MFS Reformatter (mfsr)

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by ggieseke, May 10, 2015.

  1. sender_name

    sender_name I remember XM 202!

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    Northboro Ma
    OK...I just snagged one of the 3TB from Macsales. It looks like the bang for your buck what I need. I've been living with a Series 3 with a 155 hours of HD for many years so I'll basically have that amount per tuner on my 4 tuner bolt Vox.
    Question for the MFS. Should I put the 3TB drive in the bolt, let it format etc and then take it out and run it through MFS for alignment? Does it work for the Bolt?
     
  2. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    Yes, MFSR works on 3TB Bolts. I think it's worth a extra few minutes to properly align the MFS inode and app zones for 4K drives, but obviously my opinion is biased since I wrote it.
     
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  3. Aug 2, 2019 #1343 of 1365
    Merrick2019

    Merrick2019 New Member

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    Hi,

    I just wanted to ask - the last drive upgrade I did was on a Series 3 OLED but have a Roamio. I had to upgrade to the Roamio at exactly the same time I was moving my wife and 4 kids into a 90% completed house and Verizon changed many channels to MP4 (which the OLEDs don't decode) and I was just so overwhelmed I didn't have time to do anything myself so just got a 6TB Roamio straight from Weaknees. So I just ordered a Bolt VOX and it's sitting on my table. I want to upgrade the drive and started looking into this. It's not perfectly clear what the process is - though it seems to have changed quite a bit from Series 1-3 days and certainly isn't like winmfs anymore. I just wanted to ask a couple of clarifying questions - sorry if this is all covered in 3+ years of previous discussion.

    It looks like, at least as far as the Bolts go, simply putting a new compatible drive into the system is all you have to do. It will get setup by the TiVo but there is no need (and apparently no available way?) to clone the old drive to a new drive and seemlessly reboot. Is that correct?

    And if I gather correctly what the point of MFSR is, that you take that new drive prepared by the TiVo and MFSR realigns the drive structure to efficiently handle 4K content.

    Do I have that mostly correct?

    Otherwise, can you point me to a reasonably concise description of the steps in the drive replacement, can you point me to discussion on maximum drive sizes and drive choices for the Bolt VOX?

    Thanks!
    Merrick
     
  4. Aug 2, 2019 #1344 of 1365
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    SF Bay Area
    Under TE3/v20, up to 3TB, you can just swap the drives and not need to hook up to a PC, MSFR is only for alignment. Over 3TB, you would need to use MSFR to expand to full capacity.

    WinMFS will not work on anything newer than Series 3.

    Bolt uses laptop drives (2.5inch) so its hard to find a reliable one. Some have used 3.5inch drives bypassing the eSATA connection and connecting into the MB's SATA port, and use an external housing.
     
  5. Aug 2, 2019 #1345 of 1365
    Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    TE4 as well, right?

    The Toshiba 2.5" 3TB drive seems to have worked relatively well for people (among 2.5" drives), and still can be found (although no longer being manufactured). E.g. currently at macsales.com.
     
  6. Aug 2, 2019 #1346 of 1365
    Snowball3

    Snowball3 New Member

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    Oct 4, 2018
    Hello, I am having a problem with my tivo I was hoping someone could help please.

    So, I have a tivo roamio ota. I reformatted MFS as according to the instructions on this thread. I upgraded with a WD 8tb RED NAS. Everything worked great and synced and gave me crazy storage! That worked fine for a few months so then I decided to get a Tivo Mini Vox which said it would work with my Roamio. Again, everything worked perfectly (once I figured out the whole moca mess) for a few months. But then after a few months it began to screw things up and constantly restart/reboot. Now my tivo works and records but I have noticed that I have been getting a lot of partial recordings. At first I thought it was the mini. But then I caught my Tivo Roamio OTA restarting and finally realized that it will just randomly restart and reboot for seemingly no reason then go back to working fine. Sometimes it reboots a lot sometimes not for a long time. I dont even have like a crazy amount of shows stored up. I even deleted a bunch of things to see if that was clogging it up (sorry not computer smart lol) . Could someone please tell me how to fix this. Do I need to reformat or downgrade/upgrade something with MFS? Would going back to the original hard drive simply fix this (dont want to really do this) I really want to fix this . Any help would be greatly appreciated thank you!
     
  7. Aug 2, 2019 #1347 of 1365
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    SF Bay Area
    Its rather buggy in that department.
     
  8. Aug 2, 2019 #1348 of 1365
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Disconnect the mini from the network for a week and see if you still have the issue. I read on the forum somewhere that an aberrant mini was causing the host TiVo to reboot.
     
