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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Mar 17, 2008 #1001 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Bottom line is that unless you wipe your original TiVo hard drive, you'll still have all of your recordings. I always recommend putting the original drive on the shelf as a back-up JIC. Worst case you can always pop your original drive back in to watch them (or if you have to send your box back to TiVo if something else fails while it's under the one-year parts warranty).

    Your best bet is to connect your drive(s) via SATA to your computer's mother board. Most MB's (within the last five years) have SATA connectors. That will speed up the process using MFSCopy. How long it takes all depends on how many recordings you have, SD Vs HD, their length, etc. It may only take an hour or less...might be several hours. If you use USB it will of course take longer.

    You do not have to clear and/or delete anything when using WinMFS to create a larger drive (copying existing content or not). All of your settings including cable card info, SP's, etc. will be transferred over.
     
  2. Mar 17, 2008 #1002 of 10248
    esb1981

    esb1981 New Member

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    Dec 2, 2007
    Connecticut
  3. Mar 17, 2008 #1003 of 10248
    sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    Sorry to submit this post again only a few hours after I first posted it. But Rich seems to always answer things quickly, so I'm wondering if this might be a dumb question. I hope not! I'd like to get started with ordering and installing a 1TB WD10EVCS into my Tivo HD. But I'd really like to know if this 500gb description about the Vantec sata-to-usb adapter is accurate, and if so, it would not be useable with the 1TB drive. Can anyone help? Thanks again.
     
  4. Mar 17, 2008 #1004 of 10248
    goodbar

    goodbar New Member

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    Feb 5, 2008
    I did the same last weekend. I also bought a 2 port Promise SATA300 TX2plus PCI card from NewEgg and a screwdriver set from Lowes (HD uses T10 (case, HDD frame) and T15 (HDD frame to HDD) torx screws). Buying the Promise card was about the same as buying 2 USB/SATA connectors, and much faster.

    After doing the Add at the end of the copy, select the new drive, then select Supersize. It does not look like anything happened, but TIVO shows 144 hours HD.

    I did not wind up using the Hitachi tools, but I cannot hear the drive in the TIVO. My 160 GB drive was almost full, but the copy finished in 1 or 2 hours. As stated elsewhere, use Task Manager to see I/O Read and Write bytes if you are concerned whether MFS is running. Good luck all! It is pretty awesome not worrying whether or not to record PGA Golf for 5 hours on Sunday and then 3 hours of hockey that night, both in HD. Simple with 144 hours available.
     
  5. Mar 17, 2008 #1005 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    Of course Rich meant to type SATA (as in from the bare SATA drive to the SATA connector on the motherboard).
     
  6. Mar 17, 2008 #1006 of 10248
    gspoto

    gspoto New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    I just bought a VOX 750 GB eSATA HD. The price was way to good to pass up ($150 at Microcenter through the end of the month.)
    I intend to use this with my TiVo. The way I see it I have three options:

    Option 1, Simple: Plug it into my media server PC which is hardwired to the same router/switch my TiVo HD is attached to. Then I can download everything Via the TiVo desktop software and play it back whenever I want.

    Option 2, Harder: Sync up the eSATA with my TiVo HD using MFS and use it as expanded storage on my TiVo HD.

    Option 3, Hardest: Rip it appart just for the drive, and use it as a replacement for my existing TiVo drive via MFSsopy.

    So option 2 is the way I want to go because it is the most user friendly. The VOX came with a eSATA cable, has an independant power supply and an on/off switch (which I believe is what everybody says you should have).

    Questions I have:
    Has there been any success using Vox external drives with TiVoHD?
    I know that the eSATA cable has been a problem for many people... should I suspect the supplied cable to be kinda crappy and buy a good one now?

    Thanks for all your support.
     
  7. Mar 17, 2008 #1007 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    It is pretty much an unknown quantity. Can you easily peek inside and discover the actual bare drive that is used?
     
  8. Mar 17, 2008 #1008 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    Often such limitations are due to the fact that that was the then current largest drive that could be tested when the product was originally released. For example, Vantec's website says the CB-ISATAU2 supports 750GB now, not 500GB. It has LBA-48 addressing so there should not be a practical limitation. The question of whether they have just not gotten around to testing it with current drive models or if there is some other limitation coming into play should probably be addressed to technical support at vantecusa.com just to be sure. Also note that PCI eSATA cards are pretty cheap now and the USB adapter method really only makes sense now on a laptop.
     
  9. Mar 17, 2008 #1009 of 10248
    sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    Thanks, jlib. I had looked at the "Product Flyer", and it said 500gb, while the "Features" does say 750gb. I asked tech support, and sure enough, they said 1TB shouldn't be a problem, but their information just has not been updated lately. The reason I'm looking at this is because I only have a laptop at my disposal....no desktop in over a decade! I'm thinking I'll only be getting ONE of these adapters, doing a backup and restore (changing disks obviously), no need to copy any programs. It may be a more cumbersome way of doing this, but I just can't see spending more for TWO of these adapters that will probably only be used once. Thanks again for the advice.
     
