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Old 01-17-2012, 05:05 PM   #1
wluebke
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DirecTV THR-22 Hard Drive Upgrade

I am by no means an expert on this subject, but after poking around for 10+ hours on the various forums I found a lot of "mis"information concerning external SATA hard drives and replacing internal hard drives in a Direct TV DVR. I am not going to go into great detail but instead focus on the route I choose. This is what I learned:

The THR22 is the same as the HR22, the only difference is the operating system. The good news is the operating system no longer lives on the internal hard drive like the older DTV/Tivo units. All one needs to do is replace the hard drive and reboot. (Preferably with a video rated hard drive, such as I did with a 2TB Western Digital WD20EURS.) The bad news is due to the flood in Thailand last year, the supply of these drives have "dried up" worldwide. Maybe someone can offer suggestions for alternatives to the the Western Digital Video rated drives?



There are 2 ways to go about adding hard drive space to you THR-22. (In both cases you loose all shows and programming on the original internal hard drive.)

1.) Add an external Drive with SATA connection (Lots of recipes for failure depending on the brand/model of Hard Drive and External Case you use)

2.) Open the case and replace the internal hard drive. (Simple and straight forward but you void the warranty and some by-laws)



I decided that finding the correct external SATA drive/case option was to much trouble, even DTV does not officially support them.
So I went the internal route, here are the 5 easy steps if you are computer-savy.

1.) If you are afraid of the warranty issue. (Stop right here)

2.) Unplug the THR22 and disconnect all cabling. (If you can't re-connect the cables .. Stop right here!)

3.) Open up the case. (If you can't do this then stop right here)

4.) Replace the hard drive. (If you can't do this then stop right here)

5.) Re-connect all the cables and plug it in. (The THR-22 will automatically format the drive upon power up.)

I have been enjoying my new 300 hour HD recording capability on my THR-22 for over 2 weeks now. No issues!

Choose wisely my friends!

Last edited by wluebke : 01-17-2012 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Grammer
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info! I used your guide and installed a 2 TB WD works great
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:43 PM   #3
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Its nice to hear the drive can be upgraded but bad to here the OS is on a chip, therefore meaning it more than likely cant be modified.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk33t3r View Post
Its nice to hear the drive can be upgraded but bad to here the OS is on a chip, therefore meaning it more than likely cant be modified.
Why do you think that? I highly doubt they're using a one-time programmable ROM to store the OS.

I'm more surprised TiVo coded this into their OS. I wonder what the partition structure of the internal OS drive is (if it has it's own MFS partitions or if it's really just the OS). I'm guessing it has a small MFS partition for loopsets/channel info/etc, then all the recordings are stored on the SATA HD (as if it were an external HD for a normal TiVo)
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Thinkdiff View Post
Why do you think that? I highly doubt they're using a one-time programmable ROM to store the OS.

I didn't say it was or wasn't but the THR22 is the same hardware as the HR21/HR22 and the OS is on a chip not the hard drive.

And from DDB here are the partitions
sudo ./pdisk.x86 /dev/sdb
Edit /dev/sdb -
Command (? for help): p

Partition map (with 512 byte blocks) on '/dev/sdb'
#: type name length base ( size )
1: Apple_partition_map Apple 63 @ 1
2: Version 1 1 @ 2148865904
3: Rsvd 1 @ 2148865905
4: Rsvd 1 @ 2148865906
5: Rsvd 1 @ 2148865907
6: Ext3 mdi 15626240 @ 2148865908 ( 7.5G)
7: Ext2 Devl 524288 @ 2164492148 (256.0M)
8: Swap Linux swap 262144 @ 2165016436 (128.0M)
9: Ext2 /var 524288 @ 2165278580 (256.0M)
10: MFS MFS application region 589824 @ 2172094324 (288.0M)
11: MFS MFS media region 1733755196 @ 2173273972 (826.7G)
12: MFS MFS application region 2 589824 @ 2172684148 (288.0M)
13: MFS MFS media region 2 2148865840 @ 64 ( 1.0T)
14: Ext3 SQLite 6291456 @ 2165802868 ( 3.0G)

Device block size=512, Number of Blocks=3907029168 (1.8T)
DeviceType=0x0, DeviceId=0x0
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Last edited by sk33t3r : 05-06-2012 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk33t3r View Post
I didn't say it was or wasn't but the THR22 is the same hardware as the HR21/HR22 and the OS is on a chip not the hard drive.

