Bolt+ Replacement Advice

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by richsadams, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    After 2.5 years our 3TB Bolt+ HDD is beginning to fail. Based on other threads it looks like finding a replacement 3TB 2.5" HDD that will work is no longer an option so a replacement TiVo is on the way.

    The confirmation order says that it's a "TiVo-renewed BOLT VOX 3TB". I'm not sure exactly what that means but I'm wary that I'm going to end up with something different than what we have now with the latest UI which I'd really like to avoid for a number of reasons. We don't need or want the new UI or voice command, etc. The wife's favorite motto is "change is bad" so I do NOT want our "new" TiVo to rock the boat.

    I've found Dave Zatz's instructions for downgrading from TE4 to TE3 so hopefully that will work on the replacement box.

    Also, I've managed to get the current Bolt's HDD working (at least for the moment.) and I'd like to transfer all of our existing Bolt+ recordings to the replacement. Back in the day I was able to use a crossover Ethernet cable to connect two TiVos for fast transfers. Is that still doable?

    I've used KMTTG to copy all of the Bolt's One Passes over to our TiVo Premiere XL4 so that I can add them back to the replacement TiVo when it gets here on Friday.

    I'm pretty disappointed that the Bolt+ didn't even last three years. We have a Series3 that's still working like a champ. Guess those days are over though and I'm really not looking forward to setting this new box up, but it is what it is I guess and I want it to go as smoothly as possible.

    TIA for any tips, tricks or other sage advice!
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    Mikeguy likes this.
  2. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    Amazon would be happy to sell you a Western Digital Red drive in a 1, 2 or 3 TB size. Many folks around here, including myself, have fixed Bolts with WD Red's.

    The latest trend in fixing Bolts is to replace the internal 2.5-inch drive with an external 3.5-inch drive (still connected to the internal connectors). The next time I need to help my friend with his Bolt that's what I'll do.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  3. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    Where did you possibly get this idea from?


    Here are "a few".
    15mm, Laptop Internal Hard Drives, Hard Drives, Components - Newegg.com

    You can always add a cable, a hole, and get your choice of almost any 3.5" drive too.
     
  4. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Is TiVo sending you the replacement TiVo box under a sweetheart deal, due to the hard drive failure? I hope so.

    As to the TiVo-renewed factor, it appears that TiVo-renewed boxes have gone the gamut between exactly that and brand new. When I purchased a TiVo-renewed box from TiVo a few years ago, it seemed to be the latter.

    Given that the confirmation order states that the replacement box is a VOX model, the box almost certainly will come with the TE4 user interface/software on it (or will install it as part of the setup process)--the TE3 user interface/software does not do VOX. But then you can sidegrade back to TE3, for which you're already prepared. :)
     
  5. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Good to know Mike. :thumbsup: The only really appealing feature (for us) with TE4 is the auto commercial skip. Might have have the wife give it a go before doing anything to see if it's enough to win her over. ;)

    Not sure if it's a "sweetheart deal" or not at $149. We bought the Bolt+ when TiVo was offering the S3 EOL LT deal so it was a decent price to begin with, but with the additional amount, it's getting near "normal" pricing.

    If this one fails in the same time period I might go ahead and swap out the drive for one of the Toshiba 2TB options to keep it going. Still, compared to days gone by, disappointing.
     
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  6. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    More options is always a good thing and thanks for the tip on the WD drive. I've thought about the external drive. My very first hack was adding a second internal HDD to our first Series1. I think it was a massive total of 256MBs. The good ol' days. :smile: It's just annoying that TiVo's "innovation" has been dedicated almost solely to their software while leaving hardware in the dark ages after all these years. :pensive:
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  7. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Well, to start, from this thread:

    List of drives that don't boot under TE4 21.x on Bolt

    Let us know if/when you've tried all of the hard drives you've linked. Personally I don't have the time or inclination to experiment any more.
     
  8. cpgny9

    cpgny9 Member

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    I had my bolt+ (not Vox) replaced by Tivo with a refurbished (I did not have a warranty) for $50 back in March. I think the price they charge depends on years of service. I also did not have lifetime on it and paid month to month, so maybe they had more motivation to keep me as a customer. The unit I got from them was definitely a bolt+ and looked to be brand new. Came with TE4, but was easily rolled back to TE3. First thing I did (after rolling back to TE3) was take out the 2.5 drive and replaced it with an external drive using a WD RED 6TB. The cost and reliability of the 2.5 drive is enough to keep me away. Has worked great ever since. Very easy to do. Even sold the original drive for $150 on ebay just last week.
     
