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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    Sep 3, 2020

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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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    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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    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.
     
  6. Oakland1000

    Oakland1000 New Member

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    May 31, 2018
    I think this thread has very much run its course so I'd like to jump in and piggy back on it.
    Late last year, I bought a used WD Expander (500GB) that was advertised for TIVO. It's taken me a year but I am concluding that I was sold a bill of goods because while my Roamio OTA has esata on it, the WD Expander apparently does not and has a total of 3 plugs ( two the same, and one that looks like it'll fit a pentagonal USB plug that you often find in the back of a printer connected to a regular USB plug. I suspect this is an older model that you connect to your computer USB as an external storage device. Nowhere does it say TIVO compliant or compatible as the original seller suggested.
    Does anyone know what I have and what I'm up against in terms of getting a cord to plug into my TIVO?
     
  7. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    How about posting a few pictures of the unit or posting the model number of the unit.

    If it does not have an esata it will not work. (Unless at some time TiVo software changes to use a USB drive as well. )

    Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk
     
  8. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Are you seriously still trying to use an External Drive, even with all the threads around here telling you not to?

    Just put a bigger Hard Drive in it and move on.

    -KP
     
  9. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    They're too lazy to swap out the internal and rather have an external fail and must do more work later.
     
  10. Oakland1000

    Oakland1000 New Member

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    May 31, 2018
    Sorry, I should have posted the pictures from the start though I suspect you probably are familiar with what I have here. I suspect that, as you say, without an esata plug in, I probably can't connect to my Roamio and this was just used as an external storage device. It took me a while to determine that I don't have "esata" on the external drive not having an experience with that plug. When I saw other boxes for sale on ebay with "TIVO Verified", I realized I was sold a bill of goods; "caveat emptor," as they say.
    Yes, I realize that everyone is saying swap the internal drive but I am not a technician so I have about a 50% chance of getting through that unscathed. I know my limits and despite the advantages of swapping the main drive, if I can choose a method that will somewhat work, it may be better just plugging it in. I don't mind an external drive failure; life is short so I won't cry over it; I don't expect to be buried with these devices, if you know what I mean. :)
    Thanks for whatever info you can enlighten me with.
    P1010659.JPG P1010659.JPG P1010661.JPG P1010659.JPG P1010661.JPG P1010659.JPG P1010661.JPG P1010659.JPG P1010661.JPG
     

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  11. kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    That looks a lot like a Western Digital My Book Premium Edition (500G). It comes with two Firewire 400 ports, a USB port, and a power port. (and a kensington lock hole)

    This device is essentially of no use to your Tivo.
     
  12. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    I was going to comment on the multiple unfocused pictures, but one shouldn't kick a man when he's down.

    Yeah, you were scammed. Lucky for you it would have been bad for you if it had worked. If you really want more space and don't own a screwdriver, you should send it to Weaknees for an upgrade.
     
  13. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    The most difficult part of swapping the Hard Drive is probably the Screwdrivers. Maybe prying the lid off? Or the Drive Selection...

    You can do it!



    -KP
     

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