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Will Tivo let me switch a broken TivoHD w/lifetime with Tivo Premiere

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by superflysocal, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. SoBelle0

    SoBelle0 Go Big Blue!! TCF Club

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    Jun 25, 2002
    Decatur, GA
    Thanks for all of this info, y'all!

    I'm confident I could swap a hard drive, but am not sure I could swap a power supply. Does the power supply require soldering? I don't know how, nor have the tools, to do something like that. And, like Tim mentions, what if my current hard drive won't boot? Do I then HAVE to get a Weakknees drive? or are there other 'findable' methods to get an image for a new hard drive.

    I did not open the box this weekend, as I didn't want to void anything... I did, however, do some additional reading on here about bulges and such, and will likely go ahead and open it up to see what I can see. Then I may have additional questions. :)

    So much to learn here! I appreciate the confirmation of my thoughts - putting $250 into this particular machine, without gaining a larger drive, etc, is not in my current best interests.
     
  2. timckelley

    timckelley TCFer

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    I replaced a TiVo power supply once, and as I recall, no soldering iron was needed - just regular tools like screwdrivers. Admitted it was an S1 power supply.

    To answer your question about images, I'm pretty sure there are other places besides Weaknees to get an image file, but I should probably let the experts give more specific info, as I'm not familiar with all the places you can go for one. I also don't remember if Weaknees sells the image file by itself without you buying hardware, but maybe they do, for all I know. It's just a file that you download and copy onto the new HD, so it'd be nice if you could get a free one like I did.
     
  3. SoBelle0

    SoBelle0 Go Big Blue!! TCF Club

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    Let's say I considered buying a used TiVo to then swap the hard drives...
    I see several items on eBay that are sub-$100 - and would then have the image, and preserve my lifetime, correct?

    Do I have to buy an exact match? ie. a TiVo HD? or can I buy one of the Premieres and use that hard drive?
     
  4. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN New Member

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    Jun 20, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    I just sold a stock TiVo HD (160GB) on eBay last week for $314 + shipping. You should be able to repair this TiVo and sell it for a profit, even if you did the exchange with TiVo. Use that money toward your new Premiere. You might even get more for it if you're selling it as a new-in-box factory refurbished unit.
     
  5. timckelley

    timckelley TCFer

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    Austin, TX
    The hard drive doesn't have to be an exact match, but the image needs to be a TiVo HD image, so a Premiere image won't work, I'm pretty sure. Also, the bigger the drive, the more space you're going to have for storing shows. :cool:

    Given that the image won't work, it might be better to buy the hard drive by itself instead of as part of a whole TiVo, assuming it's the hard drive that's bad, and not your power drive. Though it seems like statistically, hard drives go bad a lot more often that power supplies do, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's your hard drive.

    BTW, when I had a hard drive go bad, the way I verified that is I put the suspect drive into my PC, noted the manufacture printed on the drive, the googled and downloaded diagnostic utilities for the drive (which were free), and then ran the utility on the drive... which confirmed it had errors on it.
     
  6. timckelley

    timckelley TCFer

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    Oct 15, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Oh by the way, I found this from another thread:

     
  7. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    semi-coastal NC
    Replacing the power supply does not require soldering.

    Repairing it does.

    The thing to do is get a set of Torx drivers, which are a sort of special screw driver.

    Look at the Wikipedia article on Torx to see what they look like.

    You'll need a #10 to remove the screws that hold the top to the chassis.

    You'll need a #10 and one slightly smaller, either a #9 or a #8, to remove the power supply.

    If the problem is bad capacitors in the power supply, visually identified by a bit of bulge or leakage, then you could take it out yourself and take it to a local repair shop to get them replaced and then re-install it in the TiVo yourself, and that would be a good deal cheaper than buying a replacement supply.

    There's no guarantee that if the supply is bad the drive will be good, or if the drive is bad the supply will be good, although the chances are better that it's only one and not both.

    To change out the hard drive, or to remove it to hook to a computer for testing, will require a #10 Torx bit to undo the screws holding the bracket that holds the drive, and if you need to take the drive off of the bracket to put a new on in it's place you might be able to use the #10 or it might require the slightly larger #15.

    You should be able to get a set with a handle and interchangeable bits for $5 to $10 dollars at Sears, Lowes, or Home Depot.

    The reason I have an HD is because someone gave me one with a power supply that needed fixing, so I am familiar with the process.

    I've also done a lot of Series 1 and Series 2 tinkering.
     
  8. SoBelle0

    SoBelle0 Go Big Blue!! TCF Club

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    AH! Cool! I can borrow a Torx set from work...

    I figured that it had to be the same image, but that's too bad - a Premiere for $59 would have been fantastic. I know, I know...
    And, thanks for finding that link Mr. McKelley. ;)

    I'll open the box this evening, and then be back with more questions or thoughts.

    You are all so informative and so helpful! Thank you!!
     
  9. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    semi-coastal NC
    If you want to replace the hard drive (assuming that's the only thing wrong with your unit, but we haven't proven that yet), then if your unit is a

    TCD652160

    you can take the original drive from another of the same model and stick it in there and after a bit of indigestion when it notices that the TiVo Service Number recorded somewhere in the software on the hard drive is not the same as the TSN of your TiVo, it'll straighten that out and make you go through Guided Setup again, and if there were any shows recorded on that hard drive they will be gone.

    It might be better to replace your hard drive with a new, and larger, one.

    Another 160GB drive from a used HD is also going to be old and have who knows how many hours of use on it.

