Here's a document with step-by-step instructions + screenshots about performing the 1 TB hard drive upgrade for any Motorola DCT or DCH cable box DVR
(Note: If you have a Motorola DCX cable box, the instructions are way easier and are briefly discussed a few paragraphs below this, where it says "**Note: If you have a DCX cable box" )
A .pdf version of this guide can be downloaded from: (warning, the .pdf guide is getting out of date and I haven't had time to update it. I'll try to find time to update it, but for now you should use the instructions on this webpage...view it on your tablet or phone or print it out before disassembling your PC to perform the upgrade. -TNO821 Dec 13, 2013)
Special note about sendspace.com: Like all free file hosting websites, sendspace has misleading ads that invariably include a "download" link. There tend to be 3 or 4 of these fake download link ads surrounding the real download link. The one that you want to click on will have a blue background and will be labeled "Click here to start download from sendspace". It tends to be smack in the middle of the web page. If you click any of the other download links, you'll be downloading something that you likely aren't interested in, such as an ad-driven download manager, etc.
***Note to Cox cable customers: It used to be that Cox cable used older firmware/software that was not able to record more than 160 GB to the hard drive (even if you follow these directions and properly install a 1 TB hard drive.) We now have a confirmed report of several Cox customers following these directions and successfully upgrading to a 1 TB hard drive (reported since October 2012. The DVR model was a Motorola DCH3416)...feel free to give this a try. However if you are in a Cox Cable area that is still using older firmware/software, it is possible that you will only be able to record 160 GB of material. But I feel that there is a strong chance that Cox has rolled out an update to all of their subscribers and that you will be able to fully use the 1 TB of recording space. Special thanks to Flash2 for reporting the first successful Cox upgrade!
**Note: If you have a DCX cable box there's no reason to do any of this. It has been reported that the DCX cable boxes are able to format the blank hard drive. I suspect that the maximum drive size is 1 TB, but I don't know for sure. My guess is that the DCX box would choke on any hard drive larger than 1 TB and would refuse to format it whatsoever. So, for example, if you had a 1.5 TB hard drive that you would like to format to 1.0 TB size for your DCX cable box to use, you would still need to follow these directions. But for anybody using a 1.0 TB (or smaller) hard drive, simply open your DCX cable box and swap the drive. Again: it is speculation on my part that the DCX cable boxes are unable to format drives larger than 1.0 TB, so you'll want to try that first because it'll save you a lot of time if it does work (and you're no worse off if it doesn't work). I'd appreciate feedback from DCX users who attempt this...let me know what size hard drive can be auto-formatted by the DCX.
*****WARNING: This will only work for cable boxes with HDMI. If you have a really old cable box that has DVI, this is NOT going to work*****
*****To be clear: if your cable box has HDMI, this IS going to work. Only extremely old Motorola cable boxes without HDMI won't work*****
Upgrading a Motorola cable box to a 1 TB hard drive
Requirements: 1 TB hard drive*, a USB thumb drive (of any size), a blank CD-R or CD-RW disc, and a PC with at least 512 MB of memory, a CD-RW (or DVD±RW) drive, an available SATA connection, and at least one available USB port.
*Technically you could use a larger hard drive such as a 1.5 or 2 TB hard drive, but you will still only end up with 1 TB of recording space (because the GPFS partitions being restored from the image are sized for 1 TB).
****IMPORTANT**** If your hard drive is capable of SATA 6 Gb/s, you need to switch it to 3 Gb/s mode! Your cable box DVR will not recognize it when running in 6 Gb/s mode. Switching it from 6 to 3 Gb/s usually involves changing jumper settings on the hard drive...you may need to visit your hard drive manufacturer's website for directions.
Time Required: This will probably only take about half an hour - 45 minutes of hands-on time, but the hard drive imaging process will take at least a couple of hours to complete. All said and done, you're looking at somewhere between 3 and 8 hours total, depending on the speed of your PC and your 1 TB hard drive. The actual time required to open the cable box and remove the original hard drive is only about 15 minutes or less. The time required to burn the bootable CD and use it to boot your PC into Linux and begin the image restore is only about 15 – 20 minutes max. The rest of the time is spent waiting for the image to finish restoring to your 1 TB hard drive. During the wait, your PC will still be very usable for other activities such as surfing the net; the Parted Magic Linux LiveCD is a very slick deal complete with Firefox and all sorts of cool stuff.
Part A – Prepare
1. Purchase replacement cable box security tabs (also known as "Anti-Tamper Tabs") from http://hdtvsales.ca/product.php?productid=16551 or at: http://www.newelectronx.com/proddetail.php?prod=SPLUG
Check both websites because I've seen the prices change a lot...it used to be that newelectronix.com would only sell you a minimum of 5 of the security tabs, but that appears to have changed.
*Also consider the shipping charge before making your final decision!
2. Purchase the special security screwdriver bit online. It is sometimes called a Gamebit and can be purchased from Amazon:
or from newelectronx.com:
http://www.newelectronx.com/proddetail.php?prod=BITMOTO Note: Be sure to choose the 4.5mm size!
