Saturday, March 15, 2008

DVR External Storage

I've written a couple of posts on my switch to HD. They are here, here, here, and here.

So far, so good. Except...

The Scientific Atlanta 8300HD DVR doesn't really have much recording capacity. But it does have an eSATA port where you can attach an external drive.

I found a Seagate FreeAgent Pro with 750GB and eSATA attachment for $129.99 at Sorry but it's gone back up now.

But don't be disappointed. It didn't work with the 8300HD.

I found this the hard way but that wasn't really necessary. I could have gone here and found a table of what works and what doesn't.

A quick scan of that showed that my FreeAgent Pro was never going to work. Equally as obvious was that the Vantec enclosures worked well. had the Vantec NST-360SU-BK for $29.99 + $7.15 shipping. Sorry but it's gone back up now too. It was delivered the next day.

My plan was to put the 750GB drive from the FreeAgent Pro in the Vantec enclosure. That wasn't as easy as it seemed but Google came to the rescue. I Googled "how to open a seagate freeagent pro" and got this as the first hit:

  1. Remove the rubber feet
  2. remove the screws from where the rubber feet were.
  3. Remove the esata/usb base
  4. remove the lower plastic cover
  5. remove the tiny screws
  6. remove the metal shield
  7. remove the 3 base screws.
  8. stick a standard screw driver into the lower holes and twist. One side panel will move, one will not. The removeable panel is the one with the logo that lights up. If you are looking at the drive from the back where the ports are, the panel is on the left.
  9. Stick the screwdriver between the plastic of the panel that moves. this panel has 4 clips holding it on very tightly but it can be pryed off.
  10. Once the panel is open, unplug the drive and remove it. It is in a metal free floating cage. Remove the rubber covers to reveal the screws.
  11. Pry the two cage panels apart and the drive is free. There is no permanent damage to the case, so you should be able to mount another drive in it.
Piece of cake!

I put the drive in the Vantec case and plugged it into the 8300HD. My "Recording Space Used" went from 40% to 8%.

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