View Full Version : Hardware error #51
12-18-2005, 12:53 AM
I convinced a friend of mine to buy tivo. All was well untill after two weeks the unit gives a message that there is a hardware error 51. Also when I go to system information the Tivo only displays 000000 as its id.
I've rebooted a couple of times same problem. Should I tell them to just take the unit back to comp usa and exchange it? Or is there another solution.
What does error 51 mean?
12-18-2005, 10:05 AM
Hmm. Error 51 means that the TiVo Service Number on the disk doesn't match the one on the motherboard. The fix for this is to do a "Clear and Delete Everything" from the Restart the Recorder menu.
I would not expect this to happen on a new, unmodified box and would recommend exchanging it, as there may be a problem that will recur.
12-19-2005, 11:47 AM
Thanks for the advice. I forgot to mention that I changed out the disk drive from another unit. I didn't think I had to do anything since they were both 40 hour units. Well I told my friends kid to do a clear and delete everything and everyone is happy. The problem with the exchange is that as soon as you boot up it takes you to the guided setup. So in effect you have to run through guided setup then do a clear and delete everything then do a guided setup again.
The reason I switched out the 40 hour drive is that it had a high pitch whine that my friend couldn't stand.
Anyways thanks for the feedback. All is good :)
02-15-2006, 12:14 AM
This post was very helpful to me as well. A couple years ago, I purchased two identical units together from TiVo. As soon as I opened the boxes, one of them got a 240 hour replacement upgrade (before even plugging it in) and the original drive got stored away as a spare. The drive on the second unit just died the other day, so I installed the spare and reset everything. All was well until after the unit upgraded to the current software. Then, after the restart I got the same message. It's after hours at TiVo, so I turned here, and I'm sure got better information than I would have received on the phone. I'm in the process of doing a clear & delete as I type this. It all makes sense and I'm sure this will resolve it.
10-02-2007, 05:46 PM
Bumping this topic because I just encountered the error #51 in a slightly different fashion.
I have 2 HD-Tivos. One flaked out over the weekend, apparently due to an access card problem. Unfortunately that's the one that's connected to my main HT, and has better OTA reception - so I really need something there to record OTA shows that I can't get via satellite in HD, such as Reaper on CW. So I figured I'd try swapping hard drives with the working Tivo, though I thought there was a chance that wouldn't work - and that's exactly what I found. So that part is no surprise.
BUT... when I replaced the drive in the working Tivo (which is itself a bigger drive recently copied from the original, but has been working fine), I still got error #51. Since it's a copy on a secondary unit I'm doing a clear & delete (in progress), but I'm a little concerned now that the original drive, if I ever put it back, would have problems. (Among other things, that drive has a bunch of recordings that I want to preserve and I haven't delved into "taboo territory" with respect to that.)
Any thoughts on why the re-swap still caused an error #51, and whether that would also be the case with the original drive?
10-03-2007, 06:59 PM
Steve is right. Any time you swap HDs between units, you will have do a C&DE. This prevents content sharing by just swapping drives. The drive is "married" to the unit and has to match the up with the data on the motherboard or you get this sort of thing.
The C&DE will "re-marry" the drive to the unit without the original content. Its designed that way. If the two units are identical, then the operating system will work just fine but without the content--recordings, SPs, WLs, etc.
10-04-2007, 12:13 AM
Thanks for the reply... doesn't appear to address my question, but my post may not have been very clear.
I swapped the drive from Tivo #1 into Tivo #2, and found as noted here that doesn't work, got error #51. Then I put Tivo #2's drive back in (the drive that had just been yanked out and was working fine), and still got an error #51. That is what has me concerned, that the working drive from Tivo #2 after being placed back in Tivo #2 had problems.
So Tivo #2 had:
Drive #1 (original drive, working)
Drive #2 (copy of original, working)
Drive #3 (drive from Tivo #1, error #51)
Drive #2 again (error #51, then working after C&DE)
Hope that makes it clearer. Why would drive #2 give error #51 after drive #3 from the "foreign" Tivo was temporarily there?
10-08-2007, 11:45 AM
Bump... anyone have an idea why a drive that is working, swapped out for a drive from another unit, then placed back in its original Tivo would get error #51?
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