Spinrite 6 and Tivo Question

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Jan 10, 2023
Some years past I thought I had seen a story of someone using SpinRite to recover their TiVo. Well we have a TiVo and I've been using Spinrite for years, on my PC. I think it's about time to run it on my TiVo. Does anyone have experience doing this? I think our TiVo Roamio Plus, with a 500GB drive. We have a ton of shows on it that we've not yet watched, so we don't want to risk losing anything. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Drain any static from your body before removing the drive. There is the possibility that SR can harm a drive if it's close to failing as it works them hard.

You'll have to determine the drive interface type.

Could be PATA:

Could be SATA:

Or something else. You could put the drive directly into your PC if you have the right ports and connections. Or you could look for hard drive caddy, enclosure, or hdd docking station on Best Buy or Amazon. You'll also need the proper interface to your PC if it's an external enclosure. USB 2 is dog slow. USB 3 is much better if your PC supports it. But, there are threads here on the forum about whether SR can recognize a USB drive and it's not guaranteed. It might work if the BIOS recognizes the drive.

If you get a double drive docking station like this,

you may be able to back up the drive with something like Terabyte Image for Windows which @Steve has recommended in the past. The docking station may come with software. Also, the maker of your target backup drive may provide software. Note that it's possible the Tivo would reject the copy though as everything in there is probably encrypted.

If you have a laptop and you don't mind removing the cover, and it has an optical disc player, you can replace that drive with something that holds a SATA HDD / SSD, like this:

If that link doesn't work, it's Amazon product number B01MRI8YFN.

You can also destroy your laptop that way if you're not careful.

Hope this helps.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
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If you rate the risk of losing shows due to pre-emptive maintenance, do nothing. I don't know how many shows you can get onto a 500Gb drive....

You probably have guides to clone the drive contents onto a bigger, new drive too. If you're taking it apart, improve it :) I did this years ago when I had Sky UK, I think it came with a 120Gb drive as default and I went to 500Gb. Pre-HD days.
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Thanks .. I figured it might be that easy, and I already have a 2 Disk external adapter that I use for running SuperDuper for my mac. Given the 500gb is doing well for us, I don't think it's worth upgrading the drive in the TiVo at this point.
2 Disk external adapter
What interface does it use? Since SpinRite ONLY runs under DOS, and in 6.0 only with BIOS, you need something that will be recognized in DOS mode by the machine you intend to run SpinRite on. If it's, say, USB, that can be problematic, depending on your BIOS. Most certainly we experienced that USB devices NEED to be present at BOOT in order to work in BIOS on many machines. (So connect the USB enclosure or whatever to the machine and then power it on, boot to DOS/SpinRite and hope it is detected and supported by your BIOS.)