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Old 12-09-2008, 04:40 AM   #1
ciper
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I upgraded my THD with 2TB internal storage, pics inside

So I originally planned to install three 1TB drives internally to my THD. I wanted to show off to all of you so I went to work preparing the system. This included a replacement power supply, drive support bracket, SATA to SATA internal array controller and purchasing the drives. After some recent research I found that the 2TiB (~2.2TB) is the max overall space possible Thats what I get for trying to brag!

Anyways I had to change my plans and scrap some of the items. I did get the system working with a Micro ATX power supply and there is room for three drives side by side.

The 14 pin Molex connector the THD uses is key compatible with a 20/24pin ATX Molex. You must change the pinouts or you will short out the power supply! I purchased a 20 pin to 24 pin adapter for 4$ and used it to create an ATX to Tivo adapter



The Micro ATX PS is about 2mm too wide to fit next to the motherboard (as shown below). You will most likely relocate the power connection and the power supply is internal so remove the cover and turn it 90 degrees and it fits with room to spare.


Since I was no longer able to use three 1TB drives I removed the support bracket I created and made something to attach two drives together. If you are a function over form guy then you can actually use two washers with the screws supplied with the drives to attach two drives side by side so an extra bracket isnt even needed. I put a small spacer between them to promote cooling. A minor modification to a SATA power splitter let it connect to the power connection on the stock power supply.


The large zip tie is not needed but I added it as a backup in case I ever dropped the unit. Not pictured is a timer delay circuit that I am adding to the 12 volt line on the B drive. The THD power supply is able to spin up two drives at the same time! (I'm not sure if its good for its longevity though). I covered most of the holes on the right side of the case to force air to flow from the farthest point from the fan. I will be monitoring temperatures over the next few days and will most likely add an additional fan but so far its running at 46 Celsius



PS: I hate the idea of external drives.

Last edited by ciper : 12-11-2008 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:59 AM   #2
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Very cool, How long did it take you to do all this?
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:53 PM   #3
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As always, the devil is in the details.


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Old 12-09-2008, 02:25 PM   #4
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In order to stress the system I created an auto record wishlist that only has the category of "HD" and made sure suggestions were turned on. The system has been continually recording on both tuners and has 146 HD programs so far.

If I had planned to use two drives in the first place this would have been VERY cheap. The drives came with SATA cables and screws so the only additional hardware was the SATA power splitter (~3$?), some zip ties and whatever you used to tie the drives together.

Two (3/8 iirc) washers are actually enough to clamp the drives together extremely well. Put the drives next to each other on their back with the bottom mounting holes aligned. Put a small piece of foam in between the drives (to keep them from touching) and place the washer over the mounting holes and tighten the screws. You can still tighten the posts on the mounting bracket that is closest to the left side of the case and the washer/screws in the middle rest on the rubber grommet in the middle.

Quote:
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Very cool, How long did it take you to do all this?
It was all pretty easy. I spent most of the time researching the options and trying to use DDRescue on my previous drive. The hard drive bracket I made used to be part of the sheet metal cover for a VCR. The physical task that took the longest was repinning the Molex connector. I was too cheap to by the pin extraction tool so I had to MacGuyver it.

I'm not sure why but the temperature has dropped to 42 Celsius at the time I am writing this.

Last edited by ciper : 12-09-2008 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 12-11-2008, 01:29 AM   #5
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I got bored and made a couple more modifications. First I rerouted the white cable that powers the front display above the unused cable card slot so that it wouldn't touch the second hard drive.

Then I took a radio shack desoldering iron with the squeeze bulb removed and then attached to silicone hose which then goes to an aquarium pump. I filled the solder bucket with crumpled up wire to increase the surface area. Tada, focused hot air gun!


That was used to remove this


from here


and replaced with this


I stumbled across the socket at a local electronics store. It was only 2.45$. I'm honestly surprised how easy it was. I have never removed a surface mount IC before! My only mistake was installing the socket upside down... so I had to heat up my X-acto knife and cut the notch into the other side so the chip would fit. lol
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:03 AM   #6
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So what is that chip for and what is the advantage to modifying how it mounts to the board?
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:42 AM   #7
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I thought the 2.2 TB limitation is only for the Series 3 units, not for the TiVoHD?
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:57 AM   #8
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The chip is the system boot chip, AKA "PROM".

You would need to remove it to re-program or replace it with one modified to accept modifications to the file system, so you can do some real hacks tot he machine. See the Underground for more.
Installing a socket for some reason is standard practice.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicsat View Post
Installing a socket for some reason is standard practice.
Because if you're going to go to the effort to remove the PROM, when replacing the PROM it just makes sense to put a socket there. That way if there is a problem you can just pop the PROM out of the socket to try and fix the issue, as opposed to having to desolder the PROM again.
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:00 PM   #10
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So its 2TB or 3TB?
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicsat View Post
Installing a socket for some reason is standard practice.
You'll love this - my "prom" is still stock! I went to the electronics store to buy something totally unrelated and they happened to have an SMT PLCC-32 for sale. It was the last one and the guy said they no longer carry them other than special order. Pure chance brought this to me

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Originally Posted by jzachariasen View Post
So its 2TB or 3TB?
Only 2tb. I'm working over an idea in my head that would give me the maximum 2.2TB of space with a performance oriented raid configuration to improve fast forward speeds on HD and sorting of season passes.

