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SATA controller and format roadblock.

#1
After a couple of months of relatively smooth running, my (ebay purchased) 1000s came up with a message that I need to format the hard drive.
One of the bits of advice that I had been given during an earlier forum session was that the time had come to change the hard drive.
So got one on ebay. The vendor did say that the fault probably lay with the ob SATA controller and that he had "scrapped about 10 machines because of the same fault in the last year".
Sure enough when the new hdd was fitted, the same message duly arrived - and the machine is frozen and useless.
Two questions:
1) Is this a common problem, and what do humax have to say about it?
2) Is there any way I can replace the SATA controller and thereby save my device?

A third question would be - if Humax is so prone to faults, how are they so popular? Believe me, if there was a viable alternative, a bargepole would not be enough.

Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#2
what do humax have to say about it?
Why not ask them?

Is there any way I can replace the SATA controller and thereby save my device?
No. It's all integrated into the main circuit board, possibly even the main chip.

Is this a common problem?
I don't know... is it? If you don't know, then why...

if Humax is so prone to faults, how are they so popular?
Who says Humax units are prone to faults? This particular unit may be (based on what you say above), but there is no obvious pattern of unreliability in general and we are all very happy with our HDR-FOXes/FOXSAT-HDRs thank you very much.

If you had bought your 1000S retail, you would have warranty protection - and if it lasted until after the warranty had expired, you couldn't exactly call it unreliable, could you?

Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk
We don't need or want to know that, turn it off.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
#3
A third question would be - if Humax is so prone to faults, how are they so popular? Believe me, if there was a viable alternative, a bargepole would not be enough
You just said it. "If there was a viable alternative".:D
And who gives a **** what phone and app you are using?;)
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
1) Is this a common problem, and what do humax have to say about it?
Yes it is a common problem with the Freesat boxes which is believed to be a component on the motherboard going out of spec but not the SATA controller.
If you ring up Humax they may offer you a refurbished box at a reduced price NB they certainly will not make that offer if they know it is an ebay purchase.
2) Is there any way I can replace the SATA controller and thereby save my device?
As the problem is not the SATA controller it would be silly to replace it.
A third question would be - if Humax is so prone to faults, how are they so popular?
If you look across the full range of designs they produced, I don't think they are particularly prone to hardware faults but a couple of models have known problems.
 

grahamlthompson

Well-Known Member
#5
After a couple of months of relatively smooth running, my (ebay purchased) 1000s came up with a message that I need to format the hard drive.
One of the bits of advice that I had been given during an earlier forum session was that the time had come to change the hard drive.
So got one on ebay. The vendor did say that the fault probably lay with the ob SATA controller and that he had "scrapped about 10 machines because of the same fault in the last year".
Sure enough when the new hdd was fitted, the same message duly arrived - and the machine is frozen and useless.
Two questions:
1) Is this a common problem, and what do humax have to say about it?
2) Is there any way I can replace the SATA controller and thereby save my device?

A third question would be - if Humax is so prone to faults, how are they so popular? Believe me, if there was a viable alternative, a bargepole would not be enough.

Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk
The issue is most certainly not the HDD controller. Some later models have an issue with a faulty component on the motherboard. If you have this the box does not even recognise a Hard Drive is even present. If the box knows a HDD is present it must have a working controller.

The box in this condition has an error suggesting you connect a USB drive (thought to be a redundant section of code from the HBxxxxS model). This doesn't work of course.

The vendor clearly knows nothing about the box.

Did you turn off the power to the box for 10 mins and try powering up again. If this did not work did you try a reset to factory defaults ?

Which HDD did you buy to replace the one you have ? Computer Sata drives are not very suitable for pvrs. Generally you need a low speed low power drive designed for 24/7 operation, My HDR-1000S has a 2TB Seagate pipeline AV specified drive.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seagate-ST2000VM003-Pipeline-3-5-Inch-Internal/dp/B008B0RQ1C

If you disconnect the Hard Drive does the box boot and run as a non recording box ?
 
