external hard drives

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by ldavenport, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. ldavenport

    ldavenport New Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    has anyone found that adding an external hard drive has shortened the life of their tivo?
  2. robomeister

    robomeister DVD TiVo Expert

    Feb 4, 2005
    Beltsville, MD
    In general, no. It doesn't shorten the life of the TiVo, but doubles the chance of a hard drive failure. If one drive dies, it takes the other drive with it. Well, not exactly, it takes the recordings with it. Once one of the two drives fails, the recordings are inaccessible in most cases.

    The Achilles Heel of the external drive is the cable connecting it to the TiVo. If this becomes loose, it corrupts the connection, causing bad recordings and leading to failure. Most people have replaced the cable for a better connection.

    But the TiVo itself is usually unharmed. Simply reloading a fresh copy of the software onto a new drive will restore it to full working condition. And to do this, you have to open up the TiVo, and while you are in there, you should just use a large drive anyway (1.5 TB or bigger) and forget about the external drive.

    Hope that helps,
  3. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    Generally, the best way to go is to install a larger internal drive. There is free SW to do the imaging and a thread in the Upgrade Forum for requesting images.
  4. ldavenport

    ldavenport New Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    The reason I ask, is I've already added an external hard drive to a Tivo series 3 a while ago, and after a while it would no longer connect to Tivo. I tried all kinds of rebooting processes. Finally it would no longer boot up. I gave up on it. Now I have another series 3 with an external hard drive doing the same thing. I'm wondering if I buy the premiere elite if it will last me many happy tivo years. Or will it die on me in around 4 years?
  5. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Do you mean it would no longer contact the TiVo servers to download guide data?

    Could you still watch previously recorded shows when it first started doing that?

    (I'm suspecting it might be power supply problems, but need more clues)

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