Digital cable set-top boxes such as those manufactured by Motorola offer many convenient features like high-definition compatibility, DVR (digital video recorder) functionality, and myriad video and audio connection ports for easy integration into your home entertainment center. Some Motorola cable boxes also feature USB ad firewire ports that allow you to take information on the box and dump it onto an external storage device like a detachable hard drive. This is useful for people who frequently use their DVR and run out of storage space. Saving the DVR recordings to an external hard drive saves you from having to delete recordings you haven't watched yet.
Connect the detachable hard drive to your Motorola cable box via the USB or firewire port. You should see a pop-up window on the TV screen indicating that the Motorola box recognizes the new connection.
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Format the hard drive. The first thing the Motorola box will ask you to do is to reformat the drive so that DVR data can be downloaded to it. This is the only way you will be able to take information off of the cable box, but understand that formatting the drive will erase all information currently saved on it. Once the drive has been formatted, it is ready to be used to save information from the cable box.
Follow the on-screen prompts to download saved DVR recordings onto the external drive. The exact screens will vary depending on what model of Motorola box you use and on your cable provider, but the on-screen prompts are quite self-explanatory. Once you have saved the recordings from your Motorola box onto the external drive, you can mount the drive and disconnect it from the cable box.
Some cable providers charge an extra fee to unlock the USB and firewire ports on your box before they will work, so if you do not see any response from the box when the external drive is plugged in, contact your cable provider to see if you need to add an external hard drive charge to your account.