Recording Transfers from Tivo HD Series 3 to Same?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by pL86, May 15, 2020.

  1. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    My Tivo HD has begun to suffer S03 Error messages. So far, the guide data has managed to fix itself after a couple days of failed connections but I think it's inevitable that eventually, the 11-year-old hard drive won't be able to recover. I am looking to buy a used Tivo HD with lifetime service and would appreciate if anyone could confirm that I will be able to transfer recordings from my current Tivo to its replacement without issue. My concern is that my Tivo has the WD Expander external hard drive attached so recordings are spread across the internal and external drives. Weaknees told me a few years ago that this configuration would prevent them from cloning my old drive onto a new hard drive. Would there be any issue manually transferring recordings from one Tivo to another?
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    They should be able to transfer and it does not have to be to another Tivo, it can go to your computer.
    Unless they are copy-protected.
    You can use KMTTG, PyTivo.

    It also does not have to be another Series 3, they can also be a Premiere, Roamio.

    Since yours is suffering the S03 error, you need to get a few Tivo Service connections completed or you just cannot transfer.

    You can replace the internal drive, but you would need to either remove the external and lose the recordings, or get another image for the same model and use a larger internal drive.
     
  3. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    New York City
    Thanks for the quick and detailed reply. If I replace the internal drive with a larger internal drive, does that mean I could keep the recordings as long as the DVR Expander remains attached? It was my understanding from Weaknees that any replacement of the internal drive would result in the loss of all the recordings.

    I regularly move recordings to my PC using Tivo Desktop but find that there are errors and random characters in the closed captions after they are moved back to the Tivo. I am hoping a direct Tivo-to-Tivo transfer might avoid that problem (maybe not?). I'm also looking at another Tivo HD or Tivo Premiere because their simultaneous OTA and cable recording capability is really key to me. I am fine with the old interface and dual tuners; nothing about the current Tivo lineup with their pre-roll ads appeals to me and I use an Apple TV or the internal apps on my TV for streaming.

    So far, the Tivo has completed a service connection after a couple days of S03 errors but of course, I have no guarantee that will continue until I get a replacement. The last successful connection was Monday May 11, four days ago. The last GC was this morning and I have guide data out to May 28 but the upcoming to do list stops at May 21.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  4. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    It is not recommended to use any external drive and only a single drive, either just the internal or an external drive directly connected to the MB and the hard drive, not through the external enclosure electronics.

    The pre-roll ads are only on Bolts/Roamio running v21 and not v20 of the Tivo software.

    You would be recommended to upgrade your Series 3 because if/when the cableCo uses h.264/MPEG, the Series 3 cannot transfer them.

    With upgrading to a Series 4 (Premiere) or higher, the CC isn't corrupted on TS downloaded shows Vs PS downloaded shows. Series 3 cannot do TS.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  5. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Use MFSTools 3.2 to copy both drives to a new single larger internal drive.

    MFS Tools 3.2

    Scott
     
  6. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    New York City
    Thank you. I didn't realize it was possible to copy the recordings that are stripped across my internal and external drives onto a new bigger single drive. As I mentioned before, Weaknees told me this wasn't possible. Not sure why, I don't doubt their technical expertise.

    So the procedure is:

    1) create MSFTools boot CD or USB drive;

    2) power off Tivo, disconnect DVR Expander and remove internal hard drive and connect them to PC with the new target drive. The Tivo internal drive and new target drive should be connected to the PC via SATA while the DVR Expander can be connected to the PC using its USB port (ESATA port on PC is not required);

    3) Boot to MSFTools, login as root, password is tivo;

    4) Enter command mfscopy -a /dev/sdX:/dev/sdY /dev/sdZ where sdX is the original internal drive, sdY is the original external drive and sdZ is the target 2TB drive;

    5) Copying finishes several hours later, reinstall the target hard drive in the Tivo HD and restart. If everything worked, the Tivo should start with all the recordings preserved and the bigger capacity.

    If something doesn't work, can I reinstall the old Tivo internal drive and DVR Expander and get that working again? Or does uninstalling and separating them break the link between them and erase everything on them if I reinstalled them back into the Tivo?

    And would copying and replacing the old drives with the new one be treated as a service activation? My Tivo HD does not have lifetime service plan so I'm not sure if installing the new drive would be a service activation for Tivo and not allowed, in which case, this pathway isn't available to me.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
  7. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow, I missed that you don't have lifetime on the current unit? I would definitely follow-through on buying a used TiVo with lifetime and forget doing anything with the current HD (you could see if they would give you lifetime for $99 but given the value of the units at this time, not sure that's worth it).

