What is the average life of a DirecTivo?

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by ntwrkd, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. Jan 8, 2006 #1 of 53

    ntwrkd New Member

    Oct 18, 2003


    I've been a D*sub for many years but started using DirecTivo's about 4+ years ago. I added Weaknees upgrades (extra HD's) to 2 of my Hughes HDVR2's. 3 hard drives failed in 4+ years (out of a possible 4). Anyone else have a similar experience? What is the average life expectancy of a Tivo HD? I say about 2 years? Maybe we can start a poll?
  2. Jan 8, 2006 #2 of 53

    aphex187 New Member

    Aug 29, 2004
    Reno, NV
    I just recently had to replace the drives in my Philips DSR60000 - they weren't failing, they just had a whine that I wanted to get rid of. They had put in just under 5 years.
  3. Jan 8, 2006 #3 of 53

    HiDefGator New Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    I suspect the biggest factor affecting hard drive life is operating temperature. Does your Tivo get good ventilation? Does the room it's in ever get hot? I know when we go on vacation in the summer we often turn off the AC, forgetting that the poor Tivo's are then trying to run in 95 degree rooms.
  4. Jan 8, 2006 #4 of 53

    ntwrkd New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    The units get good ventilation, nothing on top or blocking the fan and have ups's attached.
  5. Jan 8, 2006 #5 of 53
    Tracy RainH2o

    Tracy RainH2o Photo Man

    Nov 17, 2005


    I have had my first Tivo for three years with no problems. I recently changed out the HD for a much larger one.

    I think the best bet for upgrading is to replace the original drive. If you add a new large drive to your original 2+ year old drive, you will be redoing it much sooner. As stated, the temp factor is a major cause of failure.
  6. Jan 8, 2006 #6 of 53

    Dood New Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I'm on my 3rd in 3 years, you do the math :)
  7. Jan 9, 2006 #7 of 53

    Pauli New Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    Long Beach, CA
    IMO, adding a second drive to these units is unwise. These things run pretty hot with only a single, smaller drive. With a larger, 2nd drive it gets worse. Heat kills hard drives. I even added a "blowhole" to my single-drive upgraded unit to keep it cooler.
  8. Jan 9, 2006 #8 of 53

    Dkerr24 Lost in Big Bend

    Oct 28, 2004
    Okla, USA
    Another vote for not running 2 hard drives. Double the heat, double the load on the power supply, and of course double the noise. Not to mention if even one drive fails, the other drive is useless until reformatted and reloaded. And you're left with a guessing game of 'which drive is the bad one?'
  9. Jan 9, 2006 #9 of 53

    TiVoSoFine New Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    Alpharetta, GA
    I have two SAT-T60's.

    The first one: bought in 1/2001, unmodified. HD failed in late 2004. Replaced with a new 80GB HD, it's been running well since then. During the research (to change the HD), I found the most probable cause of the failure was the temperature. Both of mine were sitting on flat surface and the internal temperature was at mid 50 C.

    Since then I have elevated both of them with wood blocks (really high tech) which leaves the vents open. They now run at mid 40 C.

    The second one: bought in 5/2001, added 120GB second drive in early 2002. It's been running fine ever since.

    My plan is: when they both die, I'll join the Hi-Def revolution. But they just keep chugging along... :up:
  10. wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

    Dec 28, 2002
    Vancouver, WA
    Bought my SAT-T60 a little over 3 years ago. First thing I did was put in a 120GB drive, a more powerful fan and elevating the unit. I have not had a single issue and my temp is always in the 30's and 40's.
  11. nhaigh

    nhaigh Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    My Philips DRS7000 ?? lasted two years before it failed, the hughes that repleced it lasted less tha a week and the huges that replaced that is not three montns old and still working.

    My Sony SVR2000 (Series One SA TiVo) is now six years old and still working as well as the day I bought it.
  12. RossoNeri

    RossoNeri Tech Geek

    Nov 26, 2005
    Herndon, VA
    I've had two drives fail. Both were after power failures though. One was on a used HDDVR2 I bought from eBay and the other on an SD-DVR40 with a second drive (the original stock drive failed). Both were in the 10-14 month range since I started using them.

    I have two other drives that are running okay after 8-10 months (although I don't want to jinx myself...).

