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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Jun 25, 2013 #9541 of 10248
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    Ok, cool. It's getting hard to tell when people are actually making a valid point, versus finding anything they can to pounce on, to try and humiliate you, or bait you into a flaming war, on these forums, in general. Thanks for being clear about it. :cool:

    Just out of curiosity, what did you adjust the acoustic management setting to, and with what drive models, if you don't mind sharing?

    I just did some shopping around, and found that normal retail/online pricing for the 1TB-2TB bare drive is $10 more than the external, with the same drive inside (and the bonus parts, that can be repurposed). Like I said, there is the downside of shaving a year off the warranty for external drives, and no-warranty if you mark up, or damage, the case opening it. It seems that most problem drives are DOA, quick sudden death, or come up with bad sectors when tested right out-of-the box. It seems like if you don't have any detected issues in the first month, you'll likely get three years of problem-free service, thus negating the need for a long warranty (when it comes to WD - not sure how the other drive makers are in these areas).
     
  2. Jun 25, 2013 #9542 of 10248
    MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

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    Portland,...
    I believe that I enabled the AAM on a pair of WD10EARS drives, and another 1TB WD drive a bit before the EARS drives came out. I ran HDDSCAN and I believe I set it to 128 which makes it as quiet as it can get. I am not sure a TIVO needs the faster seek anyway.

    BTW, one of the WD10EARS drives did start to have reboot issues. WD gave me a 90 day extension as my warranty was up. They sent me a WD20EZRX and that is how I found that it did not support AAM. Yes, most drive issues occur soon, but people forget what the M in MTBF means. :rolleyes:
    P.S. I know what you mean about TROLLS returning. It seems that ANY thread that is started quickly goes WAY OT!
     
  3. Jun 25, 2013 #9543 of 10248
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Cox Cable...
    Hmm, I had six WD20EADS drives I sent back under warranty and received factory-recertified ones of the same exact model back (but different serial numbers, at least).

    Know of anybody that may want them, before I open the sealed bags? I like having the hard-512-byte-sector drives, especially for PC use, but had already ordered five WD20EURS when Newegg had them really cheap with free shipping. Now I have a whole-lot-o-hard-drives goin' on, but not much money! :D
     
  4. Jun 26, 2013 #9544 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

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    Feb 28, 2002
    Kirkland, WA
    After a few days of use, I'm not sure how much I like the WD20EURS for our TiVos. I watch portions of tons of sporting events, and as such do an awful lot of fast-forwarding to get to the 'good parts'. So far, this WD20EURS that I put in on Saturday is really sluggish at FF'ing and REW'ing compared to the 750GB Seagate DB35.3 it replaced.

    Perhaps it's the slow 5200 RPM spindle, but I'm wondering if anyone has a good recommendation for a 2TB drive that would give better performance without getting too hot or being too spendy.

    Anybody think the Seagate ST2000DM001 2TB drive (64MB Cache, 7200 RPM) would work very well in a TiVo?
     
  5. Jun 26, 2013 #9545 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

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    It looks like the Seagate flavor recommended/designed for DVR usage is the ST2000VM002. Anybody have experience with that one in their TiVo?
     
  6. Jun 26, 2013 #9546 of 10248
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    I actually have two of those drives. I found that the WD20EADS (512byte-sector 5400RPM, 32MB Cache, Green, Non-AV), WD20EARS (5400RPM, 64MB Cache, Green, Non-AV), WD20EURS (5400RPM, 64MB Cache, Green-AV), & WD20EZRX (5400RPM, 64MB Cache, Green Non-AV) ALL run at TWICE the transfer rate as the Seagate 7200RPM drives you are asking about, when using GNU DD_RESCUE to clone from drive to drive, in both directions.

    After seeing the terrible performance during a clone, to or from, the Seagate drives, I stuck them on a shelf, and decided they'd only be used for backup drives, in another project, or as a last resort. I have no idea why they perform so poorly. I tried tweaking the parameters of the clone operation to see if I could get better results, and I couldn't get any.

    I used a computer with SATA-2 on-board, as well as an older SATA-1 computer, with both giving nearly identical transfer speeds (around the realistic maximum of SATA-1), with the WD drives, and half of it with the Seagate drives. I'd do simultaneous, side-by side, comparisons, to rule out the SATA controllers as being an issue.

