Copying a TiVo drive

About a two and half years ago I put a 2 TB hard drive in our TiVo Premiere (link goes to the recent equivalent of our model TCD746320 Premiere).  Lately it started to show symptoms of hard drive failure: random skips and unplayable portions in recordings, which isn’t especially surprising considering it is running almost all of the time.

I decided to replace it with a WD20EURS drive of the same two gigabyte size.  I found the best price at Amazon.  When I did the original swap I used the linux-based JMFS software, but for some reason it wouldn’t recognize my hard drives this time.  Fortunately after some searching I found the DvrBARS (DVR backup and restore) software which runs under Windows.  It worked pretty much perfectly.  It does ask to store the original drive on an intermediate HD but I didn’t have the space for my recordings.  No matter, as the old drive was substantially unreadable by now, and the software has a “truncate” option to save space by not keeping the recordings.  I wound up using the original drive that came with the Tivo as the source and the truncate option produced a reasonably small backup that worked well to “restore” to the new drive.  Back in business!

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