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I am glad that you were able to pick one up, aparsons, and best of luck with the install. Be sure to post to this forum if you have any problems.
 

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Thanks! I found 2 "My Book AV" units at the Best Buy by Surrey Centre Mall on King George Blvd. Left the DCX-3400 on, connected the My Book to it by the provided eSATA cable, turned on the power to the My Book, and saw the screen message re formatting. Less than 15 seconds later it was done and functioning as a drive. All my existing recordings were still accessible. Couldn't have been simpler.
 

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How it worked for me - A good outcome

Well i decided since i had 2 500 GB 3.5" HDD i was not using i would put one of them in an external enclosure and see how it worked with an Esata connection to my rented Motorola 3400-m. The first drive did not like the DVR so i connected the second drive. It worked great and asked to format drive. So i let it. Voila an extra 500GB of storage added.

After this little hiccup with the first drive i decided to do some testing. I realized after testing both drives about ten times each that you have to have both drives with a valid partition and formatted for the DVR to recognize them. You also need to leave DVR on before turning on external Esata unit.

I later through extensive testing of an addition 3 drives determined that i could get just about any 500GB drive to work if it was prepared properly.

I.E. i had to partition and format in a specific way. The way i made it work was only one partition marked active and formatted as ntfs. i then plugged drive into DVR while off. Then i turned DVR on and waited for tv to show a channel. Only then did i turn on power to Esata unit. It would then ask me to format drive.

Sometimes it would through errors like DVR would power cycle. This indicated that the drive was not functioning properly. I found that you must maintain power to drive when DVR is turned off. This had caused me all sorts of headaches.

I found a fix though. If your drive works initially but then fails to function or DVR power cycles when its connected you have to repartition and reformat the drive. I believe disconnecting power to the drive while DVR is off causes errors that drive cannot handle and results in corruption of the data.

My conclusions are if you want to do this have several drives of different manufacture and be prepared to keep drive on permanently. I also think its a good idea to make sure drive is freshly formatted in ntfs format and be of only one partition. Oh and if it does not work out of the gate check to make sure its not corrupted. I had it corrupted 2 times by turning it off to save power while DVR was off and finally realized it was not a good idea to turn it off. So to all those that are having issues i hope this helps.

I would not recommend buying and expensive external drive if you are comfortable with pc's. It is cheapest i think to buy an external esata enclosure for $20.00 dollars and use a $50 internal drive that you already have. I know not everyone is comfortable with this or has a few drives laying around that they can do this with. But i will say if you do you can save yourself some money by using existing hardware or maybe just having to buy an cheap external esata enclosure.
 

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Eastlink DVR Expander problems

I see there's been a lot of discussion on this issue over the last few years, but nothing recent. I have the Motorola DCX3400 DVR from Eastlink. I've recently tried to add an external eSATA hard disk to expand recording capacity and have had mixed results. The DVR sees the external disk and did the initial format. However, when I try to use the DVR it behaves erratically and eventually hangs. When I'm watching live TV there are numerous pauses, sometimes lasting for minutes. When I'm playing back a recorded show it behaves the same way. Even getting a show to record completely is no guarantee.

I initially tried using a WD Mybook but didn't have any luck. I decided to check on the specs of the internal SATA disk and found that it was only 5400 rpm. I replaced it with a 7200 rpm Seagate with 64 MB cache. I'm tempted to locate a WD branded disk but I'm not very confident that will fix the problem.

Has anyone gotten an external disk to work with the DCX3400, and if so, what brand of disk did you use?

Thanks!
 

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There are several versions of "MyBook". If I recall correctly, one of these goes to sleep and is incompatible with a eHDD application since the eHDD needs to run 24/7. So, you need to get a MyBook designed for use with a PVR, or you can "make your own" using say a WD Black drive and an appropriate enclosure like the Vantec or Thermaltake. Sometimes the drives need to be configured using a computer first to ensure they don't sleep and there's software for the drive to do this, although most (bare) drives do not require that step.

You may wish to have a look at the Shaw forum here where they have similar discussions and they also use Motorola STBs.
 

