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Old 11-27-2007, 07:22 PM   #451
jerryv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv View Post
Unless you disassemble your eSATA drive (which I do not recommend), you are going to need an SATA to eSATA cable.

The SIIG CB-SA0311-S1 SATA to eSATA cable can ordered for $12 from ProVantage.com, $8 from Buy.com, or $10 from TheNerds.net. The PPA Intl. cable from Newegg.com is also confirmed to work.

I wrote that particular FAQ question under the assumption that members would be building their own eSATA solutions and have access to the original bare drive, thereby eliminating the need for a SATA to eSATA cable. My apologizes for that oversight.

I've updated the Part III, FAQ #10 to clarify that a SATA to eSATA cable is required for those using retail eSATA solutions.
bkdtv,


OK, so now I ordered the cable from Provantage as indicated above. I waited for the package to arrive, took my Tivo drive out and connected it to USB via USB to SATA cable. Then i go to connect the WD drive to my USB port using an USB to SATA cable + the SATA to ESATA cable from Provantage that you provided a link to. The two cables do not fit.

This is getting extremely frustrating. Why can't this be much simpler. there MUST be an easier way.
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:14 AM   #452
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jerry,

Do you have any way to take a picture of the connectors? I suppose the problem is that you've got two mail connectors and need a female?

I don't suppose it's possible for you to remove your case and use the eSATA to SATA cable to connect the external drive to an internal SATA port?
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:27 AM   #453
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Question Drive and enclosure to avoid?

Warning: long story!
Back in August I purchased a Seagate 750Gb SATA/300 Barracuda 3.5" drive (P/N 9BJ848-557) and mounted it inside an Antec Veris MX-1 external eSATA enclosure. I got it working using the Kickstart62 method (thanks to this forum ). Since then I've experienced frequent pixellation, pausing, skipping & stuttering of video & sound. Also the occassional reboot and once a lock-up . This occurs seemingly at random, can last only a few seconds or minutes and can occur just once in a show or numerous times. But I'd guess that 95+% of the time everything runs just fine! The 9.2 software push didn't seem to make any difference in this behaviour. It is definately not due to incoming cable signal, as it happens on TiVoCast recordings also.

I purchased a copy of Spinrite and did a thorough scan of the drive (took 35hrs!) incase the power outages (see side-note below) had somehow screwed up the drive - nope, it was fine. I then tried changing the eSATA cable from the one that came with the Antec box to one recommended on this forum (SIIG 1m CB-SA0111-S1). I even tried adding some extra home-brew "shielding" by wrapping it in Al foil!!

Finally, thinking that my $600 refurb'd S3 might be the problem (BTW thanks for the huge price drop TiVo - NOT! shades of Steve Jobs!) I called TiVo, but already knew what the answer would be: "sorry, not supported". They even tried to walk me through dis-mounting the drive (which would have wiped all my saved shows).

So now I'm left contemplating whether to "downgrade" to TiVo's official DVR Expander (33% less space !) or to try another drive (and/or enclosure)...
1) Has anyone else had experience with this drive and specifically this drive in this enclosure? (The enclosure itself gets the OK in the FAQ... but beware my side-note below)
2) Has anyone opened a DVR Expander and found out what series of WD drive is in there? Is it the WD5000AVJS? This is asked with a view to purchasing the same series to put in my Antec box, so it is similar as possible to the "DVR Expander". Unfortunately WD only go up to 500GB with the AV series. To retain 750GB capacity, I could go with a DVR optimized Seagate DB35 or Hitachi Cinemastar...

Side note: the Antec enclosure power connector plug & socket was poorly made such that it easily came lose and caused numerous inadvertent power outs I ended up exchanging it for a new one which is marginally better.

Thanks for listening y'all!
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:14 AM   #454
jerryv
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eSATA to SATA connection

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Originally Posted by bkdtv View Post
jerry,

Do you have any way to take a picture of the connectors? I suppose the problem is that you've got two mail connectors and need a female?

I don't suppose it's possible for you to remove your case and use the eSATA to SATA cable to connect the external drive to an internal SATA port?
Yes, I can open the case to connect the WD drive. What do I connect the SATA end of the connector to? Where is the SATA connection inside my computer.

and then, the TIVO drive would be connected via SATA to USB and the WD drive would be connected internally (via eSATA to SATA)to WHAT? Is there a diagram someplace to show me the internal connection?
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:17 AM   #455
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Yes, I can open the case to connect the WD drive. What do I connect the SATA end of the connector to? Where is the SATA connection inside my computer.
Remember to unplug the power to your computer before you connect anything to your PC. Also unplug the power to your computer before you disconnect anything from your PC.

