Repair now or TiVo premiere + possible $99 lifetime?,

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by buscuitboy, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy Member

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    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    I have an original Series 3 HD & a Series 2 (w/ cable box control) hooked up with my Comcast cable TV service. Series 3 is lifetime and Series 2 is on a $6.95/month plan.

    Recently, my Series 3 went on the fritz and I suspect its a failing hard drive. For now, I disconnected it from the HDTV and put it aside until I could get some time to fully look at it. In the meantime, I also got a regular HD box from my local Comcast office so I can still enjoy HD programming on the 42" HDTV.

    Well, I get the bill this month and come to learn that Comcast is not only charging me about $10/month for the HD box, but also a $10/month "technology fee". I was never charged this when I had my regular SD digital box (hooked up to Series 2) and Series 3 HD (w/ two cable cards).

    At first, I thought maybe I would just get an upgrade kit from DVR_Dude on ebay & call it a day. Probably his 2TB kit for $190, but then I got to thinking about another possibility; get a TiVo Premiere for $80-100, call TiVo up and ask to cancel my Series 2 (since I got a Premiere) & then maybe they would offer me the $99 lifetime deal (for the Series 2) I have seen mentioned here. I am thinking I would then also get a lifetime membership on the newer Premier. Is this possible? I would then go back to not having this "technology fee" and "HD box" fee with Comcast. Just the free SD box and 2 cable cards (@ $1.50 each) & save another $20/month

    I could then maybe just sell the lifetime Series 3 on ebay. I realize I wouldn't get nearly as much for it since it probably has a failing hard drive, but it could fetch enough to help pay for the S2 lifetime and S4 lifetime (& hardware). Thoughts?
     
  2. Tico

    Tico Bear Down Cats!!!!!

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    Dec 9, 2002
    Sorry, But is there a question here?
     
  3. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

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    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    Ouch! I vote for fixing the lifetime S3HD. If you have drive at least as large as the original in the S3(or can even borrow one from a friend's spare parts) then all it takes is a little time to get it back online. If it's an S3HD I have images for that, otherwise you will need to post on the upgrade forum what image you are looking for.
     
  4. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    Oct 31, 2007
    If you can get $99 lifetime - I would definitely go that route. $200 for a TiVo Premier + lifetime vs $100+ for a new hard drive = no brainer!
     
  5. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy Member

    755
    2
    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    I'm sorry. I copy/pasted the question from a notepad & I guess all of it didn't "paste" and I didn't check it. My bad.

    Basically, here is the rest of the post (w/ questions) I meant to make:

    At first, I thought maybe I would just get an upgrade kit from DVR_Dude on ebay & call it a day. Probably his 2TB kit for $190, but then I got to thinking about another possibility; get a TiVo Premiere for $80-100, call TiVo up and ask to cancel my Series 2 (since I got a Premiere) & then maybe they would offer me the $99 lifetime deal (for the Series 2) I have seen mentioned here. I am thinking I would then also get a lifetime membership on the newer Premier. Is this possible? I would then go back to not having this "technology fee" and "HD box" fee with Comcast. Just the free SD box and 2 cable cards (@ $1.50 each) & save another $20/month


    I could then maybe just sell the lifetime Series 3 on ebay. I realize I wouldn't get nearly as much for it since it probably has a failing hard drive, but it could fetch enough to help pay for the S2 lifetime and S4 lifetime (& hardware). Thoughts?


    The only other thing I am now realizing is that I am assuming my original S3's hard drive is failing. It boots up fine, but after about 30mins, changing channels is difficult, they are pixelating and then the whole thing just freezes up. I am seeing some posts here about how the series 3s could have bad power supplies. I assume its the hard drive, but are these symptoms of a failing power supply too & its really just a matter of time before they go on you.

    One other thing I just remembered and realized is when it does freeze up, I do tend to have to let it sit for about 30mins before it will totally come back. If I try to power it down and power back up immediately, it gets hung up. This now makes me think it could possibly be a failing power supply as well.

    Either way, I need to find some time and inspect the inside of my S3 before I even get a hard drive upgrade kit. Try to see if I can see any buldging caps (like I've seen mentioned here) as this will tell me which direction I should really go for fixing my S3.
     
  6. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Chicagoland
    Interesting. How much do failing S-3s go for? If you have an old hard disk sitting around- it could be worth your while upgrading the drive before selling it, thus selling a working unit.

    I also have another suggestion- why don't you edit your first post to put your entire story together? That way we don't need to do it by examining each post. Just a thought.
     
  7. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    Look for a used S3 on Craig's list and swap the hard drive with your lifetime S3.
     
  8. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon New Member

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    Jan 15, 2012
    Ditto!

    If it's just the HD that's going bad, replacing the original S3 HD with a newer, faster and higher capacity HD is the way to go. Now that there's a native Windows GUI version of mfstools available, even a caveman can upgrade a TiVo HD.

    The very first thing I'd do is to use mfstools or WinMFS to back up the critical system partitions. It's a quick process because it doesn't save any MFS data. Saving the whole thing can take a long time, and if the HD quits in the middle of a full backup, you're SOL. But if you have the minimal backup, you can write it to the new HD and have your TiVo up and running (albeit without your recordings and settings) quickly.

    Second, use a trusted HD test program to see if the disk is really failing. I like to use Parted Magic, and the HD OEM's utility if available. If the drive is going bad, try to make a full backup (free disk space permitting) if you want to keep your shows.

    As long as you have your TiVo open and the HD out, you might as well put in a high capacity HD while you're at it. I don't see any reason to buy an expensive kit, though. The software that you need is free, and unlike S1 models that had two drive bays but only one drive bracket, there's nothing special that you need, so save your money and shop for price on a bare drive. The only exception would be if you couldn't salvage a working backup from the failing drive, and the kit includes the needed TiVo software preloaded.
     
  9. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    semi-coastal NC
    They call it that because they were afraid that calling it a "sucker fee" would give away what they're up to.
     
  10. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    1,778
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    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    Ok, I understood that you meant getting the $99 lifetime on the S2 after buying the Premiere from Tivo but thanks for verifying that point. The Premeire with lifetime using your MSD will probably be about $500 at current prices ($99 for the Tivo and $399 for the lifetime). After that it would be an extra $99 to lifetime the S2.

    The power supply may be the problem but the hard drive can also be heat sensitive when it starts failing. A visual check of the capacitors is a good idea but if they check out, then finding a spare hard drive and putting a bare image on it would be a good test before spending any money.
     
  11. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy Member

    755
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    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    Yea, I am gonna locate an S3 HD image and try to put it on a spare 500GB SATA drive I have. Try that first. At the same time & while I have the unit open, inspect the inside of my S3 and see what else I can maybe find and/or any other potential problems.

    Since Comcast has tacked on $20/month in "fees" (technology and HD box), hopefully I can be motivated to get something resolved quicker here. Once I return the HD box, I go back to my normal charges of one free SD box and 2 cable cards for S3 at $3/month.
     
  12. gameboy2oo2

    gameboy2oo2 New Member

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    Jan 18, 2012
    I will do the same. Lots of great helpers here will help you with the S3 image. Even today is my first day here, I've already learned a lot.
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=8831301#post8831301

    Assuming that by S3 HD you mean a TCD652160.
     
  14. DocNo

    DocNo Member

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    Oct 10, 2001
    Bristow, VA
    What city/metro area are you in?
     
  15. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy Member

    755
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    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    I'm in the Atlanta metro area....
     

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