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I didn't realize MyBook's had a sleep function. Not sure if mine does or not. I had actually planned on getting a new external disk, but when I checked at our local Staples they didn't have anything with eSATA, just USB2/3. Seems to be less common now. Instead I bought a new MyBook for my PC and used the old MyBook with eSATA on the DVR. As I mentioned I had the replace the original disk as well, but it's possible that the 1TB Seagate disk I got is the issue. I'm going to play with a couple of smaller 300GB disks not being used and see what kind of results I get.

Thanks for the info!
 

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old MyBook with eSATA on the DVR
Most of the new MyBooks say "AV" or "DVR" or "PVR" or similar on them indicating they are designed for this purpose. If you've got an older MyBook for a PC (and not PVR), it's likely it goes to sleep. You may still be able to use it for this application if you download the software and configure the drive not to sleep on your computer first.
 

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Has anyone had Alert 13 error when trying to connect an external hdd? I've been using a Seagate 1TB with an external enclosure for a few years. Last week I had to get the dvr reset and every since then I haven't been able to connect it. I tried getting Eastlink to reset the box again today but that didn't fix the problem either.
 

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After a couple of years of no problem usage, I'm into a bucket full of trouble.

The DCX3400 started to reboot itself, come up for a while.... cycle thru boot again, and eventually stopped working providing an error code "ACC".

Today I picked up a replacement box and it would not come up properly. Did see the "Welcome to...." screen briefly and also a message about the external drive having to be reformated. Declined and the DCX3400 shut down. CSR thought it might be a UPS power issue but that was not it as I swapped between the UPS and wall outlets. Was not able to get the new box running.

Afterwards I played a bit more with unit and found that if I disconnected the WD MyBook the DCX3400 came up without issue. Plug it in and the DCX3400 turns off as in no blue light on the front panel.

I don't want to lose the recordings on the MyBook. Is this the norm for these units to advise that "the external drive was formatted on another PVR and will have to be reformatted? I had a couple of series I was recording so I could sit down some rainy day and do an all day blitz on them.

I suspect the MyBook is done in any case.
 

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What pain in the *** this is turning out to be. I've bought a hard drive that meets or exceeds the specs Delta Cable has had on the web page - 7200 rpm & 16M cache - a Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB with 64M cache. Have it mounted in a hard drive dock that is fully eSATA compliant, a Vantec NextStar Superspeed NST-D400SU3-BK. Still having issues.

Screen goes black, no sound - click to a new channel, get picture and sound but Info window stays on screen and system is now frozen until the external drive is turned off.

Call tech support and they will only counsel you on the drives they support. Can't blame them for that. However.... try finding one of those supported drives in a local store! I've been to several Future Shops, BestBuy's, NCIX, and Memory Express. And online.... almost impossible to find in Canada. One Cdn reseller wants $293 for what should be a $140 unit.

I'll be checking out the Shaw stores tomorrow to see what they have and how much. Will also look at ordering a WD AV-GP drive which supposedly is optimized for DVR/PVR applications. But... these drives seem to have a fairly high failure rate fresh out of the box.

It looks to me that with the emergence of USB3.0 that the manufacturers are moving away from eSATA external drives. Yet stores like NCIX and Memory Express still stock many bare external enclosures with eSATA ports. I would think Eastlink would want to do some internal testing of these units and find a combo that works. Of course, if the oem Motorola boxes have a fatal flaw in them, what's the point.

Is the Maestro system any better for external expansion? This system uses the same "supported" external drives as with the DCX3400 so same issues again with finding a unit.

.
 

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I've opened up the Western Digital My Book AV that seems to have failed. It has a WD AV-GP drive in it. These units are quite a bit different from the Western Digital Black or Red models and I think this may explain why the Caviar Black model I acquired did not work.
 

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Expander question

I have the Motorola DX3400 M DVR and have purchased 2 separate Fantom drive to try and use as an expander. Both times the receiver recognized the hard drive but fails when formatting the drive. I get an alert 05 error. I have it connected via the esata cable. I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what to try before I send the second one back.
 
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