21026: DirecTV DVR copying from one drive to a new one. Go to #23 for instructions.

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Murray Williams
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I am trying to clone the data from a 750G drive to a 2TB drive that is an external disk for my DirecTV DVR. The 750G drive has 3 partions, 1 around 500MB, one at 15GB and the final one around 680GB. No matter if I use "proportional" or "manual" I am unable to create larger partitions on the 2TB disk. I am stuck with the ~1.2TB of unallocated space. The cloned 2TB drive works as an external drive for the DVR, but it is limited to the same size as the original 750G drive.

Shouldn't TIH2010 be able to increase the partition size during the cloning process? Am I going to have to buy Disk Director in order to use that additional unallocated space on my 2TB drive?

thanks,
Murray Williams

GroverH
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You have several choices. My recommendation is the easiest choice which is to download the "Partition Wizarad" CD. Once you burn the download to a CD, you can boot from the CD and easily resize the partiiions to sizes of your choice.

http://www.partitionwizard.com/partition-wizard-bootable-cd.html

Or, you can do a Manual clone and use the Manual method plus manual move and there are features to resize each partition but how these are accessed is not so readily apparent. Click on the yellow link inside my signature below and look at item #3-CC. This pdf is not exactly for your situation but it will show you the procedure for resizing partitions via the clone method. I also suggest you read the tan color link below as well. Unfortunately, there is a current post on the forum about a botched clone and the source disk is no longer usable. User mistakes do happen.

After you read the 3-CC , you can practice before really attempting the restore. I would use TrueImage add disk to remove the existing partitions on the target disk. This can be done just prior to the cloning--if you go that route.

Murray Williams
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GroverH wrote:

You have several choices. My recommendation is the easiest choice which is to download the "Partition Wizarad" CD. Once you burn the download to a CD, you can boot from the CD and easily resize the partiiions to sizes of your choice.

http://www.partitionwizard.com/partition-wizard-bootable-cd.html

Or, you can do a Manual clone and use the Manual method plus manual move and there are features to resize each partition but how these are accessed is not so readily apparent. Click on the yellow link inside my signature below and look at item #3-CC. This pdf is not exactly for your situation but it will show you the procedure for resizing partitions via the clone method. I also suggest you read the tan color link below as well. Unfortunately, there is a current post on the forum about a botched clone and the source disk is no longer usable. User mistakes do happen.

After you read the 3-CC , you can practice before really attempting the restore. I would use TrueImage add disk to remove the existing partitions on the target disk. This can be done just prior to the cloning--if you go that route.

Thanks Grover, I had already found your guides and was planning to try it out tonight when I get home. I tried the online chat with Acronis, but the only advice I got was to upgrade to 2011 and that they refused to help me on 2010 because it was an outdated product and more than 30 days since I had purchased it. Very poor Customer support in my opinion.

Thanks again,
Murray

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Murray,
The instructions I offered would work for a Windows disk. As yours is for a DVR, it may have different disk characteristics and there may be size limitations for a DVR compatible disk. I do not know whether a DVR disk is the same as a Windows disk.

For a Windows disk, If you follow my 3-CC guide, it should be fairly easy--if it works like a Windows system. Using the Rescue CD would be the easiest clone but you can get the feel of it from inside Windows if you want to practice. It is practice until you reach the Proceed or Cancel choices. Click Cancel to stop and repeat your practicing.

Inside the guide, when you reach the figure 7, take the time to do figure 8 so your disk looks like figure 9.

The exact sequence of steps will depend upon what your starting sizes are.

1. Most likely, you first partition will be the easiest as it is only 500MB and not to be resized so right click on partition 1 and do the editing. When done resizing this partition, it should be the correct partition size; no change in free space before; all remaining unallocated space in "free space after".

2. Right click on partition 2 and see if the unallocated space permits you to resize as you wish. If your are unable to resize 2 due to spafe limitations, then edit part 3 and use the mouse pointer and drag/move the partition 3 to the extreme right and then return to part 2 for its resizing.

