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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Jun 23, 2012 #8721 of 10334

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    That's troubleshooting, eliminate variables.

    You don't need the Intellipark feature on a TiVo, so disable it.

    You don't need DHCP for a TiVo, so give it a fixed IP address.

    If you're relying on the quality of the power company's electricity, you don't know on which side of the wall socket the problem is, so use a UPS.

    Eliminate variables.
  2. Jun 23, 2012 #8722 of 10334

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    Yes. I want to take this one step at a time. The old drive is back in the Tivo, so I am not missing out on any programs. It may be time consuming to troubleshoot, but it really is the only logical way to solve this problem.
  3. Jun 23, 2012 #8723 of 10334
    Just a J0e

    Just a J0e New Member

    Dec 6, 2002
    This last Christmas I finally broke down and upgraded. I got an HDT Series 4.
    It has been wonderful but with the Summer Olympics rapidly approaching I realized I'm suddenly in the need of a LOT more space.

    I want to go with a "plug and play" external option.

    After reading through 400+ posts in this thread, I was unable to find a summary on this topic but here is what I think I have learned -

    1) The 500gb Western Digital My Book will last 12 to 15 months before it dies.

    2) The new 1TB Western Digital My Book does not have many performance reports here. I have found two. One began acting up in a month. The other died after 7 months.

    3) Bad SATA cables are a common issue. There is a list of recommended cables somewhere in the 8000+ posts in this thread but I have not found it yet.

    4) You can plug in an external drive WITHOUT loosing the existing data on your series 3-4 HDT. HOWEVER ... when your external drive dies you will loose ALL your data on both drives.

    I am hoping some of the thread regulars will correct me on any of this if I have it wrong.

    Also - I have not run across any posts so far discussing the performance of Weaknees' vastly more expensive external SATA drive. Does anyone have any performance stories on these?

    Are there any External 1TB SATA drives that the TiVo community DOES recommend?

    I know the WD drives are only $99 but to me that is not much of the deal if it dies in a year and takes all my recordings with it. I don't know that I'd pay $300 more for the Weaknees one ... but if it was going to last 4 times longer ... it might be worth it for the stress I'd avoid.

  4. Jun 23, 2012 #8724 of 10334

    dwit Active Member

    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    1,2: Don't know much about the WD ext drives, except what I read here also. Pretty crappy life span seems to be not uncommon. However, since you need "plug and play", the WD ext drive is your only option. That is even if you can find one.

    3. Any good after market cable. It's just the cable included with the WD, and even many other ext drive kits may not be "up to snuff" to work reliably with the Tivo. Even with a quality cable, you still need to be very conscientious about the connection being undisturbed.

    4. Unless the drive/os crashes, all data(recordings) made during the initial single internal drive phase remains intact. In general, only the recordings made when/after the external drive was added will be lost if the ex drive fails, or is removed. The initial "single drive recordings" will still be there.

    Best route is to study up and do the work yourself to upgrade to a single internal 2TB drive.
  5. Jun 23, 2012 #8725 of 10334

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    The original Series 3 didn't come out promising to work with an external drive, some people, noticing the eSATA port on the back, figured out how to make it do so before TiVo was ready to implement that feature, which prevented TiVo from doing what they subsequently did with the S3 HD, the S3 HD XL, and then later, all of the S4 models.

    What that was was to write the software so that only specific WD models would be accepted by the TiVo.

    The couldn't add that resriction in a software update to the original S3s, because that would have disabled the external drives people were already using with that model.

    It's not that hard to use jmfs to copy the original Premiere drive to a 2TB and expand it and just have one 2TB internal drive and avoid all of the risks inherent in using an external.
  6. Jun 24, 2012 #8726 of 10334

    Teeps Active Member

    Aug 16, 2001
    This is excellent advice.
    I did the 2TB drive upgrade to my S3 almost a year ago.
  7. Jul 1, 2012 #8727 of 10334

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    To refresh our collective memories:

    My computer geek friend and I finally solved the problem and it was not what you would expect.

