Best way to back up 8TB of TiVO recordings (in case of primary HDD failure)

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by njweb, Feb 18, 2021.

  1. njweb

    njweb Member

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    Thanks to mfstools and jmbach, I recently successfully upgraded my TiVO Roamio internal HDD to 8 TB (was at 3 TB before that).

    Since HDDs are prone to failure and I have a lot of new recordings now, I would hate to lose my recordings if the drive fails.
    I already have an extra 8 TB external HDD.

    My goal: Back up all my recordings from my Roamio's currently installed 8TB HDD to a second (external) 8 TB HDD and be able to restore the recordings to the TiVO (on a new 8 TB HDD) if the current drive fails.

    I read the following thread and it appears that some tools only let you back them up, but not restore them.
    Another thread I found related to this: Please, need help to transfer a show to my PC from my Roamio!

    Potential options to back up all my recordings?
    1. It appears 'TiVO Desktop' software is required to backup (transfer) my recordings to the other drive IF I want the ability to restore the recordings to the TiVO later (which I do)?
    Annoyingly there is no 'select all' option to transfer recordings, so I would literally have to click each and every row in the list of recordings (for slightly over 2,000 recordings) to add each one to the list of recordings to be transfered.

    2. Since 8 TB is over the 3TB recognized limit, I assume I cannot simply connect the second 8TB external HDD to the port on the back of the Roamio to transfer the recordings automatically?
    There was some thread about something to that effect.

    3. Any other options?

    4. 'Drive cloning' as potential alternate approach to back up all my recordings - As much as I would rather not remove the current 8 TB drive from my Roamio to perform the backup; in case I do decide to go that route, any drive cloning tips / software recommendations?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Probably the best way would be to use a duplicating dock and copy the image from drive to drive at some constant interval. Your unit would be out of commission for a while but would have a current backup.
     
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  3. njweb

    njweb Member

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  4. reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

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  5. njweb

    njweb Member

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    Perfect, thanks!
    I assume you're happy with the duplicator and its performance?
     
  6. reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

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    I've only used it up to 1TB drives, but it's reasonably fast.
     
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  7. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Duplicating drives may be good but you would only be getting the exact content. This means you have to remove the drive and spend hours/overnight in copying it. You cannot add content, or even editing them.

    You can download shows while its running, and still recording. Tivo Desktop is the old, discontinued software.
    The better software is KMTTG, which also has auto-transfer capabilities. Its also better to keep the Tivo running software version v20.7.x (TE3), avoiding v21.x (TE4) because it removed the PC-to-Tivo transfer function.

    PyTivo Desktop (or Tivo Desktop, feels sort of clunky) to use for PC-to-Tivo and Tivo-to-PC transfers.

    New program for 1 step TTG downloads, decryption, encoding - kmttg

    Easier to use pyTivo


    You can also edit the downloaded shows, using VideoReDo for things such as removing commercials.
     
  8. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    This is a good option. The only caveat is any recordings that have the copy-protected bit set would not be able to be backed up this way.

    Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
  9. justen_m

    justen_m Cheesehead TCF Club

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    I use kmttg. For the OP, I guess it depends on how much data is actually on the drive for the initial backup. Do you have to/want to back up everything? Transferring 8TB from TiVo to PC, running 24/7, could take quite a few days. If you've got a Roamio Plus or Pro, with gigabit networking, peak transfer speeds from Roamio to PC (using kmttg or pyTivoDesktop) will be about 180Mbps IIRC, but average for transferring tons and tons of files, with the delay between files, etc, will be less. Even at a constant 180Mbps, you're looking at 4.3 days to transfer 8TB, if I did the math right. But that's just once. After the initial backup, I assume the rest will be incremental, which makes kmttg/pyTivoDesktop more reasonable, and preferable to drive cloning.

    The limitation isn't the gigabit network, obviously, it is the underpowered Roamio CPU. If you do use kmttg, you can decrypt on the fly, leaving all your files on your PC in plain old mpg format which pretty much anything can play. I just back up some things to my PC, and do it as needed, mostly, or occasionally do a big batch overnight. As mentioned above, you can also set up automatic downloads.
     
  10. njweb

    njweb Member

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    EDITED (after more closely reading your reply - was multi tasking when I read it quickly the first time).

    Thanks a lot!

    So kmttg and PyTivo both DO support PC to TiVO transfers after all? (As opposed to what is noted in the thread I linked to above)...

    I really appreciate the helpful suggestions and feedback! Thanks again.
     
