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Old 07-11-2014, 09:29 PM   #1
Player01
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External Drive Issues

I posted something similar in the Tivo Premiere forum in the summer release thread as I originally thought it had something to do with that but since that doesn't seem to be the case, I thought this would be a more appropriate area for my issue.

My Tivo Premiere rebooted today for some reason and keeps coming up with the "External Storage Missing" screen. I have rebooted both my external drive and my Tivo multiple times and even followed the Tivo support reps' ridiculous suggestion of reversing the eSATA cable. I also swapped out the cable for another one I had around. I just get the same screen every time and I am starting to worry that all my recordings are going to be lost.

I don't have an eSATA port on my computer so I can't even test the drive itself.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:43 PM   #2
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Reversing the SATA cable isn't a "ridiculous suggestion" connection issues on the cables were a very common problem.

Depending on model you may have a USB connection on the Expander.
More than 50% of the failures on older expanders are problems in the case assembly, that's why a lot of folks moved the drive into an Antec MX-1 case, it's the drive that makes it an expander, not the case.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Reversing the SATA cable isn't a "ridiculous suggestion" connection issues on the cables were a very common problem.

Depending on model you may have a USB connection on the Expander.
More than 50% of the failures on older expanders are problems in the case assembly, that's why a lot of folks moved the drive into an Antec MX-1 case, it's the drive that makes it an expander, not the case.
It's at least somewhat ridiculous given that the thing has been connected for years.

I have the 500GB WD model - no USB connection.

I'm going to try to pick up an adapter tomorrow. If the drive is still viable, maybe moving to the Antec would be a good solution. Is it complicated?
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Old 07-12-2014, 01:15 AM   #4
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It's at least somewhat ridiculous given that the thing has been connected for years.

I have the 500GB WD model - no USB connection.

I'm going to try to pick up an adapter tomorrow. If the drive is still viable, maybe moving to the Antec would be a good solution. Is it complicated?
The power supply for the external enclosure may have failed or may be failing.

The drive inside may have failed or may be failing.

Both of those things may be going on.

This guy

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/repla...der-49848.html

seems to describe how to take apart those WD enclosures successfully.
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Old 07-12-2014, 04:32 PM   #5
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I bought an eSATA to USB converter today. Quickly hooked it up to my Macbook since this was easier than pulling my entertainment unit out to unplug the external drive. I got a message saying that the disk inserted was not readable by this computer. The Mac at least recognized there was a drive connected, even if it couldn't read it. I wonder if I would have more luck hooking it up to my PC...
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:05 PM   #6
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I bought an eSATA to USB converter today. Quickly hooked it up to my Macbook since this was easier than pulling my entertainment unit out to unplug the external drive. I got a message saying that the disk inserted was not readable by this computer. The Mac at least recognized there was a drive connected, even if it couldn't read it. I wonder if I would have more luck hooking it up to my PC...
You won't be able to read it on either OS, they don't speak the Tivo format, but what you CAN do is run WD diagnostics on it from the Mac or PC.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:23 PM   #7
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OS X 10.6.8 and probably above, can read a Tivo PARTITION MAP from a Premiere.

This is not really useful in your situation so move on to the PC.
Spoiler:

But when on a mac, you run:
Code:
> ls -l /dev/disk* /dev/rdisk*
before and after connecting the drive. The difference between the two are the new USB drive partitions. The mac will ask to Initialize the drive, this is vey DANGEROUS.

I have previously released a partition reader for mac here:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=517407

Unitron is correct, you need to check your power supply first off. Either with a spare or volt meter. Also you should be listening for your drive spin up.

Yes, you're better off connecting it to a PC. Additionally it's better when connected to a Sata port. You can do that with an eSata-to-Sata cable. Or by opening the housing and using an internal Sata cable.

You have a few tasks when connected to a PC.
Pull off any smart codes / run smart tests.
Run Manufacturer diagnostics
Attempt to read off data / Check whatever Tivo data is sane

If you're not going to use Sata or eSata, then you'll have to post back the model number and/or USB-ID of the USB adapter you have. They can be very picky about working with SMART and Diags, but work fine for reading/writing data.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:58 PM   #8
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Of course test the drive in the enclosure but my guess is the enclosure is bad and the drive is still good, although there is no way to know until the drive is tested. I have three of the early WD external drives, the enclosure went bad in one and I put that drive in a Rosewill enclosure and the drive works fine with a PC.

There are a number of enclosures that are compatible with TiVos, including some Rosewill and Antec enclosures. Some model numbers that have been tested and verified to work are listed here in a thread about this issue.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:26 PM   #9
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Well, I downloaded the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows from the WD site. I hope this is the right one.

The drive shows up when I run WinDlg.exe. I ran a "Quick Test" on it and quickly received an error saying that the test did not complete. Status code = 07 (Failed read test element), Failure Checkpoint = 97 (Unknown Test).

This doesn't sound promising.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:29 PM   #10
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Next up - extended test...
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player01 View Post
Well, I downloaded the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows from the WD site. I hope this is the right one.

The drive shows up when I run WinDlg.exe. I ran a "Quick Test" on it and quickly received an error saying that the test did not complete. Status code = 07 (Failed read test element), Failure Checkpoint = 97 (Unknown Test).

