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Sep 7 2008

Review: Expressvu External Hard Drive 9242 HD PVR (Part 2)

The software v182 is now out for 1 month. It's clear that the Expressvu External Hard Drive 9242 HD PVR is not stable at all in this first version. Many reported on having troubles including me. Here are a few bugs reported:

  • Unable to play from the EHD
  • Unable to restore back program to the 9242 HD PVR from the EHD
  • The EHD becomes disconnected. Must do a reset(press power 10 sec.  on the 9242 HD PVR) to be able to see it again

Even with all this bugs, I decided anyway to fill my LaCie 750GB with programs/movies(mostly HD). Since it was a test, I did not mind losing the content.  The theoretical hours in HD was 100hrs.

The last time I checked the number of hours in HD, I already had 99h30 or so of programing on it excluding the SD(20hrs+).  I had to select all and then deselect the SD to see how much hours I had. I recorded more since because I had 150+ hours in my last select all. I did not check for HD or SD at that time.

Today, I finally was able to reach that goal by filling the EHD to capacity with maybe 15 minutes still left.

But here is the kicker: I can't see my recording because the 9242 HD PVR is rebooting every time I try to access the EHD menu. Now, I'm stuck with a EHD that's fill to capacity or a brick.

So, even if it's Sunday, I decided to call Bell and at least report this possible new problem.  While I was talking to the tech, he confirmed that a new version was being tested because I asked him. It was not a surprise to me. Hopefully, this will correct the previous bugs and my new bug too. I will update this post if I get news from them.

Don't be shy to report problems too. That's the only way for them to get corrections done. It's my programmer side talking here but If I don't know  that something is wrong, how can I fix it?

If you have filled your hard drive to capacity(any size), you may want to leave a comment if it worked or not. This may help others and the tech to discover a pattern. .

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  1. Mini-Review: Expressvu External Hard Drive 9242 HD PVR wrote:

    [...] Review: Expressvu External Hard Drive 9242 HD PVR (Part 2) [...]

    September 7th, 2008 at 8:12 pm
  2. Review: Expressvu External Hard Drive 9242 HD PVR (Part 3) wrote:

    [...] part 2, I described most of the troubles I had so far with the Expressvu External Hard Drive 9242 HD PVR. [...]

    October 30th, 2008 at 1:52 pm
  1. Michel Boileau said:

    Thanks for your post.
    I got the same setup as you (PVR and HD, make and model). I backed up a couple of shows that I wanted to keep (Olympic opening and closing ceremonies) and a Celine Dion show. When I wanted to watch a show from the LaCie I would see about 30 seconds of the show and would get a message saying that the EHD had disconnected repetitiously.
    After reading your article I got on the phone with Bell. I was politely told that it was impossible to connect an EHD to my PVR. After explaining to the gentleman that he was mistaken and put on hold on several occasions I was told that a technical supervisor would be advised of my problem and get back to me in the coming week.

    September 26th, 2008 at 3:57 pm
  2. Steve McGrath said:

    I’m heard that a new version of the software would be available at the end of October. True or False, I hope they fix it quickly.

    A lot of the traffic from Google.ca I get every day is about that issue. So, it’s a very popular problem. Some had success by having another receiver sent to them. I already did that one time.

    My LaCie 750GB is still waiting for me to backup things. :D

    September 26th, 2008 at 4:08 pm
  3. Mark Dubois said:

    At first I had 250G EHD attached to 9242 PVR. It worked great. The HD was filled up very quick. So I decided to upgrade to 500G HD. Then I had the problems. It could not restore back the movie, it could not fast forward >x8. The error message was USB disconnect.
    First I thought the problem with EHD which was not in recommended list from Bell. Then I exchanged with Lacie 750G, and it had the same problem. Now I believe there is problem with FW load

    October 7th, 2008 at 11:42 pm
  4. Steve McGrath said:

    Hopefully, Bell TV should have Firmware update at the end of the October.

    I’m sure they are losing EHD sales with that. I did not notice if the numbers of ads decreased but at one time, I saw many of them promoting the new feature. I wonder why? ;)

    October 8th, 2008 at 10:12 am
  5. Allan Holman said:

    I just filled my EHD to capacity, not expecting there to be a problem, but I cannot access it anymore. The reciever simply resets everytime. I will be calling Bell shortly to see if a solution is available.

    October 20th, 2008 at 7:40 pm
  6. Steve McGrath said:

    Allan,

    I called last week but they did not have a fix. Called them anyway since the more calls like that might help them on this issue.

