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Old 07-09-2011, 08:16 PM   #1
Andrew054
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how hard is it to replace the fan

I imagine this has been addressed before, but how hard is it to replace the fan on the Premiere XL? Mine previously has been quiet, but now it is making a significant amount of noise. The TiVo service rep suggested weakness, and I was looking at the instructions. The instructions seem somewhat daunting, involving moving the hard drive around, etc. Any comments from people who have had first hand experience?
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:24 PM   #2
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It's not that hard, but that's easy for me to say. You may not be skilled in the computer hardware arena.

First, I'm surprised that any TiVo service rep advised anything other than replacing the DVR. Suggesting weaknees condones opening the DVR. Because of the exposed power supply, that rep opened himself and TiVo up to a liability.
Plus, opening the box voids any warranty you might have.

Having said that, if you have a couple of Torx screwdrivers, are somewhat mechanically inclined and have common sense, you could probably do this yourself.

1. Unplug the Tivo and let it sit 30 minutes to allow the charge in the power supply capacitors to drain off.

2. Remove the 4 screws on the back to take the cover off. You will need to slide the cover toward the rear 1/4 inch and then slightly pull the sides out.



3. As you can see from the picture below, it looks like you shouldn't have to move anything around to replace the fan.
Unplug the wires going to the motherboard, remove the 4 screws from the back that are holding it in place, then lift it out.



Just reverse the procedure to put the Tivo back together again.

If what I've explained here is too daunting, find a friend who has experience building a computer.
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:51 AM   #3
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Yeah, the actual replacement is trivial if you have the correct fan to replace it with. Which is what I want to know -- exactly what specs to look for in a replacement. I mean, assuming I don't want to buy it from Weaknees.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:31 AM   #4
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You should be good with a 50mm fan in a Premiere.

There a some good, cheap fan suggestions over in this thread:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=456669
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:53 AM   #5
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If it's like other TiVo fans (not thickness, just general construction), here's what you do.

The fan blows out the back of the TiVo. That's the side you need to get at, so you'll need a Torx driver to remove it from the TiVo case.

Then, there should be a round stick on label. Remember, this is not the side where you'd see the label spin around when the fan blades do, it's the side where the label is stationary.

Use a razor blade or X-acto knife or something to carefully peel up that label on one side, enough to where the center of the area under it is exposed.

There should be either a hole where you can see the end of the axle shaft of the blade assembly, or a rubber plug, which can be pried out to reveal that hole.

You want to pack that hole with a combination of grease and oil.

For the oil, either sewing machine oil, or 3-in-1, or something very similar.

For the grease, either the molybdenum based rubbing block grease, called "IgnitionLube", for the kinds of car engine distributors with mechanical points (which means you'll have to luck on to some new old stock somewhere, and if you do, buy it all), or some stuff available as of a few years ago from Permatex called "Dielectric Tune-Up Grease", or perhaps some stuff made by GC called "PhonoLube".

You want something lighter weight than wheel bearing packing grease.

Put a drop of the oil in the hole, then fill it most of the way with the grease, then a little more oil after you spin the blade a couple of times.

Then put the plug back in (if applicable), wipe any excess lube from the surface, and stick the round sticker back down.

The oil makes the grease slipperier*, and lets it flow into the space between the axle and the bearing sleeve.

*edit: I can't believe how badly misspelled that word looks, even though it isn't
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:16 AM   #6
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^or spend $8 including shipping for this fan from Newegg. If you can use a screwdriver and can plug something in you're good to go.

While the above solution would work, you'll either have to spend the time and gas looking around locally for them or buying two items online which will probably more than $8 with shipping - and you would still have an older fan, just one that is lubed up.

Again, nothing wrong with a maintenance approach, just could be a be costlier and sloppy (literally) if done wrong.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:59 PM   #7
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^or spend $8 including shipping for this fan from Newegg. If you can use a screwdriver and can plug something in you're good to go.

While the above solution would work, you'll either have to spend the time and gas looking around locally for them or buying two items online which will probably more than $8 with shipping - and you would still have an older fan, just one that is lubed up.

Again, nothing wrong with a maintenance approach, just could be a be costlier and sloppy (literally) if done wrong.
And if I bought that fan the first thing I'd do is "preventive maintenance".

