4 Lights Flashing on Bolt

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by JOSHSKORN, May 14, 2016.

  1. tivobw

    tivobw Member

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    Oct 26, 2002
    Redmond, WA

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    Yep, looks like the drive failed. You could call Tivo customer support and complain, perhaps they'll offer you the $50 Tivo refurbished deal. That would be cheaper than getting a new hard drive.

    Or.. you could use this opportunity to updrade to a larger hard drive. Up to you!
     
  2. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    ? I thought your Toshiba drive actually was starting to fail according to SMART, not catastrophic failure, but sectors were starting to go bad at a higher rate.

    4 Lights Flashing on Bolt
     
  3. fis

    fis Member

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    True, fair enough. It wasn't "perfectly good," but when the Tivo rejected it, it was 100% usable by my laptop.
     
  4. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    If it's showing SMART failures then it's just a matter of time before it totally fails. Windows doesn't necessarily care if there are SMART errors and will let you do a quick format on a drive. Initial usage might not show any issues either, but that doesn't make it a good drive.

    Scott
     
    fis likes this.
  5. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Not sure about being cheaper technology. but SMR allows much more data to be on a single platter than PMR. And so the fewer platters you have the cheaper the cost.

    The last time I checked Seagate was using SMR with all their 2.5" drives. While WD is still using old tech, PMR, which means more platters, lower capacity, and thicker hard drives. UNfortunately SMR isn't as reliable for a device that is constantly reading/writing like a DVR.

    But my 2 TBSeagate SMR Hybrid drive in my PS4 pro seems to still be working well. But it isn't reading/writing like a DVR would.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  6. JOSHSKORN

    JOSHSKORN Active Member

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    Hi everyone. I'm the OP. I'll see if I get some time this weekend to edit the OP. But if you're reading this and have gotten the dreaded 4 flashing lights, just cut your losses, ditch the Bolt and go for the Bolt+. That's what I did and I haven't taken apart my Bolt+ and attempted upgrading the hard drive. Even though I lost a TB of storage by settling for 3TB vs a dysfunctional 4TB setup, I've never gone past 50% storage. Yes, the transfer of service may be costly, but please take into consideration how much tine, effort and money you're putting into something that just won't work. The 4TB hard drive I was attempting to use wouldn't go past 18% before seeing the 4 flashing lights.

    Considering I have something that works, I haven't kept up with the other solution. That is, replacing the SATA cable and running it out of the box to an external WD Red drive. What I did try, was taking the drive I had been using, plugging it into an external case, but that didn't work either.

    I really don't have the knowhow to understand of the fault is souly based on the PMR vs SMR issue or if it also has something to do with the software architecture TIVO uses. That is, 32- bit vs 64-bit. I assume TIVO went with 32-bit because they stuck with storage under 4TBs.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
     
  7. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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  8. buildersboy66

    buildersboy66 Active Member

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    Six tuners are better than four.
     
  9. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    And one point of failure. I have two, four tuner models because six tuners is not enough. I would run into conflicts regularly with six tuners. Plus I want a second Bolt in case there are issues with one of them. Plus I can always connect them to OTA if I need to.

    When they had the $99 transfer deal recently, I seriously thought about getting the Bolt+ and selling my two, four tuner Bolts. But in the end I decided to keep my four tuner Bolts. And I just purchased a third four tuner Bolt for $300 and sold it for the profit.

    Although it would have been nice to have a black Bolt.

    Although if I could go back in time two years. I would probably keep my 5TB Roamio Pro I had and never messed the Bolt. At least if they would have had a 4K Mini back then. Which is what I'm using now in my UHD setup. Tonight I'm moving my Bolts out of sight and away from where I can hear them.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  10. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    NOT when your only choice to use those six tuners is to keep paying stupidly ridiculous subscription prices to blood-sucking cable companies!!!!
     
  11. tivobw

    tivobw Member

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    Redmond, WA
    Yes, what I meant by "cheaper technology" is that it is less reliable so to the end user (me) it seems lower quality, as it fails earlier than it should. I wasn't speaking to the technical capabilities of the technology and all that. I'm sure Seagate has their reasons for moving to SMR, but it's not a good fit for Tivos, as several on this forum have discovered. :eek:
     
  12. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    It is unclear if those reliability issues are endemic to SMR technology, or if it is Seagate's implementation of it, whether firmware, or platter, read/write heads, etc.

