Series 3 Hard Drive potential Failure

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by danschn, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. danschn

    danschn Member

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    Apr 22, 2004
    New York
    I have a 2007 Series 3 TiVo and I added a 500GB WD DVR Expander when it became available (late 2008, if I recall). I have Digital Cable, with two cable cards and a Tuning Adapter.

    I would get infrequent Tuning Adapter Reconnect errors over the years, but starting this July, they became more frequent, at least daily, and up to 3 or 4 times while watching a half hour show. I removed the Tuning Adapter in order to replace it, and over a few days without the Adapter I observed the TiVo unpredictable stuttering and freezing. I figured I was seeing the beginning of a hard drive failure, and it probably wasn't the Tuning Adapter's fault.

    Audibly, the TiVo seemed to be making some noise, maybe just the internal fan, and the DVR Expander was very quiet, so I've been anticipating that the internal drive was failing. Meanwhile, newly recorded shows were having stuttering problems, but older shows are still perfect - no stuttering or freezing at all. I figure, I'll watch shows that I can't move (HBO's Game of Thrones, for instance) and then deal with replacing what hardware I need to. I've noticed that shows that I'm permitted to copy, but probably contain some stutters will not completely copy via TiVo Desktop.

    This morning I first ran the Kickstart 54 program, and both drives passed the Initial State, but to my surprise the SMART test thus far shows the secondary drive Fail 7 on the Short Test, the Conveyence Test and the Extended Test. The Primary Drive has thus far passed Short and Conveyance, and I'm plowing through the Extended test with it. [The Off-line scan for the Secondary indicates it will take 233 minutes! I don't know if I've got anything left to prove.]

    I figure I should probably repeat the SMART tests, wrap up watching what I need to watch (maybe another week), and then disconnect the DVR Expander, and make sure the Series 3 will run standalone without errors. If so, I will probably get a new 1TB DVR Expander ($99) rather than beef up the internal drive - 1TB replacement costs $249, although given that price a new Premiere starts to make more sense.

    If any one sees some flaws with this plan, or has some other ideas and tests to suggest, I'd appreciate hearing them.
     
  2. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    If you are at all capable of working with disk drives yourself, expanding the internal drive is actually a cheaper option. There are even options for a pre-configured drive that are a lot less than $249. Look here.
     
  3. JoeTaxpayer

    JoeTaxpayer Member

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    Dec 23, 2008
    If you are comfortable tinkering, Instant Cake is $40, plus $50 for 1TB drive.
    I think the last drive I did was 15 minutes beginning to end. Old drive worked, but was getting loud. I've used it for my series 2, HD, and series3. Never an issue. (each one was a different software purchase, but now I have the set)
     
  4. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    9,461
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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    If it is the external drive that is failing, he doesn't even need InstantCake.
     
  5. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Even if it isn't, he may not. Dd_rescue may be able to copy a failing drive over to another hard drive. Once he has a clean boot drive, WinMFS can upgrade his old drive clone to a large model. This is much preferable to getting another external drive, and much cheaper than buying a new TiVo. A 1.5T drive can be had for about $50.
     
  6. Sep 8, 2011 #6 of 10
    danschn

    danschn Member

    111
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    Apr 22, 2004
    New York
    I determined that the diagnostic tests were correct and after removing the faulty external drive I've got a working TiVo Series 3 with a relatively small original internal drive. A drive upgrade is necessary.

    Option 1, which I'm inclined to reject, is to buy a new 1TB external drive for $99. It simple and cheap, but leaves me at the mercy of the first drive to fail, again.

    Option 2 is to buy a cheap off-the-shelf 1.5TB drive and mess around with software I've never used as referenced above. I honestly don't know what I'd be getting myself into. Assuming I'd get it to work, I'd preserve the few shows I've got on my current drive, and be limited to 1.35TB of space.

    Option 3 is to buy a 2 TB from DVR_Dude on eBay for either $149 or $179 (Green and quieter). Somewhat more expensive, but I communicated with him and he assures me that all 2TB will be used, and I have upgraded TiVo drives before.

    So I'm leaning towards Option 3, but would appreciate any opinions from the experts.

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  7. Sep 8, 2011 #7 of 10
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,882
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    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Unless cost is a severe driver for you the DVR_DUDE 2 TB is the option for you. Whether to get the "quiet" version depends on where the box is located, I think.

    I think I read that DVR_DUDE will also copy recordings from your old disk to the new one for $50. But didn't you (or won't you) lose most or all of your recordings when you divorce(d) your external drive? I'm guessing it isn't practical for him to copy from an internal/external combination, even if both drives are still working properly. Also there is the shipping time and cost to consider.
     
  8. Sep 8, 2011 #8 of 10
    danschn

    danschn Member

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    Apr 22, 2004
    New York
    I lost virtually the whole NPL when I divorced the malfunctioning External Drive yesterday. Most network and basic shows I had backed up to my PC via Tivo Desktop. Much of the premium (uncopyable) shows I've been recording on my older TiVo (non-HD) waiting for this eventuality. The good news is I can copy the non-HD premium stations from my old Series 2 to my newer Series 3. Some stuff I really wanted to keep was lost, but I couldn't see continuing to live with the freezing and stuttering any longer, so it was sacrificed. I can wait for HBO and SHO to re-run, or buy from Amazon.

    I can afford the extra cost, but always looking to save a buck when reasonable.

    The TiVo is in built-in cabinets behind shut doors. Noise has never been an issue, so I guess I can save $30.
     
  9. tomob

    tomob New Member

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    Jul 7, 2008
    Hi Dan:

    Did you do this? I have a failing internal drive and am looking for a replacement. If you did it are you happy with the results?

    Thanks - Tom (tom at tobmkc dot com)
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You should have scheduled the failure a few months ago before the Thailand flooding.:)

    What model TiVo? Do you have an external hooked to it?

    Do you have any spare hard drives lying around, even some you can use temporarily? What size?
     

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