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Old 05-04-2007, 06:20 PM   #1
spike2k5
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How to activate eSATA port on TiVo Series 3

Looks like external SATA (eSATA) port on TiVo S3 can be activated.

Method 1: Using kickstart 62.
Update: Oct 19, 2007
With the software 9.2, Kickstart 62 method is disabled on Tivo S3.
However, you can just plug and Play method to add an eSATA drive.
Instruction can be found here.


Instructions with pictures go here.
More technical info here

It works only on unmodified original capacity "A" drive (250GB).
So, if you have upgraded your TiVo drive already, the following procedure won't work. You will need to try method 2.

Here is how you can add eSATA drive to TiVo S3:

Things you will need:
S3 TiVo,
eSATA drive and eSATA II cable or (SATA drive and eSATA II -> SATA cable)
TiVo remote

- Poweroff your Tivo if it's on

- connect eSATA drive to eSATA port on the back of S3.
It uses eSATA connector (I) so normal SATA 1 or 2 cables won't work.
If your external SATA drive has only SATA 1 port, you can get a cable known as eSATA->sATA cable

- Power on eSATA device.

- Power on TiVo

- Point TiVo remote to S3 tivo with pause (yellow) button pressed

- keep on pressing pause button until, all the lights go out on the front panel.

or

if you don't feel like holding the pause button, wait unitl 2 red LED lights on the front left panel goes out then press pause button. (thx. to sfhub)

- Shortly after that, you will see single orange LED light on the front panel.

- Release pause button, and type "62" while pointing remote to Tivo

- If you did everything correctly, TiVo will reboot and after a minute or so, and you will see
"Your second hard drive has been activated" screen.

- Let it finish booting up and you are done.

- Go to system information screen and check # of hours.

Method 2: You can get new mfstools from mfslive.org.
This method is the most flexable and has no restrictions but will require some computer skills and you'll need to pull your drive out of TiVo.

It's reported to be working on
Internal 1TB + 1TB eSATA of total 265HD or 2513 SD hours
.
(Maximum size: A + eSATA = 2TiB or 2.2 TB or 2^32 * 512 B)

Software versions tested: 8.0.1b(factory), 8.1.1 and 8.3.1


Make sure eSATA is on and connected to TiVo at all times.
If it's missing, bad things will happen (reboot) and you will see a divorce screen.
You will loose recordings if you divorce so be careful.
Try to Select an eSATA device that will power on w/o user interaction after power loss.
Otherwise, your TiVo will be stuck at divorce screen and will miss scheduled recordings if power loss occurs.

What eSATA drive to get:
I would stick with an eSATA enclosure, a bare drive combo and stay away from preassembled eSATA drives.
From what I've seen, preassembled drives are not packaged well so might get damaged during shipping process.
Also, some drives may not work on S3 due to the way on/off buttons are implemented.

Stay away from Seagate FreeAgent Pro which seem to have a serious problem with eSATA port. I tried two and both worked well on USB port connected to a computer but won't work using eSATA port. I get "bus error" and "soft resets" every now and then. I tried with different cables and nothing helps.


For the best result try:
Antec MX1 (active cooling) + Seagate DB35.3 SATA drive (ST3500830SCE, ST3750840SCE)

Having problem?:
Check this post out.
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=351824

Update: June-01-2007
Mfslive Boot CD v1.2 is released that supports eSATA drive.

Update: May-29-2007
There is a bug in TiVo built-in divorce process so if you divorced your eSATA, you won't be able to use mfstools.
I'm not sure what kind of impact this bug will have on the way TiVo works but it appears to be just cosmetic at this point but
I would divorce it cleanly by pulling the drive and running a utility called fixdivorce.
I don't know who to contact to report this kind of bug so if anyone knows, let me know as well.

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Last edited by spike2k5 : 10-19-2007 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 05-04-2007, 06:57 PM   #2
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Hmm

Are you sure? Anyone confirm please?

I dont know, why wouldnt Tivo confirm this? if it was real?
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spike2k5
... Here is how you can add eSATA drive to TiVo S3:

Things you will need:
S3 TiVo,
eSATA drive and eSATA cable or (SATA drive and eSATA-> SATA cable)
TiVo remote ...
Interesting post. Would you be able to post any screen shots of the procedure?

Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:31 PM   #4
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Just verified it worked!!
Also on 8.1.1.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdraw
Just verified it worked!!
Also on 8.1.1.
What drive did you use (brand, size, etc.)?
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:41 PM   #6
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What does the 62 kickstart do? I haven't heard of that one and it's not listed on this wiki page that I usually reference for the kickstart codes. Something new in the 8.x software?
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windracer
What does the 62 kickstart do? I haven't heard of that one and it's not listed on this wiki page that I usually reference for the kickstart codes. Something new in the 8.x software?
It seems to be new to S3.

It will let you add external SATA hard drive to your S3 Tivo. The biggest eSATA drive I've seen so far is 750GB so you can do 1TB of storage w/o opening your TiVo.

Just plug it in, do kickstart 62 and instant storage upgrade.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:57 PM   #8
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Well if this does work then:

A. Boo to Tivo for not telling us! (unless its a accident that its there, highly unlikely)
B. What is a good External case for the Seagate 500gb hd?
C. Whats the max hdd it can take?
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:19 PM   #9
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I used a 120GB pocket drive that I built myself with my old MBP HDD and a case from newegg.
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windracer
What does the 62 kickstart do? I haven't heard of that one
It's been talked about a little bit on the other forum. Search sata.
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:58 PM   #11
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I imagine this is going to get more press in the next couple of days. It hit Engadget tonight. Screen shots are in the below link.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/05/04/h...external-driv/
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicforme
I imagine this is going to get more press in the next couple of days. It hit Engadget tonight. Screen shots are in the below link.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/05/04/h...external-driv/

Yeah, I work for Engadget, but they remove it from my sig even though I don't have a link there.

