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Drive upgrades in a Premiere unit?

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

  1. Sep 12, 2010 #581 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    24/7, yes...I was saying that "certified" is a marketing term which has no measurable standard. With respect as to why wouldn't manufacturers claim all hard drives are suitable for 24/7 use, one could cynically argue that it would remove their ability to generate a higher margin for a like product...similar to charging more for a blue car than a white one. But I'm not quite that cynical. ;). I do know that enterprise class drives are actually built differently. I also know that dedicated A/V drives are also built slightly differently...however as mentioned, TiVo cannot (or perhaps doesn't need to) take advantage of the additional features.

    MTBF is in fact higher for enterprise class drives but we need to keep in mind the A/V dedicated drives we're talking about are not enterprise class.

    Anyway, I think we agree that a good A/V dedicated drive is a good investment. From personal experience (I'm using both) and several years of posts on the TCF and other forums, there doesn't seem to be any empirical or really even compelling evidence that they perform any better or worse or last any longer than the recommended "standard" hard drive options.

    That said, the more positive posts I read about 2TB upgrades here...the more difficult it is not to jump on the bandwagon! Thanks very much for your continued hard work on this...you have a lot of happy "customers" (of which I will likely be another pretty soon). :)
     
  2. Sep 12, 2010 #582 of 1486
    comer

    comer New Member

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    Of course :)
    I am a bit bitter because of multiple drive failures I have experienced for the past year. It included WD Caviar Greens. I mentioned it in other posts. However, I replaced it with WD AV-GP drive and it has been fine so far (few months).

    No problem :) As Socrates said in "Peaceful Warrior": "There's no greater purpose than service to others."
     
  3. Sep 12, 2010 #583 of 1486
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    I've been using non Enterprise Drives in TiVos(over two dozen) for almost nine years. I've yet to have an issue with any of them. Even the drives from my philips DirecTv TiVos from the early 2000's are still going strong. I put in 80GB ide drives and my girlfriends neice is using those boxes today with no issues.
    And the next gen Philips DirecTV TiVos I put even larger drives in. I gave them to my a friend and he is still using the three of them. They have been running 24/7 for around six years.
     
  4. Sep 12, 2010 #584 of 1486
    RichB

    RichB Member

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    Massachusetts
    The only TiVo drive failure I had was during a power outage that have about 3 power cycles in about 10 seconds. That killed it. I know it was not a AV drive.

    I now have a UPS on my main TiVo.

    - Rich
     
  5. Sep 12, 2010 #585 of 1486
    donnoh

    donnoh Member

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    Mar 7, 2008
    My take on upgrading drives.
    People that do it don't keep them long enough to know if or when they die. Maybe some do, but if you're an upgrade geek like me as soon as the next upgrade size comes along you go for it.
    Personally the only drives I've seen fail in 24/7 operation were 6-7 years old and I'm talking about PC's that are in an industrial environment.
    I think that the quality of drives available today will last as long as the technology does for 95% of users.
     
  6. Sep 12, 2010 #586 of 1486
    simon7

    simon7 New Member

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    Great discussion on hard drives. Thanks guys, and keep the opinions coming. :)
     
  7. Sep 12, 2010 #587 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    You are one generous kind of guy! ;)
     
  8. Sep 12, 2010 #588 of 1486
    tcfcameron

    tcfcameron (4) 2TB TiVo HDs

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    I've been wanting to say something regarding how some people keep stating that none of these AV feature sets can be utilized by the TiVo (or in this case stating that they can't/won't enhance performance).

    I disagree, but only in a matter of degrees:

    Some feature sets are embedded and operate entirely within the drive. "S.M.A.R.T." is a good basic example. But, if said feature set is also supported by the host, you can get more from the feature (read the SMART data that is stored on the drive, for example). While not the best example, it's one everybody knows of (pretty much). You can also take a SMART capable drive that has been running in a host that doesn't support SMART, move it to one that does, and the SMART data will all be there to read. Now, on the flip side of the coin, there are feature sets that are useless without host support (such as SilkStream, which some day may be advanced enough that the drive itself can detect the type of data and automatically utilize the appropriate feature set, but until/unless that happens, useless).

    Here's some further thoughts, as well as a few quotes from Western Digital's website and spec sheets:

    The current WD20EADS (GP, non-AV) drive specifications include:
    "Intelliseek - Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration." - from WD web site.

    Intelliseek seems to be doing it's job very well with the WD20EADS drives in my four TiVo HDs. (I believe it is also a firmware controlled feature that does not require the host to support it to utilize it.) I have found that my TiVos get laggy when doing things such as reorganizing SPs and other drive-intensive operations if I enable AAM at all, while not making any discernible difference in audible seeking noise. I also tested this by using Hitachi Feature Tool, which allows real-time adjustment of AAM with a slider and allows you to listen as the software makes the drive perform full/random seek operations. My WD20EADS drives (bare OEM from Fry's) came with AAM disabled. I believe they were manufactured in Q3, 2010.

    One feature that is not listed for GP-only (but is listed for WD20EVDS AV-GP):
    "IntelliPark - Delivers lower power consumption by automatically unloading the heads during idle to reduce aerodynamic drag." - this feature is only listed on the spec sheets for the AV-GP, yet if it isn't in the GP-only feature set, why would WDIDLE3 be needed for non-AV models? So, it must be there and function at some capacity, but the TiVos apparently lack a proper command to un-park the heads, thus WD must have began including that into the firmware, making it another fully firmware controlled feature, like IntelliSeek, in the newer (more recently manufactured) drives. It actually seems like there is nearly no need for this feature in an AV-GP drive, yet it has potential for use in GP-only drives, where it isn't listed as a feature. <scratching head on this one>

    This is a feature listed for WD20EADS (GP, non-AV):
    "NoTouch ramp load technology - The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring better drive protection in transit as well as significantly less wear to the recording head and media." -If a TiVo being rebooted from the menu, (hypothetically), sends a "Shut-Down" or "Standby" command to the drive, but something in the newer drives' firmware changed and the "Resume" command isn't properly recognized by the drive firmware, this could explain things with the "soft-reboot issue". Perhaps WDIDLE3 is really adjusting this, when used on GP-only drives. Note that this is not the same as IntelliPark, which could be something that the FAQ could include in the future to avoid confusion (hint-hint, wink).

