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Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by timckelley, Jun 3, 2003.
The saga is in progress here:
Is the wife actively angry with the machine for dying, or does she recognize that it's bound to happen over time?
Or is she angry with Tim MC Kelley for devising an (inherently, somewhat unreliable) video archiving system for her to stockpile (and potentially lose) her recordings?
I hope this gets resolved. The plot (finally) thickens.
Her stockpile is getting more reliable than it used to be, now that we have pyTiVo hooked our NAS that contains two hard drives (mirrored - I think it's called RAID 0). Plus I did go ahead and purchase a new bigger NAS and 4 hard drives to put in it in RAID 5 formation. They're on route as we speak, being shipped to my house.
I also, for $8.50 just purchased a MOCA POE filter from ebay, in hopes it will improve our home networking. The wifi is unreliable with pyTiVo, and I'm constantly restarting pyTiVo, and the MOCA is also unreliable anywhere that's not very close to the router. I'm hoping this $8.50 part will solve things.
But yes, the hard drives inside the TiVos themselves are not backed up and are at risk, and my wife really doesn't want to lose the data on them.
As for the broken TiVo, I've been waiting for over a day for a guy on Craiglist to answer my last email, but he just did. I'm scheduled to pick up his broken TiVo tomorrow morning (for free - he's giving it away!) on my way to work, and my plan is to harvest the power supply out it, as I think the his power supply is okay. I'm hoping that's what's wrong with my wife's TiVo (a bad power supply). The people on the help board are leaning that that's what's wrong with it, given my symptoms. So best case scenario is that by tomorrow evening, her TiVo is operational again, with no loss of her shows, except whatever her To Do List failed to record during her down time.
Worst case scenario is that the motherboard is bad, and my lifetime subscription is at risk. I guess a mid-case scenario is a bad hard drive. Hopefully I'll know more by tomorrow evening.
As I just reported in the help thread: Success! I've repaired the TiVo, and the cost of repairs was unbeatable at $0.00. (Craiglist free TiVo with good power supply and bad hard drive + wife's TiVo with bad power supply and good hard drive = wife's repaired TiVo plus extra TiVo with bad hard drive and no power supply.)
Thanks are due to the folks at the Help forum.
Well I discovered something funny. I finished putting the case together, and I was going to put the TiVo back on it's shelf (I had it on the floor to work on it), and I noticed all the wires were already correctly threaded in from the back of that shelf except the power cord.
So I got the bright idea of unplugging the UPS, but leaving the TiVo plugged into the UPS, and thread the UPS and the power cord with it, through that shelf so that I could get the TiVo back into position without having to power it off.
Well once I unplugged the UPS, the TiVo instantly powered down, which means the UPS is bad. I guess I'll be shopping for a new UPS.
Edit: while looking through UPS threads here, somebody suggested just replacing the battery. It turns out my model has a replacement battery available through Amazon with free shipping for $17.59. Probably a lot cheaper than new UPS's.
Those batteries are designed to amaze you at how fast 2 years goes by anymore.
I've given up with online replacement batteries, and most of the time have given up on manufacturer replacement batteries. My experience is they either don't work in the first place, or don't last. It's more cost-effective for me to just replace the UPS with one bought on sale (I have 8 UPS's so it's worthwhile me keeping a sale spare around).
When they're on sale, they're usually not much more than the price of the battery, but they're very good at timing the sales when I either don't need one or can't get to the store.
Even when on sale, I've never seen them anywhere near $17.59.
And if you need one right now and drop in at Batteries +, you won't see that price, either.
True, but I do see that price right now on Amazon, with free shipping.
BTW, that NAS I bought dragged a long time to get going. I got the unbright idea of purchasing used hard drives, which the seller said were well tested with 100% good sectors, working as well as brand-new. Two were DOA, and at least one of the others had bad sectors on it, per the utilities I ran to test them with.
The good news is that he took them back with no hassle, and he even paid the return shipping, so I was out nothing. This time I bought 4 brand-new still in factory wrapping hard drives, and last night I installed them. They seem perfect. As of this morning, one of the NAS utilities was still running, one which tests every sector, so it's not 100% tested out yet, but so far everything looks good and all 4 drives are detected and storage allocated.
This one box has an amazing 12 trillion bytes in it, with 3 of those trillion for redundant storage per RAID-5 strategy, so really I have use of 9 trillion bytes.
I now feel digitally wealthy.
A somewhat embarrassing update.
I've said in some threads (maybe this one too) that we've been having trouble transferring my wife's recordings reliably via pyTiVo because our wifi signal isn't steady enough, and my attempts to use MOCA have not worked.
