Tivo HD with Lifetime service and failing hard drive (options?)

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by stalemate, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. stalemate

    stalemate McGruber

    10,759
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    Aug 21, 2005
    Little Rock, AR
    Hi,

    I have a Tivo HD with lifetime service, and I think the hard drive is failing/dead. It get stuck at "Welcome. Powering up..." and never moves past it.

    I also have a Tivo Premiere XL which I am paying $12.99/month for service on.

    This is frustrating because I really only need 1 Tivo.

    What is the simplest path forward to revive the Tivo HD? Also, what is the cheapest path forward to revive the Tivo HD?

    I've never replaced a hard drive in a Tivo before. I see that weakness sells upgrades/replacements. It seems that would work but I was hoping to get out of this cheaper. :)

    Any ideas? Is it possible to use my Premiere hard drive to revive the Tivo HD? I'm not sure if I would want to do that.

    Or... is there a chance of talking Tivo into transferring the lifetime service or giving me a deal on Lifetime for the Premiere?
     
  2. stalemate

    stalemate McGruber

    10,759
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    Aug 21, 2005
    Little Rock, AR
  3. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    SF Bay Area
    You would be better off with the newer Tivo, Premiere, as the S3 is getting quite old. For example, you can download shows recorded as h.264/MPEG4 from the Premiere, but not from the S3.

    It would be hard to tell for the lifetime, and the only way is to call Tivo CS. Saying you are tired of paying monthly or thinking of canceling service on the S4. You might get $99-199 for lifetime.
     
  4. rdrrepair

    rdrrepair Bill Knapp

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    845 New York
    I've been told that only applies to the original S3 with the OLED display model 648.
     
  5. cannonz

    cannonz Well-Known Member

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    Yes, would still be lifetime. You can use up to a 2tb drive and put image on it with MFS yourself.
     
  6. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    The 652 and 658 can record MP4, but cannot transfer them to PC. 648 can't record them.

    As for upgrading the internal drive, S3 can only get up to 2 TB, while the P4 can now handle up to 8TB with a special process.
     
  7. rdrrepair

    rdrrepair Bill Knapp

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    845 New York
  8. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    New Mexico...
    There is an equal or better chance that your problem is the power supply instead of the hard drive. If you can do basic soldering on a circuit board, you can buy the caps for the power supply for about $20 (or I could sell you a brand new power supply from a never-used 652 for $40 shipped).

    It is always tough deciding to try and fix a box this old - anything else could go wrong tomorrow, or TiVo could just stop supporting it all together. I still like the THD, and if I only wanted one box with two tuners, I would prefer to use that instead of any of the newer TiVos. But I want more tuners than that, and I have gotten used to streaming between boxes instead of transferring programs to watch in a different location, so now my two older Lifetime S3 boxes just sit unused.

    But the fact that your THD is Lifetime and you are paying close to $200 a year for that old Premiere would make a big difference to me - if it is a choice between those two, I'd fix the THD in a second (including upgrading to a 2TB drive if needed) and shut off that Premiere.

    Buying replacement parts from Weaknees is safe, but VERY expensive compared to other options. In the last year, lots of us have taken advantage of Lifetime transfer sales to replace the old S3 boxes with new Bolts, and most of those old boxes are either just sitting in a closet or being thrown away. You cold consider looking for one of those deactivated THD units of the same model you have to maybe pick up a 1 or 2 TB drive that you could just drop in without having to use a PC to set it up. A used drive like that should be cheap.

    Or you could probably pick up the whole box for cheap and then have both the HDD and power supply. For example, I'll sell you that brand new-in-box THD652 I have for $50 plus shipping - then you would have both a new PS and a new/old unused stock HDD.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  9. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    Jun 22, 2008
    You could look for another Tivo HD online without lifetime service that is functional and swap the hard drive with yours, perform clear and delete everything and rerun guided setup. You'd also have another power supply to try in your tivo and you can try your hard drive in the purchased tivo to verify that it fails. You should be able to find one for $20 or less. Be sure the one you buy is the same model number as yours because there are three different series 3 models that look alike and the hard drives are not compatible with the other models. You might want to check craigslist also.
     
  10. stalemate

    stalemate McGruber

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    Little Rock, AR
    Excellent idea to buy one without lifetime service and use the parts. I actually ordered an HDD from ebay for under $20 so we will see how that goes. I might end up buying a whole new unit from here or from ebay and frankensteining this thing together.

    My mother in law had been using the THD and I have been using the Premiere. I found out it had stopped working and she never mentioned it because she didn’t use it anyway.

    Now it is really sticking in my craw that I’m paying for service. :)
     
  11. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    The original parts in a S3 HD (even in a Tivo resold for parts) are just as old as the S3 its going into. Better to use fresh parts, Hard drive (WD Red, 1-2TB) than to risk using the older parts.
     
  12. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    It's not how old they are. It's how many hours they have on them. The Tivos without lifetime service often weren't in service very long. Often they were used for a year to fulfill the commitment and then the service was cancelled. Sometimes they were given as a gift and the recipient never activated the Tivo. I've bought several of them over the years so I have one that mirrors my lifetime Tivo. I've used them a few times to revive Tivos.
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    semi-coastal NC
    Just remember that the lifetime sub is tied to the motherboard, or to be more specific, a chip on the motherboard that has the unique TiVo Service Number that gets communicated to the TiVo servers whenever it "phones home" for program guide data.

    So feel free to replace everything but that.

    As for the power supply, any TCD652160 or TCD658000 power supply will work in any 652 or 658.

    There are actually 2 models, a 3Y brand and an AcBel brand, and they're interchangeable.

    The first Series 3, the TCD648250, uses one that's not electrically interchangeable with those other 2--it has an extra wire going to the motherboard, and there's no guarantee a 652 or 658 is going to have an open connection at that pin instead of something that might short it or put the wrong voltage on something.
     
  14. stalemate

    stalemate McGruber

    10,759
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    Aug 21, 2005
    Little Rock, AR
    Update!

    The hard drive I ordered was all it took to get the TivoHD back in working order. Then, with that in hand, I called to cancel service on the Premiere and they gave me lifetime for $99. So now I have two working Tivos with Lifetime.

    Double-win!
     

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