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Drive upgrades in a Premiere unit?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by jcostom, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. Sep 11, 2010 #561 of 1486
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    From what I have read, you can only swap drives between Tivos of the same model, e.g., TivoHD -> TivoHD, Premiere XL -> Premiere XL, and you have to do a Clear & Delete everything in order for it to work properly.
    A drive from a TivoHD XL will not work in a Premiere XL.
     
  2. Sep 11, 2010 #562 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Certainly no harm done...except a little bit to your wallet.

    WD A/V dedicated hard drives have several features not found in their standard cousins, one being that the Auto Acoustic Management (AAM) is tuned to it's lowest level (128). That reduces the seek noise of the heads. Unfortunately TiVo by design isn't able to take advantage of the other A/V features of those drives. BTW, that doesn't seem to have made any difference in performance so it may be that SA and other DVR's don't have some of the "performance advantages" that TiVo has and relies on HDD firmware to compensate.

    In any case, the non-A/V WD GP hard drives (the EARS series for example) have proven to work quite well based on numerous posts here and elsewhere. One just needs to adjust the AAM from the stock level to 128 to make them quieter...although they are very quiet out of the box.

    There are mixed reports about the more recently manufactured WD GP drives requiring the Intellipark feature to be extended or disabled to address the soft reboot hang however. If you are so inclined it would be helpful if when you upgrade to skip that step and try a soft reboot after installing your new drive and report back your findings. If you can please include the drive's manufacture date. A number of folks are reporting that drives manufactured sometime in August 2010 and forward haven't required tweaking Intellipark while others have had to do it so there's still no definitive answer. More data points will be very valuable.

    Hope that helped. I guess the short answer is that you've saved yourself a little time. Time is money they say. ;)
     
  3. Sep 11, 2010 #563 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Basically what Steve614 said, but I'm a little confused. Do you have a TiVo Premiere XL and your new TiVo is also a Premiere XL model or is it a standard TiVo Premiere? Or do you have a different combination such as a Premiere XL and a TiVo HDXL?

    In any case, as Steve said, swapping drives is always like-for-like. Although I'm not sure if anyone has posted about trying to swap drives in the same series, but different builds...such as swapping a drive from a TiVo Premiere XL into a standard TiVo Premiere (or vice versa). It might work, but until someone tries it we can't be sure. I can think why it would (the OS matches) as well as why it wouldn't (possible hardware differences the OS may have to deal with).

    One of the keys that Steve mentioned is that a full Clear and Delete Everything is required. That wipes all of the box's "personal" information including recordings, Season Passes, channel info, guide data, cable card pairing and so on. You basically end up with a "new" TiVo. Swapping hard drives is usually a last resort kind of thing.

    All of that said, if you currently have a Premiere XL and you want to swap drives with another Premiere XL, yes that will work, but again, you'd need to run C&DE. If that fits your plans you should be good to go.

    Curious...what do you mean when you say the case is a little "ill fitting"? :confused:

    Anyway, hope that helps!
     
  4. Sep 11, 2010 #564 of 1486
    mkkelly75

    mkkelly75 New Member

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    Hi All, Just wanted to report that I did the upgrade to a 1TB drive this morning. Had a little trouble installing Java to begin with but then I went to the Ubuntu software utility and installed the Java JRE runtime through that and it worked great. :D

    My question now is, should I keep recording until I am past the 20 hours of original HD video capacity to ensure everything is cool?
     
  5. Sep 11, 2010 #565 of 1486
    mkkelly75

    mkkelly75 New Member

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    Of course reading back through the thread I realized I forgot about the Intellipark issue. :( Rebooting now to see if it hangs or not. Guess I am pulling the drive again if it does...
     
  6. Sep 11, 2010 #566 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Congrats and can you let us know one way or the other about the soft reboot...and the manufacture date of your hard drive? TIA!

    With respect to the recordings (20 hours plus) AFAIK a number of folks here have far surpassed that after an upgrade without any problems.
     
  7. Sep 11, 2010 #567 of 1486
    RichB

    RichB Member

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    Both are Premieres one is an XL the other standard.
    I guess I will stay put then.

    The top panel sticks up a bit. I can probably fix it when I swap out the drive.
    Yes. Thanks,

    Rich
     
  8. Sep 11, 2010 #568 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Ah, got it then. Thanks!
     
  9. Sep 11, 2010 #569 of 1486
    mkkelly75

    mkkelly75 New Member

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    I did the soft reboot with no issues. Of course since I forgot about the Intellipark issue I never thought to look at the manufacture date. It is a WD10EARS though. I will yank it back out soon and check (unless it says it on the box somewhere?).
     
  10. Sep 11, 2010 #570 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Understood. AFAIK the manufacture date isn't on the box anywhere, only on the drive itself. Was this a retail box drive (included mounting kit, etc.) or a bare OEM drive? I take it you bought it recently...can you let us know the retailer? TIA for posting the manufacture info at some point.

    Thanks for your patience with all of the questions...the more data points we can get the better it will be to recommend drives and help those that follow.

    Now enjoy!
     