Good link, BTW.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:31 PM   #8
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^or spend $8 including shipping for this fan from Newegg. If you can use a screwdriver and can plug something in you're good to go.

While the above solution would work, you'll either have to spend the time and gas looking around locally for them or buying two items online which will probably more than $8 with shipping - and you would still have an older fan, just one that is lubed up.

Again, nothing wrong with a maintenance approach, just could be a be costlier and sloppy (literally) if done wrong.
How does that compare with the stock fan? 29dBA sounds like it could be a little loud. But I guess the TiVo also adjusts the speed anyway and is only at the fastest fan speeds at bootup.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:05 AM   #9
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Has anyone found a fan that is quieter than the stock TiVo fan? Weaknees does not give the decibels for the fans on their site.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:07 AM   #10
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Very easy replacement but be careful not to short out the connecting pins.
I did while it was on and now there is no voltage going through the ground pin so I connected the ground wire to the case.
It is running full speed and ~12 degrees cooler. I hope it will not cause problems in the future.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835119054

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Old 12-15-2011, 05:57 PM   #11
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Oh no! After the 14.9.2.2 update and auto reboot of my Premiere, the fan is starting to fail. This is typical for fan failure- it waits until the speed is drastically changed, then a bearing failure becomes audible. It is quite loud. After many hours, it got a lot quieter, but is still much more noticeable. I did a reboot test for timing purposes, and now it is back to really loud again.

I am a computer professional- fan failure is neither new nor surprising to me. However, my TiVo is under extended warranty. If I were to send it in, I would:

* Lose all my programming
* Lose all my stored video
* Be totally without any TV for a week
* Probably get back a different unit with perhaps other issues
* Have to spend money on shipping (I think)
* Use up my *one* replacement that you get with the extended warranty (yes, TiVo has a very interesting warranty).

All that, for a fan I could replace in just a few minutes, safely, cheaply, and it is something I have done in countless other types of machines over the last 25 years. If I try to replace the fan, it is doubtful I can get an exact match. Plus I have to open the case, dealing with the anti-tamper sticker (which I assume it has). So what to do? What what YOU do?
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by crxssi View Post
Oh no! After the 14.9.2.2 update and auto reboot of my Premiere, the fan is starting to fail. This is typical for fan failure- it waits until the speed is drastically changed, then a bearing failure becomes audible. It is quite loud. After many hours, it got a lot quieter, but is still much more noticeable. I did a reboot test for timing purposes, and now it is back to really loud again.

I am a computer professional- fan failure is neither new nor surprising to me. However, my TiVo is under extended warranty. If I were to send it in, I would:

* Lose all my programming
* Lose all my stored video
* Be totally without any TV for a week
* Probably get back a different unit with perhaps other issues
* Have to spend money on shipping (I think)
* Use up my *one* replacement that you get with the extended warranty (yes, TiVo has a very interesting warranty).

All that, for a fan I could replace in just a few minutes, safely, cheaply, and it is something I have done in countless other types of machines over the last 25 years. If I try to replace the fan, it is doubtful I can get an exact match. Plus I have to open the case, dealing with the anti-tamper sticker (which I assume it has). So what to do? What what YOU do?
I would examine it carefully for the probably non-existant sticker (They discontinued them after the Series 1 and I haven't heard anything about them being added back) and then open it up, remove the fan, lift one side of the sticker on the non-blade side of the fan, pop the plastic plug, pack in a mixture of light grease and light oil, put the plug back in and wipe the excess with a paper towel, put the sticker back down and re-install the fan, the same way I just did on a Series 2.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by crxssi View Post
Oh no! After the 14.9.2.2 update and auto reboot of my Premiere, the fan is starting to fail. This is typical for fan failure- it waits until the speed is drastically changed, then a bearing failure becomes audible. It is quite loud. After many hours, it got a lot quieter, but is still much more noticeable. I did a reboot test for timing purposes, and now it is back to really loud again.

