I haven't blogged about TiVo in a long
time, though I continue to be very happy with the service. Recently,
though, the power supply died in my six-month-old TiVo Series 2 unit. While
covered under warranty, this required Humax to send me out a new unit,
as the power supply can't be replaced separately. So, a new (well,
refurbished) unit arrived on Friday. It's date of manufacture, in
Mexico -- December 9, 2005. Interesting supply chain metric there.
Anyway, knowing that it was just the power supply that was out on my old TiVo unit, I planned to swap the hard drives between old and new upon the new unit's arrival. I wanted to get at all those saved episodes of Dora the Explorer for my daughter, of course. So, I opened up both units, saw that the contents were entirely the same, and proceeded to switch the hard drives. Once complete, I connected the new TiVo, and got nothing but a blinking green light. Oops.
I figured I was busted on the hard drive swap, so I switched them back. Plugged it in, and same blinking light. Weird...could TiVo have shipped me a broken replacement?
A couple of hours later, I thought I'd take another look inside and see what might be wrong. There are very few moving parts on the TiVo, so there wasn't much to go wrong. I discovered, though, that I had in fact screwed up one of the few things that could go wrong. I had connected the ribbon cable to the hard drive upside down. Not often that an interface connector will go in two different ways, but this one apparently does. Once I righted this, the unit booted up just fine. Note: I suppose this means I will have to give back my geek merit badge.
Now I had a new problem -- the old hard drive was causing an error in the new TiVo box, and I couldn't even so much as watch the existing recorded programs until the hardware problem was resolved. It appeared I was indeed busted on the hard drive swap. Bummer. Sadly, I put the new HD back in the new unit and was off and running.
The last challenge was when the new unit asked me to activate. Going to Tivo.com/activate and following the steps provided me with the opportunity to sign up for TiVo monthly service again. Already being $300 into the last unit for lifetime service, I was concerned that the new unit didn't map up to me as a subscriber. So, I went the old fashioned way and picked up the phone. There I was reassured that my lifetime service was indeed transferable to the new unit, and they took care of this for me.
I just spent ten minutes putting all my "season passes" on the new TiVo. In the meantime, I've missed about three weeks of Law & Order/Law&Order CI and am going through withdrawl. Anyone happen to TiVo the last few weeks?
Tech & Work