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Old 01-02-2008, 08:47 AM   #661
Burt Spielman
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You simply added a 1TB external drive to your 1TB internal drive. He is adding an external drive and at the same time upgrading his non-stock 750GB internal drive to a 1TB drive. I think the issue is the expanding not the marrying.
I believe you're right. Except, of course, that I'm not doing anything at the moment. I'm waiting for a PCI SATA controller and SATA cables to arrive and I'm identifying a fast(er) PC I can borrow to do the deed.
Back again, now having received the PCI SATA controller and cables I referred to earlier.

I wound up being able to copy the contents of the 750GB drive to the new 1TB drive in a few minutes more than 6 hours on a PIII PC. I've now progressed as far as disconnecting the 750GB drive and connecting the second 1TB drive I intend to use in the Antec case (FAQ: III, 11, 10). However, it had been used previously in another PC and can only be selected in WinMFS if I click on "Show mounted drives" (FAQ: III, 11, 12). When I attempt Mfsadd (FAQ: III, 11, 13), I get an error message stating, "Not a TiVo drive."

What now?
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:09 AM   #662
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IIRC there was at least one other report of issues with an Aprcorn drive...and I think it was the eSATA cable.

I've used their external drives before and they've always performed flawlessly with one exception...a drive that arrived DOA. They have a very responsive support center and replaced it immediately so I'd give them a call for sure.

They'll probably tell you that the drive hasn't been certified for TiVo, but they still should be able to help.
Thanks, Rich. Just got off the phone with Tech Support. They're shipping a replacement unit today.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:55 AM   #663
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I wound up being able to copy the contents of the 750GB drive to the new 1TB drive in a few minutes more than 6 hours on a PIII PC. I've now progressed as far as disconnecting the 750GB drive and connecting the second 1TB drive I intend to use in the Antec case (FAQ: III, 11, 10). However, it had been used previously in another PC and can only be selected in WinMFS if I click on "Show mounted drives" (FAQ: III, 11, 12). When I attempt Mfsadd (FAQ: III, 11, 13), I get an error message stating, "Not a TiVo drive."
Further to this, I decided to try copying the original 750GB drive to the "non-TiVo" drive. I'm in the midst of that six-hour process right now.

For what it's worth, when I attempt the Mfscopy with the 750GB selected in Winmfs as drive A and a 1TB as drive B per FAQ: III, 11, 5, I cannot see any destination drive unless I deselect drive B. Only then can I select the 1TB drive as the destination drive A. Am I missing something here?
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:40 PM   #664
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I installed a TiVo-approved My DVR Expander a few days ago. It took two restarts, but it's now up and running beautifully. Nothing has deleted in days, and I've got 76 programs in my TiVo suggestions folder. This rocks.

Now when will TiVo approve a 1 TB drive?
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:39 PM   #665
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I installed a TiVo-approved My DVR Expander a few days ago. It took two restarts, but it's now up and running beautifully. Nothing has deleted in days, and I've got 76 programs in my TiVo suggestions folder. This rocks.

Now when will TiVo approve a 1 TB drive?
There is a comment in the FAQ to the effect that WD plans to introduce a 1TB version of the one TiVO is currently selling "by this time next year," but it's not clear when that was originally written - I'm guessing around October? Which means we can probably expect to see one introduced in time for Xmas sales next year. My question (to myself) is, can I wait that long, or will I give in and buy the 500 GB one sooner?
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:03 PM   #666
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There is a comment in the FAQ to the effect that WD plans to introduce a 1TB version of the one TiVO is currently selling "by this time next year," but it's not clear when that was originally written - I'm guessing around October? Which means we can probably expect to see one introduced in time for Xmas sales next year. My question (to myself) is, can I wait that long, or will I give in and buy the 500 GB one sooner?
I had that debate with myself and went ahead with the 500 GB. I decided to just spend the money now, knowing I'll spend it again (and then some) when the 1TB comes out. Plus, who knows if they'll actually get it released in a year?
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:26 PM   #667
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I lost that debate with myself, so I'm waiting for the 1 terrabyte drive.

1) They are plentiful on the market, so how long can it really take for TiVo to approve another from Western Digital.

