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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Jun 16, 2013 #9521 of 10248
    highvista

    highvista New Member

    24
    0
    Apr 18, 2003
    Tacoma, WA
    I wanted to give a short report on my upgrade of a Tivo Series 3, TCD648250B, from a 750GB drive to a 2TB drive. The new drive is a Western Digital 2TB AV-GP, WD20EURS. The Tivo is running software version 11.0k-01-2-648, and the System Information for the unit shows up to 318 HD hours of recording capacity.

    I used WinMFS to copy the contents of my 750GB drive to the new 2TB drive. I had supersizing turned on. I believe I was offered the chance to expand the drive size, but I also used the "mfsadd" function of WinMFS.

    I used the wdidle program to verify that the WD20EURS already had the IDLE3 function disabled. Important note: Make sure you attach the drive directly to your motherboard's SATA bus. I tried using wdidle with the drive in an external dock that is attached to the internal bus, and wdidle saw the drive, but it kept reporting an error and not showing the IDLE3 state.

    My biggest problem was that when I put the new drive into the Tivo and powered it up, I'd get the "Welcome" screen for a couple minuntes, along with the proper front lights showing on the unit. Then, the lights would go out, the amber light would flash, my TV screen would blank, and then the "Welcome" screen re-appear. I was stuck in an endless boot loop. But the original drive worked just fine and booted normally.

    After much fiddling and research, I finally realized that this might be a sign that my power supply was going bad. Sure enough, three capacitors on the power supply had domed, swollen tops, indicating they were going bad. I replaced these capacitors and now the Tivo boots normally with the 2TB drive. I'm guessing that the new drive is drawing enough extra power during boot over the old 750GB drive that the failing capacitors couldn't handle it and induced the boot looping.

    Hopefully, this will help out anyone with similar issues. Here are some URLs that were very useful to me through this process:

    Series 3 stuck in "Welcome! Powering up..." loop
    Bad capacitors in power supply
    What's wrong with my S3?
     
  2. Jun 17, 2013 #9522 of 10248
    JohnnyO

    JohnnyO Crimper

    325
    0
    Nov 3, 2002
    Twin...
    The process went smoothly. It turned out I already had 9.3f from replacing the drive in my other TiVoHD about 14 months ago.

    Interestingly, the two drives that went bad were two of the originally recommended WD Green drives that are no longer on the recommended list. :) Both of my TiVoHD's now have AV rated WD drives. Hopefully I'll get more than 3 years out of them. Of course, hopefully TiVo will have new systems that I see value in upgrading to in that timeframe.

    John
     
  3. Jun 18, 2013 #9523 of 10248
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    3,554
    0
    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    Just for the benefit of others, the "recommended drive list", generally, is outdated, reflects drives for older units, and/or is just biased. People have been upgrading using drives that others have claimed are NOT recommended. I can't argue, that an AV drive, when they are on sale, is a no-brainer. However, when not on-sale, and either meeting, or beating, the prices of non-AV drives, it leaves you spending money for features that TiVos (even the most recent ones) don't use, known as the "streaming command set". When this is the situation, an AV drive reads/writes, just the same as any other non-AV drive. Why TiVo uses AV drives, in the first place, is probably a condition of their terms with WD, or WD simply offers TiVo the same pricing on both types, leaving it a no-brainer for TiVo.

    The streaming command set features of any AV drive MUST BE supported by the hardware of the device, the software of the device, and must be enabled. I just checked my TiVo logs from a Premiere, and even though the drive, and TiVo Premiere, BOTH support SATA2, TiVo sets the transfer mode to SATA1, via software. So, that's even further proof that TiVo is NOT using the full capabilities of the drives they install at the factory.

    The above paragraph contains a lot of information that people LOVE to argue about. The key is in what's opinion, or just misinformation, that some have read elsewhere, then pass along, without confirming for themselves. I've spent years digging into it. It's mostly the upgrade vendors that offer pre-imaged drives, that provide the BULK of the misinformation, to scare people into thinking that they NEED AV drives, and it gets passed along in the forums, without confirming the facts. Even though WD advertises AV drives as 24/7 rated, it's also just a marketing tactic. If you study the actual published data sheets, you'll find that the MTBF rating, and drive power-on hours ratings, are the SAME. All modern drives are fully capable of 24/7 operation, in non-standby, non-power saving, use. The manufactures COUNT ON people not digging any deeper than the one-page, bold-print, piece of advertising literature, and NOT studying the fine-print of the multi-page data sheets. It works, and works well. That's why they do it. They make more money that way.
     
  4. Jun 18, 2013 #9524 of 10248
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    The WD20EURS gives you the most size you can use in an S3 or S4 (and a better GB/$ ratio than smaller drives), usually at as good a price as any other 2TB drive, with a 3 year warranty, and runs fairly cool and quiet, and seems to have as good a history in TiVos as any other drive, if not better.