    October 20th, 2008 at 8:03 pm
  7. Allan Holman said:

    I called Bell and I was told that it was the hard drive. After reading this site, I am convinced that it is not the hard drive. I sent a message to Lacie as well, hoping that they can verify that it is on ongoing problem with Bell. After all, Bell directed me to them so I would think that they are seeing a lot of these complaints as well. Maybe Bell will listen to them.

    October 20th, 2008 at 8:53 pm
  8. Steve McGrath said:

    Don’t bother, it’s not the hard drive. Many returned their HD for nothing. LaCie don’t support PVRs but only computers uses.

    October 20th, 2008 at 9:11 pm
  9. Greg said:

    I actually called Bell last night @ 20:50 after reading of the exact same behavior (on this site) – filled the 750 GB LaCie HDD (not sure exactly how full because now any attempt to access it results in the PVR rebooting. Spent 11 mins on hold then put on hold again, spent another 5 mins on hold then was asked what type of HDD.
    Finally spoke to someone who said they had “never” heard of this behavior and offered to send me a “refurb” unit for my two month old machine. I told him that I may be willing to exchange for brand new if he could gaurantee that would resolve my problem – I also told him to “Google” the same text that brought me to this site.
    End of it all he will contact me sometime between Oct 22-23 and hopefully provide a solution or at least an admission that this problem does exist. (Yes, I am running V182 on the 9242)

    October 21st, 2008 at 4:52 pm
  10. Steve McGrath said:

    “who said they had “never” heard of this behavior”
    Greg, that’s the worst excuses I ever heard from a Level2(?). Both time I called them and I took the time with that person to take notes and send it to the person in charge. I’m sure I’m not alone.

    I’m renting so they can send refurbish. I don’t recommend buying any PVR now(any company). It’s too much troubles to deal with from my experience with 5×00 PVR since 2001. At least with renting, you don’t need to buy extra warranties for the receiver or remote.

    Some had luck with a new revision of the 9242 while most still did not work.

    Btw, they were supposed to call me too but never did. I even offered to send me the test version to check if I EHD would work again.

    My internal HD is almost full and I would need my EHD now. I had to delete a few unseen movies to make room for shows :(

    October 21st, 2008 at 5:18 pm
  11. Michael said:

    I am not sure if this means anything to anyone but….this problem kind of makes sense to me.

    If you try and fill your computer hard drive or a dvd or a cd (no matter what size) you would get the same kind of problem. I have always tried to leave a buffer of at least 10 gig on any of my computer hard drives.

    I haven’t done the math, so I don’t know what 15 mins of space equals to in size.

    I don’t know if there is a fix out there for this problem.

    October 22nd, 2008 at 10:09 am
  12. Steve McGrath said:

    I understand what you are saying.

    Someone suggested that the table of content of recordings was not rewritten thus was deleted at this point. That make more sense to me as being the bug in this case.

    It’s not 1 recording that will be updated in the table of content but the first unprotected recording will have to be deleted too to make room for the last recording. Because of the bug, the table of content is not updated at all. It’s blank or non existent. I would vote for non existent since the PVR don’t find it thus reboot.

    October 22nd, 2008 at 10:54 am
  13. Michael said:

    I wonder if there would be a way of partitioning the EHD, so this wouldn’t happen. Maybe that would be the fix from Bell.

    October 22nd, 2008 at 12:36 pm
  14. Steve McGrath said:

    It’s not a solution since the bug will be divided in 2 ;)

    October 22nd, 2008 at 12:42 pm
  15. Michael said:

    Sorry, that isn’t what I ment. If the drive was partitioned in a way so you couldn’t fill it to the brink……say maybe protect 10 gig or so……you wouldn’t get this problem.

    October 22nd, 2008 at 2:33 pm
  16. Steve McGrath said:

    If I go like I mentioned before, it’s not a physical drive capacity issue. You would had the same trouble when writing the table of content but sooner. :(

    The partitioning would make sense if the table of content would be written on the second partition with a backup each time. This would create more unforeseen bugs ;)

    October 22nd, 2008 at 2:59 pm
  17. Mark Dubois said:

    Here is an update for the problem, the following HD I have tried out:

    1- 250G Comstar- Results: There were no any issues.
    2- 500G Comstar- Results: Issue with USB disconnect when restored back and Fast forward
    3- Lacie 750G: Results: Issue with USB disconnect when restored back and Fast forward
    4- Maxtor 750G- Tried last night and no issue so far… I’m hold my breath since I’m archiving 500G movies to it today.

    Looks like the PVR is very picky on which EHD is used.

    October 25th, 2008 at 4:02 pm
  18. Steve McGrath said:

    Mark: Did the Maxtor 750G still okay? I wanted to give you a few days

    “Picky”
    lol since it has trouble with the recommend LaCie drive too. ;)

    I did used a 200G but had the same disconnect troubles.

