My previous expander has died. From reading past forum posts, I understand that I need an eSATA hard drive that has no USB (just eSATA), has just a single partition, is designed to be run 24/7 without spinning down to sleep mode. Several years ago there were specific model numbers mentioned in several forum posts, but most of these are no longer readily available. I have contacted several local computer stores here in Victoria but they don't carry eSATA stuff anymore (one looked them up in a catalog but could not find enclosures without USB). The ones I've seen on amazon.ca also have USB as well as eSATA. I am hoping someone can provide current model numbers and where-to-purchase information -- anywhere in the 2-to-6 TB range. I believe that Western Digital purple SATA drives are good, but then I would need an enclosure and I haven't found one that meets the criteria listed above. (I am not an expert on this kind of stuff. I rapidly get lost when I read things like Raiding drives together, so I am hoping for some easy-to-understand information!)
Using the Gateway, they will support up to 6TB of space, so you are good there.
I have my Expander setup for RAID, but majority don't and not really needed. Basically uses two drives at the same time, if a drive fails, the other one still has a copy of everything. Replace the failed drive and everything gets copied back. These are not cheap, but I'd rather do this then hear from household members how all the recordings were lost.. lol
The Purple drives are best to get for an Expander. Where are you located? Many stores would put the drive into the enclosure for you if asked. They should be able to recommend which of their enclosure products work well with the Gateway system as well.
Thank you kevinds for your comments. I'll consider a dual-bay expander in the future, which will allow me the security of having a backup (if I set it to the RAID 1 option). For now, for my first foray into this kind of thing, I wanted something simple. After not having any luck with the computer shops I contacted here in Victoria, I tried again while in Vancouver this past weekend. Even here it was the third computer shop I visited before I found one that carried eSATA enclosures. Mike's Computer Shop carries a Vantec NexStar 6G enclosure that has both USB and eSATA. I didn't actually purchase it until I got home, and then ordered it and a Western Digital 3.5-inch 3 TB Purple drive from mikescomputershop.com. It arrived in less than two days, and I am pleased to say that I now have a working external hard drive for my Gateway. (The presence of a USB connection as well as the eSATA connection was not a problem.)
In case it is of use to other newcomers to this kind of thing, here is what I bought (although I bought from mikescomputershop.com, you can get the same products elsewhere):
- Vantec NexStar 6G NST-366SU3-BK Drive Enclosure External. ($45.27 Canadian). This is an enclosure for a 3.5-inch SATA hard drive. Note that the U in the model number is important. This one has both an eSATA connection and a USB connection. There is a similar model number without the U (NexStar 6G NST-366S3-BK), but this one has only a USB connection -- no eSATA, so do NOT buy this one.
- Western Digital 3 TB Purple Drive: WD Purple WD30PURZ 3TB 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - SATA - 64MB Buffer. ($121.56).
This was very easy to set up. The enclosure came with easy-to-follow instructions. Again for the benefit of newcomers considering getting one of these, all you do is:
- Slide the enclosure open.
- Set the hard drive down flat into the part of the enclosure with electronics (the "caddy") oriented such that the SATA connections line up with each other.
- Slide the hard drive so that the SATA connection on the hard drive goes straight into the SATA connection on the caddy.
- Turn the caddy/hard drive combination upside down, and screw in 4 of the 7 silver-colored screws that come with the enclosure to attach the hard drive to the caddy (the rest of the screws are surplus). (Requires a Phillips screwdriver.)
- Insert the caddy back into the NexStar 6G housing, and fasten together with 2 of the 3 black screws provided.
- (The "Verify the package contents" step showed four small stick-on rubber feet, but these were already installed on my enclosure. I guess on some models you have to stick these on yourself.)
- Insert the enclosure into the stand provided if you wish.
It is now ready to go. Just:
- Plug in the power supply to a wall plug and to the hard drive enclosure.
- Connect the eSATA cable to both the hard drive enclosure and the Gateway (see note below*).
- Press the on/off switch on the hard drive enclosure to the ON position.
The rest you do from the Gateway commands on your TV:
- Format the new hard drive. If a message doesn't pop up automatically -- it didn't on mine -- then go to Settings (the icon that looks like machine gears) and select External Hard Drive. Once I selected Format (and confirmed that that was what I wanted to do), it took only 10 minutes to format.
I know that it worked because the Recording Space went from 80% Full before installing the external hard drive to 10% Full. As a rough check: 80% of 500 GB = 400 GB. Then 400 GB (= 0.4 TB) divided by 3.5 TB (the maximum I could get from the 500 GB that comes with the Gateway plus 3 TB from the external hard drive) equals 11.4%, which is close to the 10% Full figure shown by the Gateway.
* The only issue I encountered with the above installation was that the eSATA cable that came with the NexStar 6G enclosure would not fit properly into the eSATA connection on the Gateway. I tried both ends of the cable, but it would only go in about 1/8 of an inch and seemed loose. (It plugged in all the way into the enclosure.) Fortunately I had an eSATA cable (from my previous expander that had died), so I used that instead and it worked fine.
In your math also consider space used for the live buffer (when you are able to rewind a channel you have been watching), there is space set aside for that.
I've been reading through the threads relating to expanders, seems you have some pretty solid experience.
I have a Arris DCX3510 that won't recognize/boot-up with my WD 1TB My Book expander (original Shaw purchase).
I think the DCX3510 unit is toast, called Shaw, getting a new Gateway unit this week, and want to upgrade my expander size to 4TB (Gateway is supposed to handle up to 6TB).
After reading through the articles on Shaw, it appears the WD purple internal drives (eSATA) are the ones to get.
I found them on Amazon;
However there are two types; Old generation" and "New generation". From what I read, New generation is supposed to have a wireless configuration for surveillance camera applications, which is not required for PVR applications, so is redundant for my purposes, however it is "newer", and could have better hardware/software than the "old" model. If you go to the WD website they don't make a distinction, just one model, which I assume is the "new" generation.
If you have the time I was hoping you might be able to answer a couple of questions to help me make the best hardware purchase.
My questions are;
1. Would using the "new" generation, or "old" generation model affect its use as a PVR expander? Will both work? If you're not sure, which would be the safest bet?
(Also, another factor.. for some reason the "New" generation is cheaper than the "Old", about $30 less.)
2. For an enclosure, I was thinking of using my old WD 1TB expander unit casing, and installing the new WD Purple 4TB in it, c/w power supply. My 1TB WD drive is pretty old, not sure if putting the 4TB will be compatible, same size (3.5"), power supply should be the same 12V, 2A, but ... there are always unknown, unknowns, that may become a critical factor.
My question is; In your opinion, do you think this configuration would work, or should I just cough up the $52 and get the Vantec NexStar 6G NST-366SU3-BK ?
Note: I looked at the drive in my original My Book;
Date; Nov 15, 2009
5vDC 0.70 A
(not sure why 2 supplies listed, the power adapter is 12v, 2A)
Thanks for your help!