TiVo News tivo repair Troubleshooting Help WeaKnees News

TiVo DVRs Experiencing “Failed While Negotiating” Errors (N17 / N18)

Today we have had a significant number of TiVo customers report problem with their Series 2 and Series3 TiVos. Specifically, some TiVo DVRs are getting the error N17 ( Failed While Negotiating) or N18  (Failed While Configuring) or, in some cases, simply “Negotiation Error” on some of the earlier TiVo models. This occurs both with TiVo’s connecting via phone and that are networked (whether wired or wirelessly).

According to TiVo, they are aware of the problem and are working on a resolution. Evidently, the problem does not impact all TiVo users, but we have been unable to discern why some are getting the error and others are not.

Our best suggestion at this point is to just wait it out. Hopefully the problem will be resolved within a day or so. Typically, TiVo is quick to resolve problems once they are aware of them. This one seems to be impacting quite a few customers, so we hope to see the problem fixed quickly.

tivo repair Troubleshooting Help WeaKnees News

TiVo Modem Troubleshooting Help

We’ve got a lot of tips on how to work with modem problems on our general TiVo repair page. But here’s some help specific to the failed, service not answering, and failed, could not connect, error messages with TiVo DVRs, both in initial setups, and in configurations down the road.

OK – here’s what you should try:

The first phone call is to TiVo’s toll-free number, to download a list of local access numbers. Sometimes, for some reason, this number doesn’t function properly, or, in some cases, it’s not reachable from certain phone systems.

Also, on up-and-running TiVo DVRs, there are times that phone line conditions change and keep modems from properly dialing-in.

To get around these problems, you can build in a local number that will access the same network. First, use this page to find your local access number:

TiVo POP finder

Enter your local area code and you should get a list of local numbers that won’t incur long-distance charges. From that list, choose the nearest city. You’ll use that number.

Then, on your TiVo, edit the “dialing prefix” area in the following way, where “num” is the number you just got from the web page above.


To enter a comma on this screen, use the Pause key, and to input the pound (#) symbol, use the Enter key on the remote. The “#096” portion tells the modem to use a slower connection speed, which is better for noisy or low-volume lines. The commas are basically 2-second pauses that are necessary to separate out commands.

So, for a 310 phone number, where you need to dial a 1 plus the area code before each call, you’d get:


which is entered with this key sequence, once in the right field: pause – enter – 0 – 9 – 6 – pause – pause – 1 – 3 – 1 – 0 – 3 – 8 – 8 – 1 – 9 – 0 – 5 – pause

Once you accept and test these settings, the TiVo will try to add its internal phone number on to the end of this sequence, but it really won’t matter since the other phone number in there ahead of it should already be connecting.

If you still have problems, please check the exact syntax of that string above. Each comma and the # are essential!

Customer Contacts TiVo News tivo repair Troubleshooting Help

“Call Interrupted” Problems Seem to NOT be Resolved . . .

We previously wrote about TiVo DVRs having problems dialing in – specifically getting “call interrupted” errors.

Then we wrote to say that TiVo had alerted us that they had fixed the problem.

Well, unfortunately, I’m back to say, that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least for all users. Plenty of our customers are still seeing these dial-in problems. So if you are also, you’re not alone.

TiVo is on the case, but feel free to email us more info on your situation if you’d like, and if you include your 15 digit TiVo Service Number (TSN), we’ll pass it on to TiVo while this problem persists.

Site Change tivo repair WeaKnees News

New TiVo Repair Resource Page

Just a quick note!

We’ve added a TiVo repair resource page to the blog.

This page is a central repository of where to find troubleshooting help, repair services, and parts for your broken TiVo.

More info to come!

miscFAQ Site Change tivo repair Troubleshooting Help WeaKnees News

WeaKnees Now Offers Flat-fee TiVo Repair

At WeaKnees, we have been reviving TiVo DVRs for years through our extensive inventory of replacement parts. Now, with our ability to repair motherboards, we’re offering flat-fee repairs on most non-DirecTV TiVos. This means that for one price, starting at $149, customers can be assured that their TiVo will be repaired, no matter what (or how many!) problems it has.


While $149 may initially seem like a high price when new Dual Tuner TiVos can be purchased for $149, the key is that our repairs retain the customer’s lifetime service, or prepaid service. So if a customer has a lifetime plan on a TiVo DVR covered under this program, they can keep that in place. New lifetime plans from TiVo for new DVRs cost up to $399, so repairing an existing unit often makes much more sense than replacing the unit.

Under this program, we can essentially fix any problem with these units, as long as the unit has not been physically damaged or tampered with (beyond normal hard drive upgrades and installation of replacement parts). So unless it’s been run over by a truck, we’re able to fix it. To date, units we’ve brought in under this program have been revived – 100%.

Another great advantage to choosing our flat-fee option is that customers don’t have to try to diagnose the issues at all. If customers are not sure what’s going on with the unit – of if they just aren’t interested in trying to figure it out – they can just let us do everything.

In addition, for customers looking to upgrade the capacity of their unit while it’s here at WeaKnees, that’s an option with these repairs. We can add capacity, and we can do so at a discount while the unit is here.

Please see the options for models and capacity upgrades on our flat fee TiVo repair page.