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Need help with TivoHD

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by alanpwagstaff, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. alanpwagstaff

    alanpwagstaff Alanpwagstaff

    6
    0
    Jan 3, 2011
    I have a TivoHD that died recently. It was no longer able to make it past the first welcome screen. After a quick web search suggested this was from a bad hard drive. I have tried several different hard drive solutions from other working Tivos and have not yet had this Tivo boot. I also used various check disk utilities on the hard drive and it has always been fine.

    The other suggestion was that this could be from a bad power delivery to the hard drive. This evening I tried booting from a external hard drive so that it was not powered by the tivo. This also hung at the first welcome screen.

    What other suggestions are there to track down what may be going wrong? I am motivated to fix this machine as I have lifetime service and would hate to lose that.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.
    Alan
     
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,997
    18
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Suspect the power supply. Look for bulging caps. Check the voltages.
    Wire Color Voltage

    black Ground
    red 5V +/-5%
    yellow 12V +/-10%
    orange 3.3V +/- ??

    Don't disconnect anything and BEWARE OF SHOCK HAZARD. Stick the voltmeter probes into the molex connector on the main board where all these different colored wires go into the back, or touch the solder pads where they connect to the PS board.

    I'm giving abbreviated instructions because I see from your other posts you are not a noobie when it comes to swapping drives and drive images.

    More details on what you've done would be helpful, however. What model TiVo did the drives you subbed in come from? How did you connect the drive you tried with an external power source? You do know if you swap in a drive from another TiVoHD, you have to do a Clear-And-Delete-all, and on most systems will have to re-pair your CableCARD's (?). I suspect a drive from any other model TiVo than a Tivo HD would not work at all. How did you ensure that the "various check disk utilities" didn't corrupt the drive?
     
  3. alanpwagstaff

    alanpwagstaff Alanpwagstaff

    6
    0
    Jan 3, 2011
    A few more details.
    So I have 2 TivoHDs (TCD652160) with 160GB Western Digital hard drives. So swapping drives was identical and now have clean install image from unitron (thanks btw, and I tried setting up drop box to get your more space but I didn't see a way to give you the credit).

    I do also have a 1 TB drive that I bought to extend the space of one of the Tivos. This was an external drive that connected to it's own power source and used eSATA to connect in. I used winMFS to add that more than a year before I had any troubles.

    The tivo with the extra drive is the one that died. To make room for the olympics coverage I swapped the extra 1 TB drive over to the good tivo and extended it and it has been recordring all the olympics broadcast coverage you could want to watch. (insert bad commentator joke here).

    Last night I powered down the good tivo, removed the 1 TB drive and installed the freshly imaged 160GB drive into the external case. With the bad tivo disassembled, I used the eSata to on board SATA connector from the case along with the eSATA cable to connect the 160 GB drive in. I left the combined eSATA and Power connector inside the Tivo dangling.

    It still was stuck in the infinite loop of welcome screen, but I could hear it access the hard drive before the black screen and then back to welcome. I did also try plugging the drive into the 2nd SATA port, but then it just goes to the gray screen.

    One other fact of note is that the fan on this tivo had been making bad noises for quite some time, and the thermal area of this tivo was not good (I have an always on Denon Amplifier sitting on top, and in a semi-small enclosure below the TV).

    The (I assume) processor, does heat up it's heat sink quite noticeably after about 5 minutes, but I would assume I wouldn't get a Welcome screen if I had overheated the processor.

    I have these both hooked up to an antenna, so no cable cards to monkey with.

    Let me know if any other details could help.
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,997
    18
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    This is getting too confusing for me -- I'll let someone with more expertise try to understand what you're doing and advise you.

    One thing I do know, however: You don't have to guess whether a TiVo HD is running too hot. The internal temperature is available in System Information. Typically it runs 40 - 45 C but IIRC, anything up to 50C is considered acceptable.

    Also, you should check the power supplies in both units at least as a precaution. There are a lot of posts on this forum of people having PS failures in Series 3 (S3 and HD) models. The capacitor cans should not have even the slightest bulging.
     
  5. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

    4,062
    6
    Feb 4, 2008
    You left out an important fact in the OP. You did not mention the external disk. That is always suspect #1, and the first thing to do is to replace with a known good cable. If not the cable, then it could be the connectivity (some don't seem to connect well) and/or that drive is bad.

    I suspect that the tivo drive itself never had an issue.
     
  6. alanpwagstaff

    alanpwagstaff Alanpwagstaff

    6
    0
    Jan 3, 2011
    The external disk is currently operating and working fine today. With its associated cables and power sources. Unless that corrupted something inside the now bad tivo, with out damaging itself, I don't understand how it can be a factor at this point.
     
  7. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    392
    8
    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    Y have tried a lot of stuff to find the problem, but it is not clear to me that you have logically worked through isolating each component. Maybe it is just that I couldn't dig it out of all the information in your posts. But since you have two identical units, your troubleshooting tasks should be very simple.

    Start by opening both units. I think you said you have a fresh image on a new drive - that is good, since it removes any possibility that you might mess up the recordings on your working unit. Follow these steps:
    1. Put new drive in working unit - if it boots, then you are guaranteed that the drive and image are good.
    2. Put same drive in the bad unit - if it does not boot, you know the drive is not the problem.
    3. Swap the power supplies - if the problem moves to the other unit, you know the power supply IS the problem.
    4. If the problem is still with the original unit (proving both power supplies are good), swap the mother boards. This is simply to prove that there is not some other component on the chassis that could be causing problems (highly unlikely, but worth this final test before you spend lots of money on outside repair). If the problem follows the MB, you will then have to find some place capable of actually working on the electronics to find the specific bad component on the board.
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    The way for me and the other person to get extra free space from someone else opening up a DropBox account is for them to ask me to for an invite, and then I send them a link to click.
     
  9. insuranceguy

    insuranceguy New Member

    1
    0
    Feb 20, 2013
    I just bought a used series 3. I don't have cable cards yet, but plugged in the machine just to make sure it would work. No lights are coming on in the front panel. Do the cable cards need to be in to make it work?
     
  10. WO312

    WO312 Active Member

    1,372
    0
    Jan 24, 2003
    Finger...
    It should boot up and show you the menu, and you should be able to navigate around without cablecards.

    Does it boot up?
     
  11. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    The most likely explanation is that one or more capacitors in the power supply need replacing.

    Do you own a soldering iron or gun? What wattage?

    Do you own a #10 Torx bit?
     

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