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Adding a New Drive for TV Recoding to Media Center

December 4, 2009

The 750GB drive that I installed 2 1/2 years ago when I purchased our PC to run Vista Media Center seemed to be getting too crowed (perhaps dues to more shows now being broadcast in HD). So with drives exceeding a terrabyte now available for less than $100. I picked up a new 1.5GB drive to use for recording TV shows. Windows 7 Media Center shows it as having 140 hours of HD storage capacity.

I elected not to install the drive internally for several reasons:

  • That would have required removing the existing drive cage (an unjustifiably laborious process).
  • That would have required purchasing a power adapter cable to allow a four pin molex connector to power the new drive.
  • If I decide to replace this drive in the future, I would have to go through the same process.

Therefore, I purchased an two external serial ATA (eSATA) bracket that goes in an expansion card rear slot and connected each of its cables to a free internal serial ATA port. Voila two eSATA ports. I then put my new drive in an exteral drive case and connected it to one of the new eSATA ports. I then had a new 1.5TB drive with a lot less work than if I had tried to install it internally. And it should be just as fast as any internal hard drive.

Telling Media Center to start recording to the new drive required changing only one setting, and the old drive with all my recorded shows just became a “library” for recorded TV.

I’ll be interested to see if Media Center removes shows from the library drive (when more room is needed or the maximum number have been recorded) or not, I suspect not, but I’ll have to wait and see.


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