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DCT6412 Hard Drive Upgrade? - Page 6

post #151 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by chs4000 View Post

After swapping in the 1TB formatted drive, it indeed shows up as a 1TB drive in the diagnostics screen, it calls it "1000GB", but shows remaining recording capacity of about 40GB, 75% full, after recording with both tuners (HD content) all evening & overnight. It's acting as if it's a 160GB drive in that respect. I don't know what to do next, perhaps just keep filling it up and see what happens at 100%. It'll probably just start deleting older recordings to keep it at 160GB, even though it shows in the diagnostics screen that it is aware it has a 1000GB formatted drive to work. Think I did something wrong?

It sounds like your cable box rejected the image and reformatted to 160 GB, which is odd b/c it reportedly can't work with drives larger than 1 TB...
Maybe what it can't handle is formatting external drives larger than 1 TB.

Perhaps the largest it will look at is 1000GB, but that doesn't necessarily mean that all of that space is formatted for its use.

Which image did you load, and how did you go about it?
And also, can you post the Diagnostics menu numbers for total remaining bytes, and the bytes used by the System, GPFS, DVR Content and DVR Index?

I wonder if the hard drive geometry needs to be much closer to the Western Digital drives that are being used by me and DCTneo...
post #152 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post

Which image did you load, and how did you go about it?
And also, can you post the Diagnostics menu numbers for total remaining bytes, and the bytes used by the System, GPFS, DVR Content and DVR Index?

I wonder if the hard drive geometry needs to be much closer to the Western Digital drives that are being used by me and DCTneo...

I will get you the information you requested. I followed the Active@ Disk Image (Windows-based) procedure, and it took about five hours to format the 1.5TB drive. I do have a 1TB drive I can try, a Western Digital "WD10EALS". Doing my best right now to liberate it of its data, so I can reformat it using the 1TB image.
post #153 of 438
post #154 of 438
Yeah, it certainly decided to reformat the drive to 160 GB.

The fact that it displays 1000 GB doesn't really mean anything (and in this case, it means even less because the drive is really 1500 GB).

I ran a quick test where I popped a totally zeroed-out 250 GB hard drive in my DVR and it formatted it to 160 GB and still showed 250 GB on the Diagnostics screen.

So, for some reason, your DVR decided to reject the image and reformat it to 160 GB. The question is why...
Maybe the Seagate 1.5 TB drive was just too different from the Western Digital 1 TB drive that was used to generate the image.

Or maybe it goes back to the warning that the Motorola's don't like drives larger than 1 TB (I'm a bit skeptical of this).

I'll try to devise a test.
post #155 of 438
Image write to the 1TB WD10EALS has commenced! ETA of five hours.

Is there any practical way I can upgrade the firmware from 18.76, or is there probably no benefit to this? The DVR I have seems to work fine with 18.76, but I don't know if I'm missing out on any features.
post #156 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post

Yeah, it certainly decided to reformat the drive to 160 GB.

The fact that it displays 1000 GB doesn't really mean anything (and in this case, it means even less because the drive is really 1500 GB).

I ran a quick test where I popped a totally zeroed-out 250 GB hard drive in my DVR and it formatted it to 160 GB and still showed 250 GB on the Diagnostics screen.

So, for some reason, your DVR decided to reject the image and reformat it to 160 GB. The question is why...
Maybe the Seagate 1.5 TB drive was just too different from the Western Digital 1 TB drive that was used to generate the image.

Or maybe it goes back to the warning that the Motorola's don't like drives larger than 1 TB (I'm a bit skeptical of this).

I'll try to devise a test.

Are you sure both of your DVR's are using the same firmware/software levels?
Heck-they might have made changes to the filesystem or partition layout between releases and maybe the system say a problem like your image is a newer version than his dvr expected. They usually have versioning built into filesystems. I dunno, but this would for sure cause a problem, kinda like expecting Windows 1.0 to read a NTFS filesystem.
post #157 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by chs4000 View Post

Image write to the 1TB WD10EALS has commenced! ETA of five hours.

Is there any practical way I can upgrade the firmware from 18.76, or is there probably no benefit to this? The DVR I have seems to work fine with 18.76, but I don't know if I'm missing out on any features.

