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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Feb 10, 2008 #861 of 10248
    lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    I bought a Hitachi Deskstar HDP725050GLA360 500G SATA hard drive to upgrade the 160G stock hard drive in my TiVo HD, and it will not work in this application. Win_MFS copies the partitions just fine, and I can read and write all the ordinary files using a Linux boot, but no matter what, the drive will not boot. Instead, it enters into an infinite reboot loop before even loading the OS. I went down to Wal-Mart and got a Western Digital 320G, and it boots just fine. It seems evident this model is incompatible with the TiVo Hd, at least as a primary drive. Why, I don't know.
     
  2. Feb 10, 2008 #862 of 10248
    lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    San...
    Note that aside from the cable issue, the Antec MX-1 has had a great success record. I have three of them, and they are great. Dozens of users in this forum have used them with few issues.

    I'd rate that as a good thing. First of all, even with the faulty cable issue (which I experienced), the enclosure is well worth the price in my estimation. Any manufacturer can encounter a design flaw or quality control issue with one of their products. This does not in and of itself imply a poor product. A manufacturer who experieces such an issue and fixes it definitely providees a worthy product.
     
  3. Feb 10, 2008 #863 of 10248
    lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    San...
    I ran across this neat little trick over on the MFS_Live forum:

    Swap the little SATA cables inside the TiVo and move the internal drive to an e-SATA enclosure like the Antec MX-1. This makes things like replacing, upgrading, or maintaining the internal drive much easier.
     
  4. Feb 10, 2008 #864 of 10248
    danitaz

    danitaz New Member

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    Oct 15, 2005
    That's an interesting idea. I still have my TiVo "half apart" - well, at least I haven't put all of the screws back yet - and since I accidentally got the WD drive that won't soft reboot, I WILL have to change it out again one of these days anyway. I just want to wait until I know that replacing the hard drive in the first place fixes my overall problem (rebooting on HD channels - and in the past 24 hours it SEEMS to have fixed that). Once I know that a new drive fixes the problem, and a soft reboot lock up makes me miss out on something I wish it hadn't, I'll get a different drive and make the WD the external drive - so putting it in an external eSATA enclosure now would make that eventual swap an easy one! I'll have to look for a cable tomorrow and see if I can make that happen. Of course, with the problems people have with the external enclosure cables, I'm only "hopeful" that a SATA>eSATA cable would be stable enough to keep my fussy TiVO happy!

    Danita
     
  5. Feb 10, 2008 #865 of 10248
    Clentz

    Clentz New Member

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    Nov 30, 2007
    Corona, CA...
    Keep the cable short (The connector long)
    Carl
     
  6. Feb 11, 2008 #866 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    I think what he was talking about was, on a THD, swapping the port on the TiVo mainboard that the eSATA connector plugs into. So, you would still be eSATA to eSATA but the internal drive would now be outside in an enclosure. I see limited value in doing that in that the external cable is inherently unstable in that the eSATA spec includes no locking mechanism. Also, in such a case additional expansion would require putting the drive back as internal.
     
  7. Feb 14, 2008 #867 of 10248
    CTLesq

    CTLesq New Member

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    Jan 19, 2003
    SF Bay
    I wanted to thank everyone who contributed to my question re: eSata, including those who correctly suggested I read the first post in the thread.

    Ultimately, I opted for the Western Digital My DVR Expander. For my purposes, ease of installation, reliability and cost (although not a huge factor) I felt this was the best choice/path of least resistance for me.

    I work a great deal which means sometimes shows sit on my Series3 for quite some time. I think there is a lot of TV right now that is appealing to me and having the additional storage space will be a great help.

    Also, the advice in the posts and the first thread made installing the Western Digital My DVR Expander an absolute snap.

    Again, thanks for all your help and advice.

    Craig
     
  8. Feb 15, 2008 #868 of 10248
    iWish

    iWish New Member

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    May 15, 2005
    I wanted to thank the originator of this thread and the moderator.

    I bought the green cavier 1TB drive with the antec case to add as an external drive to my series 3.

    With tax about $300 for the package.

    It has been working no problem for a week or so and there is absolutely no noise coming from the drive.

    Since UHD was showing all Jericho issues in advance of the recent new episode, I decided to make the plunge.

    165 hours of HD recording time is ridiculous but I love it!

    Thanks again.
     
  9. Feb 17, 2008 #869 of 10248
    lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    That's right. If the user has 2 drives and no other hacking has been performed, then the utility of this is somewhat limited. One of my TiVos (a TiVO HD) only has one drive, and I don't intend to upgrade. The other two re not hacked, so I haven't performed this minor surgery on them, yet, but I do intend to hack them and when I do I will no doubt swap the drive locations.

    No, additional expansion requires REMOVING both drives, so for simple 2 drive capacity expansion the trick provides little value but also few if any real drawbacks. In general, however, the only modifications which require both drives is capacity expansion. All other hacks only require the primary drive, and of course even capacity expansion only requires the one drive if one only has one drive.
     
