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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Nov 9, 2009 #4001 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    IIRC TiVo HDXL's were last reported to be using a WD10EVVS. (The drive that post 09/20/09 manufacture date no longer works in Series3's and TiVo HD's.)
     
  2. Nov 9, 2009 #4002 of 10248
    MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

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    Portland,...
    To answer both of you....Rich and dswallow:

    First. it is possible that the Firmware (FW) is the same for both the 2 and 3 platter configurations. There can be a jumper on the drive electronics, or, more likely, the FW can determine the configuration and load the proper code.

    Second, when people ask "Just what is TiVo doing to cause this" they could be trying to get the maximum use out of some spec that the drive has. I can't get into details here but on "big iron" computers :D that is an ongoing issue. For example, someone could (and did) write a mainframe program (run under MVS for the true geeks out there) that did something very fast. They looked at the DASD specs and took advantage of them. Suddenly, we started getting customers (BIG Customers) who claimed there were issues...not unlike what is going on with the WD drive(s) now. No matter how much we tested, all was OK, but a few customers kept having issues.

    Here is what we found out...only after I asked to buy this Software (and we are not talking PC's here). The drives we sold were supposed to be compatible with a very big mainframe company and WERE compatible. HOWEVER, there was a minor specification where we were just a little slower...on the low side of the spec. Since MOST software did not care, it worked fine. However, this one piece of very high performance software depended on this being correct. That is why there were issues with the drives...but only with that software.

    So, what this means is that TiVo "may" be doing something in the TiVo OS that depends on a drive having a certain spec. IF WD changed the FW to cause even the smallest change, it may be that the drive(s) are fine for everything but the TiVo.

    Sorry I rambled, but just thought a few of you may want a reason this may happen. WD may have given TiVo new FW that would correct this issue, but feel that we are not supposed to be "upgrading" our TiVo's anyway and may not acknowledge the "bug" to us!
     
  3. Nov 9, 2009 #4003 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Good insight...and makes perfect sense. Seems odd though that whatever the spec that it only applies to certain WD drives (some of which TiVo doesn't use at all) and not at all to the other brands folks are using successfully. AFAIK no one using the earlier or other WD models or other brands are reporting any performance issues. I would think that improving performance would be the goal of any company (such as the one you described) tweaking the FW.

    Soooo...that basically means that our choices are being whittled down to only a few drives that are acceptable (at least to us).

    All of this is making my brain hurt. :eek:
     
  4. Nov 9, 2009 #4004 of 10248
    MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

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    Portland,...
    Yup....also the spec can be something obscure like Head Settling time, minimum seek time or things like head switching time and not ready to ready timing. Others can be write current as a function of cylinder number and a ton of other things that can be right on the edge. At any rate there are a ton of others but I said too much already!
     
  5. Nov 9, 2009 #4005 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Ugh...anyone have any motion sickness pills? :(
     
  6. Nov 9, 2009 #4006 of 10248
    MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

    1,194
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    Portland,...
    ...and this doesn't even take into account the "superaerogalvanicrepulsifiers" :D
     
  7. Nov 9, 2009 #4007 of 10248
    JasonRossSmith

    JasonRossSmith The New Guy (sort of

    173
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    Jul 20, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    great-flying-electric-desgustors?

    On a side note, I bought one of those WD10EADS drives from Fry's for $60 last week (week before?), after checking here. Boy am I glad I came back to check the thread again before doing the work of the upgrade. From recent posts I'm betting the drive I got (wd10eads-00M2B0) won't work in my Tivo HD (Model TCD652160).

    That sucks sweaty donkey balls...

    For the price premium, and ease I'm seriously thinking screw it I'll just get one from that DVR-Dude on e-bay. He's claiming true plug/play on a full 1.5TB drive for only $160 with no reboot problems:


    Dear Jason,

    Here are answers to your questions:
    1) Yes it's P&P
    2) It's a replacement drive so you will have to setup your TiVo as if you got a new one
    3) Yes It's P&P
    4)This drive has no reboot issues
    5)This drive does not have soft reboot problem


    - dvr_dude Did this answer your question? If not, let the seller know.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From: Jason
    To: dvr_dude
    Subject: You've received a question about your eBay item, TiVo Drive Upgrade TiVoHD, TiVo Series 3 New P&P 1.5TB
    Sent Date: Nov-08-09 09:19:05 PST


    Dear dvr_dude,

    I've done extensive research on TivoCommunity.com, and MFSLive.org and don't see DIY tools to create a drive upgrade for the TivoHD (Model TCD652160) that is bigger than 1.25TB.

