TiVo Bolt Plus HDD Clone

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by richsadams, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Reviewed a number of threads, but I cannot find exactly what I'm looking for so I thought I'd ask the experts.

    In summary, I'd like to clone my Bolt Plus' hard drive.

    I bought a brand new TiVo Bolt+ via the recent Series3 LT upgrade offer. I really like it so far, it's working fine, talks to my Premiere XL 4 and TiVo Mini, however I'm really apprehensive about the new 2.5" HDD constantly buffering 6 tuners. Seems ripe for early failure...at least earlier than a solid, old school 3.5" HDD. So as a preventative measure I'd like to clone its 3TB drive and put it on the shelf.

    I've upgraded every model of TiVo we've owned since the Series1 and am more than comfortable with the process. However it's been a while and although I've found plenty of upgrade instructions and videos for upgrading the TiVo Bolt, I can't find any for the Bolt Plus. Perhaps it's the same process, but I can't find confirmation, and as mentioned I don't want to upgrade, just clone.

    I've used MFS Tools previously (and I see mention of MSFR), but since I'm not expanding an existing drive I'm not sure if I still need to use the tools or if dd_rescue is the way to go or ???

    I understand that the recommend HDD is a Toshiba MQ03ABB300. Is that still the "go to" drive?

    So I'd welcome anyone's recommendations or if I missed it a strong wag of the finger and a link to what I'm looking for. ;)

    TIA!
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    MFSTools 3.2 would be what you need. It would allow you to backup and restore.
    Backing up is better than just storing away the hard drive. Hard drives age even when not operating/hooked up, just not so fast as when it is operating.

    MFSR is just an expanding tool for Roamio and above.

    You can also use DVRBars to backup/restore but not expand.
     
  3. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    You know, it's shocking how long it takes to get an answer around here. :D

    Understood about backing up vs storing a HDD. I used to take them off the shelf, run them for a bit (install updates, etc.) and then put them away again. Worked fine, but a backup is always a good idea.

    I found this thread about DVR Backup and Restore. Haven't read all the way through, but since I'd just like a clone of the existing drive it seems like that should work.

    Thanks a bunch for the speedy reply ThAbtO!

    Any additional advice is always appreciated. :)
     
  4. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    At this point, MFSTools 3.2 should not be used on Bolts except for adding an external drive. Hopefully that will be fixed at some point.

    I would recommend DvrBARS for backup and restore and a disk duplicator to clone the drive.

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Rich,

    What's the purpose of the clone? Are you trying to save the shows that are recorded on the Bolt (which would become out of date unless you did this regularly)?

    I'm asking since otherwise I can't see a purpose for having a clone/backup as the Roamio and Bolt both have their software in flash and if you had a drive failure, you would just replace the drive with a new one and the Roamio/Bolt would automatically format it for use.

    Scott
     
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  6. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    DvrBARS is limited to 2TB drives, so it won't work for the OP's 3TB drive. Also, it only works on Series 1 through Premiere models.

    Note: The Full Backup mode in DvrBARS will work on anything including non-TiVo drives because it just makes a 'dumb' byte-for-byte copy of the source drive to a VHD file, but the 2TB limit still applies. That's inherent in the Microsoft VHD specification.

    I would use a drive duplicator dock or dd.
     
  7. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Hey Scott! So this is what happens when you (meaning I) become complacent and don't keep up with all things TiVo? *Face palm*

    No desire to keep the current recordings (the Premier's One Pass is a dupe of the Bolt's), just thought it would be good to have a backup drive sitting on the shelf if/when the original fails so I could slip it in with minimal downtime.

    So what you're saying is that if the Bolt's current drive fails I can simply install a new (3TB) drive and it'll be good to go again? Does that include cable card pairing, etc.?

    Cheers for that!
     
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  8. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    Installing a new drive means starting over from scratch. It will build the drive (up to 3TB) in about 4 minutes, but nothing (including CableCARD pairing) carries over from the old drive.
     
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  9. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    You can periodically 'backup' your One Passes and Thumbs Ratings with KMTTG as well...

    -KP
     
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  10. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks ggieseke, kpeters59, jmbach and ThAbtO!
     
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  11. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Did you know the recorded shows, passes can be downloaded using a program called KMTTG. It could then be saved on your computer's hard drive or on a network drive.
     
