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Old 02-05-2014, 06:37 PM   #1
Dougmeister
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Why did I save my old hard drive?

I have a Premiere. I upgraded the hard drive right after I bought it. The instructions I followed suggested that I keep the original hard drive. I think it was Ross Walker's website.

I went back to read it, and maybe I'm blind, but I can't see why he suggested keeping the old hard drive. (The old drive is a Western Digital WD3200AVVS).

The reason I'm asking is that a friend of mine asked me to fix his Series 3. It's stuck on the 'Welcome... Powering Up!' screen.

My question is: should I just buy a new hard drive or use the "old" one that is basically brand new? Is there a compelling reason for me to keep the old one?
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougmeister View Post
I have a Premiere. I upgraded the hard drive right after I bought it. The instructions I followed suggested that I keep the original hard drive. I think it was Ross Walker's website.

I went back to read it, and maybe I'm blind, but I can't see why he suggested keeping the old hard drive. (The old drive is a Western Digital WD3200AVVS).

The reason I'm asking is that a friend of mine asked me to fix his Series 3. It's stuck on the 'Welcome... Powering Up!' screen.

My question is: should I just buy a new hard drive or use the "old" one that is basically brand new? Is there a compelling reason for me to keep the old one?
For one, most of the time the best reason for keeping the old hard drive is for exactly the situation your friend finds himself. If the hard drive were to go bad in your Premier, you would have the original drive you could put back in the unit, and be able to run again.

If you are asking if you should use the old drive that you swapped out of the Premier in your friends Series 3, I don't believe that will work, as the drives are set up for the hardware they are originally installed.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:02 PM   #3
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I've always kept the Original HDs when I do upgrades for several reasons. First they become a great troubleshooting tool. Pop the original one back in and see if your problems go away. Second, if you ever do send a TiVo with problems back to TiVo for warranty or out of warranty exchange, you'll want to send it back with the original HD. IMHO.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:27 PM   #4
Dougmeister
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Thanks.

This leads to the next question. I've only ever upgraded existing hard drives. The procedure is pretty much the same when putting a new hard drive in, isn't it?

Just buy the new hard drive and follow the instructions?
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:26 AM   #5
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The big difference is that putting in a new drive requires an image to put on the hard drive. When you upgrade, you create a backup image and restore that.

So you'll need to hunt for a S3 image, unless you can still read the old hard drive somewhat.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougmeister View Post
I have a Premiere. I upgraded the hard drive right after I bought it. The instructions I followed suggested that I keep the original hard drive. I think it was Ross Walker's website.

I went back to read it, and maybe I'm blind, but I can't see why he suggested keeping the old hard drive. (The old drive is a Western Digital WD3200AVVS).

The reason I'm asking is that a friend of mine asked me to fix his Series 3. It's stuck on the 'Welcome... Powering Up!' screen.

My question is: should I just buy a new hard drive or use the "old" one that is basically brand new? Is there a compelling reason for me to keep the old one?
First of all, you need to open that S3, hook its hard drive to a PC and run the drive manufacterer's own diagnostic software long test to see if there's anything wrong with the drive itself (as opposed to something having gone wrong with the software on the drive), and while you've got the TiVo open you need to check on the most likely thing to be the cause of the trouble, the power supply, specifically the electrolytic capacitors.

It could be there's nothing wrong with the drive at all.

Or it could be that the power supply needs recapping and that the hard drive is dying of old age.

Or it could be the motherboard going bad but that's much less likely.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:03 AM   #7
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I used to keep my original hard drives as backups, but I soon realized that all I really needed to do was create a backup image of the drive. That way if the drive died I could just grab a replacement of the same size or larger and restore the image to it. The one thing about keeping the original is that it never gets updated unless you place it back in the Tivo. You could certainly do that to keep it current, but I just got in the habit of creating a new backup image each time the OS was updated.

You could keep updating the original drive by putting it back in the Tivo and forcing the update, but you wouldn't have access to your recordings or make new ones while this is taking place. The other option is to update it with the backup image you just created from the updated drive. That way you could swap out the drives if the one in the Tivo dies and always have the latest OS installed.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:51 AM   #8
Dougmeister
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...and while you've got the TiVo open you need to check on the most likely thing to be the cause of the trouble, the power supply, specifically the electrolytic capacitors.

