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Old 06-23-2014, 07:35 AM   #1
StirHouse
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Upgraded HD in Tivo HD back in the S03 error loop. HELP!

Hi guys -

I purchased two Seagate ST3500414CS to replace the stock HDs in my Tivo HDs that were having S03 errors loading the lineup updates. One of the harddrives was DOA, but the other one seemed to work well for a week or so. Now two weeks later, the working one is back getting the S03 error.

Is the other Seagate probably bad as well? Or is there something else going on? We have our Tivos & TAs on outlet timers so they shutdown at night. Could that be contributing to the issues?

On another subject, are there other (more modern) 1 TB hard drives that I could try for the Tivo HD? Preferably something that is eligible for Amazon Prime?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:13 AM   #2
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One of the Tivo HDs I recently bought has this problem. It's a software problem so copying the hard drive contents to another hard drive simply copies the problem. One user says his solution was to increase the swap size to 2048 mb.

When you use WinMFS to restore an image to a larger drive you can tell it to change the swap size (enter 2048). If the destination drive is the same size then it tells you there's not enough space. So, if I were you, I would buy a 2 tb HDD (which is a much better value than a 1 tb HDD).

Look for a WD20EURS or WD20EURX or even a Samsung HD204UI.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by StirHouse View Post
We have our Tivos & TAs on outlet timers so they shutdown at night. Could that be contributing to the issues?
I would avoid this crash and reboot the next morning procedure for no other reason than I am not sure how you are certain to avoid shutdown during an update or other operation going on with the TiVo. I would say it could be contributing to your problems and will add I don't do this and don't have your problems.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:49 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply!

I actually loaded a fresh image with WinMFS onto the Seagate. The image was from Unitron in post 10053056 (sorry this forum won't let me post links).

Does the Tivo HD support 2 TB hard drives now? From the FAQ it seems like it only supports 1 TB. Thoughts?
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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2 tb support was enabled in a software update awhile back. The images provided by users on this forum are 160 gb images and probably have 128 mb swap sizes.

If you go to View/MFSInfo/Partition Maps you can view the size of the swap partition on a drive.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:10 PM   #6
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Running Clear Program Info & ToDo List should clear Error S03.

DO NOT go through Guided setup!
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:24 AM   #7
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Allow me to echo the "don't be rebooting the TiVo if not absolutely necessary" sentiment, especially since it needs to be on while the TA is off or there's no point in turning the TA off.

Also recommend going for the WD20EURS or WD20EURX.

Run the WD long test on it before putting it into service.

Copy to it with WinMFS, but do not expand.

You can probably copy the Seagates directly instead of having to start over restoring an image.

Once copy or restore has finished, click on File, Select Drive, and select the new drive.

Then File, mfsinfo

and make sure everything looks okay.

(the partition map will show a *big* Apple Free partition at the end of the drive)

Also, if you copy the Seagate, double check that one of the MFS Media partitions starts on sector 64 instead of the second partition in the list.

Here's an example

Partition Maps
#: type name length base ( size )
1 Apple_partition_map Apple 63@1 ( 31.5K)
2 Image Bootstrap 1 1@171920054 ( 512.0 )
3 Image Kernel 1 8192@171920055 ( 4.0M)
4 Ext2 Root 1 524288@171928247 ( 256.0M)
5 Image Bootstrap 2 1@172452535 ( 512.0 )
6 Image Kernel 2 8192@172452536 ( 4.0M)
7 Ext2 Root 2 524288@172460728 ( 256.0M)
8 Swap Linux swap 262144@172985016 ( 128.0M)
9 Ext2 /var 524288@173247160 ( 256.0M)
10 MFS MFS application region 589824@173771448 ( 288.0M)
11 MFS MFS media region 137630712@174951096 ( 65.6G)
12 MFS MFS application region 2 589824@174361272 ( 288.0M)
13 MFS MFS media region 2 171919990@64 ( 82.0G)


The posting software won't allow more than one or two spaces between characters, so it destroys the column formatting, but see where partition 13, just before the 82.0G, says @64?

