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Old 08-15-2013, 05:15 PM   #1
BOMOON
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Series 3 HD stuck in "Powering Up..."

Hello,
I have a TiVo Series 3 HD that started getting stuck in "Welcome! Powering up...." mode starting sometime early this morning. I don't know what caused the problem.

I do not have cable cards installed on this Series 3. I have DirecTV for satellite service, so I've been using the TiVo for Netflix, downloading videos from Amazon, etc. I've been doing this for a few years now with no problems.

The obvious symptoms are:

1. The screen message
2. The front panel lights: two vertical rows of light: two red lights on the left, one blue (top) and one red (bottom) lights on the right. There is a yellow TiVo icon between the two vertical rows of lights.
3. I have the TiVo USB/wireless internet adapter. It's dark, as though it's not getting any power. I tried switching from one USB port to the other on the back of the Series 3, but that made no difference.

What I've done so far:

1. Tried resetting by unplugging the Series 3, waiting about 30 seconds, then plugging it back in. After a few seconds, the "Welcome! Powering up...." message returns and stays there. No change from that state for several hours after the last reset.

2. Checked all the connections, including the USB/Wireless LAN adapter, telephone line, all A/V inputs and outputs, connection to external storage (I have the WD Expander driver)

Any ideas what might be causing this, or what I can do about it besides doing the reset via unplugging/plugging?

Thanks for your time,
Alan Mintaka
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:53 PM   #2
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It sounds like your hard drive has failed. Another possibility is a bad power supply, but I'd start with the hard drive. Is it the original 250GB that shipped with the TiVo?
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:30 PM   #3
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It sounds like your hard drive has failed. Another possibility is a bad power supply, but I'd start with the hard drive. Is it the original 250GB that shipped with the TiVo?
Yes, it's the original. I also have the WD expander drive installed via the SATA connector on the back of the Series 3. Until I saw your message, I hadn't thought to disconnect that to see what would happen. I'm waiting for some kind of result (if any) now. It's still stuck in "Powering up" mode...

Isn't there some way to run diagnostics on the internal hard drive, or even format it? I thought I saw some kind of way to do that in these forums but now I can't find it in the forums or in the TiVo's menus. Maybe I'm thinking of the DirecTV Genie (I have to update my profile), which has a diagnostic mode you can enter by pressing some remote keys during restart.

But would a failure of the internal hard drive also ice the USB/Wireless Ethernet adapter?

Thanks for the input,
Alan Mintaka
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:02 PM   #4
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There are some kickstart codes you can run to force the TiVo to test the drive and attempt a repair: http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php

However, if the lights are all staying on, then it is never even trying to boot from the drive, so I doubt you will be able to run any of the tests.

The USB adapter gets powered on after the drive boots, so it will most likely stay off until you can get the TiVo to boot up. Plug it into a computer and see if anything happens. As far as the hard drive in the TiVo, you can connect that to a computer and run the manufacturer diagnostics on it from there. If the drive tests good, then you can reformat it with utilities you can find in this forum. If not, you will need to replace the drive. Again, you can find info about how to do this in this forum, or buy a replacement from a site like Weaknees.

If you open up the TiVo, take a look at the power supply and see if there are any bulging capacitors (you'll see bulges on top of the round components on the power supply board, or even leaking goo coming out of them in extreme cases.) If you see that, it may be the power supply instead of the hard drive. You can confirm this by connecting the drive to the computer and running the tests mentioned above.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:58 PM   #5
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If you have the one with the clock display (when it's working properly), then it's the original S3 (TCD648250B), which had the letters HD on the box or somewhere, but the model after that (TCD652160) is commonly referred to around here as the S3 HD, as TiVo pretty much just marketed it as the TiVo HD (and the one that looks just like it, but with a 1TB drive, the TCD658000, as the HD XL).

Anyway, if you get the first "Welcome, powering up" screen, which is built into a chip on the motherboard, but never advance to the "Just a few more minutes" screen (which is on the hard drive), then something is preventing the motherboard and the hard drive from properly communicating with each other.

Could be the data/power cable that plugs into the back of the drive has worked itself loose (very low likelihood), a bad drive (much better chance), a power supply that's going bad (good chance of that in S2s and S3s) and can't quite provide enough power to spin up the drive, or a motherboard that has developed a problem with its SATA controller (very low likelihood).

You need to open the unit up, check the power supply capacitors while it's opened up, and take the drive out (you can leave it on the bracket) and hook the drive to a PC and run Western Digital's diagnostic software long test on the drive.

