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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Mar 1, 2010 #5121 of 10248
    GrayeDog

    GrayeDog New Member

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    Nov 17, 2009
    So, I've taken a few days break from trying(/failing) to upgrade my internal drive, thinking I'd gotten a bum WD10EARS from Newegg.

    Was watching the Olympics yesterday and noticed that my TiVo started to freeze a little bit. The playback would stop, occasionally the DVR functionality would lag. Generally, I'd rewind, go forward, and it'd stop at the same point, but if I changed channels and went back, everything was fine. Now I'm starting to wonder if maybe the new drive is fine, but the current (stock) drive has a bed sector (or similar). Has anyone heard of this happening (whether it's the symptom or the cause) ?

    It would go a long way to determining why WinMFS won't finish copying my current drive to the new drive.

    I'm thinking of running the WD LifeGuard utility on the new drive and making sure it's a-ok (takes ~96 hours!), and if it is, just accepting the fact that I will lose all my recordings, and that I can always swap drives if I need to. Anyone have another thought, or agree with that?

    Similarly, I have an old Series 2 lying around, that doesn't have service. Can I put my current TiVo HD drive into the Series 2 and use that to watch the rest of the recordings I have on there, until I don't need the old drive anymore? Or will TiVo balk at that?

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Mar 1, 2010 #5122 of 10248
    whitepelican

    whitepelican New Member

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    Feb 14, 2005
    Have you tried just doing a truncated backup/restore with WinMFS to see if your new drive works OK without having to copy all of the recordings off the old one?

    Balk, big time. It won't even boot. Even if you had another TivoHD to put the drive in it wouldn't work (it would boot, but you wouldn't be able to view the recordings).
     
  3. Mar 1, 2010 #5123 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    IIRC folks have successfully used dd to make a bit-for-bit copy. Best of luck and let us know how it goes!
     
  4. Mar 1, 2010 #5124 of 10248
    lex3001

    lex3001 New Member

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    Feb 13, 2005
    I think my case might be a little simpler -- since I already used WinMFS to move from the stock drive to a 1.5TB drive and I already did the expansion etc. Now I just need to do an exact image of the 1.5TB drive to move from the Samsung to the WD. I suspect the low power mode on the Samsung is causing problems on cold boot, which is why I want to try the WD now and move the Samsung to my NAS. SO I don't need to change any partition sizes or anything... (knock on wood)
     
  5. Mar 1, 2010 #5125 of 10248
    GrayeDog

    GrayeDog New Member

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    Nov 17, 2009
    I did, and that worked just fine. New drive took the backup just fine, showed all my records (though, obviously, they didn't play), TiVo started up fine. Even soft reboot worked on my WD10EARS. I had forgotten to click Expand the Drive, so I can't verify for certain that it would recognize the larger drive, but I don't see why it wouldn't.

    Any thoughts on next steps for me?
     
  6. Mar 1, 2010 #5126 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    It's possible that your stock drive has some bad sectors and there are problems when TiVo attempts to write to them. It's also possible that some corrupted data was causing the copy fail from your stock drive to your new drive. (It's rare as everything is on separate partitions but it's hard to say what might have happened.)

    I'd certainly run the diagnostic utility on your new drive to be sure it's okay. If so you could try just doing a truncated backup of the stock drive and image the new drive w/winMFS. As you mention, you'll lose existing recordings but you could copy any (non-protected) recordings to your computer if needed. It's still possible that things won't go well and in that case (as long as you're confident that your new drive is good) you may have to go with a fresh copy via Instant Cake. Unfortunately that will be like having a new TiVo so you'll need to get your cable cards paired (unless you have FIOS), etc. You can also save your Season Passes, etc. by subscribing to TiVo's Guru Guides or Kidzone.

    It's possible something else is in play (cable card issue, signal, etc.). You could check the signal strength, RS Corrected and Uncorrected errors and such. But hard drives are the most common culprit when it comes to that sort of thing.

    EDIT: Oh, I see by the above post that you did a truncated backup and it worked okay. (I was fielding calls and didn't update the page before I responded :eek: ). So I'd still run the deep diagnostic (read/write all zeroes/read) on the new drive...always a good idea no matter what. Then image the new drive and go from there.

    Let us know how it goes!
     