This doesn't sound promising.
Quote:
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Next up - extended test...
If you failed the quick test then the extended test won't tell you much else, normally one does the extended test after a suspect drive passes the quick test, not a failure.
However the enclosure is still a very good failure point, until you pull the drive from the enclosure you're testing the system not just the drive.
This is why most folks have moved away from expanders and just migrate to a larger upgraded internal drive.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:49 PM   #12
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If you failed the quick test then the extended test won't tell you much else, normally one does the extended test after a suspect drive passes the quick test, not a failure.
However the enclosure is still a very good failure point, until you pull the drive from the enclosure you're testing the system not just the drive.
This is why most folks have moved away from expanders and just migrate to a larger upgraded internal drive.
Yeah, I figured it was rather pointless but I don't think I'm going to do further work on it tonight so I'll just let it run overnight.

I have a Vantec NexStar CX enclosure ready to go as the next step in this fun process. I haven't read too much about this particular enclosure but it was what was readily available. If the drive does turn out to be shot, perhaps an internal drive will be the way to go.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:38 AM   #13
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Yeah, I figured it was rather pointless but I don't think I'm going to do further work on it tonight so I'll just let it run overnight.

I have a Vantec NexStar CX enclosure ready to go as the next step in this fun process. I haven't read too much about this particular enclosure but it was what was readily available. If the drive does turn out to be shot, perhaps an internal drive will be the way to go.
There shouldn't really be anything about the WD enclosure to "go wrong" except for the power supply, since it's eSATA and doesn't have a USB converter inside.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:01 AM   #14
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The extended test came back saying that it found bad sectors that may be repairable.

Is there any reason I shouldn't let it attempt to repair them?
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:04 PM   #15
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The extended test came back saying that it found bad sectors that may be repairable.

Is there any reason I shouldn't let it attempt to repair them?
Is there a way to post which sectors are bad?
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:07 PM   #16
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Is there a way to post which sectors are bad?
No - literally all it says is "Test found bad sectors that may be repariable."

Clicking on the repair button then warns that: "Data stored in the bad sectors will be lost. It's recommended that you backup the drive before proceeding with the Repair function."
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:22 PM   #17
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Update:

Went ahead with the repair which went very quickly. It said the bad sectors were successfully repaired. Drive now passes Quick Test.

Time to hook it up to the Tivo again and see what happens...
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:35 PM   #18
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Nope - still getting the "External Storage Missing" screen.

Does it make sense to try a new enclosure?
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:46 PM   #19
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Nope - still getting the "External Storage Missing" screen.

Does it make sense to try a new enclosure?
We're missing the details on some of your steps so it's difficult to comment. Without knowing what's been ruled out, a universal step is to use a Linux Boot CD with Tivo support.

Post what the smart logs say (smartctl -a)
Confirm it can read off the Tivo data structures.

This would be hoping the bad sectors you repaired contained Tivo metadata needed for drive identification.

Also when connected to the Tivo, you can run the kickstart ( 54 ) drive test on hdb. If it does not pass when connected to the Tivo and passes in a PC, this would be very important to know.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:22 PM   #20
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You haven't fully explained many of your steps so it's difficult to comment. Without knowing what's been ruled out, a universal step is to use a Linux Boot CD with Tivo support.

Post what the smart logs say (smartctl -a)
Confirm it can read off the Tivo data structures.

This would be hoping the bad sectors you repaired contained Tivo metadata needed for drive identification.

Also when connected to the Tivo you should run the kickstart drive test. If it does not pass when connected to the Tivo and passes in a PC, this would be very important to know.

I fully explained all the steps I took - that WD diagnostic tool just doesn't give much information. I haven't taken any steps other than those I've mentioned so far.

I have now pulled the drive from the WD enclosure and put it in the new Vantex NexStar CX enclosure. Hooked it up to the Tivo and I am back to the same "External Storage Missing" screen.

I'm beginning to wonder if this issue is entirely on the Tivo side.

As far as the other steps mentioned above - I don't have any Linux experience and I'm afraid I don't even know what the kickstart drive test is. I may be getting a little out of my depth here...
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:47 PM   #21
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Kickstart 54 is here:
http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-hd-tests.php

hdb is the expander drive.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:16 PM   #22
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Kickstart 54 is here:
http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-hd-tests.php

hdb is the expander drive.
Thanks telemark but I have moved on to "unmarrying" my Tivo from the external drive.

Of course, this is just leading to more problems. I hit 'Clear' on the "External Storage Missing" screen, followed by the 3 thumbs down and Enter. It gave me the screen saying it was removing the drive and that it could take a while.

It finally restarted and eventually went to a screen that said "One moment" before going completely dark.

Restarted the Tivo again with the same results. I just have a completely blank screen.

I suppose a call to Tivo support is in my future now.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:29 PM   #23
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Perhaps I spoke too soon. I literally picked up my remote to turn off the tv and I suddenly started to get a picture. I wasn't sure what to expect with the recordings I had in My Shows but it initially looked like it had removed a large chunk of recordings so I assumed these were the ones on the old drive. However, I have not been able to play any of the recordings that remain, getting an message saying that the recording could not be played back. I wasn't really expecting to retain any recordings but this behavior is a bit odd. I think I will do some clean-up and then attempt to connect a new external drive.
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