TiVo digital video recorders (DVRs) are devices that connect your cable or satellite provider to your television and allow you to record and watch television programming based on schedules and interests. The TiVo HD is the first version of TiVo that is capable of receiving and transmitting a high-definition signal. Sometimes a TiVo HD will fail to power up properly. Some common causes of a TiVo boot failure are a failed hard drive, a faulty power supply or a bad power cable.
1. Disconnect any external storage devices that are connected to the TiVo HD. The most common cause of a TiVo HD failing to power up is a faulty hard drive. After disconnecting the external storage device, plug the TiVo HD power cable back in. If the TiVo HD boots up successfully, the external storage device has failed and you have identified the problem. Otherwise, proceed to Step 2.
2. Open the TiVo HD shell with a screwdriver and locate the internal hard drive. The hard drive is a long rectangular box typically silver or black in color with smooth connections on one end. Determine what brand of hard drive is installed in your TiVo HD. TiVo HD units can contain one of several types of hard drives depending on when and where they were assembled. Possible hard drive brands include Seagate, Maxtor, Western Digital and Samsung.
3. Download and install the hard drive diagnostic tool for your brand of hard drive from the manufacturer’s website. Remove the internal hard drive from the TiVo unit by disconnecting the IDE cable from the hard drive and unscrewing any connector screws. Connect the removed hard drive to your desktop computer via the IDE cable and run the diagnostic tool to determine if the internal TiVo hard drive has failed. If it has failed, proceed to Step 4. If the diagnostic test indicates the hard drive is working, reinsert the hard drive in the TiVo HD and proceed to Step 5.
4. Replace the TiVo hard drive if it was determined to be defective by the diagnostic test. To do this, connect a new hard drive to the IDE cable within the TiVo HD. Note that only certain hard drives are compatible with the unit. Plug the TiVo HD back in. If it powers up properly, you do not need to complete Step 5.
5. Contact TiVo customer support if Steps 1-4 were unsuccessful. The remaining possibilities for a TiVo HD failing to power up are a bad power supply or a bad power cable. Both of these items are proprietary and must be ordered from TiVo directly. You may either order these items and attempt the repair yourself or pay for TiVo customer service to fix the device.