Time to upgrade my HDD?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by WebAgents, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Feb 7, 2009 #1 of 30
    WebAgents

    WebAgents It's TiVo-lutionary!

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    Hi,

    My picture on Tivo is sometimes a bit stuttery and can become a little pixxelated.

    Sign of HDD going?

    I upgraded my original drives to 2 x 200gb drive a few years ago so it may be time to change.

    If that is probably what is causing my faults, what is/are the drive(s) of choice at the moment?

    VFM is most important. :D

    If I do need to change the drive(s) I will probably use the Hooch! disk so if that makes a difference to your recommendation please bear it in mind when replying.

    Many thanks

    Bryan
     
  2. Feb 7, 2009 #2 of 30
    blindlemon

    blindlemon tivoheaven.co.uk

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  3. Feb 8, 2009 #3 of 30
    mutant_matt2

    mutant_matt2 New Member

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    You could of course run Spinrite (from grc.com) on them, which will show any problems, and more often than not, fix them too...

    HTH

    Matt :)
     
  4. Feb 8, 2009 #4 of 30
    Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Surely that is only a short term fix given that Tivo drives run 24/7.

    Once a drive begins to show signs of failing sectors it is only a matter of time until it dies completely.
     
  5. Feb 8, 2009 #5 of 30
    Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    You don't seem to recommend the Intellipower version though - another tenner or so more. Is that supposed to spin down to slower speeds when not in active use or quite what exactly. And would Tivo not reap the benefit of such intended functionality?

    Also I notice that the 2TB model of this drive is now out. Although my own experience of running 500Gb at Basic would suggest that many owners would probably not like the resulting slow down in menu operation times (even with a Cachecard and 512MB of RAM) when accessing items in the Now Playing list. 2TB at Best would be about 710 hours of recording time.:eek:

    www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/dirresults.html?s=green
     
  6. Feb 8, 2009 #6 of 30
    blindlemon

    blindlemon tivoheaven.co.uk

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    I have no idea what "intellipower" means - the OP asked for VFM suggestions and the 1TB drive I linked to seems to be about the best VFM bare drive around at the moment.

    All the Green Power drives are very good on power consumption and that 1TB variant runs remarkably cool for a drive of that size so I assume it is pretty aggressive in its power management.
     
  7. Feb 8, 2009 #7 of 30
    Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    I think all WD Green Power drives are Intellipower on further reading and Novatech have just left it out of the description of the cheaper 1TB drive.

    Interesting further discussion about WD Green Power drives and their spec at:-

    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies-archive.cfm/1133291.html

    The difference between the cheaper and more expensive 1TB drive actually seems to be that one has an 8MB cache and the other has a 32MB cache.

    No comment on the viability of a 2TB drive in a Tivo then?
     
  8. Feb 8, 2009 #8 of 30
    WebAgents

    WebAgents It's TiVo-lutionary!

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    Hi thanks for the replies.

    Seems my symptoms could well be the hdd's failing as no-one suggested an alternative :(

    Oh well. thanks BL for the heads up on the drive :up: - of course the adaptor adds to the price so did you factor that in against the price of an eide drive?

    Also, on related note, if I use mode 0 on a 'hooch!'ed' drive, instead of the standard mode 'best', what disk space overhead will I need?

    In other words if I had two tivos, one with 1tb hdd with tivo set to record all at mode 0 - and the other tivo with 1tb drive set to record all at tivo mode best, what sort of space/time differences would I see?
     
  9. Feb 8, 2009 #9 of 30
    blindlemon

    blindlemon tivoheaven.co.uk

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    If you can find a 1TB IDE drive for less than the cost of that GP drive + Converter then I would be very interested to hear about it :)

    As Mode 0 enables VBR whereas standard TiVo "best" does not you will actually normally find that a Mode 0 recording uses less disk space than the same recording at standard "Best" quality.
     
  10. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    A 1TB drive at Best will record about 350 hours of programs. So a Mode 0 VBR enabled drive might record in excess of 400 hours of programs. This is on the borderline of suffering a big slow down in Now Playing menu speeds etc, even with a Cachecard and 512MB of RAM. It might be ok but 600 hours certainly causes too much slow down in the menus for most Tivo owners to be happy with.
     
