Format new drive for old WD My DVR Expander?

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by eskovan, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. eskovan

    eskovan Member

    55
    3
    Sep 30, 2002

    Advertisements

    Ok, I'm a long-time member but infrequent poster, mostly because I'm a PC tech and, even more so, I haven't had much trouble with my TiVos over the years.

    I currently have a Roamio Plus or Pro (6 tuners w/cablecard) which is about 4-5 years old. A little over a year ago I was low on space so I decided to plug in my external 1TB WD My DVR Expander that I had from an older TiVo into my Roamio. Worked fine, but now the expander disk has died. Lost all my shows, but the Roamio still works fine.

    My question is: How would I go about getting the new 1TB hard drive that I put into the old WD Expander case to work with my Roamio? The drive was formatted for a PC but never used. Tried just plugging it in and rebooting the Roamio but that doesn't work, says its incompatible.

    Would I have to take out the Roamio's internal disk, connect it and the new external disk to a PC (both via SATA I assume) and use WinMFS to marry them first? Would this even work? Does it matter that the external disk is ultimately going to be connected to the Roamio via the rear eSATA port? Is there any way to do it without removing the Roamio internal drive considering that normally the TiVo itself formats an external drive when plugged in? IOW is there a way to pre-format the external hard drive so the Roamio thinks it's another My DVR Expander drive when plugged in?

    I'm still using TE3 and have no desire to upgrade. Thanks in advance..
     
    Dan Cour likes this.
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    12,225
    1,050
    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Didn't your experience with the external teach you anything? Are you willing to lose shows again? Well, we would not recommend you use an external with your Tivo and rather to expand the internal to a much bigger drive. I went from a 500GB to 4TB internally about 5 years ago, its still chirping along.

    Its also much more complicated to marry a generic drive to use externally.

    You can also download your shows to the computer (KMTTG, PyTivo/Desktop, Tivo Desktop (no longer supported)), store on a NAS also. Its also better to store shows on a computer or NAS since you will most likely only lose portions of your videos instead of the entire drive as in a Tivo. (Better long term storage) If you want to save space, you can edit out the commercials (Windows use VideoReDo). When you want to watch on the TV, just re-load to the Tivo. If your Tivo runs v21/Hydra/TE4 (Tivo software), then this option is not possible, since computer -> Tivo is disabled. TE3/v20 still supports PC->Tivo function.
     
    Dan Cour likes this.
  3. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

    5,814
    723
    May 30, 2008
    You will never get it to work automatically like it did before, even using the DVR Expander case. That capability was limited to a "whitelist" of nine specific 500GB and 1TB drives that haven't been made in a very long time. Also, WinMFS only works on Series 3 and earlier models.

    Technically you could use MFS Tools 3.2 to marry almost any drive to your Roamio, but you would have to pull your existing internal drive and hook them both up to a computer. As @ThAbtO noted it would be a very tricky process and still subject to all the pitfalls inherent in using an external drive.

    Since your recordings have already been lost you have a lot of choices for putting a much larger internal drive in it, depending on the size of your existing drive and what software it's running. TE3 will auto-format any drive up to 3TB, and you could use MFS Reformatter to go up to 8TB. The latest version of TE4 should auto-format any drive up to 14TB, although I don't know if that has been tested on a Roamio yet.
     
    Dan Cour likes this.
  4. eskovan

    eskovan Member

    55
    3
    Sep 30, 2002
    Yeah, I didn't have much hope it would work, kind of just a 'I'm bored' project.

    But I am concerned about my Roamio. I have no desire to get a Bolt or an Edge due to their sketchy hardware record, nor do I want to use TE4. And I'm not ready to cut the cord just yet. Like I said my Roamio is going on five years old and I already just lost everything so I should replace the drive now when there's not much on it anyway.

    So I can just put a new drive in it and the on-board TiVo firmware will format it? And it won't make me choose TE4? That sounds good. Is everyone still recommending the WD Red hard drives for TiVo use? What about Purple, the ones meant for constant 24/7 reading & writing? Thanks much for the quick and informative info. Why forums still rule!
     
    Dan Cour likes this.
  5. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    19,981
    3,675
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...

