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Old 07-08-2014, 03:47 AM   #1
discopanic
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Bad Premier XL drive -- thinking about upgrading to 2TB

Hello.

It looks like my premier XL drive has died. When it boots up it stays in the "starting up" screen and it doesn't go any further. I can't even get to the kickstart screen. So it looks like an HD issue so that's the path I'm going to pursue for the moment.

I'm thinking that if I have to replace the HD anyway, I might as well make it a 2TB drive.

From reading the forums, it looks like I need the following:

DvBARS
jmfs live cd
A tivo premier XL drive image (TCD748000)
A 2TB sata drive (probably something like a WD20EURX 2TB)
A USB 3.0 to SATA Dock

And then it looks like I should be able to do the following.

Install the factory image using DvBARS to the 2TB drive
Use jmfs to resize (and then supersize) the image to expand the 2TB partition
Replace the drive in my tivo and go through the setup again.

So a couple of questions.

What format is the backup in? Specific to DvrBARS? Or is it possible to use dd from the jmfs live cd?

Are there better alternatives to the WD AV-GP series of drives?

Anything else I'm missing?


I would do the 4TB image, but it looks like it requires two HD's....
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:36 AM   #2
telemark
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It's recommended to test the suspect Hard Drive in a PC if you can. (It's rare, but if someone has a bad board, spending more money on a new hard drive would be a waste.)

The image format depends on where you get the image from. VHD is common though because it creates small images which restore quickly. This is what DvrBARS uses, and Windows has native support for it. I use dd and gzip (and tivopart) myself when I make backups.

Edit: a USB 2.0 dock can work ok too, and might be easier to locate, but it is a lot slower. But compatibility should be better with newer and USB 3.0 adapters.
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Last edited by telemark : 07-09-2014 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:37 AM   #3
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If you are familiar enough with virtualization, you could do it with one physical drive and one virtual drive. Since the image you are creating is essentially blank, using a dynamic VHD of 2TB only creates about a 2GB file on your computer.

On another note, I would check out your TiVo drive on your computer and run the manufacturers diagnostic on it. If it passes, then a couple of places to check for corruption is blocks 0 through 14 and the header in partition 10. It seems that with some crashes the first few byes of the header block gets corrupted and through a manual edit can be corrected to get a working drive.

You could expand to 3TB with an XL image without a second drive. The steps are the same as a 2TB drive with the caveat that you need to start with an image with a more recent OS on it.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:44 AM   #4
discopanic
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Thanks, all. I will check out the old drive before buying a new drive.

Can the diagnostics be done in a USB to sata dock or does that have to have a native sata interface to the PC? I ask because I believe the only computers I have are laptops without an external sata interface.
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Old 07-09-2014, 02:54 AM   #5
ggieseke
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You won't get the SMART test or status on a USB dock, but all the read and write tests work.
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Old 07-09-2014, 02:58 AM   #6
nooneuknow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discopanic View Post
Thanks, all. I will check out the old drive before buying a new drive.

Can the diagnostics be done in a USB to sata dock or does that have to have a native sata interface to the PC? I ask because I believe the only computers I have are laptops without an external sata interface.
I have two USB 3.0 docks. One dock that can run the tests, but not view the SMART values, and another that can do both just fine.

Unless you are a very patient person, USB 3.0 docks/adapters are a godsend. They get things done just as fast as having the drive on an actual SATA-III port. SATA-III is 6GB/s and USB 3.0 is 5GB/s, but TiVo drives in pristine condition still only peak out a little over 200MB/s (or roughly 1600Mb/s, which USB 2.0 will slow to a max of 60MB/s or 480Mb/s). That's about what the slowest very outermost tracks of such a drive will taper-down to.

Make sure to use two docks if doing a copy from drive to drive, and to use a port with it's own controller for each one, for best speed. Dual-docks have to send the data to the PC and back again. Some ports, even on add-in cards, only have one controller, and a built-in hub compounding the speed-halving with drive to drive copies.

So, if you get to the point of ever needing/wanting to use USB for drive-to-drive operation directly, then it's often best to just find a PC you can use the SATA ports from. I'd have lead with that, except for your laptop-only notation. When it comes to changing drive firmware feature settings, it's very rare to find any USB adapter/dock capable of doing so, especially tools and utilities only designed for direct SATA bus operations. Such things that don't even see your USB attached drives, would stand out as not USB compatible.
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:05 AM   #7
nooneuknow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggieseke View Post
You won't get the SMART test or status on a USB dock, but all the read and write tests work.
Huh, I just posted otherwise. What I posted is true for what I have (I use them all the time).

Sometimes it's just not possible, if the drive is so old it has only the most basic, and old, SMART feature sets supported. The last drive I saw this on was manufactured around ~2004, and came from a TiVo HD that had the oldest SATA-I drive I've ever seen.
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Cisco tuning adapters should never be used inline (using the TA coax OUT port) to connect a TiVo, if MoCA is in use. Use a splitter w/PoE filter on leg to TA, use other leg for the TiVo. Enjoy!
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:11 AM   #8
jmbach
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What brand is your USB dock that can run and report all the SMART tests. That one might be handy to have around as it might allow hdparm to work as well.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:28 AM   #9
telemark
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Why do simple questions have complicated answers.

I'm gonna try to avoid saying anything wrong by simply pointing out that both can be true. It's possible for most (or just old) adapters to not work, and to have your specific one work fine.

And by linking to the documentation which has thorough treatment:
http://www.smartmontools.org/wiki/USB
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCSI_/_ATA_Translation
http://www.smartmontools.org/wiki/Supported_USB-Devices

Last edited by telemark : 07-09-2014 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 07-09-2014, 02:39 PM   #10
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After reviewing the documentation, one of my docks has the capability. After some further testing, with smartmon tools and the appropriate switch, I can get it to read the SMART status via USB. Now if I use the manufacturer's diagnostic program, it will not read the SMART data via USB but does if I change out the connection to eSata.
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:34 PM   #11
nooneuknow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmbach View Post
What brand is your USB dock that can run and report all the SMART tests. That one might be handy to have around as it might allow hdparm to work as well.
StarTech Part# SATDOCK22U3S - 2 SATA bays - Runs tests and allows viewing of SMART status & values.

StarTech Part# UNIDOCK3U - 1 SATA bay, 1 PATA bay - Only runs the tests, can't view SMART status or values.

Both are USB 3.0. At the time I bought them, they had only been verified with up to 3TB drives @ 5400 RPM. Some 7200RPM drives are too much for them to deal with the spin-up, even though the power bricks are more than generous in amp rating.

They were NOT cheap. They use different controller chipsets, and I think there may be firmware updates available for them. They seem to be SATA-II at minimum, and one might be SATA-III.

Good time to check for firmware that might improve already solid products, if I still remember to, after my trip to the DMV now. I'll update the specs later, unless somebody wants to go to the website and post them for me. <hint>
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Cisco tuning adapters should never be used inline (using the TA coax OUT port) to connect a TiVo, if MoCA is in use. Use a splitter w/PoE filter on leg to TA, use other leg for the TiVo. Enjoy!
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:08 PM   #12
unitron
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I'm almost certain that I've run manufacturer's long test diagnostics on at least one drive connected via USB2.

And yes, it took a while.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:25 AM   #13
telemark
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I couldn't find a firmware update, but here's the chipset in each.

http://www.asmedia.com.tw/eng/e_show...s.php?item=120
http://wenku.baidu.com/view/f0c5ab34...5a41780e3.html

Curious, the asmedia spec says it supports UASP, but the product spec says it does not.
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