Internal hard drive upgrade for Cisco 8642 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 2012-04-27, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
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Internal hard drive upgrade for Cisco 8642

Since I heard that the new illico operating system will not be compatible with external hard drive, for now anyway at least, I am looking to change my internal hard drive (Cisco 8642).

I need to know if anyone tried a 3TB hard drive, if not a 2TB hard drive. I record only in HD and for 3 person so it takes a lot of space. I'd rather get more right away with a 3TB or 2TB rather than 1TB.

What I need to know: what are the required properties for the best results for any hard drive 1, 2 or 3TB. I don't care how much it cost, what I want is best performance possible.

Look for the info in other threads but haven't seen anything clear for the 8642 yet. Please help!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 2012-04-27, 10:46 AM
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Here's a thread in the Rogers forum on the topic. I believe the limitations, etc are similar. I believe the current limit is 1.5 GB and the WD Black SATA drive is preferred, although most people have been putting in the 1 GB WD Black, which holds about 125-150 hours of HD recordings depending on the bitrate.

Remember that using a PVR as an "archive" is not recommended since it's not a matter of if, but when, you'll lose recordings either via an index issue or HDD failure.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 2012-04-27, 12:04 PM
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Get a second recorder. Not all that much more cost.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 2012-04-27, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I actually already have 2 of them, but believe it or not, they are full and they are not used for archiving. I, and my roommate, like a lot of tv shows, but don't have that much time to watch time, so in the end, we get original shows to watch through the summer months and are usually up to date in the fall.

So the 1.5TB has been tested and is working fine? That is better than just 1TB. That is the equivalent to the 500GB in there now and the 1TB of the external WD My Book AV I got on them.

I really hope eventually we can either have more in there or add the external with the illico 2.0.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 2012-04-28, 11:42 AM
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Just a thought here.

Maybe the current SARA OS have a 1 To limitation, but we don't know yet with the new "Illico 2" OS, which was apparently built from scratch by local engineers and programmers, and have no link with Rogers's new OS.

Therefor, I doubt the limitations are the same between Vidéotron and Rogers, but also between OS versions. Since the new OS is relatively new, tests with different high-capacity HDDs needs to be done.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 2012-04-28, 12:14 PM
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Sure, feel free to experiment with a larger drive. I believe the worst that typically happens is that only the smaller portion of the drive is recognized - say 1.5 (recognized) vs 2.0 TB (installed). (1.5 TB being the current limit on Rogers with the "old" SARA I believe.) New firmware may have totally different limitations - could be larger, could be smaller...

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 2012-05-12, 12:23 AM
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Illico 2?

From what I hear external hard drives aren't going to be supported AT ALL in the near future for illico 2 so you are pretty limited in options right now.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 2012-08-16, 11:39 PM
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Hard drive sucessfully upgraded on Videotron explorer 8642 HD

I can confirm that upgrading the hard-disk on a Videtron 8642 HD PVR does work, even with the new Illico 2.0. I upgraded from the default 500 GB drive to a 1 TB drive. Here's how my hard disk upgrade on the 8642 went.

First I searched this forum to find out what tools I needed to open the casing. Thanks to the previous people that posted this info: I found exactly the set of screwdrivers bits they were talking about at Canadian Tire (Tamper-Proof TORX, Product #25-6272-8 for 15$). This allowed me to easily open the casing. Only 3 screws to remove that are readily accessible from the back of the PVR.

Once the case is open, I was surprised to see that the green tamper-detect-tape that's supposed to link the disk tray to the actual hard disk was not even taped on (it was only sticking to the hard-drive tray). So I figured nobody would ever know I even opened the casing

I then had to remove the screws holding the disk tray and unscrew the 4 screws holding the hard disk. After that, I simply had to disconnect the SATA cable and power and put the new disk in, reverse the steps for the screws and I was done.

I then replugged everything and connected the power cable.

The PVR went through a countdown (displayed on the front display). It took a while until the count down reached zero. After that it when through a few other status and eventually powered down. Then it rebooted.
It then displayed '0CAP' for a while. I figured it might be formatting the new disk, so I let it go without touching anything.
After a while (a few minutes) it then displayed a few other messages and eventually powered down again. At this point there was nothing on the front display.

I waited a while and nothing seemed to be hapenning, so I decided to push the power button. the little power light came on with the 1080i indicator, but no signal on the TV. I waited a while and nothing was happening.
I then decided to turn the PVR off (with the power button) and unplug it. I then replugged the power.
The unit rebooted and displayed the '0CAP' message again for a few minutes.
Then it displayed 'Ait' for several minutes
Then it turned itself off, but I could hear the disk drive head, so i let it go. After a couple of minutes bingo: the clock appeared on the front panel!
I decide to hit the power button on the remote and the unit displayed 'ALLO' on the front display. Nothing was displayed on the TV.

