Replacing the hard drive on a Premiere XL4.

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by nuraman00, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Dec 28, 2012
    If/when the hard drive fails on the Premiere XL4, can I just replace the hard drive, and will it be as good as new? The recordings will be gone, but if I just install the replacement hard drive, can I just turn on the Tivo and it will start up?

    Also, can I watch live TV after the hard drive fails?

    I read through this thread:

    Hard Drive Recommendation

    One recommendation was a Western Digital Red:

    https://www.amazon.com/Red-3TB-Hard...5733&sr=8-1&keywords=western+digital+red&th=1

    But someone else said WD Purple.

    But then someone else said don't do Purple, do Red.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    You cannot just swap out the internal drive with a blank one on a Premiere. It does not have the ability to format it. You would need to have an image placed on it beforehand.

    The recommended drive is a WD Red (not Pro Red, or 7200+ RPM)... Up to 8 TB can be used fully. There has been a few who had success with a purple, but mostly its favorable to a red.

    The programs to use are DVRBars (Windows program) and MFSTools 3.2 (bootable CD, you burn it yourself from the ISO file).

    If the drive has gone bad, errors, etc. You cannot even use it to do anything, until its replaced. If it has not yet gone bad, you can back it up and put it on a new drive, not used because Tivo is pretty picky. If it has gone bad and cannot retrieve an image, you can get it from @ggieseke.
     
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  3. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Thanks for all of the responses.

    Once I have the hard drive, how do I burn the image to it?

    Do I have to install the new WD Red into the 2nd bay of my desktop, then place the ISO file on it?

    How do I create the ISO file?

    Also, if I back up my current recordings on the new WD Red, then won't it become "used"?
     
  4. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    The ISO file is of MFSTools 3.2, that you burn to a CD and boot from it with only the Tivo and/or Red blank drive attached.

    MFSTools can backup/restore everything even shows, but you want to store them on a separate PC/Mac drive after its been downloaded from the Tivo, then transfer back after the new drive is working in the Tivo, Tivo does not use the same file system as a PC or Mac.

    The image file of a Tivo is not a .ISO. What happens is, you do need to connect the drives to a computer. However, your computer would think the drive is blank and will attempt/ask to format it, DO Not. IT WILL ERASE The Tivo drive. The programs (DVRBars, MFSTools 3.2) will be able to recognize the Tivo drive and can put the image (either you backed it up or from someone's image file) to the new drive (which does not require format or preparing).
     
  5. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    How do I transfer the shows to the new drive, after it is working in the Tivo?

    Would I have to remove the drive from the Tivo, connect it to the PC, and use MFSTools to transfer shows onto it?
     
  6. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Shows can be transferred back and forth from Tivo to PC with programs like KMTTG and PyTivo. The Tivo drive stays connected to the Tivo and network, transfers are done over the network as regular files would. Unless the shows are copy-protected which cannot be transferred.
    PyTivo (or PyTivo Desktop) has a server function which allows transfers back.

    I use this to transfer to PC, edit out commercials and store or send back to Tivo.

    MFSTools does things differently. Backups the whole drive and can restore to another. There basically is no real files on Tivo, but its encoded in its own way, and transfers decode it to real files for transfers.(so to speak)
     
  7. comdoc8

    comdoc8 New Member

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    My Premiere HD has begun making noises. Presumably needs to be replaced. Found the 1 TB Red for $59.93 here: Welcome to NextWarehouse.com
     
  8. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    1TB is the smallest you can put into the XL4.
     
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  9. comdoc8

    comdoc8 New Member

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    Nov 15, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  10. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Dec 28, 2012
    Thanks for the video. This will be helpful.
     
  11. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Can I use PyTivo to extract shows from my current drive, and transfer them to the new hard drive?

    Or does PyTivo only work in transferring them back to the current hard drive?

    Also, do either PyTivo or MFSTools remove copy-protection? I once used EaseFab to remove it on a SuperBowl recording.

    But I'm hoping that if PyTivo or MFSTools can also do it, I can use the same software to extract the shows (or back up the hard drive, in the case of MFSTool) first.