  9. Aug 6, 2019 #1349 of 1365
    UpgraderIthink

    UpgraderIthink New Member

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    Aug 5, 2019
    Is there somewhere where you state why the MFS IS helpful for the Toshiba 3TB. I understand you can just pop it in the Bolt and the Bolt does the rest but again don't understand than why it helps to use MFS (thought you note something about 4K usage). Any advise and reasoning here would be greatly appreciated as I get the Bolt Thursday
     
  10. Aug 6, 2019 #1350 of 1365
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    MFS uses two types of partitions (application & media), and three types of "zones" (application, inode & media). The partitions are all aligned properly for 4K access, but the header fields in the application partition throw the application and inode zones out of alignment. MFSR skips a few 512-byte sectors between the headers and the actual zones where the data lives to align them properly. It also resizes the media partitions and zones slightly to account for the 10MB block size used to read and write the actual recordings, which results in less wasted space at the end of each media partition.

    It's a REALLY small difference, but I think it makes the user interface a bit snappier. The actual recordings in the media zones are properly aligned either way. If you have to tear your computer apart and hook up the drive with a direct SATA connection to the motherboard it's probably not worth the time. I use a USB docking station so it only takes me about a minute to hook up the drive and run MFSR. That doesn't count opening the case and changing out the drive mounting brackets, but you have to do that anyway if you're swapping out a drive.
     
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  11. Aug 6, 2019 #1351 of 1365
    UpgraderIthink

    UpgraderIthink New Member

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    Aug 5, 2019
    Thanks so much. I only have a laptop so it sounds like, while MFS would be helpful, it would not be worth my time to try to figure out an external storage option to use MFS
     
  12. Aug 6, 2019 #1352 of 1365
    Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for the explanation and recommendations! Helpful, as is the software. :clapping:
     
  13. John B. GAITHER

    John B. GAITHER New Member

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    Aug 11, 2019
    Im stuck. I bought a Seagate 4TB ST4000LM024. When pulling it out of the houseing, destroyed the usb plug stuff in back. I installed and ran the hd, fully installed Tivo, and ran it for a day. With only Tivo format I have 285 Hours HD or 1957 SD of recording capcity. Pulled it out to redo and run MFSR, but Win7 did not reconize it. My version of Win7 only had diskpart verions from 2009. Downloaded a freeware disk partition prog, and re-fromatted all 4TB to NTFS. Installed in Tivo Bolt TCD84950. Plugged in Tivo, ran startup until it asked for Country. Unplugged, hooked up into desktop, but Windows does not reconize my 4TB HD. What did I do wrong?
     
  14. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    Windows won't recognize it as anything but an Unknown physical drive in Disk Manager, and if you run Disk Manager be sure NOT to let it "initialize" the drive or it will destroy the TiVo formatting.

    Just hook the drive up to the computer and run MFSR. It will find it.
     
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  15. John B. GAITHER

    John B. GAITHER New Member

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    Aug 11, 2019
    I panicked. Rebooted, and reconnected the Seagate Drive. Win7 still did not see it, but SeaTools did. Ran MFSR. Success. Put Bolt back together. Ran Tivo install. Now I have up to 639 HD or 4401 SD hours to fill up in my OTA Installation.
    Running Series6
    Hydra-Mira-4-6

    A donation is on it’s way.

    How stable is install on Seagate, should I worry about Tivo booting the drive out?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  16. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    Accurate documentation is hard to find, but most reviews seem to agree that the ST4000LM024 uses SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) technology. That's usually bad in a TiVo where the drive is always writing at least 4 streams unless it's in Standby mode with the drive powered down. Anecdotal reports from other members here suggest that it will fail in 18-24 months. TiVo doesn't even sell the 3TB Bolt anymore.

    Your best bet would be to replace the internal drive with a 3.5" PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) drive like the WD40EFRX Red in an external enclosure. That requires a direct SATA connection from the motherboard on the Bolt to the drive, which means notching the cases at both ends to run the SATA cable. There are several threads on that in the Bolt forum.
     
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  17. Glenn B

    Glenn B New Member

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    Aug 19, 2019
    Awesome work. Thanks. Went from 2TB to 4TB available. Had to turn off Google Drive during format. Donated!
     
  18. barnabas1969

    barnabas1969 Member

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    Aug 22, 2013
    I'm considering buying a Bolt Vox 1TB and adding an external 3.5" 4TB drive connected to the Bolt's internal SATA port. If I have to downgrade to TE3 in order to get this drive to work, can I then upgrade again to TE4?
     
  19. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Yep.
     
  20. Glenn B

    Glenn B New Member

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    Aug 19, 2019
    I bought Bolt Vox 1TB in July. Bought this Seagate Ext Drive and pulled drive out -
    Seagate Backup Plus Portable 4TB External Hard Drive HDD (STDR4000900)
    Installed and booted up tivo
    Used mfs on the drive
    Windows 10 gave me some error.
    It think I reran with As Administrator option to make it happy
    Reinstalled the drive and full 4TB available.
    Awesome work by the community!

    Note: I gave myself a bit of extra work by screwing together the drive assembly etc and then had to pull it all apart again after booting up tivo the first time.
    Just connect the cables and leave the drive sitting on top of Bolt board for the 2 minutes it takes to boot up.

    Seagate Backup Plus Portable 4TB External Hard Drive HDD (STDR4000900)
    by Amazon.com
    Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0196J43TE/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_-87DDbAY45XKT
     

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