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I thought the 2.2 TB limitation is only for the Series 3 units, not for the TiVoHD?
Well sorta. There are multiple limitations to the Tivo. The THD got rid of a couple but there are a couple more still holding us back. Right now it's just a few snippets of legacy code inside the TivoApp that are keeping us from pushing it to the limit.
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:04 PM   #12
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so what is the benny to using internal drives to an external powered unit? I have a media pc with 1.5tb drives (going to a raid with 5 1.5tb drives) that I can off load to.
good artical though, I am new to the who tivo thing.
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:33 PM   #13
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so what is the benny to using internal drives to an external powered unit?
Because the external powered unit means -
One more cable hanging from the back of the tivo
One more thing in the entertainment center
Another plug in the wall
Another power supply
A source of noise and heat

I don't like adding additional points of failure. Also power supplies are most efficient when run at high load. I work with large server blade setups and you can configure them to either use (for example) six power supplies at 20% load or two power supplies at 90% and the energy savings are impressive.
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:20 PM   #14
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3 drives? Huh?
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:42 AM   #15
ciper
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3 drives? Huh?
Yeah there is enough room in the system. I though I would have to add extra cooling for two drives but apparently taping over all the holes on the right half of the unit forced crossflow and my temps are well within normal range.

Just in case I bought a real Intel fan to use once I figure out how to improve performance the most cost effective way. I realize the possibility of failure increases substantially but by the time a drive fails a replacement unit will be cheap.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:25 PM   #16
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What I meant is that I thought the Tivo OS only understood the concept of two drives being connected.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:42 PM   #17
ciper
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What I meant is that I thought the Tivo OS only understood the concept of two drives being connected.
I plan to have all three drives presented to the system as a single unit, hence the use of the SATA to SATA array controller.

The THD only has ONE SATA port and then has a SATA array controller attached to that. The array controller is set to port splitting mode. I worked with an engineer from Silicon image to verify that nesting is a supported configuration upto three levels deep. As far as hardware goes it is technically possible to attach 50 drives to the Tivo using the 5 port device
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:55 AM   #18
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Hey my TivoHD power supply bit the dust and was wanting to do the same setup you had with atx power supply, could i get more information on the "change the pinouts or you will short out the power supply" and also will it work with a regular atx power supply to first test it and then i can get a Micro ATX later to fit in the case cause i have a regular 300 or 400 watt power supply lying around.

Any help would be deeply appericated

Thanks
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:16 AM   #19
ciper
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Any computer power supply should work. The issue is that it might fit. Now that I think about it a power supply from another TiVo could probably be modified to work.

The THD has no special voltages so it's simply a matter of matching the wires up. The only unusual part was shorting two of the wires that make the power supply come online.

If you want I can figure out a pinout but the wires are color coded.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnaji View Post
Hey my TivoHD power supply bit the dust and was wanting to do the same setup you had with atx power supply, could i get more information on the "change the pinouts or you will short out the power supply" and also will it work with a regular atx power supply to first test it and then i can get a Micro ATX later to fit in the case cause i have a regular 300 or 400 watt power supply lying around.

Any help would be deeply appericated

Thanks
You can get replacement power supply for your TiVoHD for about $40 on eBay. There was also another guy on these forums who bought 20 or so of these power supply and was selling them. See if you can find him.

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Old 03-01-2009, 09:04 PM   #21
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ciper is your power supply still holding up? Did you do any other mods to the box like the second fan you talked about? What temperature is it running?
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:19 PM   #22
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Great setup cipher. I'm in the same situation as jnaji -- my tivoHD power supply died and I need to replace (hopefully quickly), and have an ATX PSU lying around that I can use. Can you provide the details on which pins on the ATX 20/24 connector need to be mapped to which pins on the TivoHD 14 pin connector. Thanks!!
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolow View Post
ciper is your power supply still holding up? Did you do any other mods to the box like the second fan you talked about? What temperature is it running?
My power supply is working fine. In fact I probably put it through way more stress than I should with repeated powerdowns LOL.

Right now it is 76 degrees Fahrenheit and my TiVo is displaying "46C (Normal" which is 114F.

I never needed the second fan. I think my Scotch Tape modification helped to keep the system cooled properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markboy8 View Post
Great setup cipher. I'm in the same situation as jnaji -- my tivoHD power supply died and I need to replace (hopefully quickly), and have an ATX PSU lying around that I can use. Can you provide the details on which pins on the ATX 20/24 connector need to be mapped to which pins on the TivoHD 14 pin connector. Thanks!!
If you look at the TiVo PS connector the wires are actually color coded properly. Your ATX power supply should also be color coded so it is simply a matter of making a chart that says (for example) -

Red on TiVo = red on ATX
White on TiVo = Purple on ATX
Etc

OK I was feeling nice today and dug out my adapter cable. I'll tell you the wire colors I have. The TiVo plug is only 14 pins so the extra section of the plug just hangs in the open. I stuck the wires back into the molex connector on this extra area so they weren't floating around. You could just tape them up if you like.

