How to Transfer a Dish DVR to the PC

by Marshal M. Rosenthal

The hard drive found inside a Dish Network DVR is no different than that found in a desktop computer--other than storage capacity and the formatting scheme used by the Dish Network's operating system to control the content stored on the drive. The hard drive from a deactivated and legally owned Dish DVR can be removed and transferred to a PC, where it can be used as another hard drive. The procedure is straightforward and only requires a few tools that most households have on hand.

Remove Dish DVR Hard Drive

Remove all the cables, including the coax cable, from the Dish DVR. Place a bath towel on a table. Place the Dish DVR face down on the towel. Remove the screws from the corner edges with the Phillips screwdriver. Remove any screws near the middle of the bottom with the Phillips jeweler's screwdriver.

Turn the Dish DVR over, with the back panel facing you. Remove the screws from the corner edges with the Phillips screwdriver. Remove the screws from the bottom edges with the Phillips jeweler's screwdriver.

Turn the Dish DVR around so the front is facing you. Push in on the compartment door, (or doors) so it pops open. Twist the compartment door or doors to remove them from the faceplate.

Grip the faceplate and pull it forward until it comes free of the top cover. Grip the top cover and push it away from you until it comes free of the Dish DVR. Remove the top cover.

Using the Phillips jeweler's screwdriver, remove the screws from around the hard drive inside the Dish DVR. Lift the hard drive up and remove the two plugs from the back panel by pulling them out.

Transfer Hard Drive To PC

Unplug the power cord from the PC. Remove the screws from the side or back panel of the PC with the Phillips screwdriver. Grip the side or back panel and pull it off the PC.

Remove the screw at the side of one of the empty hard drive bays with the Phillips screwdriver. Pull the hard drive bay out. Remove the screws from the side of the hard drive bay with the Phillips jeweler's screwdriver.

Place the hard drive bay upside down on a table. Place the Dish DVR hard drive on the table with the exposed circuit board facing down. Flick the switch in the slot on the back panel of the drive from the "Master" to the "Slave" label with your finger.

Hold the hard drive with the circuit board facing up. Insert the front end of the drive into the hard drive bay. Attach the screws to the side of the bay to secure the drive.

Pull the power plug and ribbon connector plug out of the space where the hard drive bay was pulled out. Attach the two plugs to the appropriate connections on the back of the hard drive. Place the hard drive bay back into the position it occupied on the PC. Reattach the screw.

Close the side or back panel on the PC. Reattach the screws. Plug the power cord back in. Turn the PC on. Go to "Start" > "Control Panel." Select the hard drive's icon from the list of choices presented beneath "Removable storage."

Right-click the hard drive icon and select "Format" from the pop-up menu. Name the drive in the "Name" text field at the top of the window that appears. Select "FAT" from the "Format" drop down menu. Click the "Format" button. Wait as a copy progress bar appears and fills in from left to right. Close the window when the copy progress bar is completely filled in by clicking the red "X" in the upper right corner.

Warning

  • close Avoid touching any connection inside the Dish DVR or computer, as this could cause a damaging static electrical discharge.

Items you will need

About the Author

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera hard drive interior image by Curtis Sorrentino from Fotolia.com