Advertisements The subject of using an external hard drive with a Bolt is well covered in many older threads, but a new thought concerning cooling that I had not written about in the past just came to mind. So I thought I would try to post a brief summary of the process in a new thread so it would be easy to find. For reasons well covered elsewhere, many of us have come to the conclusion that there are no longer any reliable options for anything larger than a 1 TB 2.5" drive in a TiVo. For this reason I now only recommend using an external WD Red or Purple 3.5" drive for upgrading the Bolt. The procedure for this is extremely simple, and I will attempt to briefly reiterate it here: Buy a 3.5" drive in whatever size you desire. Anything up to 3 TB is a simple plug-and-play swap, so that is the only thing I will cover here. You should use an external power supply for the drive - no external enclosure is really needed, but that is generally the preferred method. An external case with its own fan is also a good idea to extend drive life since this drive will be spinning 24x7. Open the Bolt case and disconnect the internal hard drive from the motherboard (no need to actually remove the drive; just make sure it is not powered). Connect the new external drive directly to the Bolt motherboard in place of the original drive, using a standard SATA cable connected directly to the drive SATA connector. This requires that you bypass any eSATA or USB connections that are available on an external enclosure, so you will need one that has separate power and data connections to the drive (older drive cases that also work for IDE drives are a great choice). Note that a SATA cable with a right-angle connector on one end will make the connection to the motherboard easier, but do be aware that those cables come in either a left or right bend direction, so make sure you buy the correct one. And that is it - just power the external drive first, and when the Bolt boots up it will format the drive automagically and then take you into Guided Setup just like a new box. So the only remaining question is what to do with that external SATA cable that needs to get into the Bolt case. Some people choose to notch the rear of the case to that they can put the cover back on normally, but this is not really necessary. Another option is to just leave the back of the Bolt drive cover loose so that the cable can snake in through the crack. But if you do this, make sure you cover that opening with tape of some sort so that the already marginal cooling of the Bolt is not changed! You see, the only air inlets on the Bolt are tiny little holes under the bottom left and right edges of the case, and that weak little fan must pull that air over top of the motherboard to cool it. If the back of the case is left open, then all the air will get sucked in there and do no good at all. Of course, there are many other solutions to solving the Bolt cooling problems, but that is not the subject of this thread. Just make sure to close up any new openings you make in the case when you add the external drive. And as an added bonus, not having an internal drive adding its own heat to the Bolt will give you some improvement to the cooling issue all by itself.