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Per the link in post 6 of this thread, I don't believe you need to do anything after you install the new drive, but it takes some time to boot/format (HDDF) - link says 20 minutes I believe, but be prepared for more time. You may also need to call Rogers to have the PVR re-authorized.

Another drive to consider is the WD purple drives. I believe the PVR will accept/format a drive up to 2TB, but the larger size is not usually necessary with Rogers using "Media Shrink" on their PVRs giving capacity equivalent to about 1.7-1.8 TB.

There is nothing to do regarding defrag. It takes care of itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I do not know what happened but the PVR seems OK now. I removed the plastic outer cover and leave the inner metal cover (not screwed on). I was watching a recorded show and at the same time, the PVR was recording another show. This went on for 2 hours and the PVR did not freeze.
The thermal pad is still doing its job because on the metal cover, the area around the pad is warm to the touch. I then touched the heat sinks, the white portion was hot and the rest of the heat sink was lukewarm. Is this normal?

I was thinking to replace the thermal pad but it is not easy to find at all. The dimension of this pad is 33mm x 20mm x 8mm. I called Canada Computer, they do not sell thermal pad at all. While Amazon do sell thermal pads, they are all too thin: 0.5mm, 1mm, 1.5mm and 3mm.
 

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How about the Seagate Skyhawks 1TB Surveillance Drive?
The Seagate drive should be fine. The PVR should format the drive automatically. My experience is that the PVR needs an MBR partition table on the drive. Most drives come with one large partition so it should be good to go. If it doesn't format, the drive may need to be formatted with an MBR partition table using a PC.
 

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The dimension of this pad is 33mm x 20mm x 8mm. I called Canada Computer, they do not sell thermal pad at all. While Amazon do sell thermal pads, they are all too thin: 0.5mm, 1mm, 1.5mm and 3mm.
It would likely be possible to stack the pads to get the right thickness. As the original was not making contact with the metal top, I would go a little thicker. Another thing to do might be to add just enough padding between the plastic cover and the metal cover to force contact. Use something soft and flexible so that it doesn't put a lot of pressure on the chip and motherboard underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Actually, the thermal pad is doing its job. On the metal plate, the area around the pad is noticeably warmer than the other side.
In theory, adding a layer of thermal pad may help but it may interfere with the heat dissipation of existing pad. Like I said, the existing is working well.

I have an USB fan which used to cool my old Android box. I place it on top of the thermal pad and it reduces the temp of the heat sink (the while portion) significantly. This fan is excellent with 3 speeds and even in the lowest speed, it would cool the heat sink to a proper temp (warm, not hot).
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
….. Another thing to do might be to add just enough padding between the plastic cover and the metal cover to force contact.….
Good idea. I may try this. This padding does not need to Be anything conducting. I will check if anything I can use around my house. Maybe as simple as a piece of plastic or cardboard……
 

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I was thinking something like a small piece of soft foam weatherstripping. The major issue with doing this is that it could put too much pressure on the motherboard and cause damage, especially if the case receives any pressure in that location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I have decided to leave it as is. Somehow the box does not freeze anymore even without the fan.
I re-assembled he box together tonight and just the same, I am leaving the fan on the box to flow air downward around the thermal pad. I tested this yesterday without the plastic outer cover and it worked very well, ie: the white part of the heat sink was cool to the touch.
I am leaving the fan because I figured the cooler the box, the better it would operate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
The Netbox froze again this evening even I put the fan on top of the processor. I did record 2 shows at the same time earlier this evening. Both were one hour show but the PVR only recorded 22 minutes.

Question: I put the fan on top of the processor, on top of thermal pad. Should I put the fan on top of the hard disk? I figure that hard disk would have to work harder when it records 2 shows. Maybe the hard disk overheated?
 

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Hard drives rarely overheat as long as the ambient temperature is within range. Installing a hard drive that produces too much heat for the enclosure, such as a 7200 or higher RPM drive, could cause issues for the entire unit. Hard drive overheating can also be an indication of impending failure. A lower power drive designed for video is a better choice. In this situation, I would be looking at what is causing the overheating or ways to cool the entire enclosure. It may be that a component is failing and the fan is only a stop gap measure. Failures commonly occur in power supplies, low quality capacitors, hard drives or from damage caused by outside events such as power surges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Thanks for your comments.
Possible reasons for freezing:
1. HDD: Rarely overheats.
2. HDD: Last time I open the box, I noticed that it is a Toshiba HDD, not sure of the speed.
4. Power Surge: Not likely. The Nextbox is connected to a APC 2800J surge protector (1-2 years old)
4. Weak components: Not sure. Same components for years.

