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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I upgraded our 40Hr series 2 Tivo box with a 120GB HDD a while ago and now it's very full (wife recorded a lot of kid's programs). Current 120GB HDD is Seagate 7200rpm Barracuda that seems to work fine (a bit noisy but no big deal). Considering cost and size needed, I'd like to upgrade to a 250GB or 300GB HDD.

What's the best choice now? I can tolerate noise a bit as long as it's not too loud but I certainly don't want a disk to fail prematurely. Appreciate any suggestions, especially ones costing less than $100.

BTW is there any concern preparing (formatting and copying) a drive 300GB or larger?

TIA!

Ehien
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tracy RainH2o said:
Tiger Direct has Seagate 250 & 300 GB drives on sale. Of course there is a rebate involved.
Ha. These were the only good deals on 250/300GB HDD I found before posting. However, I'm a bit concerned about reliability of these 7200.8 Seagate drives. It doesn't rate highly at Storage Review site (11%).

The Hitachi 7k250 250GB I currently use for backup of my PC data is rated much higher in reliability. But the price seems to be high >$130 now ($100 AR 6 months ago).

Nevertheless, reliability is not as big a concern as the one used for data backup and there might be certain traits that fit Tivo application better (like noise, vibration, random read/write speed?).

I'd like to hear some expert's opinions on these.

Ehien
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much, Captain_video!

Budget is quite tight lately but our 120GB HDD is almost completely full. After reading your post I decided to go for a namebrand model- Hitachi 7K250 250GB at $100. This is the exact same drive I currently use in an external enclosure for PC backup. Previous TigerDirect's good deal on Seagate 7200.8 250GB ($80) was gone and I'm more comfortable with the performance of Hitachi Desktar 7k250 (also use their 7200rpm 2.5" HDD in my laptop). Just hope this 250GB will last us for a while.

Ehien

captain_video said:
Most any name brand IDE drive will work just fine. Ideally you'd want to use one that's designed for multimedia applications, like the Maxtor Quantum Quickview drives. Standard IDE drives have to perform a thermal calibration periodically to compensate for any drift due to temperature variations. This makes sure that the drive heads are positioned over the correct location on the platter during any read and write cycle as the platter expands and contracts due to changes in temperature. When this is done in a Tivo, the result is a momentary interruption of the data stream during the record or playback process, causing glitches and pixelisation of the video.

Multimedia drives do not perform this thermal calibration and are therefore better suited for this purpose. You'll have greatly reduced instances of pixelisation (they can still occur due to other factors) which makes for a cleaner picture with fewer interruptions. These drives are much more expensive. I believe Weaknees uses Quantum Quickview drives exclusively (PTVUpgrade may also use them but I don't know for sure). If you can live with some occasional pixelisation then you can save a good bit of money by going with one of the name brand retail IDE drives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bummer... The oneline stores I checked only had smaller than 100GB Quickview. Had I knew this store earlier, I would order this one instead. Too late... the order I placed yesterday has just been shipped. Now we'll see how much pixelation happens with the Hitachi drive. This hasn't been an issue with current non-video specific Seagate drive. So hopefully it won't be an issue on the new drive either.

tomm1079 said:
I ended up getting a maxtor quickview 250 gig (i LOVE maxtor have NEVER had one go bad on me in years with the computer)....they are 110 a piece for the quickview

http://shop.atriniti.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the comments. But as you know, the purpose is to reduce probability of failure, even though it can't be completely prevented. There's also a period when a company is not well managed and QC slips, failure rate increases. I remember Western Didigtal had great reputation in early 90's, but then during late 90's their drive acquired the reputation of being unreliable. Now they seem to be back on track. Nowadays HDD from all the major makers seem to be more reliable than they used to be. Still it's best to watch out for certain maker that slips.

whatever said:
The reliability of hard drives is littered with anecdotal experiences. My experience (10+ years as a sys/database admin) is that if the drive is bad, it's going to die. Doesn't matter who made the thing. I currently have hard drive doorstops here on my desk at work from Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate and IBM. I'd say that I have probably seen just a few more Maxtors die than other ones, but not enough to warrant them being "really bad".

Unless there is a known problem with a certain batch of hard drives, just about any of the major players will make something that works fine.
 
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