How to format a PVR HDD for Windows

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Re: How to format a PVR HDD for Windows

Postby NAB » Jan 29th, 2012, 6:27 pm

Bsuds wrote:Brand new enclosure, USB 2 and powered, 6131 receiver. Receiver see's HD installed but says there's a problem with it.


Hmmm, so it appears you may not yet be quite back to "factory" on that drive. What model is it?

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Re: How to format a PVR HDD for Windows

Postby OffRoad » Jan 30th, 2012, 2:11 pm

I think the problem is that you zeroed out the whole drive rather than just the first two sectors. Apparently there is data on sectors 3 and 131071 that is required for the drive to work in some (or all) Bell PVRs.

You may be able to get it working but it will take a lot of Googling and learning about things such as hex editors. It may be more trouble than it's worth but at least you can still use the drive in a computer.
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Re: How to format a PVR HDD for Windows

Postby Bsuds » Jan 30th, 2012, 2:20 pm

It won't work with Windows either. For some reason it shows as a 2 terabyte drive and windows won't format it either.
I might give up on that one and see if the other one will work with the PVR. At least windows will use that one. Will check later.
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Re: How to format a PVR HDD for Windows

Postby Bsuds » Jan 30th, 2012, 4:43 pm

Update, the smaller 250g hdd is now working with the receiver. So the original mission has been achieved. When I have more time I will try and get the other one to work with Windows.
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Re: How to format a PVR HDD for Windows

Postby rekabis » Jan 31st, 2012, 2:57 pm

Bsuds - if your copy of Windows is unable to format the 2TB drive, try hooking it up to a 64-bit version of Windows to do the deed. Or try a smaller partition size and see what happens. XP and previous versions, in particular, were unable to utilize more than 2TB, and if your drive is slightly over the limit, creating a single large partition that fills the entire drive may not work.

If your computer is an older one, it may also be a hardware issue -- it may see the drive as a 2TB, but it will not be able to use anything past 1TB.

Also, I would caution you against using a large drive as your boot drive. You can have much better performance with a small (<250GB) drive as your main boot drive and the larger drive as a slave for storage purposes. And if you use My Documents as your primary storage location, you can always mount that drive as that directory instead of an actual drive letter. That way, your Windows installation is on The 250GB as c:, there are no other hard drives showing up as drive letters, and yet your My Docs can hold 2TB of data.
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Re: How to format a PVR HDD for Windows

Postby Bsuds » Jan 31st, 2012, 5:12 pm

It's "NOT" a 2T drive, it is a 320G drive. For some strange reason it is showing as a 2T drive in Windows and also in DBAN.

The computer is Win7 64bit and I am not going to use as a boot drive. It was to be used as a USB drive as well but with Windows.

Original plan was to use the drive for a Bell TV receiver USB HDD to turn a 6131 into a PVR. I have that now working with the 250G drive I had as well.

Both of these drives were working when removed from Bell PVR's.
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Re: How to format a PVR HDD for Windows

Postby Loed » Jan 31st, 2012, 6:13 pm

rekabis wrote:Also, I would caution you against using a large drive as your boot drive. You can have much better performance with a small (<250GB) drive as your main boot drive and the larger drive as a slave for storage purposes.


http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/24310-western-digital-caviar-black-2tb-hard-drive-review-11.html

This is actually a thing of the past. As long as you use proper partitioning/defragging from the get-go you'll be okay. Smallish(100gbish) partition for the OS, and then the rest for your documents/program installs.

This of course only applies to HDD's not SSD's.
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Re: How to format a PVR HDD for Windows

Postby rekabis » Feb 1st, 2012, 9:10 am

Bsuds wrote:It's "NOT" a 2T drive, it is a 320G drive. For some strange reason it is showing as a 2T drive in Windows and also in DBAN.

The computer is Win7 64bit and I am not going to use as a boot drive. It was to be used as a USB drive as well but with Windows.

Original plan was to use the drive for a Bell TV receiver USB HDD to turn a 6131 into a PVR. I have that now working with the 250G drive I had as well.

Both of these drives were working when removed from Bell PVR's.


Okay, that is a BIG DIFFERENCE.

I strongly suspect that the drive has a major firmware issue. You see, the motherboard relies on the hard drive to tell the motherboard how big it is. If the Motherboard tells you that you have a 2TB drive, when you really only have a 320GB drive, then there is a major issue. Especially when DBAN also sees it as a 2TB drive.

Depending on the make/model of the drive, you will probably want to download and run the manufacturer’s bootable diagnostic utility. The Ultimate Boot CD is one tool that has the vast majority of manufacturer’s utilities on it (as well as DBAN), and is an invaluable tool for finding out what is wrong.

If the drive is still within its warranty period, you may be lucky enough to wrangle an RMA, just don’t tell the manufacturer that you pulled it out of a PVR. They’d force you to work through the PVR manufacturer then, and working through the system builder is nearly always a much bigger headache (and often impossible) than working with the drive manufacturer directly.

I also need to ask: is this 2TB problem happening only with this drive? For example, do you also get inconsistent sizes with other drives on the same computer, or do you only get an inconsistent size with this hard drive no matter what computer it is connected to? The former could be an issue with the computer (or just a misconfigured BIOS). The latter is definitely an issue with the hard drive.
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