I let it stand like that for some time before I actually figured out it was my TV that wasn't really synchronizing to the video signal correctly . I turned of the PVR and turned it back on and presto! The Videotron PVR Setup screen was being displayed.

I did the setup and went through the PVR to check the free disk space: 938 GB (115 Hours of HD). Victory!

The hard disk I used to upgrade to 1 GB is the same type of hard disk that was in the PVR: a Seagate 1TB Pipeline HD ST1000VM002 (original drive in the PVR was actually a 500GB model ST3500312CS).

I chose the same model of drive because these drives are made for 7x24 operation and optimized for streaming simultaneously multiple video-streams (so Seagate says anyway). The drive is just as quiet as the old one and cost me $70 on eBay.

I'll record a few shows and if ever I run into any issues I'll come back and post about it.

I'm a happy guy!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 2013-09-23, 12:40 PM
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Has anyone tried to upgrade the internal hard drive of the Samsung 8340 HD PVR?
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 2013-11-18, 10:00 PM
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I can confirm that on the Videotron new generation Cisco 8642HD PVR, the Western Digital WD1002FAEX Black 1TB SATA 3 HDD installed and initialized properly.

The install was very similar to piec2's installation. I removed the old drive, installed the new one, plugged in the component video, digital audio, cable connection and finally the power. I let the unit initialize, format the drive and install the apps. It took approximately 30-40 minutes minutes to complete all the tasks. I should have been more diligent about the stop and start times.

I have only recorded a few minutes of video to ensure I had something on the drive beyond the PVR operating system.
I put the original drive back in so I have the new one for testing of the file system. I have not yet been able to figure out the file system being used to be able to copy my old settings and files over to the new drive.

If I ever figure it out, I will post the info here.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 2013-11-19, 12:55 AM
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You may be able to clone the drive if it's exactly the same size, but you cannot "copy". See the Rogers thread on the topic - it's for the SA8300HD, however, it may work for the 8642. You've got nothing to lose while the drive is empty...

Why did you install the new drive? If the old drive was 500GB, then if you clone, you may not be able to use the full 1TB, but I don't recall many people trying and the firmware for the 8642 is different from the 8300.

Here's the Rogers thread on the 8642. It was developed when the original drives were smaller... I did a search for "clone" in that thread and didn't find any success...

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 2013-11-20, 12:03 AM
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Thanks 57.
I mostly did the upgrade since I was low on space and was constantly deleting shows to make space for new recordings. Also, Videotron is not using the SARA software anymore and I was not sure if they changed the underlying filesystem. Now that I think about, I am fairly certain they didn't change the file system otherwise the recordings I had pre-upgrade would have been entirely lost, and they weren't.

I'll try active disk image as suggested by slyboy on this post and see if I can get that to work.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 2013-11-21, 11:02 PM
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Nov 21st, update.

No joy so far. The free version of the [email protected] Disk Image software does not allow me to perform a disk to image dump of the old PVR 500GB drive. I was forced to create a raw disk image. that took 12 hours and 14 minutes.
Whenever I restore that to the new 1TB drive, I end up with the PVR reporting the same amount of available space. The restore took 1 hour and 27 minutes.

I have never initialized the 500gb drive in my windows 7 computer to put a MBR on the drive, nor ever assigned the drive a drive letter to it in windows. I don't want to risk any of the old recordings.

Does anyone have any suggestions at this point ?
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 12:16 PM
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I made the move to the new WD 1TB drive, but never managed to find a way to migrate the old recording files from the old drive without having the old 500gb partition size in place.

I do find the Western Digital WD1002FAEX slightly louder, so I am now researched the acoustic management features.

The old 500GB Hard Drive is a Seagate Pipeline HD ST3500312CS and found out by using HDDScan v3.1 for Windows that the Advanced Power management setting on it was set to 192. from what I can tell in my internet travels, that is a compromise setting between quietest noise level (128) and fastest performance(255). Overall I did find that drive pretty quiet most times.

The Western Digital WD1002FAEX does not have the option to change that Advanced Power Management setting and does not seem to have the Advanced Acoustic Management feature either. As a side note, the WD10EZEX does not have that option either. So both 1TB WD blue and black seemingly cannot be acoustically tuned to be quieter. The blue is just slightly quieter by default, so even though it has the 3 year warranty instead of a 5yr, it might be better choice so that the noise is not interfering with your listing enjoyment.

I hope this helps a few people make a more informed decision.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 02:06 PM
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Thanks for that information. It appears that the partition size when cloning that exists in the 8300HD also exists for the 8642. We typically recommend the Black drives because they have been the most reliable/successful drives. Most people use them externally, but some have used them internally. I don't recall a lot of negative feedback regarding (more) noise though. Some people have used the "green" drives, but some have also reported issues with the drive "sleeping" and then not waking up. Apparently settings need to be changed to prevent the sleeping.

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