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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by bkdtv, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Dec 19, 2008 #2081 of 10248
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    Forgive me if this has been covered and perhaps I missed it but is it possible to do an internal drive update using a laptop with 1 esata port? I would assume that getting a sata->esata cable would do the trick? Is there a way to connect 2 sata drives to the esata port at once so that I can start from Tivo image of my existing Tivo drive? Thanks in advance.

    Reason I ask is I don't have a PC with sata connectors. I know about the usb-sata method covered in FAQ which may be plan B, but if sata-esata works that would seem like a better/faster alternative.
     
  2. Dec 19, 2008 #2082 of 10248
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Out of curiosity, what type of laptop do you have with an eSata port? Generally haven't seen that much at all. (I see a lot of laptops where I work). Mine just has firewire (1394).

    I don't believe you can connect two sata drives to a single esata port even with some sort of adapter. But hopefully i will be proven wrong.
     
  3. Dec 19, 2008 #2083 of 10248
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    I have the HP Pavilion DV7-1020. Has some nice touches such as the esata port, hdmi port, BDROM. Biggest complaint is it came with Vista. :eek:
     
  4. Dec 19, 2008 #2084 of 10248
    bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance TCF Club

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    Assuming the adapter works, if you just want to copy over the settings and not all your shows, then yes. One SATA port is all you need. You are basically attaching the TiVo drive first and saving a backup copy of the settings to your PC (it puts it in the same folder with WINMFS by default) and then you connect the NEW drive and copy the disc image over to it. Bam. You're done in about 10 minutes. If you want to save your shows too, then you can always MRV them over to another TiVo if you have one. That's what I did.

    If you want to do a direct disc to disc copy with only one SATA port, not sure how you'd do that. Maybe you can save the whole drive as a disc image and restore that to the new drive? Not sure about that one.
     
  5. Dec 19, 2008 #2085 of 10248
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    11,151
    34
    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    OK great, thanks. Yes the most important thing is to transfer all settings over which sounds like it's possible once I get a sata-esata cable. Getting shows over too would be gravy. I'm just getting myself prepared because one of my S3s has spontaneously rebooted itself a few times since 11.0 was installed so I figure I'd be proactive and at least copy an image off Tivo drive before/if it fails. (I still need to run diagnostics on the drive to see if the problem lies there).
     
  6. Dec 19, 2008 #2086 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum...although a long time lurker it would seem. ;) I applaud you're willingness to dive in and upgrade your new TiVo HD from the get go. You've already gotten some sound advice and I'll throw my two-cents in, but first I have a couple of questions.

    Why after reading all of the material did you decide to go with a Seagate FreeAgent XTreme eSATA drive? I'm a Seagate man from way back and believe that they make some of the best hardware in the market. But their FreeAgent line has a very checkered past when it comes to playing well with TiVo. A recent TiVo update specifically notified users of FreeAgent Pro's that their system may no longer work with one attached. Early on FAP users had mixed to poor results. Although the XTreme is a new line (and as mentioned, untested) I'd rely more on historical evidence and steer clear myself. Then the next question is that if you're considering an internal upgrade, as you should, why would you want to void the five-year warranty of the Seagate external drive by opening the enclosure and/or as bkdtv mentioned, losing the ability to return it? Why not just buy a bare drive (for a good deal less), image it and install it?

    That said, the more-or-less common recommendation around these parts has been to simply upgrade the internal drive on TiVo HD's. The wisdom being that whatever you do you'll have to pull the internal drive, either to marry it to an expansion drive or to replace it. Why not simply replace it and remove the additional fail point from the equation? Keeping the miniscule OEM hard drive for anything more than a backup just isn't worth it IMO. If you need more than 1TB, you can always upgrade the internal drive plus add an eSATA drive for 2TB's.

    So here's my two cents: When your new TiVo arrives, fire it up, run Guided Setup, let it update to the latest software verison (v11.0) use it for a week or so and be sure all is well. During that time have your cableco install one "M" (multistream) or two "S" (single stream) cable card(s), rerun Guided Setup and again, be sure it's a happy camper. When everything is humming along pull the OEM hard drive, use it to image a new drive and put the original on the shelf. That way if something does go south later you can simply pop the OEM drive back in, have a working TiVo and if need be, return it under warranty. Of course you do NOT want mention to a TiVo CSR that you opened it up as that voids the warranty. Now you have a 1TB TiVo with about 157 hours worth of HD recording space and life is good.

