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My fix for a dead FAP...

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by sbessel, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. sbessel

    sbessel Reformed Geek

    Dec 10, 2001
    I figured I would post this here hoping it helps someone else out.

    I have a S3 with a Seagate Free Agent Pro 500g on it (FAP) it was running fine for about a year, then the other day I got the dreaded green screen stating my drive was dead.

    I tried all the power up/down stuff but nothing worked. I tried the unit on my computer and it would not respond, in fact it would not even show up. one thing I did notice is that the adapter board on the bottom was quite hot, and got that way quickly. I then broke the drive out of the FAP housing, it took quite a while and my housing was unusable after...

    I put the 500g drive from the dead FAP in a spare Antec MX-1 case I had and connected to my S3, powered both up and voila no green screen, everything was wonderful, no lost recordings and the TiVo was happy, as was I,

    So if for some strange reason your FAP dies, and you don't want to loose your recordings you may be able to try a different case. I picked up my Antec's from Staples, and they had them on sale for $40. I have 5 of them now used for different things, mainly for backups with 1tb drives.

    I hope this helps someone else.
  2. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    Good work and good info. Sounds like the bridge failed on the FAP. It makes sense that it worked in a new enclosure as TiVo recognizes eSATA drives by the model number; giving the drive a new home was a good move.

    Moderators are usually not happy about cross-posting but it would be helpful if you posted this info (or perhaps a link to it) in the appropriate Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ sticky thread for others that follow.

    The MX-1 I used to have connected for an eSATA to our Series3 once upon a time has been happily backing up my iMac for quite a while now...great enclosure.

    BTW, although it should spin up, the FAP shouldn't/wouldn't show up on your computer since it's not formatted FAT32 or NTFS. You would have to have formatted it to work with your PC and that would have erased all of your recordings (and the ability to use it with your Series3) so good thing it all worked out. :up:
  3. DaveLinger

    DaveLinger New Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Every external hard drive that I've ever had fail (which is 3 or 4 at this point) (on PCs, not on TiVo) has been due to the enclosure board failing, not the actual drive failing. I guess it's a common problem.
  4. HowBoutNowLA

    HowBoutNowLA New Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    If I had only seen this thread 10 minutes sooner!!

    This is the second FAP I had fail - this is the refurb from the factory they sent for free and it only lasted 6 weeks. Both times I lost a ton of amazing programming. Even this time at only 6 weeks. I messed around with it for a few hours before divorcing it and gave up, and while it was in the middle of being divorced I came across this thread. NUTS!

    Here's some info I dug up on how to get the drive out of that BOGUS enclosure though:
    I was just able to get this open.

    1. Remove the rubber feet
    2. remove the screws from where the rubber feet were.
    3. Remove the esata/usb base
    4. remove the lower plastic cover
    5. remove the tiny screws
    6. remove the metal shield
    7. remove the 3 base screws.
    8. stick a standard screw driver into the lower holes and twist. One side panel will move, one will not. The removeable panel is the one with the logo that lights up. If you are looking at the drive from the back where the ports are, the panel is on the left.
    9. Stick the screwdriver between the plastic of the panel that moves. this panel has 4 clips holding it on very tightly but it can be pryed off.
    10. Once the panel is open, unplug the drive and remove it. It is in a metal free floating cage. Remove the rubber covers to reveal the screws.
    11. Pry the two cage panels apart and the drive is free. There is no permanent damage to the case, so you should be able to mount another drive in it.
  5. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    Bummer about losing your recordings but thanks for posting the FAP deconstruction info. :up:

    #11 wouldn't apply in the OP's case as it was actually the FAP enclosure not the hard drive that was the problem. So in that case employing a good hammer might be substituted for steps 1 through 10. ;)
  6. HowBoutNowLA

    HowBoutNowLA New Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Yep - this worked! My Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750 died a few months ago and I lost 100 hrs. of HD programming. They were nice enough (hah) to replace it free under warranty with a refurb and that one died after just 6 weeks - the Tivo stopped recognizing it.

    I took the Seagate housing apart and took out the drive and put it into the Antec MX-1 (best buy - $70). Plugged it into the Tivo and it fired right up, no problems. It almost took a stick of dynamite to get the drive out of the Seagate, I ended up prying it apart and ripping the housing off with a claw hammer. But it's fine because the drive itself is inside this sturdy metal cage in the unit. Once I ripped the housing apart the drive was fine.

    Still pretty annoyed that I made the mistake of divorcing the drive first and losing all that content I'll probably never get again, including uncut HD Godfather trilogy, Jaws, The Doors - bummer. But thanks sbessel for this great solution. I wish I knew about it months ago...anyone that has an external crap out on them should REALLY try this before they divorce the drive and lose all their stored HD gems!

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