External eSATA hard drives for Time Warner 8300HDC DVR

FoxCitiesTV's picture
Green Bay

Let's build a thread here in the forums where users can post which external eSATA hard drives they're successfully using with Time Warner Cable's Scientific Atlanta 8300HDC HD-DVRs here in Wisconsin.

I've heard that Western Digital's "My DVR Expander" (the eSATA model, 500GB) has been tested and works with the 8300s.  Prices seem to start at $130 for these.

We've also heard that the Fantom G-Force GF1000EU Hard Drive (both eSATA and USB 2.0 interfaces, 1 TB in size) works with the 8300s here in Northeast Wisconsin.  Prices for this Fantom drive are as low as $89 if you get it on a rebate deal.

Back in June, FTV reader wihogfan told us that the Apricorn ADVRX-500 500GB eSATA drive also works.  He purchased his then for $140 at Newegg, but it appears they no longer stock this model.

Which one are you using?

Posted January 2, 2009 11:45am in
tommytrc's picture

I have the Fantom G-Force

I have the Fantom G-Force GF1000EU and love it...

Look at your preferences to see how much free space "%" you have...

Turn off DVR...plug in eSata cable and hook to drive...

Turn on drive

turn on DVR..

dvr will immediately after book ask if you want to format the drive, the correct answer is yes.

Drive will spin for a few moments... cna't remember how long...

After a few minutes..reboot the DVR...and after initialization..check your free space "%" again.... should now be a lot lower...

good luck...


Jeff in Appleton's picture

This sparked my interest in

This sparked my interest in checking on pricing. For those that are looking for a GeForce external drive, Newegg has $20 rebates during the month of January. So final price on a G-Force:

500 GB is $59
750GB is $79
1 TB is $99

Great Deals.

Craig's picture

So I am a little new to

So I am a little new to this, but can someone tell me what the 8300 DVR's capacity is?

Craig's picture

Nevermind, found the info.

Nevermind, found the info.

FoxCitiesTV's picture

Just for those who don't

Just for those who don't know, the 8300 DVR has a 160 GB hard drive, which for HD makes an external drive almost a necessity!

John's picture

Thanks for replying with the

Thanks for replying with the answer Mark. I hate it when people ask a question on any forum and find the answer on their own, then choose to take the time to tell us that they found the answer, but fail to reveal that answer to the forum.

wihogfan's picture

Web site I used to help make

Web site I used to help make my decision on what to buy:

jason54915's picture

so using an external hard

so using an external hard drive on the HD DVR is working?

Anonymous's picture

I am been trying to

I am been trying to configure my MY Book eSATA hard drive to my Scientific Atlanta 8300HDC. I found my 8300HDC detect the eSATA drive but is not promted formating and no change on my storage gauge.

I follow the instruction in the forum but not success.

Somebody help me

budman's picture

If you check Apricot.com,

If you check Apricot.com, you will see that their external eSata hard drive expander is NOT compatable with the 8300 HDC but IS compatible with the 8300 HD. Anyone know why? Is this the case for all other expanders?

Anonymous's picture

Was using MyBook from Western

Was using MyBook from Western digital, worked great for a long time until the recent "Upgrade" with the new "Guide". They tell me that the SATA port is no longer used, nor can the 1394 ports be used for this. Anyone have better info? I was warned that we would lose shows already recorded, but no one said that external drive support was being dropped, or when it might return.

FoxCitiesTV's picture

Had the same thing with my

Had the same thing with my external hard drive. Initially it didn't seem to want to work, but I was able to get it formatted and working with the newer Samsung HD DVR they're starting to roll out. The only way I could seem to make it work though is hooking it up to a PC, formatting the drive fully (not a quick format), and then plugging it back onto the HD DVR to let it do its format.

It does still seem to work, the DVRs still 'see' the port, but it might be a little more finicky than it used to be.

SKIP G's picture

I had the DVR Expander

I had the DVR Expander working on an 8240HDC Time Warner box until they made the transition to the new NAVIGATOR /Mystro guide system and then I lost shows and the 8240 stopped recording any shows with the Expander plugged in. The 8240 showed only 11% space used with Expander plugged in but 85% with the Expander unplugged which indicated that the 8240 at least SAW the drive plugged in but couldn't use it. Of course 8240 worked fine with Expander unplugged but is FULL now.

