Formatting Internal HDD beyond 500GB

The 7100 firmware allows formatting internal hard disks up to 500GB in size. Larger drives can be installed but the firmware will only format the first 500GB and the rest will be wasted.

There is a process that allows all of larger drives to be used. It has only been tested with drives up to 1TB so far but there is no inherent reason preventing larger drives being used.

The process is relatively simple for experienced users of PCs but may seem daunting for those of us that are less confident.

The 7100 firmware creates four partitions on its internal hard disk. These are:-

320GB Internal HDD (Example)

partition File System Mount Point Size Used Unused
/dev/sda1 jfs /media/disk-1 125.51MiB 33.87MiB 91.63MiB
/dev/sda2 jfs - 297.47GiB - -
/dev/sda3 Unknown - 251.02MiB - -
/dev/sda4 jfs /media/disk 258.86MiB 2.54MiB 256.32MiB

Only one of these (the second) changes size when the size of the hard disk changes. You just need to use a Linux hard disk partitioning system to create these 4 partitions with the size of the second equal to the remaining space on your hard drive (after the other 3 have been set up).

Most such systems will not let you just resize partition 2 - you will have to delete P2, P3 and P4 and then recreate them with the sizes you want. This means that the data that is initially in them will be lost and will need to be restored from a backup source.

Get your new hard disk and install it in your 7100 and get the 7100 to format it. Then take the drive out of the 7100 and install it in a way that you can access it with a PC. You can install the disk in the PC or put it into a USB external case (they only cost $20 - $30 and will forever be useful - but if you do buy one get one that also has eSATA capability).

You need the PC to be running a version of LINUX. If you don't have this operating system it can be downloaded free. There are a number of different varieties - Ubuntu is one such. When this is downloaded the operating system is installed from a CD that you create from the download. There is usually the option of permanently installing the Linux operating system on your PC (alongside Windows), replacing Windows or running Linux directly from the CD. Any of these will be OK for this job.

After Linux has started up you should be able to see the HDD that you just formatted on the PVR. You will need to check what ID has been allocated - here I have assumed it is the second drive (sdb).

Copy the directories from sdb2 (Videos, Audios, etc) and sdb4 (ICE Stuff) to the desktop or anywhere on your main HDD. The disk partitioning system used in Linux is called Gparted (but there are others that some prefer) and this is accessed (in Ubuntu) from the GUI and operates much the same way as its Windows equivalent. Delete sdb2, 3, and 4. Apply the changes and reboot. Then recreate them with the sizes required (see above). Apply changes and reboot. Then copy back the backed up folders from the desktop to the relevant partitions. Recreate sdb3 as a journal.

You should now have a HDD with 4 partitions which can be put back into your 7100 and which will enable you to use all the space on it for recordings. Be aware that if you ever have to reformat the disk for any reason you will have to repeat this procedure rather than using the 7100's built in reformat facility or else you will lose the ability to access the extra (beyond 500Gb) space.

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