3. After 2 is finished, then right click on partition 3 and slide the partition either direction and drag the existing partition borders so you end up with no unallocated space.

Murray Williams
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GroverH wrote:

Murray,
The instructions I offered would work for a Windows disk. As yours is for a DVR, it may have different disk characteristics and there may be size limitations for a DVR compatible disk. I do not know whether a DVR disk is the same as a Windows disk.

For a Windows disk, If you follow my 3-CC guide, it should be fairly easy--if it works like a Windows system. Using the Rescue CD would be the easiest clone but you can get the feel of it from inside Windows if you want to practice. It is practice until you reach the Proceed or Cancel choices. Click Cancel to stop and repeat your practicing.

Inside the guide, when you reach the figure 7, take the time to do figure 8 so your disk looks like figure 9.

The exact sequence of steps will depend upon what your starting sizes are.

1. Most likely, you first partition will be the easiest as it is only 500MB and not to be resized so right click on partition 1 and do the editing. When done resizing this partition, it should be the correct partition size; no change in free space before; all remaining unallocated space in "free space after".

2. Right click on partition 2 and see if the unallocated space permits you to resize as you wish. If your are unable to resize 2 due to spafe limitations, then edit part 3 and use the mouse pointer and drag/move the partition 3 to the extreme right and then return to part 2 for its resizing.

3. After 2 is finished, then right click on partition 3 and slide the partition either direction and drag the existing partition borders so you end up with no unallocated space.

Grover, I followed your instructions in the guide and above and still no luck. I got to the same point as I did following the manual prompts in the cloning process where I was presented with options to increase the partition size either directly or through dragging arrows. All this did was move the 680G of allocated space before or after the unallocated space. I will try your other link to the partition resizing software tonight.

thanks,
Murray

GroverH
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After moving the 680 partition to the left, could you not grab hold of the right edge of the 680 partition and extend the partition to its full size to consume all unallocated space.?

Would you consider doing this first. Simulate a clone from inside Windows.
From inside Windows, open TI and choose the clone option.
Work you way through all the steps until you get to the figure 7 picture. Make the adjustments as shown in figure 8.
Once you have the adjustments complete and your picture shows the new columns of info.
Take a screen shot and post that picture on your response.
Maybe even do a screen shot of your problem screen.
Click cancel to stop the clone simulation.

It would also help if you would open Windows disk management and take a screen shot of the 1.5 disk showing the partition arrangement.

Murray Williams
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No, I cannot just grab one edge of the 680 partition. When I grab it, the whole partition moves...I've tried grabbing both edges. When I grab it it moves the 680GB partition into the 1.2TB of unallocated space, creating a total of 1.2TB of unallocated space before and after the 680GB partition. For instance, if I moved the 680GB partition half way to the right, there would be 0.6TB unallocated space to both the right and left .

Also, the manual adjustments for the partition that have the arrows to increase or decrease the size of the partition do nothing...they don't change any of the numbers.

I am doing this all on an old PC that doesn't have windows loaded on it and am using the boot CD (actually usb drive). I don't have a windows PC that I can easily open up and install 2 additional drives into.

thanks,
Murray

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During the clone, when you get to figure 9 (Guide 3-CC), TI has already resized the partitions and your job is to undo what TI has done and to make the partitions to your own specifications.

When looking at figure 9:
partition 1: to what size has TI changed the original 500MB? What do you want for the final size to be?

Partition 2: to what sizes has TI changed to 15GB ? What size to you want the final size to be?

Partition 3: Is all the unallocated space before or after the partition?

Are partitions 2 and 3 logical or primary? This info will show on figure 9.

