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Question from a hacking newbie: Any advantage to adding a drive vs. replacing?

2545 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  DSCollica
I have a Philips HDR-612 with software version 3.0-something.

I just bought a 250 GB drive and it appears that I have two options for hacking:

I can add the 250 GB drive to my current 60 GB drive and have a total capacity of 310 GB.


I can just replace the 60 GB drive with the new 250 GB drive and settle on a total capacity of 250 GB.

To be honest, I really don't need 310 GB ... 250 GB should be sufficient. 250 GB would give me roughly 73 hours in BEST quality, 119 hours in HIGH, or 159 hours in MEDIUM. [I don't think I will ever use BASIC quality after this upgrade.] That really should be sufficient.

Of course, adding instead of replacing would give me an additional 17 hours in BEST quality, an additional 28 hours or so in HIGH quality, or an additional 38 hours or so in MEDIUM quality. I probably won't need it ... but what the heck, why not.

So, my question to you all is this: Is there any significant advantage to replacing a drive versus adding a drive? I mean in terms of: the ease of the hacking operation, likelihood for success, avoiding problems down the road, etc.

Thanks in advance for any input!
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Two drives = twice as much chance of a hard drive going bad
I would go with one drive.

2 Drives also create more heat and need more power. If you save the 60 gig drive as is and anything goes wrong with the 250 gig one in the future you can be back up and running in minutes. If you use both of them and anything goes wrong with either one you could be down for days.

Good Luck,

Thanks, Finnstang and atmuscarella!

Excellent points. I will go with the replacement option instead of adding the 250 GB drive as a second drive.


One more question...

I should have looked into this before I bought the drive, but I figured it wouldn't matter, and the 250 GB drive was one of those CompUSA specials where if you don't get it first thing Sunday morning they'll be out of stock soon.

The drive is a Maxtor 250 GB Ultra ATA/133 with a 16 MB cache (instead of the usual 8 MB cache) and something Maxtor calls "MHX acceleration."

Will this drive work alright, or are there things that I might have to disable (e.g., the MHX acceleration) for it to work well inside my TiVo?
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Not sure about the MHX deal, but I imagine it will be fine right out of the box.
Thanks again.

I'll let you all know how it turns out.

This is my first time cracking open a TiVo case, let alone replacing the hard drive. I'm just hoping it's almost as easy as replacing a drive in a PC.
When I upgrade my TiVo (went from an 80 gig drive to a 300 gig drive) I used these instructions:


I would read them 2-3 times before doing anything there are a number of things you need to be fairly careful about.

Good Luck,


PS: Before you connect your TiVo drive to your PC I would disconnect your computers drive, that way there is no possible way you could boot your PC into windows with a TiVo Drive connected.
Unless I'm mistaken, that's a Series 1 unit. As-is, it will only use 137GB of that 250GB drive. To get it to use all 250GB, you'll have to replace the kernel. If you are new to hacking, you probably won't want to try that. You may want to consider selling that unit and getting a Series 2.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
My TiVo is definitely a Series 1. I bought it in December 2000.

Are there instructions anywhere for replacing the kernel to get it to recognize all 250 GB of my new drive?

I am new to hacking, but I might be able to manage it. I have some experience with replacing hardware in my PC. I have replaced my PC's hard drives at least five times, replaced the motherboard three times, and even had to replace my power supply once.

...I have often thought about buying a Series 2, but I just can't stomach the thought of having to pay for lifetime TiVo service again when I've already paid for lifetime TiVo service for my Series 1. ...Not to mention that I paid more than $600 just for the TiVo unit back in 1999. Between the purchase price of the TiVo and the price of the lifetime service ($200 back then) I spent over $800 on this machine. That makes it awfully painful to think about discarding my current machine to buy a Series 2 -AND- pay for lifetime service again.

...I don't have a high-def TV yet. [I figured there was no sense taking that plunge until TiVo came out with an HDTV TiVo.] My plan is to wait until the forthcoming Series 3 machines come out (presumably by Christmas) and go for broke upgrading to HDTV in early 2007.
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I think people who bought Lifetime on a Series 1 before a specific date are allowed a one-time transfer of that Lifetime service to a new unit. I don't know what that date is, though. You'll have to ask around or do a search.
Thanks for the tip. I just called TiVo Customer Service to inquire about that. Unfortunately, I missed the cutoff date of January 21, 2000. I did not buy and activate my TiVo until December 2000. :(
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