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Old 05-11-2013, 11:32 PM   #1
jfren484
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Arrow Bad internal drive or expander?

I have a TiVo HD with an external WD DVR expander (wd10000f032). Today I turned on my TV and saw the orange "Welcome! Powering up..." screen, and it wouldn't get past that screen. Restarted several times, tried to get kickstart going, no joy. I disconnected the expander and restarted, and this time I got past "Welcome! Powering up..." and the next screen ("Almost there...") before getting the screen asking me to confirm that I wanted to remove my external drive and lose my recordings.

What I want is a) to confirm my conclusion that this means my issue is a failing WD expander and not the internal drive, and b) to see if there is some way to recover the expander - the whole drive if possible (maybe some diagnostic tool that fixes the drive or marks the bad sectors as off limits or something), but at least the recordings on it.

More info - when the expander starts up the circles glow orange like normal, but I hear a noise that it repeats three or four times. The pattern is a buzzing for about a second, followed by a quick buzz at a higher pitch (makes me think the drive arm/head/whatever moves from one side to the other at one speed, then goes back at a faster speed - it sounds like a stepper motor). Like I said, it does this three or four times when the drive starts. When I restarted the TiVo with the drive plugged in, it also repeated the pattern of buzzes after the "Welcome..." screen appeared.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:59 AM   #2
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You have just confirmed that its the expander that failed and the recordings that were on the Tivo are now lost with no way to recover. Tivo spreads recordings across both drives for storage and removing a drive will remove the recordings. Dual drive Tivo systems are unreliable for storage if either drive fails, you lose recordings. Many Tivo users would rather have a single huge drive and is less likely to fail and lost recordings, but it does happen.

With the latest Tivo software, it can handle up to a 2 TB drive for 315+ HD hrs.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
jfren484
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Bummer. Okay, thanks. Do you think it's possible to fix the drive to reuse later (without the recordings on it currently, of course), or is it just a brick now?
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:29 PM   #4
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If the drive is bad I would not trust it unless extensive diagnostics were run.

Are you sure the noise that you are hearing is not the FAN running at full speed?

You might be able to image the drive using dd_rescue if the drive can be accessed long enough. dd_rescue can be found on some of the MFSTool CD's. You will need a PC and another DVR expander to image it to.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:57 AM   #5
jfren484
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Thanks for the info - I'm pretty sure it's not the fan, but not 100% (it really does sound like a stepper motor and not a fan). I decided to just toss it and try to live with the drives already in my TiVos (one Premiere and one TiVo HD).
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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Unusual sounds from a hard drive usually indicate a mechanical failure and reformatting will not fix it. So external drives on a TIVO use RAID 0 or similar setup? I've never trusted that, as it seems that you're doubleing the odds of a hard drive failure causing you to loose everything.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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It does not double the odds of failure, but it does increase them.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:31 PM   #8
jfren484
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Yeah, in retrospect it doesn't seem like a good long-term solution. It was nice to quadruple the amount of storage I had while on vacation during the olympics, though. I just wish I hadn't lost the shows that I was behind on. Oh well.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfren484 View Post
Thanks for the info - I'm pretty sure it's not the fan, but not 100% (it really does sound like a stepper motor and not a fan). I decided to just toss it and try to live with the drives already in my TiVos (one Premiere and one TiVo HD).
Does the external drive make the same noise when plugged into a PC?
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