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512gb SDD drive in a TiVo HD.

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by TexasGrillChef, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. jsknoll

    jsknoll New Member

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    Any chance you could point me to a step-by-step for that upgrade? I've got the drive and I've got a dead Tivo.

    Help?

    ~ JSK
     
  2. teasip

    teasip Member

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    Silly question. I see folks putting smaller sized SSD's in laptops, etc. compared to what they had in originally. Don't folks miss the storage space or is there some form of more effective storage with the SSD over the HDD?
     
  3. DougJohnson

    DougJohnson Member

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    Nope. A SSD GB is the same size as an HDD GB, just way faster.

    I'm spoiled. I don't think I could ever go back to a HDD as the system disc. 20 second boot times and application startup so fast it pops your head back. -- Doug
     
  4. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Houston &...
    Waaay faster. Both my personal laptop and my work PC have SSDs. It's the crack of hard drives.

    Size is an issue though, at least at home (at work, I can offload lots to the network). With digipics and videos and music, the SSD in my new Thinkpad was rapidly filling. So I ordered an mSATA SSD for a 2nd hard drive. When I rec'd it, I actually thought there had been a mistake. It was a 128GB SSD, and if you cut a credit card in half, it still wasn't that big! Less than 1/4" thick, and maybe an inch square. :eek:
     
  5. wesmills

    wesmills New Member

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    Several people I know are putting SSDs in the main bay of their laptops to use as the boot device and for installing commonly-used applications. Most laptops have the ability to take a second storage device--either as a replacement for the optical drive or in a dedicated storage bay--so the upgrade means the "spinning disk" gets moved to that spot. Alternatively, external hard drives are cheap so I've seen people just use that for storage or just go "to the cloud" with things like pictures and music since those are the biggest storage hogs for folks.

    (I'm extremely paranoid about a cloud provider just up and disappearing, so I keep everything in-house, so to speak.)
     
  6. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    I don't blame you for not trusting the cloud, but if you don't have off-site backup, you don't have backup.

    Do a VPN to grandma's house or something.
     
  7. Worf

    Worf Active Member

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    Another thing to consider - for work purposes, an SSD is often "enough" because all the work files exist on the work servers, so a smaller drive doesn't impact too much.

    For home use, well, a lot of people either have home fileservers with all their media on it (so they don't have to have copies of it everywhere and their phones and tablets can access it too), or a home desktop. Or they already carry around a portable hard drive with them anyhow, so it never strikes them to ditch it (probably because it's too damn convenient - need to give your friend beside you a file? Copy it to the hard disk, eject it, plug it in, and have them copy it off).

    Me personally, I'd probably find 64GB SSDs limiting, and 128GB probably the sweet spot.
     
  8. tiassa

    tiassa Me --Avatar

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    Get 2 physical drives to back up on swap them back and forth -- keep one in your office (or if you are totally paranoid a Bank Safe deposit box), assuming your office is far enough away from your home.
     
  9. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    sunnyvale
    So, how much did this speed up the TivoHD boot time?

    If you don't have your cable card paired, there are a few places where your tivo can be hung if you get the cable card auth page while in save to vcr mode.. (yeah I should get it repaired.. it isn't paired because I put the orig drive back in.)
     
  10. mjh

    mjh Re: Member

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    Dec 19, 2002
    There are programs that do this for you. I use crashplan. Allows me to backup to my friends house for free. And to their service for pretty cheap.

    My backup plan is:
    a) All PCs in the house back up to my server.
    b) Linux server does LVM snapshots to enable cheap daily restores
    c) LVM is back ended by RAID1 devices to survive HW failure
    d) Linux server is backed up offsite via crashplan

    So far I've had to exercise every single one of those contingencies.
     
  11. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    While an SSD is way faster than a standard hard drive in terms of surfing the menus and boot-up times, it offers no noticeable performance boost whatsoever in terms of recording and playback. It's absolute overkill for use in a Tivo. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I used my Tivos I tended to spend far more time watching recordings than surfing the menus. Spending $600 or more for a 512GB drive is ridiculous just to get through the menus quicker.

    On another note, I use an SSD in both my primary PC and my HTPC for the OS install and miscellaneous apps. I use regular hard drives for data storage and recordings. Boot up is blazingly fast, but you also don't need a huge SSD for this purpose. A 64 -128 GB SSD should suffice for most users. The nice thing about SSDs is that you can get it almost completely full (i.e., 99% or better) and suffer no degradation in performance. A standard drive would start slowing to a crawl after getting past 80-90% capacity, especially if it was fragmented.
     
