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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Feb 20, 2008 #881 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Thanks for that...good info. :up: Based on their own web site, they are clearly marketing them as two different products. The WD10EVCS is specifically for A/V, DVR use whereas the WD10EACS is simply geared toward "normal" PC and eSATA computer use.

    There aren't many specification differences other than the DVR/WD10EVCS lists it's idle mode and seek mode as being a bit quieter; 24dBA/25dBA as opposed to the PC/WD10EACS's 25dBA/27dBA. Ours (WD10EACS) was very quiet stock and after changing the AAM setting to 128, slightly quieter. I'd wager that's what they've done with the newer DVR specific model. The only other thing I noticed on the newer DVR model was a feature called "SilkStream" which supposedly optimizes the drive for "smooth, continuous digital video playback of up to twelve simultaneous HD streams." Now if we could only get our TiVo's to that! ;)

    Other than that the specs are just about identical, so the CSR you spoke with would seem to be right...they are just about identical.

    The real question is if the "new" (WD10EVCS) drive will be compatible with all TiVo's, internally and as an eSATA drive or display the same soft reboot issue when used as an internal upgrade on the Series3's. Hopefully nothing new will appear regarding their use w/TiVo HD's!
     
  2. Feb 20, 2008 #882 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    Jaybird, one way of looking at this is to look at the hours of expansion you will achieve. How many hours did your SD Tivo have? If you got used to that you might be disappointed in a significant reduction going to HD. You really don't find people saying I wish I did not add so much storage space. You should add the maximum you can afford, internally first. Also, don't be too concerned about the "official support" issue. There is little support from either TiVo or WD anyway so you might as well do it your own way.
     
  3. Feb 20, 2008 #883 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    In an accidental and ironic sort of way, by being clueless the WD rep was actually correct in that there really is no meaningful difference between the two for use in a TiVo. They are mechanically identical. There is, of course, significant difference in the firmware and capabilities. The WD10EVCS supports the ATA 7 Streaming Feature Set specification and the WD10EACS doesn't. But in TiVo's case it doesn't matter.

    And as richadams points out, since it is not available on the market yet, it has not been determined precisely if the WD10EVCS suffers from the same S3 soft reboot issue as the other members of the model family. One should assume it will be affected until proven otherwise.
     
  4. Feb 21, 2008 #884 of 10248
    JayBird

    JayBird New Member

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    Jan 25, 2003
    Gilbert, AZ
    My original TiVo has 300 hours SD. So the TiVo HD has so far been a significant downgrade in capacity. I'm debating between the ease of installation and simplicity of the My DVR Expander and the capacity I would get if I simply did the upgrade myself. If I did it myself, I'd upgrade the internal drive to 1TB drive and probably also add 1TB externally so that I have about the same amount of HD capacity as I had SD capacity on my old TiVo.

    Anybody know when the new Seagate 1TB DB35.4 drives will hit the street?
     
  5. Feb 21, 2008 #885 of 10248
    ashu

    ashu User title defunct

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    MD
    Before rushing off for a long weekend vacation, I picked up a Hitachi USB External 1TB drive (it contains the superfast 32MB cache 1TB SATA inside a USB/Firewire case) for around $200 (Best Buy, plethora of discounts, coupons, and then a further 'discount' thanks to Christmas gift cards)

    I intend to crack it open and replace the S3's internal SATA with this one, unless someone makes a strong case for getting an Antec MX 1 case and adding the 1TB as an external SATA upgrade instead. The Hitachi 32MB cache drives are known to run warm - so would it be cooler inside the S3 (I'll also replace the fan with a Vantec heat sensitive fan, always do that when i upgrade a TiVo) or in the Antec external case? I'm leaning towards making it the single internal drive, and saving the 250 for use with the USB case as an external! One less possible point of failure for the S3.
     
  6. Feb 21, 2008 #886 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Congrats on the nice price for the Hitachi. I agree, I'd pop the case and upgrade the internal drive. Before doing that I'd run the diagnostics to be sure everything is okay and then the AAM with the Hitachi Feature Tool and reduce the acoustics to 128 to quiet things down. IIRC TiVo isn't capable of using anything more than 8MB or less of cache, but it's nice to have the "head room" I suppose.

