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Deleting shows from external dvr does not increase available space
eb1231
Enthusiast

My external dvr for a number of months has had the following problems:

1.  Some recorded shows cannot be played back.  They are listed for the full length of time on the recorded shows list, but when you attempt to play them back, the screen is black for 10-20 seconds and then it just switches to live tv on the current channel.  This problem started happening when the dvr got to be over 80% full.  Running the autofix utility has not helped.  Talking to a  FIOS tech on the phone did not help, she had me rerun the autofix utility, but had no real remedy for this and could not explain why it happens.

2. Once the external dvr became 94% full, the internal dvr started being used .   I deleted a bunch of old shows that were recorded on the external dvr, and initially they decreased the used spaced to 60-70%.  This went on for a few weeks.  Now I can no longer reduce the space used by deleting shows recorded on the external dvr.  It shows 92% used even though it only has 15 hours of recorded shows listed on it when I check the status which is about the same amount recorded on the internal dvr which is only 17% full.  The external dvr is 1 TB.

3. Also yesterday the stb started randomly saying the external dvr was powered off without ejecting it properly and would reboot itself.  This has happened 3 times in the last 24 hours.  I tried ejecting the external drive and replacing the esata cable just before I wrote this and will advise if this help with this issue.

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1 Solution

Correct answers
Re: Deleting shows from external dvr - May Require Reformat
armond_in_nj1
Master

eb123 wrote:

By "rebooting" I was referring to the third problem in my original post ... 


OK, I get it.  Based purely on speculation, I'd say it's indeed possible that the issues are related (which of course also applies to the earlier "any other problems" comment).


eb123 wrote:

 ... Regarding the MFT, issue I can still access shows recorded on the drive ... It almost looks like it just can't calculate the correct percentage used once it got to 90% ...  


This type of behavior can possibly be attributed to a corrupt MFT.   Remember that "corrupt" doesn't mean unusable.  It just means that what's actually going on with the disk file system does not correspond to either the physical arrangement of files on the disk, or to file labels on the disk, or for that matter any disk diagnostics such as capacity, speed, etc.


eb123 wrote:

 .... perhaps this drive is starting to go as well as the original one did.  Too bad there is not a utility to move recorded shows from the external dvr to the internal one ... 


I don't get the impression that the drive is failing, just that it needs a bit of sorting.  WRT the utility you mention, this isn't available and will not likely become so due to copy-protection and licensing issues.  It's easy to do in principle, but no one wants more legal issues.

Regarding your wife's programs, just plug a DVD-R into the back of your STB, play the shows in real time, and transfer to DVD disk.  For details see the following and related posts:

http://forums.verizon.com/t5/FiOS-TV-Technical-Assistance/Can-you-burn-an-SD-Flex-View-purchase-to-D...

View solution in original post

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Re: Deleting shows from external dvr - May Require Reformat
armond_in_nj1
Master

eb123 wrote:
1.  Some recorded shows cannot be played back ...
2.  ... I deleted a bunch of old shows that were recorded on the external dvr ... Now I can no longer reduce the space used ... 

3.  ... yesterday the stb started randomly saying the external dvr was powered off  ...


The master file table (MFT) in the external drive is probably corrupt.  There are methods to recover the MFT by attaching the drive to a computer and using specialty software, but this route means a reformat.  Since that's the inevitable result and you seem to be saying you no longer need the material on the drive, your simplest solution is to reformat the external drive and start over.

You can do this using the DVR.  Check in the DVR menu for the appropriate commands.  You can also do it on your computer, but most systems don't have an external eSata plug.  Of course you can remove the drive from its housing and fit it using standard cables, but that route is more trouble than it's worth.
There's no guarantee your external drive can be recovered, because obviously hard drives fail.  However such failure is usually mechanical and not file system related.
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Re: Deleting shows from external dvr - May Require Reformat
eb1231
Enthusiast

I thought of reformatting, but my wife has a several special programs/series still recorded on it that are not available on demand.  I guess I am stuck with a reformat after she watches them.  This drive is a replacement drive less than 12 months old that replaced an older drive that failed 2 years into its 3 year warranty.  It does not seem to have any other problems.  Could this be related to the recent rebooting problem?

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Re: Deleting shows from external dvr - May Require Reformat
armond_in_nj1
Master

eb123 wrote:

 ... This drive is a replacement drive [that] does not seem to have any other problems.  Could this be related to the recent rebooting problem?


I don't know.  What "recent rebooting problem" are you referring to?

WRT the drive and its contents, unless you fix the MBR you cannot access (either to view, delete, or change) the drive's contents.  You mention that the drive "does not seem to have any other problems," but a corrupt MFT is nothing to sneeze at.  Stuff happens.

