Add more space to your TiVo Video
Add more space to your TiVo Video Transcript
I bet you'd love your DVR to hold more shows, but most of us don't want to go buy a new DVR, especially if you have a lifetime service contract that isn't transferable. So let me show you how to upgrade the HDD in your existing DVR for massive capacity at a modest cost. We'll upgrade a very common TiVo Series 2--the process is very similar for a wide range of models. The shopping list: A garden variety ATA 3.5-inch HDD--this one is 320GB. A PC with IDE drive connectors and a CD-ROM drive. And Instant Cake software specific to your exact model of DVR--matched to a model number like this. Instant Cake is what formats or images the new drive so TiVo can use it. It is not the only software you can use to do this, but I find it's easy and cheap, and the process is similar no matter what software you use to image the drive. Shots of hard drive A PC with IDE connectors CD-ROM drive Instant Cake TiVo Also, to make the process painless, I've elected to say goodbye to all the stuff on the TiVo drive. We'll recreate our Wish Lists and Season Passes on the new drive. If you're can't say 'goodbye' to your existing shows, you can opt to add a drive as opposed to replacing yours, or transfer your shows to the new drive. I find both too tedious, so we're doing a clean-slate replacement. First, we download the Instant Cake ISO or image file that is specific to our DVR. Then, burn it to a CD as an image, not a file. That's a choice like this on our CD-burning software. Interestingly, it doesn't matter what OS the PC is running, because we're going to disconnect the PC's boot drive while we do this. Now we open our PC and make the CD ROM the boot drive. That may involve moving a jumper on the back of the CD Drive...and take this cable off your C Drive and connect that to your CD. Doing that also makes sure your C Drive cannot be harmed by this process. Take the new drive destined for our TiVo and connect it to the secondary IDE interface connector and make sure the new drive is jumpered as a slave. Now fire up the PC and jump into the BIOS screen telling it to boot from the CD drive we have set up on the primary IDE connector. Resume the boot and Instant Cake will take over from CD. It will ask you a few questions and then start imaging your new TiVo drive. OK, the new TiVo drive is imaged and ready to go. Now some surgery. Unplug your TiVo. Remove the lid, which may require a Torx driver you can get at Sears. Remove the old TiVo drive and set it aside as an insurance policy. Don't disturb any other connectors in your TiVo - there are reports you could brick your machine if you do so. Then connect the new drive in exactly the same way and fasten it to the case. Before you put your new drive in the TiVo make sure its jumper cable setting is the same as the old drive that came out. Before we put the lid back on, let's power up and run through basic setup again just like if we bought a new TiVo. Remember, your service contract will be fine because you haven't changed the TiVo serial number. Now connect to the TiVo service for an update of all the channels, et cetera. This may take a while. I've found you may have to connect and reboot a few times to get everything squared away, but then you'll be dead-on reliable. And now we can go to our TiVo info screen and see how much glorious capacity we have: There is it, a whole lot of time! Power down once more, put the lid on, and then power up and recreate your Wishlists and Season Passes. This whole deal should take you under an hour once you sit down with the parts and software, and is very satisfying thanks to the great dollar/gigabyte ratio of add-on hard drives on the market today.
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