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Old 06-23-2012, 11:54 AM   #1
superflysocal
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Will Tivo let me switch a broken TivoHD w/lifetime with Tivo Premiere

I have a tivoHD and a Tivo premiere both with lifetime.

My TivoHD is on the blink and I need to replace it.

I see ads for refurbished Tivo Premiere for pretty cheap (less than 100, service required but no contract required to "buy"). If i buy one, can I call up tivo and swap out the lifetime tivoHD for the premiere?

I am pretty sure if I get another tivohd they would probably let me swap it out, no?
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superflysocal View Post
I have a tivoHD and a Tivo premiere both with lifetime.

My TivoHD is on the blink and I need to replace it.

I see ads for refurbished Tivo Premiere for pretty cheap (less than 100, service required but no contract required to "buy"). If i buy one, can I call up tivo and swap out the lifetime tivoHD for the premiere?

I am pretty sure if I get another tivohd they would probably let me swap it out, no?
Unfortunately service agreements are ties to the box. You should try to repair the Tivo. What is the problem with it?
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:22 PM   #3
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Doubtful. Lifetime is for the life of the DVR and when it dies, so does the lifetime subscription.
If you go through TiVo to have your Tivo HD replaced, they might allow for a lifetime transfer to the replacement unit for a nominal fee, but you would be getting back another Tivo HD, not a Premiere. Call TiVo to weigh your options.

For the price of the replacement unit and the lifetime transfer fee, you could probably fix that Tivo yourself and not have to deal with all that hassle.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
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Best to call Tivo and see what advice they will offer. If you have upgraded the drive in the problematic unit, and still have the original hard drive, it may be best to re-install the original drive and let the Tivo connect to the "service" for a few days before calling.

There was a time when Tivo would let you swap an older failing unit for another like unit, that they provided, and for a fee of about $150. I think that is still probably the case for current Premiere units, but don't know if they are still providing refurbished TivoHD or any earlier tivo models.

You almost certainly will not be able to "swap in" a Premiere, and almost certainly not even another TivoHD(again, unless they provide a refurbished HD).

As per the previous post, the most likely cause of the problems with your unit is a failing hard drive. If you are relatively handy at replacing hard drives in a computer(preferably pc), the problem can probably be easily remedied. The methods to do so can be learned in these forums.

Good luck.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by superflysocal View Post
My TivoHD is on the blink and I need to replace it.
My experience with multiple TiVo (more than in my sig) is the hard drive is the weak link. A lifetime TiVi with failed drive is still worth $300 or so on eBay.

If the hard drive is your issue, a fix isn't too tough.
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superflysocal View Post
I have a tivoHD and a Tivo premiere both with lifetime.

My TivoHD is on the blink and I need to replace it.

I see ads for refurbished Tivo Premiere for pretty cheap (less than 100, service required but no contract required to "buy"). If i buy one, can I call up tivo and swap out the lifetime tivoHD for the premiere?

I am pretty sure if I get another tivohd they would probably let me swap it out, no?
Yes you can swap out the lifetime for only $399 to a TP, and as a bonus you can still keep the lifetime on your old TiVo-HD
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by superflysocal View Post
I have a tivoHD and a Tivo premiere both with lifetime.

My TivoHD is on the blink and I need to replace it.

I see ads for refurbished Tivo Premiere for pretty cheap (less than 100, service required but no contract required to "buy"). If i buy one, can I call up tivo and swap out the lifetime tivoHD for the premiere?

I am pretty sure if I get another tivohd they would probably let me swap it out, no?
My experience last January with a failing tivo with lifetime was that TiVo charged $79 for an out of warranty replacement and that included a lifetime service transfer on the box. Great deal IMO.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:26 PM   #8
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My experience last January with a failing tivo with lifetime was that TiVo charged $79 for an out of warranty replacement and that included a lifetime service transfer on the box. Great deal IMO.
My HDMI port doesn't work on 1 of my TivoHDs and they did give me that offer but it was for a refurb HD (not a Premiere) so I passed...
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:51 PM   #9
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A lifetime TiVi with failed drive is still worth $300 or so on eBay.
I just sold an unmodified TiVo HD (160GB) with lifetime on eBay for $314.00 + shipping.