The layout of every board is different. The best I can do is provide you some pictures of the internal SATA connector. Note colors of different ports vary by manufacturer; your internal SATA ports may be black or red.

Five SATA connectors shown at bottom-left in blue, purple (vertical orientation)

Second image from the bottom: six SATA connectors in dark blue at bottom-left corner (horizontal orientation)

The vertical SATA port orientation shown in the first link is the most common.

If you have a tower PC, the SATA ports will most likely be found towards the bottom right, although some boards have several of them at different spots. If you have a desktop PC, the SATA ports will most likely be found towards the front left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryv View Post
and then, the TIVO drive would be connected via SATA to USB and the WD drive would be connected internally (via eSATA to SATA)to WHAT? Is there a diagram someplace to show me the internal connection?
You can connect the TiVo drive SATA to USB and the WD drive using an eSATA to SATA cable to the SATA port on your motherboard.

Last edited by bkdtv : 11-28-2007 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:48 AM   #456
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Warning: long story! <snip>

I purchased a copy of Spinrite and did a thorough scan of the drive (took 35hrs!) incase the power outages (see side-note below) had somehow screwed up the drive - nope, it was fine. I then tried changing the eSATA cable from the one that came with the Antec box to one recommended on this forum (SIIG 1m CB-SA0111-S1). I even tried adding some extra home-brew "shielding" by wrapping it in Al foil!!

Side note: the Antec enclosure power connector plug & socket was poorly made such that it easily came lose and caused numerous inadvertent power outs I ended up exchanging it for a new one which is marginally better.

Thanks for listening y'all!
Warning...long answer.

Sorry to hear that you're having trouble. I don't recall anyone with your setup having problems to date, but there's always a first.

Two things come to mind based on your post. First you mentioned doing a drive diagnostic w/SpinRite. However you also mentioned later that you don't want to lose your recordings. Basic surface scans usually catch errors but a deep read/write/read test is about the only way you can be certain there isn't a problem. An extended test would have wiped everything on your drive so I suspect that no matter how long the test ran that it might not have been adequate. I'm not familiar with SpinRite, but WD's Data Lifeguard Tools for Windows will do the appropriate test (in about 12 hours, YMMV).

Second you also mention that your original MX-1's power connector was bad. That is a real red flag and where I'd have the most concern. We have the same enclosure and the power cord connection is very snug and not at all loose. IIRC I don't believe anyone else has had any issues in that area. If you experienced more than one power failure/short because of a bad electrical connection it could have easily damaged not only the drive but the enclosure's circuit board as well. Power interruptions, spikes, etc. are serious when it comes to TiVo/computers and can do a little or a lot of harm to the equipment. It may have only damaged your eSATA drive but it could have caused problems for TiVo as well.

If you've experienced even one power issue with your new enclosure my advice would be to properly divorce the drive, not risk any more harm to your system and return the case to Antec. I believe they have a one-year warranty.

I'd also perform an extended read/write/read diagnostic on your drive as I suspect the electrical failures may have done some damage.

Finally you might try running TiVo's own diagnostic programs called "kickstarts" to see if that might clear things up; in particular kickstart 57.

You may end up having to replace your drive (and possibly case) in which case you can use whatever you’d like…but I’d stick with the recommendations to be safe. The MX-1/DB35 we’re currently using has been flawless for over six months now but there are other options as well. Whenever I get a new drive I always run an extended diagnostic to be sure it’s good before I even install it anymore.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:08 AM   #457
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Questions about the WD My DVR Expander

I have the My DVR Expander hooked up to my TivoHD. Everything has been working great so far.

I have two observations about points listed in the FAQ section of this thread.

Quote:
Does it make a lot of noise?

The Western Digital My DVR Expander is tuned for low-noise DVR applications. Most people do not hear it over their TiVo.
My drive is significantly louder than my TivoHD. Has anyone else had the same experience?

Quote:
What are the dimensions?

You can set the drive upright as shown in this photo. When set upright, the dimensions are 6.8"H by 2.25"H by 5.5"D.

You can also set the drive flat with the WD logo on top and the dimensions are 2.25"H by 6.8"W by 5.5"D.
I have the drive placed flat (i.e. horizontal) with the WD logo on top. When trying to determine what might be causing the loudness, I flipped over the drive and noticed there is a WD logo on the other side. Does anyone else have the WD logo on both sides?

