HD Internal Drive Upgrade - It can't be any easier

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by RhoXS, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. RhoXS

    RhoXS New Member

    Mar 26, 2006


    I just successfully upgraded the drive in our Tivo HD to a WD Green WD10EACS 1TB Hard Drive. It was extremely easy and straight forward to do but, for a first time user, some of the steps in WinMFS did require a little thinking about. I want to post detailed instructions for doing this for any new users that want to upgrade their drives. The thread on internal drive upgrades has over 400 posts so I thought I would simply post the following by itself so it is easy to find for new users.

    Taking apart the Tivo case is as simple and intuitive as it gets. I am only addressing the hard drive here so, at this time, I am not going to provide instructions for taking apart the case.

    I used WinMFS. From a big picture perspective, there are two major steps. First, I made a truncated backup of the original drive and stored it on my computer’s hard drive so I have a secure backup of the basic Tivo “kernel”. If necessary, this will allow making a new drive from scratch in the future. Second, I used WinMFS to essentially clone the original hard drive and all programming stored on it to the new 1 TB drive.

    At one point there will be at least three hard drives connected to the desktop computer being used to make the backup and then the clone. One of these hard drives will be the resident drive on which the Operating System and all data and applications reside. I had a concern of inadvertently overwriting this drive. To protect from this disastrous contingency, I made sure all the hard drives had different capacities so it would be easy to identify which was which when using WinMFS. For example, the computer I used had a 750 MB drive. The Tivo drive is 160 MB and the new drive 1000 MB. A little use of the excellent Human Error Prevention Tool called STAR (Stop – Think – Act – Review) was it all it then took to assure my day would not be ruined.

    1. Shut the computer off and connect the original Tivo drive to any spare SATA port.

    2. Start the computer and then run WinMFS

    3. “File – Select Drive”, verify the correct drive is shown, then “Select”.

    4. Once a drive is selected a new drop down menu item appears; “Tools”.

    5. “File – Backup – Tivo Drive (Truncated)”.

    6. Click on “Select” (adjacent to “1. Select backup file”) to name the backup file and select a location to save it.

    7. Click on “Start”. It took almost exactly two minutes to save the backup file. The backup file has a .TBK extention was exactly 463,653 KB, relatively speaking, not very big.

    8. When done, click “Close”.

    9. Shut the computer off. Leave the original Tivo drive connected but now also connect the new drive to another spare SATA port.

    10. Start the computer and then run WinMFS

    11. “File – Select Drive – Select”. (Select “A Drive Original”)

    12. “Tools – MFSsupersize – On” (this will toggle on the supersize option).

    13. “Tools – MFSCopy”. Verify the “Source Drive” is the original Tivo drive and the “Destination Drive” is the new drive.

    14. Click on “Start”. It took almost exactly 40 minutes to complete.

    15. When prompted answer “Yes” to “You have extra capacity on your hard drive. Do you want to expand?”

    16. Click on “OK” when “MFSadd is done” appears.

    17. Shut off computer and reinstall the new hard hard drive in the Tivo.

    18. My Tivo booted up very quickly. The first screen was displayed for about two minutes and the second screen (with the it won’t take much longer message) took about four minutes.

    Everything on the original drive was retained on the new drive.

    I hope this proves helpful and easy to locate for new users. If anyone sees errors or anything to improve, please make the necessary changes.
  2. wtherrell

    wtherrell Active Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    This looks like a good candidate to include in a sticky. Good Job!
  3. leeford

    leeford New Member

    Nov 12, 2008
    tried with the same drive you usesd and coulnt get it past the "powering up" screen. i bought it OEM from newegg.

    RMA'd that one and have a seagate on the way to try again.

    did you but the drive retail or OEM?

    good how to thread tho.
  4. RhoXS

    RhoXS New Member

    Mar 26, 2006
    I bought the drive from Newegg. It was just an OEM drive in a sealed antistatic bag and bubble wrap.

    I purchase almost all my computer products from Newegg. I am not really sure how many drives I purchased from Newegg (maybe twenty+) since I made my first purchase in 2001. I remember two drives, including one this past year, that were dead on arrival. Newegg has always been outstanding in resolving issues so these two incidents were nothing other than a minor inconvenience.
  5. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area


    Upgrade instructions have been found at the bottom (FAQ #30) of the Official eSATA Drive Expansion in 9.2: FAQ + Discussion for the past year.

    As indicated in that FAQ, the current version of the WD10EACS is one of several models that will not work as a drive upgrade for the TiVo Series3. It should work as a drive upgrade to the TivoHD.

    Western Digital has since released a new 1TB drive specifically for DVRs, the WD10EVCS. TiVo uses a version of this drive (but with 8Mb cache instead of 16Mb) in its 1TB TivoHD XL.
  6. ted_b

    ted_b New Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Great post! I saved it and printed it off. Thank you. A question or two, though, if you might.

    I have a new 46" flat panel coming this week or next, and have my new TivoHD in its box right now, along with a MyDVD expander. This family room setup is replacing one of my Series 2's (into a 32 inch tube). I have a WD10EVCS arriving at the end of the week too. I will force an update on my Series 2 and then transfer it's service (it should still record for the next two weeks, basement tv) to the TivoHD. Later I may transfer some old shows via the LAN.

    1) did this upgrade transfer all the cable card info; i.e did you need to do anything with the cable cards?
    2) given all I need to do (guided setup on new TivoHD, add MyDVR, etc.) what order would you do the upgrade in (i.e after the guided setup, after cable card success, after a few days of programming and recording, before the MyDVR, before all this)?

    Thanks from an upgrade newbie

  7. lew

    lew Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    Taking the case apart isn't easy or intuitive if the person doesn't have a torx screwdriver available.

    Some computers don't have 3 available SATA connectors, some computers don't offer SATA. Those users either need an internal adapter or an external USB-SATA device.

    You're using a drive that has been documented as having issues as an internal replacement drive. Readers who read the "long thread" would find that out.

    We already have a sticky. This doesn't add any value.
    There is already a sticky on this topic. No reason to add an additional thread. Particularly one that's incomplete.

    Good point. There is also AN EXCELLENT GUIDE on mfslive

    I'd either take the time to read the thread in this forum or MFSLive. You'll get the knowledge of numerous posters who've successfully upgraded their units. I'd definitely spend the extra few $$$ for one of the drives that has a good success rate.
  8. ted_b

    ted_b New Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    I've read quite a bit, which is why I bought the highly vaunted WD10EVCS as noted in my post. Why do you think I should spend more $$ for a better drive? As far as the order of upgrade, I was simply asking about my somewhat unique set of to-do's. For example, if I read the very thorough and somewhat relevant E-Sata upgrade FAQ it includes a lot of what's here, but things like the statement in FAQ 11 ("If you just want to upgrade the internal TiVo drive, then ignore steps #10 through #12") make no sense, cuz steps 10 through 12 are quite relevant to these newbie eyes.

    I guess I'll go back and flip a coin. Thanks, though, for the help.
  9. lew

    lew Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    The OP was using the WD10EACS, the drive you're using is one of the suggested drives. My point is a "how to post" that features a drive that is known to have issues isn't a thread that should be "stickied".

    I suggest you post your questions in the existing upgrade thread, or in the mfslive forums. Actually the mfslive forums provide support from the author of winMFS. I'd do my research there, some versions/options of winMFS transfer the cc settings better then other versions.

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