How to Expand TIVO Bolt Storage

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by DICK LOCKWOOD, May 23, 2020.

  1. DICK LOCKWOOD

    DICK LOCKWOOD New Member

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    Apologies in advance for duplication. I also posted this on a forum where the latest reply was 2018. Not sure of protocol but hope it is ok to post it again here so it gets someone's current view:
    1. Allow me to join the me too parade. I just spent the day on two different tries, neither worked.
    My Box is Tivo Bolt, series 6, new 12/2019. 500 Mg Hd. Software 129.7v7-USC-11-849.
    Spent the day on the following:
    Try #1: WD blue label internal 2.5" H/D - 2 T/B, Model WD208PZX, 6 GB SATA (blue label). from Amazon @ $84. After install the Tivo gets stuck on "Starting Up" screen. Several tries, each 1 hour or more. Does not "Boot" further. No change. Called W/D: Their tech thinks power supply cord might be the problem but not sure. Says send the H/D back to vendor. This one drives me nuts as the 500 drive in the Bolt is also Western Digital # WD 10 EURX63FH1Y0 (Green Label). So, i replaced the original 500 GB drive back in the Bolt and it is working fine again.
    Possible Fix: A post elsewhere on this forum said going back to previous software got their internal upgrade (with this exact WD 2TB Internal HD) to work. I would rather not go to the old interface. And, every time Tivo updates, would it not install the new software interface?

    Try #2: External H/D, 3 T/B, 7200 RPM Fantom Mega Disk USB 3.0 & eSATA connectivity. Purchased separate eSATA to eSATA cable to make the connection to the Bolt.
    Catch 22 - If you have been down this road, and read the forum posts, you know that the only external HDs that TIVO recommends are WD external Hard Drives. Problem: WD externals only come with USB connectivity. TIVO Bolt only recognizes (allows) eSATA connected externals. If you plug an external drive into a Bolt USB port nothing happens. Not recognized. So, off to the web where I found lots of posts here. And, also found that only the Fantom 3 T/B 7200 rpm drive has an optional eSATA port. Bought it! Don't waste your time calling TIVO for that free eSATA cable. They don't know of one free or for sale.

    Back to Try #2: I connected this Fantom drive with its eSata port to the eSATA port on the Bolt. Followed instructions elsewhere on this forum. Power on Fantom, with power to Bolt unplugged. Plug in Bolt and allow restart. After full restart, Bolt detects new External Drive. Do I want to set it up? Yes! But after I select "Set up" I get "Unsupported Drive", contact TIVO/External on line. That link proves to be a 404 - no such link. A Real life Catch 22! [​IMG]

    Sure could use your help! I would like to go to at least 2 T/B storage. I don't care if internal or external but my preference would be internal.
    Does anyone have a solution (with product recommendation) that worked for them on their BOLT?
     
  2. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  3. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    For external drives, you need to use a direct SATA cable from the Bolt motherboard to the drive (and not the enclosure).

    Scott
     
  4. DICK LOCKWOOD

    DICK LOCKWOOD New Member

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    Thanks Scott: I don't think I will be doing an external drive now. I am sure getting lots of help from everyone here.

    Recapping what I am learning here on the Forum: Is T3 the old UI interface and T4 is the newer? Since I have the Netflix button and a newer display than what i used to see on my Tivo Roamio, I believe I have T4? Software described on my System Info/Software Version: 21.9.7v7-USC-11-849. Am I correct?

    I am allowed one more try at opening and "Upgrading" our TIVO Bolt storage. :D After that I have worn out my patience (and that of my wife too. So, once more i dive into on-line purchasing...I am looking now at the latest recommendations on this forum for drives that will be accepted by my Tivo Bolt (T4 software equipped). One that has a favorable recommendation from another forum member is the Toshiba 3 TB, # mQ03ABB300 2.5" 3 TB 5400 RPM SATA HDD. I found a source at Amazon: for $134. https://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-5400RPM-SATA-External-Storage/dp/B017O266UE/ref=sr_1_1?crid=255AC0SRD6PDW&dchild=1&keywords=toshiba+mq03abb300+3tb&qid=1590369593&s=electronics&sprefix=Toshiba+MQ03ABB300+3TB,electronics,243&sr=1-1
    One concern is the description: 2.5-inch 15mm high form factor for external use. I believe that is due to the 15 mm height. As I am now very well acquainted with the inside of my TIVO Box, I think that height may not be a problem. Other opinions gladly accepted.

