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SA 8300 HD Tips & Tricks -- SARA - Page 289

post #8641 of 8829
Hello All,

Informative thread. Thanks!

Cox Faifax, VA. (SARA) We had 8240HD with Apricorn 750G Expander. Worked fine for 2 years. Recently, On Demand channels stopped loading. Tech came and rewired area and replaced 8240HD with 8300HD. Nothing but trouble. Have tried all the boots in first post but not reformat (internal).

The OD problem was the cable signal (Global to our area), which was fixed.

Reformatting the Apricorn (both by the box and on PC) works for a while and then Unrecoverable Write Error. Reboot resumes function for a while, with no loss of recorded programs.

WITHOUT the Apricorn connected (disconnected as per instructions), the Picture and Sound both freeze every half hour or so (like pushing pause). After about 30 secs, resumes without skipping ahead (like pushing pause again). Hard boot does not fix. Recording okay -- no Unrecoverable Write Error.

In general, box clicks every so often -- 2 or 3, not continuous. Sometimes it clicks twice when freezing, but not every time. I do not remember the 8240HD clicking like that.

I've read here that freezing can be signal strength. In the diagnostics signal strength seems okay -- a little low but well within specs.

Since our saved programs left with the 8240HD (which I tried to get the tech to leave -- but he would not), replacing the box is an okay option. A long trip to the Cox store, but worth it if you all think it might fix the freezing. Then I'll address the Apricorn problem -- probably by building Bryan's direct solution.

Any help greatly appreciated -- Cox is useless.

BW
post #8642 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by WAWolf View Post

Hello All,

Informative thread. Thanks!

Cox Faifax, VA. (SARA) We had 8240HD with Apricorn 750G Expander. Worked fine for 2 years. Recently, On Demand channels stopped loading. Tech came and rewired area and replaced 8240HD with 8300HD. Nothing but trouble. Have tried all the boots in first post but not reformat (internal).

The OD problem was the cable signal (Global to our area), which was fixed.

Reformatting the Apricorn (both by the box and on PC) works for a while and then Unrecoverable Write Error. Reboot resumes function for a while, with no loss of recorded programs.

WITHOUT the Apricorn connected (disconnected as per instructions), the Picture and Sound both freeze every half hour or so (like pushing pause). After about 30 secs, resumes without skipping ahead (like pushing pause again). Hard boot does not fix. Recording okay -- no Unrecoverable Write Error.

In general, box clicks every so often -- 2 or 3, not continuous. Sometimes it clicks twice when freezing, but not every time. I do not remember the 8240HD clicking like that.

I've read here that freezing can be signal strength. In the diagnostics signal strength seems okay -- a little low but well within specs.

Since our saved programs left with the 8240HD (which I tried to get the tech to leave -- but he would not), replacing the box is an okay option. A long trip to the Cox store, but worth it if you all think it might fix the freezing. Then I'll address the Apricorn problem -- probably by building Bryan's direct solution.

Any help greatly appreciated -- Cox is useless.

BW

I would replace the SA8300HD with an SA8240HDC or SA8300HDC (whichever Cox has in stock) Check the Manufacture date on the bottom and get the newest one you can.

Cox Northern Virginia should be rolling out the Rovi Passport IPG to replace SARA fairly soon. The current testing and eventual rollout will change features and performance of the DVRs, but hopefully should not change Ext. HDD expansion. So far reports are Ext. HDD do work with the new IPG.

