Dead Lifetime Premiere -- can I fix it with parts? what happens now?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by Ruth, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. Ruth

    Ruth Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 Premieres. One is lifetime and one is monthly.

    The Lifetime box died. It was working normally, and then everything went black as though unplugged -- no lights, no fan. It will attempt to reboot after a hard reset, but consistently turns itself off again before getting through "Almost there."

    Questions:

    1. Is this something I can fix by cannibalizing the parts from the working TiVo? Power supply maybe? How would I do this?

    2. Assuming not, is there any way to get my season pass information from the dead box? I know the recordings are not recoverable.

    3. The monthly box has the old deal where there's no contract and it's tied to the lifetime box. Will that keep working if the Lifetime box can't call in? I really don't want to have to sign a new contract on this thing.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    You could call Tivo CS and convert your monthly for either $99 or $199. Otherwise, you had paid too much and would have paid more than the lifetime.

    To fix your other Premiere, you could get a new hard drive, WD Red Plus recommended. Depending on how much storage needed, it can go up to 8TB. A 3TB on Amazon is $95, but a 4TB is only $5 more. (last that I saw.) It would need an image matching the model and for Premieres, to backup and restore program, DVRBars, a Windows program. Expanding would use MFSTools 3.3x.

    You could grab the image from the working box (if same model) for the other, but you would also require to do Clear & Delete Everything for it to work properly.
     
  3. terpfan1980

    terpfan1980 It's Just TV TCF Club

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    Honestly, as suggested above, for question #1 here, I would not cannibalize. Buy a new drive (but get one that you know will work, check in the forums here and someone should be able to get you a recommendation. Or, buy from Weaknees where you can get one guaranteed to work for you. More expensive, but guaranteed and will not require additional effort beyond the upgrades that you would need to allow to complete once you install that drive in your now dead TiVo) and install it, you'll be far better off.

    For question #2 here, assume no. Basically there's no way to get those season passes back if you didn't have them copied to the other box. If you did have them on both TiVo boxes you can still copy them from the working box back to the newly repaired box, otherwise they are gone.

    Question #3 - if you repair the dead box things should stay at status quo.

    If you opt to buy a new drive to deal #1 above, then as noted, look for more info on DVRBars. You'll find plenty of support for it here. Asking politely about images for your specific model will likely help you find just what you would need to do a restore from and get up and running pretty quickly.

    Note: if you are a Mac user rather than a Windows user it might introduce wrinkles on the use of DVRBars. Mention your computer system before getting too far along just to save yourself possible headaches. Again, a replacement drive from Weaknees avoids that sort of problem but typically costs you a bit more than buying a drive yourself and then putting in the work yourself.
     
  4. Ruth

    Ruth Well-Known Member

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    You guys both are assuming it's the drive that's bad -- are you confident about that?

    If so I'll just go the Weaknees route -- I've used them before, many years ago, and had a great experience.

    Thanks!
     
  5. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Usually it is the hard drive or power supply. The main board usually doesn't fail for the century.
     
  6. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    You could remove the drive from the working premiere and install it in the dead premiere and see if it boots up to verify that replacing the drive will fix it.
     
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  7. terpfan1980

    terpfan1980 It's Just TV TCF Club

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    Your description, that it powers up and starts to boot up, etc., gives good indication that it is a bad drive. You are at least seeing where it is trying to boot up, so that would indicate that power supply is functioning as it should.
     
  8. Ruth

    Ruth Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, this is great info.

    OK, so I pulled the drive from the working TiVo and put in in the dead one. I wanted to test that it was the drive that was bad, and also I realized that I really only need one TiVo at this point, so I figured if I can swap the drives and end up with a working lifetime box, I'll be happy.

    It booted up, yay! But then I ran Clear & Delete Everything (which I understand to be necessary to marry the drive to the box) and it's been stuck on that for 12 hours. That's not normal, right? So, what should I conclude from this? Are both drives bad? Or some other problem?

    If I can fix this with a new weaknees drive, I totally will! But would that one just get stuck on C&DE, too?
     
