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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Dec 27, 2008 #2121 of 10248
    delgadobb

    delgadobb Member

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    Mar 6, 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    Well, maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but I'm gonna go for the Seagate 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB drive. Yeah, there have been firmware issues, I'll make sure it's updated. The drive will almost certainly be overkill for a TIVO HD. That said, I ordered it from NewEgg during their 15% off PayPal promotion for $129 shipped, so it netted out to just over $110. Bad news: First shipment didn't reach me. Good news: They're sending out a replacement, so once I get it I'll try the upgrade.

    Amarand & I have something in common - about four or five original TIVO drives packed away. If any of mine died tomorrow, hopefully I'd have a simple drive swap to get them up & running again. For me, it's simply not worth reformatting a 40 or 80 GB drive for use elsewhere. So, I've got a bunch in a box, waiting for a rainy day.

    I've used MFSTools, then MFSLive for my previous upgrades. For the TIVO HD, I'll use WinMFS. I think I've got a pretty good handle on it; for those who have done things both ways, any suggestions on how to prepare? It seems like it outta be pretty straightforward.

    As far as the Seagate 1.5TB, after I've had the TIVO HD running a few days I'll back up the original drive then try the upgrade. First, I'll go for the full 1.5TB, but I understand it's likely not to work due to partition-sizing issues. Will report here. If that doesn't work, then I'll try a slightly smaller partition - I seem to remember finding a number somewhere between 1.2 & 1.3 TB as the max usable size, but can't locate it now. Assuming I'm willing to 'throw away' some space on the drive, can I attempt something like this? Either that, or has anyone tried creating two partitions on a drive like this to see if Tivo will address it like it has with two separate drives in the past? (i.e. 'Marry' them together as one volume.)

    Regardless what happens, worst-case scenario I'll use the Seagate in a desktop computer ... but I'd rather have it in the TIVO for a little extra storage over a 1 TB drive. I want to do the upgrade one time & leave it be for the life of the unit. The noise doesn't matter to me, as this will be in a large room with a DLP TV. If the Seagate doesn't work, I guess my plan 'B' will be a Hitachi - although several here have had good luck with Western Digital, my history with them precludes me going with that option.
     
  2. Dec 28, 2008 #2122 of 10248
    tannett

    tannett Long time reader....

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    Feb 8, 2007
    Cedar...
    Thanks for all the instructions and discussion on this board. My original 250GB drive in my series 3 started to go bad, bought a WD10EVCS drive and two additional SATA cables that I was able to hook into my desktop computer, ran the back-up to store an image to the computer and the a copy to pull everything from the old drive. Took about an hour and half to copy everything off the drive going bad (was so glad that it was still able to copy) and now I have 1 TB of internal storage...

    I had put a My DVR Expander on my TivoHD but seeing how easy this was, I might go ahead and update that drive as well!

    Thanks again!
     
  3. Dec 28, 2008 #2123 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Awesome! It'll be great to have another pioneer among us. :up:

    WinMFS is indeed straight forward...and so much easier and quicker than MFSTools. No prep work needed (other than possibly running a diagnostic on your new drive before installing it). It'll be a cake walk for a veteran like you.

    I read the same thing...it's over on the MFSLive Forum somewhere.

    Happy upgrading and keep us posted.
     
  4. Dec 28, 2008 #2124 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Good idea. Do it while everything is fresh in your memory. You can still marry your Expander to the new internal drive for 1.5TB's of space! :up:
     
  5. Dec 28, 2008 #2125 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    1,063
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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    Remember to divorce the eSATA drive first.
     
  6. Dec 28, 2008 #2126 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    1,063
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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    The Newegg price is even better than that. But it is not possible to discern the drives used from the description. Cavalry has used WD drives in other enclosures. It would be nice if it were the GP series but there is no mention of "greenness" so it is probably the standard blue label drive. One user mentioned loud fan when used in quiet room. In any case, these Silicon Image processer based units are dirt cheap now and are appearing in many forms. Basically, the RAID enclosure is only costing you $35!
     