SA/Cisco 8*** series DVR's Tips and tricks using Cox's Passport Echo software
Rovi Passport IPG User Guides for Cox SA/Cisco DVR/STB
post #8643 of 8829
hello,
I have Scientific Atlanta 8300 HDC. SARA V. 1.90.5a119
I am asking if it will ever defrag. the hard drive on it's own?...(without me forcing it)
I am with Suddenlink cable and I think they are starting to roll out in selected areas a new TIVO branded DVR this winter. Then in 2011 everywhere.
They have the external HD turned off....ugh.
thanks for reading.
post #8644 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by dollysods View Post

hello,
I have Scientific Atlanta 8300 HDC. SARA V. 1.90.5a119
I am asking if it will ever defrag. the hard drive on it's own?...(without me forcing it)
I am with Suddenlink cable and I think they are starting to roll out in selected areas a new TIVO branded DVR this winter. Then in 2011 everywhere.
They have the external HD turned off....ugh.
thanks for reading.

I was wondering the same thing about external eSATA HDDs. Does the following proceedure DeFrag the Ext HDD?

HDD Defrag. To defrag drive: (from page 1

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=471859)

1. Set unit's MAIN/PIP channels to non-bufferable channels, such as music channel, so that drive is not being used.
2. Wait a few moments to verify hard disk activity stops (listen).
3. Press Power on front to turn the unit off, then wait.
4. Drive should start defragging after about 5 minutes of inactivity.
NOTE: Process can take several hours to all day and will restart if content is deleted or power down sequence is repeated. For maximum efficiency, consider turning off unit, then do a front panel soft reboot (VOL-, VOL +, INFO) and leave unit powered off until you hear it go into defrag mode. Then just leave it off while you go to work, to bed, etc.
post #8645 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by dollysods View Post

I am asking if it will ever defrag. the hard drive on it's own?...(without me forcing it)

I have never been able to tell if the HDD is fragmented or not, and stopped worrying about this some time ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan_CoxPHX View Post

I was wondering the same thing about external eSATA HDDs. Does the following proceedure DeFrag the Ext HDD?

I would guess that it would, based that the reformat procedure works on both drive.

The details you provided on forcing a defrag got me to wondering if the apparent failure of the iHDD to spin down may indicate that a defrag is in process although I do not hear any disk activity. I have found a procedure to force the spin down and do it periodically as required. Needed to do this with a device in 2010 is inexcusable.
post #8646 of 8829
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPlayer View Post

I have never been able to tell if the HDD is fragmented or not, and stopped worrying about this some time ago.

I've had my 8300 for about 7 years now and have never defragged. AFAIK, the 8300 does not store recordings like PCs store files, so the need for defragging is not the same on the 8300 as it is on a PC. I will admit I don't archive recordings, I watch them and then delete them. I suppose if you archive recordings over time, it might be a little useful to have the 8300 move recordings together, but I suspect it won't make much difference either way. If anyone is worried about defragging because of the need to defrag on PCs, don't.
post #8647 of 8829
AGG!!! SO frustrating... I *REALLY* wanted to watch the UofA football game this morning! I was watching a DVRd show last night when it began recording the game, so I KNOW it recorded. And it was still recording 90 minutes later when I headed off to take a shower and go to bed. This morning, I turn on the DVR and discover that according to the "Recorded List", no shows have recorded since Thursday morning.

I did a hard reboot and waited 'til the time came back, then waited another few mins. Pulled up the "Recorded List". No joy. Most recent recording ended Thursday morning at 7am.

The stupid DVR does this sometimes, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. Last time was maybe 3-4 weeks ago. A hard boot seems to fix the issue, until the next time something goes freaky. Mostly I have problems with it just stopping recording a show for no apparent reason. That happens randomly with no apparent cause, then the next show is recorded fine.

I really hate this DVR and the SARA software.
post #8648 of 8829
Shouda drove to Tucson to see the game. I've never experienced a lost program, but I frequently get programs to stop recording for no reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CottyGee View Post

AGG!!! SO frustrating... I *REALLY* wanted to watch the UofA football game this morning! I was watching a DVRd show last night when it began recording the game, so I KNOW it recorded. And it was still recording 90 minutes later when I headed off to take a shower and go to bed. This morning, I turn on the DVR and discover that according to the "Recorded List", no shows have recorded since Thursday morning.