Thanks.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:29 AM   #458
jerryv
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WinMFS Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkdtv View Post
Remember to unplug the power to your computer before you connect anything to your PC. Also unplug the power to your computer before you disconnect anything from your PC.

The layout of every board is different. The best I can do is provide you some pictures of the internal SATA connector. Note colors of different ports vary by manufacturer; your internal SATA ports may be black or red.

Five SATA connectors shown at bottom-left in blue, purple (vertical orientation)

Second image from the bottom: six SATA connectors in dark blue at bottom-left corner (horizontal orientation)

The vertical SATA port orientation shown in the first link is the most common.

If you have a tower PC, the SATA ports will most likely be found towards the bottom right, although some boards have several of them at different spots. If you have a desktop PC, the SATA ports will most likely be found towards the front left.

You can connect the TiVo drive SATA to USB and the WD drive using an eSATA to SATA cable to the SATA port on your motherboard.
OK, thanks. Both Drives were connected, vista machine booted up, recognized the devises, no error message. I open WinMFS, go to select drives, and there is nothing available. i am logged in on vista with my user acct which has admin rights.

please advise, thanks.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:32 AM   #459
jerryv
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WinMFS Question

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OK, thanks. Both Drives were connected, vista machine booted up, recognized the devises, no error message. I open WinMFS, go to select drives, and there is nothing available. i am logged in on vista with my user acct which has admin rights.

please advise, thanks.

running WinMFS build 7
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:05 PM   #460
richsadams
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Originally Posted by DinoBambino View Post
I have the My DVR Expander hooked up to my TivoHD. Everything has been working great so far.

My drive is significantly louder than my TivoHD. Has anyone else had the same experience?
Can you explain "louder"? Is it the seek process (read/write heads moving around, i.e. clicking) or is it more of a humming sound?
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:15 PM   #461
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OK, thanks. Both Drives were connected, vista machine booted up, recognized the devises, no error message. I open WinMFS, go to select drives, and there is nothing available. i am logged in on vista with my user acct which has admin rights.
I assume you attached a power plug to each drive? eSATA cables do not supply power.
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:14 PM   #462
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The expander drives at the Tivo store seem to have come off the back order list for a while. I ordered one and received an email letting me know it was being processed. We will see how long it takes...
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:21 PM   #463
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WinMFS Problem

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I assume you attached a power plug to each drive? eSATA cables do not supply power.
Powered down vista machine, added external power to tivo drive and to WD drive. rebooted vista, both drives recognized, drivers installed, no error messages. opened WinMFS, file/select drive. No drives visible.
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:34 PM   #464
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Can you explain "louder"? Is it the seek process (read/write heads moving around, i.e. clicking) or is it more of a humming sound?

It is a humming sound. Almost like the sound of a fan (even though there is no fan in the enclosure). It is not terrible - just seems unusual that it would be that much louder than the TvoHD.

I picked up the hard drive and moved it into a vertical position and also turned it upside down. The humming sound was constant and did not vary at all.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:34 PM   #465
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It is a humming sound. Almost like the sound of a fan (even though there is no fan in the enclosure). It is not terrible - just seems unusual that it would be that much louder than the TvoHD.

I picked up the hard drive and moved it into a vertical position and also turned it upside down. The humming sound was constant and did not vary at all.
i also have the humming sound. not terrible, but definitely noticeable with the tv off. the tivohd was dead silent. i will try to put some kind of soundproofing underneath and see if that helps, since right now it is flat on my entertainment stand behind my center channel.
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:02 PM   #466
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He just responded today that the 2 to 1 consolidation function will take some time, but the bug fix to allow multiple drive expansions (MFSadds) on the THD will be out "soon."

http://mfslive.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=2497#2497
WinMFS beta7 is out, but I don't think Spike fixed the problem with multiple expansions of drives on the THD. (ie. 160GB->500GB>1TB ...)

I did find a way to do it (stock 160 -> 250 -> 500 now) which you can read about here:

http://www.mfslive.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=2654#2654
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:15 PM   #467
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It is a humming sound. Almost like the sound of a fan (even though there is no fan in the enclosure). It is not terrible - just seems unusual that it would be that much louder than the TvoHD.

