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Thanks guys - I did format my Samsung SSD with the "Computer Management" -> "Storage" -> "Disk Management" snap-in on a Windows 7 box before dropping it into the 630. It was a virgin drive at that point. I think I created an MBR-style partition table as opposed to a GPT-style partition table, and I think I created an NTFS volume in a single partition. If that sounds like the wrong choice to anyone, I'm all ears.

I have a new WD Blue WD10SPZX coming today.

Still asking: is there a trick to the Options-4-9-8-8 step (seems extraordinarily tough to hit), and when does the HD format happen?

Rob T
 

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So I got my WD Blue WD10SPZX, formatted it with a MBR partition table, did get a factory reset done (thanks, @k801809), and sent an online "Refresh TV Receiver" request. From showing CPAC on 291 and not knowing other channels, I see my classic channel lineup and can tune to them, so I know the "hit" worked. But I didn't get an offer to format the hard drive. I got the "no HD found" error before I sent the hit - do I need to be faster with the hit?

What causes the HD to be reformatted, and what does that look like?

Also wondering if I should lay down an MS-DOS FAT32 filesystem on the HD. Might try that in the morning.

Rob T
 

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Does this look bad to anyone else?

So ... I noticed something that might be an important clue.

If I do Options-6-4-9-7-7-1 and go to Disk diagnostics, the unit now knows what model and serial number the drive is, but thinks it has zero bytes. I would expect the drive size to be reported correctly.

If I do Options-6-4-9-8-8-6 to go to the Factory Reset menu, it reports :"PVR hard drive content" - "No Hard Drive Found". I would expect from reading the 530 drive upgrade thread that I would have a choice to erase the hard drive, and I do not. Is the 630 different here? Or does a format happen after a hit?

Are the things I observe above normal? I wonder if there is something else that's wrong.

The original 320Gb disk is truly scrogged - neither a Windows box nor my Mac can identify it if it is attached via an external case.

I did reformat my Samsung SSD with a FAT32 filesystem to see if it mattered; I could see the drive ID in Diag R but it showed up as 0 bytes, and nothing happened after a Factory Reset and a "hit". I had to wait some time between the reset and the hit - SD's website was not cooperating for awhile.

I have reformatted my WD Blue drive and may try this again with it when I can issue another hit. But I wanted to describe what I'm seeing.

Rob T
 

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I would try a FAT32 filesystem. Other possibilities are no filesystem or GPT instead of MBR. NTFS is not native to Linux (though often supported) so that may be messing it up.
 

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I did a factory reset with the WD Blue drive, and my results were no better - no offer to format, and still seeing "no hard drive found". I put a GPT partition table on the SSD and put a FAT filesystem on it, and Diag R still shows a zero for size, and the factory reset still shows "no hard drive found". I think this is just not going to work. I'm going to have to try to get this unit replaced, and give up on upgrading my HD size for now. Sigh.

Rob T
 

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Something seems to be going on. Have you tried replacing the SATA cable? It's possible that Shaw is locking down the usable hard drives in firmware. Bell PVRs have always been that way. It's also possible that he reformat procedure has been changed in firmware. Got to wonder if a drive out of another 630 would work or if the 1TB drive works in another 630. That would determine if the 630 is faulty.
 

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Don't use an SSD on a PVR. unless you want to change then on a regular basis. A PVR will chew them up and spit them out. PVR's write and delete everything you watch even if your not recording the show. SSD's can only handle so much write/deletes before they die out.
 

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I think the SSD life would still outstrip that of the machine itself.
The issue that I see is the lack of trim commands and would be a problem with a dvr that writes and reads all the time.
 

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The days when SSDs would rapidly wear out are gone. Modern SSDs will last as long as most convention hard drives (longer than some brands on the market) and are being used in high demand scenarios such as internet cloud storage and file servers. The main issues with SSDs are cost and capacity and even those are rapidly disappearing. Another is SSD support in certain devices such as PVRs. Many PVRs are based on dated software and designs that don't support SSDs well.
 

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I've always check the NAND used by the SSD drive maker. There will always be lower quality, lower priced products. I'm not saying you should purchase them. I've seen a few early model SSD drives fail. They failed suddenly with no chance to recover any data. Newer SSD drives from quality makers are much better, some have a better life expectancy than comparable hard drives.

The quest for higher capacities has taken it's toll on hard drives as well. I've seen a greater than 50% failure rate on a dozen drives of one model in the first three years. That compares with no failures on earlier drives of the same make with lower capacities. WD's response was to shorten the warranty from 3 to 2 years so they wouldn't have to replace them. They've kept failing well under the expected lifespan ever since.
 

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OK, so I bought a used 630 and got it activated (I wanted a second one anyway). It's nice to be able to record stuff again. I'd still like to get the old one back on the air myself with a bigger drive if I can.