I did a hard reboot and waited 'til the time came back, then waited another few mins. Pulled up the "Recorded List". No joy. Most recent recording ended Thursday morning at 7am.

The stupid DVR does this sometimes, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. Last time was maybe 3-4 weeks ago. A hard boot seems to fix the issue, until the next time something goes freaky. Mostly I have problems with it just stopping recording a show for no apparent reason. That happens randomly with no apparent cause, then the next show is recorded fine.

I really hate this DVR and the SARA software.
post #8649 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by CottyGee View Post

Mostly I have problems with it just stopping recording a show for no apparent reason. That happens randomly with no apparent cause, then the next show is recorded fine.

I really hate this DVR and the SARA software.

I haven't had one of these for a while, but I thought the problem you describe is often due to low signal strength.

Maybe not......
post #8650 of 8829
Hey Guys,

I tried sweeping through the threads to see if I can find anything relating to my problem. Even with a google search I get nothing but a Comcast and no info is given to help resolve the issue. I hoping maybe someone here has seen this and been able to resolve it.

I recently got a used 8300HD PVR, I successfully activated it but when I boot up, normally you would hear the hard drive start, in this case I don't. Thereafter, I get a message when I press the "List" button, I get a message like this: "There are problems with the program storage disk..." What does this mean? Is this a defective hard drive or defective unit? I'm at a loss and Videotron is not any better at helping resolve the problem. If anyone can help me, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks guys

Cheers
post #8651 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by e39mofo View Post

Hey Guys,

I tried sweeping through the threads to see if I can find anything relating to my problem. Even with a google search I get nothing but a Comcast and no info is given to help resolve the issue. I hoping maybe someone here has seen this and been able to resolve it.

I recently got a used 8300HD PVR, I successfully activated it but when I boot up, normally you would hear the hard drive start, in this case I don't. Thereafter, I get a message when I press the "List" button, I get a message like this: "There are problems with the program storage disk..." What does this mean? Is this a defective hard drive or defective unit? I'm at a loss and Videotron is not any better at helping resolve the problem. If anyone can help me, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks guys

Cheers

I'm a little confused here because you offer different details in different threads. In the thread you started, you report that everything is OK now. Not true? In the US, the cable company wouldn't initiate a privately purchased 8300, so you won't find a lot of experience from US readers.
post #8652 of 8829
US or not, I would assume that a problem that occurs on hardware is not limited to the country. In the other thread I mentioned the HEX number situation resolved but not the hard drive issue which has nothing to do with which service provider I am with. I was hoping someone to help shed some light in the actual hardware thread and see if anyone has experienced a related issue with the hard drive.
post #8653 of 8829
Good luck, because most people reading the thread are in the US. If we have such a problem we call the cable company out or take the box in for a trade.

The only thing i can suggest is a reformat of the HD. Instructions somewhere in this thread (first post?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by e39mofo View Post

US or not, I would assume that a problem that occurs on hardware is not limited to the country. In the other thread I mentioned the HEX number situation resolved but not the hard drive issue which has nothing to do with which service provider I am with. I was hoping someone to help shed some light in the actual hardware thread and see if anyone has experienced a related issue with the hard drive.
post #8654 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by e39mofo View Post

Hey Guys,

I tried sweeping through the threads to see if I can find anything relating to my problem. Even with a google search I get nothing but a Comcast and no info is given to help resolve the issue. I hoping maybe someone here has seen this and been able to resolve it.

I recently got a used 8300HD PVR, I successfully activated it but when I boot up, normally you would hear the hard drive start, in this case I don't. Thereafter, I get a message when I press the "List" button, I get a message like this: "There are problems with the program storage disk..." What does this mean? Is this a defective hard drive or defective unit? I'm at a loss and Videotron is not any better at helping resolve the problem. If anyone can help me, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks guys

Cheers

Click the SARA link in my signature to go to the first post in this thread, find and follow these procedures one at a time in this order to see if any fix your problem: Hard Reboot, Total Reset and Last Resort. The procedures are in the diagnostics section which is at about the 75% point in the post.

