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I am going to upgrade from my TiVo Series 4 to a TiVo Bolt Vox (the Edge doesn't seem worth the price). I would like to install a bigger hard drive. All the tutorials I've seen say that there is a 3TB limit on new hard drives, but these are all 2-3 years old. Is there still a 3 TB limit on drives that will work with the Bolt Vox or has the capacity been increased?
 

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I believe that's the internal limit, but there apparently still is a way to supplement that with an external drive: https://www.weaknees.com/t...

I'm sure someone will chime in here with any necessary secret sauce.
 

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No, 3TB is NOT the limit for a single drive in a Bolt - you can go up to either 8TB or maybe even 10TB (although I cannot imagine why anybody would want to risk losing that much recording on a hardware failure). Note that I said "a single drive" - but to use something that big you must use a 3.5" format externally to the Bolt case.

The 3TB limit only applies to the max size of a drive that your can just connect and reboot without doing anything else. If you want to use a larger drive, you must first prepare it with other software on a computer. This is well covered in CURRENT threads in the upgrade forum.
 

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Your options as far as I know them, are:
1. You can get a 2.5" drive up to 3tb, replace it in the original configuration, and it will work right away.

2. You can get a 2.5" drive that will fit in the original configuration that is larger than 3tb, and if larger than 3tb (in 2.5" or 3.5" size) you will need to format it. Here is the free program and thread provided in this forum. MFS Reformatter (mfsr) . You can really use any 2.5" hard drive, but there are only a couple of options for a SATA drive. Here is the only 5TB 2.5" drive that I know of (non SSD) Seagate Barracuda ($129 on amazon, not sure how that price compares). ST5000LM000 https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-BarraCuda-Internal-2-5-Inch-ST5000LM000/dp/B07MWDMD4J/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3E2PPIAE91BEH&keywords=seagate+barracuda+5tb+2.5&qid=1571065901&sprefix=seagate+barracuda+5tb,aps,160&sr=8-3
(The hard drives you find, and most of those listed, are not designed for 24/7 use. The constantly recording, and deleting type of use that a computer hard drive is not designed for.

3. You can buy a 2.5" Solid State Drive. You can find them 8TB, and higher, but you will spend $500-$1500 (or more if you really wanted to) for one. There is no advantage to having an SSD in a DVR like there would be in a computer. You are paying for the size only, and to have a drive that will fit in the factory location.

4. & 5. Both involve having an "external drive". For cost, options, and reliability, this would be a 3.5" drive. You can get 3.5" drives that are designed for AV or surveillance use. 3.5" drives are known to be a more reliable design. You can get a 3.5" drive in 8TB or more. and will cost about what a 4TB or 5TB 2.5" drive will cost. (I have read that 8TB is the cutoff, if you want more than that, then do some searching on this).

4. Would be to get an external drive. There are very few SUPPORTED on the market, and none are new. You connect it with your original drive installed. It will then pair to your drive, adding on that extra storage space. You will not lose your recordings when you connect, but you will if you ever disconnect. This is frowned upon, because if either drive ever goes bad you lose all your recordings. There is a program that is needed for the drive.

5. You can replace your hard drive with a 3.5" drive as your main and only drive. You have to remove the factory cables connected to your 2.5" drive, and run longer cables (through a modified TiVo case) to a drive that is placed externally. This allows you to use any 3.5" drive (size and style), it reduces the heat internally by removing the drive out of the case. The downside is you have a hard drive/or enclosure mounted somewhere near your TiVo, and have to make a hole in the case to allow the cable to pass through.

This is only meant to be a down and dirty explanation. Which ever method you choose, you should read more to feel 100% comfortable with your choice.
 

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Ah. The Upgrade forum. A quick scan of the first page reveals some of that secret sauce I mentioned:

Use the eSATA port with an external drive (up to 8TB DVR Expander) - simple method!
Most of us here think that adding a second drive via the eSATA port is a VERY BAD IDEA! First, eSATA ports and cables are crappy and unreliable (my opinion, based on a lot of personal use and testing). But more importantly, the Bolt's well know weak link is the quite high failure rate of those toy 2.5" drives, so adding an additional drive to expand storage does NOTHING to remove the first high risk of premature death; in fact, it actually GREATLY increases your risk of data loss, since failure of either disk will lose all recordings on BOTH drives.
 

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Most of us here think that adding a second drive via the eSATA port is a VERY BAD IDEA! First, eSATA ports and cables are crappy and unreliable (my opinion, based on a lot of personal use and testing). But more importantly, the Bolt's well know weak link is the quite high failure rate of those toy 2.5" drives, so adding an additional drive to expand storage does NOTHING to remove the first high risk of premature death; in fact, it actually GREATLY increases your risk of data loss, since failure of either disk will lose all recordings on BOTH drives.
OK. So upgrade the internal drive before adding an external, and get the best eSATA cable you can? Or don't try at all? (Or buy a modded combo from WeaKnees to get a warranty?)

Back in the Dark Ages (Golden Age?) I upgraded the drive in one HD box, but for our other HD I only added an external DVR Expander drive. They both lasted about ten years through constant use, remodels, and moves across town. In the end the HDs' plastic feet had crumbled into dust, but the drives were still fine.
 

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OK. So upgrade the internal drive before adding an external, and get the best eSATA cable you can? Or don't try at all? (Or buy a modded combo from WeaKnees to get a warranty?)
The problem with upgrading an internal is its not going to be a drive that is 100% designed for this type of use, they just don't make em. EVERY OTHER manufacturer of every thing that is similar to this knows to use a larger drive. These are not laptops. Weight and a couple inches never should have been a design concern by TiVo when designing the bolt, especially this late in the game. So not only is it not designed for this type of work, but the 2.5" drive is not as reliable. You can TRY to upgrade the internal first, but in a rough way to say it, "before you start you are trying to go from roughly 60% to 65% reliable and then adding another drive with its own problems". Weaknees looks like a lot to me, but you are getting their warranty with it.

Back in the Dark Ages (Golden Age?) I upgraded the drive in one HD box, but for our other HD I only added an external DVR Expander drive. They both lasted about ten years through constant use, remodels, and moves across town. In the end the HDs' plastic feet had crumbled into dust, but the drives were still fine.
And that's the thing nobody can truly predict with electronics like this. They may work for months, years, or decades.
 

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I've been using this drive in a white bolt for 27 months.

Seagate 3TB Laptop HDD SATA 6Gb/s 128MB Cache 2.5-Inch 15 mm Height Internal Hard Drive (ST3000LM016)
 
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