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View Full Version : Think I need a new Hard Drive - should I go thru Tivo or elsewhere?


Geminis076
12-30-2008, 01:15 AM
Hello. Based on research sounds like my Tivo's hard drive has gone to a better place. The first set of recent issues were recording related, would say no signal found when there really was one. Finally it settled on an endless loop of "Welcome, Powering up" to "Almost there", then back to "Welcome, Powering up". Have tried several times, and it just stays stuck on this loop and never advances past "Almost there". So based on research it sounds like I need to replace the Hard Drive.

I'm wondering if I should even bother contacting Tivo, or if I should just go ahead and order a kit from the only two suggestions I've seen:

www.dvrupgrade.com and www.WeaKnees.com

Anyone know what options Tivo can offer, or if I would get a cheaper deal through the 2 websites mentioned? I've seen YouTube video on how to replace it, I feel I can do it. Here's my info to help answer my questions:

2005 Tivo Series 2 , model TCD540040 with a Lifetime Sub., No longer under warranty

Thanks for any info.

richsadams
12-30-2008, 01:36 AM
Welcome to the forum...sorry it's under not so good circumstances. DVRUpgrade and Weaknees offer some good options, but they are fairly spendy compared to a DIY fix which would be the least expensive and quickest.

You'll just need to buy a new/bare hard drive (probably larger than what you have now). I haven't worked on an S2 for years, but I'm sure someone here can recommend a good drive or a quick search will probably turn up some suggestions. Then you can image it using Instant Cake (http://www.dvrupgrade.com/dvr/stores/1/instantcake.cfm) (comes with instructions) and ta-dah, you're back in business. Your lifetime sub is tied to your motherboard, so no worries there.

Between the hard drive and IC I wouldn't think you'll spend more than $75 and maybe an hour on a Saturday afternoon.

TiVo will be happy to sell you a refurb but I'm guessing that would cost more. A call couldn't hurt though.

barbeedoll
12-30-2008, 10:09 AM
I have 11 TiVos and have had only a couple of hard drive failures or desire to expand the capacity of the hard drive over the years.

I've had great luck with http://www.newreleasesvideo.com/hinsdale-how-to/

They offer either a hard drive and colored instructions for you to replace the hard drive yourself (very easy to do, and I'm not the techno-geek some are) or they will allow you to send in your unit and they will do it for you.

Barbeedoll

barbeedoll
12-30-2008, 10:10 AM
P.S. The hard drives come loaded with all the TiVo software that you need, and if your current drive isn't totally fried they can often transfer over your Season Passes, shows, etc.

Barbeedoll

Raj
12-30-2008, 10:18 AM
I have 11 TiVos and have had only a couple of hard drive failures or desire to expand the capacity of the hard drive over the years.

I've had great luck with http://www.newreleasesvideo.com/hinsdale-how-to/

They offer either a hard drive and colored instructions for you to replace the hard drive yourself (very easy to do, and I'm not the techno-geek some are) or they will allow you to send in your unit and they will do it for you.

Barbeedoll

I would also recommend them.

tivoupgrade
12-30-2008, 12:08 PM
Hello. Based on research sounds like my Tivo's hard drive has gone to a better place. The first set of recent issues were recording related, would say no signal found when there really was one. Finally it settled on an endless loop of "Welcome, Powering up" to "Almost there", then back to "Welcome, Powering up". Have tried several times, and it just stays stuck on this loop and never advances past "Almost there". So based on research it sounds like I need to replace the Hard Drive.

One thing you might want to consider doing is removing the hard drive from your TiVo, connecting it to a PC and running diagnostics (http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools) on the drive so you can definitively determine that the problem is the hard drive.

From your description of the problem, it is likely to be a hard drive problem, but that is not always the case.

Lou

pdhenry
12-30-2008, 12:29 PM
TiVo will be happy to sell you a refurb but I'm guessing that would cost more. A call couldn't hurt though.It's worth a call. My S2DT fell victim to a lightning strike (the warranty doesn't cover lighting) and I only paid about $50 for an out-of-warranty exchange.

robomeister
12-30-2008, 03:21 PM
Also, check out www.mfslive.org for more info on backing up and restoring drives. This site has the most up to date info on upgrading your TiVo. I've used this site to upgrade a bunch of TiVos.

One thing to remember, you'll need a working software image of your TiVo models hard drive. If you don't have a working drive image, you'll need to either get a Instant Cake (IC) for your TiVo model, or ask nicely in the Upgrade forum for an image. Someone will probably send you an Private Message (PM) with a link to the image.