    This doesn't mean they won't work, or won't work well once installed in a TiVo, but I just didn't feel like even trying them.
     
  7. Jun 26, 2013 #9547 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

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    I'm not sure that block-to-block / sector-to-sector copying ("cloning") is representative of the kind of performance I'm talking about.

    From what I can tell, the newer WD green drives don't have a fixed spindle speed, but are speed-controlled by their "Intellipower" technology. I don't know what their maximum speeds are - and I'm not certain that it makes a difference - but so far I've noticed that if I fast-forward for more than 5 or 10 seconds the frame-display rate does increase slightly - approaching, but not matching, the performance I was getting with the DB35.3 drives.

    I just wish I could get that DB35.3 performance again, because it's really hard to fast-forward through a game and get much out of it when only 3 or 4 frames are displayed per minute of content.
     
  8. Jun 26, 2013 #9548 of 10248
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Cox Cable...
    That is a valid point. I'm in a bit of a quandary, myself. I keep seeing reports, that while TiVo uses the WD20EURS in one incarnation of the Premiere, which has been renamed, it doesn't seem to work well in the ones that didn't come factory-equipped with one.

    I know that the ratio of people who report problems, or perceived issues, to those who report no problems, or no perceived issues, is very skewed towards us hearing about nearly all the bad, and very little of the good.

    I'm contemplating using tested-and-proven WD20EADS (WD factory recertified) drives, to replace the ones that have held-up for three years, of the same model, which have true 512-byte sectors, versus all the new WD20EURS ones I bought, thinking that since I got them for the price of a non-AV drive, with free shipping, how could I go wrong, or get any better of a replacement drive?

    Well, between the reviews I've seen of the WD20EURS here, Newegg, Amazon, and elsewhere, I almost want nothing to do with them, now. This is because ALL my TiVos are either TiVo HD 652160, or Premiere 746320 2-Tuner models. None of these were designed for 4K sectors. I bought pre-imaged WD20EURS drives, for both models, only to discover that his (the well-known, and highly recommended eBay merchant) claims of being fully 4K sector aligned, is pure fallacy. He just took original images, and tacked-on one huge coalesced partition at the end of the drive, much like JMFS does. The TiVo HD image is tweaked, but still, based on what I believe I know, it's not aligned and/or optimized.

    This would mean the 4K sector drives would not run at their full performance, if the TiVo even ever actually required it, and it's well known that unaligned/non-optimized 4K drives wear-out faster, besides taking the performance hit.

    The only upside is that these pre-imaged drives can easily be cloned with GNU DD_RESCUE, and they can be cloned from their 4K drives to 512-byte ones (or any drive of equal, or greater capacity).

    So, here I sit, with enough factory-sealed WD20EURS 4K drives, and enough factory-sealed (recertified) WD20EADS 512-byte drives, to use either to swap out the three-year old WD20EADS 512-byte drives currently in service.

    I need to make a decision, today, or tomorrow. Then, what to do with the drives I don't use? The WD20EURS drives get AWFUL ratings for non-AV environments. The WD20EADS drives never seemed to get many complaints, were the forum preferred model of low-priced, non-AV, drives for TiVo upgrades, until they were discontinued, and replaced by the WD20EARS, which didn't get the same positive feedback.

    I honestly regret snapping up so many WD20EURS drives, just assuming "How could I go wrong with these?"...

    Things were a lot more black & white, before the whole 4K sector matter came into the equation.
     
  9. Jun 26, 2013 #9549 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

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    Kirkland, WA
    Thanks for mentioning this. It hadn't occured to me that the TiVoHD wasn't made to use 4K sector drives the way they were meant to be used. I'm familiar with that whole 512B/4K sector issue due to dealing with it with our Windows Home Server v1. Many of WD's advanced format drives needed the jumper to make them look like 512B sector drives, while Seagate advanced format drives were significantly more tolerant (at least early on) of being used in either system.

    I can't help but wonder if cloning the drive all over again with the jumper installed this time would make a performance difference. I haven't tried cloning a Tivo drive with our Debian Server - and I didn't realize a 4K sector drive could be 'cloned' to a 512B sector drive - so I'd probably just stick with JMFS and WinMFS. But trying the jumpered copy (a little kludgy IMO) is a bit temping.

