My WD DVR Expander Died

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by msdonnelly, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. msdonnelly

    msdonnelly Member

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Fuquay-Varin...

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    Couldn't find any info in any other thread...by my DVR Expander started showing signs of of impending failure on Saturday--freezing during fast forward among others. I rebooted my Series 3 and lost everything on the external. I tried again and the S3 simply refused to do anything with the external drive. I went through the painful "divorce" and my S3 is working fine with the original internal HD.
    I purchased the WD drive back in Sept direct from WD and registered it online. WD has a one year warranty on the Expander so I'm getting a replacement but I'm wondering how others have been doing with drive life.
     
  2. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    Jan 2, 2004
    mine is about as old and still chugging along fine on on myTiVo HD
     
  3. edrock200

    edrock200 New Member

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    Feb 7, 2002
    Northern...
    Well thats not good. I just installed mine 2 weeks ago and its working fine so far. I intentionally left it outside of the cabinet and placed it behind my TV, but with nothing surrounding it to keep it from getting to hot.
     
  4. rodbac

    rodbac New Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Don't fret. It's a hard drive- some fail prematurely, most don't.

    Just don't sit the thing on top of your receiver (aka the space heater) and you'll be fine.
     
  5. edrock200

    edrock200 New Member

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    Feb 7, 2002
    Northern...

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    Yeah I know. But I thought the entire purpose of these over priced drives was their higher reliability, which is why Tivo HD's will only marry those drives. But I know, drives will fail, I have failed sata drives at least once a year in my arrays. I hope Tivo enables the SMART reporting system to alert users to a potential failing external HDs. That will at least give the user a chance to Tivo Desktop the shows off, swap drives, and move them back.

    I intentionally kept my drive out of my component cabinet to avoid all the heat in there, hopefully that will help.

    Speaking of which, and this is my own fault for not reading the warranty first, but ONE YEAR? Lame...for the price of these things they should come with 3 or 5 year retail warranties like most retail HD's.
     
  6. Scott D

    Scott D Active Member

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    Pasadena, Texas
    They don't expect PC's to be running continuously so the warranty is longer. Since TiVo's, among other DVR's run all the time, the potential of failure is greater.
     
  7. rodbac

    rodbac New Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    That's the party line, but it's not reality- there is no support for any of the arguments in favor of "DVR" drives in general. They don't perform any differently, any more reliably, and compared to most of the new drives available now, they're not even any quieter (which used to be a valid reason to seek out a "DVR" drive).

    That said, there is at least one good reason to buy the "Tivo blessed" drive: they'll support you if you have trouble with it.

    That doesn't do you much good since it's evidently failing, but you would have had another option troubleshooting if it wasn't completely dying.
     
  8. edrock200

    edrock200 New Member

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    Northern...
    Yeah I know. I also don't buy the argument that PC drives are "less stressed." Perhaps less read/write operations, I'll give them that, but from my experience the most stress on the drive, as well as most of the failures I've seen, occur durring power/spin up. If you turn your PC off and on a lot, thats a lot of spin down/spin up.
     
  9. GoPokes!

    GoPokes! New Member

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    Oct 27, 2007
    Oklahoma
    I've had one since November and it has been working fine.
     
  10. edrock200

    edrock200 New Member

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    Northern...
    Welcome to TC!
     
  11. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    In my experience the "desktop" drive warranties are usually *shorter* and the enterprise drive warranties are usually *longer*, not the other way around.

    IMO for most cases, the warranties are just marketing tools and don't by themselves imbue any additional quality to the drives.
     
  12. Eccles

    Eccles Mostly harmless

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    Dec 27, 2001
    Austin, TX
    That's one reason I always buy stuff like this on my Amex, which automatically provides extended warranty coverage.
     
  13. edrock200

    edrock200 New Member

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    Northern...
    I thought amex did away with this program...maybe it was just the pricematch program. If they still have it, thats good news, because I purchased on my amex.
     
  14. Eccles

    Eccles Mostly harmless

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    Dec 27, 2001
    Austin, TX
  15. jtown

    jtown New Member

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    Sep 26, 2002
    The reason for the high price is to cover the cost of holding the hands of people who can't follow instructions on their own. Many (most???) people can't follow the simple steps of written or on-screen instructions. So they charge more money to cover the cost of the support calls and emails. Seriously. I got a call from a friend last week. "I bought a new printer and plugged it in and this hardware wizard thing came up. What do I do???" "Did the printer come with a huge poster that says 'step 1, step 2, step 3' and so forth?" "Um...Yeah." "Are the words in english?" "Yeah." "Well, do what it tells you to do!"

    No joke. I've opened enough new printers to know that there's usually a big fold-out poster at the top of the box that says "READ ME FIRST". If a chimp could read, it would be able to get the printer set up. But many people throw up an impenetrable wall when it comes to "technology".

    And 1 year is the standard for external drives. That's just the way it is. External drives used with computers get bumped and bounced around a lot but the internal mechanism is the same one that's designed to sit in a stationary steel box that rarely gets bumped, let alone dropped a couple feet on the floor. You may not take your DVR Expander anywhere but many of them are overheating in enclosed entertainment centers next to the xbox and playstation bumped around by kids, etc.

    If you want to get a 3-5 year warranty and not spend the extra money, buy your own hard drive, put it in your own external case, and you're set. But you need to know which drive to buy and which case works with the tivo. Relatively few people are able to do that. Since they don't have the knowledge necessary to develop their own solution, they have to spend the extra money to buy the pre-packaged one along with the handholding and restrictions that come with it.
     
  16. wjohna

    wjohna New Member

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    Sep 24, 2003
    Mine is dying after 1 week in service. See Western Digital's support site--search for "My DVR Expander" and it provides the codes needed to put your Tivo into test mode. My internal Tivo drive passes, but the expander is failing right away. Stuttering video, particularly bad with HD recordings. Causes Tivo to crash.
     
  17. bizzy

    bizzy New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    San...
    Good thing this device was 'specially qualified' for use with the Tivo. I'm always glad to pay a premium for additional quality and reliability!
     
  18. mchief

    mchief Morey

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    Sep 10, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
     
  19. edrock200

    edrock200 New Member

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    Feb 7, 2002
    Northern...
    I don't necessarily disagree with you however this drive obviously won't be moving much. I doubt many of these expander drives will as Tivo's aren't exactly portable. I know I could hack the Tivo with my own drives (There may be another 3rd party "plug and play" device, but I haven't researched it.) I use to hack my tivos religiously, series 1, DTivo, then HDTivo's. I did the works, drive expansion, TivoWeb, MRV (for DTivo) etc. I just don't have the time to keep up with it anymore which is why I opted for the drive expansion.

    However, seeing as my external PC WD USB drive just failed for the second time in one year (at least its still under warranty) it doesn't give me warm fuzzies about this drive.

    On the plus side, Tivo seems to recover from disconnects well. I was trying to pull an unused lan cable from the back of my cabinet yesterday and accidently disconnected the ESATA port. The Tivo rebooted and I didn't notice until later. I plugged the drive back in and rebooted the Tivo and all was fine.

    On another side note, I hope Tivo incorporates a power plug on the Tivo for the external drive expansion option in the next series to minimize power plugs.
     
  20. bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,671
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    Nov 9, 2003
    Florida
    It is unreasonable to expect perfection in an imperfect world.
     

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