    Preemptive Wear Leveling (PWL) AV-GP models only:
    "The drive arm frequently sweeps across the disk to reduce uneven wear on the drive surface common to audio video streaming applications." This is a drive firmware controlled feature. It does not matter what the drive is connected to. (Yet, I fail to understand what this could achieve, since WD brags about how "The recording head never touches the disk media..." in both the AV-GP and the GP-only models. How does a head, riding on air, that never touches the platter, cause uneven platter wear?)

    "StableTrac - The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking, during read and write operations. (2 TB models only)" - This isn't listed as a feature on the AV-GP 2TB model, but it is on the GP-only 2TB.

    It seems to me that the GP-only drives may actually have a few features that don't rely on the host they are installed in to be functional, which actually make them better than the AV-GP drives (for TiVo use). One thing that is true, and will certainly be beaten like a dead horse, is that non-AV drives don't have a 24x7 rating. I'm not concerned about it. I care more about "features" and which ones actually are of benefit to me when the host is my TiVo. I've been running hard drives in computers 24x7 for over 10 years, and it's always been the ones that weren't being run 24x7 that died early deaths.

    Yes, I just now realized that this post is a bit off-official-topic. Maybe I'll move it, or just delete it, after a few days... Nothing said here is really different for the Premiere, though, AFAIK...
     
  9. Sep 13, 2010 #589 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Thanks for that and although we've certainly strayed a bit OT, I think these discussions are, if not a little self indulgent, beneficial for a number of reasons.

    I still stand by my and other's supposition that most of the various features in A/V drives either do not enhance TiVo's performance or are not used at all, but your points are well taken.

    Over the years a general rule of thumb has been that it is better to leave a hard drive running 24/7, at least with respect to longevity. Many experts have said that the repeated power surges required to spin up a drive, un-park heads and so on will contribute to a shorter lifespan. So that may explain a little about why A/V drives are touted to be "better" (in a sense) than others.

    In any case, thanks for taking the time to share. I think we agree on things for the most part and we can certainly agree to disagree on some of the finer points.

    Bottom line is that we all want our TiVo's to perform as best as they can for as long as possible and it's conversations like this that can make a difference for those that follow. :up:
     
  10. Sep 13, 2010 #590 of 1486
    RichB

    RichB Member

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    It has been a good discussion; Very informative.

    However, since I already ordered the 2T EARS, the drive is cast :p

    - Rich
     
  11. Sep 13, 2010 #591 of 1486
    gamo62

    gamo62 New Member

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    Is the hard drive in the Premiere an SATA 3 or SATA 6?
     
  12. Sep 13, 2010 #592 of 1486
    kturcotte

    kturcotte New Member

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    I would imagine it's SATA 3. I can't see any benefits to having an SATA 6 controller and SATA 6 drive.
    However, SATA 6 drives are backwards compatible, so they'll work with the Tivo.
     
  13. Sep 13, 2010 #593 of 1486
    cr33p

    cr33p New Member

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    Ann Arbor MI
  14. Sep 13, 2010 #594 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    The hard drive inside the TiVo Premiere is a 320GB SATA- 2, WD3200AVVS.
     
  15. Sep 13, 2010 #595 of 1486
    gamo62

    gamo62 New Member

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    I miagine that it would be overkill.
     
  16. Sep 13, 2010 #596 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    And the price continues to drop. 2TB WD GP Hard Drive - WD20EARS for $94.99 w/free shipping...

    http://dell.to/bmW3pA
     
  17. Sep 13, 2010 #597 of 1486
    orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    Not to veer too far off topic, but are the drives being discussed (EADS/EARS) good for NAS applications? I keep my machines running 24/7, but not nearly with the read/write workload like a TiVo has. What would be good in a NAS (thinking of the ReadyNAS discussed in other threads) or other type of RAID setup?
     
  18. Sep 13, 2010 #598 of 1486
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    It really depends on what you want your NAS to do. They would be fine as long as you didn't need high read/write/access speeds. WD GP drives are not up to the performance of full/standard 7200 RPM drives. The GP drives do use less energy, run quiet and cool though. If you're planning on streaming video you should probably go with the WD Black series or a similar drive from another manufacturer.

    We have a D-Link 323 NAS w/2 1TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000.c drives inside running RAID 1 (mirrored). It works fine for our purposes, saving and streaming our iTunes and iPhoto libraries as well as copies of our DVD movie library that I rip to it.

    That said, you're right, recommendations for NAS hardware, RAID setups, etc. are probably pretty far OT and best discussed on forums like the Broadband DSL or SmallNetBuilder. Plus I'm sure you'll get better information from the "experts" there rather than folks that only know enough to be dangerous like me. ;)
     
  19. Sep 13, 2010 #599 of 1486
    RichB

    RichB Member

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    Massachusetts
    I have 6 2TEADS green drives in my ReadyNas.
    I can write to the NAS at around 90MB/sec.

    - Rich
     
  20. Sep 13, 2010 #600 of 1486
    Bai Shen

    Bai Shen Toboggan noggin

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    Dec 17, 2004
    I've got two EARS drives in my Drobo. No problems so far.
     

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