Get the TiVo HD case open with the front closest to like it is this picture.



I bought a 20 to 24 pin power supply adapter so that I didn't have to modify the power supply itself. Starting with the pin closest to you on the left and then moving towards the back then move to the second column with the pin closest to you on the right side and move towards the back. So in other words the pins on the side farthest from the power supply are 1-7. Those with an * are unused by the TiVo and could be wired however you like or even left empty. I am only including them because my picture shows them.

Pin - Color
1 - orange
2 - black
3 - black
4 - black
5 - red
6 - black
7 - black
* - grey
* - black
* - yellow
* - no wire
* - orange
Column two
8 - orange
9 - no wire
10 - yellow
11 - black
12 - grey
13 - black
14 - black
* - red
* - black
* - black
* - black
* - orange

The TiVo only needs the following six color of wires -
Orange = +3.3 volts
Black = Common/Ground
Yellow = +12 volts
Red = +5 volts
Grey = Power good signal. This is usually +5 volts which doesn't have power until the power supply is stabilized.

Green which is not connected directly to the TiVo. The Green wire needs to be grounded so the power supply turns on.

Last edited by ciper : 04-20-2009 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:01 PM   #24
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Wait, wait I thought there was a max of 1.2TB per drive, too.

You presented a single 2.2GB DRIVE to the TiVo and it worked?
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:26 PM   #25
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The maximum is not that simple. You can actually have a 2.2TB single internal drive (if it existed). It's all in the preparation. There are literally more than 5 reasons for the different limits. The tools currently available are not working properly. There are multiple ways to get a single 2TB drive. For example you can structure the drive in a way that stays under the kernel bug, you can create additional space using a single partition rather than pairs OR you can fix the bug in the kernel and use larger than 1TB partitions.

If I didn't already own two 1TB drives I WOULD have a single 2TB drive inside. Alternatively I have been strongly considering a 160GB A drive and a 2TB B drive internally.

If you have free time I suggest reading the later pages of this thread http://mfslive.org/forums/viewtopic....t=257&start=60 to truly understand all the limits

Theoretically even a Series 1 Tivo could function with 2TB of space if you "formatted" the drive properly.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:50 PM   #26
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Please write some documentation about how to make these 'bigger' drives. Heck, getting a full 1.5 TB drive (close to the 'sweet spot' in price nowadays) working on a TivoHD would be a good start.
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:56 AM   #27
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If you do have a prom mod then check over on DDB for the fixed kernels. They will allow you to create media partitions upto 2TB in size and are available for the S3 and THD among others. upgradesoftware=false becomes important if you follow this method.

If you have a hacked prom but do not want to use the abnormal sized kernels you can actually create additional device entries using mknod. Tests were done with a tivo using MANY partitions. Check this link http://is.gd/tBwz (link obscured...)

For a B drive it is easier because you can expand it more than once. Basically you make a 1tb area using WinMFS 9.3e or later which limits the size to just under the kernel bug then expand it again to fill the left over 500gb.

Here is a method that would allow you to make nearly any size drive and not need a prom mod. It will for sure work (with tweaks) on anything but the THD,,, and it should still work on the THD as well but unproven because the THD has 64 bit MFS (from what everyone can tell it still supports mfs32 just fine)
http://is.gd/tBtL (link obscured...)

If you have a THD you can use my THDXL virgin image on it which also shouldnt need a prom mod. Ask around in IRC for "tcd658000-9.4.1-virgin-ciper-tivohdxl.tbk" and I am sure someone will give it to you. It is from a brand new, early in production, never booted THDXL. That image should allow you to have a 2TB A drive without any hacks needed! I say shouldn't because the THDXL had v1.06 of the prom and many early THD had 1.04 IIRC

I have not even covered all of the methods. Now you can see how there isn't only one right way to do this
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:57 PM   #28
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I am not responsible if anyone damages their TiVo. Use a multimeter to confirm my pinouts, don't follow my hacking instructions and don't PM me to say I'm reckless.
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:26 PM   #29
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I may be headed over the edge of the cliff....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ciper View Post
--snip--

Theoretically even a Series 1 Tivo could function with 2TB of space if you "formatted" the drive properly.
I don't know my having seen that is a good thing or a bad thing, but since one of my S1 SAs is sick anyway, if you're still around I'd love for you to expand on that.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:53 PM   #30
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I have had my second drive failure and decided to try something new.
I will use a 750 Seagate Momentus XT as my A drive with a 1.5TB B drive. There are two reasons for this layout -

The Momentus XT has 8gb of SSD on board and it automatically places the most used portions of the drive into the SSD. It is OS independent so it should speed up the menus and reordering of season passes.

The 32 bit limit of 2.12TiB of total disk space means that most people go for two 1tb drives which adds up to only 1.82TiB. With the 750gb+1.5TB the total should be 2.046TiB. I am expecting about 360 HD hours

edit: I have ran into an issue with the partitioning of the B drive. All of the current tools I am trying are still full of bugs. See here http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb....php?p=9372955
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