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External (eSATA) drive automatically "primary" is undesired; needs user control.

External (eSATA) drive automatically "primary" is undesired; needs user control.

Message 1 of 5

Greetings, Verizon:


I have some questions and comments regarding use of an external eSATA drive with my Verizon FiOS DVR, now that the drive has been successfully connected and is working.


I noticed that the content on my DVR’s local (internal) drive occupies only 69% of its capacity, yet it has already begun recording scheduled programming on my external eSATA drive.





I understand the explanation at hardware/esata/129841.htm, which includes the following:


“Once connected, all recordings automatically record on your eSATA device until it is full or disconnected from the DVR. Once your eSATA device has reached recording capacity, additional programs then record to the hard drive of your DVR.”


This is just plain wrong. To begin with, if the destination drive for recordings are automatic, the DVR’s internal drive should remain “primary” or default, with the external drive being secondary, where recordings are made (only) when the primary drive is at or near capacity.


The reason I connected the secondary eSATA drive to the DVR is temporary, in case I run out of space on the primary drive, due to scheduled recordings, for instance, while we are on vacation later this year. Overflow might not have been necessary, but my intention was to first view and delete any recordings made on the external drive, so it may be removed and returned to regular use as a computer backup drive. I think this approach is not only logical but also common for many customers needing temporary extra recording space on their Verizon FiOS DVR.


Why is it a problem for all new programming to be recorded to the external drive first?


Two reasons: First, because now, before being able to permanently remove the external drive, I have to watch and delete all programming recorded during our absence, rather than only the excess programming that would not fit on the internal drive. Secondly, all while I’m trying to catch up and delete programming from the external drive, it will be recording new programming only on that drive. A hopeless scenario.


Why else is it a problem for the external drive to become “primary?”


I noticed during these first couple days of use that the eSATA drive is continuously active (noisily busy read/writing all the time). At first I thought this was just some kind of initial drive verification routine, but now I understand that this external drive, now being “primary,” is also the drive the DVR uses for “caching” the tuner’s current channel (I still think this device should have a true “off” button!). That constant disk activity sound is annoying, and I’d prefer not to always hear it right next to my desk (and computer, which incidentally, has the same type external drives attached, but which are usually quiet).


This also puts unwanted extra wear-and-tear on my drive.


Questions I would like answered


Why doesn’t the internal drive serve as “primary,” in the manner I (and likely others) expect?


Why are there no options that allow me (the customer) control over the destination drive for specific recordings or series when an external drive is attached?



What else seems strange?


As stated above, and understood, once an external drive is attached to the DVR, all recordings are made to that drive (until its capacity has been reached).


I’m told I correctly interpreted the brown shield icon with a white plus (+) symbol in the recorded program listing, that represents content recorded on the external drive, rather than the local drive.




This icon is different than the light grey shield icon with the green plus symbol that represents a program marked as "saved until I delete," versus "save until space is needed."




With that said, please explain what happened here, where it appears some programming on 4/8 (e.g., CSI: Miami) was recorded on the external drive, then immediately following it, on the same broadcast network, other programming was evidently recorded on the internal drive (WBZ News and Sports Final). Later programming then appears to have been recorded on the external drive again.




I do sincerely thank you and hope for a meaningful response from Verizon.



Silver Contributor III
Location: Long Beach, California

To the OP:  This is a peer-to-peer forum, so don't expect a Verizon response, although sometime they do anyway.

Silver Contributor V
Silver Contributor V

As said this forum is mostly peer to peer.  It looks like you have already found and posted an item in the Share Your Ideas with Verizon, which is where this belongs.

Silver Contributor V

To the OP:  What is the make and model of your external drive (I may have missed this info in your post)?  Thanks.

Copper Contributor

Thanks for your excellent questions.

It had information that I needed " should the hard drive stae on or shut down.

Now I know it is being used to cache data therefore needs to be on.



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