Series3 eSATA Drive Expansion: FAQ + Discussion

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by bkdtv, May 5, 2007.

  1. May 5, 2007 #1 of 2123

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area


    The FAQ below applies to the unofficial eSATA support in versions 8.3.x and earlier. It is no longer current as of v9.2.

    Please see the current eSATA FAQ for 9.2.

    Frequently Asked Questions
    1. How do I enable eSATA drive expansion on the Tivo Series3?

      Instructions @ Engadget with screenshots
      Instructions @ MFSLive

    2. Does this method work on the TivoHD?

      No. However, with the TivoHD software v8.1.7c2 released September 5th, it is now possible to enable eSATA with an alternative method. This alternative method is more complicated and requires that you to remove the original drive from the TivoHD.

      I recommend that TivoHD owners wait for Tivo to officially support eSATA expansion. For those that cannot wait, here are the instructions:
    3. Is it easy to do with the Series3? Yes, it is simple and fast.

    4. How do you use the extra storage? It's seamlessly integrated. The Tivo appears as if it has a single, larger hard drive.

    5. Is eSATA expansion officially supported by Tivo? Not yet. But it works very well.

    6. Is this expansion sanctioned by CableLabs? Will they make Tivo disable it?

      On April 20, CableLabs updated their DFAST licensing agreement to allow Tivo (and others) to support eSATA and other forms of drive expansion without explicit CableLabs approval or certification. Further information is available in this post by dt_dc.

    7. I previously upgraded the internal drive in my Series3. Can I still use eSATA expansion?

      The method described in #1 will not work if you previously upgraded your internal drive. An alternative method is now available to support expansion on upgraded units.

      The alternative method supports both upgraded internal drives and eSATA expansion using the new WinMFS utility or the MFSLive V1.3 boot CD. With it, the Tivo Series3 will support 1TB internal and 1TB eSATA drives, for a total of 2TB storage. This second method is more complicated, as it requires you remove the Series3 hard drive and connect to a PC. Further instructions are available here.

    8. How reliable is eSATA drive expansion on the Series3? Are there bugs?

      The Series3 supports multiple drives the same way the Series2 has done internally for years. The only significant difference is that the Series3 automates the drive "marriage" process, whereas a PC was required to "marry" a second drive to the Series2. The eSATA interface on the Tivo Series3 is very stable and reliable if you use the appropriate hardware. When users do experience problems, it is typically because a poor eSATA cable or unsuitable drive was used.

      Recommendations for reliable eSATA cables and drives can be found in FAQs #31-34.

    9. Does this work on 8.1.x and 8.3.x? Yes, it also works on the 8.0.1b (factory) software.

    10. Are USB drives supported? No, only eSATA.

    11. What is the maximum capacity supported?

      The Series3 currently supports a maximum of 2TB total storage (binary). Each drive is limited to a maximum of 1TB. With the current method -- described in #1 -- you can use a 1TB eSATA drive in addition to the internal 250GB drive, for a total of 1.25TB storage. A future method should allow use of 1TB internal and 1TB eSATA drives.

      Note for marketing purposes, most drive manufacturers use the decimal definitions for megabyte and terabyte. For example, the one terabyte drive sold by Hitachi is actually 1,000,000,000,000 bytes, but industry standards define 1TB as 1,099,511,627,776 bytes. Hence, the Series3 actually supports about 10% more capacity than you get with the 1TB eSATA drives now sold at retail.

    12. How much high-definition recording time do I get with a 500GB eSATA drive? With a 750GB? With 1TB?

      High-definition programming consumes up to 8.6Gb per hour, but most high-definition programming requires less. With a 500GB eSATA drive, your Tivo Series3 will store a minimum of 81 hours. With a 750GB eSATA drive, you'll get a minimum of 108 hours. With a 1TB eSATA drive, you'll get a minimum of 135 hours. In actual practice, usable storage will be anywhere from 1.3x to 2.0x that amount, depending on what channels you record.

