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Success with adding an external eSATA drive to a Verizon FIOS DVR

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Gold Contributor IV
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Posts: 1,416
Registered: ‎04-10-2012

Re: Success with adding an external eSATA drive to a Verizon FIOS DVR

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@PaulCCC wrote:

 

If I add the external hard drive, will the set boxes in the multi-room system ... be able to read the shows recorded on it? ...


Yes.

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Registered: ‎06-25-2013

Re: Success with adding an external eSATA drive to a Verizon FIOS DVR

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Went long time unable to connect WD 1T external drive.  Verizon could not troubleshoot, sent new set top box, still would show it accepted but then nothing.

 

Saw an earlier post to replace the WD or Verizon eSata cable with a SHIELDED eSata cable.  Got one for about six buck, Office Depot.  Changed cables, followed onscreen prompts and was done in a minute.

 

Hopes this helps anyone else who was frustrated.

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Registered: ‎07-03-2012

Re: Success with adding an external eSATA drive to a Verizon FIOS DVR

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Yes all the other DVR's and settop boxes can all access these shows.  

 

 

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Registered: ‎09-05-2013

Re: Success with adding an external eSATA drive to a Verizon FIOS DVR

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Plargent, thank you for your detailed success/experience with this. I'm in the process of changing from DirecTV and doing the FiOS triple Play (dang 2 year DTV contract, but in their defense, Verizon WAS ON STRIKE two years ago). Anyways, there is one thing I'm researching: how to transfer the old shows off my DTV DVR to a computer. On Amazon, just search under personal video recorder.  Hauppauge HD-PVR is a popular one. There's another one as well. They don't go through HDMI (protected), but use component connections, so be sure to use quality (thick) cables and hook up correctly. Once I offload those programs, I'll be free to order the triple play, upgrade my FiOS 25/25 to 50/25 (unless you really think the extra $5 is worth the 70/35 or whatever. The new box comes with a 160 GB HDD unless I splurge $30ish (forgot the quote for the 1 time fee) for the expanded HDD, which is 500 GB.

 

So, if I am able to periodically transfer these episodes off, then I won't need 200 hours of HD stored nor would I want that, since you can only transfer in realtime, that's a lot of hours to be copying. Worse than my old TiVO!

 

If it is as you say, you can access internal and external HDD, then I can wait to plug in the external one until I really need it? It will format the external one and leave anything on the internal drive alone.

 

You have confirmed or maxed out your external HDD, and it only supports 750 GB, or have they done any recent software upgrades to expand that?

 

Anyways, I appreciate your information.

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Registered: ‎10-02-2013

Re: Success with adding an external eSATA drive to a Verizon FIOS DVR

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First of all - thanks for all the thorough information!  Very helpful.  Question - You noted below that:

 

I went with the largest (3TB) drive from western digial's AV-GP line to avoid a future upgrade from a smaller drive to a larger drive.   There is no way to copy videos from one external eSATA drive to another drive because they are formatted by the FIOS DVR in a propriatary format.  That would mean that any future upgrade would require losing all recorded files during an upgrade.  That also means that there is no way to back up the contents of the drive to protect yourself from hard drive failure.

 

Earlier this week our HD/DVR set top box went out and had to be unplugged/restarted.  Immediately I noticed that our taped shows/movies were unable to be watched.  My husband and I thought it was an issue with our WD hard drive and it was still within warranty (only a few months old) so we were going to send it back with RMA.  However, I called Fios to see if there was any way to transfer the hours of shows, videos that we never had a chance to watch.  While I was waiting I heard a message that noted there was a video upgrade and to anyone having issues, just reset the box.  Immediately a red light went on in my head alerting me that their upgrade may have made our hours of stored shows on the hard drive unwatchable.  You seem to be very well versed on this so I wanted to see if you can shed any light on any options for salvaging our shows or if it is a "too bad so sad" for us.  Or, if you happened to have any recent issues this week?

 

Thanks for any light you can shed on this one!  

 

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Registered: ‎01-30-2014

Re: Success with adding an external eSATA drive to a Verizon FIOS DVR

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This is probably too late to help you, but our external HD fairly often disconnects, and all our recordings on it seem to vanish.  But if I just tell the DVR to enable external storage, it reboots and poof, the external HD is back, with all the recordings intact.

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Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Re: Success with adding an external eSATA drive to a Verizon FIOS DVR

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I see this is an old thread, but it was how I succeeded in my upgrade. So I'm adding some more recent shopping information for adding an external drive in 2016.