I am a computer professional- fan failure is neither new nor surprising to me. However, my TiVo is under extended warranty. If I were to send it in, I would:

* Lose all my programming
* Lose all my stored video
* Be totally without any TV for a week
* Probably get back a different unit with perhaps other issues
* Have to spend money on shipping (I think)
* Use up my *one* replacement that you get with the extended warranty (yes, TiVo has a very interesting warranty).

All that, for a fan I could replace in just a few minutes, safely, cheaply, and it is something I have done in countless other types of machines over the last 25 years. If I try to replace the fan, it is doubtful I can get an exact match. Plus I have to open the case, dealing with the anti-tamper sticker (which I assume it has). So what to do? What what YOU do?
Just get a fan from Weaknees. There is no anti-tamper sticker. The whole process is under 5 minutes. 2 to 3 if you go fast starting from removing the first cover screw to putting the last cover screw one back on.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:53 PM   #14
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Just get a fan from Weaknees. There is no anti-tamper sticker. The whole process is under 5 minutes. 2 to 3 if you go fast starting from removing the first cover screw to putting the last cover screw one back on.
Actually, I ordered the fan from Weaknees right before I saw your posting. I was contemplating oiling the fan, but I think I would rather just replace it. I will keep the old one to put back in, if it must go back under warranty sometime.

Funny that the "other" fan thread should pop up right after mine...
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:14 PM   #15
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...

Funny that the "other" fan thread should pop up right after mine...
'Tis the season for the gremlins...


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Old 12-16-2011, 05:39 PM   #16
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'Tis the season for the gremlins...
(now that song is stuck in your head )
Thanks.... I think.

Anyway, I did check out alternative fans first; mostly because $20 for a case fan is pretty high. Amazingly, I could find exactly ZERO 50x50x20 fans on Amazon *or* Newegg. I suppose I could have branched out, but suddenly, the $20 didn't seem that crazy anymore. At least it included shipping, has the correct connector already on it (two pin! yeesh!), and I like supporting them for what they do for the TiVo Community.
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:17 AM   #17
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http://www.coolerguys.com/8405560410...hannelid=FROOG

$6.59 from cooler guys

http://www.coolerguys.com/32pa.html

You will also need a 3 pin to 2 pin adapter for $1.29

The weaknees part is easier and probably worth the extra couple of bucks - but I can be done cheaper.
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:11 AM   #18
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http://www.coolerguys.com/8405560410...hannelid=FROOG

$6.59 from cooler guys

http://www.coolerguys.com/32pa.html

You will also need a 3 pin to 2 pin adapter for $1.29

The weaknees part is easier and probably worth the extra couple of bucks - but I can be done cheaper.
You can probably use that without the adapter, just take note of where the red and black are on the original fan and which goes to which pin on the motherboard, and shuffle the 3 pins around accordingly so that the yellow is hanging off in space to one side.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:47 AM   #19
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http://www.coolerguys.com/8405560410...hannelid=FROOG

$6.59 from cooler guys

http://www.coolerguys.com/32pa.html

You will also need a 3 pin to 2 pin adapter for $1.29

The weaknees part is easier and probably worth the extra couple of bucks - but I can be done cheaper.
EEek- Coolerguys wants $9.41 shipping for just the fan, alone, making it $16 before any other part. Yeah, I think going with Weaknees was probably best.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:59 AM   #20
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http://www.coolerguys.com/8405560410...hannelid=FROOG

$6.59 from cooler guys

http://www.coolerguys.com/32pa.html

You will also need a 3 pin to 2 pin adapter for $1.29

The weaknees part is easier and probably worth the extra couple of bucks - but I can be done cheaper.
Ouch!! shipping is more than the cost of the item. It showed as being $9.41 for my zip code. For a $6.41 item.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:49 AM   #21
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Actually, I ordered the fan from Weaknees right before I saw your posting. I was contemplating oiling the fan, but I think I would rather just replace it. I will keep the old one to put back in, if it must go back under warranty sometime.
I got the fan from them very quickly. But with the holidays, I had no time to perform the operation. I opened the Premiere for the first time, today. It is easy, just need a T-10 Torx driver. The fan WeaKnees sent is *exactly* identical to the stock fan. So, replacement was super easy. I can't believe how much quieter the unit is now. I must have been adapting to the noise over several months.

