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Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by amseven11, Aug 20, 2013.
Does Tivo support NCQ? I know the drive can do it if it has the right firmware.
That is not entirely true as they all have different firmware and that firmware or drive profiles that are optimized for a particular environment.
It was more of a general concept that I was speaking too. But in theory most of the drives in one model type or another are the same. Be it Green/Black/red Most Green drives leave the factory with the same firmware at that time and then new firmware comes out. And yes a (drive profile) will have the best firmware at that time for the drive performance or environment. I hope I make sense
But a bigger question is it better to TAX a drive performance with NCQ if the OS or the system it's going in does not support it. Why buy a drive with NCQ and the drive working that much harder
The source code says it does. But if the Tivo encounters too many errors (or specific types of errors) it disables it. It can also slow down the transfer speed or switch from DMA to PIO mode if needed.
The followings are speed down rules. #1 and #2 deal with
* DUBIOUS errors.
* 1. If more than one DUBIOUS_ATA_BUS or DUBIOUS_TOUT_HSM errors
* occurred during last 5 mins, SPEED_DOWN and FALLBACK_TO_PIO.
* 2. If more than one DUBIOUS_TOUT_HSM or DUBIOUS_UNK_DEV errors
* occurred during last 5 mins, NCQ_OFF.
* 3. If more than 8 ATA_BUS, TOUT_HSM or UNK_DEV errors
* ocurred during last 5 mins, FALLBACK_TO_PIO
* 4. If more than 3 TOUT_HSM or UNK_DEV errors occurred
* during last 10 mins, NCQ_OFF.
* 5. If more than 3 ATA_BUS or TOUT_HSM errors, or more than 6
* UNK_DEV errors occurred during last 10 mins, SPEED_DOWN.
I don't see any error handling for the media streaming features, but I'll take a second look later.
Good to know. Thank You
I installed a 3TB Seagate NAS drive in the Roamio Plus on Monday. It's been fine so far. Much cooler and quieter than the 7200RPM drive. I've been using 8 4TB Seagate NAS drive in my Synology DS1813+ for WMC iSCSI recording. I'm enjoying the just works simplicity of TiVo though.
Edit: I installed the 3TB Seagate NAS drive right out of the box without powering on.
I should say the kernel fully supports NCQ. The kernel does not support the Broadcom chip directly, and I don't know if there's a separate SATA controller or if Tivo is using the one native to the Broadcom chip. Without knowing that, I can't tell if NCQ is in use. It SHOULD be in use based on what I've seen.
I don't see the streaming commands. They were not supported in the kernel. Maybe the MFS code in usr has them, and I suppose you could implement them that way, but that's provided in compressed binary and I can't tell.
Any idea on the 4TB internal upgrade? Weakness has them up for sale since the 13th. I have a 4TB drive but when it says something is wrong with the drive and to hit select to format it, it'll restart and I'll get that option again...
Any ideas how he got it to work?
Why don't you email and ask him? Obviously by figuring this out first they are trying to earn a profit and who can blame them?
I imagine that at some point someone else will figure it out and MFSTools, etc, will have the capability to "prep" a 4TB drive but I am skeptical that you will ever be able to simply pop it into the current Roamio generation and have it automatically format.
I agree. I think the first step for all of the tool authors is understanding the current APM 3TB partition on the Pro and using that to understand how the APM 4TB partition table should be formatted. Right now, Weaknees has a strong incentive to provide higher capacity storage options.
Based on his findings, I believe ggieseke was good on the understanding but needed time to rewrite the DvrBARS tool to support it.
I don't know why, but TiVo always seems to set up MFS media region 2 as 55% of the drive and physically it's right after the APM. That's followed by the rest of the partitions and then MFS media region gets whatever is left over at the end of the drive.
That's probably why it won't auto format a 4TB drive. 55% of 4 trillion plus the other partitions would push the last partition past the 2TB starting point. If you shrink MFS media partition 2 down a bit so that MFS media partition starts at 0xFFFFFFF8 or earlier you can still utilize all of a 4TB drive.
I suspect that's what Weaknees did, but exactly how is a good question. Unless TiVo changes the algorithm they use to split up a drive, auto-format will probably never work.
It's POSSIBLE that just writing block 0 and the APM is enough to let a Roamio take over from there and create all of the appropriate MFS headers and zones. If anyone has the necessary hardware to try out that theory let me know and I can probably cook up something to write those first 64 sectors.
I do have all the hardware, let me know what you want me to do! Can easily swap out drives with my desktop and or whatever OS instructions your comfortable with (it primarily runs OSX but can do Windows + Ubuntu).
Let me know!
