How do I upgrade the Bolt Laptop hard drive for a Normal Hard drive ( 3.5 inch) ?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by Johnny Danger, Dec 3, 2019 at 2:02 AM.

  1. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Member

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    How do I upgrade the Bolt Laptop hard drive(2.5) for a Normal Hard drive ( 3.5 inch) ?

    Can this fit inside or does it need to be external?

    What type of equipment would you need? For example, a USB-to-SATA cable?

    Does the BOLT even suppose enough power for an Internal hard drive?

    Don't the 3.5 hard drive require more power than the 2.5 hard drive?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    A short answer: a 3.5" drive will not fit into the Bolt case (as-is) and generally would have to be placed externally (absent doing surgery on the Bolt case).
     
  3. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    Since there's no room in the case, the power issue is usually moot; one puts it in an external case which would supply power to the HD.

    The USB connection does not work for TiVo hard drives, you need a SATA connection. The external SATA also doesn't work unless you use an third party program to marry your drives, which is not generally recommended (full disclosure: although I did this myself I too advise against this course.) A popular scheme is to cut a small hole in the case to run a SATA cable to an external drive.

    An internal SSD is another option, though it's more expensive. If you have more money than sense, you can get an 8 TB Micron SSD. (All things being equal, the larger the SSD, the longer it will last before writing becomes an issue.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 5:45 PM
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  4. Narkul

    Narkul Active Member

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    Easiest method.
    Buy and install cheap 2.5" drive.
    Buy laptop cooler.
    Remove cable card cover and leave off.
    Place Tivo on top of laptop cooler, plug laptop cooler into Tivo USB port.
    Enjoy a much cooler and more reliable bolt.
    My bolt temp dropped 15 degrees with this setup.
     
    ej42137 likes this.
  5. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    That is not the easiest way. It has zero to do with what the OP asked. It doesn't fix anything. Also, heat is not the reason the 2.5" drive is not as reliable as a 3.5" drive.


    OP, there is a 34 page thread THREE POSTS down... Put in a little effort to search.
     
  6. Narkul

    Narkul Active Member

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    Laptops get notoriously hot and can lead to early hard drive failure, especially an older laptop with dust clogged heatsinks. They're also subject to being moved around while the drives are spinning. I'm not suggesting 2.5s are as reliable as 3.5s, but they can last years in the proper environment. I have several 2.5" sata drives that are 10+ years old pulled from broken laptops. They run nice and cool in a well ventilated desktop serving plex to my Tivos and Rokus. The OP didn't say why he wanted to use a 3.5" drive, but I assumed it was for reliability, so I gave him an EASY alternative that works well for me and others and also doesn't destroy the resale value of his Bolt should he want to move on to something else like so many users do these days. It was a much better reply than "put a little effort to search".
     
  7. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    irrelevant

    good, because they aren't

    again, irrelevant.

    You wanted to talk about how you did it, not what the OP wants to know.

    Now you're just pulling excuses out of thin air, and hoping they fit. "So maybe years down the road, IF the op wants to sell it, and even though they would have upgraded the hard drive, they need to be worried about adding a small hole to a cover that can be replaced??

    Why because you got to write your opinion? You think writing an answer even if its irrelevant is helpful? Its not (for anyone). I was being helpful to not only the board, but to the OP for the future. I don't need to kiss anyone's behind to help them. Some times a good kick is earned, and hopefully works better, like now.
     
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  8. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you might want to cut down on the caffeine a little?
     
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  9. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Member

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    What would be the power supply to the 3.5 inch drive? Can it use the same power from the bolt? Do 3.5 and 2.5 hard drive use the same voltage or is the TIVO bolt capiable of providing power to a 3.5 inch hard drive?

    If the hard drive is outside the case, can you use a normal SATA connection or would you require something like an ESATA connector?

    Thanks.
     
