Hard Drive Upgrade Info

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by amseven11, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

    Jun 1, 2002
    Napa, CA


    Good grief, $225-ish for the special formatting? Ouch! It’s odd that the TiVo is ok with a TB 2.7TB drive but not a 3.6TB drive. I thought most of the controller and formatting issues were at the 2TB barrier. I wonder what would happen if you got bit for bit copy of their 3.6TB drive and applied it to another drive. I’m sure that is what they are doing anyway.

    So get something like a WD 2.7TB Red NAS Hard Drive with a 3 year warranty and 24/7 support for $135 delivered or pay $350 (free shipping, gee thanks) for a 3.6TB drive? Hmm…

    Also, the old boot CD that copied the original TiVo drive to a new bigger one no longer works?
  2. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    You have to purchase the 4TB drive from Weakness if you want to be able to use it in the Roamio. Otherwise a 3TB drive is the largest drive an end user can put in a Roamio to work.

    Weakness has their own process to get larger than a 3TB drive working in a Roamio. Unless the tools are now available for end users, but i did not think that was the case yet.
  3. PLargent

    PLargent New Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    Wow, Glad I asked the question. Obviously, 4TB drives are not a do it yourself kind of project. That leaves me with the following options:

    1) Start with a TiVo Plus. Then Pay $349 for weaKnees to provide a single internal 4TB drive or $699 for weaKnees to provide dual (internal & external) 4TB drives.

    2) Start with a Tivo Plus. Then replace internal drive with a $138 3TB (WD 3TB AV-GP WD30EURS) internal drive (or just go Pro w/ 3TB internal) and then add an external $138 3TB drive (WD 3TB AV-GP WD30EURS). This would get me to 6TB of space for a lot less cost than the first 8TB option. Note: using Amazon.com price here.

    Note: I already have an external WD 3TB AV-GP WD30EURS attached to my FIOS/CISCO DVR that could be reused here. The CISCO DVR only recognized and used 1TB of the 3TB in the external drive.

    I have seen comments that the TiVo Roameo will ONLY work with the TiVo "approved" 1TB external drive (TiVo Expandable storage option) or with the specially prepared WeaKnees external drives (2TB, 3TB & 4TB).

    Is this true about limited choices for adding external storage? Or can I use a normal drive like the 3TB WD AV-GP WD30EURS when it is properly housed in an external enclosure and uses the proper eSATA cable?

  4. tim1724

    tim1724 Active Member

    Jul 3, 2007
    Temple City, CA
    Yes, it is true you have limited options for external drives.

    The only TiVo which allowed you to attach any drive you wanted to the eSATA port was the original Series 3 (with OLED display). Starting with the TiVo HD and continuing on with the Premier and Roamio you have to use approved drives.

    I would not add an external drive until you actually need it. It just introduces an extra point of failure. (Due to some silly CableLabs rules, TiVo must split all recordings across both internal and external drives. This means that if EITHER drive fails, you lose all recordings on both.)
  5. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001


    That leads me to another question.

    How fast is the Roamio (or a specific one if it matters based on model) from power up to actually recording? (No need to repeat -- everything should be on a UPS, blah blah blah.. But there ARE bugs that cause reboots even with UPSes, and admittedly, I am more likely to DELETE an incomplete recording than watch it, but if it was fast enough to happen during a commercial break, that could be a lucky fluke.. I think the Premiere 4 *almost* makes that time.. It's starting recording quite a bit before it actually starts reacting to user remote input -- it puts up the spinny wait thing for a while, but it's already recording.)

    (Also, a totally unrealistic idea would be swapping drives for more storage.. I know that unsyncs cable cards.)
  6. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    It's not that fast. It still takes several minutes for it to come back up to start recording again. Around 5 minutes. But it could be a little quicker or slower then that. I'm only basing this on the one unexpected reboot I had, so I just looked at when the recordings ended and started back up. But it was only whole minutes I looked at, not seconds.
  7. djjuice

    djjuice Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    I've purchased a roamio plus for christmas for my parents. I also have my older XL4 and i'm going to take the 2TB HD from there and drop it in my parents roamio. now I know the upgrade is simple. My question is when I format the the HD from the XL4 is there any special formatting? should I just do the good old NTFS or leave it unallocated?

    I previously purchased a roamio for myself and bought a 3TB drive and just dropped it in, so i don't know how the drives comes formatted in the box.
  8. A J Ricaud

    A J Ricaud Active Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    There is no pre-formatting on the Roamios. Just drop in the drive and Roamio will do the rest.
  9. djjuice

    djjuice Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    Thanks. I took the Drive out of the XL4 and just formatted it on a windows machine so its in NTFS format. I'm hoping that'll be ok and the tivo will just wipe it and start over
  10. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

    Jan 1, 2009
    I would recommend using the manufacturer diagnostic program and test the drive and then have it zero it out.
  11. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    Probably require a file system change to use one of these.
  12. alyssa

    alyssa Active Member

    Dec 7, 2003
    Sunny SoCal

    if the hdd starts throwing errors & if you're parents are anything like mine, you'll *never* hear the end of it.
  13. A J Ricaud

    A J Ricaud Active Member

    Jun 25, 2002
  14. ltxi

    ltxi New Member

    Feb 14, 2010
    Don't do that....get the AV drive
  15. aryndub

    aryndub Member

    Jun 25, 2009
    I'm reading that adding a new bigger internal drive will void the warranty. How exactly will Tivo know that it's been tampered with? Is there a VOID sticker or whatnot that you have to tamper with to open the unit? Assuming there's not, if I keep the original drive intact and I have a problem with the Roamio, couldn't I just stick the original drive back in before I ship off my defective unit to Tivo?

