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Old 04-20-2011, 03:56 PM   #7471
jasel
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External Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750 Just Died

I knew that it would ultimately fail, but am surprised how long it actually did function.

Having been a TiVo user for almost a decade, I've been through 3 boxes (an old Sony SVR-2000?, and 2 Series 3 boxes. The Sony was upgraded internally for greater capacity, but both Series 3s had external storage (one the official 500GB WD drive, the other a Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750GB)

I had purchased the 750 before reading of others frequent problems. Other than a very finicky cable connection it worked flawlessly for probably 3 or 4 years. The box it was attached to was manufactured prior to TiVos efforts to force the use of an 'official' expander. So it was a plug and play install.

The drive is still under warranty (unless they'll disallow it for being connected to a DVR), so my only real loss is all the programming it stored.

Despite both S3's being out of warranty, I chose to just purchase another expander rather than crack the case open. A 1TB WD My Book AV was just over $100 so it seemed like a no brainer. It also installed with almost no effort.

So, is there a question in this?

Being that both S3's have lifetime subscriptions, is there anything I should be doing to help keep these boxes healthy and running? Is there anything that can or should be done to prepare for any eventual internal drive failure? If a drive does fail, how difficult is it to replace without a previously prepared drive? (i.e. will replacing an internal drive while it is still working save me some grief down the road?)

I guess what I'm asking is not more about preserving my TiVo box, but preserving my lifetime subscriptions. Anything I should be doing other than providing adequate ventilation that will help deter any potential pitfalls, or improve the performance of my new expander or S3 boxes?

Thanks,

James
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:19 PM   #7472
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I knew that it would ultimately fail, but am surprised how long it actually did function.
That is really remarkable considering how many FAP's failed within days, weeks or months of being installed in the "old days". FWIW you would have had to have used the old Kickstart 62 method to install it...not quite "plug and play".

I probably would have opted to install a 1TB internal drive to get a three year warranty (rather than the one-year warranty of the WD external drive) as well as remove the additional fail point, but hopefully your new external drive will last as long as your old one.

Hard drives are the number one reason TiVo's fail by far, however other parts like power supplies, etc. can fail over time. Just keeping the box well-ventilated and cleaned out should keep it happy. Heat is the enemy of all computers so opening TiVo and blowing out the dust that manages to get inside will keep the hard drive and other components running cool.

If your Series3's internal hard drives are original they may be nearing the end of their lifetimes. A good preventative measure would be to pull the internal drive from each one, connect it to a computer and follow the instructions on the first post to create a truncated backup of the OS. That way if/when your internal drive begins to fail you can image a new one.

If/when your internal drive fails you will still lose all of your recordings, but at least you'll have a backup with all of your cable card info, etc. At that time I would certainly consider upgrading to a 1TB internal hard drive.

FWIW I still consider the original Series3 the pinnacle of TiVo engineering. Ours still performs flawlessly.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:16 PM   #7473
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Cmon, it can't have failed already...

The 1GB EARS that I installed in January is now showing signs of trouble. Yesterday, I turned on the TV and I had a gray screen. I rebooted and was able to play the recordings, but the menus were sluggish. Today it was the same thing, and after a while it froze and rebooted. I'm wondering if it was the warm weather that had caused problems, since I found out it was 80 degrees in the house.

I'm currently scanning it with the WD tools. The drive does feel a bit warm to the touch...
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:37 PM   #7474
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Cmon, it can't have failed already...

The 1GB EARS that I installed in January is now showing signs of trouble. Yesterday, I turned on the TV and I had a gray screen. I rebooted and was able to play the recordings, but the menus were sluggish. Today it was the same thing, and after a while it froze and rebooted. I'm wondering if it was the warm weather that had caused problems, since I found out it was 80 degrees in the house.

I'm currently scanning it with the WD tools. The drive does feel a bit warm to the touch...
I'm pretty sure the 2TB EARS is one of those "advanced format" 4K sector types, is the 1TB?

If so, could that be confusing a 512-expecting Tivo?

(I stand ready to demonstrate my ingnorance on a variety of other topics as well, upon request)
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:44 PM   #7475
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Cmon, it can't have failed already...

The 1GB EARS that I installed in January is now showing signs of trouble. Yesterday, I turned on the TV and I had a gray screen. I rebooted and was able to play the recordings, but the menus were sluggish. Today it was the same thing, and after a while it froze and rebooted. I'm wondering if it was the warm weather that had caused problems, since I found out it was 80 degrees in the house.