      The Tivo System Information screen reports expected capacity during typical use as follows:
      [b]Tivo System Information: Variable Recording Capacity, Hours[/b]
      [b][u]eSATA[/u]            [u]  HD[/u]        [u]  SD[/u][/b]
      None               32         303
      120GB              47         445
      250GB              65           ?
      300GB              71         673
      500GB              98         927
      750GB             131        1244
      800Gb             138           ?
      1 TB              165        1561
    13. Is there any disk preparation required? No.

    14. Do I need to format the drive?

      No. There is no disk preparation required of any kind. The Tivo Series3 will automatically repartition and format the drive.

    15. When you add the external drive, are the programs already recorded on the internal disk lost? No.

    16. Will programs recorded before I added the external drive be affected if I remove it? No.

    17. What happens when I disconnect the eSATA drive?

      If the eSATA drive is off or disconnected when you power up the Series3, the Tivo will give you two options. You can 1) reboot and reattach the drive or 2) switch the Series3 back to "single-drive mode" which deletes any recordings on that eSATA drive.

      If you decide to switch to single-drive mode -- by pressing Thumbs Down three times --- the Series3 may delete some or all of the recordings made since the drive was connected. All recordings on the eSATA drive are deleted. Recordings made before the drive was connected are not affected.

      When you disconnect or power off the eSATA drive while the Series3 is on, the Tivo will reboot and ask you to re-connect (or divorce) the drive.

    18. If I want to replace my current eSATA drive, can I just "divorce" it and then "marry" it to another?

      Yes, you can repeatedly "divorce" and "marry" the Series3 to as many different eSATA drives as you want, but you'll permanently lose all existing recordings on every drive you divorce. Whenever you "divorce" an eSATA drive, you lose access to its recordings forever. You do not lose recordings made before the drive was added.

    19. What is the best way to replace an existing eSATA drive?

      You must "divorce" the existing eSATA drive before you can replace it with another.

      To divorce the old drive, connect it back up with your eSATA cable and reboot the TiVo. While it is hooked up, unplug the eSATA cable and it should bring up the divorce screen. Follow the steps (three thumbs down, etc.) to divorce it. You can't install a new drive until you've done this divorce. Remember that divorcing a drive deletes all recordings on that eSATA drive.

    20. Can I swap between multiple eSATA drives to multiply my capacity?

      No. When you connect an eSATA drive to the Series3, that drive is "married" to the internal hard drive. Only one eSATA drive can be "married" to the Tivo's internal hard drive at any given time. You can "divorce" (remove) an eSATA drive to replace it with another, as per the instructions in #19, but then you lose access to the recordings made on that drive.

    21. I have three Tivo Series3 DVRs, can I move my eSATA drive between them without losing my recordings?

      No. The eSATA drive is married to a specific Tivo Series3, and cannot be used with more than one Tivo at a time. Recordings are not viewable on another unit. You can move an eSATA drive from one Tivo to another, but doing so will divorce it from the original and delete any recordings stored on that drive.

    22. Can I backup the recordings on my eSATA drive?

      No. Once you seperate a drive from the S3 it "divorces" and any programming recorded on that drive is deleted. You can use a multi-disk RAID1 setup to provide some protection against eSATA drive failure, but you must do so from the beginning.

    23. Can I use a multi-disk eSATA enclosure with RAID?

      Yes. However, the Series3 is only confirmed to support external drive capacity up to 1TB.

    24. Can I view the recordings on the eSATA drive with my PC?

      No. All recordings are encrypted, as required by the CableLabs' licensing agreement (page 30).

    25. My eSATA drive also has a USB port. Can I share it between the Tivo and my PC?

      No. The Tivo deletes any existing computer data and creates its own MFS partition. If you are not careful, using the eSATA drive with a PC or MAC could also corrupt the Tivo partition table, causing you to lose all recordings made since you connected the drive.

    26. Why do I still get the message, "this recording may be deleted {within a day}" when using half my total available space?

      The Tivo Series3 always displays the ! indicator 24 hours after the "keep until" time expires. You can ignore that warning, because the Tivo won't delete any programming until all space is used.

