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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Sep 12, 2010 #6461 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Wow, AFAIK that's the longest anyone has reported a 500GB Expander to have survived! Most never make it to their two-year birthday.

    Sounds like a good plan. I always keep my original TiVo hard drives on the shelf in case one of my upgraded drives fails, plus I can slip it back in to get back up and running quickly while waiting for a replacement to show up, so that's my backup plan. However having it on a thumb drive or disk couldn't hurt. I was surprised I found my old TiVo HD's truncated backup on my PC's hard drive. I sold the THD a while back when I bought a Premiere XL so I guess it's safe to delete it now. :eek:

    BTW, I hadn't fired up my PC for a little while (all Mac household now) and was shocked (but not surprised) to see 73 critical Windows updates - mostly security related - and 11 optional updates waiting to be installed. I think our Macs have had four or so in the same time period. Well, that will give my PC something to do this afternoon. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Sep 13, 2010 #6462 of 10248
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

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    I finished the drive which took about 1.5 hrs to do, but I couldn't figure out how to do the WDidle. I did it with my XP drive still in place. Result is 157 hrs, the backup file size was 470 megs.

    I also tried to write the files to CD and kept getting read errors during the verify process. I had used 3 TDK CDs that were new and still wrapped, though about 10 yrs old. Finally wrote onto a cheaper CD which wasn't quite so old and worked.
     
  3. Sep 13, 2010 #6463 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Nice to be back in business eh? Enjoy!
     
  4. Sep 13, 2010 #6464 of 10248
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

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    Its been up for about 1.5 hrs now, but the only problem is the menu restart which gets stalled in the start up and doesn't get to the few min more screen. Running 11.0h.
     
  5. Sep 13, 2010 #6465 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Bummer. Sounds like you'll need to run wdidle3 after all. Or if it's not a big deal you could just plan on power cycling your TiVo whenever an update is pushed out...that doesn't happen too often.
     
  6. Sep 13, 2010 #6466 of 10248
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

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    Now I am wondering what's the largest drive a S2-540 can handle?
     
  7. Sep 13, 2010 #6467 of 10248
    DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS I dumped SDV / cable

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    New York
    As always, thanks for the awesome, detailed information. My confusion came from the disparity between the FAQ, and the posts I've seen here. I agree that upgrading the FAQ, at this point in time, is not a good idea.

    Hopefully the summary you wrote will help others that have the same questions I did.
     
  8. Sep 13, 2010 #6468 of 10248
  9. Sep 13, 2010 #6469 of 10248
    tcfcameron

    tcfcameron (4) 2TB TiVo HDs

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    -Originally posted in the "Drive upgrades in a Premiere unit?" thread, but I felt this thread was a better home for it.

    I've been wanting to say something regarding how some people keep stating that none of these AV feature sets can be utilized by the TiVo (or in this case stating that they can't/won't enhance performance).

    I disagree, but only in a matter of degrees:

    Some feature sets are embedded and operate entirely within the drive. "S.M.A.R.T." is a good basic example. But, if said feature set is also supported by the host, you can get more from the feature (read the SMART data that is stored on the drive, for example). While not the best example, it's one everybody knows of (pretty much). You can also take a SMART capable drive that has been running in a host that doesn't support SMART, move it to one that does, and the SMART data will all be there to read. Now, on the flip side of the coin, there are feature sets that are useless without host support (such as SilkStream, which some day may be advanced enough that the drive itself can detect the type of data and automatically utilize the appropriate feature set, but until/unless that happens, useless).

    Here's some further thoughts, as well as a few quotes from Western Digital's website and spec sheets:

    The current WD20EADS (GP, non-AV) drive specifications include:
    "Intelliseek - Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration." - from WD web site.

    Intelliseek seems to be doing it's job very well with the WD20EADS drives in my four TiVo HDs. (I believe it is also a firmware controlled feature that does not require the host to support it to utilize it.) I have found that my TiVos get laggy when doing things such as reorganizing SPs and other drive-intensive operations if I enable AAM at all, while not making any discernible difference in audible seeking noise. I also tested this by using Hitachi Feature Tool, which allows real-time adjustment of AAM with a slider and allows you to listen as the software makes the drive perform full/random seek operations. My WD20EADS drives (bare OEM from Fry's) came with AAM disabled. I believe they were manufactured in Q3, 2010.

