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Faster Hard Drives

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by kevinturcotte, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Feb 15, 2009 #81 of 108
    Rich

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    My point is that Weaknees gives a certain sector of the HR using population an easy, dependable, quick solution to the problem of not enough storage. Most people that own HRs would take the easy (Weaknees) way out, I think.

    Rich
     
  2. Feb 15, 2009 #82 of 108
    Rich

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    Here's a link to their warranty page:

    http://www.weaknees.com/warranty.php

    They still don't give you much of a warranty. A little better than it used to be. But with the HRs, the hard drives seem to fail a lot less often than TiVos hard drives did.

    Rich
     
  3. Feb 15, 2009 #83 of 108
    t_h

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    Maybe. I had six series 1's and three series 2's. Two of the series 1's developed drive problems almost immediately (quantum 20gb 4200 rpm marble filled drives). After that I didnt have a failure with any of the other units. Sold four of the series 1's after ~4 years. Still have two, both are still running. Had the series 2's in service for 3 years with no drive failures.
     
  4. Feb 15, 2009 #84 of 108
    dgobe

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    Absolutely Rich. Just showing people other options that can save quite a bit of money. It's understandable that some people might not want to venture installing their own drive into an enclosure, but it is quite easy. Frankly, I think the people who are even aware of the eSATA option are technically minded enough to do it.

    Choice is never a bad thing!
     
  5. Feb 15, 2009 #85 of 108
    dgobe

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    Quantum drives were notoriously unreliable. They had a "Fireball" series of drives and we used to joke that their next line was going to be the "Chernobyl" series.
     
  6. Feb 15, 2009 #86 of 108
    t_h

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    Thats what the series 1 drives were. Fireballs. I think I was the first guy to attempt a non quantum drive in a series 1, a maxtor 60GB drive, rather massive for its day. The scuttlebutt was that there was some custom firmware on the quantums that enabled them to work in a series 1 and a non-tivo drive wouldnt work. That turned out to not be the case.
     
  7. Feb 16, 2009 #87 of 108
    Rich

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    You're right about the folks who are aware of the eSATA function, but you have to remember, we have a huge knowledge base that we can access to do just about anything with the HRs. People who don't know this forum exists are more likely to go to a well known, respected site such as Weaknees. And don't forget the klutzes that can't figure out which way to turn a screwdriver. Lots of people like that.

    Rich
     
  8. Feb 16, 2009 #88 of 108
    Richierich

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    Hey, are you calling me a "klutz". I am always happy when I see how much Weaknees amd others charge for these simple services. I have a 2 TB Drive in my HR23 for a total cost of $300 plus $75 for my HR23.

    They charge $700 for a HR22 with a 1.5 TB drive in it. So their unit with only 1.5 TB was twice what I paid for an HR23 with a 2 TB Drive in it and the installation took about 20 minutes. Boy does that make me feel good.
     
  9. Feb 17, 2009 #89 of 108
    Rich

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    You know I wasn't referring to you. And I would have called you a "klutz" if I were. Spellcheckers are a wonderful thing. :lol:

    I still think Weaknees serves a sector of the population that is mechanically and technically challenged (read "klutzy"). So their prices are high, so what? What folks are paying for, in this case, is expertise.

    The Germans have a word for enjoying the discomforts and mistakes that people make. I think it is "schadenfreude". That would make you a "schadenfreuder". :lol:

    Rich
     
  10. Feb 17, 2009 #90 of 108
    Richierich

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    Yes, I guess that is what they are for. I used them when I had to upgrade my drive in my Directivo because they had to copy the software over to it but now all you do is open the box up, take out the drive, put in the new one, close it up and boot it up and you are done. Even a Klutz like me can do it!!! :lol:
     
  11. Feb 17, 2009 #91 of 108
    TomCat

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    I think the important point about Weaknees and other 3rd party guys is not that they do work that some might be intimidated by trying themselves, but that they know and understand HDDs as applied to DVRs. These guys do this for a living and have a long history of great success.

    It isn't outside the realm of possiblilty that a forum member or two might have great expertise in this area (t_h seems like this might not be his first BBQ, for instance). But who would know more about the subject than the folks who have already killed all the dragons and know where all the bodies are buried?