  11. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    PyTivo does do PC-to-Tivo Transfers, but the only way is to initiate the transfer from the Tivo. It will be listed at the bottom of the Playlist, starting with the PC name.

    KMTTG does not have PC-to-Tivo capability because it doesn't have the necessary server.

    I use PyTivo desktop and KMTTG on my laptop and PyTivo (WMCBrine version) and KMTTG on an older desktop PC.

    PYTivo and KMTTG can run at the same time, but only 1 transfer can happen at any one time.

    About the only caveat is the copy-protection flag from the cableCo.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  12. njweb

    njweb Member

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    Thanks, let me explore kmttg then since it may work well for my needs.
     
  13. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Though as a warning.. HD recordings nowadays likely need to be downloaded in TS mode. (your local channels MIGHT still be MPEG2, but I doubt it).

    Because of a bug in Tivo (AFAIK), the downloads *can have glitches in them*, and you won't be able to tell until you try to watch them.

    So the whole drive clone (then put the copied drive in the Tivo when the orig drive dies) is really the most reliable, but obviously (1) you'll have to have the tivo off to do this (and the drive pulled out) and (2) you'll have to redo it every week/month/whatever frequency you want to have.

    IMO, a drive is likely to start showing problems (glitches in recordings, reboots) before it completely dies (though I did have a S3 that completely died and took a drive with it), so you could likely recover most of the recordings from the dying drive at that point.
     
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  14. njweb

    njweb Member

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    Thanks for all the caveats and other useful info!
    Indeed, cloning is the most reliable method, but it does require the hassle of opening the TiVO and removing the drive each time (and putting it back in of course) which I know is less than ideal.
    I would probably do it once a month at most, but that still means going through the above routine 12 times annually.
    I guess if one is going to pursue the cloning route, one option might be to leave the Roamio's cover off permanently to facilitate a far less painful drive removal on a regular basis. Mine is behind a smoked glass door so not too visible anyway... But then dust becomes a potential issue and with a fan involved...

    Then again, thinking it through, I am currently recording a bunch of TV series; given the majority are older shows, once the TiVO is caught up so to speak, my daily recording volume will drop substantially and then I might be comfortable cloning once or twice a year at most. In that case, I think it could be a viable and reliable long term backup approach...
     
  15. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Tivo was not meant for a long term storage medium, if the drive fails, the entire content is lost. On a PC, when a section of the drive fails, the rest can be salvaged.

    Unless the CableCo sets the copy-protection flag on everything, shows can be downloaded.

    The only other option would be drive duplication, for the copy-protected shows, which cannot be downloaded.
     
  16. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    You seem to have ignored the things already said in this thread. Downloaded shows are often/usually corrupted. (I played back part of a PBS show I had downloaded, and it had a glitch where it just skipped a little section.. even trying to play on the computer would skip the same section.. and it wasn't like a fraction of a second, it was longer than that. I don't remember exactly, but long enough so it wasn't easy to figure out for sure what happened in the gap)

    Your argument about "not a long term storage medium" is true of any hard drive. I can and have had shows on my Tivo for YEARS (and have gone back and watched them. (I've also lost shows, one due to a bug when trying to transfer a show BACK to the tivo)

    But with proper keep until I delete settings, the shows on the tivo shouldn't be any less safe than any other consumer hard drive.. but yeah, accept that that could go away at any point.
     
  17. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    That mainly has to do with TS downloads and it must be used when its a MPEG4 recording. Less glitching is when you can download via PS.
     
  18. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    yes, that's exactly what I said.. and the VAST majority of recordings are MPEG4 nowadays.. at least for me.. only the SD recordings I make (late night talk shows and a few other things) are MPEG2..

    so trying to use it for "serious" offloading to make more space/back up, is seriously hindered, because your downloads will have serious corruption in them.
     
  19. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Well, mine is OTA, so I can use PS all the time and no issues there.
     
  20. Wil

    Wil Unknown Member

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    I have never, even after all these years, gotten away from the idea of a Tivo as a "harvesting" rather than a storage device.

    All of my shows (in the old s1, s2, DTivo days with mfs_ftp.tcl and custom scripts for automation) went almost immediately to the home LAN where standard file storage, cataloging/organizing and backup tools took over the tasks they were far better suited for than the Tivo. I like files on a normal OS where I can see them!

    With (later on) pyTivo, the family sees the LAN as just part of the Tivo experience. I (and a few other family/friends) can see the same library on Plex or other presentations of the programs we might prefer.
     

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