When attempting to change the partition size larger, there must be adjacent unallocated space. For example, if there is free space to the right, hover your mouse pointer on the right end of the existing partition 3. As you gently move the pointer over the end, you should see two horizontal arrows pointing outward. Once you see the adjustment arrows appear, press and hold the left mouse button and slide the arrows so as to consume all unallocated space. It takes a light touch to keep the whole partition from moving. If the whole partition moves, then use the mouse pointer and grab hold of the middle of the partition and move it back to the starting point again. Then repeat the right edge resizing again and again until you get the feel of what it takes to move the right edge of the existing partition. This is illustrated at the top of figure 17 of guide 3-CC..

Ultimately, if you cannot get the partitions resized during the cloning, then take your existing cloned drive and make your changes using the free Partition Wizard as mentioned above.

To use the Partition Wizard, download the file and burn it to CD and then boot from the Partition Wizard CD. Right click on the partition to be resized and choose the move/resize option. Again, hover the mouse pointer over the partition end until you see the adjustment arrows appear. Then click and hold the arrows in view and drag the partition edge to maximum right so all unallocated space is consumed. When using the Partition Wizard, the changes do not become final until you apply the changes from the top left menu.

Murray Williams
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GroverH wrote:

During the clone, when you get to figure 9 (Guide 3-CC), TI has already resized the partitions and your job is to undo what TI has done and to make the partitions to your own specifications.

When looking at figure 9:
partition 1: to what size has TI changed the original 500MB? What do you want for the final size to be?

Partition 2: to what sizes has TI changed to 15GB ? What size to you want the final size to be?

Partition 3: Is all the unallocated space before or after the partition?

Are partitions 2 and 3 logical or primary? This info will show on figure 9.

When attempting to change the partition size larger, there must be adjacent unallocated space. For example, if there is free space to the right, hover your mouse pointer on the right end of the existing partition 3. As you gently move the pointer over the end, you should see two horizontal arrows pointing outward. Once you see the adjustment arrows appear, press and hold the left mouse button and slide the arrows so as to consume all unallocated space. It takes a light touch to keep the whole partition from moving. If the whole partition moves, then use the mouse pointer and grab hold of the middle of the partition and move it back to the starting point again. Then repeat the right edge resizing again and again until you get the feel of what it takes to move the right edge of the existing partition. This is illustrated at the top of figure 17 of guide 3-CC..

Ultimately, if you cannot get the partitions resized during the cloning, then take your existing cloned drive and make your changes using the free Partition Wizard as mentioned above.

To use the Partition Wizard, download the file and burn it to CD and then boot from the Partition Wizard CD. Right click on the partition to be resized and choose the move/resize option. Again, hover the mouse pointer over the partition end until you see the adjustment arrows appear. Then click and hold the arrows in view and drag the partition edge to maximum right so all unallocated space is consumed. When using the Partition Wizard, the changes do not become final until you apply the changes from the top left menu.

I am not at home, so I may not have all the answers for you. Partition 1,2 and 3 all retain their original sizes using both proportional and manual. The 500Mb stays 500MB, the 15GB stays at 15GB and the 680GB stays at 680GB with 1.2TB of unallocated space. I did take a couple of pictures with my phone last night and have attached them. The unallocated space is after the 680GB partition (the one I want to expand). I do get the two outward pointing arrows, but when I grab the left hand one with left clicking my mouse and drag it to the right, the space doesn't expand. Both arrows move and I now have unallocated space on both the left and right of the 680GB partition. I do plan to use the Partition Wizard tonight. Again, thanks a lot for your help. Murray

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GroverH
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My compliments on your adeptness to getting the picture from phone to computer for uploading. The quality was very usable.

My attachment shows what I think you need to do to resize the partition.

However, we may be using the wrong tools as we are working with a DVR disk. Note your attachments above.
If you look at your image 326, note the extreme right column shows FS: None so TI cannot recognize the file system.
Also note the 3 red indicators at the bottom of the picture.
Note in image 327 that the File System is marked as none.

After posting this, I will google. As I wrote above, I am not familiar with disks created for use on a DVR.

