2nd failed Bolt+ HD

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by MetalDog, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. Feb 4, 2020 #1 of 48
    MetalDog

    MetalDog New Member

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    Sorry if this is TL;DR. I'm just sharing my frustrations and looking for advice...

    I bought a TiVo Bolt+ (3TB) back in April 2017. The HD failed on it 18 months later. After opening it up I saw that it was a WD Blue drive - am I wrong in claiming that is NOT an AV/DVR rated drive? Regardless, I contacted TiVo and they replaced the entire unit for $150. It appeared to be a new unit, not refurbished, but I could be wrong. The HD on that unit just failed. It's been 18 months. Hmmm, a pattern. After opening it I see TiVo is still using WD Blue drives. I tried to confirm it is dead by hooking it up to my PC. It emits loud clicking noises which is a sound i'm familiar with on failed mechanical drives.

    I understand this happens A LOT. A $500 device should not fail this often. TiVo seems to be narrowly avoiding lemon laws since the devices are not failing within the warranty period. I'm no attorney though - just pissed off. I'm not sure who is worse - cable companies or TiVo.

    Being sick of paying TiVo a monthly fee and TiVo using hardware that wasn't designed for what they're using it for I decided to try live TV streaming services. Wow do they suck. I tried YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV. The quality on both is incredibly bad compared to cable. The audio is STEREO (seriously?) and is such bad quality it is jarring to the ears. The video seems to be 720 at best and is often so compressed that details cannot be discerned. (It was impossible to see that it was Shakira shaking it during the Super Bowl half-time show ;) due to all the confetti causing compression to go crazy.) So that type of service isn't going to cut it.

    I've tried putting in some spare HDs I have including a 1TB WD Blue drive. The TiVo hasn't liked any of them. On the WD the TiVO seemed to get past initialization of the HD but inspecting it on my PC it does not appear initialized (perhaps the partition created isn't recognized by Windows). The TiVo gets past "Starting setup" but eventually the HDMI signal drops and it doesn't appear to finish setup.

    It seems there are certain HDs compatible with the Bolt+. I don't care about capacity as much as just having a device that works. A 1TB HD would suffice. Any recommendations? Are there guides specific to replacing the HD on here? I found the Ross Walker guide but it is dated and it recommends Seagate drives which I swore off long ago. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Feb 4, 2020 #2 of 48
    MetalDog

    MetalDog New Member

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    I've seen marcv's recent post about hooking up an external WD purple drive. That's certainly an option and thank you to marcv for posting it. I'm hoping to avoid an external enclosure though.
     
  3. Feb 4, 2020 #3 of 48
    LarryAtHome

    LarryAtHome Active Member

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    I have a BOLT, not a BOLT+ that is running TE3, not TE4 and have installed a Western Digital RED WD10JFCX. It has been using this drive for about a year with no issues.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2020 #4 of 48
    MetalDog

    MetalDog New Member

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    Found an old Toshiba laptop HD and plugged it in. It worked! I'm certain it isn't rated for DVR use though and it is only 750Gb so I'll likely have to do something else. At least it confirmed the HD was the issue.
     
  5. Feb 5, 2020 #5 of 48
    cpgny9

    cpgny9 Member

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    I have the bolt+. Same thing...after a year or so the hard drive went. First TiVo I have ever owned that failed. I went the external drive route and would never go back to a 2.5 drive - they are just not reliable for this purpose. Added a case with its own fan/power & cables for less than $50. Got a WD red 6TB 3.5 drive (a drive specifically made for constant writing and low heat - you can get a 1TB verison for $50ish) and have been going smoothly for a year or so now. The process is simple and I even had some picture (pixelation) issues clear up since I went with the external drive.
     
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  6. Feb 5, 2020 #6 of 48
    MetalDog

    MetalDog New Member

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    Thanks cpgny9! I'm going to do that as well. I don't trust the old HD I put in. But it was just satisfying getting it working again and a relief it wasn't something else.

    Have you posted details of your build on here? If not, do you recall the enclosure you used?
     
  7. Feb 5, 2020 #7 of 48
    zubinh

    zubinh Active Member

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    You didn't get an extended warranty? I bought mine from Best Buy, got the 4 yr geek squad warranty for $75. 2 years later, hard drive failed and I got a new one from Best buy and they sold me a new warranty on the replacement for $65. Getting the Lifetime service transferred to the new Bolt was not that difficult.
     
  8. Feb 5, 2020 #8 of 48
    Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    And so TiVo doesn't balk if it's a replacement unit through a Geek Squad warranty? I've always wondered about that.
     
  9. Feb 5, 2020 #9 of 48
    zubinh

    zubinh Active Member

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    Nope. It's in the terms and conditions. I emailed proof of purchase, proof of warranty and proof of exchange. Follow up with a call and its transferred. I've done this twice. In both cases I also upgraded to the current model since the model I purchased was no longer being sold. E.G. - I turned in my defective Bolt + and received a Bolt Vox.
     
