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Replacing internal hard drive

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by Christoph23, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Christoph23

    Christoph23 New Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    I have a Premiere XL and it looks like I'm going to have to completely replace the internal hard drive. The problem (for me) is that I've never seen the kind of connector the HD is using. What is that? eSATA? SATA-2? This page (http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=444083) references

    13. WD3200AVVS 320GB SATA-2 hard drive

    but I've seen other posts call it an eSATA drive. Which is it? Are they the same thing? And I guess I'll need a USB <-> eSATA cable in order to install the TiVo OS image on to the drive? Has anyone run in to any problems doing this? Or do people first add the drive as a slave on their PC and install the image that way?

    I'd like to get a 1 TB replacement drive but I read a few posts which say that the Premiere XL doesn't support such large drives? Is that really the case?

  2. PedjaR

    PedjaR Member

    Jan 4, 2010
    Cary, NC
    You can put up to 2TB drive, but you need to copy Tivo software from the original drive and do some modifications so that it will know to use the extra space; comer has a simple-to-use way to do it, see the instructions at:


    If the original drive is unusable, you may need to buy a drive with software on it, possibly from DVRDude or WeaKnees. You can do this even if your drive is usable, but you'll lose existing recordings, and you'll pay more.
  3. Christoph23

    Christoph23 New Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    It's not unusable in that the drive crashed. It's just unusable because it is perpetually stuck in "Clear and Delete" (see my other thread here: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=505327). So basically, I have to do something with the drive. I was originally intending just to let TiVo "Clear and Delete" it and just (hopefully) start fresh. I had been having other issues with the drive that I was hoping that process would fix. But since I now can't even boot in to it, I figure I may as well just go ahead and replace it. My big point of confusion was with the drive connector. I'd never seen anything like that and I wasn't sure what I needed to connect it to my PC (or my mbp, either would be fine) in order to transfer the TiVo software over and get it to a state where I could put it back in to my Premiere XL.

  4. turbobozz

    turbobozz New Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    The connector cable is just a combined sata and sata power. You should be able to take a normal sata and normal sata power connector into the drive.
    At least that's what I recall when I replaced my unbootable drive.

    FWIW - I copied the unbootable drive just to see if it would work. Tivo was able to boot the bad clone, but it knew the clone was bad/corrupted. So the Tivo software repaired itself.
    Apparently the cloning didn't/couldn't clone the severely broken parts.

    The clone drive used to be the esata drive for my oled S3. :)
  5. Christoph23

    Christoph23 New Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Do they sell a kind of cable that goes from a combined power/sata connector to usb? Do you know?

    That's interesting. Since I'm copying my current drive over, what will that mean w/r/t the "Clear and Delete" process? There's obviously (or, at least, it seems like it to me, though I'm probably wrong) some sort of flag somewhere telling the TiVo that it's in the middle of the process. Won't that get copied over from my old drive to my new drive as well?

  6. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    To start off, I do not think you have a Premiere XL if the drive is only 320GB. Check the model number on the label on the back of the Tivo, most likely its TCD746320. The hard drive connector is a standard SATA and even though it looks like its wider than it should be, it isn't. The power is a little bit wider than the SATA connector. Tivo makes their connector so that the cable combines the SATA data and power cable side-by-side, but you can connect them to a PC using individual SATA data and power cables.

    The eSATA connector is located on the back of the case itself and is slightly different.

    SATA has done away with the Master/Slave settings as it was done on IDE/PATA drives. So there is not a need to set that anymore.

    If you were running Clear & Delete Everything, it may take hours or most of the day to finish.

    If you need to get a replacement hard drive, you would need a 320GB or larger. There are software to get the Tivo software onto the drive. JMFS does only a direct drive-to-drive copy so there is no backup available. Recently developed, DVRBars, will let you make backups and restore to another drive, found elsewhere on this forum. You may be able to get a backed-up copy if you ask real nicely in the correct forum.
  7. Christoph23

    Christoph23 New Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    It's definitely an XL. That line is one I copied and pasted from the premier FAQ (linked in my OP). That FAQ said SATA, some other posts I read (which, granted, seemed Tivo generic and not premier specific) mentioned eSATA. Given that I've never seen that kind of connector before, I wanted to find out what kind of cable I would need for this.

