update on my external drive issues
Just in case anyone else runs into something similar, I want to give an update on my EHD status. My old drive (WD SE16 500 GB) would fail to spin up upon turning on the set top box, and the contents were then inaccessible. I tried to connect the drive to my Linux computer via USB to see if it was recognized, but no luck there, the drive just doesn't spin up anymore. There is a known firmware bug with the particular WD drive that I had so I'm guessing that this may be involved somehow. I'm still planning to try connecting the drive directly via SATA to the computer to see if I can get it to spin up, but haven't gotten around to that yet (no ESATA ports on my computer).
I replaced the drive with a 1 TB WD Black drive, and for the past week that has been working perfectly in the same old case (Vantec Nexstar 3). Other than a few recordings that I lost which I hadn't seen yet, I'm now OK with the update. I do agree with others that the colour scheme of black text on dark blue background is stupid.