1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Oct 30, 2008 #1881 of 10248
    Joe3

    Joe3 Member

    284
    0
    Dec 12, 2006
    Thinking and hesitant about internal upgrade to 1TB.

    Did anyone have any problems with upgrading/changing the Series 3 built-in and linking it back to the existing external drive?

    Did you suffer the loss of your recordings?

    Did you give up the Plug and Play feature?

    Did the upgrading prevent the normal linking to the external drive after freezes and subsequent reboots?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Oct 30, 2008 #1882 of 10248
    ccrider2

    ccrider2 New Member

    100
    0
    Nov 1, 2007
    Seagate ST31000340AS Installed, Supersized, 131 HD hours, so far so good. I can't even hear the thing run.
    Of coarse I spent 31 years of my life in a noisy GM plant. :D

    The whole process was rather straight-forward, once I got the PNY SATA card in the 1Ghz P3 to see the TiVo drive. I first had both drives installed in "Metal Gear" external boxes on the PNY e-sata ports, winmfs saw the new drive but not the TiVo drive. Tried swapping the drives, thinking that a box or port was bad...the problem moved with the swap.
    My solution:
    The PNY card has two internal SATA ports. I reconfigured the PNY card to use one of those for the TiVo drive, and it worked. Like the MFS sw doesn't like to see an internal TiVo drive on an e-sata port, if that makes any sense.

    Anyway, all seems well, and I'm HAPPY! :D

    Chris
     
  3. Oct 30, 2008 #1883 of 10248
    GregComeLately

    GregComeLately New Member

    119
    0
    Nov 27, 2006
    western...
    Thanks for your typically excellent feedback, Greg & Rich. :)

    I forgot to mention in my original post that I HAD plugged both drives in to my computer power supply (a replacement Antec Seasonic-made power supply I installed about 6 months ago, not the original generic, questionable quality one it came with), along with plugging in a separate sata cable for each.

    I attached both drives via the extra molex connectors available with the power supply. Are you saying that the molex type of connectors won't work?

    I tried a few of them (molex connectors on the Antec PS), including the one which was working for the new replacement drive, just in case the one I attached to the original Tivo drive was defective. None of these attempts got the original Tivo drive to power up either, but the intended replacement drive powered up with any molex connector I tried. perplexing.

    That's why I didn't even get as far as looking into the BIOS question. The original Tivo drive wouldn't ever power up for me, no matter which molex connector, sata cable (4 tried) or sata motherboard connection (2 total, both tried) combination I attempted. But with the intended replacement drive, all of these same connections that had previously failed with the original drive ALWAYS managed to work for me, i.e., both power up and show up in the mfstools software. :confused:


    Yep, I tried a couple different versions of that and another type of sata cable; a non-locking blue one and a pink locking style version, both from monoprice.

    Unless someone chimes in with some other ideas, I guess I'm going to have to give it another try, hoping that I somehow managed to overlook something. I just don't see how though.

    My backup plan: I now have access to a second computer, a Lenovo laptop. Unfortunately, I am going to have to pick up a dual sata laptop express card to plug into it, just to be prepared should the desktop computer method not work again. It could be a waste of time/money, but I will need to be prepared with this alternative method of doing the upgrade, which I assume would work, should my second attempt with my desktop computer fail again.
     
  4. Oct 30, 2008 #1884 of 10248
    GregComeLately

    GregComeLately New Member

    119
    0
    Nov 27, 2006
    western...
    Well for the seeming vast majority, using the recommended method/software described throughout this thread, everything goes without a hitch with respect to all of your concerns.

    The one thing I noticed as being a problem with the instructions (page one of this thread, about half way down the page for instructions pertaining to replacement of original drive) is the lack of explanation/pictures of how to remove the original Tivo drive. I had to google the info because once I cracked open the case, it wasn't immediately obvious to me which set of screws I had to remove to get the hard drive out. Then the combo power/data harness connected to the drive threw me off too. It was connected so very tightly that I began to think that I was doing something wrong and would damage something if I kept pulling on it.

    I eventually found a picture by picture description of the removal process which gave me more confidence about how to proceed. Sorry, don't remember the link.
     
  5. Oct 31, 2008 #1885 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    There's no need to be nervous IMHO...upgrading is quite simple and almost always works without fail.

    - Not sure what you mean in your first question. I had no problems with my Series3 1TB upgrade if that helps. :) And as Mr. ComeLately said earlier, there are many, many folks here that have performed this upgrade for over a year now without any problems.

    - No loss of recordings if you follow the proper winMFS directions. That said, based on your second question, it sounds like you have an eSATA drive. If that's the case you should plan on losing all of your recordings made since the eSATA drive was connected unless you want to go through a fairly complicated linux boot disk copy process to save everything. If you have another TiVo you can use MRV to transfer recordings you want to save. Or you can use TiVo DeskTop to move them to your PC (if they aren't copy protected).

