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Extend your hard drive life

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by nostro1, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. nostro1

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    I am now on my 4th replacment Sky + box in one year.

    The service contract will cost 9.90 per month for 10 months, so you can see where Sky are making their money. Two days after turning down the contract my Sky + box (#3) failed...spooky or what!

    One tip the Sky contractor advised, was to switch off the Live TV Rewind from the services system setup menu. This greatly reduces the amount of mileage on your hard drive when you watch TV via Sky.
    You still get your pause live TV functions but cannot rewind if you miss a bit.
    I will see how it goes before either going for Sky160+ which I am told is a much better box, or transplant my hard drive for a large one advertised on Ebay.

    Hope the above is of help to you
     
  2. Starburst

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    I agree about the IR function, the load it puts on the hard drive is just not welcome and since 99% of what I watch is recorded it's not a facility that I have ever missed.

    Having said that the hardware should be able to support every function that is on offer, SKY+ (some models more than others) has to many weak links:(
     
  3. bignairy

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    If its the hard drive that keeps failing, then why pay for a service contract? The hard drive is a doddle to replace (see the numerous pages in this forum) and is less than the service contract costs.
    Sky OUGHT to be ashamed of the reliability of their equipment, but they aren't sadly.
     
  4. Nick_UK

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    I believe that the hard drive is allowed to "spin down" when not in use when Live rewind is off. However, I find that feature too useful to lose.

    I agree with other posters. Replacing the hard drive is a doddle. I have a 200GB drive in my Sky+ box, and I've never managed to get it more than 60% full :)
     
  5. pragmatic

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    It would be good if sky used some RAM for the Live rewind as it wouldn't cause any problems with harddrives and also use less power, produce less noise and heat. But this would increase the cost of the unit even if the amound of ram needed and the speed of it wouldn't be much in the modern 2004 world.
     
  6. bobcar

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    I'm not sure it does spin down except when in standby. Every time you wanted to access your personal planner/recordings it would still spin up again with a delay. With live rewind off there would be less head movement though.
     
  7. bobcar

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    To do the full hour would require a couple of Gigabytes which is still expensive. Using RAM for part of the storage wouldn't actually make much difference as on long viewings (or not watching) on one channel there would still be as much data going onto disk.
     
  8. pragmatic

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    I get your point on long viewing but that is not what the ram would be used for, i'm saying use the ram for the 10minute time slip, and this would only be 200mb at most (non hidef). Then the harddrive would only be used when the record button was actatualy pressed, hence the advantages.

    Would also be good if any of these recorders recorded to Xvid or divx too, 20 gig would be 30 hours instead of 10. But as these formats have no copy protection it's not going to happen.
     
  9. explicitlyrics

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    The point that was just missed about RAM is its temporary storage. The hard drive would constantly be writing when IR is on, if you had 16-64mb of ram then it would only write every 20-40 seconds. This would dramatically reduce wear on the hard drive.
    Its not ideal but it would make more of a difference than many would expect!
     
  10. ianh64

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    Hard drives are designed to run continuously for many many many years. It is not uncommon for them to have MTBF's (Mean Time Between Failure) of 500,000 hours plus, thats over 50 years continuous operation. What kills these things is starting/stopping them and unsufficient cooling.

    -Ian
     
  11. pragmatic

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    If they were using industrial SCSI drives this maybe true, but I very much doubt that they are, instead they will be using the cheapest they can get there hands on. I have doubts about the test for the so called, Mean Time Between Failure, although modern hard drives are based on principle that have been developed over the last half a century, I doubt they are very accurate (I don't think you can extrapolate something that is longer than the age of any decent modern hard drive implementation).

    And considering this thread is about drives failing because they are always on this MTBF does obviously not hold true. Of course the drives may be hotter than their optimum temperature for longest (or a decent) lifetime and there could be instances of power failure (pulling the plug) but a drive will get a lot 'less' hot if it's not always in operation.
     
  12. ianh64

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    Well the Fujitsu MHS2020AT in my Pace Box has a MTBF of 300,000 power on hours, which by my calculation is over 30 years. Fujitsu also state a component life of 3 years powered on, which is obviously much less.
     
  13. pragmatic

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    Yea like i say i'm not sure how they do the testing and it only takes one little mistake and the disk would probably be useless. If they had so much trust in their product why not give a longer warrenty than 1 year on average?
     
  14. General Skanky

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    Well, my 160gb hdd came with a 3 year warranty, so I don't see a problem.
     
  15. ianh64

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    Seagate do 5 years now as standard.
     
  16. pragmatic

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    To be fair in 3 years we'll probably moved on to something else an 160 Gb will be as small as you can get. Maybe magno-optical drives as they seem alot more reliable. 3 Years is not bad, guessing you bought one with a retail pack. Does it have any disclaimers for use though?

    Is there a limit on the size of a Sky+ drive?
     
  17. DonMaico

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    I have just gone throiugh my third digibox in a year the two previous ones breaking down ijn ther same area - recording. I noticed thge last one developed a noise. Do you think this could've been a faulty fan hence insufficient cooling? As for start stopping I leave mine pon standby when not in use now in the hope of prolonging disc life . Are you suggesting this is not a good idea :confused:
     
  18. Nick_UK

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    If you have Instant Rewind enabled, switching to standby will do nothing at all for your hard disk.
     
  19. bobcar

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    What box do you have? My Amstrad stops the hard drive when It goes into standby.
     
  20. Nick_UK

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    Mine is the Pace box (V2). This only happens if Instant Rewind is off.
     
  21. DonMaico

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    Do you think I should leave it on all the time? My instant rewind is disabled as per advice.
     
  22. bobcar

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    Obviously the Pace is different to the Amstrad then as I have instant rewind on but the disk definitely stops in standby.
     
  23. Nick_UK

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    Well, I find Instant Rewind to be an invaluable feature, so I'm prepared to change the hard disk more frequently to have it. Hard disk prices are dropping all the time, and it's a 20-minute job to change one. It really all depends on whether you find the feature useful. Before I got Sky+, I thought that Instant Rewind was a silly gimmick, but now I would find it hard to live without it.
     
  24. DonMaico

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    Must admit I found it usefull as well. Maybe I should do what you do . I could get the replaement digiboxes until the warranty runs out and then reaplce the hard disks myself.
    the so called sky engineers were most helpful( not) whgen it acame to asking advice, Seems they know the barest minimum. Either that or they are instructed to divulge very little
     
  25. Moviebuff

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    At the moment,the firmware allows drives up to,and including 250gb's in size.
     

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