Series3 won't recognize DVR Expander

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by hmanson, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. hmanson

    hmanson New Member

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    Sep 10, 2008
    I purchased a WD 1 TB My Book DVR Expander in December and have been trying periodically to hook it up ever since. Result is always the same, TiVo doesn't see the Expander at all. On the advice of Western Digital tech assistance I have run diagnostics on the Expander on my computer and it checks out as all OK. I have read online that some have had problems when there are other external devices connected to the TiVo and possibly that is the issue I'm having. I have cable with Cox in the greater New Orleans area and sometime back they required that I use a "Tuning Adapter" (TA) with my TiVo to get some of the channels. I tried connecting the Expander with the TA disconnected, plugged in but turned off and every combination I could think of, but always got the same result. TiVo just doesn't see the Expander. I have read that rebooting can cause problems with TiVo units and I am getting concerned since each attempt to connect the Expander requires a reboot. The only thing I have not tried is changing the Esata cable, but I am using the one that came with the Expander and I have no reason to think that there is anything wrong with it. Any suggestions as to what I can do/try? I am at a loss for how to proceed.
     
  2. Teeps

    Teeps Well-Known Member

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    Torrance,Cal...
    Cable terminations are ALWAYS suspect; connect a known good Esata cable.
     
  3. hmanson

    hmanson New Member

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Had cable tested and they said one pin was bad. Got a new cable and will try out shortly. Sure hope this works. Thanks!
     
  4. hmanson

    hmanson New Member

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Well, at least it's different. This time it recognized the Expander but gave me an error message in the first step trying to set it up. Currently running TiVo diagnostics to test TiVo hard drive and expander. We'll see what happens.
     
  5. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    So the special "only one authorized by TiVo so WD can get away with charging a premium price for it" external drive came with a bad cable?

    I would so be all over WD about this.

    Did you buy it before or after hard drive prices shot up late last fall?
     
  6. hmanson

    hmanson New Member

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Went through diagnostics with no errors shown, although there were two columns in the diagnostics page showing as it went through the tests, one for primary and one for secondary and the secondary, which is what I would think the expander would be, said not available. That probably was not a good sign. There seemed to be no way out of the diagnostics other than reboot. I rebooted and it was back the same message as I was getting initially, no hard drive detected. So, went back to step one, powered down TiVo, powered down expander, unplugged all, then hooked up eSata, powered up expander, waited 15 sec, powered up TiVo and it's not recognizing the drive. Am I missing something? Any additional suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  7. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    You've had it less than a month, it came with a bad cable, and it won't work with your TiVo even though it's supposed to be specially designed to do just that.

    Tell WD you want your money back, and let's talk about upgrading the internal drive instead.
     
  8. n8Leon

    n8Leon New Member

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    Jan 28, 2008
    My TiVo Series 3 HD would not recognize the WD My Book 1T drive using the included eSATA cable, following the recommended steps, after several hours of trying.
    My PC saw it just fine using the USB interface.
    I went to my local MicroCenter store and picked up a $10 eSATA cable, and it worked on the first try w/ the TiVo.
    Very lame that WD supplied a useless cable, and wasted an afternoon of my life. I'll be sure to avoid WD product next time.

    n8
     
  9. SullyND

    SullyND W: 33-9 (Camping World Bowl) TCF Club

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    When you say "Series 3 HD" do you mean a TiVo HD (Which is part of the Series 3 Family) or a "Series 3" which happens to be HD.

    Only the Original Series 3 models supported non-TiVo blessed external hard drives.

    This is the original Series 3 which is hard drive agnostic.

    [​IMG]

    If your TiVo does not look like that you need to use a specific external drive.*

    *There are hacks to allow non-blessed drives, but at that point you may as well replace the internal.
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Sound to me like not only did he use the WD external with the TiVo logo on the box, the problem wasn't the drive, it was the cable.

    Unless different eSATA data cables can cause drives to report different drive model numbers.
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    WD sucks and TiVo should be all over them. The esata cable that WD includes does NOT work with TiVo's. I tried to email tivo support to let them know but as expected the drone didn't read my friggin email and gave me a stupid canned reply.

    Bottom line- there are 2 different types of esata cables- 2 different lengths.
    The fine folks of tivocommunity discovered this YEARS ago when tivo first turned on external drive support on the original S3's. You need to find the cable with the LONGER connectors to make proper contact inside the tivo.

    It's maddening that there are 2 different types to begin with but even more annoying that WD packages the short/wrong type in the official tivo sanctioned drive. And more maddening still that Tivo put the dumb picky connector on their newer hardware (my Elite) wouldn't recognize the &^$%(*&%$)#%% stupid drive with the included cable.
     

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