Compatible hard drive list for Bolt...

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by tgellert, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. tgellert

    tgellert New Member

    Feb 11, 2007


    Hello everyone. I just bought a 500 GB Tivo Bolt 3 days ago with the idea of upgrading the hard drive to something bigger. I read in a post somewhere on this site I believe that mentioned the Seagate STDR2000100 external USB drive (which is 2 TB) being compatible. So I went out and bought it, opened up the USB3 case and extracted the drive in it. When I tried to replace the factory drive in my TIvo Bolt with it I ended up getting the blinking 4 lights! I reformatted it on my Linux box several different ways, tried several times with the same result - 4 blinking lights!

    So I ended up pulling the 3.5" 3 GB Western Digital (Green) drive that I had in my Tivo Roamio (the Roamio died 4 days ago because of a lighting strike - that is why I bought the Bolt in the first place). I ran a SATA cable external from the Bolt to this drive and used an external power supply to this drive and it works. This drive is about 2 years old now and I want to buy a new drive but have no direction at this point on what to get.

    I have looked in these forums and have done numerous internet searches and cannot find a guaranteed model that is a ~2-3 GB in size that works for 100% sure. It seems like the latest firmware update that exists on my machine and everyone else's broke hard drive upgrades. Please correct me if I am wrong. I am OK in using an external 3.5" drive with a separate power supply if needed. I just want verification on what drive works.

    Besides the Toshiba 3.0TB MQ03ABB300 drive (BTW - is this Toshiba drive still a blessed solution after the latest firmware version that is out there? The video I saw on Youtube is from 2015) are there any other tested hard drive replacements that will work?

    I am open to any suggestions. If there are proven hard drive replacement solutions that work 100% maybe we should start a thread that lists them.

    Thanks for your time. This is my fist post so please go easy on me :)

    Thanks much.

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  2. mark1958

    mark1958 Member

    Feb 13, 2005
    tgellert I modded my sisters a couple of months back and used a Western Digital 3 TB WD30EURX and it worked very well, just plug it in and the Tivo does the rest. I posted the project back in April and it might help you with some ideas how you might like to proceed, in post #1 I listed every thing used and also just updated it today. Hope this helps with your endeavor.:)

  3. tgellert

    tgellert New Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    Thanks for the information mark1958 - nice post and nice clean mod to your Bolt. I believe that the drive you list here is discontinued and you must have bought "new" old stock because none of the major retailers are carrying it. My drive looks very similar and it might be the same model as the one you used - cannot look right now because it is in an external enclosure.

    In any case we have a confirmed drive model that works: Western Digital 3 TB WD30EURX

    Any other drives out there that are 100% working in the Bolt from anyone?
  4. mark1958

    mark1958 Member

    Feb 13, 2005
    tgellert, although they have discontinued Amazon does have some sellers Sold by ETECComputer for 132.80 + 8.55 shipping with them in stock. Link:
  5. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area


    You can also use WD Red drives, WD30EFRX (3TB), WD40EFRX (4TB), WD50EFRX, WD60EFRX.

    On Amazon, the WD30EFRX is much cheaper then the WD30EURX by about $30-35.

    They are 3.5" drives which barely fit inside a Bolt.
  6. tgellert

    tgellert New Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    Thank you for the info. Looks like Western Digital is the way to go.
  7. tgellert

    tgellert New Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    I bought a 3 TB Western Digital Red drive today - the retail version:
    WDBMMA0030HNCNRSN which is OEM model WD30EFRX
    and it works perfectly. I ran a sata cable with the motherboard end having a 90 degree bend in it external to the Bolt and had it exit the box through the front left corner - where that smaller rectangular cover pops on. This cover is popped on about 95% with a little gap so the cable can fit through so the little cooling fan can do its job. I did not want to modify the case at all in case I have to return it for warranty repairs.

    I am using an old 3.5" hard drive enclosure without the electronics in it. For power I purchased a sata to usb cable that included a separate power supply with sata power connector - the power supply is the only thing I needed it for. It was $20 at Fry's.

    Additionally I had a 2 year old heavily-used Seagate 2 TB drive laying around (model ST2000DL003) that I wanted to try and see if would work and the Bolt was able to partition the drive and get to the welcome/setup screen so I am assuming it would work as well. I powered off the unit at this point.

    So this project is done for now and I have a shiny new 3 TB drive connected to the Bolt with a 3 year warranty. Of course it is not perfectly ideal having the hard drive external to the Bolt but it is working well and I have no complaints. If I have issues I will post to this group. When I have some time I will post some pictures if you are interested. Feel free to ask me any questions.

    CharioteerDC likes this.
  8. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    ??? A 3.5 inch drive can't fit inside the bolt. The 4TB 2.5" drives I have just fit in my Bolts.
    fcfc2 likes this.
  9. jago94

    jago94 New Member

    Jun 22, 2016
    Seagate 2TB Laptop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 32MB Cache 2.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST2000LM003)

    I upgraded my Bolt with this drive. I had no issues with the Bolt formatting the drive and it has been working great for the last 3 months and counting...
  10. Robbo1

    Robbo1 Member

    Oct 31, 2015
    I used this same drive as well-- $105 at Amazon --

    Has been working great since December.
  11. ennui101

    ennui101 New Member

    Dec 5, 2013
    I bought the Samsung / Seagate 2TB Laptop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 32MB Cache 2.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST2000LM003) in Nov 2015 from an Amazon vendor. It ran for almost 18 months. Recently, I have been getting screen blackouts for a few seconds and then resumption. Research has indicated that this is caused by disk read/write errors. (To test whether it was the drive, I reinstalled the original 500GB WD drive which works flawlessly).After several attempts at repair of the Seagate (using Seagate SeaTools) I asked for an RMA and was told that the drive's warranty expired in August 2015, roughly three months before i bought it. I have asked Amazon to make good, since the drive was described as "new" when I bought it. We'll see. I saw other comments about the vendor Oceanside complaining about the exact same thing so i doubt they'll make good.
    One strong piece of advice: no matter what drive you decide to go with, check it's serial with the manufacturer as soon as you get it and return it if it's not covered by warranty. Laptop drives are not made for 24x7x365 use so probability of failure is considerable. Second suggestion, which I think I'm about to undertake: consider a 3.5" drive in an external enclosure, preferably with fan, and a SATA cable to the Bolt. (I know, I don't like modding the case either.)
    TheCryptkeeper and Mikeguy like this.
  12. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2002
    Laptop drives are made for 24x7 use. They are used in server rooms all the time because they are smaller. They aren't made much differently than they're bigger brothers, and aren't any better or worse when stationary. The main problem with laptop drives is that they move a lot and get jolted. At least that doesn't happen in a Bolt.
    CharioteerDC and Mikeguy like this.
  13. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    I think it would be more accurate to say there are 2.5" drives made for 24x7 use. Laptop drives is just too general.
  14. bobsterncat

    bobsterncat New Member

    Oct 3, 2017
    what specific hard drive does tivo put in a 3TB bolt?
  15. Tony_T

    Tony_T Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2017
    I've read here that the WD20NPVZ works
    I have not read anywhere here that the latest firmware broke hardware upgrades. I have read that an external drive using the eSata port on the Bolt will not work (lack of compatible drives)
  16. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    The going favorite is the 3TB Toshiba MQ03ABB300 runs for just a few dollars more than the WD20NPVZ and an extra TB, yet still plug and play.
    fcfc2 and CharioteerDC like this.
  17. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    A 3TB WD blue drive.
  18. dellybelly

    dellybelly New Member

    Jan 26, 2015
    I just put a plain old desktop seagate 2 gig in mine this week; some have had failures but ill report back if anything breaks. Worse case I warranty the drive and put in my server and grab the "recommended" one if they are still recommended.

