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Explorer 8000 or 8300 Hard Drive upgrade - Page 2

post #31 of 221
has anyone TRIED this yet? I have the SATA port and would love to add a 300 gig Hitachi to it. Are there any limitations or recommendations on RPM speed or anything? I plan on going to NewEgg.com or perhaps even Best Buy for their return policy and pickin up an External Inclosure for a SATA drive and hooking it up this weekend.
post #32 of 221
Quote:


Are there any limitations or recommendations on RPM speed or anything? I plan on going to NewEgg.com or perhaps even Best Buy for their return policy and pickin up an External Inclosure for a SATA drive and hooking it up this weekend.

I have *tried* (if you want to call it that) test-fitting a normal run-of-the-mill SATA cable, and it did not fit. The connection they're using has been referred to as "e.sata", which has similar pinouts, the same signaling, but a different connector more suited to external use.

The Highpoint external case listed a couple posts back is probably your best low-price candidate, and the special Maxtor DVR something-or-other described elsewhere is probably your turnkey deal, if you can find it anywhere.

I've had good luck with Newegg, and the Highpoint case is probably what I will do when I get the nerve up. The link above listed is for the retail package. I think I saw an "OEM" package for a few bucks cheaper.

Personally, I doubt you'll find either of those at Best Buy just yet.

I know no requirements for RPMs, and don't think it'll matter. SA is using Maxtor drives, because of the QuickView buffering, I believe. Pretty sure any SATA drive in an enclosure with correct cabling should do.

We also have unconfirmed reports from a local Bright House CSR that the external SATA is not yet enabled. See this post. Of course that may be an uninformed CSR just making something up. It's been known to happen...

Good luck to the "explorer" that ventures and gives it a try. We anxiously await your report!
post #33 of 221
Did anyone try this yet? BillJr? The posts were a couple weeks ago. I tried with an external SATA enclosure but like others, it did not work for me because I did not have the correct e.SATA cable.
I had purchased a highpoint e.SATA product months ago and was very unhappy with it and sent it back. I hope that other companies are offering similar products but haven't found any yet.
post #34 of 221
Quote:


I had purchased a highpoint e.SATA product months ago and was very unhappy with it and sent it back.

What was your dissatisfaction with the highpoint e.sata? Curious, did it not work at all (for your configuration) or was it some sort of quality issue?

Going in knowing that it is a lower-priced more generic solution than Maxtor's (likely expensive and over-software'd) solution, I'm personally more preferential to the generic.

Sorry to say I have not developed the nerve to try this just yet...
post #35 of 221
i finaly open my 8300 box and swaped hard drives... funny things started happening to the box... gave an er.01-10 then started counting F000-999 then start over again.. couldn't read whats on the PVRs hard drive with windows, coudn't even copy the dang thing. would the os load on its own through the cable and install on the new hard drive? any thoughts on copying copying the drives binary to the other drive.. everything went back to normal when i put it back together... the only thing i didn't do is hoocked up the cable when i was screwing around with the box... think it might load/install on it own?
post #36 of 221
also any idea on how to load the OS into the new hard drive..
post #37 of 221
[/quote/]My local tech for TWC says that they will rent external SATA drives for the 8300 but that people (like us who are smart) can likely hook up their own. The data is encrypted on the HD, so he says there will be no extraction and you couldn't connect the SATA drive to a different 8300 (lets say yours breaks and you get a new one) cause the thing is keyed to the 8300 which you record it on.

My cable co is only using the 8300HD for multiroom DVr where other 3250s and such in the house can pull the shows off.[/quote]

The 8300HD for multiroom DVR? Cn it do this? I was under the impression the 8300 came in different models, one for HD DVR and one for SD multiroom dvr. I thought it had to be one or the other?