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Mark Wharton
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Grover is correct - the file system used on the DirecTv DVR is unsupported by TrueImage (TI). TI can back up and restore unsupported file systems but since it doesn't understand the underlying format it cannot resize partitions.

You would get the same outcome if the disk contained a supported file system like NTFS but there were bad sectors on the disk. TI will not resize partitions with errors because it could lead to data loss.

So basically you need to use an imaging product that supports the file system used by the DVR if you want to resize partitions. I understand what you're trying to do, but TI will not do the job that you want.

You could delete all of the partitions on the 2 TB disk and then plug it into the DVR. The DirecTV DVR will then format and use the entire disk for storage. But you're probably trying to preserve the recordings on the 750 GB disk, so you may not want that outcome. Have you checked any of the DVR forums to see if there is a way to accomplish this?

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Murray Williams
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Mark, you are right I do want to preserve the recordings on the 750G drive. There is a program called gparted that I have read about that some used to transfer the contents of a DVR from a smaller drive to a larger drive. I also saw some mention of using TI to do this and since I already have it and was familiar with it.
Thanks for your help,
Murray

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Murray:

I was just going to suggest that you download GParted or PartedMagic and see if it can resize your partitions. Although I also have a DirecTV DVR, I must confess ignorance of the file system in use on the disk. If it is one of the Linux file systems then GParted or PartedMagic should work for you. Each program is available in a standalone boot CD version.

Since you've already successfully transferred your programs to the 2 TB disk by using TI, all you need to do now is to enlarge the last (683 GB) partition to fill the rest of the disk.

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Murray Williams
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I tried partition wizard and it doesn't work on that partition. The re-size partition is greyed out when I select the 680GB partition. If I choose one of my windows partitions, the re-size option is active. I'll try GParted or PartedMagic tomorrow.

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Murray:

I see from your graphic that Partition Wizard recognizes the first partition on the disk as a Linux Swap partition, so that's a clue. However, it's not recognizing the other partitions as ext2 or ext3. Ext3 would have been my first guess as to the partition type. But maybe the DVR uses another Linux file system like ReiserFS. Either PartedMagic or GParted should be able to tell you. Knowing the protection that's developed around recorded movies and TV, it wouldn't surprise me if there is some kind of file encryption in use, however.

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Murray Williams
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I did try GParted last night and it also did not let me expand the 680G partition. I am going to start over from square one and follow the steps outlined here:  www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php

thanks,
Murray

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Murray:

The thread that you linked to on dbstalk.com says that the DVR uses the Linux xfs file system. The procedure described does not use the GParted partition manager to expand the partition but rather uses a native Linux command to copy partitions from one disk to another.

The fine print in GParted's list of supported file systems shows that xfs partitions cannot be expanded without having support in the Linux kernel, which their boot disk apparently does not include. So if you could find a Linux distro with native xfs file support in the kernel then you should be able to use GParted to expand your existing partition. See footnote [2]:

This shortcoming of xfs is the reason that you have had difficulty finding a partition manager to expand your copied partition. My hunch is that DirecTV deliberately chose xfs for that very reason. But it looks like the information in the article on dbstalk.com should work for you, but it may take quite a while to finish.

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Murray Williams
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I started over with a clean disk last night and let my DVR do the initial formatting. I now have a 500MB, 15G and 1.8TB partitions. The 1.8TB is blank and I need to copy the data from my 680GB partition from my 750G drive following the instructions on dbstalk. Is there a way to clone just the 500MB and 15G partitions from my 750G disk to my 2TB disk? I am thinking that maybe all my settings and series links are contained in these 2 partitions and would rather copy what I have on my old disk than start over from scratch again. The biggest hassle is that I have my DVR's in an equipment closet in another room and control them via IP. When I let the DVR reformat the disk, it disables IP control and it will be a two person job (me in the closet with the remote and someone else in the other room in front of the TV telling me what is on the screen) to change it back to IP.

