Hard disk recommendation

Discussion in 'TiVo Underground' started by Ehien, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Jan 6, 2006 #1 of 15
    Ehien

    Ehien New Member

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    Jul 5, 2005
    I upgraded our 40Hr series 2 Tivo box with a 120GB HDD a while ago and now it's very full (wife recorded a lot of kid's programs). Current 120GB HDD is Seagate 7200rpm Barracuda that seems to work fine (a bit noisy but no big deal). Considering cost and size needed, I'd like to upgrade to a 250GB or 300GB HDD.

    What's the best choice now? I can tolerate noise a bit as long as it's not too loud but I certainly don't want a disk to fail prematurely. Appreciate any suggestions, especially ones costing less than $100.

    BTW is there any concern preparing (formatting and copying) a drive 300GB or larger?

    TIA!

    Ehien
     
  2. Jan 6, 2006 #2 of 15
    Tracy RainH2o

    Tracy RainH2o Photo Man

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    Nov 17, 2005
    Georgia
    Tiger Direct has Seagate 250 & 300 GB drives on sale. Of course there is a rebate involved.
     
  3. Jan 6, 2006 #3 of 15
    Ehien

    Ehien New Member

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    Jul 5, 2005
    Ha. These were the only good deals on 250/300GB HDD I found before posting. However, I'm a bit concerned about reliability of these 7200.8 Seagate drives. It doesn't rate highly at Storage Review site (11%).

    The Hitachi 7k250 250GB I currently use for backup of my PC data is rated much higher in reliability. But the price seems to be high >$130 now ($100 AR 6 months ago).

    Nevertheless, reliability is not as big a concern as the one used for data backup and there might be certain traits that fit Tivo application better (like noise, vibration, random read/write speed?).

    I'd like to hear some expert's opinions on these.

    Ehien
     
  4. Jan 9, 2006 #4 of 15
    Ehien

    Ehien New Member

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    Jul 5, 2005
    Nobody has advises on HDD suitable for Tivo series 2????
     
  5. Jan 9, 2006 #5 of 15
    captain_video

    captain_video Member

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    Feb 28, 2002
    Most any name brand IDE drive will work just fine. Ideally you'd want to use one that's designed for multimedia applications, like the Maxtor Quantum Quickview drives. Standard IDE drives have to perform a thermal calibration periodically to compensate for any drift due to temperature variations. This makes sure that the drive heads are positioned over the correct location on the platter during any read and write cycle as the platter expands and contracts due to changes in temperature. When this is done in a Tivo, the result is a momentary interruption of the data stream during the record or playback process, causing glitches and pixelisation of the video.

    Multimedia drives do not perform this thermal calibration and are therefore better suited for this purpose. You'll have greatly reduced instances of pixelisation (they can still occur due to other factors) which makes for a cleaner picture with fewer interruptions. These drives are much more expensive. I believe Weaknees uses Quantum Quickview drives exclusively (PTVUpgrade may also use them but I don't know for sure). If you can live with some occasional pixelisation then you can save a good bit of money by going with one of the name brand retail IDE drives.
     
  6. Jan 9, 2006 #6 of 15
    Ehien

    Ehien New Member

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    Jul 5, 2005
    Thanks so much, Captain_video!

    Budget is quite tight lately but our 120GB HDD is almost completely full. After reading your post I decided to go for a namebrand model- Hitachi 7K250 250GB at $100. This is the exact same drive I currently use in an external enclosure for PC backup. Previous TigerDirect's good deal on Seagate 7200.8 250GB ($80) was gone and I'm more comfortable with the performance of Hitachi Desktar 7k250 (also use their 7200rpm 2.5" HDD in my laptop). Just hope this 250GB will last us for a while.

    Ehien

     
  7. Rob00GT

    Rob00GT This space for rent.

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    Mar 10, 2003
    D/FW...
    I've had good luck with Western Digital drives in both my units, a 120 and a 200. That said, Frys in Dallas has a Maxtor 200GB for $90 with no rebates this week. Check your local weekly store ads.
     
