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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Mar 20, 2008 #1061 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    I can't recall what problem(s) you ran into with those. Can you refresh our memories?
     
  2. Mar 20, 2008 #1062 of 10248
    dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
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    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Here.
     
  3. Mar 20, 2008 #1063 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    My money says that TiVo will only allow an "approved" expansion drive to be used with TiVo HD's via plug and play going forward. The TiVo HD software identifies eSATA drives by their model numbers. TiVo had the option of writing the software differently but they chose not to and I don't see that ever changing. Various posts by others indicated that Western Digital has said that they may offer a larger, possibly 1TB version of the WD My DVR Expander sometime late this year. (A stocking stuffer no doubt.)

    Unfortunately your IDE drive would be incompatible with both the Antec MX-1 enclosure (SATA only) as well as your TiVo HD's SATA requirements.

    The WinMFS DIY upgrade for the internal drive is quite easy to use. But if you don't want to deal with that you also have the option of buying a larger pre-imaged drive from DVRUpgrade or Weaknees.
     
  4. Mar 20, 2008 #1064 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Got it. Now I remember reading about it. Quite a strange situation...seems like they should work. :confused:
     
  5. Mar 20, 2008 #1065 of 10248
    dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Maybe after that 3rd drive they'll get it figured out.
     
  6. Mar 20, 2008 #1066 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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  7. Mar 21, 2008 #1067 of 10248
    cab2

    cab2 New Member

    150
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    Sep 17, 2004
    Austin, TX
    I posted about this a bit earlier, but I'm still looking for info from anyone that has seen this before?

    I have the S3 (thx) tivo. I added a Seagate Free Agent Pro 500 gig external drive to it not long after the kickstart hack was made known on these threads here. I noticed at the begining of this week my Tivo S3 now seems to have sorta lost the FAP and it's capacity. The tivo knows it's there, and lists it in the info page, but my recording hours now shows at 32 hours of HD and 300ish for SD. Last week or the last time I had checked, I had the roughly 90 something hours of HD available. I'm trying to figure out what went wrong. The numbers I see on the information screen, are what a S3 would show without an external drive. But that same information screen, shows that I have the FAP drive attached.

    When I added the drive, tivo was running the 8.x software. I know now, that I'm running the 9.x software. When I added the drive, the external storage menu screens were not part of the software. Now I know they have added those screens and you don't have to do the kickstart anymore to add a drive to the S3. I never even looked at the new screens, since my FAP and Tivo were working fine. I tried last night to go to those screens from the Remote, External Devices, etc screen, and after a short 'Please Wait' screen, I get to the same screen again. In other words, I can't see the follow on screens to the External Storage screen. I get stuck in a loop of going from the screen that says Remote Controls, External Storage, (other menu option) to the same screen again, when I do a left arrow on External Storage.

    I'm lost as to what to do next? I've rebooted the tivo. Unplugged the FAP and Tivo, and then plugged things back in again and done the reboot, etc. When all is said and done, same thing. Tivo knows my FAP is there, but is not reporting the additional storage space available.

    I'm still digging around and re-reading everything in this thread, but ???? Any ideas?

    thanks in advance
    cab
     
  8. Mar 21, 2008 #1068 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    That is odd. AFAIK you're the first to report something like that. :confused: Can you check to see exactly what software version you have? How many recordings are in your Recently Deleted folder? Also, are you missing any of your recordings, etc.?
     
  9. Mar 21, 2008 #1069 of 10248
    chewy2314

    chewy2314 New Member

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    Sep 11, 2003
    Northern...
    Okay, last time to bother everyone (at least on this thread). I was successful on using the Samsung 750Gb F1 drive. Use the same WinMFS backup file that I tried unsuccessfully on both the 750Gb and 500Gb WD GP drives. So, it wasn't my setup nor my doing. Just a heads up on those WD AACS-00xxx drives.
     
