: Shaw Gateway: Adding External Drives
2011-06-29, 11:53 PM
Just wanted to post an update around external enclosures and capacities:
Thanks to some help from deaenforcement I now have my Vantec enclosure working with a 3TB drive. Wahoo - tons of recording space now!
The drive I used is a Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 from Memory Express, and the Vantec is a standard low-end eSata (+Firewire / USB2) enclosure. Just for others looking to hook this up:
Step 1: Get the code added to your account
Step 2: Get the code actually pushed out to your Arris Gateway.
The latter is the more challenging one, it was hard to find a TSR who knew what I meant, I ended up pinging @Shaw_Alex on twitter who did some hunting around for me and got it done - but even that took about a day or so.
After that a gateway reboot and then entering the external hard drive menu item in settings. Formatting took about the full 30 minutes due to the size of the drive I'm assuming.
One item of note - I accidentally formatted a 1TB drive and had that running for a few days before I did the math and realized I mixed it up with my 3TB enclosure of the same type. When I switched them I assumed I'd lose some recordings but actually didn't. I speculate this to mean the unit may fill up the internal drive before the external, but that's just speculation.
Thanks again to deaenforcement for the help!
2011-06-30, 12:18 AM
Just a quick question for you, mattryyc: Did you actually play any of the recordings you had from when the 1TB drive was connected or did they just show up in the listings? If you are able to play all of them then that is really exciting.
2011-06-30, 12:42 AM
Jetranger - I went through all of the recordings and played at least the first few seconds of them to verify they were there. We'll see as I eat through them if they were spread apart - preliminarily though they all seem to be there.
2011-06-30, 12:46 AM
That's great as I can probably swap out my 1TB for a larger one eventually too and not have to worry about needing to plug it back in if I don't record too much before then.
2011-07-12, 02:46 PM
for those looking for success stories, the following setup has been functioning for 1 day without incident
1x Mediasonic HUR1-SU3S2 RAID enclosure
2x WD20EARS (Western Digital Barracuda Green 2TB)
when configured for single, only the first drive was usable. this means that the gateway doesn't support/include an esata port multiplier (according to the enclosure docs)
when configured for RAID0 spanning, the full 4TB became usable
before: 98% used (internal drive)
after: 6% used (internal + external enclosure)
total formatting time was about 10 minutes
the Mediasonic website states that the device supports 2x 3TB drives.
2011-07-16, 12:44 AM
I've returned the 2x WD20EARS (Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB) drives. They're unsuitable to this application.
Best I can determine, once I deleted the files that were on the eSATA drive, the WD drives spun down and went to sleep. At that point the Gateway would have to be bounced to get the drives back online.
2011-07-16, 04:51 AM
Are you sure it's not the enclosure that's causing the problem?
I can only see one mention in the user manual, but it appears to have a "sleep" mode:
2011-07-20, 09:41 PM
I would have to agree with JasonB on this one. w.smith your enclosure most likely has a sleep mode enabled. Disable that and see what your experience is.
The difference between a DVR external drive is that it doesn't go to sleep, so any self made external drives must comply with the same requirements.
2011-07-30, 12:27 AM
I'm not so sure it might not have been the drives... many people have had issues with the green models in many different implementations. But, of course, the enclosure cannot be ruled out.
I came to this thread as I am getting the Gateway next weekend and I wanted to prepare an external drive. I already have a Vantec enclosure hooked up to the Wii that I will use and then replace the next time they are on sale. I'm wondering, however, what drive is the most cost efficient while still being completely functional? In this post (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=1249493&postcount=107) it is mentioned that the limiting factor for the Gateway with regards to how many actions can happen at once is the hard drive speed; which makes sense to me. So while I like the price of the Green drives, I am worried that even without any sleep mode issues, will this slower drive by fast enough for the Gateway?
2011-08-04, 03:57 PM
@Flash604 - I have had similar problems with the WD Green drives. They were the drives inside the 1TB My Book series. Even with the ESata output, they constantly went to sleep in a raid array, which caused all sorts of problems. When I spoke with WD, they confirmed they are not the right drive for something that needs to keep alive. You cannot disable the sleep mode on the drives from what I have been told, so returning them was probably the best choice. Transfer rate shouldn't have been a problem, but they are not very fast drives....