That's the "optimized partition layout" which is supposed to be used on anything newer than a Series 1 TiVo, and you want to be sure you didn't somehow wind up with the old style layout where partition 2 starts right after partition 1.

You could launch WinMFS, select the Seagate, click on mfsinfo, and check on that, and then click on mfscopy to copy it to the 2TB

Once you're sure you have a good copy, you can make sure the 2TB is the drive selected, and then File, mfsadd to do the expansion as a separate step.

For some reason doing the expansion as part of the copy or restore process doesn't always work, even if it appears to have worked, so doing it separately means not having to worry about that.

And yes, you can go ahead and have a partition bigger than 1.2TB
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:03 AM   #8
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Big thanks for the replies, all. I don't suppose the WD20EZRX is compatible is it?
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:33 PM   #9
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Compatible, yes, but EZRX series are intended for general PC use. Most here recommend "AV" drives intended for 24/7 duty such as the EURS and EURX.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StirHouse View Post
Big thanks for the replies, all. I don't suppose the WD20EZRX is compatible is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by squint View Post
Compatible, yes, but EZRX series are intended for general PC use. Most here recommend "AV" drives intended for 24/7 duty such as the EURS and EURX.
Although this drive is a "Green" drive, its not meant for DVR use.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Big thanks for the replies, all. I don't suppose the WD20EZRX is compatible is it?
I'd want to run


wdidle3.exe


on it first to make sure that Intellipark is disabled, and of course as with any other drive you should run the drive manufacturer's own diagnostic software long test before putting it into service.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Compatible, yes, but EZRX series are intended for general PC use. Most here recommend "AV" drives intended for 24/7 duty such as the EURS and EURX.
Using any (working) WD green drive will work in a TiVo, I use both and never see any difference, I am also using a WD red drive without any problems. The AV type drive is just marketing hype, as TiVo does not make use of any special AV commands. Another difference may be the warranty time WD gives you on different drive models.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:38 AM   #13
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Using any (working) WD green drive will work in a TiVo, I use both and never see any difference, I am also using a WD red drive without any problems. The AV type drive is just marketing hype, as TiVo does not make use of any special AV commands. Another difference may be the warranty time WD gives you on different drive models.
Funny you should bring up the WD Red NAS, since that drive is indeed marketed as for 24/7 use and is AV-rated (plus has a 3 year warranty). I know, I own 5 of them, and three are in my TiVo Roamio base models. My Green EZRX drives have been retired to noncritical external backup drives (back into the USB enclosures I pulled them out of).

I see you've been "making the rounds", and dropping the "any 5400 RPM/Green drive will do" advice around, which even I have finally stopped preaching (in case you haven't noticed).

I'd still tell those with units with 2 tuners, or less, that an EZRX drive should work fine, plus the obligatory advice on what it takes to disable/adjust the idle-timer with wdidle3.exe, on those pre-Roamio models.

Lately, more often than not, more people are avoiding opening up their PC to connect the drive and change that setting, and instead choosing to spend $5 or $10 more to get an AV drive that doesn't require that, plus that comes with a 1yr longer warranty, which also applies with the AV-rated 24/7 WD Red NAS.

The fact that TiVo doesn't make any use of the actual ATA Streaming extensions command set (AV-specific), is true. If that translates into the drives that have it having nothing more to offer for TiVo use, is becoming a bit blurry, the more I dig into the most current details.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:14 AM   #14
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Funny you should bring up the WD Red NAS, since that drive is indeed marketed as for 24/7 use and is AV-rated (plus has a 3 year warranty). I know, I own 5 of them, and three are in my TiVo Roamio base models. My Green EZRX drives have been retired to noncritical external backup drives (back into the USB enclosures I pulled them out of).

I see you've been "making the rounds", and dropping the "any 5400 RPM/Green drive will do" advice around, which even I have finally stopped preaching (in case you haven't noticed).

I'd still tell those with units with 2 tuners, or less, that an EZRX drive should work fine, plus the obligatory advice on what it takes to disable/adjust the idle-timer with wdidle3.exe, on those pre-Roamio models.

