Dead Tivo Again

My Tivo (DirecTV HDVR2) died again last week. Looking back through my posts it died the first time 9 months ago and I still didn’t get around to raiding the system…wow, time flies.  I had a ton of shows on it and a bunch of movies from a free HBO weekend so I’m still trying to mount the drive under Linux to extract them but its slow going.  I have found a few pages with info that makes me hopeful but my initial focus has been on getting the system back.  I once again used my PTVnet and InstantCake CDs to restore the system onto a 160GB drive just to test if the motherboard and other hardware was good.  The system booted fine and Tivo was back from the dead.  So, it was time to finally get my Tivo raided.

I used the DupliDisk 3 (DD3 EzRaid) from Arco IDE in order to raid a couple 250GB drives together.  I used an old PIII computer with a CD drive to boot the Arco CD and run the utility to initialize the disks and mirror them.  It took ~5 hours before I was rewarded with 3 green lights meaning both drives were good and the raid was active.  It was now time to use my PTVnet and InstantCake CDs to build the Tivo system.  The process was smooth and the CD didn’t have any trouble recognizing the raid device and completed the build without any errors.

I then removed the drives and raid board from the computer and hooked them into my HDVR2.  I used the bracket from my Weaknees extra hard drive kit to hold both drives but I powered them and the raid card from a seperate supply.  I powered up the raid and drives and then plugged in the Tivo and crossed my fingers.  Tivo booted like normal and downloaded the satellite info and dumped me into live TV.  I did a quick run through the guided setup and I was almost there.

The only thing not showing up was my local channels but if you wait long enough they will get enabled.  It was only a couple hours before 24 started so I had to call DirecTV and get them to re-authorize my account to force the update and get my local channels.  After that it took another day or two before the guide was filled in enough to start recreating all of my season passes.  It is now back up and running fine even though it looks like a Tivo-stein or Franken-Tivo with all the wires and cables strewn over and around it.

I plan on retiring the extra power supply and use a splitter to power the raid card and extra hard drive.  I have read some that the Tivo power supply wasn’t designed for the extra load but it has been running an extra drive for years without any trouble.  The raid card won’t draw that much extra juice.  The extra power supply adds to the noise and RF level so its got to go.  There should be enough room to drill a few mounting and LED holes to get the raid card mounted to the inside of the cover and show out the left side.  The lights do add an extra ‘cool’ factor to the Tivo…;)


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