I'm currently scanning it with the WD tools. The drive does feel a bit warm to the touch...
80 degree ambient temp shouldn't have caused it to overheat. But it does sound like a hard drive issue. Did you get a chance to test it prior to the original install? It's possible that it had/has bad sectors and that TiVo is now trying to write to them. Ugh.

How does it run when nothing but your TV is attached? (No coax, WiFi adapter/Ethernet, etc.)

Have you tried running any of the Kickstarts?

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...23&postcount=2

Have you tried installing the original hard drive for a couple of days to see how it goes?

If the original runs fine and you're able to get the 1TB (assuming you meant 1TB, not 1GB ) up and running again I would probably look to save any recordings via KMTTG or TiVo Desktop, etc., put the original drive back in and get an RMA from WD. You can process the exchange on your own by going to the Western Digital Product Replacement site OR you can call Western Digital Customer Support at 1-800-ASK-WDC (275-4932) to have an agent process the exchange.

It's unfortunate but these things happen. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:47 PM   #7476
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I'm pretty sure the 2TB EARS is one of those "advanced format" 4K sector types, is the 1TB?

If so, could that be confusing a 512-expecting Tivo?

(I stand ready to demonstrate my ingnorance on a variety of other topics as well, upon request)
Luckily that's not a worry for TiVo (or other Unix/Linux/Apple) applications.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:50 PM   #7477
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SNIP

(I stand ready to demonstrate my ingnorance on a variety of other topics as well, upon request)
and apparently on of the things I stand ready to demonstrate my ignorance on is how to spell "ignorance".
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:03 PM   #7478
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So far, I haven't had time to do much other than run the WD full scan (which it passed).

I'm going to put the original drive in tonight so that I can get some recording done. I won't really be able to fool with it until after the weekend.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:21 AM   #7479
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WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows

Because I suspect some bad sectors on a year-old WD15EVDS, I've been trying to run WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows on the drive. Since the Extended Test will take about 14 hours on my setup, I've been running it overnight. However, twice now when I check on the progress in the morning, I find my Windows XP environment to be stuck in "Windows is shutting down ..." So, what happened?

I suspect that this frozen state is somehow the result of the WD Diagnostics tool finding its first bad sector (sometime after the 12-hour mark). At this point I suspect that the tool is prompting the user for instructions on what to do about the bad sector. I'm not there to respond, and so perhaps the program timesout and, for some reason, a shutdown begins.

If this suspicion is true, how do I get the Extended Test to run to completion (and repair bad sectors along the way) without me having to babysit the program for 14 hours?

I've run the analogous Seagate tool on a Seagate drive and remember that that tool will ask the user beforehand if it should repair any and all bad sectors that are found.

Also, I'm not a Windows person, so how do I set my Windows environment to keep my user session continuously alive (i.e., to not lapse to the user re-login screen) and to keep the screen saver from kicking in? Perhaps this is contributing to my problem, or at least masking some potential insight into my frozen "Windows is shutting down ..." problem.

Last edited by Mahty : 04-23-2011 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:08 AM   #7480
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Because I suspect some bad sectors on a year-old WD15EVDS, I've been trying to run WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows on the drive. Since the Extended Test will take about 14 hours on my setup, I've been running it overnight. However, twice now when I check on the progress in the morning, I find my Windows XP environment to be stuck in "Windows is shutting down ..." So, what happened?

I suspect that this frozen state is somehow the result of the WD Diagnostics tool finding its first bad sector (sometime after the 12-hour mark). At this point I suspect that the tool is prompting the user for instructions on what to do about the bad sector. I'm not there to respond, and so perhaps the program timesout and, for some reason, a shutdown begins.

If this suspicion is true, how do I get the Extended Test to run to completion (and repair bad sectors along the way) without me having to babysit the program for 14 hours?

I've run the analogous Seagate tool on a Seagate drive and remember that that tool will ask the user beforehand if it should repair any and all bad sectors that are found.

Also, I'm not a Windows person, so how do I set my Windows environment to keep my user session continuously alive (i.e., to not lapse to the user re-login screen) and to keep the screen saver from kicking in? Perhaps this is contributing to my problem, or at least masking some potential insight into my frozen "Windows is shutting down ..." problem.
That is odd behavior. You might want to try running WD Lifeguard in DOS instead. Either way, it's simply a diagnostic program. It doesn't effect sector repairs, etc., only reports back as to what it's found.