So I thought I would use the eSATA case and my existing 1Tb drives to see if this box would work with an external drive. With the power off on the eSATA case, I put the hard drive in, plug the cable into the 630, and then power up the eSATA case. And nothing happened. What I had to do was to unplug the 630 and let it reboot with the eSATA enclosure powered on. With both drives, I got an offer to format them, and did that. I took the Samsung SSD and put it in the dead 630, and it accepted the drive and is a PVR again! :)

So it looks like the 56.05 firmware is no longer able to format drives without a working drive in place, but its good news that you can do this on another 630. I am happy :)

Thanks,
Rob T
 

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Discussion Starter #234
Thanks to Rob T for the message above, and some personal advice, I was able to do an hard drive install as well with a "Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E1T0B/AM)" hard drive. My 630 is much faster in response, acting like a brand new updated receiver.
 

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OK, so I bought a used 630 and got it activated (I wanted a second one anyway). It's nice to be able to record stuff again. I'd still like to get the old one back on the air myself with a bigger drive if I can.

So I thought I would use the eSATA case and my existing 1Tb drives to see if this box would work with an external drive. With the power off on the eSATA case, I put the hard drive in, plug the cable into the 630, and then power up the eSATA case. And nothing happened. What I had to do was to unplug the 630 and let it reboot with the eSATA enclosure powered on. With both drives, I got an offer to format them, and did that. I took the Samsung SSD and put it in the dead 630, and it accepted the drive and is a PVR again! :)

So it looks like the 56.05 firmware is no longer able to format drives without a working drive in place, but its good news that you can do this on another 630. I am happy :)

Thanks,
Rob T
Hi. When you say a 630 can't format drives anymore under 56.05, can you clarify that? Let's say you have a current 630 with 56.05, and its drive fails, are you out of luck, i.e. you can't put a new drive in, format it and get on your way? Or, let's say you just want to increase the size of your DSR630 internal drive - what then?
 

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Hi. When you say a 630 can't format drives anymore under 56.05, can you clarify that? Let's say you have a current 630 with 56.05, and its drive fails, are you out of luck, i.e. you can't put a new drive in, format it and get on your way? Or, let's say you just want to increase the size of your DSR630 internal drive - what then?
Hi tvmaster,

I had my drive die outright - when I pulled it and attached it to a computer, the computer could not even read the disk type and size. So I had a 630 with no working drive, and certainly felt out of luck.

Putting in a couple of different new drives did not ever work for me, though it seemed to have worked in the past for other people. I was hoping to get an offer to format the drive, and never did. That was true whether the drive was inside the 630 or in an external case. If I had a friend with a 630 in town, or a second unit, I would have had a much easier time.

When I got the new-to-me 630, I had success getting an SSD drive formatted in the external case as recorded above, and was happy to be able to put that drive in my original 630.

As to procedures for expanding your storage, I would say get an external case or dock, connect it to a working 630 and get your drive formatted, and then transfer the drive. You probably want to watch everything on your current internal drive first.

Take care,
Rob T
 

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Okay, what do you mean ‘you were hoping to get someone to format a drive for you’? Is it the firmware on a 630 which stops one from being able to format a new drive WITHIN a 630? All my current devices are 56.05, but I have a 630 I bought used three/four years ago and never hooked up, hence, older firmware.
Or was there a differnet problem with your original 630 than firmware which for some reason didn’t allow you to format a drive? I’d like to avoid extra stuff hanging off the back of my setup, hence getting a bigger, internal drive one day, 500gb or 1tb should be plenty.
 

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Oh, I didn't mention "someone" - I was hoping the 630 would notice the drive and offer to format it. That seems to be what people used to see, so I assumed the firmware had changed. I have no hard data on that, though.

With multiple systems, you have a lot of options. I think formatting a drive in an external case is pretty handy - you get pretty good feedback from the unit that way. And I agree, a bigger internal drive is great and simple, and I'll tell you, an internal SSD makes for a nice, responsive system. You will want to watch all of your shows on one system before a drive swap.

Take care,
Rob T
 

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Oh, I didn't mention "someone" - I was hoping the 630 would notice the drive and offer to format it. That seems to be what people used to see, so I assumed the firmware had changed. I have no hard data on that, though.

With multiple systems, you have a lot of options. I think formatting a drive in an external case is pretty handy - you get pretty good feedback from the unit that way. And I agree, a bigger internal drive is great and simple, and I'll tell you, an internal SSD makes for a nice, responsive system. You will want to watch all of your shows on one system before a drive swap.

Take care,
Rob T
So do you see any problem if I pulled my working drive, put in a new, larger one as a test to see if it works, with the idea of putting the original drive back in after to finish watching shows ? And SSD is working aok for you as an internal drive.
 

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You could try a switch - if it formats the new drive, you would have something happen that I did not. And I'm very happy with my SSD after months of use, no issues.

Take care.
Rob T
 
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