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View Full Version : E-SATA and approved drive "list" on the THD. Possible to add more?



ciper
04-03-2009, 06:01 PM
I played with the idea of reflashing the firmware of an off the shelf drive so that it reported the same info to the TiVo. I got distracted and forgot about it.

Today I saw this thread
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=422700

The person seems to have got a 1TB expander by mistake before it was meant to be released to the market. It is being reported as an unsupported device,,, which is a good thing in my mind.

I have an idea which may not be correct but follow me. 11.0C just came out. I doubt TiVo is going to release another update soon. The 1TB drive has been in the works for a while. The person connected it and it says unsupported. This leads me to believe the supported drive list is not part of the OS but rather some entry in the database which is not protected by the Prom/Kernel. If that is the case you can see I am hinting at a script that could be run on the PC to add more drives to the list and allow "unsupported" drives to work on an unprommed unit.

In researching unsupported drives in the past most evidence points to the idea that the enclosure is nothing special and its just the drive firmware reporting a serial/model/secret number to the TiVO.

Can the experts chime in?

Jamie
04-04-2009, 12:23 PM
bash-2.02# echo "dumpobj /Table/DriveInfo" | tivosh
Table 28501/15 {
Index = 1
IndexPath = /Table/DriveInfo /Server/79344565
Name = DriveInfo
ServerId = 79344565
ServerVersion = 20
StringData = {model=WDC WD5000AVJS-63TRA0|fwrev=12.01C01|bits=0x00000000} {model=WDC WD5000AVVS-63ZWB0|fwrev=01.01B01|bits=0x00000000}
Version = 1
}
It looks to me like StringData there holds the list of supported drives (Model, fwrev and "bits", whatever that is).

petestrash
04-05-2009, 08:46 AM
I'm not a big fan of using an extender due to the added risks of losing data, but I have married an unsupported external to the standard internal for testing using a PC, and that works fine.

This is an easier method and would probably survive a software update, but I'm not sure how someone with an unhacked TiVo could easily dbset the change to SringData in /Table/DriveInfo in the mfs?

If your going to pull the drive, you might as well just put a bigger single one back in it's place with less risk of losing all your shows and cheaper/neater than using an external.

Peter.

captain_video
04-05-2009, 09:44 AM
I've got two S3 Tivos with Fantom 1TB external drives attached and they're working just fine. Both S3's have had their internal drives upgraded to 500GB and 750GB. I've been running dual drive Tivo setups for almost 10 years and I've only had one hard drive failure that caused me any data loss in all that time, and I believe the drive that failed was the OEM drive that came with the Tivo. I've literally owned several dozen Tivos of all varieties over that period. In other words, there's no real reason to be concerned about data loss or drive failures by adding a 2nd drive. You stand just as much chance of a drive failure with a single drive as you do with two.

petestrash
04-05-2009, 10:49 AM
I don't have any experience with recent failures (touch wood), but many years of failures using dual drives in S1's (not just the deathstar's), when there was no choice but to have multiple drives for decent capacity.

When I have had single drive failures, I have been able to recover most of the shows, but lost everything when dual drives fail.

With single drives now being so large, why take the risk? The TiVo interface is not that great when you have hundreds of files anyway.

Might not be such a problem with today's drives, but I also only keep them in TiVo's 3-4 years now just to be safe.

Peter.

Edit, added Australian TiVo HD StringData. Seems to confirm that they as planning to only supply 1Gb extenders here.


Index = 1
IndexPath = /Table/DriveInfo /Server/79344565
Name = DriveInfo
ServerId = 79344565
ServerVersion = 18
StringData = {model=WDC WD10EVVS-63E1B1|fwrev=01.01A01|bits=0x00000000}
Version = 1
}

captain_video
04-06-2009, 08:52 AM
With single drives now being so large, why take the risk? The TiVo interface is not that great when you have hundreds of files anyway.

Might not be such a problem with today's drives, but I also only keep them in TiVo's 3-4 years now just to be safe.

Peter.
A single drive is definitely preferable in most cases, except when you need more capacity than the current single drive limitation imposed by the OS. Personally, I don't like the idea of having more recordings stored on a drive than I'll ever have time to watch. However, with the number of season passes I have and the current schedule I keep, it's almost impossible for me to keep up with all the shows I record. The upside is that when my favorite programs go into reruns, I still have lots of new episodes to watch.

