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Old 03-19-2011, 05:37 PM   #7411
mmoustakas
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Originally Posted by keenanSR View Post
I plan to re-read the directions in the first post, but I have a quick question. I think I have a failing drive in my 1TB upgraded Series 3. To replace the drive do I need to use the original 250GB drive, or can it be done with the existing 1TB drive? I'll be using the same size drive(1TB).

Thanks
Based on my current troubles, I would say it depends on how bad your current 1TB drive is. If it will copy to the new drive, you can use the same size drive, but if it will not copy, you will be happy you still have the original!
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:42 PM   #7412
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Based on my current troubles, I would say it depends on how bad your current 1TB drive is. If it will copy to the new drive, you can use the same size drive, but if it will not copy, you will be happy you still have the original!
Yes, I'd rather not lose the recordings I have on the drive, but I do have the original worst case.

I'll have to go back and read about your experience, I've only just browsed this thread occasionally since I upgraded my S3 and HD awhile back.

I'll also to have to get up to date on the best currently available drive to use, since bkdtv hasn't been around for awhile I'm guessing that first post is not current.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:28 PM   #7413
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Originally Posted by keenanSR View Post
Yes, I'd rather not lose the recordings I have on the drive, but I do have the original worst case.

I'll have to go back and read about your experience, I've only just browsed this thread occasionally since I upgraded my S3 and HD awhile back.

I'll also to have to get up to date on the best currently available drive to use, since bkdtv hasn't been around for awhile I'm guessing that first post is not current.
Get the free version of Tivo Desktop and get started copying anything you want to save before that drive dies.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:30 PM   #7414
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So I tried dd_rescue twice, once with just -v and once with both -A and -v, and I still get 224 errors for I think 112k of data on the A drive (the B drive seems to go without any issue). When I try and do MFSinfo on the new drives, it says header data corrupt. But I tried MFSadd and it completed successfully (MFSinfo gave an error after that as well when I tried it). I did not even try and put these into the tivo again as I figure if MFSinfo is not recognizing the new drives properly the tivo won't either (right?).

I tried doing a truncated backup file to usb stick, but I get all of the same I/O errors during that process, so it is not going to help.

I ran the WD dos diagnostics on the original A drive, and it says everything is fine.

Then I tried mfsinfo in winmfs on the new drives, and it seemed fine. So I tried the new drives in the tivo...and it actually booted up! Briefly...I was just looking at the menus and it rebooted and the "external drive" error came up...D'OH!

I tried the fixswap in winmfs, and fix bootpage option1 then 2... none worked, just kept rebooting shortly after it booted to the main menu.

I also tried to restore the winmfs backup (that I made early in the process) to the new drives, but I get that external drive missing error.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Matt
Apparently things are so screwed up that you're going to have to copy everything off with TiVo Desktop and then start from scratch with a known good backup image.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:42 PM   #7415
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Get the free version of Tivo Desktop and get started copying anything you want to save before that drive dies.
Yes, I've already done that, can't copy the premium channel stuff though.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:06 AM   #7416
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Apparently things are so screwed up that you're going to have to copy everything off with TiVo Desktop and then start from scratch with a known good backup image.
So I have an interesting new symptom.

I had given up on keeping anything that I could not transfer (via tivo desktop or season pass manager), and had spent yesterday using my ancient original tivo image to get one of the 1TB drives updated and running thinking it was a 40gb drive, then expanding the drive. So far so good.

But then I did mfsadd to add the second 1TB. I got the external drive missing error a couple times, and reseated it several times until it took and booted. But then it was doing the thing where it booted up fine and then after a minute or two, it just restarts...in an endless loop. The next time the external drive error came up, I let it remove it, and it is now working fine. So this got me thinking that when I had done the dd_restore on both drives and it booted, the problem was the second drive...not the errors when coping the A drive. So I started doing a two drive to one drive backup/restore to the other 1TB to see what would happen...and no errors so far (WTF!).

So I may end up with everything on a 1TB series 2. But evidently something about having two drives with two SATA adapters does not place nice with the series 2.