    Will MFStools tell me the image size size, before creating the backup of my hard drive?
     
  12. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    PyTivo is used to download shows through your network from the Tivo (with drive running) to your PC. It does not extract.

    MFSTools is a program used to backup and restore Tivo drives, which need to be connected to the PC.
     
  13. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Sorry, I meant download, and not transfer. But I can use PyTivo to download it from one drive, and restore it on the new drive (once it's in the Tivo), correct?

    So I can download some shows from the current drive using PyTivo; replace the physical drive with the new one; and transfer them onto the new one using PyTivo?

    I'm just asking in case I don't want to back up the entire drive using MFSTools.
     
  14. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Bump.
     
  15. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    IF your existing drive still boots in the XL4, you can use pyTivo to copy individual recordings that aren't marked as copy-protected by your provider to a computer. After building a new drive from scratch with an image you could transfer them back to the TiVo. I used "IF" in all caps deliberately because it's rare that anyone would replace a working drive, and if it doesn't boot & run normally your recordings are already toast.

    Copying the whole drive with MFSTools assumes that you have a working drive. It can't help you on an individual recording basis - it works on the whole drive or nothing.

    We need to know if your existing drive is healthy, what software version it's running, if it has a valid subscription, and why you want to replace it. Details matter.
     
  16. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Dec 28, 2012
    I am using TE3. My existing drive is healthy. I have a valid subscription.

    I want to back up some shows before my drive goes bad. If I have to back up the whole drive using MFSTools, I will. But I would prefer trying to back up only a few things.

    Or, maybe I want to replace the drive BEFORE it goes bad.

    So, could I copy some existing shows using pyTivo to an external hard drive; put the new drive in the Tivo; and copy the shows from the external hard drive, to the new drive, using pyTivo?
     
  17. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
     
  18. z1habanero

    z1habanero New Member

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    Dec 3, 2018
    I hate to jump onto someone elses problem but two days ago my XL4 Model TCD78250 died.

    I have confirmed that it was the hard drive. The read/write heads were all bent up and one of the platters in the drive was all scratched up. I ordered a new drive and was going to see if I could swap out platters in the hard drive, but Western Digital changed the design from 3 platters to 2 platters. It was fun to try but there is nothing I can do at this point but install a new hdd in my Tivo.

    I have a spare Windows 8? PC that I can set up for the new Tivo hdd. I am looking at the 8TB Western Digital WD80EFAX drive from Amazon. Will that hhd work well?
    What else will I need?

    After I replace the drive I plan on cloning the hard drive every year or so. I will customize my spare PC for that purpose.
     
  19. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    Pushing a Premiere beyond the 2TB limit that it was designed for is a complicated multi-stage project. The first barrier is that any OS prior to 20.3.8 won't even boot on a drive over 2TB. I can help you out there with a 758 DvrBARS image that's already running 20.4.1, but after that you would still have to follow jmbach's 8TB Premiere thread in the Upgrade forum to expand the image from 2TB to 8TB.

    8TB Premiere

    If you opened up the case on the new WD80EFAX to count the platters it's already ruined unless you have a clean room and specialized tools designed for drive recovery operations. Even then, most of the 8TB Reds were filled with helium and sealed at the factory. Remove even one screw and it's scrap metal.
     
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  20. z1habanero

    z1habanero New Member

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    Dec 3, 2018
    jmbach's 8TB Premiere thread is impressive! Sounds like one of the first steps is to pick up MFS Tools 3.2. It may be a bit more involved than I thought, but I will give it a shot.

    I have had a few Tivos over the years and I figure it is about time to get a little more involved in the drives.

    Before I opened the drive I could hear it wasn't working correctly when powered up. With the power off I could hear the heads flopping around if I tilted it. It was a 2TB WD20EURS. It was worth the $40 dollars I spent on a new drive, in the off chance I could get some of the programming off it and onto another drive.

    From the sound of your post it gets involved once you go over the 2TB limit.

    I included a photo of platter for whoever may be interested.
     

    Attached Files:

    AndWhi likes this.

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