Series3 eSATA Drive Expansion: FAQ + Discussion

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

  1. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...

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    The problem is not the size of the unit in this case (since it can be configured as RAID 0+1 or Raid 5 with hot spare, both of which would be 1TB) but the fact that it uses a RAID controller card and software drivers. You can only use true hardware RAID which can connect to any eSATA port (not just their proprietary eSATA RAID controller) and appear to the host as a single drive without any drivers required. Rule of thumb: If it includes a proprietary controller card or a disk with drivers it is incompatible.

    In an era of quiet and affordable 1TB drives there is little purpose for a RAID unit on the TiVo unless you have some perceived need for data redundancy and don't mind the noise and heat. A year ago there were no 1TB drives and no quiet 750GB ones so a RAID of smaller drives was the only solution.
     
  2. Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

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    I wonder as the drives continue to grow in size, upwards of 5 to 30 Terra Bytes, will they be compatiable to the Tivos out there.

    In 1992 I paid $1,200.00 for a 860 Meg drive for my PC. At that time that was the largest drive available, an was told I'd never fill that sucker up...LOL
     
  3. dqdude

    dqdude New Member

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    Added an esata (Antec enclosure with Seagate DB35 750mb HD) to an already upgraded internal drive (DB35 750mb).

    Total time on upgrade

    Disassemble tivo and remove internal drive 2 minutes
    Connect both drives to laptop using usb cables and esata enclosures 2 minutes
    Load linus spftware 5 minutes including boot time.
    Assemble everything back tpo original state and hookup to tv 5 minutes
    Tive Boot time with aknowledgemnent of new drive 5 minutes

    Time spent OCD'ing leading up to the above...48 hours!

    This was so damn easy I could saved myself a lot of worry time.

    198 hours of HD awaits....SWEET!!!
     
  4. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    'Not at this time. The current limit is 2 TB. I expect there will be various work-arounds before long.
     
  5. Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

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    Nov 23, 2003
    Midwest

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    As I have mentioned, I'd be happy with the SATA port enabled for the Tivo HD


    Can't imagine how long it would take to fill a 30 Terra Byte drive...
     
  6. RandyMeinke

    RandyMeinke New Member

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    Nov 13, 2006
    Central...
    UPS just delivered a CinemaStar 1TB drive. Plugged it into an Antec MX-1 and followed the directions on the FAQ. Nice and quiet and kickstarted the first time. 165HD/1561 SD with a drive designed for a DVR. Paid 416 at aztekcomputers. Filled up the ToDoList with HD movies. Will update if any problems. Thanks to those who pioneered the process and tweaked the directions.
     
  7. mazman

    mazman Member

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    Alamo, CA
    Any speculation on why SATA was enabled for the S3 and not Tivo HD?
     
  8. Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

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    Midwest
    Copyright enfringements, just as DVD copying has been such a taboo in the resent past
     
  9. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    TiVo never really "enabled" the eSATA port on the S3. The method for doing this is a backdoor hack; not a supported feature. When it is there will be a software update that will allow for a user-friendly experience by giving TiVo the ability to automatically recognize when an external drive has been installed. Based on the trials and tribulations posted here over the past few months it's become obvious that the current software was not meant to handle it.

    The software running TiVo HD is reported to have additional space in the partition that handles temporary files. It would seem logical that this would be one of the requisites to address some of the problems current eSATA users are seeing so support may already be somewhat present.

    My speculation would be that TiVo is keenly aware of what we “TiVo enthusiasts" are up to and realized that they needed to ensure that new TiVo HD owners couldn't do the same thing. (A good call IMO based on the TiVo HD fires they’re currently putting out.) That will give them a clean slate to introduce their own branded eSATA drive along with downconverted HD data, etc. when the time is right. Hopefully it won’t wipe out everything we’ve done here when the time comes!
     
  10. linetest

    linetest New Member

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    Durham, NC
    Add me to the "no-workie" list. I purchased the MX-1 and a Seagate drive listed from the FAQ. Freezes and reboots are the order of the day. So now I've ordered a SIIG eSata cable. Not sure what else to do since I followed the "recommended" equipment list as shown on the FAQ. Let's hope it's just a bum cable.
     