My wife got the idea of having me move her kitchen TiVo to my son's bedroom (which is located just across the hall from my router, so the signal should be good there) which I did, and after awhile, she didn't like not having access to trickplay features in the morning... typically during the mornings she likes watching the news and weather forecasts in the kitchen, and she likes being able to rewind when she misses something.
So she asked if I could get a fifth TiVo eek: ) to put in the kitchen for that. I reminded her that the reason we moved it is to get pyTiVo to work more reliably. She said that's okay, because she'd just use the TiVo for watching in the mornings, and won't need to archive anything from it. I then asked her if she only cares about rewinding the live buffer, because I think (but am not 100%, but I'm pretty sure) that an old unsubbed S2 TiVo will work from the live buffer + trickplay features, but she won't have any guide data, and I'm pretty sure she won't be able to hit the <record> button to record the live show that's airing either.
She countered that she'd like the ability to record the live show that's in progress with the <record> button. (Why, I'm not sure.) So out of curiosity, I went to Craigslist to see if anybody had any lifetimed S2's for sale, and I did find one ad that was a nice one. She lives not far at all from me, and is selling her lifetimed S2 for $50. That seemed like a great deal, so I replied to the already 9 day old ad, and she still had it.
So I went by, and I thought I'd be smart and test it before buying it, so I brought a tiny hand held DVD player I have, which can also be used as a monitor, because it has video inputs.
I got to her place last night, and the details are: she hasn't used it in 3 years, and it's still packed in her box. She had used it for the 5 years prior to that, so it's actually 8 years old. (She currently has AT&T Uverse, and uses AT&T's DVR, which she confides that she doesn't like as much as TiVo, which says something, because she's comparing it to her old S2, let alone today's models. But she's an AT&T customer and has their DVR, so she feels she has no use for the TiVo.)
Anyway, I plugged it in, and it got stuck on the Welcome screen while powering up. After 10 minutes of being stuck I gave up, as that seems too long. However, having said this, I could be wrong, but the fact that it made it to the welcome screen suggests to me that the motherboard and power supply are okay, and maybe it just needs a new hard drive. It's lifetimed, and so seems to have value in my mind. She also is very tech unsavvy and says she'd have no clue how to work on a TiVo to fix one.
Well she came right and out and said if I'm still interested, I can just take it without paying her, and try to fix it, and if I succeed in getting it fixed, I can pay her what I think it's worth. I was impressed by her trusting nature, and I don't like taking advantage of people, so I gave her my contact information so that she'll know I won't just abscond with her TiVo, and my plan is to try and fix it.
I'm pretty sure I have extra hard drives lieing around my house, so it's possible I could get this thing working at no cost, in which case I feel like I probably should still give her $50. Well I guess I could deduct money for the work I did, but I feel like $50 is such a great deal, even if the only thing wrong is a bad hard drive, I still kind of feel like she deserves $50 if that's all it needs. I might need to get an image for the drive though, and I don't know if I'll have to pay to get an image. (If so, that might be legitimately deducted from her $50.) But this came up once before, years ago, and I lucked out, and somebody on TCF actually sent me the image I needed for free.
Also, we do have 2 other S2's, and maybe we'll luck out and one of them is the same model, and I could get the image from that one... I haven't yet checked to compare model numbers. Also, I do happen to have a computer (the one that's running pyTiVo) that contains a motherboard with IDE connections, so I could certainly use that one to work on this old model S2 (which most probably contains an IDE motherboard in it).
Anyway, I started out saying this was embarrassing, and the embarrassing part is that we actually have 5 TiVos in our house now (albeit one doesn't work yet). It seems kind of absurd to me to have that many TiVos, but a lifetimed TiVo including hardware + sub, all for $50, just seemed like a great deal to me, and my wife wanted it, and it might be hard to beat that price very easily, so I took it.
5 TiVo boxes isn't embarrassing. I've got that in my home (5 Premieres, with plans to replace one of those with a Roamio), though one is not currently active.
Daughter's bedroom is supposed to have one, but is not currently active.
Add on top of that the tuners that I have available in the HTPC that I have (which can be accessed over the network from 2 other PC's, as well as from the Ceton Echo extender).
A Slingbox connected to one of the TiVo's is also occasionally used by my son to get stuff that he otherwise couldn't catch while he's away at school.
There is no such thing as too much TV.
(That doesn't mean that we keep all of the recordings for forever and don't let them go. In that area, well, if the box gets full, too bad. Something is gonna be deleted.)
There are people who work for the government who, with a combination of drugs and other techniques could take care of this whole problem for you.
Have you ever heard of "Stepford"?