Best ext. hard drive for S3... or internal?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by leiff, May 8, 2011.

  1. May 8, 2011 #1 of 16
    leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    I have an original S3 Tivo with stock 250 GB harddrive I bought new almost 4 years ago. I need more storage space. I'm trying to decide do I buy a 1 TB internal replacement or a 1 TB external as an add on?

    Since I'm on original S3, I understand it supports unsupported Tivo ext. hardrives. Can anyone recommend an unofficial ext. harddrive for my S3 other than the Western Digital My DVR Expander 1 TB eSATA External Hard Drive for $150?
    How about the Fantom GreenDrive 1TB USB 2.0/eSATA Desktop External Hard Drive GD1000EU for $80?
    http://www.amazon.com/Fantom-GreenD...1000EU/dp/B001E06W8O/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    If I buy a replacement internal 1 TB instead, then I have to take the hardrive out of my tivo and image it on my PC so I can flash the image to my new hardrive as I understand it. Is this easy? I don't care about keeping my recorded shows but I wan't to keep my thumbs up/down ratings and cablecard pairing info so buying a pre-imaged harddrive is out for me.
     
  2. May 8, 2011 #2 of 16
    Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    I would replace the internal, just based on the fact that it is 4 years old. You don't want to marry it to an external, only to have the internal fail and make the whole thing useless. You can copy the existing drive to a new drive fairly easily, but I'll leave it to others to explain that part. As for what brand of drive, I have had great luck with the WD green drives in my TiVo boxes.
     
  3. May 8, 2011 #3 of 16
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Upgrade the internal. You can buy a pre-imaged 1 TB drive that just needs to be installed **here** for $110. This vendor seems to have a good rep on this forum.

    The other procedure usually isn't too difficult but people sometimes run into complications with it. Instructions are in the Drive Expansion sticky thread at the top of this forum.
     
  4. May 8, 2011 #4 of 16
    leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    thanks for your sugguestion to buy a pre-imaged HD. However, I want to retain my seasonpass manager, thumb up/down and cablecard pairing info settings, so that is not an option for me.
     
  5. May 9, 2011 #5 of 16
    dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    Since you asked, yes, it is very easy to remove the internal drive, back up the image and settings from the original drive to a new larger 1 TB(+?) drive, and copy the shows if desired. The precise steps are in the upgrade thread.

    If you think you may want to do this, don't wait until the original drive might start having problems. It will be good practice to remove the original drive from the Tivo now and store the backup image on your computer and/or a cd. That way you won't need to beg for or buy an image(Instant Cake) or buy a preimaged drive.

    Again, since you are considering it, read up, and do it. It is easy.
     
  6. May 9, 2011 #6 of 16
    jakerock

    jakerock Hey ho howdy!

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    As someone who had an external drive, I'd also recommend an internal one. Based on my experience and what I've read, the externals are not as reliable. However they are more expensive.
     
  7. May 9, 2011 #7 of 16
    leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    At $80 for the fantom ext. hardrive It doesn't cost much more than an internal would.
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    You'll get a lot longer warranty with an internal.

    Go to

    http://www.mfslive.org/

    and start reading about MFS Live and WinMFS to see what's involved in taking out your current TiVo drive and doing a copy and expand to a new internal to see if it isn't something you can handle.

    Quit being just a TiVo user and join us TiVo "hackers".:)
     
  9. MighTyVo

    MighTyVo New Member

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    I highly recommend replacing the internal drive. I've had two internal drives fail on me in 4 years, so I'd say yours is due to fail. If you add an external drive and either the internal or external fails, you lose all your recorded programs. If you only have an internal drive and it degrades slowly (as is often the case), you can copy your recorded programs over to a new drive.

    It's also a lot cheaper to replace just the internal drive. Save the original drive in case you want to trade the S3 in for a replacement some day.

    I had an external drive along with the internals when both failed. This last time I replaced the internal drive with a 1TB Hitachi drive and it's quieter, bigger, and uses less power than the 2-drive setup. Very happy with it.

    All the instructions and info you need are extremely well presented at TiVo Community > Main TiVo Forums > TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs > Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

    (unfortunately I don't qualify to post the direct link, but at the moment it is under tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=370784 on this site).

    As for the best drive, I'm a huge fan of Hitachi. I had a Hitachi Deskstar 1000GB HDT721010SLA360 on hand as a spare for all the drives I use for my computers (I edit films so I have a huge need for disk drives) that I used. Note that the Cinemastar is the exact same drive, just with the firmware changed to set AAM to on by default. You can still buy them online.
     
  10. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    I've been using a 1TB Expander with my stock S3 for some time. It worked fine, and was a snap to setup, but I was tired of the extra noise, power cord, etc.

    Just this afternoon I dumped the Expander and upgraded the internal drive on my S3 with a 1TB one ($60 from Amazon).
     
  11. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    While it is more expensive than DYI, some people may just prefer to pay DVR Upgrade or Weakness, especially if they are busy or affluent, it would be worth it.
     
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    ..... or for considerably less cost, from DVR_DUDE as per post #3 here.
     
  13. retired_guy

    retired_guy New Member

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    I agree with the above posts regarding advantages of the internal upgrade. Lower chance of failure, less shelf space required, less noise, lower power required and implicitly creates a backup drive and/or image on a PC. On the other hand, the external is trivially easy to install; I've had one on my HD since they first came out years ago with no problems. Adding an external of the same size as an internal upgrade obviously provides more storage than only a new internal. And the internal, for the retained data you want, will require attaching the old and new drive to a PC (not necessarily simultaneously). which typically requires opening the PC or buying a USB attachment device. Easy to do and cheap but another requirement with the potential for problems. When I first did it, I dropped the new drive on the floor when opening the package--there went my savings.
     
  14. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    There's no reason NOT to do the internal drive upgrade these days (outside of warranty concerns).
    As others point out, much less hassle and one less failure point.

    With my TivoHD, I read about the Win MFS CD, but was a little intimidated so I bought a pre-imaged drive.
    Recently I upgraded a Premiere to 2TB using comer's jmfs Live CD. That was really easy.

    Is using the Win MFS CD as easy as using the jmfs CD?
    I ask because I want to be prepared if I ever have to replace the drive in my TivoHD (I still have the original hard drive).
     
  15. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    WinMFS runs in Windows, so yeah, it's pretty easy (you may be thinking of the MFSLive CD, which came before WinMFS and is Linux based like jmfs). No need to mess with Linux command-lines and such and it's a lot easier to dump your truncated backups onto your Windows drive for "backup."
     
  16. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    ...and no need for a CD. Just download it and run.
     

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