DCT6412 Hard Drive Upgrade? - Page 11 - AVS Forum
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:30 AM
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I have a Motorola 6412, I've been following this thread for a few weeks now, so I'm very much a newbie to this. I've been working on installing a 1TB hard drive on to my DVR. Each time I ran the process using the Parted Magic OS, my DVR would only allocate approximately 29GB, less than the factory allocated 120GB. Anything you can suggest to get this working for me? I am using a 1TB Seagate Barracuda 3.5mbps, 7200rpm drive. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricky91 View Post

I have a Motorola 6412, I've been following this thread for a few weeks now, so I'm very much a newbie to this. I've been working on installing a 1TB hard drive on to my DVR. Each time I ran the process using the Parted Magic OS, my DVR would only allocate approximately 29GB, less than the factory allocated 120GB. Anything you can suggest to get this working for me? I am using a 1TB Seagate Barracuda 3.5mbps, 7200rpm drive. Thanks in advance.

I've never heard of this before. Post some screenshots showing the diagnostic screen/hard drive size.

Are you sure that the image copied successfully to your hard drive?
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:53 PM
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Well, I have acquired a HDD and gamebit and am a'gonna attempt the upgrade. Wish me luck.

My equipment is:
WD15EVDS (the closest thing I could find to the oft-successful WD10EARS)
DCH-6416 with firmware version 18.87 running guide software 78.44 - A28p-2.0908.r-4 from Charter cable.

I'm kinda concerned because this thread reports two failures and only one success with someone getting a working TB out of a 1.5TB drive; no attempts with a DCH-64xx, and no attempts with Charter STBs.

Before I start cracking open the case, does anyone see any reason for me not to proceed?
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whetstone1 View Post

Well, I have acquired a HDD and gamebit and am a'gonna attempt the upgrade. Wish me luck.

My equipment is:
WD15EVDS (the closest thing I could find to the oft-successful WD10EARS)
DCH-6416 with firmware version 18.87 running guide software 78.44 - A28p-2.0908.r-4 from Charter cable.

I'm kinda concerned because this thread reports two failures and only one success with someone getting a working TB out of a 1.5TB drive; no attempts with a DCH-64xx, and no attempts with Charter STBs.

Before I start cracking open the case, does anyone see any reason for me not to proceed?

I see no reason that it shouldn't work. Also, keep in mind that these forums typically feature mostly complaints. Based on the download numbers, I have a strong feeling that there are quite a few silent success stories out there.

And also remember that you must turn off the 6 GB/sec feature...the drive needs to run in 3 Gb/s. So if the drive is capable of SATA 6 Gb/s, you'll need to change the jumpers to put it into the 3 Gb/s mode.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post

Keep in mind that you must turn off the 6 GB/sec feature...the drive needs to run in 3 Gb/s. So if the drive is capable of SATA 6 Gb/s, you'll need to change the jumpers to put it into the 3 Gb/s mode.

I believe the EDVS does transfer at 3 Gb/s; it's the EALX that needs to be throttled back.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:34 PM
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Ouch, with the shortage of hard drives lately the prices have gotten insane in short order. I've got a couple of 160GB drives from my DCT6416 DVRs available that I can sell reasonably for anyone that wants a quick and simple upgrade for their 6412 (33% more capacity and no formatting or connecting to a PC needed).
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:50 PM
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I just stumbled across this thread and am greatly intrigued.

One of the reasons I got into TiVo a few years back was because of how easy it was to upgrade the recording capacity and the ease of transferring videos on and off of it. About the only reason I've held onto our Comcast DVRs (DCT3416 and DCH3416) is for overflow recording (when the four TiVo tuners are busy), but it's always annoyed me how quickly the drive fills up. I'm lucky if I can get 4 football games on the 160GB capacity and there are sometimes 10 or 15 I'd like to see at least some parts of. I end up setting a bunch of 1-hour manual recordings just so I can delete portions I no longer need right away.

