at long last, moving over to m.2 SSD to replace the DVR-810 IDE HDD

Discussion in 'DVD TiVo Units (Archive)' started by jwillis84, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. jwillis84

    jwillis84 New Member

    Dec 30, 2018


    Oct 8, 2020 my Pioneer DVR-810H IDE HDD died

    I have been making backups since I purchased it with the Lifetime, but the hard drive was an old Maxtor which is no longer made.

    I gave it some thought to switching over to a SATA drive but the costs of a smallish 250 GB m.2 caught my attention.

    I studied up on the difference between Garbage collection and TRIM, Garbage collection basically runs in the m.2 itself and simply takes care of re-writing Blocks in the SSD with no help from any OS. TRIM takes it a level deeper and frees up pages, so whole Blocks aren't re-written that don't need to be, helping the SSD to last longer.

    Wear leveling is automatic.. depending on the controller your m.2 is made with.. I believe most have internal wear leveling now.. at least the ones I'm using do.

    The way a Tivo works, TRIM has nothing to offer with regards to adding lifespan to an SSD, unlike a busy laptop. For a busy laptop an SSD can last anywhere from 3 to 10 years.. but the lifespan can always be accessed by reading the counter in the SSD to get a concrete answer.. unlike an older HDD which could fail quickly or last a really long time.

    So I plan to read the SSD lifespan left after each SSD backup.. DVDbars and Wmfs still work with SSDs great. In fact they work over USB-c so they are "Really" fast in a m.2 dock connected to my PC.

    Soo.. long winded explaination of "turning" the page on upgrading my DVR-810H to an m.2 SSD connected to the IDE bus.

    I found some really nifty aircraft aluminum m.2 sockets which plug into the IDE bus and seem to work perfectly with the Tivo.

    So far not much to report, but that it works.. and the Tivo internal heat sensor runs at 39C, which is about 4 degrees cooler than it did when the Maxtor was running in it.

    I back up all my Tivo HDD about every six months.. I'll try to remember to update with the average lifespan consumed when making a backup.

    On another note.. I noticed that SATA cables come in paper thin flat cables now.. which could easily snake out through the case by sliding it between the cover and the chassis with no modifications. Icydock makes a SATA to m.2 tool less plastic tray. I'm "this close" to just moving the m.2 to a velcro attached tool less case on the outside of the Tivo to make backups easier.. and better cool the m.2 as opposed to leaving it in the case. -- but it remains just a notion for now.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
  2. JLV03

    JLV03 Active Member

    Feb 12, 2018
    Any links to the adapters you used (IDE to M.2)?
  3. jwillis84

    jwillis84 New Member

    Dec 30, 2018
    Since they are mechanical contacts, no smart electronics.. I have successfully used both the ICY DOCK m.2 to sata and Fenvi m.2 to sata but I prefer the fenvi. The ICY DOCK is tool-less. The hold down tab that keeps the m.2 in its slot is a thumb tab. On the fenvi its a very small screw, which they provide a tiny watch maker screw driver to install it.. but its a very tiny and hard to do. Nothing special about these brands either.. there are a ton of different brands that do the same.

    The ICY is mostly plastic. The fenvi is aircraft aluminum.

    The IDE to SATA adapter I used was based on the Marvell 88A8052, there's a lot of different manufacturers and you can find them in a lot of places. This is considered the "rolls royce" of IDE to SATA adapters and typically costs up to four times a two dollar or ten dollar adapter with a JMicron chip costs.. but I didn't want to go cheap and have any problems. - Its been almost two months.. and I haven't had any.

    I went middle of the road for the m.2 SATA SSD and got a Kingston.

    The Pioneer 810H had one of the largest size hard drives on the market at the time.. so its original drive was 160 GB.

    I tried using a smaller 120 GB m.2 SSD since it was under $15 but the Pioneer 810H would not accept it, it said there was something wrong with the drive and wouldn't let me reformat it.. the error seemed to say it was missing.. as in did not exist.

    I swapped that m.2 SSD for a 250 GB m.2 SSD for just a little more at $19 and the Pioneer 810H had no problems. I didn't enlarge the disk image after I restored it.. I left it at its original 160 GB size.. which was fine by me.. I don't like stretching old equipment to work outside the design parameters.

    The value for me is mostly in the DVD burner, and the TiVO Desktop offloading capabilities.. and the fully functional daily EPG updates that let me use it like it was designed to be used. And the [ S-Video, Composite ] Inputs for capturing video from a VCR or other devices when I need to. These were the best TiVOs because they did so much more than just record and delete shows.

    I guess I should also mention I've recorded and played back from the m.2 and there have been no problems. At 6 G speeds the m.2 is way over kill for the 133 Mb/s of an old IDE bus.

    Oh yeah.. another constructive reason for not enlarging after restoring to the m.2 SSD it left 40% oversubscribed.. or unused on the SSD.. that spreads out the wear leveling and makes the SSD last longer. The Pioneer does not use the space but the controller on the SSD uses all unused blocks for wear leveling.. so it should last many years longer than a fully utilized laptop SSD.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020 at 5:58 PM
    astrohip likes this.

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