  10. Mar 17, 2008 #1010 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    D'oh! :eek:
     
  11. Mar 17, 2008 #1011 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    AFAIK you'd be a "TiVo Pioneer" using the Vox drive. According to their web site it uses a WD HDD. I guess my concern would be two things; noise (which you can mitigate by adjusting the AAM with the Hitachi Feature Tool). And heat since the drive will be running 24/7 and the enclosure doesn't have a cooling fan. Heat can cause data corruption and reboots.

    If you decide to use it as an expansion drive I'd use the supplied cable and see how it goes. You can always order a replacement from the recommended list on the first post of this thread.

    FWIW/my two-cents..if you're going to open the TiVo up and pull the drive, I'd just replace the internal drive. If you find that it's not enough space go ahead and add an expansion drive later (when prices are even cheaper). TiVo HD's 160GB drive is just too small (20 hours of HD recordings) to leave inside if you're going to open it up anyway...IMHO.

    The only downside to your situation is that opening up the Vox enclosure to get your new drive out might void the warranty. However if it's just a matter of removing some screws (and not destroying the enclosure) that's what I'd do. If you need to return it one of these days, just pop it back in for a warranty return. It'll also make a nice case in which to save your original TiVo hard drive. Just don't plug it in and erase it! :)
     
  12. Mar 17, 2008 #1012 of 10248
    gspoto

    gspoto New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    Quote: Can you easily peek inside and discover the actual bare drive that is used?


    Unfortunatly.. No. The thing is great big sealed up brick. From the exterior I can see no screw holes. There is a vulcanized rubber seal that runs around the exterior. At one point there is a small (3/4 inch) section of rubber that sort of lcks the rest in place. removing that reveals a "warrenty void if removed" sticker. not that I usualy pay attentio to such things... but in general this enclosure is "difficult".
     
  13. Mar 17, 2008 #1013 of 10248
    HPD

    HPD New Member

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    Feb 25, 2008
    Mine had 31 recordings and the 250 GB Series 3 drive was nearly full. I added up the hours on the Now playing list. It was 34 hours.

    To copy everything to the first one terabyte drive took an hour and a quarter. Preparing the second external terabyte drive took just a few seconds after it was hooked to my computer.
     
  14. Mar 17, 2008 #1014 of 10248
    HPD

    HPD New Member

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    Feb 25, 2008
    Thanks to the first post on this thread I highlighted WinMFS in task manager and watched it bob up and down. It reported using about 0-4 percent of the CPU so I thought things might not be working correctly. My patience was rewarded.

    If the GUI was fixed it would be nicer but I still thank Spike for his work and making it available to guys like me.
     
  15. Mar 17, 2008 #1015 of 10248
    gspoto

    gspoto New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    My Entertainment center is generally loud enough that I don't have to worry about the noise... the heat is a bit of a worry now that you point it out to me. I think I'll do a plug in test for a few dozen hours to see what kind of heat it puts out.

    I will need a SATA to eSATA adaptor when running MFS, right?


    For ease of use you are probably right... but the HDD enclose is a beast to open it looks like... and basicaly even trying voids the warrenty. Plus I am a whore for space... And even though that 160 GB internal drive is anemic it still holds more then the 750 alone.
     
  16. Mar 17, 2008 #1016 of 10248
    esb1981

    esb1981 New Member

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    Dec 2, 2007
    Connecticut
    Thanks HPD, this is good to know and encouraging!
     
  17. Mar 17, 2008 #1017 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    I'd think I'd still run the Hitachi Feature Tool to reduce the automatic acoustical management to 128 if possible. The spec says that the drive's seek noise is 33dBA which is pretty loud. By comparison their GP drives are around 24dBA...all depends on your situation of course.

    Heat-wise it may be fine as is as long as it's kept in a well-ventilated location. It's aluminum case will certainly dissipate heat better than plastic. Some folks have invested in an external USB powered fan...laptop coolers like this one seem to be popular.

    Yes, if you can connect your drive directly to your PC's MB that would be your best bet.

    Understood. In that case it should work fine.

    Best of luck and let us know how it goes. It'll be good info to know if this is another option to add to bkdtv's "approved" list. :up:
     
  18. Mar 17, 2008 #1018 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    The specs for the VOX V1 750GB eSATA/USB 2.0 External Hard Drive say it is using Western Digital's WD7500AAKS HDD.
     
  19. Mar 18, 2008 #1019 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    Since opening the case to get the SATA drive out appears difficult, then you will need to go eSATA to the SATA of your USB adapter.
     
  20. Mar 18, 2008 #1020 of 10248
    chf

    chf New Member

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    Sep 3, 2002
    Does anyone know if this will work as an external drive for my TivoHD?

    Thanks
     

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