Bolt Hard Drive Upgrade Choice

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by GregMacMan, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    (I had been wondering why you would buy the one with hours on it over the one with 0 hours, when they both were the same price! ;) )

    Again, I wonder if there's a diagnostic tool that can reveal the number of hours, and if the drive keeps track of that. Regardless, it seemed to be a well-rated, heavy-duty seller. And hopefully, if there is any issue, it would be seen right away.
     
  2. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    When I looked at this years back, I decided that, for me, the low amount of $/power savings was overridden by the possible extra wear-and-tear on the drive from powering down and up, and so I just keep the box always running. There's also a benefit of that, for me, of having the box record Suggestions during non-use hours. (And I don't mean to disregard the environmentalism, and cost savings, of having the box power down--I would prefer that. But it seemed so relatively little, and in the face of the possible extra wear-and-tear and what could come from that.)
     
  3. leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    It sounds like you're sure the consensus is the extra spinning up and down will lower the life of Dr. I was not certain this was decided to be the case. For example in sleep mode it's not spinning which I might think would actually extend life is another way I was looking at it. Aside from the power saving stuff which is pretty minimal I gather. No I'm not willing to sacrifice the life of my drive to save a little electricity. I don't record suggestions but with extra drive capacity I might consider that but I thought I read recently that feature was removed? Because there's no thumbs anymore?
     
  4. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Suggestions still are active and working (pretty well, I might add) on the TE3 user interface--and hey, now you'll have the TE3/TE4 option again, putting in a new drive!

    As to the drive spinning up and down--yeah, there was lots of commentary here on that topic years back (perhaps it was when TiVo brought out the power savings feature). I just thought to be conservative in favor of the drive, even if it might mean some more power being drawn. I save other ways (he says, with a single lightbulb on in his house right now, lol).
     
  5. leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    My reason for using powersave was not just to save power but i thought mabey it was extending life of drive, by keeping the drive off the majority of the time since like I said my TiVo is not used most of the time. It's a case of runtime VS spin up /down frequency I suppose. Pick your poison.
     
  6. fis

    fis Member

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    These drives on Ebay are a great deal, no doubt. Buyers should just be aware that they are basically buying an "as is" product. The Toshiba hard drive warranty covers only purchases from authorized retailers, and even then, it is very limited. If you get the drive, run it through diagnostics, find errors, and contact Toshiba immediately showing your proof of purchase, AND they decide that the warranty is valid, they still won't replace the drive. They will send you a gift card representing a fraction of what you paid, based on their estimate of the value of the remaining life. Since these are near the end of the warranty period, I expect that won't be much. In other words, their warranty is crap.
     
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  7. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

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    My general rule of thumb on hard drive reliability is don't let the hard drive perform a spin up and down cycle more than 4-5 times per day. Note that in power savings mode the hard drive rarely spins down if the Tivo is used daily. Tivo is downloading and processing guide information during that time.

    In your case, I think it makes perfect sense turn on the power savings. It should increase the reliability of your hard drive.
     
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  8. leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    Interesting observations right above here about spin down Behavior I was not quite aware of. Since my TiVos top lid is removed and fan is disabled I can easily tell if my drive is spinning or not. I'll pay more attention to How often it spins down to try to determine what power saving mode if any I should use. Thx
     
  9. leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    By "reliability" I take it you mean just to extend the overall life of the drive since it's spending less time spinning as long as I'm not spinning it up and down a bunch like you said?
     
  10. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

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    Correct. I used to work at a well known hard drive manufacturer (though it was a while ago). The official response was "our products can run 24/7/365" but unofficially there was a slight edge to putting the drive in standby when it's not in use as long as you didn't go crazy with it. Now pretty much everything constantly accesses the hard drive as long as the device is on so spin up/spin down only happens when the device wakes up and goes to sleep.

    But even if the hard drive never spins down in a Tivo, power savings stops recording of the unused tuners which will save a little wear and tear all by itself. I never thought my hard drive spun up and down when I had power savings on, but maybe you can find out for us if your cover is off.
     
    compuguy and fis like this.
  11. leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    100% it does spin down. how much it does, yes I'll update for you guys no problem
     
  12. leiff

    leiff Active Member

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    Does anyone use power save feature here with a large internal hard drive? Someone earlier suggest I buy a beefier power adapter might be a good idea because I know spinning up probably takes more power puts more strain on system as will a larger capacity hard drive I'm guessing. I unplugged my fan from my TiVo so I'm saving it from that draw however significant that is
     
  13. burdellgp

    burdellgp Member

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    My Bolt+ drive failed last week (first time in 19 years I've had a TiVo drive fail). While the TiVo just flashed LEDs and wouldn't boot, I was able to dd it to a new 3TB 3.5" drive. I was planning to go the external case route; I have an old eSATA case with a noisy fan that I used temporarily, and I ordered this case: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B014LQOGV2

    However, TiVo won't boot with the drive in that case; it just gives the flashing LEDs. I take the same drive and SATA/eSATA cable and put it in a different case, and it runs.