    I would never dis the forum knowledge base, but with all due respect, Weaknees and the others are the real experts on HDDs, enclosures, and cables as they apply to the exact DVRs we want to upgrade, not someone hiding behind a fake name and an avatar that we really know nothing about who has no responsibility to those he might advise. Weaknees has to stand behind what they say and do. They have to live or die by whether they are right or not. Internet guy doesn't.

    Sure, it's fun to upgrade your own DVR, just like it's fun to rebuild that '58 Corvette out in the garage. But this is different. On the car rebuild you can get things wrong and then go back and fix them. That's part of the fun.

    But with a DVR I don't want to dick around with maybes. I want the right solution the first time out of the box. I don't want to find out I'm missing episode 24 of "24" after investing myself in eps 1-23, especially when there is no access to that viewing except for the original broadcast. There is way too much on the line to take chances in this area. I'm not about to go to hulu and buy it in SD and watch it on my laptop or iPhone, and I don't want to wait for the $150 box set to arrive some Xmas down the road. There really are no second chances that are practical. Ensuring DVR reliability is tantamount, which is why I own 4 and double-record everything.

    Weaknees service? I imagine its great, but for 5 HDD upgrades I never had to avail myself of it and would not expect to. That's not important to me (but they do answer emails in a very detailed and satisfying manner, that is for sure). I want their expertise in CHOOSING the right parts. I want the highest odds of success, and that is what I think you get if you go there instead of relying on some supposed internet expert.
     
  12. Feb 17, 2009 #92 of 108
    dgobe

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    Did you just compare a '58 Vette to a DVR? :)

    We know what drive they use. We know what enclosure they use. They don't come to the house and plug it in for you. If you can save a Benjamin it is a choice most people would risk.

    I can see where somebody wanted their copy service to maintain their recordings and settings. That's more than most people want to attempt but that process is also well documented if they want to try it themselves.

    I think there's nothing wrong with making the information available and people can make their own choice.
     
  13. Feb 17, 2009 #93 of 108
    t_h

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    Do also note that Weaknees (his username on the old original tivo board) got into this business way back when, and it really WAS rocket science. You had to get your own linux distro downloaded, copy some software snippets that a couple of guys wrote in their basement onto it, have a stripped PC sitting there with wires hanging out of it, and it was a 2-3 hour event. Then you had to find the guy who made the stamped metal pieces that you mounted your drive to, come up with a Y-power cable, and sometimes duct tape was involved.

    Most people couldnt or wouldnt do any of that. Even today theres a big technology gap between selecting or building something that'll really work, and a long institutional knowledge record that someone like Weaknees has is pretty valuable, even though with a little education you can do it yourself for less.

    I like getting my hands dirty on stuff like this, but I bought a drive from them once. I was in the middle of moving, my shows were piling up, and I needed more storage space on my old directivo. It was pricey but it was easy and at that time, worth it to me.

    I guess the best part is that these days you can buy stuff like the WD DVR Expander and the Seagate Showcase, and for a much smaller premium get something made for the purpose and even supported by the manufacturers like tivo and presumable (and eventually), directv.

    So the weaknees type companies may not be around a whole lot longer. On the other hand, there are a lot of niche areas they have and can continue to expand into.
     
  14. Feb 22, 2009 #94 of 108
    TomCat

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    No, not at all. Apparently you are not paying close attention. Ever hear the saying "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"?

    What I compared was the fun of rebuilding a '58 Corvette to the seriousness of tinkering with drive replacement/addition on a DVR, and the example was made to point out that they really are two different things and the approach you take to one may be different than the approach you take to the other. I compared cheap experimentation via a hobby where mistakes are chalked up to "learning is fun" and can be tolerated vs. the best solution out there when mistakes can't be tolerated and educated guesses are not a good enough replacement for experience and knowledge, regardless of the price, which might be worth it. I thought that was made pretty clear.

    It's not that fine of a distinction, and most people probably picked up on that. Sorry you didn't. Maybe because you have the opposite view, that rebuilding a '58 vette is serious and that's where you think mistakes can't be tolerated while DVR recordings are "just television" and there's always more where that came from. If that is your view (and certainly as valid as mine) then I'd say you're a perfect candidate for sacrificing your recordings to the gods of tinkering. Vaya con Dios. Have at it (just report back):). I see it the other way.

