Originally Posted by arvoris
I am currently using the dvr expander with my tivo premiere that records two shows at one time. I want to upgrade to a tivo premiere 4 that I purchased thru Ebay. How do I go about saving the files already on the expander? I understand that the files are spread between the expander and the tivo. It is at about 33% status. Is there a step by step for upgrading somewhere?
Yes, once you add an external to the TiVo, every show recorded after that is spread over both drives, which means by adding one you double the chance of a hard drive failure wiping out all of your shows.
Much better to upgrade to a bigger internal drive if you need the extra space.
Just in case you're thinking of taking the hard drives out of both TiVos and hooking them to a PC to copy the shows that way, it can't be done that way.
There's not enough info on the TiVo file system publicly available.
As for whether you can copy shows from one operating TiVo to the other, it depends a lot on your cable company if you have cable, and whether they have set the CCI bit, the "anti-copy" bit, on the channels from which your shows were recorded.
(TiVo has no choice but to design their equipment to comply with the CCI bit, so don't blame them)
They aren't supposed to be able, legally, to set it on any of the local broadcast stations whose signal they re-transmit, but "cable only" channels, like CNN, USA, TNT, et cetera, are fair game for it, even if they aren't "pay" channels the way HBO and Showtime and such are.
And it should go without saying that the pay channels are set to "no copy allowed".
To copy whatever shows are not restricted, both TiVos will have to be on the same network, and if you use a program like TiVo Desktop (the free version is still available if you know where to look, or just ask us about it) to copy them to a PC and then copy them to your new TiVo from the PC, the PC will have to be on that network as well.
There are also some "open source" alternatives to TiVo Desktop.
It's been my experience with TiVos older than the Premiere that copying the show to a PC via TiVo Desktop and then copying from there to another same era TiVo loses much less of the "metadata" that goes along with the show (like date it was originally recorded by the first TiVo, and some other stuff) than happens when you copy directly from TiVo to TiVo.
And when TiVo talks about "transferring" shows, it really means "copying", because the original is not destroyed or erased automatically.
Slightly off-topic, but you'll probably be glad I mentioned it, earlier today in another thread someone mentioned getting a newer model Premiere (that they did not buy straight from TiVo) and that when they went to add it to their account (I think they were trying to transfer the subscription from their older, 2 tuner Premiere), they got the $99 lifetime deal on the old Premiere, so you should hold out for that, as it actually gives your first Premiere some decent resale value if you don't keep it.