    I also find listings for the same Toshiba 2.5" internal drive with 2 TB capacity. Not a price issue but I wonder if either of these Toshiba HDs will be accepted by my TIVO and will install? 2 TB would probably be OK too.

    Again: Many thanks to all of you who have been so patient with my questions and helpful with your answers.
    I think the offer to set up a list of drives that will work in a Tivo Bolt with T4 software is most helpful.
    Had I found such a list sooner I would not have the two drives I am returning to Amazon tomorrow.
     
    kpeters59 likes this.
  5. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's TE4 (TiVo Experience 4) which has some limitations on which hard drives can be used after a software update a while back. We still have TE3 but I think the 2 Toshiba models are still safe for TE4 but definitely look at the threads posted.

    Scott
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  6. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    When I checked just now, that is sold out (at Amazon.com). As the drive no longer is being manufactured, it can be harder to find at a non-outrageous price. eBay can have them. Also: https://www.grooves-inc.co.uk/toshi...iba-hardware-electronic-pZZa1-2098341320.html -- $99.54 shipped, from the UK (seemingly, an established store source, which also has sold the drive via eBay.com), a great deal (grab it while you can).
     
  7. DICK LOCKWOOD

    DICK LOCKWOOD New Member

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  8. DICK LOCKWOOD

    DICK LOCKWOOD New Member

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    hi Mike: Yes, the Toshiba internal drive is no longer available as you say. I even drilled in to Amazon and found a number for the supplier. I Phoned them yesterday. They do not have the 3 TB Toshiba in stock. Also, the 2 TB Toshiba (same rest of numbers) is not in stock either. Probably won't be getting one anytime soon.
    Here is a source in Great Britain: $99 with free shipping. I didn't check that one out.
    Web site if you are interested: https://www.grooves-inc.co.uk/toshi...iba-hardware-electronic-pZZa1-2098341320.html

    Here is what I am doing instead: I looked on line and found one of the original extenders made by WD. They are One TB and eSATA hookup. One TB plus the 500 Gig in my Tivo will probably be enough capacity.
    A little oops here at my house. My wife bought one on line unbeknownst to me at the same time as I was doing a buy it now on another one, Kind of like a man and wife bidding on the same item at an auction...not knowing the other spouse was bidding against you. ;)

    So, i have two of these WD extender eSATA HDs coming to here around June 1st. I will let readers know if the unit is recognized by my Bolt Vox with E4 software. Yes, I have read all the other posts about connectivity and eSATA plugs here on the Forum.

    There are still a few more of these units on EBAY. But if readers want to wait, I will take the risk and post results ASAP. Expect delivery 1 June. These Extenders coming to me are both the same Model number: WD1000F032.

    here's some follow up info. on another Drive: I had also purchased a Fantom 7200 RPM 3 TB external drive. Theirs was the only one i could find with eSATA optional connectivity. I called their tech dept. to tell them that my Tivo Displayed "Drive Not Recognized." The Very helpful person there said he was familiar with DVRS and Tivo. Sometimes it is the size of the drive that Tivo rejects. Suggests trying their Fantom 2 TB eSATA external. I might do that if these extenders do not work.

    Cross your fingers for me on these extenders. I am very tired of looking for more storage drives. If these W D Extenders both work I will probably have one of them for sale in the near future. Just for shipping and what I paid. (*Under $100 plus the shipping). Will advise ASAP.
    Thanks for your post Mikeguy and everyone else too!:)
     
  9. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Lol: yep, thanks, that's the same site and website I had linked to above:
    :D
     
  10. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    Welllll, that is best and what I do (with my one Bolt on TE4). However supposedly you can use Bolt MB to ESata connection on enclosure in at least some cases. In fact that is the way Weaknees does it (I know someone who bought one, came with 3TB WD purple, cost was a BIT high...........). Am not talking about expansion port on the BOLT, the internal drive would be replaced by the external, Sata connection to motherboard, Esata to enclosure, one drive being used only. I do it myself with Roamios (on TE3), toasters for the external so I can swap drives around whenever I want. Drives must be on same OS though for swapping. Can NOT do drive swapping with a Bolt (or probably an Edge).

