This thread is from quite a while ago.. the HDD spinning issue, doesnt really exist anymore, (unless you are recording something).
Cutting power to the whole box, you can do.. but it will need to reboot before watching, etc.
Any other form of just upluging the drive while the unit is running, will cause the box to not work properly... as well as any sudden drops while the drive is/was doing something, could possibly cause damage to the drive over time.
I'm really not sure how the issue has been "solved". Rather than spinning up and down, the hard disk stays spinning all the time. I have 3 8642 PVRs, and they are all the same. I do hate listening to the hum of the hard disk in my bedroom while trying to sleep, so I can definately understand why this other person wants to solve the problem. While the unit does need to download guide updates, on demand updates, pvr updates, etc. at off hours if a wee bit tiny extra thought was put into the system, it should be spinning down the hard disk when it's not needed, and spinning it up at other times. Not only would this reduce the noise level of the box, but it would save energy as well! While the overall energy savings for one house might not be so big, if you consider the number of hard disks running 24x7 -- imagine the savings if they could be shutdown when not used.. the total amount of energy could actually be quite large! Hey, maybe they could pool the energy, sell it, and pay my Rogers bill with the savings.. (ah, I must be daydreaming ... but I guess it's because my Rogers PVR kept me up last night!)..
Although not ideal, the hard drive spinning 24/7 is the fix Rogers made to a problem introduced a few years ago when the HDD wound spin down (turn off) and then spin up (turn on) a few minutes later. This was given the name HSUD (Hard drive Spinning Up and Down). Besides being much noisier, it cause premature drive failure. A couple of weeks ago my 8300HD HDD started shutting down after around 15 minute of sitting idle, like it did when it was first introduced. That lasted a couple of days, but has returned to running 24/7.
I have a 8300HD in my bedroom and never hear it. I hear other stuff, like the furnace, the fridge. It may depend on the brand of hard drive. Mine is a Western Digital.
Don't know why my 8300HD PVR would be any different but, when the power is off, the hard drive isn't spinning. It starts up when I power it on, though. I used to get a lot of hard drive head retraction sounds, also known as head parking, when the unit was powered off and not recording, but haven't heard this in a long time. It seems like Rogers has done something to change this behaviour. The hard drive is a Maxtor and is the original drive, now over 9 years old.
Okay, I just checked mine. When I turn it on, I hear the faint sound of the HD (or fan or both). I have it set to just show the little green dot when off.
What do you mean by a little green dot? Is that instead of showing the clock? If so, where is the option to set it? I've never heard of it.
Settings > Settings > Display:Power Off. I have it Blank when power off and it just shows a little green dot.
My 8300SD was like that by default, but the 8300HD showed the time until I discovered how to change it. This way it's easy to tell when the PVR is on or off. My 8300SD is located some distance from the TV itself, so we have to be careful how we point the remote so both turn on and off together and not get out of phase and it really helps to be able to easily see when the PVR is on and off.