    If you want to stick with Seagate, buy a bare drive from their dedicated DVR DB35 hard drive line. The drive's seek acoustics are specifically tuned to be <25 bels or so...as quiet or even quieter than the TiVo OEM drive and you'll save somewhere around $25 to $50 depending on the price paid for an XTreme drive. (DB35's also carry a five-year warranty.) Or you can purchase a Western Digital WD10EVCS drive (also specifically for DVR use) and save even more (found for as low as $120 or so recently). They are working quite well for many forum members. You could also consider a WD10EACS for your TiVo HD and set the AAM level yourself (see the first post). With various deals you can find them for about $90 these days. Again, I'm a Seagate guy, but the WD 1TB drive I have in one of my TiVo's has been flawless for over a year now.

    BTW, I'm also a Linux guy from way back too, but I've used WinMFS for several upgrades now and it couldn't have been easier. Who needs code? :) Just a thought.

    Happy upgrading and enjoy! :up:
     
  7. Dec 19, 2008 #2087 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Not to nit-pick, but you're referring to a software not firmware update. But then I bet you knew that. ;)
     
  8. Dec 19, 2008 #2088 of 10248
    moxie1617

    moxie1617 New Member

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    Chicago...
  9. Dec 20, 2008 #2089 of 10248
    amarand

    amarand OpenSourceEvangelist

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    Galloway,...
    I've owned TiVo products for many years, and have referred a few people too. It really makes me sad to see people going with the cable DVRs by default (and pressure) when they could have a TiVo. :)

    My philosophy is this: if I'm going to mess it up, I'd rather do it early in the game. I bought my TiVo from Newegg, which has a 30-day replaceable return policy. Unless there's a hologram seal (didn't they do away with those ages ago?) that they look for on returns, if it fails, I have 30-days. I'm also really careful, use ESD mats (I have two on my work surface, both sent to a common ground, with wrist straps) as I work on everything from PCs to large servers as a part of my day job. I own an "I Void Warranties" shirt that I typically (albeit accidentally) wear to big box shops when making big purchases...they love that. I also have a nice kit or three of specialized and sundry security bits for taking "challenging" things apart. I used to put Heath Kits together as a kid, and am saddened by mass-produced boards with surface mount components you can't fix yourself with an analog oscilloscope, some solder and an iron. Actually, this soldering experience allowed me to install my own plumbing accessories in the house without paying for a plumber and, knock on wood, not a single leak in seven years. But I digress.... If I'm going to mess it up, I want to NOT lose anything more than, say, an hour worth of set-up and download time as that's virtually free. If the family members lose several months worth of "Quality Programming" (Family Guy, South Park and Chowder to name a few) there would be heck to pay. So unless I plan on keeping the sad OEM drive forever, I'm totally pulling it and placing it in an anti-static bag with a note as to which TiVo it was pulled from (I just looked, I have --FOUR-- such bags in my closet...it's sick really.) just in case I need to help someone restore an older TiVo to its original state for someone. The original TiVo Series 1 is ultimately hackable, they took away a lot of the hacks in S2, yet that's where I stayed for the longest time. I really only ever needed to activate two "hacks" anyway, which should have been enabled in the first place by default.

    Aaaah, you're assuming a read a single word here prior to making my purchase. In an ideal world, I would have done the research prior to any outlay of cash but, alas, I did not. I decided to go with that drive because I like Seagate, the price was right, I was sucked in by the marketing name - it's XTreme! - but other than that, no actual empirical data was collected or used whatsoever. Well, I read reviews, but those were all folks using it on their PC or Mac - DVR applications (as mentioned probably 100 times in the 70+ pages of this post alone) are totally different. I'm actually glad I read the FAQ and post over the past day because I frankly had only been focusing on the Series 1 and 2 since they both came out, never took the Series 3 seriously (I mean c'mon, $800!?) and the HD has only been a recent development for me television-wise. I now understand that there are acoustic, heat and endurance considerations that are more prevalent with HD model than its predecessors - I didn't consider the fact that HD has a higher resolution video, and would therefore be pushing more data over the same period of time. It's funny, I'll probably get HD cable and TiVo and watch 99% non-HD - but whatever. :rolleyes:

    It's true, they have a great reputation in general, and that five year warranty was a great benefit. I'm tempted to use the 1TB FreeAgent as a backup drive, or a VMWare image repository - that's a lot of space, for sure. Everything else at my house is protected by RAID1 or RAID5, except for my TiVo but this is definately not mission-critical. My photography? Yeah, that's important. Also my MP3 collection would be terrible to have to replace. But there's always crap on the TV to re-record if I lose a drive for some reason.

