Had to Replace My TiVo Series 3 Power Supply

TiVo Series 3 Power Supply Failure - Tick, Tick, Tick Three days ago I pulled the power chord on my TiVo Series 3. As I have done several times recently, I was taking my Series 3 to take it to a friend’s house to see how many over-the-air HDTV channels TiVo could receive in his neighbourhood.

Embarrassingly, when I got to my friends house, plugging the S3 in yielded only a a soft, staccato tick, tick, tick. Later, at home, I removed the cover and isolated the ticking as coming from the power supply (see the circled area in the picture above – click image for larger view).

Happily, a quick Goggle search lead me to this weaknees trouble shooting page where I identified the tick, tick, tick sound as a classic sign that the TiVo’s power supply was caput. A few emails back and forth with weaknees support and I was off.

Replacing a TiVo Series 3 Power Supply - Before Picture

Getting Started

I ordered a replacement power supply from Weaknees (U.S. $99) (here) and had it shipped overnight via UPS to Canada for another U.S. $49.52. It arrived this morning. UPS charged me a further Cdn $15.65 GST to take delivery.

Note: I would normally ship to Canada via the slow/cheap road of U.S. Post to Canada Post, but I wanted my  TiVo back for election night tonight (Go Barack!).

Replacing a TiVo Series 3 Power Supply - During Picture

Halfway There

Replacing the power supply was simple. Two torx screw drivers, size T10 and T8 (not T15 as identified on weaknees site) are required to remove and replace the pertinent screws. Three connector plugs need to be removed and replaced (a power connector to the motherboard, another to the SATA drive and the integrated SATA connector to the motherboard). It was simple. It took me 5 minutes. Anyone could do this.

Replacing a TiVo Series 3 Power Supply - It's Alive

It’s Alive

As you can see from the pictures, the replacement unit worked without a hitch. My S3 is back.

Replacing a TiVo Series 3 Power Supply - Powering Up

Back Where it Belongs

Note: The lonely empty space on the bottom right of my TV stand is where my Xbox 360 usually sits. The day after my S3’s power supply bit the dust, I experienced my first red-ring-of-death. That unit has been shipped back to Microsoft for repairs (details here). In the mean time, my PS3 is going to get a little love with Resistance 2 (just out today).


  1. // Reply

    Thanks very much for posting that bit about needing a T8 vs. a T15 as Weeknees states. My TiVo HD power supply just failed and I looked everywhere online to find the torx size needed for the back panel power cable connection. This was the only place I could find with an answer, so you helped me out a lot. Anyway, thanks again! (And go Barack!)

  2. // Reply

    Glad to help David. My Tivo has been a bit flaky lately. Rebooting for now reason every few days. But it still keeps coming back. I hope it's not about to die for some other reason.

  3. // Reply

    Hello Dale,
    I am about to replace the same power supply. I am interested in how your Tivo is doing as you said it was rebooting every few days. Is it still alive?

  4. // Reply

    Indeed it is. I haven’t had power supply problems since I replaced it. But, within months, I had to also replace the primary hard drive. All has been fine since though. Good luck.

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