How To Format DVR Drive For PC

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The transformation that technology has introduced into our everyday living is amazing. It is amazing to see the change that has come with DVR, and that is what we will focus on in this article.

For the sake of starting from the basics, DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder.  DVR is an advanced version of VCR, in the sense that it (DVR) does not use video tapes, but uses a hard drive in the place of the tapes.

There is so much competition everywhere, and different networks are always airing interesting TV programs and shows you may not want to miss out on. Do you have a favorite TV program that you would like to record? DVR will come in handy. However, unlike the VCR, the DVR will successfully pause live TV and record the show that is currently running, in real time. 

In case you would want to fast forward a commercial advert, the DVR will facilitate you to do so, and return to the live television. This is the convenience we are all looking for in our day to day living.

You will notice that many satellite and cable Television service providers will include the DVR as part of their package. Most DVRs will provide the features needed to schedule a recording. As a DVR user, you can scroll through a TV program guide, and use your DVR to select the programs you would like to record. Amazing, right?

You may be asking why you need to format the DVR drive to use it in your PC. This is why:

Do you need to format a DVR Drive to use it in the PC?

The DVR stores its videos in its hard drive. The physical appearance of the hard drive is similar to the ones we see in our desktop computers. You would need to format it, so that it is compatible with the computer’s operating system.

Will you need any special tools to do the needed formatting of the DVR? No you won’t. This is because the operating system of the computer has an inbuilt software that has the special tools you would otherwise need.

It is a common experience to get complains from DVR users, that they tried accessing their DVRs from their computers, and it would simply not spin up or power on. 

If you find yourself in such a situation, you do not need to worry, especially if the DVR still works fine in its original box.

This is why we are here. To take you through a simple procedure that will help you format your DVR drive to use in your PC:

Before we start off, please note that you can only format the DVR drive to NTFS, or alternatively the FAT system file. This is because Windows can access, read and write the file system when it is in that format.

For you to successfully format the DVR Drive, find out your exact DVR hard drive system. When you know its exact description, you can then successfully solve the issue and use your DVR on your PC.

For example, if your file is DirectTV or Dish, convert it to the Linux-based XFS file system.

Do you have a Linux PC? If you do, connect the DVR drive to that PC and check if it reads. 

Also note, once you are done with your formatting, the DVR drive will not function in its original device, whether it was Dish or DirectTV.

How to format DVR Drive for PC: Steps

First, back up your data. Formatting erases all your data, and to save yourself the frustration, get your backup together before starting off.

What you need:

  1. USB flash disk, 4GB, and safely connect it to your PC
  2. Enough screws and pliers, to enable you to pull out the hard drive from the DVR box, then connect it to your PC.
  3. Download and install software to help you partition your windows computer. 

Technology has advanced such that you no longer need to use the line commands to carry out the partitioning process. There are excellent partitioning programs that can delete, create, resize and rename partitions. 

There are programs in the market that will allow you to partition multiple PCs, while others will only allow you to partition one PC.

Phase 1: Create a bootable disk

  • Step 1:Prepare a Disk/Drive

To create a bootable disk, get a storage media ready. USB or flash drive, or a CD/DVD drive will come in handy. Connect it to your PC.

  • Check to ensure that the USB or the CD/DVD is available. It is possible that you may not have a storage device at your disposal. If that is the case, save the ISO file in your local drive, and you can later get a storage media and burn it. When your data is saved, click on “proceed”.

  • The importance of creating the bootable disks is so that it gives you the room to manage both your hard disks and partitions via the bootable drive any time the PC does not boot as it should.

Phase 2: Formatting the Hard Drive

Note: In case the DVR appears as undetected or unallocated, you would need to create a partition on the same unallocated space to enable you to use it for PC.

  • Step 1: Launch your partition software. On your USB/SD card or the hard disk, right click on the partition and select the “format” option.

  • Step 2: Assign a new label to your partition, and on the selected partition and cluster size, then click “ok”. An example would be something like this: (NFTS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3).

  • Step 3: Check the Waming window and click “ok” to proceed.

  • Step 4: Check on the top-left corner to preview the changes. Select “Execute Operation” then next click “Apply”. This will enhance you to start formatting the external hard disk or the USB card.

Congratulations! You have successfully formatted your DVR drive for your PC.

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