    If you're buying a new drive instead of using something you already have on hand, I don't see any compelling reason to use anything else.

    You just have to wait for it to go on sale.
     
  5. Jun 22, 2013 #9525 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

    250
    0
    Feb 28, 2002
    Kirkland, WA
    I bought a 2TB WD20EURS back in January to upgrade one of my TiVoHD's with. The drive in the TiVoHD is a Seagate 750GB DB35 drive that I MFSlive'd 4 or 5 years ago and I had never had a problem with it until about a month ago. Since then it has frozen in the middle of playback and caused a reboot of the TiVo about 3 times, so I figured it was about time to replace it.

    This morning I checked all the capacitors on the TiVo's power supply and mainboard and they looked like new, so I decided to go ahead with the upgrade. I chose to try the WinMFS method because I already had it downloaded to my old PC that runs WinXP SP3 off an IDE drive and has two SATA drive slots as well. I ran WDIDLE3 /r to confirm that IDLE was disabled and then booted into WinXP to start WinMFS (beta 9.3f).

    The copy began just as expected about 1hr 45m ago, and the first 6 bars on the status graph filled in in just a few minutes. The 7th bar filled in about 20 minutes later, but now it's been another 1-1/2 hours without any further progress appear.

    Any experience with something like this?

    Should I ignore the lack of updating of the status bar (I don't recall this being the way it worked when I upgraded another TiVoHD a couple years ago), or could it be a sign of trouble reading from the source drive?

    Can the process be interrupted by shutting off the power so I can try my MFSlive CD? (or JMFS, whichever might give me more status information such as a copying bitrate?)

    If there are problems reading the drive, are there any other methods to recover the programs that are still recoverable (which will almost certainly diminish the longer I leave the drive spinning)?

    What do you think?
     
  6. Jun 22, 2013 #9526 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

    250
    0
    Feb 28, 2002
    Kirkland, WA
    I was able to cancel the operation in WinMFS and shut down the computer without having to "pull the plug".

    I burned the JMFS ISO to a CD and booted to it. So far it has copied about 95GB at an average rate of about 47400 KB/s (sure is nice to see that number update every second so I can confirm that reading and writing is actually occuring).

    First, I'm just hoping this thing can work through difficult-to-read blocks and make it to the end of the process. Then, as long as the expand and supersize steps go as I imagine they should, I hope to have the TiVo back up and running in 4-6 hours (depending on how much of a delay any tough-to-read blocks generate).

    ----------------
    Edit (update):
    Okay, I'm now about 1 h 50 m in, and copying is still chugging away at 318GB so far with 0 errors. Unless JMFS and WinMFS copy from the source differently, I'm wondering if there might have been nothing wrong with the WinMFS procedure other than receiving absolutely zero feedback that the copy was progressing. In other words, I MAY have just added another 2 hours to an already lengthy process by aborting it. However, I'm just NOT going to let a questionable HDD keep spinning doing nothing (apparently) when it has content on it that I would prefer to try and retain before it's destroyed.

    In any case, I'm on the JMFS bus now and would love comments on how the partition table may come out different than it would've under WinMFS. Is the fact that the source drive already had 11.0k on it and had been supersized when it was created enough to be assured I won't be exceeding the 16 partition limit when expanding and supersizing? And do I even NEED to supersize if the SOURCE drive already HAD been supersized?

    Thanks!
     
  7. Jun 22, 2013 #9527 of 10248
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

    1,554
    9
    Jan 1, 2009
    Hmmmm. Will be interesting to see. If I understand you correctly, the current drive in the TiVo is a 750gb drive that was created by copying and expanding the original drive. So the 750gb drive should have a total of 15 partitions. WinMFS would copy it and expand the 15th partition to use the rest of the drive. Whereas JMFS would add a 16th colasced partition. It may work. Never tried that setup. If it does please post back.

    Your other option at this time if you want to still use WinMFS is to exit JMFS after the copy process then boot windows and run WinMFS MFSAdd. If the original image is supersized already you will not be able to supersize again. It will follow the copy process.
     
  8. Jun 22, 2013 #9528 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

    250
    0
    Feb 28, 2002
    Kirkland, WA
    The copy is just about done (739 GB) with one (oops, a second one just popped up as I typed this) error so far.

    I had actually thought of shutting down JMFS after the copy and starting WinXP again to try to do the MFSadd (expand), but I wasn't sure if it was any different than doing the expand in JMFS, which I'm already in.

    Are you pretty sure JMFS will create a new partition to expand into as opposed to WinMFS simply expanding the last existing one? Or is that what you thought I should find out. If JMFS creates a new partition that I don't want, what would I need to do then?