    Connect them directly to the motherboard? I was kinda hoping that there would be a USB <--> {whatever) SATA cable. I have only laptops; I don't have any desktops.

    But this is different than the kind of connector I need for the drive, yes? You were just mentioning this as an aside?


    Fair enough. That's what I had read, too. But do you suppose that it would take upwards of 38 hours? That's approximately where it was at when I unplugged it. I started it Friday night at around 7p, watched some DVDs, was out all day on Saturday (I didn't have much time free; I just figured that if it was done then when I eventually got around to it I would see the start of the set-up process) and finally checked on it Sunday morning. It was still sitting there at the "Clear and Delete" screen. Something was very wrong. I tried unplugging it and plugging it back in and it went right back. After I took the TiVo apart to take a look at the hard drive and what connector I might need, I even tried pulling the battery out to see if that would reset the state on the TiVo's motherboard. Left the battery out for a few minutes, put it back in and plugged the TiVo on. Again, it went right back to the "Clear and Delete" screen. Something is definitely very wrong.

    I've looked around at weaknees and dvrupgrade for replacement hard drives but the prices they want are pretty high. For decent space, anyway. Add another hundred or so and I could buy another tivo outright.

    As far as doing it myself, I've seen the FAQs and I've read through the process I would need to go through to replace the drive. The only thing I'm unclear on is the hardware I would need (apart from a new HD, of course). I'll search around in hopes of finding a SATA (with power) to USB (or even firewire; I think my MBP has a firewire port) cable that I can use. But since I need to have both drives (old and new) plugged in at the same time (IIRC) then it would need to be USB.

  8. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2008
    I have used a Vantec CB-ISATAU2 adapter for years, and you can get it for about $20. It's USB to PATA or SATA with its own power supply.

    You can also get SATA docks that support USB, firewire & eSATA from lots of companies. They're more convenient in the long run but cost more. Right now I have a dual-port eSATA card in my PC connected to two dual docks (one from NexStar and one from BlacX). 4 drives at once...

    If you use DvrBARS for the initial backup and restore to a new drive it's a two stage process, so you only need one drive connected at a time. Backup the old drive to a file on your computer, hook up the new drive, and restore to it. After that you would still need jmfs to expand if you restore to a bigger drive.

    I also have clean Premiere images if your existing drive is too far gone, but check the model number. The XLs came with a 1TB drive, not 320GB.
  9. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    You can buy a 2TB from DVR-dude for $186 shipped that is plug and play. That is about $90+/- more than the bare drive, not really that much for the conveyance.
  10. Mike1973

    Mike1973 New Member

    Feb 19, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    I was about to list a 1.5TB on ebay (New Western Digital Green drive, about 237 HD hours)with the tools needed and directions) for $120 shipped. Let me know if you are interested.

    Mods, I hope posting this here and not in the buy/sell forum is ok, if not just let me know.
  11. rafaelvelasquez2

    rafaelvelasquez2 New Member

    Feb 22, 2013
    I got a 2Tb (WD20EURS) from Newegg for $91 a few months ago. Installed and used Comer's jmfs iso to copy, expand, and super size. Worked like a charm. I'm now enjoying over 300 hours of HD recording.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
  12. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    USB ports don't provide enough power to run a 3.5 inch drive, so you'll need one with it's own wall-wart type power supply.

    You can probably find one that accomodates both SATA and PATA/IDE drives (one at a time) at newegg or Amazon for around $15. Read the reviews of them to keep from getting burned.
  13. RRMarsh

    RRMarsh New Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Got Digitus DA-70200 Data Transfer Cable adapter from wiseguys.co.nz, just for $40. It turns any IDE or SATA drive into a convenient external drive. We need to simply connect one IDE/ATAPI or SATA-based mass storage device through a USB port for easy data transfer.
  14. 25heather

    25heather New Member

    May 2, 2011
    Take a look at the DvrBARS threads. Windows based and very easy to use. I just replaced a failing Seagate 2 tb drive with a WD20EURS using this program. If you google DvrBARS it takes you to the forum thread.
  15. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2008
    Welcome to TCF. It's always nice to hear positive recommendations. :D

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