Tivo Bolt+ Beyond Flashing Lights of Death - more info needed

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by olun, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. Jan 8, 2020 #1 of 16
    olun

    olun New Member

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    Apr 12, 2004
    Glendale,CA
    Arriving back from my holiday, I was greeted by my Living Room Tivo Bolt+ 3TB system as a brick with all LEDS flashing. I powered down and up and nothing. Read about the lights being a hard drive failure and opened up the system, reformatted the drive and tested it. No errors were found. Reading more forum threads, I removed the partition and used diskpart to clean the drive and re-inserted the "empty" drive, I got the Tivo logo for a bit and then just a blank screen with all flashing LEDs. I used the power supply from my bedroom Tivo and still the same. Can anyone help me determine if there is something else I need to do to get an empty drive working again? I'm about to try the sata to external drive method. When the tivo formats the drive, what should I expect to see on the screen?

    PS- The hard drive does spin up and I can read and write to it while plugged into (and formatted for) a desktop but not sure how to get Tivo to begin formatting it for use.
     
  2. Jan 8, 2020 #2 of 16
    bruce316

    bruce316 New Member

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    Nov 1, 2003
    Tivo will automatically format the drive upon startup and install the necessary partition and operating system. It goes through the process pretty quick and you would see the tivo logo on the screen and it would say something like "ready in a couple more minutes". Since your are getting the leds flashing something is wrong. Did you do a thorough test of the hard drive, that would take 2-3 hours to complete? If your hard drive is Western Digital you would use WD's Data Lifeguard program you can download to check the drive. Since you already tried switching the power supply I'm not sure what else you can do but the hard drive is suspect if you're able to try a different drive that is where I would start.
     
  3. Jan 8, 2020 #3 of 16
    kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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  4. Jan 9, 2020 #4 of 16
    olun

    olun New Member

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    Apr 12, 2004
    Glendale,CA
    Thanks for the WD Lifeguard tip. It indicated countless bad sectors on the drive so I'll report back how it goes with my new hard drive (currently being shipped).
     
    bruce316 likes this.
  5. Jan 9, 2020 #5 of 16
    Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

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    Reformat new drive and exclude bad sectors?
     
  6. Jan 9, 2020 #6 of 16
    bruce316

    bruce316 New Member

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    Those hard drives are usually warrantied for at least two years. If it's still under warranty you can get it replaced by WD and then you'll have a spare waiting for next time that happens.

    Warranty Status | WD Support
     
    NorthAlabama likes this.
  7. olun

    olun New Member

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    Apr 12, 2004
    Glendale,CA
    The Bolt was bought in 2017 so that's just over the two year mark. Will look into it, though.

    I just hooked up my new 4TB drive to the internal SATA port on the mainboard and the lights still flash.
    I'm about to embark on reformatting the new drive using the MFSR tool to see if that makes any difference.

    On second thought, MFSR needs the drive to already be formatted as a Tivo drive. <face palm>
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  8. bruce316

    bruce316 New Member

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    Nov 1, 2003
    Hard drives up to 3TB are plug and play in the Tivo. Anything over 3TB you have to take additional steps to be able to use the higher capacity. My understanding though was you could use a higher capacity drive without doing anything but it would only use it like a 3TB drive. I'm concerned that you are still getting the flashing lights with a new drive. I've never used a hard drive larger than 3TB so I might be missing something in the process required. Is the 4TB drive you are using a 2.5" or did you set a 3.5" in there just for testing? I've read that sometimes people have to use an external power supply to run a 3.5" drive because the bolt might not provide enough power to run the larger drive.
     
  9. olun

    olun New Member

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    Apr 12, 2004
    Glendale,CA
    The drive is a brand new WD Red 4TB (in an enclosure that has its own PS) and I read up on the procedure to supersize it after the fact. So, yes, it's supposed to work (ie reformatting for Tivo) even if it ended up with 3TB. It seems like the Tivo is toast even though the fan is working and it has power and the logo comes up (only during green LED boot process) but once they go flashing, it seems like nothing is going on. Will probably have to send the unit in for repair.
     
  10. bruce316

    bruce316 New Member

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    Nov 1, 2003
    It sounds like you've done just about everything you could do. Usually with Tivo it's the hard drive or power supply but it looks like something else went out in your unit there. I hope Tivo can get it fixed or replaced quick for you.
     
  11. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Staunton, VA
    Are you connecting to the external drive directly with a SATA cable (TiVo main board to drive) versus usiing the enclosures connector (or an eSATA cable)? I thought I had read this was required for using an external enclosure in almost all cases.

    Scott
     
    UCLABB likes this.
  12. David B Gregory

    David B Gregory Member

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    Feb 25, 2018
    I had the same issues. My Bolt would not format a 3tb or 1tb drive just flashing lights. I put the original drive back in and Tivo support replaced the unit for $50 with a refurb
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  13. bobfrank

    bobfrank Active Member

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    Tivo has been providing replacement Bolts for prople with the early death hard drives and flashing lights. The are generally charging $75-$80 for the replacement Tivo. I just had that done a couple months ago. Give them a call and see what they'll do or you. There are several threads here on TCF discussing the issue.
     
  14. mvpgoblue

    mvpgoblue New Member

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    Feb 1, 2008
    In the other (long) thread, there are a couple messages about people getting emails warning of impending doom. I got my email on 12/28/2019 but didn’t see it because it got moved to a folder by Gmail. Argh. Now my old Bolt+ is dead.

    At least I got to them on time to get a free replacement. (Email says free replacement possible through Jan 29.)
     
  15. Robert Simandl

    Robert Simandl Member

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    Jan 16, 2004
    Is there a reliable 3TB drive out there that can be installed in a Bolt? Amazon only seems to have 1 and 2TB drives.
     
  16. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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