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4K drive problems

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by cuda74360, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. cuda74360

    cuda74360 Member

    Jul 12, 2013
    Has anyone tried a Seagate ST1000VM002 in a TiVo? I called Seagate, and they confirmed that this drive uses SmartAlign technology, which is supposed to eliminate the need to realign partitions.
  2. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

    Jan 1, 2009
    Yes. I have this one in my Premiere XL and a WD20EURS in my OLED S3.
  3. ciper

    ciper New Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Can someone help me wrap my head around how to verify that the partitions are aligned? It seems to me that the starting point of each partition shown in mfsinfo should be multiplied by 512 and get a number divisible by 4096? Does the drive start counting at block zero, with zero being the bootsector and then block 1 the start of the partition map? Or should the "second" partition start at 63 to be 4k aligned?

    Another question about stretching partitions to force alignment. In the example posted previously the partitions are in the following order 1, 11, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 and the first bootstrap is partition 2. That means if partition 11 is not already aligned there is no way to adjust the size in that way right?

    For example
    Partition 11 at 64 blocks long so 64*512/4096=8
    Partition 2 876054528*512/4096=109506824
    Partition 3 876054600*512/4096=109506825
    Partition 13 879085648*512/4096=109885706

    Is that right?

  4. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    As long as all the start locations of the swap, var, and the mfs regions are evenly divisible by 4 you are 4k-aligned.

    IMO it isn't worth the effort to try and align.

    TiVo recording is mostly sequential writes which are unaffected by misalignment.

    Disk reads are also unaffected by misalignment.

    The only thing you need too worry about is whether your guide indexing can complete in a reasonable amount of time.

    I went through this a couple of months ago and was also worried about alignment. On my drives the bootstrap partitions threw off the alignment because they were only 1 block long and there were two of them. I considered whether to make them 4 blocks and preserve alignment but opted instead to just ignore alignment and test out the drive.

    I tested recording 2 HD streams, MRV of HD shown to second TiVo, playback of HD show, skipping forward/back, and connected to mother ship to download guide data. It all worked fine.

    While indexing was going on, there was maybe a .5 second longer delay bringing up the now playing list, but it wasn't something worth pursuing.

    Unitron was right when he said if there were going to be problems people would have complained by now.
  5. ciper

    ciper New Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    You may be right. I was trying to track down a random reboot issue that only showed up after installing a 4k advanced format drive. The original A drive hung a couple times and so I preemptively connected it to my computer to check its smart status. It had not failed yet but there were lots of recovered sectors so I decided to replace it before it died.
    Initially I used dd conv=sync,noerror which should "skip" any bad areas. I was getting a reboot.
    So then I did a straight DD which completed without errors (another 5 damn hours). That also had a random reboot.
    I then used the clean Broflovski image, still had a reboot?!

    My theory was that the built in Tivo failsafe that reboots the system when the drive doesn't respond fast enough was kicking in. The reboots mostly happened while two HD streams were buffering/recording and I started to watch a third show (and perhaps guide data was working) which should put the most stress on the drive.

    Perhaps its something else? Any ideas?
  6. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    I'll assume you are sure there is no power supply issue, but if you haven't looked in that direction, it is worth investigating.

    There are some drives that are more fickle with TiVo than others.

    IMO it is just less effort to get the drive everyone else is having success with, wd20eurs.

    As to your current drive, have you tried using a stock image?

    Have you confirmed dd will preserve block alignment by writing zeros for the areas it encounters errors? I used dd_rescue to recover my drives which has an option to guarantee the block alignment of the destination matches source because it fills in errors with zeros.

    After dd_rescue, I ran kickstart 57 so TiVo could repair any filesystem damage that may have resulted from the writing of zeros for the error sections.
  7. ciper

    ciper New Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    I have not tried a completely stock image, but the original drive had no bad spots and DD did not encounter any errors on the second run (where it should have stopped copying if it did).
    The command line options of conv=sync,noerror tell it to not stop when an error is encountered and to write zeroes for any error "block" based on the size you specified for the copy.
    I did do a kickstart 57 AND 58 after the second time I copied my original drives and it didn't make a difference.

    I just replaced all the caps on the DC side of the power supply a couple hours ago because I'm going nuts trying to figure this out. http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=9868597#post9868597
  8. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    In the interests of keeping that thread confined to hankinsohl's problem(s), what led you to replace your caps?
  9. ciper

    ciper New Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    The rebooting problems got me to check every part of the unit. I've been trying all sorts of wild things to stop it from happening. In checking these things I noticed one cap had what looked like a very slight bulge on top so I decided to replace everything on the DC side.

    I also; changed both sata cables. Removed all the connections except coax and component with optical audio (was using hdmi), left the unit running outside of the shelf its normally on (in case of heat), removed it from my UPS and had it running off a surge suppressor directly from the wall. Right now I am running off a single 1tb refurbished 512k block hard drive.

    My next step was to run it off an ATX power supply and completely isolate the Tivo power supply from the problem

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