No, there is no way to update the firmware. The cable company is in complete control of that.

I doubt there are any substantial differences between your version 18.76 and my version 18.77.
post #158 of 438
Do they use custom firmware/software that might have a bearing on whether I can upgrade my drive, or do you have reason to believe that a DHC6416 under any cable company's jurisdiction should be capable of an upgrade outlined in the above procedure? My cable provider is Wave Broadband, by the way.
post #159 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by chs4000 View Post

Do they use custom firmware/software that might have a bearing on whether I can upgrade my drive, or do you have reason to believe that a DHC6416 under any cable company's jurisdiction should be capable of an upgrade outlined in the above procedure? My cable provider is Wave Broadband, by the way.

I would be very surprised if there were any differences that would prevent this from working. It's far more likely to be a problem with hard drive geometry or the 1.5 TB size of the Seagate drive, or even something messed up in my Active@ disk image.

DCTneo and I are on different cable systems and are using different firmware versions and even totally different models of Motorola cable boxes and I am using the image that was generated from his. In fact, he went to his brother's home to get the external drive formatted, and his brother is on a different system...so there is ample evidence to suggest that the problem probably lies elsewhere.
post #160 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Are you sure both of your DVR's are using the same firmware/software levels?
Heck-they might have made changes to the filesystem or partition layout between releases and maybe the system say a problem like your image is a newer version than his dvr expected. They usually have versioning built into filesystems. I dunno, but this would for sure cause a problem, kinda like expecting Windows 1.0 to read a NTFS filesystem.

It's possible, but I feel it's unlikely. Otherwise there would be a major caveat listed in those eBay sales where the 1 TB drives are listed (this is for sure the same method they employ).

And changing the version of the custom IBM GPFS filesystem could be a big undertaking that would require a *lot* of testing to make sure it didn't blow away DVR recordings, etc. And there'd be no benefit...we're talking about a maximum of 1 TB of data (2 TB, if your eSATA connector is enabled)...that's nothing for even the oldest versions of GPFS; that filesystem deals in petabytes on a regular basis.

I've been running some tests that suggest Active@ Disk Image is not as good as I had thought. It appears there may be a problem preventing the image from properly restoring on many drives (it may be a hard drive geometry issue). Everybody should use the Linux image to create your 1 TB DVR drive.

I'm continuing to test this and will provide detailed information as soon as I have it.
post #161 of 438
Sorry all, but it looks like there is a problem with using the Active@ Disk Image to create your 1 TB DVR hard drive. I'm not sure how many would be impacted, but I strongly suggest that you wait until I finish some tests.

*****Update*****
There does appear to be a problem with the images, even the Linux image. I don't want to waste anybody's time, so I'd hold off on trying to image your drive until I complete a series of tests. This will take a while, as each test is several hours. Some could be up to 12 hours for an image to complete I'll keep posting results.
post #162 of 438
************************************************************ ************************************************************ ***************
*****DISCLAIMER: The following post is outdated. The steps outlined work, but there is an easier set of instructions that accomplish the same thing.
*****If you are looking to upgrade your DVR hard drive to 1 TB, see this post!
************************************************************ ************************************************************ ***************




While I continue looking into the imaging issues, here's the original g4u (Ghost for Unix) image that I used to get my DVR upgraded to 1 TB.

I know for certain that it works with the Western Digital WD10EVDS (that's the hard drive that I'm currently using in my DVR). This is the image that was created by DCTneo from a Western Digital WD10EARS drive that he connected to the eSATA port of his brothers DVR.

It's a little tricky to restore the image, as g4u requires a FTP server. So most people will need two computers in order to do this (you could do it on one, but it would be more complicated for most people). I took screenshots of the process and will later put together a post that goes through it step-by-step.

For now, here's a fairly detailed overview (minus screenshots) of how Windows users can do this:

Part A - Install FileZilla Server
Download FileZilla Server from here.
This is FTP software that will deliver the 1 TB hard drive image to g4u (Ghost for Unix). Take all default options when installing it.
*This will run on 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. If you use Windows Server, you can just use it's FTP software.

