Replace the drive in mydvr expander

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by mosleyh, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. mosleyh

    mosleyh Member

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    Mar 28, 2003

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    Has anyone tried replacing the drive inside a WD MyDVR expander? Mine is acting flaky and is out of warranty. I was thinking about dropping a 500mb Hitachi cinemastar drive in, rather than scrapping the whole unit. I'm curious if what the TiVo sees is the drive itself or the controller it's sitting in. If it's the controller, I wonder if TiVo would even know the drive had been swapped.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    It is the drive itself the TiVo sees. The case is little more a box with a power supply. There is no logic between the drive itself and the external connector.
     
  3. jeffw_00

    jeffw_00 Member

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    I think the drive has to be specially formatted? There's another thread about this around here somewhere, you can't just pop in 'any' drive.
     
  4. mosleyh

    mosleyh Member

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    Mar 28, 2003
    Then the question becomes, how does TiVo know that it's a MyDVR Expander and not another eSATA drive - is it reading something written to the HD, or is there a special ROM on the drive?
     
  5. Dssturbo1

    Dssturbo1 New Member

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    Feb 22, 2005

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    The Tivo HD looks for the specific id of the drive used in the WD MyDVR expander. someone else may know exactly but that info would be in one of the chips or the firmware with the drive. So if the drive in the MyDVR Expander went bad, it would need to be replaced with the exact same model drive to work correctly with the Tivo HD. Have not read if anyone has taken the drive out of a MyDVR and tried it in another eSata enclosure to see if the Tivo HD would accept it that way, seems like that should work.

    The S3 does not require that so supposedly you could replace the 500 Gb drive in a MyDVR with say a 1Tb and connect it up to a S3 and it should work just fine.
     
  6. mosleyh

    mosleyh Member

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    Mar 28, 2003
    I finally cracked mine open. The drive inside is a WD5000AVJS, which can be had for around $70 if you shop a bit online.
     
  7. JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Do you got another external enclosure to check if it requires the MyDVR enclosure?
     
  8. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    Sep 21, 2004
    There's no way for it to know what enclosure it is using.
     
  9. mosleyh

    mosleyh Member

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    Mar 28, 2003
    My plan is to:

    1. Format and test the drive in a PC, then reinstall on TiVo

    if that doesn't work,

    2. Replace eSATA cable and reinstall on TiVo

    if that doesn't work,

    3. Replace the drive itself, then reinstall on TiVo

    if that doesn't work, maybe a 1TB mydvr expander will come to market. . .
     
  10. mosleyh

    mosleyh Member

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    Mar 28, 2003
    So I completed steps 1 and 2 - the drive tested fine.

    But as soon as I connected it to my TiVo, the stuttering and freezing began. I can only conclude from this that the external drive is used for buffering as well as recordings, and that the drive is what we here in the south call "snake-bit."
     

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