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my tivo bite the dust?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by comgenius1, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. comgenius1

    comgenius1 New Member

    90
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    Feb 15, 2004
    Had an electrician come by yesteday to do some work... I unplugged both of my tivo's before he started to prevent damage. After he was done and gone, I plugged them both back in. A couple hours later, I went back into the room to watch tv, and turned on my tv to the green screen of death on my Premiere XL. I switched over to the elite and while I was watching shows on it, I noticed the XL reboot. I flipped back over to see what was going on, and it came back up to the green screen again. I left it be and checked on it several hours later to discover it in a reboot loop and no more green screen. It seemed like it would get to the point where the THX video was going to play (bootup was getting past the point of the almost there screen going full widescreen), and then blamo, reboot. I tried kickstarts 51, 52, 54, 56 and 58. 54 passed the first 3 tests after which point i stopped it (i was impatient). 51, 52, and 56 did absolutely nothing. I got the blue light showing the kickstart code being accepted, but it never showed any screens about installing updates or contacting home. Last ditch was 58, it booted and displayed an "installing update" on the blue booting background for a little bit, then rebooted and went back into the reboot loop again... I havent tried 51,52 or 56 since though... Has my tivo bit the dust? any other things I could try before calling tivo... The box will be 2 years old in mid may.
     
  2. waterchange

    waterchange Member

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    Jun 29, 2010
    If it were mine, I would replace the hard drive. There's obviously still power and cpu/memory/motherboard are all functioning enough to boot the tivo.
     
  3. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Active Member

    1,125
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    Mar 14, 2010
    You never know when the DVR is doing something critical when we unplug it. The odds are that it isn't, and that's how it works. I've had this happen to people with other DVR's as well. It can be frustrating after have done the proper thing and disconnected it from power off the grid.
     
  4. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    1,588
    1
    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    It may be that something had failed since the last time it booted (maybe a spot on the hard drive, maybe a capacitor, whatever) and the unit was doomed to fail the next time it rebooted. Read up on the more common hard drive and power supply issues.
     
  5. comgenius1

    comgenius1 New Member

    90
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    Feb 15, 2004
    If i were to get a new HD and use the tools found on the forum to copy the drive over, what are the odds that a, it will work and b, I will be able to recover my recording?
     
  6. mattack

    mattack Active Member

    20,734
    4
    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    You can't copy the drive from one (unhacked) Tivo to another.. the recordings won't play since they're tied to that specific Tivo.

    But you MIGHT be able to recover your recordings to a new drive -- I'm not sure. I have a drive in a reboot loop (not at the green screen, but basically all the way when it would be back at the main Tivo menu, it reboots). I hope to play around with the hacking tools when the drives come back down in price.. (At first, I'll make a backup, and let the Tivo try to fsck the drive.. which is the green screen AFAIK.. but I have the backup so that if that doesn't work but that hoses the drive even more, I can then try other means like manually copying partitions.)
     
  7. comgenius1

    comgenius1 New Member

    90
    0
    Feb 15, 2004
    I was mainly looking to copy the existing tivo drive to a new one in hopes to recover the recordings. I wasnt looking to copy a drive from a different tivo.
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You can "Xerox" your present hard drive to another hard drive of equal size or perhaps larger (using one of the variants of the dd utility) and put it into your present TiVo, and your recordings (which are tied to the TiVo Service Number of that particular TiVo motherboard) will still be there. You just have to hope that the software that runs the TiVo wasn't scrambled too badly for the TiVo to fix.

    As far as I know, there haven't been any reports of S4s having the same power supply problems which have plagued some S2s and S3s.

    Something you could try is to

    take the hard drive out of that XL,

    see what the model number is (I'm assuming it's a Western Digital),

    go to the WD website,

    search for that number,

    click on "downloads" on the results page,

    and download the image file for a bootable cd with the WD diagnostic software on it,

    burn it as an image to a cd-r,

    disconnect your Windows drive,

    hook up the TiVo's drive and boot the computer with that WD cd,

    and run the short test and then run the long test, to make sure whether the problem is the drive itself or the software on the drive.
     
  9. comgenius1

    comgenius1 New Member

    90
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    Feb 15, 2004
    I let the kickstart 54 run though the extended SMART test last night and came back with a "Fail 7" so bad HD.... Going to try xeroxing the drive to a 1tb i have laying around to see if I can recover the shows i have on there...
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You might want to take the time to run the manufacturer's long diagnostic on the target drive before copying to it to be sure you can have confidence in it.
     
  11. comgenius1

    comgenius1 New Member

    90
    0
    Feb 15, 2004
    I used jmfs to copy the tivo drive to another 1tb drive and it came back with zero errors... put new drive in the tivo, still in reboot loop... tried kickstart 57, went to green screen for a bit, rebooted and went back to reboot loop. Tried kickstart 58, said something about installing update for a few minutes, went back to reboot loop. Then on one of its reboots, it went into a quick reboot loop (rebooting like every 5 seconds, wouldnt even make it to the "welcome powering up" screen before it rebooted again). power cycled the box and it went back to the normal reboot loop.

    Makes me wonder if this is a hard drive issue or a mainboard issue or both. Checked output voltages on power supply and they are where they should be. Time to call tivo support...
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Do you happen to have a very good friend who also owns a Premiere XL?