    It is possible some drives may not work with the Sata MB to Esata enclosure connection. For sure want a CMR drive. As I mentioned Weaknees uses the WD purple for the Sata to Esata upgrade. But of course the BEST/safest way to do it IS the Sata MB to Sata connection on the drive.

    This procedure works with TE3 also TE4 Bolt upgrade with external drive
     
  11. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I would try it. Just go with the methods other users here have used.

    Scott
     
  12. DICK LOCKWOOD

    DICK LOCKWOOD New Member

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    Tom : I am very interested in your process for internal eSATA wiring.
    I looked at the link with pictures you posted.
    Can you post a close up picture of the inside wire connection to the eSATA on motherboard please?
    I am not sure of wires and proper connection points.
    I am guessing you use an eSATA cable and cut one end?
    Or actually both ends for the quick disconnects
    I like the quick disconnects too.

    Thanks Mike for pointing out my duplication! Sorry for that. I must read closer in the future
     
  13. DICK LOCKWOOD

    DICK LOCKWOOD New Member

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    May 22, 2020
    Scott and others: update re Grooves Land.
    I just read all the customer reviews. Most reviews were not so good!
    Will not be ordering anything from them.
    Read customer reviews here: Grooves.land is rated "Great" with 3.9 / 5 on Trustpilot
    Very interested in the internal eSATA connection idea. Awaiting internal photos of wiring connections.
     
  14. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    The link I provided to my method does not use Esata at all, only Sata. The connection to the Sata port on the Bolt MB is pretty easy, just take it apart and you will see. Watch a video on how to open a Bolt or you may end up breaking some tabs. I don't cut any cables, one is just a regular Sata cable, the other is male Sata on one end, female Sata on other end. One thing to know, you will see when you open the Bolt, you will need one of those 90 degree on one end Sata cables so it will fit inside and be able to fully close the case. Also there are two directions that 90 degree end cable can go, choose the one where the cable will be routed to the back of the Bolt.
     
  15. DICK LOCKWOOD

    DICK LOCKWOOD New Member

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    OK. Actually i have been inside the Bolt twice now.
    One improvement was getting rid of the 9 and 10 mm star screws.
    When I look again inside, I will see where to plug in the cable you are talking about.

    I studied your method shown on this post:
    This procedure works with TE3 also TE4 Bolt upgrade with external drive
    I want to give it a try. Lots of options available if i do.
    Once made, this should get around all those issues with E4 software.
    From reading the forum, there are lots of options available for drives that are compatible.
    Just getting to a 3.5" size makes all the difference.

    I found the attached pictures elsewhere on this forum.
    I don't want to open the case again until i have all the conversion parts ready to go.
    Which is the module where the SATA 90 cable attaches?
    Do i disconnect / disable the eSATA port at the rear outside of the case?
    I have seen those 90 degree cables on line.
    The ones at Amazon are reasonable...even for 3 packs.
    It is hard to tell fore sure from their pictures which have a male end.
    The female 90 is easy to see. and i know that is the end inside the case.
    Would you mind looking on Amazon and posting a link for the correct cable(s) needed?
    Many thanks for your patience. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  16. justen_m

    justen_m Cheesehead

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    The 2.5" 15mm height Toshiba fits fine in the Bolt. It will not, however, fit in some/most laptops, which have tighter enclosures, without bulging the case. $99 for a 3TB is less than what I paid for mine. I'm running TE3, not TE4.

    Going with the compact wavy case and a 2.5" drive was a bad decision on TiVo's part. There is much more availability and selection with 3.5", and better reliability in my experience. I've had quite a few 2.5" drive failures, but none with 3.5" drives. Yeah, I know, anecdotal. Then again, my workstation and server seldom move, while laptops get tossed around and abused. TiVos don't move much.
     
