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Suitable hard drives for a Tivo Series 2?

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by tkoyn, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. tkoyn

    tkoyn New Member

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    Oct 14, 2007
    I have a old Tivo Series 2 that has been upgraded, I think twice, and now has a 500GB hard drive. I am seeing some signs of age on that drive including minor hiccups in playback and would like to replace the drive and keep my shows.

    What are the best options for currently available drives? Is it possible to go larger? Or would I just replace with another 500GB? Also, I am not sure what happened to the stick on how to do the upgrade, as I need to review it again, since its been a few years since the last time.

    Thanks
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

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  3. tkoyn

    tkoyn New Member

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    Oct 14, 2007
    The FAQ you reference seems to have cut out Series 2. I was wondering about which of the currently available ATA hard drives, people are having good experiences with in Tivo Series 2.
     
  4. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    Check the sticky in this forum re: SATA adapters and compatible drives. I know I had a 250GB drive that worked fine in an S2DT but didn't work in a TCD240 box using the same adapter.
     
  5. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    In the future ask your question in one location only and if you feel you need "extra publicity" just post in other relevent threads about having posted and provide a link to the original.

    That way all of the answers wind up in one place.
     
  6. tkoyn

    tkoyn New Member

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    In this thread, I was tying to find out options for getting PATA drives. The other thread, I was intending to talk about PATA/SATA adapters combined with SATA drives for Series 2. So, not the same question.

    Anyway going on about PATA drives, I opened up two 500GB drive I bought as external (in a case) and found a Seagate Baracuda 7200.9 PATA and a no-name OEM PATA drive. Both are somewhat old in years, but have low spin hours as they had been used primarily for backup and spent little time actually plugged in. Would the Seagate be suitable for a Tivo Series 2, if I decide not to try to expand, but merely to clone the drive thats in the Tivo to get a drive with less wear into the machine with all my shows intact?

    If anyone is aware of where a new 500GB PATA drive can be obtained, I would be interested still, but otherwise, I might proceed with my own used Seagate.
     
  7. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    You can find some new PATA drives on eBay and Amazon but for that size and above the SATA drives with adapter are a cheaper alternative.
     
  8. bshrock

    bshrock New Member

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    Yes the 500G drive will work in a Series2. You can clone the drive (image) only if the number of sectors in the new drive is the same size or greater.
     
  9. tkoyn

    tkoyn New Member

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    Oct 14, 2007
    I wouldn't know if my Seagate 500GB drive has a few more or a few less sectors than the WD drive in the Tivo now. Are you saying that if the new drive turns out to be slightly smaller, I cannot transfer with my shows intact, even if I have enough free space on the older drive for my data to fit?

    I was actually considering the option of a brand new 400GB drive (downgrade and delete some of the shows, transfering the rest), but I guess that is not an option?

    If I go SATA+Adapter, can you recommend specific drive/adapter combinations currently available that people have installed in recent months? It seems much of the thread devoted to that topic is old, and I am looking for current recommendations.
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    The MFS Live cd v1.4 has the utility

    hdparm

    on it, and in addition to all of its dangerous features has at least a couple which are "read-only"


    hdparm -?

    should get you a list of the options so you can be sure, but I'm pretty sure I remember it being

    hdparm -I /dev/hdX

    (where X will be a or b or c or ... depending on how you have it hooked up)

    which will give you detailed info on the drive and you can possibly find out more about that no-name drive that way, like who really made it, or at least a model number that will google back to whoever did.

    You should heavily google that Seagate's model number and firmware version number to check for known problems, 'cause it was in the 7200.9, 10, and 11 era that they had several.

    You should get the manufacturer's diagnostic software for both drives, both from Seagate and from whoever made the other one, and run the long test before using either one.
     
  11. supersnoop

    supersnoop New Member

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    I've seen new PATA drives at Best Buy and Frys, usually in the 320GB size, for ungodly prices.

    You should be able to use any PATA drive. One that wasn't intended for AV use might be louder than the original, but should be fine as long as the TiVo isn't in your bedroom.

    The largest PATA drive that hit the market was a 750GB Seagate. It was available as a DB.35 (AV-spec) drive. I've got one in a an S2 TiVo and one as a spare.
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    An adapter that would have worked on your model TiVo 2 years ago will still work on it today.

    If you look on the drive label, it should have an LBA number. Those numbers should match, although if the number is bigger on the drive you intend to use as a replacement that's okay as well.

    You can always go to a larger drive--although I think a 1TB is the upper limit on an S2.

    Back when S2's came with 40 or 80GB Maxtors, those Maxtors had a slightly higher LBA number than Seagates and WDs of the same GB number, so you couldn't take an image from the Maxtor and restore to what otherwise seemed to be the same size drive from some other brand.

    Your 240080 probably came with an 80GB Maxtor.

    If you need or want to start from scratch I can hook you up with an image for that model.

    (and advice on how to use the free version of TiVo Desktop to copy the shows off of your old drive for later restoration onto the new one)

    Like I said elsewhere, I'm currently using a Samsung HD103SJ in it with the LK-13415 adapter with the JMicron chipset.

    You can spend an extra $10 and get the adapter from Weaknees that's guaranteed to work with S2s. If you pull the foam off of the back, it may even say LK-13415, and it's known to have the JMicron chipset.

