Connecting An External Hard Drive To A DISH Network DVR

external hard driveInstructions for the DISH Hopper HD DVR

Adding an external hard drive to the DISH Hopper is a piece of cake. This will allow you to have additional space and move recorded shows to your external HD. There is no extra charge and all you will need is an external hard drive with the following features:



  • 2.0 USB connection capability
  • A minimum space of 50 GB(giga-bytes)
  • A maximum space of 2 TB (tera-bytes)
  • An external power supply

This hard drive will only be able to be used with the DISH Hopper DVR, therefore you will not be able to store any other information such as computer files.

Steps to connecting an external hard drive to a DISH Hopper HD DVR:

  1. Connect External Hard Drive to one of the USB ports on the back of the receiver. *Only one device can be connected to the receiver at one time.
  2. A pop up should appear on your screen asking if you want to manage your device’s contents. Select “Yes”
  3. Continue to follow all screen prompts.
  4. Eventually you will receive a prompt to “Format the Drive”. You will need to select “Yes”, but be warned, by doing this you will lose anything that has previously been stored on the external hard drive.

You are now ready to manage your external hard drive through the receiver. You may use the “Manage Device” to view and manage the recordings stored on the external hard drive. You may also use the “Send To Device” to store recordings on your external hard drive.


7 Responses to Connecting An External Hard Drive To A DISH Network DVR

  1. Greg says:

    I had a 700 series dvr. I transferred all my recordings to a harddrive. Now my new Hopper with Sling does not recognize that I have recordings. Not only that but the Hopper shows that I don’t have any space left on hard drive, so I can’t transfer to Hopper or transfer to hard drive. And it won’t let me manage the device.

  2. Karen says:

    I’ve had a Seagate external drive on my Hopper (actually have two Hoppers so it’s nice that I can go back and forth with the external hard drive and gather things I want to save from both).

    Out of nowhere, my external hard drive would not finish uploads to it and THEN I was SHOCKED to see that everything I saved in it suddenly had the Dish Network logo as icons rather than appropriate icons. At the same time, just about everything in the external drive was actually MISSING.

    I now cannot even get the hard drive to communicate with the Hopper (I tried both Hoppers, changing out USB cords, power cords, etc.). Nothing works. The light on the external drive very rapidly flashes blue and then goes dead.

    I have hunches about what happened here and they don’t favor Dish network. I’m rather suspicious by nature and wondered why Dish network likes to scan my external drive EVERY SINGLE time it updates the Hopper. I’ve a tendency toward thinking that their system overwrote my recordings but that STILL doesn’t explain why my Hopper will not communicate with the external drive.

    There were VERY VERY important things in that external hard drive. I put things in there that I really want to watch but won’t readily and don’t want them taking up space on the Hopper OR be at risk that the Hopper will crash and I’ll lose data (I’ve have more trade outs on Dish network equipment that you could even IMAGINE since getting Dish about 14 years ago… the Hopper’s been the BIGGEST problem but in the last two years, really not an issue until this).

    What do you advise I do???

    Thank you!

  3. Russ Hoyt says:

    I have movies downloaded to my computer I would like to play them through my TV. I have the Dish hopper my and TV has all kinds of connections.

  4. Peter says:

    once an external hard drive is hopper formatted, can it be reformatted to work on a PC again? My PC doesn’t recognize it as a drive after having be formatted to the hopper..

    • Jeff says:

      Yes, but it will have to be re-formatted to your PC and you will lose all recordings.

  5. Lee Williams says:

    I’ve just upgraded to the Hopper with sling from a Hopper with sling adaptor. Before the new receiver was installed I dumped some recordings to an external hard drive so that I wouldn’t lose that material. My new Hopper doesn’t see the external hard drive connected to it. Will I be able to transfer the old material on the external drive to the new Hopper?

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