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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Jul 25, 2013 #9641 of 10316

    sbguy New Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    Yes, I'm up and running.

    Here's what I had and what I did:

    A TCD648250B "OLED" with a totally dead 1TB drive.
    A new WD20EURS 2TB drive.
    A truncated mfsbackup file from 3+ years ago when it had the original 250GB drive and old (8.x?) software.

    I restored my old backup to the new 2TB drive, using mfsrestore, without expanding.
    I installed this drive in the Tivo, let it run until it got a software update to 11.0k.
    I installed it back into my host PC and used WinMFS to expand it using the MFSAdd menu and telling it to ignore the 1TB limit.

    That did it.

    Thanks everyone for the tips.
  2. Jul 25, 2013 #9642 of 10316

    keenanSR Member TCF Club

    Oct 12, 2004
    Santa Rosa CA
    A followup on my troubles, it was the power supply, refurb installed and everything is looking good.

    Thanks for the help everyone. :)
  3. Jul 28, 2013 #9643 of 10316

    Sevenfeet Gentle Giant

    Jun 24, 2000
    Nashville, TN

    I went ahead and replaced the bad capacitor without too much trouble. The Tivo Series 3 OLED came back to life and for awhile, everything seemed to be ok. But after 9 hours, the unit rebooted and locked again on the second screen. After running the kickstart 54, it was determined that the boot drive was failing. I had suspected that it was failing but I'd forgotten about it since my Tivo had been down and out of the rack for so long (months now).

    I do have a WD10EACS that isn't new but it's available and I ran it through WD's diagnostic utility (extended scan) with flying colors. Since my Tivo is mated to an external drive, I tried to get the Tivo to boot enough to get to the point that the drive would divorce so I could do a proper dd_rescue to no avail. Doing a dd_rescue anyway completely failed after only a minute of copying...the drive hits a bad patch and then stops being responsive entirely. I'm thinking that the 9 hours it was up was the last stand. So I cannot salvage any information on this drive.

    My next plan is to pull the hard drive of the other working Tivo Series 3 OLED that I own, dd copy that drive to my WD10EACS and boot it in the problem Tivo. Divorce it from the external drive it's expecting to see, and then ask the MFS utilities to expand the drive to take up all of the 1 gig space, and then mate it back to the external drive when I'm done. And along the way, I have to make sure I run the utility to head off the soft reboot issue.
  4. Jul 28, 2013 #9644 of 10316

    dougdingle HD Tech

    Jul 4, 2007
    West Coast
    A couple of suggestions:

    Try the DvrBARS Windows TiVo drive copy utility available in a thread here somewhere. It stops on errors, but does not abort, so you have to keep an eye on it and tell it to continue after each error. It allowed me to copy most of a failing drive where everything else just wouldn't. It's donationware, so if it does work for you, consider sending the author a few dollars as I did.

    Also, I have had some luck in the past copying "reluctant" drives by wrapping a cold drive in saran wrap, and putting it in the fridge or freezer for an hour or so before attempting a copy, unwrapping it, then keeping a fan on it as it warms up.
  5. Jul 29, 2013 #9645 of 10316

    Teeps Active Member

    Aug 16, 2001
    You might try freezing the failing drive, then do the dd_rescue.
    A dry ice freeze may be needed to keep it cold enough to get through the rescue routine.
  6. Jul 29, 2013 #9646 of 10316

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Suggestion: A week before the warranty expires, check for bulging caps.
  7. Jul 30, 2013 #9647 of 10316

    tluxon Member

    Feb 28, 2002
    Kirkland, WA
    As soon as air hits that drive, the resulting condensation between the spinning disc surfaces and the heads will destroy any data you hoped to ever recover before it can be read.
  8. Jul 30, 2013 #9648 of 10316

    jmbach der Neuerer

    Jan 1, 2009
    I thought that too. But it does work. Sometimes have to do it several times before I can get the whole drive copied.
  9. Jul 30, 2013 #9649 of 10316

    tluxon Member

    Feb 28, 2002
    Kirkland, WA
    I've heard of others having success with that method as well, but the process is so risky that it has to be accepted that if it doesn't work, nothing will ever work.

    I can only imagine that you must've had the drive in a very dry environment. How did you minimize the opportunity for humidity to have access to the platters?
  10. Jul 30, 2013 #9650 of 10316

    jmbach der Neuerer

    Jan 1, 2009
    I wrap mine in a towel. The drives I used this on were close to bricks to begin with. Before I even use this method I try fans and A/C vents first in that order. I think condensation is more of a long term problem (corrosion) than short term. Magnetism is not affected by water. The heads and motor might if the condensate has impurities that might conduct current and cause shorts. Externally the towel wicks away moisture. Usually have to re freeze several times and copy the drive in sections. When I have it available, dry ice and a towel on the circuit board of the drive works as well and sometimes lasts longer.
  11. Jul 30, 2013 #9651 of 10316

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Aren't hard drives hermetically sealed?
    Do they even have enough air in there to condense?
    Wouldn't the spinning platters create enough internal air flow to prevent condensation?
  12. Jul 31, 2013 #9652 of 10316

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    They all have at least one filtered breather port. This is the reason why there's always a warning that says "DO NOT COVER ANY DRIVES HOLES".

