My TIVO Upgrade - It's A Snap!!!

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  • David Meek
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 8938

    My TIVO Upgrade - It's A Snap!!!

    I've been kicking around the idea of adding more capacity to my 2-year-old TIVO for several months. I finally broke down and ordered an upgrade kit for my HDR31203 model from Weaknees. At $179 including shipping, I got a 120 Gbyte hard drive, a mounting bracket, the necessary nuts 'n bolts and a Torx wrench. After installing, I now have 180 hours at low quality and 49 hours at best quality! (But, I'm getting ahead of myself) All I had to supply was a Phillips-head screwdriver and a pair of wire cutters. With this upgrade, nothing in the TIVO is replaced, you are just adding another drive. This does not void your existing service contract with Phillips for programming, that stays in force - it does void your hardware service warranty on the TIVO box, so I recommend waiting until your warranty expires before doing something like this. There are other upgrades that replace your existing drive with a larger one and add a second drive for mega-hour capability. Those MAY void your programming contract - read the descriptions on the website carefully!

    Let's cut right to the chase: this took 15 minutes to do! ANYONE can do it, no kidding. If you can read a sentence, hold a screwdriver and look at a picture, you can do this.

    First, here's the TIVO from the front.

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    Here's the TIVO from the back.

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    Here's the entire kit. It comes very well boxed and surrounded by thick cut-to-fit styrofoam sheets. No shipping gorillas are going to hurt this package. BTW, the instructions come with black 'n white photos of the steps for extra clarity.

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    After unplugging the power from the TIVO, you are warned to wait at least 5 minutes so that the power unit will discharge. Then, remove the cover - 3 Torx screws and it slides right off. Here's the internals without modification.

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    Here's a close-up of the OEM drive (the silver and black box in the left front), IDE (flat gray) and power (red, yellow, black weave) cables, the motherboard (the big green one in the background) and the power supply board (the smaller yellow one in the right front).

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    Unclip the IDE cable from the back of the drive and swing it out of the way over the motherboard.

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    Unclip the power cale from the back of the drive. Then follow it to the point where it is clipped to another piece that has a second connector (for the new drive). Clip the cable tie to allow the second power connector to move freely - DON'T CUT THE POWER CABLE!

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    Swing the full power cable out of the way (over the back of the unit). You can see both connectors here.

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    Here's the nude hard drive mounting bracket.

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    Insert the rubber grommets into the holes on the bracket arms.

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    Insert the metal sleeves into the grommets, the put the rubber washer on the screw and slide this into the grommet also.

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    Attach the hard drive to the bracket with the 4 screws. Snug the screws tight, but don't over-tighten.

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    Another shot of the drive and attached bracket.

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    Flip the drive and bracket assembly over, slide the new bracket and drive in beside the existing OEM drive until the two pins slip into the holes at the bottom edge of the vertical side of the bracket. You can clearly see the IDE connector on the left of the drive and the power connection on the right.

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    Line up the two holes at the other side of the bracket.

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    Attach with the 2 supplied self-tapping screws.

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    Attach the IDE cable (the middle connector) to the new drive and the end connector back to the original drive. Do the same with the power cable. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BEND ANY PINS!!!! That would be bad - trust me.

    Image not available

    Slip the cover back on the box, and re-attach it using the same 3 Torx screws you took out.

    THAT'S IT!

    The drive is already formatted. I plugged the TIVO back in, powered it up and everything on the original disk was still there. There was no re-configuration time for the new disk to be recognized - it immediately showed the new 180 hour total. Counting disassembly, reassembly and testing, the whole operation to 30 minutes.

    Whatcha think?

    Legaleese: I'm not responsible for any damages or losses you incur by choosing to do this to your TIVO or other PVR. Proceed at your own risk.




    David - HTGuide flunky
    Our "Theater"
    Our DVDs on DVD Tracker
    Last edited by theSven; 30 September 2023, 21:20 Saturday. Reason: Remove broken image links
    .

    David - Trigger-happy HTGuide Admin
  • Lex
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Apr 2001
    • 27461

    #2
    Way to go David, fantastic pictorial as well! :-)

    Lex
    Doug
    "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

    Comment

    • Andrew Pratt
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Aug 2000
      • 16507

      #3
      Nice pictoral David...Pat Sun would be proud
      Last edited by theSven; 30 September 2023, 21:20 Saturday. Reason: Remove broken image link

      Comment

      • JonMarsh
        Mad Max Moderator
        • Aug 2000
        • 15214

        #4
        Certainly easier than upgrading a laptop HD, David!

        I think 120's are pretty popular right now, the max that a lot of systems will recognize without special drivers or controller. I got one for the rebuilt living room HTPC; you can rip a lot of DVD's to it (well, maybe not a HUGE number, but a dozen favorite demo's is no problem. Also plenty of room for trailers and whatnot

        That should be a real convenient addition to the TIVO, can't imagine you finding 49 hours at HQ a problem for quite a while...

        ~Jon




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        Comment

        • David Meek
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Aug 2000
          • 8938

          #5
          Thanks guys. This was so simple, I was almost embarrassed to put it in DIY - but hey, any excuse to hang with the poobahs.

          Yeah Jon, at better quality that'll be something like 80 hours or so. That'll work! I did notice that the upgrade kits for my model max out at 2-160 GByte drives for 344 hours of storage. 344 hours? You'll never leave the couch again.





          David - HTGuide flunky
          Our "Theater"
          Our DVDs on DVD Tracker

          .

          David - Trigger-happy HTGuide Admin

          Comment

          • David Meek
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Aug 2000
            • 8938

            #6
            Since this old thread was referenced by another thread, I thought I'd post a follow-up. It's been almost 2 years since I did the upgrade and I couldn't be happier with it. I REALLY hope I don't jinx anything, but. . . the TiVO has been bulletproof, and the whole family loves it. Jen says that if we ever got a divorce the TiVO would be the one piece of electronics she'd take.
            .

            David - Trigger-happy HTGuide Admin

            Comment

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