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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Apr 20, 2008 #1241 of 10248
    aztecgizmo

    aztecgizmo New Member

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    Feb 24, 2008
    I just installed an internal 750GB Seagate hard drive. Does anyone know how many HD hours the TIVO should be reading (how many hours of HD recording time)?
     
  2. Apr 20, 2008 #1242 of 10248
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    6,724
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    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    It should tell you in the system info screen.
     
  3. Apr 20, 2008 #1243 of 10248
    dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    A dvrupgrade.com replacement drive kit nets 107 hd hours. That's what I use to compare. If you don't read that many, maybe you didn't supersize.
     
  4. Apr 21, 2008 #1244 of 10248
    JayBird

    JayBird New Member

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    Jan 25, 2003
    Gilbert, AZ
    Ok, so it's been a few weeks, and it appears the 750GB Seagate DB35.3 drive in my MX-1 is not happy. It's still working OK, but it makes a loud chattering sound a lot of the time. Even if it's not actually failing, I want to replace it anyway. The drive I put inside the TiVo (same model drive) isn't making the same sound, so I assume this isn't normal behavior for this model of drive.

    I ordered another drive (same 750GB Seagate DB35.3), so when it arrives, I want to just clone the current external drive to the new drive and put the new drive in the MX-1. It's my understanding that if I use the exact same size and model of drive, that the TiVo won't notice (or won't care) that the drive was swapped out (right?). Obviously my goal is to not lose my recordings if at all possible.

    So what's the best/fastest way to clone the drive? I know I could use dd, but that could take days on a 750GB drive. At least at the moment, there isn't a whole lot of stuff recorded, so there's presumably a lot of blank space on the drive that doesn't need to be copied. Is there a "smart" means to copy the drive that only copies the current recordings, but not all the blank space? Can I use MFSCopy on a second drive (aka 'B' drive) to clone it to another drive? Or am I stuck using dd to make this work?
     
  5. Apr 21, 2008 #1245 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    That's a good question. IIRC someone did use dd to successfully clone their expansion drive, but something quicker would be ideal.

    I'd also be very interested to know the outcome. Thanks for being a TiVo Pioneer! :up:
     
  6. Apr 22, 2008 #1246 of 10248
    JayBird

    JayBird New Member

    163
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    Jan 25, 2003
    Gilbert, AZ
    Got confirmation over on the mfslive.org forum that dd is the only way to clone a 'B' drive all by itself.

    According to post #1203 in this thread, PaulPW had success using dd, so at least there is a solution that works, albeit slow.

    Now I'm just waiting for that replacement drive to show up via the big brown truck. It should be here tomorrow.
     
  7. Apr 22, 2008 #1247 of 10248
    ilh

    ilh New Member

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    Dec 21, 2007
    Why do you say dd will be slow? It's just doing low-level block reads/writes, so it shouldn't be any slower than anything else.

    I'd estimate about 3h for 750GB if you have direct SATA connections.
     
  8. Apr 23, 2008 #1248 of 10248
    JayBird

    JayBird New Member

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    Jan 25, 2003
    Gilbert, AZ
    dd is slow because it's copying every single block on the disk, as opposed to just copying the filesystem stuff and the recorded programs (skipping all unused blocks).

    If the disk is full of recorded programs, then you don't gain anything with a "smart" copy, but in my case, where there's only a handful of recorded programs on my TiVo HD, it would be much faster to just copy the content instead of the whole disk.

    But if it can be done in 3 hours, I can certainly live with that. The sustained transfer rate of Seagate drives is only around 100 MB/sec, regardless of interface, so I will likely use USB connections (one using the USB port on my MX-1 case, and the other using a USB->SATA adapter). As long as they are connected to root ports on the computer (i.e. not through a hub) and the ports are USB 2.0 (480 MB/sec), then doing it this way should be just as fast as connecting directly to the SATA ports on the motherboard, without having to shut down or open up the computer. My point is that the performance bottleneck is the transfer rate of the drives, not the interface.
     
