Replace TiVo Bolt Plus?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by old school john, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. old school john

    old school john New Member

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    Hello,

    I recently upgraded from a TiVo HD to a TiVo Bolt Plus. I've been very happy with the Bolt Plus. I try to be a pro-active person when possible and part of that includes having replacements for electronic equipment on hand should anything happen to the current equipment.

    I've been trying to find a brand new Bolt Plus to purchase to have as a backup but haven't had much success. I know it's been a number of years since the Bolt Plus originally came out but I figured that if I looked hard enough I'd be able to find a new one somewhere. Sadly, I haven't been able to. Because of this I have the following questions I hope can be answered for me:

    1) Is there a specific reason why its difficult to find a new Bolt Plus besides the number of years since it was originally released?

    2) Does anyone know where I could find a new Bolt Plus to purchase?

    3) Lastly, if I'm unable to acquire a new Bolt Plus. Which TiVo that is currently available for brand new purchase is most like the Bolt Plus model?

    I would be very grateful for any information. Thank you.
     
  2. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  3. teeitup

    teeitup Member

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    The Bolt VOX 3TB is the same as the Bolt Plus with the voice remote. A couple months ago my Bolt Plus went out. Tivo replaced it with a renewed VOX 3TB which I believe you can buy directly from Tivo if you call them. The part number on the internal main board was the same between both units. You may have a hard time finding a new VOX 3TB also. The 3TB 2.5 drives are prone to failure. If you need the larger storage I would recommend an external drive. Chances are that the component to fail in your Bolt Plus will be the hard drive. You don't need a whole new DVR as a backup.
     
  4. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    While I agree with the bolded part, I'm not clear that there is a external drive setup that will always stay working when TiVo decides to issue a software update.

    I haven't followed too closely, but it seems to recall too many posts/threads of people using external drives that seem to quit working after some software update.

    3rd-party internal/or external drives didn't seem like an issue in the old days (e.g. TiVo Series 1 thru HD, at least) as I personally did expand by replacing the internal drive on various Series 1 and 2 TiVos and ran my DVR Expander as the only drive on my HD when the stock 160 gig drive started giving me trouble... But, it seems like things have changed now. This is what I gathered before I decided to bite the bullet and pay extra for a 3 TB Bolt+ in 2017.

    If someone has better info than me when it comes to external drives with Bolt and software updates, I'm all ears.
     
  5. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    If you have a monthly or yearly plan, then you have continual care service from Tivo and they will replace your Bolt+ for $50 if it ever fails.
     
    cwerdna likes this.
  6. teeitup

    teeitup Member

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    There are many on this forum who are disconnecting the 2.5” internal drive and connecting an external 3.5” drive via SATA cable directly to the main board on the Bolt. The external drive can be powered separately. This setup requires either cutting a hole to route the cable or leaving the internal drive cover off but it is not affected by software updates like using an external drive connected to the Bolts eSATA port.
     
  7. teeitup

    teeitup Member

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  8. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    I'm well aware of all of that, but it seems like I've seen countless stories of people running external 3.5" drives fine for awhile then having some software update coming along breaking it, rendering their Bolt unable to boot.

    I was doing essentially that with my TiVo HD but just using the DVR Expander drive only.

    It's unclear to me whether their drive, enclosure or cable failed or something unrelated went wrong or if it was an actual compatibility problem caused by whatever changes made in the update that got downloaded.
     
  9. teeitup

    teeitup Member

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    The key to the external drive working correctly in the Bolt is the SATA cable must be connected directly from the bare drive to the main board on the internal connection (where the original 2.5” connects). You cant use a DVR Expander or go through an enclosure interface.
     
  10. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but I can't remember ONE person having an external drive problem let alone "countless". I have had this setup for a long time now. And no, you weren't "essentially" the same thing with an expander drive.. That is a completely different situation.
     
    kpeters59 likes this.
  11. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    I see. I don't have time to search thoroughly now (have a day job) but I recall people having trouble with the TE4 update and also there's Latest Software Update Broke my Hard eSATA Drive Hack on Bolt. My observations were all around early 2017 when I was debating whether to bite the bullet to pay big $ for a Bolt+ that I could pay for a $40 3 year extended warranty on vs. a smaller Bolt where I'd void the warranty by running and external drive or replacing the internal drive...

    The latter seemed like a huge headache due to random major problems people would hit when various updates got pushed to their box OR (?) setups that work . I was NOT a fan of losing all my recordings on a random basis.

    For the TiVo HD w/DVR Expander (which is eSATA), I recall just moving over the cable that led to the back panel to the SATA port on the mobo that formerly was connected to the stock 160 gig drive. I restored an image onto the 1 TB Expander, resized and booted from there.

    I ran it that way for MANY years until I retired the TiVo HD due to the "once in a lifetime" transfer offer in 2017. That setup still works and boots but the TiVo HD no longer has service so I can only play my existing recordings.

    If the 3 TB stock drive in my Bolt+ fails, since my 3-year extended warranty has expired, I'll look into the external route once again. At this point, I personally don't care (3 TB is more than enough space) and don't have the time for it anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  12. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    I didn’t remember those efforts with esata connection. My setup is simply a bare drive with its own power supply and connected via sata cable to the MB. I don’t think anyone has had an issue with a similar setup.
    I went through two 2.5” HDD failures before I said enough is enough. I even had cooling set up to no avail.
     
    cwerdna likes this.
  13. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Ok. I'll cross that bridge if/when I get there.

    I even found my own post about when I ordered my Bolt+ and (recently) made mistakes about the original drive size in my TiVo HD. It was 500 gigs: Transfer your Lifetime service for only $99. I ran the Expander as my only drive in its original enclosure from sometime in 2010 thru April 2017, and it still works today, except for no subscription on that old TiVo HD.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020

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