    Points noted! In the end, as is said in the FAQ, if you're going to crack open your TiVo to mess around with hacking it to add an external, you should reduce the additional failure point of an external drive and just go with an internal drive. Oh, and by the way, why doesn't TiVo support drive mirroring? How could would it be to have the peace of mind of a mirrored TiVo drive? Some people are putting their television "lives" on a single drive that could fail at any moment. It's sad that the technology is out there, and TiVo's not using it. Plus, two simultaneous writes don't take much longer than a single write.

    This statement compresses a dozen pages worth of discussion, and quite a few FAQ entries, into a single sentence. :)

    And, again, if this isn't in a FAQ entry, it probably should be. I know some folks aren't going to have the luxury of starting out with an HD and upgrading it day one, but if that's something an end-user is considering, this is probably the best-practice I was looking for. One of the things I didn't understand before reading your reply is how the CableCARDs come into the mix. Now that I've read this last paragraph, I understand why it's important to install the cards after the software update, and take the backup after the CableCARDs are installed. It's surprising how little of my day-job's troubleshooting knowledge I'll apply to my consumer electronics purchases at the house. :D

    It doesn't look like there's a 1TB version of the DB35, but I like the 750GB's five year warranty for sure. I have Western Digital products all over the house, but only in RAID configurations as I don't trust them as single drives. Maybe that's changed over the years? Has their quality improved? Or maybe the specs are just better on the DVR-qualified WD drives? I'm not 100% stuck on Seagate for this application (even though I love their products) for sure. What I really want is the highest-quality, best-value, totally proven, sweet-spot 1TB solution that will be quiet, stable and cool (temperature-wise :p ). It's a really challenging decision for sure!

    Oh, I do like using the tools like WinMFS for sure. They have safety features that dd and other commandline apps simply don't have. There's a 99% chance that I'll use WinMFS for this upgrade - although I've used commandline step-by-step in the past.

    Oh I totally will! It's funny, most of the fun is in the upgrading. Once the TiVo HD is installed, although it looks a little different, it's pretty much just like the S2 TiVo with a ton more space, higher resolution digital output and some other third thing. When you watch as much "quality" animation shows as our family, you start to question the benefit of HD, but I think there will be benefits down the line. Star Wars the Clone Wars is out on HD, and the kids like that - so we'll see. :)

    Thanks for taking the time!
     
  10. Dec 20, 2008 #2090 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Glad to give back when I can. There are a lot of great folks here willing to help and ask nothing in return. I just get a little satisfaction when I can help someone avoid the multitude of "TiVo for Dummies" mistakes I've made over the years.

    When the snow is approaching six or eight inches deep outside like it is today, I couldn't be happier that we have TiVo with hours and hours (and hours) of HD programs to watch plus YouTube, Amazon or Netflix if all of that doesn't keep us busy.

    VMWare Fusion? X on a Mac?! :eek: That's like putting grafitti on a Van gogh! ;)

    BTW, Lois Griffin looks just a little hotter in HD. :D
     
  11. Dec 20, 2008 #2091 of 10248
    plumeria

    plumeria New Member

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    FYI -
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    MacMall - "FREE after mail-in rebate up to $40.00 - $14.91 before mail in rebate"

    peter
     
  12. Dec 20, 2008 #2092 of 10248
    husky55

    husky55 Member

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    Madison, CT
    Hey, it's snowing here in Ct and the whole east coast. I did not realize OR has a big storm.
     
  13. Dec 20, 2008 #2093 of 10248
    amarand

    amarand OpenSourceEvangelist

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    Galloway,...
    Ha! Well, you can run Fusion on your Mac, VMWare on your PC and Linux boxes - virtualization is pretty sweet. :)

    Could it be possible? :)
     
  14. Dec 20, 2008 #2094 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Yep...ugly up and down the left coast too. This live traffic cam is about a couple of miles from our house. This web cam is in downtown Portland a few miles north of us. Probably not the kind of thing you guys see, but for us it's supposed to be a 15 year record breaker. Things aren't fit for man nor beast around here right now! T.G. for TiVo!