After installing FileZilla Server, go to the Start Menu and open it. You need to go to the Edit menu and choose Users. Use the Add button to create a new user. I suggest naming the user the same as your Windows login name. Leave all defaults for everything. (Important: Don't bother setting a password for the user, just leave it blank. If you insist on having a password, write it down; you'll need it in Part C)

Now that a new user has been added, you need to select a folder to use as its home directory. It will be easiest to select your profile folder (ex: mine, on Windows 7, is C:\\Users\\TNO821 ... If I was using Windows XP, it would be C:\\Documents and Settings\\TNO821)

That's it for Part A.

Part B - Extract the image file to your FTP home directory

Now you need to unzip the image file (downloaded from the link at the top of this post) to the folder that you set as your FTP home directory. Once extracted, you'll have a 927 MB "dctg4uc2.gz" image file. (The download above is only about 1.5 MB...it is a .zip file that contains the 927 MB .gz file). So in my case, I extract the dctg4uc2.gz file to C:\\Users\\TNO821.


Part C - Use g4u to restore the image file to your 1 TB hard drive

Now you need to use a second computer to run g4u and grab the image file from the FTP server. The easiest way to do this is to run it from one of the many Linux LiveCDs.

I recommend Ultimate Boot CD 5.0. You can download the .iso from here.

Burn the .iso to CD and boot your computer with it (this will have to be a different computer from the one running the FTP server, and it will need to be networked with it).

At the boot menu, choose HDD > Disk Cloning > g4u V2.4.

You will then see the Welcome menu for g4u. Select the default option 1. Start g4u

It'll take a few moments to load up, after which you'll see a g4u> command prompt.

Type disks and press enter.
This will display info about the hard drives that g4u sees. You want to be sure to write down the name assigned to your 1 TB hard drive.
If, like me, you are playing it safe and disconnect all other drives except for your 1 TB hard drive (and your CD/DVD drive), you'll see that g4u assigns the name wd0.
(the second hard drive would be assigned the name wd1, and so on)

The only thing left to do is issue the command for g4u to pull the image from the FTP server and load it onto your 1 TB hard drive.
The command is named slurpdisk
The syntax is slurpdisk Username@FTP_Server_address Image_Name Hard_Drive_ID

So I typed:
slurpdisk TNO821@10.10.10.5 dctg4uc2.gz wd0

You'll then be prompted for a password (If you closely followed my directions in part A, you didn't bother setting a password). Leave the password blank and press enter. The image will now begin loading. This will take at least several hours.


The image is currently being restored to one of my WD10EARS drives and I will test it in my DVR by tomorrow morning.

The trickiest part of this whole thing is making sure that you have the permissions required to pull the image from the FTP server. If you get any access denied error messages when issuing the slurpdisk command, you need to make sure that your FTP user account home dir is set properly. You may also need to loosen NTFS security on the folder. Just follow my directions above carefully and you should be fine.

I also took screenshots which I'll add to this post later.
post #163 of 438
I have triple-tested the g4u (Ghost for Unix) image with a Western Digital WD10EVDS and two different Western Digital WD10EARS hard drives. All of them worked.

As of this moment, I would only trust the g4u image, which you can download from here. I'm thinking that the boot sector may be getting jacked up by the other imaging programs.

I will focus my efforts on documenting the exact procedure to load the g4u image. After that, I'll investigate easier methods of loading it.

See my previous post for fairly concise instructions on loading the g4u image.
post #164 of 438
I couple of years ago I replaced the 120GB drive in my DCT6412PIII with a 160GB drive. It works fine. I thought that was the best I could do so I was thrilled to see this thread.

Question:

After formatting a 1TB drive externally and placing in the STB, can I put the old internal 160GB drive into the external enclosure to watch the existing recordings? Once they're all watched, I'll disconnect it and be fine with the 1TB internal capacity. I don't care to try to copy the shows to the new 1TB drive (if it's even possible?).

Thanks!
post #165 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorickm View Post

I couple of years ago I replaced the 120GB drive in my DCT6412PIII with a 160GB drive. It works fine. I thought that was the best I could do so I was thrilled to see this thread.

The nice thing about the 120 GB to 160 GB upgrade was that the DVR auto-formats to 160 GB. To get up to 1 TB is way harder unless your cable company allows the use of external drives (only certain cable companies in Canada or South America do for Motorola DCH or DCT DVR's).