  11. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about the problems. We'll be very interested to hear if the new eSATA cable cures it.

    Out of curiosity, do you remember which Seagate drive you're using, size, model number, etc.?
     
  12. jon96cobra

    jon96cobra Member

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    Northern VA
    After taking the time to clean out the deleted files and the Suggestions Mine has seemed more stable.
     
  13. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmm...interesting. We've had the same experience. That leads me back to the evolving theory about TiVo's space allocation for "temp files" (which is apparently where these files are kept) on the current software release and eventual problems due to there being more "temp" data than TiVo can handle. Wish there was a "delete all" option in the Recently Deleted folder!
     
  14. linetest

    linetest New Member

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    Durham, NC
    Sorry, this drive...Seagate Barracuda ES 250Gb ST3250620NS. Front the front page, good for 24/7 use.
     
  15. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that. :up: Comparing the Barracuda which is primarily suited for enterprise use and the Seagate DB35 7200.3 DVR drive specs, they look very similar. The Barracuda has a 16MB cache Vs the DB35's 8MB's. I don’t recall that being an issue. The DB35's have a slightly lower failure rate and higher temp toleration specs but with the fan-cooled MX-1 enclosure that shouldn't be an issue.

    At least if it's not the cable you still have a 5 year warranty on your drive.

    Thanks again and keep us posted.
     
  16. Kenji

    Kenji New Member

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    Oakland,...
    Perhaps, but it would be unbelievably lame of TiVo's software if this were true. S3s run Linux, right? Linux (like all variants of Unix) has a very reliable filesystem, and no concept of "temp" for files that have been closed (like any recorded program). In other words, once a program has been recorded, that file exists on the filesystem, period; it's up to the TiVo software to keep track of which files have been "deleted", which just amounts to placing them into the Recently Deleted directory on the filesystem. So, while it may be possible for the TiVo software to have some issue when the filesystem is almost full, I have a hard time believing that this could be true, since requirement #2 for the code should be "doesn't screw up when the filesystem is full".

    Just my two cents from 27 years of professional software development experience.
     
  17. moxie1617

    moxie1617 Member

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    Chicago...
    I'm in the process of filling up my Tivo now, Antec MX-1 and 500GB DB35. When it gets full I'll report back and let you know if stability is an issue. I don't record suggestions but I'll let the list of suggestions build and see what happens. I want to do this before the fall season begins.
     
  18. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Cool. :up: We run a web server using Linux and I tend to agree with your all of your logic and assumptions.

    I’m certainly not stuck on any one notion about any of this. However with all of the things that many of us have tried to do to eliminate problems, the one of “too much data and not enough space” is about the only one that seems to fit. Taking action by reducing the files actually seems to make a difference.

    We should also keep in mind that this issue isn't limited to TiVo's with eSATA drives. There have been numerous posts in the past (long before eSATA expansion) that reported sluggish behavior, freezing and reboots resulting from SP's and WL's (particularly HD programming) going over a certain threshold. It seems logical that this issue could/would be amplified when adding even more capacity.

    That being said, care to pose any theories as to why problems arise when the system fills up (while an eSATA drive is connected) as opposed to running (fairly) normally when "temporary files" such as the Recently Deleted folder, SP's, WL's, etc. are kept to a minimum? We're all ears! :)
     
  19. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    What a trooper! :up:
     
  20. BruceShultes

    BruceShultes Member

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    Oct 2, 2006
    Albany, NY
    Just a thought, but any directory in a Linux file system either has to be on the primary partition or mounted from a different partition.

    All partitions are created with a maximum size, even though it can be different for each partition.

    If the S3 is using a directory on the internal drive to keep track of deleted shows and/or suggestions, the directory becoming full could easily result in the GSOD.

    The next time you get one, check what is left in your Suggestions folder and Deleted Shows folder after it comes back up.
     

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