NEW: http://hdtvsales.ca/product.php?productid=16554 is now selling a combo that includes both the 4.5mm security screwdriver bit and the security tab (Also known as an "Anti-Tamper Tab")
3. Review directions for opening a Motorola cable box http://www.instructables.com/id/Mod-...igger-harddriv
4. Download the “MotoSTB_1TB.bz2” Motorola DVR 1 TB hard drive image file from http://www.sendspace.com/file/w24nfo
Yes, the download really is only 682 KB in size! (because nearly the entire 1 TB hard drive is empty...the only thing being created are the nearly empty GPFS partitions)
5. Copy the "MotoSTB_1TB.bz2" image file to your USB thumb drive.
6. Download the Parted Magic Linux LiveCD .iso from http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/parted_magic.html
Click the link that says "Download@MajorGeeks" ...if you're having trouble finding it, just use CTRL+F and search for Download@MajorGeeks
The download is a little more than 300 MB.
Special thanks to cmulder for pointing out that the Parted Magic SourceForge page no longer hosts a free download and that the version was updated!
7. Burn the Parted Magic Linux LiveCD .iso file to a CD-R or CD-RW. (Windows users can use the freeware ImgBurn which can be downloaded from http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/imgburn.html
It may also be possible to run Parted Magic from a bootable USB thumbdrive, but that's just speculation on my part. You may want to run a search and consider trying that if you don't have any blank CD-R's/CD-RW's or just don't want to go old school with burning a disc.
Part B – Connect the 1 TB hard drive to your PC
1. Shut down your PC and connect your 1 TB hard drive (be sure to connect it via SATA...do NOT use USB or it will take a way longer).
Part C – Image the 1 TB hard drive
1. Boot your PC using the Parted Magic LiveCD. You’ll see the following menu, where you should choose “3. Live with default settings 32” (Note: it’s probably best not to connect your USB thumb drive until after Parted Magic has started booting up.)
2. While your computer boots up, plug in your USB thumb drive.
It will take a couple of minutes while the OS boots up.
The Parted Magic GUI interface is very easy to work with and is very much like Windows. The first thing that pops up is a Timezone Configuration dialog asking for the timezone that you're in. You'll notice that there are a number of useful desktop shortcuts including one for Firefox, so thankfully you'll be able to waste time on the Internet, er...I mean accomplish useful work such as on-line bill pay and other Internetty work-related tasks while your 1 TB hard drive is formatting.
At this point we need to determine what name has been assigned to the 1 TB hard drive.
3. On the Desktop, open the Partition Editor. You will see the names of your USB thumbdrive and 1 TB hard drive in the upper-right corner.
Make a note of the name of your 1 TB hard drive. The size will be somewhere around 931 GiB (GiB is slightly different than GB, but don't worry about that detail)
In the screenshot below, the 1 TB hard drive is /dev/sda
4. Next you need to get the name of your USB thumbdrive. In the upper-right corner of the Partition Editor, locate the USB thumbdrive. Once you have selected the USB thumbdrive, look for the Mount Point in the middle of the dialog. In the following screenshot the Mount Point is /media/sdb1
5. Now that you know what the names are for both your 1 TB hard drive and your USB thumb drive, you’re ready to issue the image restore command. Click on the ROXTerm shortcut in the lower-left corner. This will bring up a command prompt where you can issue the image restore command.
6. Issue the following command, substituting the names assigned to your USB thumb drive and 1 TB hard drive:
bzip2 –d –c –f /media/sdb1/MotoSTB_1TB.bz2 | dc3dd of=/dev/sda progress=on progresscount=500
(Green = the USB thumbdrive, Orange = the 1 TB hard drive)
BTW, That’s a pipe symbol that seperates the bzip2 command from the dc3dd command.
7. The "progress=on progresscount=500" parameters provide feedback showing you how how much has been copied to your 1 TB hard drive and how fast it is copying. In my experience the % copied never shows anything other than ??%, but you can see how many gigs have copied, so it's not too hard to get a rough idea of how long things might take. In the following screenshot 2.5 gigs of data has been copied to the 1 TB hard drive and the speed is going at 91 M/s. If you type the command in and get an error about the progress=on parameter being incorrect, you will need to close the ROXTerm window and open a new one and try again. I experienced this problem myself and no matter how carefully I typed the command, it kept giving the error. But once I closed the window and tried again, everything ran great. I can only guess that there is a minor bug causing that issue.
8. When the image restoration completes, it will show you how many seconds it took. If you divide the number by 60 and then by 60 again, you’ll have the total number of hours. This example took just over 4 hours to complete (This computer is more than a decade old and a bit slow, being an old Pentium 4 3.2 GHz Northwood system).
9. The only thing left to do is shut down your PC, remove the 1 TB hard drive, and put it in your cable box!
Edited by TNO821 - 1/28/14 at 5:37pm