Marrying a weaknees upgrade drive to a native TiVo HD drive

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by bronson, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. bronson

    bronson New Member

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    Hi,

    I am purchasing the new TiVo HD ($299) and have bought a 300 GB weaknees upgrade drive (Seagate DB35) for it. I'd like to use both, and have heard as long a drive is configured for TiVo it can be connected via eSATA connection using option 62 function (not sure if I'm saying this right, I'm new to this stuff).

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Would it be best to plug the WK drive externally or switch it with the 160 GB internal drive and then try to use the native 160 GB drive externally?

    Finally, I had read about mirroring a drive using MLS Live or something to that effect, but didn't think I could as my PC mobo does not have SATA outputs? Is this true?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Brian
     
  2. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Both drives combined are only 460GB. That seems like a waste since 500GB drives are under$100. By having two drives that will be married it doubles your chance for problems. If one drive dies you lose everything.
     
  3. bronson

    bronson New Member

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    Sep 20, 2007
    Thanks for your reply Aaron.

    The TiVo HD can only take TiVo ready drives, and I don't have SATA ports on my PC mobo to do the mirroring of the native TiVo drive to the blank drive. The weaknees 300 GB drive at $169 was a better buy than their 500 GB for $300. If I knew an easy way to mirror, I would have picked up a cheap blank 500 GB drive.

    One add'l concern is that both drives would lose their formatting somewhow with the 2 married, and lacking SATA ports that I might not be able to reconfigure them. Would this be a risk?

    Thanks,

    Brian
     
  4. cr33p

    cr33p New Member

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    You can pick up a 750 gb yourself for under 200 and use winmfs to load it.
     
  5. MirclMax

    MirclMax Ancient Member

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    I guess this may be too late for your situation .. but in case it can help others heading down the same path.

    I just recently picked up a USB --> SATA Adapter to handle my drive upgrade . $13 from Newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812186020

    Was able to do Winmfs stuff right off of my laptop.

    Good luck to you on this.
     
  6. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Sweet! That will make things easier. Is it still just as fast copying a drive when using this adapter? I could have used this a month ago.
     
  7. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    MirclMax has it down. You don't even have to open your PC in that case. It is unfortunate that you already bought an inappropriate upgrade drive. Using it as intended only gets you 140 GB more space (or 460GB if you buy an external case but that would be very expensive per GB). Maybe your viewing and archiving needs are minimal and that will work for you. If you are unable to purchase another bare drive you may as well make use of your new drive. It is probably better to leave original drive in for ease of possible future upgrade and use the new drive in a external case (another 50 bucks or so plus the USB adapter). If you have some other use for the small drives such as in your computer with a PCI SATA controller card and can afford a larger bare drive most people would say go that route. It is extremely easy to do all this yourself. There are active threads here just on the subtleties of upgrading the TiVo HD. I am sure your will enjoy your TiVo no matter what route you go and that is what really matters.
     
  8. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    No, SATA is many times faster. It is quite acceptable with USB2.0, almost unbearable with USB1.1 but since it is a one time thing it doesn't really matter.
     
  9. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I was just wondering. My USB drives are just about as fast as the internal drives when I copy content. I didn't know if this interface slowed things down any.
     
  10. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    Yeah, what I said is a little misleading in that no hard drive made can use of the bandwidth of SATA 1.5 Gbit/s let alone the newer 3 Gbit/s version. So the SATA bus is many times faster than USB 2.0 but the real-world performance is not. USB 2.0 is a bottleneck but only by about half of what a modern fast drive such as a Raptor can sustain.
     
  11. MirclMax

    MirclMax Ancient Member

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    I think the backup of the original drive took about 15minutes .. and the restore to the new drive (750GB) took something like 7.

    In the grand scheme of things... hardly any time.
     
  12. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    I presume you mean backup *without* keeping the shows?

    in my day, we had to walk to school barefoot in the snow uphills both ways..

    but seriously, my first Tivo upgrade maybe 6 years ago took HOURS to back up the existing drive to another one and keep the programming.
     
  13. MirclMax

    MirclMax Ancient Member

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    Yes, that was based on a truncated backup.

    -MirclMax
     
  14. bronson

    bronson New Member

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    Thanks for everyone's help.

    Last question. I posted this same thread at weaknees forums, where a weakness tech support guy told me there his drive wouldn't work externally with case and SATA cable.

    Is this true? Could I damage either drive when attempting to marry the two before recording any content on them?

    Thanks
     
  15. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Pre-formatted drives sold by Weaknees and others are meant to replace the internal drive only. IMO if you're replacing the original internal drive with the Weaknees pre-formatted drive (recommended) you should set your original drive aside as a backup.

    If you want to go the route of adding an eSATA drive to your TiVo HD you'll need to follow some specific directions. It's currently not as simple as adding one to the original S3 and requires a bare drive for the external application.

    If you're replacing the internal drive and still want to add an external drive you're best bet is to install the Weaknees drive and then buy a new, bare drive (and enclosure if needed). Again, you'd still need to follow the directions for adding an external drive to the TiVo HD.

    If it were me I'd simply buy the largest replacement drive I could afford and skip the eSATA option until TiVo fully supports it. You can format a bare drive (read this thread) and install it yourself. But if you're not comfortable with doing that, you can probably return the drive you purchased and get credit for a larger one, pop that in and be done with it.

    Hope that helps!
     
  16. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    Only in one way is it true. You actually need an eSATA cable. With that then no problem. No damage will occur. But as richadams said, you would be treating your new pre-configured internal drive like a bare external drive, overwriting the pre-configured drive contents you paid a premium for. If you are planning to use both of the drives and not buy a larger single bare drive then it doesn't make a whole lot of difference which one you put internally except that keeping the original drive internal (or archived on a shelf somewhere) will make future upgrades easier. If money is not an object then just start over with the biggest bare drive you can afford and put it internal. Read the threads richadams pointed to and go from there.
     
  17. bronson

    bronson New Member

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    Wow, some great feedback here.

    Well now I'm wishing i"d done more homework before ordering WK hd.

    One thing that would help me would be a link to a thread that gives how to instructions start to finish. Despite reading the two threads mentioned and your feedback, I still have the following questions:

    1) I'd like to use new egg USB-SATA adaptor with my laptop. I read connecting SATA cable to mobo required you to disconnect OS HD or it would mess up TiVo and mirror drive. Do I need to do something special with laptop before connecting? btw, it runs vista.

    2) do i need 2 usb-SATA adaptors or just one. How do I connect native drive and bare drive: sequentially or at the same time?

    3) Do eSATA drives need separate power source or get power through SATA cable. Would power supply come with HD enclosure or be bought separately? I assume if both HDs had to be connected simultaneously I would somehow have to have 2 power supplies?

    Thanks so much. If anyone wanted to give an in depth how to reply, maybe start a new thread and leave link here as it might help more people like me. Direct links to rec'd hds, enclosures and adaptors help a lot too.

    Brian
     
  18. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Carmel...
    All this stuff is covered in the current threads so no need to create another. But to answer your questions:

    1. No

    2. To transfer current saved shows to a larger internal drive you need 2 adapters, otherwise just 1 to transfer the system (and use laptop hard drive as intermediary). If you are going to marry an external drive to the internal one then with the TiVo HD you will need 2 adapters.

    3. External enclosures come with power supply. Since you are going to be using the mentioned USB-SATA adapter with the bare drives for the transfer via your laptop you would not be connecting the external eSATA enclosure to anything except the TiVo.

    I recommend following up to the previously mentioned threads and also re-reading them and listening especially to whatever spike2k5 says. Everything you need is there.
     

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