    Sounds like you want something like this? You said you want both antenna and cable right?

    TiVo Premiere XL Series4 TCD748000 * 2TB with LIFETIME SERVICE | eBay

    In any case, as long as your cable shows are not copy-protected (you can check to see if any are showing they can't be downloaded to your PC now), you shouldn't have an issue copying them from 1 TiVo to the other.

    Scott
     
  8. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    Oct 11, 2009
    New York City
    Hi Scott, thanks again for your replies. I didn't include the rather important detail about my Tivo being on a monthly service plan so it's not something you could have known or missed.

    Actually, it turns out the S03 Error message was caused by a bad interaction between the Tivo and a new router. I didn't know this because the Tivo network diagnostics always came back as okay. The process always failed at the final loading stage, after I assumed all the guide data had been downloaded from Tivo server so I thought it was a local hard drive failure. I only considered the possibility the router might be causing the problem because of a suggestion in another thread. The S03 error went away after I reconnected my old router. I've since put back my new router and so far, the Tivo is continuing to connect without another the S03 error.

    Even though my Tivo is working again, I may just get a secondhand Tivo HD with lifetime as you suggest and start using it as my main unit. I don't mind the service fee but I've been paying it for 11 years! Thanks again
     
  9. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Yikes! You overpaid! @$13 x 12 months x 11 years = $1716 Even if you had the discounted rate $6.95 = $917

    I have my S3 since 2000 and only paid $199 on the lifetime. Today, you cannot get another S3 activated any more. Only transfer the ownership of the unit with lifetime is possible now.

    S3's are limited these days. On cable, it can only record and play h.264/MPEG4 and more channels from cable are moving from MPEG2. There are no more streaming services like Netflix, youtube.
     
  10. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    New York City
    I spoke too soon - the S03 error has come back and using the old router didn't fix things (probably a coincidence that it "worked" the last time). I guess I will move forward with getting a used Tivo with lifetime. Thanks to ThAbtO for your advice. The only thing that makes me hesitate with getting a Premiere is that some people here say that its OTA reception is weaker than the Series 3.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  11. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Good point as I have seen those posts as well.

    Scott
     
  12. oldirtr

    oldirtr New Member

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    meh i use a old s3 hd with 1 terabyte hrd drive with charter they still support it as att dosent along wth cable card going good for me , though my romio is a whoop and a hooler but yeah s3 has better off air bar none as my family will attest to ardent use of choice words when cable is down and off air on both units are acting up, yeah even neighbors are use to it crying shame they even call the cable company to tell em hurry up or give me credit for time down that helps alot....
     
  13. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    Oct 11, 2009
    New York City
    Well, this is interesting - I am getting the S03 error message on another Tivo HD with lifetime that I just set up. Seems highly unlikely two different Tivos would simultaneously have their hard drives fail with the same problem. The previous owner said she did not see the S03 error when she connected before packing the Tivo.

    These are all the steps I've tried:

    1) swapped ethernet cables;
    2) connected ethernet cable directly to router port instead of switch;
    3) changed network setting to wireless Tivo USB dongle;
    4) swapped routers

    Any other suggestions would be welcome. Is anyone else seeing this on their Series 3 Tivos? Maybe the error is on the Tivo server side? What's really strange is a connection loads successfully after a couple days where every guide data connection attempt ends in S03 error. There's no pattern to the successful connections that I can see.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  14. lhvetinari

    lhvetinari Si non confectus, non reficiat TCF Club

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    Does your cable system use tuning adapters? They're known to cause issues with the S3/THDs and S03 errors - something about excess memory consumption preventing the Tivo from removing the old data to make way for the new stuff.
     
  15. pL86

    pL86 Member

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    Oct 11, 2009
    New York City
    No I am on Verizon and they don't use tuning adapters, thankfully. I was with Time Warner when they introduced them and they were a horrible buggy mess. After a while, I unhooked the adapter and gave up access to those SDV channels. I didn't miss it because nothing I watched had been moved to SDV at that point.

    I was finally able to get the Tivo to connect without error. I don't know if this was the reason but I ran the guide setup using a different zip code 90035 (Los Angeles) instead of my East Coast Philly zip. The guide data loaded without error but the setup hung during the scan for OTA channels (maybe because it was looking for LA OTA frequencies and not finding any?). I pulled the plug and re-ran the guide setup but entered my actual zip code the second time and setup finished again without the S03 error. It's since connected successfully another time 30 minutes after setup finished. The next scheduled connection is Thursday. If it continues without error, I will re-run guided setup on my old Tivo and hope it fixes the S03 errors on that too.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020

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