    EDIT: Spoke too soon...we lost power for six hours or so today (Sunday). Early a.m. wake-up call with four different UPS units beeping away...so no TiVo for us. :( Juice is back on now but more snow and a new ice storm are just coming in. S/b about a foot and a half of snow and ice on the ground by this time tomorrow...and we're only at 500ft. or so...mountain areas are totally covered. One Interstate and many local roads are closed. Storm of the century (well, at least this one) they say. Hopefully the electricity will stay on. Brrrrrrr.

    Okay, back to our regular OT programming. :)
     
  15. Dec 21, 2008 #2095 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    Back before the era of 1TB drives several S3 upgraders used the inexpensive and quiet Thecus N2050 with dual 500GB drives in RAID 0 configuration for some of the first 1TB expansions by using an eSATA to SATA cable and routing it through a vent hole into the Tivo in lieu of the internal drive.

    Now, with readily available 1TB drives you could use two in the Thecus in RAID 1 configuration for redundancy. With the TiVo HD the connection is even easier because one can reroute the Tivo's eSATA port to the internal SATA port by just swapping cables on the TiVo mainboard. You would probably still need an eSATA to SATA cable for the upgrade process in the computer, though (unless the PC happened to have an eSATA port).

    Edit: Thecus notes that drives bigger than 500G are not recommended. Not sure if they just mean in RAID 0 (capacity limitation) or if it is for thermal considerations with bigger drives but in any case the above suggestion may not work as I proposed. So, nevermind...
     
  16. Dec 21, 2008 #2096 of 10248
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Slower...
  17. Dec 21, 2008 #2097 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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  18. Dec 22, 2008 #2098 of 10248
    hoyty

    hoyty Member

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    Sammamish, WA
    I just wanted to add another recommendation for the WD10EVCS. At first I upgraded my Series 3 whose drive began to fail with a WD Caviar Black 1 TB. That drive worked wonderfully and was an easy swap. The only downside was it is REALLY loud. The series 3 is in our spare bedroom and my fiancé was complaining it was too loud standing in the hallway outside the room. Her complaining spurred me to replace the drive and I got the WD10EVCS. What an amazing difference. I can't hear the drive at all; I hear the gentle whoosh of the fan more than the drive now. I would definitely recommend this drive. It is as good if not better sound wise than the Seagate DB35's I have in my DirecTV Series 2 and HR10-250 which was impressive.
     
  19. Dec 23, 2008 #2099 of 10248
    BrianL-WA

    BrianL-WA New Member

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    Seattle, WA
    I've followed Spike's instructions (from the FAQ) to use mfslive linux CD to run 'backup' to transfer the recordings from my (failing) original Tivo HD 160GB HDD + attached WD 500GB eSATA drive to a new 1TB HDD and then use WinMFS to expand the rest of the 1TB (and thereby no longer retain the eSATA drve).

    backup -qTao - /dev/sda /dev/sdb | restore -s 128 -r 4 -zi - /dev/sdc

    However, when I start the Tivo HD it tells me that an unknown external device is attached and wants to 'divorce' this drive to continue. I do the thumbs-down 3x and then restart, but each time the Tivo prompts me to do this--the divorce doesnt do anything.

    Please help! How do i force a 'divorce' on my tivo so i can begin using the new drive? I've also tried the 'fixdivorce' mfslive command and that didnt do anything. (hopefully with all the original programming).

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  20. Dec 23, 2008 #2100 of 10248
    txporter

    txporter One sec, almost done

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    Austin, TX
    From the MFSLive Guide, it looks like spike wants you to use WinMFS to do a Disk-to-Disk copy to do what you are trying to do. This appears to be for the original Series3 Tivos, but it would expect that it should work if you haven't upgraded your TivoHD (which it looks like you haven't).

    I have never tried this myself, so I can't offer any help based on experience.

    Let us know if you are able to accomplish this. Others have asked to do the same thing. I wasn't aware that it was even supported until you posted this and I looked for myself.

    Jason
     

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