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Upgrade Kit Pre-Sale Questions FAQ

Do your TiVo Upgrades come with the latest software?
Can I save money by buying blank computer hard drives from a store and putting them in my TiVo?
Where can I learn more about upgrading my TiVo on my own?
Why are the number of hours you use different than the number of hours I see on other web sites?
If I use your TiVo Upgrade Kit (or have you upgrade my TiVo), will I lose my lifetime subscription?
If I use your upgrade kit (or have you do my TiVo upgrade), will I lose my programming and TiVo settings?
How do I know if I have a one-drive TiVo or two-drive TiVo? Why does it matter?
Do I need the Advanced Cooling Pak? Do I need the PowerTrip? Do I need the TwinBreeze?
How long will it take to upgrade my TiVo if I purchase a TiVo upgrade kit?



Do your TiVo Upgrades come with the latest software?
Generally, all replacement kit upgrades come with the latest software. In cases in which a newer software version has been released, your TiVo will download the latest version as soon as they are dialed in for the first time.

Can I save money by buying blank computer hard drives from a store and putting them in my TiVo?
All of our upgrade kits come with hard drives that have been specially prepared for use in your TiVo. With a preformatted drive upgrade kit, you simply follow our instructions and install the drive--no PC is necessary. If you are looking to save a few dollars and are willing to invest the time, then you can purchase standard EIDE hard drives and prepare them yourself. If you have a PC, if you have basic Linux knowledge (not a must, but helpful) and if you have a rudimentary understanding of your PC's insides (eg. you know what an IDE cable is, you know what "primary" and "slave" means and you know what a "jumper" is), then you should be able to perform the drive preparation on your own.

Please note, though, that in our opinion, all hard drives are not created equal. The drives we use for most of our upgrades--Maxtor QuickViews--are specially made for use in digital video recorders; they are not standard desktop drives. For more information, see here.

If you want to buy your own drive, we offer blank QuickView drives (see here). Also, we have written the "Interactive TiVo Upgrade Instructions" site (link below) to make it easier to load the software you need, but a decent knowledge of Linux helps greatly. Updates to the upgrade instructions are in the "TiVo Upgrade Blog" that we maintain. Also, if you try to install the TiVo software on your own and do something wrong, it is possible to corrupt the software your existing TiVo drives.

Bottom line:

  1. If you're willing to invest some time to learn how, you can definitely purchase blank drives and prepare them. If you'd prefer to spend your time doing something else, or if your computer skills are minimal, then you might prefer to purchase a TiVo Upgrade Kit.
  2. If you have a TiVo already and are looking to upgrade, then acquiring the parts on your own is not likely to save you much versus buying a pre-configured WeaKnees.com TiVo Upgrade Kit. Our kits include the parts that you'll need, and in many cases, purchasing parts separately (such as tools, cables, bracket, blank drive, etc.) can be more expensive than purchasing a ready-to-install kit.


Where can I learn more about upgrading my TiVo on my own?
We have put together a number of links to "how-to" guides, Q&A forums and the like on our TiVo forums. See also our Interactive TiVo Upgrade Instructions (Support for this site is NOT available - it is a do-it-yourself tool).

Why are the number of hours you use different than the number of hours I see on other web sites?
There are several reasons: (1) Because drive sizes vary (a drive labeled 120gb may be 119.5gb or 121.0 gb), (2) because the number of hours depends on the software version (and others may quote hours based on older software versions), and (3) because some web sites exaggerate the number of hours their drives will produce. The best way to compare prices is to find out the size of the hard drive you are purchasing and how many gigabytes your TiVo will have, in total, after the upgrade. Please do not be fooled by inflated hours quotes. If you have any questions about the number of hours, please feel free to email us. When in doubt, or when faced with conflicting information, ask how many gigabtyes your TiVo will have after an upgrade.

If I use your TiVo Upgrade Kit (or have you upgrade my TiVo), will I lose my lifetime subscription?
No. Our upgrade kits will not impact your paid TiVo subscription. If you already have lifetime service, you can purchase a kit (or have us upgrade your TiVo for you) and you will not lose your service. Please note that upgrading your own TiVo will void the factory warranty.

If I use your upgrade kit (or have you do my TiVo upgrade), will I lose my programming and TiVo settings?
If you have a one-drive TiVo, adding a second drive will not impact your settings or programming. If you have a two-drive TiVo, you can now upgrade without losing your programming, but upgrading a two-drive unit and saving programming is very time consuming and requires you to send your TiVo or drives to us. If you have a one-drive TiVo and want to purchase a two-drive upgrade, for an additional charge you can send us your TiVo and we will not only perform your upgrade, but we will move all of your programming to your new two-drive TiVo (for this service, simply add the "Deluxe Upgrade Service" to your cart before checking out). If you have a two-drive unit and want us to save your programming, for an additional charge you can send us your TiVo and we will not only perform your upgrade, but we will move all of your programming to your new one- or two-drive TiVo (for this service, simply add the "Deluxe Upgrade Service" to your cart before checking out). Under any circumstance, once you upgrade, your TiVo will operate just as it did before the upgrade.

