Tivo will not detect External HD

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Torino, May 29, 2011.

  1. Torino

    Torino Member

    126
    1
    Oct 5, 2006
    VA
    I have the western 500gb on a Series 3. The external drive was making a clicking noise but working, so I powered the Tivo and the drive down. Made sure the cable was in firmly on both ends and repowered up. Now I get the Tivo can't detect the external drive message. I have powered both down and up three times and still get the same massage. The drive was making a clicking sound but working fine. (Wish now I had not fooled with it). If I need to get another enclosure is there one from Best Buy that will work or do I have to get one off the net?
     
  2. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You might want to post the exact model number of both your TiVo and the enclosure and whether it's a USB cable or E-SATA.

    If it were me, I'd carefully open the external case, extract the drive (and if you do, post the model number of the drive itself here as well), and hook it up to a computer (that does not have a GigaByte brand motherboard) along with another drive of at least the same size and use dd_rescue to try to copy everything if it's still working well enough to allow that. That would allow copying via dd_rescue from the second drive to a third one of the exact same size as the first one if necessary.

    Then I'd use the WD software to run a complete diagnostic on the drive from the enclosure.

    Maybe the drive has problems, maybe the electronics in the enclosure have problems, maybe both do, and it's not absolutely impossible that the cable has gone bad.
     
  3. Torino

    Torino Member

    126
    1
    Oct 5, 2006
    VA
  4. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Moved which cord? Power? e-SATA? USB?

    I'm guessing (and since I'm not actually there, it's only a guess) that when it was not clicking it was not spinning, which probably means not getting power, and that moving whatever cord that was caused power to get through to it, which is when it started clicking.

    If it starts clicking when it first gets power, that's not a drive that needs a new enclosure, that's an enclosure that needs a new drive, assuming that the enclosure hasn't also gone bad.

    Before you spend any money, you need to dissassemble that thing and test the bare drive by itself.

    Will that model TiVo work with anything other than specific models of external Western Digital drives? As I understand it that is true of some TiVo models, and you need to know one way or the other before you spend any money.
     
  5. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Do not use your pc to try to get it to recognize the drive, as that may get things even more fouled up. At least, do not try to get windows os to recognize it. If you can download the manufacturer's diagnostics, probably a bootable cd, that is what you want to use.

    Of course, the only kind of external drives Series 3 Tivos(or any Tivo for that matter) can recognize are E-SATA(eSATA) drives, so that is the type of enclosure you must buy. Most eSATA enclosures are actually combo eSATA/USB enclosures, and those will work just as well.

    Best to try and find an enclosure that has a cooling fan. The most reliable enclosure with a long term history(with Tivo) is the Antec MX1. Although it is rather pricey, it's probably well worth it. I think Amazon sells it for about $55 shipped. Staples.com has it for about $50 + tax (usually) shipped. You may be able to find an online coupon to get a Staples purchase a little cheaper.

    I recall a Vantec brand fan cooled enclosure that was also recommended. I have the Antec MX 1 and it has performed admirably for 3.5 years with my Tivo HD.

    But just about any eSATA enclosure should work, short term, at least. Fan cooled is the best for the long term though. My guess is that Rosewill model will probably work out fine. I was impressed with the video, and the reviews of the Rosewill enclosure, there at newegg.

    If you happen to have another eSATA cable lying around, or can borrow one, you might see if that is the issue.

    I would say, if you are not too inclined to do the technical diagnostics to analyze the matter, as a shortcut, I recommend ordering the Rosewill. If things ultimately don't work out, return it as not working. You wouldn't be lying. But if it doesn't work, ultimately, you then will need to run the required diagnostics on both drives, probably, to diagnose the matter.

    Also, if ultimately things don't work out, say it turns out that the main hard drive is shot, you then will probably need to start thinking of just installing a single large hard(up to 1.5 TB) drive in the Tivo. It will take a little learning, but all you need to know and learn is in the "Series 3 Drive Expansion and Upgrade" thread(sticky).
     
  6. Torino

    Torino Member

    126
    1
    Oct 5, 2006
    VA
    When I hooked it up to the PC it started and was spinning without clicking. I touched the esata cord and it started clicking.

    So, I should not take it out to the enclosure and test it inside a pc?

    I did try a new cord. The cord did seem tighter inside the connection but Tivo still said it was missing.
     
  7. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    It's up to you on opening the drive. Is it still under warranty? Can you open it without destroying it? If it's not in warranty, probably the easiest thing to try is just very carefully remove it from the enclosure ans put it in the new enclosure(as you are planning).
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You want to avoid letting Windows assign a drive letter to the drive.

