Getting Tivo Desktop to work
Nov 30, 2006 at 12:18:07 AM (Updated: Dec 5, 2006 at 4:38:39 PM) | #1
This may be buried somewhere in the forums but I thought I'd drop my experiences with installing Tivo Desktop 2.3a and subsequent problems in here so others with similar problems can learn.
I reformatted my computer so I needed to completely reinstall the TivoToGo/Desktop service and program.
Once installed, it complained that there was an incorrect parameter and the program froze on startup.
A few google searches later revealed that this might be due to an unusable file path to tell TivoToGo where to store the transferred shows. I also noticed that TivoServer was not running as displayed by a little X'd out icon in my system tray near the clock.
While I installed the Tivo Desktop program I directed it to transfer shows to the root of one of my drives that had the most space. This was incorrect however, evidentally you need to direct it to trasfer to a specific folder.
If you're getting the incorrect parameter prompt and the program freezes Control+Alt+Delete to pull up the windows task manager and end the Tivo Desktop process.
Next create a new folder on the drive you want to download your files to and name it whatever you want. Then open your start menu and go to All Programs, find the newly installed Tivo Desktop program folder. Inside should be a link to Tivo Server, open this. It should prompt you to find a folder to transfer your video to, navigate to and select the folder you just created.
This got my Tivo Desktop working. If yours is still not working check the following:
There are 4 main processes that run in the background for Tivo TivoToGo/Desktop and any one of them could be the cause of your problems.
Check to make sure that all of the following are running on your system.
To check press Control+Alt+Delete to bring up the task manager and click the tab that says processes. To make it easier to spot these you can alphabetize the list by clicking where it says Image Name above the process names.
If TivoServer is not running try what I outlined above.
However if TivoBeacon is not running it's something different.
Try going to
Start Menu > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services
Go Down the list to see if TivoBeacon appears in it, if it is there then make sure it says "Started" next to it. If it doesn't say anything next to it or says something other than started make sure you right click on it and select start. You could also try restart.
Another way to check/start TivoBeacon is to pull up the command window
go to Start Menu > Run and type cmd into the prompt
This should bring up the command prompt window.
type the following: NET START "Tivo Beacon"
You can also try to restart it by issuing the following commands:
NET STOP "Tivo Beacon"
NET START "Tivo Beacon"
if the command gives you an error along the lines of "the Tivo Beacon service does not exist" or you do not find it in the services list of the administrative service tool then it's a good idea to uninstall the tivo desktop program, reboot the computer, re-download the installer and re-install
a good precaution whenever you're trying to figure out problems is to turn off any firewalls any anti-virus and anti-spyware protection tools while you install and while you're trying to get the program to work.
Additionally, it can help to refresh all the IP addresses in your house by power cycling the router (simply unplug for 30+ seconds and power it back up) This will give your Tivo a new IP at the same time your computer gets one which allows both of them a fresh chance to see and to connect with each other.
Also, make sure that if your router has built in firewall that it is set up appropriately for network traffic to get from your computer to the Tivo and vice-versa (that is beyond the scope of this)
Hopefully that helps someone out,
- Fireborn Silvaranth
Dec 1, 2007 at 4:04:27 PM | #2
Dear Fireborn, your thorough analysis above is the closest thing I have seen to solving my problem. Unfortunately it did not solve the problem but you are still my best hope.
First off I am trying to install 2.5.1 ( I am a new user and have never had any prior versions). I tried everything you suggested including reinstalling and refreshing the IP addresses.
One thing I cannot do is open TiVo Server. I get the same error message that I get when I try to open the desktop - "TiVo Server Error - The parameter is incorrect"
TiVo Beacon is running, but TiVo Server is not. I don't think it can find the server. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Jan 17, 2008 at 1:35:37 PM | #3
I'm having the same problem post-2.5 update. Was working fine, did the update, is broken. I've uninstalled, rebooted, reinstalled, etc... The only clue is the cryptic message "Incorrect Parameter"...
I notice that this thread has been unanswered to for over a year now. It's nice to see that Tivo has jumped right on this one. Must be on the same fix list as "Allow changes to Portables directory"....
Jan 17, 2008 at 2:48:00 PM | #4
A quick search on the text of the error message yields several thread with different causes.
The common feature is that the pathname of the resource that TiVo desktop is looking for is either wrong or missing. In one case the user specified the location of the My TiVo Recordings folder be at the root of a drive, which confused the installer and caused an extra backslash to be stored in the registry for that path name. In another case, the user had moved or deleted his Temp folder and TiVo Desktop was unable to find it.
There is a registry cleaner at the TiVo website where you found the TiVo Desktop installation file. Try running that and then installing again, being careful to choose the default file locations and see if that helps. You should still be able to move things later, just avoid picking the root of a filesystem.
Jan 17, 2008 at 3:21:07 PM | #5
Thanks. The directory in question was not a root directory, and was working on v2.3 immediately prior to the upgrade. Clearly this a bug in the installation kit.
In my case, the TTG install/app seems to erase the already configured folder and default the location to the My Documents path. The app also appears to be unable to deal with a My Documents folder that is not located on the machine itself. Subsequent edits of the register have resolved the issue, and the "portables" folder for converted files was relocated as well.
In the end, kudos to the users at Tivo Community and two thumbs down to Tivo for failing to address this simple issue or at least include a descriptive error message.
Jan 17, 2008 at 6:15:46 PM | #6
TiVo did say at CES that they plan on providing an update to TiVo Desktop in March. Let's hope fixes for this and a few other bugs are in it.
This is a peer support forum, we are all customers here.
May 19, 2008 at 9:21:23 PM | #7
I checked my registry after getting this error, and I had a reference to L:\\My Tivo recordings...
I changed this to L:\My Tivo Recordings and it started correctly
(removed the second \)
This was under HKEY_Current_User\Software\Tivo\Desktop\Modules\TivoNowPlaying\Config\Local RootPath
Sep 2, 2008 at 9:25:30 PM | #8
-- parameter incorrect --
Nice alert message Tivo. Why not try My tivo Recordings folder missing or incorrect. Just an Idea !
I found that If I did a search for the "My Tivo Recordings" folder and deleted all instances of this file. When I restarted the tivo server it then asked me to locate the folder. So I browsed to where I wanted the folder to be created it and clicked ok. All seems well... Good luck!!!