    27. How important is eSATA drive performance?

      Virtually all new 7200rpm SATA drives should provide sufficient throughput to handle three different HDTV streams (two recording, one playback) simultaneously. Tivo guide, indexing, and buffer information is still stored on the internal drive, so external eSATA drive performance shouldn't have any impact on the responsiveness of the program guide or searches.

    28. What features should I look for in a drive or an enclosure?

      Any new 7200rpm drive should provide the necessary performance.

      As the eSATA drive runs full time with the Tivo Series3, we recommend members select drives certified by the manufacturer for 24/7 operation. Standard desktop drives work just as well in many cases, but buying a drive certified for 24/7 operation provides more assurance of long-term reliability. Ultimately, one must decide whether they are willing to pay a premium for extra 'peace of mind.'

      Some drives are specifically marketed for DVR use. These drives are certified for 24/7 operation, but also feature modified firmware to reduce seek noise at the expense of some performance. Performance is very important in a desktop drive for a PC, but less so for eSATA expansion on the Series3, which still uses the internal drive for all guide and index information. You won't notice 20% less performance with an eSATA drive, but you may notice 20% less noise. Examples of drives marketed for DVR use include the Seagate DB35 and Hitachi Cinemastar series.

      To best ensure long-term reliability, it is also a good idea to buy a drive or enclosure with a quiet fan. Enclosures without fans can cause some drives to overheat with continuous operation, especially if they are stored in closed cabinets with poor ventilation. Buying a drive or enclosure without a fan for use in an closed cabinet area is just asking for trouble. If you purchase a drive or enclosure without a fan, be absolutely sure it has adequate ventilation.

      Another important feature to have in a drive or enclosure is the ability to automatically turn itself back on following a power outage. Many external drives and enclosures use soft power switches that revert back to the 'off' state whenever there is a loss in power, requiring a manual push of the button to turn them back on. In the event of a brief power loss, these soft switch drives are 'off' when the Series3 boots up, and the error screen (described in #15) will result, which asks you to reconnect the drive and reboot the Tivo. Any time your Tivo is stuck on that 'reconnect the drive' screen, it won't record programs you have previously scheduled.

      Products with a hard switch are generally preferable, as they turn back on automatically after a loss in power, so you never have to worry about coming home to a 'reconnect your drive' screen. Products with a hard switch typically have a dedicated on/off toggle at the rear that can be physically moved to the 'on' position and will remain there until you move it back to the 'off' position.

    29. I don't understand why it is important to have a hard power switch. Could you explain some more?

      If the eSATA drive isn't 'on' during Tivo startup, the Series3 will sit at the 'reconnect the drive' screen until you physically turn it on, which means any programs you have scheduled do not get recorded. That's why it is important to have an eSATA drive/enclosure with a hard switch that will automatically power back up after brief power outage. The obvious alternative is a UPS; if your drive never loses power, it doesn't matter what kind of power switch it has.

    30. I just bought a new eSATA drive but it didn't include a cable. What kind of cable do I need?

      You want an "eSATA II" cable. The Tivo Series3 expects the longer connector found on eSATA II cables. The "eSATA I" cables feature a shorter connector which will not create a reliable connection with the Series3. Both types of cables are sold at Microcenter and Fry's. If your local retailer doesn't label their eSATA cables, then look for one with a longer connector, as pictured in this thread.

      Cables of 1m length are preferred to minimize potential electromagnetic interference (EMI). It is best to avoid eSATA cables longer than 2m.

      Cables with a [too] short connector are the #1 cause of problems with eSATA expansion on the Series3.

    31. Where can I order a good eSATA cable online?

      The best eSATA cable we've found for the Series3 is the SIIG CB-SA0111-S1 (1m). This cable is available in 1m and 2m versions from (1m, 2m), (1m, 2m), (1m, 2m), and (1m, 2m). This cable "snaps" in to provide a firm connection.

