Clarification request regarding eSATA and external enclosures

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by Herb EN, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. Herb EN

    Herb EN New Member

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    I am new to upgrading and have been sifting through numerous threads. Sorry if these are "newbie" questions. It is daunting sifting through years of threads and numerous TiVo models.

    I have a 1 TB Bolt TE4 and I want to replace the original drive with an external 6TB WD Purple, preferably using an external enclosure. I have read a lot about eSATA problems.

    I cannot find an external enclosure with a SATA connection, only eSATA (makes sense "external SATA) and USB. I figure any USB configuration is right out. In the threads it is not always clear whether the troublesome eSATA connection referred to is the external storage connector on the BOLT or an eSATA connection on the external storage enclosure. I would presume the eSATA connection on the external enclosure is pretty much a direct hardwire to the SATA connection on the hard drive. No?

    I am considering using a SATA to eSATA cable to connect the MB of the BOLT to the eSATA connection on an external enclosure.

    Does this pose a problem? Any recommendations for an external enclosure? Anything to avoid?

    I thank you in advance.
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Forget the eSATA as it only works with specific Tivo expanders which are no longer made and only adds 500GB or 1TB space for Tivo show storage. Failures anywhere will result in shows lost.

    Better to use the external enclosure, bypassing the enclosure connections and connect drive directly to the internal SATA in the Tivo. Power to the drive any way you can.
     
  3. Herb EN

    Herb EN New Member

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    Sep 3, 2020
    I was not intending to use the eSATA connection on the TiVO. I am not intending to use the expander connection. I would use a SATA to eSATA cable to connect directly to the TiVo motherboard, and then to the eSATA connection on the enclosure. Has anyone used this arrangement successfully. If the eSATA to SATA connection in the enclosure is basically hardwired, then it should work. Has this been done, anyone?
     
  4. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    This was done successfully by many people in the past, but around 2 or 3 years ago, TiVo changed something in their code that broke almost all of these setups (using the eSATA connector on the enclosure) that were working just fine before the update. In general, NOTHING with an eSATA connection will work with a current TiVo, even if connected through an adapter cable directly to the TiVo motherboard.

    You are correct that an enclosure with SATA drive and an eSATA connection COULD actually be just a straight wire conversion, but it just ain't so for the vast majority of them. Some folks did find a few very old enclosures that were created like this, but now virtually everything goes through some internal electronics that also supports a USB connection. And on a side note, the eSATA technology (cables) is TERRIBLE; the ends do not lock in place, the cords are super stiff, and many of the plug ends do not make proper contact at all. Stay as far away from any eSATA as you can.

    For a TiVo expansion, you need to open or modify any enclosure that you use to enable connection of a straight SATA-SATA cable directly to the hard drive. Many modern enclosures make this more difficult by using a fixed drive connector that cannot easily be modified or removed.
     
  5. Herb EN

    Herb EN New Member

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    Sep 3, 2020

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    V7Goose, Thanks for your thorough answer. I suspected the fixed drive connector problem but wasn't sure about the SATA to eSATA having intervening electronics. Was hoping it wasn't the case. I have a power adapter with SATA connector from a Sabrent Hard Drive to USB adapter I will use. Down with horrible Hydra.
     

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