    Is there a particular eSATA case that people are using?
     
  14. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    In general, it has been "known" for a couple of years that after a certain software update was loaded, the Bolt would not boot from "any" eSATA external case - the conventional wisdom has been that ever since TiVo broke that function, the only way to use an external drive with a Bolt was to connect a normal SATA cable directly to the drive and not to any eSATA port on the enclosure.

    Your post seems to say that you accidentally found one old eSATA case that still works with the Bolt. If that is so, you might be better off to just put a new fan in that enclosure and keep using it!

    It would also be nice if you tell us what brand and model of enclosure it is that still works. I know that it is probably no longer available, but somebody else might happen to have an old one sitting around, just like you did.
     
  15. burdellgp

    burdellgp Member

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    No, I'm using a SATA to eSATA cable, connecting from the case's eSATA connector to the TiVo internal motherboard SATA connector (not the eSATA connector on the back of the TiVo). The case that works is an old Antec MX-1 case.
     
  16. LarryAtHome

    LarryAtHome Member

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    You need to bypass the bridge board on the hard drive case as well. Remove the bridge board from your case (or just bypass it) and plug the sata cable directly into the hard disk. This leaves you plugging directly on the TiVo internal connector on the one end, and plugging directly on the hard disk on the other end. Cable length may become a factor if using a long cable for the data connection but should not be an issue.
     
  17. burdellgp

    burdellgp Member

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    Hmm... okay. Then I also have to figure out how to get power to the drive (because the case's power supply is part of the board). Are there no other eSATA cases that work directly? That seems weird. I do have plenty of different lengths of regular SATA cables (had a bunch unused from a RAID card at work that are plenty long enough).

    I guess I could just keep using the Antec case, but it has a noisy fan.
     
  18. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    Yes, that is exactly what I understood from your post - this is the first recent case we have heard of where someone found an eSATA enclosure where the drive would work using an eSATA to SATA cable. Originally those did work fine with the Bolts, but TiVo took that away from us a couple of years ago (some of us think that software change was a deliberate move by them to further hamstring the Bolt, but no way to know for sure).

    Replacing the fan in that old enclosure should be very simple and only cost a few bucks.

    If you really want to buy another enclosure, do some research of older posts in this forum and the upgrade forum - numerous people have posted what enclosures they used that enabled them to bypass the enclosure eSATA port. If the people at Rovi had an brains at all, they would want to make it super easy for us to use an external 3.5" drive instead of those junk 2.5" drives. If it was easy to do (but still unsupported), then they would avoid a lot of the current complaints they are getting from failed drives!

    By the way, just looking at the user-posted pictures in the reviews, it looks like this cheap enclosure would work fine to just provide cooling and power to the drive: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001PHLMAE/ref=psdc_160354011_t3_B014LQOGV2
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  19. burdellgp

    burdellgp Member

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    Ahh, I see. I didn't realize the SATA bridge chip mattered (or could even be "seen" from the OS), but I guess that's the case. Unfortunately, replacing the fan in the old Antec MX-1 isn't really possible, as it isn't just your typical SUNON or anything like that... it's a custom thing in the drive sled. Now that I think about it, I bought this case back when I had a TiVo HD, so I probably would have replaced it then if I could! I may just see if I can put the Antec drive case down lower in my cabinet, where maybe I won't hear it.

    Thanks.
     
  20. burdellgp

    burdellgp Member

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    I got my TiVo Bolt+ all buttoned up with the external Antec MX-1 case and a SATA-to-eSATA cable to the TiVo motherboard connector (had to get a right-angle adapter to get the top to go back on). I was thinking about why this case works and others don't - I expect this case's SATA bridge is only running at SATA 2 (3 gigabit) speed. I wonder if TiVo's SATA chip works "better" with that for some reason; maybe they locked out SATA 3 (6 gigabit) speed?
     
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