Bolt Hard Drive Upgrade Choice

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

  1. Nov 9, 2017 #41 of 818

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2017


    From what I've read here, the WD20NPVZ is a popular 2T choice as it's the same drive family that Tivo uses for its 1TB Bolt. I've read here that the 3TB Tosiba is the more popular upgrade choice. Didn't see any recommendations for the 2TB Toshiba though.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  2. Nov 9, 2017 #42 of 818

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

    May 30, 2008
    The current single-internal-drive limit for MFSR is 8TB even if that "internal" drive is actually in an external enclosure on a Bolt. Weaknees sells a 10+10 kit for Roamios, but for Bolts I think the practical limit would be around 12-13 TB since the internal drive is 2.5" and most of the 4TB 2.5" drives that people have tried have failed by now. I also happen to think that dual-drive setups are an extremely bad idea because there are just too many single points of failure. If you need that much space buy a NAS or build a PC RAID array and offload. I'm not throwing stones - I have a 16TB Drobo and a 24TB RAID array on my PC just to offload crap that I'll probably never watch.

    I figured out how to break MFSR's 8TB limit recently, but I haven't written the code yet. Depending on how hard I push it the single-drive limit would be either 18 or 20 TB. Even with a dual-drive setup that could only be extended to 24TB due to a 132 character limit in one of the MFS header fields.
    pmbrauer and aaronwt like this.
  3. Nov 10, 2017 #43 of 818

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2006
    Thanks for the clarification.
    pmbrauer likes this.
  4. Nov 10, 2017 #44 of 818

    outinstyle New Member

    Nov 2, 2017
    Is there a "weaknees" type service in NYC that I can have upgrade my bolt?

    I don't want to take the chance of doing it myself and also don't want a week of "downtime" either for shipping it back and forth.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
  5. Nov 22, 2017 #45 of 818

    Jimbo687 Member

    Dec 18, 2016


    Has anyone tried the WD Easystore 8TB External USB Hard Drive ..."recently"...? They used to be red label and were a viable external upgrade option. Now they may be some white label drives. Best Buy will be selling these 8TB for $129.99 starting tomorrow for Black Friday. Would love to buy a few if anyone has had positive experience w/ them recently.
  6. Nov 26, 2017 #46 of 818

    fis Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    A quick web search says some folks have opened these and harvested a WD80EFAX red drive. One review I read said that the drives inside these things will sometimes not turn on when harvested and plugged directly into a computer, due to pin3 being powered on older SATA power plugs, which is now used as a disable pin for remote drive reboots. That's as much as I know. YMMV.
  7. Nov 26, 2017 #47 of 818

    fis Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Wow. Having had a bad experience with the 3TB Toshiba (and with Toshiba's warranty), I was ready to "downgrade" to the 2TB WD20NPVZ Blue drive, but those seem to be going out of stock rapidly, and the best price I can find from a WD authorized dealer is $155.

    I am assuming that if I buy it from a random Amazon marketplace seller for $80, then WD will not honor the warranty?
  8. Nov 26, 2017 #48 of 818

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2017
    I don't think these are going out of stock.
    (Maybe high demand with the TiVo sales of 500GB Bolts)
    New @ Amazon for $120 + $11 shipping
  9. Nov 26, 2017 #49 of 818

    fis Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    That's an Amazon Marketplace seller "Anand International, Inc." There are couple of sellers with even lower prices but I don't think any of them would be considered authorized sellers by Western Digital if you had a warranty claim. I could be wrong, but:
    "No limited warranty is provided by WD unless your WD Product ("Product") was purchased from an authorized distributor or authorized reseller."
    The lowest price I see from an authorized WD distributor is $155 (both MacMall and TigerDirect). The drive appears to be out of stock at BestBuy, Amazon, Dell, Fry's, NewEgg, WalMart...
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  10. Feb 12, 2018 #50 of 818

    Spryboy New Member

    Feb 12, 2018
    I've read through most, but not all, of this thread. I recently bought a Bolt 500gb and before I ever plugged it in I put in a Toshiba 3TB drive. When I first booted up the Bolt all the LEDs on the front started flashing after about a minute. Anyone else experience this and/or know how to fix it?
  11. Feb 12, 2018 #51 of 818

    fis Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Sorry to hear that. Search here for "lights flashing" and you'll see that this means the Bolt is not recognizing your hard drive.

    Since you never started it up with the 500GB drive in it, I recommend you swap them back and see if it works with the original drive. Could be a defective Bolt, or something as simple as a loose SATA cable. If it doesn't work with the original drive, then you have a Bolt problem.

    Separately, run some diagnostics on your Toshiba drive. I had the 3TB Toshiba drive. I never ran diagnostics on it. Mine worked well -- for 6 months -- then I got the flashing lights. Turns out the drive had problems, and I had to return it to Toshiba under their warranty, which does not cover full replacement cost.

    Start there and see where that leads you.
  12. Feb 12, 2018 #52 of 818

    clay.autery Member

    Feb 2, 2018
    Was the Tosh 3TB drive brand new out of the bag, or had it been previously formatted?
    CloudAtlas likes this.
  13. Feb 15, 2018 #53 of 818

    BostonMA New Member

    Feb 15, 2018
    I upgraded 2 recently bought bolts with 2.5" Seagate Firecuda 2TB. . It's a SSHD (Solid State Hybrid Drive) with a 5 year warranty. Drive is thin so no problem installing it. Plenty of space inside the case so it should stay cool.