    Has anyone had a warranty claim on a defective Tivo that contained a previously upgraded hard drive?
  16. Marconi

    Marconi TiVo Junkie

    Sep 8, 2001
    Page, AZ USA
    Some of the Roamios come with WD drives. right? Which 3 TB WD drives does TiVo use in the Pro? That might give you a clue.
  17. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow Well-Known Dismembered Member (Lurk Mode On)

    Feb 5, 2011
    Whitewater, WI
    On what basis? It's not like you said WHY, just "don't", without a single reason for saying so.

    Unless the price difference is negligible, or it's for a longer warranty, it's not a necessity. It's been determined, many times, over and over, that TiVo doesn't use the ATA Streaming Command Extensions, on ANY existing TiVo model.

    That's what makes an AV drive an "AV rated" drive. You will NOT gain any extra performance (in a TiVo, or any other device not using the extensions), nor does the "24/7 rating", which is simply a badge, mean anything other than clever marketing tactics, so the drive manufacturers can make more money.

    ALL modern drives are capable and tested to operate 24/7. They simply don't place that badge on anything but their higher profit-margin models.

    An AV-rated drive behaves NO DIFFERENTLY than an otherwise identical drive, unless the host and the host software support, and enable, those extensions.

    It's also not like you'd be denied a warranty claim, for using a non-AV drive, should it fail, within warranty.

    These are cold, hard, facts. Dig around the whitepapers (spec sheets), beyond the marketing pages, make some use of Google and Wikipedia, avoiding anything from the likes of Weaknees and others that make misleading claims about the matter, and you will find I am speaking the truth.

    It's also worth noting, that WD Red NAS drives also support the AV extensions, which never used to be in their marketing, but is now. All they had to do was set the firmware of the drive to not disable that function (if it was ever disabled in the first place).

    The drive makers have caught on to the CPU marketing scheme, of making equal processors, then disabling some features, to sell at lower prices. If you don't need and/or can't make use of the disabled feature(s), why pay more to have them?

    That's my opinion, based on facts, and I'm sticking to it. Period.

    [EDIT/ADD] I've read every post in this thread, as I've been following it since it began. There are plenty of success stories with non-AV drives, just like it has been with every TiVo model HDD upgrade thread before it. The ONLY major difference has been the major drop in price for AV-rated drives, which brings it to a point where the cost difference is sometimes negligible, and/or it is just worth it to get a longer drive warranty. So, unlike past model TiVo threads, more have gone for AV drives, right from the start.

    Some were initially concerned about the "Intellipark issue", that required a setting to be changed on a non-AV drive in prior generations of TiVos, which has since been confirmed to be absent in the Roamio, and no changes necessary (unless you want to change the acoustic management setting).

    Which leads me to a VALID reason why some may NOT want to use some of the non-AV drives: They may be louder than an AV drive, and not all models allow you to adjust the acoustic management setting.

    If you would have said this, or any other valid reason, in your post, I'd have left it alone, and this post wouldn't be here.
  18. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow Well-Known Dismembered Member (Lurk Mode On)

    Feb 5, 2011
    Whitewater, WI
    Any TiVo has internal logs that include the model and serial number of the drive in use, and are uploaded to, and stored by, TiVo's servers. How long they are stored, or if they have a system to detect drive changes, I don't know.

    Here's what has been reported (some more than others, not in a particular order):

    1. Somebody bragged to TiVo that they upgraded, and were denied warranty.

    2. Somebody called in for support, the CSR pulled up the logs, and noticed the drive discrepancy, denying the warranty service the customer needed.

    3. I, myself, upgraded, using the same model they did in their more expensive units, and was denied SUPPORT, when they noticed the drive had been changed, due to "unauthorized modifications".

    4. Others have not had an issue with SUPPORT service, which is likely due to whether or not the CSR that took the call was being vigilant about looking for drive upgrades (or what kind of day they were having).

    Many have claimed the best thing to do is hang onto your original drive (don't re-purpose it), and if you need warranty service, put it back in, and you'll be fine. I can't recall anybody actually *recently* claiming this was a success story, only implying it. I could be wrong, or have forgotten such a post.

    Many have also claimed that TiVo has been turning a blind-eye to the above method, but said (quite accurately) there is no guarantee that TiVo will continue to do so.

    It's a gamble. Some would rather pay extra, and have peace of mind. Others don't care, or are willing to take their chances.

    No, there is no sticker, nor any tamper evidence sensors. But, if TiVo has any evidence you have even opened the case, they can deny warranty service. Some have said this is against certain governmental law(s). But, I've yet to read about anybody making a case to prove it.
  19. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow Well-Known Dismembered Member (Lurk Mode On)

    Feb 5, 2011
    Whitewater, WI
    The DRIVES that TiVo uses are currently SATA2. If SATA3 becomes available to TiVo for the same price, or the price of the SATA2 drives goes higher, they'll likely move to SATA3. But, read on for the important parts:

    It's likely that the actual speed the TiVo is set to communicate with the drive is closer to SATA1. If the HOST device sets the speed to lower than the DRIVE supports as its maximum, that's as fast as it will communicate. The drive won't override the host.

    SATA3 is fully backwards compatible, so it will work. But, unless the price is right, there's no point in going SATA3.

    As a matter of fact, the SATA3 spec is faster than most high-performance platter-based drives can even get close to. TiVo uses low-performance, low-RPM, "green" drives, that many consider it a joke that the drive manufacturers even equipped them with SATA3. It's that "marketing" thing, again. People with the money to burn, who don't know better, will buy the higher SATA3 spec drive.
  20. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    Sep 8, 2000
    Actually, already SATA3 in more recent units.

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