  7. Mar 2, 2010 #5127 of 10248
    sjmyst

    sjmyst New Member

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    Apr 24, 2004
    I guess I just don't understand MfsSuperSize. For this option to allow more HD recording hours for the same size disk (looking at your two numbers for the same 1tb disk) implies that MfsSuperSize has something to do with compression. But, I'm guessing not. The name MfsSuperSize implies something more like enlarging the partition size for the recordings.

    I guess it was just a strange coincidence that my numbers worked out this way:

    My 1tb disk I had 142 HD hours (according to the Tivo System Information screen). After using my 1.5tb disk I had 213 HD hours. So...

    1000gb (or 1tb) /142HDhrs = 7.04225... gb/HDhr

    7.04225...gb/HDhr * 213HDhrs = EXACTLY 1500gb = 1.5tb

    So, I guess this is just a math anomaly... I'm really not trying to be a smart a** here. I just find it really strange that these numbers work out this way. Perhaps, there is a reason...

    Regardless, the good news for me is that my recording size is 1.5 times larger than before (142 * 1.5 = 213)!!

    One thing. Point 18 in section V of the FAQ was very misleading for me. This part of the FAQ states that I can't get the maximum size (1.35tb according to the FAQ) from my 1.5tb disk unless I upgrade using the original 250gb disk. The text reads:

    "You must start with an original (non-expanded) TiVo image; images from upgraded TiVos will not work. You must also use WinMFS to prepare drives larger than 1TB. "

    My upgrade to a 1.5tb drive was using a 1tb expanded source drive. The 1tb source drive was copied from my original 250gb disk and was expanded to use the full 1tb. So, for me, you don't have to use the original non-expanded 250gb drive when upgrading to the 1.5tb drive to get the maximum space (1.35tb).

    Perhaps I'm just reading the statement in the FAQ incorrectly, but it really read to me that I had to use my original S3 disk to get the maximum out of my 1.5tb disk.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  8. Mar 2, 2010 #5128 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    MFS Supersize frees up extra space reserved for storing tivoclips; the advertising videos that are downloaded periodically.
     
  9. Mar 2, 2010 #5129 of 10248
    Kevin R

    Kevin R New Member

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    Jan 15, 2009
    Tried to download the widdle ISO from the first page link, and couldn't get it, and ended up with the PC crashing due to a virus. Don't know if the timing was a fluke or what.
    Can anyone confirm that the link in section 14 line 1 is working OK?
    Sort of afraid of trying it and the WinMfs downloads again after the last few days rebuilding this thing.

    Thanks,

    Kevin R
     
  10. Mar 3, 2010 #5130 of 10248
    dt100

    dt100 New Member

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    Apr 7, 2008
    I know this question may go against the grain of this forum, but here goes. I need more recording space on my Tivo HD, but I am wondering if it is really worth upgrading the internal drive. An external 1TB expander is $130.An internal drive is about $70-90, depending on how much I look on-line. With the external, I still keep the additional space of the current internal drive, and I do not void my warranty (not much longer left on it anyway). I have upgraded an internal Tivo drive before, so I know it is not that difficult, but reading through some of the posts here things sometimes go wrong. So, aside from saving a few bucks upgrading the internal drive, is there some other advantage to upgrading the internal drive over getting the WD external. Thanks
     
  11. Mar 3, 2010 #5131 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Having a single/larger internal drive removes one additional failure point. If you need more space you could opt for a 1.5TB drive upgrade. Not all of the space is utilized but it would give you 1.26TB (198 HD Hours) which is about the equivalent of the original internal and 1TB external drives.

    The 1TB WD My DVR Expanders haven't been on the market long enough to know their lifespan. However the 500GB model appears to be failing at between 12 and 18 months. That's a very poor track record. The short lifespan may or may not extend to the 1TB model, only time will tell.

    Although they can tell by looking at their logs, TiVo turns a blind eye to upgrades. When upgrading the internal drive it's strongly recommended that you put the original drive on the shelf as a backup. (Repurposing a 160GB HDD is hardly worth the effort anyway.) Should something happen or you need to return the box to TiVo under warranty you can simply slip the original drive back in. Of course you could always wait until your warranty expires before you upgrade if you'd feel more comfortable.