A 1TB Series 3 with lifetime will be going up on the auction block next.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:51 PM   #10
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My HDMI port doesn't work on 1 of my TivoHDs and they did give me that offer but it was for a refurb HD (not a Premiere) so I passed...
Was your broken TiVo a TiVo hd? I don't see why they would upgrade you for free if it wasn't. Just exchange same model for a refurb.
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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You could look for a cheap Tivo HD without service on Craig's list and swap the hard drives and/or power supplies to get the lifetime Tivo HD working again.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:57 AM   #12
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Back when TiVoHD was the current model and I had a lifetimes series 1 die on me, I got really lucky, and the CSR let me transfer the lifetime sub onto a new TiVoHD that I bought off Amazon, with no fee at all for the transfer.

I'm still enjoying that TiVoHD today.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by superflysocal View Post
I have a tivoHD and a Tivo premiere both with lifetime.

My TivoHD is on the blink and I need to replace it.

I see ads for refurbished Tivo Premiere for pretty cheap (less than 100, service required but no contract required to "buy"). If i buy one, can I call up tivo and swap out the lifetime tivoHD for the premiere?

I am pretty sure if I get another tivohd they would probably let me swap it out, no?
You can probably find a Premiere on Craigslist for $50 if you look hard enough.

What are the specific symptoms of that HD?

Maybe we can get it going again.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:56 AM   #14
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Back when TiVoHD was the current model and I had a lifetimes series 1 die on me, I got really lucky, and the CSR let me transfer the lifetime sub onto a new TiVoHD that I bought off Amazon, with no fee at all for the transfer.

I'm still enjoying that TiVoHD today.
Is it possible that the S1 was one of the "grandfathered" lifetime subs purchased on or before January 20, 2000?
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:03 AM   #15
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Is it possible that the S1 was one of the "grandfathered" lifetime subs purchased on or before January 20, 2000?
In my case, no it wasn't. I just lucked out and got a generous CSR.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:40 PM   #16
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I have this same question. My TiVo HD died on Saturday - won't get past the "Welcome! Powering up..." screen. I can't get into the kickstart codes or anything.

I called TiVo to inquire about my options and they provided the following:
They'll transfer my lifetime service to a refurb, and send me the refurb, for $249. This is a $200 lifetime transfer fee and $49 for the refurb TiVo HD.
Or, they suggest I buy / repair the hard drive through Weaknees. I did some very quick searching, and it looks like that would run me around $200, as well.

If I do this myself, do I get to keep the lifetime service?

I didn't really want or plan to invest another $250 into this machine - and have been saving for a new Premiere, and planned to then move this TiVo HD to another room.
Should I go ahead and upgrade to Premiere, or fix this TiVo myself and keep my original plan?

All I know right now is that it stunk not having a TiVo yesterday, and I missed all my shows.

Thanks for any tips or ideas y'all may have!!
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:49 PM   #17
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I personally wouldn't use weakknees; I'd buy a hard drive from Amazon, or Fryes, etc, and do the repair myself. It'll be way cheaper than Weaknees. The repair forum here is very helpful on helping you get it done. The utilities you have to run are free and available for download. Also, the utilities for the Premier seem so much easier and more user friendly than the old S1 and S2 utilities were, so when I expanded my wife's hard drive the job seemed to go pretty smooth for me. I see you have a TiVoHD, and I've not replaced one of those hard drives... I'm hoping the utilities are similarly easy for a TiVoHD like they are for a Premier.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:52 PM   #18
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Oh, the tricky thing for you though is that, unlike me, you have a TiVo that won't boot, so that means you might not be able to easily copy the image from the old drive to the new drive, like I was able to do. So you might have to get a image file from elsewhere. I think those image files might be sold somewhere, but back when I repaired my S2 and needed an image file, a nice TCFer here emailed a blank image for free, so maybe you can have similar luck and get a free image.
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SoBelle0 View Post
I have this same question. My TiVo HD died on Saturday - won't get past the "Welcome! Powering up..." screen. I can't get into the kickstart codes or anything.