  10. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Member

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    So the most popular way is to cut a hole and run a SATA cable to an 3.5 hard drive. Ok, I have both Western digital and Seagate external drives however the connection provided is a USB 3.0 cable

    I could of course open the external case and get the 3.5 hard drive out and connect to the SATA cable but then how would the power be supplied to the 3.5 inch drive?

    Do people who follow this popular method use some kind of adapter which allow power to be supplied to an external drive while also giving you access to the SATA cable or is there some kind of USB-to-SATA adapter used? I did look on youtube for perhaps a video of someone doing this but could not find any instructional videos.

    Can you let me know the hardware or setup required to do the simple upgrade with the hole in it? Does a picture or parts list exist for this setup?

    The SSD option is thousands of dollars, I'm not some oil tycoon.

    Finally, why would you recommend against the ESATA option? What does it involve? I believe I have a RAID NAS system which has a ESATA port. If I could hook my NAS directly to a TIVO bolt, I could have a have a 48TB system. What did this method involve? Did you have to like write programming custom code to make it work? If so, this is above my level.

    I have upgraded my old roameo before to a 8TB drive and was expecting the same experience with the BOLT. I was absolutely shocked when I saw a laptop hard drive inside.

    Please let me know how you connect a SATA to an external drive when the cases both use a USB 3.0 connection?

    Thanks.
     
  11. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Member

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    I put a lot of research in it. I can't exactly call TIVO and ask them how to hack their box. Can you bottom line it if you know the answer? How does a SATA connection fit into an external hard drive which only has USB 3.0 port on it? that is what I'm trying to figure out.

    Is there an adapter or special cable, or special type of external hard drive you are dealing with?

    There should really be a sticky post which summarizes the process. This is not obvious at all.
     
  12. Narkul

    Narkul Active Member

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    Your whining, rude presence in this thread is irrelevent to the subject at hand and only serves to intimidate people seeking help. My post may, or may not have been relevent to the OP, I don't care, I just suggested another option.

    Sounds like you spend too much time in that recliner.
     
    ej42137 likes this.
  13. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    I haven't done it myself, but posts here going through the process generally seem to use an external enclosure with its own power supply. And it's generally been recommended to use the SATA connection. I'll refer you to the prior posts explaining setups and providing "best" recommendations. (And, of course, for each recommendation, there is someone taking an alternative approach.)
     
  14. cpgny9

    cpgny9 Member

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    I've done the external drive route on my bolt+ (after multiple 2.5 hard drive failures) - its simple to do and has worked great (even helped with some pixelation I was having). You do have to put a hole in the bolt case (I actually just used a dremmel and cut out a bit of the top case side where it come in contact with the bottom case in the back). There's a really good detailed post on this somewhere in the forums (with pics and all), but the gist of it is . . .

    You can use this case (I'm not 100% sure, but you may not be able to use the case/drive you described)

    https://www.amazon.com/Enclosure-Aluminum-Temperature-Adjustable-Temperature/dp/B00N1Q2M6A/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Hard+Drive+Enclosure+3.5+Inch+SATA+III+to+USB+3.0+or+eSATA.+Aluminum+Body+&+LED+Display+to+Monitor+Temperature+and+HDD+Working+Speed.+Adjustable+Built-in+Cooling+Fan+Speed+by+Temperature.&qid=1575476821&sr=8-1

    This case has a separate connection for power to the hard drive. Then use a SATA wire and connect directly to the motherboard (where you unplugged the original drive from) and directly to the hard drive itself. Another small hole will need to be cut out of the hard drive case to allow for the SATA wire .