And there's no law that says you can't have a drive going or gone bad *and* a power supply falling victim to "capacitor plague" at the same time.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by unitron View Post
...
You need to open the unit up, check the power supply capacitors while it's opened up, and take the drive out (you can leave it on the bracket) and hook the drive to a PC and run Western Digital's diagnostic software long test on the drive.
....
It's model TCD648250B) and says "TiVo Series 3 HD Digital Media Recorder" on the upper left front of the case, for what that info is worth now...

But now that you've pointed out the different models, I'll update my profile to reflect the details.

I have the "lifetime" TiVo subscription for this Series 3. If I open it to play around with the innards, will I be violating any of the terms of that subscription, or any warranties associated with it?

Also, note that my system profile (below) includes one of those APC UPS power supplies. Summer is the season for a lot of brownouts and thunderstorms around here. I've found that these APC supplies are good for the line surges and interruptions during brownouts, but can't do much if there's a nearby lightning strike. If I'm home when there's a storm, I disconnect everything from the wall (INCLUDING the ethernet) and hope the storm blows by before the APC battery runs down.

But if I'm not home when a storm hits, it's possible that the APC can let a lightning surge bleed through. It's happened before with one of my PCs.

Thus the APC needs to be checked too to make sure it hasn't been compromised. It's easy enough - I'll just move the TiVo plug directly to the wall outlet and see what happens.

In any case, I'll be checking into the terms of that subscription before I open the unit.

Oop, thought of another Q: if I remove the drive, how do I go about running WD diagnostics on it? All of my PCs around here are Windows 7 OS. I thought I saw somewhere that the TiVo drives used a Linux OS....

Thanks,
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Arcady View Post
...
If you open up the TiVo, take a look at the power supply and see if there are any bulging capacitors (you'll see bulges on top of the round components on the power supply board, or even leaking goo coming out of them in extreme cases.) If you see that, it may be the power supply instead of the hard drive. You can confirm this by connecting the drive to the computer and running the tests mentioned above.
Same Q's for Unitron: will opening the unit violate the terms of the "lifetime" TiVo subscription, and will the drive be recognized by Windows 7?

Just noticed your avatar. Did you really have a sitdown with Amanda Tapping? I'm a big fan too - have all the series DVDs, plus the Continuum and Ark of Truth Blu-Rays. Hated Atlantis though. Was disappointed in the overused "Space Vampire" theme (and blatantly copied from "Lifeforce") for the wraith. Why do beings that feed on life energy have to look like a cross between bloodsucking vampires and lampreys? All that, plus the "city" Atlantis only had three or four rooms and one hallway. My house is bigger than that.

Load of off-topic nits. Sorry, folks!
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:28 PM   #8
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If its not working, then the lifetime subscription is worthless! You'll need to get it fixed somehow, and that requires an open unit.

Anyhow, upgraded discs (which requires much more than just opening the box) have impacted warranty claims, but never have I seen it impact lifetime service.
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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If its not working, then the lifetime subscription is worthless! You'll need to get it fixed somehow, and that requires an open unit.

Anyhow, upgraded discs (which requires much more than just opening the box) have impacted warranty claims, but never have I seen it impact lifetime service.
Granted, but would TiVo have to authorize and/or perform the service?
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:58 PM   #10
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Granted, but would TiVo have to authorize and/or perform the service?
A TiVo warranty covers repair or replacement of a malfunctioning unit for some period of time. Your warranty on an original Series 3 unit has surely expired. Lifetime Service means that TiVo will continue to provide schedule information and maybe occasional software updates for the lifetime of the unit. "Service" doesn't mean that they will service the unit in the sense of changing a failing component or anything like that.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:28 PM   #11
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Just download WD's Data Lifeguard Diagnostic, hook the drive up to your Windows 7 PC, and run the long test. It could care less what's on the drive (Linux, etc). Windows won't see it or assign a drive letter to it, but the WD program will.

If you can connect it directly to a SATA port on the motherboard that's best, but even a USB adapter is OK. If you use an external adapter or dock it probably won't give you SMART info, but the short and long tests will still run.

Don't fret about the warranty - it's long gone in any case. While it's open look at the top of those capacitors in the power supply carefully. Anything except "it's absolutely perfectly flat" means that it's bad, and sometimes even that's not a sure bet. With a 648 it's not IF, but WHEN unless the power supply has already been replaced.
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:30 PM   #12
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It's model TCD648250B) and says "TiVo Series 3 HD Digital Media Recorder" on the upper left front of the case, for what that info is worth now...

But now that you've pointed out the different models, I'll update my profile to reflect the details.