If none of those procedures worked, you may have to exchange the DVR or have it repaired.
post #8655 of 8829
Thanks RussB, I appreciate all your help. Cheers
post #8656 of 8829
I have the following 8300HD:

ROM 1.8.0.1401
SARA 1.91.36.103

When recording, I'm unable to get a signal on any channels besides the one being recorded. Also, if a recording is scheduled, but the DVR isn't tuned to that channel at the time, it won't record.

Are these known issues with my firmware, or could it be defective hardware?
post #8657 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.C. Eagle View Post

I have the following 8300HD:

ROM 1.8.0.1401
SARA 1.91.36.103

When recording, I'm unable to get a signal on any channels besides the one being recorded. Also, if a recording is scheduled, but the DVR isn't tuned to that channel at the time, it won't record.

Are these known issues with my firmware, or could it be defective hardware?

I haven't seen any reports like yours concerning specific firmware. It sounds like only one tuner is working. You can use PIP to confirm this.

The DVR may be broken or just needs to be rebooted. Try a regular reboot and then try the procedures in my last post to e39mofo. If none of the procedures work, then exchange the DVR.
post #8658 of 8829
Hi all,
I was browsing through here but can't seem to find the answer and my cable company has no clue.

For two shows (The Event and Glee) on HD channels, I try to set the custom record time for 2 min before/after the show so as not to miss anything. However, after the show airs, it defaults back to the time the show airs (for example 8-9:01). It only does this on FOX and NBC HD; other shows always save the recording time. Is there something I'm not doing when I set the time or does the 8300 HD override the time each week? Thank you.
post #8659 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by ef2001 View Post

Hi all,
I was browsing through here but can't seem to find the answer and my cable company has no clue.

For two shows (The Event and Glee) on HD channels, I try to set the custom record time for 2 min before/after the show so as not to miss anything. However, after the show airs, it defaults back to the time the show airs (for example 8-9:01). It only does this on FOX and NBC HD; other shows always save the recording time. Is there something I'm not doing when I set the time or does the 8300 HD override the time each week? Thank you.

In most cases for shows that only air once a week it will reset to the time in the guide when the show gets scheduled to record each week. I'm on a fairly new software version with Cablevision and I can get it to keep the padding on some shows but not all.
post #8660 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by RemyM View Post

In most cases for shows that only air once a week it will reset to the time in the guide when the show gets scheduled to record each week. I'm on a fairly new software version with Cablevision and I can get it to keep the padding on some shows but not all.

Thank you very much!
post #8661 of 8829
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ef2001 View Post

Hi all,
I was browsing through here but can't seem to find the answer and my cable company has no clue.

For two shows (The Event and Glee) on HD channels, I try to set the custom record time for 2 min before/after the show so as not to miss anything. However, after the show airs, it defaults back to the time the show airs (for example 8-9:01). It only does this on FOX and NBC HD; other shows always save the recording time. Is there something I'm not doing when I set the time or does the 8300 HD override the time each week? Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RemyM View Post

In most cases for shows that only air once a week it will reset to the time in the guide when the show gets scheduled to record each week. I'm on a fairly new software version with Cablevision and I can get it to keep the padding on some shows but not all.

It's in the First Post, but it's buried down in the Remaining Bugs section:

Quote:


Bug(s) Remaining after 1.89.x.x (Not all-inclusive)
  • Start/Stop times for scheduled recordings set for more often than "once a week" can be altered and changes saved. However, changes for weekly or less frequent recordings are only applied to next scheduled recording and not saved for future recordings.

