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Using external drive as boot drive

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by tommage1, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. tommage1

    tommage1 Active Member

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    Am experimenting with external drives as boot drive for Roamio. Direct connection from motherboard to drive in enclosure, using the external case as power for the drive.. Everything seems to be working fine. But here is the question, powering up/down devices. Logic says when powering up turn on the external drive first, then power up the Roamio. When shutting down I'd say put the Roamio into standby (which should put the external into standby?), power down the Roamio, then power off the external drive? That is how I have been doing it. My question is, as one of my "external" drives I used a new 3TB PMR drive. After powering up/shutting down a few times I went to check the drive for errors even though everything seems fine. No major errors BUT did see some Ultra DMA CRC errors. From what I understand these can be caused by a drive losing power at the wrong time. Can this be a problem using an external drive as boot drive for a Tivo? Is the method I use for shutting down correct, put the Tivo into standby, unplug the Tivo, then power down the drive? Not the same as shutting down a computer, the OS shuts the drives down correctly before powering down. Thanks.
     
  2. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    One would presume that once your TiVo is in Standby, it's done writing to the drive. So at that point it doesn't matter whether you power off the TiVo or the external drive next, you're only going to write bad data if you're writing data.

    It seems unlikely that your shutdown process is the source of the errors.


    Edit: Oops! I must have been stoned or drunk when I posted this! It somehow slipped my mind that a TiVo is still recording in Standby. I still don't think this is source of your errors, but power-off your TiVo first if you want to be absolutely safe.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  3. tommage1

    tommage1 Active Member

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    That's what I thought but not sure what actually happens when you put a Tivo into standby, Tivos still record etc when in standby so the drive still being used in some way. The enclosure has an activity LED, will check it when I put the Tivo into standby and power it off. I think I will try with another drive in the enclosure for fun. Other than that working great, can swap drives whenever I want, unlimited storage for the Roamio. Using OTA so no cable card pairing issues with multiple drives.
     
  4. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    My preferred shutdown method is to reboot from the menu, then pull the power cord when it gets to the first Welcome screen. Theoretically that should give it a chance to write any temp files to disk, clear out the Live TV buffers cleanly, etc.
     
    tommage1 and krkaufman like this.
  5. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I wonder if there is a relationship between Standby and disk activity. I know the tuners are no longer buffered and the A/V is killed, but how much more? I have a Roamio that is almost always in Standby, yet I get instant response to My Shows on that device. I never use power saving. That probably changes things.
     
  6. tommage1

    tommage1 Active Member

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    Good idea, I will do that.
     
  7. tommage1

    tommage1 Active Member

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    As you may have guessed I am testing thst use of external Roamio drives as we were working on in the other thresd (your test worked well). My main drive is an 8TB. I pulled it and put a fresh 3TB drive in the enclosure. Setup new season passes, did recordings, connected to service multiple times. When I put the 8TB back in everything seems to be intact, recordings and all settings. Will be swapping back and forth a few more times and will probably throw a 3rd drive into the mix.

    One other thing I tried, for an external I tried an ESATA "toaster" drive. The cable is ESATA on one end and SATA on the other which attaches to the Roamio MB. Not as good as SATA to SATA since it is using the ESATA connection on the toaster but seems to be working ok, for now. What is nice IF it works is can pop drives in and out of the toaster in a couple seconds (with Tivo off of course, do have to reboot the Tivo.) Will see how it goes, a few drives, toaster and regular enclosure with SATA to SATA, ideally if the toaster works would be the "Ultimate" Roamio for my purposes, 3/4TB PMR drives cheap and easy to find, especially 3TB, unlimited storage.
     
  8. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Sounds like a plan. In case you don't know, within 30 minutes of a restart, the TiVo performs a service connection. It probably means nothing for your project, but something to add to your TiVo trivia.

    A while back I bought a nice eSATA/USB 3 enclosure. I use it to test drives before I put them in my Roamio units. I can pop a case off my TiVo in one minute, but I have no clue how to open my computer. :oops:
     
  9. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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  10. tommage1

    tommage1 Active Member

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    I built my main desktop (it's not too difficult). The case I used has a slot on the top where you can plug in a Sata drive (2.5 or 3.5). I also bought an Icy Dock Duo Swap enclosure that fits in computer 5.25 (CD drive) bay. It holds one 2.5" drive and one 3.5" drive. Each with it's own power switch. No trays or anything, just plug in and push button to pop out. Full Sata III speed too, same as hooking up direct to Sata port on MB (the enclosure does connect to two Sata ports on your motherboard). Model number is MB971SP-B. Wonderful, I don't have any drives inside the computer. Use the 2.5 slot for OS SSD. And can swap OS drives in a second, ie Win 7 or Win 10 or any other OS. The 3.5 slot I use for my backups and storage. Only turn on when needed. With the slot on the top of the case and the two Icy dock slots I can have 3 drives hooked up at any time at full Sata III speeds, never have to open my case. And can boot from any of the slots/drives, cannot put an OS on a USB drive (Windows at least).

    Oh, I do have a USB/ESata enclosure too. Even has a fan and all aluminum, nice. If the "toaster" does not pan out that is the enclosure I will use, direct Sata to Sata, power from the enclosure.
     
    JoeKustra likes this.

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