  7. Dec 28, 2008 #2127 of 10248
    TheGrossman

    TheGrossman New Member

    5
    0
    Nov 22, 2008
    Hello all,
    I wonder if something like this http://www.startech.com/item/SAT3520U2ER-eSATA-USB-Dual-35in-Silver-SATA-External-Hard-Drive-Enclosure-w-RAID.aspx would work? You can get it for under $90 and with another hard drive, preferably the same as your original drive, you should be able to have a RAID 1 configuration to protect all of your original shows, etc. I would assume that this is very similar to the weaknees item listed above, only you could use whatever size drives that you want to. Does anybody know how to use an ESATA drive (or enclosure) in place of the original SATA drive?
    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  8. Dec 28, 2008 #2128 of 10248
    wendysimon

    wendysimon New Member

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    Jan 29, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I have a brand new tivohd that is still in the box. What is the order to do things in? I do want to upgrade the hd but am not sure how. I would rather do internal so I dont have to worry about a kid unplugging the cable and losing all our saved shows. I am looking at getting the WD10EACS since that is what seems to be recommended. Is it hard for a "mom" to do this upgrade?

    So what order do I do things in? I need to have comcast get me the cable cards. What cards should I ask for? M or something?

    I am going to get a lifetime sub on it.

    So do I upgrade my drive first, comcast first, plug in the unit and get my subscription on it first? I want to do it in the right order as to cause the least amount of stress. I will be doing this with 3 kids 6 and under around.

    Thanks for any help.
    Wendy
     
  9. Dec 28, 2008 #2129 of 10248
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    6,736
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    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Plug in and setup with over air, and/or plain analog cable, wait til updates to current software v11, then the rest.
     
  10. Dec 29, 2008 #2130 of 10248
    Scopeman

    Scopeman 2 x Basic Roamio

    412
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    Oct 22, 2002
    Central Texas
  11. Dec 29, 2008 #2131 of 10248
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    If you don't mind spending the extra $20, I would opt for the newer WD10EVCS instead. It costs $123 shipped after this discount coupon. TiVo uses a variant of this drive with less cache (WD10EVVS) in their new TivoHD XL.

    If you've already ordered the WD10EACS, that's still a fine choice for the TivoHD.

    Get your subscription first, followed soon thereafter by Comcast CableCards.

    A few months ago, I would have suggested OTA or cable first, but the new 11.x software doesn't seem to like TiVos without subscriptions. I would expect TiVo to address that with a software update soon, but for now, it's best to activate service before you get the 11.x software.

    I would wait a week or two to make sure everything is working as it should before you do the drive upgrade. The instructions are at the bottom of the first post. If you have a Windows PC, and have opened your computer case before, then it should be very easy. If you are not comfortable with opening your computer, then it is still fairly easy, but you will probably need a USB->SATA adapter.

    If you have a Mac, you'll need to follow a different set of instructions on MFSLive.org. I haven't added that information to the FAQ yet. If you need help using a Mac, let us know.
     
  12. Dec 29, 2008 #2132 of 10248
    Mindflux

    Mindflux TiVowned

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Don't forget any probable percentage saved from fatwallet or live.com cashback! This is likely a couple of percent, and while not a large sum of money it's also not something to just skip over.
     
  13. Dec 29, 2008 #2133 of 10248
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Is that live.com discount still going? At one point, didn't they offer 20% cashback or something like that?
     
  14. Dec 29, 2008 #2134 of 10248
    Mindflux

    Mindflux TiVowned

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Well for buy.com it's 1-5% (probably depends on what you buy). It's not a stack of cash, but it's still money in the bank when you add it all together.

    By the way do you have a link to the mac instructions? I looked around but couldn't find anything?

    Best bet would be to use Parallels or VMWare Fusion to run XP (or Bootcamp) and just use WinMFS anyway.
     