Hmmmmmmm....I will let you know how it goes with the final test.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:45 PM   #7417
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So I am done...hopefully my blow by blow will help someone else (not to mention unitorn's tips!). But the final attempt was to do a truncated backup from the old A & B to just one 1TB, and I received no errors this time, but the tivo just did a powering up/reboot loop. So I have conceded partial defeat...I managed to upgrade the series 2 to 1TB, but not 2x1TB drives, and due apparently to errors on the original A, I could not preserve any settings or programs. I did offload programs via tivo desktop, and moved season passes to my other series 2 and back to the first, so I did not really lose much.

I wish someone had found a way to move everything from a two drive to a one drive and preserve everything, not that it would have helped me this time.

Thanks to everyone for putting up with the project log! Any admins want to move these posts to a series 2 drive expansion section?
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:37 PM   #7418
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So I am done...[snip]
Sorry it wasn't easier.

But I doubt you'll regret the one drive solution. The extra failure cases involved with the external drive are simply not worth it. (two jacks, the wire, the extra drive and power supply....all of these may fail)
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:06 PM   #7419
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So I am done...hopefully my blow by blow will help someone else (not to mention unitorn's tips!). But the final attempt was to do a truncated backup from the old A & B to just one 1TB, and I received no errors this time, but the tivo just did a powering up/reboot loop. So I have conceded partial defeat...I managed to upgrade the series 2 to 1TB, but not 2x1TB drives, and due apparently to errors on the original A, I could not preserve any settings or programs. I did offload programs via tivo desktop, and moved season passes to my other series 2 and back to the first, so I did not really lose much.

I wish someone had found a way to move everything from a two drive to a one drive and preserve everything, not that it would have helped me this time.

Thanks to everyone for putting up with the project log! Any admins want to move these posts to a series 2 drive expansion section?
The good news is that you can put that other drive in a computer running TiVo Desktop and have lots of room to automatically back up shows from the TiVo.
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:15 PM   #7420
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I apologize for asking this as I'm sure it's buried somewhere in this thread, but is there a list of currently available 1TB drives that have shown to be problem free for use in the Series 3? Not having that first post updated is a bit of a bummer when searching for this sort of info.
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:29 PM   #7421
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I apologize for asking this as I'm sure it's buried somewhere in this thread, but is there a list of currently available 1TB drives that have shown to be problem free for use in the Series 3? Not having that first post updated is a bit of a bummer when searching for this sort of info.
WD10EARS, WD10EVCS, WD10EVDS, WD10EURS. FWIW we've had the WD10EVCS in our Series3 for a little over two years (or maybe more?) and it's been flawless.

BTW, all but the WD10EARS are A/V dedicated drives which means they run a little more quietly. However you can easily adjust the AAM (auto acoustic management) on WD10EARS to 128 by using HDDScan to reach the same level. Details are in the FAQ (Section IV, #32).

These model drives manufactured prior September 15, 2010 had to have the Intellipark feature adjusted to avoid a boot or reboot issue. However by all reports everyone is getting drives manufactured after that from the major suppliers now (Amazon, Newegg, etc.) so you shouldn't have any worries.

Happy upgrading!
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:37 PM   #7422
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WD10EARS, WD10EVCS, WD10EVDS, WD10EURS. FWIW we've had the WD10EVCS in our Series3 for a little over two years (or maybe more?) and it's been flawless.

BTW, all but the WD10EARS are A/V dedicated drives which means they run a little more quietly. However you can easily adjust the AAM (auto acoustic management) on WD10EARS to 128 by using HDDScan to reach the same level. Details are in the FAQ (Section IV, #32).

These model drives manufactured prior September 15, 2010 had to have the Intellipark feature adjusted to avoid a boot or reboot issue. However by all reports everyone is getting drives manufactured after that from the major suppliers now (Amazon, Newegg, etc.) so you shouldn't have any worries.