Can someone tell me how the multiroom function on the 8300HD unit works and how to set it up?
post #38 of 221
On my 8300HD I can only store about 40 hrs. of programming, which in my case is a huge limitation. Reason being, I travel a lot and recently returned from a 3 week trip only to find that I missed many of the shows I had programmed to record due to this lack of HD space. I rarely even record in HDTV as I would like as it eats up so much HD to do so. SA should really do something about this glaring mistake, especially on any DVR that records HD.
post #39 of 221
Guys,

If you haven't already, read up on this thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=516559

In summary:
The external SATA port to add an external drive is enabled on most (all?) 8300's that are running the SARA operating system. Passport OS units (while some claim is a better interface) does not have this feature enabled yet.

The OS is stored on the hard drive, so if you put in a new empty drive, your unit will not boot.

Also, the recordings on your external AND internal drive are encoded with a hardware-specific key just for your unit. If you move either the internal or external drive to another unit, your recordings are unusable.

It is not known what file system type, partition type, file format, or even what type of encoding is used, so copying your old drive to a new larger one is going to be a dodgy affair. You'll probably end up with a partition size of your original drive, with unusable extra space on your larger drive.

After catching up on what others have done so far, then maybe let's talk here about that encryption schema...

/temple
post #40 of 221
"The Maxtor QuickView Expander external drive provides up to 300 hours of high-speed storage for set-top boxes equipped with external Serial ATA ports. The drive takes advantage of Maxtor's QuickView storage technology, designed for streaming media applications and powering most of the DVRs on the market today."

I HAVE NOT USED IT SO I DO NOT KNOW IF IT WORKS

I CANT POST URLs
SO GO TO THE MAXTOR WEBSITE AND SEARCH FOR
"QuickView Expander "


GOOD LUCK
post #41 of 221
i got the

Scientific Atlanta 8300HD 250GB DVR Upgrade

at

DiscounTechnology

easy set up

it works great
post #42 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by paaupperle View Post

i got the

Scientific Atlanta 8300HD 250GB DVR Upgrade

at

DiscounTechnology

easy set up

it works great

Could you elaborate more? What is your local cable co.? What did it cost? Can you upgrade through your local cable co.?
post #43 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajieboy View Post

Could you elaborate more?

Probably referring to Netegriti 250GB eSATA drive:

250GB - $199.95
http://discountechnology.com/s.nl/sc...it.A/id.220/.f

160GB - $159.95
http://discountechnology.com/s.nl/sc...it.A/id.249/.f

Similar to the Maxtor QuickView expander drives:
http://www.weaknees.com/maxtor_qvx.php
post #44 of 221
I've used the 300GB Maxtor on my Scientific Atlanta 8300HD and life with Cablevision is much much nicer.
After about three months NO problems to report.
post #45 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDugan View Post

I've used the 300GB Maxtor on my Scientific Atlanta 8300HD and life with Cablevision is much much nicer.
After about three months NO problems to report.

It would be extremely helpful if you would include your operating system and cable co./city. Thanks.
post #46 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by tattooedbones View Post

There are very clear instructions on how to hook up a SATA drive with the 8300, as well as a list of approved drives.

Thourough Instructions? ...Yes.
List of compatible drives? ...No.

The Explorer Digital Video Recorder User's Guide states specifically to...
"Contact your cable service provider for a list of approved hard drive models for use with the 8300 DVR models."
post #47 of 221
I have successfully installed a larger IDE HD inside a SA 8300HD Explorer STB on the Cox system. You simply remove the 3 tamper screws (reverse star screws), tak eout the old HD (in this case it was a black Western Digital 7,200 RPM IDE) and install your new IDE drive (recommended to get a quiet and "media" type drive - but any IDE drive will work). Make sure you set the drive jumper to "cable select" and then plug the power back into your STB. The display will have all sorts of characters on it, and then start counting down backwards in hex, the time will appear and the box will act like its locked up. You can either wait for about 30-45 minutes until it resets or just unplug it again, wait 1 minute, then let it do its normal boot up (as if power was lost). All will be functioning as normal - check your new space available in the option screen or in the hidden diag screen.

