My TiVo died - What to do next?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by BurnBaby, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Aug 8, 2013 #1 of 15

    BurnBaby Member

    Sep 20, 2007
    My TiVo just died. :( Sniff. Since the new models are reportedly about to come out, what would you smart TiVo aficionados advise? I had been hoping to wait until the new models came out to buy a new unit, but now I'm stuck both without a TiVo and without reception (no cable box and absolutely no reception out here without cable). The first one being the bigger problem obviously. Unfortunately, I don't have the technical proficiency many of you here do. Nor the time right now to do a bunch of tests. I'm just interested in a new unit. Wondering what my best option is. Wait for the new units? Order a Premiere (I understand there are performance complaints)? Other options? It's a TiVo HD with lifetime.

    What are the chances WeaKnees or some other place can salvage my recordings? Since I'm stuck at the powering up screen, it could very well be a bad HD. I had tried and tried to transfer the recordings, but had some unresolved tech issues with certain recordings although the recordings weren't copyright-protected. Are there other places besides WeaKnees that do this kind of work? I'm clear across the country...

    Advice would be so very much appreciated.
  2. Aug 8, 2013 #2 of 15

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    If the hard drive is gone (which is the most likely thing) not much you can do to retrieve your recorded shows. Because the unit has lifetime I might order up a replacement drive you can get a 1TB for about $130 or a 2TB for about $165. That will give you some room to decide what to do long term.

    Good Luck,
  3. Aug 8, 2013 #3 of 15

    poppagene User

    Dec 29, 2001
  4. Aug 8, 2013 #4 of 15

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    If it's a hard drive death, the "cleanest" option would be to buy a replacement hard drive from someone like DVR Dude on eBay, and just swap it out. It's not hard to do, you just need T10 and T15 torx screwdrivers to open the box and unscrew the hard drive. It's super easy and only takes a few minutes.

    If you're considering upgrading, I would be hesitant to commit to a new lifetime contract on a Premiere at this point. I'd rather replace the current hard drive for now, wait for a price cut on the Series5 down the road, and then sell the TivoHD to offset some more of the S5 cost. Lifetime boxes with upgraded hard drives have some resell value.

    If you think you're ready for something new now, you could also consider renting a DVR from the cableco for the next month or two until the Series5's are out. It'll at least buy you some time on the cheap.

    Someone else may have ideas about program recovery, but you might have to cut your losses there if the HDD is on its way to the grave.
  5. Aug 8, 2013 #5 of 15

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    Call tivo, see what they can do for you.

    The hard drive replacement is straightforward. So long as you have the instructions and read through them a few times, blind faith and following the directions will get the replacement done.
  6. Aug 8, 2013 #6 of 15

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
  7. Aug 8, 2013 #7 of 15

    NotNowChief Addicted to TiVo

    Mar 29, 2012
    New York...
    Fix what you have or buy a new one now and take advantage of the 50.00 off deal.

    Do not EVER, under any circumstances, wait for anything that is speculated to be "coming soon" from TiVo.

    Whenever thet do finally release any new hardware, after few months you'll most likely see some kind of a deal, especailly if they get it out beofre the holidays. But, given their past track record, I am extremely cautiously pessimistic.
  8. Aug 8, 2013 #8 of 15

    bradleys It'll be fine....

    Oct 31, 2007
    If you can get what you have working - it will have a pretty good resale value when you upgrade. If it is a hard drive, the fix is very simple and pretty inexpensive.

    What are you experiencing - what do you mean it died? Does it make noise like it is trying to boot up but is just unsuccessful? Or do you plug it in and it does absolutely nothing.

    Purchasing a old drive or even an old unsubbed TiVo from ebay or Craigslist is a small investment considering the resale value of a lifetime subbed unit.

    Just a quick look at TiVoHD's on eBay:

    With Lifetime: ~$300
    Without: ~ $20

    Well worth removing a few screws and plugging in a new hard drive!
  9. Aug 8, 2013 #9 of 15

    NoVa Member

    Feb 26, 2006
    Am I correct in thinking that if a lifetime service attached TiVo fails, it stills retains the lifetime service contract once you get it repaired (if possible)?
  10. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes if the repair is the hard drive or the power supply, any changed motherboard will kill the lifetime service, but a non working Lifetime HD TiVo still has value on E-Bay.
  11. BurnBaby

    BurnBaby Member

    Sep 20, 2007
    Thank you all for your advice! It helps so much under normal circumstances, but even more so with the lack of time. It sounds like a good option for me would be to try and repair the unit, especially if it is the HD and/or the power supply since the lifetime would remain intact. Is there any place on the East Coast like WeaKnees?

    It gets to the "Powering Up" screen, but no further. A few times, it did go to black and then return to the "Powering Up" screen - this is the normal sequence and the point at which the normal boot up sequence would usually follow, but it didn't get to the "Almost There" screen, sadly.

    If I call TiVo, would them knowing the HD and/or power supply might be dead invalidate my lifetime? Any suggestions on what to ask? From posts here, it sometimes seems like you have to say the "secret password" to get them to offer upgrade deals.

    Exactly. This is part of the reason I wasn't sure what to do. Also that posters here don't seem as happy with the Premieres as with previous models.

    I have Comcast. Is the DVR interface like their cable guide? I'm back to the cable box today and after years of gorgeous TiVo menus, I forgot how crappy the Comcast Guide was. :p Ialready had glitches and a failure with their remote - in one day - sheesh! All is fine after removing and replacing batteries. I know they're advertising the X1 now, which totally sounds like a ripoff (erm homage) of TiVo features. May be a possibility. I'm leaning towards unit repair unless there are rave reviews of the X1

    Thanks again.
  12. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    DVR_Dude on eBay ships from california but uses expedited shipping and it should only take a few days. There aren't a ton of options since not many places pre-format hard drives for Tivo's software. But he's been very reliable for me. (again just remember to have T10 and T15 torx screwdrivers handy.)

    I don't have Comcast or the X1 so I can't really comment. But it's a temporary fix until the Series 5 shows up, if this is an option you'd want to consider. Without being able to comment on any of Comcast's DVRs, it should at least be competent enough to handle recordings for 2 months.

    We do have some professional pessimists here, but indications are pointing towards September, maybe October. The current price "placeholder" in a retailer's system is $199 for the base model (4 tuners), for what it's worth. That may or may not change.
  13. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Don't worry about telling TiVo you have a hardware problem -- they won't cancel the lifetime.

    I've heard nothing but good things about DVR_DUDE but, again, check out the power supply before you do anything else!
  14. dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Buy a used copy of the same model from craigslist and swap the harddrive (or power supply). You can get one much cheaper than replacement parts.
  15. BurnBaby

    BurnBaby Member

    Sep 20, 2007
    I think I'm going to go for the repair route. Very good suggestions here on how to go about it. I will make sure to have the power supply checked. This place rocks. Happy weekend. :)

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