So it turns out that, because the internal SATA connection only ever formats drives to a maximum of 160 GB, we had to find somebody either in Canada or South America who was both a) on a cable system that allows the use of external drives, and b) willing to go to the trouble of hooking a 1 TB drive to the eSATA port (so that the DVR would format it to the full 1 TB size) and creating and uploading an image of the 1 TB hard drive. So big ups to DCTneo for doing that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorickm View Post

Question:
After formatting a 1TB drive externally and placing in the STB, can I put the old internal 160GB drive into the external enclosure to watch the existing recordings?

I doubt it, but maybe. First of all, nearly nobody using these DCT or DCH cable boxes are on a cable system that even allows for external drives. If you're on Comcast or Time Warner cable, forget about it. I think the best you can do is swap between having either the 1 TB or the 160 GB drive as your internal drive. This is totally doable, with the only drawback being that you'll have to power-cycle the DVR, which will lose your guide info (and takes hours to rebuild).


Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorickm View Post

I don't care to try to copy the shows to the new 1TB drive (if it's even possible?).

for all intents and purposes, copying from one drive to another is impossible (due to the indexing and the esoteric nature of the IBM GPFS file system).
post #166 of 438
Hi folks,

True enough, all attempts using active@ image have failed for me. I might try the alternate method tonight,using my WD10EALS, later tonight or tomorrow.

Thank you for your help so far.
post #167 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post

I doubt it, but maybe. First of all, nearly nobody using these DCT or DCH cable boxes are on a cable system that even allows for external drives. If you're on Comcast or Time Warner cable, forget about it. I think the best you can do is swap between having either the 1 TB or the 160 GB drive as your internal drive. This is totally doable, with the only drawback being that you'll have to power-cycle the DVR, which will lose your guide info (and takes hours to rebuild).

Somehow I missed saying that I'm with Shaw Cable in Canada, so my eSATA port is indeed enabled. I had never used it, so after making my post I plugged in a small external drive that I have in a NexStar3 enclosure and got the message asking if I want to format it. I went straight to the store and bought a 1TB WD10EARS drive for $55, but then had to go to the inlaws for dinner before I got to work on it more. (I'm still there now...)

Quote:
for all intents and purposes, copying from one drive to another is impossible (due to the indexing and the esoteric nature of the IBM GPFS file system).

I have 6 HDNet concerts on the 160GB drive that I haven't watched yet. I think I'll do this:

- format the 1TB externally
- install it to see that it works
- test the 160GB drive externally

If I can't read the 160TB drive externally, I'll have to put it back in and capture the contents with S-Video out. I had to give up with the firewire capture due to glitches. I don't mind the glitches if the capture plays through them, but I found some were so bad that VLC and MPClassic both hung at the bad spot. That may have been after running the repair program (I forget the exact name just now). I don't have the patience to cut and splice, etc. I don't want to archive the shows; just watch them once.

BTW, I never saw that DCTneo (from Saskatchewan) ever replied to say that he recorded and played back past the 160GB point on his 1TB drive. I sent him a private message this morning to ask.
post #168 of 438
Well I'm using the image that DCTneo provided me (the g4u image), and I'm at over 90% capacity on my 1 TB. I've got waaayy waayy more than 160 GB of material on it (I posted screenshots of the 50% point).
post #169 of 438
Be careful when you hook up the 160 GB. If it asks to format the drive, say no!
post #170 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post

Be careful when you hook up the 160 GB. If it asks to format the drive, say no!

Right! I already took a leap of faith with the 120GB drive that I plugged in. You or somebody said it would ask before formatting so I held my breath and plugged in my external Linux drive. All is well!
post #171 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post

Well I'm using the image that DCTneo provided me (the g4u image), and I'm at over 90% capacity on my 1 TB. I've got waaayy waayy more than 160 GB of material on it (I posted screenshots of the 50% point).

Not yet, I'm at 10% usage which is about what I would expect given the amount of (mostly hi-def) stuff I've saved so far.
post #172 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCTneo View Post

Not yet, I'm at 10% usage which is about what I would expect given the amount of (mostly hi-def) stuff I've saved so far.