    Perhaps it's safer to do it with WinMFS just to be sure I'm not creating a situation (extra partition) that's harder to get out of, but I'm sure many would like to know if they can stay in JMFS for this if it's not already known, so maybe I'll just 'take this one for the team'.

    As I finished typing this, I see the copy is up to 745 GB with now numerous (9) errors, so I hope this thing's going to complete.
     
  9. Jun 22, 2013 #9529 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

    250
    0
    Feb 28, 2002
    Kirkland, WA
    Well, I just checked on it again and it's frozen at 750156 MB with 10 errors and 3+ minutes since the last successful read. What could I possibly do from here?
     
  10. Jun 23, 2013 #9530 of 10248
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

    1,554
    9
    Jan 1, 2009
    Go to bed and see what the morning brings.
     
  11. Jun 23, 2013 #9531 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

    250
    0
    Feb 28, 2002
    Kirkland, WA
    Okay, it finally said it was copied successfully after a couple 5-10 minute periods without a successful read. The errors pushed me into the direction of chickening out and doing the expand (MFSadd) in WinMFS. Nonetheless, I thought it might satisfy some curiosities to post the MFSinfo.txt file I got out of WinMFS before and after the expand.

    After JMFS copy:

    Partition Maps
    #: type name length base ( size )
    1 Apple_partition_map Apple 63@1 ( 31.5K)
    2 Image Bootstrap 1 1@309550766 ( 512.0 )
    3 Image Kernel 1 8192@309550767 ( 4.0M)
    4 Ext2 Root 1 524288@309558959 ( 256.0M)
    5 Image Bootstrap 2 1@310083247 ( 512.0 )
    6 Image Kernel 2 8192@310083248 ( 4.0M)
    7 Ext2 Root 2 524288@310091440 ( 256.0M)
    8 Swap Linux swap 262144@310615728 ( 128.0M)
    9 Ext2 /var 524288@310877872 ( 256.0M)
    10 MFS MFS application region 589824@311402160 ( 288.0M)
    11 MFS MFS media region 137630712@171920054 ( 65.6G)
    12 MFS MFS application region 2 589824@311991984 ( 288.0M)
    13 MFS MFS media region 2 171919990@64 ( 82.0G)
    14 MFS MFS App by Winmfs 2048@312581808 ( 1.0M)
    15 MFS MFS Media by Winmfs 1152552960@312583856 ( 549.6G)

    Total SA SD Hours: 780 Total DTV SD Hours: 681 1 % Free
    Software: 11.0k-01-2-652 Tivo Model: TCD652160

    After WinMFS MFSadd:

    Partition Maps
    #: type name length base ( size )
    1 Apple_partition_map Apple 63@1 ( 31.5K)
    2 Image Bootstrap 1 1@309550766 ( 512.0 )
    3 Image Kernel 1 8192@309550767 ( 4.0M)
    4 Ext2 Root 1 524288@309558959 ( 256.0M)
    5 Image Bootstrap 2 1@310083247 ( 512.0 )
    6 Image Kernel 2 8192@310083248 ( 4.0M)
    7 Ext2 Root 2 524288@310091440 ( 256.0M)
    8 Swap Linux swap 262144@310615728 ( 128.0M)
    9 Ext2 /var 524288@310877872 ( 256.0M)
    10 MFS MFS application region 589824@311402160 ( 288.0M)
    11 MFS MFS media region 137630712@171920054 ( 65.6G)
    12 MFS MFS application region 2 589824@311991984 ( 288.0M)
    13 MFS MFS media region 2 171919990@64 ( 82.0G)
    14 MFS MFS App by Winmfs 2048@312581808 ( 1.0M)
    15 MFS MFS Expanded by Winmfs 3594444800@312583856 ( 1.7T)

    Total SA SD Hours: 2083 Total DTV SD Hours: 1818 63 % Free
    Software: 11.0k-01-2-652 Tivo Model: TCD652160

    So, as you can see, even in JMFS the last two partitions are Winmfs partitions. I'm pretty certain the JMFS expand would simply expand the last partition (I had SuperSize off both before and after, so there was no Apple partition at the end) just like WinMFS did.

    Now it's time to put the new drive in the TiVo and start it up. :)
     
  12. Jun 23, 2013 #9532 of 10248
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

    1,554
    9
    Jan 1, 2009
    I am fairly certain that JMFS will create a 16th colasced partition. What I am not sure about is if your TiVo will boot up and run with it. Colasced partitions work as that is what JMFS does with the original drives of TivoHDs and premieres. But that being the 16th partition and working in don't know. If it doesn't work then you have two options. One is to re copy the drive with either JMFS (which is better if your original drive has errors) and expand with WinMFS or do it all with WinMFS. The other which is more technical but faster would require you to copy specific blocks from the original drive to the new drive.
     