Good luck,
robomeister

Geminis076
12-30-2008, 04:12 PM
Wow, thanks for all the helpful info & suggestions so far! I'll give Tivo a call today and decide on what to do based on what they say. But I'll definitely consider and look into all the suggestions everyone has offered.

Feel free to post anything else, thanks again!

P.S., I just edited my Tivo purchase year. It's 2005 and not 2003, so really not that old after all =\ .

Geminis076
12-30-2008, 04:57 PM
Okay, so just got off the phone with Tivo and was told that they would mostly just give me a different machine and it would cost $149.00 and would include one way shipping cost.

I'm not very tech savvy, I know a thing or two and I am not intimidated by technology. I am a good fabricator and based on what I've seen online it doesn't look hard at all - yes I would be very careful. So now the next step is to shop around and research more "How to" 's.

Thanks!

steve614
12-30-2008, 06:16 PM
I just got a pre-formatted hard drive from WeaKnees.
Sure, I could most likely buy a blank HD and use WinMFS, I just didn't feel like doing the work myself. :)

Geminis076
01-09-2009, 09:13 PM
Just thought I'd post an update in case anyone is curious :p. I went ahead and ordered from DVRupgrade.com (80GB), and just replaced my hard drive last night. It was very easy to do, I did get a little stuck on unplugging the cables/connections, weren't coming out as easily as I had thought. But after that the rest was a piece of cake.

Thanks for everyone's input :D .

richsadams
01-10-2009, 01:51 AM
Just thought I'd post an update in case anyone is curious :p. I went ahead and ordered from DVRupgrade.com (80GB), and just replaced my hard drive last night. It was very easy to do, I did get a little stuck on unplugging the cables/connections, weren't coming out as easily as I had thought. But after that the rest was a piece of cake.

Thanks for everyone's input :D .Bummer that things went south, but glad to hear that your TiVo is up and running again. Nice work. :up:

degobahjunk
01-10-2009, 08:07 AM
Hi, I have almost the same stats as Geminis076 but mine is a 2004 Tivo Series 2 , model TCD540040 with a Lifetime Sub., No longer under warranty. I think I need to replace the hard drive, but i don't know what a "working software image of your TiVo models hard drive" even means. Sorry, not technically oriented. I did, however, swap out the RAM on my laptop so I think if i got good thorough directions I could DIY the hard drive myself. Is there a hard drive for sale that is sort of "all there?" I wouldn't have to hook it up to my computer, etc. Just do a simple swap of the old one? Is that even possible? Thanks for any help. I've had 4 trouble-free years & just don't want to part with it! Can't watch TV without my TiVo. Thanks! -Julie

steve614
01-10-2009, 09:24 AM
Hi, I have almost the same stats as Geminis076 but mine is a 2004 Tivo Series 2 , model TCD540040 with a Lifetime Sub., No longer under warranty. I think I need to replace the hard drive, but i don't know what a "working software image of your TiVo models hard drive" even means. Sorry, not technically oriented. I did, however, swap out the RAM on my laptop so I think if i got good thorough directions I could DIY the hard drive myself. Is there a hard drive for sale that is sort of "all there?" I wouldn't have to hook it up to my computer, etc. Just do a simple swap of the old one? Is that even possible? Thanks for any help. I've had 4 trouble-free years & just don't want to part with it! Can't watch TV without my TiVo. Thanks! -Julie

Yes! DVR Upgrade (http://www.dvrupgrade.com/dvr/stores/1/category.cfm?SID=1&Category_ID=2&learnmore=1) and WeaKnees (http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-series2-tcd540040.php) have hard drives that you just swap out.

moonscape
01-10-2009, 01:46 PM
Yes! DVR Upgrade (http://www.dvrupgrade.com/dvr/stores/1/category.cfm?SID=1&Category_ID=2&learnmore=1) and WeaKnees (http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-series2-tcd540040.php) have hard drives that you just swap out.

the best option i found was dvr_dude on ebay. the guy is =great= and his prices are so much better. i've purchased from him - he has 100% positive feedback (deserved) and if what you need isn't listed, you can message him.

highly recommended.

ahipsher
01-10-2009, 03:28 PM
I too was pleased with the pricing and the hard drive I got from dvr_dude on ebay. I highly recommend. He has a 160GB for $85 , 320GB for $100, and 500GB for $140. Just tell him the model when ordering.