I did find a new pdisk64 tool that Tivo wrote. The dpme.h file describes the changes they made to the APM, and they modified it to use type u64 to hold the drive size. They put the partition size as a 64 bit number at the very end of the block, put a zero in the traditional 32-bit partition size location, and use a special signature to identify that APM block. I attached the .h file.
The odd part is that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. The foundation is there to use a drive of any size, but the other tools in Tivo don't appear to take advantage of it. Maybe they wrote pdisk64 thinking they had to do it that way but instead discovered the workaround they're currently using.
Just picked up my Roamio Plus. Will stick with the 150 hours for now and keep an eye out for progress on cracking the 3TB threshold. I have a spare 4TB drive I could throw in, or else I still have a 2TB drive from my Premiere I can throw in as well.
I can test also if needed for a 4TB drive.
The reason for the Red drives is NAS environments. Once you have two or three or four spindles in play along with R5, the increased access time and rotational latency from a 5400rpm disk isn't quite as noticeable. Plus, a lot of NAS access is large file storage - direct streaming to/from the media - which 5400 RPM drives do almost as well as a 7200rpm disk. These days the biggest "gain" in speed on a 7.2k drive comes from the lower access time. For stuff like storing ripped DVDs or music, it's not as big of a deal.
Yeah, for an enterprise setup you use 7.2k drives, but for a home setup with only 2-5 "users" and most of them NOT simultaneous, the power savings and heat/noise bonuses from the slower drives are a worthwhile trade-off, along with price.
The big difference between Red & Green beyond the warranty is that the Red do TLER. Rather than sitting and retrying a read/write for a long time (which can cause a drive to fall out of the array), they mark the sector bad, which will trigger it to be rebuilt by the RAID system, and everything continues on mostly normal. I believe that the AV drives may be the same (quickly erroring and moving on rather than hanging up retrying a read/write which can cause UI experience to suffer) but there's no true way to know without working at WD and/or digging through their spec sheets. The AV drives specifically advertise the "AV streaming" command set, but I thought that was part of the later SATA spec anyway...
I'm trying to decide if I want to specifically buy an AV drive for the Tivo that's in my Amazon cart, or if I want to yank one of the WD Reds that is in my Windows Media Center system instead... The Red is "free" for me (already purchased), while a new AV = higher outlay.
NCQ doesn't generally benefit in a linear access pattern like streaming video. Possibly with multiple streams simultaneously it could help, but NCQ normally has the best impact on a "multi-client, mostly random" kind of load. Check out StorageReview and AnandTech, I believe both have done testing of NCQ to see its effects.
Yeah, you leave a part of a the industry for three years, and it seems like you've been gone for 20 years! When I was in the hard drive industry the demand for NAS was non-existent.
As I recall, NCQ does nicely give a performance bump in multiple streaming applications, probably more so than the streaming commands themselves. It also gives a decent bump in performance in regular home/office use as well. "Stream" is one for each tuner plus one for each output device. A six tuner Roamio connected to a few Minis will have plenty of streams!
The Red and Green drives are almost identical except for the enabling/disabling of minor firmware features the Tivo most likely isn't using. The AV drive appears to be from the previous generation but is plenty good enough. It's all about price. If you have one lying around just use that one.
And now it's big enough that the two major players (WD & Seagate) both have specific drives for it.
StorageReview begs to differ on the value of NCQ in normal "desktop use" benchmarks... but once you start getting into "server use" it can help. Given that the Tivo has multiple streams going on, I can see how this could "smell" like "server use."
Supposedly the Red is more vibration-tolerant than a Green, on top of having firmware tweaks. They give it that extra year of warranty too.
I just pulled the trigger on a new Tivo setup, I threw an AV-GP drive in just so I don't have to dismantle/cripple the current array on the WMC system to setup the Tivo. Once I've finished watching shows on the WMC setup and the Tivo is "in production," I'll yank one of the Reds from the WMC box and throw it in my NAS, and either leave the other one as standalone or turn it into a cold-spare for the NAS. (I have a 4-bay Synology with only 3 drives currently, it can easily expand from 3 to 4-drive R5 so why not.)
Weaknees is selling 4TB Roamios now. Could the hard drive be taken out, cloned and the software analyzed for changes compared to a 3TB Roamio drive in order to discover how they are breaking the barrier?
Yes, by somebody that knew what they were doing, and was willing to invest the money and time to do this. 600+ HD hours to me seems like an over kill for most people.
Surebut if you happen to only have a 4TB drive sitting around (ironically from a WMC/Ceton setup). Wouldn't you want it to work when the alternative is the 500 gb that came with the Roamio