    I can steer you to an image to use to put the right software on it for the HD.

    But, if you find a cheap used S3 HD on Craigslist that works, and you've already found some suspicious looking capacitors in the power supply, you could just swap power supplies first, and see if that cures things.

    By cheap I mean $50 or under, preferably under.
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Since we're in the same time zone, I could try talking you through it on the phone.

    PM me if needed to set up a time.
     
  11. SoBelle0

    SoBelle0 Go Big Blue!! TCF Club

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    Thanks for the offer, unitron!

    Let's see what ya think of these pics, and idea. :)

    Those little things don't look bulged, do they? Am I looking at the right things?
    The fan runs, and the front green light comes on - but the hard drive isn't making any noise that I can hear...

    So I should probably get a 500GB hard drive, and the software above - 3x storage for less than $100. That sounds good.
    Now to read up on this software install. More questions are sure to follow.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    Those capacitors look just fine and dandy
     
  13. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Dallas, TX
    I was going to question the short blue capacitor that is front and center, but that may only be because the pic is not really focused there.

    It's certainly possible that the hard drive just died. You can take it out of the Tivo and connect it to your PC power supply to see if it will spin up. If it does spin up, connect it to the computer MB and try to run the manufacturer's diagnostics on it.

    My gut feeling, the hard drive died. Follow that path first.
     
  14. shadowplay0918

    shadowplay0918 Member

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    It was a TivoHD but I didn't ask for nor expect a free upgrade. I just called them to troubleshoot the hdmi issue. They agreed there was an issue with the port and offered an exchange for $79 (or $99, can't remember for sure) for a refurb HD since I have had it for less than 2 years.

    But its just a bedroom tv with no other issues I didn't think it was worth the $$$ (component looks fine on a 32").

    I just let the OP know that they offered me a TivoHD for another TivoHD...
     
  15. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Do you have one of those power strips with 5 or 6 outlets and a switch at the end of a cord? The switch, or someplace easy to plug and unplug the TiVo power cord, and someplace where you can instantly visually confirm its plugged or unplugged status, is what we're interested in (he said, putting the preposition in the wrong place).

    With the TiVo unplugged, find the combination data and power plug that goes into the hard drive and see if it feels like it's fully and properly seated.

    If necessary, pull it off and put it back on.

    !!!Anytime the TiVo is open and plugged in, there is a danger of electrocution and other unpleasant things if you are not careful. Keep your hands away from the power supply, there are exposed metal parts which may not be isolated from the power lines. Remove all rings, necklaces, and anything else that could hang down into or fall into the TiVo when you lean over it. Eye protection is not the worst idea in the world, either.

    It's not supposed to blow up in your face. It's not supposed to be likely to blow up in your face. If you exercise proper common sense precautions I really don't think it'll blow up in your face.

    Okay, after checking the power/data plug to the drive, power up the TiVo.

    Lay your fingertips (one hand only) on the hard drive and see if you feel the vibration of it spinning up.

    If not,wiggle that combo plug on the end of the drive just a little bit.

    If no response from the drive, we need to talk about how to test it with a computer without screwing up anything ON the drive.

    And if you're going to put a new drive in, you'll probably get the best storage space to price ratio (GB/$) with a 2TB drive.

    You do not and did not have an external drive attached to this unit, correct?
     
  16. SoBelle0

    SoBelle0 Go Big Blue!! TCF Club

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    Thanks, again!

    I do not have an external drive attached. I did disconnect/reseat all cables last night... but, did not feel for vibrations. I can test that this evening. I do have a power strip, as well.

    What are the specific requirements for buying my own hard drive to then image?
    I'll have to read that 2TB thread. But, I'm sure I'd be okay with 1TB or even 500GB - I don't really keep things once I've watched them... but, get what you're all saying about the better price/space.
     
  17. SoBelle0

    SoBelle0 Go Big Blue!! TCF Club

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    I did feel for vibrations, and felt none. Only the green light, to the far left, ever comes on when I plug in the TiVo power cord.

    I had two issues with trying to test with the PC - I can't access the final front screw on the hard drive housing on the TiVo, the Torx set I borrowed isn't skinny or long enough - nor can I locate the cord to my old desktop at home. The PC hasn't been connected in some time, and neither the power for it nor the monitor were anywhere to be found...

    I greatly appreciate all of the input and information y'all have provided!! So I wanted to be sure to keep you posted on what's happening on this end. :)
     
  18. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    It would be nice if you could measure the voltages in the power supply cable going to your hard drive, to rule out power supply failure more definitely. They should be 12V +/-10% and 5V +/-5%, preferably with the drive still connected. If you can't solder, the options for replacing the PS are buy one from weaknees.com ($100) or buy a cheap TiVo HD on eBay just to get the PS (which may also be old and about to fail).

    Add my vote for the DVR_DUDE route suggested earlier. All you have to do is replace the hard drive. You will have to overcome your torx drive limitations of course. ;)

    Any way you do it, unless you can sucessfully backup your current drive's TiVo system and put it on the new drive, e.g., using WinMFS, you will most likely have to re-pair your cable card(s). But this can be done via web or phone on all systems I believe.
     
  19. SoBelle0

    SoBelle0 Go Big Blue!! TCF Club

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    Okay - I've been able to borrow a Digital Multimeter. Now, how does this work?

    :)
     
  20. bshrock

    bshrock New Member

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    Jan 6, 2012
    Ouch... I strongly suggest that you find someone with enough expertise to check the voltages for you. There are potentially lethal voltages exposed in there.
     

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