With regard to swapping out a drive, you should be able to swap out multiple drives as long as they are all associated with the Gateway. If one fills up or gets near to full and you want to store more, you should be able to just connect another one and put the old one back when you want to watch the shows you have stored. My understanding is that it's all about the handshake with a particular unit, but the gateway, or any of the pvr's should be ok with more than one drive. I haven't tried it myself, but if memory serves me correctly others have done it successfully.
2011-08-04, 08:56 PM
I'd be interested in others experiences with external drives on the gateway. I purchased the same enclosure as W. Smith indicated above (MediaSonic HUR1-SU3S2), but installed two Hitachi 3 TB drives (7200rpm) with RAID-0 and spanning.
The format took an hour +, but everything seemed to come up fine and I've been recording and watching lots of shows over the past 10 days.
I have had two times where my external drive "disappeared". There were no messages from the Gateway or Portal. You only realize it is missing when you see the recording space used jump from 5% to 50% and a bunch of the shows disappear.
In order to fix it I've had to reboot the Gateway with the enclosure powered off. When the portals are back up, I power on the drive enclosure and it reappears with all recordings in place.
If anyone else can share their experiences, I'd potentially be interested in moving to an alternate, more stable solution before I get this thing packed with recordings.
As mentioned by a previous poster, "sleep modes" need to be avoided. The only reference I see with respect to that for my enclosure is if I synch the power on to the host. I have that feature disabled.
2011-08-09, 04:20 PM
I'm about to switch to Shaw Gateway from Star Choice (Shaw Direct). One of the continual problems I had with the Shaw Direct HDPVR was having to return it to the factory for service/replacement. I would take the Hard drive out and reinstall it in the new box, but I was forced to reformat the drive before I could use it on the new box. Thus, the service to the HDPVR would kill my saved programs.
I'd like to use an external eSata box with my Shaw Gateway system (I'm thinking of an Otherworld (MacSales) Raid 1 (mirror) box in which I can put a couple of 3 TB drives. This system would likely outlast the Gateway box because of the reliability of the mirror.
But, if the Gateway box fails, and I have to get it replaced under warranty, would I be forced to reformat the external eSata box? Does anybody know what will happen?
2011-08-09, 04:24 PM
The external drive is authorized via the unique gateway address, another gateway will require reformatting...
2011-08-09, 05:16 PM
Thanks for the quick response. Unfortunately, I expected that that would be true. It probably comes down to digital rights management.
2011-08-09, 10:04 PM
Does anyone know how external is used?
I.e. Does it use internal and then external expander as needed?
I believe on my early Moto the expander 'replaced' the internal and when expander failed everything was gone.
Reason for asking is that I just had a message that expander was removed without first un-mounting it and that anything saved would be lost.
I did accidentally disconnect the eSata instead of power plug yesterday, but that was yesterday :)
Looking at myPVR it all seems to be there but I have not tried to play anything yet.
Perhaps I should unmount and power cycle the external?
Well, I found out what caused it to go offline today :)
A disk in the Lacie puked and since it's RAID0 the external is down.
With reference to my question of how external is used, it would seem internal first as I am able to play what I recorded yesterday. Would be nice to get confirmation though. I now have a red light showing on the Gateway, far right. Not message, anyone know?
2011-08-10, 04:44 AM
hwitten, that red light is telling you there is a recording in progress.
2011-08-10, 09:42 AM
Thanks rokero. Sometimes the brain just not in gear to process the simple things.
Now makes sense re the message of disconnected disk as it was probably first time it looked for the expander it thought it had.
An early adopter symptom... always think the worst :)
2011-08-10, 10:19 PM
Going to give this a try as it is meant for 24/7 DVR use,
Western Digital AV-GP 2TB 64MB 3.5" SATA Internal Hard Drive
Will try in a couple of Esata enclosures I have and see if it will work.
Unless I heard him wrong, Shaw Tech Support guy mentioned they are testing 3TB expanders so there will be an official unit sometime.
2011-08-16, 09:53 PM
What is the easiest way you can determine that the external drive has been recognized and is being used for recording space?
I have my new Gateway system up and running and after attaching the external drive the message to format the drive came up and now there is an icon in the Gateway menu "External Drive" but it doesn't say 2TB or anything to do with the size of it.
2011-08-16, 11:07 PM
You can check the 'Options' window on the 'PVR' list and compare the percentage values with the external drive both connected and disconnected. I don't know any easier way than this at the moment.