I have 3 hdd drives that are locked and I just can't figure it out.

KIRKULES

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I'm from Miramichi city, a place in Canada, created in the 90's by joining the small towns together along a famous salmon river known as the Miramichi. I don't know if it will ever really be a City. I'll always be a hiller from Chatham and Newcastle will always be Newcastle. Anyway that's me, now here's my problem if anyone can help because it's driving me nutz. I'm used to taking hard drives out of pvr/dvr boxes and using them for storage, but I have 3 drives, each 1TB, that will only spin up when their in their pvr box. It took me a week to figure out how to format them and trust me it's not just disk management. That's how I do all the rest. But even though I now have them formatted but still, if I turn them off they will not power back up unless I plug them back into their pvr boxes. Everytime I do that I then need to reformat them and I lose all the data I just saved on them. Saying I'm stuck is an understatement. Any help?
 

DVDR_Dog

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OK Well here's my best guess.
#1 when you say format are you formatting from Windows, either using Windows disk management or some utility running in a Windows environment. If so try a low level format with a program like Darrik's Nuke and Boot. https://dban.org/
Other that there may be something embedded in the firmware of the drives themselves. See if the drive manufacturer has a firmware update although that may not overwrite the code causing you trouble.
To be honest I am just guessing. Something is injecting a routine which is causing you trouble obviously.
I suspect it's there to protect the integrity of the recordings and nothing else.
Let me know if that works for you and I will update if I come across something that might help. You have caught my curiosity. Good luck.
 

KIRKULES

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Brilliant! It took me a week and you nailed it in 2 seconds. I use Disk Management to format but that did nothing until I discovered a program called "HDD Low Level Format Tool". That discovery took me a week. Anyway, that's the trick to repurposing these 1tb Bell drives. I run it through the Low Level Format Tool and then when I use Disk Management it formats just fine. I just can't ever cut the power.
I forgot to mention, I've heard of something called "PUIS", way over my head but could that have anything to do with this problem of mine?
 
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DVDR_Dog

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Well if that's the case you may want to check here: http://disablehddapm.blogspot.com/
There is a jumper setting only specific to WD hard drives but you didn't state the manufacturer.
I think the general term is Automatic Power Management. I have never encountered it before so I hope that link helps. Check back with us and let us know if and how you find a solution. I just don't run across DVR's at all.
 

KIRKULES

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Oops, ya there Seagate drives. I wish it was just a jumper though. I just tried this program. I don't think it did anything, but in the end it said that it needs to be re-run each time a new Window's session starts so I guess that means each time I restart my computer. Could you tell me where I can learn how to replace the firmware on the drive. If I was able to wipe the drive now that I have it formatted for my pc then reinstall it's firmware do you think that could help?
 

DVDR_Dog

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Oh snap. I didn't even see that this thread is in the wrong place. Perhaps the mods will move it (I hope, sorry).
Anyway It looks like Seagate is being rather coy about what they did to the firmware of your drives. https://www.seagate.com/gb/en/support/kb/seagate-policy-regarding-drives-installed-in-dvr-units-186891en/
I suspect it has to do with the CATV provider able to limit the amount of storage on the DVR and to be able to "sell" the subscriber more recording time without a hardware change. The secret is out there somewhere, come back and share it if you find it. Good luck!
 
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KIRKULES

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Thank you for all your help. I didn't mean to post anything where it shouldn't go. I just read something you posted and thought you could help. I actually thought I was close to solving the problem as last night I finally figured out how to create and format partitions on the drives so I can use them. Although I just can't power them down. Until last night I couldn't do anything with them. Anyway let me know if your ever coming to the Miramichi, I'll take you fly fishing. A salmon's not guaranteed but a hangover is.
 

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