Is it worth buying an upgraded TiVo HD (larger drive)? Any concerns?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by michman, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. michman

    michman New Member

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    Jan 26, 2008

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    I am going to buy HD TiVo soon, more than likely the TiVo HD rather than the Series 3 HD TiVo because I just don't see the value in the better one for the price.

    My real question is: Is there anything to consider if I were to go online to one of these sites that sell pre-upgraded TiVos? They look like a pretty good deal, but I'm afraid that there may be some things that I am either overlooking or just plain don't realize might be a problem.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  2. lafos

    lafos Well-Known Member

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    If you're buying on-line, you can check reviews to see how they perform as vendors. Both Weaknees and DVRUpgrade sell upgrade kits, or software for DIY. If they also sell pre-upgraded units, then check warranty. They are probably convenient for those not interested in upgrading themselves.
     
  3. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    The upgrades aren't nearly as difficult as they used to be. With the release of WinMFS, we now have a simple Windows program to do all the work. You connect the original TiVo drive, select 'backup' from the menu. Disconnect the original TiVo drive and connect your new drive, then select 'restore' from the menu. That's all there is to it.

    Once you have the right screwdriver, the entire process of removing the original drive, backing up the software, restoring the software to a new drive, and installing the new drive takes about 20 minutes.

    With a ~$10 SATA->USB adapter, you don't even have to open your PC.

    The only real 'concern' is finding the right drive. You don't want your TiVo to sound like a 747. A list of recommended drives can be found in FAQ #27 of the eSATA sticky. The most popular drives are probably the Seagate DB35 500-750Gb, the Hitachi Deskstar 1TB, and the Western Digital WD10EACS-32ZJB0.

    If you really aren't comfortable doing the upgrade yourself, then Weaknees and DVRUpgrade are reputable.
     
  4. michman

    michman New Member

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    Jan 26, 2008
    So it looks easy enough, is there any concern for losing features etc.?

    About 3 years ago I bought a "hacked" tivo (yes I know that's different) and have been running the old software ever since. I have been wanting the newest software and features in a bad way but could never get it. I wouldn't do that again and want to make sure I don't run into future problems by buying this uprade.
     
  5. jrod9707

    jrod9707 Member

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    Could someone post a link to the best place for the USB>sata adapter.Also by using the adapter is there any worry that you will overwrite your existing hard drives on the computer, I'm sure it won't but I don't like finding out the hard way.
     
  6. michman

    michman New Member

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    Jan 26, 2008
    I've heard about performance loss with larger drives. Is this something I need to worry about if I went to big?
     
  7. stream

    stream New Member

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    Agreed--this is an easy DIY. I paid $135 for a 500GB Seagate DB35 at the site recommended by the WinMFS site, which is about half what you'll pay for a pre-formatted drive (from Weaknees), that you'll still need to install yourself.
     
  8. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    No.

    Most of these 1TB drives outperform the stock TiVo drive, but hard drive performance is not a major factor in TiVo responsiveness.
     
  9. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Any USB->SATA adapter should work, although I did see a post earlier which suggested that some adapters do not work with >750Gb drives.
     
  10. michman

    michman New Member

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    Jan 26, 2008
    I'm just a little timid because I have never done a TiVo before. But now with the advent of WinMFS it sounds pretty easy.

    I would consider myself to have extensive knowledge of computers both inside and out. I have no problem installing and switching drives or formatting and reloading computers.

    With that being said, would you speculate that I wouldn't have a problem buying my own drive and loading it myself? The only unknown to me is that I have never done it with a TiVo, I have done this type of thing tons of times with computers.
     
  11. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

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    I would say you wouldnt have any trouble. I've upgraded a Series 1, Series 2, and a Tivo HD. Using WinMFS the Tivo HD was by far the easiest. I'd go as far as to say someone with very limited computer hardware knowledge could upgrade a Tivo HD relatively easy using WinMFS.
     
  12. michman

    michman New Member

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    Jan 26, 2008
    Can you post a link to the site for purchasing the drive? I couldn't find the link from the WinMFS site.
     
  13. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Use this link to give the author of WinMFS credit for the sale.

    You want the ST3500830SCE (500Gb) or ST3750840SCE (750Gb).

    Coupon codes for Google Checkout are as follows: $5 off of $100 (affgoo2*) or $10 off of $300 (affgoo3*). If you are new to Google Checkout, or create a new Google Checkout account, you get an additional $10 off.
     
  14. normychas

    normychas Member

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    I believe the original question was is there a need for a big hard drive. Now this is just my own take on it but this is what i do. I bought a 750 gig hard drive with every intention of putting it in my tivo. However when it came i had desperate need for additional space on my laptop so i used the hard drive with an old external enclosure to offload the data. I decided not to install the hard drive in the tivo but with the TTG i automatically pull my shows of the tivo and onto the 750 gig drive. I also back up my movie collection to this drive in divx format. In short i feel that keeping your hard drive as an external drive gives you more flexibility with what you can do. Just my two cents i know others like to have everything on their tivo at one time.
     
  15. stream

    stream New Member

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    You will not have problem. You'll need 2 torx drivers (T10 and T15). For the T10 you need one at least 4" long to reach one of the screws that attaches to the motherboard. See here for instructions:
    hard drive install
     
  16. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

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    That was the hardest part of the installation since I did not have a T10 4" long.
     
  17. stream

    stream New Member

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    Luckily I had the 2 torx L keys from Weakness, from when I upgraded my S2 years ago (before WinMFS existed).
     
  18. 100Tbps

    100Tbps New Member

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    Regardless of whether you offload the videos to an external drive or upgrade the drive inside the box, you should get the largest drive you can reasonably afford.

    There's new HD content being announced all the time and storage sizes will only will need to be larger as time goes by. If you expect to use your Tivo for just the next three years - just think about how much HD content there was three years ago - and how it's grown. I'd go with a 1 TB drive now and you can always add an external plug-and-play drive later.

    I just migrated to a THD from a DirecTV HR10-250 and with all the HD content out there, I feel like Captain Kirk in a singles bar: Choices, Spock ... Choices!

    [​IMG]

    In R-G-B, even!
     
  19. michman

    michman New Member

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    Jan 26, 2008
    You make an interesting point, what about noise? My laptop already sounds like a jet and I don't need my TiVo adding to that. I saw a post recently accusing the Seagate DB35 of being really noisy. Does anyone who has one installed have a comment on that?

    Also, does anyone else have any comments specifically about the noise of the other recommended drives? I certainly wouldn't base my decision of what drive to buy on this advice anlone, but it certainly will weigh into my decision.

    Bassically just looking for advice specifically about hard-drive noise.
     
  20. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    I doubt anyone would claim the DB35 is noisy. They were probably referring to the Seagate 7200.10 or 7200.11; those desktop drives are noisy.

    I have a 750Gb DB35 -- now used in my home server, but it was in my TiVo before I upgraded to the WD 1Gb -- and it produced less noise than the stock TiVo drive.

    Except for the Hitachi Deskstar and Ultrastar drives, all the drives on that list produce equal or less noise than the stock TiVo drive. With the Hitachi Deskstar and Ultrastar drives, noise is just a little higher than the stock drive once you enable AAM, as instructed in FAQ #29.
     

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