  11. Sep 11, 2010 #571 of 1486
    mkkelly75

    mkkelly75 New Member

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    I bought it at Best Buy, it was a little bit more expensive than online, but I had a gift card and the whole instant gratification thing got the better of me :)
     
  12. Sep 11, 2010 #572 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Thanks...that answers my other question about a retail box Vs OEM drive. Good to know. :up:
     
  13. Sep 11, 2010 #573 of 1486
    mkkelly75

    mkkelly75 New Member

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    My mistake it was a EADS drive and the manufacture date is 20 September 2009. If I had remembered the Intellipark issue before I would have disabled it to begin with, but I have had one soft reboot with no issues, so hopefully I am good to go.:up:
     
  14. Sep 11, 2010 #574 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Still good information...thanks!

    If you conducted a menu reboot once it s/b fine going forward, but there's no harm in trying it again if you get bored. ;)
     
  15. Sep 11, 2010 #575 of 1486
    comer

    comer New Member

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    The most important feature is that AV drives designed/certified to work in always-on 24x7 mode. Other drives are not.
    And Tivo is an always-on environment :)
     
  16. Sep 12, 2010 #576 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    That concept has been discussed here and elsewhere and has some merit. However the difference in drives isn't so much about the time the drive is active but the data throughput/workload demand, error recovery and such.

    Enterprise class hard drives are the workhorses when it comes to 24/7 operations. They have additional sensors (vibration, fly height adjustment, etc.). There are some firmware differences including recovery timing settings (TLER in WD drives for example). The combination of these differences results in higher reliability, which makes a difference in the specifications. For WD the Unrecoverable Bit Error (UBE) is the same for both consumer and enterprise models. So if it were all about 24/7 heavy duty operations, an enterprise class hard drive would be the ideal for TiVo, which of course would be stupendous overkill (not to mention replicating the sound of a thrashing machine :eek:).

    Although it's true that TiVo is reading/writing data 24/7, in a TiVo environment as opposed to a true enterprise/server high performance environment, the workload TiVo (or any other DVR for that matter) handles is light to very light by comparison even when taking into consideration the possibility of processing/recording two HD signals, playback, broadband downloading, etc. all occurring at the same time. That said, a true enterprise drive would think it was on holiday if it were slipped into a TiVo. ;) Having owned and maintained servers I would have never considered using an A/V dedicated hard drive in one, they just aren't cut out for that sort of duty. So it's a bit apples and oranges when it comes down to what drives can and can't do and what makes one better than another.

    TiVo OEM drives have never been enterprise class (5900 RPM with a miniscule 2MB cache). They are however A/V dedicated hard drives. For example the TiVo HD's OEM drive is the WD1600AVBS, and the TiVo HDXL sports a WD10EVVS hard drive.

    Also as mentioned, Western Digital's A/V dedicated hard drives have a number of proprietary features including "Silkstream", "Intelliseek", "Intellipark" and "Preemptive Wear Leveling" (PWL) all of which for one reason or another TiVo cannot take advantage. These added "features" contribute to the cost of the drives but not to any actual performance enhancements in TiVo.

    "Certified" is generally a marketing term with no actual measurable standard. None of the TiVo OEM hard drives are "certified" for anything by their manufacturer Western Digital.

    Going with an A/V dedicated hard drive can certainly do no harm and as mentioned can save some time when it comes to AAM adjustments. With respect to one being "better" than another, the proof is in the performance and to some extent longevity. Based on years of posts here and elsewhere both types of drives perform identically in a TiVo application and mean time to failure (MTTF) rates are just about identical as well. YMMV of course. :)
     
  17. Sep 12, 2010 #577 of 1486
    wp746911

    wp746911 New Member

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    I bought a 2TB OEM (just came in a plastic static bag) harddrive WD20EVDS from frys in arlington, tx. I did not check the manufactor date, but will try to (it's already installed). I did not adjust intellipark and I have rebooted it successfully without any hangups.

    Also, while I'm not sure if the premium I paid for the av drive is worth it (I'm just guessing there reallky isn't much difference), the original tivo internal drive is an av-gp wd 320gb drive...so I replaced it with a drive in the same family, makes me feel good- it seems there is a ~$30 premium I paid to feel good...
     
  18. Sep 12, 2010 #578 of 1486
    wluk

    wluk New Member

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    I had the same problem. Try downloading the bin instead of the rpm.bin file from Java. It should take care of the problem.
     
  19. Sep 12, 2010 #579 of 1486
    comer

    comer New Member

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    Marketing - true. Does not mean anything - not true :) If words "designed for 24x7" do not mean anything, then why not stick them on all models and get ahead of the other guy who didn't? Out of two, average consumer would go for something that looks more reliable, right?
    Even if Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) is the same (sidenote: MTBF is higher for enterprise-level HDs, which is written ih huge bold letters right on the first page about the product - when they can they do ;)) it means that manufacturer will not deal with large volumes of returns of the drives used in 24x7 environment where manufacturer knew they would not last. It's money. So they do advertize drives for 24x7 which can perform, and do not advertize drives that can not perform. Even though they do not give technical details why they think so - it does not mean there are not any reasons for that.
    In microchip world it may be equivalent to sorting out the same batch of chips, made from the same waffer, by the speed at which they can perform reliably. They are identical otherwise! But some make it to 1.3Ghz (just as an example) others only upto 1.0Ghz.
     
  20. Sep 12, 2010 #580 of 1486
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    In the ATL
    Find a study that shows the average MTBF is better on A/V drives than regular consumer drives, and I will agree with you (an actual use case study, not manufacturer claims). Otherwise, it doesn't mean anything in a Tivo which is the point Rich is making. I too do not believe that you will get longer service from an A/V drive, it's all a matter of luck with drives nowadays. Get one from a bad run or bad firmware and it won't matter if it's A/V certified or not, it's going to fail sooner than it should.

    Or maybe it's just cosmic rays, who knows.
     

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