May be replacing HD in my series 2

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by usmaak, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Oct 7, 2007 #1 of 19
    usmaak

    usmaak New Member

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    Dec 14, 2004
    Hi,

    For the last month or two, I've been experiencing random lockups of one my series 2 tivos, approximately once a week. I've had no other issues with this tivo at all. Then tonight, I was watching a couple of shows, and there was some pausing and stuttering of the unit. Plus, I had to reboot, because when I turned on the TV, the tivo was frozen. This is the second time it froze up this week. The first time was on Wednesday night, and I missed a bunch of shows because of it.

    I took the cover off the TiVo and checked all the cabling. It all looked fine. To be certain, I unplugged and plugged everything back in, just to make sure all the connections were good. I rewatched one of the shows. I noticed pausing, but I'm not sure if it was in the same places as when I watched it originally. So the recording either recorded badly and was pausing, or the recording is fine and I'm getting random pausing of the picture. I can't be sure which it is.

    So I've been told that this could be a hard drive going bad, and I'd like to try to replace the hard drive. My questions are:

    1. Are there any hard drives that I can buy in the store that would be good for a TiVo unit, or do I need to buy something from weeknees or a place like that? I'd like to be able to just run down the street to Best Buy or Circuit City and pick up something.
    2. I read and found out about instantcake as a way to image a new hard drive. Is there an easy way to transfer my season passes and recordings to a new drive? Is it even something that I should do if the recordings are coming from a failing hard drive? I know my way around the insides of a computer, so hooking up drives to my computer (windows xp) isn't a big deal for me.

    Any help is appreciated. I'd really like to get this resolved before we get too deep into the new TV season. I'm just hoping that it's a harddrive issue, and not some other hardware problem.

    Thanks
     
  2. Oct 7, 2007 #2 of 19
  3. Oct 7, 2007 #3 of 19
    usmaak

    usmaak New Member

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    Dec 14, 2004
    Thanks for the information. But can you tell me if there are any drives that will work that I can just go to a store and buy? From what I've read, it seems like only a certain type of drive will work in a TiVo and that I'd have to order said drive from weaknees or a place like that.
     
  4. Oct 7, 2007 #4 of 19
    ForrestB

    ForrestB New Member

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    Apr 8, 2004
    Tivo's take a standard PATA/EIDE drive - but they must be initialized and the Tivo software must be copied to them BEFORE being installed in the Tivo. Weaknees drives have the Tivo software on them - they're a drop in replacement for your Tivo. If you buy a bare drive from CompUSA, Best Buy, etc then you'll need to install the drive in your PC and run Linux based software to install the Tivo software before installing the drive in your Tivo. Check the links above for more info.
     
  5. Oct 7, 2007 #5 of 19
    usmaak

    usmaak New Member

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    Dec 14, 2004
    The reason I asked was this from the weaknees site. It makes it sound like not all drives would work.

    Seagate DB35 drives have a few key differences from normal desktop drives that make them far superior to desktop drives for PVR usage:

    Thermal Control: On board sensors monitor temperature and adjust characteristics as necessary to keep the temperature optimal.
    Durability: These drives run at 7200 RPM - more than fast enough for every PVR (providing about three times the necessary peak throughput) but not fast enough to wear out sooner.
    Acoustic Management: DVR-specific drives are specially tuned to run as quietly as possible.
    A/V Streaming: DVR-specific drives have been optimized and tuned to provide consistent data to the PVR processor. Standard desktop drives can hang while retrying drive reads - DB35 drives know to move ahead and provide more data to keep video smooth.
    Error Recovery: Desktop drives retry on errors to make sure that your Excel spreadsheet is exactly right - it's imperative. But when watching video, if one block of data is bad, you may not even notice a dark spot on one frame for 1/30th of a second. So these drives are tuned to move past errors faster, putting the stream of data as top priority. Where desktop drives often cause stutters, these drives run smooth.
     
  6. Oct 7, 2007 #6 of 19
    clem2270

    clem2270 New Member

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    Oct 2, 2003
    Washington...
    DVR specific drives are not required when replacing/upgrading your TiVo HDD.