I got a second box from Time Warner - an 8300HDC - for another TV and thought perhaps it might be able to hook up to Expander. It did not even know there was anything hooked up. Tried formatting the SATA drive with Linux computer and 8300 saw the drive and wanted to know if I wanted to format it FOR ABOUT 2 SECONDS but went away before I could read what to do OR push a button. Now it does not see it once I missed the message and tried rebooting, etc. Any ideas?

I have a friend who has same Expander box and was using it on 8300 system with Time Warner. His box made it through the upgrade with no loss of data and is working fine. I don't understand why!!!

Has anyone been able to get the Expander formatted or working on either Scientific Atlanta box or do I need to wait for Samsung box availability in my area?


Ag3ntC00p3r's picture

Essentially it comes down to

Essentially it comes down to what type Navigator software the DVR is using. TWC uses two different types of Navigator software, ODN and MDN.

The ODN boxes are the boxes that have an internal CableCARD like the SA8300HDC and are called OCAP boxes. These boxes "lost" the ability to use an eSATA HDD when the new guide software rolled out. I say "lost" because they external storage was never an officially supported feature with ODN boxes to begin with. From what I hear they are still looking into getting the eSATA port re-enabled with an update but I have not heard of any type of time-frame.

The MDN boxes are the "older" boxes like the SA8300HD that do not have the separable security measures the FCC deemed necessary way back in June of 2007 I believe. The MDN boxes still allow the use of eSATA HDDs but again as an unsupported feature.

I can confirm this as I too lost access to my external eSATA HDD on my 8300HDC when the new Navigator software rolled out but was able to get it working on my SA8300HD after hooking up the drive and reformatting it.

I hope that clears up some of the confusion.

Greg's picture

I have TWC in NC; I seem to

I have TWC in NC; I seem to have the same problem. Navigator is our software; it recognizes the drive (goes from 90% to 5%), but when I try to record, it won't record at all. Not to the external drive, not to the internal drive. I'm assuming this is all due to TW's software. I assume there's no work-around? I have the 8240HDC. I was attempting to add a drive -- I got a message that the "set-top is in use by another device", but then the drive was detected. Is there anything I can do?

Ben's picture

I was able to get a Toshiba 1

I was able to get a Toshiba 1 TB e-sata drive working with no trouble at all on my 8300 HDC.
I unplugged the 8300, hooked up the drive to the box, and plugged them both in.

After the time showed up on the box, I turned it on, and was presented with a screen asking if I wanted to format the external drive.

I chose yes.

It went back to watching tv, then after a minute or two, a screen popped up stating the external drive would work. No reboot needed. I checked the settings, and my available storage was a thing of beauty. What was over 50% used, was down to 7%.

Toshiba, model PH3100U-1EXB; hooked up via the E-SATA cable (purchased separately)

Ag3ntC00p3r's picture

Sweet. They must have rolled

Sweet. They must have rolled out some updated ODN code after initial Navigator launch for the SA8300HDCs because Ben was 100% correct. I hooked up a Fantom 1TB e-SATA drive (Western Dig Green inside) and it finally recognized it without issue. Previously right after the Navigator software was launched it wouldn't even see the drive let alone let me reformat it.

Any drive not working now is more than likely an e-SATA controller compatibility issue between the DVR and the drive.

Fantom GreenDrive 1TB GD1000EU hooked up via e-SATA to SA8300HDC (ODN Version 3.2.0_15)

Bob's picture

Ben: I've tried to use a


I've tried to use a Toshiba 1tb external drive with a SA8300HDC.
It loads, formats, and records. But on playback, the image pixelates
for about a half second every minute or two.

Have you had that problem? If so, how did you resolve it? If not,
how do you suggest that I resolve it?


sb4827's picture

I have a SA 8300HDC DVR and

I have a SA 8300HDC DVR and am trying to connect a Fantom GreenDrive eSATA & USB 2.0 2TB Hard Drive. Has anyone had any luck with this type of HD? I power everything off. Connect the Fantom Drive and power up. I then power up the 8300HDC and it does not recognize it at all. I have done a complete format from my PC and still the SA 8300 does not recognize it.

Any suggestions?


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