I hesitated for a long time before deciding to go with the external storage on both my S3's. The clincher was when shows started getting deleted from the upgraded drives before I had a chance to watch them. I record HD content almost exclusively so even large drives get filled up in short order.

petestrash
04-06-2009, 09:29 AM
If you are having shows deleted after upgrading to a large internal then you don't have much choice but to add an external.

Peter.

ciper
04-15-2009, 06:33 AM
but I'm not sure how someone with an unhacked TiVo could easily dbset the change to SringData in /Table/DriveInfo in the mfs?

Couldn't it work similar to Toshiba_unlock / sd-h400_unlock ? Think of it like the QAM mapping service that was offered on DDB. That was for people who didn't hack their unit.

If you did modify this entry wouldn't it survive an update since it is outside the "OS?"


A single drive is definitely preferable in most cases, except when you need more capacity than the current single drive limitation imposed by the OS.
For the TiVo HD you can use the TiVo HD XL image I created and then expand it to fill a 2TB drive. For the S3 you should be able to use the instructions in the MFS from scratch thread to create your own 2TB drive.


I record HD content almost exclusively so even large drives get filled up in short order.
I feel you. It is the only reason I upgraded to 2TB and even that is not enough anymore. My suggestions folder and recently deleted are both empty right now!

petestrash
04-15-2009, 02:44 PM
Couldn't it work similar to Toshiba_unlock / sd-h400_unlock ? Think of it like the QAM mapping service that was offered on DDB. That was for people who didn't hack their unit.

If you did modify this entry wouldn't it survive an update since it is outside the "OS?"

That's a good suggestion. I didn't know about Jamies unlock package (http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38519), and it looks like the same process could be used to modify the entry if the internal drive is pulled from the TiVo.

It would survive an OS update, as it is an MFS entry.

But there is nothing stopping TiVo sending out a reset/update for the value at anytime should they choose to.

The value was changed here without any change to the software version. We originally had the same 500Gb drive set as the US did (while use of the expander was still disabled).

If you are pulling the internal anyway, why not just marry the two at that time? Then you are not at risk of TiVo restoring the modified MFS entry.

Peter.

ciper
04-16-2009, 05:53 AM
If anyone is willing to write this software I have three THD at my disposal to test with. One with two internal 1TB drives, a second one with a 1tb drive and a third unit with no modifications at all. I would very much prefer to use the first unit I mentioned even if it means putting my original 160gb drive back in.

If the tool is created a feature request I have is that it would scan a specified drive for the exact ID needed. For example "mfs_drive_add /dev/hdc -a /dev/sda" where HDA is the internal tivo drive and SDA is the new esata unit.


If you are pulling the internal anyway, why not just marry the two at that time? Then you are not at risk of TiVo restoring the modified MFS entry.

LOL I guess that is true but the drive ID entry method would allow you to remove a failed drive without taking the unit apart! The "official" drive support works really well when it comes to failures. It allows the box to continue working and EVEN play back shows that were recorded before the drive was added.

petestrash
04-26-2009, 02:14 AM
What does the string data show now on US TiVo's for the 1TB expander?

Is it the same as we have in Australia?


StringData = {model=WDC WD10EVVS-63E1B1|fwrev=01.01A01|bits=0x00000000}

They are charging us A$499 for the 1TB drive ~US$360, vs US$167.70 on Amazon with free US shipping.

Peter.

Jamie
04-28-2009, 04:49 PM
What does the string data show now on US TiVo's for the 1TB expander? Is it the same as we have in Australia? ...Looks like it:
{model=WDC WD5000AVJS-63TRA0 | fwrev=12.01C01 | bits=0x00000000}
{model=WDC WD5000AVVS-63ZWB0 | fwrev=01.01B01 | bits=0x00000000}
{model=WDC WD5000AVVS-63H0B1 | fwrev=05.04C05 | bits=0x00000000}
{model=WDC WD10EVVS-63E1B1 | fwrev=01.01A01 | bits=0x00000000}

petestrash
05-14-2009, 04:08 AM
For some reason this post does not seem to have made it though last week:


Looks like the pre-release info was bogus, the drive is available for A$290-299. It almost sounds cheap after being told A$499.

Peter.