    I have seen that ALL Western Digital WDxxEADS drives are 512B sector drives, so if I already had them that's probably what I'd use. Since you have a batch of WD20EURS drives, you might want to try one of them with the 512B jumper to see what you get.

    Then there's this thread over on the AVS Forums about Hard Drive Replacement on the MOXI:
    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1303511/official-moxi-hard-drive-replacement-thread/360

    It looks like I might have to try one of those Seagate SV35 drives...
     
  10. Jun 26, 2013 #9550 of 10248
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    Those two 512-byte partitions look odd. Did you start with an original TiVo drive? When I upgraded my last TiVoHD a couple of months ago, I thought all partitions (other than #1) were 4KB-aligned. Not sure without looking at it again.
     
  11. Jun 26, 2013 #9551 of 10248
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Just to be clear, the current 4K drives are known as 512e (They fake out the host into thinking the drive is a 512 byte sector drive). Then, if not properly partitioned/aligned/optimized, the virtual 512 byte sectors overlap onto two 4K hard sectors, thus making the drive read/write two 4K sectors when only one read/write should be necessary. That's the simple/concise explanation.

    I think the whole jumper solution was just a temporary fix, only for use with Windows XP and certain partitioning methods. I'd read the drive spec sheets, and make sure of what really happens, if there actually is a jumper for the drive in-hand.

    The reason why you can clone between a 4K/512e drive and a true hard 512 byte sector drive, is due to the host thinking the 4K/512e drive isn't 4K.

    I *think* the jumper was for activating an emulation mode that shifted a virtual mapping, thus further "faking out" the host, for WinXP.
     
  12. Jun 26, 2013 #9552 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

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    Feb 28, 2002
    Kirkland, WA
    Reading reviews on Amazon makes me think the Seagate SV35 (ST2000VX000 for 2TB) drives are the most appropriate replacements for the DB35.3 drives (the defacto 'best' drive to upgrade with 5 years ago) for similar performance. It's a 7200 RPM drive for the more demanding video environments, and I'm convinced that's the reason I'm seeing the drop-off in performance I brought up. For those looking for a better balance between power saving and performance, the 5900 RPM ST2000VM002 (2TB) is probably the go-to drive on the Seagate side.
     
  13. Jun 26, 2013 #9553 of 10248
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Unless you had a modified tivo drive from some upgrade vendors those are the normal partition sizes. The only TiVos that come from the factory 4k aligned are the 4 tuner versions.
     
  14. Jun 27, 2013 #9554 of 10248
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    With the original TiVoHD 160GB drive, all 4 MFS partition base addresses are 4KB aligned (see attachment). The size of the MFS media region 2 is not a multiple of 4KB, but that probably doesn't matter much. After MFS Copy, many partitions are moved around, as shown in tluxon's partition tables, with the most important one being the MFS media region 1 not 4KB aligned.

    I'm thinking if dd followed by mfsadd would be a better way to preserve the 4KB alignment.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Jun 27, 2013 #9555 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

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    Kirkland, WA
    Thanks for triggering my memory on that. With WHSv1, we were dealing with the pin 7-8 jumper in lieu of the WDAlign utility. It was related to older Windows 5.xx operating systems (WindowsXP, Server 2003, WHSv1) creating their partition start at LBA 63 while drives with 4K sectors wanted it to start at block 64. The jumper caused the drive to automatically add +1 to any address received from the OS, while WDAlign would actually move the partition.

    It may or may not have any bearing on TiVo operating systems, as I recall it being noted as an issue with older Windows OSes. Also, it seems obvious to me that although I'm not getting the snappy performance I got with the DB35 drive, the WD20EURS is working far better than I would expect if the block/sector alignment issue was a problem. Perhaps it's getting a little better than when first playing with it or I was seeing poor results from an anomalous recording, but tonight when I was playing with some recordings and with the live buffer, I was seeing closer to 10 to 15 frames per minute of content, and it didn't seem as sluggish as initially. Depending on the bitrate of the recording I'm watching, I'm seeing as many as 10 to 15 frames for each minute of content when in FF2, which is more acceptable than I first experienced.