      The Tripp-Lite P950 eSATA cable is also confirmed to work well with the Tivo Series3. You can order it in 0.5m (18") and 1.0m (36") lengths for about $6 from (0.5m, 1.0m), (0.5m, 1.0m) and (0.5m, 1.0m).

    32. What are recommended eSATA drives with their own enclosure?
      [b][u]Make           [/u]  [u]Model    [/u]        [u]Capacity  [/u]   [u]Fan? [/u]   [u]On/Off switch?[/u]   [u]Incl. eSATA Cable?[/u][/b]
      Western Digital  WDG1S5000N       500Gb        No      Always On        Yes
    33. What are recommended drives to use with a separate eSATA enclosure?
      [b][u]Make   [/u]  [u]Model    [/u]    [u]Size [/u]  [u]Part #         [/u]  [u]Intended for DVRs[/u]    [u]Cert. for 24/7 Use[/u][/b]
      Hitachi  Cinemastar   750Gb  HCS721075KLA330  Yes                  Yes
      Hitachi  Cinemastar  1000Gb  HCS721010KLA330  Yes                  Yes
      Seagate  DB35         250Gb  ST3250820SCE     Yes                  Yes
      Seagate  DB35         300Gb  ST3300820SCE     Yes                  Yes
      Seagate  DB35         320Gb  ST3320820SCE     Yes                  Yes
      Seagate  DB35         400Gb  ST3400820SCE     Yes                  Yes
      Seagate  DB35         500Gb  ST3500830SCE     Yes                  Yes
      Seagate  DB35         750Gb  ST3750640SCE     Yes                  Yes
      Seagate  DB35         750Gb  ST3750840SCE     Yes                  Yes
      WD       AV           250Gb  WD2500AVJS       Yes                  Yes
      WD       AV           250Gb  WD2500AVBS       Yes                  Yes
      WD       AV           320Gb  WD3200AVJS       Yes                  Yes
      WD       AV           320Gb  WD3200AVBS       Yes                  Yes
      WD       AV           500Gb  WD5000AVJS       Yes                  Yes
      Note all of the above models require an eSATA enclosure (FAQ #34).
    34. What eSATA enclosures are confirmed to work with a user-supplied SATA drive?
      [b][u]Make           [/u]  [u]Model       [/u]   [u]Fan? [/u]     [u]Bridge chip?[/u]  [u]On/Off switch?[/u]   [u]Incl. eSATA cable?[/u][/b]
      3Gen             IntelliVault   Yes       Yes           ?                ?
      Adaptec          ACS-300        No        Yes           Hard             ?
      Antec            MX-1           Yes       Yes           Hard             Yes
      Apricorn         EZ Bus DTS     Yes       Yes           Hard             Yes
      AZiO             ENC311SU31     No        Yes           Hard             ?
      AZiO             ENC311SU41     No        Yes           Hard             ?
      Bytecc           ME-747         Yes       Yes           Hard             ?
      CoolGear         SataVault      Yes       Yes           Hard             ?
      Icy Dock         MB559          No        Yes           Hard             Yes
      Kingwin          JT-35EU        Yes       Yes           Soft             Yes
      Sans Digital     MS2UT          Yes       Yes           Hard             ?
      Thecus           N2050          Yes       Yes           Soft             ?
      Ultra            ULT33053       Yes       Yes           Hard             Yes
      Vantec           NexStar3       No        Yes           Hard             Yes
      WiebeTech        TTE0           No        No            Hard             ?
      Most other enclosures should work too, they're just not confirmed here
      yet.  If you've upgraded your Series3, and what you used isn't listed
      here, please post or pm what you used.
    35. What other eSATA drives with their own enclosures are some members using successfully?
      [b][u]Make           [/u]  [u]Model    [/u]        [u]Capacity  [/u]   [u]Fan? [/u]   [u]On/Off switch?[/u]   [u]Incl. eSATA Cable?[/u][/b]
      Apricorn         EZ Bus DTS       250-750Gb    Yes     Hard             Yes
      Apricorn         DVR Xpander      250-750Gb    Yes     Hard             Yes
      Seagate          ST3500601XS-RK   500Gb        No      Soft             No
      Seagate          Free Agent       250-500Gb    No      Soft[COLOR=Red][SIZE=1]*1[/SIZE][/COLOR]           No
      Seagate          Free Agent Pro   320-750Gb    No      Soft[COLOR=Red][SIZE=1]*1[/SIZE][/COLOR]           No
      Western Digital  WD5000F032       500GB        Yes     Soft             No
      Western Digital  WDG1SU5000N      500Gb        No      Soft[COLOR=Red][SIZE=1]*1[/SIZE][/COLOR]           No       
      [SIZE=1][COLOR=Red]*1[/COLOR]  These drives do not have a "hard" power switch but they do turn on automatically,
          when the device they are connected to is supplied with power.[/SIZE]
      Be aware that none of these drives are certified for 24/7 operation, so their long-term
      reliability as a DVR drive is questionable.
      If you want assurance of long-term reliability, then the best option is the Western
      Digital WDG1S5000N mentioned in FAQ #32, or a bare drive certified for 24/7 operation
      with a fan-cooled enclosure, such as one of the drives listed in FAQ #33 with an
      enclosure from FAQ #34.
    36. Are there any drives or enclosures I should avoid?