At first glance, it looks like upgrading the drives on these DVRs is just as easy as it is with a TiVo. If so, does it put our contract with Comcast at any risk? And what are the precautions we need to take when pursuing the upgrade? Since TiVo knows about our increased TiVo capacities (but doesn't say anything to us about it), I assume the cableco's home office also knows about your increased capacities. Have any of you had any confrontations/communications from them regarding this?
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:27 PM
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Tluxon: The technician Comcast sent out to add Voice to our cable service suggested installing a 1 TB drive in the DVR. He said it was pretty easy and I could get directions on the internet. That doesn't mean it is Comcast policy to encourage this, but I think it unlikely that Comcast is doing anything about it at present. As easy as the directions are to follow for us geeks, I think few people would attempt it. What does it hurt if a few folks increase their storage capacity on their own nickle? By the way, I've got a quantity of material saved that would have choked the old drive, but the new one is less than 20% full.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander63 View Post

Tluxon: The technician Comcast sent out to add Voice to our cable service suggested installing a 1 TB drive in the DVR. He said it was pretty easy and I could get directions on the internet. That doesn't mean it is Comcast policy to encourage this, but I think it unlikely that Comcast is doing anything about it at present. As easy as the directions are to follow for us geeks, I think few people would attempt it. What does it hurt if a few folks increase their storage capacity on their own nickle? By the way, I've got a quantity of material saved that would have choked the old drive, but the new one is less than 20% full.

Wow, that's funny...I didn't realize the technicians themselves were nudging people to do this

Of course, the official policy is that you are not allowed to open the DVR...they can charge you something like $250 (read the fine print in your agreement). I've never heard of that happening, but it could. This is why my directions include buying replacement security tabs.

The boxes do not include intrusion protection (not cost effective), so the cable company doesn't know you opened it. And I've been told that their software does not have a way to get the size of your hard drive (but that certainly could be changed if they wanted to...I really doubt it's a priority).

The reason the cable companies don't want you opening the DVR is because you potentially could damage it. As long as you're careful and return it in the same condition that you received it, they'll be perfectly happy.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_h2 View Post

Hi All,

I just wanted folks to know that I found the 4.5 mm tool and a anti-tamper tab on ebay for US$10.49, with free shipping from a seller in canada. From the ad:

Combo - Security Bit & Plastic Anti-Tamper Tab DCT6416
This is your standard security tab & 4.5mm security bit for Motorola Cable Receivers. Compatible with Motorola DCT5100, DCT6200, DCT6208, DCT6412, DCT6416, DCT3412, DCT3416, DCH6200, DCH6416, DCH3200, DCH3416, DCX3400 and many more.

seller: freehdtv2010

I have no affiliation with this seller and have never used them.

I already have the tool and am going to try to get the tab from another user here, but I thought this might be good info for others in the future.

Chris

I ordered this 4.5 mm tool and anti-tamper tab kit from this seller on ebay and am very happy to report that I got it in about a week, for the price mentioned, and the tool bit is excellent quality solid metal. I'm going to try the HD upgrade this weekend. Thanks to everyone here who figured out how to do it.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:49 AM
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I just wanted to update this thread. I finally reached recorded the full 1TB on my DVR and everything is still functioning as it should.

I did recently get another DCH3416, and was thinking about upgrading the HDD in there, but the Thailand floods just make it too expensive a venture now. If by any chance someone has a working image for a 500GB or 640GB HDD, I'd be really grateful (I have spares in both those sizes)
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:16 PM
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I'm about to do the upgrade myself on a Motorola dch3416 (Comcast, Bay Area)

WD hard drives are so pricey now. Anyone successfully install this on a 500gb or smaller than 1TB hard drive? I saw an eBay seller selling a 500gb drive with the image installed.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sldxstyle View Post

WD hard drives are so pricey now. Anyone successfully install this on a 500gb or smaller than 1TB hard drive? I saw an eBay seller selling a 500gb drive with the image installed.

No. The image needs to be restored on a drive that is at least 1 TB in size (or very, very close to 1 TB, minimum).

Somebody in Canada (where eSATA external hard drives are supported), or in South America would need to hook a 500 GB hard drive to the eSATA port and then create an image from the drive.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:01 PM
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Thanks TN0821!

For all the WD10EARS users, you guys have no jumpers installed on the hard drive right?
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sldxstyle View Post

For all the WD10EARS users, you guys have no jumpers installed on the hard drive right?

That's correct, the as-shipped default jumper settings seemed to work fine for me.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:44 PM
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Did you make the 1TB image? Any change of a 500gig image being created in the future? (no pressure, just asking') I have a perfectly good 500 gig drive that will have no purpose if I go and buy a 1TB drive.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grazzhopr View Post

Did you make the 1TB image? Any change of a 500gig image being created in the future? (no pressure, just asking') I have a perfectly good 500 gig drive that will have no purpose if I go and buy a 1TB drive.