 

I have a very newly-refurbished Motorola QIP 7232 P2 sent to me by Verizon. It shows Release 1.9.9, Build Number 81.25 on System Information. Note that when I write DVR below, I also mean “our Set-Top Box”, because it performs both functions in one enclosure.

 

I went to a large local computer supermarket, and purchased:

WD Surveillance (“Purple”) 2TB Internal Hard Drive WD 20PURX-64P6ZY0 +-$84

The smallest factory-box label says Model WDBGKN0020HNC-NRSN

This is such an “ordinary” drive that I was allowed to carry the stock to the register myself.

Sabrent 3.5” SATA/IDE Hard Drive Aluminum Enclosure with Fan EC-UEIS7 +-$29

6' external eSATA cable, identical connectors both ends +-$8

 

The eSATA cable was new to me, and I'd comment that you need to look at the mating parts with a flashlight to make sure the contacts face the contacts. Some cables had metal retaining clips that looked scary to force into the slots. The Motorola eSATA receptacle looked flimsy.

 

Because SATA (as opposed to IDE) drives don't require handling ribbon connectors by hand, it's very easy to install the drive in the enclosure. Screwdriver use is needed for the cover.

 

External Drives are under the DVR item on the main FIOS Menu. DVR|Configure + Upgrade|Enable More Storage. I found that the powered-on drive wasn't properly detected even when I rebooted the DVR after it was plugged in. That is, I unplugged the eSATA cable to the powered-on drive and re-inserted it with both the drive and the FIOS DVR turned on. This caused a pop-up telling me to go to the appropriate menu and reboot the DVR again. This time it was recognized. Because it didn't ask me about formatting, I went to the Format menu item and ordered a format. Perhaps because the drive was brand-new, the Formatting took only one second.

 

This "Format" menu item is good news, because our original VCR performance suffered after years of use. I attribute that to drive fragmentation.

 

The FIOS Menu's DVR section "Configure + Upgrade" now shows an Internal drive and an External drive, both initally empty. It does not report the maximum capacity of either drive. The internal drive shows 0% usage. With 12:00 hours of HD video recorded, the External drive shows 4% usage. Because of the low usage number, it's hard to compute an accurate “capacity” for the drive, but as I deleted shows one-by-one, I got 100% numbers between 250 hours and 300 hours of HD video.

 

Since Verizon rates the 500MB internal drive at 60 hours of HD, that suggests that the Motorola was able to use all 2.0 GB of the Western Digital drive.

 

We have only one DVR, so I cannot answer questions about sharing the shows in our home.

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Registered: ‎08-14-2016

Re: Success with adding an external eSATA drive to a Verizon FIOS DVR

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Thank you for this tip:

 

"External Drives are under the DVR item on the main FIOS Menu. DVR|Configure + Upgrade|Enable More Storage. I found that the powered-on drive wasn't properly detected even when I rebooted the DVR after it was plugged in. That is, I unplugged the eSATA cable to the powered-on drive and re-inserted it with both the drive and the FIOS DVR turned on. This caused a pop-up telling me to go to the appropriate menu and reboot the DVR again. This time it was recognized"

 

I just succesfully added a build-your-own external drive. Initially the drive would not recognize, even after numerous reboot/ troubleshoot attempts, etc. Hot plugging the drive as you suggested did the trick. I've only done one brief test recording, but it seems to be working.

 

WDBGKN0020HN 2TB WD Purple Surveillance drive

Vantec NextStar CX NST-300SU-BK eSATA/USB2 external case

I used the supplied eSATA cable

 

Only one DVR here also. Motorola QIP7216

Hope this helps someone else.

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Registered: ‎02-21-2011

Re: Success with adding an external eSATA drive to a Verizon FIOS DVR

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I would like to add to this list of successes.  I have been trying to get additional space on my Cisco CHS 435HDC system.  I was able to do this using the following equipment.

 

One Thermltake SATA enclosure:  http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/storage.aspx

One 3 TB Western Digital SATA drive:  WD 3TB WD30EURS  ($125.00)  for video surveillance.

One 3 foot esata cable. 

 

Once connected the Cisco system recognised the drive asked if I wanted to use it for video storage, formatted it and it is working perfectly.

Dave

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Registered: ‎03-18-2013

Re: Success with adding an external eSATA drive to a Verizon FIOS DVR

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As this thread is now over two years old, it will be locked in order to keep discussions current. If you have the same or a similar question/issue we invite you to start a new thread on the topic.

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