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  10. cpgny9

    cpgny9 Member

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  11. MetalDog

    MetalDog New Member

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    Feb 4, 2020
  12. MetalDog

    MetalDog New Member

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    I bought it through Amazon and did not get an extended warranty. Had I known it used a HD that was inferior for usage in a DVR I would have. Also, it sounds like the units are nearly guaranteed to fail within two years and I'd rather have something that lasts longer than that. I have a security DVR that has lasted many years with similar use (lots of writes to the HD from six cameras). TiVo should not be using a laptop WD Blue drive in these things.

    On a side note, I use that Best Buy warranty on XBox One controllers. It's only $19 for two years (previously $15) and I've replaced several broken controllers with that warranty.
     
  13. Fant

    Fant Member

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    I don't know what hard drive is in my 500gb bolt but it t has been running for 3 years without a failure.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
     
  14. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

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    They are, but the specific model used in the Bolt+ has reliability problems. It is also difficult to find a reliable 2.5" drive greater than 2 TB. So if someone wants more room, they'll have to use a 3.5" drive.
     
  15. Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    I believe the largest non-SMR 2.5" hard drive still in production is 1TB.
     
  16. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    My recommendation is 3.5" PMR drive in external enclosure. If you want to stick with 2.5" drive and 1TB is enough see if you can find a WD Black 1TB. While they don't manufacture them anymore they can be found new and were VERY reliable, 5 year warranty (from manufacturing date not purchase date) I believe. I'd still go with the external 3.5 though, check the link, stay away from using esata port on enclosure if possible. Recommendation for enclosure in link also, very inexpensive.

    TE4 Bolt upgrade with external drive

    Note, if you want to be able to completely close the Bolt case you will need a Sata cable with a right angle connection. Since there are two directions you can buy make sure you get the one where you can run the cable out of the back of the Bolt.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  17. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    The Toshiba 2.5" hard drives have been well-regarded here and currently can be found, the 2TB at a super price ($49.99!) and the 3TB at its former, fair-like pricing rather than more recent (inflated) pricing, even though the drives no longer are being manufactured.

    Toshiba MQ03ABB300 (3TB) -- https://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-5400...rds=Toshiba+MQ03ABB300&qid=1581261770&sr=8-2; a little bit less expensive on eBay, Toshiba MQ03ABB300 3 TB 5400RPM 2.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Hard Drive 15mm 696859079580 | eBay
    Toshiba MQ03ABB200 (2TB) -- https://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-MQ03...SVXA70GQW9J&psc=1&refRID=VRG4J5M1FSVXA70GQW9J

    There are some nice installation videos on Youtube, which show everything that's needed.

    https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcH8NyRDRCU&t=10s -- a nice, comprehensive guide (complete with a mistake to avoid, lol)
    https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZvDvhujtwQ -- especially helpful as to the opening of the Bolt case
     
  18. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

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    That may be true, as the Tivo Edge is using a 2 TB SMR drive. Which means Bolts should be able to use them as well, especially if they are running TE4/Hydra like the Edge is.
     
  19. Dodge DeBoulet

    Dodge DeBoulet Member

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    This seems to be the right thread for this, although it might be better to create a new one ... let me know what y'all think.

    I just received this email from TiVo:

    Dear Dodge,

    TiVo is sending this courtesy email to notify you that our diagnostics have detected the hard drive in your TiVo BOLT® DVR (TSN: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX) may be failing. To minimize the downtime and for you to continue to enjoy your recorded shows, TiVo would like to offer a one- time complimentary replacement TiVo BOLT at no cost to you.

    By taking advantage of this offer while your current TiVo BOLT is functional you will be able to transfer your recorded shows to the replacement TiVo BOLT. You can choose not to accept this offer and continue to enjoy using your current TiVo BOLT. If you request to exchange your TiVo BOLT after this offer has expired, you can contact us to review available replacement options and any exchange costs will be based on the warranty status of your TiVo BOLT at the time you contact us to process the exchange. Please note, we aren’t certain the hard drive in your BOLT will fail but in TiVo’s goal of providing the best service possible to our customers, we wanted to give you the option.

    This offer is valid through March 16th 2020. If you wish to take advantage of this offer then please contact our TiVo Customer Support team. We have created Case Number XXXXXXXX, please reference this number to our customer service agent and we will be able to assist you.

    Thank you!
    TiVo Customer Support

    So ... interesting. Think I'll take 'em up on it, given the experiences I've seen in this thread.
     
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  20. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    I can't see why not to do it. And it potentially will save you considerable hardship with a hard drive that crashes. Is TiVo replacing your Bolt box with an identical one (e.g. same hard drive capacity)?

    Presumably, this relates to the sometimes defective 3TB Western Digital drives in Bolt 3TB box (a WD issue that TiVo is having to live and deal with).
     

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