    - I did give up the plug and pray eSATA feature. I used to have an eSATA drive connected, but I opted to just upgrade the internal drive because 1TB gave me more than enough recording space (I save things I want to keep on my computer and/or edit and burn them to a DVD). But I can always go back and marry an eSATA drive to my 1TB drive with a couple of clicks of the same program I used to upgrade the internal drive. If you have an operating eSATA drive now, you can marry it to your internal drive at the same time as you do your internal upgrade and use both right away.

    - It sounds like you're having freeze/reboot problems and you're attributing them to the internal drive. To be sure that's the case and since you're thinking about upgrading the internal drive, I would disconnect the eSATA drive and properly divorce it (unplug TiVo and the eSATA drive > disconnect the eSATA drive from TiVo > plug TiVo back in and follow the on-screen instructions). If TiVo runs fine I'd troubleshoot the eSATA drive before making the upgrade. If it still has freeze/reboot problems without the eSATA drive a number of people have reported that replacing their hard drive fixed them but there's no guarantee of course as something else may be causing the issues. NOTE: If you divorce your eSATA drive you will lose all recordings made since it was connected.

    In any case, if you're comfortable connecting a hard drive to your computer and using a simple copying program, you shouldn't be nervous about upgrading. :up:
     
  6. Oct 31, 2008 #1886 of 10248
    Joe3

    Joe3 Member

    284
    0
    Dec 12, 2006
    Thanks guys! :up:

    The orig. HD and 750 Seagate Pro external gives me 1TB and I would hate to give up all those recording and start over. Off loading High Deff to the laptop and external storage is like watching grass grow as far as transfer speed. I will have to wait for HD problems or a tool that could do the total job.
     
  7. Oct 31, 2008 #1887 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Sounds good. If you're not having any issues and the space you have meets your needs, then I agree that there's really no need to make any changes. :up:
     
  8. Oct 31, 2008 #1888 of 10248
    Imhof

    Imhof New Member

    2
    0
    Oct 6, 2008
    HI

    I just tried to add a WD 500GB esata drive to my TIVO S3. I connected both drives to my compter via Esata to USB devices and ran the WINMFS V9.2 application. I was able to select both drives and then run the MFSADD tool. Program stated it was successful. When I put Tivo back together and power it up it just sits in the start up screen and then every now and then reboots. If I boot up the Tivo without the second drive attached, Tivo brings up a screen telling me it can't find the second drive and without this it cannot operate. I have tried the process several times with no luck.


    Has anyone ran into this? Know a fix?
     
  9. Nov 1, 2008 #1889 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Welcome to the forum but sorry it's under not so great circumstances. A couple of quick questions about what you're trying to do...

    Before trying to add the new eSATA drive had you upgraded the internal drive previously?

    When you say it sits at the "start up screen" do you mean the "powering up" screen or the "just a few minutes more" screen?

    I'm not doubting you, but AFAIK there isn't a screen that says TiVo "can't find the second drive and without this it cannot operate." Do you mean the "hard drive missing" screen comes up when you start TiVo without the external drive? If so, did you follow the instructions? (Press thumbs down three times and then press "Enter") That should cause TiVo to reboot and go through a process that may take a little time and either boot up or reboot once more and then start normally.

    Which WD drive (model number) are you trying to use?

    What enclosure and cable are you trying to use?

    Answers to these questions and any other information you can give will be helpful. Bottom line is we/you should be able to get it to work. Worst case is that you may have to reimage the internal drive with Instant Cake but whatever happens it should come back to life with a little help.
     
  10. Nov 1, 2008 #1890 of 10248
    Imhof

    Imhof New Member

    2
    0
    Oct 6, 2008


    Thanks the response.

    The drive inside my TIVO box is original and I had not made any modifications to it until I tried to add the second drive.

    The second Drive is a WD500H1CS-00 It is an external drive and I am using the enclosure it came with.

    I'm not exactly sure which cable I am using, a friend of mine ordered it for me, but I believe it was listed on this forum as one of the cables that works with TIVO.

    After doing the add with the second drive plugged in, the TIVO sits in the " powering up" screen and then every couple mins resets itself.

    If I unplug the drive, the tivo will go into the "hard drive missing" screen. I am able to follow the instructions and get the TIVO back online without the second drive (sorry for the confusion on this one).

    I was also able to reconnect both drives to my computer and use the divorce function to restore the internal drive.

    I would love to get this working, so any suggestions you have would be great.

    Thanks
     
  11. Nov 1, 2008 #1891 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Ah...I think I see the problem...perhaps two of them.

    First based on the model number, the Western Digital eSATA drive you're trying to use, the WD My Book Home Edition, will not work. It is one of the few eSATA drives that is not compatible with TiVo Series3's (and IIRC TiVo HD's). There's something about the three-way bridge that is problematic for TiVo's.

