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Re-use of HDD out of Virgin "Tivo" box.

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by Mel_P, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Mel_P

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 27, 2004

    Posts: 1,856

    Location: Kent

    Hello,

    Having ascertained that Virgin did not want this box back I waited a few months to make sure. They don't.

    There is a 500GB HDD in this box but when I take it out it is not recognised by Windows or the disk manager. Apparently this is because it is "tied" to the box. To save binning this HDD does anybody know how I can get at it to reformat it please. I have a (Linux) raspberry pi.

    Any advice please? Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  2. EssexBoy

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 13, 2013

    Posts: 485

    Location: Essex/East London

    Ignore
     
  3. KIA

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Nov 14, 2004

    Posts: 13,512

    Can you see it in the BIOS?
     
  4. Mel_P

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 27, 2004

    Posts: 1,856

    Location: Kent

    Nope! Reading around they are coded to the box - to format you have to power up in set top box, power + data connected to get it to run up, then disconnect data lead and connect data lead to PC whilst still powered from box. Then it can be reformatted. It may also need some code changed to prevent it looking for the box.

    http://forums.afterdawn.com/threads/reformat-dvr-hard-drive-for-pc-use.732154/

    Looks like it's for the skip!!

    Mel
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  5. asim18

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 5, 2006

    Posts: 14,984

    Yeah I would not recommend re-purposing a HDD from a TiVo box.

    TiVo is constantly writing to the hard disk even when you are not recording something, for rewind live TV function.

    Even in standby, the default aim of TiVO is to keep the HDD as full as possible, so it will record things which you haven't even set to record. And it will constantly do this over and over again by deleting shows over 30 days old.

    This is great feature and it does record interesting things, but from a HDD life point of view it results in a a hard disk I wouldn't want to trust with anything else.
     
  6. Quag

    Associate

    Joined: Mar 18, 2010

    Posts: 3

    I was given two sky boxes with 500g HDD inside and i ripped em out and used both of them just fine in my PC for storing my vids on. :)
     
  7. Mel_P

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 27, 2004

    Posts: 1,856

    Location: Kent

    But these are Virgin - and the HDD is just "dead".
     
  8. john_k_sri

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 22, 2018

    Posts: 3

    Hi just to add my experience of re-using old TIVO disk after upgrading to the V6 box. I am running Windows 10, and the old TIVO disk attached via USB is visible in Disk Management as an extra HDD. It does not recognize it, but it can be added and formatted for use on Windows. I was surprised to find that it was a 3.5" SATA HDD, when I expected a 2.5" one. Windows clearly wasn't wasn't interested in what may have been on the disk .... but happy days I have an extra 500GB SATA 3.5" NTFS-formatted drive so I'm not complaining. I removed the disk 'as is' after uninstalling the old TIVO box. Hope this helps.

    P.S. I had had the same experience re-using a 250GB 2.5" HDD removed from a previous Freeview Recorder box.
     
  9. koolpc

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 2, 2004

    Posts: 10,537

    Location: Under The Desk, Wales

    If you have stuff you want to look after, dont be cheap. Buy a new HD from OcUk
     
  10. john_k_sri

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 22, 2018

    Posts: 3

    I take your point....but 'never look a gift horse in the mouth'. The old TIVO disk was manufactured in 2015, so there's plenty of life left in it, as HD Sentinal tells me. Ideal for offline storage, I would say. I'm not being cheap, just practical....but 'each to their own', as the saying goes. Seems a shame to bin a disk when it can be re-used.
     
  11. APM

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 9, 2011

    Posts: 1,310

    Location: Wales

    I've lost count of the HDD's I've re-purposed from old Tivo boxes and I've never had one that didn't work,does it need initialising in windows first?
     
  12. john_k_sri

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 22, 2018

    Posts: 3

    If the disk is present in Disk Manager and 'unallocated' you will need to create it which is effectively formatting it. Windows 10 actually prompts you to do so if you select that disk. There is no need to wipe/reformat the disk on Tivo. Windows 10 actually recognises it as a Sata HDD, and disregards whatever is on it from the TIVO box.
     
  13. Mel_P

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 27, 2004

    Posts: 1,856

    Location: Kent

    Well I had previously tried it directly connected to my PC. When I tried it connected in a new USB3 box it appeared as an unitialised HDD. I have initialised it and allocated it a letter. Great. A free 500GB HDD. Thanks. Can now recycle the "empty" Tivo box.
     
  14. james.miller

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 17, 2003

    Posts: 16,889

    Location: Woburn Sand Dunes

    careful, virgin emailed me threatening to have the debt recovered if i didnt send my tivo back. I'd tried to a number of times already by that point, but they never sent me the return bags. They contacted me about 6 months after my contract had ended so I would assume they are slow rather than forgetful. They did give up eventually but..be careful lol.
     
  15. APM

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 9, 2011

    Posts: 1,310

    Location: Wales


    Good news.
     
  16. Mel_P

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 27, 2004

    Posts: 1,856

    Location: Kent

    It was my daughters who moved 9 months ago. I emailed them quoting a/c number and her name and had a reply - please recycle it!
     
  17. james.miller

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 17, 2003

    Posts: 16,889

    Location: Woburn Sand Dunes

    Oh that's good to know - I can pull mine out of the loft and bin it :p
     
  18. Drukk

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 5, 2006

    Posts: 926

    Just upgraded to a new V6 box and the instructions we had were to just recycle the old TIVO box. I might take the drive out of our old one then, was hoping to somehow get the series of Tank Battles off it we had recorded but does not seem possible, shame as you can't buy that series anywhere.
     
  19. APM

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 9, 2011

    Posts: 1,310

    Location: Wales

    You can still watch it though,from the old box?
     
  20. Drukk

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 5, 2006

    Posts: 926

    I can yes but it means having to keep the box around just for that one series.