My Humax Forum » Freesat HD » HDR 1000, 1010, 1100S

Hard drive issues

(622 posts)
  1. cicobuff


    Joined: Jun '15
    Posts: 19


    grahamlthompson - 5 months ago  » 

    AngusA - 18 minutes ago  » 
    Just another datapoint on the hard drive issue. My HDR-1000s suddenly lost all recordings and ability to record/pause TV in mid October. That situation remained the same for around 4 weeks until suddenly last week, all recordings reappeared as did the record/pause capability. I noticed that for the entire period the box was faulty, the On Demand channels images disappeared even though on demand still worked okay. When the recordings reappeared, so did the On Demand images and I feel this is not coincidental. My gut feeling (as an electronic engineer) is that the issue I describe is firmware and not hardware related. Were it to be hardware, I cannot see why the box would recover nor why the On Demand images would re-appear at the same time as the recordings.

    This also happened on some units returned to Humax under warranty some time after they were sent back. I wouldn't expect it to stay fixed for very long.
    We already know that the earlier production boxes using the same firmware aren't prone to this issue.

    My mainboard is from 2012 it has the year stamped on it, recordings failed to be recognised, magically corrected itself again after about 4 months and failed again some 6 months later.

    Recent house move it has not been powered up for around 8 months, just tried it today, still no hard disk recognised.

    Will be trying the capacitor change and if that works will be selling it forthwith.

    If I ever return to 'Freesat' will utilise a cheaper, better and more reliable Enigma 2 based linux receiver instead.

    | Fri 11 May 2018 19:26:51 #611 |
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    junior member
    Joined: Oct '18
    Posts: 8


    Many Thanks to all the contributors on here. My DTR1010 died a week ago. It had been poorly for while with the operation freezing occasionally. This needed a Power Off then on again to fix it. Eventually nothing would get it back working, just a series of short buzzes from the drive, so I tried some of the tips on this Forum to find the problem. I finally decided it was either the SATA driver or the actual Seagate HDD at fault. When I opened the HDD I found the Read/Write head 1/3 across the disk - not parked correctly! Armed with what seemed a good clue, I bought a cheap replacement from ebay for £10, thinking it must be worth a tenner to try it. Success! Re-installed everything and ran the Maintenance option, selected a Software reset and after a very long wait, everything works again as normal. My next problem is - do I try to recover the recordings from the original HDD. Buy another cheapie Seagate drive and swap the actual disk to a working drive - this could be a step too far for my 'clean study' environment, but I am tempted .........

    | Mon 15 Oct 2018 15:22:20 #612 |
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    Martin Liddle

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    Joined: Feb '11
    Posts: 4,147


    SteveZ - 1 hour ago  » 
    Buy another cheapie Seagate drive and swap the actual disk to a working drive

    I would say that unless you know exactly what you are doing then the chances of that working are very low.

    | Mon 15 Oct 2018 16:51:13 #613 |
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    junior member
    Joined: Oct '18
    Posts: 8


    Hi Martin - yes I agree, but I have ordered a dual SATA docking station and another HDD to see if I can clone the old drive. If it will run it should work, failing that I'll give the disk swap a go - nothing to lose really and it is interesting work.

    | Thu 18 Oct 2018 13:52:01 #614 |
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    new member
    Joined: Apr '16
    Posts: 3


    I have an HDR1010, bought in 2013. I posted before (Sun 3 Apr 2016 0:24:34 #185). #185 tells of how I managed to recover all our recordings that appeared to have disappeared. I was not completely sure what the magic trick was. I had tried several from this forum. Persistence and patience (and hope?) seemed to be the main factors.

    A similar event occurred in April 2019. I looked up #185 to remind myself of what I did then. I consulted Humax Support (as I expected things would have moved on in the intervening 3 years!). They advised me to reset the system.

    I did this but it seemed to have made no difference. I replied saying the HDR was still showing "less than 1%", no recordings and "record was not working". They then suggested that the only thing left was to reformat the hard drive. I didn't want to do that! Eventually I wrote back to Humax Support saying:

    I was able to retrieve my recordings 3 years ago and I tend to be quite stubborn. On this occasion I disconnected the device and connected it to another TV with a simple HDMI cable. It protested about the lack of inputs, but immediately told me that our recordings were back. I returned it to its original TV, made up all the connections and it has been working fine for the last few days. Maybe your "reset to factory settings" played some part in its recovery, albeit very delayed? What do you think?

    They thought: "The problem you are having may be down to possible failing components inside the device which may ultimately fail."

    We have just had this problem again. I tried earlier solutions without success. The recorded files were said to be in an unreadable format; sometimes the HDR reported 33% and sometimes less that 1%; sometimes the recorded programmes were listed (but unreadable), sometimes it reported no recordings. On one occasion I was able to start playing a recording, but I was then presented with the "no recordings" screen. I did try connecting the Freesat App. I also tried giving the HDR vents a few blasts with a pressurised air "duster". (I have seen another post about there being a poor heatsink on a CPU. If the problem is triggered by overheating it might just take time for things to reset).

    The latest is that we are back to normal. We have reinstated our recording schedules and can view all our old recordings. Until the next time...

    Richer Sounds tell me that hard drives have limited life expectancy, so maybe we've done well to have one for nearly 6 years. But it seems to me that the fault is not really with the hard drive itself as this would not be so intermittent and reversible.

    | Tue 6 Aug 2019 12:01:12 #615 |


    special member
    Joined: Mar '11
    Posts: 4,101


    The failing resistor problem is well known but only concerns some production (as far as I have seen only HDR-1000S reports of later production).