  12. Cheezmo

    Cheezmo New Member

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    I wonder how a Hybrid SSD would fare. Frequently accessed things like the menus and guide data could be cached on the SSD giving you that performance boost, but be more cost effective for a larger drive. I think I just saw the Seagate Momentus XT 750Gb for $130 or so.
     
  13. Worf

    Worf Active Member

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    Yeah, if the hybrid technology is as good as they say it is, it would be great - the media can stay on the hard drive, the OS part can be on SSD and fast.

    I know I've seen near-ssd performance on them (was surprised) so it can work. I'm considering getting that for one of my MCE PCs, but I don't know how well it'll work in that application.
     
  14. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    I suspect that the Tivo is not "smart" enough to use a hybrid drive effectively.
    Not without user intervention, that is.
     
  15. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    NJ

    honestly i dont know so that's why i ask- doesn't the drive have the smarts? I was under the impression that a hybrid drive had some sort of firmware/controller and it would notice what data is frequently accessed and move that to the SSD section and leave the rest on the platters?

    But i'm not really sure if it would be able to do that with the way Tivo partitions the drive? Can a hybrid move partitions back and forth between the SSD and platters?
     
  16. alansh

    alansh New Member

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    Phoenix, AZ
    My understanding is that older hybrid drives did need OS support (such as Windows ReadyDrive) but newer ones are smarter.

    100% of the data does end up getting written to the physical drive. The SSD acts as a huge cache, and holds the most often accessed blocks from the drive. Writes can also be buffered in the SSD, getting written to the physical drive later. Since the SSD is non-volatile, it does not lose data if the power goes off. This is an advantage in laptops where the drive can stay spun down to save power.

    Since most PCs do mostly reads, the caching algorithm will be tuned toward that. Since the TiVo is constantly writing gigabytes of data, it's possible the cache will end up flooded with the most recently written data rather than most often used.

    As I said way upthread, I'm still not convinced that the TiVo is that I/O bound. It's possible that if it's using the swap partition a lot, that could hurt performance.
     
  17. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    NJ
    My current GUESS would be that the thing is still IO bound.

    “back in the day”- there was the cachecard for the series 1 which basically behaved like something of a hybrid drive, but better if I recall. I think it was smart enough to JUST cache whatever part of the drive held the guide database so the all the UI things where on the cachecard and the OS and recordings where on the physical drive. The flaw though was that I don’t think it was non-volatile and so changes to the database could get lost with a power blip.

    The UI isn’t vastly faster since those old days- if anything it’s slower by far when you factor in the much better hardware.

    Here’s the cachecard site:
    http://www.9thtee.com/tivocachecard.htm

    with this blurb:

    For those who weren’t around in the day- the product was a little more than tacitly supported by TiVo- they were kind enough to preinstall the drivers for the cachecard in later S1 software updates IIRC.

    What’s amazing to me is that the cache was as small as it was.

    Seems like even today- TiVo could just add a couple gigs of memory to the motherboard and speed things up immensely if they engineered it as an onboard cache. Maybe make it 4 gigs and then cache not just drive IO but also the most frequently accessed web content. The UI would scream.
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    For the type of memory module that was used in the cache card I think 512MB was the largest capacity in which it came, and I'm sure the S1 TiVos couldn't use the ones newer than that.

    If there were 1TB versions, they were probably obscenely expensive and there were probably only a very few (also very expensive) server motherboards which could use them.

    Actually a lot of the computer motherboards that used that kind of module couldn't use any that were larger than 256MB.
     
  19. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Oh- I didn’t mean to be complaining about cachecard-

    I’m saying it’s amazing to me that such a small amount (in Todays terms) was all that was needed to fit the database and speed things up.

    And I understand TiVo’s decision to build the machines that way back then (I think they had only 64m or maybe 128 on the directive 1). My point was a small amount of memory in today’s climate is all that Tivo apparently needs to include to speed things up a bunch. At least they could have built the “elite” and maybe “XL” units with an extra couple chips (likely just upsize what’s there in the real world) and made a big difference.
     
  20. alansh

    alansh New Member

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    Phoenix, AZ
    The original Series1 had just 16MB of RAM (32MB for the DirecTivo). This may have cause a lot of I/O if the database wouldn't fit in memory.

    The Series2 had 32MB (64MB for the dual tuner models). The Series3 had 128MB, and the Premire has 512MB. As far as I know, nobody released a cache card for anything other than the Series1.
     

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