The bad/failing fan has obvious physical problems- feels like there is nothing holding the blades on. Having the identical replacement, I wonder if it will fail the same way in a year. Guess we wait and see.

Anyway, now I can enjoy some silence
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:30 PM   #22
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Would a thinner fan work? I found a couple of 50x50x15 fans on newegg - flow looks comparable...
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:08 PM   #23
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Would a thinner fan work? I found a couple of 50x50x15 fans on newegg - flow looks comparable...
I wasn't sure until I had a look inside and wasn't willing to take the chance. Now that I have seen everything, I am sure a thinner, which means MUCH more easily available (like 15mm) fan would work.

Do keep in mind that a thinner fan does not move as much air. The deeper the blades, the more air is moved at X rpm. It does seem that the TiVo actively adjusts the speed of the fan based on the cooling needed, so it might not be a problem. Then again, it might limit the maximum amount of cooling available. It also has the potential to create more noise as a higher RPM will be needed on a thinner fan to get the same amount of cooling as the thicker.

To me, it wasn't worth the unknown risk for saving $5 or something like that.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:59 PM   #24
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Fan failures suck, I'm glad its an easy replacement.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:15 PM   #25
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Fan failures suck, I'm glad its an easy replacement.
Fans are a pain. They are generally the first thing to fail in a computer, they make noise, they are not as reliable as they should be, and it is rare components are properly designed to FILTER the incoming air, so equipment gets full of dust. Ug.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:28 PM   #26
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Fans are a pain. They are generally the first thing to fail in a computer, they make noise, they are not as reliable as they should be, and it is rare components are properly designed to FILTER the incoming air, so equipment gets full of dust. Ug.
TiVos suck in air from underneath, so gravity helps keep dust out of that air to a certain extent.

Getting some stick on rubber feet that'll lift it higher in the air will reduce the force needed to suck air in, helping with cooling and giving gravity a taller path over which to work.

Generally original fans can be re-lubricated and continued in use, although not always, unfotunately for those of us with the GigaByte motherboards with the wind tunnels.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:24 PM   #27
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TiVos suck in air from underneath, so gravity helps keep dust out of that air to a certain extent.

Getting some stick on rubber feet that'll lift it higher in the air will reduce the force needed to suck air in, helping with cooling and giving gravity a taller path over which to work.

Generally original fans can be re-lubricated and continued in use, although not always, unfotunately for those of us with the GigaByte motherboards with the wind tunnels.
I've never owned a TiVo that didn't get filled with dust. Ideally I like to blow out the dust at least once a year. But I have not touched my Premieres with the stock hard drives yet. I really need to go outside and open them up to blow out all of the dust very soon if the Premiere I had with a 2TB drive that I sold is any indication of the amount of dust that is awaiting.
Before I sell any TiVos I always make sure to blow out all of the dust.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:34 PM   #28
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I've never owned a TiVo that didn't get filled with dust. Ideally I like to blow out the dust at least once a year. But I have not touched my Premieres with the stock hard drives yet. I really need to go outside and open them up to blow out all of the dust very soon if the Premiere I had with a 2TB drive that I sold is any indication of the amount of dust that is awaiting.
Before I sell any TiVos I always make sure to blow out all of the dust.
Better to suck it out with a vacuum. Blowing it out can force it into places it shouldn't go.

This is even more true for computers.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:48 AM   #29
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Better to suck it out with a vacuum. Blowing it out can force it into places it shouldn't go.

This is even more true for computers.
You have to be careful with a vacuum.
Air movement through the plastic hose of the vacuum can cause unwanted static electricity.
I don't know if any of the components in the Tivo are static sensitive, but I wanted to point that out.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:52 AM   #30
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You have to be careful with a vacuum.
Air movement through the plastic hose of the vacuum can cause unwanted static electricity.
I don't know if any of the components in the Tivo are static sensitive, but I wanted to point that out.
Well, the internal modems in S1s are sensitive to everything, but I don't see how air flowing into a vacuum can generate more static than air flowing out of whatever you're blowing it with.

Now if you have a vacuum sawdust collector on a table saw you want to be sure the air path is grounded, 'cause sawdust can be exploded by a spark. Think "grain elevator".
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Darth TiVo, 14 February, 2011
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