I originally jad an external SATA enclosure, but was annoyed at leaving the drive on all the time so I looked for a better answer - and found one. You might want to save the original HD for return to your cable company as this could be considered hacking - even though you are not changing any software, just increasing the storage capacity - they still don't like it when you open their boxes. When/if you go to re-install the facotry HD, you will not get the hex countdown (which I assume is a formatting of the drive???) you will just experience the aforementioned "locked up" symptom which is cured by a power cycle/reboot.

This would save on the cost of a external SATA enclosure as well as the special eSATA cable.

Hope this helps some people out there - enjoy!

post #48 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjamezz View Post

I have successfully installed a larger IDE HD inside a SA 8300HD Explorer STB on the Cox system. You simply remove the 3 tamper screws (reverse star screws), tak eout the old HD (in this case it was a black Western Digital 7,200 RPM IDE) and install your new IDE drive (recommended to get a quiet and "media" type drive - but any IDE drive will work). Make sure you set the drive jumper to "cable select" and then plug the power back into your STB. The display will have all sorts of characters on it, and then start counting down backwards in hex, the time will appear and the box will act like its locked up. You can either wait for about 30-45 minutes until it resets or just unplug it again, wait 1 minute, then let it do its normal boot up (as if power was lost). All will be functioning as normal - check your new space available in the option screen or in the hidden diag screen.

I originally jad an external SATA enclosure, but was annoyed at leaving the drive on all the time so I looked for a better answer - and found one. You might want to save the original HD for return to your cable company as this could be considered hacking - even though you are not changing any software, just increasing the storage capacity - they still don't like it when you open their boxes. When/if you go to re-install the facotry HD, you will not get the hex countdown (which I assume is a formatting of the drive???) you will just experience the aforementioned "locked up" symptom which is cured by a power cycle/reboot.

This would save on the cost of a external SATA enclosure as well as the special eSATA cable.

Hope this helps some people out there - enjoy!


This is a big breakthrough, jjamezz!

So let me get this straight:
The SARA operating system is stored on the hard drive.
You installed a new, blank internal drive, correct?
If that is the case, it sounds like your local Cox system pushed the OS to the box (the 45 minute delay), and set it up for operation.
Did you compare if any of your settings were retained or re-downloaded (i.e. scheduled recordings, etc.)?
Of course, your saved recordings were lost... Let's not give false hope to anyone reading this thread...
--or--
did you "clone" your old drive to the new drive in some way?

So the internal drive is a Parallel IDE, and external is SATA, eh?! What size did you put in? (trying to determine if there's a limitation for maximum size (i.e. LBA48 limit of 160gb.)

Agreed, if you start having trouble with the box, you'll have to put your old drive back in before the service tech arrives. Don't want to be switching drives in front of them before they take your box!

Thanks for pioneering, please post more details so others can benefit!
/temple
post #49 of 221
jjamezz,
Any additional details you can provide???
Thanks!
/temple
post #50 of 221
Yes, a 300G SATA drive works just great! I have tried a Maxtor Media Drive (quieter, and designed for streaming media operations) and it was just fine. The 8300HD will automatically decide on what to do with the new drive once you follow the proper installation instructions. Note: don't forget to get the eSATA cable, it's NOT just a run of the mill SATA computer cable.

-- How much TV do you wanna watch anyways??? Considering a stock 8300HD comes with an 80G or 160G drive, a 300G drive will more than double the recording space!
post #51 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by templeofdoom View Post

This is a big breakthrough, jjamezz!

So let me get this straight:
The SARA operating system is stored on the hard drive.
You installed a new, blank internal drive, correct?
If that is the case, it sounds like your local Cox system pushed the OS to the box (the 45 minute delay), and set it up for operation.
Did you compare if any of your settings were retained or re-downloaded (i.e. scheduled recordings, etc.)?
Of course, your saved recordings were lost... Let's not give false hope to anyone reading this thread...
--or--
did you "clone" your old drive to the new drive in some way?