    October 28th, 2008 at 10:11 am
  19. Steve McGrath said:

    I wrote an update with the new firmware(v183):

    Review: Expressvu External Hard Drive 9242 HD PVR (Part 3)

    Back to testing ;)

    October 30th, 2008 at 1:57 pm
  20. merv said:

    what type of remote does the 9242 hd pvr use uhf?

    February 7th, 2009 at 12:11 am
  21. Steve McGrath said:

    Merv, the 9242 uses 2 remotes. 1 IR for the TV1 input(main) and one UHF for the TV2.

    February 7th, 2009 at 8:14 am
  22. Kman said:

    Has anyone tried to use a Western Digital 1T mybook as a drive and is the system capped at 750g only? Great thread!

    March 12th, 2009 at 4:19 pm
  23. Steve McGrath said:

    Kman: I see none answered. I recall reading some using 1GB drive. The drive must be a single drive and not 2x500GB. This might had change with the last version.

    You might be able to use but the maximum could limit you to 500GB or 750GB. Even then, you might have the disk full bug where it reset when you access the recording.

    March 19th, 2009 at 8:20 am
  24. Jean C. said:

    I took a brand new spare virgin drive from my servers backup store — slipped it in a Vantec Enclosure then connected it USB2 to a #6131HD receiver. The enclosure was switched ON and the receiver was turned back on , it recognized the drive instantly — and put it’s own format in.

    No problems with over 750G on it now – it’s a WD10EVVS – Western Digital AV-GP 1TB 1000GB SATA2 3.5IN 8MB OEM Hard Drive Optimized for PVR/DVR.
    Drive is in a self contained Vantec Nexstar 3 3.5IN eSATA USB2.0 SATA Blue Aluminum Hard Drive Enclosure W/ Power Adapter .

    Drive must be powered 24/7 — Stays cool to the touch after 30 days . Western Digital specs for this drive is 100000 hours. I have 6 of these here on a server they been running for over a year — none are squealing or overheating.

    April 2nd, 2009 at 9:52 pm
  25. Steve McGrath said:

    Jean,

    Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, the problem is not with your receiver model but with the 9242.

    However, if/when they do fixed it, the hard drive you recommended will be an option for us. That’s if they support more than 750GB officially.

    April 3rd, 2009 at 7:59 am
  26. Rob Craig said:

    Great thread. I have had the same issues. Filled the 750GB lacie and then the system started re-booting. Bell sent a new PVR 9242… I tried to use the lacie to access the 63 movies I have stored, and I got error 788 – this HDD is not configured for use with this receiver… I was reluctant to press “yes” as I thought it would re-format. The techs told me it should work… in frustration about two months later and on my 3rd PVR I finally pushed “yes” I then watched a movie last night from the HDD. Now today, the unit has started re-booting again over and over and over…. Techs don’t know what to do about it, and don’t phone back when they promise to investigate and call back. Now I’m so frustrated I may change providers….

    May 7th, 2009 at 12:59 am
  27. Steve McGrath said:

    I feel for you Rob.

    BellTV dropped the ball since we did not have an update in a long time. Yet, some have PVR working with their EHD. I wonder if I should return mine until one work for me.

    If we start doing that, they might work on a fix for real instead of dealing with returns.

    May 7th, 2009 at 2:33 pm
  28. Chuck said:

    Well guys, I’m feeling your pain. I have a 1T WD hard drive hooked up with a PVR 9242 and it’s now full. I didn’t realize it would be a problem but the same as many here, when I try and access the EHD it just keeps rebooting my PVR. Needless to say I’m not impressed and will contract BEV tomorrow. Reading this blog though I’m a little (a lot?) concerned that this has been a known issue for while and BEV had still not fixed it.

    June 5th, 2009 at 1:44 am
  29. Steve McGrath said:

    Sad to read this but I stopped calling a long time ago.

    Maybe we should have a call BEV to fix it day. lol

    I have a LaCie 750GB since last September waiting to be used just for that. I’m hoping a firmware fix.

    The other solution since I’m renting is to return the receiver until I get one that works. But, it would be a hassle for both.

    Give us news if they say something interesting.

    June 5th, 2009 at 7:40 am
  30. JaysFan2 said:

    Using a Comstar 500GB attached to a 9242, I had very infrequent issues with freezing. I did fill it to capacity though, and the receiver re-boots now when I try to access the EHD.

