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Reformat DVR hard drive for PC use

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by Vejeta77, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Vejeta77

    Vejeta77 Member

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    I'm currently trying to format a DVR hard drive to work on a PC, however I find myself at a loss. I have been enable to see the drive, but only through disk management. I tried to initialize the drive to format it, however it will not allow me. Does anyone know the steps to take to format this drive to a readable NTFS format? I'm not interested in keeping any of the data already on the drive. Any help would be great. Thank you for your time
     
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  3. attar

    attar Active member

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    In Disk management, does it show the disk as partitioned.
    If so, right click on the disk and see if 'Delete Partition' is available (might have to be an administrator) then click on it and format.
     
  4. Vejeta77

    Vejeta77 Member

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    No the disk shows no partition. I've tried creating one but the disk is unable to initialize.
     
  5. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    who makes the hard drive as you might be able to use that manufacturer's disc utility?
     
  6. Vejeta77

    Vejeta77 Member

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    Seagate. I already gave that a shot as well. Still no luck :( I got it to show up on Darik's Boot and Nuke software but it said it would take 560+ hours to complete. I left it running for 6 hours hoping it was lying. Didn't even make it to 1% -_-
     
  7. KillerBug

    KillerBug Regular member

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    Try this; it should wipe out whatever is on there and give you a nice clean space to put a NTFS partition:

    Open the command prompt as administrator
    type diskpart[enter]
    type list disk[enter]
    type select disk X[enter] (where X is replaced with the number of that disk).
    type clean[enter]
    type create partition primary[enter]
    type exit[enter]exit[enter]

    Also, there might be a new firmware file for the drive...I would check the seagate website...even if it is just the first firmware, you never know what the DVR maker might have done to the firmware on the drive.
     
  8. kendahlj

    kendahlj Member

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    Did this work? I have an old DVR from when I was a Directv subscriber. I've thought about using the hard drive out of it. I might just sell the whole unit though since I think it's only an 80GB hard drive and maybe not really worth it.
     
  9. CBLF

    CBLF Member

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    My old DVR disc is out of a directv HR 22, 500GB Seagate. I've tried Seagate tools to get into to no avail. I've tried everything in this thread and not been able to get into this hdd. I even tried Linux OS but it would not even see the hdd. I'm not even sure that it's spinning up, because it does not get warm. I just can't believe that there is no way to hack into a hdd and wipe it clean!

    I tried this and it did not work. It would see the disk but would not clean or partition.
     
  10. DXR88

    DXR88 Regular member

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    the drive is more than likely locked, or married as some like to say to the DVR box this makes it so the DVR is the only device that can unlock and use the drive.

    the old Xbox worked on the same Principal, perhaps some information on the steps used in unlocking the xbox HDD can assist you in unlocking one for a DVR...its a shot in the dark but at least its something
     
  11. CBLF

    CBLF Member

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    Found a disk utility that chcked the drive for unlocked or locked. It said the disk was unlocked. I'll check out the thread on Xbox and see if anything looks promising. Thanks!
     
  12. AssKlown

    AssKlown Regular member

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    You COULD disconnect all your other hard drives, including your OS drive. Connect this drive, and boot from a copy of windows, as if you were going to do a fresh install, and let it try to format the drive before the install proceeds.

    I had a friend give me a mac OSX boot disk to try and turn my pc into a hackintosh, and it gave a few GREAT format options to the disk that was connected... which was just a random hard drive I had laying around.
     
  13. CBLF

    CBLF Member

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    I tried this after I ran the utility to see if the drive was locked (wasn't). Windows 7 did NOT see the drive connected to the IDE or SATA port(0,1,2 or 3.) I installed the drivers for both Intel and Marvell controllers but W7 did not see the drive. I have two of these drives out of two HR-22's, one Segate and one Western Digital. I've used Seagate tools and WD tools to try and erase them or format them to no avail. If there is some code that the DVR box sends to the drives to power up or "unlock" them I have not found it on the web searches. Nothing I've found on the web has worked on erasing or formatting these drives. Just as an experiment, I reinstalled these drives back into the DVR's and they worked, go figure!
     