    One feature that is not listed for GP-only (but is listed for WD20EVDS AV-GP):
    "IntelliPark - Delivers lower power consumption by automatically unloading the heads during idle to reduce aerodynamic drag." - this feature is only listed on the spec sheets for the AV-GP, yet if it isn't in the GP-only feature set, why would WDIDLE3 be needed for non-AV models? So, it must be there and function at some capacity, but the TiVos apparently lack a proper command to un-park the heads, thus WD must have began including that into the firmware, making it another fully firmware controlled feature, like IntelliSeek, in the newer (more recently manufactured) drives. It actually seems like there is nearly no need for this feature in an AV-GP drive, yet it has potential for use in GP-only drives, where it isn't listed as a feature. <scratching head on this one>

    This is a feature listed for WD20EADS (GP, non-AV):
    "NoTouch ramp load technology - The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring better drive protection in transit as well as significantly less wear to the recording head and media." -If a TiVo being rebooted from the menu, (hypothetically), sends a "Shut-Down" or "Standby" command to the drive, but something in the newer drives' firmware changed and the "Resume" command isn't properly recognized by the drive firmware, this could explain things with the "soft-reboot issue". Perhaps WDIDLE3 is really adjusting this, when used on GP-only drives. Note that this is not the same as IntelliPark, which could be something that the FAQ could include in the future to avoid confusion (hint-hint, wink).

    Preemptive Wear Leveling (PWL) AV-GP models only:
    "The drive arm frequently sweeps across the disk to reduce uneven wear on the drive surface common to audio video streaming applications." This is a drive firmware controlled feature. It does not matter what the drive is connected to. (Yet, I fail to understand what this could achieve, since WD brags about how "The recording head never touches the disk media..." in both the AV-GP and the GP-only models. How does a head, riding on air, that never touches the platter, cause uneven platter wear?)

    "StableTrac - The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking, during read and write operations. (2 TB models only)" - This isn't listed as a feature on the AV-GP 2TB model, but it is on the GP-only 2TB.

    It seems to me that the GP-only drives may actually have a few features that don't rely on the host they are installed in to be functional, which actually make them better than the AV-GP drives (for TiVo use). One thing that is true, and will certainly be beaten like a dead horse, is that non-AV drives don't have a 24x7 rating. I'm not concerned about it. I care more about "features" and which ones actually are of benefit to me when the host is my TiVo. I've been running hard drives in computers 24x7 for over 10 years, and it's always been the ones that weren't being run 24x7 that died early deaths.

    -Originally posted in the "Drive upgrades in a Premiere unit?" thread, but I felt this thread was a better home for it.
     
  10. Sep 13, 2010 #6470 of 10248
    vectorcatch

    vectorcatch New Member

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    Nov 20, 2008
    "IntelliPark - Delivers lower power consumption by automatically unloading the heads during idle to reduce aerodynamic drag." - this feature is only listed on the spec sheets for the AV-GP, yet if it isn't in the GP-only feature set, why would WDIDLE3 be needed for non-AV models? So, it must be there and function at some capacity, but the TiVos apparently lack a proper command to un-park the heads, thus WD must have began including that into the firmware, making it another fully firmware controlled feature, like IntelliSeek, in the newer (more recently manufactured) drives. It actually seems like there is nearly no need for this feature in an AV-GP drive, yet it has potential for use in GP-only drives, where it isn't listed as a feature. <scratching head on this one>

    Regarding this comment.

    Intellipark is anything, but intelligent. It simply waits a defined amount of time (8 seconds by default on most drives) and if the drive has gone idle it parks the heads. There is no command to utilize it. The only thing that WD has tweaked over the last few years is the definition of "idle". This can be seen by two drives in identical scenarios determining idle at different times.

    I have a bunch of notebook class drives with this feature and running in a RAID array (Some RAID1, other RAID5). If the feature is not turned off you can see/hear that the newer drives don't idle anywhere near as often, even though the timeout is the same on both. Same drive model, but newer manufacturing date.

    There is actually a counter in SMART information to tell you how many times the heads have been parked. (However, based on information from various NAS forums WD may have stopped the counter from showing the real values).

    Another interesting note is that a TiVo drive should, under normal circumstances, never go idle. It is constantly recording to the live buffers, therefore there is no benefit to Intellipark.
     
  11. Sep 13, 2010 #6471 of 10248
    cbad

    cbad New Member

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    That also suggests that there is no harm to having Intellipark for Tivo either since it should never go idle. I guess my real question is: are WD drives w/Intellipark good drives for Tivo, whether or not there is a benefit from Intellipark?
     
  12. Sep 13, 2010 #6472 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Actually the Intellipark feature is in fact a detriment when it comes to TiVo as it prevents it from rebooting after a software update (or a menu restart). If left alone the owner would have to power cycle TiVo to get it up and running again. Granted updates only happen a few times a year, but that would be an annoyance at minimum.

    The TiVo/Intellipark issue has been addressed with the latest OS from TiVo (v11.0h) and the most recently manufactured drives from Western Digital. (Although there are still plenty of older drives in the marketplace and no doubt the supply line). So having to manually extend or disable the Intellipark timeout looks like it eventually will be moot point (or a "moo point" as Joey in Seinfeld said...no one cares what a cow thinks ;)).

