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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Is it possible to use multiple external Hard Drives with one HD set top box? I don't mean concurrently, but switch one out for another and back again, or do the drives get formatted uniquely, rendering any previously attached drive not useable? This way I could have more storage, and a drive for each person in the household, and we could swap in and out as required.
Thanks
Matt
 

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I use a docking station with a Pace Summit (758). Format each HDD once, afterwards when asked to format a previously formatted HDD say no and the pvr will recycle and recognize the swapped HDD.

All recording timer schedules are resident of the HDD, not the box (chip), so ensure that you have set your recording schedule(s) set to the HDD in use.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good to know, thanks for that Soldat, that's an important thing to remember. Anyone know of a e-sata switch? something like a KVM switch were I could just select the HD to use?
 

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That's an interesting idea, and the thought of using a docking set up and/or a switch is cool...

BUT, how would you manage scheduling? For example, if one show is on right after another you'd have to be standing there to swap them out? Obviously if 2 shows are on at the same time you'd have to settle for the shows being on the same drive...
 

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Yeah, you do need a break in your schedule for a swap as you have to power down and the HDD has to cycle twice (once to ask you to format and you answer "no" and then it cycles again and recognizes the HDD). I work around timeshifting channels for my schedule.
 

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I use a vantec esata and I never get prompted to reformat a drive.

Personally I'd look into a media cente pc if you have that much contact that you're swapping drives.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
HTPC unfortunately is not an option due to my buddy being "technologically challenged", also I would imagine the cost difference (2Tb HTPC vs 2x $100 Hard drives) to be quite large, although I admit I have not priced up the HTPC option

Thanks for all the info and thoughts.

Matt
 

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Which DVR box are we talking about here? Motorola or Pace? They work differently regarding eHDD. With Pace, you need to unplug power to the DVR box before swapping eHDDs because even when you just turn off the Pace box may still access the eHDD. With the Motorola, eHDD is hot-pluggable which makes swapping eHDD much easier. I haven't tried using multiple eHDDs with my DCX3400 yet. For those who have done it, does the Mot box call each eHDD by a number? I notice when I connect my one and only eHDD it says "Drive 1" is ready. I know that when I try to play a previous recording from my eHDD which is not connected, the DCX box asks me to connect the eHDD. But if you use multiple eHDD, does the DCX box tell you which eHDD (like "Drive 2") to connect?
 

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My experiences are with a Pace Summit (758) with eHDD in sleep mode on "no". The OP did not specify which box.

I power down STB, power down Thermaltake docking station and leave eSata plugged, unplug STB, swap already formatted eHDD, power up docking station, wait 30 seconds, plug STB, it cycles, I answer no to the format request, the STB goes blank for a few seconds (about 10) clock comes back, I then hit "POWER" and "LIST" to verify that the eHDD is recognized.

Each time you swap drives, the guide needs to refill, if a recording is scheduled it will start on time, info will not be there until guide is refilled.

I just did a few test runs as I was typing, the site logged me out before I could send my original reply !!!

It took me 2 minutes to swap the drives each time, it can be done during a commercial break.
 
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