Lately, more often than not, more people are avoiding opening up their PC to connect the drive and change that setting, and instead choosing to spend $5 or $10 more to get an AV drive that doesn't require that, plus that comes with a 1yr longer warranty, which also applies with the AV-rated 24/7 WD Red NAS.

The fact that TiVo doesn't make any use of the actual ATA Streaming extensions command set (AV-specific), is true. If that translates into the drives that have it having nothing more to offer for TiVo use, is becoming a bit blurry, the more I dig into the most current details.
The newer drives I have gotten from WD now have the idle-timer disabled, this idle-timer system may have caused problems for WD not related to TiVo use, other people have reported that the Roamio Series 5 works with the idle-timer on at any setting, I never tried to find out if that was true.

Trying to figure out how long any drive model will last in a TiVo I think is impossible, if the drive works it works, and I check the heat as lower heat is better in all electronics.

Sometimes clear answers to issues are not possible no matter how much research one does.
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:51 PM   #15
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The newer drives I have gotten from WD now have the idle-timer disabled, this idle-timer system may have caused problems for WD not related to TiVo use, other people have reported that the Roamio Series 5 works with the idle-timer on at any setting, I never tried to find out if that was true.

Trying to figure out how long any drive model will last in a TiVo I think is impossible, if the drive works it works, and I check the heat as lower heat is better in all electronics.

Sometimes clear answers to issues are not possible no matter how much research one does.
I'm glad you didn't take my post the wrong way. I agree with you most of the time on most things.

WD AV-GP and Red NAS have been shipping with the idle-timer disabled for some time now. It used to be less than consistent on what the setting would be. It's my understanding that the default, when enabled, was the shortest time that could be set, and was a major problem due to the timing of disk writes with most Linux distros. So, I'm sure WD has heard plenty about that.

It is true that the Roamio will work no matter what the idle timer is set to. I've tested that, multiple times, on multiple drives, of different lines.

My most recent research is pointing towards the need for mandated "energy efficiency" in devices using hard drives is forcing the manufacturers to use such idle-timers, and that is forcing them to redesign the drive to handle multiple power-saving stages. The drives can not be made to work this way without causing 24/7 operation to run the drive in a manner it is not designed to. Keep in mind, this is what I've culled from far too much reading on current drive technology, and the future of it. I avoid the marketing fluff as much as I can. Unfortunately, some of what was marketing fluff, is now becoming reality, like mainstream drives being re-designed to operate as little as possible, and not 24/7.

When it comes to 4 or more tuners, with all tuners buffering HD 24/7, even the AV-GP series isn't truly made for the amount of TB/yr that comes out to if all tuners are buffering/recording in HD to a single drive. This is why the WD Purple came around, except it's answer is to use RAID+AV+24/7.

The fact that TiVo doesn't use the "AV" direct streaming technology does make non-AV drive use possible. But, I feel that most of the drives to come on market in the refresh cycle, will not do well running 24/7 and writing the amount of HD data required for 4 or more tuners.

It wouldn't be the first time that technology evolves, and the advice that was 100% right for what was available, is no longer the right advice for what drives are now shipping. There may come a day when mainstream "Green" drives are so power-saving driven, they'll fail under 24/7 HD DVR use, even with only 2 tuners.

For now, I'm not going to become a naysayer to all those who say any old green drive will work just fine. I may occasionally recommend those with 6-tuners avoid drives not marketed as for 24/7 operation.

You and I have been very vocal about people "not needing those expensive AV drives, that are all just marketing hype". It's just gotten to the point where the extra year of warranty on an AV-GP or a Red NAS is worth the difference. Unfortunately, power-savings is a big thing, and will only get bigger, soon making what was marketing, the new reality.

I've also learned a great much more about the way TiVo writes to the drive. Even though TiVo writes as regular data, the large blocks and long writes are much like the AV technology, minus the different error correction strategy. This means that the AV drives might be better equipped to handle the way TiVo writes, and it becomes more important as more tuners/streams (more also in HD) come into play, potentially resulting in better longevity. I think the more things shift to HD, combined with the higher tuner count, the more truth there will be to 24/7 specific drives.

