Mark Llobrera

TiVo Brain Transplant

About a year ago Jordan and I got rid of our cable package, switching to a combination of Sling and Netflix/Hulu/Disney+/AppleTV+/HBO Max. For local broadcast channels we hooked up an HDTV antenna, and my brother was kind enough to give us his old TiVo Premiere so we could have a DVR. The TiVo is almost a decade old, but it’s connected to a lifetime subscription so it made a lot of sense to use it until it quit.

Well, a few weeks ago the hard drive started making noise, and quit soon after. But! Turns out you can get a replacement drive preloaded with TiVo’s default software, via WeaKnees. The hard drive swap was simple: four screws to take the case off the device, and the drive is easy to access—it took less time than it took for the TiVo to go through its setup process.

Since the drive is just a standard 3.5" SATA kind I’m curious if I can use my hard drive dock to clone it outright—I’ll give that a try after this weekend. In addition to having a backup, a cloned drive would have the benefit of saving all the settings, which would bypass the long first-run setup process.