    Then, just to confirm (and I should have asked earlier) you said you have a TiVo "S3". Here that means a Series3. This is a TiVo HD. The reason we need to clarify is that you can add a (compatible) eSATA drive to the TiVo Series3 via plug and play. There's no need to pull the internal drive or run any programs at all. You just have to connect it correctly:

    Unplug your TiVo Series3.
    Connect the eSATA drive to TiVo.
    Plug in the eSATA drive and turn it on...wait about 10 seconds for it to fully spin up.
    Plug TiVo back in and follow the on-screen instructions.

    The only time you'd need to run winMFS is if you wanted to add an eSATA drive to a Series3 which had a previously upgraded internal hard drive.

    On the other hand TiVo HD's can only accept the TiVo approved Western Digital My DVR Expander unless you run winMFS to marry an "unapproved" drive to it.

    Soooo, if you do have a Series3 and you tried to marry an external drive using winMFS...AFAIK, that's a first! If you properly divorced the drive (and it sounds like you did) and TiVo is running fine things should be okay.

    You'll need to return the eSATA drive you have, get one that is compatible, correctly connect it and you should be in business. If you want a 500GB eSATA drive my advice would be to simply buy the approved WD My DVR Expander. That will work with your TiVo Series3 or a TiVo HD.

    If you want to do a little more work you could buy one of the recommended hard drives and enclosures and be in business as well. The 500GB WD GP (or larger) series of hard drives are recommended (for external use) as is the Antec MX-1 enclosure ($29.99 at amazon.com right now which is a very good price).

    Hope that helps but before you go any further I'd strongly recommend doing a little homework. Read through the very first post of Official eSATA Drive Expansion: FAQ + Discussion on this sticky thread. Recommended hard drives, usage, etc...basically everything you need to know is there. If you still have questions after that feel free to ask! :)
     
  12. Nov 3, 2008 #1892 of 10248
    Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

    1,664
    4
    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    One month later; the 1TB Fantom Drive is still :up: working, though it's a little louder now than when it was empty. Still, I have to open the cabinet doors to hear it.
     
  13. Nov 3, 2008 #1893 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Nice! And thanks for keeping us posted. :up:
     
  14. Nov 5, 2008 #1894 of 10248
    docnaks

    docnaks New Member

    15
    0
    Oct 17, 2007
    Question...my S3 warranty is up soon (1 year); I've opened, built and upgraded more than a few computers in my day, and I think I have the skills to do an internal upgrade. Would most of you out there do an internal upgrade or add an eSATA HDD? I'd like to up the capacity now that I have HDTV, I'm just a little shaky on my skills and ability to use winMFS. I've read the posts, and I think I could do it, but I'm a little confused on the super size step. The step-by-step guide says to do it one way, but the posts mention a missed step?
     
  15. Nov 5, 2008 #1895 of 10248
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,384
    0
    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    Definately would recommend upgrading the internal drive and forgoe the external. I haven't even bothered remarrying my external since upgrading to 1TB internal.

    To tell you the truth I never even bothered with the SuperSize step. I guess I forgot. It doesn't add much more space anyways when dealing with a 1TB drive. (But that one post is just saying make sure you have the right drive selected before telling it to supersize. Really easy.)
     
  16. Nov 5, 2008 #1896 of 10248
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    1,063
    0
    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    Yes, always go with the internal upgrade first as long as opening the TiVo does not give you a quesy feeling in your stomach. You already have the necessary level of knowledge to proceed.
     
  17. Nov 5, 2008 #1897 of 10248
    DallasFlier

    DallasFlier HONESTY is nice...

    120
    0
    Jan 23, 2003
    Plano, TX
    website glitch - double post - deleted!
     
  18. Nov 5, 2008 #1898 of 10248
    DallasFlier

    DallasFlier HONESTY is nice...

    120
    0
    Jan 23, 2003
    Plano, TX
    I was the one who posted about the missed step - and I think the step by step guide in the first post of this thread now has been corrected to add that step in. As has been said, its pretty easy - just select the correct drive before doing the supersize command.

    I'd definitely recommend that you do the internal upgrade first. The most likely failure point of the entire TiVo is the hard drive. Put two drives into your configuration, and you've simply doubled the chances of failure - and since failure of EITHER drive means you end up losing all your shows, the internal drive upgrade and a single drive configuration is definitely the most reliable.

    As for saying the supersize step should isn't a big deal because it doesn't add that much capacity - well, it moves the available HD capacity from 131 hours to 144, a 13 hour difference. The baseline TiVo HD's total capacity is 20 hours of HD. So, I'd say 13 hours of additional FREE capacity in exchange for performing a 10 second command during the upgrade is a pretty damn good tradeoff, but that's just me. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Nov 5, 2008 #1899 of 10248
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,384
    0
    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    Very good point. Guess I was thinking it was much less than that. :eek:

    I must have done that command cause mine is at 144 HD hours currently. :p
     
  20. Nov 5, 2008 #1900 of 10248
    docnaks

    docnaks New Member

    15
    0
    Oct 17, 2007
    Thanks for the advice! As soon as my S3 hits its one year anniversary, I'll try the internal upgrade.
     

Share This Page