2) In the meantime, I've got 1.5 TB of drive space on my PC that I inconviently access using the Home Media Option and Tivo Desktop. I think I can wait.

3) By the time the 1TB drive is released, the additional 500 GB will come cheaply compared to buyin the first 500 GB today. I say it will be $299 or less for the whole thing.
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:54 PM   #668
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1) They are plentiful on the market, so how long can it really take for TiVo to approve another from Western Digital.
To my knowledge, WD doesn't have an AV disk larger than 500GB currently.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:51 PM   #669
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can anyone recommend a usb -> sata adapter that supports 1TB drives?

I bought two adapters from zipzoomfly but they only support up to 500 GB.

At first winmfs saw the drive with this adapter, now it won't see it at all.
Theoretically, they should support drives up to 144 Petabytes (144,000,000 GB). It is misleading for Vantec to say they have 48-bit LBA support but then artificially limit size (Vantec actually claims 750 GB support which still doesn't do you any good).
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:57 AM   #670
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Can the WD DVR Extender be used with a PC?

Hello all,

Let's say I buy the current WD DVR Extender, the 500GB model today, and then when a larger capacity model comes out later, can I "retire" my current DVR extender to my PC and use it there? I understand I will lose programs, and the performance may not be optimal for a PC since it is configured for quiet DVR use, but I would rather not just leave it on a shelf doing nothing. It could be useful as a backup device, where top performance is not a priority.

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Lee
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:19 AM   #671
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Hello all,

Let's say I buy the current WD DVR Extender, the 500GB model today, and then when a larger capacity model comes out later, can I "retire" my current DVR extender to my PC and use it there? I understand I will lose programs, and the performance may not be optimal for a PC since it is configured for quiet DVR use, but I would rather not just leave it on a shelf doing nothing. It could be useful as a backup device, where top performance is not a priority.

Thanks,
Lee
IMO I would say yes, you can use WD's DVR Expander as a regular external drive...or even take the drive out of the enclosure and pop into your PC. You'd just need to format it. AFAIK there's nothing unusual about the drive other than the TiVo’s ability to recognize the model number.

That said I did note the following on BB’s web site page for the Expander:

Quote:
Note: not intended to be an archival or portable storage device; DVR expander is designed to expand the recording capacity of a single DVR
I've no idea why that would be true. They might want to avoid trouble with people that don’t know how to format a drive I suppose. The only other thing I can imagine would have something to do with the eSATA bridge being different somehow but IIRC a few folks here have connected them to their PC’s for diagnostic testing with normal results. Even if the bridge is a problem there's no reason it wouldn't work internally IMHO. Perhaps someone else can chime in?

The performance should be fine as is, but if you require ultra high-speed response you could increase the AAM (automatic acoustic management) settings from 124 to 258 with the Hitachi Feature Tool.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:33 AM   #672
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I thought the DVR Expander has an "AV" drive in it. My understanding is these drives have firmware optimized to streaming and therefore try less to retry errors under the assumption that retries can cause stutters in DVR type applications. If so, these drives may be more likely to produce errors in a normal PC environment. Then again, I don't know how likely a retry is to correct an error.

(Drive manufacturers also have firmware optimized for RAID, which similarly quickly throws an error, which can be corrected by some types of RAID, rather than slowly retry trying to correct it.)

Am I off base on this?
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:02 AM   #673
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I thought the DVR Expander has an "AV" drive in it. My understanding is these drives have firmware optimized to streaming and therefore try less to retry errors under the assumption that retries can cause stutters in DVR type applications. If so, these drives may be more likely to produce errors in a normal PC environment. Then again, I don't know how likely a retry is to correct an error.

(Drive manufacturers also have firmware optimized for RAID, which similarly quickly throws an error, which can be corrected by some types of RAID, rather than slowly retry trying to correct it.)

Am I off base on this?
I don't think you're off base, but reading the WD specs shows the only difference to be the AAM. Seagate on the other hand does show the error correction difference with their DVR specific HDD's (DB35 series)...so it might be true with WD's product. A call to their offices might clear things up.

There are others here more knowledgeable than me about HDD's that say there's practically no difference either way. In any case, unless there is some seriously high calculation/processing going on I wouldn't think there should be a problem using the Expander with a PC.

