Tivo HD DVR With Lifetime Service

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by RusRus, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. RusRus

    RusRus New Member

    Apr 8, 2013
    Chula Vista, CA
    Is all the information and data stored only on the HDD? Tivo Service Number, DVR Name and Tivo Account Status stored only on the HDD? If so, then can I buy another HD DVR, remove the HDD and replace it with one from a faulty HD DVR that has Lifetime service? Or even a HDD that has been WinMFS cloned from the faulty HD DVR?
  2. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    The TiVo Service Number comes from a chip on the mainboard. Service is tied to the chip. not the disk. The programming is encrypted using a key based on the TSN, so you can't see programming (or record new) if you move a disk to a different TiVo, until you do a Clear and Delete Everything. The newer TiVo won't have the same account status.
  3. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    Lifetime service is tied to the motherboard not the hard drive. If you replace the hard drive with one from another unit once it connects to TiVo's servers the correct status will be sent back to the unit and the software will be updated.
  4. RusRus

    RusRus New Member

    Apr 8, 2013
    Chula Vista, CA
    Thanks for the input. I appreciate the clarification.
  5. wobly

    wobly New Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    RusRus, what issue are you having?
  6. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    This is basically what I recently did. I have a Series 3 (OLED) lifetime unit and the drive died on me. I wound up getting an exact Series 3 unit off Craigslist. It came with a glo remote and USB wireless adapter too. Got it all for $40. I pulled its hard drive and put it in my lifetime Series 3. Did a 'delete everything', called Comcast to repair its cable cards and all was good.

    Since my home has hard wired ethernet jacks, I didn't need the wireless USB adapter either so sold it on ebay for about $30. Kept the glo remote since its something I could use. In the end, I basically got it all for around $10-20. My Lifetime Series 3 has been working good and purring along here.
  7. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You got a great deal, and you knew what you were doing.
  8. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Has anybody done the surface mount of a S3 encryption chip to another? My S3 doesn't power up at all, even tried the power supply from another (working) OLED S3..

    The drive is also dead (but I can feel it spin, I have slight hope that just the controller card hosed in the same thing that killed the S3 board).. I have enough stuff otherwise recorded to watch, but if I could for sure recover the drive, I'd like to get it recovered.. then hopefully I could sell the lifetime S3 for a *bit* (saying it was a Franken-machine)
  9. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Assume you're talking about the 648, since it's the last model with a discrete crypto chip.

    I unsoldered the chip from a dead 648 board as practice for doing a chip swap on an S2 DT, can't remember if I soldered it back or not--I was really trying to get a feel for working with the special Bismuth-based unsoldering solder.

    So you're not even getting the welcome screen via composite video with the hard drive not hooked up?
  10. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    No, no lights, no video output, nothing.
  11. dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I just pulled the same trick, but it cost me $50 (no usb adaptor - however, it was a never used unit. Just sitting in some rich guy's garage for years until he told someone that worked for him to get rid of it, who then flipped it).

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