  11. DanielB

    DanielB New Member

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    I have a 320Gb drive, a Cachecard and 512Mb RAM and the menus are too slow, anyone any ideas on speeding it up?
     
  12. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    What quality are you recording your programs at? The higher the quality you record at and the fewer hours of programs you consequently have recorded on the hard drive the faster your Tivo menus will run.

    As it doesn't affect navigation speeds within a recording once it is playing the slow down with a larger hard drive doesn't bother me that much.
     
  13. DanielB

    DanielB New Member

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    Recording in best, mode 0.

    Thanks,
     
  14. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Should only be about 110 hours recording time then so menus shouldn't be very slow. What size is your swap file?
     
  15. DanielB

    DanielB New Member

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    Bash /var/tmp #cat /proc/meminfo
    total: used: free: shared: buffers: cached:
    Mem: 14151680 14000128 151552 241049600 81920 3846144
    Swap: 471851008 6443008 465408000
    MemTotal: 13820 kB
    MemFree: 148 kB
    MemShared: 235400 kB
    Buffers: 80 kB
    Cached: 3756 kB
    SwapTotal: 460792 kB
    SwapFree: 454500 kB
     
  16. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    May be the unsighted citrus one can offer some further suggestions.

    I can't see anything wrong with those numbers.
     
  17. ciper

    ciper Active Member

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    Drives larger than 1TB probably may not work, or at least not give the full capacity.

    In all factory LBA48 kernels (s2/s3) there is a problem with partitions larger than 1TB. It is possible that the custom LBA48 kernels have the same issue.

    A work around has been created in the newest version of WinMFS which limits partition sizes to 1TB. This allows a drive size of 1tb + whatever the unit came with originally.

    If the custom kernels have this issue and you wanted to work around it to get full capacity it is possible to create your own filesystem by hand. A 2TB drive could be split into two 900gb or three 600gb MFS regions (for example)

    More information can on the limitations found here (especially later in the thread) http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=416133

    If you do end up using a SATA to PATA bridge please add your results to this thread http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=416883
     
  18. blindlemon

    blindlemon tivoheaven.co.uk

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  19. mutant_matt2

    mutant_matt2 New Member

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    Pete, that is reasonable logic, but I would say, not necessarily. Drives have such high data density these days that they are error correcting, under the hood, so to speak, all the time. It's easy for a sector to be slightly too far out for the ECC on board to fix/spot/deal with.

    Spinrite overrides a lot of the standard drive control, and can often get back data that the drive firmware can't (or more likely, the firmware coder couldn't be bothered (even more likely, was on a clock) to write the code for). Spinrite can take a very long time to "fix" a sector, as it has all the time in the world (and will keep trying until it absolutely can't do any better), the firmware is trying to keep your drive going and the data flowing. Drives also now have a bunch of spare sectors to map out any sector that the drive is having trouble with.

    Often, Spinrite can fix a drive, that isn't inherently about to have a catastrophic failure, and often can bring back a drive that is on the verge of one, long enough to pull everything off of it. I have saved more than one friend/family pc drive that was either not booting at all, or constantly blue screening, and years later, are still working perfectly, thanks to Spinrite.

    I also run it in maintenance mode, on all my machines at least once per year (should really do it more regularly!), as this helps head off any problems before they become show stoppers (it does a full read/invert/write-back/invert and write-back again, on every sector on the whole disc, forcing it to find and try to fix any marginal sectors, and if need be, the drive can map any bad sectors it didn't know about, out).

    If I had time though, periodically, I'd take the TiVo drive out, run Spinrite on it, copy it to another drive for a backup purposes, and put it back again, just in case ;)

    HTH!

    Cheers,

    Matt :)
     
  20. ciper

    ciper Active Member

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    A normal error on the drive will be hidden from your view through automatic sector remapping. If you see bad spots on the drive has exhausted its reserve of backup locations and is on its way out.

    The only drives I would consider trusting to be put back into service after being saved by spinrite are those where a drive had a head crash (laptop being dropped) was the cause. Even then the failures may continue as those chunks of drive surface fly around and damage other areas of the head.
     

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