Fix TiVo

TiVo Repair and Troubleshooting

Your TiVo: Symptoms you may be experiencing

A TiVo DVR is really just a customized computer running the Linux operating system. It has the same internal components as a computer including a hard drive, a motherboard, a fan, and a power supply. In place of a monitor, it uses your TV. For an input device in place of a mouse and keyboard, it uses a remote.

Troubleshooting a TiVo, therefore, is much like troubleshooting a computer, except that the issue of corrupt or virus-infected software is essentially a non-issue, ruling out most of the problems that affect computer users.

Fix my TiVo! - Solutions

On this site, we try to get into the details of each relatively common problem that TiVo users experience.

The most common part that fails in a TiVo is the hard drive. This makes pretty good sense; the hard drive is the main moving part inside it's spinning and reading and writing 24/7 - even if you aren't watching TV. It's always buffering live TV, so there's a lot of wear and tear on the drive.

The other moving part inside these units is the fan. Unless this fails entirely and the unit overheats, these usually don't cause any problems beyond possibly excess noise. That said, a loud fan is often an indicator that your fan is going bad. You can use compressed air to clean the fan (where the fan is accessible), but it may be better to just replace the TiVo fan.

After drives, the part that fails most often in a TiVo is the power supply. Power supply failures occur in all models of TiVo, but, unlike hard drive failures, there are certain models of TiVos that have more problems with power supplies failing. Each generation of TiVo has used a power supply with a new or updated design, and some models over the years have been more problematic than others.

Finally, motherboards do fail in TiVos. But, just as in computers, motherboards are pretty hardy, and they fail significantly less frequently than the parts listed above. Many times, motherboard problems can be isolated and repaired. As with power supplies, there are certain units that are more inclined to have motherboard failures - especially DirecTV TiVos which commonly have satellite tuner problems.

More Information about this problem

Our site is designed by symptom, not by part. If you're looking for more info about specific TiVo components, you might some good TiVo reference information over at TiVopedia. You can also visit TiVo's support page, as well as the weaKnees TiVo repair troubleshooting page for additional assistance.

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