I'm going to put our Seagate DB35 in my PC and run it for a while and see how it goes...but then I'm not a huge gamer and I don't do extended mathematical calculations so I don't expect any issues.

Good point though. Maybe some of the experts will chime in.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:05 PM   #674
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Western Digital does have an AV drive that is bigger than 500GB, by the way.

There is no problem using a bare so-called AV or DVR drive in a PC. They are simply capable of the additional ATA 7 Streaming Command Set (including the urgent bit). If you send them regular read/write commands they respond like a regular drive as far as error recovery goes. This is why all these drives (Maxtor QuickView, Seagate DB35, and Hitachi CinemaStar) were all originally considered OEM drives by their manufacturers. They were intended to be sold to companies to design and build a DVR or other consumer electronics device around. They are only of advantage to a host that makes use of the specific streaming commands. The TiVo does not use the Streaming Command Set and treats the drive like any other.

Some unscrupulous retailers started reselling them at premium prices on the secondary market boasting of their DVR performance (the 1TB CinemaStar initially had a several hundred dollar premium over the functionally equivalent DeskStar when there was only one vendor reselling OEM stock). They do have the advantage of already having the head seek performance acoustically detuned but most regular drives (save Seagate) can have that done manually with no price premium.

There is no technical reason that drives couldn't default to a lazy error recovery (as with the RAID edition of some drives) in response to normal commands. A RAID would always want the non-aggressive error recovery since the RAID controller itself is the arbiter of error correction not the drive and there is no standard RAID command set that could be used. A DVR drive on the other hand sometimes needs full error recovery capability for operating system and database issues. Hence the optional Streaming Command Set standard that DVR manufacturers and drive manufacturers have agreed to. Seagate even says they can deliver the AV drive with whatever error recovery level the OEM requires as default or just use the standardized Streaming Command Set to activate it as needed. Hitachi has now gone one step further than the AT 7 standard with their AV-Zoning on the newest CinemaStars (unfortunately, that is non-standard).

The bottom line is that the future TiVo Series 4 four tuner model may have some use for the streaming functionality of a AV drive (if designed to capitalize on it) but current TiVo models don't make any use of it.

Here's some light reading for anyone interested in the subject: See Section 4.17 Streaming Feature Set of the AT Attachment with Packet Interface - 7 Volume 1 - Register Delivered Command Set, Logical Register Set (ATA/ATAPI-7 V1) document.
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Old 01-03-2008, 02:10 PM   #675
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That said I did note the following on BB’s web site page for the Expander:
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Note: not intended to be an archival or portable storage device; DVR expander is designed to expand the recording capacity of a single DVR
Since Western Digital is not OEMing the bare drive but instead selling the drive with the enclosure as an external DVR add-on there is no reason they could not or would not specially set the response of the drive to be appropriate to the known end use: a non-booting, non-OS containing auxiliary DVR drive. Because of that, and since there is not a simple way for the end user to modify the firmware setting for error recovery, I would take their admonition at face value. The drive itself is probably not appropriate for regular use with critical data.
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:50 PM   #676
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jlib, thanks for the correction and wealth of information!
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Old 01-03-2008, 04:06 PM   #677
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My Series 3 Expansion Saga Continues

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What now?
Yesterday, I encountered some more issues in what should be a simple, straightforward procedure.

Using mfscopy, I was able to copy the contents of my 750GB Seagate DB35 drive to a 1TB Seagate 7200.11 drive in a little over 6 hours using SATA connectors and cables on a PIII PC. However, I had to deselect the 1TB drive (initially selected as origin drive B per FAQ instructions) in order for mfscopy to permit me to select it as the destination drive A. The program did not ask me whether I wanted to further expand the drive. Unlike my prior attempts using USB-to-SATA adapters, the program did update itself on-screen, and accurately predicted the amount of time necessary to complete the copy.

When I attempted the mfsadd from the newly copied 1TB drive (destined to be the TiVo's new internal drive) to another 1TB drive (to be the external drive), I encountered a "Not a TiVo drive" error. This second 1TB drive had been formatted in a PC, and although I seemed to recall that it didn't matter how a drive was formatted for Winmfs to work, I couldn't get past this error.

