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Old 12-15-2005, 08:30 PM   #1 (Print)
funtoupgrade
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 911
5% failure rate on upgraded Tivo's normal?

One of the things I do is to buy, rebuild, and upgrade stand alone TiVo's for resale on eBay. So far I have probably shipped out a little over 100 units. About 5% of these have come back under a very short warranty period with various problems though they left here working perfectly. Some are revived by reimaging the drive. I am curious what everbody thinks regarding this failure rate? Would you say it is normal?

To anybody's knowledge are there any particular tests I can run to lower this rate or do I just need to live with it as part of business? In most cases the customers want the unit to run correctly and are not asking for refunds.

I still learn something about Tivo's every day and read any posts here on the forum which might be helpful to me or to which I can add my two cents worth.

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funtoupgrade

TiVo 240060 with 200GB Seagate (wireless)
Humax DRT800 with 160GB Seagate (wired)

Anywhere from 0-10 misc. standalones waiting for upgrades for resale on eBay.
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:53 PM   #2 (Print)
BobCamp1
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Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 207
I'm assuming the HD is what's failing.... you really don't say. I'm assuming you're taking precautions against ESD by wearing a wrist strap tied to ground.

Hitachi has a Drive Fitness Test program that will simulate the demands of a Tivo. Run it, select "excersize" and put it through 5 loops or so, this should last a few days. Afterwards, you can use Spinrite and perform a level 4 check. This should flush out all the bad sectors the HD was shipped with.

Some people have said that Seagate, Samsung, and Hitachi HDs have better reliability than Western Digital or Maxtor.

Tivos don't ship very well, as the HD cannot be packed correctly when installed inside the Tivo. You can try improving the shipping material to reduce shock and vibration.

Of course, if all this eats too much into your profit margin, it may be cheaper to simply live with the returns.
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Old 12-16-2005, 01:36 PM   #3 (Print)
funtoupgrade
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 911
I also am leaning toward the rough handling theory by FedEx which I use for all my TiVo's. All of the returned units had brand new hard drives (usually Seagates, but could be WD, or Hitachi). Try not to use Maxtors unless they are so cheap I cannot pass up. Three of the five units were Sony SVR-2000's with lifetime and new 160GB hard drives. I reported this problem several months ago in the forum - random failure to record problems. Since then I have been avoiding the Sony units (again unless they are so cheap I cannot pass up) as I have been Sony cursed for my entire lifetime. On all 3 Sony's I reimaged the drives and tried various recording options all which seemed to work normally, but once returned to the customer they began having the same intermittant recording problems (which I can confirm once the unit comes back). The most recent one to come back was a Philips series one lifetime (and new Seagate 160GB drive) that all of a sudden would not boot. On arrival back here confirmed that problem, but when I reimaged the drive it boots fine and seems to work normally.

__________________
funtoupgrade

TiVo 240060 with 200GB Seagate (wireless)
Humax DRT800 with 160GB Seagate (wired)

Anywhere from 0-10 misc. standalones waiting for upgrades for resale on eBay.
funtoupgrade is offline Report Bad Post Report Post
 
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