I have the "lifetime" TiVo subscription for this Series 3. If I open it to play around with the innards, will I be violating any of the terms of that subscription, or any warranties associated with it?

Also, note that my system profile (below) includes one of those APC UPS power supplies. Summer is the season for a lot of brownouts and thunderstorms around here. I've found that these APC supplies are good for the line surges and interruptions during brownouts, but can't do much if there's a nearby lightning strike. If I'm home when there's a storm, I disconnect everything from the wall (INCLUDING the ethernet) and hope the storm blows by before the APC battery runs down.

But if I'm not home when a storm hits, it's possible that the APC can let a lightning surge bleed through. It's happened before with one of my PCs.

Thus the APC needs to be checked too to make sure it hasn't been compromised. It's easy enough - I'll just move the TiVo plug directly to the wall outlet and see what happens.

In any case, I'll be checking into the terms of that subscription before I open the unit.

Oop, thought of another Q: if I remove the drive, how do I go about running WD diagnostics on it? All of my PCs around here are Windows 7 OS. I thought I saw somewhere that the TiVo drives used a Linux OS....

Thanks,
You go to WD's site, search the model number of the drive (I think all the 250s were WDs) and on the left hand side of the resulting page will be a link for an image (a .iso file) that you download and burn to cd as an image (so it'll be bootable), and boot the PC with that.

It ignores the software on the drive, so it doesn't matter what, if any, operating system or partitions are on the drive, it deals with it at a lower level.

Which is why you can use their diagnostics on a brand new WD drive that hasn't been high-level formatted or partitioned yet.

I recommend you do that before doing anything else with a new drive, just in case it got hurt during shipping or slipped past Quality Control or something.

It's not the Linux on a TiVo drive that Windows doesn't recognize, it's the Apple Partition Map that they use that Windows won't recognize.

As far as Windows knows, it's an empty drive, but you won't be using Windows to look at it or diagnose it.

(although you may use a program called WinMFS that runs on Windows, but that's not the same thing)

If there's a problem with the drive, come back and let us know, and be looking for a 2TB WD20EURS on sale somewhere for around $100.

That's the best GB/$ deal, it's got a 3 year warranty, and it's designed for 24/7 A/V use.

Any warranty on that TiVo should have run out long before now.

The lifetime subscription is good for the lifetime of that particular machine, as defined by the TiVo Service Number, which is recorded on the sticker on the back and burned into a chip on the motherboard.

That original S3 is the last TiVo model where you could (with great difficulty) move the chip to another of the same model motherboard to save the lifetime sub.

So, as long as you keep that TiVo running, or make it look that way, the lifetime sub remains in effect, regardless of who owns it, or whether you've changed the hard drive.

When the TiVo contacts the TiVo, Inc. servers for program info, it gets the TSN off of that chip and reports it, and the servers check the database for the account status of that TSN.
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:32 PM   #13
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Same Q's for Unitron: will opening the unit violate the terms of the "lifetime" TiVo subscription, and will the drive be recognized by Windows 7?

Just noticed your avatar. Did you really have a sitdown with Amanda Tapping? I'm a big fan too - have all the series DVDs, plus the Continuum and Ark of Truth Blu-Rays. Hated Atlantis though. Was disappointed in the overused "Space Vampire" theme (and blatantly copied from "Lifeforce") for the wraith. Why do beings that feed on life energy have to look like a cross between bloodsucking vampires and lampreys? All that, plus the "city" Atlantis only had three or four rooms and one hallway. My house is bigger than that.

Load of off-topic nits. Sorry, folks!


I thought the Wraith were pretty much a direct steal from the replacement villains in the last season or 2 of Earth:Final Conflict myself.

Atlantis was a reverse Tardis--looked much bigger on the outside than it was inside.


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Old 08-16-2013, 10:58 PM   #14
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You go to WD's site, search the model number of the drive (I think all the 250s were WDs) and on the left hand side of the resulting page will be a link for an image (a .iso file) that you download and burn to cd as an image (so it'll be bootable), and boot the PC with that.
...
Great info Unitron, thanks. I've since ruled out the APC UPS as the problem with respect to the power supply, so it looks as though it really is something internal to the TiVo. Time to disconnect everything, pull the unit, and perform battlefield surgery!
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:44 AM   #15
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...
You go to WD's site, search the model number of the drive (I think all the 250s were WDs) and on the left hand side of the resulting page will be a link for an image (a .iso file) that you download and burn to cd as an image (so it'll be bootable), and boot the PC with that.
...
More good info Unitron, thank you.

Tonight I've gotten as far as physically removing the drive from the S3. It was a bit of a problem with those star wrench screws, especially the ones inside the case that connected the drive mount to the chassis.

The worst is over though. Tomorrow I tackle the WD diagnostics. It's good to know about that 2TB replacement option. I hope that's the worst case scenario.

What hurts is that this hard drive has recordings for the entire Cheyenne and Maverick TV series. I'd hate to lose those, but.... Then again, my only option for archiving them was capturing them in real-time using a Canopus or Hauppauge card, and then burning the recordings to DVD or BluRay. Maybe that was too much work to justify the results.

A working S3 is the realistic goal now.

Thanks again for the advice and have a good one,
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:38 AM   #16
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Same thing happened to me last month on one of my S3's. Ordered a new hd from Weaknees, replaced it, and everything was fine. There are only a few things that can go wrong - hd, power supply, mobo or fan - that's really all there is inside the case. More often than not it's the hd or ps - and in my case it was the hd.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:56 AM   #17
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That star shaped screw is called a Torx screw. I've used both T-10 and T-15 screwdrivers on Tivos - I've forgotten anymore which models use which. It's always a good idea to have both T-10 and T-15 screwdrivers at home.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:02 PM   #18
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That star shaped screw is called a Torx screw. I've used both T-10 and T-15 screwdrivers on Tivos - I've forgotten anymore which models use which. It's always a good idea to have both T-10 and T-15 screwdrivers at home.
Right, because the only reason I can fathom for having "difficulty" is not using the proper size wrench for the job. I believe all units so far actually need both sizes, but apparently, with "difficulty", the T10(or whichever size is smallest) can work on the larger sized screws. If I'm not mistaken, the screws that attach the drives to the brackets are larger than the "case" screws.
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:01 PM   #19
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T-10 torx for the case, T-15 for the drive brackets
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:17 PM   #20
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Right, because the only reason I can fathom for having "difficulty" is not using the proper size wrench for the job. I believe all units so far actually need both sizes, but apparently, with "difficulty", the T10(or whichever size is smallest) can work on the larger sized screws. If I'm not mistaken, the screws that attach the drives to the brackets are larger than the "case" screws.
The "difficulty" for me was that my star wrenches are in one of those "Swiss Army Knife" handles. To get to the tight spots inside the case where the drive mount was attached, I had to take the wrench handle apart and extract the right wrench. That took away the leverage for the wrench, so I just gripped the end with needlenose pliers.

BTW the caps on the PS "look" ok as far as no bulging tops, sides, or explosion artifacts go. The fan also comes on when the unit is plugged in and powered up. I was hoping for something obvious but... on to the hard drive diags.
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:19 PM   #21
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Same thing happened to me last month on one of my S3's. Ordered a new hd from Weaknees, replaced it, and everything was fine. There are only a few things that can go wrong - hd, power supply, mobo or fan - that's really all there is inside the case. More often than not it's the hd or ps - and in my case it was the hd.
Q: when you installed the new drive, where'd you get the OS and TiVo application software?
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:30 PM   #22
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Q: when you installed the new drive, where'd you get the OS and TiVo application software?
Weaknees.com

Plug-n-play Tivo drives. Expect to pay about twice the cost of doing it yourself. Worth it for some. There used to be sources that were a little cheaper. Don't know if they are still around.
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:56 PM   #23
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You go to WD's site, search the model number of the drive (I think all the 250s were WDs) and on the left hand side of the resulting page will be a link for an image (a .iso file) that you download and burn to cd as an image (so it'll be bootable), and boot the PC with that.
There's nothing like that on the WD website that I could find. When I did a search on the part number, WD2500BS, I got nothing at all at first. Then I re-did the search in the "Legacy Products" section. The resulting page was here:

http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...2500bs&x=0&y=0

This page has Windows and DOS clients available for download. There is no ISO file for burning to a bootable drive.

According to the instructions, the Windows version is an MSI file that "tests your drives" - doesn't say which ones, external or internal. Aside from that, I still have to work out a way to connect this drive to my PC. I don't have an external power supply setup for it so I'll probably have to use the PS in the TiVo. Then I'll have to see if I can dig up (or buy) a SATA/USB adapter.

Regardless of all that, I don't see how a Windows or DOS client can diagnose problems on an HDD that uses a different file system. Even formatting would give questionable results, because it will format the drive with the Windows file system, clusters, etc.
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Old 08-17-2013, 04:26 PM   #24
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There's nothing like that on the WD website that I could find. When I did a search on the part number, WD2500BS, I got nothing at all at first. Then I re-did the search in the "Legacy Products" section. The resulting page was here:

http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...2500bs&x=0&y=0

This page has Windows and DOS clients available for download. There is no ISO file for burning to a bootable drive.

According to the instructions, the Windows version is an MSI file that "tests your drives" - doesn't say which ones, external or internal. Aside from that, I still have to work out a way to connect this drive to my PC. I don't have an external power supply setup for it so I'll probably have to use the PS in the TiVo. Then I'll have to see if I can dig up (or buy) a SATA/USB adapter.

Regardless of all that, I don't see how a Windows or DOS client can diagnose problems on an HDD that uses a different file system. Even formatting would give questionable results, because it will format the drive with the Windows file system, clusters, etc.
You want the "Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS" option.

That download will enable you to make a bootable cd. Supposedly, you can also use it to make a bootable flash drive, etc.

Just do it. It's easy and it works(the bootable cd. No firsthand experience with a flash drive). All drive manufacturers have these utilities, and most anyone here giving advice has used them numerous times to test their drives.
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Old 08-17-2013, 04:29 PM   #25
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Weaknees.com

Plug-n-play Tivo drives. Expect to pay about twice the cost of doing it yourself. Worth it for some. There used to be sources that were a little cheaper. Don't know if they are still around.
That looks pretty good. Actually $150.00 for a plug-n-play 1TB drive isn't so bad. If I have to go that route to replace a bad drive and get the TiVo OS and software all in one swipe, I'll do it.

Looks like I'll have to cannibalize one of my PCs with internal SATA2 ports to test the stock drive. The drive is connected in the TiVo with a combo power/SATA2 plug, so I can't use the PS there and plug the SATA port into another PC. Right now the PC I need to use is rendering a Blu-Ray and won't be available for a few hours. When it's done I'll open it up, remove the non-OS SATA2 drive, plug in the TiVo drive and PS plug, and run the WD Diagnostics client.

Only trouble is... as I reported to Arcady, there's no bootable ISO image with diagnostics software for this drive on the WD website. That means I'll be running WD's Windows client to diagnose a non-Windows HD. Don't see how that can work, even if I reformat the drive - wrong file system.
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Old 08-17-2013, 04:31 PM   #26
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You want the "Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS" option.

That download will enable you to make a bootable cd. Supposedly, you can also use it to make a bootable flash drive, etc.

Just do it. It's easy and it works(the bootable cd. No firsthand experience with a flash drive). All drive manufacturers have these utilities, and most anyone here giving advice has used them numerous times to test their drives.
OK, got it. Thanks for the pointer - wasn't obvious on the WD website where the bootable ISO image was.
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Old 08-17-2013, 04:48 PM   #27
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Weaknees.com

Plug-n-play Tivo drives. Expect to pay about twice the cost of doing it yourself. Worth it for some. There used to be sources that were a little cheaper. Don't know if they are still around.
The other source is DVR Dude.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/dvr_dude/m.html
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:10 PM   #28
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Download and burn the iso for The Ultimate Boot CD. It has a copy of the WD diagnostic software on it, along with some other useful tools you may need in the future.

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:33 PM   #29
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You want the "Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS" option.

That download will enable you to make a bootable cd. Supposedly, you can also use it to make a bootable flash drive, etc.
Actually, the download doesn't "enable you to make a bootable cd". It includes an EXE file with the instructions to "copy the program to a bootable cd". There's no tool for creating that bootable CD, and there's no built-in tool in Windows 7 to accomplish that (format/make MS-DOS boot Disc only works for floppies - no such option for CDs).

I found a lot of downloadable ISO files to create bootable DOS CDs for Windows 7, but they all finalized the CD after I burned the image - even when I told my burning software not to finalize the CD. Using a CD-RW made no difference. Thus I was never able to copy that executable to a bootable CD.

See steve614's post and my response. The best solution is an ISO that already includes the WD diagnostics. There's nothing like that for this drive on the WD website.
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:39 PM   #30
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Download and burn the iso for The Ultimate Boot CD. It has a copy of the WD diagnostic software on it, along with some other useful tools you may need in the future.

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html
THANK YOU Steve614. This has resolved the quagmire I've been dealing with when it comes to making a bootable CD in Windows 7 and subsequently copying the DOS version of the WD Diagnostics to the CD. There's no easy way to do it. The solution is an integrated ISO file like this one.

Plus, it's loaded with HDD utilities for other drive brands, as well as additional utilities for system maintenance that I haven't explored yet. However I did manage to boot the PC from the CD and run the included WD diagnostics program. I don't have the TiVo drive connected to my PC yet but I do have an internal WD HDD that the diagnostic recognized.

NOW I have something I can work with.
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