  8. tomm1079

    tomm1079 Member

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    May 10, 2005
    I ended up getting a maxtor quickview 250 gig (i LOVE maxtor have NEVER had one go bad on me in years with the computer)....they are 110 a piece for the quickview


    http://shop.atriniti.com/
     
  9. Ehien

    Ehien New Member

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    Jul 5, 2005
    Bummer... The oneline stores I checked only had smaller than 100GB Quickview. Had I knew this store earlier, I would order this one instead. Too late... the order I placed yesterday has just been shipped. Now we'll see how much pixelation happens with the Hitachi drive. This hasn't been an issue with current non-video specific Seagate drive. So hopefully it won't be an issue on the new drive either.

     
  10. 2004raptor

    2004raptor time to emancipate

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    Dec 30, 2005
    GA
    that's a good price. I have only had my tivo ~2 weeks and am already thinking of doing a drive swap.
    Thanks for the link.
     
  11. Trunks4191

    Trunks4191 New Member

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    Nov 14, 2005
    I have to disagree with TOMM1079. MAXTORS are really bad. I bought a 250 gig from newegg
    I am ready to install it into my tivo and see how far i can go.
     
  12. whatever

    whatever Tivo is Life.

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    Mar 13, 2004
    So. California
    The reliability of hard drives is littered with anecdotal experiences. My experience (10+ years as a sys/database admin) is that if the drive is bad, it's going to die. Doesn't matter who made the thing. I currently have hard drive doorstops here on my desk at work from Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate and IBM. I'd say that I have probably seen just a few more Maxtors die than other ones, but not enough to warrant them being "really bad".

    Unless there is a known problem with a certain batch of hard drives, just about any of the major players will make something that works fine.
     
  13. MokTask

    MokTask New Member

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    Jan 12, 2006
    Absolutely true here. I built my first home personal computer in 1993, to give everyone an idea on the amount of time we're talking here for experience sake. I do not have much brand loyalty in hard drives, they're all too similar when comparing their basic desktop drives.

    I don't know actual numbers, but I've purchased and installed at least 40 drives (very conservative number) for myself/friends/family over these years. My fail rate, 4 drives ever needing RMA. 1 of those I'm /sure/ my buddy kicked the tower while miffed at a game, he's just that way, but I'll still call it 4.

    I have read about some of a batch of IBM DeskStar drives failing, often, but in my experience I can't say I've noticed that, or never had one from those bad batches.

    Mainly, you're looking at the quietness and overall seek times, sometimes heat but not too often is that a problem with a "standard" hard-drive across all manufacturers.

    If I had one brand of drive fail more-so than others, I still wouldn't know if I'd call them "bad drives". It is a mechanical part, that moves around with very, very tight tolerances, it is nearly inevitable that it would fail. But, luckily for us, for the most part, they're all pretty darn stable, for long many years.
     
  14. Ehien

    Ehien New Member

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    Jul 5, 2005
    Thanks for the comments. But as you know, the purpose is to reduce probability of failure, even though it can't be completely prevented. There's also a period when a company is not well managed and QC slips, failure rate increases. I remember Western Didigtal had great reputation in early 90's, but then during late 90's their drive acquired the reputation of being unreliable. Now they seem to be back on track. Nowadays HDD from all the major makers seem to be more reliable than they used to be. Still it's best to watch out for certain maker that slips.


     
  15. captain_video

    captain_video Member

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    Feb 28, 2002
    I seem to recall someone saying that there are only two types of hard drives - dead and dying! I've used just about every brand and I haven't found any of them to be heads and shoulders above the rest across their entire line.

    The one plug I will put in is for Seagates. They used to be the quietest drives around but I've heard this may have changed with the latest lines but haven't bought one recently to confirm or deny this. If you have a Tivo in a bedroom then you understand how important a quiet drive can be and how annoying a noisy one is when you're trying to sleep. Their warranty for retail drives is better than any other drive but there are caveats to this as well.
     

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