External HDD won't record, but plays fine


New Member

I'm hoping someone might be able to help, or at least has encountered this issue before.

I have had the same external HDD (USB powered) for my HD-FOX T2 for about 18 months. It has now stopped recording new programmes to the device, though I can still play previously recorded content.

There are couple of other things that are confusing me further.

1 - When I go to Menu>Settings>System> Data Storage, I can see my HDD under "Storage" and the option to "Format Storage", but the the option for "Select the HDD for PVR" greyed out. Is this simply becuase I only have one HDD drive attached, and therefore have no choice which to use?

2- When I record something it appears to be recording (e.g. if I press the "i" button during recording it shows as if it is recording, and I am also unable to change channel away from the channel being recorded (as is the normally the case - I can still change from, say, BBC1 to BBC2, but not to ITV)

So it gives the appearance of recording, but no new files appear on my media video folders and the available disk space doesn't change, both of which suggest no recording has happened.

I am currently running 1.02.20. I have also tried on 1.02.29 and had the same problems (rolled back to 20 to try and fix)

Would appreciate any help


It might have suffered the same problem that afflicts the internal drive on a HDR-FOX and had a file system corruption resulting in the drive becoming read-only. The tools built into custom firmware 2.13 might be able to fix it (with guidance from the right people - af123 or xyz321), but otherwise rescue whatever you want to keep and then reformat the drive.

Failing a CF fix, most pragmatic approach is to get a new disk (if you don't mind shelling out) and installing that, then transferring any precious recordings (which are of course encrypted) by connecting both drives through a powered USB hub, and then the old drive is free to reformat for whatever purpose you want to put it.
If you want to try the custom firmware fix route (presuming you do not already have the custom firmware installed), in preparation you will need to download and install CF2.13 for HD-FOX, which in turn means you will need to have official firmware 1.02.20 or later on the box already. There is one version of CF2.13 for 1.02.20, and another for 1.02.27,28,29.

You will then need to be able to connect to the command line interface using a Telnet client on a PC (or other computing device) via an Ethernet network connection to the HD-FOX.

For the purposes of diagnosing and (potentially) fixing your disk, YOU DO NOT NEED to proceed with WebIF installation (which would require a working disk connected).

Notes about installing the CF (with further references to Wiki entries etc) are HERE (click), only Installation steps 1 and 2 apply. For Telnet see Wiki notes HERE (click) and further notes HERE (click).
Thanks for the really quick reply Black Hole. I'm up for learning about the firmware so think I will go for that. However, as you're not sure if that will definitely work I want to copy my existing files in case a reformat is needed. What's the best/easiest/quickest/safest way to do this. I can think of two and would appreciate your view on which is preferable.

1- Using a USB hub, connect a second HDD and use the HD-T2 to copy the files over, reformat the existing drive and then copy them back. Can I use a FAT32 HDD as a temporary storage device like this, with no intention of wanting to play the .ts files from it through the HD-T2? Or can I only copy files over to a HDD that ahs been formatted by the HD-T2?

2- Connect my existing HDD to my PC and find a tool that lets me view the files on it (I know I can't play them, but can I view them?) and use my PC as the temporary warehouse for the .ts files while I reformat my HDD. Do you now what the best tool to do this would be? I think I prefer this option as, if a tool exists, I imagine the process would be easier and quicker than HDD to HDD through the HD-T2

Thanks agains for any help you can give

In its present form fix-disk will not really help here since it only tests the internal disk on an HDR. It might be possible to run the checking utility manually on the external drive but since there is not much internal RAM you would have to setup swap space first. I don't really like the idea of setting up swap space on an external flash drive - it is likely to be very slow.

I think your best bet would be to plug the drive into another host PC. If it was formatted ext2/3 then the disk checking utilities on a Linux host could be used. That way you wouldn't need to worry about swap space. If you don't have a Linux host avalaible then you could probably boot a computer from one of the Live CD/DVDs.

Note: FAT32 formatted drives can only store files up to 4GiB
In view of xyz's comments, I would go for a reformat. The idea of firing up a live bootable Linux CD/DVD on a PC is a good one, it should mean you can read the Ext3 drive and copy contents off it (you will need to back up to NTFS in case any of the desired recordings exceed 4GB) without messing about with an Ext3 utility for Windows.

Then you can give the drive back to the HD-FOX to reformat and prepare for recording, and then put the data back.

If you are game to get another drive and a powered hub though, you would be able to do the whole thing on the Humax and end up with a spare drive for the next time.