I picked up the hard drive and moved it into a vertical position and also turned it upside down. The humming sound was constant and did not vary at all.
Understood. A lot depends on the surface it's on. If it's on wood or even metal the sound can be amplified or it may even resonate with it (harmonics and all of that). I'm not familiar with the WD cases, but I've had some external drive cases that actually added to the noise level. Some CE stores like Fry's sell HDD insulation kits that include silicone washers for the mounting screws as well as mats that insulate the drive from the mounting tray. I don't know if you can easily open the enclosure though...or if it would void the warranty somehow.

As greggt007 suggests, you may be able to insulate it from the surface it's on a bit. There are various materials out there but I've found that a decent mouse pad will usually do the trick. The type that's made from wetsuit material seems to work best. Then ensure the least amount of surface is actually touching anything. It might take some experimenting and YMMV.
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:15 PM   #468
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...Two things come to mind based on your post. First you mentioned doing a drive diagnostic w/SpinRite. However you also mentioned later that you don't want to lose your recordings. Basic surface scans usually catch errors but a deep read/write/read test is about the only way you can be certain there isn't a problem. An extended test would have wiped everything on your drive so I suspect that no matter how long the test ran that it might not have been adequate. I'm not familiar with SpinRite, but WD's Data Lifeguard Tools for Windows will do the appropriate test (in about 12 hours, YMMV).
Not to worry! Spinrite is significantly more sophisticated than basic tools like Data Lifeguard and will do all the drive tests Data Lifeguard can do and more (and non-destructively). If his drive made it through a Spinrite pass it is safe to say it has no surface defects. His problem definitely lies elsewhere.
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Old 11-28-2007, 07:14 PM   #469
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WinMFS problems

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Powered down vista machine, added external power to tivo drive and to WD drive. rebooted vista, both drives recognized, drivers installed, no error messages. opened WinMFS, file/select drive. No drives visible.
OK, now I have disabled user acct control in vista and can see my WD drive which is connected via eSATA to SATA. But still cannot see my Tivo drive, which is connected via SATA to USB.

Ideas?
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Old 11-28-2007, 07:18 PM   #470
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OK, now I have disabled user acct control in vista and can see my WD drive which is connected via eSATA to SATA. But still cannot see my Tivo drive, which is connected via SATA to USB.

Ideas?
Try disconnecting and reconnecting the USB plug from your computer (while it is running).
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Old 11-28-2007, 07:54 PM   #471
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The expander drives at the Tivo store seem to have come off the back order list for a while. I ordered one and received an email letting me know it was being processed. We will see how long it takes...
Thanks for the heads up! I just ordered mine.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:13 PM   #472
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Try disconnecting and reconnecting the USB plug from your computer (while it is running).
Does not help.

Upon further examination, the WD drive which is connected via SATA shows up in device manager as a disk drive (and it is visible in WinMFS). My Tivo drive, which is connected via SATA to USB shows up in DM as a USB Mass Storage Devise (under USB controllers)--and it is not visible in WinMFS.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:27 PM   #473
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Does not help.

Upon further examination, the WD drive which is connected via SATA shows up in device manager as a disk drive (and it is visible in WinMFS). My Tivo drive, which is connected via SATA to USB shows up in DM as a USB Mass Storage Devise (under USB controllers)--and it is not visible in WinMFS.
Since the SATA to USB connection obviously does not work with WinMFS, what SATA cable is recommended to connect Tivo drive to SATA port in my computer?
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:04 AM   #474
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Since the SATA to USB connection obviously does not work with WinMFS, what SATA cable is recommended to connect Tivo drive to SATA port in my computer?
A standard SATA I to SATA I cable like this. These are sold at Comp USA, Frys, etc.

Here is one from Frys.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:12 AM   #475
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Does not help.

Upon further examination, the WD drive which is connected via SATA shows up in device manager as a disk drive (and it is visible in WinMFS). My Tivo drive, which is connected via SATA to USB shows up in DM as a USB Mass Storage Devise (under USB controllers)--and it is not visible in WinMFS.
Did the TiVo drive get assigned a drive letter?

Did you try clicking the Show Mounted Drive box in WinMFS when selecting the drive?
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:08 AM   #476
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Thanks richsadams. Good to know that my setup has worked for others - makes me suspect the TiVo even more. Once when I was feeling to ensure that the eSATA cable was properly seated that seemed to trigger the problems, so made me suspect the eSATA port on the TiVo... or it was just coincidence! I need to try jiggling it some more to see if it does it again.
I concur with jlib on Spinrite - see http://www.grc.com. I'll try the Kickstart you suggest though.
Something I didn't mention before is that most of the time when running normally the blue LED on the MX-1 is solid. But it seems that whenever I experience problems it flickers. How does the LED on your MX-1 behave?

