Advertisements Last night my 8-month old, lifetime-subscribed Series 2 (540080) failed in some strange way. Here's the sequence of events: - did a title search, then went back to watching a recorded program - after a minute or so of normal playback, suddenly TiVo rebooted - when it came up, it installed the service update (happened to have gotten 8.1 that morning, TiVo support confirmed) - that finished and it rebooted, then said it could take up to an hour to finish - I started watching my other TiVo, and later noticed the S2 front panel was dark - no video signal from S2, so after a while I decided to power cycle it - it showed welcome screen, then the "almost there" screen for a few minutes - then video signal turned off (TV shows no signal) - within a minute, green light and nightlight on front panel went dark, stays like that - I can tell the hard drive is on, and the USB-ethernet adapter has power lights I've tried rebooting a few times since then, including with the USB adapter and serial cable disconnected, and the behavior is the same (welcome, almost there, no signal, no lights). I left it in the dark state overnight, no change in the morning. I called TiVo this morning and spoke to a knowledgeable tech support guy, and we couldn't come up with any solutions. If I was paying monthly, they'd just have me buy another one (for free), but this has lifetime. So the options from TiVo are to send it in and pay $49 and the shipping to get it fixed (because it's less than a year; after a year it'd be $149 for my particular case), or to write it off and transfer my lifetime to a Series 3 (not a practical option, but they noted it anyway). I suspect the problem is a software problem, not hardware, and was hoping there was a way to force it to boot the other system partition (assuming the S2 does that; I know the S1 did). It's certainly not true that any part of the system is completely failed, because it partially boots -- if the hard drive had failed, you'd expect to get nowhere. That said, it's still possible the drive has major corruption. I had the thought that perhaps the little animated video it plays at startup got corrupted, so when it tries to play that it crashes, so I tried hitting the TiVo button on the remote repeatedly as it showed the "almost there" screen, hoping to bypass it, but that didn't work (the little yellow light did acknowledge receiving the remote commands though, notably). So here are options I can think of: 1. send it in for repair this leaves warranty intact, but I lose video files and pay ~$80 2. open it up and try to use hacker tools to work around software problem might be able to blow away "bad" OS files, force it to boot backup OS might be able to recover video (not a major consideration) if disk is actually failed, might be able to copy OS from another machine and build a new disk -- I have an identical S2 I bought at the same time for a family member (is this possible, or would it reject the copy?) voids warranty, risks ending up with useless device (sizeable money loss) 3. sell the unit as-is, assuming a decent market for lifetime subscriptions down side is that I had a sizeable investment in this S2 that probably would be lost; it cost $220 plus $300 for lifetime; that same money now buys upwards of 5 years with a monthly subscription 4. get a Series 3 and transfer the lifetime way too much money (I'd also have to upgrade cable and television); would still be worth the extra $80 then to get the S2 working again for it's free year after the transfer 5. buy an upgrade drive from the TiVo community store would this even work if my drive is dead? kind of pricey -- would cost more than service from TiVo I think option 1 is probably the most sensible, and then open it up at the 1-year mark and copy the hard drive so next time I can repair any disk problem. I'm not afraid to open it up and play with it, but option 2 seems risky. Option 5 is interesting if I can just pop the drive in, but I'm screwed if the real problem isn't the hard drive. Thoughts?