I probably should update the post, but this thread gets very few hits these days and we're migrating to Passport soon here in Phoenix and other Cox markets.
post #8662 of 8829
Is there a way to use the 8300 to schedule/record shows w/o having digital cable contract? ie if I bought one on ebay would I actually be able to use it with my current "basic cable" comcast contract?
post #8663 of 8829
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pglenn View Post

Is there a way to use the 8300 to schedule/record shows w/o having digital cable contract? ie if I bought one on ebay would I actually be able to use it with my current "basic cable" comcast contract?

There have been some rare cases where the cableco has approved use of a purchased DVR, but that has been few and far between and AFAIK always required a subscription to digital cable. There have also been rare cases where soneone leased a DVR with digital cable, then cancelled digital cable and was still able to use the DVR, but I don't know if the redcordings were SD or HD. If you cancel digital cable, you might still be able to get local channels in HD, but it all depends on your cableco and I suggest you contact them to see what their policies are.
post #8664 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by ef2001 View Post

Hi all,
I was browsing through here but can't seem to find the answer and my cable company has no clue.

For two shows (The Event and Glee) on HD channels, I try to set the custom record time for 2 min before/after the show so as not to miss anything. However, after the show airs, it defaults back to the time the show airs (for example 8-9:01). It only does this on FOX and NBC HD; other shows always save the recording time. Is there something I'm not doing when I set the time or does the 8300 HD override the time each week? Thank you.

There are some workarounds for this but they have their own problems.

The first workaround is to create a manual recording that repeats every week with your preferred start and stop times. The problem with this is that the title is "Manual Recording" instead of the show title and the description is of the previous show which is on at the start time. Also, it records repeats.

The second workaround is to modify the start and stop times each week. If the recording type is "On this channel this day in this time slot", it works pretty well but you get repeats. If the recording type is "First Run only on this channel", sometimes it goes back to the start and stop times from the program guide when the DVR updates the scheduled programs each day so this has to be done on the day the program will be recorded. The problem with both recording methods is that you have to remember to do it, but if you don't the program still gets recorded with the start and stop times from the program guide.
post #8665 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by pglenn View Post

Is there a way to use the 8300 to schedule/record shows w/o having digital cable contract? ie if I bought one on ebay would I actually be able to use it with my current "basic cable" comcast contract?

No, the 8300 has to be authorized by the cable company to work properly and most if not all U.S. cable companies lease the 8300 to customers. In Canada, some cable companies allow customers to buy the 8300.
post #8666 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

. . .
I probably should update the post, but this thread gets very few hits these days and we're migrating to Passport soon here in Phoenix and other Cox markets.

Comcast is replacing all the SARA DVR software with DVR software based on the A.25 Motorola DVR software on all their cable systems that use Cisco/Scientific Atlanta equipment. This includes Houston, Texas. Also, they are replacing the Program Guide. Comcast is also replacing their last Passport Echo system they have with this guide. The conversion was scheduled to be complete in 2010 but has slipped to early 2011. For more information, click on the following link.

http://blog.comcast.com/2010/05/new-...ble-boxes.html

Note: There are links to the User Guide and the FAQ.
post #8667 of 8829
Does anyone know of, or have, a list of the issues fixed in each revision of SARA?
post #8668 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlarkin_dc View Post

Does anyone know of, or have, a list of the issues fixed in each revision of SARA?

Look at the end of the first post in this thread. You can click the SARA link in my signature.
post #8669 of 8829
I have a Comcast 8300HD (not passport), so I don't have the SA remote, just the Comcast one. The window in front shows the time instead of the channel that the DVR is set to. How do I change it to default to the channel rather than the time. I've been searching but I can't find directions for this.

Thanks,

Rich N.
post #8670 of 8829
Quote:
Originally Posted by raidbuck View Post

I have a Comcast 8300HD (not passport), so I don't have the SA remote, just the Comcast one. The window in front shows the time instead of the channel that the DVR is set to. How do I change it to default to the channel rather than the time. I've been searching but I can't find directions for this.

Thanks,

Rich N.

Have you looked in Settings menu?
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