    With respect to "things going wrong", it's rarely something that can't be overcome and usually due to "operator error". The winMFS program is a true cakewalk, particularly compared to the upgrade days of old. If you follow the instructions in the first post there's no reason for anything to fail. I've done it four or five times now and it's worked every time. It looks a bit complicated but once you do it, it's really quite simple. It sounds like you're plenty savvy in that area so I'd expect no problems.

    I've had it both ways, with an external drive and upgraded internal, and I'm very glad I upgraded the internal drives on our TiVo's. I wouldn't do it any other way now. YMMV of course.

    Best of luck and happy upgrading!
     
  12. Mar 3, 2010 #5132 of 10248
    dt100

    dt100 New Member

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    Apr 7, 2008
    Thanks for the info. The upgrade I did was several years ago on a series 1. I upgraded with the Seagate Barracuda IV 80GB, which was "the" drive to get in those days. Anyway, I may not have access now to a windows computer, so I may need to get a USB to SATA drive adapter to run the upgrade on my mac. That will add a few bucks to the cost of the upgrade. So, the real issue is if I want to take a chance on the reliability of the 1TB expander. Something to think about. Thanks again.
     
  13. Mar 3, 2010 #5133 of 10248
    schwinn

    schwinn New Member

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    Sep 18, 2004
    Note that many upgraders purchase a WD brand drive (quiet, and good price). This drive needs to have the "Intellipark" feature disabled to work perfectly in the TivoHD. From what I have seen there are no USB-SATA adapters that can allow this to happen (even if there is one that does, then you need to make sure you get THAT one). So, just be aware of that (and read the first post completely) before buying any hardware...
     
  14. Mar 3, 2010 #5134 of 10248
    ufo4sale

    ufo4sale Active Member

    3,931
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    Apr 21, 2001
    Plainview...
    Hi, I have an external western digital hardrive bought this year. will it work with the original series III TiVo? Thanks.
     
  15. Mar 3, 2010 #5135 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Any time!
     
  16. Mar 3, 2010 #5136 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    It depends on the model. Most WD eSATA drives will work via plug and play with the original Series3 (not the TiVo HD) except the WD My Book line. Take a look at Section IV, #1 of the first post of this thread for more info.
     
  17. Mar 3, 2010 #5137 of 10248
    dt100

    dt100 New Member

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    Apr 7, 2008
    Rats! Looks like upgrading with an internal 1.5TB with a Mac is getting more complicated. I like the idea of “less things to go wrong”, and am not thrilled by taking my chances on a WD expander. I could buy it with my credit card which will double the warranty. The first post on this thread mentions Seagate and WD 1.5TB drives. The Seagate 1.5TBs are loud. I read some posts that the Samsung 1.5 drives are probably not a good choice for a Tivo? Is there an Hitachi 1.5TB that will work as an internal Tivo drive which is not too loud?
     
  18. Mar 3, 2010 #5138 of 10248
    HazelW

    HazelW Member

    284
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    Dec 6, 2007
    No. Va
    It's not so much that the DVR expander goes bad, but your whole system goes bad and you lose all your recording and your cable-card pairing information. In my case I had two TiVo's with them. Each "system" went bad in a year or so. but I never found out whether it was the HD in the TiVo or in the expander. I physically removed the expander but the TiVos would not work so I ended up replacing the HDs in both TiVos. I did remove the HDs from the expanders and the appear to be OK. My guess is that the expanders cause the whole system to crash. Note I could not remove them using the menu item in the Tivo.
     
  19. Mar 3, 2010 #5139 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Wow! That was pretty catastrophic! I think quite unusual as well. With the exception of your experience the WD My DVR Expanders have simply failed. Once they were properly divorced the associated TiVo's returned to working normally. (Although recordings made since the Expander was connected were indeed lost.)

    Based on numerous posts now it appears that it's about a 50/50 split between the actual Expander hard drive failing and the enclosure itself. Some folks have successfully installed the Expander hard drive in another enclosure. AFAIK all of the failures have been with the 500GB models.
     
  20. Mar 3, 2010 #5140 of 10248
    dt100

    dt100 New Member

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    Apr 7, 2008
    This is all interesting. It sure seems like there was an unofficial recall of the 1TB expanders. They disappeared from every retailer for several months, and have now reappeared everywhere at the same time!! At $129 the price is just under the pain threshold to justify not doing a DIY. With the double warranty of a credit card, I am leaning towards getting the expander. Of course, that would not be nearly as fun as doing the upgrade!
     

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