I was watching a television show late last night via my DirecTV account. The show I was watching has previously been recorded on my DVR and at the time two other shows were recording. When the show I was watching was over I attempted to delete it which it appeared to do but then it locked up one of the shows I was currently recording. Once locked up I was unable to use my DirecTV HD DVR HR21-700 remote to do anything. I waited for about 15 minutes to make sure it wasn’t recover since I had never had one of my DirecTV HD receivers do this before. After waiting that initial time period I decided to go ahead and reboot the receiver which I did by unplugging the power, waiting 15 seconds, and then watching it reboot through its normal cycle. The receiver appeared to be starting as it typically does until it got to the last two steps and after a couple seconds at the final step 1 of 2 the receiver got a blue screen with the message “A problem has been detected in the storage device” message as shown below.
When pushing select on the remote with Reboot highlighted the DirecTV HR21-700 will reboot. My device was continued to come up to this screen numerous times however after about the fifth reboot it went into an automatic attempt to repair the HR21-700′s hard disk as shown below.
After hours the attempt to auto repair my hard drive was only around 7% so I let be for a couple more hours. The next time I came back it was back to the “problem with storage device” message and the Reboot button at the bottom left hand corner of the screen. At this point it is pretty much guaranteed that the hard drive is completely dead or if not completely dead will be soon so if your device is under warranty this is where you should call DirecTV technical support and have the DVR replaced.
DirecTV technical support was very easy to deal with for me and when I explained the problem the technician asked a couple questions and was going to walk me through a couple steps. I had already completed all of the steps except providing the technician the number off of the DirecTV Access Card. When I stated that I had already completed the steps the technician did not question that fact and only asked for the results which was refreshing! My HD DVR receiver was under warranty so she stated I would have a new one within three business days and would need to send the failing device back to DirecTV using a prepaid box that will arrive with the new HR21-700 receiver.
After I had this squared away I decided to play with the failing satellite receiver again to see if I could get it to work temporarily. After rebooting the device many more times to my suprise it finally booted all the way up and I was all of the sudden watching TV again. However when I attempted to play a TV show off of the DVR itself it would indicate that it was at the end of the video even though it was not. All of the recorded shows displayed in the playlist however when attempting to play they would not play. At least for now I have live TV though I wonder what will happen when my show prioritizer attempts to record a show.
Again if you device is under warranty and you ever see the “a problem has been detected in the storage device” message then you should contact support and have it replaced as soon as possible. If your device is not under warranty then attempt to repair the hard drive however you can. If this does not work look into replacing the hard drive on the HR21-700. I also read that opening the case, attaching a long SATA cable to the drive instead the satellite receiver, and using Victoria or MHDD on the drive will provide favorable results if remapping bad sectors.
Below is a external hard drive that can be added with more space or a replacement internal drive. Make sure that whatever you end up purchasing is SATA (Serial ATA) and does 3GB/second data transfer or you could run into issues.