I decided to devote another 6 hours to copying my original 750GB drive to the second 1TB drive, just to get it to be recognized as TiVo formatted by Winmfs. That seemed to work, and I was able then to "marry" the two 1TB drives with mfsadd.

I installed the first 1TB drive into the TiVo and the second into an Antec MX-1 external case, then hooked the latter up using the Antec-supplied eSATA cable, which seemed to seat positively into the sockets on both the TiVo and the MX-1.

When I powered up the MX-1, however, the Seagate drive would not spin up if the eSATA cable was connected. If I powered the MX-1 up with the cable disconnected, then connected the cable, the drive spun up fine. I am at a loss to explain this.

Now, when I booted up the TiVo, I got the GSOD. It states that one should not power down the TiVo and that the repair can take three hours, but that, if the TiVo doesn't reboot after that time, one should call TiVo Customer Care. Since this upgrade procedure is unsupported by TiVo and I didn't expect that TiVo would be of any help in this situation, I elected to power everything down, rechecked my connections, and rebooted a couple of times, each time getting only as far as this screen.

I then disconnected the external drive and booted up again. This time, as expected, the TiVo reported that it couldn't find the external drive, and asked whether I wanted to "divorce" it from the internal drive. I proceeded to do that, and, when the TiVo booted up yet again, all seemed normal. The TiVo reported the expected 141 HD hours (I did not use "supersize," about which I have a question), but after only about a half-hour, the TV audio and video began to stutter very badly, accompanied by clicking sounds from the internal Seagate drive.

After replacing the new 1TB drive with the original 750GB drive, everything was fine, but, of course, I'm right back where I started!

I now have an RMA from NewEgg to return the two Seagate drives. They were very accommodating, despite the fact that I had purchased the drives on November 23 and their normal 30-day return policy has expired. Expecting the worst from NewEgg, I had tried to reach Seagate tech support first, with absolutely no success. The quick issuance of a NewEgg RMA for a full refund with no restocking charge was, at least, a pleasant surprise.

I've now ordered a couple of Hitachi 1TB Deskstar drives, and, when they arrive, I'll attempt this all over again. Now that I know that the mfscopy is at least manageable in terms of time, the upgrade doesn't seem as though it should be so troublesome. Unless, of course, I have further equipment gremlins I'm not aware of.

Now, a couple of questions:

When I attempt the mfscopy with the 750GB selected in Winmfs as drive A and a 1TB as drive B per FAQ: III, 11, 5, I cannot see any destination drive unless I deselect drive B. Only then can I select the 1TB drive as the destination drive A. Am I missing something here or can someone comment on what I seem to be doing differently from what the FAQ suggests?

And, regarding the Supersize command, when does one apply it? Before issuing the mfscopy command?

And a comment or two:

I'd avoid the current crop of Seagate 1TB drives, even if they did work. They're pretty noisy compared to the 750GB drive, with a lot of clicking upon spin up. Perhaps a future iteration of the 1TB Seagate drive will emulate the DB35 acoustically.

I'd also suggest that the FAQ more emphatically state that an SATA controller is the way to proceed when copying a lot of video data from drive to drive. The SATA controller card, purchased on eBay from a vendor in Hong Kong, was significantly cheaper (under $10) than a pair of the recommended USB-to-SATA adapters (about $30). Fortunately, that's only a relatively few dollars wasted on USB-to-SATA adapters, but I lost a fair amount of time trying to go the USB route.
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Old 01-03-2008, 04:55 PM   #678
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I agree, SATA PCI cards are now so cheap that that should be the preferred approach. The USB adapters I think were originally intended for folks with laptops.

Regular, non-DB35 Seagate drives are not a good idea for DVR use from the noise standpoint as you discovered.

One thing I don't follow in your procedure. When you do the mfscopy you said you did not do an mfsadd to expand the new internal drive. How is it that it ended up full size 1TB instead of 750GB as the original? Does using the mfsadd later as part of the marrying procedure also expand the internal drive at the same time if there is space?
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:19 PM   #679
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Thanks for all of the details Burt...you earned your Pioneer star with this one!

