Recommended eSATA Enclosures?

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by locksmythe, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. locksmythe

    locksmythe New Member

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    Oct 9, 2015
    Are there recommended eSATA enclosures for an 8TB drive? With eSATA being slower than current USB options, the newer devices don't seem to support it. I have seen references to older devices in a few threads but those devices do not report compatibility with an 8TB drive. There are also conflicting reports on whether that matters, as the eSATA connection should in theory just pass through to the SATA port on the drive, but these enclosures have USB connectors as well and so must have additional internal parts that may not support larger devices.

    Here are devices I have looked at:

    Rosewill RX304 Old model, not reported to support over 6TB
    Rosewill RX358 Old Model, says max is 4TB

    ORICO Tool-Free USB & eSATA to SATA... No fan, or cover, on this one, but reports 8TB support - I'd rather not go with an open bay, though

    Is there an enclosure that would allow (possibly by modification) a direct sata cable connection with an eSATA to SATA cable, skipping the eSATA port on the enclosure? The description of Rosewill 304 seems like it may have some flexibility with wiring.

    Any advice?

    Thanks!

    EDIT: It took me months to get back to this, but I finally added the second drive today. I used the Rosewill RX-358 U3C and an 8TB WD Red drive.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  2. locksmythe

    locksmythe New Member

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    Oct 9, 2015
    I decided to give the 358 a try and will let you know.
     
  3. JCN

    JCN Member

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    Feb 4, 2016
    I used this even though it says 6tb limit. I used it on the WD 8TB RED.

    Rosewill Armer RX304-APU3-35B
     
  4. Nov 4, 2016 #4 of 37
    locksmythe

    locksmythe New Member

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    Oct 9, 2015
    Could not get the Rosewill 358 to initialize the disk, nor did a USB-only Sabrent I had. I ordered the Orico sled but that didn't help. Two additional 4TB dirves I had data on are now hosed because of some quirk of 512 vs. 4096 byte sector size that the USB enclosures manipulated. can no longer read those drives. Such a mess.
     
  5. c3nav1

    c3nav1 New Member

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    Sep 18, 2006
    South Carolina
    I recently took Tivo's deal to transfer (and deactivate) the lifetime service on my old Series 2 for $99 to a new Tivo Bolt 500GB model for $199. So $300 total.

    I am running an external 6TB Western Digital Red NAS drive that is cabled to the internal SATA port on the Bolt. I used the Bolt to format the drive, and expanded it with ggieseke's most excellent MFSR 1004.

    Here is what I use and it works well and is quiet when you turn the fan off ... read on:

    1) Tivo Bolt - removed 500GB drive, and drive/power connector from the Bolt leaving an empty 2.5" bay.
    2) eSATA Case: Rosewill RX-358 U3C this one has a USB 3.0 and eSata port.
    Amazon.com: Rosewill RX-358 U3C BLK 3.5-Inch USB3.0 Aluminum and Plastic eSATA External Enclosure Hardrive, Black (RX-358 U3C BLK): Computers & Accessories


    3) eSATA Male to SATA Female Adapter from MicroSATACables. Part# ESM-1198-SF With shipping via the mail it was $8.05
    eSATA Male to SATA Female Adapter

    4) SATA cable that has a 90-degree connector on one end and a straight connector on the other end. I have a 3-foot version. Example here:
    Coboc 3 ft. SATA 3 Cable w/ Metal Latch (90 Degree 180 Degree), AWG 26# Model SATAIIIA-MM-3-BK-Newegg.com

    The SATA cable
    just sticks out over the metal cage and the white Tivo cover does not close all the way in the back. I could notch a hole in the top of the cover but I really can't tell the difference looking head on as the front snaps down fine.

    Notes on the Rosewill RX-358 U3C enclosure:
    -> Goto Rosewill's website and get the firmware update (dated March 01, 2017). Updates the firmware via the USB 3.0 port. Release notes don't indicate but I suspect it is for higher capacity drives. FWIW the box says it supports 6TB.
    -> The enclosure has a power switch as well as a fan on/off switch - which I
    really like. I had the fan on for a while but did not like the extra noise so I ended up just turning it off and testing with a temperature probe. The drive stays fairly cool as I tested it with a red-dot temperature probe during playback and one stream recording. Temps are a decent amount below factory temp maximums. Before I found this out I was thinking about replacing the internal fan with a SILENX fan [these are really quiet fans!] -- however the fan size is 80mm x 80mm x 10mm. It's really tough to find a 10mm thick fan that is quiet.
    -> The enclosure has two blue lights - one for power, one for HD activity. There were so BRIGHT I ended up putting black electrical tape over them - problem fixed.

