Dead after 8 months!!!!

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dangia, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Jan 2, 2006 #1 of 13
    dangia

    dangia New Member

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    Jan 2, 2006
    I woke up to a loud swishing sound coming from my Tivo (assumably the hard drive) and the screen said, "Welcome, loading please wait." After unpluging and repluging the unit and calling customer service, I was told the unit was defective. Is this something that anyone has heard of happening before? What pissed me off was that I have to pay $60 to replace my defective unit, plus $12 to ship them the defective unit, and worst of all I'm without Tivo for the next few weeks at least.

    My second question is do the hack codes have any adverse effects on the Tivo unit? I don't want to do anything to the refurbished Tivo I'm getting that will cause me to be without again.
     
  2. Jan 2, 2006 #2 of 13
    cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    SF Bay Area, CA
    Can be you more specific about the "hack codes"? Did you do things like turn on 30 second skip? If so, that's fine. There should be no issues w/doing that. If you ever opened up the unit, then you've voided the warranty, but it sounds like you were out of warranty anyhow.

    If you're proficient w/PC hardware, rather than pay $72, I'd dig around on http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=2267596&highlight=image#post2267596 and related threads to see if you can get an image for your model of Tivo (I'm not sure if they're locked to the unit since I've never owned a SA Series 2 and I have backups of my all Tivos), buy yourself a new hard drive and restore it. 160 gig drives are frequently <$40 after rebate. I see via http://www.techbargains.com/, there's a Seagate 120 gig drive @ Best Buy for $30 AR. Seagate drives have 5 year warranties which is way longer than any Tivo's warranty.
     
  3. Jan 2, 2006 #3 of 13
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Who did you buy your tivo from?
     
  4. Jan 2, 2006 #4 of 13
    dangia

    dangia New Member

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    Jan 2, 2006
    I bought it directly from Tivo's website.
     
  5. Jan 2, 2006 #5 of 13
    dangia

    dangia New Member

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    Jan 2, 2006
    Can you explain more about backing up your Tivo with an external hard drive?
     
  6. Jan 2, 2006 #6 of 13
    Stanley Rohner

    Stanley Rohner New Member

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    If it's a bad hard drive you could have bought a larger capacity hard drive pre-loaded with the TiVo software and replaced it yourself from ptvupgrade.com.
     
  7. Jan 2, 2006 #7 of 13
    dangia

    dangia New Member

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    Jan 2, 2006
    Thank you for the advice. I didn't even know that DIY upgrades were possible.
     
  8. Jan 2, 2006 #8 of 13
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    If it were a newer unit Tivo would have paid the shipping.

    The procedure is nearly the same for upgrading your Tivo for more capacity. If you have ever added a drive to your Computer, you can do this process. The difference is that you probably do not have a working hard drive with the software- that is why cwerda was suggesting a location to get a free image of the software. You can buy the images from PvrUpgrade- they charge $20.

    The instructions may be found at http://www.ptvupgrade.com/support/instantcake/ In TechnoTivo Lingo, you have a Series 2 Tivo standalone ("SA").

    The essential steps are that when you get the software "image" file, you will burn a CD with it and boot off the CD. You will then do a copy to your new drive, install the new drive, then it will run just fine (of course, you will have to go through a similar setup procedure as with a new Tivo).

    It is unusual that your drive died early. Perhaps this was kept in a closed case and got very hot? High heat is the leading cause of early Drive death, so proper heat management is essential. When you get everything working again, go the the settings and system information page and you will be able to get a reading on the internal heat. If you are in the mid to high 50's (centigrade units), I would deal with it- I put some of those clear furniture feet spacers under the feet of my Tivo and that was all it needed. I once rigged up a fan to a USB connector- that's pretty easy to do and you can use any whisper fan so you can just mount it on your cabinet back wall, plug it into the Tivo and you are done.
     