  9. Apr 23, 2008 #1249 of 10248
    Fireaxe

    Fireaxe TV Geek/Smoke Eater

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    Apr 26, 2002
    Clovis, CA
    I just unboxed the Western Digital drive purchased directly from TiVo and it will not initialize. The TiVo software asks if I want to setup the drive, I do the three thumbs down and enter.. when the TiVo restarts it does not use the external drive. It asks if I want to initialize the drive all over again. I've done this five times. What can I do besides return the drive to TiVo? I have a series 3 HD Tivo.
     
  10. Apr 24, 2008 #1250 of 10248
    moxie1617

    moxie1617 New Member

    345
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    Jan 4, 2004
    Chicago...
    You can try a new e-sata cable. See II 26 in the 1st post of this thread for specs and ordering info.
     
  11. Apr 25, 2008 #1251 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    As moxie points out...the eSATA cables supplied with the WD My DVR expander were known to have caused problems. Most of the complaints were back when it was first introduced last autumn. Western Digital seems to have cleaned up their act more recently.

    However, if your TiVo is asking if you'd like to set the drive up it sounds like the cable may not be the problem. First be sure you're following the installation steps correctly:

    1. Unplug TiVo
    2. Connect your eSATA drive and plug it in (give it a few seconds to spin up)
    3. Plug TiVo back in
    4. Follow the on-screen instructions

    If you're doing all of that and TiVo recognizes that you have a new drive connected it may be that the expansion drive itself is DOA. IIRC there have been at least three similar reports. That happens. Best bet is to return it to TiVo or Western Digital (I can't remember which it ends up being...call TiVo first).

    You missed an "I". The cable info is actually in Section III, #26. ;)
     
  12. Apr 25, 2008 #1252 of 10248
    moxie1617

    moxie1617 New Member

    345
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    Jan 4, 2004
    Chicago...
    :eek: oops
     
  13. Apr 25, 2008 #1253 of 10248
    JayBird

    JayBird New Member

    163
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    Jan 25, 2003
    Gilbert, AZ
    My attempt to replace my failing external drive for my TiVo HD with an exact replacement did not go as successfully as I had hoped. I encountered several read errors when trying to clone the failing drive to the new drive (both 750GB Seagate DB35.3 drives). Hoping that those errors corresponded to irrelevant sectors, I tried booting my TiVo HD with the replacement external drive connected after having copied what I could, only to either get the "external drive not connected" screen asking me to divorce the drive and lose some of my recordings, or it would hang or spontaneous reboot during boot.

    In the end, I gave up, turned off the external drive, rebooted TiVo, and agreed to divorce the external drive, losing the extra recording capacity, and most of the recordings. The good thing is that there really wasn't much stored on the TiVo at this point. The only thing I'm bummed about losing was the 10 year anniversary special of Big Cat Diary in HD, which isn't on the schedule to be shown again.

    Now I need to start over, taking my TiVo HD apart again, in order to marry the replacement external drive to the drive inside the TiVo. According to mfslive.org, at least with earlier versions of the TiVo software you have to run fixdivorce before trying to add a new B drive after using TiVo's built-in divorce process. I don't know if you still need to do that for the 9.3 software though. Does anybody know?

    - Jay
     
  14. Apr 26, 2008 #1254 of 10248
    husky55

    husky55 Member

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    Feb 2, 2008
    Madison, CT
    I already have the internal drive replaced with a WD 1 TB in my TivoHD. Can I use WINMFS to add the new Esata drive or the Linux version is the only way to add Esata for the TivoHD ?

    I had some problem with the Linux version when I upgrade the internal hard drive so I am reluctant to use it.

    Thanks,
     
  15. Apr 26, 2008 #1255 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Yes, you should be able to use WinMFS to add your new eSATA drive. Section III #10 of the first post on this thread has the details, but IIRC you just select your original drive as "A"; your eSATA drive as "B" then tools > mfsadd.
     