I've been following your ongoing saga, but since all of my experience with upgrading drives is with the old Linux boot disk I didn't want to give any poor advice regarding WinMFS. It sounds as if through trial and error that you've mastered it for the most part.

I think you're the first to try the Seagate 1TB HDD's. It's good (or bad) to know that they are noisy. The 1TB WD GP drive that I have is whisper quiet. I've read/heard that the Hitachi's are working well in TiVo’s.

Thanks again and let us know how the new effort goes.

P.S. I've never had NewEgg do an RMA w/o a restocking fee. Way to go!
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:20 PM   #680
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Since Western Digital is not OEMing the bare drive but instead selling the drive with the enclosure as an external DVR add-on there is no reason they could not or would not specially set the response of the drive to be appropriate to the known end use: a non-booting, non-OS containing auxiliary DVR drive. Because of that, and since there is not a simple way for the end user to modify the firmware setting for error recovery, I would take their admonition at face value. The drive itself is probably not appropriate for regular use with critical data.
Makes sense...cheers for that!
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:20 PM   #681
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simontiki,

Since you got the 1Tb Hitachi, you'll probably also want to set its automatic acoustic management (AAM) setting to 128 to minimize seek noise. You can do that using the Hitachi Feature Tool boot CD.

You can download the free WinMFS utility (mentioned in previous post) here.
Arg, I finished the upgrade and it's all back together, but I would like to make this setting. Thanks for the information. I'll download the CD image tonight and change the setting this weekend.

Just a note to future readers...
The utility worked like a charm! All the advice and info from richsadams and
bkdtv was right on the money. I apologize for not updating / thanking you sooner.

Thanks to all for the help.
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:31 PM   #682
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simontiki,

Since you got the 1Tb Hitachi, you'll probably also want to set its automatic acoustic management (AAM) setting to 128 to minimize seek noise. You can do that using the Hitachi Feature Tool boot CD.

You can download the free WinMFS utility (mentioned in previous post) here.
BTW, I'm sure I can use the floppy, right? In addition, do you know if the tool recognizes the drive if it's connected via USB?

Thanks again!
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:53 PM   #683
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BTW, I'm sure I can use the floppy, right? In addition, do you know if the tool recognizes the drive if it's connected via USB?

Thanks again!
Glad to help and congrats!

I used the Hitachi Feature Tool on a floppy...works great.

I have an external HDD connected w/USB and I just tried the Feature Tool and it did not recognize the external drive...only my two internal HDD's and my DVD and CD drives. I don't know if the tool is limited to four drives or if it just doesn't recognize my external drive. Let us know how it works for you.
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:01 PM   #684
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Glad to help and congrats!

I used the Hitachi Feature Tool on a floppy...works great.

I have an external HDD connected w/USB and I just tried the Feature Tool and it did not recognize the external drive...only my two internal HDD's and my DVD and CD drives. I don't know if the tool is limited to four drives or if it just doesn't recognize my external drive. Let us know how it works for you.
If it doesn't work, I guess my only option is to crack open my wife's desktop and hook it up, but I can't think of how to do that right now. (Her desktop is embarrassingly old.) I used my laptop with the MX-1 inclosure via USB to do the upgrade. I'm probably missing something obvious.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:01 PM   #685
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It won't work because it uses basically a DOS boot disk. Although there were some later day attempts to add USB support to legacy DOS the Feature Tool boot disk does not include it. The MFS Live boot disk (or any current Linux boot disk) does see drives attached to USB. Hdparm is the command to use for AAM settings.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:19 PM   #686
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I agree, SATA PCI cards are now so cheap that that should be the preferred approach. The USB adapters I think were originally intended for folks with laptops.

Regular, non-DB35 Seagate drives are not a good idea for DVR use from the noise standpoint as you discovered.

One thing I don't follow in your procedure. When you do the mfscopy you said you did not do an mfsadd to expand the new internal drive. How is it that it ended up full size 1TB instead of 750GB as the original? Does using the mfsadd later as part of the marrying procedure also expand the internal drive at the same time if there is space?
Agreed about laptops (and Intel iMacs, too). But with the huge amount of data being transferred to and from these 750GB and 1TB drives, the USB route is excruciatingly slow. I'm talking 6 hours on a PIII PC vs. a potential 6 days on a much faster Intel iMac running WinXP under Parallels Desktop.

