I have the 8300HD and am located in Albuquerque, NM.
I called Comcast again and requested that I be put on the list to receive the new DVR model with the 500GB HD in the next few months, but in the mean time I am SOL I think.
"I would try to run a command to "first birthday" the unit, wiping out all settings and causing it to reformat the internal drive. (I don't have an 8300, but all of these boxes have a command that can accomplish this)." -- unfortunately, the "hard reboot" procedure did not work, and I can no longer enter into diagnostic mode or do anything else by holding down the "select" or "pause" buttons...so unless you all know another way to do it, I think I am stuck.
From the link http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post4682052
which explains how to do this:
Diagnostic Mode. There are two ways to enter Diagnostic Mode:
1. Press and hold Select on front of unit until Mail light starts to flash, then press INFO.
2. Press and hold Pause on remote until Mail light starts to flash (around 10-15 seconds), then press Page Up (-). On some remotes, Page (+) might need to be used instead.
Hard Reboot. Hard Reboot will refresh all available software and modules on system, as well as clear out memory cache. IPG and other data may take up to 30 minutes or more to fully download.
1. Turn off 8300 and wait 5 or more seconds.
2. Unplug power cord from 8300 and wait 5 or more seconds.
3. If you are resetting an external drive too, unplug it's power cord at this point and wait 5 or more seconds, then plug power cord back into external drive and wait 5 or more seconds.
4. Press and hold Power on 8300 front panel. While Power is depressed, plug 8300 power cord back in. Continue to hold Power until 8300 display says "boot" and/or begins to cycle a few times (usually about 15 seconds).
NOTE: Hard Reboot will resolve MANY issues with not only external drives, but memory issues too. You should WAIT until the reboot is completely finished before powering up. It usually takes about 5 - 10 min, depending on your application and IPG data. Best way to determine when the download is finished is to watch the front panel indicators. On the front panel, where the : (colon) seperates the hours and minutes, the bottom " . " dot will appear after all OS firmware has been loaded. An STB getting a download or initializing will be blank. Leave STB alone until dot appears.
Last Resort (Reformat). If for some reason you can't get STB to do what you want and you've rebooted it by unplugging it, etc., this is a "last resort" item - say just before taking unit back, you can try reformatting the HDD. The format operation resets all data on the DVR, including all recordings, preferences and scheduled recordings. It is a "factory fresh" reset.
When doing the format procedure, there are times where it won't always "take" and will have to be redone again. The procedure is to get the mail light blinking from the remote control by holding down the pause button. Once blinking do not press anything else except the page down (page -) button on the remote three times while watching the display. The display should say something like HDD-1 and then HDD-2 or HDD-F. Once on the setting you want (typically the third press) leave it alone and put the remote down. In a few minutes, the DVR will reboot and reformat on it's own. Once complete in about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on RDC and FDC signal level quality) the unit will be available to be turned on, but it's best to leave it off and come back at a later time after it has completely downloaded all of the guide data and info.
1. Press and hold PAUSE until Mail led is lit.
2. Press PAGE down or (-), and then press LIST three times.
3. Turn box off. When turned back on, formatting will begin.