    That said there are hundreds of folks here successfully using WD's GP drives in their TiVo's including yours truly. More here:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=8130930#post8130930
     
  13. Sep 13, 2010 #6473 of 10248
    vectorcatch

    vectorcatch New Member

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    If I were to surmise the reason that Intellipark causes the soft reboot problem:

    When the WD drives comes back from parking the heads, they take an extra second or so to return to normal operation.

    If the TiVo has tight timeouts (micro-second range) (as would be normal for any embedded style device), it is possible that the drive "parks" unexpectedly and causes the TiVo to timeout on an access operation (the drive doesn't "wake" fast enough). It is possible if this is boot code, that TiVo software handles this as a "critical" error and goes into some sort of Error loop.

    To continue the conjecture, I have noticed with my notebook drives that after an initial power up the timeout is much longer than 8 seconds. There is probably an initial timer before the 8 seconds goes into affect implemented to avoid slowing down the bootup process on a PC. My guess is TiVo does not actually "reset" the drive on a soft-reboot which causes the timer to actually use 8 seconds instead of whatever initial timeout is hard coded by WD.

    This is all conjecture, but based on my embedded knowledge seems like a reasonable conclusion. Obviously, both a longer timeout on TiVo's part or a modified "idle" detection on WD's part could fix this if it were the case.
     
  14. Sep 13, 2010 #6474 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    That's more-or-less the conclusion everyone came to late last year. If you Google "Intellipark" you'll find many, many links to discussions about it and the problems it causes...particularly in the Linux communities.

    Interestingly enough the Intellipark issue was first discovered and discussed here with stock TiVo HDXL units which employ the 1TB WD10EVVS drive. There was a sudden (albeit small) firestorm of complaints on the TCF after a standard update was pushed out. Owners of HDXL's were none too happy when they discovered their TiVo's sitting idle after the update. So TiVo was impacted by WD's "improvement" to their Green Power Drive's feature set almost immediately (WD apparently never taking the time to notify their partners about the change). TiVo addressed it fairly quickly for those units and subsequently patched the OS for the the other hi-def models as well. (Which was going above and beyond as they had no requirement to do so, particularly for Series3's.) WD has obviously heard the complaints from the general market as well and made some manufacturing changes within the last 30 to 60 days or so depending on the series.

    With respect to what happens when the Intellipark/soft reboot issue occurs; when TiVo boots up it hangs at the "Welcome! Powering up..." screen meaning that the motherboard was unable to communicate with the hard drive. That's where it ends, no more, no less.

    As mentioned, the issue has been addressed, but it will take a little longer for the older WD GP drives in the market to be exhausted before we can once again declare all of the WD GP series of drives as "recommended" w/o the Intellipark caveat.
     
  15. Sep 13, 2010 #6475 of 10248
    MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

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    Portland,...
    However, during a reboot, all buffer recording activity stops. Perhaps the idle mode gets activated while the ROM is checking the TIVO. I always wondered if the code is loaded into memory, and the ROM checks the code and then continues. I wonder as the code can not be changed without a ROM change as they know if it has been messed with. I suspect that is one reason it takes so darn long to boot these TiVo's!.
     
  16. Sep 14, 2010 #6476 of 10248
    MaxWin100

    MaxWin100 New Member

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    Apr 5, 2009
  17. Sep 14, 2010 #6477 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Actually they are both the same hard drive, the Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C.

    The first one listed is an OEM/bare bones drive. The second is the full retail kit which includes a SATA cable, mounting screws and installation guide. You'll be fine with the OEM drive (good price by the way) unless you need a SATA cable and/or mounting screws and instructions for a computer application.

    It's interesting to note that some of the customer submitted photos of a retail kit are actually for the 2TB model. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Sep 14, 2010 #6478 of 10248
    ciucca

    ciucca New Member

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    I just updated my wife's TivoHD with a WD 1tb drive WD10EVDS. It's been working great for the past month. All problems are gone. It was have random picture freezes and reboots, and locking up during amazon downloads, with the remote failing to respond.

    I just want to point out that I ran wdidle /s0 with this drive to disable the intellipark feature, wdidle /D as stated earlier in this thread, did not work, it just hangs.
     
  19. Sep 14, 2010 #6479 of 10248
    vectorcatch

    vectorcatch New Member

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    Did /D not work? What version of WDIDLE3 did you use? 1.00, 1.03 or 1.05?Many people have had issues with 1.03.

    Does the Drive report the Idle Timer being disabled when you check it?
     
  20. Sep 14, 2010 #6480 of 10248
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

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    IMO, when I upgraded my THD to a 1tb Sunday, it went very fast, only took about a minute for each of backup, then restore since the drive was practically empty. I was surprised it was that fast. I have heard here the backup/restore took many hours.
     

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