One thing I neglected to mention in my lengthy post was that I departed from the FAQ in another way as well:

Prior experience (back when the vital mfscopy step had somehow been omitted from the FAQ; the only instruction after backup was to do the mfsadd) showed that doing the mfsadd acted upon the A drive, that is, the drive you are copying from. I know this because, not having done an mfscopy at all (and thus having nothing on the newly inserted 1TB drive), I reinserted the original 750GB drive into the TiVo, only to find the TiVo looking for the external drive the TiVo thought it had been "married" to (proving that the mfsadd had acted on the A drive, the 750GB). At that time, I let the TiVo perform the "divorce," returning the 750GB drive to its original state.

But the FAQ instructions clearly state (FAQ: III, 11, 8), "After the copy is complete, select Tools-> Mfsadd." There's no mention of moving the new 1TB drive to position A before doing this. I used Winmfs to select the newly copied 1TB drive as A and the intended external 1TB drive as B, then I performed the mfsadd, only to run into the trouble I've already described.

To be honest, I don't recall whether I did an mfsadd on the first 1TB drive alone, but if I did, I had moved it to position A. I might have then connected the external drive as B and done mfsadd again.

I'm not sure whether this was "according to Hoyle" (or, should I say, "according to bkdtv"?), but, in any case, it was a departure from the specific FAQ instructions.

I am certainly thankful for all the effort expended to create Winmfs and the FAQ, but what concerns me is that I am certainly not the first person to attempt this, yet I can't seem to get clarification on some of these puzzling and potentially confusing issues.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:29 PM   #687
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Originally Posted by richsadams View Post
Thanks for all of the details Burt...you earned your Pioneer star with this one!

I've been following your ongoing saga, but since all of my experience with upgrading drives is with the old Linux boot disk I didn't want to give any poor advice regarding WinMFS. It sounds as if through trial and error that you've mastered it for the most part.

I think you're the first to try the Seagate 1TB HDD's. It's good (or bad) to know that they are noisy. The 1TB WD GP drive that I have is whisper quiet. I've read/heard that the Hitachi's are working well in TiVo’s.

Thanks again and let us know how the new effort goes.

P.S. I've never had NewEgg do an RMA w/o a restocking fee. Way to go!
Maybe they liberalized their policy for Holiday returns. In any case, here it is, excerpted from their confirming e-mail:
Quote:
HERE IS A SUMMARY OF YOUR RMA:
Customer Name: Burton A. Spielman
Customer Number: xxx
E-mail address: bspielman@writingexchange.com
Address: xxx
Phone: xxx

(22-148-274) (HD 1T|ST 7K 32M SATA2 ST31000340AS) (Quantity: 2 )
RMAReason: Defective/Failure

Type of RMA: RMA Refund
Restocking Fee: No
The Seagate drives go back in tomorrow's FedEx Ground shipment. I'll continue to post about my ongoing "saga." Maybe others will benefit from my experiences.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:44 PM   #688
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It won't work because it uses basically a DOS boot disk. Although there were some later day attempts to add USB support to legacy DOS the Feature Tool boot disk does not include it. The MFS Live boot disk (or any current Linux boot disk) does see drives attached to USB. Hdparm is the command to use for AAM settings.
There you go...problem solved!
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:44 PM   #689
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Originally Posted by jlib View Post
It won't work because it uses basically a DOS boot disk. Although there were some later day attempts to add USB support to legacy DOS the Feature Tool boot disk does not include it. The MFS Live boot disk (or any current Linux boot disk) does see drives attached to USB. Hdparm is the command to use for AAM settings.
So you're saying I can use the MFS Live boot disk, with the drive attached to USB, and use the Hdparm command? Is this a menu-driven type utility?

Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:38 PM   #690
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There you go...problem solved!
What can I say. You guys ROCK! I just hooked up the original TiVo drive via USB, found it with the boot CD and changed the AAM setting. All I need to do is grab the drive out of the TiVo box and repeat.

Thanks jlib and rich!
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