Maybe the root cause was not heat related. Is it possible that the hard drive is getting too old? Unfortunately, then Nextbox does not come with any disk utilities to check the HDD.

There is no way to tell how long has this HDD been in service. While I got this PVR, it might be used.
 

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The Toshiba HD sounds like it may be the original. They were good drives. I had one in a PC and it ran a bit hot but not overly so. Going into the diagnostic screen will show some hard drive data. Not sure if it shows the temperature. I don't think it shows SMART data which would be more telling of the hard drive condition.

Power surges can arrive from other sources such as the incoming coax cable. I had a couple of boxes fried due to overhead lightning and an ungrounded cable (since fixed.)

Components such as capacitors and semiconductors can become heat sensitive or fail. Modern motherboards usually contain high quality capacitors and other parts but who knows what they put in the Nextbox. They can fail with time. Power supply components see the most stress due to the high currents and voltages they use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I just googled and the typical life span of a HDD is 3-5 years depending on usage.
My question is since the Netbox is always on, is the hard drive working (spinning) when the PVR is in idle mode?
If the PVR freezes more often, the only thing I can do is to replace the HDD. Too bad I cannot be certain that the root cause is the HDD. Kinda of a waste to spend $100 just to try.
 

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If the PVR is on and tuned to a channel, then it is recording to allow you to pause live TV. If I go away from the PVR for a while, but want to leave it on because I'll be back soon, I tune it to channel 950 because it no longer records since there's nothing on that channel. It also minimizes TV use since that channel is completely black.
 

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The best way to check the drive is to connect it to a PC, preferably one running Linux, and checking the SMART parameters. SMART software also allows for non-destructive testing of the entire drive surface. Nextbox drives use a Linux file system and can be inspected quite easily on Linux systems. Don't make any changes to the drive as doing so can make it unusable in the Nextbox or trigger a format.

Most newer hard drives can easily last 5 years or more but a small percentage will fail each year. Some NAS, surveillance video and server drives have a 5 year warranty, a rated one million hour MTBF with continuous use and are best left on. That contrasts with consumer drives made a decade or two ago that had much lower use and lifetime ratings and came with a 2 or 3 year warranty. The warranty is a good predictor of drive life as makers may shorten the warranty on a model if they end up replacing them too often. Some drives with longer warranties cost more but that may just be to cover the extra service and support that goes with the longer warranty.
 

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Hi Everyone,

Great thread!

I too am having the same issue. If I have nothing on the HDD the PVR works flawless. As soon as I record shows and try to watch them the dang PVR freezes. It also freezes when just flipping channels. I too believe this is a heat related issue. One more thing to consider is if the thermal paste had dried up under those two big black heat sinks. Too me this sounds far more likely the root cause. Why after so many years would it just start to have heat related freezing when nothing has changed with the HDD or any other part. Dried thermal paste overtime would cause processors etc to gradually increase heat until the smallest load causes thermal related operational instability.

Thoughts?
 

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I would make sure the ventilation fan is clean and working, and the inside, especially vents, are clear of dust buildup first. I would also check the hard drive as recording triggers the issue. Flipping channels triggers live recording. Hard drive failure is probably the most common cause of PVR failure.
 

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I decided to change the drive for 500GB I had. I cleaned everything but to be honest the dust wasnt exactly caked on. To your point I think the drive called it a day. So far so good.

The most terrible part of this story was the lack of any support from Rogers. Amazing how quickly so called tech support people can turn into sales people. They honestly just dont care. They follow the same super market type service experience. The customers who only have eight items receive express checkout....The people that have full shopping carts are made to memorize the tabloid covers while they stand in line. In other words Rogers heavily favours new clients. :)

Kind Regards to all.
 

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Why would Rogers provide support for a customer owned piece of hardware when they could rent a new IPTV box at 10 times what it's worth and pocket the profit? Never mind that eliminating Digital TV would free up close to 1 GHz of bandwidth that could be used to for higher priced services and almost eliminate last mile infrastructure upgrade costs in some areas for years. That's potentially billions of dollars in extra annual profits and potentially millions in bonuses for top management. :sarcasm: Get your priorities straight, man. :/sarcasm:
 
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