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Freezes fixed by rebooting --> capacitor plague?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by danmcd, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. danmcd

    danmcd New Member

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    May 13, 2006
    My symptoms don't *seem* to match anything previously posted.

    * Pre-recorded shows which used to be fine will stutter and freeze.

    * If I reboot, said shows will work okay... but then fail again later.

    * Live TV is affected (goes gray, fixed only by channel changing) when a pre-recorded show causes a freeze.

    I ran a kickstart 54 and got an error code, but I've heard that SMART can give false-positives, and the disk is only 3 months old, so I'm loathe to just replace the disk. I managed to reinstall the OS with kickstart, thinking the drive upgrade (copied from a known-failing previous one) may have corrupted things. (And kickstart 57 didn't seem to do much.)

    And the unit's temperature is fine (41C) --> I've seen and fixed that problem before.

    I will be opening it to check for blown resistors, if any are puffy, then I guess it's time to shop for a new power supply. I can't find anything out there cheaper than $99... ouch.

    If anyone has additional clues, I'd appreciate hearing about them.
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
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    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    From what I've heard KS54 sometimes fails to detect problems, not the reverse. Try reseating the HDD connectors and test again.

    You should be looking for bulging capacitors rather than blown resistors. Capacitor Plague (see wikipedia) is by far the most common failure mechanism for TiVo PS'es. See examples here:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=8824333#post8824333
    You should also check the voltages from the power supply. For instructions see this post:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=9221831#post9221831
    and the following post.

    Before you replace the HDD, you could run a truly definitive test on it. If it's a Western Digital they provide a diagnostics program that runs on Windows and you hook up your drive either directly to a SATA connector on your PC motherboard or via a USB-SATA adapter (less than $20). Then you run the extended test. My understanding is it doesn't destroy any data on the disk as long as no errors are found and that if errors are found your disk is probably failing and should be replaced anyway.
     
  3. danmcd

    danmcd New Member

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    May 13, 2006
    And even so, I'm a Windows-free household, so unless the diagnostic is a bootable DOS disk, or there's a version I can compile, I'm out of luck there. The drive was fine since June, so I doubt it's the connectors.

    I'm definitely looking for puffy caps next time I get time, for sure.

    BTW, anyone know the best place to buy a new power supply? They seem expensive, but I'm nowhere close to being the sort to directly replace caps.

    Thanks!
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    WD also provides a bootable DOS version of their diagnostics that you download and burn to a CD. I think you have to connect with a motherboard SATA connector to use this one.

    weaknees.com is the only place I know that sells PS'es commercially. They are different for every TiVo model but none sell for less than $100. Some are new, some reconditioned and some are "working pulls" (depending on tivo model). I've seen posts where people bought them on ebay for much less. But any used power supply could be just as likely to have the plague as the one you're replacing.

    You can replace the bulging capacitors yourself if you can solder. Parts cost is reportedly around $10. Be sure to get premium "low ESR" caps. There is a guy you can ship your PS to who will replace the bulging ones and ship back to you for $50, including return shipping. AFAIK, he doesn't replace ALL caps and I'm not sure what his test procedures or warranty are. If you are interested in this, PM me and I will provide the link, which is on that "other" forum that it is verboten to mention here.
     
  5. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

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    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    There is a DOS version of the Seagate SeaTools diagnostic utility: http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/
     
  6. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Feb 4, 2008
    I'm pretty sure all of the manufacturers have a drive tool for non-windows machines. Just download it from their site.

    What do you mean you replaced a known failing drive? Did you ever test that one outside of the Tivo? I'm wondering if perhaps that was a power supply problem, but that your new drive just was pulling less power until the PS degraded further.
     
  7. danmcd

    danmcd New Member

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    May 13, 2006
    I'm pretty sure the PSU is nominal, but the 12V feed is measuring 11.25V on my meter, while the other two are measuring per spec (5 and 3.3). Is that missing 0.75V going to be a problem?

    NEVER MIND ---> Putting load on it gave me 0.5V more up to 11.75, which is fine! PSU is good, I fried a drive prematurely.
     
  8. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    what do you mean you fried a drive?
     
  9. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I had a hard time finding a spec for the 12V HDD supply but the only one I did find was +/-10%, which means yours is in spec. If your meter will read AC only (i.e., blocks the DC component) it would be interesting to see how much ripple is on that 12V. Or if you can scope it. I don't know how much is too much but I would guess it should be less than 0.1 V.
     

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