That's all I have, until I find someplace I can provide links to so I can say "go here and read this section", provide the links, and not have to type up so darn much...
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Cisco tuning adapters should never be used inline (using the TA coax OUT port) to connect a TiVo, if MoCA is in use. Use a splitter w/PoE filter on leg to TA, use other leg for the TiVo. Enjoy!

Last edited by nooneuknow : 06-26-2014 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:55 PM   #16
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I'm glad you didn't take my post the wrong way. I agree with you most of the time on most things.

WD AV-GP and Red NAS have been shipping with the idle-timer disabled for some time now. It used to be less than consistent on what the setting would be. It's my understanding that the default, when enabled, was the shortest time that could be set, and was a major problem due to the timing of disk writes with most Linux distros. So, I'm sure WD has heard plenty about that.

It is true that the Roamio will work no matter what the idle timer is set to. I've tested that, multiple times, on multiple drives, of different lines.

My most recent research is pointing towards the need for mandated "energy efficiency" in devices using hard drives is forcing the manufacturers to use such idle-timers, and that is forcing them to redesign the drive to handle multiple power-saving stages. The drives can not be made to work this way without causing 24/7 operation to run the drive in a manner it is not designed to. Keep in mind, this is what I've culled from far too much reading on current drive technology, and the future of it. I avoid the marketing fluff as much as I can. Unfortunately, some of what was marketing fluff, is now becoming reality, like mainstream drives being re-designed to operate as little as possible, and not 24/7.

When it comes to 4 or more tuners, with all tuners buffering HD 24/7, even the AV-GP series isn't truly made for the amount of TB/yr that comes out to if all tuners are buffering/recording in HD to a single drive. This is why the WD Purple came around, except it's answer is to use RAID+AV+24/7.

The fact that TiVo doesn't use the "AV" direct streaming technology does make non-AV drive use possible. But, I feel that most of the drives to come on market in the refresh cycle, will not do well running 24/7 and writing the amount of HD data required for 4 or more tuners.

It wouldn't be the first time that technology evolves, and the advice that was 100% right for what was available, is no longer the right advice for what drives are now shipping. There may come a day when mainstream "Green" drives are so power-saving driven, they'll fail under 24/7 HD DVR use, even with only 2 tuners.

For now, I'm not going to become a naysayer to all those who say any old green drive will work just fine. I may occasionally recommend those with 6-tuners avoid drives not marketed as for 24/7 operation.

You and I have been very vocal about people "not needing those expensive AV drives, that are all just marketing hype". It's just gotten to the point where the extra year of warranty on an AV-GP or a Red NAS is worth the difference. Unfortunately, power-savings is a big thing, and will only get bigger, soon making what was marketing, the new reality.

I've also learned a great much more about the way TiVo writes to the drive. Even though TiVo writes as regular data, the large blocks and long writes are much like the AV technology, minus the different error correction strategy. This means that the AV drives might be better equipped to handle the way TiVo writes, and it becomes more important as more tuners/streams (more also in HD) come into play, potentially resulting in better longevity. I think the more things shift to HD, combined with the higher tuner count, the more truth there will be to 24/7 specific drives.

That's all I have, until I find someplace I can provide links to so I can say "go here and read this section", provide the links, and not have to type up so darn much...
When my non AV drives start to fail I will report this on this Thread, because I changed over to 3 Roamios Plus units with upgraded 2Tb (one being a AV drive) and one 3Tb (red) non AV drive I have at this time only 1 year on one of my non AV drives.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:35 AM   #17
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When my non AV drives start to fail I will report this on this Thread, because I changed over to 3 Roamios Plus units with upgraded 2Tb (one being a AV drive) and one 3Tb (red) non AV drive I have at this time only 1 year on one of my non AV drives.
I almost (in the Roamio thread) dared to say that "in your experience" was limited to the time the Roamio has been on market, and not a reliable indicator of longevity, when talking Roamio (since there was a mishmash of different TiVos listed in your post there, including the Roamio).

