Drive upgrades, replacement, CMR, SMR, PMR

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by tommage1, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    So confusing now, I found this site which breaks down by manufacturer, then drive size, then platter capacity, model numbers listed within platter capacity, also specifically mentions SMR for many model/platter capacities. Seems to be fairly up to date, I will be using it to check drives for CMR/SMR before purchase (and check what I already have)

    The HDD Platter Capacity Database
     
  2. wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    BUT, all you really want to know is what is an expensive, reliable disk to increase the capacity of your TiVo, right?
     
  3. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    Did you mean inexpensive versus expensive?
     
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  4. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, if you can determine which drives are CMR and SMR can compare for best price/value of the CMR options (eliminate SMR drives if using for Tivo.) Some will not list exactly if SMR or CMR but can go by the capacity/number of platters in that case. Mostly. Very valuable site for me, already have checked a lot of the drives I currently own and a number of the "recommended" drives for Tivo upgrades. Since they list a good number of discontinued model drives can add those to a search. Not a PERFECT site but the best I've seen.
     
  5. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what you mean, the site will help determine a reliable disk for a Tivo replacement or upgrade. Expensive or inexpensive, the site will let you compare and therefore shop for the cheapest reliable option.
     
  6. wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    yes
     
  7. May 1, 2020 #7 of 15
    tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, maybe you thought this is some sort of sales site/pitch? It is not, it is strictly informational. Not only do they not sell drives, there are no links to places that do. You research what drives will work (for a Tivo for most here), then you look for places to buy yourself. I was searching for a way to find which drives were CMR vs SMR, one of the methods is platter capacity, that is how I found it. Seems the max platter capacity for a CMR 3.5 drive is 1.6TB, I think the max for a 2.5 drive is around 600GB (maybe a bit more, not sure). Anything more would be SMR, therefore not good for a Tivo.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2020
  8. May 1, 2020 #8 of 15
    wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    Not at all. I have decided to upgrade my five Roamios. The process is easy, but I have had trouble identifying the biggest, most reliable disk. Ought to be a sticky post about that. At one time someone recommended the 3t WD Red disks. I bought three of them. Shucking a couple WDBooks, I found 3t WD green disks inside. Hate to install a disk, move all the files, then have it fail or glitch in six months.
     
  9. May 1, 2020 #9 of 15
    tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    It's constantly changing. 3TB Reds WERE ok, the EFRX models. The current EFAX (2-6TB) models are SMR, not good for Tivos. EFAX Reds larger than 6TB are CMR for now. I have a good number of 3/4TB CMR drives I purchased over the years (and with the site I posted I can verify they are CMR). I tried 8/10/12TB Red upgrades but most got glitchy when the drive started getting close to capacity. Which ALL Tivo drives will, unless you permanently delete items in the recently deleted folder on a regular basis. I mostly use Roamios myself (on TE3) but have one Bolt on TE4 with an external drive. Using it to test the external (3TB Toshiba older model CMR 3.5 in enclosure, Sata to Sata) and see how it holds up with TE4 software updates as TE4 updates have "broken" quite a few drive upgrades in the past. So far so good, no problems at all (knock on wood). Really test not valid until it gets over 3-4 years IMO. Most of my older Tivo drives (3.5 of course) have lasted well over 5 years.
     
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  10. wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    Thank you very much. This is the kind of information I was looking for. Maybe the mods will consider making a post with this information -- as well as instructions for replacing a disk and options for moving files -- sticky.
     
  11. wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    I just found ANOTHER WD Green WD30EZRX 3TB. I think I have four. Hope they work out.
     
  12. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    I asked the guy who maintains the platter capacity site what is the largest CMR 2.5" platter capacity he knows of. He says "3TB Toshiba MQ03ABB300 (and MQ03UBB300 variation with USB only) appears to be using the densest CMR 2.5" platters, at 750GB each." He mentions the Toshiba model uses 750GB CMR platters but I am guessing not ALL 750GB 2.5 platters are CMR, for example some of the Seagate Mobiles. I think the MQ03ABB300 is one of the favored drives for those who want to stick with a 2.5 upgrade/replacement for a Bolt (along with the 2TB version)? So pretty much confirms why, it is CMR. I myself will stick with external 3.5, a LOT more CMR choices and larger capacities available.
     
  13. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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  14. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    Good luck :) When I find a model that works well I may buy more when I see them at a good price. I usually paid $30-70 for my 3/4TB CMR 3.5" drives. Usually a lot cheaper than current model specialty firmware drives.

    My TE3 Roamios, with a Roamio you can swap drives around (as long as drives on the same OS and married to the specific Roamio). For a couple Roamios I use an external "toaster" dock. Going from the motherboard Sata port to the Esate port on the toaster (yes, Sata to Sata is better but I have had no issues in this circumstance and I don't know of any "toaster" where I could connect Sata to Sata). Can have a library of drives, pop in and out of the toaster whenever I want. OTA is simple, cable the extra drives need to be created by cloning/copying the original first to maintain the cable card setting on all drives. Currently am using 3 drives on one "Basic" Roamio, OTA and 3 drives on cable Roamio Plus (one drive at a time of course). CANNOT do this with a Bolt.......... And if you change cable cards the extra drives would lose the cable card setting. But you would still be able to watch the recordings.
     
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  15. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that is handy, especially since WD company policy in the past was to not give out info on SMR or CMR. Only thing it is for current model drives only, and no guarantee they will update it when new models come out. I think they did it as many people were complaining, bought Reds that ended up being SMR (the 2-6TB current models). The site I listed has info for many manufacturers and most current and legacy model drives. Now if the other manufacturers would do what WD just did would be nice. I don't think Seagate has converted any of their NAS drives to SMR, yet. Ideally all manufacturers would list if drives are CMR or SMR in specs, not have to guess, count number of platters, platter capacity, weigh, or buy then find out drive does not work for your application (like a Tivo) because it is SMR. SMR not necessarily BAD, for some applications fine, just need to know so you can choose for your particular application, it should be in the specs.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020

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