    I tried my damnedest to use both the stock internal 500GB drive and the enclosure via the eSATA port with no luck! I tried formatting the 500GB drive in the Bolt to get a stock image and used WD Diag to low-level format the 6TB. I tried MFSTools 3.2 with the following commands having both drives (500GB is /dev/sda and the 6TB is /dev/sdb) connected to a technician PC via SATA ports with MFSTools 3.2 booted off CD. These are some of the commands I tried:
    fdisk -l --> successfully detected both drives
    hwinfo --disk --> verification check
    mfstool info /dev/sda --> to see the MFS layout
    mfstool add -r 4 -x /dev/sdb /dev/sda --> 1st attempt
    ... re-accomplished the above steps and tried:
    mfstool add -x /dev/sdb

    I thought I read in the MFSTools 3.2 thread that MFSTools 3.2 does not work with Bolt images; but if anyone sees any errors or knows how to do this correctly please chime in :)
     
    fis likes this.
  6. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    At this point MFSTools 3.2 cannot copy the internal image to another image. I am not sure about MFSAdd. I am not understanding exactly what you are trying to do. Use the 500GB internally and the 6TB externally or visa versa with 6TB internally and 500GB externally.

    If you are using the 500GB internally, it will need a booting image on it and the 6TB erased. Then the command would be mfsadd -xfm 2000 /dev/sda /dev/sdb. If you are using the 6TB internally, you will need it to have a booting image on it and the 500GB erased. Then the command should be mfsadd -x /dev/sdb /dev/sda
     
    c3nav1 likes this.
  7. c3nav1

    c3nav1 New Member

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    Sep 18, 2006
    South Carolina
    Thanks jmbach for providing the correct command syntax! To clarify I wanted to use the stock 500GB internally (with the boot image) and my "mfsadd'ed" 6TB drive in an external enclosure via the eSata port. Would you school me a bit more on the MFSTools 3.2 mfsadd command? As I read it:
    ./mfsadd [options] Adrive [Bdrive] [NewApp NewMedia]
    -x Create partition(s) on all drives
    -m size Maximum media partition size in GiB
    -f Use with -m to fill the drive multiple media partitions

    ... So assuming /dev/sda is the 500GB stock drive and /dev/sdb is the 6TB external drive in the enclose:

    ./mfsadd -xfm 2000 /dev/sda /dev/sdb

    ... would create 2000 GiB media partitions on /dev/sdb ... until the 6TB drive is filled with them (should be three) - correct?

    Should I add the -r option with a value of 4?
    -r scale Override media blocksize of 20480 with 2048<<scale (scale=0 to 4)


    as in:
    ./mfsadd -r 4 -xfm 2000 /dev/sda /dev/sdb

    This is what I found in the MFSTools 2.0 readme regarding this option:
    -r scale
    This option allows you to reduce the amount of RAM TiVo uses by increasing the block size for the media storage. The acceptable values are 0 to 4, corresponding to 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 megabytes. The larger the value, the less RAM will be used (and the faster menus will respond) but a (small) amount of storage will be wasted by some recordings. At the extreme small end (-r 0) some PVRs with a large amount of storage may not be able to perform some tasks,
    such as self repair. (A.K.A. Green Screen) The default is 2 (or 4 megabytes). Any TiVo created partitions are created with a scale of 0 (or 1 megabyte). It is best to leave this option alone.

    Thanks again jmbach!
     
  8. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Don't override the block size. It is already set for large drives. Just use the command :
    ./mfsadd -xfm 2000 /dev/sda /dev/sdb

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
     
    c3nav1 likes this.
  9. c3nav1

    c3nav1 New Member

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    Sep 18, 2006
    South Carolina
    jmbach, it worked! -- BIG thanks to you! I have both a Tivo Bolt and Tivo Roamio, so I tried this on the Roamio first and I was not sure if MFSTools 3.2 would work the same way on the Bolt.

    The setup I developed here I think is "more efficient" since jmbach did an excellent thing by providing a .vmx file to be used in VMware Workstation. See post #131 in the MFSTools 3.2 forums for jmbach's images: MFS Tools 3.2

    For those of you who do not have VMware workstation, I have no reason to believe this will not work in Oracle VirtualBox (free) in the same manner.

