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Old 10-17-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
flynch
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drive upgrade for TiVo HD with external drive

My TiVo HD has the stock hdd, with a 500gb (tivo supplied western digital) eSata external drive.

This system is a few years old and I'm getting concerned that the disks won't last for ever, so I would like to backup or upgrade before they go bad.

I'm wondering if its possible to upgrade to a single 1 or 2tb drive, eliminating the need for the external drive, while preserving the content that is currently striped across both the internal and external drives.
To put it another way, I would like to merge the data from the existing pair of disks onto a single 1/2TB internal drive.

Is that possible?
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:29 PM   #2
flynch
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After a little research I found this on the MFSLive site:

mfslive.org/softwareguidep3.htm#series3

It's a somewhat manual process... I was hoping for something a little more streamlined.

Please chime in if you know if a better approach.

I'd also be interested in recommendations for disk drives.
Is it true that I can use almost any modern 7200 rpm 1tb sata drive?
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:11 PM   #3
ThAbtO
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You cannot merge the recordings but you can transfer to your PC and after you upgrade to a 1tb+, you can then transfer them back.

To save time, after transferring, delete the recordings from the Tivo, as well as from the Recently Deleted Folder.

You will not get any benefit using 7200 rpm drives, except for the extra heat.

If you are using Windows, you can get WinMFS to do the backup/restore/upgrading. The other MFS Live, you need to burn a CD and then boot from it and type Linux-type commands.
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~~~~~

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Old 10-17-2012, 07:40 PM   #4
flynch
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Thank you ThAbtO.
Just to be crystal clear, I'm planning on doing the following:
1. Remove the internal hdd from my TiVo.
2. Remove the TiVo's external hdd from its enclosure.
3. Attach both disks along with a temporary work drive to a pc - direct sata connections.
4. use the mfs utility to do a complete backup to the temp work drive - this in effect merges the data to a single image.
5. disconnect the tivo drives (1 & 2), connect the new 1tb drive (which will ultimately go into the TiVo.
6. use the mfs utilities to restore the backup image from the temp work drive to the new 1tb drive.
7. install the new 1tb drive into the TiVo.

That is an interesting point that you make regarding the 7200 rpm disk - most likely the only benefit of 7200 rpm would be a little time saved when restoring from the backup image.

Heat and reliability are surely the two most important factors when choosing a drive. I'm off to do a little more research before I purchase that 1tb drive.
Any pointers or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:54 PM   #5
ThAbtO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynch View Post
Thank you ThAbtO.
Just to be crystal clear, I'm planning on doing the following:
1. Remove the internal hdd from my TiVo.
2. Remove the TiVo's external hdd from its enclosure.
3. Attach both disks along with a temporary work drive to a pc - direct sata connections.
4. use the mfs utility to do a complete backup to the temp work drive - this in effect merges the data to a single image.
5. disconnect the tivo drives (1 & 2), connect the new 1tb drive (which will ultimately go into the TiVo.
6. use the mfs utilities to restore the backup image from the temp work drive to the new 1tb drive.
7. install the new 1tb drive into the TiVo.

That is an interesting point that you make regarding the 7200 rpm disk - most likely the only benefit of 7200 rpm would be a little time saved when restoring from the backup image.

Heat and reliability are surely the two most important factors when choosing a drive. I'm off to do a little more research before I purchase that 1tb drive.
Any pointers or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

After transferring recordings.... You would need to remove the external using Tivo's instructions.

1. Power down the Tivo.
2. Disconnect the eSATA cable of the external drive from the Tivo.
3. Power back up the Tivo and wait for the boot up and divorce instructions.

You cannot merge the drives after the upgrading. Actually it isn't merging the drives, its divorcing the external.

You can then hook up just the internal Tivo Drive to the PC.

DO NOT USE WINDOWS TO ASSIGN A DRIVE LETTER OR FORMAT THE TIVO DRIVE.

Windows should not be able to read the Tivo drive.
Run WinMFS under administrator.
Choose the Tivo drive as the source, and if you have the new drive attached, choose as destination.
Back up the Tivo drive. (If you only hooked up Tivo drive to the PC, Power down. Change drive with the new drive.)
Restore to the new drive, then choose MFSAdd and finally Supersize.

