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How to activate eSATA port on TiVo Series 3

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by spike2k5, May 4, 2007.

  1. spike2k5

    spike2k5 New Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Looks like external SATA (eSATA) port on TiVo S3 can be activated.

    Method 1: Using kickstart 62.
    Update: Oct 19, 2007
    With the software 9.2, Kickstart 62 method is disabled on Tivo S3.
    However, you can just plug and Play method to add an eSATA drive.
    Instruction can be found here.

    Instructions with pictures go here.
    More technical info here

    It works only on unmodified original capacity "A" drive (250GB).
    So, if you have upgraded your TiVo drive already, the following procedure won't work. You will need to try method 2.

    Here is how you can add eSATA drive to TiVo S3:

    Things you will need:
    S3 TiVo,
    eSATA drive and eSATA II cable or (SATA drive and eSATA II -> SATA cable)
    TiVo remote

    - Poweroff your Tivo if it's on

    - connect eSATA drive to eSATA port on the back of S3.
    It uses eSATA connector (I) so normal SATA 1 or 2 cables won't work.
    If your external SATA drive has only SATA 1 port, you can get a cable known as eSATA->sATA cable

    - Power on eSATA device.

    - Power on TiVo

    - Point TiVo remote to S3 tivo with pause (yellow) button pressed

    - keep on pressing pause button until, all the lights go out on the front panel.


    if you don't feel like holding the pause button, wait unitl 2 red LED lights on the front left panel goes out then press pause button. (thx. to sfhub)

    - Shortly after that, you will see single orange LED light on the front panel.

    - Release pause button, and type "62" while pointing remote to Tivo

    - If you did everything correctly, TiVo will reboot and after a minute or so, and you will see
    "Your second hard drive has been activated" screen.

    - Let it finish booting up and you are done.

    - Go to system information screen and check # of hours.

    Method 2: You can get new mfstools from mfslive.org.
    This method is the most flexable and has no restrictions but will require some computer skills and you'll need to pull your drive out of TiVo.

    It's reported to be working on
    Internal 1TB + 1TB eSATA of total 265HD or 2513 SD hours
    (Maximum size: A + eSATA = 2TiB or 2.2 TB or 2^32 * 512 B)

    Software versions tested: 8.0.1b(factory), 8.1.1 and 8.3.1

    Make sure eSATA is on and connected to TiVo at all times.
    If it's missing, bad things will happen (reboot) and you will see a divorce screen.
    You will loose recordings if you divorce so be careful.
    Try to Select an eSATA device that will power on w/o user interaction after power loss.
    Otherwise, your TiVo will be stuck at divorce screen and will miss scheduled recordings if power loss occurs.

    What eSATA drive to get:
    I would stick with an eSATA enclosure, a bare drive combo and stay away from preassembled eSATA drives.
    From what I've seen, preassembled drives are not packaged well so might get damaged during shipping process.
    Also, some drives may not work on S3 due to the way on/off buttons are implemented.

    Stay away from Seagate FreeAgent Pro which seem to have a serious problem with eSATA port. I tried two and both worked well on USB port connected to a computer but won't work using eSATA port. I get "bus error" and "soft resets" every now and then. I tried with different cables and nothing helps.

    For the best result try:
    Antec MX1 (active cooling) + Seagate DB35.3 SATA drive (ST3500830SCE, ST3750840SCE)

    Having problem?:
    Check this post out.

    Update: June-01-2007
    Mfslive Boot CD v1.2 is released that supports eSATA drive.

    Update: May-29-2007
    There is a bug in TiVo built-in divorce process so if you divorced your eSATA, you won't be able to use mfstools.
    I'm not sure what kind of impact this bug will have on the way TiVo works but it appears to be just cosmetic at this point but
    I would divorce it cleanly by pulling the drive and running a utility called fixdivorce.
    I don't know who to contact to report this kind of bug so if anyone knows, let me know as well.
  2. Carsten

    Carsten New Member

    Feb 4, 2007

    Are you sure? Anyone confirm please?

    I dont know, why wouldnt Tivo confirm this? if it was real?

    DCIFRTHS I dumped SDV / cable

    Jan 6, 2000
    Interesting post. Would you be able to post any screen shots of the procedure?

  4. bdraw

    bdraw New Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Just verified it worked!!
    Also on 8.1.1.

    DCIFRTHS I dumped SDV / cable

    Jan 6, 2000
    What drive did you use (brand, size, etc.)?
  6. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

    Jan 3, 2003
    What does the 62 kickstart do? I haven't heard of that one and it's not listed on this wiki page that I usually reference for the kickstart codes. Something new in the 8.x software?
  7. spike2k5

    spike2k5 New Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    It seems to be new to S3.

    It will let you add external SATA hard drive to your S3 Tivo. The biggest eSATA drive I've seen so far is 750GB so you can do 1TB of storage w/o opening your TiVo.

    Just plug it in, do kickstart 62 and instant storage upgrade.
  8. Carsten

    Carsten New Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Well if this does work then:

    A. Boo to Tivo for not telling us! (unless its a accident that its there, highly unlikely)
    B. What is a good External case for the Seagate 500gb hd?
    C. Whats the max hdd it can take?
  9. bdraw

    bdraw New Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    I used a 120GB pocket drive that I built myself with my old MBP HDD and a case from newegg.
  10. Redux

    Redux No intent to annoy

    Oct 19, 2004
    It's been talked about a little bit on the other forum. Search sata.
  11. musicforme

    musicforme It's a Dry Heat

    Nov 19, 2003
  12. bdraw

    bdraw New Member

    Aug 1, 2004
  13. Fofer

    Fofer Say what? TCF Club

    Oct 29, 2000
    Yes, please. :)
  14. jwehman

    jwehman New Member

    Feb 26, 2003
    Can someone confirm that it DOESN'T work on a modified S3? Great gadzooks, this is awesome news. I may have to put the original 250 back in and add an external 750!


  15. yunlin12

    yunlin12 Tivonation Citizen

    Mar 14, 2003
    Did the Data field for cable card change after doing this?
  16. supasta

    supasta New Member

    May 6, 2006
    That was exactly my first thought...how many people are going to put their factory drive back in to do this...
  17. lessd

    lessd Active Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    From my point of view who needs another piece on equipment hanging off the Series 3, unless you really need more than 100 hours of HD storage. If you are good enough to use this port you can upgrade the original Series 3 with 750G drive for less than $300 now.
  18. rodalpho

    rodalpho New Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    Fantastic! Nice work, spike2k5!
  19. lcann44

    lcann44 New Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    I'm so friggin excited I don't know if I can wait until tommorow morning to try. Think it will work with 8.3? That's what I have. This is the most important thing I've been waiting for!
  20. Redux

    Redux No intent to annoy

    Oct 19, 2004
    Well, the value here may be that interest has been aroused, maybe more smart people will be looking at the external, and eventually some way to actually use the external drive for storage flexibility may come out of this. Being able to swap external drives _would_ be a real big deal, and maybe that capability will flow from this.

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