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Is our Tivo Dead? (endless welcome screen)

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by gibbie99, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. gibbie99

    gibbie99 New Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Hi all,

    To be short, our Tivo is broken. We got it 3 years ago, its a series two from Toshiba I believe. It has a maxtor Diamondmax 16 80 GB HD in it. Anyway, it had some trouble before it died completely. According to my wife, it would play shows fine, but when you try to power it up on occasion the welcome screen would take a long time to disappear, and I think one time it green screened.

    Anyway, I suspected the hard drive, so what I did was use one of the MFS tools images and copied the TiVo hard disk to my PC, then copied that information onto a new hard disk. It still doesn't boot up.

    The symptoms are, it does power up, but there is no power LED illuminating. Fan is on. The welcome screen shows up, there is hard drive activity for 1-2 minutes, then the screen flickers, then back to welcome screen. I think the unit is rebooting itself after some critical error.


    1) Is it worth it to buy the hard drive image, as the image may have been corrupted?

    2) Is the Tivo shot beyond redemption?

    3) One of the things we loath is the necessity to buy a subscription (the old one we used like a fancy VCR, worked fine for us) (called TiVo basic, thanks robo!). So we don't want to buy the subscriptin in any form. Can we still get a tivo without any sort of subscription contract? We're fine paying full price for it.


    Update: To be clear, the Tivo was unmodded in any way. Now it has a newish hard drive. I tried the kickstart procedure but I don't think i did it properly. I'll have to retry it.

    Oh, I also was able to boot mfstools off of a USB thumbdrive (took a while for that). If there is interest I could post a howto.

    Update2: edited for clarity.
  2. robomeister

    robomeister DVD TiVo Expert

    Feb 4, 2005
    Beltsville, MD
    Wow, lots of stuff in this post to respond to, where to start. I'll answer your questions as you asked them.

    1) The easiest way to get a fresh image for your Series 2 TiVo is to go to www.dvrupgrade.com and get the exact image for your malfunctioning TiVo. This is called Instant Cake and will cost you about $20, and is worth it. Copying the image from your TiVo HD would never have worked, as the hardware is totally different and the OS is not designed to be moved to different models of TiVos.

    2) No, the TiVo is not shot beyond redemption. It can't boot, because you have the wrong version of the TiVo software on the new drive. See answer 1 above. The parts that wear out first are the hard drive and the fan. The other parts may fail, but only in extreme situations (shorting out, bad part, lightning strikes).

    3) All Series 3 TiVos (HD or S3) require a subscription. Most Series 2 TiVos require a subscription. The exceptions are the TiVos made by Toshiba and Pioneer. These have a limited subscription built into the units called TiVo Basic, which gives you 3 days of guide info. No Season Passes or Wishlists, no MRV, no TTG, no networking other than connecting to the TiVo servers for guide information. Most Series 1 TiVos will work without a subscription. Some people will most likely chime in saying that they have been able to use their Series 2s without a subscription, but only after having it subscribed and then canceling the subscription.

    So, to summarize, you need to get an image for your Series 2 TiVo and put this image on the new drive, and you should be good to go. Good luck.

  3. gibbie99

    gibbie99 New Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Sorry for my miscommunication, when I said TiVo HD I meant TiVo hard drive, not high definition. What I did is copy the information from the old hard drive to a new one vis-a-vis mfstools. My thought is that the information is corrupt in some manner (garbage in = garbage out), so that putting it on a new disk won't help.

    Thanks *much* for your help!
  4. cr33p

    cr33p New Member

    Jan 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor MI
    While you may still need a new image in case yours is corrupted, your problem could also be a bad power supply. If the incorrect voltage is being sent to the mbd , or no voltage to the hdd at all then that would cause your booting problems. Try a new image on that new hdd you have, if that doesnt work look into picking up a new power supply over @ weaknees.
  5. gibbie99

    gibbie99 New Member

    Oct 19, 2007

    Update: TIVO WORKS!! Very happy now. I just downloaded the new Instant Cake image and installed it. It works for people like me with only one IDE controller, FYI. Tivo worked fine after that. Apparently the old hard disk image *was* corrupted.

    Thanks for the help!

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