I thought that might push your angry button, so I just moved-along. Valid point though, which I'm glad you brought up. It still feels like it's missing from that thread... :-/ Must resist urge...
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:15 AM   #18
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When my non AV drives start to fail I will report this on this Thread, because I changed over to 3 Roamios Plus units with upgraded 2Tb (one being a AV drive) and one 3Tb (red) non AV drive I have at this time only 1 year on one of my non AV drives.
By the time you have your data ready to present, the drives on the market may have hit that refresh cycle I was speaking of, when it's possible the new tech may have truly made mainstream drives incapable of 24/7 operation. It's always possible that there will be so many issues with the new tech that it can't go mainstream yet. There's certainly nothing wrong with datapoints, as long as they are kept in context.

I had a WD20EADS, the original choice of 2TB Premiere upgraders, in service 24/7/365 for just over three years. It was on a UPS the whole time, and had never been power-cycled. Upon pulling the plug, to move it to another room, where I intended to transfer my most prized recordings off, the drive welded itself together. It seemed that not only did the spindle lock, but the heads also seized mid-platter, rather than parking. I can only speculate how much longer it would have operated if I had left it with constant power, or how much earlier I could have pulled power and had the same result. It was the only perfectly operational TiVo that I could ever just leave run that long, and showed no signs that anything was degrading, nor did the drive ever become any louder, or make any unusual sounds. See how many different ways one could explain this drive, and interpret it in ways that oppose each other?

What I did differently before installing this drive was to find how large a HPA I could create (LBA limiting), before the TiVo would say the capacity was smaller (required a lot off re-imaging and re-expanding). I found that spot, then went back by one, just to see what would happen down the road. Anecdotally, it would seem by LBA limiting, I lost nothing, and gained life-expectancy. Hard to prove that, and hard to try to when the drive failed the way it did. All my other TiVos (three other Premieres and two TiVo HDs) with the same drives would corrupt and require a re-image at least once a year, with nothing being detected wrong with the drives. I did have one drive failure, but no solid proof of how/why. It just refused to do anything, or give any signs of attempting to do anything, on a power cycle (another unplugged TiVo with the drive not coming back, but only a few months in).

It's scenarios like these, where I can't explain what exactly went wrong, how, why, and so on, where it's easy to start wondering if random, or if AV-GP drives would have done the same thing. Even beyond these experiences, I made the rounds telling people AV-GP drives were overpriced marketing fluff.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:55 AM   #19
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IMHO all drives should be power down at least once a year to keep the arm from building up enough dust to jam the park position, I have no proof of this but I do a cold re-boot of all my TiVos at least every 6 months. I have no data about dust jamming the park position, only the old saying "if you don't use it you will lose it"
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:18 AM   #20
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IMHO all drives should be power down at least once a year to keep the arm from building up enough dust to jam the park position, I have no proof of this but I do a cold re-boot of all my TiVos at least every 6 months. I have no data about dust jamming the park position, only the old saying "if you don't use it you will lose it"
While not saying what you say isn't true, if a drive has enough dust in it that the internal filters aren't catching it, it's a drive that's already suffered a substantial amount of damage.

Older drives "parked" in the Landing Zone in the innermost portion of the platter tracks, where no data was stored (the only time a head should ever be touching the platter. I'm not aware of a single drive shipping right now that doesn't have the plastic head parking landings, off platter.

Even the "24/7" drives have them, as it's become apparent that drives last longer if they never have head/platter contact, ever.

One of the features the AV-GP lists, but others don't is PWL (Preemptive Wear Leveling) which "sweeps the heads across the entire surface of the platter at timed intervals". They actually do mean the whole platter, not just the range of normal operation. It never made sense to me as being of use on a drive intended to have zero head/platter contact, until you take the arm of the heads into consideration, and how is has it's own bearing that may wear unevenly (or develop sticky spots). So, you could consider that PWL on the AV-GP as being something that could stop what happened to me from happening, or something that could have eliminated the scenario you just described, or end the need for you to keep doing what you do. Don't get me wrong. I have my own rituals, and many of them only make sense to me, if I dare to share them.

In my case, the seize happened right smack in the middle of the platter. I do autopsy my drives, sometimes even when under warranty.

I had a whole lot more typed up and lost it due to my laptop hard drive and its own parking problems (it's exceeded the rating by 172,000 parkings, and did so long ago). No matter what I try to force the drive to via firmware and hdparm for Windows, it insists on parking to death.