    I had successfuly copied the original drive to the new 1Tb WD10EADS using WiinMFS and a Thermaltake dual hard drive docking station. I had expanded and supersized the drive. I couldn't get wdidle3 to recognized the new drive when plugged into the mother board. The new drive woudln't boot in the Tivo.

    I also couldn't get MFS boot CD to recognize the drive so I couldn't repeat the copy with that. Either the drivers on the boot CDs didn't support my motherboard or the bios wouldn't detect the drives when booting from the CD (as suggested in some of the instructions). I never could find anyplace in the bios to change that.

    So I thought my friend and I would have to start from scratch and copy the drive all over again using his computer and his SATA ports, etc. HOWEVER, I thought that we would try wdidle3 first since that would take only a few minutes. Now this was somewhat counter-intuitive since the Intellipark feature should only affect soft boots from the menu, etc. I was getting stuck on Welcome Powering up as suggested with a soft boot. So we ran wdidle3 on the previously WinMFS copied drive and popped it in the Tivo. SUCCESS. It booted correctly. Wdidle 3 reported the default configuration of the drive as 8 seconds. We set it to disabled.

    So the reports of a cold boot working and a soft boot not working are in error. At least with this drive and my Tivo S3 OLED. Again, this was a WD10EADS with a manufacture date of 9/29/11.

    The new drive appears to be running cool and quiet with no problems. The suggestions have not recorded yet, but the Tivo has not been running 24 hours. By the time we "fixed" the Intellipark problem, the image was 10 days old and it was nearly out of programming data. I assume after Tivo finishes a complete indexing of the new programming, the suggestions will resume.
  8. Jul 1, 2012 #8728 of 10334

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    So are you saying that disabling Intellipark fixed a cold booting problem?
  9. Jul 1, 2012 #8729 of 10334

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000

    Leave it to someone to say in one sentance what I attempted to say in multiple paragraphs. lol

    The only thing we did was disable Intellipark and the drive cold booted correctly. It also soft boots, too.
  10. Jul 1, 2012 #8730 of 10334

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Yes, but you stumbled onto a previously missing data point whose existance was not suspected, although "stumbled upon" makes it sound more accidental than it was, because you had your brain working on the problem and refused to give up trying to solve it.

  11. Jul 1, 2012 #8731 of 10334

    edtude New Member

    Oct 12, 2009
    Frederick MD
    Going to crosspost this from the Upgrade forum because there just seems to be a bit more traffic here...looking for some guidance

    Ok I tried my upgrade with mixed success and ultimate failure. Hopefully someone can tell me how to recover.

    With a 2 TB WD20EURS I removed my 160GB hard drive from my Tivo HD and put the two drives in my desktop and booted up with JMFS. Everything went great here, copied from my original to my new drive took an hour and forty five minutes. I DID NOT expand at this time, so here was my first mistake. I exited JMFS and removed my original Tivo disk and booted my desktop with my normal drive and ran Winmfs. Picked my new Tivo drive and Supersized with no issues. Installed my new Tivo drive in the Tivo it booted up fine and I was watching TV of course I had no more then my original limited recording space.

    So I went back to the beginning of this thread and found that I was supposed to expand using JMFS. So I figured I would go backwards meaning I removed the new drive from my Tivo, installed in desktop ran WinMFS and turned off Supersize. Booted in to JMFS and selected Expand, it wuickly came back and told me I had 288 hours of recording space. I then rebooted into Windows to gain that extra 30 hours of recording space with WinMFS. It acknowledged Supersize turning on.

    I then installed the new drive into the Tivo and I get the Powering Up screen for a few seconds and then everything goes grey for at least 10 minutes which is longer then it has ever taken me to reboot.

    So before screwing the pooch any further I reinstalled my old drive and it booted up fine and my wife is happy. I am not of course. How do I reover my new drive? Do I format it and start over? Suggestions....