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  9. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    That's great to know! I'll post back with whichever model and its condition when it shows up.

    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  10. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Nice. I did a quick search and found all sorts of bits of advice about adding an external HDD, but no one-stop-shop "how to". Probably just missed it.

    I haven't messed with upgrades in several years but my understanding is that you can drop in or attach a new drive in (3TB or smaller), run guided setup and be on your way. I know I'd have to re-pair the cable card, but if I can get away without dealing with MFSTools, etc. that would be awesome of course.

    This is the one I believe is recommended?:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008JJLW4M/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
     
  11. My Cape is a Recliner

    My Cape is a Recliner Member

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    So, as long as one random person online says it didn't work for them, you think its no good? Okay, good luck with your new refurbed TiVo.
     
  12. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    That’s the drive I used. You’ll need a sata connector and power for the hdd. Some people use a case, I just went with a bare drive and sata to molex adapter.
     
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  13. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    That HDD would be fine in a Roamio or as an external drive on a Bolt.

    Your description of the process is correct, I'd just add that the TiVo will format the HDD soon after being powered on. Then guided set up and the rest.
     
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  14. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys... much appreciated! :thumbsup:
     
  15. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    Mikeguy likes this.
  16. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Received the replacement 3TB Bolt Vox yesterday. No accessories were included but it does appear to be brand new with a build date of September 2019. That seems a little odd as I don't think you can order a new Bolt Vox with a 3TB HDD.

    Ran guided setup and everything went fine so now it's running TE4 (to test it out). Had to call Spectrum to re-pair the cable card which went surprisingly easy since the first CS rep I encountered (after the maddening phone tree) knew exactly what to do. All channels were available in about 10 minutes. :clapping:

    I kept the "old" Bolt+ connected to our network to watch previous recordings. And I was able to easily copy all of the Season/One Passes over from the Bolt+ to the Bolt Vox using KMTTG.

    We're on the fence about TE4. One big plus for me is the auto-skip. :thumbsup: The wife says she was used to "auto-skip" already since I usually did it. ;) There are some other pluses that are nice. However I don't like the smaller fonts. Haven't seen any pre-roll ads. If they show up and we keep it on TE4 I will have to call TiVo or we'll just roll back to TE3 I guess.

    However I am NOT a fan of the TE4 delete "feature" which requires more than one button-push to delete a single recording. Now I have to either move from the playlist to the recording and delete it, or basically confirm deleting a recording via the pop-up screen. That's a huge annoyance to us. :thumbsdown: We're used to being able to delete any number of individual recordings from the playlist almost instantly. Maybe there's a work-around? I'll have to do some research. I understand that if we roll back to TE3 that we'll lose all of our recordings. Our Premiere XL4 is duplicating all of our recordings currently, so it wouldn't be a big loss, but we'll want to figure it out sooner than later.

    I'm not able to "talk" to TiVo since we didn't receive a Vox Remote. (We both have Harmony Remotes.) Not sure if I want to spend another $30 to get one or not, we'll see.

    Hardware-wise I'm going to stick with the Bolt Vox as-is for now rather than go through the external drive hack, etc. Seems to be very responsive and working normally.

    Thanks for all of the input and support, much appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  17. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    I would telephone TiVo customer support, tell them that you received the replacement TiVo VOX box, but that someone forgot to include the VOX remote. I think that there is a 50-50 chance that TiVo will send you one.
     
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  18. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Hey Mike, thanks and not a bad idea. The work order specified "No Accs", so they probably didn't forget, but might be worth a try! :up:
     
  19. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    I've done it in the past, and if I hear a hesitation there, I note my many years as a TiVo customer, my many TiVo boxes, etc. (e.g. the angst of the situation and doesn't TiVo want me to feel good?). With all your TiVo boxes and long history with the company, I would think that you would be a shoe-in. ;)
     
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  20. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    The other option is to replace the 3TB internal drive with a 2TB internal drive. The 2TB drives appear to be more reliable and that's what Tivo is using in the new Edge models. I've been using a 2TB WD20NPVX in my Bolt Vox for 13 months.
     

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