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  9. jcondon

    jcondon Well-Known Member

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    My original issue was the box was stuttering like crazy. I put the original HD back in it and it never finished Clear and delete on that drive either. I used the program and image talked about in the thread below. Was pretty simple and straight forward once I had a fresh drive.

    You can get the image there and put on a new drive pretty easily if you have access to a Windows PC with HD SATA connectors. Probably could also do the Linux boot CD thing as well but the Windows solution is really simple for what you are looking to do.

    Replacing Hard Drive in my Premiere
     
  10. terpfan1980

    terpfan1980 It's Just TV TCF Club

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    The Clear and Delete can take a long, long time. You can eventually stop that by simply pulling power, waiting a few seconds (a minute or so if you have the time/patience) and then plugging it back in. It'll likely be fine at that point. That said, if you can wait, wait a little longer (like 24 hours total) and let it clean itself up. If it has been doing this overnight and hasn't returned to your control then pulling the plug and restarting would be my next approach.

    Worst case you'd need a new drive from Weaknees. Best case, you are able to use the drive you have after completing a new setup and wading through upgrades as necessary.
     
  11. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    If it doesn't complete, try a KS57. If not there is another one that does a full reset (sorry can't recall that one but someone should post it)

    Scott
     
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  12. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    For a complete wipe, use KS 76543210.
     
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  13. Ruth

    Ruth Well-Known Member

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    It worked, it worked!

    C&DE never completed -- after 24ish hours I pulled the plug & did a hard reset. It booted up to the C&DE grey screen again and sat for another 24ish hours.

    I decided it was probably bricked, but as a last resort I pulled the plug again and tried KS57. This seemed like such a longshot that while I was waiting at the GSOD, I picked out a Weaknees drive and put it in my shopping cart. But when I went and checked on it again . . . Guided setup! Which completed perfectly. All my recordings and SPs are gone, of course, but it's up and running, the cablecard seems to be working fine, and it's showing lifetime service.

    Thanks so much for everything!!
     
  14. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    Congrats. You will probably have to re-pair the cable card though. An activated cable card will get majority of channels but not all, re-pairing will get the rest.
     
  15. Ruth

    Ruth Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I am surprised that I have not had any cable card problems. I fully expected that I would need to re-pair before anything would come through. I haven't verified every single channel or anything, but guided setup didn't even flag it, the box says it's paired properly, and none of channels I actually watch are having any problems. Even HBO is working fine. I'll take it!
     
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  16. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    That is interesting. If HBO working must be paired. So starting fresh with a drive does not appear to affect pairing if cable card does not change. At least in your case, Premiere.
     
  17. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    One other thing I would check is power down the Premiere, then power up again (not just restart, completely unplug). I have swapped in drives from other Premieres. They appeared to work fine. However the first time the Premiere was powered down and powered back up again all the recordings disappeared. Because the drive itself was not "married" to the new Premiere. I'm going to GUESS you are ok since you attempted to run clear and delete everything (even though it did not complete) and did run KS57. But I'd try it anyway, I was very disappointed when I lost all my recordings, was a couple weeks worth. If they do go away going to have marry the drive to the new Premiere, can be tricky since clear and deletes don't function like they used to with TE3/Premieres. Might have to run the KS 76543210 as Joe mentioned. Hopefully not, if everything fine after completely powering down and back up again should be fine.
     
  18. jcondon

    jcondon Well-Known Member

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    If only this were true. I went through hell getting the nitwits at my cable company to pair my cable card after putting a new drive in my Premiere a few months ago. Seems right around the time I did this they also enabled switched digital on channels my wife actually watches. But they didn't seem to know that at least not most of the techs I chatted and texted with.

    Maybe cable company specific?
     
  19. Ruth

    Ruth Well-Known Member

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    The box is showing it has lifetime service now, so the drive must be married, right? When I first booted it up (before trying C&DE), it still said monthly service, no surprise there since I pulled it from a monthly box. After completing GS it says lifetime. Could it know that without a proper marriage?
     
  20. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    The main way to tell if its married is to look at the Tivo service Number, All ZEROs and its not married, otherwise its married to the Tivo.
     

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