended or check out newegg.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-10-2007, 09:40 PM
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I am on Rogers Cable (SARA Firmware) and I have had success with Hard-drive Encloser from "Vantec: NexStar 3 NST-360SU-BK" coupled with a "Western Digital / WD3200KS Western Digital Caviar 320GB SATA (WD3200KS) 7200RPM 16MB Buffer (OEM)" hard-drive.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-12-2007, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVD Freaky View Post

I have a SA8300HD from Time Warner Cable...and I find that I don't have any space to save all the HD shows I want to...and would like to add an SATA external drive.

There are dozens of posts in various threads in the HDTV Recorders forum about adding a SATA drive to the 8300HD (this is the non-HD Recorders forum).

But it may be a moot point because soon TWC will be stripping away their SARA and Passport software nationwide and replacing it with a disaster called Navigator so you may want to hold off on buying any equipment and reading up on the new upcoming software to see if a SATA drive will work or not.


http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=723830

Randy
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-12-2007, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepetro View Post

I used a Maxtor MaXLine Pro 500 7H500F0 500GB which I got for $150 at Newegg. It works perfectly. The way I tested to see if it was sufficient is I simultaneously recorded 2 HD programs while simultaneously viewing a third recording of a HD program, all located on the same drive. There were no problems observed at all. If your drive cant do all three things at the same time then it does not have enough throughput to handle this application. The 8300HD will automatically use whichever drive (internal vs external) has the most free space, so make sure all three HD programs are located on the same external drive when testing.

This is good testing advice, commonly referred to as the "Stress Test" for external drives. You did not mention your enclosure. Experience has shown that some enclosures work better than others when paired with specific drives. An enclosure with a fan is recommended. The Apricorn brand, also available at Newegg, has a very good "track record."

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A couple of things to look out for. First your SA8300HD needs to run the SARA software, not all 8300s do as there is another software package out there. You can tell which software you are using by browsing through the Diagnostic pages.

While it is correct that there is a second software package (Passport) used by TWC with their 8300, it is incorrect that only SARA software allows you to add an external drive! To the contrary, Passport users have enjoyed far greater success with external drives than have SARA users, although SARA users had this feature first. The version of SARA being run is important--1.88.x.x is desirable. The Passport version that seems to be most common is 2.5.066. It is true that your software and version can be found in the Diagnostic pages.

Quote:


Second you MUST use an eSata cable, you can use a regular external Sata enclosure but you must have the Sata to eSata cable. Or else use an eSata enclosure and a eSata to eSata cable. Anything else will not work. Third, there is a possibility that your cable company turned off the external port, but that is rare.

Information about the cable is correct. If you buy an Apricorn enclosure, the cable you will need is included. Other brands may also include the cable, but I have no experience with any enclosure other than Apricorn. The cable companies do not "turn off" the external SATA port--that is controlled by the version of the software you are running.

Quote:


Maxtor sells a 320gb drive in an enclosure specifically marketed for these 8300 boxes called the "QuickView Expander" but I got more capacity (500gb) for less money by buying the drive and enclosure separately.

It is virtually impossible to find a "Quickview Expander Kit" in the 320GB capacity. Seagate bought Maxtor last year and has discontinued production of the Quickview Expander Kit. It has been replaced by Seagate DB35 hard drives. These are available at WeaKnees.com, both as individual drives in various capacities and in external drive kits that are assembled by WeaKnees. These drives are designed for use in DVRs. While it is true that some people have been successful with 500GB and 750GB external SATA drives, the greatest success for SARA users has been with 300-320GB hard drives. Passport software, for whatever reason, seems to be more "forgiving" with the larger capacity drives.

The very best information available for adding external SATA drives can be found here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9&page=1&pp=30

Read the very first post, which has been kept updated by the OP, and be sure to follow the links provided in that post, as well as the subsequent links. It is not necessary to wade through the entire 135 pages in order to find the information you need; however, it is extremely interesting reading if you have the time.

If you are a SARA user, be sure to check the SARA compatibility database here:

http://baseportal.com/cgi-bin/basepo...x=/xnappo/main

and read about the successes and failures of the various combinations of drives and enclosures. Bear in mind that what works for one person will not necessarily work for another. It is all trial and error, and you will receive absolutely no support from TWC. However, you will get all the help and support you will need from the "8300HD and External SATA - It Works!!" thread and the posters therein--provided you read the first post and its links before you start asking questions. Also, please add your location, cable provider, DVR model, software and version to your signature! You will get faster and better information if you do that. Also, you don't have to have an 8300HD recorder--the same information works for the 8300 recorder as well.

Best of luck to you!

Scarlett

TWC Austin, TX--SARA 1.89.24.1--8300HD--Seagate ST3300831AS ext. SATA HD--Apricorn SATA enclosure
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