December 20th, 2007
My 5-year-old Series2 DirecTivo box had been rebooting spontaneously at least once a day. The power was good, so the most likely cause of this is the hard drive starting to go. And, you know, five solid years of writing to a disk drive almost continuously has got to be hard on it.
I was going to suck it up and learn how to image a Tivo drive... there are several resources on the net with instructions on how to do this. It's not difficult so much as TEDIOUS, with a lot of steps and fiddling with installing and removing drives from a PC (and I don't even own any machines with parallel ATA drives anymore), and I was just getting cranky about the whole thing.
But it turns out there is a company, weaknees.com, which sells hard drives already prebuilt for your model of Tivo. The price looked like it was maybe $20 over the cost of the hard drive itself, and $20 was a steal compared to how much of my own time I'd spend doing the same thing.
The smallest drive I could buy from them was more than twice the size of the original drive, which was a 120GB WD Caviar. The new one is a 300GB Seagate. It was trivial to install, the worst part was blowing out years of accumulated dust and crap with canned air. And upon power-up the Tivo was really happy with it and pretended it was once again a factory-new Tivo.
We lost all our programming, obviously, but we had caught up with the important stuff so it wasn't a big deal.
What worries me is that with so much more space it's going to record so much stuff as suggestions that we won't even be able to keep track of it all. Even so... a consumer electronics success! I wholeheartedly recommend this company for Tivo hard drive replacements or upgrades.