  12. Jul 1, 2012 #8732 of 10334

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Have you run wdidle3 to make sure that Intellipark is disabled?
  13. Jul 1, 2012 #8733 of 10334

    edtude New Member

    Oct 12, 2009
    Frederick MD
    No, but I am making the CD and am going to try it tonight. Probably won't be able to report back until tomorrow as it is time for my wife and daughter to enjoy their Sunday night shows.
  14. Jul 2, 2012 #8734 of 10334

    edtude New Member

    Oct 12, 2009
    Frederick MD

    I upgraded my Tivo HD from the standard 160Gb Hardrive to a WD20EURS 2Tb Hardrive using JMFS to copy, took approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes then expanded the drive to get me to 288HD hours. I then used WinMFS to gain that extra 30 hours of HD recording and finally booted into DOS and ran WDidle3 to finish the job. Installed the drive and I am up and running. In about a month I will upgrade my Premiere.
  15. Jul 3, 2012 #8735 of 10334

    tlc Member

    May 29, 2002
    Has this been debunked? This seems to cover about everything available. What are the good non-AF, low-speed AV drives now? 1TB or 2TB.

    It's for an HD with 1TB and I'm hoping to do one of the approaches that saves my recordings, etc.

  16. Jul 4, 2012 #8736 of 10334

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    There are people reporting successful upgrades with AF drives. Hopefully these are not just "initial" successes with long term problems waiting to surface.

    Good luck finding a non-AF drive now. And beware of a trap I fell into, which is that drives that were initially manufactured as non-AF (e.g., WD10EADS) have been refurbished as AF drives and are being sold under the exact same model number. On WD drives, (according to WD), the label on the drive will say "Advanced Format Drive" if it is one, including drives that were originally non-AF and have been remanufactured as AF.

    As I understand it, an AF drive has to do more work when it writes data and is emulating a non-AF drive. It has to do a read-modify-write cycle. The AF drives are probably fast enough to do this without degrading TiVo performance but I wonder if the extra wear-and-tear won't impact drive longevity. This is not an issue if the operating system can be "aligned" with the 4KB sectors used in AF drives. Win7 and Vista are supposedly already aligned. XP systems are not and WD provides a "tool" to perform the alignment on those systems. TiVo uses Linux. The newer versions of Linux used on more recent TiVo models (Premiere I think) can support 4K alignment but older versions can't. I queried DVR Dude and weaknees about this issue and they both say they properly account for this alignment issue when supplying plug-in TiVo drives. How they could do this for the older TiVos (e.g., Tivo HD, S3) given the OS doesn't support it is a mystery to me.
  17. Jul 8, 2012 #8737 of 10334

    Lussie New Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    I have just upgraded my old Tivo S3 (one with the OLED Display) to 2TB from an already upgraded 1TB Drive. :D

    I didn't lose any shows either. :up:

    So far it seems to be working. I'll give it 2 weeks to see if it is ok.

    Anyway, I did this using Windows 7, on my laptop with a Startech USB 3.0 Dual 2.5/3.5in SATA Hard Drive Docking Station. (from Amazon: SATDOCK22U3S)

    Also I used a non-AF drive: Hitachi Deskstar 3.5" 2TB 7200RPM SATA III 32MB Cache Internal Hard Drive (from Amazon: 0S02861)

    I used the following software:
    • winmfs (beta build 9.3f)
    • iBored (1.1.10)

    STEP 1

    Start winmfs by right-clicking "Run as Administrator"
    Go to Tools->MFSCopy

    I Un-checked "Custom Linux Swap Size"
    However I DID CHECK "No Optimized Partition Layout"

    Click "Start" to start the copy. It took 5-6 hours for the copy to complete.
    (Yay! USB 3.0)

    After the copy finishes, You will see a dialog that says "You have extra capacity on your Hard drive. Do you want to expand?"