    I am sure there is a recordings population bug which presents itself very very occasionally. My first thoughts were I was looking at the recordings before the list was populated thus triggering more problems. I have avoided looking at recordings until several minutes after the boot seems complete.

    Graham, when was the last time you saw this problem on one of your units?

    I have not seen the problems since 2015 I think. I have also seen reports of the same problem on terrestrial units.

    | Tue 6 Aug 2019 12:15:04 #616 |
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    Joined: Aug '19
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    I have a number of these 1000s boxes, and I'm looking to see what can be done to fix them.

    So far taking the known good HDD and putting into the failing boxes does not resolve the issue, nor does a fresh HDD formatted correctly. Putting the HDD from the failing boxes into the good box works fine, so can't see this being a HDD issue.

    On all the boxes the HDD spins up and you can hear it being being accessed at boot up, however, the good one does this for slightly longer.

    I can't see any visible issues with components.

    I have measured the radial and smd caps using ESR meter (in circuit) against known good box, and can't see any massive variations between them.

    Anyone recommend any next steps?

    | Thu 8 Aug 2019 21:48:53 #617 |
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    Joined: Oct '19
    Posts: 1


    Just to record my experiences in solving this problem. The ability to have recording functions on my Humax 500GB HDR 1100S stopped in August 2019, two years and 2 weeks from date of purchase. I purchased a new box and decided to investigate the problem on the failed unit. I read many of the discussions in this thread and found them very informative. I had good exchanges with Humax customer support but no solution.

    Back in 1988, I had a HDD problem on a PC and a Belgian techie produced a superb piece of code to ensure that the read/write head of the HDD returned to the correct parking position at power off/standby. This is referred to by SteveZ in his input above. So I dismantled a Sky+HD box and removed its 500GB HDD.

    I put the Sky+HD Seagate HDD in my Humax 1100S box and the disk drive was seen immediately. I then followed Humax's instructions to format the HDD and low and behold problem solved. I can now record the Rugby World Cup and watch it in my study without disturbing my wife!!!!

    Conclusion: In my case the "No recordings less than 1% etc" message and the Timing Shift Buffer message when you try to pause or go back when viewing a program where due to a fault with the Seagate HDD.

    With my situation the HDD turnd during the boot procedure so my diagnosis was that the read/write head was not in the correct position. Even though reports say that the HDDs today are equipped with a return to stop position spring (or other mechanism) I believe this is failing. As Humax is having so many reports of this type of problem, I have recommended that their technical department ask Seagate for quality testing reports for their HDDs. These Humax boxes are on most of the time and heat up. Although more expensive a solution a solid state memory solution would probably prove more reliable.

    | Sat 5 Oct 2019 17:21:32 #618 |
  9. hairbear


    Joined: Jan '13
    Posts: 26


    Auto head parking isn't a mechanical mechanism. When power is removed, the spindle motor acts as a dynamo and can generate enough power from the decelerating mass of the spindle/platters to drive the head motor to safely park the head.
    A bigger issue for hard drives in pvr boxes used to be something called 'lube chunneling'. This can happen if the drive stays powered up with platters spinning with the head staying in the same place for a considerable time. The head can create a (very shallow) channel in the lube coating the platter. When the head finally moves, it catches the edge of the channel and head damage results. A time slip buffer negates this issue, but if you turn it off .......


    | Wed 9 Oct 2019 8:22:46 #619 |
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    Joined: Jan '21
    Posts: 1


    I am another owner of two failed HDR10xx boxes. The first was a 500GB non-wifi, which stopped seeing the disc just out of warranty. I checked that the disc was readable on a PC and that it was powered in the box, then I bought another, a HDR1010S. It repeated the trick, failing the same way just out of warranty. It joined the first in the loft, and we used the free HDR which Talktalk had given us in the hope of us buying some of their pay TV (we didn't). Now retired and in lockdown, I got both boxes out again to see if I could fix them. The 1010S was confirmed to be the same, good disc but not visible. By following the data tracks from the disc socket I can see they go to processor via 4 capacitors, and there is continuity whwre it should be, and the capacitors reading 9nF -presumably nominally 10nF. The only anomaly I can find is the buck converter between the processor and SCART socket, which appears likely to be the processor power. This is mentioned in a previous post. It reads 0.93V on both failed units. I know processors use low voltages, but this seems a low and odd value. I got the data sheet for the convertor chip (Z1025D1), and verified that its feedback pin was at the correct 0.8V so it appeared to be working. If the vague stories about the cause being a failed resistor are true, it could be one of the resistors in the potential divider controlling the feedback pin. Turning the board over, I found the resistors but as well as the expected two between the power rails, there is a third connected to a track heading towards the processor. It is not possible to measure the resistors reliably while in circuit. It does mean that there is something apart from the potential divider which controls the processor voltage. The processor is obviously working because the box does everything apart from record, but it may need some extra voltage to control the HDD. I tried injecting higher voltages, up to about 2V, but it did not change anything. I tried manipulating the buck convertor feedback, which caused the processor to reset several times. After that it mysteriously started working again, but after a few days got erratic. Sometimes it sees the recordings but says they are in an incompatible format, other times it has no recordings. That was the old box, the 1010s has not responded to anything yet. I have added equal or larger electrolytic capacitors in parallel to all the important seeming ones although the ripple voltages all seemed low enough - a few mV.
    Does anyone know what the processor voltage should be?

    | Fri 12 Feb 2021 20:57:02 #620 |

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