I'm currently at 96%. I'll post screenshots when I hit 100%

Here's the screenshots that I took at 75%:






I've been pretty much recording anything, focusing on movie channels and long 2+ hour movies. But I decided it's more fun to manually hunt around and pick the recordings (rather than just schedule a bunch of daily recurring recordings, etc.) and I've seen some funny, funny sh1t. Here's one of my favorites:


Hmmmm....clearly a kids movie...but NC-17? Epic.
For a split moment, I contemplated the possible existence of a special Director's cut where the voice actors just cut loose and perform the whole script "blue". Sort of like the Thundercats outakes from the late 80's that always makes me laugh. Sadly, I was crestfallen when I learned that the guide was straight up lying. How many kids tried and failed to watch that airing of "Cats and Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" because their DVR parental settings said no? We may never know.
post #173 of 438
It seems to have worked! Will post more tomorrow.

Edit: I'm speaking of the ftp server/linux based approach. Took about 2.5 hours to format the drive, but it is a 7.2k rpm drive so don't expect such performance from an eco drive such as what most here seem to be using.
post #174 of 438
Both my PVRs have the WD10EARS green drive installed and I haven't really noticed any more lag than with the stock hard drive. There is only the slightest pause for 30-second skip. I would be surprised if a 7200rpm drive provided a noticeable performance increase in a Motorola PVR application. Very pleased with the performance. Have not tested with both tuners recording HD and playing back a HD video simultaneously, however.
post #175 of 438
There's no lag issues. I'm at 97% and it behaves exactly the same as the old 160 GB drive did, except for having waaayy more space

The drawback to the faster 7200 RPM drives is generally heat/power consumption and sometimes noise. But if the drive is particularly quiet, that's all good.
post #176 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by chs4000 View Post

It seems to have worked! Will post more tomorrow.

Edit: I'm speaking of the ftp server/linux based approach. Took about 2.5 hours to format the drive, but it is a 7.2k rpm drive so don't expect such performance from an eco drive such as what most here seem to be using.

Which make and model of hard drive did you end up using? Would you mind posting screenshots of the Diagnostics screen showing the space stats?
post #177 of 438
I'll post screenshots in a while. I'm temporarily using a WD10EALS, since that's all I had within reach. I'm not endorsing a 7200rpm hard drive at all, I was just pointing out that nobody should make plans with the expectation that their format of the drive will be done as quickly as mine. Ultimately I'll find a Samsung or Western Digital 5400rpm hard drive and use that -- I'll probably order it today. I'm partial to Samsung but I'll have to do research first to see which one's quieter. By the way, the 160GB HDD I took out of my DVR was a 5900rpm Seagate "Pipeline HD .2", the ST3160316CS.
post #178 of 438
Any concern with the 4k sector size of the WD10EARS drives? I know these have caused problems in various cases, e.g. with operating systems that expect 512 byte sectors such as Windows XP and other/older operating systems. I think I'm inclining towards a Western Digital Green, as you guys have used with success, but I want to be certain the 4k sector size won't be a problem. Apparently it seems not to be a problem so far, in practice, I'm just wondering if that's accidental, or can be explained, e.g., maybe you're aware (yay or nay) if the Motorola DVR supports 4k sector sizes natively so the WD hard drive doesn't have to emulate them, such emulation supposed to cause significant (massive, actually) performance problems.
post #179 of 438
My kids have company and they're watching a movie, so all I've been allowed to do so far is to format the WD10EARS attached externally to my DCT6412PIII. I thought it would take a long time but only took about 2 seconds. I checked my recording listings, and with the external attached it dropped from 60% to 0%. I thought it would say something like 8% ?

Next step is to put the 1TB in the STB. If it won't read my old recordings when the current internal drive is attached externally, I decided I'll need to put it back the way it was and capture the old programs. That's going to take a couple of days.
post #180 of 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by chs4000 View Post

Any concern with the 4k sector size of the WD10EARS drives?

I wouldn't expect any issues with the Advanced Format Drives...GPFS is all about storing massive amounts of data across all sorts of different physical volumes, so I'd expect it can handle it without breaking a sweat.

But I'll hook up one of my WD10EARS drives and start filling it up and see what the results are.
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