2004 Update

OK, so this page is pretty old, as it was created several years ago, back when there was very little information available on the web (and even fewer pictures) describing how to upgrade an original Series 1 TiVo stand-alone box. Now there's much more information out there, and whole books have been written on how to upgrade and otherwise hack your TiVo. Still, some folks might still find the information below helpful so I'll leave it here. In the mean time...

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Adding a second drive to the Philips TiVo

First, some helpful tidbits...

Next, some useful web links...

Simple steps to bless a new drive...

After a great deal of swapping cables, connectors, jumpers, and BIOS settings, I discovered this straightforward approach to blessing a new drive that happens to work on the particular Dell desktop system I used:

To back up or not to back up...

I have a friend with a TiVo (same model as mine), so I figured if I goofed up my TiVo, I could always restore my drive from his. Thus, I don't have detailed steps for backing up the drive. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. If you don't know what you would do if you break your TiVo, then back it up first. You can either back it up to another 15GB drive using "dd" in from the Linux boot disk, or you can store an image of the drive (optionally compressed) as a file (or series of files) on your PC hard drive.

For more detailed instructions on how to do back up before you upgrade, READ THE FAQ

Buy.com used to sell the Quantum LCT15 15GB drive for about $80. Since it's no longer available, check out the Quantum LCT20 20GB drive for about $90. You should be able to use this drive as a backup (or use it as your new "main" drive and archive the original).

Update (8/22/00): Since I just bought a few more TiVo's for family and friends, I decided to order a 15GB drive to back up one of the new TiVo's before upgrading it. Here's what I did:

I also wanted to copy the backup as a file (or series of files) onto my Windows drive, and eventually burn the backup onto a series of CDR discs. Here's what I did:

Supposedly, to restore the image, I would simply type: "cat /tivodisk* | gzip -dc | dd of=/dev/hdb obs=1024k"


PLEASE do not bother the nice folks at TiVo if you goof up your TiVo device.

And now, the pictures...

(Click on any picture to see a larger, more detailed version!)

Here lies an unsuspecting 14-hour Philips TiVo, shortly before the operation...

The case is *REALLY* hard to open. Here's the best way we found to pry it loose.

Once the cover is loose, slide it back about this far, and then lift straight up.

An overview of the TiVo internals. Note the empty spot where the second drive goes.

A white wire-tie holds down the extra power connector. It needs to be cut.

New (black) wire-tie holds down bundle after freeing the extra power connector.

This is where the upgrade drive will go. Note the wire-tie waiting to hold it down.

Here's the original drive with stock mounting plate. Brackets are now available from www.linux-hacker.net

Here's the new drive with the jumper moved to the correct (secondary/park) position.

Here's the new drive with a rubber foot installed over each of the four screw holes.

Here's the drive mounted with ties snugged down. Corner tie is not ideal, but works.

Here's another wire-tie configuration, with a second tie around the power connector.

Here's the TiVo boot screen that should appear right after plugging the device back in.

Here's the second TiVo screen that appears shortly after the first screen.

Here's the System Information screen, which shows that the system is now 52+ hours.

Here's the Video Recording Quality screen showing the various recording modes.

These pages were created on a Macintosh PowerBook G3, using Claris Home Page 3.0, GraphicConverter, and Adobe Photoshop, and uploaded with NetFinder. All images and movies were captured (at HQ resolution: 1600x1200, medium quality) with an Olympus C2020 Zoom digital camera, and transferred to the PowerBook using a SanDisk ImageMate USB reader for SmartMedia cards, where I reduced them to 800x600 and 160x120 for the web.

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Last Update: 6/11/04 - Added "this is old" notes to top.
Previous Update: 3/26/01 - Updated Quantum links, comments, and rebate info
Previous Update: 11/14/00 - Updated Quantum links, comments, and rebate info
Previous Update: 10/08/00 - Added note about bigger images; updated rebate info
Previous Update: 08/28/00 - Added backup drive instructions; updated Buy.com prices
Previous Update: 08/22/00 - Added link to TiVo bracket page; updated backup drive comments
Previous Update: 08/15/00 - Updated links to TiVo FAQ (now at www.tivofaq.com)
Previous Update: 08/11/00 - Added note about Quantums in Sony TiVo, tweaked backup comments
Previous Update: 08/10/00 - Added link to TiVo $100 rebate
Previous Update: 08/10/00 - First version

©2000-2004 Steve Lemke (steve@lemkeville.org)