Fix TiVo

TiVo is stuck on "Welcome, Powering Up"

Your TiVo: Symptoms you may be experiencing

This is probably the easiest symptom to describe. When you plug in your TiVo, you see a screen that says, "Welcome, Powering Up," "Welcome, Starting Up" or a similar opening message and it never changes or disappears. This problem can occur on any TiVo and appears when you first plug the unit in. (Note that in some older TiVo models, this screen will not appear if you are connecting from the TiVo to the TV using coaxial cables.)

Fix my TiVo! - Solutions

In the vast majority of cases, a TiVo that is stuck on powering up needs a new hard drive. There is no easy way to verify that this is the problem (other than testing your drive, see the "Expert" section below), but given how likely it is that you have a bad drive, we recommend that you try a replacement hard drive first. With certain TiVo models, you might consider a replacement power supply as well, as power supplies in some models are more likely to fail than others.

1) Replace your TiVo Hard Drive

We recommend that you purchase a preprogrammed, ready-to-install hard drive for your specific TiVo model. To do this, you will first need to find your TiVo model on the back of your TiVo, or see this page, which will tell you what model TiVo you have based on the first three digits of your TiVo's 15-digit TiVo Service Number.

Once you have your TiVo model, you can visit weaKnees, which has preprogrammed hard drives for every TiVo model.

We recommend weaKnees for a number of reasons: (1) Their customer support is exemplary (offering toll-free phone support, live chat and email support); (2) they will allow returns within 30 days (subject to a restocking fee) in case a drive doesn't solve your problem; (3) they offer free shipping; and (4) they have been in business since 2001.

2) Replace your TiVo Power Supply

In some model TiVos, a failed power supply can cause the DVR to stick on the Welcome, Powering Up screen. When a power supply fails, it can also damage your hard drive, so it's hard to know whether a drive is also bad. If you have one of these TiVo models, we recommend that you consider a replacement power supply as well.

TCD648250 (TCD648250B)

In the TCD648250, TCD652160, and TCD65800 models especially (but also other TiVo models), it is often possible to visually inspect your power supply and determine whether it is bad. When inspecting a power supply, you are looking for a capacitor that is bulging at the top. See: TiVo Power Supply Problems.

To order a new TiVo power supply, visit weaKnees.

Note that even if your power supply *looks* fine, it might still be bad, so this visual test only really helps if you are able to see a problem.

3) If a replacement drive (and/or power supply) does not solve your problem, or if you want to send your TiVo in for repair, you might consider the TiVo flat-fee repair service that weaKnees offers. The service covers all standalone standard definition TiVos. For high definition TiVos, consider the TiVo repair and diagnostic service. Unfortunately, DVRupgrade is no longer in business and we are not aware of another reputable company that repairs TiVos.

More Information about this problem

If you want to test your hard drive to see whether it is bad, you will want to download the testing software for your TiVo hard drive's manufacturer. For hard drive testing instructions, see this page. Unfortunately, TiVo's built-in drive-testing tool will not work if your TiVo is stuck on powering up.

There are other resources online that have instructions on how to program a new TiVo hard drive, including the TiVo Upgrade Instructions site and the Hinsdale TiVo Upgrade How-To website. However, these websites are now pretty dated and even if your TiVo model were old enough to make these sites applicable to you, if your TiVo's hard drive is bad, then you will be unable to use these resources because you likely won't be able to extract the TiVo software from your old hard drive.

Why/when/how the "Powering up" screen can appear: In most Series1 and Series2 TiVos, if you have no drive in your TiVo, you will see this screen (assuming you are connecting with a cable other than coax). After the motherboard does its internal checks and leaves time for the hard drive to spin it, it begins to boot the Linux OS on the hard drive. If the drive is bad, the TiVo may not proceed to the next screen ("Almost There, a Few More Minutes"). In rarer cases, if there is a motherboard short or possibly a bad power supply, you might also experience these symptoms, but if you want to fix your TiVo on your own, we recommend starting with the hard drive. In Series3 TiVos (TCD652160, TCD658000, TCD648250, TCD648250B), the TiVo will go to a blank gray screen if there is no drive or if the TiVo cannot detect a drive. In later-model TiVos (Premiere, Roamio, Bolt), you might see no output on the TV but flashing lights on the front of the TiVo if you have no drive attached or if the TiVo cannot detect a drive at all.

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