Inexpensive Hard Drive Replacement Options...

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by spicolte, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. spicolte

    spicolte New Member

    37
    0
    Sep 8, 2007
    San...
    I was curious how inexpensively I could replace the Hard Drive in my Sony SAT T60.

    The drive appears to have failed (I have another post where I state it won't go past the screen, "almost there, just a few more seconds" before it restarts all over again).

    I'd like to know:

    1. Will I be able to transfer my shows off this failing drive?

    2. Can I do surgery on this drive and put in a hard drive taken from a zip drive or portable hard drive used for my PC. (I have a bunch of these hard drives around the house, so it would be nice to be able to use one of those instead of purchasing a new drive.)

    Also...I have a good friend who works in IT, and is very talented. He has worked on Tivo's in the past, and I am confident he can do just about anything...provided it is possible.

    3. I've searched the forums, and wasn't able to get an exact answer, but it appears that software can be loaded onto the new hard drives so that they will be able to talk with the Tivo. If this is the case, then I assume any hard drive can be formatted to work with the Tivo. Is this an incorrect assumption?
     
  2. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    12,027
    1
    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    1. It depends on how bad the drive has failed. Odds are not good, though. Some folks have reported good luck with the SpinRite hard drive repair software, but it's not cheap (~$90).

    2. Not sure what you mean by "surgery". Your T60 uses a standard IDE/PATA hard drive.

    3. Yes. Check out these links for the tools you'll need. If your old drive is too far gone, you'll need a new Tivo image file (InstantCake link).

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=25

    http://www.weaknees.com/index.html

    http://tivo.upgrade-instructions.com/

    http://www.mfslive.org/

    http://www.newreleasesvideo.com/hinsdale-how-to/

    http://www.dvrupgrade.com/dvr/stores/1/instantcake.cfm

    http://www.9thtee.com/
     
  3. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    4,763
    159
    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    Before you do anything, check the small ribbon cable between the power supply and the mainboard. You'll need to remove the drive rack to access it. The cable is press-fitted into the connectors at each and and can be removed with a gentle tug. Clean the contacts on both ends using a clean pencil eraser. Flip the cable end for end and reinsert it. You may need a pair of needle-nosed pliers to assist you with the insertion as the cable has a tendency to bend if you apply too much pressure.

    Put everything back together and test it to see if it boots. If it still hangs up then try it again. You may have to repeat the process several times before it works. This ribbon cable is notorious for all sorts of problems with the S1 DTivos. If you're still having problems then run a diagnostic on the drive to see if the drive is actually at fault. If it fails then you may still be able to recover the data from the drive using SpinRite. Otherwise, you'll need to replace the drive using a known good backup image.
     
  4. spicolte

    spicolte New Member

    37
    0
    Sep 8, 2007
    San...
    Given that I picked up a replacement Satellite Tivo (Hughes GXCEBOT) on ebay cheaply & is working well...should I cut my losses on this box and get rid of it?

    I hear other folks on this forum talk about their older satellite tivo boxes becoming no good after 2009. Is this SAT T60 incompatible with whatever digital change over is to happen that year? If it is, then I assume my newly acquired GXCEBOT will also be obsolete at that point...correct?

    Lastly, is there any hope of selling this Sony SAT T60 with the bad hard drive? Would folks on this list be interested? If so...where do you post such a thing?
     
  5. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    37,355
    8,415
    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    I don't know what you're reading regarding 2009, but there is no known change coming that would affect your standard-definition DirecTV TiVo box. The 2009 digital changeover affects off-the-air broadcasts only. Satellite and cable users are NOT affected.

    If the box is otherwise working you can just replace the hard drive. If the drive is readable, you might even be able to preserve the recordings, though a bad hard drive may cause other corruption that will follow you on the new disk.

    This forum does not have a "for sale" section. eBay is the usual choice, but I think the market for series 1 DTiVos is extremely limited.
     
  6. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    17,877
    0
    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    If those USB HDDs are at least 40GB, chances are they will have a suitable drive inside. You just would need to copy the original drive over, with mfstools or other Tivo compatible software.
     
  7. May 7, 2010 #7 of 10
    jmjimmitchell

    jmjimmitchell New Member

    1
    0
    May 7, 2010
    Hey mr. unnatural. This was a great post and it worked perfectly. Thank you! My old Sony SAT-T60 started having issues last week, and I found this old post from a few years ago.
    The problem I had was continuous re-sets and re-boots, and an error message 'Cannot find kernel'. After resetting itself, it would work for a few minutes albeit VERY slowly. The menu's were slow to load and the saved programs would only play sporadically. Then after 10 minutes or so, it would turn itself off and restart.
    I called into DTV customer support, and of course they were pretty clueless. That's when I turned to the web and found your post. I've worked on the unit before, replacing the cooling fan. I really didn't want to replace the hard drive; I could get another used unit exactly like the one I have for less than the cost of a replacement hard drive.
    I did exactly as you said, and pulled the small ribbon connector between the main board and the power supply. It was quite dirty, and I cleaned it first with a Q-tip and then an eraser. You could definitely tell a difference! I also took off the connector from the power supply board that runs into the hard drive (3 wires twisted together), and cleaned it thoroughly. I put both connectors back in their respective ports and fired it up.
    It works perfectly...just like the day I bought it!
    The unit has had 'heat' issues, and I feel like there is a bit of a design flaw in the top portion of the metal casing. There are no vents whatsoever; only a few on the bottom and the unit sits so low to the ground that not much air flows through them.
    I took it upon myself to drill a few extra vent holes in the top above the drive and the side, next to the fan exhaust. This has made a tremendous difference, and the unit doesn't run as hot as before! It doesn't look as pretty as before, but who cares!
    I hope this post helps future Tivo/Sony SAT-T60 users! :)
     
  8. May 7, 2010 #8 of 10
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Before anybody decides to put holes in the top of their unit, just begging gravity to cause mischief, consider the following...

    The fewer holes for air to enter, the faster the air flows over the hot things inside. On a very early model IBM PC (or XT) you can find where they put tape inside the case to block off some air holes. In other words, they designed it with the ventilation holes, only to discover in the field that it made the heat situation worse, and the fix was to tape over some of the holes to speed up the airstream.

    Also, if you're going to add holes, you don't want them *near* the fan, you want them away from the fan so that you get the maximum travel through the system, picking up heat all along the way before getting to the fan.

    Allow me to suggest finding something to make the unit's four "feet" "taller" (felt pads, rubber washers, old car stereo volume and tuner shaft spacers, those little plastic disks that come on top of CD-R spindles, packing spacers in stand alone shelving units, etc.) to get the Tivo a little higher up in the air. That may be all that you need. Also, if all of the air entering the TiVo is traveling "upwards", gravity will help keep dust out of it to a degree, and the cleaner the inside, the easier it is to cool.

    You might also consider a fan specifically designed for hard drive cooling mounted inside near the hard drive, same way you'd do it in a computer.

    If you absolutely cannot stop yourself from drilling holes in your TiVo case, don't drill the top until after you remove it (and clean up the holes afterwards with a little bitty file), and don't drill anywhere on the sides or bottom without first removing *everything* inside, and clean up *all* of the metal shavings before re-installing the "innards".
     
  9. May 8, 2010 #9 of 10
    stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    37,355
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    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    I agree with unitron that elevating the feet will do the most good. But this thread is two and a half years old.
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    And if I found it, I assume others may as well, and some of them may own drills, and can benefit from the guidance of others who have already been there, broken that.
     

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