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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Mar 30, 2009 #2681 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    You can but it would be somewhat complicated because you'd have to make an identical copy of your drive using "dd", a Unix program.

    Most recent computers have several SATA connectors on the motherboard that would allow you to connect several hard drives at a time. If your optical drive is SATA you could use that connection as well. But if not you can buy an inexpensive SATA PCI card. Or if you're using a laptop, you should be able to utilize a USB/SATA adapter. All of the info on that can be found in the first post of this thread, Section V, number 17(b).

    BTW if you have a TiVo Series3, read the post to make sure the drive you have is one that will work (many do not due to a soft reboot issue). If you have a TiVo HD there shouldn't be a problem upgrading with a WD GP drive.

    If you've built computers, this will be a cakewalk. Even if you haven't, it's quite simple.

    Happy upgrading!
     
  2. Mar 30, 2009 #2682 of 10248
    eddielives

    eddielives New Member

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    Nov 29, 2007
    Rich,

    I went ahead and bought a new Seagate 500GB HD (got it for a song/brand new). I'm running winMFS, and everything was going OK (I say "OK" even though it's taking a LONG time), but now it's telling me I have 1193042:05:53 remaining! An hour ago, I had around 3 hours left (I was 3 hours into it). Should I abort? Or should I check back in the morning? I got time... but not that much, as my wife is already asking when we get our TV back.:eek:
    TIA
     
  3. Mar 31, 2009 #2683 of 10248
    spocko

    spocko TiVo HD

    433
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    Feb 4, 2009
    I have a WD10EACS-22D6B0 that is not currently being used. I believe this is a newer 3-platter version of the WD10EACS. Based on my reading of this thread, my understanding is that this drive is suitable for an internal drive replacement in a Tivo HD. Can somebody in the know please confirm? I understand that I'd need to adjust the drive acoustics manually.

    Thanks, and a special thank you to bkdtv for the excellent FAQ!
     
  4. Mar 31, 2009 #2684 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Hmmmm...that's a new one. I'd let it run overnight but if it looks similar tomorrow I'd pull the plug and start over again. I've no idea what would cause that if you've followed the instructions for winMFS correctly. I'm assuming that you're copying all of your recordings, etc. as copying the basic image only takes a few minutes.)

    Let us know it goes, and whatever you do, keep momma happy!
     
  5. Mar 31, 2009 #2685 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Yes the WD10EACS is suitable for a TiVo HD (not Series3) upgrade.
     
  6. Mar 31, 2009 #2686 of 10248
    swezey

    swezey New Member

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    Nov 28, 2008
    OK well... I'm back. I've been running my 2 Series 3 since XMAS now and everything is GREAT! Verizon came out and installed the cable cards THE SAME DAY WE CALLED! (I think the tech for our area lives near me). For those of you who don't remember, you all helped me decide which way to go, partly through this poll:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=412306

    Anyway, as promised, it's now time to upgrade. While the recording time on the S3 was definitely a step up from the Verizon DVR, between my stuff, the wife's and the kids... well YGTP.

    So, the question is, given you have 2 original S3's, would you simply add an external drive and be done with it or would you replace the internal and save the original as a backup? I understand that with the HD, most users simply upgrade the internal since their only external choice is the uber expensive My DVR Expander. However, part of my choice in getting the S3 was to have more (and less expensive) upgrade options (as well as better performance on TTG and MRV). So here are the issues:

    1) Add on a 1TB external and be done with it. PROS: Easy. Fast. Fairly inexpensive. Saves all programming and shows. Uses storage from original drive for 1.25 TB total.

    CONS: 2 points of failure. No backup drive. How old is the drive in these things anyway? How long do they last? I got both these units used. An extra "box" sitting out for the kids to get in and mess up (they get into EVERYTHING!)

    2) Mirror the internal on a new 1TB and put the original away for a backup. PROS: Replace original drive with a newer, prob more reliable drive. Gives me a backup. Least expensive option (no external PS, cables or case needed for new drive). Nothing "extra" for the kids to get into. Fewer points of failure.

    CONS: Must open Tivo. Takes longer esp. if copying all existing recordings. End up with only 1TB instead of 1.25TB.