Happy upgrading!
Perfect, thanks Rich!
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:56 PM   #7423
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Sorry, another FAQ, and only tangentially related. I had a S3 drive die, now my S3 itself died (seems to have somehow been my fault). I have a very slight hope that the drive failure (since it still spins up, no click of death sound as far as I can hear) is an apparently semi-common firmware card issue (on the drive).

So if I replaced my S3, and theoretically got the drive revived.. would it work in the new S3? Is the drive tied to the machine? I know you can't swap ACROSS machine type.. but would my programs still be watchable on the new S3?
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:06 PM   #7424
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Sorry, another FAQ, and only tangentially related. I had a S3 drive die, now my S3 itself died (seems to have somehow been my fault). I have a very slight hope that the drive failure (since it still spins up, no click of death sound as far as I can hear) is an apparently semi-common firmware card issue (on the drive).

So if I replaced my S3, and theoretically got the drive revived.. would it work in the new S3? Is the drive tied to the machine? I know you can't swap ACROSS machine type.. but would my programs still be watchable on the new S3?
It sounds like you're trying to watch your shows on the old drive in a new/replacement S3?

It's worth a shot, but I think the mismatch in the TSN will mean that won't work. Once you do a CADE (Clear and Delete Everything), the drive will work, but of course after that your content is gone.

Good luck.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:14 PM   #7425
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Sorry, another FAQ, and only tangentially related. I had a S3 drive die, now my S3 itself died (seems to have somehow been my fault). I have a very slight hope that the drive failure (since it still spins up, no click of death sound as far as I can hear) is an apparently semi-common firmware card issue (on the drive).

So if I replaced my S3, and theoretically got the drive revived.. would it work in the new S3? Is the drive tied to the machine? I know you can't swap ACROSS machine type.. but would my programs still be watchable on the new S3?
Sorry to hear about your Series3. The short answers to your questions are yes, yes and no, probably not what you were hoping for.

Yes, providing the hard drive is still serviceable you could slip it into another Series3 successfully. Yes drives are tied to the machine so the final answer is no, any recordings would not be watchable.

After installing your drive in the "new" Series3 it would boot up and immediately throw and error. To fix the error you would need to run a "Clear and Delete Everything". After that TiVo would work normally. So if the replacement Series3 is working (has a good hard drive) there would be no advantage to installing your hard drive.

Can you go a little deeper with respect to the drive dying...and then the Series3 dying?
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:15 PM   #7426
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It sounds like you're trying to watch your shows on the old drive in a new/replacement S3?

It's worth a shot, but I think the mismatch in the TSN will mean that won't work. Once you do a CADE (Clear and Delete Everything), the drive will work, but of course after that your content is gone.

Good luck.
Ha, that's what I get for getting up to feed the dogs while writing my answer.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:46 AM   #7427
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I see the list of the recommended hard drives but I am having a hard time finding them in stock at different places.

I have a Tivo HD with stock HD. 500gb is enough for me. I never get close to filling up the 250 that's in it now. But I want to replace the drive to see if it gets rid of the audio skipping on some channels.

Is the Seagate ST3500410SV an OK drive to use?

Is there an update list of new, current drives that will work OK?
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:37 PM   #7428
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I see the list of the recommended hard drives but I am having a hard time finding them in stock at different places.

I have a Tivo HD with stock HD. 500gb is enough for me. I never get close to filling up the 250 that's in it now. But I want to replace the drive to see if it gets rid of the audio skipping on some channels.

Is the Seagate ST3500410SV an OK drive to use?

Is there an update list of new, current drives that will work OK?
See Rich's post No. 7421 above, all those drives listed show in stock at Amazon.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:20 PM   #7429
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WD10EARS, WD10EVCS, WD10EVDS, WD10EURS. FWIW we've had the WD10EVCS in our Series3 for a little over two years (or maybe more?) and it's been flawless.

These model drives manufactured prior September 15, 2010 had to have the Intellipark feature adjusted to avoid a boot or reboot issue. However by all reports everyone is getting drives manufactured after that from the major suppliers now (Amazon, Newegg, etc.) so you shouldn't have any worries.

