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USB and external harddrives


Standard Member
Had an interesting conversation with one of those chaps that stands in shopping centres and tries to sell SkyHD to the punters.

Yes - I know what you're thinking - it's doubtful he knows how to spell "HD", but the missus was shopping and I was bored.

I have had a Thompson from day one and am not someone that wants to mess around to put a larger disk drive in. So I asked if Sky was ever going to bring in larger disk version themselves.

He didn't know, but then asked why I didn't just put an external USB harddrive in the USB on the SkyHD since that's what he did.
He claimed that he had a 250Gb USB harddrive plugged in and that "if the internal disk is full it will automatically records to the external drive rather than delete from the internal drive". He then went on to explain that if you then make space on the internal drive then it would be filled again before the external drive was used. Any recording on the USB drive would be visible in the planner.

Now this sounded like a load of <expletive deleted> to me.

So he phoned his technical chap who happily confirmed that this was the case. I asked if this was functionality only on newer manufactured boxes or even manufactured by a specific company, but he claimed that this had been the case from the start.

Now I always had heard that the USB wasn't configured other than for power (can charge a mobile phone etc.).

I also don't habitually run my drive at >90% so haven't the opportunity to test if this is indeed a load of hog wash.

Anybody else heard about this? Is it true? Can anyone check?



Active Member
I guess you could copy plus onto a USB drive using your PC. Delete content from the internal HD, plug in the USB and see if deleted programs still show. Quick(ish) way to check.
Just record any old rubbish to see if its true, you can always delete it after all. Might try it, i have a 250GB drive i hardly use.


Active Member
You were right about the <expletive deleted>. USB has never worked for anything other than powering up an ipod.

I have seen some people run an external hardrive via the internal SATA connection so that they can increase disk space without removing the warranty sticker on the internal drive. Not USB though.

Would be great if they did enable it, but it would defeat the purpose of the box being a time-shifter instead of an archiver.


Active Member
Done a quick google on this and there is a poster on another forum who claims that the USB port is enabled when you change the hard drive. They also claim that you can copy the contents of the sky box to the external drive just by plugging it in. Sceptical myself, but might give it a crack over the weekend.


Unless you have the correct drivers and firmware I do not believe that this will work. Until Sky 'allow' us to use these extra ports, they will only be used to power things like hdmi switches.:mad:

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