We haven't had a whole lot of luck with our TiVo HD. Bought it new back in 2008 and it worked well for about three years--at which point it started acting up. It would spontaneously restart itself at least twice a day. As time went on, it became more frequent. After a while we decided to just replace the thing. Frankly I'm glad we did, because we like the newer software much better.
While making that change, TiVo's retention people made us an offer we couldn't refuse: a refurbished HD with a lifetime subscription for under $200. So we took the deal. Things were good.
For a while. A few weeks ago our refurb began restarting itself, just like the original one had. It was bad, too. We couldn't watch more than ten minutes of anything before it crapped out.
After a bunch of research it seemed clear that the best (and cheapest) solution would be to replace the HD's hard drive. I have a few old drives lying around, so I figured I'd give it a shot!
Last weekend I gathered all the tools I'd need and set about making this change. Opening the TiVo was child's play, as was extracting its drive. The hardest part of the process was dealing with the transfer software. First off, it's on Windows, so Strike One right there. Second, it was difficult figuring out how to get the software to see both drives. They were both connected, but only the TiVo drive was recognized. After a bunch of trial and error I figured it the problem: the replacement drive needed to be unformatted. Problem solved.
After that, it was just a matter of a few hours to copy everything over. At the end, I had the option to take advantage of the new drive's additional space. Old drive: 160GB, new drive: 750GB. No-brainer there. Sadly the software crapped out before it had the chance to do the expansion.
So I put the TiVo back together with the new drive and put it back in service. It worked; it didn't restart itself every ten minutes. It was also still just 160GB, and it was kinda loud. But in the spirit of the old saying, it wasn't broke, so I didn't feel the need to fix it.
That lasted until today. Two things bothered me: the lost extra capacity, and the noise. After taking a second look at my spare drives, I noticed that one was a Green drive. It was also 1TB. It was time to take a second stab at this replacement.
Long story short: I got the drive ready, and the software took advantage of the full 1 TB capacity. Cool! The only down side? The damn thing won't boot up.
At this point I don't quite know what else I can do with the resources at hand. I guess the least I can do is start again by re-partitioning that new drive and then start over. Can't hurt, right?