Happy upgrading!
Rich, does this mean that I could buy a WD10EVDS from Amazon and not have to fool around with the Intellipark feature? My problem is that I only have laptops, and based on the first post, I need a SATA connection to disable Intellipark. The WD10EVDS price on Amazon looks quite tempting and I'm thinking about getting spares.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:27 PM   #7430
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Rich, does this mean that I could buy a WD10EVDS from Amazon and not have to fool around with the Intellipark feature? My problem is that I only have laptops, and based on the first post, I need a SATA connection to disable Intellipark. The WD10EVDS price on Amazon looks quite tempting and I'm thinking about getting spares.
Someone had the idea of taking the drive and a CD with WDIDLE to a computer repair shop, have them hook it up and run WDIDLE for perhaps a small fee.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:54 PM   #7431
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I see the list of the recommended hard drives but I am having a hard time finding them in stock at different places.

I have a Tivo HD with stock HD. 500gb is enough for me. I never get close to filling up the 250 that's in it now. But I want to replace the drive to see if it gets rid of the audio skipping on some channels.

Is the Seagate ST3500410SV an OK drive to use?

Is there an update list of new, current drives that will work OK?
FWIW I wouldn't waste any time with a 500GB drive. The cost difference between 500GB and 1TB is negligible and you may just find out one day that you want more space. These are the drives that I'd recommend:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...99#post8440199

If you absolutely insist on a 500GB drive, this is the one I'd recommend:

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita...0840975&sr=8-1

The Seagate drive you referenced is designed for security DVR's. The acoustics are louder than your existing TiVo's hard drive and cannot be adjusted. It's a 7200 RPM hard drive so will likely run hotter as well and there's no advantage to using a faster hard drive in TiVo.

I used to be a die hard Seagate fan but since they acquired Maxtor their QC has gone into the tank, which is really too bad. Western Digital is at the top of the heap now (who would have thunk?) and it's the brand TiVo uses in all of their DVR's today.

Hope that helps and happy upgrading!

Last edited by richsadams : 03-22-2011 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:58 PM   #7432
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Rich, does this mean that I could buy a WD10EVDS from Amazon and not have to fool around with the Intellipark feature? My problem is that I only have laptops, and based on the first post, I need a SATA connection to disable Intellipark. The WD10EVDS price on Amazon looks quite tempting and I'm thinking about getting spares.
The answer is now "almost certainly". Most of WD's A/V GP drives including the WD10EVDS no longer needed the Intellipark setting tweaked several months before their standard drives like the WD10EARS. Apparently WD changed the build specs earlier on the A/V GP drives, some as early as March 2010. So the odds are that if you get a WD10EVDS from Amazon it will not need any adjustments at all.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:20 PM   #7433
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nevermind

Last edited by sungko : 03-22-2011 at 10:23 PM. Reason: I need to search better
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:02 PM   #7434
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I post to give a report and to ask a couple of unrelated questions. First the report. As noted in an earlier post, I added a Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander 1 TB eSATA drive, which I got from Amazon, to my S3 about three weeks ago. I have been using it heavily ever since and couldn't have asked for more. It is quiet, reliable, and unobtrusive.

Now for the questions. Question 1: Premiere XL drives are for sale at Amazon for $219.99. According to the Series3 upgrade FAQ I should be able to add a lifetime subscription for the Premiers XL on top of the existing lifetime subscription covering my S3. Is this still so? If so, a Premiere XL with a lifetime subscription for less than $420 is tempting, indeed. I hesitate, though, because of a considerable amount of negative feedback I have seen about both of the S4 boxes, particularly when using the HDUI. Others, though, swear by them. What should I do? Would be interested to hear any thoughts on the matter anyone might be willing to share here.

Question 2: After upgrading my S3's original 250GB drive with the 1TB external drive I am feeling exposed because the original drive is nearly 4 and a half years old. As matters stand, if it fails I will lose everything I have recorded, which I would prefer to avoid. What is the easiest and most straightforward way to transfer my S3's non copy protected programs to my Mac? I should add that I also run Windows 7 on my Mac, so if a Windows solution would be better, I could go that way. Once again, any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:13 PM   #7435
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I post to give a report and to ask a couple of unrelated questions. First the report. As noted in an earlier post, I added a Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander 1 TB eSATA drive, which I got from Amazon, to my S3 about three weeks ago. I have been using it heavily ever since and couldn't have asked for more. It is quiet, reliable, and unobtrusive.