    There are several internal filters as well, that catch any microscopic debris that may wind up in the drive's internal airflow.

    I would hazard a guess that these filters have a desiccant (humidity absorbing agent), but they can only trap so much, and then they would be saturated (if they have desiccant in them).

    So, with that said, The whole "drive freezing" method, should be a last resort, and the drive taken out of service after this has been done to it.

    It's usually done for one of two reasons:

    1: Delaying the onset of a thermal intermittent issue.

    2: Thickening the fluid of the Fluid Dynamic Bearings, so that the platters don't wobble.

    I've used the method many times. It has worked.

    I feel I should also note that the last shipment of OEM drives I received from WD, had HUGE warnings on all the sides of the box with a chart of what drive temperature the drives may have been exposed to in shipping, and how many hours they needed to be left sealed, and what temperature they should be at before being opened, and before powered-on.

    I don't think that they'd print that on the box, if it wasn't a drive killer, or something that could cause premature failure.

    Even with DRY ICE, the cold will still cause moisture condensation. Most DIY data recovery websites now advocate using those electronic devices that draw heat away from the drive (The ones that get cold on one side and hot on the other), and adhering heat sinks with fans to strategic places, rather than chucking the drive in the freezer, or even the fridge.

    It IS true that a microscopic droplet of water on a drive platter could shear the head right off the actuator arm.
  13. Jul 31, 2013 #9653 of 10316

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    That's why you wrap some paper towel around it before putting it in the freezer.

    That, and not wanting to leave any skin on it when you take it out of the freezer.
  14. Jul 31, 2013 #9654 of 10316

    Sevenfeet Gentle Giant

    Jun 24, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    I've heard various things about the freezing method. Honestly, while it might be nice to have the old recordings, it's not required. But since the drive is going to get recycled anyway, it might be ok to try it. The big problem everybody talks about it condensation on the platters. I wonder if throwing rice into the bag with the drive might mitigate some of that?

    But since I have a second Tivo S3 that's working, I can easily clone its primary hard drive, install it, divorce it from the expected second hard drive it would look for and then expand the hard drive with the available MFS utilities out there. Once that is done, than I can mate it to the available second drive and I'm done.

    I'll take a couple of days for me to find the time to do all of this. But it should work.
  15. Jul 31, 2013 #9655 of 10316

    daverita New Member

    Jun 16, 2013
    I have the image for the Tivo HDR112 on a flash drive and I am using winmfs to put it onto a PATA/IDE drive. I use mfscopy from WinMFS and it seems to work OK. But when I put the drive in the Tivo - it makes the phone call, but fails while loading the data. Can anybody think of what I might be doing wrong and how to fix this problem.

    Thank you.
  16. Aug 1, 2013 #9656 of 10316

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2008
    Have you run a Clear & Delete Everything? Unless the image came from that TiVo you have to run C&DE to "marry" it to the motherboard.
  17. Aug 2, 2013 #9657 of 10316

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    S1s that use the phone often have problems connecting satisfactorily to the TiVo servers.

    You just have to keep trying.
  18. Aug 3, 2013 #9658 of 10316
    A J Ricaud

    A J Ricaud Active Member

    Jun 25, 2002
  19. Aug 4, 2013 #9659 of 10316

    ccrider2 Member

    Nov 1, 2007
  20. Aug 7, 2013 #9660 of 10316

    Sevenfeet Gentle Giant

    Jun 24, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    OK, here's what has happened so far with getting my dead Tivo S3 OLED working again:

    1. Resoldered new capacitor
    2. Attempted to clone original HD (failed)
    3. Secure newer WD10EACS 1 gig drive I had, do WDIDLE3 on it.
    4. Clone 250 gig original drive from my other Tivo S3 OLED to the WD10EACS
    5. Fired up the dead Tivo. Tivo now boots.
    6. Moved to erase all information from the Tivo to mate with the motherboard
    7. After next successful reboot, pulled drive for a mfsadd to use the entire 1 gig drive

    So everything seems to be ok, except for one thing. I cannot add the second external hard drive to this system, even though it was a part of its configuration for years. I even went and erased it so that the Tivo wouldn't be confused by it. But when you ask the Tivo to mate to it, it seems to go ahead and do it, reboots but then the amount of HD space doesn't seem to change. On the system page, the hard drive is listed, but it doesn't seem to be used.

    Any ideas?

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