Success Upgrading Bolt(+) with 4TB, 5TB + 2.5" Internal Drives?

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by zombiephysicist, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. zombiephysicist

    zombiephysicist Member

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    Sep 22, 2017
    2 Questions:

    I have seen a lot of people and threads having problems with 4TB 2.5" upgrades on their Bolt's here. I've only seen one long time poster that has a 4TB drive for quite a while without problem.

    (1) Have others here had success with upgrading their Bolt with a 4TB or larger 2.5" drive???

    I'm trying to see if any reasonable number of people have upgraded their Bolts beyond the 3TB Toshiba drive that seems to work well, and gauge if it's worth risking trying to upgrade to a 5TB seagate drive.

    (2) If you have had success, can you tell us roughly how long you've been running the upgraded drive, how full/hard you run it, and what formatting tool/version/instructions you used to set it up?

    Thanks so much for any help!
     
  2. tivobw

    tivobw Member

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    Hey zombiephysicist, I'm using a Tivo Bolt with a 4TB WD Red in an external enclosure. It works pretty well.

    However, Tivo broke things last month when they upgraded software - it broke the SATA->eSATA connection to my external hard drive. You can check this post for how we fixed it (basically had to directly connect SATA->SATA). Latest Software Update Broke my Hard eSATA Drive Hack on Bolt

    Here's the original upgrade I did: Bolt Drive for Upgrade and more details here: Bolt Drive for Upgrade

    All in all I'm happy with it. I have another issue though with Tivo Bolts failing after about a year. I've had 2 Bolts (one a brand new one, another a refurbished unit from Tivo) that crapped out with the same problem (tuners start to fail) after a year. I posted to this thread to see if anyone else is having problems: Tivo Bolt - Crappy Tuners Keep Failing! Anyone else?

    Let me know if you have any questions. Everything I did, I learned by others on this forum! It's a great place. :D:D:D
     
  3. zombiephysicist

    zombiephysicist Member

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    Thanks Tivobw! Yea, I've had such huge problems with external drives on past Tivo's that I shy away from that. I added a 5TB Seagate. The install was pretty straight forward and it seems to work and proves 799HD recording hours of capacity, but let's see how it does in the longer haul...

    Some more details of that are here if anyone is interested:
    #1056
     
  4. tivobw

    tivobw Member

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    Wow zombiephysicist a 5TB internal drive, I am jealous! Lots of storage and it is tucked away nice and neat inside the Bolt. I think it's much nicer when it's all tucked away nicely in a neat package.

    I do have the external drive but it was rather cheap.. only about $130 for the WD RED 4TB drive and about $35 for the external enclosure, then another $7 for the 40inch SATA->SATA cable. One nice thing about the external enclosure by Rosewill is that it has a temperature sensor, so I get to geek out on how hot the drive is cooking! Wooo! :cool:
     
  5. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    The external drive tivobw is talking about is not like the old expander drives that were joined to the internal drive. It is only external in the sense that it is using an external drive enclosure to supply power to the 3.5" drive. From the standpoint of the Bolt, it is actually an internal drive connected to the internal SATA port with a long SATA cable.
     
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  6. zombiephysicist

    zombiephysicist Member

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    The 5 TB drive was actually relatively cheap. $130 on Amazon. That said, you’re route maybe well better in that it may run much more cool and reliably. Knocking wood for you and for me!
     
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  7. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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  8. tivobw

    tivobw Member

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    Hope everything works out for you! I checked the link you shared and noted the 4TB version (Seagate STDR4000100) is the same drive I had before that failed on me. Here's my Seagate upgrade experience: Installed in January 2016, failed in September 2016 (4 blinking lights issue). 4TB 2.5" drive for Bolt

    In September 2016 I moved to the external enclosure route, using the WD Red 4TB, connected from SATA on Tivo Bolt motherboard -> route through hole in case -> eSATA connection on Rosewill external enclosure. It was sweet!

    Life was good again until... Tivo released a software update in August of this year which broke connectivity to the enclosure. Looked on here and saw others tried SATA->SATA connection and it worked. So I had to buy a 40inch SATA->SATA cable, and now I'm connected from SATA on Tivo Bolt motherboard -> SATA connection on WD Red 4TB drive in Rosewill enclosure. I had to take the rear cover off the Rosewill enclosure so I could access the SATA port on the drive, but it still stays cool and I have the drive hidden in the bottom rack of my media cabinet, so you can't see it anyway.