    Advertisements

    I am using WD red drives in two of my Roamio boxes. I perform a low-level on them just to check for bad sectors. That takes over 12 hours. The TiVo finds it and installs the latest software from your box and then checks for updates (none in two years). I have no experience with WD Purple, Bolt or Edge. I do have TE4 on one Roamio. Just for fun and to support a Mini VOX for 4k. TE4 will only install if you ask for it, and you get two "are you sure?" questions. There is a lot of info posted on drives. Do some reading. Or buy a used 3TB Roamio on eBay with a WD green in it. One without all-in should be cheap. Good luck.
     
    Dan Cour likes this.
  6. Scott9mm

    Scott9mm Active Member

    117
    27
    Apr 4, 2015
    Rural NC
    What the other guys said. Buy a big hard disk (3T min and 6-10T is better) . WD red and purple drives have been good but avoid any that use SMR (shingled tracks). It is no longer enough to just get any WD red drive. New WDx0EFAX drives are SMR in the 2-6T range but WDx0EFRX are not SMR. Also, 5400 RPM is plenty; 7200 just loads the power supply and makes the box run hotter.

    You can often get good hard drive buys on eBay if you know the exact model number and are patient; if bidding goes too high wait for the another one to be listed. Hard drives are getting bigger but the largest have premium prices; 6-8T drives are often reasonable. All of the used and "manufacturer refurbished" hard drives I bought on eBay were good.

    Buy a dual docking station (mine is a Sabrent) unless you have a spare computer with CD reader and SATA cables. Either way, follow these instructions to create a boot CD which will prepare the new hard drive and transfer everything from the old internal TiVo drive to the new hard drive. Just be sure you type all the instructions EXACTLY as shown and keep track of where you are. Some steps are fast but copying everything to the new HD will take hours. It helps to know Linux (better understand what's happening) but not necessary.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
    Dan Cour likes this.
  7. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

    3,729
    566
    Feb 15, 2014
    Los Angeles
    I recently came across this Ars Technica article about the new WD 18TB drives. A few pages down is a table explaining WD's color scheme and includes information about which are CMR and which may be SMR.
     
    kpeters59 and Dan Cour like this.
  8. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    1,640
    531
    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    Just a new comment on available 3.5" drives:
    WD Reds USED to be one of the main choices, but then they started secretly screwing customers by secretly changing them to SMR drives. Just yesterday I was on their web site doing a little research for expanding my NAS, and it looks like all the Red PMR drives are now gone from there, but they now list Red Plus along with Red Pro?

    The ONLY current WD drive I would trust now for a TiVo is the purple series, and I am not very confident about them! I think I'm done with WD branded drives.

    My new go-to drive for TiVo expansion may be the Seagate IronWolf drives. But note: I have NOT yet used one of these in a TiVo; this info is just from what I am seeing from Seagate and with my NAS. Seagate has publicly pledged that NO IronWolf drives will every be SMR. And in my NAS, I have 3 WD drives and one IronWolf drive, and the IronWolf is ALWAYS 10 degrees cooler than the three WD drives in the same box. The IronWolf 3 TB and 4 TB drives are both 5400 RPM drives and seem ideal for use in a TiVo.

    I know that some people are going to the bigger drives (8 TB+) with TiVos, but I never will - I am just not willing to risk that many recordings in one poor quality TiVo box and a now terrible and untrustworthy company.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
    tommage1 and Dan Cour like this.
  9. Marcelo Pignatta

    Marcelo Pignatta New Member

    4
    1
    Sep 11, 2020
    Hi everyone. I was having some issues with freezing in my Roamio Pro. After reading all the posts, I bought a new hard drive on amazon. I couldn't find the "Red 3TB" that so many recommended, so I got a 4TB Red. I figured the Tivo box would format it and I didn't even care whether it would only show 3TB. We really never neared capacity while recording shows. The installation went smooth but when I boot with the new drive the box gets stuck on the very first screen, with the gray background and the Tivo logo, even before the "Starting up" screen in blue. No matter how long I left it, it never booted. IF I connect the older drive, which works perfect except for the occasional frame freeze, it boots perfect. I did check the consumption of both drives and I see no reason why it would run one and not another, so I am looking for some advice. I uploaded the pictures of the Green (original) drive and the Red (New Drive), as well as my software version, which is: 21.10.1.v8-840-6-840. Any help is appreciated!