  15. Dec 29, 2008 #2135 of 10248
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    For a Mac without Windows, backup and upgrade is more complicated before there's no program like WinMFS where you can simply click "Backup" or "Restore."

    For the x86 Macs without Windows, you need to connect the original TiVo drive and new replacement drive (internally via SATA or externally with a USB adapter) and then boot from the MFSLive Linux Boot CD. You'll get a command prompt. From there, you need the type in the appropriate commands. The MFSLive site will generate the commands for you; you type those in.
     
  16. Dec 29, 2008 #2136 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Hi Wendy and welcome. To get started just read the instructions that come with TiVo, they are very good. In the meantime, my two cents:

    1. Call Comcast and set up an appointment. You'll need one "M" (multi-stream - best) cable card or two "S" (single stream) cable cards. Ask them to have the tech bring extra cable cards just in case. Clear instructions for the cable guy are included with TiVo as well as here on their web site.
    2. As mentioned, the included instructions are very good, but if you want a head start, read this information.
    3. Get TiVo set up - connect it to your TV, broadband or phone, etc.
    4. Activate TiVo. (you can do this on line here). Within 24 hours or so your TiVo will update to the latest software. After it downloads it will install it at 2 a.m. your time but there's no need to wait, go ahead and get it set up.
    5. Run Guided Setup if you currently have cable (just connect the coax cable to TiVo. You won't get all of the channels, but you will get many.)
    6. Once the cable cards are installed re-run Guided setup to get all of your channels.
    7. Then you can use the TiVo drive to image a new drive using your PC and winMFS. Follow the directions on the first post of this thread or on the winMFS/MFSLive web site.

    My advice is to let it run for a couple of weeks to ensure that everything is working properly then go ahead and upgrade the hard drive. Be aware that opening TiVo voids the warranty and TiVo customer support is not generally supportive of upgraded TiVo's. However it's mostly a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

    The WD10EACS or (even better) the WD10EVCS will work fine in your TiVo HD. Put the original hard drive on the shelf as a backup. If something happens you can easily put it back in and be up and running or if you need to return TiVo for a warranty replacement (just don't mention that you did any work on it).

    Even though it started out as an eSATA drive thread, the first post has everything you need to know about upgrading your TiVo HD including other recommended hard drives and Section III, #30 covers internal upgrades.

    You are a trooper and have our sympathies. ;)

    Happy upgrading! :)
     
  17. Dec 29, 2008 #2137 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    I actually got 30% cash back on a Mac Mini I bought for my wife through an authorized Apple dealer on e-bay. Thanks Mr. Gates! ;) (They've scaled it back quite a bit now though.)
     
  18. Dec 29, 2008 #2138 of 10248
    spellow

    spellow Damn! Winters coming

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    Oct 31, 2003
    Northern, VA
  19. Dec 29, 2008 #2139 of 10248
    Mindflux

    Mindflux TiVowned

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    Jan 16, 2008
    It's just a WD10EACS drive in there. lots of folks have used it on a TivoHD, but supposedly on an S3 box it can be problematic.
     
  20. Dec 29, 2008 #2140 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Well...yes and no...sort of. The Fantom drive in question is an eSATA drive. It will work with Series3's as an expansion drive via plug and play right out of the box. TiVo HD users would need to marry the drive to the internal hard drive for it to work as an eSATA drive using winMFS (and would be better off just buying a bare drive and upgrading the internal drive anyway). There are a few folks here that are successfully using the Fantom as an eSATA drive.

    The drive inside of the Fantom enclosure is reportedly a WD10EACS (the full model suffix is unknown AFAIK). That particular model of the bare drive will work as an internal upgrade for TiVo HD's, but not Series3's due to a soft reboot issue.

    Even if the price is right, removing the drive from the Fantom enclosure to use it as an internal hard drive upgrade would void the warranty and wouldn't make sense. A bare drive can be purchased for about the same price. Hope that clarifies things a bit. :)
     

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