    0) Setup your VMware Workstation environment: created virtual machine in VMware Workstation and attached jmbach's .vmx (virtual hard disk) file so VMware boots off this virtual hard disk. You should get the green boot screen. login in issue a power off command to shutdown the VM gracefully.
    1) Tivo Roamio original factory 500GB drive - connected to native SATA port on Windows 7 machine and used Western Digital DataLifeguard to Quick erase the drive (erases first and last 1 million sectors of drive). Note: BIOS configured for Hot Plug on. You many need to shutdown your technician PC and connect drives and power-on as necessary.
    2) Connected 2nd 6TB drive to native SATA port and did the same quick erase procedure as previous step.
    3) Placed 500GB drive in Roamio and let it format that drive. Continued with country code prompt selection, channel lineup (used antenna just to get past it), all the way to the main menu (My Shows, etc..)
    4) Pulled the power on the Roamio
    5) Powered-off technician PC, connected both drives to native SATA ports, powered PC on and launched VMware Workstation -- don't start the VM yet.
    6) execute the command line on the Windows host to see which of your drives are the 500GB (source) and 6TB (target) drives:
    Code:
    wmic diskdrive list brief /format:list
    In my case PhysicalDrive0 is the 500GB and PhysicalDrive1 is the 6TB


    7) Add these drives to VMware Workstation, on choose the radio button option for "Add physical disk (advanced users)" and the drop-down menu will give you a choice of the physicaldisk# to add. Choose the SCSI disk type if prompted.
    8) Boot-up the VM, login as 'root' with password 'tivo' and navigate to /usr/local/bin
    9) execute fdisk -l and you should see your MFStools boot disk (usually /dev/sda1), your source disk (my case: /dev/sdb) and target disk (my case: /dev/sdc)
    10) I did a ./mfsinfo /dev/sdb to verify I had the 5 Zone maps.
    11) Executed
    Code:
    ./mfsadd -xfm 2000 /dev/sdb /dev/sdc
    --> got a 'Success!!' with new HUGE recording capacity.
    12) Gracefully shutdown VM and then the PC and disconnected drives.
    13) Placed the 500GB in Roamio and connected via eSATA the 6TB ... see post #5 in this thread for the setup.
    When the Tivo Roamio booted up it shows the new capacity of the 500GB + the 6TB drive!
    Note: I was doing some testing before I nailed down this procedure. If you get the screen upon booting up your Tivo that external storage is detected and the option to set it up,
    something went wrong as the Tivo will not setup ("bless") the external storage. A successful implementation just boots the Tivo as if it had one big internal drive.

    I will try this same procedure on the Bolt next and update the post accordingly.

    Geek note: You can use ggieseke's DvrBARS program to image the drive of the Roamio image after step #6 and this will make a .vhd image of the Roamio boot software. Use either VMware Converter or StarWind V2V converter (free) to convert the .vhd file to a .vmdk file to be compatible with VMware/Virtualbox. Instead of adding a physical drive you can add this virtual drive (image) and just connected the target physical drive.
     
    shenders likes this.
  10. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Excellent. I use VirtualBox running on a Windows host. The only difference is that I connect the drives via USB because it is difficult to add a SATA connected drive to VirtualBox.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  11. James-

    James- New Member

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    Apr 25, 2017
    I have a bolt with a 3TB internal and was trying to add an 8TB esata drive using instructions in this subject and it said successful in MFSTOOLS but when I booted the tivo I got a green screen and was stuck in a reboot loop with the GSOD. Any suggestions to do this properly? I used
    ./mfsadd -xfm 2000 /dev/sdb /dev/sdc
    Where sdb was the 3tb factory and sdc was the 8tb esata.
    Also I used the vmx provided by jmbach
     
  12. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    May need to disconnect the 8TB and let the Bolt do a divorce and repeat the procedure.
    Before you do that, can you post a screen shot of the mfsinfo display with the two drives connected.
     
  13. James-

    James- New Member

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    Apr 25, 2017
    I divorced the drive and it booted up. I will try adding again tomorrow. I had the command right, right? I didn't include /. Before the mfsadd do I need that? Thanks for the reply.
     
  14. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    You did it correctly. (assuming sdb I'd you Bolt internal drive and sdc is the external drive)

    You might want to erase the external drive before you try again.
     
  15. James-

    James- New Member

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    Apr 25, 2017
    Here we go again, trying now this is my screen shot
    upload_2017-4-26_4-10-39.png

    Same GSOD and reboot loop
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  16. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Run mfsinfo on the the pair of drives and post that screen shot.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  17. James-

    James- New Member

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    Apr 25, 2017
    how do i get it to pause before scroll or log to a file? The info fills more than the screen
    upload_2017-4-26_5-49-20.png
     
  18. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Type mfsinfo /dev/sdX /dev/sdY | more
     
  19. James-

    James- New Member

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    Apr 25, 2017
    upload_2017-4-26_6-2-40.png upload_2017-4-26_6-3-30.png
     
  20. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    The issue is that mfstools is not doing what it is supposed to be doing. It is creating one media partition 8TB in size instead of multiple 2TB media partitions.

    Try downloading the latest ISO of MFSTools from my post in that thread. We should also take this conversation to that thread as well.
    Let the Bolt divorce the external drive. Quick erase the external drive and use the new downloaded ISO to add the space with those switches. Then use MFSInfo and post the same screen shots.
     

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