how long do the drives last?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by phecksel, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. phecksel

    phecksel Member

    Oct 10, 2003


    Two+ year old Stock S3 unit... with it's limited HD capacity. The first unit suffered infant mortality, failing in the first month, this one has gone without a hiccup. How long do they typically last? I purchased a three year service contract on this unit, which should be up next september. Do I wait until it fails, be proactive and install a larger drive, or just upgrade/update next fall? There has been no sign of failures, although have had some issues with my OTA signal that I think has something to do with stations moving their broadcast locations and dropping output power.
  2. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    There are those here who say their old Series 1's still have the original drive, but they are the exception. My Sony Series 1 unit went for about 4 years before it needed a new drive.

    If you are comfortable opening up your unit, I would say swap out the drive now and take advantage of the added space. Although it's not a DVR-specific drive, I picked up a Western Digital "Green" 1TB unit for my PC for under $100 just last night.
  3. martyscholes

    martyscholes New Member

    Apr 29, 2009
    I have an S1 I bought in 2001 and upgraded a few months later with a second drive.

    The unit is now two states away being used by my sister and running strong on those same two drives.

    I don't think this is typical, though.
  4. jjberger2134

    jjberger2134 Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    The life of a hard drive is HIGHLY variable. Some die a quick death, others chug along for many, many years.

    If you plan on getting new hardware next September, then why bother upgrading a working unit now, and spending about $100 in the process.

    If you plan on keeping the unit after your service contract is up (and going month to month, or new commitment) then you need to decide if you are content with the amount of recording space. If you are content with the recording space, then why bother fixing a unit that has not failed?
  5. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area


    The average lifespan is probably 3-4 years. Of course, there will always be some units that last two years and others that last eight.

    Until you start to see the signs of a drive failure -- stutter, pixelization, poor menu responsiveness, partial recordings, and/or reboots -- then I see no need to upgrade the drive, unless you want to increase capacity.
  6. phecksel

    phecksel Member

    Oct 10, 2003

    I've seen some pixelization that I attributed to OTA signal issues. They always appeared on only CBS, and suddenly started. I moved the antenna slightly and it CBS issue went away, now get them occasionally on FOX. Every once in awhile the menu is slow, but it's rare.
  7. Gregor

    Gregor Wear Your Mask! TCF Club

    Feb 18, 2002
    I have an S3 that's about 2 yrs old and I just replaced the drive. I have an S3 that's 3 yrs old and it's still going.

  8. hybucket

    hybucket Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    I have a SONY TivO Series 1 (remember them?) from 2001, still running perfectly. Go figure.
  9. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Our first S1 was still working fine on the original 30GB hard drive after 7 years when we retired it. Our second S1 is still working fine in manual recording mode on an upgraded 120GB hard drive after 7 years as well (upgraded as soon as we bought it in 2002).

    The 2 S3 units that replaced the S1 units are almost 3 years old now.

  10. tivoupgrade

    tivoupgrade Sponsor

    Sep 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL...
    I wouldn't touch it unless you either had a problem, or decided you needed more capacity. Every time you open your TiVo you are taking a risk - Imagine how you'd feel if you broke a connector or something worse, just in the spirit of being "proactive."

    As for drive lifetime, there is really no 'average lifetime' that will apply to your specific situation - as you know, a drive can fail within a few months of being put into service, or it can go virtually 'forever' - we are still seeing Series1 units today with drives that work just fine. And we see failed TiVo HD drives within a few months of being put into service.

    It's really not a function of the drive. It's a function of your environment, how the drives are handled prior to being put in the units, and a function of the quality of the materials used when the drive is built, and everything in between!

  11. phecksel

    phecksel Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    Leaning towards hard drive, funny how some stations have more pixelation and drops then other stations. My worst station has a signal strength of 84, it gets the most pixelation. Another station at 89 gets a ton of audio drops, but not nearly as many video issues.

    Guess I better start searching on how to replace :)
  12. phecksel

    phecksel Member

    Oct 10, 2003
    ok, now I'm confused, watching a show recorded last night on the worst channel... no drops, either audio or video

Share This Page

spam firewall