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Lost media key

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by HFChristie, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. HFChristie

    HFChristie New Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    My tIVo failed, and while trying to diagnose, I removed watch battery on motherboard. That didn't fix it (still stuck on welcome), so I purchased another unit, same model.

    After confirming new TiVo worked, I put drive for my original T in replacement. Same problem, although this time it got stuck on Almost There screen.

    I then put drive from replacement T in original (lifetime) unit. After a couple tries, it booted into main play list menu. Yoppee!! However, several things popped out immediately;
    1. OS on replacement drive is so old, it's missing 1 or 2 of the main menu items. I can't remember which, but it's only showing 4 choices.
    2. Evidently, OS is so old it won't recognize the USB ports on my motherboard, so I can't connect to TiVo service. And, since all telephone lines in neighborhood are digital, it can't talk to TiVo using a phone line.
    3. Finally, it appears that the watch battery ihad nothing to do with retaining instead of retaining at least some of the network and config settings, but it did keep the media key!

    So, here are my questions;
    A. Do I need the media key, and other now missing system info, that I lost when I removed the watch battery, to access my lifetime service, or is the needed sn or ID part of the firmware? I can't see any sign of an sn or eid anywhere.
    2. Is there a way to upgrade the OS on this drive without using a network or phone connection?

    I know I have to eventually get an upgraded drive (the one that faled was only @18 mo old! The original lasted 8 years!), but befor investing in that I want to make sure all the other equip is still working - mainly network adaptor, IR blaster, downloading from TiVo service, etc.

    Thanks in advance
  2. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    You can do serial PPP. With one of the earliest supported wired Ethernet adapters, the ,#401 code might work.

    You could buy Instantcake, or beg for an image for your model in the image thread in the upgrade forum.

    The coin cell holds only the time (as in keeps a clock runnung).

    The ID off the TiVo is held on a non-volatile crypto chip, which the HDD is married to (error 51 indicates a mismatch - a C&DE fixes that). Your PL account status and MAK is on TiVo's servers, which your TiVo retrieves in its call. All local settings, apart from the time, are held on the HDD.
  3. HFChristie

    HFChristie New Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    That raises the question, then, as to why the TiVo (Series 2) Is telling me I have to activate it, and that it doesn't know the media key. Its been activated for 10 years. It specifically says media key unknown, and lists all zeros for it.

    Checking System Info shows most of that information has been wiped, zeroes or <unknown> instead of "real" data.

    Thanks for the Instacake reference. I'll check into that.
  4. HFChristie

    HFChristie New Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Oh, what dies #401 mean, and how do I make it work?

    What is C&DE?
  5. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    Aug 2, 2003
    Did you actually try it, or are you just assuming? Being "digital" doesn't preclude a line from being modem-compatible. In fact, v.90 and v.92 speeds actually require a digital line.

    C&DE = "Clear and Delete Everything". You pretty much have to do this when you transplant a drive.
  6. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    ",#401" (that's comma pound four zero one) in the dial prefix field tells the TiVo to make the connection via the Net rather than dial-up. I have a couple of TiVo 2s that have never been connected to a phone line.
  7. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    From what I've read here over the years, I would bet the farm you need to do a Clear and Delete everything on that Tivo.

    It should be in the Settings menu under Restart or Reset System.
  8. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    What's the model number of that TiVo?

    What size is the drive that was in when it started giving trouble?

    What size is the drive that was in that second TiVo which you just bought?

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