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Options to Replace / Repair HD XL Unit

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by BH9244, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. BH9244

    BH9244 Member

    Feb 10, 2009
    The hard drive in my HD XL unit has failed and I am pondering my options to either replace or repair the unit. I'm looking for some feedback as to what others think is the best coarse of action..

    Amongst the possibilities..

    1) Buy a factory service XL HD for $179, this would give me the option of replacing the drive in the old unit which I could then sell or keep as a spare or additional unit...

    2) Buy a Premier XL which Tivo is offering for $350

    3) Buy a replacement drive kit..1TB about $250 or 2 TB for abt $400.

    4) Buy a bare drive, instacake etc...

    I'm thinking ( perhaps wrongly ) that options 3 and 4 would allow me to use the existing cable card without Time Warner coming out, whereas 1 and 2 might require a truck roll...

    Thanks for your thoughts on this...
  2. lastdeadcat

    lastdeadcat 22 years in Alaska

    Mar 14, 2005
    Duvall, WA
    It's interesting that you might base you decision on a truck roll. Is the cable company more formidable than opening the TiVo box. Replacing the drive is probably cheaper than spending more money and the dreaded truck roll.
  3. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Active Member

    Aug 25, 2001
    Not sure where you are getting you prices, but it shouldn't cost you $250 for a 1tb replacement. You can buy the drives for $60 to replace yourself. Otherwise you can buy from DVR_Dude on ebay for around $120. Many people here have used his upgrades.

    If your drive is dead where you can't use the original drive to copy from, I believe you will still need to call TWC to pair the card.
  4. robomeister

    robomeister DVD TiVo Expert

    Feb 4, 2005
    Beltsville, MD
    To answer your original question, all 4 options would require a truck roll. In all cases, you will need to run guided setup from the beginning, as if you just pulled the TiVo from the box. I'm assuming the original drive in the XL is dead. Instant Cake will require a Clear and Delete Everything to marry the new hard drive to the motherboard. Buying a pre-configured drive will require the same thing. In both of these cases, the cable card info is lost.

    So, you will need a truck roll in all cases, to get the cable card to work. The cable guy will probably just call the office and re-pair the cards to the TiVo and send a 'hit' to the card to restore its functionality. This shouldn't require a truck roll, but usually does. The cable companies just don't think the public is smart enough to do their work for them. :)

    Good luck,
  5. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    That all depends on which provider the OP has. Comcast and some other providers will allow you to pick up a cablecard from a local office and then have it paired to your Tivo over the phone. A truck roll is never needed. In fact, I believe Verizon is about the only provider that doesn't have local walk-in offices that provide this service and they will require a truck roll to set up the cablecard.

    Go with the hard drive replacement. Restoring a Tivo image is ridiculously simple with the current tools we have at our disposal. With Instantcake, it's so easy it's almost embarassing.
  6. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    No, only SOME Comcast areas will let you pick up a card and pair it over the phone yourself. Many areas (including mine) are still stuck in the dark ages and require rolls for anything to do with CCs. If OP is on Comcast and all you need to do is change pairing, though, I would bet an email to we_can_help@cable.comcast.com will get it going without a roll.
  7. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    Are you sure the drive has failed completely? Have you put it in a pc to run enhanced tests or tried the "freezer" trick to get an image that would allow you to replace it yourself?
  8. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    I wish that were true, but it simply isn't. Mediacon also forces a truck roll....ridiculous.
  9. BH9244

    BH9244 Member

    Feb 10, 2009
    My service provider is Time Warner, they of course say that a truck roll is required..

    I wound up deciding to buy a fact serviced HD XL for $179, Tivo says ( and I think they may be wrong ) that I should be able to simply swap the Cable card into the new unit and it should work, I made a apt for the cable guy just in case this proves incorrect...

    This then gives me the option to tinker with the old dead box, I haven't pulled the drive and done anything external with it yet, but in the end I'll end up with a additional unit as either a backup or additional unit..

    Of course in the end the thing that bothers me most is the likely loss of some 500 hours of recordings on the dead drive. Would be nice if one could simply plug a external drive into the SATA port and make periodic backups...

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