And from DDB here are the partitions
sudo ./pdisk.x86 /dev/sdb
Edit /dev/sdb -
Command (? for help): p

Partition map (with 512 byte blocks) on '/dev/sdb'
#: type name length base ( size )
1: Apple_partition_map Apple 63 @ 1
2: Version 1 1 @ 2148865904
3: Rsvd 1 @ 2148865905
4: Rsvd 1 @ 2148865906
5: Rsvd 1 @ 2148865907
6: Ext3 mdi 15626240 @ 2148865908 ( 7.5G)
7: Ext2 Devl 524288 @ 2164492148 (256.0M)
8: Swap Linux swap 262144 @ 2165016436 (128.0M)
9: Ext2 /var 524288 @ 2165278580 (256.0M)
10: MFS MFS application region 589824 @ 2172094324 (288.0M)
11: MFS MFS media region 1733755196 @ 2173273972 (826.7G)
12: MFS MFS application region 2 589824 @ 2172684148 (288.0M)
13: MFS MFS media region 2 2148865840 @ 64 ( 1.0T)
14: Ext3 SQLite 6291456 @ 2165802868 ( 3.0G)

Device block size=512, Number of Blocks=3907029168 (1.8T)
DeviceType=0x0, DeviceId=0x0
That's what I'm saying.. if it is on a "chip" (which seems to be the case given the OP's success at cold-replacing the HD), that chip doesn't have to be one time programmable. I'd be willing to bet it's read/write and allows for OS updates.

As for that partition map, it looks like it came from a 2TB hard drive, not the internal partition the OP is talking about.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:38 PM   #7
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I mis understood, but I am sure there are checks in place to verify the image is what it is supposed be, and of course its rewritable, the hr21/22 are upgraded via the stream
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinkdiff View Post
That's what I'm saying.. if it is on a "chip" (which seems to be the case given the OP's success at cold-replacing the HD), that chip doesn't have to be one time programmable. I'd be willing to bet it's read/write and allows for OS updates.
I think what sk33t3r is talking about is user mods to the OS. Then again, you can't do that on any of the newer TiVos. While the s/w is still on the disk, the h/w verifies the signature.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
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The DirecTV DVR hardware, which includes the THR22, has the ability to download firmware from the satellite on demand. I am not sure if the firmware is stored in chips or on the disk, but either way it can take a blank disk and make it usable. I suspect the firmware is in chips, as when I replaced the disk in mine last weekend, it took less time to set it up than my HR21 (same hardware) takes to download a new software version.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
I think what sk33t3r is talking about is user mods to the OS. Then again, you can't do that on any of the newer TiVos. While the s/w is still on the disk, the h/w verifies the signature.
Thanks, I see what he was saying now. I took "modified" to mean modified at all, manufacturer included, which just wouldn't make sense. While user mods are more difficult with the OS stored on NAND/Flash/etc, it's still not impossible to read/write it. The integrity checks are still the limiting factor, as pointed out.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:07 PM   #11
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I wasnt clear I see now, but yes user mods, now if we could match teh signature or do a monte then we have a shot. But I dotn need all the other crap any how as long as perm 30 second skip is there for my wife
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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Can anyone tell me what manufacturer and series the original drive is? I,m assuming all internal drives are not equal for the demands of hd video recording. Thanks
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:38 PM   #13
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Seagate Pipeline AV 500GB. I initially replaced mine with a Seagate Barracuda 2TB, but recordings kept stuttering and freezing. Thinking that the "power savings" features of that Barracuda were responsible, I bought a Pipeline HD 2TB (seems to be the same as Pipeline AV), only to have the same problems on HD recordings made over the next week. I just got back from a 12-day vacation and an HD recording made on the 30th was fine, while one made on the 24th was not. Will keep trying to see if this was a "teething" issue.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Seagate Pipeline AV 500GB. I initially replaced mine with a Seagate Barracuda 2TB, but recordings kept stuttering and freezing. Thinking that the "power savings" features of that Barracuda were responsible, I bought a Pipeline HD 2TB (seems to be the same as Pipeline AV), only to have the same problems on HD recordings made over the next week. I just got back from a 12-day vacation and an HD recording made on the 30th was fine, while one made on the 24th was not. Will keep trying to see if this was a "teething" issue.
Just to bump this thread 5 months later....
Any update on this, The best hard drive to use?

Also, did you have any issues swapping drives after you had activated the receiver? Did you have to re-activate it or reauthorize it? or is the activation info all held in the hardware?

Thanks in advance for any additional info you have provided.

-ngl
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:01 AM   #15
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The Pipeline HD drive had the same problems, but DirecTV said I had signal strength issues and sent a tech who ended up replacing my dish and SWM8 with a SWMline3. I had swapped the original 500GB drive back. I have since seen recommendations for a 2TB WD disk - I bought one but have not yet installed it. No issues with activation - just install the disk and power on.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #16
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The Hitachi Deskstar (H3D20006472S) 2TB disk works perfectly.

I too tried other drives and had problems
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:05 PM   #17
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I'm using an external 2TB Fantom GreenDrive with my THR-22. Works fine and so close to silent I can't hear it unless I'm standing right by the Tivo.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:41 PM   #18
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Someone needs to get a dump of the OS, then one could play with it, and spoof the signature. You could also disable witting to the chip via hard ware.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:43 PM   #19
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The OS isn't on the disk for the THR22.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
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The OS isn't on the disk for the THR22.
I understand that as stated above, it should be posible to dump the rom that has the os.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:59 AM   #21
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Given that in all the years the DirecTV-Plus DVRs have been out, that use the same method (indeed the THR22 is the HR22 hardware-wise), and nobody to my knowledge has manage to hack them, I'm not holding my breath. I miss the ability to save programs externally, but for me, at least, it isn't a dealbreaker. That's really the only thing I'm missing.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:37 AM   #22
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I like the fact that the dirtev hr21/22 can play youetube, my hr21 is acting up so I may just purchase a tfr22 from weaknees
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:58 PM   #23
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Well I just talked to directv, I got a reduction on my monthly bill since Ive been a quiet customer, i dont call and threaten to switch and so on, their words not mine, for 12yrs. They will also replace my ailing dsr7000 with a hr24 r a thr22 for free, of course its a 2 month commitment. So Im torn with what to go with, thr22 isnt getting any updates regularly, the tech said that was tivo's issue, or go with hr24 which is directv os.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:21 PM   #24
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Or buy another SD DirecTiVo for $20. (not an option I would do, but it is an option.)
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:57 PM   #25
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Doen deal, I got a replacement for my dsr7000 for free, no guarantee what model andi got a free upgrade for my old a$$ DRD420RE to a hd receiver non dvr
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:29 PM   #26
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Its been over 2 years since I started this thread and am happy to report that my 2TB Western Digital WD20EURS upgrade drive in my THR-22 is still working perfectly.

No glitches what-so-ever.

My "stock" THR-22 in my master bedroom is a whole nuther matter, started glitching badly the last few months. Looks like its time to upgrade the drive in that machine. Good news is the 2TB Western Digital WD20EURS is still available on New Egg and Amazon. Even better … they now sell for half the price they did 2 years ago.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:50 AM   #27
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Actually, 1/17/12 to 4/9/13 is just over ONE year, not two, but it's still good to hear it's still working.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:15 AM   #28
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Damn Tony your right!

Must have been all those years waiting to get my hands on the new Tivo that gave me the time warp.

Here I was thinking I was going to call the retention dept and threaten to quit till they gave me one of the new Genie's.

Now I have to wait till Nov to make my play.
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