It could be there's nothing wrong with the drive at all.

Or it could be that the power supply needs recapping and that the hard drive is dying of old age.

Or it could be the motherboard going bad but that's much less likely.
How do I check the power supply? I have a beginner's knowledge of how to recognize bad capacitors.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:50 AM   #9
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How do I check the power supply? I have a beginner's knowledge of how to recognize bad capacitors.
There are lots of threads on the topic. I believe there may also be a sticky thread to help you identify bad capacitors in a Tivo power supply. The main thing to look for is the large electrolytic capacitors will bulge slightly at the top if defective. Good caps should be perfectly flat on the end. You may need a magnifying glass to see it on some caps. Another thing to look for is any sort of crystallized buildup around the seams of the capacitor housing that indicates leakage.

Any bulging or leaking capacitor needs to be replaced. Most people usually replace all of the electrolytics at the same time as they're not all that expensive and it's easier to do them all at once rather than when they fail individually. There should be a post somewhere that identifies the exact replacement part numbers from Digi-Key or other electronics supplier.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:44 AM   #10
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How do I check the power supply? I have a beginner's knowledge of how to recognize bad capacitors.
Do you happen to have or have access to a voltmeter?

mr.unnatural gave you a good answer about visual clues you might see, but sometimes a cap goes bad and still looks good, so in case you don't see any that show the signs, actually checking the DC output voltage levels can tell you if there's a problem.
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:04 PM   #11
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Yes, I have a volt meter.

What do I look for?
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:39 PM   #12
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Yes, I have a volt meter.

What do I look for?
We're still talking about an S3 power supply and not the Premiere, right?

The first rule is:

ALWAYS KNOW WHERE BOTH ENDS OF THE TIVO POWER CORD ARE AT ALL TIMES!

Set the meter for DC Volts, lowest scale that's not lower than 0-15.

I assume there's a negative black lead and a positive red one.

Hook the black to the chassis on the side away from the power supply, either via alligator clamp if it has one or jam the probe into one of the cutouts and friction fit it.

There are colored wires coming out of the power supply board, some of which run to the hard drive combo power/data plug and the rest go to a plug that mates with a socket on the motherboard.

You're going to backprobe the ones in that plug.

You choose a wire and stick the probe down into the hole in the plug the wire goes into until you contact the metal tip at the end of the wire.

You need to have the motherboard at least connected as a load while the power supply is plugged in, if not both the board and the drive.

Switch mode supplies don't like to run without a proper load.

The black wires are ground, are in parallel, and should read 0 volts relative to the chassis.

All of the wires are paralleled with the others of the same color, so you only need to read one of each color.

The yellow wires should read +12 V, the red +5 V, and the orange +3.3 V.

If it's a 648 supply (original S3), there's a white or gray wire to power the OLED display on the front and I think it's supposed to be +7.5, but if there's a problem, it shouldn't be there.

There should be a sticker wrapped around the biggest capacitor listing the different voltages and amperages, or it'll be silkscreened onto the board itself.

As long as you're within half a Volt on the +12 V, and similar tolerance percentage on the others, the supply should be okay.

But test with the drive connected and then with it not connected to make sure that the readings are similar to indicate that the supply regulates properly when you add load.

You can also test to see if inserting a cable card makes an appreciable difference, if it uses them.

And remember, if you touch parts of the supply itself while it's plugged in, you could get a nasty shock directly from the wall outlet voltage, because it's not separately sheilded like a PC supply is when you open up the case.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:44 PM   #13
Dougmeister
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We're still talking about an S3 power supply and not the Premiere, right?
Yes. Tivo Series 3.

Thanks for the detailed instructions. Will hopefully try it this weekend.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:38 AM   #14
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Yes. Tivo Series 3.

Thanks for the detailed instructions. Will hopefully try it this weekend.
When you remove the power cord from the input jack on the back of the TiVo, try to pull it straight out and avoid any wiggling.

Same for putting it back in.

If you don't have a table top height wall socket that will let you power and de-power the TiVo by pulling the plug from it instead of pulling the other end out of the back of the TiVo, consider using an outlet strip-type extension cord, especially if it's one that has a switch.

That'll make it easy to perform the electrical equivalent of unplugging, and in the unlikely event something's going wrong, you can flip the switch much more quickly than you can pull a plug.
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