8300HD Explorer Boots with "Er.53"

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I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 4

8300HD Explorer Boots with "Er.53"

My old Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD fails to boot up. When I power it on, the front panel shows "Er.53" for a couple of seconds. It then shows "Fr.01" quickly counting up to about 07 before changing to "h###" where the numbers rapidly count up from 000 until it reaches 999 and cycles back to zero again in an endless loop.


I've tried changing the hard drive with a few different old ones I've had lying around with no difference.


Does anyone know what this error means and what my recovery options might be?



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Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 2,892

Re: 8300HD Explorer Boots with "Er.53"

I have the following comments/suggestions.  Searching the web and Digital Home I found a fair number of posts regarding Er.53 - which seems to relate to a hard drive issue of some sort:


1. The Explorer 8X00 has a fairly simple procedure to erase the drive (start clean). Note that this process will erase all scheduled programming and will cause the unit to reload all programming data from your cable provider. On the plus side, it will repair any fragmenting problems. 

"Press and hold PAUSE until Mail led is lit. Press PAGE down or (-), 
and then press LIST three times. Turn box off. When turned-on, 
formatting will begin."


2. Many issues are caused by a poor signal in your home/neighbourhood. Can you check the signal in your home using another box? Just because the signal is good at another box, it doesn't mean that it'll be good at the "problem" box, but it'll give an idea.  Call Rogers and have them check the signal in your home and neighbourhood.  For additional signal information, see the following:




3. For additional information on SA boxes, check out the following FAQ which also includes information on checking the signal on your SA8300HD, etc.




4. These SA8300HDs are now approaching 15 years old.  Electronics don't last forever, even though these were pretty bullet proof and rarely needed anything more than a new iHDD.


5. I sometimes had issues with my SA8300HD not rebooting properly and I just kept trying. Sometimes it would take a few tries and eventually I got there.  This was especially true if I powered it down for vacations. I don't do that any more and recommend a UPS for any PVRs.


6. I found the following old links for errors & iHDD:





I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 4

Re: 8300HD Explorer Boots with "Er.53"

Thanks, for this!

As it turned out, it was the cable connection that was the problem. It didn't realize it was attempting to download the software every time upon power-on.

As an aside, it turns out you can use the box without a hard drive at all. It will re-download the software every time it is unplugged or the power goes out, but it will otherwise download and hold the Explorer software in memory and you can use it normally (without any recording, of course).


I'm a Reliable Contributor
Posts: 348

Re: 8300HD Explorer Boots with "Er.53"

You can also replace the hard drive if it is a failing hard drive.  And all mechanical hard drives will eventually fail.  The only issue is that I believe that these are IDE hard drives which are pretty obsolete - but you can find them on ebay for less than $20.  There are threads on DHC about doing the replacement.


edit - the biggest trick is that you need special screwdrivers to open the box.  I believe they are Torx 10 security.