Although it's a bit dated, here's the "owners manual" including error codes, etc.:

http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/librar...779-701022.pdf

There are other programs that will diagnose and try to make repairs. SpinRite is probably the best but at about $90 it's pretty cost prohibitive unless you're in the business of diagnosing hard drive issues.

I don't know what symptoms you're seeing, but if you're convinced that you have a bad drive you can get an RMA. You can process the exchange on your own by going to the Western Digital Product Replacement site OR you can call Western Digital Customer Support at 1-800-ASK-WDC (275-4932) to have an agent process the exchange.

Did you happen to run any of TiVo's built-in diagnostics before you pulled the drive? Sometimes they can correct data corruption and/or isolate bad sectors (as long as there aren't too many).

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...23&postcount=2

Hope that helps and best of luck!
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:04 PM   #7481
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That is odd behavior. <snip> Hope that helps and best of luck!
Thanks for the quick response. I suspect a bad sector problem because of recurring stuttering and pixelation issues when watching recordings made over certain portions of the drive. As long as the number of sectors is not growing (as it had been with an old Seagate drive I had), my bad sector number may remain within the manufacturer-allowable limit of bad sectors, i.e., probably not enough bad sectors for WD to grant me an RMA. In any case, I just wanted to try to clean up (remap) any such bad sectors with WinDLG.

I'm using the latest version of WD Data Lifeguard for Windows (WinDLG v1.22). The accompanying documentation says that the Extended Test "is not a destructive test unless users select repair function when bad sectors are detected." Perhaps this repair option is not available at the time each bad sector is detected, but rather only after the entire Extended Test has been performed and a summary of all bad sectors is available. If only I could get to this point without the machine freezing on the "Windows is shutting down ..." screen.

Last edited by Mahty : 04-23-2011 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 04-23-2011, 03:53 PM   #7482
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Because I suspect some bad sectors on a year-old WD15EVDS, I've been trying to run WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows on the drive. Since the Extended Test will take about 14 hours on my setup, I've been running it overnight. However, twice now when I check on the progress in the morning, I find my Windows XP environment to be stuck in "Windows is shutting down ..." So, what happened?.
Are you using any power saver/sleep/hibernate setting on your PC? Turn off all settings that puts your PC to sleep or idles the HDD on "inactivity", or better, use a "high performance" power setting.

Or you could run the DOS version...
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:50 PM   #7483
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Just as an update, I actually decided to put the 1TB drive back in, and after getting left on the whole weekend, it behaved just fine.

Not sure what the issue was and I probably will run more diagnostics on it at some point to make sure it isn't a problem.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:04 PM   #7484
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Just as an update, I actually decided to put the 1TB drive back in, and after getting left on the whole weekend, it behaved just fine.

Not sure what the issue was and I probably will run more diagnostics on it at some point to make sure it isn't a problem.
Thanks for the update...that's good news. You might want to try running some of the Kickstarts (KS54 & KS57 in particular) to see what happens:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...23&postcount=2

Let us know how things go.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:54 PM   #7485
nooneuknow
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Arrow Weaknees again selling 4TB (2TB int. +2TB ext.) Premieres

Weaknees is back to selling 4TB Premieres (2TB int. +2TB ext.).

http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-premier...vr-series4.php

Perhaps us DIY types can figure out how they are doing it?

You still lurking amongst us, Comer?
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:04 PM   #7486
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Question for Riches..

Riches... I was browsing the harddrive list for internal 1GB upgrades, and I can not find the recommended drives (Hitachi Cinamaster or Deskstar). I am hunting a drive i can use WinMFS on via usb connection (usb to sata).

I am trying to avoid all the intellipark stuff, i do not have an available sata connection on the motherboard.

The list is really getting skinney... suggestions?
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:49 PM   #7487
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Riches... I was browsing the harddrive list for internal 1GB upgrades, and I can not find the recommended drives (Hitachi Cinamaster or Deskstar). I am hunting a drive i can use WinMFS on via usb connection (usb to sata).

I am trying to avoid all the intellipark stuff, i do not have an available sata connection on the motherboard.

The list is really getting skinney... suggestions?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822145475

The Hitachi drives on the "list" are rather outdated by far, by now. They were some of the first 1TB drives to hit the market "back then". They were 7200 rpm drives that were/could be "tuned" to run more quietly. That said, I installed the "tuned" Deskstar version in my Tivo HD 3.5 years ago. Very shortly thereafter, I also added one of the early(2nd generation?) WD 1 TB green drives, externally. They are both still (quietly) humming right along to this day.

