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HD tivo having odd issues

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by robobrien, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Oct 5, 2013 #1 of 15
    robobrien

    robobrien New Member

    8
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    Oct 5, 2013
    NJ
    I have an older (2008) Tivo HD (160 GB) with and expansion 1 TB external drive that has been running fine for years.

    Over the past two weeks it has been hanging frequently. It will become unresponsive to the remote and only display a black or gray screen. A hard reboot will bring it back to normal for a random amount of time. Sometimes it hangs on reboot, sometimes it reboots fine and goes for hours before it hangs again, but I haven't gotten to to last more than 12 hours or so before it hangs.

    My first thought is a hard drive issue, so I booted it into kickstart 54 and ran the S.M.A.R.T tests, and the initial quick ones pass but when it goes into the longer deeper tests, i get the freeze again (unresponsive to remote, only displaying black screen). I tried to individually test the internal drive and the external expansion drive and the same thing. It hangs before it finishes the test.

    I am under the impression that the S.M.A.R.T. tests are run from the bios, not from the hard drive itself, so would the fact that the unit fails when trying to run those tests indicate an issue other than hard drive?

    I would like to preserve what I have recorded, so would attempt to clone the drive and replace it, if that is the issue, but was wondering if anyone else has seen this?
     
  2. Oct 5, 2013 #2 of 15
    squint

    squint New Member

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    Jun 15, 2008
  3. Oct 5, 2013 #3 of 15
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
    16
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Look at the caps on your power supply. Even a slight bulge, as shown here:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=8750894#post8750894
    means at least that cap should be replaced, preferably most or all such caps, or replace the power supply. If at all possible, check the voltages with everything still connected to the power supply -- warning shock hazard!
    Red 5V, Yellow 12V, Orange 3.3V, Black -- ground, 0V.

    If the PS checks OK, a failing hard drive is most likely. Connect the drives to a PC and run mfr's extended diagnostics. Western Digital's tool can be downloaded here:
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...=JuVeUvU14ZuOlo_2QDEnfQ&bvm=bv.53537100,d.aWc

    If you have a bad drive, my recommendation would be to change to a single internal drive configuration with 1 or 2 TB capacity. Plenty of help and info for this upgrade is available here if you're interested.
     
  4. Oct 5, 2013 #4 of 15
    robobrien

    robobrien New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 5, 2013
    NJ
    Thanks guys, for the links and ideas. I will open the case tonight and look at the capacitors.
     
  5. Oct 5, 2013 #5 of 15
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    By all means eliminate power supply problems as a source of trouble before attempting further troubleshooting, so as to avoid being misled--failing power supplies cause all sorts of strange symptoms.

    But instead of trusting KS 54, pull the internal drive and hook it to a PC and run the manufacturer's own diagnostic software long test.

    What you need should be on the Ultimate Boot CD, and booting from it prevents any chance, however slim, of Windows messing up the bootpage on the TiVo drive.

    Since you have an external drive as well, that introduces the chance of the eSATA cable or the power supply and "internals" of the enclosure causing trouble also.
     
  6. Oct 6, 2013 #6 of 15
    robobrien

    robobrien New Member

    8
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    Oct 5, 2013
    NJ
    Follow up

    I opened the case and one of the capacitors on the power supply is definitely popped. The rest look fine. I will address that first, then I can move on from there if the problem persists.

    Thanks for the pointers so far.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Oct 6, 2013 #7 of 15
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
    16
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Consider replacing all the electrolytics or at least the several largest ones. There is a parts list posted here which you can find or someone will give you a link. Very important to get Low-ESR, 105C temperature-rated caps. I know Mouser is one of the good places to get them. Unfortunately "new" power supplies are available from weaknees.com but they cost $100. And it isn't clear whether they may have caps subject to capacitor disease. Warranty is just 30 days IIRC.
    EDIT: Correction, looks like the warranty is 90 days. Sorry.

    Other than just replacing caps, to truly assess power supply condition requires not only measuring the (DC) voltages (under normal load) but also looking at the ripple (AC) component with a scope or other suitable instrument. I would guess most cases can be detected without the ripple measurements -- but not all of them.
     