    Theoretically if SMR technology is sound, somebody else could come out with an SMR drive that works fine in TiVo and/or 24/7 write situations.

    The reasoning for SMR technology is to squeeze more data into the same platter size. As you keep shrinking the tracks, the write head needs to shrink also. At some point, the write head doesn't have enough juice to reliably change the bits on the platter. SMR drives get around this issue by using write heads and platters where the write head will span multiple tracks/sectors while reducing the read head size (which doesn't have the magnetic field issue being too weak issue) so reads don't have to access multiple areas.

    This is why SMR disks are reasonably fast at reading, but much slower at writing, because they potentially need to read multiple areas before they can write the sector you requested. Sometimes SMR can mitigate this by using large caches. Perhaps a hybrid SMR with SLC-SSD cache drive might work well.

    The reason you see SMR on a lot of 2.5" drives is it becomes challenging to do the large drive capacities given the space constraints on the write head and track/sectors that a 2.5" form factor imposes.

    I don't follow SMR technology that closely, but that is my limited understanding.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  13. mb117

    mb117 New Member

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    I, too, just got the 4 flashing lights with a dead Seagate 4TB afew days ago. I thought it died about a year ago, but the reboots did the trick, but I always knew i was on borrowed time with that drive that I installed in early 2016. I put the 500GB drive back in but it got stuck on a software upgrade loop so I just bit the bullet and upgraded to the Bolt + with 3 TB and will not likely mess with the larger drives again - lost a few years of recordings- kinda sucks.
     
  14. tivobw

    tivobw Member

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    I agree - unclear if reliability issues are endemic to SMR or if it's Seagate's implementation. Until the facts are known, I'll be avoiding Seagate and SMR drives.
     
  15. tivobw

    tivobw Member

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    Sorry to hear your drive failed! Tivo could avoid all this hassle if it would just offer subscription-based cloud storage for customers. Then our data would be backed up and we wouldn't have to worry about these silly physical drives crapping out...
     
  16. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    My brother is a engineer working for Western Digital doing server drive certification. At Thanksgiving I asked him what he new about SMR drive tech. He went on to tell me more about it than I want to know but the bottom line was he said it is not designed for continuous overwriting, and is best used for storage, through he noted that you could read the data all you wanted to, it was the continuous overwriting process that would be an issue. It was his opinion that you would be pretty much guaranteed premature failure if you used an SMR drive in a continuously overwriting environment like a TiVo.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
    aaronwt, jfdiv, sfhub and 4 others like this.
  17. tivobw

    tivobw Member

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    Thanks for the additional info! Makes sense when we see how many folks have experienced these failures with the SMR Seagate 2.5" drives.
     
  18. jfdiv

    jfdiv John D'Alessandro

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    Limerick, PA
    Well, I took a gamble and got a STDR4000100 at Microcenter for $85 this weekend. For that price, it felt like they were trying to clear out old stock. CrystalDiskInfo identifies it as a ST4000LM024 firmware 0001. All signs point to this drive being more reliable than other Seagates for the price.

    But, it was just manufactured this past September. Maybe that's just the assembly, and not the drive itself? I'll be cracking it open tomorrow to see what the label inside says, and to hope it's a SATA adapter and not USB direct. That recent manufacture date has me wondering about that. If it's SATA, I'm going for it when my Bolt arrives on Thursday. I don't mind the risk.

    I've been scanning the threads to see what software is recommended to stress test the drive, since I have time to do that over the next few days. Recommendations?

    Also, I downloaded HDDScan, but it will not run. Windows 10. I tried every compatibility mode. Nothing. Did a system restore just in case. Tried again. Same thing. Yes, I got the most recent version from the source. Virus check was fine, and it didn't block he software. Thoughts on that?

    I also snagged the Easystore 8TB for $160 (and then Best Buy had it on CM for $149, dangit - will they price match themselves, now that the sale is over?). But I'm just not ready to go the external via internal route just yet!
     
  19. fis

    fis Member

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    BestBuy will not price match the $149. Plenty of discussion about that over at Slickdeals. I wish you the best of luck with the Seagate. Having lost all of my recordings a couple of times and gotten pilloried by the family for that, I'm not considering anything other than the WD drives.
     
    DocNo and tivobw like this.
  20. leswar

    leswar leswar

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