Aaron:)

Geminis076
01-11-2009, 02:52 AM
Hi, I have almost the same stats as Geminis076 but mine is a 2004 Tivo Series 2 , model TCD540040 with a Lifetime Sub., No longer under warranty. I think I need to replace the hard drive, but i don't know what a "working software image of your TiVo models hard drive" even means. Sorry, not technically oriented. I did, however, swap out the RAM on my laptop so I think if i got good thorough directions I could DIY the hard drive myself. Is there a hard drive for sale that is sort of "all there?" I wouldn't have to hook it up to my computer, etc. Just do a simple swap of the old one? Is that even possible? Thanks for any help. I've had 4 trouble-free years & just don't want to part with it! Can't watch TV without my TiVo. Thanks! -Julie


Hi, I think you're asking about doing what I just did. Just replacing the old hard drive with a new drive, right? In my case it was just easier to purchase an internal hard drive that was already programmed and set up to work with my Tivo right away.

Geminis076
01-11-2009, 02:53 AM
Forgot to add this. Here's the video I used for reference, though it's really pretty simple and the instructions that came with new hard drive were fine too - it's just nicer to have a visual. The Tivo model in the clip is different, however the insides were set up the same, for the most part:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca5EUGZsqvU

Keep us posted and good luck :) .

degobahjunk
01-11-2009, 06:55 PM
Thanks steve614, moonscape, ahipsher, & Geminis076,

All great info! I think i'm going to go for the easy formatted option. I checked all the sellers you listed. Great options! Thanks! Geminis076, funny you sent me that link! I just found that last night on YouTube and was watching it at about 2am! Also found that 30 second fast forward TiVo remote hack! Tried it & it worked! Now I just hope it doesn't mess up anything else.

I think I might try DVR_Dude on eBay. I do a lot of eBay anyway & he seems to have great feedback. Plus I can get more GB's for the same $$.

I'll let you know if my cartography/accounting skills help at all with the hard drive swap! :)

I really am so appreciative that you were kind enough to help me out. I almost threw out my Series 2. What a waste that would have been!

-Julie

Geminis076
01-11-2009, 10:32 PM
I had never done anything like this before, and it turned out to be very easy. As long as you're gentle and don't try to force anything in or out you should do just fine.

I probably would have considered that eBay seller too if I had known about them before ordering, oh well. My friend is now interested in upgrading so maybe I'll get her to try the seller out. Good Luck!

degobahjunk
08-31-2009, 10:21 AM
Thanks steve614, moonscape, ahipsher, & Geminis076,

All great info! I think i'm going to go for the easy formatted option. I checked all the sellers you listed. Great options! Thanks! Geminis076, funny you sent me that link! I just found that last night on YouTube and was watching it at about 2am! Also found that 30 second fast forward TiVo remote hack! Tried it & it worked! Now I just hope it doesn't mess up anything else.

I think I might try DVR_Dude on eBay. I do a lot of eBay anyway & he seems to have great feedback. Plus I can get more GB's for the same $$.

I'll let you know if my cartography/accounting skills help at all with the hard drive swap! :)

I really am so appreciative that you were kind enough to help me out. I almost threw out my Series 2. What a waste that would have been!

-Julie

So I bought a hard drive from dvr_dude on eBay and finally swapped it out 2 days ago. It was really simple, & dvr_dude included really good directions. The worst part was the crazy amount of dust in my TiVo!! Now I just have to find my original instructions on how to hook it up. It's been so long, I've forgotten how. Keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well! Thanks to all of you for all your help.

steve614
08-31-2009, 04:48 PM
Excellent! Good luck with the hook up. If you can't find the instructions, you know where we are. :)

degobahjunk
08-31-2009, 06:40 PM
Thanks! I'll let u know how it goes.... please, please, please let my TiVo work again!! I'll be starting it up sometime this week.

degobahjunk
08-31-2009, 06:42 PM
oh course, at the rate, I'm going.... may be this weekend... or next week... ;) but I'll be back to report on my success... or failure. LOL

degobahjunk
09-25-2009, 08:21 AM
So I finally got my old TiVo series 2 hooked up and it works like a charm!!!!!!!!!!!!! dvr_dude's preformatted hard drive works exactly as advertised! I'm so psyched! I can finally work out to shows I like. I just can't work out to "morning shows." They're so boring. Thanks so much for everyone's help!! Now I just have to find the directions for that 30 second advance remote hack again for my remote control!

degobahjunk
09-25-2009, 08:41 AM
found the remote hack in case anyone else wants it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o7Yl2ZSco0