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Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by bbeck50, Jun 12, 2020.
My TiVo Bolt+ is fried. All the front lights are blinking continuously. Is there any way to recover?
4 blinking lights is usually a bad drive
Most likely is a hard drive failure which is common amongst Bolts.
Can the drive be replaced? I imagine there’s no way to get my recorded shows back?
Shows are toast if it can't start back up and you can replace the drive and start anew.
The drive is easily replaced, and there are numerous other available threads with this information on these forums. If you choose a drive not larger than 3TB and do not try to save any old recordings or settings, it is a simple plug-and-play operation.
There is a very slight possibility that your problem is a bad Bolt power brick - if your really want to save any existing recordings, you can try a new power supply before touching the drive. Simple to do, but rarely helps.
Personally, I strongly advise that you do NOT replace your drive with another unreliable 2.5" internal drive, or you will probably just be doing this again within 3 years. VERY simple to replace the drive with a much more reliable external 3.5" drive.
Since your current drive is already bad to the point your Bolt will not boot, there is probably no way to save any content, but you can try to clone it by using MFSTools or ddrescue to copy the old drive to a new one. There have been cases where a drive was developing problems and would not boot, but a computer could still read it, so this might be worth the effort to try.
Here are a couple of important things to know before you start:
If your Bolt is running the newer and very horrible TE4 software, there are very few available drives that will work at all. You will have to do some research on which ones to try. Bad_Rovi has done something to that software that prevents the box from working with many drives that still work fine with the same box running TE3.
If you are trying to save any recordings and settings, be VERY cautious about what you do. If a Bolt successfully boots with a new drive (no matter what is on that drive), NO OTHER PREVIOUS DRIVE CAN EVER BE PUT BACK IN WITHOUT LOOSING ALL RECORDINGS!
Put another way, if a Bolt sees any other drive on boot OTHER THAN THE EXACT SAME DRIVE THAT WAS ACTIVE AT THE LAST SHUTDOWN, it will wipe the new drive and format it as if it is a new box. So if you just "test" a new drive to see if it will boot, and it does, then NOTHING from any previous drive can ever be recovered on that Bolt. A currently active drive can be cloned with either MFSTools or ddrescue, and it will fool the Bolt into thinking it is the same drive so that the recordings can be saved that way, but the same caution still applies: if the cloned drive successfully boots, the content on the previous drive can never be accessed again. If you try to access that previous drive (and it boots), then everything you moved to the new cloned drive will also be lost.
I had the blinking lights issue myself and assumed that it was a bad drive (as I had a unit that had the same problem and it was a bad drive at the time). Unfortunately for me this most recent time it wasn't a bad drive. Despite buying a new drive and dropping it in the system, the issue didn't go away and the lights stayed flashing.
Thankfully I had all-in service on the device. Called up TiVo tech support and the unit was swapped for a refurbished unit. The new / replacement has worked fine since receiving it.
I wish the OP (original poster of this thread) nothing but the best. Hopefully this is a fairly simple problem and is resolved pretty quickly and without much expense or hassle.
Although it makes no difference now, I just wanted to reiterate for others that your experience does NOT mean that your Bolt had other problems besides a bad drive. Especially if it was running horrible TE4. A Bolt will reject many many different drive models, even when the drives are new and perfect. The only way to be relatively sure is to be certain you are testing with a model that is reported to be good with your specific version of the software.
Call Tivo. I think they will send you another Bolt+.
Out of curiosity, were you out of warranty at that point? Was the failed unit a Bolt or Bolt+?
I have all-in service on my Bolt+ due to the "once in a lifetime" transfer offer. I also bought it straight from TiVo due with the 3-year extended warranty which has now expired as of a few months ago. I just hope that if/when my unit fails that I can pay nominal fee for a refurb and also not end up with something less than 3 TB since it sounds like WD discontinued the drive used in the Bolt+.
They sometimes replace the 3TB for free due to so many problems. Even if out of warranty. Might not get the 3TB model though as not sure they have any left, been discontinued for a long time now. I THINK one person got one replaced with an Edge. Maybe because they balked at getting a 1TB replacement for a 3TB Tivo.
Anyone who has a 3TB Bolt Plus that fails should call Tivo, in or out of warranty. Especially if lifetime service. Might get replacement for nothing.
I called today and was quoted $149 to replace the box and an additional $199 to transfer my lifetime service to the replacement