    You need to take it out of the enclosure and connect it directly to an IDE or SATA port on your computer (unless you have a GigaByte motherboard, in which case we need to discuss how to avoid getting a Host Protected Area put on the drive whether you want it or not by GigaByte's Express Recovery feature/bug).

    Then boot the computer and hit DEL or whatever is necessary to interrupt the boot process before Windows launches and go into your BIOS page.

    At that point, you should be able to tell if the drive is spinning, and if it's clicking. If it's clicking, you probably need a new drive. If not, see if the computer itself (not Windows) recognizes the drive.

    At that point, change the bios,if necessary, to make it boot from cd/dvd before it boots from hard drive. In your cd or dvd drive, you should have a copy of the MFS Live cd v1.4 (you can download the image from mfslive.org and burn it to a CD-R)

    Note that I'm not talking about the WinMFS program from the same guy, I'm talking about a cd that boots you into a specialized version of Linux with a bunch of TiVo-wrangling programs and other useful utilities.

    When it finishes booting, you can use SHIFT+Page Up to go back through the stuff the cd put on the screen during boot and see if the cd recognized the drive, and whether it called it hda, hdb, hdc, or hdd, or sda, sdb, sdc, or sdd.

    Then enter the command


    pdisk -l /dev/(here you put in whatever the drive was recognized as)


    so if you had it as the master on the primary IDE controller it would be

    pdisk -l /dev/hda


    or if it was the first SATA device

    pdisk -l /dev/sda


    That's pdisk space hyphen lowercase L

    If you have TiVo partitions on the drive, it should show them, and if it can see them, the drive may be okay.

    To get out of MFS Live, you can enter the command

    reboot

    and it will,

    but you probably want to enter

    poweroff

    which will cause it to shut down and turn off the power so that you can remove the cd and disconnect the drive under test.

    Before you spend any money, let us know what you find out.
     
  9. Jun 1, 2011 #9 of 15
    Torino

    Torino Member

    126
    1
    Oct 5, 2006
    VA
    Got the Antec MX-1 enclosure and that did not fix the problem. The drive is still not detected by Tivo and still clicking so I guess it is toast. Sometimes if I turn the HD off and on it will run without clicking until I reboot Tivo and durning the booting up it will start to click again. By the way this was 1tg drive not 500gb. I got this Tivo used last year it was supposed to have been upgraded I think by Weeknees and it is suppose to have a 1tg drive inside also. My model no is. TCD 648250B. What are my best options now?
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Try to find someone else who ignores good advice and hope to get some of your money back on that enclosure by selling it to them before they figure out that a new enclosure isn't what they need.
     
  11. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
    0
    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Unless you are prepared to run the dianostics on the external drive(are saved recordings important?), then you might just try letting the Tivo divorce itself from the external drive. It should guide you through the steps with instructions on the "cannot detect external" screen.

    You will lose all recordings saved after the external was installed.

    First though, have you tried any of the Tivo's built in "kickstart" diagnostics? These are accessed after the Tivo powers on, but before it fully boots, by special entering special key sequences on the remote, just after powering up. Although I don't know how that is going to work if the external is not recognized.

    Up to you, but I think it's probably time to try divorcing the external.

    Good luck.
     
  12. Torino

    Torino Member

    126
    1
    Oct 5, 2006
    VA
    I tried to run kick-start 54 but could not get it to work. After holding the pause until the amber light and put 54 in it did not seem to notice I did anything. I am going to go ahead and try to do the diagnostics. If I decide to do the divorce will I be able to add an external drive latter on or will they have to be married because the internal drive is updated to a 1tb? Could I have 2 internal drives?
     
  13. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
    0
    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    With an upgraded internal drive, a computer must be used to marry the external and internal drives.

    It takes many people quite a few tries to initiate the kickstarts. The timing of when to start the remote signals is crucial.

    You can have 2 internals, but they will still need to be married, exactly as if one were external. That is unless your already married pair turn out to be good still. I cannot recommend one way or the other on that though, as I don't have an S3, so don't know how/where you would mount/cool the additional hardware.

    You can just go with a single large capacity drive, like a 1.5 or 2TB drive, but the largest capacity the S3 will utilize is about 1.3TB, or so(I have read).
     
  14. Torino

    Torino Member

    126
    1
    Oct 5, 2006
    VA
    Well after a week of trying to save the drive I have pronounced it dead. Hooked it up to pc and it would not spin and did not show up on bios. Before I divorced it I made a copy of my now playing list. I can get most of the shows back I think. Thanks for all the help.
     
  15. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    What is the model number on the hard drive itself?
     

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