      A number of members have reported problems with Cavalry CAUE37500 500Gb drives and the Seagate Free Agent Pro 750. Neither of these solutions was intended for 24/7 use.

      Initially, these drives work just fine, but a significant number develop problems after a few days to a few weeks. This results in reboots and lost recordings. The source of the problem isn't known, but neither includes a fan, so it is possible that both lack sufficient cooling for 24/7 operation. If you take the risk and buy one of these drives, make sure it is stored in a cool, well-ventilated environment.

      With regard to external enclosures, units with fans are greatly preferable if you intend to use it in an enclosed space (such as a cabinet) with limited ventilation.

    37. Too much information! Please just tell me what to buy!

      If you want pre-packaged solution with its own case, and you are willing to settle for 500Gb, then the Western Digital My DVR Expander (WDG1S5000N) is the best choice.

      If you want to build your own solution, or want more than 500Gb of expansion, then the Seagate DB35 and the Antec MX-1 enclosure is the most popular combination.

      You may also want to buy the SIIG CB-SA0111-S1 (1m) eSATA cable listed in FAQ #31, since it provides a firmer connection than you get with the bundled cables.

    38. What about the Seagate Free Agent Pro 750Gb? It's on sale for $199.

      Some forum members are using the Free Agent Pro 750Gb with their Tivo Series3 with success. It includes an enclosure. It does not include an eSATA cable, so you will need to purchase one (see FAQ #31).

      The Seagate Free Agent Pro was never intended for 24/7 operation, so its long-term reliability as a DVR drive is questionable. Many feel the FAP750 was not built to dissipate the heat generated by the constant disk activity associated with a DVR. It works fine for some, but many members have had this drive fail after a few weeks.

      If you buy the Seagate Free Agent Pro, under no circumstances should this product should not be placed in a closed cabinet with limited or no ventilation. If you are not able to provide the FAP750 with relatively low ambient temperatures and excellent ventilation, then you should probably return that product (or use it with a Mac/PC instead) and replace it with one of the recommended solutions from FAQ #32-44.

    39. Who figured out how to enable eSATA? Who do I thank?

      Others discovered references to the kickstart code in the past, but forum member spike2k5 was the first to actually confirm that eSATA support was functional. He was also the first to publish instructions on the procedure. You may want to check his web site, MFSLive.

      The contents of this FAQ were compiled from member posts to this forum.

    1. I can't get my drive to work, what do I do?

      The first step is to check your cables. Member kdmorse discovered that the connectors on many eSATA cables sold by major retailers are not sufficiently long to create a reliable connection with the Tivo Series3. Some retailers sell "eSATA I" and "eSATA II" cables. You want the "eSATA II" cable with the longer connector.

      If your local retailer doesn't label their eSATA cables, then look for one with a longer connector, as pictured in this thread. Alternatively, you can order the right cable online (see FAQ #31).