    These are the wires I used:

    Robot Check


    https://www.amazon.com/NSI-LK-13526-internal-Female-Extension/dp/B003WFBFZY/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=NSI+LK-13526+7-pin+internal+SATA+Male+to+SATA+Female+Extension+cable+-+7+pin+SATA+M/F+-+20+inch+(50+cm)&qid=1575477072&sr=8-1

    I used a WD RED 3.5 drive (highly recommend throughout this site) and its worked flawlessly for almost a year now. I left the original 2.5 drive out of the TiVo hoping that would help cool it, but it didn't bring down the temperature all that much. So I used this fan and it brought the temp down to 37 regularly - i was previously at 65-70 (there are tons of different fans out there, this one is a little more on the expensive side, but really any fan(s) will do)

    https://www.amazon.com/AC-Infinity-Top-Exhaust-Receivers-Components/dp/B01LVW4SLP/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=AC+Infinity+AIRCOM+S7,+Quiet+Cooling+Fan+System+12"+Top-Exhaust+for+Receivers,+Amps,+DVR,+AV+Cabinet+Components&qid=1575477497&sr=8-3

    I have the bolt on top of the fan on a open shelf in my entertainment center and the external hard drive is in a fan cooled closed cabinet (the wire from the Tivo box to the external case runs behind the entertainment center) - it looks clean and you don't even see the external drive.
     
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  15. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

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    I just want to mention for people who do not want to drill holes in their Bolt, I used an SATA Gear 30in Red SATA Device Cable Straight to Left Angle. This let me close the Bolt case enough to allow the SATA cable to squeeze through the top of the case without any cutting. (I did leave the small screw off of the back off of the case which allows it to flex a little.)

    I also used a Cable Matters 3-Pack 4 Pin Molex to SATA Power Cable (SATA to Molex) - 6 Inches and this case
    Sabrent USB 2.0/ESATA TO 3.5 Inch IDE or SATA/SATA II Aluminum Hard Drive Enclosure Case with Cooling Fan (EC-UEIS7). With this case, I was able to open up the case, and slip the SATA cable out of the side without cutting anything. I just did not over tighten the side.

    I also left the cableCARD cover off for cooling and put small fan under it. AC Infinity MULTIFAN S4, Quiet 140mm USB Fan for Receiver DVR Playstation Xbox Computer Cabinet Cooling

     
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  16. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    I had two HDD failures AFTER using a fan and bringing down the temperature 15 degrees or more. Thus, I went to the external 3.5" drive. It's not the heat, imo.
     
  17. Narkul

    Narkul Active Member

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    I'm sure it's a YMMV thing. I've had at least 5, probably more, 3.5" drives fail in my series 1, 2, and 3 Tivos. I've been lucky so far with the Roamio and Bolt though. As my previous post stated, I have several old 2.5" drives that have been running for many years in my media server. I've seen many fail in laptops though. After all the reports of hot Bolts and failing drives, I took some precautions that may or may not pay off, it can't hurt to cool down the box though.
     
  18. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Member

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    That External enclosure with that ESATA port in the back is the missing link I was looking for. Its a shame the external drive enclosures from Seagate and Western digital don't have these ports. I would literally have to remove the hard drive from one enclosure to put it in another enclosure. Destroying 1 of them and buying a different one. Go figure.

    So, you are using normal SATA cables plugged into the external enclosure ESATA port?

    There is not a special ESATA cable but rather just a SATA Cable?

    Thanks.
     
  19. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    Here's a link to a 4TB SSD. It's not cheap, but it doesn't cost "thousands of dollars". Even a Micron 8TB drive is less than a grand.

    You can't use the USB connection to the TiVo. You either need to take apart the external case or buy one that has a SATA connection. There are connectors that you can buy, NewEgg for example has everything you might need.

    External cases are notoriously unreliable; if you connect an external eSATA drive to a TiVo (which would require third-party software), when the drive fails you will lose every recording, even the ones on your existing drive. So this idea is generally poorly regarded.

    48TB would not work, because of software limitations in TiVo's firmware.

    I think you really need more familiarity with computer hardware to take on this project. Maybe build yourself a PC and get some experience?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019 at 4:28 AM
  20. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

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    You will not be able to use the ESATA port on the back of an external enclosure. At one time this worked, but then an update from TiVo broke that function, according to some people. That is why we are telling you it has to be a direct SATA to SATA link from your TiVo to your 3.5" hard drive.
     
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