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TivoS3 proactive measures?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by trippled, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. trippled

    trippled New Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    I have 5 Tivo S3's w/LifeTimeService. What steps can i take to prepare for eventual hardrive failures?
    1. I can upgrade the hardrives and remove orginals for storage.
    2. Wondering can i buy a cheap TivoS3 off say ebay and use that hardive? Can you use a hardrive from another TivoS3 and just drop it in a S3 with a failed hardrive and it will work? Do you have to tweak the tivo to accept the used hardrive frm another used tivo?

  2. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    As for proactive measures, you can take a working Tivo hard drive (S3 OLED or TivoHD) and make a truncated backup of the Tivo software that you can later restore to a new hard drive.
    If you have a Windows PC, then you can use WinMFS. Otherwise you can use the Linux based MFS Live CD.
    Both available here:

    As for swapping hard drives, yes you can do this.
    It only works if the model numbers match (you can't swap an S3 OLED hard drive into a TivoHD or vice-versa), and you have to perform a Clear & Delete Everything to "marry" the hard drive to the motherboard.
  3. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    I had made a backup when my external failed. I used WinMFS, restored to a 1TB drive and used it for 2 yrs. I also burned the backup to a CD and not too recently had to use the CD and restore to another 1TB. The original Tivo drive is stored in my closet and has not seen light since.

    My PC has a SATA drive dock in one of the drive bays to make it easier to swap SATA drives around without having to open up the case cover.
  4. humm

    humm New Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    It's easy to swap a hard drive - I kept my original tivo series 3 HD out of the case for years, now its back in as I am trying to sell it. You can clone or replace a drive any time.
  5. dianebrat

    dianebrat drastically off narrative TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    Proactive S3 steps? either know how to, or know someone who can replace the P/S capacitors when they fail. The OLED S3 has gotten to the point not of if they'll fail, but when in most situations.

    Having spare hardware won't help you if it also has questionable 6 year old OEM capacitors in the power supply.
  6. trippled

    trippled New Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    Thank you all for explaining the options on these tivo S3's
    & 1 TS3 OLED I do have. Thanks for the advice on those caps. I notice it is running a little hot.
  7. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    The capacitor problem is almost always the one called "capacitor plague". It is recognizable by the slightly domed (instead of flat) top of the electrolytic (barrel shaped) capacitors. Lots of other info on this issue and sources for caps if you search the forum for "capacitor plague".

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