    Select the "View" Menu item and click "MFSInfo"

    Note that there are 16 partitions with the last one listed as "Apple_Free"
    We need to delete that last partition in Step 2.


    STEP 2

    Start iBored by right-clicking "Run as Administrator"

    Select your "newly copied" tivo drive

    iBored should start out on Block"0"

    Go to block 16 (Either type "16" in the upper left text-panel or press CTRL-RightArrow 16 times)

    in Block 16, click the "Template" tab

    Make sure that "Apple Partition Map:AMP Entry" is selected in the combo box on the right. If it is not selected, make sure you select it (it's the first one)

    In the Menu, Click "BlockView" -> "Make Writable"

    We are now going to erase block 16!

    Click the "Disk" Menu item and Select "Erase Blocks"

    You will see a Specify Block Range Dialog
    Mine had the Following:
    • Block Size: 512 (because I used a non-AF drive)
    • Start Block: 16 (The block we are on)
    • Block Count: [SOME HUGE NUMBER]

    Change Block Count to "1"

    Click OK

    You will see a "Really Erase?" dialog. Click "Erase"
    (NOTE: If you see a "write failed: writing is not enabled" dialog, then it means that you need to select BlockView->Make Writable)

    BLOCK 16 should now be clear.

    Now, move to block 15. (CTRL-LeftArrow)
    Note that "blocks in partition map" is "16"
    We need to change this value to "15" in blocks 1-15.

    Lets do this by moving backwards.

    For each block 15 to 1 do the following:
    • BlockView->Make Writable
    • Change "blocks in partition map" to 15
    • BlockView->Save Changes
    • CTRL-LeftArrow (to go to previous block)

    ok. So now you are at block 1. Just to make sure that you changed all the entries, verify that "blocks in partition map" is "15" for blocks 1-15.

    Exit iBored

    STEP 3

    Start WinMFS again (Right-Click "Run as Administrator")

    Select Tools->MFSadd

    You will get a warning about Tivo not handling partitions greater than 1 TB, but just ignore it (hopefully, you have Tivo Software version 11.0 on your tivo)

    Edited for SuperSize (Sorry I forgot that in the original post)

    In Winmfs, click on Tools->MFSSuperSize->On

    That's it.

    You now have a Tivo S3 with a 2TB Drive giving you 318 HD hours or 2777 SD hours.


    I also upgraded my Tivo HD from an already upgraded 1 TB to 2 TB Drive (same Hitachi as listed above) using a similar method but replacing Step 3 with using JMFS to expand it, but WinMFS to supersize. (Also didn't lose any shows and has been running for about 1 month now.)
  18. Jul 8, 2012 #8738 of 10334

    S3-2501 New Member

    Jun 2, 2007
    Wow, if this proves to be a reliable method, you will be a real hero to S3 owners Everywhere.:up: Please keep us posted! I'm itching to migrate my S3's 1TB drive to 2TB and it's going to take some real restraint on my part not to purchase a new drive right away based on your post. I'm just a bit hesitant since it all still sounds too good to be true at this point.

    One question though, following your method above there's no need to use the Supersize option at all to get the full 318 hours?

    Thanks for the post!
  19. Jul 8, 2012 #8739 of 10334

    ThreeSoFar FourNow...WaitFive

    May 24, 2002
    Agreed, this is pretty cool.

    So for the Linux guys out there, like me....any guesses what similar sequence of commands would duplicate this using the latest Linux boot CD (which at mfslife.org appears to be mfslive-1.4.iso)?
  20. Jul 8, 2012 #8740 of 10334

    hummingbird_206 Active Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Wow, this is great info. Thanks for sharing! I have a 1TB in my S3 that has gotten really noisy. I've been wanting to change it out, but didn't want to lose a bunch of shows I have saved on it. I will for sure give this a try!

    How noisy/quiet is the drive you're using (Hitachi Deskstar 3.5" 2TB 7200RPM SATA III 32MB)?

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