I took all those pics, but Ryan wrote it up since he didn't have a eSATA drive to test.
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spike2k5
It works only on unmodified original capacity "A" drive (250GB).
So, if you have upgraded your TiVo drive already, the following procedure won't work.
If you still want to use eSATA port, let me know and I can point you to tools that can do that.
Yes, please.
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:08 AM   #14
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Can someone confirm that it DOESN'T work on a modified S3? Great gadzooks, this is awesome news. I may have to put the original 250 back in and add an external 750!

Rgds,

jwehman
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:12 AM   #15
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Did the Data field for cable card change after doing this?
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwehman
Can someone confirm that it DOESN'T work on a modified S3? Great gadzooks, this is awesome news. I may have to put the original 250 back in and add an external 750!

Rgds,

jwehman
That was exactly my first thought...how many people are going to put their factory drive back in to do this...
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supasta
That was exactly my first thought...how many people are going to put their factory drive back in to do this...
From my point of view who needs another piece on equipment hanging off the Series 3, unless you really need more than 100 hours of HD storage. If you are good enough to use this port you can upgrade the original Series 3 with 750G drive for less than $300 now.
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:28 AM   #18
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Fantastic! Nice work, spike2k5!
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:44 AM   #19
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I'm so friggin excited I don't know if I can wait until tommorow morning to try. Think it will work with 8.3? That's what I have. This is the most important thing I've been waiting for!
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lessd
who needs another piece on equipment hanging off the Series 3?
Well, the value here may be that interest has been aroused, maybe more smart people will be looking at the external, and eventually some way to actually use the external drive for storage flexibility may come out of this. Being able to swap external drives _would_ be a real big deal, and maybe that capability will flow from this.
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Old 05-05-2007, 02:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdraw
Yeah, I work for Engadget, but they remove it from my sig even though I don't have a link there.

I took all those pics, but Ryan wrote it up since he didn't have a eSATA drive to test.
Regarding the speculation that the S3 will record one show simultaneously to both drives doesn't seem logical to me - unless it was done for copy protection. The screens that are posted on Engadget make sense because you obviously will lose recordings if you remove the external drive. The shows that lived on it, and any shows that span both drives.

I'm sure we'll hear more about this in the next few days from brave souls who try it... I'm too attached to my shows to try it
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Old 05-05-2007, 06:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwehman
Can someone confirm that it DOESN'T work on a modified S3? Great gadzooks, this is awesome news. I may have to put the original 250 back in and add an external 750!

Rgds,

jwehman
It doesn't work with Kickstart 62 if you expanded it previously but there is another way.
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Old 05-05-2007, 06:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spike2k5
It doesn't work with Kickstart 62 if you expanded it previously but there is another way.
Would you care to enlighten these folks here?
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Old 05-05-2007, 06:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsten
A. Boo to Tivo for not telling us! (unless its a accident that its there, highly unlikely)
Well, using the kickstart procedure is not exactly a common practice that the average user would attempt. It's usually meant for maintenance and recovery. That's why I was surprised there was a code that would do an expand like this.

Also, look at those screenshots on Engadget. All of the new screens used in this procedure have a different font and are lengthy ... it doesn't seem like this feature is quite ready for primetime. It's almost like those are placeholder screens that will be properly "TiVo-ized" to have the same look-and-feel as the rest of the UI.
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Old 05-05-2007, 08:15 AM   #25
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Can someone please recommend an inexpensive eSATA enclosure? I'm assuming I'd need one to use with this drive: Seagate DB35 7200.3 Hard drive 500GB internal 3.5" SATA-II

http://www.excaliberpc.com/Seagate_D...id-574241.html
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Old 05-05-2007, 08:24 AM   #26
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Wow - this is GREAT. Thanks for posting!

My only hesitation is that Tivo will catch wind that people have figured it out (indeed, they likely already have), and shut eSATA down in a future software upgrade. If they do that, we could lose all of our recordings, couldn't we?
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Old 05-05-2007, 09:20 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msu2k
Can someone please recommend an inexpensive eSATA enclosure? I'm assuming I'd need one to use with this drive: Seagate DB35 7200.3 Hard drive 500GB internal 3.5" SATA-II
I got a decently priced enclosure from monoprice. About $35. I've only used it as a USB 2.0 hard drive, so I don't have any usage specs on the eSATA part.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...ormat=2&style=
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Old 05-05-2007, 10:22 AM   #28
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To all the experts: How do we get to activate the esata port on already expanded S3's?

We are waiting with baited breath!
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Old 05-05-2007, 10:42 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottb4u
To all the experts: How do we get to activate the esata port on already expanded S3's?

We are waiting with baited breath!
I'm looking for few volunteers for beta testing.
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Old 05-05-2007, 10:46 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottb4u
To all the experts: How do we get to activate the esata port on already expanded S3's?

We are waiting with baited breath!
Here I sit with only my stock 250GB S3 drive and already you "expanders" are clamoring for even more storage space. Some people are so greedy!
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