    2. I am having trouble applying the code sequence to enable eSATA.

      Some devices -- such as microwaves, plasmas, and certain forms of lighting-- can interfere with the Tivo's IR signals, so you may wish to turn those off while applying the key sequence to enable eSATA. It should not matter what remote code you use, but some members have had better success with the Tivo Series3 set to use remote code 0.

      Make sure the drive is connected and powered on. Make sure the eSATA cable is seated properly -- some cables "snap" in.

      Route your eSATA II cable away from electrical power sources and other devices with strong magnetic fields, such as voltage regulators, subwoofers or speakers.

      When using the kickstart 62 code sequence to activate eSATA expansion, be sure to hold down the pause key until only the orange LED is lit. This can take up to three minutes. Once the orange LED is lit, release the pause button and then punch 62 on the remote. After you hit 62, the LED will go off and the Series3 will reboot about 30 seconds later, and then you will see a screen that says the second drive is activated.

    3. Help, my Series3 keeps rebooting since I added the eSATA drive!

      Reboots are not normal. Many users have not experienced a single reboot since they installed an eSATA drive in their Series3. The eSATA functionality on the Tivo Series3 is generally quite stable if you use the appropriate drive and cable.

      Reboots are caused by
      1. poor quality eSATA cable connections (most common);

      2. out-of-spec eSATA implementations (some ultra-cheap enclosures);

      3. faulty or overheating hard drives; or

      4. electromagnetic interference (EMI) caused by voltage regulators, subwoofers, or speakers near your eSATA cable.

      Recommendations for reliable, trouble-free operation
      1. Use a new, quality eSATA cable with an appropriate-sized connector, like that mentioned in FAQ #31. Shorter cables are preferred to minimize EMI.

        Make sure the eSATA cable is seated properly in both the Series3 and the enclosure. Some eSATA cables "snap" in.

      2. Use a recommended storage solution from FAQ #32. Alternately, build your own solution using a drive that is rated for 24/7 operation, like the Seagate DB35 drive (see FAQ #33) with a fan-cooled eSATA enclosure that features an on/off togle switch, like the Antec MX-1 or Apricorn EZ Bus DTS (FAQ #34).

      3. Route your eSATA cable away from electrical power sources and other devices with strong magnetic fields, such as subwoofers and speakers.

    4. Help, I am trying to replace my eSATA drive with a new, larger drive and it's not working!

      When the Tivo thinks it is still connected to an older drive, you can't add a new one. You've got to "divorce" the old drive before you can replace it with another.

      To divorce the old drive, hook it back up and reboot the TiVo (don't do a Kickstart). While it is hooked up, unplug the eSATA cable and it should bring up the divorce screen. Follow the steps (three thumbs down, etc.) to divorce it. You can't install a new drive until you've done this divorce. Remember that divorcing a drive deletes all recordings on that eSATA drive.
    Zack411 likes this.
  2. May 5, 2007 #2 of 2123

    lcann44 New Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    OMG...I can't believe it. Can't wait to try. Best news I've heard since the S3 came out. Thank you.
  3. May 5, 2007 #3 of 2123

    jeffett New Member

    Jan 25, 2006
    Has anyone tried it with the 8.3 release? :confused:
  4. May 5, 2007 #4 of 2123

    davezatz Funkadelic

    Apr 18, 2002
    Fairfax, VA
    If we don't find out soon, I'll pick up a drive this weekend and report back. I just hate paying retail...
  5. May 5, 2007 #5 of 2123

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002


    and it's not my birthday OR Christmas, wow.. WOW
    I just ordered an eSATA enclosure for my soon to be spare 500GB SATA drive
  6. May 5, 2007 #6 of 2123

    lcann44 New Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    I've got one ready to hook up. Maybe. I have to check the connection on the back to make sure it works but I don't think that will be a problem. I should have it hooked up in about an hour or two. I have some things to do first. I have 8.3.
  7. May 5, 2007 #7 of 2123

    lcann44 New Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    I've got a Maxtor Quickview Expander I just hooked up. TiVo has acknowledge that it is hooked up and my HD hours went from 32 to 71 hours. I do have 8.3, however I'm a bit troubled because the hard drive is flashing an orange light at me 8 times and then it pauses and starts again.