    I'd also put your original HDD on the shelf as a backup JIC. It's easier to drop it in if something goes south than formatting a new one with saved files or Instant Cake, etc. You can get a pretty good sized drive very cheap these days. I guess it depends on your budget and how much you consider your time worth though. OR you could wait and get another 1TB drive for a whopping 2TB's! :D

    Of course if you do use the Hitachi external case it would have to be with your computer as TiVo only works with SATA connections/drives (not USB).

    The fan did a fine job in the Antec MX-1 I have. It ran very cool and quiet w/Seagate DB35 drive.

    Good luck and let us know what you end up doing. :up:
     
  7. Feb 21, 2008 #887 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    Just be sure to make note that the S3 uses an odd size. I think it is 70mm compared to 60mm fans in previous models. Detuning head seek speed (AAM) does allow the drive to run slightly cooler. Generally, there is not a requirement to upgrade the robust stock fan (unless it is noisy or failing) but if it has at least as much CFM as the stock fan everything should be OK.
     
  8. Feb 21, 2008 #888 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    Not to worry. He is talking about the hardware cache memory chip on the drive itself that is only used by the drive internally (and is transparent to any host talking to the drive), not the part of TiVo memory that is used for caching data before or after being send to the drive. Having a large cache on the drive is not of any particular advantage for the use the TiVO will make of the drive, anyway.
     
  9. Feb 21, 2008 #889 of 10248
    rsilvers

    rsilvers New Member

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    Dec 3, 2007
    I am stuck. After I mistakingly bought a few SATA cables, I got an eSATA cable and I cannot get my Tivo-3HD to recognize it.

    I am using a Western Digital MyBook 750 GB drive (do 750 GB drives work?). Cable is newegg part number 12-150-023

    I restarted the Tivo several times and it does not see the drive. I then took a razor and trimmed the cables to make sure they can push in all the way. The trimming seemed to go very well, but that did not fix the problem.

    Do I try another cable? Do I assume I broke the hard drive trying to force in SATA cables? I have no computer that takes an eSATA drive so I cannot test the drive on something else.
     
  10. Feb 21, 2008 #890 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Unfortunately the WD My Book series of external drives will not work with TiVo.

    If you have a TiVo HD you can only install the approved WD My DVR Expander via plug & play. If you want to add anything else you'll need to modify your TiVo's software by removing the hard drive, connecting it to a computer and running a program.

    If you have a Series3 you'd need to remove the drive and install it in another enclosure such as Antec's MX-1 for it to work via P&P.

    If you don't want to use the approved WD My DVR Expander the best bet is to either simply upgrade the internal drive or buy a bare drive and install it in an enclosure. Both the TiVo HD and Series 3 can accommodate up to 1TB both internally and as expansion drives.

    All the information you need is on the first post of this thread.
     
  11. Feb 21, 2008 #891 of 10248
    rsilvers

    rsilvers New Member

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    Dec 3, 2007
    But I thought a Tivo-3 would accept nearly any external drive but give a warning. Is that not the case with the WD MyBook for some reason?

    So if I buy that $60 MX-1 enclosure, can I pull the drive from the WD MyBook, put it into the MX-1 case, and expect it to work? Or will the raw drive inside the MyBook still not work, even in an MX-1 case?

    Thanks. I wish I had just bought the MyDVRExpander. I was not looking for drama but really ASSumed it would just work.
     
  12. Feb 21, 2008 #892 of 10248
    ashu

    ashu User title defunct

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    MD
    That specific eSATA device (the WD MyBook) uses some sort of SATA-like-but-not-quite-SATA features and has been shown to not work with either HD TiVo.

    The drive inside it (likely a WD GP 5400-7200 device - runs cool) should work in an Antec MX-1 external case - but unless you got teh external device at a great price (like my Hitachi above) I'd suggest that if you can return the WD I'd exercise that option and buy a separate SATA hard drive to plunk into the TiVo as a standalone drive, or into an Antec MX-1 or other recommended eSATA enclosure instead.
     