    I think I've summarised the P&C of these two options. Did I miss anything major? Anyway, bottom line is... Which way would you go? Why? I think I'm leaning towards adding the 1TB internally and keeping the original as a backup but it seems dumb to waste the 250GB. Or would I be playing with fire by keeping those original drives in service?? And if I do risk it and the drive takes a crap, am I in a world of hurt?? How easy (or hard) is it to get back up and running after a catastrophic crash? I realise I would lose any shows not backed up if that happens. What's the MTBF on the original S3 drives? Anyone know??

    Anyway, as usual, thanks to everyone here for their thoughtful advice, suggestions and help! I really appreciate it!!
     
  7. Mar 31, 2009 #2687 of 10248
    spocko

    spocko TiVo HD

    433
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    Feb 4, 2009
    Thanks Rich! Since my Tivo is still under warranty I'm not going to upgrade just yet, but it's nice to know that I've got the parts handy when I can't resist the upgrade urge any longer. :)
     
  8. Mar 31, 2009 #2688 of 10248
    eddielives

    eddielives New Member

    26
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    Nov 29, 2007
    Well, I jumped the gun (as usual). I fell asleep on the couch, and when I woke up, it was done!!. Took under 7 hours (much better than 1193042:eek:) I did transfer a lot of recordings which probably caused the longer time. All is well:up:. Thanx for the help.
     
  9. Mar 31, 2009 #2689 of 10248
    hdeditor

    hdeditor New Member+1 rank

    79
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    Jan 7, 2004
    Denver
    System: TivoHD with stock internal drive married to "My DVR Expander" external drive. Both units out of warranty period.

    The "My DVR Expander" external drive seems to be having issues. Kickstart tests show that the internal drive is fine but the TivoHD cannot run tests on the external drive (hdb). Spinrite is finding several severe errors on the external "My DVR Expander" drive.

    I have ordered one of the 1 TB drives recommended in the "Upgrade Internal Drive" table in the F.A.Q.. If I understand the F.A.Q., there is no way to connect both the TivoHD internal drive AND the external "My DVR Expander" drive to a PC, and then transfer recordings which were made since the "My DVR Expander" drive was married to the internal drive, and move them to the new 1 TB drive. I will be able to transfer recordings made only before the internal drive was married to the external drive. The reason, as I understand, is that the TivoHD creates sort of a RAID array so that new recordings are split across both drives.

    My question is, now that I stated in the above paragraph that the F.A.Q. says there's no way to do this :eek:, is there a way to transfer the recordings which are RAID'd on the internal and external drive and move them off to the PC so that I can restore them to the new 1 TB internal drive?
     
  10. Mar 31, 2009 #2690 of 10248
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    If it were me, I would upgrade internally, because I don't like having a separate box.

    One of the frustrating things about an external drive...is that when problems develop, you don't know whether the internal or external is at fault. You may have to remove one or both, connect them to your PC, and run diagnostics, because the built-in TiVo error reporting can't be relied upon to find all problems.

    That's correct. At the moment, there's no way to backup and restore the recordings from a TiVoHD internal+external setup to a single, larger internal drive.

    About your only option is to transfer recordings [that aren't copy protected] to a PC or another TiVo, and then transfer them back after the upgrade is complete.
     
  11. Apr 1, 2009 #2691 of 10248
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    4,358
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    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    Personally, I'd think it would be relatively simple to troubleshoot your setup if you have an external drive. Just shut down the Tivo, disconnect the external drive, and connect it to your PC and run a diagnostic. If the drive fails the diagnostic, chances are you'll never have to open up the case to fool with the internal drive. Of course, if you had already upgraded the internal drive then you'll have to pull it anyway to remarry it to the new replacement external drive. It really all boils down to personal preference.
     
  12. Apr 1, 2009 #2692 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    Not in the old PATA master/slave sense you are thinking of. The few people who have added a second internal SATA drive really just rerouted the external drive connector to the interior and tapped into the drive power cable for power. The TiVo just sees it as an external drive. It is somewhat of a feat since there is no real easy place for a second drive. So, yes, it can be done but not for the faint of heart.
     