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  12. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    As Greg said, nothing like CableCARD pairing will carry over to a new (clean) drive so if you really are looking for minimal downtime then you may still want to give it a try.

    Scott
     
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  13. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that. Haven't used KMTTG (or thumbs) in years, but good to know. :thumbsup:
     
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  14. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Knew it was too good to be true. ;) However it's still a lot easier than it used to be so I may go ahead and try doing a back up and cloning it for a little peace of mind.

    Thanks all...you've truly been a terrific help. I owe you! :D
     
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  15. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    While it doesn't carry over from the old drive, the 1 passes get repopulated once you connect to the TiVo servers. The recorded shows and cable card pairing are gone though as you mentioned.
     
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  16. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    If the Toshiba is the same or larger size, you should be able to stick it in this disk caddy and clone the original (using the offline clone functino) onto the Toshiba and have a backup swapin-ready to go.

    https://www.amazon.com/Inateck-Dual-Bay-Function-Tool-Free-FD2002/dp/B00N1KXE9K

    If you want to use a larger drive, you'll need to do the standard upgrade procedure.

    Another thing to note is if you start swapping drives (that are not bit-for-bit clones) it can render shows on the previous drive inaccessible.

    For example recently TiVo had an update that broke a configuration people were using with esata drive enclosures. The symptom was the 4 blinking lights, just like a drive failure, but the issue wasn't with the drives, but the esata interface connection. While diagnosing, some people put in the original 500GB drive in the bolt, but then when the figured out the issue was really the esata connection and used a long sata cable instead, the external drive started working again, but the recorded shows were not accessible. Once the problem was discovered, folks skipped the step of trying the original 500GB drive and just changed the cable to sata. Their shows were fully accessible with that sequence.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
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  17. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Great info and advice! :thumbsup: I already have this Unitek "cloning drive dock" with the same functions so that should work fine.

    Since our Premiere is recording the same shows as a backup for the most part, even if I lost everything on the Bolt+ it should work out okay.

    I'll post back as soon as I have time to give it a try.

    FWIW, is the Toshiba MQ03ABB300 still the drive of choice?

    Thanks again!
     
  18. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    It is still the one most people are using.

    I am not sure if it is still the case that other drives won't work well, but there were quite a few failures with the earlier seagate SMR drives and that scared people off, so very few people try any other drives. It is unclear if SMR is the issue or that family/batch of seagate SMR drives was not robust. The OEM WD 3TB drive is not generally available to the public so the prices for the WD OEM drive tend to be higher than the Toshiba. If you don't mind the inconvenience, you can run a longer SATA cable (after dremeling a small hole) to an external SATA enclosure (bypassing the esata circuitry on the enclosure) and use more popular 3.5" WD Red drives.
     
  19. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Excellent! Noted some folks were hacking a 3.5" drive via an external SATA connection, but I think I'll give the clone a try first...then go to "Plan C" if needed.

    Cheers for that!
     
  20. permanentpress

    permanentpress New Member

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    Phoenix,...
    This header really fits my question, though doesn’t answer it, so let me add on...
    My bolt plus is flashing 4 lights and likely dead. It replaced a bolt that died last year, but it’s on lifetime so I will either swap with tivo or replace the drive. Here are ideas spinning in my head for current or future recovery use.
    ? Can I clone the drive of a tivo with recordings as an image file/ or to a new 3TB matching drive / and still watch my recording on the the new tivo?
    ? Or alternately could I clone to a new drive and only use in the current tivo ?
    ? My drive won’t boot the tivo but if I got a sector copy to a good drive, might it boot? Or switch to a secondary partition like the old ones used to and boot, and still let me see/ transfer some of my recording to my far older BUT STILL WORKING Premiere or Series 3 (yeah they outlived two bolts... okay I think they have replacement drives in them but even those are still years older)
    I just have so many collected recordings and no record of what they are and the archivist (hoarder?) in me needs to know. Also the tinkerer.*
    Yes I may just work out a replacement deal with tivo but it should not be an annual event...

    * is there perhaps a file on the bolt that would list recordings that might be recoverable? At least the old days the tivo would die slowly and I could photograph the now playing list before kissing it goodbye....
     

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