    August 6th, 2009 at 1:12 am
  31. Guy said:

    Seems this Hard drive issue isnot on Bell expressvu’s list to be corrected and the only solution is to not use the external hard drive.
    IT SUCKS big time. Bell take your money then slams the door in your face when it comes to fixing the issue. I will never buy another receiver again.. next time I will rent so I can send the crap back when it has problems..

    August 21st, 2009 at 8:03 pm
  32. Bob said:

    Same story here. Lacie 750GB with 9242 PVR approached capacity, now keeps rebooting. Called Bell. They said to compact the manufacturer of the HD……DoooHH !!

    September 28th, 2009 at 8:19 pm
  33. Rob Craig said:

    On the third replacement PVR the hard drive started working… except Bell billed me for not returning the second PVR, which their technician took. The newer 9242 worked with our original 750GB lacie hard drive, however, 5 months later and no refund, so we have switched to Shaw. Too bad, because we had 64 movies saved on it…

    September 29th, 2009 at 7:17 pm
  34. tony said:

    Bought the 9241 Hd PVR and the Western Digital 500GB hard drive that they now recommend and sell instore. The two work seamlessly and have not found one problem. Absolutely love the combination and the great recording quality which even beats my older 9242.

    What i don’t get is why people who know a problem might exist would completely fill up a hard drive to begin with. Leave an hour of space and buy an additional hard drive. You know how much time is left before you archive each recording. I might add that i unplug my drive when not in use and it works like a charm when i plug it back into the wall. I will stick to WD My DVR Expander 500GB hard drives because i think they will last for many years in the fashion i use them.

    December 25th, 2009 at 2:45 pm
  35. Steve said:

    Top item on my Christmas wish list this year is that I had read this before I filled my EHD, as like others it just reboots every time I try to access it. Funny how you do not know the problem exists till you have the problem, then ya Google it, too late. As Tony states “i unplug my drive when not in use and it works like a charm when i plug it back into the wall.” I also unplug mine and have had no problems using it for way over a year until now when I filled it up. How could a programmer at Bell miss that one for all the $’s they make on this stuff. It is not the Hard Drive or the company that made the drive this is a Bell programming problem. Imagine if this happened with these same hard drives used on a computer instead. Image if Dell told you that you have to buy their external hard drives.

    December 29th, 2009 at 2:34 pm
  36. Vincent said:

    Same here. I filled up my 1TB Comstar HD and now I can’t acces it. I obviously read this thread too late but before calling Bell. I wasn’t surprised to talk to someone who was unaware of that problem and who made me waste half an hour trying to unplug and plug everything to fix the problem. After being put on hold 3 times, he finally came back to me saying that his supervisor was aware of that problem and that there is nothing else to do but to reformat the HD. Thank you Bell. I still wonder why I stick with them…

    I read on another forum that one could save what’s on the HD using LINUX:
    “I am suspecting that the drive is full, and this is a known issue with some of the Bell receivers. You may have to plug the drive into a PC and format it. This means that you will lose your files that you transferred to it. Another option if you’re a Linux person, is to access the external – it should be in EXT3 format – and then remove some of the programming.” http://www.barrywheeler.ca/2009/04/expressvu-bell-9241-9242-hd-pvr-plus-receivers-external-hard-drive-options/

    January 7th, 2010 at 2:33 pm
  37. Vincent said:

    It worked! I brought my external hard drive to a computer repair and asked him to deleate about 50gig from my 1tb HD, using LINUX. Once the job done, everything was like before, except for some 6 or 7 hours of recorded programs missing. It cost me 40$. Bottom line, one should always leave about 10% of free space on a HD. This is nothing new to people knowledgeable in computers, but to me and many others this is something I wish I was told before.

    January 11th, 2010 at 10:55 pm
  38. Darkev said:

    Well we are now on software version v185 with the Bell 9242 PVR and it’s still not working correctly with external hard drives. I have a 1 TB Western Digital WD10EADS hard drive in a NexStar CX enclosure. The screen show I have 133 hours left. Yet after putting only 15 hours worth of content onto the drive it starts acting up. The EHD shuts down constantly now on the 9242.

    What’s strange is that I also own a 9241. When I plug the same EHD into the 9241 there are absolutely no problems with it at all. It’s the craziest thing. I even removed the 1 TB drive and replaced it with a 250 Gb WD drive and it does the exact same thing. Shuts off after 5 minutes into a show. Then when starting it up again it doesn’t remember where it left off and you’re at the start of the show once more. When you try to FfWd to get to your spot, the EHD shuts itself off before it even gets to that spot.

    Plugging it into the 9241 is the only way to watch the show.

    There is something wrong with the 9242. I guess Bell isn’t going to bother fixing the bug in light of the time that’s now passed.

    February 21st, 2010 at 12:00 pm

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