    IMG_5692.jpeg IMG_5695.jpeg IMG_5694.jpeg IMG_5693.jpeg

    UPDATE: After reading another post by Scott9mm, from yesterday, looks like the drive might not be compatible. He mentions that "WD red and purple drives have been good but avoid any that use SMR (shingled tracks). It is no longer enough to just get any WD red drive. New WDx0EFAX drives are SMR in the 2-6T range but WDx0EFRX are not SMR". I grabbed an old 1TB drive from the drawer, installed it and it formatted all fine, so I need to find a drive that works now. IF anyone has gotten a 3TB lately from Amazon that is working with no issues, I would appreciate if you could share the model number or a link :) Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
    Dan Cour likes this.
  10. kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member TCF Club

    7,870
    1,792
    Jan 29, 2001
    Germantown, MD
    The WD Red Pro line continues unaffected.
    The WD Red Plus line is simply all WD Red drives that weren't converted to SMR. All they did was rename the survivors to include the word Plus. Plus drives are by definition now non-SMR. *
    The WD Red line (no Pro/Plus), is all SMR.

    * In many cases, the non-SMR drives were just renamed/recatagorized without even changing their part number.

    The renaming is actually a good thing, and NAS's only including Plus's and Pros is a good thing. That they only did it because they got caught being sketchy, not so much a good thing.

    Note: This is all before Kerfluffle #2, RPM boogaloo...
     
  11. Marcelo Pignatta

    Marcelo Pignatta New Member

    4
    1
    Sep 11, 2020
    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply!
     
  12. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    12,225
    1,050
    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    The Red Pro are 7200 RPM. Produces more heat.

    This is the problem type of drive, ending in EFAX. You should try and return it. The EFRX is the ideal model, as well as PURX, PURZ.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
  13. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

    3,004
    620
    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    You know you can Backup your OnePasses and Channels list with KMTTG that makes setup of the new drive pretty simple?

    -KP
     
  14. Marcelo Pignatta

    Marcelo Pignatta New Member

    4
    1
    Sep 11, 2020
    I am returning the drive tomorrow and already ordered the WD30EFRX. I am not familiar with KMTTG but will read into tonight. Thanks to all of you for your time and advice!
     
  15. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    12,225
    1,050
    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Marcelo Pignatta likes this.
  16. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    19,981
    3,675
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    How much?
     
  17. Marcelo Pignatta

    Marcelo Pignatta New Member

    4
    1
    Sep 11, 2020
  18. eskovan

    eskovan Member

    55
    3
    Sep 30, 2002
    As an update to my original post, I bought the WD Red CMR 3TB drive and replaced my original Roamio drive. I bought the Roamio around 2015 I think, the drive in it said '2013' as a manufacture date. The Roamio formatted the new drive fine and I was back up & running (transferred my Season Passes, channel list & thumbs via KMTTG).

    Except, and I don't think this is in any way related to the new hard disk, now my Cablecard won't work. Standard Cablecard issues: I only get a few channels like basic cable, 2-13 and a few higher, keep getting the Cablecard menu popping up and/or a black screen with error V58 (not authorized). I have Optimum Cable and the card had been working fine since before my Roamio (I used it in a Premiere before that). Long story short, numerous resets from them have not fixed it, went down and got another Cablecard and swapped it, still exactly the same. Only option left is for them to send a tech to my house.

    Really not optimistic that he's going to be able to do anything, unless I have a seriously low signal strength. Plus I read that they're phasing out Cablecards anyway. I was looking for an excuse to cut the cord (costs me $200/mo!) but not quite so soon. And ideas?
     
  19. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    12,225
    1,050
    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    The cablecard info is stored on the hard drive, so now you must call the cableCo CS and get them to unpair the card, then pair it again.

    Optimum (formerly Cablevision)
     
    kpeters59 and ggieseke like this.
  20. brobin

    brobin Member

    87
    16
    Feb 14, 2014
    When I changed the HD in my Roamio Plus a couple of years ago the cable card continued to work fine. Does the Plus handle the CC differently than the Roamio? Would being on Comcast make a difference?
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements