Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by bkdtv, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Dec 5, 2007 #541 of 10473
    Kenji

    Kenji New Member

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    Jun 28, 2003
    Oakland,...

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    I believe it's the drive's model number. The TiVo HD unit can query the eSATA drive for its model number, and the only model number on the "approved" list is the model used in the WD My Book.
     
  2. Dec 5, 2007 #542 of 10473
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Kenji is correct, that model number is the only one that TiVo HD's can use as it is built into the OS/software. "Experts" with many years of experience hacking TiVo’s (namely Spike at MFSLive.org and others) have been working on this for several months and to date they haven't been able to crack the code. Even if they do, it would almost certainly require a hard drive removal and upgrade anyway.

    The only work-around is to perform the internal upgrade work you mention.
     
  3. Dec 5, 2007 #543 of 10473
    gspoto

    gspoto New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    Wow...ok. That is interesting.
    Since I am more of a software guy then a hardware guy I am guessing that there model number somehow stored perminantly on a PROM somehow on the HD.

    So if that is the case, how does "marrying" a new non approved external; drive work? What is done in this process that makes the TiVo HD ok with this device? If I read the documentatin on how to use MFST marrying a drive doesn't make any changes to the stock TiVo drive.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2007 #544 of 10473
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Basically, an external drive must be prepared (married to internal drive) before it will work. The TivoHD will only do that preparation for the Western Digital My DVR Expander.

    But TiVo does not stop you from using external drives prepared using other means. That's what WinMFS does; it prepares (marries) the external drive just as the TiVo normally would, except it will work with any drive.
     
  5. Dec 5, 2007 #545 of 10473
    stretch35

    stretch35 New Member

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    Nov 9, 2007

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    Got off phone with level2 tech at WD..costco esata my book 1terabyte drive won't work in his words..he mention the official tivo drive..1 terabyte maybe next year..now with some problems with the offical drive starting to show up..and with an on going writer's strike..I'm tempted to just bag the whole idea..got 2 hd capable tivos 3 &hd) what is involved in using antec mx-1 and wd caviar 1terabyte drive..is there a cable inside mx-1that links drive to esata port on the inside??
     
  6. Dec 5, 2007 #546 of 10473
    gspoto

    gspoto New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    Ok... that makes sense to me.
    So once an external drive is preped, is there anything that keeps an image of a clean "preped" drive from being placed onto a new clean drive that hasn't been preped?

    BTW... Thank you all (Kenji, Rich, bkdtv)for making a new poster feel welcome.

    Greg
     
  7. Dec 5, 2007 #547 of 10473
    gspoto

    gspoto New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    I have used for some time an old pentium 3 PC networked with TiVo Series 2. The PC did nothing but hold some big HDs and run the TiVO desktop. With the recent desktop versions having an auto download feature and the TiVo being able to stream back from the PC I have used this setup for awhile to act as external storage in the series 2 era. I haven't tried it with the HD content yet, but I expect that the HD stream will not keep up playing live because of the file size. But in the short term it is a (almost) adequate solution. Not like having a bunch of HD programming at your fingertips... but it is better then nothing.
     
  8. Dec 5, 2007 #548 of 10473
    kohi

    kohi 日本語の学生

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    May 1, 2007

    Check out the MX-1 Video Demonstration ---> http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=77150

    It's pretty thorough.

    Hope that helps.

    Kohi
     
  9. Dec 6, 2007 #549 of 10473
    Aiken

    Aiken Blah, blah, blah.

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Redmond, WA
    I know. Let's start by saying I'm a senior software engineer and I work on low-level driver-like software for a living.

    You can absolutely create bad *data* on the drive if something is severely slowing down the OS. Drivers are not quite as susceptible to things like virtual memory thrashing as regular code, but it's pretty well known that there's a memory fragmentation leak somewhere in TiVos that slows down the UI as uptime increases, and it's conceivable that the drivers are missing an interrupt or allowing a write buffer to starve or something.

    It's also possible that there's a memory corruption problem which is causing problems with the drive controller's current mode/settings. I've seen the mpeg decoder get into a bad state, so there's no reason to assume the drive controller is any safer from this.

    Anyone who owned a commodore 64 could tell you that it's also possible to produce deliberate bad sectors through software. As long as you have enough low-level control, or as long as you can mess up whatever does have low-level control of the drive, it doesn't necessarily require a physical problem.

