Roamio Pro Hard Drive Addon

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by Gregavi, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. Gregavi

    Gregavi Member

    30
    1
    Jan 19, 2003
    Santa...
    I recently purchased a Roamio Pro with 3TB. Can I simply plug a eSATA drive into the back port to increase my drive capacity? If so, how does it work as far as space allocation? Some DVRs like the old Scientific Atlanta would use only the external drive while it was plugged in. When you unplugged it, it would revert back to the internal drive. How does the TiVo system work when adding an external drive? Can you choose which drive to record to? Is the external drive overflow from the internal? Can I use any external SATA drive. Any recommendations on a specific drive that is designed for this type of application?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    It is not advised to use any external drive on a Tivo. Only the discontinued Tivo Expander (500Gb or 1TB) will work with it. It has special proprietary formatting that works with the Tivo. The problem is that when something (internal, external or the equipment in between) fails, you lose recorded shows since they were connected. How Tivo stores shows is parts are stored on the internal, and other parts on the external. Lose those parts and the shows become invalid and deleted.

    The best approach is to swap out the internal with a larger drive. There will not be any external drive or parts and failures are reduced.
    Recommended drive is the WD Red (5400 RPM), not Red Pro (7200+ RPM) up to 8 TB (WD80EFRX, WD80EFAX), though its possible to go to 10 TB or more, but that requires extra work. The Roamio can format up to 3TB on its own, and to get it to use the full drive space, you would need to hook to a PC and run a Windows program, MSFR. This will start the Tivo anew, as if its a new Tivo. Work time: about 30-45 minutes.

    Another method is to use MFSTool 3.2, and that will copy the current contents from the Tivo drive to the new drive and expand to use the full space. Work time: many hours, sometimes overnight.
     
  3. Gregavi

    Gregavi Member

    30
    1
    Jan 19, 2003
    Santa...
    Thanks. After I posted this, I did some research and pretty much everybody said the same thing, not recommended. But there were reports that it will work with a eSATA drive but not recommended for the reasons you pointed out. I think I'll stick with my 3 TB... at least for now.
     

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