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Tivo Bolt Plus with the Flashing Lights of Death

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  • Tivo Bolt Plus with the Flashing Lights of Death

    I'm troubleshooting a 1.5 year old Tivo Bolt Plus with a 3 TB HD. At power on, the light stays green for roughly 15 seconds, then the Flashing Lights of Death happen. I bought a new power adapter and that made no difference. I brought it from my in-laws' house to my own and tried it on a different outlet just in case it was something weird with their wiring. Nope. I've opened up the Bolt and see no obvious physical issues inside. I've made sure everything is seated properly, and I've disconnected and reconnected the hard drive. If the hard drive is disconnected, I see exactly the same pattern with the lights at power on. The hard drive is spinning up when connected. I can't use the kickstart codes because the boot never gets that far before the FLOD starts.

    My gut tells me to stick another hard drive in it and see if that fixes the problem, but my father-in-law is going to be beside himself if he loses his recordings. On the other hand, he's going to be beside himself if he doesn't get his TiVo working in the next day or two. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    That really does sound like a bad drive to me.

    Replacement drives for a Bolt Plus are pretty hard to find - I don't really know if anyone has them besides us.

    Ours are here:

    https://www.weaknees.com/bolt.php

    Only the 3 TB will work in a Bolt Plus.
    Been here a long time . . .

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    • #3
      Thanks, I was afraid it was a drive. I was going to pick up a 2 TB drive locally and try it today, but it sounds like that won't work. It has to be a 3 TB drive? I'm not sure I can justify spending $300 on a replacement drive when I could buy a Tivo Bolt Vox for about $430. I think I'll take some Tylenol before I think about this any more.

      [Edit] How is the Vox? My in-laws might really like being able to give it voice commands.
      Last edited by kscarf1; 05-09-2018, 08:16 AM.

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      • #4
        I think the Vox is fantastic! I really like the voice access. Got used to it on my AppleTV and I'm hooked.

        Does the Bolt Plus have lifetime service? If not, it might make sense to just get a new one.
        Been here a long time . . .

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        • #5
          Thanks! I think I'll just order a Vox. The Bolt Plus is out of warranty and doesn't have lifetime service, a service contract, etc. Do you have any use for a 1.5 year old broken Bolt Plus?

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          • #6
            Not really - the valuable part is the hard drive . . .
            Been here a long time . . .

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            • #7
              I figured. Oh well! I've ordered a Vox and we should be all set. Thanks for your help!

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              • #8
                Our Bolt+ suffered from this a few days ago as well. It will show the Tivo logo in-screen briefly just as powering on, then flashy lights. So I'm looking for a replacement drive as well. I tried to buy a vox 3TB today, but apparently are not in stock at hte kinds of places that I can buy any Tivo stuff locally today. Eh...

                Yea... It's a WD Blue, and WD tools show it fails their tests. :/
                Last edited by amigabill; 07-19-2018, 07:57 PM.

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                • #9
                  We sell both the drive:

                  https://www.weaknees.com/bolt.php

                  and the whole unit:

                  https://www.weaknees.com/vox
                  Been here a long time . . .

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                  • #10
                    Hi Michael, I think I have a faulty drive too. In your experience, would you suggest even bothering with getting a new drive or do you think it's better to just get the whole new unit?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Welker View Post
                      Hi Michael, I think I have a faulty drive too. In your experience, would you suggest even bothering with getting a new drive or do you think it's better to just get the whole new unit?
                      It's a Bolt Plus?

                      Do you have lifetime service on it?

                      Even if you don't, it's $200 less to get just the drive. I'd go that way. There's nothing else there that's likely to fail at all.
                      Been here a long time . . .

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                      • #12
                        I just had this same problem (flashing lights of death) ... but fortunately still have 1.5 years left on my extended warranty for the Bolt+ with lifetime service. Even so, with losing some content (shows transferred from earlier TiVo boxes) and noting that the lifespan of this drive has been less than any of my other TiVos (dating back to the 240 model), I'm feeling a bit annoyed and a bit worried.

                        So now the question, with the box being sent back for RMA ... is it likely that, had I tried to pull it myself, it could be a situation where I could have recovered content? (Note: I've put hard drives in all my other TiVos before this one and don't find that sort of thing daunting.) Admittedly glad I bought the extended warranty, but even so ... they won't send me back the dead drive for me to poke at.

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                        • #13
                          Once these drives fail, there's almost always no way to recover any content, unfortunately.
                          Been here a long time . . .

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WK-Michael View Post
                            Once these drives fail, there's almost always no way to recover any content, unfortunately.
                            Well, at least I had purchased the extended warranty and they claim they're sending a replacement (a refurb 3T Bolt Vox) ...

                            I am wondering if you have the impression that the new hard drives (or SSDs, I dunno) are now of a different quality than the earlier ones. I have had several boxes for years without any drive problems but this one bit the dust in 19 months.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by redrhino View Post
                              Well, at least I had purchased the extended warranty and they claim they're sending a replacement (a refurb 3T Bolt Vox) ...

                              I am wondering if you have the impression that the new hard drives (or SSDs, I dunno) are now of a different quality than the earlier ones. I have had several boxes for years without any drive problems but this one bit the dust in 19 months.
                              These Bolts use laptop 2.5" drives. I'd say we don't have nearly as much experience with them as with the desktop 3.5" drives, but from what we've seen, we'd agree they aren't quite as robust as the latest desktops (which are really amazing).

                              SSDs are really not right for streaming video applications at all.
                              Been here a long time . . .

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