  14. DXR88

    DXR88 Regular member

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    its a possibility. have you tried using the DVR as the powering source?

    Also what are the drive model numbers?
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  15. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    where did you check to see that win7 did not see the drives, my computer or what?
     
  16. DXR88

    DXR88 Regular member

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    Disk management, i would assume.
     
  17. AssKlown

    AssKlown Regular member

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    He would HAVE TO use disk management to see the drive. Its likely the drive would show unavailable or greyed out or something like that... Usually just right clicking on it, and setting it as a partition or something like that would begin the process of turning it into a logical drive..? But you said in your OP that it won't let you. Try formatting it through DOS?

    I've formatted many hard drives from Scientific Atlanta 8300 PVR's (We in Canada call ours Personal video recorders!). All those drives were either WD, or Maxtor drives, some newer ones are Seagate. ALL formatted easily and the same.

    Please post models, and/or pictures of the drives (specifically the labels)
     
  18. CBLF

    CBLF Member

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    Yes in disk management. Today I burned a bootable copy of Linux (Ubuntu) to my USB flash drive. Powered down, disconnected all of my SSD's & HDD's of my Windows 7 array an then connected the Seagate (ST3500312CS) HDD to my SATA 0 port and plugged in the power adaptor to the drive. I booted up and entered the BIOS, changed from AHCI to IDE on ports 0 thru 5, changed first boot device to USB HHD. By the way, during the POST (before I entered the BIOS) it listed the Seagate HDD as a SCSI HDD: ST3500312CS. I booted up again and this time it saw the Seagate HDD as a IDE drive at port 0 during POST. The USB HDD loaded Ubuntu OS. During the OS load I could hear the Seagate HDD making "clicking" noises and the screen text reported that the drive was slow to respond, reporting an error. After the OS was up and running I checked the system devices and the Seagate HDD was not listed. I rescanned the system to try and find the HDD but no luck! Powered down and disconnected the Seagate HDD, connected the Western Digital HDD to my SATA 0 port and powered up. Not only did the WD HDD not appear in the POST it did not appear in the OS system devices. It is odd that the Seagate HDD shows up in POST but that the WD HDD does not. Tomorrow I'm going to download some DOS bootable disk utilities I found tonight and see if I can get into the drives that way. If anyone has any suggestions or tips feel free to advise me. This has become a crusade for me and I would really like to find the solution to this puzzle! Thanks for all of the encouragement. BTW, the WD HDD is: WD5000AVVS-63ZWB0
     
  19. Vejeta77

    Vejeta77 Member

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    Yes I see the disc in Disk Management. Its the only way I can see the drive. The model is an ST3500830SCE. Best I can really do for information on the model. I haven't tried the windows 7 install format yet. I'm about to try that next.
     
  20. Vejeta77

    Vejeta77 Member

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    I tried to reformat using the windows install method. I had no such luck with that either. I tried Windows XP, Vista, and 7. None of wihich even saw the drive. I'm running out of ideas. Really wish I could get this to work properly. And why the hell hasn't there been a lot of talk on this subject? I figured a lot of people would have tried this already.
     
  21. AssKlown

    AssKlown Regular member

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    Are you sure the jumpers on the drive are set correctly??!! I'm wondering if the drive is faulty, due to the "clicking" sounds and error messages you recieved.

    It might not be PC compatible, maybe too slow and meant for use in a DVR only?? I've never heard of a drive not being able to be formatted after going through all the steps that you've done....?!

    My last suggestion would be to attempt to connect the drive to the computer via USB. I have an IDE to USB adapter that allows me to connect devices to the PC via usb, and typically it will show up as a removable device. But your still in the same boat for formatting options with windows.
     

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