  8. Oct 6, 2013 #8 of 15
    squint

    squint New Member

    846
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    Jun 15, 2008
    In the long thread on this subject, one person had their Weaknees power supply last barely over a year:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=9159368#post9159368

    I bought a dead Tivo HD power supply for next to nothing and fixed it up with 3 capacitors that cost about $4 total.
     
  9. Oct 9, 2013 #9 of 15
    robobrien

    robobrien New Member

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    0
    Oct 5, 2013
    NJ
    Thanks again for all the detail, very very helpful.

    I've purchased the same model used HD Tivo from ebay for cheap. If the power supply caps are good on that one, I'll swap out the power supplies and then use my power supply as the guinea pig to replace the caps myself. If all works well, I'll have two working HD Tivos and can replace the Verizon DVR i have in the bedroom.

    I'll follow up eventually with my results.
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    I'm seeing HDs on Craigslist for $25 in a couple of locations so far.

    Of course those aren't locations anywhere near me. :rolleyes:
     
  11. robobrien

    robobrien New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 5, 2013
    NJ
    Well...it doesn't look like it's the power supply. I got a used HD Tivo on ebay...all the caps on the power supply looked good, so I swapped out the power supplies and just short of 24 hours later, I started seeing the same issues

    so I pulled out my hard drive and grabbed the Ultimate Boot CD so I could run the offline Western Digital tests, but all my old desktops lying around are not SATA, so I will have to see if I can scrounge one somewhere.

    In the meantime, I took the Hard drive from the used Tivo and put it into my chassis (which still has the used Tivo's power supply) to see if it that would give me a stable box to, at least, watch TV as I played with the different parts.

    So far, i haven't seen the same symptoms yet. We'll see how it goes. I'm interested to see how the hard drive tests out....
     
  12. robobrien

    robobrien New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 5, 2013
    NJ
    I managed to find a SATA desktop to use and ran the WD Data Lifeguard diagnostics on my hard drive and the quick test passed fine, but the Extended test dies due to too many errors.

    So, this has either been a hard drive issue all along, or the questionable power supply started causing hard drive errors.

    Anyway, my goal is to keep the recordings I have, so today, I booted up my SATA desktop with a Knoppix live CD and used dd_rescue to try to recover all my data from the bad hard drive.

    I used the information in this forum post: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=190306

    to get the command

    dd_rescue -B 1b -b 2M -A -v -l /var/dd_rescue.log /dev/sda /dev/sdb

    where sda was the bad drive and sdb is the replacement drive.

    according to the logs, it finished successfully and transferred all the data. I ran the Data Lifeguard Diagnostics on the new replacement drive (that should now have all my data) and it tests clean.

    So, I will throw it in my Tivo tonight and see if it worked.

    ***note***
    I originally booted the desktop into an ubuntu live cd and it did not have dd_rescue or ddrescue (which are two different applications). Then I booted into an ubuntu rescue CD and it had ddrescue but not dd_rescue. I ran ddrescue, with slightly different flags than above, since it did not support all the flags and it only transferred about 7 GB of data, saying the other 153 GB were errored out.

    That is when i found an old Knoppix Live CD and booted to that and confirmed it had dd_rescue which seemed to do the trick.
     
  13. robobrien

    robobrien New Member

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    0
    Oct 5, 2013
    NJ
    Looking good. I put the replacement hard drive with the data that was transferred via dd_rescue and booted up Tivo. I booted it up first into Kickstart 57, just in case. Once that finished, it booted up fine and had all my recordings. Now just need to give it some time running to make sure the original issues are all gone.

    Thanks again to the people on the forum for providing such detailed info.
     
  14. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    The MFS Live cd v1.4 has

    dd

    and

    dd_rescue

    and

    hdparm

    and

    pdisk

    and

    fdisk

    and some other useful stuff that makes it handy to have around even if you do all your backup imaging and drive upgrades with WinMFS.

    And the Ultimate Boot CD has most of the hard drive manufacturers' diagnostic software programs on it in addition to lots of other stuff, so it doesn't hurt to have a copy of it as well.
     
  15. robobrien

    robobrien New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 5, 2013
    NJ
    Thanks Unitron. I was actually going to download the MFS Live CD today. I already have the Ultimate Boot CD....that tool is great.

    My next project is to get the used Tivo I got off of ebay upgraded and running well, so the more tools I have at my disposal, the better off I will be.

    Thanks again for your help.
     

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