  10. Mar 22, 2008 #1070 of 10248
    cab2

    cab2 New Member

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    Sep 17, 2004
    Austin, TX
    The software version is 9.2a-01-2-648

    As of this am, there are 0 programs in the deleted folder. And yes, when I first noticed the problem at the begining of the week, i was missing recordings. Thats why I noticed it. along the lines of 'gee, there was more in the now playing list last night'.

    My gut now tells me that maybe the FAP has died some how? The FAP itself looks normal with the Orange light and what not. I was playing with it a bit more last night and did another round of reboots and or plugging in and out. The one thing I have not done is to unplug the FAP and the TIVO and then just run the TIVO without the FAP and see what happens. My guess is that it will show me the same # as far as available time. I'll try that today. IF the drive is not bad, then I really have no clue anymore as to what is wrong. I suppose I could hook the drive to my pc and see what I can see for files or something. I know my pc can't read the native format of the drive now that Tivo has set it up as an external drive. I do have partition magic and a few other tools.

    If it is a dead FAP, then I guess I have to decide to either replace it, with something in an MX-1 setup, or switch to D*, due to all the SDV I can't get here in austin with TWC. The tivo still works fine, I just miss the extra storage I had.
     
  11. Mar 22, 2008 #1071 of 10248
    robostock

    robostock New Member

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    Feb 8, 2008
    Great info! I know have everything apart and I have another question.

    Do i keep my PC's HD connected (C Drive) or do I take it out and just put in the stock TiVo drive and new 1TB drive? I'm running XP Sp2 if that makes any difference.

    Also, if I took out the PC's HD,how would I save the back up file?

    Sorry to be such a newbie about this.
     
  12. Mar 22, 2008 #1072 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Legit questions, no worries. You'll keep your PC's hard drive attached as normal, that's how you'll run WinMFS. (Download the program - I put it on my desktop for easy access and then deleted it when I was done.)

    You'll just connect your TiVo hard drive in addition to the stock drive. If a Windows format window pops up or anything - just cancel it. Run WinMFS and you'll be fine.

    I also have XP Pro/SP2 and it worked perfectly.
     
  13. Mar 22, 2008 #1073 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Since you've lost recordings and your Recently Deleted folder is empty it does indeed sound like your external drive may have bitten the proverbial dust. :(

    I forgot to ask if you tried using another eSATA cable. They are notorious for causing problems. One of the recommended cables such as The SIIG Serial ATA external cable is less than $10.

    Other cable recommendations
    (#25)

    However if TiVo is still recognizing your hard drive odds are it's the drive itself and not the cable.

    If your drive is still under warranty (I think the FAP's have a one-year warranty) you should be able to get a free replacement.

    If it's not the cable the next step will be to properly divorce the eSATA drive. Unplug TiVo, disconnect the eSATA cable, plug TiVo back in and follow the screen directions.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  14. Mar 23, 2008 #1074 of 10248
    derspiess

    derspiess New Member

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    Jul 10, 2007
    Thanks for the info-- I finally got around to doing this & it worked great. Gave me another 6 or 7 hrs. Was so easy to do in winmfs.exe I was skeptical that it even did anything until I checked the drive from the Tivo menu.

    Unrelated, when I pulled the drive I noticed that the jumper was set to limit the transfer rate to 1.5gb/s. I went ahead & pulled it to set it for 3.0gb/s. Does this really make a difference in performance for the drive in a Tivo?
     
  15. Mar 23, 2008 #1075 of 10248
    cab2

    cab2 New Member

    150
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    Sep 17, 2004
    Austin, TX
    Well, here's the update.

    Yes, I am using the 'good' Esata cables. I got it through Amazon. I did have problems with the FAP until I replaced the esata cable I was using with one of the known good ones.