    Not impossible, but given that all I'm resetting each week is the OS, it seems unlikely. It's also unlikely that I'd get to the pretty much same conditions in pretty much the same span of time three times in a row if it were a random encounter with a bad area of the platter(s). I'd expect to find the bad area after a day or ten or thirty, not exactly a week each time.

    On the other hand, a week is pretty much exactly how long a TiVo usually takes to start bogging down.

    The enclosure doesn't even seem to be as warm as my hand.

    Power is coming from a power conditioner. Also, as pointed out above, power issues should be random and not weekly-periodic.

    Yeah, I may just do that.

    Hitches in this case are the mpeg decoder being starved for input. It appears to me that the usual readahead is stalled on a read that is taking far too long, which is usually the symptom of a drive internally retrying the read due to a problem/error. Eventually, something times out and the show picks up a little later where the data is good again. During the stall, no UI input works, though it is queued up and executed after the stall.

    Yup, not to mention hidden away from the wife's cleaning hands.

    It's a soft reboot. Reinit the OS/drivers.

    The TiVo and the drive are both powered by a line conditioner.
     
  10. Dec 6, 2007 #550 of 10473
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Um, okay. You're the expert. Let us know what you find out when you figure it out.

    Then you'll probably want to work on deleting your double posts...something a little less technical in nature. ;)
     
  11. Dec 6, 2007 #551 of 10473
    Clentz

    Clentz New Member

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    Nov 30, 2007
    Corona, CA...

    I misquoted, I should have said 1 meter instead of three feet. (~3 in error) Perhaps it stems from my inability to adapt. When I was in school, us students were told that the units of measurement would be changing to metric. I have not really seen this and never have gotten used to those measurements in plus 65 years.
    Has anyone gotten inside of “Costco’s box” to see what is inside? It could be ….. There is no guarantee that the HDD is even the same drive that WD is marketing as their 1TB green drive.

    Carl
     
  12. Dec 6, 2007 #552 of 10473
    Aiken

    Aiken Blah, blah, blah.

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    Feb 17, 2003
    Redmond, WA
    That's odd. I came back to my computer hours after writing the post and it appeared I had never actually submitted the post. I then looked over the thread to make sure I hadn't, and it wasn't there, so I submitted it. I don't know how I managed to miss it, since it would still have been the very last post in the thread.

    Anyway, I really appreciate your response. It always brightens my day to see someone get their priorities in order and take care of their own ego. Too many people neglect theirs. Still, no matter how awesome your post was, this is all off-topic and we should probably try to get back on course.

    It should be interesting to see if anyone else with a TiVo-blessed expander reports similar symptoms. For everyone's sake, I suppose I hope no one does, but if it really is a software issue, I hope enough of us report it for it to get attention. It has to be people reporting the TiVo-blessed expander, though, since third-party drives like that of the poster I responded to aren't officially supported and so probably won't be a high debugging priority.
     
  13. Dec 6, 2007 #553 of 10473
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    AFAIK it's the only 1TB drive WD is manufacturing right now; nothing else on their website. It's being used inside the Apricorn Xpander as well.

    BTW, don't be so hard on yourself. 1 meter = 3.2808399 feet. ;)
     
  14. Dec 6, 2007 #554 of 10473
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Is anyone successfully using a WD My Book 1TB with their TiVo? I've seen several posts from different members reporting issues with that drive.

    Western Digital may be using a bridge chip in that product that is incompatible with the TiVo.
     
  15. Dec 6, 2007 #555 of 10473
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Based on all of the posts to date, I don't think anyone's had any luck with that drive.

    I also speculated that it's the three-way bridge a while back...seems like the only thing that could be causing the problem.
     
  16. Dec 6, 2007 #556 of 10473
    sailomb

    sailomb New Member

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    Apr 4, 2007
    I have been trying to install a 1TD eSata HD from WD also. I am having issues. Here is the history:

    1. 6 months ago I installed a 500GB eSATA WD external HD to my series3 using the kickstart method. It worked as normal.

    2. The drive was fine after 9.2 update.

    3. I found a WD 1TB Essential edition (USB 2.0 only) at Circuit City on Sale on Black Friday. So I bought it.

    4. I took it a part and it has a WD 1TB green drive in it.

    5. I then backed up my tivo recordings to the PC using TivoToGo. This took more than 24hrs. I had alot to back up.

    6. I powered down the TIVO by disconnecting power. I removed the 500GB eSATA drive and took it apart. I put the 1TB green drive in the 500GB eSATA enclosure so now I have a 1TB green drive with eSATA.

