First, I apologise in advance for such a lengthy post.
I have a Nextbox 9865HD with a Seagate 1tb PVR expander connected; they have worked perfectly together for years.
The other afternoon when looking at my recorded list I noticed that the storage capacity was over 80% full. There were some recordings that no longer interested me so I began deleting some of those in order to gain storage space, and managed to get it down to less than 69%, intending to delete even more the next day.
That evening when the TV and box were turned on there was an on-screen message that the external storage device wasn't working properly. I thought perhaps a reboot might help and proceeded to do that, but after the box said "boot" it then just went black (no display). I rebooted the box a total of 3 times, once via the menu and twice by disconnecting the power, with the same result each time.
I then contacted @RogersHelps on Twitter via direct message. While awaiting a reply, I disconnected the expander following instructions on Rogers web site, and rebooted the Nextbox, which worked perfectly. Followed this by reconnecting the expander, but after reboot, nothing but black display.
The @RogersHelps rep then asked me to unplug the box while he sent a signal to it. When reconnected the display first said "boot", but then went dark and stayed that way for quite a while. I went to feed my dogs and to my surprise when I returned the box was displaying the time. Turned on box and TV with expander connected, but immediately got on-screen message that "external storage device is not working properly". This was the only reboot that actually worked with the expander connected, and I assume it was because of the signal sent by Rogers rep.
That was pretty much the end of "help" from Rogers. When asked, the rep thought that perhaps all my deletions may have damaged the hard drive. The only other solution suggested was to reset to factory settings, which would result in the loss of ALL my recordings rather than just the ones on the expander, and I don't feel that's an acceptable option.
I have given everything a day of rest, so to speak, and with the expander disconnected have dusted it, checked the connectors (which look fine) reconnected, and done another reboot, to no avail. The PVR simply will NOT reboot with the expander connected.
If anyone could suggest whether there is any way to restore the expander I would be extremely grateful. I would also like to know why the very fact of the expander being connected prevents the PVR from rebooting and powering on.
Update: after entering this long post it turns out the PVR has finally booted with the expander connected (took a VERY long time). On-screen message says it is not functioning properly and PVR says 46.2% full, so obviously not reading or accessing the expander. Still need help please.
Solved! Solved! Go to Solution.
It's certainly possible that the eHDD has not been functioning for a while. If all the recent programming is playable, then that's very likely the case.
Why would it only show up now? Well, the firmware is always being revised and recent revisions may check for an eHDD and not "boot" the PVR with an eHDD that is not functioning properly...
Another possible "trigger" is that you went over 80% storage, which often causes issues as I mentioned.
Another possible "trigger" is that the connection to the eHDD was not good, so the PVR never even thought that it had an eHDD. Perhaps the eHDD or PVR was recently moved and the SATA cable "made contact".
There are lots of possibilities. On my 8300HD PVR, it will tell me when it turns on that "the eHDD works with this PVR". I don't believe it tells me anything if the eHDD is not working...
Had you been paying attention (no slight intended), you might have noticed that the "% Full" on the "list" page jumped from say 30% to 60% at some time in the past...
I know it's too late now, but it's always a good idea not to ask too much of the Rogers STBs at a single time. So, in future, don't try to delete too many programmes at the same time. Do some, wait a day, etc.
As to the rebooting - will the 9865 boot if the expander is not connected? If it does, then "reboot" without the expander connected and then "hot connect" the expander cable. SATA connections should work fine this way and no damage should result. The 9865 should then "see" the expander.
If the 9865 will not boot with the expander disconnected, then it's very likely that you have a signal issue at your home or in your neighbourhood. Signal issues are the source of many of the posts in this forum. You can call Rogers and they can check the signal at your 9865 and in your neighbourhood.
Most people with 9865s do not operate expanders because the internal 1 TB drive, along with "Media Shrink" provides for quite a bit of storage. Worst case you could operate without the expander, but you wouldn't have access to any recordings on the expander, obviously. You would be able to access recordings on the iHDD.
Also, a PVR should not be considered an archive because it's not a matter of if, but when, a HDD will fail. It should be considered a time-shifting device. It's not a good idea to run the PVR with high % of storage because problems start at 80+%, sometimes even lower. I always try to keep mine below 50% for this reason.
Hi, thanks so much for your reply. Yes, it will reboot without the expander connected. If I do the"hot" connect, would I leave expander plugged in and just remove the SATA from each device? Does it matter in which order I plug the SATA back in?
1. Plug the eHDD into the wall outlet and power it up.
2. Plug the SATA cable into the eHDD.
3. With the PVR and the eHDD on, Plug the SATA cable into the 9865 - it should then recognize the drive. If it doesn't, perhaps there's something wrong with the eHDD.
If there's something wrong with the eHDD, take it apart and put it back together in case there's a loose connection there. What is the make/model of the expander (HDD and enclosure?). How old is it?
Followed your instructions leaving plenty of time after PVR reboot for it to load. PVR on when SATA connected. No reaction whatever from PVR. "List" shows PVR approx 45% full.
Expander is Seagate 1tb PVR Expander "Showcase" Media Attached Storage
Not sure of age, definitely out of warranty, guessing 3-5 years, possibly more.
No idea how to "take it apart and put back together", sorry.
Thanks for the info.
Not sure of age, definitely out of warranty, guessing 3-5 years, possibly more.
I'm guessing that what happened is that the eHDD failed recently and that's why the list showed 80%, because it was now just looking at the iHDD which had been doing all your recent recording.
Are you hearing any "odd" noises from the eHDD - it should just be making a soft whooshing sound.
You could try disconnecting/reconnecting the SATA cable at both ends to see if there is a connection issue, but with a HDD this old, I suspect it's shot. You can continue to operate the 9865 without it, but, of course, you won't be able to access recordings on it. You can delete those from the "list" as you come across them.
It's very typical for HDDs to fail after 3 years or so, hence my earlier comments about time-shifting, not archiving.
That would be my guess too. The external drive has failed.
I had my external expander failed about a year back.. was having similar issues.
When in by the cable box i couldnt notice it.. but when i plugged it in somewhere quieter on its own, I found that it was clicking.. a definate sign that the drive had failed.
To be honest, sometimes what begins as timeshifting turns into archiving🙄, hence my attempt to do multiple deleting. The 80% wasn't a sudden change, but a gradual increase.
As for sound, I think when it was new it was pretty quiet, but for the past year or possibly even longer it has been quietly "chugging" (sorry, can't think of a better description). It is currently connected and completely silent (not good), and the box didn't seem to see it at all.
I'm a long way from being a spring chicken, so the thought of a product being expected to fail at the ripe old age of 3 is pretty darn disturbing to me.
Most of my recording is in SD because main TV is not a flat screen, but a big old Panasonic Gaoo.. If the 9865 has 1tb of storage, and the Expander also had 1tb, do you mean to say that everything was likely being recorded on the 9865 for some time? (Therefore why it was reporting 80% full?)
It's certainly possible if the eHDD failed some time ago. One way to check would be to go to your recorded items list and click on recently recorded shows. If they play, then they were recorded on the iHDD (internal Hard Disk Drive). If they don't play, then they're on the eHDD (External). How far back do you need to go to find programmes that won't play?
When both drives are operating properly, the PVR records onto the drive with the most space available percentage-wise. Sometimes, if recording two programmes at once, it may utilize both drives at the same time.