Yet another External Hard Drive question

OK, slightly different question than most.  I have an external hard drive that we have been using with our multi-room DVR since the day we got it.  Last week, it looks like Verizon did an update or something to the set top box as it rebooted in the middle of the day.  Since around that time the STB has not recognized the existence of the external hard drive.  We have tried reactivating it multiple times, unplugging everything, reconnecting it all, disconnecting the eSATA cable from the STB while everything is powered up hoping to get an activation notice (suggested in an old 2012 forum posting). Nothing has worked. 

Something similar happened once before, but after a couple of days the STB spontaneously recognized the external hard drive again.  It has been about 10 days this time and nothing at all.  Any other ideas for what to try without reformatting the drive?