  13. Feb 21, 2008 #893 of 10248
    ashu

    ashu User title defunct

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    Nov 8, 2002
    MD
    Thanks for the acoustic tool link/reminder - although I intended to; and thanks for the fan size headsup - I have spare 60mm Vantec fans (with twice the CFM of the average 60) but I agree - replacnig a good, worknig 70 is likely not worth the hassle.

    I'll watch the device temperatures, post upgrade, and decide later - I might install the 60 with a 70->60 funnel if they make those (I often do that with CPU fans - use a 60-80 funnel when the 60mm fan on a CPU dies!)
     
  14. Feb 21, 2008 #894 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    Unfortunately not. :( See Section III #6 of the FAQ on the first post:

    III. Non Verified Drives
    ...

    6. What retail drives do not work with the TiVo?

    Based on member reports, the My Book Home Edition (320GB - 1TB) eSATA drive is incompatible with the TiVo and cannot be used. The bridge chip built into that product's enclosure is believed to be responsible for the incompatibility, because if you remove the bare drive from the enclosure and install it in another, it will work.

    ...​
     
  15. Feb 21, 2008 #895 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    The TiVo Series3 (if that's what you have) does accept a wide variety of eSATA drives via P&P. However the WD My Book series uses a three-way bridge (USB/Firewire/eSATA) that is not compatible with TiVo. As ashu suggests, it's probably best to return the drive that you have (opening the case will void the warranty) and buy the approved drive from TiVo or if you want a larger drive and/or drive and an enclosure combo choose from the recommendations on the first post.

    If you do decide on a drive and MX-1 enclosure you can usually find the MX-1 for somewhere between $29.99 and $45 if you shop around. Again, all of your questions can likely be answered by reading the first post on this sticky thread, but if not, don't hesitate to ask.
     
  16. Feb 21, 2008 #896 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    Yes. And since you already have SATA cables you could also just get a $15 Sata card and use the bare drive and WinMFS to replace the internal drive leaving the eSATA open for future expansion. But either method will be fine.
     
  17. Feb 21, 2008 #897 of 10248
    rsilvers

    rsilvers New Member

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    I don't think I can return the drive. I have had it for many weeks while waiting for these various cables to come. I also made no attempt to save the packaging. I think my best bet is to stick this drive on my wife's PC for her to save family photos and video, and start over. Not pleased by that since I have various other 1 TB LaCie firewire drives setting around that she could use instead though they have been dying like flies (tends to be the power supplies which die actually).

    I ASSumed it would work since it looks just like MyDVR Expander.

    I would get a MyDVR Expander but I am bummed about 500 GB. Do we think a larger model is due any day now, or not until the end of the year?

    The FAQ is very well written and I am sorry for asking questions that were covered. It just feels safer to get confirmation on some of the points.
     
  18. Feb 21, 2008 #898 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Sounds like a good plan...making the wife happy that is. ;)

    Word on the street (or on the forum in this case) is that there probably won't be a larger TiVo approved eSATA drive until "late" 2008...just in time for Christmas. That doesn't mean that there won't be a WD version that will work that's not approved. There is a new line of hard drives, the WD10EVCS (500GB, 750GB & 1TB) from Western Digital which is designed specifically for DVR use. The bare drive is not readily available at this point but will be soon and I suspect we'll see a fully P&P My DVR Expander version in the larger sizes soon. There's a discussion about them on this thread.

    Hang in there and let us know what you decide to do. :up:
     
  19. Feb 22, 2008 #899 of 10248
    rsilvers

    rsilvers New Member

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    Dec 3, 2007
    I added a MyDVRExpander and it works -- even with the cable that I hacked up. While 750GB total is not awe-inspiring, it will probably be ok. My Tivo records a lot and things were getting recycled every 2-3 days so now I will get a good week out of it which is much better.

    I will probably stick the 750 GB drive from the MyBook into my digital security system as it takes SATA drives.
     
  20. Feb 22, 2008 #900 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Sounds good. Did you try the cable that was supplied with the My DVR Expander? Just wondering if they have improved the quality...there are more than a few complaints about them being flaky. It's good you have an extra cable JIC.

    Of course there's nothing that will prevent you from installing or adding larger drives later. :up:
     

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