Here’s the new section of the blog to replace the QSLs: Teardown Tuesdays!

I’m generally going to do these purely as a teardown and not really aiming to do a reassembly. Today however I need to actually fix something.

My TiVo started to act up. At first it started to get a pixelated picture every now and then. We grumbled and blamed it on the cable signal and got a cable amplifier. It seemed to fix the problem in the short term.

Until it started to randomly reboot.


Googling about a bit I found the typical cause is a hard drive malfunction. This isn’t too surprising since the TiVo only has two moving parts: the fan and the hard drive.

Ok. So it’s time for the teardown:

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I picked up a new drive that’s bigger than the original and tried to copy all the programs from the old drive to the new one. I was prepared to have a long wait for that to complete. I was quickly greated to a 14 hour ETA for the copy when I started it when I was home for lunch.

I came home and it was still chugging along at 10-12MB/s. Cool beans.

Then I looked again after a few hours. It was going at a few sectors per second.

Yeah… That would explain the flakiness of the thing. It couldn’t read (or presumably write) a damn thing in the middle of the drive!

At least I was able to back up the main OS from the old drive to restore to the new one.

I lose all my programs, but at the end of it I should — in theory at least — have a working TiVo (with a bit extra space to boot).

– = –

Normally I’m going to be a bit more dramatic with the teardowns. A bit more tearing and less futzing about making sure they can go back together again.  :-)