Hitachi now also makes "green" drives. I have read that the 2 TB drive works fine in Tivo units. There is also a 1 TB version. To upgrade with the 2 TB drive, you will need to use the JMFS program. The JMFS program basically uses your original Tivo HD or Premiere drive, and clones it onto the new drive. For the 1 TB drive, you can still use the WinMfs program. Both of these drives are surely at least as capable(for use in Tivo) as the older drives on the list, and almost as surely, moreso.

Just missed getting the 2 TB drive for $75($70 after rebate) from Newegg. $80 is still a good price though, and it has a 5 year warranty. (3 year for the 1 TB drive though). Unfortunately, the 1 TB drive cost almost as much, in total, as the 2 TB drive at Newegg.

You might also check Amazon.com for prices on the green drives from both Hitachi and WD.

Hopefully, I'm not passing along any misinformation here. Remember, due diligence.

I'm looking at the 2 TB Hitachi when I eventually go to a single 2 TB internal unit.

Good luck.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:30 AM   #7488
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Cinemastar Problems

About 5 months ago I put one of the Hitachi Cinemastar drives in my Tivo HD. It's the 7k1000.C model.

First off, it was very noisy. Constant seek noise and the AAM settings in the drive were disabled so no modifications available.

Second, in the last month or so the TiVo started rebooting infrequently but more and more often. Eventually it wouldn't be able to stay running for more than 15-20 minutes.

I opened it up, cleaned out the dust and checked the power supply. All looked good, but still getting reboots. I eventually put the original drive back in and it's been stable for 24 hours.

I did the Kickstart 57, no issues detected. I've done some basic drive integrity checks (limited as I'm on a Mac), and it all looks good.

Without any proof of an issue, does anyone think I could send this back to Hitachi? I'm ready to do that or purchase a new drive. Probably the WD10EVDS.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:48 AM   #7489
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About 5 months ago I put one of the Hitachi Cinemastar drives in my Tivo HD. It's the 7k1000.C model.

Without any proof of an issue, does anyone think I could send this back to Hitachi?
Might be better to have "proof". Have you run their Drive Fitness Test?
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:01 PM   #7490
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Might be better to have "proof". Have you run their Drive Fitness Test?
It doesn't run on Mac. I've only got Mac's and laptops, so I can only access this drive via SATA-USB enclosure. I'm running the tool through VirtualBox with the drive attached in raw disk mode, but I'm not sure it's actually testing anything as Virtualbox is probably doing some abstracting of the hardware.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:16 PM   #7491
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It doesn't run on Mac.
There is a bootable CD diskette image on that link I gave. Can your Mac boot from CD? Does it have SATA connection?
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:35 PM   #7492
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There is a bootable CD diskette image on that link I gave. Can your Mac boot from CD? Does it have SATA connection?
It's an iMac and the hard drive isn't really a user serviceable part. You've got to remove the glass and the LCD panel to get at it.

The bootable CD image is what I'm running in virtualbox.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:53 PM   #7493
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Riches... I was browsing the harddrive list for internal 1GB upgrades, and I can not find the recommended drives (Hitachi Cinamaster or Deskstar). I am hunting a drive i can use WinMFS on via usb connection (usb to sata).

I am trying to avoid all the intellipark stuff, i do not have an available sata connection on the motherboard.

The list is really getting skinney... suggestions?
Assume you meant to say 1TB upgrade. If so here are your two best bets for a hard drive upgrade of your TiVo...

Western Digital WD10EVDS

Western Digital WD10EARS

When it comes to TiVo the only difference between the two is that the WD10EVDS is a dedicated A/V drive and is a bit quieter. However if you want to add one more step to the upgrade process you can easily change the Auto Acoustic Management (AAM) in the WD10EARS to match that of the WD10EVCS at 128 by using HDDScan.

If the drive is manufactured after Sep 15, 2010 (and almost any you'd order now would be) there may be no worries about the Intellipark boot issue however there are reports that some will still need it adjusted (per the faq) using wdidle3.exe.

You can use winMFS and a USB adapter or a USB dock for your upgrade...just takes a little longer than with a direct SATA connection.

Everything you need to know is in the FAQ (first post). The instructions are current. Just remember to follow all of the steps exactly and you'll have a "new" TiVo in under an hour!

Happy upgrading!

Last edited by richsadams : 06-07-2011 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Add link
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:57 AM   #7494
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WD Intellipark question.

