External HD other than WD Expander?

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by gportiz, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. gportiz

    gportiz New Member

    Feb 2, 2016


    Has anyone here tried using an external Fantom Drive? On Amazon they have a 3TB version which has an eSATA connector for $99.95. http://www.amazon.com/Fantom-Drives...ie=UTF8&qid=1458590917&sr=8-3&keywords=Fantom

    I'm not sure if there is any special software on the WD Expander that allows it to work with a TIVO or if there is something that can be done to another brand external hard drive that will allow it to work.

    I also found some external HD enclosures with eSATA connector that allows you to flop in a range of different size hard drives.

    I know that I can buy the WD Expander for $129 but I'd like more memory than on TB.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    The only external drive that works (is plug an play) is the one that TiVo sells.

    There has to be away to marry other drives to a TiVo's internal drive, as WeakNees does it, but what ever WeaKnees is doing isn't available in the wild.
  3. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Actually, I *think* you can do it with MFSTools.. but again, that is manually mucking with drives and copying Tivo partitions around, which could screw things up..
  4. DEC2955

    DEC2955 Member

    May 3, 2009
    Has anybody used one of the eSATA to USB3.0 adapters to connect a 3rd party external 3.0 drive to their TIVO?
    Since 'Western Digital' has stopped making the external drives for TIVO's and the external drive I have seems to be failing or have a bad sector, I am looking for a way to replace it While I have a Premiere-4HD it takes a bit more work and tools to upgrade the drive.
    I have a couple of choices..
    Replace> WD does not have a replacement model and will replace with a USB3.0 but need eSATA.
    Repair> Cracking open case, but have been told that the drive interface of the external drive will only work with the exact model of hard drive, but would like to update to a 2TB or larger drive.
    Update> to Newer Tivo that I can drop and go with any standard VIDEO hard drive.

  5. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Los Angeles


    Nothing you want to do will work. TiVo doesn't recognize USB hard drives, it won't accept eSATA drives other than the obsolete 1 TB drive that TiVo sells, and the Roamio and Bolt "drop-in" only works for 3 TB and smaller drives.
  6. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    I've sometimes wondered at just what point the TiVo applies its whitelist test. It surely wouldn't check the whitelist every time the external drive is accessed (to give a silly example), but it might check every time the unit is booted. OTOH, in the interest of efficiency, the boot-up code might just look for a properly paired eSATA drive, and the whitelist might be checked only when a new external drive is being paired.

    It would be interesting for someone running an external drive to try cloning it to a new drive not on the whitelist to see if the TiVo would notice. And if a non-approved 1TB drive works, then try a 2TB drive to see if 1TB of it would be used (as a first step). If that works, then somebody can try to figure out how to use all of a larger drive.

    Weaknees does it somehow, right? If they do it by altering the whitelist only long enough to get a larger drive paired, that would be consistent with the TiVo checking only when pairing a new external drive.
  7. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Los Angeles
    One would expect that TiVo does the checking when marrying the drives; otherwise I wouldn't think Weakness would be able to do what they do. There is software around that would marry drives for older TiVos, even before the Series 3 came out with and eSATA adapter and the ability to marry on the fly. One imagines that all Weakness did was figure out how to marry drives for Roamio and Bolt. It seems unlikely that playing games with the whitelist is involved, because to do that they'd be making changes to the firmware, and that has been locked up for some time.
  8. dougdingle

    dougdingle HD Tech

    Jul 4, 2007
    West Coast
    The exact model number of the two supported WD drives is hard coded into the TiVo as part of the file structure. If you know what you're doing, it's possible to edit that for a different model (which is what I'm reasonably sure Weakknees does). There would aslo likely be some checksums to fix if you do that.

    And of course, no guarantee whatsoever that the next update won't wipe out your edits, the external drive is no longer supported, and all the shows you've recorded since installing it are gone.

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