    At the moment, I'm not as down on the WD20EURS as I was 24 hours ago. However, it might be better suited for the bedroom while I put something snappier, like the Seagate SV35 (ST2000VX000) in the room where I FF through sports the most. I definitely want to at least try a SV35 if for nothing more than comparison.
     
  16. Jun 27, 2013 #9556 of 10248
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    perhaps not writing to the unaligned media region 1 at the moment?
     
  17. Jun 27, 2013 #9557 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

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    I just now saw your question. In Jan '08 when I got the first two TiVoHD's, they had 160GB drives in them which I immediately upgraded to the DB35.3 750GB drives with WinMFS, using the original drives as the source.

    Earlier in the thread I mentioned that I did the upgrade with the MFS Live CD, but that was because I didn't remember and I was influenced by having just run across the Live CD I had burned. Later I found posts on the mfslive.org forum that reminded me I had used WinMFS.

    A couple years ago I replaced the first DB35.3 drive that was failing with a WD10EVDS (1TB) and this last one was the second DB35.3 drive, so both of these most recent upgrades were not from the original, but from the copy-of-the-original DB35.3 drives.
     
  18. Jun 27, 2013 #9558 of 10248
    tluxon

    tluxon Member

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    Kirkland, WA
    What do you mean by "unaligned"? Do you think TiVo's operating system has same problems with advanced format drives that Windows 5.xx OSes have?

    Are you aware of TiVoHD users having trouble with the WD20EURS as the drive fills up? I didn't see any evidence of it before purchasing the drive back in January.

    I guess I better start recording everything I can to fill it up and see what happens then.
     
  19. Jun 27, 2013 #9559 of 10248
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    AFAIK, OS deals with the AF issue by aligning the partitions to 4KB boundaries and allocating files in 4KB clusters. Can an AF-aware OS deal with unaligned partitions without degrading write performance? I don't know, but it seems unlikely.


    If the problem you're experiencing is caused by the 4KB issue, then it's a matter of where the drive is writing at the moment, not how full the drive is. On your drive, two media regions are 4KB-aligned, but one is not.
     
  20. Jun 27, 2013 #9560 of 10248
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    True. The smaller size of the MFS Media Region 2 allows the latter partitions after Bootstrap 2 partition to be 4k aligned again. Even though partitions may be 4k aligned, if the directory structure of the partition does not maintain 4k alignment there is no advantage of having the partition 4k aligned. I do not know if the MFS partitions maintain 4k integrity internally.


    If MFSCopy tries to give you optimized partition layout, it will move the core partitions as close to the center of the disk as possible. It will do this many times by putting MFS media regions 1 and 2 back to back at the beginning of the drive before the core partitions and add the WinMFS created MFS Media partition after the core partitions. If it does not optimize the partition layout, then it copies them in order of their partition number.

    In this instance it would. On my OLED S3 it would not. Actually WinMFS because of the way it moves partitions, 4k aligns my MFS partitions.

    EDIT: c3 pointed out my error in calculation. Partition 11 is not aligned and I retract my previous statement concerning WinMFS and partition alignment as stated.

    Code:
    Partition Maps
     #:                  type name                            length base      ( size  )
      1   Apple_partition_map Apple                               63@1         (  31.5K)
      2                 Image Bootstrap 1                          1@485366126 ( 512.0 )
      3                 Image Kernel 1                          8192@485366127 (   4.0M)
      4                  Ext2 Root 1                          524288@485374319 ( 256.0M)
      5                 Image Bootstrap 2                          1@485898607 ( 512.0 )
      6                 Image Kernel 2                          8192@485898608 (   4.0M)
      7                  Ext2 Root 2                          524288@485906800 ( 256.0M)
      8                  Swap Linux swap                     2097152@486431088 (   1.0G)
      9                  Ext2 /var                            524288@488528240 ( 256.0M)
     10                   MFS MFS application region          589824@489052528 ( 288.0M)
     11                   MFS MFS media region             216747657@268618469 ( 103.4G)
     12                   MFS MFS application region 2        589824@489642352 ( 288.0M)
     13                   MFS MFS media region 2           268618405@64        ( 128.1G)
     14                   MFS MFS App by Winmfs                 2048@490232176 (   1.0M)
     15                   MFS MFS Expanded by Winmfs      3416780800@490234224 (   1.6T)
    
     

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