    7. I plugged it in the TIVO with the same eSATA cable that worked fine.

    8. After the power up, TIVO error saying "There is a major issue with TIVO. This can take up to 3 HOURS to repair" Tivo goes on to do a diagnostic and about 15 mins later it booted back up. My new 1TB HD was seen by system info as an installed external device. Buy yet the capacity was only 32 HRS for HD (250GB internal drive).

    9. I went into settings to enable the drive but nothing happened. It did not give me the next page that says external drive detected.

    10. I reboot 2 more times and same thing... I'm worried.

    11. I turn off TIVO. I removed the drive. I rebooted with TIVO only. It now tells me that an external drive was removed. So I hit clear and rebooted anyways.

    12. After the reboot, I turn off TIVO again and installed the drive. Everything seems to be working alot better now. I went in and enabled the drive and it TIVO allowed me to do this. TIVO then rebooted and I now have 165 HRS of HD recording.

    I think the key here was to have TIVO reboot with no drives attached before attaching another drive. Hope this helps someone. By the way I got the 1TB drive for $200 (after a mail in rebate).
     
  17. Dec 6, 2007 #557 of 10473
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Yes, you need to "unmarry" the original drive before you add a new one. This is accomplished by booting the TiVo without the drive you want to replace.

    Did you ever try the WD My Book 1Tb with its original enclosure? Were you able to work?
     
  18. Dec 6, 2007 #558 of 10473
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Thanks, I'll add a "drives confirmed not to work" section to the first post.
     
  19. Dec 6, 2007 #559 of 10473
    sailomb

    sailomb New Member

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    Apr 4, 2007
    The WD My Book 1Tb I got was a USB 2.0 version. That is why I had to swap out the drives.
     
  20. Dec 6, 2007 #560 of 10473
    Burt Spielman

    Burt Spielman Member

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    May 9, 2001
    Madison,...
    Well, I'm still waiting for the USB 2.0 PCI card for our old PC. In the meantime, I decided to experiment with WinMFS on my Intel iMac running Windows XP Pro SP2 with Parallels Desktop. The Mac has USB 2.0 ports, so I figured I'd have little to lose by trying.

    Sure enough, I was able to run WinMFS, which recognized the 750GB drive removed from the TiVo S3 and the 1TB drive intended to replace it. I was able to use the "backup" command in WinMFS to create a file on the Windows desktop. Just for the record, it took 1:05 to create a 252MB file on a 2GHz Intel Core Duo (not the latest Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Extreme) iMac, using the USB-to-SATA adapters specified in the FAQ.

    However, the mfscopy stalled after several hours, acting much the same way it did on the PIII PC. The adapters have LEDs, green and red, that display activity. During my earlier attempts using the USB 1.1 ports on the PC, these blinked, alternately red then green, quite slowly, until I lost patience with WinMFS's inability to display the progress of the copy and aborted the copy.

    Using the USB 2.0 ports on the Mac, the blinking on the adapters was much faster, so much so that the red and green LEDs appeared to be on simultaneously on both adapters. But, after a few hours, the adapter on the 750GB drive shows both red and green, steadily on, while the 1TB adapter is green with no blinking.

    Meanwhile, Windows reports WinMFS as "not responding," even though, initially, it was working, just as noted in the FAQ. (Ah, Windows! "Not responding" means it's working! Is that anything like clicking on the "Start" button to shut down? Makes perfect sense to me!)

    By the way, because of the inadvertent omission of the crucial mfscopy step in the FAQ when I initially started this, I did mfsadd only, as I described in an earlier post. WinMFS displays both the 750GB and the 1TB drives as TiVo formatted. Could the format of the 1TB drive be interfering with the mfscopy? On the PC as well as on the Mac?

    To say the least, I'm puzzled by all of this. Someone here has suggested that I might be better off downloading the MFSLive Boot CD image and launching the program in Linux directly from the disk. If I have to resort to that, I'll need additional cabling and another PCI card to attach the SATA drives to the ancient PC.

    I'd appreciate comments/guidance here. This process is definitely not (at least for the moment) as straightforward as described. For the moment, the 750GB drive goes back into the TiVo again.
     

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