How do you format a new drive so its a Tivo drive?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by Eric Downey, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. Eric Downey

    Eric Downey New Member

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    I recently bought a new WD hard drive to replace a failed on in my series 4. I plugged it into my external hard drive case and started up dvrbars as admin. Started the restore process (I have the image) but when I select the target drive it doesn't see my external hard drive - just the local SSD drive. Is there something I need to do to the new drive? I already bought one drive and and initialized it as a windows drive at which point I could restore to it but the Tivo wouldn't recognize it. So I'm wondering if there's something you need to do to a new drive to make it a Tivo drive.
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Delete the format and partitions that Windows made. Then, restore from DVRBars.
     
  3. Eric Downey

    Eric Downey New Member

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    Yeah I tried that. The MBR is stuck on windows. I've tried erasing it but nothing seemed to work so I figured I'd buy another drive and start from scratch. What is the process then for making a virgin drive a Tivo drive? There must be something you have to do before you start a restore.
     
  4. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Try the manufacturer's write/read test that writes zeros or ones.

    There has to be NO partitions on the drive. The images has their own.

    Basically totally erase the drive.
     
  5. Eric Downey

    Eric Downey New Member

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    I assume the new drive I just bought is completely blank. Has anyone actually ever restored an image? How does dvrbars see a drive that has had nothing done to it? It has no MBR and no partitions so windows can't see it/ How does dvrbars see it?
     
  6. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Do a DiskPart "Clean" on that drive and all will be gone from it.

    -KP
     
  7. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    First of all, Tivo drives are not compatible with Windows and vice versa. Tivo uses a modified type of Apple partitions.

    If you were to put a Tivo drive into a PC running windows and it detects the drive as new, it would attempt to format it, requesting permission to format, and erasing everything on that drive.

    Yes, I have done Tivo drives connected to Windows, and put images on it. I do not let Windows Disk Manager do anything with the drive.
     
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  8. Eric Downey

    Eric Downey New Member

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    Ah, ok, so the million dollar question: I have a new drive I bought that I have done nothing to. What do you have to do to the drive to make it visible to a windows computer so dvrbars can restore to it?
     
  9. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    If it's unformatted, just connect the drive to your Windows computer and run DvrBARS.
     
  10. Eric Downey

    Eric Downey New Member

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    I did that bu DvrBars doesn't recognize it as a drive that can be restored to. I bought a WD3200AVVS which is what I pulled out of my Tivo.
     
  11. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    Don't run Disk Management or any other drive tools. Just wipe the drive with the Write Zeros test in WD's Data Lifeguard Diagnostics and try again.
     
  12. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Are you running under as a Windows Administrator user ?
     
  13. Eric Downey

    Eric Downey New Member

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    ok, Well good news bad news situation: The reason why DvrBars couldn't see my extrernal drive was because it wasn't connected :( As soon as I connected it to my laptop DvrBars recogonized it and saw it as a formatted Tivo drive. That's great. I went ahead and started the restore running DvrBars as admin and it got about 1/2 way through when I got a write error which I attribute to my virus protection software. So I turned that off and did the Data Lifeguard wipe writing 0's to the entire drive. Then I started up DvrBars as admin and commenced with the restore. This time though it did not see the drive as being a Tivo formatted drive. It's now listed as an Unknown formatted drive. After the restore completed I put it back into my Tivo, hooked it all up, plugged it in and just got the Welcome screen, blank screen, Welcome screen....again and again and again. In another thread where I was stuck at this point it was suggested it was because the Tivo didn't recognize the drive as a Tivo formatted drive. So how do you make a drive a Tivo formatted drive after you've wiped it?
     
  14. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    What model drive? Most all drives will not work in a Tivo as it consumes too much power from the mini power supply.
    Recommended is WD Red, not any 7200+RPM. Though Purple is also ok.

    The Welcome reboot, or freeze is an indication that it cannot read the drive.
     
  15. Eric Downey

    Eric Downey New Member

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    I was able to get an identical drive. It's a WD3200AVVS. I'm thinking it can't read the drive because it's not formatted as a Tivo drive
     
  16. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    The image has its own format.
     
  17. Eric Downey

    Eric Downey New Member

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    So you're saying it won't register as a Tivo drive when DvrBars sees it?
     
  18. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Its not the drive, rather the image on the drive.
     
  19. Eric Downey

    Eric Downey New Member

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    Ah, ok I just thought it was odd that DvrBars said it was formatted as a Tivo drive the first time it saw it until I zeroed it out and then it said it was an unknown format. Which is what made me think that's why the Tivo wouldn't recognize the drive
     
  20. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    The drive needs to be pristine, so I don't think the drive is viable enough for Tivo. other words, a drive may work in a PC but may not work in a Tivo.
     

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