Bolt's Hard Drive Die

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by wchan18, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. wchan18

    wchan18 New Member

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    Jun 20, 2018

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    My Bolt's 1TB hard drive died few days ago. I don't want to lose the TIVO lifetime plan. Instead of replacing with the internal hard drive, is it possible to use the Western Digital (WD) "TIVO Verified My DVR Expander" as the replacement? If yes, I'll look for one in eBay. Can anyone provide an instruction how it works? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. ManeJon

    ManeJon Active Member

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    Apr 14, 2018
    There are several threads about what to use and how to replace.
     
  3. High Technology

    High Technology Member

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    Apr 16, 2006
    No, the 4 blinking lights wont go away by adding an external. And as mentioned several times on here, the Expander isn't recommended as it's another point of failure (basically doubles the risk, as the TiVo won't boot if either the internal or external drive is faulty).

    Go with the advice above, it's fairly easy to replace the internal drive yourself, and the Bolt will auto-format it (so no computer / image / etc. required). BUT you must find a compatible drive -- this 2TB for $50 is what many are buying for this purpose (and in your case, you'll get an extra 1TB of storage that your TiVo will use)

    goHardDrive.com - Toshiba MQ03ABB200 2TB 5400RPM 16MB Cache (15mm) SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5'' Mobile Hard Drive - 3 Year Warranty
     
    dianebrat likes this.
  4. wchan18

    wchan18 New Member

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    Jun 20, 2018
    I appreciate your advice and I just ordered the internal drive. Interestingly, my tivo does not have 4 blinking lights but steady green light. After it rebooted, Tivo logo showed up for few seconds, black screen, flashing yellow light, and then remain steady green light and black screen again. I hope replacing hard drive will fix the problem.
     
  5. High Technology

    High Technology Member

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    Apr 16, 2006

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    Usually the hard drive is all 4 lights blinking. The yellow light is the hard drive activity light during bootup, and the green light (I believe) is typically just power -- so it sounds like something got corrupted and your TiVo is in a boot loop.

    You might want to try some KICKSTART codes --search here to see what others recommend. I forget which do what, but you want one that will do a hard drive check/repair. If that doesn't fix the issue, then maybe one that restores the OS on the disk (there is usually a spare partition that it can boot from, sort of a fail-safe).
     
  6. wchan18

    wchan18 New Member

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    Jun 20, 2018
    Thanks for your suggestion. I tried to do a Kickstart but never succeed. I can't wait for my new drive arriving this Wednesday.
     
  7. Endymion_

    Endymion_ Member

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    Sep 9, 2011
    A couple years ago I had a 4TB internal replacement die--this seemed to happen to everybody after an update, for whatever reason the Bolt did not like having 4TB 2.5" drives. I attempted to run kickstart. I couldn't get it to work. It never worked. I googled left and right for this and the only answer I found was that "some Bolts just don't do kickstart," I have no idea why this feature was removed.

    Ultimately the only fix I found for my issue was to either drop to a 3TB 2.5" drive, or to use a 4TB 3.5" drive connected internally through a SATA cable, so that was the route I went.
     
  8. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    Well that was/is because the 4TB is an SMR drive. An update they did broke a LOT of upgrades, many SMR, some eSata external, most if not all SSD. Really if running TE4 the only safe thing to do is run CMR drives only. Fairly easy to find 2TB CMR drive (though no current models), 3TB more difficult. There are NO CMR 2.5" drives over 3TB period.

    These are ALL the CMR 2.5" drives 2TB and up ever made (far as I know). They are all discontinued models but some can be found new old stock. The largest CURRENT model 2.5" CMR drive is 1TB, far as I know.

    2.5" 2TB and 3TB CMR drives for Tivo Bolts | TiVoCommunity Forum

    Note, the update that "broke" the upgrades, it did not damage the drives themselves, drives are fine, just will not longer work with TE4 Tivos.
     
  9. wchan18

    wchan18 New Member

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    Jun 20, 2018
    I just replaced the new hard drive. At first, TV screen shows TIVO logo. Green light came on first, 3 lights came on second (except green light), then both yellow & green flashing and now only green light remains solid. Still no signal on TV. I tried to do run a kickstart after both yellow & green but not succeed. My Tivo OS is TE3. Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  10. wchan18

    wchan18 New Member

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    Jun 20, 2018
    Thanks for all the advices. After reading all the possible solutions, I'm not sure should I order the Tivo Bolt power supply to test it? Now, green light still remain solid but no signal on TV screen (except Tivo logo showed for few seconds). Look like the fan is still moving but the replacement hard drive is not loading at all (same as old drive).
     
  11. worachj

    worachj Well-Known Member

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    Oct 13, 2006
    Eagan, MN
    As you already know the most common problems are:
    • hard drive
    • power supply
    • motherborad
    You're right in asking someone if they had the same problem with the green light staying on.

    I would try contacting weakness.com and asking them what they think the problem is.
    Contact Us
     
  12. High Technology

    High Technology Member

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    Apr 16, 2006
    Hmm... Wonder if this a HDMI / Video issue...

    First, did you try a different HDMI cable and a different port on the TV (or preferably a different cable on a different TV)? Cables rarely go bad, but swapping cables is a quick check. If you have a different TV in the house (or a computer monitor with HDMI), that's also a relatively quick check.

    Assuming that doesn't work, do you have any ability to check audio only? For example, an optical cable to hook to an AV Receiver, or an AV cable that could you use (I forget if those come with the BOLTS, but I think they are a 3.5MM to RCA). I know you won't see the picture, but you'd hear the sound effects when you hit the TiVo button on the remote.

    If you hear the initial sound, then the unit is working but has no picture. While I suppose that could be something power supply related (since any noise / power shortage on HDMI could cause handshake issues), some people have had HDMI issues on Bolts. So I would check the power supply first, and if that doesn't work, then seek a repair from TiVo. NOTE: I don't believe the HDMI port is repairable, so you might end up calling TiVo and putting your old drive back in if they offer some type of exchange...
     
  13. wchan18

    wchan18 New Member

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    Jun 20, 2018
    Thanks for your advices! I tried all your suggestions but it did not work. My last guess will be the motherboard issue. I called Tivo support and they said they are no longer support Bolt.
     
  14. High Technology

    High Technology Member

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    Apr 16, 2006
    Wait, how could they not support the BOLT any longer? They sold them until just recently. Now, if you're out of warranty and they aren't offering anything, that's disappointing, but technically not unreasonable.

    I'd call back, and try again. Tell them your Bolt is not working, and describe that it keeps rebooting. Let them determine it's broken, and offer a solution. Some here are being offered an Edge as a swap for a fee. Be nice, maybe tell them you Googled, and it seems like a lot of the Bolts have hard drives that die, and ask them if they can help you.

    DO NOT TELL THEM YOU OPENED IT, OR CHANGED THE DRIVE. Put the original drive back in if you need to send it back. They will log it in, and release the hold / refund the amount charged to your card as long as you send it back (less whatever fee they agree to for the swap).
     

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