Now for the questions. Question 1: Premiere XL drives are for sale at Amazon for $219.99. According to the Series3 upgrade FAQ I should be able to add a lifetime subscription for the Premiers XL on top of the existing lifetime subscription covering my S3. Is this still so? If so, a Premiere XL with a lifetime subscription for less than $420 is tempting, indeed. I hesitate, though, because of a considerable amount of negative feedback I have seen about both of the S4 boxes, particularly when using the HDUI. Others, though, swear by them. What should I do? Would be interested to hear any thoughts on the matter anyone might be willing to share here.

Question 2: After upgrading my S3's original 250GB drive with the 1TB external drive I am feeling exposed because the original drive is nearly 4 and a half years old. As matters stand, if it fails I will lose everything I have recorded, which I would prefer to avoid. What is the easiest and most straightforward way to transfer my S3's non copy protected programs to my Mac? I should add that I also run Windows 7 on my Mac, so if a Windows solution would be better, I could go that way. Once again, any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated.
See if Win7 on the Mac will run the free version of TiVo Desktop.

All those shows will still be tied to your household's TiVo account (until or unless you run them through some other piece of software), but you'll have them backed up on a non-TiVo hard drive formatted in a file system your computers can understand, and you can copy them back to any S2 or higher networked TiVo in your house (i.e., on your Tivo account) with all metadata intact.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:46 PM   #7436
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Can you go a little deeper with respect to the drive dying...and then the Series3 dying?
A couple of months ago, my S3 rebooted (ironically I think because my UPS started being flaky), and it just wouldn't come up.

Taking the drive out of the S3 and hooking it up to a computer, no trace of the drive shows up, at the hardware level. (At the OS level, I would generally obviously get a dialog asking me to format it.) i.e. nothing connected to the SATA or USB ports (when hooked through an external SATA<>USB dock). The drive *does* spin up, I can feel it, and felt it spinning after moving it around after unplugging it.. (yeah, obviously I shouldn't do that too hard, I did it accidentally the first time). I do *NOT* hear what I would call "click of death" noises, but I may be misinterpreting what sound pretty much like normal seek noises.. My *SLIGHT* hope is that this is actually a drive-controller-on-the-drive problem, which I see mention of on the net for various Seagate drives -- people mention the drive can suddenly "stop showing up" at any time. Nothing is visibly fried, but again, it spins up...

So I put my orig S3 drive (which was flaky, part of the reason I upgraded in IIRC 2008) back in and lived with it rebooting a lot.. finally tried to upgrade it to my new 2 TB drive (I know I won't get the full space, that was just a cheap drive at Amazon at the time)..

I've done this kind of upgrade before. Now, when I power it on with ANY drive (orig drive, new drive, NO DRIVE), the front of the Tivo does NOT power on... I do NOT get any video output (I see a bit of a 'flicker', but that seems to be some of the hardware powering up, but it's basically black the whole time).

I *do* feel the hard drive in the Tivo power up, and the fan on the back is powering up. It's almost like the motherboard isn't getting power.. I see nothing obviously disconnected, and at one point, I tried simply unplugging and replugging the big plastic plug that connects to the motherboard from the power supply.. no change..

Having "only" 2 digital tuners is starting to be a pain... I was semi-hoping I could take advantage of the $149 refurbs (if I couldn't get it to somehow power up), with the even slighter hope that if I *did* get the drive repaired, I could just use it in the refurb S3.. But since the drive is actually under warranty for a few more years, I'll explore trying to buy a duplicate on eBay (have to match firmware) and swapping controller cards..

but having a S3 that won't power on is obviously a big problem too.