  10. Feb 17, 2008 #870 of 10248
    lrhorer

    lrhorer New Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Ridiculous? 'Hardly. I have a total of over 1000 HD hours, and I'll be running out of room sometime late this year. Fortunately, expanding the system is easy and fairly cheap.
     
  11. Feb 18, 2008 #871 of 10248
    donaudio

    donaudio New Member

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    Apr 1, 2002
    What is the difference between the WD10EACS and the WD10EVCS? I want to add an external 1 tb drive to my series 3.
     
  12. Feb 18, 2008 #872 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
  13. Feb 19, 2008 #873 of 10248
    JayBird

    JayBird New Member

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    Jan 25, 2003
    Gilbert, AZ
    I recently upgraded to a new TiVo HD, and I want to add storage...

    I'm not afraid of doing an "unsupported" upgrade, as I did that to my original TiVo and have never had any issues. However, I will admit that there is an appeal to the ease of the "plug and play" method and having the upgrade supported by TiVo so you know it won't be a problem with future software upgrades.

    So... I may just bite the bullet and get the 500 GB DVR expander and live with only half the storage I could get with a 1 TB drive.

    But while reading the FAQ, I came across Section III, item 17:

    Has anybody tried this?

    Here's my thinking... I buy a 500 GB DVR expander now, and when the 1 TB models eventually come out, I buy the 1 TB version and use this method to transfer my recordings to the new drive, thus never having to open up my TiVo HD, and, at least in theory, remaining supported by TiVo.

    Any thoughts, comments, opinions, etc. on this idea?
     
  14. Feb 19, 2008 #874 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    That's a good thought, but AFAIK to date as mentioned, untested. There are a couple of issues at the moment.

    At this time TiVo HD's recognize an eSATA drive by the HDD model number. That is why you can only use the "approved" WD My DVR Expander via P&P. Once a larger drive is approved by TiVo it would seem logical that they will still employ the same recognition method.

    In addition every time a new eSATA drive is connected to a TiVo HD (or Series3) the disk is formatted and all existing content erased.

    Based on the current "hacks" (WinMFS, etc.) you would still need to remove your TiVo HD's internal HDD to marry it to a new eSATA drive. So far Spike has not offered the ability to copy an existing eSATA drive's content to a new eSATA drive or to move it to a larger internal drive. Even if it were possible, the recognition and formatting issues may still come into play. You might want to post the same question on the MFSLive forum to get some more feedback.

    Of course as time goes on all of this may be overcome with some more programming work by Spike or even by TiVo given that the situation will arise where people that have the existing My DVR Expander will want to upgrade to a larger one when they become available (assuming that they do...and no reason to think that they won't).

    IMHO, the best way to get additional recording space for your TiVo HD right now is to go with the approved eSATA drive as you mentioned or open the box up and replace the existing HDD with a 1TB drive now and save the original as a backup JIC. Upgrading the internal drive is very easy to do...not quite P&P, but for anyone that's comfortable with connecting a hard drive to their PC, pretty much a piece of cake using WinMFS these days.

    I wouldn't get too wrapped up in the TiVo "support" issue. What that basically means is that they will talk you through a few troubleshooting steps if you have an approved eSATA drive; steps that can be found on their website anyway. Otherwise, the drive manufacturer, in this case Western Digital, is responsible for replacing bad drives during the one-year warranty period. All drive manufacturers support drive replacements (often for 3 years or more), so TiVo "support" is, well, probably good for neophytes at best. And if you're worried about warranty support for your THD if you replace the internal HDD, you can just pop the original drive back in if something goes south in the event you need a warranty replacement.

    Best of luck and let us know what you decide to do. :up:
     
  15. Feb 19, 2008 #875 of 10248
    donaudio

    donaudio New Member

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    Apr 1, 2002
  16. Feb 19, 2008 #876 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    Glad to help. Enjoy all of that new real estate! :)
     
  17. Feb 20, 2008 #877 of 10248
    korikoritx

    korikoritx New Member

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    Dec 7, 2007
    Have there been any updates on the availability of the Western Digital 1 TB drive? The FAQ up top says it won't be available in 2007...but now that 2008 has rolled around I was hoping there would be some news. I just know that as soon as I buy the 500 GB drive, they will release the 1 TB option...
     
  18. Feb 20, 2008 #878 of 10248
    JayBird

    JayBird New Member

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    Jan 25, 2003
    Gilbert, AZ
    I feel exactly the same way...
     
  19. Feb 20, 2008 #879 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    IIRC it will be "late" 2008 if and when a new/larger "approved" eSATA drive will be offered based on earlier posts from folks that have spoken w/TiVo as well as WD.
     
  20. Feb 20, 2008 #880 of 10248
    donaudio

    donaudio New Member

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    Apr 1, 2002
    Hi Rich: I contacted WD about the difference between the WD10EACS and the WD10EVCS. This is their reply. "Based on the overall product specifications, there is no meaningful difference between the two. We have been in the process of redoing our model numbers and that is probably what is causing the difference between the two model numbers"
     

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