    I know your item description says this is 1.5TB for the TivoHD. However, before purchasing I would like to verify this will meet all of my needs:

    1)Plug and Play for my TivoHD (Model TCD652160).
    2)I am ok with having to repeat guided setup, recreate my season passes, and that my existing programs will not be on the new drive.
    3)Other than #2 above, I want this to be a "plug and play" upgrade.
    4)I do NOT want to deal with the reboot issues described on TivoCommunity.com and MFSLive.org
    5)I do NOT want to deal with problems when Tivo upgrades the software as they do periodically.

    Essentially I want my TivoHD (Model TCD652160) to operate as it always has, just have more recording space.

    Thanks!

    Jason

    Anyone have any experience with him or with the samsung drives he's using. He has great ratings so I'm thinking he's a stand up.... er.... dude?
     
  8. Nov 9, 2009 #4008 of 10248
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    Nice thought but we've already pretty much dismissed any chance of this since TiVo doesn't even make use of any of the A/V features; they use the drive as a plain vanilla IDE device. The only real concern anyone has is noise level; and even at the most time-consuming acoustic management settings, any current SATA drive far exceeds any required specs to service 3 HD write streams and 1 HD read stream simultaneously.

    The only thing we really know for sure is that in the case of external plug and play drives and the TiVo HD models, TiVo specifically looks for certain signatures in the firmware and chooses to fail to work with any but a small number of specific drives.
     
  9. Nov 10, 2009 #4009 of 10248
    MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

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    Portland,...
    OK, but what I was saying was that there are many more specs other than data rate.

    One that can also cause issues is the not ready to ready time of a rezero command...perhaps used in a soft boot. Anyway, this is beyond what people want to see in this thread so I will go back to just reading it.
     
  10. Nov 11, 2009 #4010 of 10248
    lew

    lew Active Member

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    Mar 12, 2002


    Does your cable system pair your cable cards? You'll have to contact your cable company "re-pair" your cards if you with with any P&P solution.
     
  11. Nov 11, 2009 #4011 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    No experience with him or the drive but Spike said the method was one of the legitimate ways to achieve > 1.1TB expansion.

    Comcast in my area lets 1st level CSRs re-pair Cable Cards over the phone now so it is not the nightmare we all remember from the initial install (get the serial numbers off the back of the cards and the associated numbers from the Cable Card screen).

    Losing existing Season Passes and recordings is the only shortcoming I can think of. Also, I would rather not support someone who keeps the info on how to do it so close to the chest, especially since he is standing on the back of much greater contributors to the TiVo community.
     
  12. Nov 11, 2009 #4012 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    So it's not so much of a secret as more of a PIA. It's a matter of really knowing your way around the landscape and a good understanding of the source code. AFAIK it can be done by anyone that's really, really interested.

    Unless the ebay seller is buying drives by the truck load his margins are very thin but apparently worth it (and will improve as drive costs drop). There are a few posts here from people that have purchased his drives and seem to be happy with them.

    Perhaps Spike will take the time to build out winMFS to handle 2TB drives one of these days...but he doesn't even accept donations so I don't think we can fault him for not rushing things...or someone else that makes it happen. I'm sure there are folks out there that feel like the upgrades we do on a regular basis are very mysterious; full of smoke and mirrors. But we know better. ;)
     
  13. Nov 12, 2009 #4013 of 10248
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    'Extremely unlikely. I haven't witnessed the problem personally, but my understanding is the symptom is a hang at the "Powering up" screen. The first thing the system does after starting to load the kernel is to splash the "Just a few more minutes" screen. Although the kernel is a custom build, it is pretty much a very plain vanilla Linux 2.4 kernel with all the fancy stuff left out and a few simple modules loaded. (The TiVo kernel is nothing like a new kernel, BTW. The current stable kernel is 2.6.31.6.) In short, if the "Just a few more minutes" screen doesn't come up, then it is almost surely a hardware issue. Of course, what it might be, I'm really not sure, so I could be mistaken, but the fact a hard boot succeeds while a soft boot does not makes it even more likely. If I were to guess, I would say the drive is going into a power saving mode during the shutdown and the Tivo is not issuing a spin-up command, but it's a pure WAG, and I'm not happy with it.

    That I can almost guratantee is not the case. I could absolutely guarantee it if someone with one of these drives would care to load a custom kernel from scratch or else post the output from the TiVo kernel during a boot cycle.

    That's a different question.
     
  14. Nov 12, 2009 #4014 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Interesting thoughts. The soft reboot issue means that during a menu restart (or TiVo upgrade) TiVo will power up and display the "Welcome! Powering up..." screen then hang. Generally that means that the motherboard cannot communicate with the hard drive as that is part of the Kernel correct? Otherwise the drive will in fact boot up with a hard reboot...unplugging TiVo and plugging it back in.