I've gone ahead and ordered a DB35 750GB - if that doesn't work I'll then have to try a DVR Expander (if still in stock!). Fortunately I'm building a NAS box so will be able to use my current drive and the DB35 in it.
To keep my recorded shows I plan on mirroring my current drive to the DB35 in my PC using Ghost. Should work, right? Or does TiVo look for a specific drive by serial # etc.??
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:14 AM   #477
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Plug and Play

It may be here somewhere but I can't find it. Is there a 1TB plug and play solution for an S3 that anyone can recommend? If I can avoid cobbling together enclosures, cords etc. I'd like to. Thanks.
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:48 AM   #478
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Thanks richsadams. Good to know that my setup has worked for others - makes me suspect the TiVo even more. Once when I was feeling to ensure that the eSATA cable was properly seated that seemed to trigger the problems, so made me suspect the eSATA port on the TiVo... or it was just coincidence! I need to try jiggling it some more to see if it does it again.
I concur with jlib on Spinrite - see http://www.grc.com. I'll try the Kickstart you suggest though.
Something I didn't mention before is that most of the time when running normally the blue LED on the MX-1 is solid. But it seems that whenever I experience problems it flickers. How does the LED on your MX-1 behave?

I've gone ahead and ordered a DB35 750GB - if that doesn't work I'll then have to try a DVR Expander (if still in stock!). Fortunately I'm building a NAS box so will be able to use my current drive and the DB35 in it.
To keep my recorded shows I plan on mirroring my current drive to the DB35 in my PC using Ghost. Should work, right? Or does TiVo look for a specific drive by serial # etc.??
Yes, be sure the eSATA cable is seated snugly...no wiggle room there either. The eSATA cable seems to be the number one problem for people. Either the cable itself causes problems or the connections are loose, etc. I see that you replaced your cable with one of the recommended replacements. Just for the heck of it, you might try using the MX-1's cable to see if by chance you happened to have received a defective cable. IIRC there was one post that indicated that the eSATA connector on their TiVo was defective. The connector actually moved around so you could take a look at that, but odds are it's fine.

The blue light on the MX-1 enclosure normally flickers whenever the drive is active - generally writing. On ours the flickering is very subtle. Others have reported a more noticeable flicker. My PC external drives (not MX-1's) have a very distinct flicker when they are working...much more so than the MX-1 seems to. If you're experiencing problems when it's flickering I'd say that's a pretty sure sign that there's something wrong with the drive, enclosure or cable.

TiVo does "register" the drive model, but AFAIK not an actual serial number. (The model number shows up on TiVo's System Information screen.) The model number may or may not be a sticking point if you install a different one. I know people have swapped out enclosures with the same HDD without a problem.

I'm not sure if anyone has tried copying an existing eSATA drive's contents to a new drive for a replacement yet. My only concern is that if there's a problem with the actual content of the drive then you'd be copying that issue to the new one, but the probability of that happening isn't very high based on what you've told us...sounds very much like a physical issue. In any case Spike @ MFSLive would be the one to ask. You could check on the MFSLive Forum. It would be good to know if it can be done.

You’re pioneering some new territory here. Keep us posted!
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:01 PM   #479
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It may be here somewhere but I can't find it. Is there a 1TB plug and play solution for an S3 that anyone can recommend? If I can avoid cobbling together enclosures, cords etc. I'd like to. Thanks.
The only 1TB P&P eSATA drive that I'm aware of at this time would be Apricorn's 1TB DVR Xpander. I see that it’s currently $329 after rebate. Compared to a DIY project; drive, enclosure and cable, it's pretty competitive and an easy way to get a lot more storage space.

Apricorn DVR Xpander line

They were using WD drives a few months ago, but I'm not sure what they are using now. I suspect it's still WD but you could contact them and ask.

Their DVR Xpander models have a built in fan, come with an eSATA cable, etc. and should work fine for P&P with a Series3. There are a number of people here using the 500GB and 750GB DVR Xpanders successfully and I've purchased enclosures from them that were high quality and had no problems.

Last edited by richsadams : 11-29-2007 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:06 PM   #480
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Thanks, Rich. Just what I was looking for. I'm adding it to my Christmas list.

Tom
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