I'm a Mac user. I have had WinTel hardware in the past but I recycled my Win 95 and XP boxes some years ago.
I have a stable of TiVos, mostly THD models (nothing newer, currently) but a few S2 boxes as well. I have the original drives for all and being able to copy those drives or backups to a new drive is the only reason some of these are still functioning.
For some years I have been using the MFSLive DVD to copy TiVo drives. I have a first gen Intel iMac that boots to the MFSLive DVD. I connect my TiVo drives via SATA-to-USB adapters. It's slow but reliable and gets the job done. The iMac is now nine years old and isn't going to last forever. So I'm planning to build a PC just for the purpose of copying and backing up TiVo drives. Also, the latest copy job was a 1 TB drive with 770 GB of recordings and it took over 15 hours getting just 14 MB/second overall. I want to copy at SATA II speeds or better.
The future of TiVo drive copy/backup seems to be WinMFS, which I cannot currently run, having no Windows machines. So I'm going to build one specifically for this one job. As a bonus, I'll finally have something that can run WDIdle. Here's what I envision:
Inexpensive PC, Dual boot, OEM Windows, Linux
Probably mid-tower case to accommodate the needed drive bays.
Built-in video (HDMI out?)
Enough RAM to run Windows and facilitate drive copying.
One fixed (internal) drive with Windows/Linux.
Optical drive, bootable, read-only is fine, no need to burn
Two or more trayless drive bays to allow hot swap of bare SATA drives.
Example trayless bays: two 5.25 inch bays accommodate three 3.5 inch drives...
Does this seem adequate? How might it be improved?
How common is SATA III on new motherboards? Although TiVo may not use SATA III drives yet, it couldn't hurt to plan for the future.
What's the minimum Windows version that can run WinMFS?
Any and all advice and comments will be appreciated.