: Bell 5900 PVR - how to format the hard drive
2010-12-28, 02:51 PM
I've found the instructions on how to format the drive while it is INSIDE the PVR, but none on how to format it when pulled from the chassis.
Because the remote I have is only for a 3100. Works fine with most functions, but the "Play" button is also the Select button, and it doesn't work to reformat the drive.
So I yanked the drive out.
I've run a few tests on the drive, and it's seeking and writing/reading with no problems. No errors, no bad sectors.
My question is, what do I format it as? One post I found mentioned EXT2 and EXT3 which are Linux formats. But does it need partitioning into both or just one? EXT2 and 3 generally exist side-by-side in Linux, one partition holding OS info and the other data. Should I format it as just EXT3?
If I drop some money on one of the four drives that can replace this one, I'd still be in the same boat. Does anyone have any insight?
Thank you (a priori)
I think its a proprietary format so I imagine you would have to have to let the PVR do it.
Probably easier to just get a 5900 remote.
2010-12-28, 03:10 PM
Exactly, it is the best way I can think of too.
2010-12-28, 04:12 PM
I actually just went thru this.... my 5900 froze, so I unplugged it to reset it, and for whatever reason... it "encountered a serious problem with the hard drive". After that.. no PVR functions, and eventually just went into a continuous reboot. It would go thru initial startup test, and then reboot again. I tried getting the 5900 to reinitialize the drive thru the memory dump screen, cleared NV ram etc... The drive could be heard spinning up when the PVR rebooted, but it never worked.
What I ended up doing was pulling the drive, and erasing just the first two sectors of the drive. When I put the drive back, after the startup check, you could hear the continuous accessing of the drive, and then it downloaded the guide, and has worked with no issues since.
I found the instructions in the yahoo groups "dishrip" it's in the files\tutorials section. DishPVR50xHardDriveRecoveryGuide is what you are looking for.
Just be warned... if you zero out your drive, or try to put a different drive in. It becomes quite the job to re-marry the drive to the receiver. A job that I'm sure won't be supported on this forum. The guide tells you how to just erase the first 2 sectors of the original drive, and force the receiver reformat the drive itself.
2010-12-28, 05:06 PM
But it would still be a really good idea to spend $10 or $15 on the correct Remote......
2010-12-28, 07:11 PM
Agreed, it might not even be necessary to remove the drive at all if the PVR will reinitialize the drive on its own thru the memory dump screen remote commands. If not... give that guide a shot, it worked for me without all the hassle of previous methods of repairing or replacing drives.
2010-12-28, 08:15 PM
I have already attempted the format.
On the upside I'm now getting a different error message.
041C - Which after some quick Googling seems to indicate an incorrectly formatted drive. So looks like I've made my life harder.
I've got a buddy who has one of those Logitech Harmony remotes. He's going to try programming it for me as a 5900 PVR remote (assuming he can find the programming for it) and I'm going to try that.
And in the meantime, keep my eyes open for a proper remote.
Thanks for everyone's quick replies.
2010-12-28, 09:01 PM
Best bet then is to use the drive manufacturers software and run a diagnostics on it, and then zero fill the drive. Do not format it, the PVR will do that.
Any chance you saved sector 3 and 131071 before you tried to format it? If not.... unless you enjoy doing electronics projects, it gets a bit rough. The info is out there, and it is something you can do, but for the cost of a 6131 and an external drive, it might not be worth the trouble. (only you can answer that one.)
If you disconnect the drive.... you can still use it to watch TV. It will give you the hard drive error when it starts up, but it will still work after you acknowledge the error. Just no PVR functions.
2010-12-29, 08:48 PM
Just FYI the Harmony remote worked. It re-initialized the HD, but the PVR still pops up the error message advising the HD has problems.
If I hadn't formatted it I might, MIGHT have gotten away with it, but alas, I jumped the gun.
I'm not up to JTag soldering and going that deep into attempting to fix this.
(we paid $5 for it at the local thrift store)
We already have a 500Gig external drive, so maybe I'll look into that other receiver.
Thanks to everyone for their input and assistance.
2010-12-29, 10:33 PM
Just a thought.... if the drive is still good, you could probably sell it off, as the proper drives are hard to come by. Always someone looking for them, maybe try ebay or the forsale sections on various sat forums.
And you can still use the receiver as just a standard receiver, with UHF remote ability.
2010-12-30, 08:29 AM
Not a bad thought, selling off the drive.
I'll run it through a few additional tests just to ensure it passes everything...do the long tests.
Would you recommend I low-level format it prior to selling it?
2010-12-30, 10:07 AM
I would run all the tests, then zero fill the drive. Not sure how much you could get out of it, but I'm sure it's more than the $5 you paid for the unit.
2013-04-29, 04:42 PM
Hi All, I have done quite a bit of reading. I think my bell 5900 hard drive got corrupted, it was downloading the tv guide then after it died and gives me the “serious problem 0408” code. I have tried the hard reset but nothing seems to help. How can I zero out the two sectors that I have been reading about of format the drive, I have searched for dishrip files but I think thats long gone. Thanks
2013-04-29, 09:48 PM
If you tried to reformat the HD from the receiver's interface, I'm afraid you're out of luck.
I have never heard of the two sector trick. What I used to do though is replace the hard drived to upgrade a 5100 or 5800 to a 5900, which is similar to what you would need to do but with the same hard drive. If I remember the process correctly, you need to zero the drive and flash a virgin firmware to the receiver (IE the firmware that you would have when the receiver is brand new and was never connected to anything). You would need to get yourself a jtag programmer, find a PC with a parallel port (I doubt usb-parallel crap would work). Then you need to extract your box key, build yourself a firmware file, and upload a virgin firmware and eeprom.
Most (if not all) the stores and web sites where you could grad what you would need were busted or have closed by now. And that's assuming the drive is still good and can be saved by zeroing.
Bottomline: just grab another 5900 or a 924x/9400 on kijiji and be done with it. ;)
2013-04-29, 10:03 PM
Thanks for the reply it does seem like alot of work. Thanks