    I took a risk as I couldn't find the infamous 3TB Toshiba drive for cheap and Firecuda was on sale for cheap (Bought it during xmas for ~$65.99 a piece), I saw no recommendations but I figured I'll git it a shot. This is a winner as Tivo is now snappy. (It was slugish before)
    • Boot up time is faster. Before, it would take good 5-10 minutes to boot the tivo (from power down) and now Tivo boots in a minute or so. (I don't reboot my tivo often)
    • Setup was a lot faster. When I setup with original drive (as some guide recommends), it took me over an hour. I had a 250meg download speed. (Now I have gigabit up/down). With this drive, I was able to install Tivo < 10 minutes.
    • Apps that used to take minutes to start (Amazon, etc), now comes up ~10 seconds.
    • Original 500gb drive would sometimes 'hang'. It would take 30 seconds for certain recordings to load. I rarely see it. (I sometimes do see some recordings can take few seconds to load)
    If you are OK with 2TB of space and the price, I would recommend this drive.
    BakCompat, Mike500 and mllacey like this.
  14. Feb 15, 2018 #54 of 818

    fis Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    It does not surprise me that the hybrid architecture would perform well in terms of speed and responsiveness in the Bolt. The question is whether they will be long-term reliable in a finicky DVR environment like the Bolt where so many other models have started out OK then failed after six months or a year. I wish you the best of luck with this drive and that your long-term experience is great and you'll share that here. I am by no means a hard drive engineer, but I've learned enough to know to proceed with caution. So personally, I'm only willing to recommend a media-rated drive like the WD reds that were designed to be running 24x7.
    V7Goose likes this.
  15. Feb 15, 2018 #55 of 818

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    The Firecuda drives use SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording). Which is what you want to avoid in a DVR.

    Although I still have a 4TB SMR drive working in a Bolt, since OCtober 2015.

    Also, not sure about your times. If it took minutes for your apps to load there was an issue. With every drive I've used in the Bolts, it's only taken seconds for the apps to load. And recordings also start within a few seconds.

    The Firecuda SSHD has an Algorithm that takes the most used files and put them in it's 8GB Solid state storage. So that would not make any recordings start faster. Although the drive itself has a high platter density, which does allow for quicker read/write speeds than a lower density drive. It is rated for up to 1.12 Gb/s transfer rates.

    I use a 2TB Firecuda drive in my PS4 PRo.

    I h ope it does last a long time in your Bolt though. IF it does that would be a great option.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  16. Mar 7, 2018 #56 of 818

    LVKeith New Member

    Jan 30, 2018
    Does anyone know if a WD 2TB model WD20SPZX will work. This drive has 128m cache and is 7mm thick. Other than that it appears to have the same specs as WD20NPVZ and is priced less than the WD20NPVZ which is known to work in the bolt and seems to be an older model only available on WD site or a few vendors on Amazon. A 2Tb drive will be more than enough space for me. Don't want to go any larger. Any info/advice is appreciated.
  17. Mar 7, 2018 #57 of 818

    tivoboy Member

    Jan 14, 2002
    any of these performance times are just what I get in my tivo with a 3TB regular HD. Other than the 1 minute cold boot. It takes about 3 min to reboot and get back to a home page screen for my regular tivo bolt.

    Apps should have taken about 10-25 seconds each to load, some more than others. Most are about 10 seconds. Going from my shows to starting a show, 2-4 seconds maybe tops.
  18. Mar 7, 2018 #58 of 818

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

    Sep 24, 2017
    Chicago USA...
    Great WD 2TB drive for the bolt of which I have bought many for clients from a very reputable seller.

    WD Green WD20NPVX priced at $90 right now. They were selling them for $83 dollars a week or two ago so you might want to contact them and ask for an offer price.

    *Low Hours* WD Green WD20NPVX 2TB 8MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5" 15mm | eBay

    eBay item number: 3f93923073

    I would highly recommend disabling parking on the drive. WD are the only drives that allow parking to be disabled at this point.


    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
    LVKeith and fis like this.
  19. Mar 18, 2018 #59 of 818

    ayceblue New Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    I was under the impression that the firecuda used PMR. In looking for the answer, I downloaded the official Seagate FireCuda product manual, version 100802299, Rev F, October 2017, for models ST2000LX001, ST1000LX015, ST500LX025. On page 6, in section 1.0 Introduction: "Shingled magnetic recording with perpendicular magnetic recording heads/media." Nice confusing statement, but looks like SMR is comfirmed. Another potential problem with the firecuda - on page 17, "Rated workload" is < 55 TB/year. "Workloads exceeding the annualized rate may degrade and impact reliability...". 55 TB/year is approx. 13.5 GB per day, 550 MB per hour, 9 MB per minute. This is far below the continuous I/O that the tivo would demand.
  20. Mar 18, 2018 #60 of 818

    ayceblue New Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    I've been trying to find the answer to this as well. Other than the cache, another difference is rotational speed: SPZX: 5400, NPVZ: 5200.
    I'm trying to find the real engineering specs of these drives so I can answer this definitively, but can't seem to find any on WD's website. Does anyone have any ideas how to get this information?

    A little more research... my opinion is WD built the NPVZ line exclusively for DVR applications. The Bolt 1TB is a WD10NPVZ, Bolt 3TB is a WD30NPVZ. If I could get my hands on the real documentation, my gut feeling is the NPVZ would have a much higher workload rate than the SPZX (or others). One of the few places WD mentions this is the purple drives have a workload rate of up to 180 TB / year. Maybe the NPVZ drives are WD's 2.5 inch version of their purple line? Bottom line, I would pay the few extra $$ and get the WD20NPVZ.

    Correction: 3TB is WD30NPRZ. I guess I don't know what the model # of the 1TB is.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018

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