Thanks,
Murray

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Murray:

The 500 MB partition is the Linux Swap partition (similar to the Windows paging file) so you don't need to copy anything to it; it's ready to go. The OS on the DVR will use this partition as temporary disk storage.

The other two partitions need to be copied using the technique in the dbstalk.com article. They recommend removing the disk from the DVR after it has been formatted (which you've already done) and connecting it and your 750 GB disk to a PC. The PC is then booted from a Linux CD (you can use your GParted CD) and some console commands are entered to copy the contents of the 15 GB and 680 GB partitions on your old disk to the 15 GB and 1.8 TB partitions on your new disk.

While you could use TrueImage to back up and restore the 15 GB partition, you can't use it for the big partition or you'll be right back where you started with the new disk containing a 680 GB partition and a bunch of unallocated space. Since you have to use the Linux xfsdump command to copy the big partition, you may as well use it to copy both per the article. The article claims that by following this procedure, all of your recordings and settings will be preserved.

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Murray Williams
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Mark, you are right all my settings and recordings were preserved. I guess it didn't click at first that sda2 and sda3 meant both the partition that contained settings and the one that had the recordings. I started the copy last night and it was still going 3 hours later when I went to bed. I woke up this morning and it had finished. I hooked the drive back up to my DVR and all the settings and recordings were preserved. Went from 38% free space to 84%.

This turned out not to be an acronis issue but I really appreciate the help I got from Grover and Mark.

thanks,
Murray

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Murray:

I was hoping that you would let us know how things turned out. Glad to hear that you were successful, and now I've learned a few things about the DirecTV DVR that may turn out to be useful in the future. Too bad it's such a closed system. Their prior DVR was licensed from TiVo and there was a lot of information available about its inner workings, so it was fun to get into its OS and add programs or modify it.

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Murray,
Your perseverance paid off. Congratulations.

If you can find the time, consider writing a "how to" for what you have accomplished. What worked and what did not work and in what situations TrueImage can be of assistance. And if you were to do it again, how you would accomplish the task. I'm sure such would be beneficial and it would be seen by anyone "googling" that situation.

Grover

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GroverH wrote:

Murray,
Your perseverance paid off. Congratulations.

If you can find the time, consider writing a "how to" for what you have accomplished. What worked and what did not work and in what situations TrueImage can be of assistance. And if you were to do it again, how you would accomplish the task. I'm sure such would be beneficial and it would be seen by anyone "googling" that situation.

Grover

I will post the steps I took and some of the problems I ran into later today or tomorrow. If anyone can't wait and wants to do something similar with their DirecTV DVR the basic steps are not to try to use Acronis and follow the directions in the dbstalk link I posted earlier.
thanks,
Murray

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I wanted to change change my external drive on my DirecTV DVR from the current 750GB drive to a 2TB drive while preserving all recordings and settings so I thought I would try True Image.  It did not work as it was not able to expand the partition that contains the recordings.  The partition with the recordings is an xfs file system which was the problem.  True Image would work if you wanted to move from an old to a new disk and they were both the same size.  When I first cloned from the 750GB to the 2TB drive, the drive was fully functional in the DVR but over half of the 2TB space was unallocated, so the drive would not have had any more recording space than the original one.

In order to do this I had to use a program named gparted.  I am going to summarize what I did, but there is much more information on the dbstalk forum.  www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php

First you need to get a copy of gparted and it can't be the most recent version since that no longer works.  But it needs to be version 3.7-7 or later, so I used version 3.7-7.  You can download a copy here:  sourceforge.net/projects/gparted/files/gparted-live-stable/OldFiles/0.3.7-7/

Here are the step-by-step procedures I took:

  1. Try to do a graceful shutdown of your DVR through the menu system.  For me, this was kind of hard because in the menu there is a reset option and I believe that between time I went through the reset sequence and got to my DVR to unplug it, it had started the boot up process.  This can lead to a  "Can't Read Superblock" error which interferes with the copy process, but can be overcome.
  2. Unplug your old external drive from the DVR and plug in your blank new drive.
  3. Reboot the DVR and allow the DirecTV software to be loaded on the new drive.
  4. After the DVR has booted up, follow the same steps as #1 above to shut down the DVR.
  5. Unplug the new drive from the DVR.
  6. Download gparted from the link above and create a bootable CD or usb drive.
  7. Install your old and new drives into a computer.  The instructions on dbstalk state to use SATA port 0 for your new drive and SATA port 1 for the old one, but I don't think it really matters as long as you know which one is which when it comes time to copying. But if you can install the drives as stated above, I would recommend it so there is no confusion on the drive letters for the steps below.
  8. Boot the computer from the CD or usb drive.
  9. Go to Devices from the gparted menu and make sure both of your drives are showing up.  If you used SATA port 0 for your new drive and SATA port 1 for the old one, then the new drive should show up as sda and the old one as sdb.  If these are different, please note the drive number and substitute the appropriate drive letter for "a" or "b" instead of sda or sdb in the instructions below.
  10. Double click on the Terminal Icon to open the terminal window. This will allow you to manually enter in some commands.
  11. I had the "Can't Read Superblock" error, so I had to do this extra step.  It shouldn't hurt to run this command regardless of having the error or not, so if you want, just go ahead and run it first without finding out if you have the error or not.  xfs_repair -L -r /dev/sd?3 /dev/sd?2 (where ? is the letter of the drive with the error).  I ran it on both drives, so I substituted a for both ? the first time and b for both ? the second time.  If your drives are not sda and sdb, then make sure you use the appropriate drive letter.
  12. Type in mkdir /mnt/fap and press enter.
  13. Type in mkdir /mnt/hr20 and press enter.
  14. Type in mount -t xfs -o rtdev=/dev/sda3 /dev/sda2 /mnt/fap and press enter.  This is mounting your NEW drive, so make sure you change from sda to sd<drive letter> if your new drive was not listed as sda in step 9 above.
  15. Type in mount -t xfs -o rtdev=/dev/sdb3 /dev/sdb2 /mnt/hr20 and press enter.  This is mounting your OLD drive, so make sure you change from sdb to sd<drive letter> if your old drive was not listed as sdb in step 9 above.
  16. Now the command instructions to copy all your data from one drive to another. At the command prompt type in xfsdump -J - /mnt/hr20 | xfsrestore -J - /mnt/fap and press enter. A whole bunch of stuff will scroll on the screen and the last thing it will say is restoring non-directory files.  Depending upon the amount of recordings you have, this step will take many hours.
  17. Finally it finishes and a message is displayed that reads Restore Status: SUCCESS.
  18. At the command prompt type in umount /mnt/hr20 and press enter.
  19. At the command prompt type in umount /mnt/fap and press enter.
  20. Type exit and press enter to close the terminal window.
  21. Double click on the Exit icon.
  22. Click on Shutdown and OK.
  23. Remove the disc or usb drive and press enter. Power should be shut off. Make sure the power is off. Unplug the PC if you are unsure.
  24. After the power is shut off, remove the disks from your computer.
  25. Install the new disk into your external enclosure, plug it back into your DVR and reboot your DVR.  After it has booted up, you should have an exact copy of all the settings and recordings you had before with extra disk space.

The whole process is actually pretty easy, so don't let the 25 steps above scare you.  I just wanted to make sure I was thorough in documenting the steps I took.  Again, there is much more information available on the dbstalk forum.  I did this for an external drive, but the same steps would work for an internal drive as well.

Hope this helps anyone else who wants to expand their DirecTV recording capacity.

Murray

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Murray:

Thanks for taking the time to post your upgrade process. I'm sure that it will be helpful.

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Great job Murray. I used your 25 step process and it worked great. Thanks for also adding the fix for "Can't Read Superblock". I saved over a hundred shows and movies from a dying hard drive. Very precise and helpful.

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Fred, glad that it worked for you!