    I hope Seagate has made some changes to this type of drive and it works well for you and others who use it. Based on what I went through (my wife was so angry she lost her recordings, ouch!) I don't think I would try that type of drive again. The scars are still too fresh.:D

    I miss having the all-in-one setup through, that's for sure. Having the external drive is a little wonky, as it's more difficult to move around and you have a little added noise from the enclosure. Definitely not as elegant, but there was no way I was going to pay Tivo $499.99 for LESS storage (3TB Tivo Bolt+). Yes, I know the Bolt+ has 2 more tuners (6 instead of 4 in my Bolt), but those tuners come at a higher price. My out of pocket for my SuperBolt:
    • $199 Tivo Bolt
    • $130 WD Red 4TB 3.5" external HD
    • $35 Rosewill RX304-APU3-35B External Enclosure
    • $7 40-inch SATA->SATA cable
    • $5 for drill bits to drill hole in Tivo Bolt case :p (to route SATA cable through)
    • Donation to ggieseke for his fantastic MSFR :)
    • Total - $376
    So I saved $123.99, got another 1 TB of recording space, *but* I have 2 less tuners and some frustration and time invested in getting it working (manual upgrade, ordering all the parts, have an external enclosure, have to deal with Tivo's silly OS upgrade tricks which broke things for a while, dealing with Comcast to repair CableCARD). Is it worth the frustration and effort? Yeah, I think so. Hacking is fun. :cool:
     
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  9. zombiephysicist

    zombiephysicist Member

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    Yea I read all those and have assumed there is a high chance of failure at some point. I still have the original 3TB drive that came with it, and I can swap back in if/when it fails.

    I really didn't want an external drive for a bunch of reasons (other failures in the past) so I'm done with externals, even if they are mounted as an integral through the ribbon. Sounds like a nice/clever solution.

    My hope is that if it does fail, it will fail late enough by which time there might be a better more reliable and larger drive out there. Bleeding edge! :)
     
  10. tivobw

    tivobw Member

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    I hear that!
     
  11. zombiephysicist

    zombiephysicist Member

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    So just following up on my own thread. About 3 months of normal heavy use, and knock wood, the bolt + seems to be running ok. It's generally around 32% capacity, and regularly uses between 3-5 tuners to record things.

    When the TiVo is not used, it gets put into standby mode.

    From what I read I can expect problems to start around at the 6-9month range, if others experiences are common. We shall see.

    A friend did the same upgrade a couple of weeks after I did. Same drive etc. So after 2.5 months he had some freezes and jitters yesterday, and just rebooted the machine and all seems fine today. His is at 70% capacity and regularly has 4-6tuners going. So more intense usage.

    Wonder how others are fairing with this experiment...
     
  12. zombiephysicist

    zombiephysicist Member

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    Just checking in. Still same heavy use. At the 5 month mark and it seems to be chugging along fine (knocking wood). Im up around 40% capacity these days. My friend's also still chucking and he is a crazy heavy user.
     
  13. zombiephysicist

    zombiephysicist Member

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    6months, around 50% capacity. Knockwood, still churning well.
     
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  14. zombiephysicist

    zombiephysicist Member

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    9 months. Around 65% capacity. Knock wood, still going.
     
  15. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Staunton, VA
    Fingers crossed it passes 1 year for you. :)

    Scott
     
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  16. zombiephysicist

    zombiephysicist Member

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    10 month. Around 75%. Knockwood, seems to still be going aok.

    Every now and then some of the videos have pixelization hiccups. But then again that would happen on my old Roamio Pro as well. My guess is this happens when all 6 tuners record at once, and now there is less free space to write too, and the drive throughput is being saturated.
     
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  17. jlin

    jlin Member

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    How did you get the drive out of the external enclosure?
     
  18. zombiephysicist

    zombiephysicist Member

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    To be honest, I forget. I think I just looked up a youtube video on how to take apart that case and found one.
     
  19. zombiephysicist

    zombiephysicist Member

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    So were around the 11 month mark, 80% capacity. Fingers crossed to make it to the year mark.

    One thing that is disappointing is that there seem to be no new 2.5" drives larger than 5TB out. On a perhaps positive note, I see 4tb SSD drives have dropped down to $999. Still too pricey but a major drop. I hope that 8/12TB drives come out soon and the price drops on those. It will solve the issue out right.

    I guess the spinning disk makers dont want to invest anymore into spinning drives as prices drop on SSDs.
     

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