    Most of the people putting SATA drives and adapters into S2s have already done so, so there aren't a lot of "just came out this year" drive models being tested in S2s, hence the dearth of info.

    Also, the drives which are advanced format don't necessarily handle it the same way, so some may work okay in some TiVos and some not.

    There's a 2TB Seagate model which, according to some feedback at newegg, used to do a 4096 byte sector internally, report 512 byte sectors externally which now is 4K all around, and you can't just order that model number and know which version you're going to get.

    TiVos, especially used ones getting replacement drives, just aren't a big enough percentage of overall hard drive demand for manufacturers to give a bleep about bothering to make available the info we actually need.
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Even refurbished (whatever that means--shudder) drives are being offered online at prices that illicit evil laughter from "down there".
     
  14. tkoyn

    tkoyn New Member

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    Oct 14, 2007
    I am seeing some Hitachi drives that are getting my attention. For 500GB and 1 TB (and other sizes below 1TB), they have one that is clearly specd to emulate 512 byte sectors. Would these be OK with adapter in series 2?

    http://www.hgst.com/deskstar-7k1000d

    And this 2 TB beast with true 512byte sectors is still available.

    http://www.hgst.com/deskstar-7k2000

    If I used one of these would it just give me 1TB, wasting half its capacity or would it be nonfunctional in a Tivo Series 2. (I am planning on one of these for a Tivo HD.)

    Is this what I have to do to expand a series 2 for the third time, or is there something else I can do and keep the shows? Please do provide me the link in case I need it.
     
  15. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    As far as I know, an S2 (although it can use 2 1TB drives, one master, one slave) cannot use any individual drive larger than 1TB.

    I tried to use the 2TB Seagate I mentioned in an S3 HD, and had spontaneous reboot problems.

    I cannot swear that it was the fault of the drive and not something I did wrong.

    It was the earlier version of that model which the feedbacker at newegg indicated could present itself to the outside world as 512 byte sectors.

    (I put a non-advanced format 2TB WD20EADS in that S3 HD, and it's been working fine, but I think I did something a little differently in preparing it, I just can't remember what)

    I formatted the Seagate, and another just like it, each as one big NTFS partition (using the Parted Magic cd), stuck them in a computer running XP without doing any aligning, and they've been working great as storage for transferred TiVo recordings ever since.

    If I'd used one of them as the XP boot disk, it might have been a different story, but I had a smaller drive for that and didn't want to have either of those 2TB drives specifically tied to that computer.

    As for how an older Series 2 would handle 512 emulation, rather than actual 512, it might not at all, or it might depend upon how the particular drive does it, or any AF drives that emulate might work. I don't know and don't have the spare hardware to experiment.

    One thing to keep in mind. A 6Gb/s SATA might be able to autonegotiate down to 3, but perhaps not to 1.5, and probably can only be hard jumpered down one notch to 3.

    Perhaps a 3 that can be jumpered down to 1.5 would be a better choice for an S2.

    I really don't know how IDE speeds translate to SATA speeds and vice versa.

    You might want to look into getting a big drive to put in a computer running TiVo Desktop and do most of your show storage there.

    You should be able to copy anything from the S2.

    I think you mentioned elsewhere also having an S3 of some sort, and with that you might run into problems with non-analog cable shows having the anti-copy bit set by your cable company or someone upstream of them.

    But even if you can't watch shows from the S3 on the S2, you'll still be able to watch shows from the S2 on the S3, even when using the computer as a middleman.

    As for being able to upgrade from the S2's current 500 to something larger, I know the MFS Live cd (a copy of which you should have even if you don't have TiVos) will not be able to do it.

    I don't know if WinMFS can do it or not.

    You can pick out the larger drive you want for that S2, restore a truncated image to it, and make sure that it will work okay in the S2.

    Then you can try WinMFS to make a full copy (recorded shows and all) from the 500 to the new drive (which will overwrite the test image you put on it), and see if it will enlarge one or more of the existing MFS partitions into the extra space.

    If it does, great. Report back and tell us so.

    If not, then you can go the roundabout way of copying off all of your shows to computer via TiVo Desktop, then doing a truncated backup of the 500 with WinMFS and restoring that to the larger drive and expanding (which will preserve all of your settings), and then copying shows back from computer to the S2 as you want to watch them.
     
  16. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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  17. tkoyn

    tkoyn New Member

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    What hard drives did you use?

    Does anybody know what hard drives Weaknees are using these days in TiVo Series 2? I called them and all they would say is Seagate or Western Digital AV drives. They would not get specific when I asked what they would provide if I bought a 1TB for TCD240080 today.
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    They probably use whatever they can buy in quantity wholesale the cheapest out of a list of model numbers known to work, which means today's answer may not be the same as tomorrow's answer or next week's answer.
     
  19. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    All I use are Western Digital drives. My Premeire has a Caviar Blue 1TB which is a non-AV drive but the S2 boxes have AV drives. I'd have to pop the covers to see specific model numbers. I did get an older Caviar Black 250GB drive to work in an S2DT but it would not work in the TCD240's. May have something to do with the extra power comsumption and weaker power supplies in the S2's.
     
  20. tkoyn

    tkoyn New Member

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    Oct 14, 2007
    I am still not sure what 500GB or 1TB SATA drive would be appropriate to get for a S2. Any suggestions on anything in the current market known to work?
     

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