  13. Apr 1, 2009 #2693 of 10248
    bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance TCF Club

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    Silicon Valley
    Not really... Having an external drive makes troubleshooting a lot harder. Is it the "Power Brick" the eSATA cable? The Drive enclosure? Opens you up a whole bunch of possible problems. Disconnecting the drive and running diagnostics is a hassle. Plus, with an external drive you have to worry about the cables coming loose when you move the enclosure to clean etc. I am very happy I got rid of the "anchor" and went internal. My equipment rack is much neater, runs more quietly, and the whole system is much simpler this way. IMO Internal is the best way to go even if it is a bit more work initially.
     
  14. Apr 2, 2009 #2694 of 10248
    jedispork

    jedispork New Member

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    Feb 17, 2008
    I have my tivo back up and running. I installed my old green power drive. At first it didn't seem to be showing up but then I had to use the delete format or whatever it was called and do a restart since it was a used drive on my main pc.

    The Tivo could be a little more sluggish than before. Maybe its just from the reboot or the drive is a bit slower? Not a big deal if everything still works properly.
     
  15. Apr 2, 2009 #2695 of 10248
    Bilboz

    Bilboz New Member

    3
    0
    Nov 13, 2004
    TiVo HD upgraded from orig hdd to
    HITACHI 0A38016 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    Using WinMfs
    Cost $85.00 with free shipping from NewEgg
    Unit booted and is working.. While it was open I made a Y connector for the fan so i could plug in the original tivo fan plus add an additional fan to keep hdd cooler.
     
  16. Apr 2, 2009 #2696 of 10248
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    4,358
    5
    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    The same problems exist for an internal drive. Is it the drive, the power supply, the internal SATA cable, mainboard, etc? The point I was trying to make is that if you have to pull a drive and run a diagnostic, the external drive is much easier to set up on a PC, and you don't have to shut down the PC or open it up to connect it in most instances. If it's the power "brick" then you should be able to spot that right away via any number of indicators (i.e., the LED doesn't come on, the drive won't spin up, or the internal fan makes no noise). If it's the cable, you'd simply have to swap it with another one (this is assuming that you have one available).

    I've got two S3's with external enclosures (both 1TB Fantom Green Drives). The drives sit on a shelf behind my 60" Sony LCoS HDTV where they're completely out of sight from the viewing area yet have plenty of open space around them for ventilation.

    FYI - if you have to move the enclosures around to clean then it just makes sense to check all cable connections to make sure they're secure. E-SATA cables tend to have a locking connector so they're less prone to becoming dislodged. You should also be shutting down the Tivo before moving the enclosure to make sure you don't accidentally disconnect the drive while it's powered on.
     
  17. Apr 2, 2009 #2697 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Nice. :up: Did you happen to take any pictures that you can share? If not, can you give us a f'ew more details with regard to placment, fan model, cost, etc.? I expect it's a standard PC fan which are pretty cheap, but it's always good to get an "experts" feedback.

    Ours actually runs cooler with a WD GP 1TB drive, but I'm always interested in options.

    Congrats on the upgrade and enjoy!
     
  18. Apr 2, 2009 #2698 of 10248
    bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance TCF Club

    25,954
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    Dec 1, 2000
    Silicon Valley
    Shut down the TiVo before you dust? How is that NOT a hassle? :D
    We have cleaners that come twice a month and I got sick of them jerking the enclosures around and no, they didn't check the cables after they dusted. I always had to do that after I got home... ;)

    I also had one of my enclosures develop an intermittent problem with the muffin fan where it would "rub" on the enclosure and make a bunch of noise. It was a pain. I am happy to be rid of the external enclosures. Just one less thing to trouble shoot and deal with. External is "easier" for most people to set up, but if you have the Skilz, internal is the only way to go IMO. To each their own. :)
     
  19. Apr 2, 2009 #2699 of 10248
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    6,739
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    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    The Tivo fan is a 70mm size and a typical PC fan is a 80mm or 120mm.
     
  20. Apr 2, 2009 #2700 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    Um...yes, that's true but they also come in much smaller sizes. I actually discovered that while building computers, both big and small over the years. Guess that's why I asked the OP for some additional details about what he used. ;)
     

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