Wow, that was long.. Basically -- "dead" Seagate drive that still seems to power up (and no smoke), "dead" S3 that still powers up fan and drive (and no smoke).
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:19 PM   #7437
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See if Win7 on the Mac will run the free version of TiVo Desktop.

All those shows will still be tied to your household's TiVo account (until or unless you run them through some other piece of software), but you'll have them backed up on a non-TiVo hard drive formatted in a file system your computers can understand, and you can copy them back to any S2 or higher networked TiVo in your house (i.e., on your Tivo account) with all metadata intact.
unitron -- Thanks for the tip. Win 7 running under VMware fusion handled the latest free version of TiVo Desktop just fine. I was able to transfer a 4.5 hour football telecast I had saved without incident. I have a 640GB portable external drive half of which is formatted for NTFS so I had a place to put the backup.The bad news was that it took 10 hours. By the way, didn't I see somewhere that the S4s handled such transfers much faster than an S3 does?

In the event my S3's drive fails, what do I have to do to to transfer a TiVo recording I have saved in TiVo Desktop back to it after I have replaced the failed drive?
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:32 PM   #7438
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unitron -- Thanks for the tip. Win 7 running under VMware fusion handled the latest free version of TiVo Desktop just fine. I was able to transfer a 4.5 hour football telecast I had saved without incident. I have a 640GB portable external drive half of which is formatted for NTFS so I had a place to put the backup.The bad news was that it took 10 hours. By the way, didn't I see somewhere that the S4s handled such transfers much faster than an S3 does?

In the event my S3's drive fails, what do I have to do to to transfer a TiVo recording I have saved in TiVo Desktop back to it after I have replaced the failed drive?
10 hours? Is your S3 connected to your home network wired or wireless? How about the target computer? Wired or wireless? That sounds like a lot of latency going on somewhere.

The best way is to have both near each other and running CAT5 to the same hub/router/switch/whatever, one of those things that looks like a harmonica, but of course that's not always feasible.


Somewhere else on this site there's an explanation of the 2 transfer methods that can inform you better than I. Apparently the faster method is some sort of real-time streaming thing, called a transport stream, but, as it doesn't produce a copy usable by the older Tivos, I don't use it, I use the older, slower method that uses program streams. (I think this is correct, but I can't find where I read it right now)

TiVo Desktop has an option to start the TiVo server whenever you boot the computer. This is a program that can run even if you don't have Tivo Desktop opened, and any TiVo on your account that's on the same network as that computer will be able to see that computer (and other Tivos meeting the same criteria). You go into "Now Playing" and go to the bottom of the list near the "Recently Deleted" folder and you'll see whatever the computer's name is, and the names of other TiVos on the network. (You may need to go to Tivo's website, log into your account, and name your Tivo(s) and activate Multi-Room Viewing and stuff)

Open the computer's folder and there will be listed whatever you've "transferred" (copied) to it. You just select the recording and say "transfer".

You can create folder's inside the computer's "My Tivo Recordings" folder and move the corresponding shows from the MTR folder into that sub-folder (all the Daily Shows in a "Daily Show" folder, for example), and the folder will show up as a sub-folder inside the computer's folder in the "Now Playing" list, and the shows will be inside it.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:03 AM   #7439
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unitron -- Thanks for the followup. I realized after I posted last night that the slow speed of the transfers was almost certainly the result of my having done them wirelessly. I am still very pleased with the result. From now on when I want to transfer programs I will simply start the transfers immediately before I go to bed. I did that last night with a second 4.5 hour football game recording. This time TiVo Desktop indicated that the transfer would take about 7.5 hours. When I checked this morning the transfer had completed and was just fine.

After I read your latest post this morning, I checked my S3 and saw that the TiVo Server is shown at the bottom of the Now Playing list and the recording I made are available for playback. That's pretty slick.