    Booted the tivo without the external drive, got the warning about the divorce, and said ok. When the tivo finally booted up without the FAP, and in (for lack of another word) standalone mode, the #'s were as I expected, the same. Roughly 32 hours of HD and 302 of SD. All the recordings that were showing on the Now Playing list before, were still there, so that tells me that it was not using the FAP even though it recognized it. So, I took the FAP to my pc to see what I could see. Well, nothing. Does tivo use linux as the format for a drive? That I can see with Partition Magic. In any event, everything I had to look at the FAP drive, showed it as an unpartitioned, empty drive. As if it had just come out of the store packaging. What the???? Oh well, just for S&G's I created an extended partition on the drive. I then plugged it into the tivo and rebooted tivo. At this point, Tivo saw it as if I had just connected a new 'unapproved' drive.

    Tivo did it's thing, and I'm back to 92 hours of HD. Ok, so somehow, the FAP seems to have gone back to an unformated state? who knows. Everything seems to be working now, FAP and Tivo, and I have the extra storage space showing up as it should be. I'll monitor it for a little while and see what happens.

    If my luck holds like my past experiance, I'll be the only one in the world that sees something like this. I seem to bring out the 'weird, never seen that before' in just about everything. Bad Karma? :) ;)
     
  16. Mar 23, 2008 #1076 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    Okay, you win the weird story of the month award! That is indeed a new one. :eek:

    In answer to your question, yes, TiVo does use a form of Linux so it's no surprise that your PC didn't recognize it as there's no logical formatting. Subsequently whatever partitions, etc. you may have configured using your PC would have erased the existing data but were deleted when you hooked it back up as TiVo reformats drives when they are initially connected.

    The fact that TiVo recognized your FAP drive when you first installed it, then lost it, but still recognized it's model number is the Twilight Zone part that's fascinating. :confused:

    Anyway, glad you have a proper eSATA cable and even more happy that you've resolved the mystery...sort of. Congrats!! :up:
     
  17. Mar 25, 2008 #1077 of 10248
    RayHs

    RayHs New Member

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    Mar 8, 2008
    Note that I've seen an article that mentions Partition Magic writing data to what it thinks are unused reserved sectors of the hard drive even if no operation is performed. I'd be hesitant to use it to view a drive which may be formatted in a structure that it does not recognize.
     
  18. Mar 25, 2008 #1078 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    Welcome to the forum and thanks for the valuable "heads up" about Partition Magic! :up:
     
  19. Mar 26, 2008 #1079 of 10248
    cab2

    cab2 New Member

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    Sep 17, 2004
    Austin, TX
    Well, I'm not certain about the article you quoted, but in my case, it really doesn't matter. I used PM only to see if it could see anything at all on the drive. PM does now read Linux partitions. I created the blank extended partition on the drive just to confirm that you could do something / write something to the drive. In other words, make sure the drive was useable. I knew that when I hooked it back up to Tivo, Tivo would do it's own formatting as needed to make the drive work.

    As a side note on PM. I have used that tool since day one of it's existance. It orginally started way back when, as a tool only for IBM OS/2 systems. So that gives you a clue as to how far back it's origins go. I was one of the original beta testers for the product before it went live with release 1.0. I loved it then, and I still love it now. I really wish they had not sold out to the Evil God known as Symantec, but I still believe it's a good tool. I have never had a problem with it in all these years. It can be a real life saver. Granted, now there are other tools that do the same or similar functions, but PM really did pioneer the field. The other tools that exist now, pretty much copied the functionality from PM.
     
  20. Mar 26, 2008 #1080 of 10248
    jlb

    jlb NCC-1701-D

    8,154
    9
    Dec 13, 2001
    Newburyport, MA
    The more I peruse this thread is it "expands", the more I know I can handle doing an internal upgrade. But I keep thinking about whatI would do if I muck it up. The DVR Expander is so easy. If WD had a 1tb version out now, or by summer, I would grab it in a heartbeat.

    We're getting a new pc soon. So maybe I use the old PC to consider doing an upgrade.

    I guess what is holding me back the most is that my cable card works fine after my initial install. I would just hate it if an internal upgrade caused me to have to get on the horn with comcast.

    I would be very happy just adding the 500gb external, but I do think (pure supposition) WD will release 1 1TB some time this year. Thus, I wait.
     

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