    I'll echo the recommendation on not using two drives (it caused about a 10 degree difference) and add that a UPS to protect against sudden power loss/power up is a good idea (as it is with any computer).
  13. roamerr

    roamerr New Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I have one that is two years old. I had two others die within 6 months. Tivos eat hard drives -- that is what determines the life.... If one lasts 5 years that would be a great hard drive...
  14. gtrogue

    gtrogue Mentally Hilarious

    Jun 18, 2001
    The shortest time a replacement drive in my DirecTivo's lasted was about 3 years.
    The drive in my original 14 hr SA Tivo ran from '99 until '05.
  15. sschwart

    sschwart It sucks to be me

    Apr 4, 2001
    Cambridge, MA
    My SAT-T60 is almost 5 years... It's had 1 HDD failure, and that's it.
  16. tbeckner

    tbeckner TiVo Fan

    Oct 26, 2001
    Bend, OR, USA
    My SVR-2000 will soon be six years old, with two hard drives, one is the original OEM and the other is a Staples purchased retail red box 60GB Maxtor (that was on sale) that has been installed two months after the SVR-2000 was purchased and I still have had NO failures. Knock on Wood.

    Three HDVR2s still running (bought when they first went on sale for $99), NO failures in any of them yet.

    I never have had any major hard drive failures all these years on any devices, except when IBM and Maxtor (Quantum) where first screwing around with the PIXIE DUST drives, what a huge mistake that was. Those drive failures was just one of the contributing factors to IBM selling their hard drive business, in addition to their lack of capability to make it profitable. Never before did I or after have I had as much of a problem with hard drive failures, as I did with those first PIXIE DUST drives.
  17. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Aug 21, 2002
    New York...
    Couple of points:

    DirecTiVos, even under the best circumstances, present a hard drive with a harsh environment. Desktop hard drives were not designed for continuous duty cycle, and that is truer of newer drives than older ones. Therefore, it is not surprising to hear of 5 year old drives still going strong, and 2 year old drives failing.

    Temperature also plays a part - the maximum rated operating temperature of most 3.5" drives is around 55°C. Many DirecTiVos (even with one drive) routinely approach 50°C. Personally, I have two Series 2 DirecTiVos with 2 drives, and 3 with only 1 drive. The hotest unit I have, a DSR7000, has only one drive (and it is an original TiVo drive). The coolest running unit has 2 drives, a WD 250GB drive and a WD 60GB drive. It is more a function of the heat produced by the particular drives than it is the number of drives installed.

    I previously ran 3 Series 1 DirecTiVos for 4 years with only 1 drive failure. Drives are so cheap they are now disposable. The best bet is to hack your DirecTiVos so that you can backup your Season Passes and Wishlists, and use MRV to move recordings off a TiVo with a failing drive.
  18. tbeckner

    tbeckner TiVo Fan

    Oct 26, 2001
    Bend, OR, USA
    I can't talk for other people, but I told my wife tonight that unless the Series 3 TiVo has MRV (there is a discussion that because of the HD DRM issues that the Series 3 might not have MRV) there is no way that I could buy into it.

    I use MRV almost every day, mainly because I use my DVRs to record different material, the frontroom DVR records PBS (Frontline, NOVA, This Old House, etc), NFL and College Football games and other sports, Science channel programs, and HGTV programs, and Specials, and I use the one in the bedroom to record network series programs like CSI, Medium, Law & Order, House, Bones, 24, Surface, Lost, ER, Numbers, Desperate Housewifes, etc and some NFL and College football games that I can't record in the frontroom because of scheduling conflicts. And the third one is current being used my oldest daughter amd mostly contains her tastes, like ANIME and network shows like Alias.

    But my viewing takes place where I am at when I get the time, so maybe I will watch a Science channel program or Football game in the bedroom, and a network series in the Frontroom. And without the flexability of MRV I would now be lost and I have only had it for about seven months and for the first two months I still attempted to record everything on both DVRs, which was totally impossible and would have been worst once football season started.

    To me MRV is almost as important as the DVR, and without a doubt has made the DVR an even better video watching time shifting tool. I bet if more people had MRV they would understand the importance of it, kind of like the difference of having a DVR and not.
  19. phoenix_one

    phoenix_one New Member

    Dec 14, 2003
    I had a SAT-T60 since Dec 03. It already had a 120g harddrive and I added another one. Seagate Barracuda, temp hovers around 48-50C.

    I have it raised about 3/4". Stock fan.

    No problems whatsoever.
  20. pudge44

    pudge44 Bring on the HD

    Dec 5, 2002
    New Jersey
    I have a DSR6000 that's going on 4 years. I replaced the fan in it during the first year because it was makingall sorts of weird noises. Just recently, I've noticed it's starting to get loud again, but haven't yet cracked it open to see if it's the fan or the hard drive.

    I'm holding out to upgrade to HDTV, but I might bite the bullet and buy a replacement drive from WeakKnees.

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