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Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#6
What do you mean by "HDD controller"? What I mean by it is the interface at the computer end of the cable connecting to the HDD, not any electronics included with the HDD itself. I realise this may be at odds with the historical partitioning of the functional stack, but it is more like people will understand it.

Like I said in post 2.
 

grahamlthompson

Well-Known Member
#7
As the HDD is a sata device it's the way the box recognises a suitable HDD is attached. There is a number of ways that the box may fail to load the recordings at boot. Sometimes at boot it's known that the recording list is not loaded. Guessing it's a timing issue. In this case a power reset generally sorts it out.

A search will find many posts about this. As will a search detailing the box failing to recognise the HDD at all.

Initially Humax offered a repair service free to boxes in guarantee and a fixed price fix for those not in guarantee.

Those that took this up reported that repaired boxes were returned with all recordings intact.

Further research will find that eventually Humax changed this offer to a fixed price offer and replaced the box with a refurbished one. It's not my fault that you are too lazy to actually check on the history of this unfortunate problem.

Based on reading many posts the terminal problem ( Many returned boxes that were returned to S Korea were in fact found to be working again, after a long time left unpowered, this was also reported by users who did the same).

From conversations also reported with Humax support that the issue that the hard disk is reported as not being present is down to the failure of a resistor (presumably not to design spec) on the motherboard.

Early models like my first generation HDR-1000S are not affected. Guessing the OP's box being a HDR-1000S is not affected by the faulty component issue at all. Only the later HDR-1100S seems to be afflicted.

All this information is widely available should you choose to look for it.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#8
Seems to me my response in post 2 remains perfectly valid. Why would I spend time looking stuff up when there was no need?!!
 
OP
OP
A

ajm600

New Member
#12
An update on my original post.
A new HDD did not solve the problem.
I called Humax, and after a few questions they came to the conclusion that the situation was non-recoverable, declared the HDR 1000s dead, and offered a refurb for £120.
I then removed the disc drive and discovered that the device worked perfectly - except of course that all the functions associated with the recording disc did not work - it has essentially become (I suppose) an HB1000S.
In order to try to recover recording, tv pause, and rewind, I then attached a USB portable (250gb) hard drive. The hard drive was recognised - a little red rectangle appears - but the recording, pause, etc do not work. I was invited to "format" but the recognition then disappeared.
Is there a special trick with any hard drive, or does it have to be a particular USB hard drive. How do I turn my HB1000S into an HDR 1000S in other words, or is it impossible?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#14
The HDR-FOX (sans HDD, therefore effectively an HD-FOX) cannot be made to record to a USB-connected HDD like an HD-FOX can, so by extension...
 
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OP
OP
A

ajm600

New Member
#16
I don't think you can.
You are absolutely right. I spoke to humax, and there is a piece of software in the hb1000s not present in the hdr1000s which allows the recording etc to a usb hard drive.
The tech advised me to buy an hb1000s and stick the hard drive into that.
Think I'll do just that.
Thought people would like to know for definite.
 
#18
I got hold of a broken HDR 1000S which won't record, its clear it has the same fault reported in this thread so I thought I would say what I found.

There was nothing wrong with the HDD and its clear that the HDD is interrogated on boot meaning the SATA interface is working, however the box is behaving like a HB 1000 or similar clearly thinking its not a HDD installed box.

I cannot identify any failed components on the board, certainly no failed resistors. I believe the cause is a bug in the firmware, I`ve found reports of this failure occurring once the HDD has become full so I suspect a flag is getting set that then means the box thinks its something else, clearly there is no solution to that.

As the HDR 1... series all seem to be based on the same code (and there seem to be reports of similar issues with later boxes) I would advise caution in their use.
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
#20
I cannot identify any failed components on the board, certainly no failed resistors. I believe the cause is a bug in the firmware, I`ve found reports of this failure occurring once the HDD has become full so I suspect a flag is getting set that then means the box thinks its something else, clearly there is no solution to that.
If it were a bug in the firmware setting a flag, how do you explain the fact that there are lots of reports of boxes regaining accessing to the hard drive if left powered off for long periods of time? I think it is much more likely that it is a component that is going out of tolerance (NB not failed) and this accords with what Humax have said is the cause of the problem.