    You can use off the shelf/OEM pata, ide drives; but be aware most computer drives are primarily designed for performance, so their noise levels can be louder than the DVR specific Seagate & Maxtor drives.

    Personally, I upgraded my Humax DRT800's, using the WinMFS app from,

    http://www.mfslive.org/

    upgraded using Samsung HD400LD PATA drive, which added approx 470hours basic recording to my DVR.

    I selected the Samsung model as an alternative to the DVR specific drives from Seagate & Maxtor; this model has relatively good (low) noise levels, and for a 400gb drive the price was pretty good as well.
     
  7. Oct 7, 2007 #7 of 19
    ForrestB

    ForrestB New Member

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    Apr 8, 2004
    I'd guess most users on these forums have upgraded our Tivo hard drives - probably more than once :) Most use plain old computer hard drives and they work fine. Some brands/models are somewhat louder than others, but I haven't seen any other complaints. I suggest buying the largest hard drive you can afford - Best Buy has Seagate 500 GB drives on sale for $99.99. Seagates are popular here because of a 5 year warranty, and Tivo's are hard on drives because they're reading/writing 24/7.
     
  8. Oct 7, 2007 #8 of 19
    usmaak

    usmaak New Member

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    Dec 14, 2004
    99 bucks?? Wow! I might have to buy one of those for my computer too. That's a fantastic deal. I wonder how much SATA ones cost.

    So according to the MFS website, all I have to do to copy my tivo image from the current drive to a new, bigger drive is plug the old drive into the secondary master, the new drive into the secondary slave, boot to the MFSLive CD, and type:

    backup -qTao - /dev/hdc | restore -s 128 -r 4 -xzpi - /dev/hdd

    Is that really all there is to it?
     
  9. Oct 7, 2007 #9 of 19
    mick66

    mick66 Dirty Burger

    4,869
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    Oct 15, 2004
    The 'verse
    :rolleyes:
    Far superior [in their opinion] than desktop drives ≠ not all drives will work
     
  10. ForrestB

    ForrestB New Member

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    Apr 8, 2004
    Reread the docs for MFSLive. Rule of thumb is the swap size should be .5 MB per GB of drive space. So in your command line '128' should be '250'.

    Note MFSLive is a newer version of MFSTools 2 - and only MFSLive supports swap sizes greater than 128 MB.

    More info here
     
  11. usmaak

    usmaak New Member

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    Dec 14, 2004
    Thanks. I bought the drive today. Wish me luck. :)
     
  12. usmaak

    usmaak New Member

    58
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    Dec 14, 2004
    Hi. I've gotten as far as removing the hard drive from the TiVo, but I can't figure out how to remove the bracket from the hard drive. None of my torx screwdrivers seem to work. Any ideas on what I need to do this?
     
  13. usmaak

    usmaak New Member

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    Dec 14, 2004
    Ok. I managed to get the drive out with a hex wrench.

    I'm in the process of copying the image from the old drive to the new. In the beginning, I got a bunch of errors, and then it started copying normally. Does this mean that the image I'm copying to the new HD will not work correctly once I get it into the TiVo?
     
  14. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    17,877
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    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    They use T15 torx head, with standard 6/32 screws.
     
  15. usmaak

    usmaak New Member

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    Dec 14, 2004
    The screws holding the HD to the bracket weren't torx, they were hex.
     
  16. ForrestB

    ForrestB New Member

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    Apr 8, 2004
    No, errors aren't normal. What exactly where the error messages? Are you moving shows from the old hard drive to the new, or just the Tivo software?
     
  17. usmaak

    usmaak New Member

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    Dec 14, 2004
    It said "unknown" but I think that they were sector errors. They were on the hdc, which was the old HD. I didn't see anything on the new HD. After it went past the errors, it continued copying. I'm wondering if that's just proof that I had bad sectors on the old HD. I'm copying shows too, not just the TiVo software.
     
  18. ForrestB

    ForrestB New Member

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    Apr 8, 2004
    They may just be bad sectors on the hard drive. Let us know how it turns out.
     
  19. usmaak

    usmaak New Member

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    Dec 14, 2004
    Will do. It's seemed ok since I put the drive back in. I'll have to wait a couple of weeks to see if it locks up again before I know for sure.
     

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