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Preventative maintenance with Expander

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by oldskoolboarder, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. oldskoolboarder

    oldskoolboarder New Member

    459
    0
    Jul 8, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Just got my Premiere running and I picked up a used 1 TB Expander on CL.

    I've used various Tivos over the years and this is the 1st unit that I can't self modify. As a longtime user, I'm well aware of how to check/fix HDDs. I've learned how to use SpinRite ONLY because of Tivo...

    As such, I'm cautious adding the expander because I know that it has a limited life. I'll do my best to make sure this HDD has as much ventilation as possible outside of an active fan.

    1) Any preventative maintenance I can do to help extend the life of the Expander?

    2) Assuming this HDD will fail (since I know it will), has anyone successfully 'fixed' a failing drive with something like SpinRite? I've had multiple successes on previous HDDs in the past.

    3) Has anyone ever dd'ed an Expander drive? Wondering if there's a recovery method if/when it does fail, that way I can keep the Expander/Tivo pairing in tact if I'm able to find a replacement bare HDD in the future.

    4) Has anyone used an Expander for more than 4 years? I run my Tivos forever...
     
  2. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    There's a rather short list of WD bare drive model numbers that the TiVo checks external drives against.

    It doesn't know if you have the drive inside one of the official TiVo expander WD eSATA cases, but it knows if the drive inside is on of the few on that list.

    So a replacement would have to be one of the few models on that list.

    Hook the expander to a PC for extra storage and get a 2TB WD20EURS and use comer's bootable cd with version 1.04 of his jmfs program to copy the Premiere's internal 320GB or 500GB drive to it and to add another partition to expand into the rest of that 2TB.

    The maximium you can get with the original internal and the biggest accepted external is 1.5TB and that doubles the chance of losing all your recordings when a drive goes bad because they're are two of them instead of one and failure of either means losing all recordings.

    I've never seen anyone write in to say how happy they are that they used an external instead of embiggening the internal.
     
  3. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Yes, you can connect the expander to a PC via an eSATA port on the PC or an adapter cable that's eSATA on one end and regular SATA on the other (and you could probably use an eSATA to USB adapter if such a thing exists) and use

    dd

    or

    dd_rescue

    or

    ddrescue

    to "Xerox" one to another drive at least as big.

    I just did it to make a safety backup of one of those 1TB TiVo compatible externals so I could experiment to see if I could Xerox enough of the failing internal on someone else's S3 to save their recordings.

    If I'd screwed up their external I'd have had to dd from the backup back to the external because the backup wasn't one of the models on that short list.
     
  4. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

    4,063
    6
    Feb 4, 2008
    Um, a premiere is fairly easy to self modify, just look at the upgrade thread.
     
  5. dave13077

    dave13077 Member

    279
    0
    Jan 11, 2009
    I have a 1TB expander on my Premiere unit. Prior to that is was connected to an HD unit. It will be 4 years old in March. It is still chugging along.

    My guess is since I am bragging about it it will fail soon... ;-)
     
  6. oldskoolboarder

    oldskoolboarder New Member

    459
    0
    Jul 8, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    dave13077, you're the first one. ;)

    Hmm, I 'thought' Premiere's couldn't be modd'ed, looks like I was wrong. Hmm, will have to look into that now.

    UPDATE:

    So I reviewed the thread

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=455968

    Doesn't seem that difficult, other than finding an available tower than I can cannibalize, since my old one died. A 'concern' I have is the current warranty. This was a Tivo 'replacement' for a dying S3 so it has a full Tivo warranty, including an extension from my Visa card. Is there anything, like stickers or seals, that I need to break to remove the HDD, making it visibly obvious that I opened it? In theory, I'm copying the drive so if there is a h/w problem, I can send it back w/ the original drive.
     

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