How do I know if I have a one-drive TiVo or two-drive TiVo? Why does it matter?
WeaKnees.com offers two types of upgrade kits. An "ADD" kit adds to your existing storage, and can only be used if you currently have one drive. A "REPLACE" kit replaces your existing hard drive or drives. For more information on choosing a kit, see our Add / Replace Information.

If you already have a TiVo and want to upgrade, determining whether you have a one-drive model or a two-drive model is important. A one-drive model is the easiest to upgrade. With a one-drive model, you can add a second drive without losing any programming or settings. With a two-drive model, it is very time consuming to save settings when upgrading with one or two new drives. In a two-drive model, you must either purchase a one-drive REPLACE or a two-drive REPLACE upgrade (i.e. replace both of your original drives with one or two new drives) OR you must perform some additional steps to reprogram your original drive. If you have a two-drive TiVo, we can reprogram one of your original drives and replace the second drive with a larger drive.

If you have a standalone Philips recorder, your TiVo is a one-drive model unless you have an HDR312 or HDR612. If you have an HDR112, HDR212, HDR31201, HDR31202, HDR31203 or HDR31204, you have a one-drive model. If you have a Sony SVR2000 or Sony SVR3000, you have a one-drive unit. If you have a DirecTiVo (Sony, Hughes, Philips), contact us and we can help you determine whether you have a one-drive unit or a two-drive unit (or see our DirecTiVo page). The older (130040) AT&T Series2 TiVo has one drive (with room for two). The 60-hour TiVo-branded Series 2 TiVo has one drive (with room for two). All other TiVo-branded DVRs (TCD240080, 24008A, 540080, 240040, 24004A, 540040, 240140, 540140 and 230040), Humax T800/T2500, Hughes units (HDVR2, SD-DVR40, SD-DVR80 and SD-DVR120, HR10-250), Philips (DSR7000, DSR704, DSR708), RCA DVR39, DVR40, DVR80, Samsung units (all models) and other newer DIRECTV/TiVo units each has one drive and, without the TwinBreeze bracket (which is included in all of our "add" and two-drive kits for these untis), has room for only one drive. All TiVo/DVD players/recorders (eg. Toshiba SD-H400, Pioneer DVR-810H, Humax DRT800, Toshiba RS-TX20, RS-TX60, and Pioneer Elite 57H) all have one drive and room for only one drive.

Do I need the Advanced Cooling Pak? Do I need the PowerTrip? Do I need the TwinBreeze?
The Advanced Cooling Pak is available for TiVo models that have the TwinBreeze installed. The ACP consists of one or two fans, depending on the TiVo model in which it will be installed. We generally do recommend the ACP, especially if you are looking to reduce noise or if your TiVo will be used in an enclosed space (such as an entertainment cabinet). If you are looking to maximize cooling, but do not mind the noise, then we would recommend that you install only the bracket fan (which comes in every ACP), but not the replacement for the factory fan (which comes in some ACPs).

For more information about the PowerTrip, see our PowerTrip page. We include the PowerTrip at no additional cost in upgrade kits for TiVos that need it.

If you are looking to add a second drive to certain Series 2 TiVo models, you will need a special bracket. We include the TwinBreeze bracket in all upgrade kits that require it. For more information about the TwinBreeze, see our TwinBreeze page.

How long will it take to upgrade my TiVo if I purchase a TiVo upgrade kit?
If you have a one-drive TiVo and purchase a TiVo Upgrade Kit from us, expect to spend about 10-30 minutes to upgrade the TiVo (once it is disconnected from your TV/entertainment system). Essentially, for an ADD kit for a standalone TiVo, your only tasks are (1) to secure the pre-formatted TiVo drive we send you to the bracket that we send you (other models don't even require a bracket), using the step-by-step instructions that we provide (approximately 5 minutes); (2) to open your TiVo using the Torx screwdriver that we supply and the "tried and true" instructions that we provide (approx 5 minutes); (3) installing the drive in the TiVo, using the step-by-step instructions that we provide (approx 3-5 minutes); and (4) closing the TiVo, using our instructions (approx 3 minutes).

If you have a two-drive TiVo and are replacing both drives with one or two drives, the level of complexity is no greater than with a one-drive TiVo, but it will take an extra 10-15 minutes to remove and replace the extra drive.

Installation of an upgrade kit containing our TwinBreeze bracket should take between 15-45 minutes, depending in large part on whether you have fans to install. The TwinBreeze was designed to install very quickly and easily and the installation instructions are fully illustrated.

NOTE: We wrote our TiVo upgrade installation instructions ourselves and we took a long time in doing so. To this day (or at least as of the date we last updated this FAQ entry?a good three+ years after we started selling TiVo Upgrade Kits), we have had very few TiVo upgrade purchasers call us or email with installation questions, which we believe suggests that our instructions are complete and simple. However, we are readily available to answer questions for any of our TiVo Upgrade Kit purchasers. Just send us an email.


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