1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

tivo series 4 drive pairing?

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by ejonesss, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. ejonesss

    ejonesss New Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    i was wondering a couple things.

    1. where on the hard drive is the software stored?
    is it near the 0 sector so if i was to downsize the hard drive i would not damage the software?

    and how many gig does the software use?
    because i am trying a new approach to a problem i have been having is i decided to clone the original 320 gig drive onto a ssd solid state drive i have but the ssd is only 240 gig so i know some data is going to be lost and that's ok as long as it is not the software.

    i decided ssd because even though trim management is not going to work since the box does not know how to use trim the drive should be faster than the oem drive.

    my problem is corruption of the show when ever there is any overlap and show 1 stops and the next show starts

    and unexpectedly aborting the downloads via tivo to go.

    so hopefully a ssd will solve that problem.

    2. are the tivo hard drives paired to the serial of the box so if i buy a box on ebay that has no hard drive or a bad power supply is the drive then not going to work?

    i wonder because i would like to get a broken tivo fix it to use to salvage the shows while i let the ssd continue with the recording without missing anything.

    or can i connect the drive externally and salvage the shows
  2. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    To shoehorn the 320 into 240GB you'd need to re-write the TiVo code to expect a drive with smaller MFS Media partitions.

    Each TiVo has a unique TiVo Service Number burned into a chip somewhere on the motherboard.

    The TSN should also be on the sticker on the back where the power cord plugs in.

    The TSN is how the servers at TiVo, Inc., keep track of that TiVo, so when it "phones home" it reports the TSN and the servers check their database to see what the account status is--whether it currently has a valid subscription or not and stuff.

    The TiVo also encrpyts or encodes the shows it records with that TSN, which is why you can't take a drive out of one TiVo model "XYZ" and stick it in another otherwise identical model "XYZ" and watch the shows.

    Been that way since the Series 1.

    To do all that stuff, the TSN from the motherboard has to be copied to somewhere on the hard drive (I have no idea where)

    When you put a drive in a TiVo that has an image that came from another TiVo, even if it's the same model, the TSN recorded on the hard drive is going to have to be changed to the one on the motherboard, and in the process of doing that everything that was put on the other TiVo after Guided Setup is going to be tossed overboard--shows, cable lineups, ZIP Code, thumb ratings, season passes, IP address, cable card pairings, everything that would not yet be on a brand new right out of box TiVo that hadn't run Guided Setup yet.

    Using an external drive should be avoided under any circumstances, but what you have in mind won't work for a number of reasons.

    Everything I've told you here applies to all TiVo models so far, I'm pretty sure, but I have no direct S4 or S5 experience and though ordinarily I don't encourage duplicate posts, you might want to ask the people in the DvrBARS thread, or post there with a link to this thread asking them to come here to talk about your problem.

    P.S. In addition to the TSN, you may find a serial number on the sticker as well, and I'm sure that TiVo, Inc. know which TSN goes with which serial number, but the TiVo itself probably neither knows no cares about it.

    But the TSN is a big deal to it.
  3. ejonesss

    ejonesss New Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    why avoid external drives?

    and does it apply to the $129 or $199 western digital my book expander sold by tivo?
  4. ejonesss

    ejonesss New Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    cant edit the post

    also i tried it and it seemed to work i mean tivo booted and did the updates.

    there was one update that it hung on but it must have done it early enough that power cycling the box did not cause problems.

    i am on series 4 and i am trying to avoid getting romaio for now
  5. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Because adding an external will only compound the chances for failure and losing recordings if either drive does fail. Tivo is not structured like on a PC where each file is individual.

    It is much better to have 1 huge drive than 2 smaller ones. You can recover about everything on a large drive, pretty much, than on multiple drives.
  6. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

    Jan 1, 2009
    Essentially what everybody else said.

    The OS is near the middle of the drive. If you copy the original drive over to the 240GB SSD, you will probably get the OS but you will truncate severely partition 11 which is a MFS media partition. The TiVo may boot but may crash if it tries to record much as it is expecting space to record and finding the end of the drive. I am not sure if the TiVo OS can fix the issue. You can try to run a KS 58 and 57 then check under system information to see if the recording space has shrunk to an appropriate size for a 240GB drive which is about 30 to 35 hours. Post you results either positive or negative.

    The drive has to be married to the TiVo using clear and delete everything. You will lose all recordings, season passes, CableCARD pairing, etc.

Share This Page