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Failing drive and transferring a recording

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by robertgp124, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. robertgp124

    robertgp124 Ordinary Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    Morgantown, WV
    Fairly certain my external MyDVR is failing on my Tivo HD. We get freezes and reboots. Often when it tries to reboot (and the MyDVR is connected) it won't reboot - if I disconnect the MyDVR, Tivo seems to boot fine (and offers to reset itself).

    I recorded a show off the Disney Channel for my son and would like not to lose that. I have TimeWarner and the copy protection flag is thrown. There's no way to rescue his recording is there by transferring it to another Tivo is there? When I try to access it from the Premiere, there's just a big red x next to it.

    I'm wondering if I purchase another drive and clone the external, if that would work (We've downloaded a half dozen shows from Amazon and while I hate to lose those, at least I can redownload them!)

  2. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    I've never used an external drive with my TiVos, but I know that eSATA is not a very robust connection method. Try a different eSATA cable (or several) if you have extras available. I think that if you can remove your external drive from its case and clone it using something like ddrescue (onto an identical drive, or at least one with the same number of sectors), the clone should work with the TiVo. Someone with actual experience doing this should reply to confirm and elaborate.
  3. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    If it is actually the TiVo approved WD external drive which is failing (which could be either the drive or the enclosure electronics, including the enclosure's power supply), and not an iffy eSATA cable, then you could buy another TiVo approved WD external drive (to be sure to get an actual inside the enclosure drive with one of the few model numbers on the list the TiVo checks external drives against) and "Xerox" the current drive to the new one with one of three Linux command line utilities, either the original




    both of which are on the MFS Live cd v1.4, or


    which is on the jmfs cd amongst other places.

    But since we're talking about a TiVo that's newer than a Series 1 and older than a Series 4, you need to make sure it's not the power supply inside the TiVo suffering from "capacitor plague" before you attempt any other diagnosis.
  4. Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

    Aug 16, 2001
    As usual Unitron has nailed it; noting more to see here folks, move along...
  5. evanborkow

    evanborkow Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Haven't I also read of trying the original external drive in a new enclosure. There's one that's recommended on this board.
  6. robertgp124

    robertgp124 Ordinary Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    Morgantown, WV
    It is a Tivo approved external drive - it's the old WD 500 gb expander. I'm going to try a new cable tomorrow and see if that helps. Seems like I still have the original.

    I'll pop the case and clean the inside out - and take a look at the capacitors. Not sure exactly how to check that out, but will start to research and see if I can bribe my electrical engineer boss to have a look as well. :)

    Thanks very much!
  7. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Yes, in some cases it has been the electronics in the WD external case causing problems.
    Some people have been successful taking the hard drive out of the WD case and put it in an Antec MX-1 and save their recordings.

    You just want to look at the capacitors. They should be completely flat on top.
    The difference between good (normal) and bad (bulging)...


    Attached Files:

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