I think I may start a new thread for discussions like this, where it's all about drive technology, with how it does or doesn't apply to TiVo use taking second priority, and open for all generations and models of TiVos.

Interested? Suggestions?
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Cisco tuning adapters should never be used inline (using the TA coax OUT port) to connect a TiVo, if MoCA is in use. Use a splitter w/PoE filter on leg to TA, use other leg for the TiVo. Enjoy!
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:19 AM   #21
L David Matheny
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Originally Posted by lessd View Post
IMHO all drives should be power down at least once a year to keep the arm from building up enough dust to jam the park position, I have no proof of this but I do a cold re-boot of all my TiVos at least every 6 months. I have no data about dust jamming the park position, only the old saying "if you don't use it you will lose it"
Maybe some lubricants could harden enough to cause jamming, but if there's dust inside your hard disk drive, you've got big problems.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:49 AM   #22
nooneuknow
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Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post
Maybe some lubricants could harden enough to cause jamming, but if there's dust inside your hard disk drive, you've got big problems.
Yeah. That's for sure. A quick test to see if the internal dust (particulate) filters are full is to peel up the adhesive-backed silver inspection port covers/labels and see if the adhesive exposed to the inside of the drive has any particulates in/on it. Done VERY carefully, you can know if your drive is at imminent failure state, without voiding any warranty that may be intact.

Those filters are micron, or better, grade. If dust makes it onto the adhesive inspection port covers, that almost certainly means the filters are full, and your data is literally flying around in the internal airflow (being lost a speck at a time).

EDIT/ADD: I see your post clocked in a minute after mine, saying mostly the same thing about dust. I'd be interested any perspectives you have on anything else I posted. I'm thinking you might overlook the post due to the timing.
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Cisco tuning adapters should never be used inline (using the TA coax OUT port) to connect a TiVo, if MoCA is in use. Use a splitter w/PoE filter on leg to TA, use other leg for the TiVo. Enjoy!

Last edited by nooneuknow : 06-27-2014 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:32 PM   #23
lessd
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Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post
Maybe some lubricants could harden enough to cause jamming, but if there's dust inside your hard disk drive, you've got big problems.
I only used dust because that the only thing I thought of but your lubricants problem if true may make more sense, I don't know I just do my 6 month cold boot and all works for me.
The reason there is no good answer is because if you tested a batch of drives for extended life over 5 years you may get answers about the best drive that you purchased 5 years ago, but today the drives would different, there no way I know of doing a torture test on a hard drive so that 1 year of operation can be reduced to say one day.
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:41 PM   #24
nooneuknow
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Originally Posted by lessd View Post
The reason there is no good answer is because if you tested a batch of drives for extended life over 5 years you may get answers about the best drive that you purchased 5 years ago, but today the drives would different, there no way I know of doing a torture test on a hard drive so that 1 year of operation can be reduced to say one day.
Another thing I fully agree with, and am glad you brought it up...

I'm sure some of the great minds on here could make a program that simulates TiVo disk writes, with user-specified bitrates for SD/HD, and number of streams being processed by the drive (tuner number emulation). Even SATA-1 (150MB/s) boards and and old processor could simulate the TiVo host interface. That just leaves people willing to run one or more test rigs and drives for the test under as much load as it will take, then see how long each drive holds-up. Emulating the databases and non-AV data would have to likely be left out.

I figure a TiVo would be a good device to test the longevity of SSDs, just requiring knowing the bitrate, and calculating computer use bitrates to multiply the failure time by, to get a rough guesstimate.

Back to platter drives: Seagate drives have "total LBAs written" and "total LBAs read" in the extended SMART profiles, making it easy to know how many times the whole drive has been rewritten over a period of time.

I know there's a lot of factors missing and nothing concrete can be determined. It just sounds possible, and something I'd like to see tried (or do myself, if I had all the hardware, plus the coding skills).
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Cisco tuning adapters should never be used inline (using the TA coax OUT port) to connect a TiVo, if MoCA is in use. Use a splitter w/PoE filter on leg to TA, use other leg for the TiVo. Enjoy!
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