  13. Jun 23, 2013 #9533 of 10248
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

    1,554
    9
    Jan 1, 2009
    That is because JMFS just copied the whole original drive over to the new drive. No modifications were done to the drive at that stage.
    The Apple_free partition has nothing to do with supersize.
    JMFS will not expand the last partition like WinMFS does, it will add a colasced partition.
     
  14. Jun 23, 2013 #9534 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

    250
    0
    Feb 28, 2002
    Kirkland, WA
    I had to break away for a bit, but everything's working as it was supposed to and I've now got 318HD/2777SD hours of recording space now.
    By coalesced, I assume you mean an additional 'media' partition that is spanned with the already existent 65.6G and 549.6G 'media' partitions. It looks like I still would've just made it inside the 16 partition limit, though, so it probably wouldn't have been an issue to do the expand with JMFS. I guess the key would be to check that the source drive has no more than 15 partitions before upgrading.

    Regardless, I very much preferred the continual feedback I received during the JMFS copy process over the less informative feedback I got from WinMFS. The JMFS process also seems to be more fault tolerant. However, these are probably not meaningful factors unless the source drive has potential problem areas in it due to age (mine was 5 years old and had frozen on playback a couple times), exacerbated when it's also desired to preserve the recorded programs.

    So essentially, the sequence I followed and will probably use on my next upgrade is to do the copy process using the JMFS Live CD (ISO currently at http://www.mediafire.com/?pfc9n8o30tc64) and the expand process (MFSadd) and SuperSize - if needed - using WinMFS (http://www.mfslive.org/) from within Windows. YMMV
     
  15. Jun 23, 2013 #9535 of 10248
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

    1,554
    9
    Jan 1, 2009
    A coalesced partition is one where the MFS application and MFS media partitions are rolled into one.

    I agree.


    Sent from my ME301T using Tapatalk HD
     
  16. Jun 23, 2013 #9536 of 10248
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    6,726
    8
    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    [​IMG]

    I saw the price of $67 and ordered it.

    Also, the 2TB is $96, 1.5 TB is $97.
     
  17. Jun 23, 2013 #9537 of 10248
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    3,554
    0
    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    I'm running a pair of the 2TB WD20EZRX ones in one Premiere (TCD746320) and a TiVo HD (TCD652160). They've been in service for about 8 months now.

    Aside from disabling IntelliPark, I just left the acoustic setting at whatever it was (which I wouldn't recommend for use in a small room, or where the TiVo is very close to a user that can't handle hearing drive-seeking noises).

    They are VERY low-power, which I suspect is due to having very basic function (no dedicated chips drawing power just to make them silent-running, no unnecessary ATA streaming extensions support, etc.).

    I can report having no problems, excellent performance (both when imaging & in use), cool operating temps, and a great price (I bought them as external USB 2.0 WD Essentials units for $69 each, on sale, at Fry's).

    The only downside is a 1yr warranty on externals, 2yr on internals, & technically no-warranty, if WD can figure out you had ever opened the enclosure on an external unit.

    I tend to find the best prices buying externals, and then removing the drive, while buying the same drive, bare, is much higher. What I loved about this purchase, was nothing went to waste. I put other WD drives in the enclosures, or just use the bridge board, for when I need USB 2.0-SATA scenarios.

    My similar experiment with Seagate USB 3.0/2.0 externals, and trying to use the bridge boards/enclosures for other uses didn't work out.
     
  18. Jun 24, 2013 #9538 of 10248
    MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

    1,190
    1
    Jun 20, 2009
    Portland,...
    I had the same drive (WD20EZRX) and it worked fine in my THD. I did notice this...

    I just left the acoustic setting at whatever it was

    When I tried to use the software it said the acoustic settings were not supported in this drive. It was in our bedroom and we did not find it loud at all.
     
  19. Jun 24, 2013 #9539 of 10248
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    3,554
    0
    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    I almost always DISABLE acoustic management entirely (when it is an option), just because it DOES decrease drive seeking performance ever-so-slightly (which the manufacturers used to deny, but now publish the fact in their datasheets).

    I'm not bothered by drive seeking noises, at all. I like to know if a drive is hard at work, or idling. OTHERS on here aren't happy unless their drives are as silent as a drive can be. That's the ONLY reason I made the comment you quoted and underlined in bold.

    I was in a hurry to get the EZRX drives into use for my folks. So, I didn't even check to see if I could change the acoustics, at all. I also had an inkling that it may be possible that such a basic, very low-power, drive model may have no options for acoustic management, or may not even have any form of it (thus saving the cost of the management IC, and the power needed to use it).
     
  20. Jun 25, 2013 #9540 of 10248
    MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

    1,190
    1
    Jun 20, 2009
    Portland,...
    The only reason I posted the above was to perhaps save someone the time if they tried to change the setting on this drive. I think that I did change it on my other drives, however.
     

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