Archiving IS possibele, here is why!
The reason for the factory reset with ERASE is to FORMAT the new drive, that's it.
Of course then you need the BOX authorized again.
But when you re-install the original hard drive, the format and data is STILL on the drive and the BOX itself is STILL authorized, so it all works just fine.
The ONLY concern is the HARD DRIVE is MARRIED to the particular unit and the data is 3DES encrypted.
This means the disk will ONLY play in the unit it was recorded on.
If they replace your unit, then the other drives data is unplayable.
They show in the the DVR list, but since the 3DES keys are in the other box, the video won't play.
Now what I think the group should be experimenting with is the external USB connection I mentioned in the article.
The opens the door to all sorts of archiving opportunities.
Do we have any reports of other drives sizes working?
You should be able to do drive backups using a sector copy program.
IF you had a VxWorks files system driver for Windows or Linux, then you'd be able to copy and move the rather large video files around.