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  2. Breaking News - The sale is back... "Our “once in a lifetime” PLS promotion was such a hit, that we’ve decided to launch it again! The PLS Transfer Sale will be available again for the last 3 days of the month. This will include the BOLT+ 3TB, and 4 refurb units (BOLT 500GB, BOLT 1T, Roamio Pro and the TiVo Mini)." https://www.tivo.com/secondchancelifetimesale#/secondchancelifetimesale

S3 lifetime drive dying - What would you do?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by TBoyd, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. TBoyd

    TBoyd Less Cable, More Net

    Apr 9, 2000
    I’ve just been reading recent S3 threads here on dying drives, etc…

    I have a Tivo Series 3 with lifetime in my bedroom. It’s begun to stutter and re-boot itself without warning. I’ve replaced the drive one or twice over the years as they wore out, but haven’t done recently (i.e. I don’t remember the process).

    But as the S3 is aged now, and I have a good S4 in the living room, I’m considering the future of the S3 in my rack. As I use the bedroom S3 only for late night news and 30 mins of late night talk afterwards, I’m considering a Tivo Stream to use with an iPad in the bedroom if I retired the S3. Further, I’ve cancelled Comcast service in the bedroom and only use the S3 for digital OTA from the SF Sutro Tower.

    I see my options as:

    1. Re-discover the drive replacement process, but a new disk and format it in my PC to fix the S3.

    2. See if Tivo will transfer the S3 lifetime to a new S4 which I’d buy from Tivo to replace the S3. (I suspect this is long odds)

    3. Sell the S3, with its dying drive, but with the lifetime service on eBay and acquire a Tivo Stream. (Btw, what do you think a lifetime S3 would fetch?)

    Please chime in what you consider the best of these options and add any other thoughts you have.

  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    The easiest process is to use WinMFS if you use windows, no typing of Linux commands. No format needed. Cost: about $72 for a 1TB (WD 10EZRX)drive, $100 for a 2 TB (WD 20EARX). (Just looked up from amazon.com.)

    Doubt Tivo will do any more lifetime transfers. Cost is the price of a new Tivo Premiere + $399.99 Lifetime.

    Cost on selling varies but a limited or non-functioning Tivo may get you about <$50 (guessing here) and lifetime may get some more.
  3. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Tivo with lifetime will likely still get you decent bucks.. make it clear how it works though, or fix it then sell it.
  4. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    I recently fixed my lifetime Series 3 TiVo too. Wound up using WinMFS to put an S3 image on to a 500GB Western Digital drive. Was pretty easy too . It now works great and I personally am glad I did this. The S3 unit is now in a basement rec room so not heavily used, but still WAAAAYY better than a crappy Comcast box that would have costed me about $8-20/month (depending if I get a HD or DVR box or not).

    I am also able to basically use it for more storage over my entire network. Can then easily transfer recordings from this S3 to one of my Premieres on the main level. Works great. Only downfall for me though is Comcast won't allow transferring of "premium" network material (HBO, Showtime, etc.). I have both, but they are 6 month free offers so I am about to dump them both anyway so not a huge deal, but just thought I would mention this too. Your cable company might be different.

    Also keep in mind of the cable card charges. Right now, I am only being charged $1.50 per cable card for this Series 3. While I have two S-cards in my S3, you could use only one (& have only one tuner), but if its basically a guest bedroom and/or a lightly used area, 1 tuner might be enough anyway. I considered this for my situation, but I can handle $3/month for its cable cards for now. Your cable company might be different so definitely check to see what they would charge per month for EACH cable card.

    Hey, if you try this route and it winds up not being the way you wanted or liked, you will likely be able to recoup your hard drive cost (& then some) by selling it on ebay or Craigslist.
  5. poppagene

    poppagene User

    Dec 29, 2001
    You may as well open the hood and check out the condition of the power supply capacitors. They can cause a variety of problems and replacing them as needed will improve the longevity of your S3.
  6. MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

    Jun 20, 2009
    If you still have the original drive you may want to put it in and let it update as the software and guide will be very downlevel. If that Tivo is only for news, etc, it mat be big enough anyway.

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