So the internal drive is a Parallel IDE, and external is SATA, eh?! What size did you put in? (trying to determine if there's a limitation for maximum size (i.e. LBA48 limit of 160gb.)

Agreed, if you start having trouble with the box, you'll have to put your old drive back in before the service tech arrives. Don't want to be switching drives in front of them before they take your box!

Thanks for pioneering, please post more details so others can benefit!
/temple

The re-load of the software didn't need to happen. From what I understand while reading some technical specs on the 8300HD box, the software is actually on a boot-ROM and the hard drive is used for settings and recordings. I can confirm that if you replace the internal HD you WILL loose all of your recorded shows as well as your scheduled recordings and settings.

When you replace your internal HD and not the external HD, you will get a "external HD is corrupted and needs to be formatted" error (similar to when you install a new external HD). Replacing the internal HD with the factory HD made the external HD recognizable again though.

All of the scheduled recordings were erased, as well as making the ones on my external unrecognizable. I assume the box makes the 2 drives form some sort of DRM/encryption bond, otherwise you could take your external HD to someone elses house and use it on their box to watch your shows, or share that PPV with others or something...

At first I tried the cloning routine using Symantec Ghost, and actually an array of other software programs known to read Linux, NTFS, and even FAT/32 hard drives--nothing worked. The drive is totally unrecognizable to any OS when I tested. It is not even recognized as a drive (other than in BIOS) so it wasn't just a matter of encrypted data, you cannot even "see" what's on the drive(s).


I have tried plugging the power cord of the external HD into the power port of the 8300HD box so I could switch the external HD on/off - but the ext. drive would not boot fast enough for the 8300HD to recognize it. I tried two different external enclosures thiniking that maybe the power supply of one of them didn't come up to spec fast enough, and both times it still didn't work. I even thought about splitting the 8300HD internal power supply connector, and using a SATA power adaptor for the ext. drive, but that didn't work either. The 8300HD appears to go looking for an ext. drive during its "POST" process, not during the boot process.

Basically, I just wanted to increase the storage space on my 8300HD. I wasn't looking to hack it or change anything else. It would be great to find a way to make the ext. HD power switchable. It could be done by SA to either make the eSATA hot-swappable or make it turn on the switched AC plus first, then boot the box as an easy option to work around changng their software too much. SA engineers - anyone listening? hehe!
post #52 of 221
I upgraded my internal HDD.

Original: Maxtor 160GB 4R160L0 5400RPM/2MB Cache
NEW: Maxtor 200GB 6B200R0 7200RPM/16MB Cache
(I already had this one, wanted to try it before bying a 500GB)
SARA: 1.88.14.3
OS: 6.14.67.1

There is NO tamper switch. the only thing you have to watch out for is the void sticker on the HDD. If you touch it, the acid from your finger will uncover a VOID label...

Connected the power cord, display "ERR60", "ERR63" then a countdown of about 8 minutes, display "PROC" then "UPGR" then "Boot". After 2 minutes the STB would "click off"... Waited 5-10 minutes a screen appeared on tv "Interactive programming guide, Loading Data. One moment." then the display showed "HDD-" I could hear the hdd... Waited 10 min. I pressed power on the remote and my default chanel came up. All of my stored shows where gone as expected. The attachments shows the before and after...

Diagnostics page 33/34/35 shows "unavailable" before and after...

I don't understand the "Free Space" on diag. page 18, it shows very small cluster (LBA) count??? Before and After.
LL
LL
post #53 of 221
I purchased a Kingwin external SATA drive case at Fry's, but the SATA 1 end of the cable is too large to fit in the small opening of the case (I checked and the connecters match, just can't squeeze thorugh the cutout on the case. (the eSATA end connects perfectly to the SA 8300HD). Anyone had any experience with this case? I bought the cable from directechnology (Comax cable).

cheers!

