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TiVo Hard Drive Replacement Instructions

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Tivo Roamio

TiVo Roamio OTA
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Western Digital Hard Drive

Western Digital 3 TB HD
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iFixit Pro toolkit

iFixit Pro

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A TiVo Roamio OTA HD DVR and Streaming Media Player comes with a 500 G hard drive which is good for 75 hours of HD recording. This page gives instructions on how to swap the original hard with a different one. I used a 3 TB drive which gives about 450 hours of HD recording. The links to the right are the items in the instructions below.

Disclaimer: This will undoubtedly void your warranty so perform this at your own risk.

You could get extra storage by using an external USB drive but when I was researching this, many people complained about unacceptable failure rates. In contrast people that replaced the existing hard drive with a larger one were happy so that's what I did and I'm very happy with the results.

Replacing the drive is pretty simple. It's almost as if the TiVo folks designed it with this modification in mind.

Before you start
After you change the hard drive you will need to run the initial setup again.
This means you will lose all recordigs, settings, channels and one pass setups.
Therefore, I recommend you take notes of your one pass settings so they can easily be set up again when you're finished.

Tools I used
You should only need 4 tools for this project.
I needed 8mm, 10mm and 15mm torx head screwdrivers and a small flat tool - a flathead screwdriver would work also.
All these tools are in the iFixit kit. I already had this kit from when I replaced the screen on an iPad so I used it here also.
It would be overkill to go buy this kit just for this project but if you'll use it for more than this I recommend it.
Remove the screw holding the top cover on
When looking at the back of the TiVo remove the one screw in the middle.
The screw on mine was a 8mm torx but it's possible yours is a different size.
Remove the top cover
This is the hardest part of the whole operation.
I'm right handed so I used my left hand to pull up on the cover where I removed the screw.
I then used my right hand to stick a flat tool in the side to push the tabs in.
I used one of the tools from the iFixit kit but a flathead screwdriver should also work.
Once you get the first couple of tabs pressed in the rest are easy and the top lifts off.
Top cover removed - tab locations
This shows where the tabs are located.
There are 3 tabs on each side.
TiVo main unit with top cover removed
You will now see the hard drive on the right with the blue cable going to it.

warning Warning: A static shock can damage electronic components. It's best to wear a grounding wrist strap (like the blue one shown in the iFixit kit) when doing work like this. Even if you use a wrist strap, try not to touch any of the circuit boards or components. If you don't use a wrist strap be sure to dissipate any static charge you have by touching something that's grounded. Be especially careful if it's the time of year where you get shocked when you touch metal.
Remove the hard drive bracket screws
Remove the 3 10mm torx screws holding the brackets to the bottom of the TiVo.
I had to slide a screwdriver through the iFixit handle for extra leverage because the screws were really tight.
Remove the cable from the hard drive
Lift the hard drive out. This is the view of the bottom of the drive.
The data and power connections are both on the same connector.
I'm showing it here with it barely connected.
Obviously, when you install the new drive you will slide the connector on as far as it goes.
Remove the 2 brackets from the hard drive
Remove the 2 15mm torx screws from each bracket (4 total screws) to free them from the hard drive.
Get the new hard drive ready
Hard drive in static bag
Your drive should have arrived in a anti-static static bag to help protect it from static discharges.
I recommend you leave it in the bag until you're ready to install it - which is now.
Reverse the process with the new drive
Now just reverse the process with the new drive.
I suggest you put the old hard drive in the anti-static bag just in case something goes wrong and you need to reinstall it.
When it comes time to put the cover back on you will need to put the top tab in front of the bottom tab.
Run setup
Run setup
When you turn the power on it will automatically go through the initial setup process again.
Enjoy the new capacity
I recorded the longest HD program I could find which was a NASCAR race.
It's a 3 hour HD recording and it's still taking up less than 1% of the disk space.
I don't have a picture of a similar recording on the old drive but you can compare it to something you have.