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Transfering Recordings Off A Failed DVR Expander?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Darkelf, May 29, 2009.

  1. Darkelf

    Darkelf New Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    I'm getting my Western Digital My DVR Expander drive replaced. After much trouble shooting, I ran Kickstart 54 and discovered that the external drive had failed.

    Western Digital is replacing it, but how do I get my recordings off of that drive and onto my PC in the meantime? The goal is to transfer them from the PC to the replacement drive once it arrives.

    I can get my Tivo HD to boot and work for a while, but when I open Tivo Desktop and click "pick recordings to transfer" it crashes my Tivo HD.

  2. pdonoghu

    pdonoghu New Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    With an expander, your files are stored across the internal Tivo drive, and the external drive. There is no way to get the files off the expander and have them be usable, and if the drive has failed, it is a moot point. Did you "divorce" your expander from your Tivo when you booted without it? If so, you are out of luck.

    If not, you can try putting the DVR expander in a sealed zip lock bag, put it in the freezer overnight. Then connect it to the Tivo and boot it up, see if the Tivo and expander will run long enough to transfer files off to a computer. I've been able to get some data off damaged hard drives by putting them in the freezer, but its hit or miss.

    Good luck.
  3. Darkelf

    Darkelf New Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    I haven't divorced the expander from the Tivo HD yet.

    Thoughts from others?
  4. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    Did you try a new cable? WD's My DVR Expanders have a history of poor quality eSATA cables (although the more recent issues seem to be better). The recommended SIIG Serial ATA external cable is less than $12. Otherwise, and I hesitate to even say it because the odds are that it won't work, but if you're really desparate you could try making an exact copy of your eSATA drive.

    TiVo recognizes the WD My DVR Expander by the model number. The only other possibility would be to connect it and your new/replacement eSATA drive to a PC and run dd to make an exact bit-for-bit copy of the drive. It's possible (but not probable) that TiVo might recognize the new drive as the old one and some or all of your recordings could be saved.

    Otherwise, pdonoghu's advice is correct, there are no other "thoughts" or options. If your eSATA drive is dead, it's dead and unfortunately all of your recordings since it was connected are history.

    Next time it might be best just to upgrade the internal drive and reduce the fail points. More info can be found by clicking on the link below my sig.

    Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

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