  17. DICK LOCKWOOD

    DICK LOCKWOOD New Member

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    Justen: You are so right on your comments. One cannot help but wonder if HD rejection by the Tivo is just an accidnt caused by the E 4 software. It limits most of us to 1. Take it or leave it. 2. Buy the bigger 1 TB Bolt. 3. Go to an outside provider like New Egg and pay through the nose for a 2 or 3 TB upgrade. Tivo could just as easily made larger internal or external HDs more acceptable. My favorite of all this learning experience was this: Tivo Tech Service "The only external HD we recommend is WD." WD externals only have usb output. Tivo only recognizes external HD via eSAT. Three days ago I again contacted Tivo Service to point this out. I was now told they do not have any external HDs they recommend. I should contact New Egg.

    Bringing me to Tom's very fine upgrade process. I will try the WD Extenders I just bought. May go with Tom's upgrade even if those extenders are recognized by my Tivo Vox Bolt.

    So much to learn....so little time!
     
  18. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind with this upgrade you will lose everything that is currently on your Bolt, you will be starting fresh. So backup whatever you want to keep, recordings/settings etc. There is a way to copy/expand current drive with MFSTools I think, you could read up on that if you like.

    The Sata 90 goes to the Sata port on the Bolt MB. You will not be using the internal drive at all. The other end of the Sata 90 goes out the back of the Bolt where the cardboard shims are in my picture. Make sure the shims are thick enough so the cable can move side to side, ie not pinched by the case cover. And make sure the Sata 90 end points the cable towards the back of the Bolt, there are two directions you can buy.

    You would not be using the ESata port on the back of the Bolt at all. That is for a second/expansion drive only. Not really recommended as it adds another failure point. My method uses only ONE drive, it is just external instead of internal. And since using a 3.5 you can buy one big enough where you would not need an expansion drive. The Bolt will format up to 3TB itself, anything more you'd need to use MFSTools or MFSR.

    I don't have any models numbers for cables, just used what I had. Here are some pictures, I took the top off the enclosure, the two ends of a M/F Sata cable and a molex to sata power cable. You can see the black Sata cable, I bent it, ran it over the drive and out the front of the enclosure. Three cables total, the 90 Sata which connects to the Bolt MB, the other end which comes out the back of the Bolt. The data Sata cable that attaches to the drive, the other end comes out of the enclosure and will attach to the cable coming out of the Bolt. You can choose which of these cables has a Male end on it. Third cable is the Molex to Sata power cable so can use the molex power connection in the enclosure. Then the enclosure itself, if you read the entire upgrade thread I think I listed the actual model I used (cheap too).
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  19. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    The pics




    100_3714.JPG

    100_3716.JPG

    molex.jpg

    M F Sata.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  20. DICK LOCKWOOD

    DICK LOCKWOOD New Member

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    Great info. Tom. Made a decision based on your method:
    3.

    Decision - I am going with the external hard drive modification you have outlined. I am compiling my shopping list with the items needed. Your pictures will be very helpful. I know what to get but could use a couple of specifics.

    Hard Drive – What hard drive do you use that is compatible with E 4 software. Please tell me the specific mfg. and model.
    I want an internal HD 3 TB, 5400 rpm. I know SSD is not recommended. The other thing is a hard drive that is PMR not SMR.

    Hard drive enclosure – Like this one? https://www.amazon.com/Inateck-Inch-Enclosure-Support-SA01003/dp/B07N63MXN6/ref=dp_ob_title_ce Do any of these have internal fan? Should i find one that does?
    Is the connection to the Tivo internal plug in this Inateck box the kind I need?

    Other than these items, I know what to buy. Thanks to your description and your pictures.

    If i remove the eSATA plug on the back of the Tivo Bolt case, the new SATA cord may pass through to the outside
    If not, cardboard shims here I come.

    Latest update – The Tivo Extender (c. 2010-2012) purchased on E Bay arrived yesterday. Hooked it up and initialized as per instructions elsewhere on this forum. Hung up at Tivo initial screen and never went beyond that. Unplugging the eSATA cord from the Bolt freed up the system and it booted like it should. Just as the internal and external drives I tried previously. So it would appear that the E 4 software is blocking the boot up. The same extenders and my previous usb connected external drive all work correctly and boot up using my old Tivo Roamio plus. Probably because it is using software E3. Soon I will have two WD 100000F 032 DVR Expanders 1 TB External HDs for sale (very reasonable). Both work fine in E3 formats. neither work with the Bolt running E 4 software. Looks like the internal HD in one is a WD 10 EWS 1 TB.

    Very very thankful for your help Tom!
     

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