    I have two of those drives (both used as a backups for a couple of my Macs now). One is an early WD GP drive and the other is a newer Samsung Spinpoint (a 7200RPM, non-green model). During both a hard and soft reboot I can hear the drives fully spin up (and feel the full-tilt gyroscope effect in my hand). They begin a series of seeks/reads and act responsibly through the full boot up process. However during a soft reboot they fully spin up, run four to a half-dozen seeks and then stop. I could certainly be wrong but based on that I don't think it's a power saving problem but more likely a firmware issue.

    Others here have used a fresh image, Instant Cake, on the problematic drives and even then they continue to display the soft reboot issue.

    There is something about the drives in question, including some of the originals like the WD10EADS which only displayed the soft reboot issues in Series3's, but more recently also exhibit the same problem in TiVo HD's, as well as the newer WD10EVVS which worked fine in both models until the manufacture date of 09/20/09. WD is up to something and TiVo cannot deal with it, whatever it might be. Not that it's going to change anything, but any more thoughts? This is intriguing (at least to me) for some odd reason. TIA.
     
  15. Nov 12, 2009 #4015 of 10248
    JasonRossSmith

    JasonRossSmith The New Guy (sort of

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    Jul 20, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I'm not sure how the local Omaha Cable Co's do cable cards, but I am strictly OTA so that isn't an issue for me.


    Good to know, at least we know it works. He did have good ratings from his buyers too.

    Yes, I anticipate this and while I don't love it, I'm thinking that is less of a hassle for me than doing the upgrade myself. Especially with it being so easy to set the season passes on line, using a real keyboard...

    This is admittedly a concern of mine as well. Part of me dislikes a single individual commercializing the work of others. Part of me understands that he likely put significant effort into figuring that out and maybe he's trying to help the community without it taking over his life. I can see both sides but definitely think about this.

    Rich kind of (more eloquently) sums up my thoughts here. While I sure wish I could just download a utility to do this for me, I certainly can't blame someone who does the heavy lifting for getting something in return.

    On a side note, Tivo in and of itself kind of did this same thing... they took GPU linux code, tweaked it, added to it, then packaged it added their own security etc and sold it. Did they then patent it hold it close and then sell it? Sure. Do they provide a service that is of value to me because it is simple and easy for me? Yes. I know it's not exactly the same thing, but...

    Thanks Everyone!
     
  16. Nov 13, 2009 #4016 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    That's a good point as well. :up:
     
  17. Nov 13, 2009 #4017 of 10248
    Bill@LakeGeorge

    Bill@LakeGeorge New Member

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    Nov 1, 2004
    Bolton...
    First of all I'd like to thank bkdtv for all the info.

    I swapped out my original drive for a WD10EVDS following the instructions in the first post. Everything appeared to go fine.

    After restarting the few recordings I had were listed but not there to replay.

    In addition it is still showing only up to 36 HD hours in System Info.

    What did I do wrong?

    Thanks
     
  18. Nov 13, 2009 #4018 of 10248
    CraigK

    CraigK (unspecified)

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    North of...
    Which kind of upgrade did you do?

    If it was TiVo Internal Upgrade Instructions: Preserves Settings Only you end up with a bunch of phantom shows in your Now Playing list as well as in the Recently Deleted folder that you just have to delete to clear the list(s). Using this type of upgrade your recorded shows are not copied to the new hard drive, but the TiVo software still thinks they are there.

    If you used TiVo Internal Upgrade Instructions: Preserves Settings and Recordings the settings as well as existing recordings and deleted shows should be there.
     
  19. Nov 13, 2009 #4019 of 10248
    Bill@LakeGeorge

    Bill@LakeGeorge New Member

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    Nov 1, 2004
    Bolton...
    Ok I did do the Preserve Settings Only, no big deal, but why is only showing 36 HD hours?
     
  20. Nov 13, 2009 #4020 of 10248
    MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

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    Portland,...

    OK, another thing could be the way the TiVo controller reacts. I KNOW that on some PC's there can be drive/software/OS issues. Lots of problems that do survive reboots. However, I have seen some clear up when you log off and TURN Power OFF on the PC. Can the TiVo have an HDD controller that does not like a spec in the new firmware? In this case, powering off the TiVo will do a reset that perhaps a soft reboot does not do. This "could" be a housekeeping issue that was always there in the TiVo. This is always an issue when these things happen...is it the Drive or the TiVo? Also, one can say it worked before, so it must be something WD did with new FW...but it could also be a gap in the TiVo OS/HDD Controller that was an issue just waiting to happen. Believe me, I have been there, done that, and even have the T-Shirt(s) and airline mileage! :D
     

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