Eric (San Diego)

PS. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Directechnology's pick up location is just blocks from where I live!
post #54 of 221
Jjamezz,

Do you need some sort of tool to remove the reverse star tamper screws on the SA8300HD and, if so, where do you get one?
post #55 of 221
Lucky you! And to think I had to pay more in UPS charges than for the cable!!! hehe!
post #56 of 221
Well of course you need a special tool, you don't think they would make it THAT easy do you??? Luckily, the tool (more precisely the bit) is readily available at any electronics parts store. It's referred to as a security torx bit - though I can't remember the number it is...
post #57 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjamezz View Post

Well of course you need a special tool, you don't think they would make it THAT easy do you??? Luckily, the tool (more precisely the bit) is readily available at any electronics parts store. It's referred to as a security torx bit - though I can't remember the number it is...

Anybody know which bit it is? I'd rather order just the one needed instead of a whole set (and take the chance that it won't be in it). Thanks.
post #58 of 221
I upgraded my SA8300HD (Cablevision, Brooklyn, SARA software) with the use of a 250GB IDE harddisk.($60 from ebay). Bought an external HD enclosure(internal Interface:IDE) SATA external interface (Newegg for $35) and an SATA I to eSATA cable (discountechnology for $18 + $7 shipping).

I now have 160GB(box) + 250GB = 410GB. More room for HD recording

The total cost for this upgrade is just $116. I would rather do this than open up the box to put in a new 500GB HD that cost over $300-$400 and also the fear of damage to the box.

The only disadvantage with the external HDD is that you have to leave it on permanently. If you are not concerned about this, then you can use any old IDE HD(If an SATA HD is not in hand) of anysize with any enclosure with an internal Interface of IDE (if you are using an IDE HD) and an SATA external interface and your ready to go. Don't be fooled by manufacturers selling an external HDD specific for SA8300HD. You can build it yourself.


Installation Procedure; Upplug the cable box.
Connect the external HD to the cable box with the SATA I and eSATA cable.
Plug the external HDD and power it up.
Plug the cablebox.
Wait a couple of minutes and the you will be prompted for a format of the HD.
Click yes and you are ready to go.
Note: You might have to upplug the cable box and the ext. HD before you see an increase in recording space. Follow the above instruction again. Always make sure you power up the ext. HD before the Cablebox.

What am interested in is how to edit the content of the encrypted ext. HD on a PC. Any ideas out there?
post #59 of 221
Hi all,

Some informations I want to share with everyone looking to upgrade their 8300 SD with a external drive. I have been looking around for this for some time now and I finally decide to go ahead and bought some stuff. So here's my recipe:

PVR : Explorer 8300 SD, OS -> SARA v1.88.14.3
Cable company : Vidéotron (Québec - Canada)
External enclosure : Vantec NexStar 3 (eSata + USB)
HD : Western Digital 250G Sata2 7200 RPM 16Mo cache (WD2500KS)

Plugs everything and work perfect!

Total cost 204$ CND or 178$ US (without tax!) (150$ hd and 54$ for enclosure)

So for those who are not afraid to do some hands-on, this is great value compare to some options available out there like:

Quickview QVX Expander - 160 Gig for 189$ US

or

From DiscounTechnology DVR 250G 199$ US


Hope this help!

Steve
post #60 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMOSteel View Post

Anybody know which bit it is? I'd rather order just the one needed instead of a whole set (and take the chance that it won't be in it). Thanks.

It's T10. You'll also need a 5/64" allen wrench and a phillips screwdriver.

My 8300 SD had a Western Digital WD800 (80GB) EIDE drive. The file system was not recognized by Windows XP. We need somone to write a driver for the file system. Anybody?

Windows does see the drive, it just doesn't show up with a drive letter because the file system is unrecgonizable. In Windows XP, you can see unassigned drives by going to:
Start|Programs|Administrative Tools|Computer Management. Under Storage, go to "Disk Management".
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