Dock/case modifications for external Bolt drive

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by kellison, Feb 26, 2020.

How would you upgrade a Bolt drive?

Poll closed Mar 27, 2020.
  1. With replacement internal drive

  2. With external drive connected to internal sata header

  3. With external drive connected to Tivo eSata port

    0 vote(s)
  1. kellison

    kellison New Member

    Dec 1, 2008


    I have a new Bolt (okay, I know... I already had one, so I know all the reasons for not having one). For the backstory on why and how, read the last paragraph, but I'll cut straight to the chase. Hoping some will share experience and tips on using an external drive to replace an internal Bolt drive. For clarification, I am not talking about connecting to the Tivo's eSata port, rather an external drive connected to the Tivo internal sata header. I'm thinking of using an external dock instead of an external case for the drive, as the dock would provide plenty of ventilation for the drive. The only reason that comes to mind for using a case instead of a dock is the possibility of the drive being ejected from the dock if it got knocked over. Regardless of which one I end up using, I'd like to hear from anyone who has done this and how you modified the external dock or case to use sata connections instead of the dock/case built-in USB or eSata ports. Photos would be awesome and sources for parts, extended sata cables, etc., would be appreciated, too. I've done some searches and sata cables longer than 8" or so seem to be hard to find.

    It will live in a server rack in my basement, so looks are not important. I plan to remove the cable card cover and leave the cover off the portion of the case where the removed 2.5" drive is housed. I figure this will provide plenty of internal ventilation, although it may not need it with the internal heat-producing drive removed. I plan to route the sata data cable through this opening. I've purchased a WD Easystore 8TB from Best Buy to shuck and replace the Tivo internal 500GB drive. I know this will void the warranty on both the Tivo and the WD. I know about pin 3 and I have already downgraded the Bolt to TE3 to avoid drive rejection issues.

    Why do I have a Bolt? My lifetime Roamio, which I upgraded from stock 500GB to 3TB years ago, died with a weird issue of sometimes booting, but mostly not. At power up, it would spin the fan & drive, light network indicator at the Ethernet jack, but no front panel lights and nothing on screen, not even the Tivo splash screen. Only on a few occasions did it boot completely up, giving me access to all my recordings and functioning normally. I copied as many shows off as I could before it went dark. I finally called Tivo and they ran me through all the usual steps, then offered to sell me a Bolt for cheap with reduced price lifetime transfer. Only for the sake of maintaining the lifetime service, I took the deal. It finally arrived after I made several calls two weeks after the promised delivery date passed (found out they hadn't even shipped it). It appeared to be new in every way, not refurbished, completed with retail packaging.

    Would love to grab a few more of my recordings off the Roamio drive if anyone has suggestions. I do have another Roamio, but posts indicate inserting a different drive from the one at last power on will result in a wipe, even in a Tivo of the same series. Is that correct?

  2. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    I believe this limitation only applies to the Bolt.

    On a Roamio, you can swap drives in and out without fear of loosing existing recordings. You cannot access the recordings on the removed drive from a DIFFERENT Roamio, but you can put the drive back in the original machine at a later date and still see the recordings that were there when you removed it.
    apsarkis likes this.
  3. kellison

    kellison New Member

    Dec 1, 2008
    Thanks for the info. The original Roamio has died, so I was hoping to retrieve a few more recordings from that drive by placing it in another Roamio. From your post, I gather that won't work.

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