    Don't think that hasn't crossed my mind. Tell us what drives they use, and what cable they use (we can get the enclosure from this thread) and where to get them, and maybe I'll consider it myself. Oh, and don't forget to tell us whatever other drive prep they might do, unless you are willing to take a stand that they simply open a crate of blank drives and blindly shove them into enclosures just before they box them up cold and slap the pricetag on. Do you think that's really all there is to it?


    I agree, pioneers usually suffer the arrows, while the settlers usually end up with the land. How nice of Weaknees to to all of the dirty work for us ahead of time so that we can take that information and DIY. But then that implies that someone actually has all of that information, can really be trusted, and is willing to part with it.
     
  15. Feb 22, 2009 #95 of 108
    Rich

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    Yup. That is precisely all there is to it. And you don't need their enclosure, an Antec MX-1 will do nicely and any blank SATA hard drive with the proper speed can be "blindly shoved" into the enclosure and hooked up to an HR and the HR will format the hard drive and off you go. I would recommend looking up the hard drives that are recommended for this and t_h is a great resource for this sort of info. Personally I've got Seagate Barracuda 1TB hard drives in two MX-1s and the only problem I had was figuring out the pictographic instructions for installation. And the Antec comes with it's own eSATA to eSATA jumper. Give it a try, it is really quite simple.

    I parted with the info willingly. Whether you trust me or not is up to you. :lol:

    Rich
     
  16. Feb 22, 2009 #96 of 108
    harsh

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    Very few hard drives are spec'ed to run at over 140 degrees. Most will be permanently damaged if stored above 158 degrees (the "non-operating" specification).

    Western Digital draws the operating temperature line at 140. Seagate draws the line at 130. Maxtor maxes out at 140.
     
  17. Feb 22, 2009 #97 of 108
    Rich

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    I could swear I had TiVos running hotter than that. But my rememory...

    Rich
     
  18. Feb 22, 2009 #98 of 108
    t_h

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    Unless you had a fan failure, they were probably much cooler than that. My experiences with S1-S3 tivos is that depending on how many and what kind of drive, they run around 100-120 degrees.

    Many drives are certified for higher temperatures. Both Seagate and WD (and others i'm sure) have higher temp cert drives.

    The Seagate Pipeline I'm using is certified good to 75C/167F.

    Googles data storage report says that heat (up to a point and I believe the point was well above 140 degrees) didnt make any difference in hard drive life.

    Where I think you might get a negative result is in applications where the drive temperature varies wildly during operating times. For example in a device left in a room that has 40-50 degree temperature swings in a 24-48 hour period.

    Tom, regarding your corvette/dvr comparison...I think the car application might be a little more important. Unless your HR is safe at 120mph in a curve.
     
  19. Feb 22, 2009 #99 of 108
    Rich

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    No fan failures. I did deliberately disconnect a fan in a TiVo once to see what would happen. Ran for quite a while and then a blue screen popped up and said the TiVo was too hot to run. Reconnected the fan and all was well. If I remember correctly, the temps in the TiVos were in degrees C. And I do remember them running really high temps.

    Good point. Been driving since I was 11 or 12 and have never driven a Vette except for one we used to take out of a doctor's driveway. I think that was a 56 Vette. Wasn't fast, but handled well. Be afraid to drive one today for fear that I'd buy one. My son has been after me to buy him one for a while. That won't happen.

    Rich
     
  20. Richierich

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    I don't ever remember my SD Tivos or my 2 HR10-250s ever running that hot. I think they ran around 114 to 116 degrees if I remember correctly.

    I also had 3 Corvettes and I wouldn't have another one but the first one was a 1967 and it was a Doozzy and I bought it from a guy who was going off to 'Nam and it was souped up and boy was it Fast as he worked for a Speed Shop. I wish I still had it.

    I now have a 1998 BMW Z3 with a SuperCharger and Koni Suspension with Brembo Slotted Racing Rotors and Performance Friction Pads with XM Radio and it will run Circles around a Corvette thru the "Tail Of The Dragon". I did it once and when I got to the Finish Line in Tennessee there was no one behind me in sight and my wife was screaming her head off but Boy was it Fun!!!
     

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