After writing all zeroes to the drive, I formatted a WD10EARS drive externally using my brother's DVR. It was a DCT3416 on Shaw Cable I believe. I then created the initial drive image and shared it with TNO821. There is not likely to be a 500GB image created in the future, unless by somebody else.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:58 PM
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^ yeah, I don't see a 500 GB image (or 750 GB, or 320 GB, or 250 GB) as being likely. It's a lot of effort for someone in one of the few places that allow for the use of external drives.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:12 PM
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Has anyone been able to install the 1TB drive in a DCH3416 DVR from Cox and have it recognize the larger drive? I saw one user that could not get the DVR from Cox to recognize anything over the original 160gb and one with older software that was able to get it to recognize over 160gb. I just moved and started with Cox this weekend and had no idea the DVR was only 160gb, really makes no sense in today's world with HD, can't get many shows recorded with only 160gb.

TIA

Mike
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:33 PM
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******Update*******
The following post is outdated.
There are now confirmed reports of COX cable customers who have successfully upgraded the DVR hard drive to 1TB, so it would appear that the firmware/software limiting recording to 160 GB is no longer an issue.  However, there could be some COX cable markets where the older firmware/software is still in use, so your mileage may vary.
******Update*******
 

^as far as I know, no. It's up to Cox to install a newer version of the software that can handle larger hard drives

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Old 01-24-2012, 08:16 AM
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Thanks. The only other option I can find with Cox is to go with their Whole Home DVR which costs extra but does have a 500gb hard drive, really frustrated at this point and thinking about moving to DISH or Direct, at least they offer DVRs with larger drives.
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:28 AM
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so i just installed a 1TB WD10ealx into my motorola dct3416. i literally just took out old 160 drive and replaced it with new one. it immediately worked with zero programming etc. now that im in diag menu, it shows my HD, clearly identifies it as 1000GB WD10ealx. in "record capacity remaining" it shows 141GB

some of the other info on used space of HD....
System 242688 B
GPFS 1692672 B
DVR content 13 GB
dvr index 23631872 B

what do i need to do to assure i have as much available space as possible? is this a situation where i need to set the jumper between 5-6? im smart enough to be confident on a project like this, however im just shy of fully understanding all the menu/HD config etc.

can anyone help please?
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majiktrix9 View Post

so i just installed a 1TB WD10ealx into my motorola dct3416. i literally just took out old 160 drive and replaced it with new one. it immediately worked with zero programming etc. now that im in diag menu, it shows my HD, clearly identifies it as 1000GB WD10ealx. in "record capacity remaining" it shows 141GB

some of the other info on used space of HD....
System 242688 B
GPFS 1692672 B
DVR content 13 GB
dvr index 23631872 B

what do i need to do to assure i have as much available space as possible? is this a situation where i need to set the jumper between 5-6? im smart enough to be confident on a project like this, however im just shy of fully understanding all the menu/HD config etc.

can anyone help please?

My DVRs don't have a WD10EALX so I can't speak firsthand about the jumper setting, only that others have said that the jumper on pins 5/6 was necessary to work properly. The DVR will automatically format a new / blank hard drive to maximum 160GB capacity. If you want the full 1000GB of recording capacity for your drive you will have to format it using a PC as per the instructions from TNO821. It takes a bit of applied knowledge and borrowed computer hardware initially but worth having 6x more recording capacity. My daughter has 70+ hours of Sesame Street in HD! My wife really enjoys TV and records many programs to watch later and delete afterwards. I tend to record shows (and series) that interest me but may not watch them for several months. We have not filled up our upgraded DVRs yet. A worthwhile upgrade!
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:14 PM
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******Update*******

The following post is outdated.
There are now confirmed reports of COX cable customers who have successfully upgraded the DVR hard drive to 1TB, so it would appear that the firmware/software limiting recording to 160 GB is no longer an issue.  However, there could be some COX cable markets where the older firmware/software is still in use, so your mileage may vary.
******Update*******

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by detekinc View Post

Thanks. The only other option I can find with Cox is to go with their Whole Home DVR which costs extra but does have a 500gb hard drive.

Not a bad idea. That would be a DCX box that you could then upgrade to a 1 TB hard drive (The DCX uses different, newer software that natively supports up to a 1 TB internal hard drive...you could pop in a blank 1 TB drive and it would format it automatically to 1 TB without even needing to follow my DCT/DCH upgrade directions).

BTW, the software used by the DCX is quite different from the DCT/DCH boxes and can't be used on the older boxes (in case you were wondering why Cox doesn't just copy over the same software that they use for the Whole-Home DVR). It seems that Cox may have decided not to spend the money/time/effort to update the software on the ageing DCH and DCT boxes. They may just eventually swap all of those out for the DCX boxes which already support up to a 1 TB hard drive.

