MyDVR Expander Failure?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by aindik, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    I came home from a weekend away to see my TiVoHD had shut down. I rebooted it and it said it can't find the external drive. This is a first-generation 500 GB MyDVR expander.

    So I unplugged and re-plugged the drive and the eSata cable and rebooted. The drive boots up with the big circle flashing slowly. TiVo still can't find it. I reboot it a few more times, and nothing. Now the drive won't boot at all, and I've tried plugging it into electrical outlets all around the house that I know work.

    So, what are my options at this point? Should I buy another AC adapter for $18 (aftermarket)? Any chance it's that? Can I take the drive out of the MyDVR Expander case and put it in a different case and have the TiVo recognize it as the same drive (and if so, what kind)? Any chance it's that?
     
  2. jakerock

    jakerock Hey ho howdy!

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    I am not sure if you have much hope for recovering the drive or not. I am surprised that it lasted this long. If you do manage to save the data, I'd highly recommend moving to a larger internal drive instead of the MyDVR expander, this from personal experince that didn't not end well either. (I was not able to recover the data.)
     
  3. milo99

    milo99 Well-Known Member

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    we had a thread a few years ago about the failure rate of the expanders. Basically, the casing sucks. The drives themselves would be fine, but some interface or board within the case would crap out right about the 1 year mark. Failure rate is ridiculous. It happened to me, and i ended up taking the drive out, then essentially used it to upgrade that tivohd's internal hard drive. It's been going strong as the internal HDD for about 3 years now.
     
  4. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

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    Based on reports I have read, the drive is usually fine, it is the enclosure that fails. The procedure to attempt to save your data as I understand it is to remove the drive from the enclosure and test it, if it passes, obtain a better eSata enclosure, install the drive and you should be back and running as it was before the failure. There are some recommendations for drive enclosures here, Antec seems to be most popular.
     
  5. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    The non-Western-Digital cases will work with a TiVoHD? Or only with a Series 3? IIRC the TiVoHD only works with officially sanctioned drives (i.e. only the MyDVR Expanders) while the Series 3 will work with any eSATA drive.

    And, they'll ID as the same drive even if in a different case? IOW, no need to start all over again and delete all the shows?

    Found out I can borrow a Western Digital charger from work tonight, so I don't have to order one unless I know mine is the problem.
     
  6. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    The ID of the drive is what makes it approved, the case and adapter board don't enter in to it at all. I'd recommend one of the awesome Antec eSATA cases if the drive is good but the case is bad, and you won't lose your data. (caveat, if you already divorced it, then the data is gone)
     
  7. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    I made sure not to do that, thanks. I moved a lesser-used TiVoHD into that room temporarily.
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Another possibility is that the drive is still good, the enclosure hasn't gone bad yet, and that the cable connecting it to the TiVo has somehow gone bad.

    If you back to the posts from the days of people running Kickstart 62 to backdoor externals with an original S3 (OLED front), there were lots of people who had the cables just suddenly go bad, as unlikely as that sounds (it's a cable, it just sits there), but a high quality replacement fixed the problem, even when the problem cable worked just fine in some other application.

    Apparently eSATA involves a lot more voodoo than one would think.
     
  9. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

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    The eSATA cable was my issue last time, a few months ago. I bought a new on from Amazon and it fixed my problem. This time, though, the drive wouldn't boot at all (the light on the front won't turn on) when I plug it into an outlet.

    Update: the AC adapter I borrowed from work successfully turned the drive on. So, my current AC adapter is shot. Putting my ear to it it sounded like it was hesitating. So, I need more time tonight to actually connect the drive to the TiVo and see if it works.
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    There's a site to which we cannot link, at least not on this site, and on that site there's a thread where ciper, comparing early and late model HD power supplies, has a picure showing a second hard drive added internally.

    If the actual drive inside your external is good, and you have shows you need to save, that might be the way to go. The eSATA jack on the back of the HD connects to a plain ol' SATA connector on the motherboard, and we can come up with a way to tap in for power for that second drive.
     

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