  9. Jan 2, 2006 #9 of 13
    dangia

    dangia New Member

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    Jan 2, 2006
    You're probably right, it might have gotten too hot in the TV cabinet where it is located.

    As far as Tivo paying for the shipping; I spoke to three different service reps who all said the same thing, I have to pay to ship it back to them. They were not very accomodating either.

    Thanks for the tips on setting up an aux drive.
     
  10. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    It's not an aux drive. You will open the case, take out the old drive and replace it with the new one which has been formatted with the software you bought from PVRupgrade.

    You can avoid the $20 charge if you know someone with a similar Tivo. I imagine you have a Tivo with a model starting with 540. If you know someone with a Tivo whose model number starts with the same 3 digits, you can copy the software off their hard drive. If you have handled hard drive installations before, you are not going to screw anything up, but whoever you borrow this from may get a little queezy when you tell them that you will be dismantling their tivo.

    If you want to go that route, you will be doing exactly the process as if you were upgrading a working Tivo to a new, larger drive. It is irrelevant that the "old drive" was from a different machine. Take a look at the Upgrade forum. The weaknees guide is especially good, and there is a long faq thread on it. Be attentive to the remark on being careful about the white cable that goes from the board to the faceplate. Make sure if you accidentally brush up against it that it is going into both connectors squarely.

    The part about disconnecting your PC's drives to Format the Tivo drive can be avoided by simply buying a preformatted drive from Weaknees or PVRupgrade. That way all you have to do is open the tivo, swap the drive, and you are done. That's pretty simple, but you pay a lot extra for the convenience. I have seen some guys on eBay listing preformatted Tivo drives. Most of them are probably legit, and have a much better price. The Weaknees and PVRupgrade folks are nice folks and they warrant their work.

    While you are at all of this, you could upgrade your machine to a two drive unit. I gave my sister a 600GB Tivo for christmas- with two 300GB drives. You may not need that much space, but if you snag some cheap drives you can put any combination you want in there. You need an adapter rack- I bought the nice one that Weaknees sells- has an extra fan on it plus a power gizmo to make sure the drives spin up right or don't suck too much power at the same time. Dandy little thing.

    So- a variety of ways to go about the fix. Pick whichever suits your comfort level, but one thing everyone says- It looks a lot more scary on paper than it really is. It is really a very trivial process. Just read the instructions, triple check your command line instruction, don't mess up that white connector cable and you will be fine.
     
  11. dangia

    dangia New Member

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    Jan 2, 2006
    Thanks! I wish I'd have found this forum and posted this thread before I set my Tivo back to Tivo. I feel well equipped with all of the very useful info you gave me.

    You seem extremely knowledgeable about his stuff. Have you heard anything about a two-tuner Tivo coming out? If so, when? My only complaint about Tivo is that I can't record something and watch something else live (other than the fact that my unit DIED AFTER 8 MONTHS!!!).
     
  12. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Maybe you can put in a request to not have it fixed and sent back to you? I feel the money would be better spent on a new hard drive w/a longer warranty that might also as a bonus be a capacity upgrade for you too, esp. if you can get a working image for free from somewhere/somenoe here. (I don't know how large you Tivo was.
     
  13. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    If you have cable, that is the one for you. If you have satellite, this unit isn't going to help you record two satellite channels at the same time. I have satellite and will be switching to Cable because of this unit. Most Cable systems will work with it, however if you are part of a smaller cable system, your company may not support the cablecard standard that this "CC" or cablecard Tivo uses. This Tivo will come out in 2006 and also have a tuner that will allow you to record digital signals over the air without use of cable. It will also record high definition video. A timeframe for delivery, and other technical details will come out at the CES conference next week. TivoPony made the most recent definitive statement about this unit here. He is Tivo marketing director and so this is an official statement.

    Your guess is as good as mine about dates, but I would be surprized if first units came out later than July, because otherwise Tivo would have a hard time getting enough units into the channel in time for Christmas sales. Some people are guessing as early as February. It most certainly be 2006.
     

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