    I can no longer find documentation for this unit on the internet so I have no idea what the 8 flashing lights mean, but I can only assume since the S3 says it's there and acknowledges the space available that it is true.
  8. May 5, 2007 #8 of 2123

    monkeyboy1010 Long Time User

    Nov 17, 2000
    WORKS! 8.1 and a 500GB eSATA gives you 97 HD or 9** SD hours! (I didn't pay close attention to the SD hours as I record maybe 1 to 2 hours a week in SD)

    Come on in, the water is fine...
  9. May 5, 2007 #9 of 2123

    lawilson2 New Member

    Oct 6, 2005
    I'm reading this on Engadget now. Best. News. Ever.
  10. May 5, 2007 #10 of 2123

    HiDefGator New Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    Wouldn't a hack like this put them in trouble with the cable card people?
  11. May 5, 2007 #11 of 2123

    Carsten New Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    I wouldnt even go that far and call it a hack. I think Tivo is prephared on releasing official eSata in the next firmware update. I'm sure they are just finializig the officiual UI.
  12. May 5, 2007 #12 of 2123
    Jack D

    Jack D New Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    DC Metro Area
    I just tried it with a Seagate "Free Agent Pro" 750 GB drive. This drive comes with its own external case and is supposed to be plug and play. It does have dual interface (USB and eSata).

    It didn't work.

    I think I followed the instructions properly:

    I plugged in the drive to the T3 with the power plug on the T3 unplugged. Turned on the power to the external drive. Plugged in the T3 while pushing pause. Lights on T3 turned off as it was booting and then the small orange light came on. I then pushed "62" on the remote while pointing it at the T3.

    The T3 just booted up as usual and no notification that a second drive had been actived. Drive capacity shows 32 hours so same as when I bought it.


    1. Does the sata drive have to be initialized with a computer first or is it ok to use it brand new with the T3?

    2. Could it be that something about the dual interface of the Seagate is messing things up?

    Anyone have any thoughts about what I'm doing wrong?

    Thanks for help.

    PS I've got FW 8.3.
  13. May 5, 2007 #13 of 2123

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Thats the scary part of this.... If cablelabs revokes S3 approval, that would be a bad thing.
  14. May 5, 2007 #14 of 2123

    HiDefGator New Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    I would think they either have approval for external storage or they don't. If they got approval I would have thought they would have been telling everyone already.
  15. May 5, 2007 #15 of 2123

    lawilson2 New Member

    Oct 6, 2005
    my initial fear is that 8.3 will wipe this out. No one has posted to confirm that they did this with 8.3 so I may wait. But there is a nice sale on 750GB drives! :)
  16. May 5, 2007 #16 of 2123

    lawilson2 New Member

    Oct 6, 2005
    Hey Jack,

    In the Engadget pic, they have a dual drive, so I don't think that's the issue. It could very well be 8.3. It will be interesting to see what others who have 8.3 say.
  17. May 5, 2007 #17 of 2123

    pmace New Member

    May 5, 2007

    That drive comes pre-formated with Windows NTSF. The test cases cited thus far were all with raw drives. I suspect that's the problem, not 8.3.
  18. May 5, 2007 #18 of 2123

    lawilson2 New Member

    Oct 6, 2005
    I missed that; I bet that is the issue too. Good catch!
  19. May 5, 2007 #19 of 2123

    rdrrepair Bill Knapp

    Nov 24, 2006
    845 New York
    Looks like I'm SOL. I have a 500g hard drive inside of my TiVo. According to the post I can't add the external drive because I've upgraded my original drive. Has anyone tried that has upgraded their original drive?
  20. May 5, 2007 #20 of 2123
    Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

    Oct 17, 2000
    They probably wouldn't say anything until they were ready to roll it out, to forestall the inevitable constant clamor of "ARE WE THERE YET?!?"

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