Right now, I have TiVo Desktop for Windows on my 2010 Macbook Air. I am running Windows under VMware Fusion in Unity mode. As noted above, TiVo Desktop worked well. I now realize, though, that TiVo Server's maximum utility can't be achieved if it isn't left running all the time. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be convenient to do that with my little laptop so I am considering buying a new desktop machine, I currently have a 6 year old HP/Compaq, which has become so slow, it is almost useless. Thanks to you, I have learned how to backup my S3's files to an external drive, so I am a happy camper. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:21 PM   #7440
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Question 1: Premiere XL drives are for sale at Amazon for $219.99. ...a Premiere XL with a lifetime subscription for less than $420 is tempting, indeed.
Check your numbers on the lifetime cost. Sounds like you're thinking it's $199, and I don't think it goes that low. You can probably get $299, which isn't bad for the XL. But consider a regular Premiere and upgrade it to 2TB yourself--it's really easy (Rich will probably respond, he's a good resource). See:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=370784

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb....php?p=8445804

I've done that solution three times (sold one to a friend)--each upgrade offer I cashed in on was $470 for a (shipped) LIFETIMED S4 (with 300GB stock drive). A few hours of copying and an $80-$100 2TB WD drive later (I used WD20EARS, there's several good choices on that thread), you'll have yourself a 2TB S4 (bigger than the XL), giving you over 300 hours of HD. So this comes to about $550 for a 300hr HD unit, and you get to shelve the original 300GB drive as your backup. If you're expecting to stay in one area a long time, it's easiest to let the stock drive stay in until you get the CableCARD install complete and working properly, that way that is transferred to the new drive and will be there when/if you ever need the backup.


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I hesitate, though, because of a considerable amount of negative feedback I have seen about both of the S4 boxes, particularly when using the HDUI. Others, though, swear by them. ...
I'm one of the latter, obv. The HD/SD argument doesn't sway me--I use a laptop, not the TV, to do my Internet stuff. I much prefer the SD menus. And on the S4 there's a noticable increase in responsiveness/speed on the SD menus. Plus with the Premiere (and the HDTiVO), you will only need a single CableCARD, not two as the S3 still requires. I add to my pro-S4 argument that there's "room to grow" on the S4. TiVo may have always been slow (yes, horribly so) in making software changes, but they haven't ever NOT done so. There are significant gains to be made with tweaking the software that you'll see over time, to include a jump in capabilities/reliability/speed once they enable the second CPU, which currently sits unutilized.
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Question 2: After upgrading my S3's original 250GB drive with the 1TB external drive I am feeling exposed because the original drive is nearly 4 and a half years old. As matters stand, if it fails I will lose everything I have recorded, which I would prefer to avoid. What is the easiest and most straightforward way to transfer my S3's non copy protected programs to my Mac? I should add that I also run Windows 7 on my Mac, so if a Windows solution would be better, I could go that way. Once again, any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated.
First, I'll comment on one thing that maybe you weren't asking: I don't like your decision to use the external expander--too many extra parts added, more failure points and a bad track record. But given 2TB drive upgrades are not easy (IIRC) on the S3, it may be your easiest choice.

You're in a precarious situation with your old drive, but there are lots of folks who swear by the S3. I would have recommended if you're sticking with the S3 that you NOT do the external drive, and instead copy/transfer the existing drive to a 1.5TB drive, giving you about 1.2TB (IIRC) of TiVo utilized space, about what you get with your stock(aging)+external solution, with all new hardware and five or so fewer failure points (cable, two sockets, external unit, its power supply and its drive).

Unfortunately, I believe now that you've married your external to your main drive, all of your shows will be lost if you go back to one drive in order to do the upgrade to a single internal drive.

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unitron -- ...I realized ...that the slow speed of the transfers was almost certainly the result of my having done them wirelessly.
Consider a Mac Mini, thats what we use. They're trivially easy to run machines, very high quality, low power. Pop it onto an unused HDMI port on your TV, add $140 or so for the Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad (I LOVE that trackpad--our wireless apple mouse sits unused). Plug it into the wired network, and have a place you can plug your MBA into the wired network for TiVO transfers from either the TiVo or the Mini, so you get faster transfer times. We popped on a Newertech MiniStack v3, an external 2TB drive, which is also low profile and low power. Tons of room, and the MBP and the Mini both Time Machine to that drive.
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