Trying to figure out what's the best method to upgrade my bolt HD

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by tomatomic, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. tomatomic

    tomatomic New Member

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    Apr 16, 2020
    Howdy all, first time posting - it looks like this is the place for more current info.. I bought a 500GB bolt about 4 years ago, and decided to try and put a 4TB in there instead of paying almost the same amount for the 1TB option

    I got a seagate ST4000LM016, but it was a bit risky, cause some users on this site reported problems. Well, it worked for a few months, but one day, my bolt decided it would never boot from that drive again. So, i put the original 500GB back in, and that's how its been till now. I move a couple years ago and havent used my bolt since, but I just got myself all set up and now its time to deal with the upgrade again.

    Now, what im seeing is that things are a bit more complicated with TE3 vs TE4. I do want to try TE4, so I want to be sure I get a drive that is more likely to work this time.

    So, from what im gathering here, there are 2 ways to add storage - either by replacing the internal HD (with a 2.5" or hacking in a 3.5"), or by using a DVR expander drive enclosure, and possibly upgrading the drive in there (since they only come in 500GB or 1TB options)

    Pros/Cons -
    internal replacement
    means you lose current saved videos unless you clone the HD data to the new drive and increase the partition size - which sounds like a pain in the as, but replace the HD, and its nice and tidy, no external anything.
    DVR expander
    seems to be nothing other than a hard drive enclosure with some sort of non-standard chipset..
    using one adds storage, and doesn't delete existing videos, but then you have an external case, a bit more messy, and may require some hacking skills.

    This is where the big question comes in. Which route should I take?

    in this post:
    List of drives that don't boot under TE4 21.x on Bolt
    it lists a couple of HDs that will work with both software versions,
    If this is accurate, and these 2 drives are the most reliable options, then ill probably go with the 5TB.. but how hard will it be to keep my old data on the original HD?

    Thanks in advance for any advice - I'm hoping to get to the bottom of this.

    (I spend a lot of time trying to get my 4TB to work with the eSATA port in an external enclosure, several days of BS with that before calling TiVo and finding out it the bolt does Not use standard eSATA drives. Oops!)
     
  2. tomatomic

    tomatomic New Member

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    Apr 16, 2020
    one more thing.. the reason im not considering the toshiba 3TB that was the rockstar for quite a while, is that its either unavailable or radically overpriced.. seeing them for over $300. screw that!!
     
  3. tomatomic

    tomatomic New Member

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    Apr 16, 2020
    Yeah I've already seen those. They don't answer my question. In fact, one of those links are in included in my question.

    To replace or add. That is the Question. ;-)
     
  4. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Houston, Texas
    It's not recommended around here to use the Expander drives.

    Decide on sticking with a 2.5" or make the move to a 3.5".

    Pick the appropriate drive.

    -KP
     
  5. rpj22

    rpj22 Active Member

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    It's not clear to me that you understand what has been said in the various threads. A DVR expander is something that plugs into the external Esata port. As noted in one of the other comments, even if you could find one, you don't want to do that. The positive comments on external enclosures you have seen all refer to connecting an external drive to the INTERNAL sata connection. The enclosure isn't even necessary ... you could just have the bare drive sitting on a shelf with a long sata cable and some kind of power supply plugged into it. No special electronics is needed, because the TiVo doesn't even realize that the drive is physically outside of the case. It just looks to the TiVo like a regular internal drive.

    Since the two situations are logically the same, there is no difference in drive preparation. The only difference is that the external method is less neat, but has the advantage that you can use either a 2.5" or a 3.5" drive. Also, the Bolt will run cooler with the drive out of the case.
     
  6. tomatomic

    tomatomic New Member

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    Apr 16, 2020
    yeah that part is clear to me now, not sure how clearly I mentioned it before, but Thats what my question entails - to use the external connection or the internal.. and if it makes sense to use that seagate 5TB.. and also.. hoping people may have some input as to if there is a way to clone the existing data to the larger drive.

    I did spend a lot of time at first connecting my 2.5" 4TB to the esata port with various eSATA enclosures I have, but not until calling tivo did I learn that that port is non-standard, and its meant only for the expander drives, which are far too small to be used reasonably
     
  7. tomatomic

    tomatomic New Member

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    Apr 16, 2020
    well yeah.
    but.. which method? one guy is saying external expanders are no bueno, which is fine.. but does it seem wise to get the seagate 5TB?
    and then.. there is the issue of what to do with my existing data on the default 500GB drive - can it be cloned, etc..
     
  8. tomatomic

    tomatomic New Member

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    Apr 16, 2020
    Id like to point out that this post is more for clarification and to see if anyone has experience that may verify that im on the right path. there is a LOT of outdated info out there and a lot of competing opinions, so before i buy a drive that i might have trouble returning, id like to not run into trouble again with a bad decision, like i did the first time.
     
  9. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Houston, Texas
    I mean, there's like 100 threads here on that topic.

    Read through them and decide which makes the most sense for what works for you.

    One setup has no lid on the TiVo case with an external 3.5", but it's in a closet. Does that work for you?

    Others gutted an Enclosure and used just the power supply and ran a long SATA cable. That still has a larger footprint than stock. Can you tolerate that?

    There's 2.5" that will drop right in.

    You have to decide for you...

    -KP
     
  10. tomatomic

    tomatomic New Member

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    Apr 16, 2020
    Thanks again for the response!

    Yeah, there are 100 posts, not to mention other sites that come up in searches.. there's a lot of competing and outdated info, so it gets confusing.
    and.. its hard to tell if what people are saying work the same now, in 2020.
    Just because someone wrote something in a forum on the internet, does not make it true. This is part of why im explaining where im at to see if there is a flaw in my thinking to try and get a consensus.

    So, again, if the seagate 5TB seems like its a good choice, and its not a bad listing, I think that would be best.. cause yeah, having the lid off the tivo isn't quite as neat and tidy is it?

    So.. 2.5" seagate 5TB good? bad?
    and if i do that, is it possible to clone my data from my original drive? or is that just too hard/messy to deal with?
     
  11. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Houston, Texas
    You don't want to throw down for the 7tb SSD?

    -KP
     
  12. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    You didn't say if you're going TE3 or TE4.

    Or if you checked if your 5tb was listed (or one of the alternate size variants) in the Won't Boot thread.

    -KP
     
  13. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    dianebrat likes this.
  14. tomatomic

    tomatomic New Member

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    Apr 16, 2020
    i supplied the link where I got the seagate from - it is one of two drives i also linked, that are supposedly the ONLY ones that work with both TE3 or TE4. but.. again, with all the misinformation out there i was hoping to get some sort of confirmation.
    i thought my post was pretty clear about what im getting at.

    and for TE3 or TE4, im pretty sure im going to want TE4, but im guessing that it might be safer to get the drive installed

    please understand this clarification im looking for is so much due to me following advice here 3-4 years ago and getting a drive that does Not work properly with my bolt.
     
  15. tomatomic

    tomatomic New Member

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    Apr 16, 2020
    nice find!! i guess id have to consider how long it will take to ship for free from the UK to los angeles ;-)

    i dont know why its not in the big list of 2 HDs that are compatible with both TE3 & TE4 - will it work with TE4? (TE3 is fine obviously)
    thanks!
     
  16. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    And it seems to be a "real" company--they've also been selling the drive on eBay. :)
     
  17. rpj22

    rpj22 Active Member

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    About two months ago (before the COVID thing really hit the fan) DHL got me some memory sticks from Birmingham UK to LA in two days. (That's door to door, and it spent about twelve hours in Customs at LAX.)
     

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