Series3 eSATA Drive Expansion: FAQ + Discussion

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

  1. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Well, yes, or no, or, maybe? :confused: Here's what the OP posted:

    That last part, that the Series 3 would be able to use other drives has proven true. But anyone that's tried to expand their THD via P&P has failed. Although they're both running v9.2.j the S3 is obviously functioning differently from the THD, it could be, could be mind you, that they've decided to nip things in the bud and allow ONLY the WD 500GB drive My DVR Expander to work.

    AFAIK, no one has tried to install the "supported" drive w/P&P in the THD, so I'm not sure if the eSATA feature is not working at all, or will only work with that particular drive. Until that happens I think the jury is still out is all.
     
  2. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    :up: Enjoy the new real estate!
     
  3. keenanSR

    keenanSR Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I wasn't aware that others have already tried other drives and they failed. As I noted somewhere here, too many threads to keep track of. :D
     
  4. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

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    This is reminiscent of the situation with WiFi adapters. The Series 3 supports all the wireless adapters that the Series2 supports, but the TiVoHD ONLY supports the TiVo branded wireless adapter.
     
  5. dougdingle

    dougdingle HD Tech

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    I don't see that as being all that unreasonable. The device which lists for $800 has several WiFi drivers built in, the one for $300 only has a driver for the one on which TiVo makes a little money.
     
  6. Ripcord2

    Ripcord2 New Member

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    The part where hardware restriction is the same, but the reasoning is very different.

    With Wireless you may have to have a slew of different drivers to support Wireless. With SATA you have one driver that (nearly) everything is compatible with. So the hardware support headaches should be much, much less.
     
  7. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    As we've seen in this thread, many drives simply will not work reliably with a DVR. In particular, many external drive enclosures are not designed to dissipate that heat from a drive that is writing 24/7.
     
  8. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Actually, one can get a Series III for $399 after rebate.
     
  9. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Yes, but the markup on a $350 external hard drive is much, much greater than the markup on a $70 USB adapter.

    What's more, a wireless adapter will either work or not. If it doesn't work, it won't ever work. The chances of having problems post installation with the hard drive are much greater, and post installation tech support costs much, much more than installation support on a per case basis.
     
  10. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    Other than Spike's report http://www.mfslive.org/tivos3_esata.htm where he tests two drives, I don't see other reports of drives working with the S3, so statements like 'any drive will work with the S3' don't seem appropriate yet.

    Maybe someone would accumulate reports of drives that the S3 will marry via 9.2 PnP for now instead.
     
  11. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

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    There is another form of eSata expansion with the TiVo HD that I don't see mentioned in the OP.

    Using the eSata port for running the TiVo HD with only an eSATA drive.

    I think it is a useful enough alternative to put up there.

    I remember people cutting holes in their S3 chasis to connect RAID devices as the main drive. The TiVo HD offers an easier way to do that using the eSata connector.
     
  12. Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

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    Gawd, cuttin a hole in the chassis seems rather extreme no?
     
  13. slimm

    slimm Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slimm
    I have the same DB35 but it is a 750GB. I haven't received the 9.2 update yet. It will be interesting to see whether mine continues to work after the update.

    Received 9.2.J1 today and it's still working :up:
     
  14. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Phew! :)
     
  15. dougdingle

    dougdingle HD Tech

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    I don't think there's that much difference in the markups. The drive is a low profit, high volume commodity device, while the TiVo adapter caters to a very select and small market with a much larger margin, percentage wise.

    My guess is, if the drive is bought from a discount internet-orders-only parts place with no B&M presence, the "retail" markup is about $35-$45 on each of those.
     
  16. Tiger87

    Tiger87 New Member

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    Can I connect a 500GB Seagate FreeAgent to a Series 3 with a USB 2.0 to eSATA connector?
     
  17. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    See answer here.
     
  18. cab2

    cab2 New Member

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    Any one else having problems with a FAP 500 external drive lately? Mine gave me the serious problem, 3 hours to fix thing at least 3 times yesterday. This am I woke up to find the tivo saying that the external storage could not be found and would not run without it. So, that means there was a problem again after I went to bed last night.

    Just wondering if it's my drive, or something more global. It figures for me and is just my luck, I got my S3 last year at this time, so any war. that might have applied, is now prob. gone. Prior to yesterday, I think I saw the serious error screen maybe 2 or 3 times since hooking up the drive. I added my drive not long after the hack was made known. Ugh. Don't want to lose my tivo or the drive this time of year. Should I just break down and buy the approved drive?

    thx
     
  19. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    The most common cause for what you're seeing is a bad eSATA cable/connection.

    Before you relegate your FAP to the PC world, I'd recommend doing a couple of things. First, unplug TiVo then unplug or turn off your FAP. Make sure that the eSATA cable has a snug connection at both ends. Turn on your FAP then plug TiVo back in (in that order) and let it boot up. That may take care of it.

    If that doesn't do it, I'd get one of the recommended replacement cables such as the SIIG Serial ATA. They're a bit hard to come by locally but you can check around.

    Other eSATA cable recommendations (#25):

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=5616160#post5616160

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
     
  20. cab2

    cab2 New Member

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    Thanks Rich;

    I think my cable is fine, but what you say makes sense. I tuged on both ends of the cable and it all seemed secure. But buying a cable, is sure cheaper than replacing any of the other parts. I'll see about ordering the cable in the next day or two. You don't realize how much you use your tivo until it's out of commission. As of right now, the FAP seems to be working fine for the last day and a half anyway.
     

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