    My new Tivo showed up Monday and needed to set it up so first available it was. Most of our stuff is streamed, so losing a drive is pretty trivial outside of transferring the few onepasses we have. Also the price on these 2.5 inch NAS and Surveillance drives seem to be rising.
  19. CharioteerDC

    CharioteerDC New Member

    Jul 22, 2020
    Hi! Brand new to the forum.
    I have a Bolt 500 and want to upgrade the HDD to a Seagate 4TB Backup Plus I happen to have. Below is text of a chat I had with Tivo customer service. I've already got the Tivo opened, so I think I'll give it a try. Can anyone give me some more recent info on not transferring my current recordings to the new HDD?
    Thanks! Here's the text. See the very end.

    Loyd (8:24:16 PM):Thank you for contacting TiVo Support Chat, my name is Loyd and I am happy to assist you.
    Me (8:25:16 PM):I would like to not have to keep the old hdd wired as an expander.
    Loyd (8:26:44 PM):I see. I just want to ask, what expander are you trying to add on your DVR?
    Me (8:27:17 PM):I have a seagate 4tb hdd
    Me (8:28:30 PM):... and I want to install it internally to replace the 500gb hdd that came with the tivo.
    Loyd (8:29:06 PM):Just to set proper expectation, the Seagate 4TB HDD is not compatible with TiVo. The only expander that is compatible with TiVo is the Western Digital expander.
    Me (8:31:21 PM):So what you keep calling an expander is a 2.5 inch HDD, right? To be clear, such a HDD from Seagate will not work, and only a 2.5 in HDD from Western Dig will work. Do I have that right?
    Loyd (8:32:15 PM):Yes, you're right. These are the only expander compatible with TiVo (exact model number):
    Loyd (8:32:15 PM):1 WDC WD5000AVJS-63TRA0 500GB My DVR Expander

    2 WDC WD5000AVVS-63ZWB0 500GB My DVR Expander

    3 WDC WD5000AVVS-63H0B1 500GB My DVR Expander

    4 WDC WD10EVVS-63E1B1 1TB My DVR Expander

    5 WDC WD10EVVS-63M5B0 1TB My DVR Expander

    6 WDC WD10EVVS-73M5B0 1TB My Book AV Expander

    7 WDC WD10EVDS-73U8B1 1TB My Book AV Expander

    8 WDC WD10EURX-73FH1Y0 1TB My Book AV Expander

    9 WDC WD10EURX-73C57Y0 1TB My Book AV Expander

    10 WDC WD10EURX-73UY4Y0 1TB My Book AV Expander
    Me (8:33:00 PM):So the Bolt can only handle 1TB, right? Nothing larger?
    Loyd (8:33:29 PM):Yes, you are correct.
    Me (8:34:16 PM):Hmmmm.... that seems a little strange, Can you advise why it can handle nothing larger?
    Me (8:37:21 PM):... and ONLY WD?
    Loyd (8:38:05 PM):We don't have enough information since these expander no longer manufactured by TiVo. It is just that WD and TiVo have partnership before.
    Me (8:38:35 PM):Sorry for the caps above
    Me (8:38:45 PM):Thanks. That's what I thought.
    Me (8:39:07 PM):But can it handle more than 1TB?
    Loyd (8:40:17 PM):I understand, it is okay. Unfortunately, that is how the TiVo box (system) works. It can only support up to 1TB and it is only compatible with WD.
    Me (8:40:38 PM):OK. Thanks!
  20. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Of course TiVo CSR won't help you. You've voided your warranty by opening up the box. Replacing the internal drive or bypassing it is not officially supported nor sanctioned.

    Long ago, there were official WD DVR Expander drives that had 3.5" drives inside: Western Digital Confirms 500GB My DVR Expander Drive Works With TiVo. I still have one but it's not longer in use. I had it hooked up via eSATA to a TivoHD (which was of the Series 3 line). Bolt are Series 6.

    I can't speak to whatever you picked, but finding reliable 2.5" drives other that the no longer made 3 TB WD that went in Bolt+ can be a challenge. And, if the drive uses SMR (Shingled magnetic recording - Wikipedia), it will likely die very quickly.

    It seems even the Toshiba MQ03ABB300 may not last that long: Vaunted Toshiba 3TB "Toy" Drive Shot After 3 Years.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
    CharioteerDC likes this.

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