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Old 02-04-2012, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majiktrix9 View Post

so i just installed a 1TB WD10ealx into my motorola dct3416. i literally just took out old 160 drive and replaced it with new one. it immediately worked with zero programming etc. now that im in diag menu, it shows my HD, clearly identifies it as 1000GB WD10ealx. in "record capacity remaining" it shows 141GB

some of the other info on used space of HD....
System 242688 B
GPFS 1692672 B
DVR content 13 GB
dvr index 23631872 B

what do i need to do to assure i have as much available space as possible? is this a situation where i need to set the jumper between 5-6? im smart enough to be confident on a project like this, however im just shy of fully understanding all the menu/HD config etc.

can anyone help please?

Ummm...did you read my insanely documented, screenshot-filled Motorola DVR 1 TB HDD upgrade guide?

It sounds to me like you just popped in a unformatted 1 TB HDD and are now surprised to see that it only has < 160 GB of space that it can use. That's expected, as Motorola DCT and DCH DVR's are hard-coded to format the internal Hard Disk Drive to a maximum size of 160 GB. The good news is that, because your DVR is already making use of this drive, it proves that your jumper settings are proper.

Now, if you pop an unformatted 1 TB hard drive into a Motorola DCX DVR, it will proceed to automatically format it (up to a maximum of 1 TB in size...I believe it won't even try to format any hard drive larger than 1 TB). But then you're stuck using a DCX box, which sucks balls (flaky software on the DCX is notorious for missing recordings and sometimes recording a black screen instead of your shows, etc...giant...bag...of...hurt).

Anyways, read the guide. Do what it says. Enjoy ~1 TB of recording space.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:06 PM
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Wait a minute here, if I have a DCX series receiver w/Comcrap I can simply install a 1TB HDD into it and it will format & recognize the entire (or nearly) size? I've been following this thread since we had the older boxes and we've had the new boxes since they first came out a couple years ago and I guess I never guessed the process was different. I have a 1TB Seagate that I could throw into one of these pretty quick if that's the case. In fact I had several but sold them off because I didn't have a use for them. I'm going to be even more upset if I find out I've had those HDDs sitting on a desk in my office and have been fighting full DVRs and shows/movies getting deleted as a result and the fix was already in my possession. So, is this the case? Open that puppy up, swap drives and then close & boot it up and let it format? Bam, instant 1TB of storage?? If this is the case can I also then take the old drive and copy the recordings to a PC drive and place them in the same folder of the 1TB drive to be able to keep all my currently recorded shows?

Thanks for the help!

Jer

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Old 02-05-2012, 08:43 PM
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^ Yeah, the DCX boxes should automatically format 1 TB hard drives to their full size.

Drives larger than 1 TB will not auto-format at all (I think). You'd need to follow my guide in order to set up 1 TB of recording space on a drive larger than 1 TB.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:45 PM
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^^ No, it is not possible to pull shows off of the hard drive . They are protected.

The file system is quite specialized. No tools exist to manipulate it (IBM GPFS).
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post

^ Yeah, the DCX boxes should automatically format 1 TB hard drives to their full size.

Drives larger than 1 TB will not auto-format at all (I think). You'd need to follow my guide in order to set up 1 TB of recording space on a drive larger than 1 TB.

Thanks for the response. I'm tempted to try this but do you know about my question on copying over already existing files once it's installed? I know it would be a lot of installing and removing of drives back and forth to make happen but is it even possible? Also, will it retain my series recording settings? If I can copy those over and it does retain my series recording settings for sure I can pop open one of my receivers to try right now while we're watching the other one. If not then I will wait until tomorrow so I can get all my series info jotted down and try to figure out what I'm going to do with programming. I should be able to copy files from the same folders between HDD's but am worried about DRM type issues. I'm not sure if it saves your series and other settings to the HDD or onboard memory though.

Anyone know on these?

Jer

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Old 02-05-2012, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post

^^ No, it is not possible to pull shows off of the hard drive . They are protected.

The file system is quite specialized. No tools exist to manipulate it (IBM GPFS).

Ahh... there's my answer. Nuts! That will make things a little more tedious than I had hoped but I am still excited by the idea of being able to expand my storage space so easily and now it's just a matter of watching shows. I guess for all it's ease there has to be some sort of downside otherwise everyone would do it, right?

There's a couple of HD movies and such from when we had free HBO/Cinemax that I'm going to miss unfortunately. I wish I had known about this whenever we got these receivers a loooong time ago and I would have done it first thing since I had a few of these drives laying around at the time too.

Jer

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