During normal operation of the tivo, isn't the WD Intellipark feature a moot point since the tivo is constantly recording the 2 live channel buffers so the HDD is never idle long enough for the Intellipark feature to unload the heads?

Thanks,
BGC
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:18 AM   #7495
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Arrow Wdidle3.exe

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgc View Post
During normal operation of the tivo, isn't the WD Intellipark feature a moot point since the tivo is constantly recording the 2 live channel buffers so the HDD is never idle long enough for the Intellipark feature to unload the heads?

Thanks,
BGC
Yes, and no. The factory (WD) setting of 8 seconds, -can- cause the TiVo to hang during a soft reboot, or after a software update initiates one. There's been some reports that the most recently manufactured drives don't do this, but some vendors are still shipping old stock, so you'd have to skim the threads on this matter and figure out the mfg date cut-off point. If you don't mind having to take the drive back out of the TiVo to change the setting, you can just try for blind-luck.

The IntelliPark feature can serve no purpose on a TiVo. I have checked all the drives that I had removed from my TiVo HDs and Premieres, and they were all set to "disabled" (/D).

Some here advocate not disabling it, but instead say to use the /S300 switch, which sets it to the maximum timeout of 5 minutes (the factory setting from WD is 8 seconds). This in a sense does "disable" it, as there is never a time period during TiVo boot or operation where it would have a chance to kick in (unless, perhaps, some sort of system lockup would stop the I/O to the disk).

As I always recommend, make sure to grab the MOST RECENT release revision, directly from WD. There are a lot of older versions floating around that are likely to give you errors if you use them. The one I use is v1.05.

The "WDIDLE3.EXE" (tool for adjusting the IDLE3 timeout period) is what you need. It runs off bootable media, but not in Windows. If you have your SATA ports set to RAID or any "enhanced" mode, you may need to change the mode to get the tool to work.

My method to set the AAM & idle timer in one reboot, is to obtain the Hitachi Feature Tool (must be v2.12), make a bootable floppy, CD, or USB stick with it, and just add the WDIDLE3.EXE file to it once the HFT bootable media builder is done. I have found that the HFT software allows changing all the settings without having to change your BIOS settings, and then change them back. It apparently loads some drivers that a generic bootable media wouldn't have.

Then you can boot, using the HFT, set the AAM (which some advocate setting to 128, but I prefer disabled, as if gives a slight performance boost, and the drive seeking noises are quiet enough for me), and then exit the HFT utility to a command prompt to run WDIDLE3.EXE. Use the /? switch to get the command list, and use the /R switch to report the current settings, etc.

MAKE SURE YOUR CAPS LOCK IS ON WHEN USING WDIDLE3.EXE.

Last edited by nooneuknow : 04-30-2011 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:35 PM   #7496
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Mirror Tivo Expander Drive

I have an as yet unused Tivo 1TB expander drive. Is is possible to "mirror" or "clone" this drive to a non expander 1TB external drive so that the drive becomes an expander drive?
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:12 AM   #7497
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... but there have been minority reports of the opposite.
Links? TIA.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:14 AM   #7498
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I have an as yet unused Tivo 1TB expander drive. Is is possible to "mirror" or "clone" this drive to a non expander 1TB external drive so that the drive becomes an expander drive?
Welcome to the forum. Sorry, the short answer is no. TiVo recognizes external drives by the exact hard drive model number, not by anything on the drive itself or the enclosure it comes in.
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:50 PM   #7499
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Thanks for the response. If the HD model number is the key requirement, then how is it possible to convert a regular drive into an Tivo extender drive by installing it into the TIVO and converting it. I have seen methods for doing this on the net. I just don't want to void my Premiere XL extended warranties by opening the case. It is just annoying to pay a 50% or more premium for a extender drive.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:53 PM   #7500
nooneuknow
TiVo User Since 2007
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Cox Cable Market, NV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richsadams View Post
Links? TIA.
It wasn't worth the effort (my effort) to dig them up (but I do know they are out there, somewhere). So, to keep you happy, I edited the post with regards to that specific point.

I know you have the specifics on the mfg dates (one of your pet projects). Why didn't you just post that data as an adjunct?

I really didn't care for how people were taking that data and using it as an excuse to return non-defective drives, rather than just change the setting. This sentiment didn't factor into my prior post. But, I did recall it just now.

Last edited by nooneuknow : 04-30-2011 at 08:03 PM.
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