    I would suggest taking that new drive that doesn't seem to be working any better than the old drive and using the copy function of jmfs or some other dd variant and "Xeroxing" a known good XL drive to it and trying that out on the theory that the original drive from yours has some subtle screwup in the software that it can't repair.

    That would let you rule in or rule out the motherboard being the problem.
     
  13. rainbow

    rainbow Member

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    Feb 7, 2008
    let us know the outcome of your contact with tivo support
     
  14. Cap'n Preshoot

    Cap'n Preshoot New Member

    72
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    Apr 25, 2011
    Katy, TX
    I too have one of my two TIVO Premiers currently looping through the GSOD every few minutes. :mad:

    The main difference is that I (apparently wisely) bought the extended warranty. It's "factory stock" in every way, though I have been tempted several times to upgrade the HDD to a 2TB Western Digital, but so far haven't for fear that I might p*** in the grits as the saying goes and invalidate that warranty.

    I have not yet called TIVO Customer Support, but will soon. The GSOD began this morning and has been in that condition for about 12 hours now, so I assume it's toast.

    Both of my TIVOs are on fairly upper-tier Tripp-Lite (USA made) big 1400 VA UPS' primarily because I don't like to miss shows that I know are set to record. For the same reason all of my major network recordings are done via an OTA antenna, again because i don't trust the cable company and don't like missing episodes because of someone else's stupidity. For that same reason I use landline DSL, again to usurp the uncontrollable variables with Comcrap's internet service.

    As I said, I have two of the base-model Premiers, but would hate to lose a couple of the recordings. Depending on what TIVO CS tells me, I may try some of the suggested recovery methods.

    Of course bottom line is that TIVO does not use a high-end WDD "Black" drive, settling instead for the much cheaper WDD "Green" series drives, which I know from experience on other platforms are pretty much crap and not well known for lasting much beyond the 30,000 hr point . I'm a firm believer in the old saying that you get what you pay for, so if TIVO's 'offer' isn't paletable I'll probably go out and buy a 'black' drive & come back here for replacement details, etc.

    Film at 11
    .
     
  15. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Caviar Blacks are nice, but they run might toasty due to the higher than needed for a TiVo RPM.

    Might want to figure out how to splice in a separate fan just for the drive.
     
  16. Cap'n Preshoot

    Cap'n Preshoot New Member

    72
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    Apr 25, 2011
    Katy, TX
    point well taken :) I have a "black" 1TB currently sitting in a portable HDD SATA docking station. It hauls the mail though it does run a bit warm. The heat doesn't seem to bother it though.

    Seems I recall back in our E* days we had a 722 that would keep your coffee warm, and before that back in the H-card daze with a couple of the old D* rcvrs you could probably have *made* coffee

    ...fond memories of "feeling the joy" and days of enjoying "bneers" and "testing" emulators :D
     
  17. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Yeah, but the heat sink on the original socket 4 Pentium 60s and 66s made it that much easier to use them as waffle irons.:D
     
  18. Cap'n Preshoot

    Cap'n Preshoot New Member

    72
    0
    Apr 25, 2011
    Katy, TX
    Okay, so I caller TIVO customer support today & confirmed that one of my 22-month-old Premier (base-model) TIVOs has indeed bitten the dust. HD failure, as suspected.

    The good news is that I have an extended warranty for both units :) I seldom purchase an E/W for my cars, but always buy them for the home entertainment stuff and more than 50% of the time wind up collecting.

    Anyway, since it is covered by the E/W, TIVO is sending out a brand-new unit via advance replacement. They did require a deposit ($99) which will be fully refunded upon TIVO's receipt of the defective return. They absorb shipping both ways, so at the end of the day I will be out nothing, other than the loss of a few recordings and some inconvenience.

    They also stated that they will transfer my lifetime sub to the new unit. I asked them to confirm this, and the young lady said "yes" the subscription will be transferred to the replacement unit. Hmmm... did this policy recently change or is it because I have the E/W? I didn't think they would transfer your lifetime sub, but she assurred me that they would.

    All in all (so far anyway) I have to say it's been a mostly positive experience, other than having the master bedroom unit out of commission for a few days.

    Oh dear G_d I almost forgot the worst part.... there's a Comcast cablecard in it that will have to be swapped, so I suppose I'll have to spend 3 hours on the phone with 'Mushabir' (the teledroid from h***) trying to get him to understand that he cannot help me and I really do need to be connected to Comcast;s tier-2 support. G_d forbid it should be plug-'n-play :eek:

    Further follow-up forthcoming after the replacement arrives.
     
  19. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

    10,116
    73
    Jul 6, 2002
    boston'ish
    Tivo warranty and extended warranty replacements have ALWAYS included a lifetime transfer, it'd be pretty useless if it didn't.
     
  20. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Keep in mind that the extended warranty on that Premiere is now "used up".
    If that one ever bites the dust, you will just have to fix it yourself.
    I recommend that you back up/upgrade the new Premiere hard drive with the JMFS software.
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=455968

    Run guided setup, get cablecards paired (if applicable), set up season passes, etc., and then use JMFS to backup the hard drive to another one that you can put on the shelf, or just upgrade the Premiere to 2TB and put the original hard drive on the shelf.
     

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