  16. Apr 26, 2008 #1256 of 10248
    husky55

    husky55 Member

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    Feb 2, 2008
    Madison, CT
    @richadams,

    Thanks for the confirm. This forum is a better place because of guys like you. Much appreciated.

    :)
     
  17. Apr 27, 2008 #1257 of 10248
    Elias85018

    Elias85018 New Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    I have a Series3 Tivo & a Best Buy gift certificate.

    I have seen people post many options for increasing the size of their Tivo on this thread but left with a few questions.

    Since I am "Stuck" at purchasing at Best Buy, I have only certain choices to increase my Tivo

    1) My DVR Expanader (500GB)
    2) Some replacment of my original INTERNAL 250GB SATA drive.

    I think I would rather swap out the Internal 250GB with a 1T and put the 250GB in a safe place. Would everyone agree that if I don't mind the extra work, this is the best option?

    My question is:

    1) What drives are compatible to replace the INTERNAL Series 3 drive, again stuck at purchasing at Best Buy. I see several WD drives on their site, can't find the "WD10EVCS".

    Thanks so much to reading,

    Gary
     
  18. Apr 27, 2008 #1258 of 10248
    dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
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    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    The WD10EVCS is the model number(partial) of the bare drive inside the box. It is not the same as the model numbers given on the website, which are the retail box(kit) model numbers. The WD10EVCS is a very recent release and seems to be marketed as a dvr drive. Often, these type drives are not available at retail stores. They are usually just sold as bare drives by specialty computer stores, usually online.

    In all likelyhood, a 1TB Western D purchased at BB will have a model number of WD10EACS-00ZJB0. This is the only drive that is consistently reported to not work as internal on the Tivo Model S3. Since you are locked into BB, it still might not be a bad idea to buy a drive and see what model you actually get. You may be lucky and get the earlier model which did work. Remember though, the model number on the retail box is not an indication of the actual bare drive model number. You will have to open the box to find out. Remember to check the return/exchange policy.

    If you don't want to go that route, it looks like the only other internal 1TB drive they offer is the Seagate. Some people(picky, sensitive) report Seagates, in general, to be a little loud, but they do have the 5yr warranty. This model was just released in the last month or so, so I have not read any reports on it. Unless you plan to use it in the bedroom, it should be fine. The Seagate was onsale a week or so ago for $179.xx, so you might want to wait until it runs again, and save $80.

    If you do happen to be in BB, also look for the Hitachi external 1TB Easy Drive. They have been on clearance($130 about), and are mostly gone. The external case on these have been problematic, but the bare drive inside, the Hitachi Deskstar, is a gem. This is the internal on my Tivo HD. I also use the WD10EACS, discussed above, as external on the HD. Of course it also works fine as internal on the Tivo HD.
     
  19. Apr 27, 2008 #1259 of 10248
    jlb

    jlb NCC-1701-D

    8,142
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    Dec 13, 2001
    Newburyport, MA
    Ok. I have gotten over my fear of messing up the drive and would consider doing an internal upgrade as opposed to the My DVR Expander. My only current "fear" is if something happens related to the M-Card. I know it shouldn't, but I would hate to have that happen.

    Of course, if there was proof of a 1TB Expander on the horizon, my decision would be done.
     
  20. Apr 27, 2008 #1260 of 10248
    husky55

    husky55 Member

    175
    0
    Feb 2, 2008
    Madison, CT
    I actually had the same apprehension. Be very careful with all the connection, use Winmfs instead of the Linux CD version (for whatever reason, I had trouble with Linux, thinking it was the trouble free way, but I was wrong. I have my Sata configured as ACHI instead of the regular IDE, also have DVDR sata drive, so that might mess it up). If your Tivo with the M-Card works fine before the upgrade, it will work fine after the upgrade.


    I use the original HD as a backup with all info of the M-card and Tivo subscription on it if anything goes wrong.
     

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