A 1tb drive would get you about 155 HD hours.
__________________
Series 2 (PLS, sold)
TiVo HD 1TB (157 HD Hrs, PLS, "652")
Roamio! Oh, wait, Its Juliet!
OTA! OTA! OTA!

~~~~~

The TiVo Apocalypse begins on Sat 2013 Feb 16 00:00 GMT!

Last edited by ThAbtO : 10-17-2012 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:12 PM   #6
flynch
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Quote:
You cannot merge the drives after the upgrading. Actually it isn't merging the drives, its divorcing the external.

The easiest is using WinMFS, to backup, then restore to the new drive, then choose MFSAdd and finally Supersize.

A 1tb drive would get you about 155 HD hours.
Apologies if I'm laboring this ... I want to be certain that I don't break the TiVo or we could be divorcing more than an external drive here!

I must admit that I'm not 100% certain that fully understand when the divorce should happen and how I end up with a divorced hdd with all of my content.

I think you are suggesting the following:

1. backup with WinMFS - prior to divorcing - so that I keep the TiVo's contents.
2. put the original disks back into the tivo. divorce the external.
3. backup the divorced image of the internal hdd.
4. restore the divorced image to the new 1tb drive.
5. use mfs add and supersize to restore the content from step 1 to the new drive.

Have I got the sequence of steps correct?


Regarding the drive - I'm looking at putting a Western Digital AV-GP into the TiVo, since they are designed for 24/7 use in dvr's. Newegg seem to have them for $99:

newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136941&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Hard%20Drives-_-Western%20Digital-_-22136941&AID=10440897&PID=1796839&SID=25441854
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
ThAbtO
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When you divorce the drive, you will lose your recordings prior to when you first attached the external drive. Any recordings that were there before will be intact.

That's the reason for transferring your recordings to PC or another Tivo, if available, before hand.

You cannot merge drives on the PC, only removing them prior on the Tivo.

The Tivo will detect there is a missing external drive and will ask if you want to divorce it. Otherwise, you would need to reattach it to continue to use it on the Tivo.

Unless its divorced, you cannot use a single drive on a 2 drive Tivo.

(I've done this before. I had an internal and external 500 gb, external failed, divorced, then used WinMFS from the original 160 gb drive to a 1tb. That was 2 yrs ago and its still running. I went from 20 HD hrs to 157 HD hrs. Noted in my signature.)

Using MFS Live, you would first need to download and burn to a CD. Use Linux type commands. Any typos and you could mess up the drives, such as writing to the wrong drive.

I chose WinMFS because it was the easiest procedure and no Linux commands to type or CD to burn.
__________________
Series 2 (PLS, sold)
TiVo HD 1TB (157 HD Hrs, PLS, "652")
Roamio! Oh, wait, Its Juliet!
OTA! OTA! OTA!

~~~~~

The TiVo Apocalypse begins on Sat 2013 Feb 16 00:00 GMT!

Last edited by ThAbtO : 10-17-2012 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:01 PM   #8
flynch
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ah-ha. Thank you very much for explaining that.

Since we are a single TiVo home our only option would be to transfer the existing content to a pc - presumably via the tivo web interface or tivo desktop or some such.

Once the external drive is divorced we would loose the content from the TiVo itself (even though the now playing list will still list the recordings - according to the MFSLive FAQ).

This isn't going to have a very high WAF - even with the old content available via pyTivo.

I think my best course of action for now might be to perform a truncated backup asap. Continue running on the current dual drive setup, as the wife and kids want their content easily accessible in the TiVo.

When the drives eventually go belly up. I will have a truncated backup that I can restore from. Then I can probably divorce, mfs-add and supersize the the newly restored drive.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:48 PM   #9
ThAbtO
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A 2 drive Tivo system stands a bigger chance of failure and loss of recordings if either drive should fail.

A single drive stands a better chance of recovery if the drive fails without loss to recordings.

If you upgrade to a 1tb now, there would be more space for recordings then on your current 160gb + 500 gb external.

Using Western Digital drives, you may need to use WDIDLE3.exe /D to disable the idle timer. It may or may not interfere with the Tivo, or just on the restart or powerup.
__________________
Series 2 (PLS, sold)
TiVo HD 1TB (157 HD Hrs, PLS, "652")
Roamio! Oh, wait, Its Juliet!
OTA! OTA! OTA!

~~~~~

The TiVo Apocalypse begins on Sat 2013 Feb 16 00:00 GMT!
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:34 PM   #10
unitron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynch View Post
Apologies if I'm laboring this ... I want to be certain that I don't break the TiVo or we could be divorcing more than an external drive here!

I must admit that I'm not 100% certain that fully understand when the divorce should happen and how I end up with a divorced hdd with all of my content.

I think you are suggesting the following:

1. backup with WinMFS - prior to divorcing - so that I keep the TiVo's contents.
2. put the original disks back into the tivo. divorce the external.
3. backup the divorced image of the internal hdd.
4. restore the divorced image to the new 1tb drive.
5. use mfs add and supersize to restore the content from step 1 to the new drive.

Have I got the sequence of steps correct?


Regarding the drive - I'm looking at putting a Western Digital AV-GP into the TiVo, since they are designed for 24/7 use in dvr's. Newegg seem to have them for $99:

newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136941&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Hard%20Drives-_-Western%20Digital-_-22136941&AID=10440897&PID=1796839&SID=25441854
Apparently you don't have enough posts yet to be able to post links, but if you're going to spend $100 on a 1TB you might as well spend $120 and get a 2TB WD20EURS.

Check both Amazon and newegg to see who has it cheapest or with longest warranty.

General opinion seems to be that Amazon's better at packing individual drives for shipping.
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