The TiVo Gods Hate Me

I normally don’t post personal stuff on this blog, but I just had to share this.

I just turned on my TiVo Series3. I watched a TiVoCast program and it was fine. Then I went to play another and it started but stuttered a lot. I tried it a few times and it didn’t work right. So I tried another, same thing. I went to Live TV and it seemed to be OK, but then that locked up for a bit too. I’ve had weirdness before fixed by a restart, so I restarted the box. Live TV seemed to be OK, but the TiVoCast content still wouldn’t play. Then I tried normal recordings, same thing, even on recordings from days ago. Uh oh. And I thought I heard something.

So I got down by the unit, and I heard a clicking. Clicking is not good. I determined that the clicking was coming from the 500GB My DVR Expander connected to the TiVo. That’s definitely not good. I checked the connections and restarted again. And it told me the external device wasn’t connected. I rechecked and restarted again, same error. I knew it was hopeless but I tried a few more times anyway. Nope, my external drive just died. Click of Death. This is the second 500GB WD SATA drive I’ve had die in the past couple of months. I had one in a USB enclosure for my PC that also died, also with the Click of Death, and it was even younger.

So now I’m restarting the TiVo without it, and I know that means I’m going to lose recordings. Of course normally I’m caught right up with my recordings so I’d only lose a day or so. But no, this had to happen when I’ve been unusually busy and have a couple of weeks worth of programs, including the season premiers of several shows (Heroes, for example) unwatched. Not to mention shows that won’t repeat any time soon (a couple of weeks of Code Geass and Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, for example). Oh yeah, it just finished and just about everything is gone – all that’s left is a handful of TiVoCasts that must have been 100% on the internal drive by chance. Even all the suggestions are gone.

Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, since I have a Series2 in my bedroom that I have mirror my season passes, only without anything set to Keep Until I Delete, for just such an emergency. Normally. But, of course, that unit had started exhibiting a weird issue where the on-screen Guide would be fine, but the scheduler would be complaining it was running out of data. Like this morning the scheduler was complaining it’d be out by 10/7, but the on-screen guide went out to 10/12. I figure this was database corruption and everything else I’ve tried didn’t fix it, so, since it was only my backup unit, I took drastic action. Can you guess what I did? Yeah, less that 12 hours ago I did a Clear and Delete Everything. So all my ‘backup’ recordings? Gone too.

I’m so very happy at this moment.

Some of the content I might be able to grab from sites like Hulu, some I might be able to buy from Amazon VOD, but I’m just SOL on a lot of it.

I doubt there is any warranty on the My DVR Expander either.

Any help finding these:

After checking Amazon VOD, Hulu,, and these are the programs I can’t readily replace (that I care about enough to want to – and honestly I won’t be crushed if I can’t find Criss Angel or Fight Quest):
9/14 Code Geass “Battle for Kyushu”
9/14 Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit “Torogai’s Letter”
9/15 Gurren Lagan “Simon, Hands Off”
9/15 Gurren Lagan “Yoko, Will You Do Me A Favor?”
9/21 Code Geass “Declaration at the School Festival”
9/21 Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit “Secret Step, the Blue Hand”
9/22 Gurren Lagan “Everybody, Eat to Your Heart’s Content”
9/22 Gurren Lagan “How Are You, Everyone?”
9/24 Criss Angel Mindfreak “Car Wreck Vanish”
9/26 Fight Quest “Thailand”
9/27 Fight Quest “India”
9/29 The Big Bang Theory “The Codpiece Topology”
9/29 Gurren Lagan “I’ll Head Towards Tomorrow”
9/29 Gurren Lagan “Entire Polysynthesis”
9/30 Fringe “The Arrival” (Should hit Amazon VOD soon.)

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • Morac

    I’m sorry to hear that you had a run of bad luck. Maybe you can get the drive functioning long enough to make a copy of it to another My DVR Expander?

    Stories like these are partially responsible for me not getting a DVR Expander. It just seems like they are prone to frequent failure.

    Even though it’s not officially supported, it seems like upgrading the internal drive is a better way to go since there’s less points of failure.

  • al

    Simple solution.

    Bit Torrent. TIvo ate one of my recordings of smallville a while back so i just downloaded it from a bit torrent.

  • MegaZone

    Yeah, I may end up doing that if I can’t find a legal copy. That’s my last resort. Some things I’ve found are re-airing in the coming days, like last night’s Heroes (re-airing tomorrow on G4) or L&O:SVU (re-airing Saturday), and some other shows. All the TiVoCast stuff I can just re-download, of course.

    Terminator: TSCC and last week’s Heroes I bought from Amazon VOD. Tonight’s Fringe isn’t up there yet, but it should be in the next few days. I believe Comedy Central has complete episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report online.

    The anime looks like it’ll be the problem to find from a legit source.

  • Alex

    I feel for you man ;) .

  • Bill

    Unfortunately, the WDC MyDVR Expander has been plagued with issues, and your experience is quite common (especially after TiVo software updates). Thankfully, WDC is quite liberal with their return / replacement policy (likely because they acknowledge that all is not well with the product). My recently died, and I decided that is is time (despite the fact that I have some remaining warranty left on my TiVo to upgrade the internal drive. It just seems like a more reliable solution in the end. See for more details.

  • Andrew Scott

    I woke up this morning and turned on the TivoHD and the exact same thing happened to me. I was rewinding and fastforwarding and it would pause rewind pause rewind. I was playing and it was stuttering. And then I got online and one of the first things I read is your post having the same issues. I disconnected the DVR expander and lost some recordings but I think the problem has stopped. I’m not happy about this. I have had the DVR expander less than a year and it is already broken?!?

  • windracer

    The same thing happened to my own MyDVR Expander just the other week: freezing video causing reboots on my THD and then the click of death. Luckily mine was still under warranty (just barely) so I got a replacement from WD.

    But yeah, losing all of those saved recordings really sucked.

  • MegaZone

    I added the My DVR Expander basically to try it and because I could do so effectively for free at the time. I’m not sure I’ll bother expanding again, 250GB is probably enough for my use most of the time.

    I checked the warranty online and my My DVR Expander is out of warranty. I know I’ve had it for over a year now, I think I got it in early 2007. However the other drive does still have limited warranty coverage, so I’ve requested an RMA swap. I’m debating if I want to stick that bare drive in the My DVR Expander enclosure and re-expand the TiVo.

    I have done internal drive expansions a few times on other TiVos as well.

  • Tim

    Dude that sucks, I was gonna get one soon. I’m having second thoughts now.