BTW 694 is not a valid channel for any package in my area (NJ).

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Re: Deleting shows from external dvr does not increase available space
PJL
Master

@eb123 wrote:

My external dvr for a number of months has had the following problems:

1.  Some recorded shows cannot be played back.  They are listed for the full length of time on the recorded shows list, but when you attempt to play them back, the screen is black for 10-20 seconds and then it just switches to live tv on the current channel.  This problem started happening when the dvr got to be over 80% full.  Running the autofix utility has not helped.  Talking to a  FIOS tech on the phone did not help, she had me rerun the autofix utility, but had no real remedy for this and could not explain why it happens.

2. Once the external dvr became 94% full, the internal dvr started being used .   I deleted a bunch of old shows that were recorded on the external dvr, and initially they decreased the used spaced to 60-70%.  This went on for a few weeks.  Now I can no longer reduce the space used by deleting shows recorded on the external dvr.  It shows 92% used even though it only has 15 hours of recorded shows listed on it when I check the status which is about the same amount recorded on the internal dvr which is only 17% full.  The external dvr is 1 TB.

3. Also yesterday the stb started randomly saying the external dvr was powered off without ejecting it properly and would reboot itself.  This has happened 3 times in the last 24 hours.  I tried ejecting the external drive and replacing the esata cable just before I wrote this and will advise if this help with this issue.


It sounds like you may have a problem with the hard drive.  Although you'll loose your recordings on it, I would removed it from the STB, format it on a PC, then re-install it on the STB.  The STB should then reformat it which may fix the problem.

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Re: Deleting shows from external dvr - May Require Reformat
eb1231
Enthusiast

By "rebooting" I was referring to the third problem in my original post.  Regarding the MFT, issue I can still access shows recorded on the drive.  I even went into the deleted shows list and deleted the shows from there to see if it was using up space because you can restore a deleted show, but all that did was permanently remove the shows from the recent deleted shows list so I can no longer restore them.  I also tried restoring a movie.  It added it to the external drive increasing the used time by 2 hours and the space used to 94% from 93%.  I can watch the rstored movie.  When I delete it again, the space used goes down to 93% and the time used goes down by 2 hours to 12 hours of HD.  It almost looks like it just can't calculate the correct percentage used once it got to 90% or more as it did it correctly when it was in the 80% or lower range.  But I am probably just hoping for the best, perhaps this drive is starting to go as well as the original one did.  Too bad there is not a utility to move recorded shows from the external dvr to the internal one.  Then I could try the reformatting now.

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Re: Deleting shows from external dvr - May Require Reformat
armond_in_nj1
Master

eb123 wrote:

By "rebooting" I was referring to the third problem in my original post ... 


OK, I get it.  Based purely on speculation, I'd say it's indeed possible that the issues are related (which of course also applies to the earlier "any other problems" comment).


eb123 wrote:

 ... Regarding the MFT, issue I can still access shows recorded on the drive ... It almost looks like it just can't calculate the correct percentage used once it got to 90% ...  


This type of behavior can possibly be attributed to a corrupt MFT.   Remember that "corrupt" doesn't mean unusable.  It just means that what's actually going on with the disk file system does not correspond to either the physical arrangement of files on the disk, or to file labels on the disk, or for that matter any disk diagnostics such as capacity, speed, etc.


eb123 wrote:

 .... perhaps this drive is starting to go as well as the original one did.  Too bad there is not a utility to move recorded shows from the external dvr to the internal one ... 


I don't get the impression that the drive is failing, just that it needs a bit of sorting.  WRT the utility you mention, this isn't available and will not likely become so due to copy-protection and licensing issues.  It's easy to do in principle, but no one wants more legal issues.

Regarding your wife's programs, just plug a DVD-R into the back of your STB, play the shows in real time, and transfer to DVD disk.  For details see the following and related posts:

http://forums.verizon.com/t5/FiOS-TV-Technical-Assistance/Can-you-burn-an-SD-Flex-View-purchase-to-D...

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Re: Deleting shows from external dvr - May Require Reformat
eb1231
Enthusiast

I thought about that, but I don't have a dvr, can you recommend one?

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Re: Deleting shows from external dvr - May Require Reformat
armond_in_nj1
Master

@eb123 wrote:

I thought about that, but I don't have a dvr, can you recommend one?


I thought I did in the above link.

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Re: Deleting shows from external dvr - May Require Reformat
eb1231
Enthusiast

I thought it was just a link on how to, not which one to use.  I will check it out, thanks.

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