I called TiVo to inquire about my options and they provided the following:
They'll transfer my lifetime service to a refurb, and send me the refurb, for $249. This is a $200 lifetime transfer fee and $49 for the refurb TiVo HD.
Or, they suggest I buy / repair the hard drive through Weaknees. I did some very quick searching, and it looks like that would run me around $200, as well.

If I do this myself, do I get to keep the lifetime service?

I didn't really want or plan to invest another $250 into this machine - and have been saving for a new Premiere, and planned to then move this TiVo HD to another room.
Should I go ahead and upgrade to Premiere, or fix this TiVo myself and keep my original plan?

All I know right now is that it stunk not having a TiVo yesterday, and I missed all my shows.

Thanks for any tips or ideas y'all may have!!
Sounds like the motherboard is still okay, but for some reason it and the hard drive are unable to communicate.

Assuming that you do not have an external drive attached to this TiVo, it might be a hard drive problem, or it might be a problem with the power supply no longer being able to supply enough clean current for both the drive and the motherboard.

Do you know anything about electronics?

Or know anybody who does?

If the problem is just the power supply, and the problem with the power supply is the one that most HDs have when they have power supply problems, it's a simple repair using less than $10 worth of parts.

Have you ever replaced or installed anything inside a computer?
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:08 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by SoBelle0 View Post
I have this same question. My TiVo HD died on Saturday - won't get past the "Welcome! Powering up..." screen. I can't get into the kickstart codes or anything.

I called TiVo to inquire about my options and they provided the following:
They'll transfer my lifetime service to a refurb, and send me the refurb, for $249. This is a $200 lifetime transfer fee and $49 for the refurb TiVo HD.
Or, they suggest I buy / repair the hard drive through Weaknees. I did some very quick searching, and it looks like that would run me around $200, as well.

If I do this myself, do I get to keep the lifetime service?

I didn't really want or plan to invest another $250 into this machine - and have been saving for a new Premiere, and planned to then move this TiVo HD to another room.
Should I go ahead and upgrade to Premiere, or fix this TiVo myself and keep my original plan?

All I know right now is that it stunk not having a TiVo yesterday, and I missed all my shows.

Thanks for any tips or ideas y'all may have!!
What you should do with your TiVo HD really depends on your skills. If you are fairly sure it is the hard drive you can buy a replacement hard drive on ebay from someone like DVR_Dude if you have the skills to open your TiVo and replace the drive. You would end up with a TiVo HD with a 2TB drive for $190 or a 1TB drive for $145.

If not you could buy a Premiere and put lifetime on it assuming you qualify for MSD that will cost you $500+/- depending on what Premiere you buy and how much you pay for it. Then you could sell your TiVo HD, someone might be willing to give you $150+/- for the unit as is because of the lifetime service.

A fully functional TiVo HD with lifetime and maybe a 1TB hard drive upgrade appears to be worth around $300 so I am not sure the $250 replacement cost for a refurbished unit with a standard 160GB hard drive is a very good deal as that appears to be close to the full market value of the unit.

Good Luck,
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:23 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:31 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:52 PM   #23
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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?
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:00 PM   #24
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I didn't really want or plan to invest another $250 into this machine - and have been saving for a new Premiere, and planned to then move this TiVo HD to another room. Should I go ahead and upgrade to Premiere, or fix this TiVo myself and keep my original plan?
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.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:03 PM   #25
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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.

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.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:04 PM   #26
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Oh by the way, I found this from another thread:

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Originally Posted by rock_doctor View Post
I do not beleave images are available any more except from the instant cake download. That is the easiest way to go. Get a new drive, download a copy of instant cake (link below it will cost $20) clean the tivo of dust and you are good to go. Once you "bake" the drive it gets installed into the tivo like a normal hard drive.

http://www.dvrupgrade.com/dvr/stores/1/instantcake.cfm

good luck,
mark

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Old 06-25-2012, 04:19 PM   #27
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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.
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.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:31 PM   #28
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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!!
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:38 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by SoBelle0 View Post
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?
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.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:41 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoBelle0 View Post
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!!
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.
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