1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Please Help! Tivo Keeps Restarting!

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by platinumkid222, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Jan 10, 2008 #201 of 1060
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    The prognosis is not good. It should not "cycle" at all. The GSOD should appear static and within a few minutes to a few hours TiVo should reboot normally.

    You might try unplugging it if it's still doing that and run KS58 but I'm afraid that your HDD may have seen better days.
     
  2. Jan 10, 2008 #202 of 1060
    gardibolt

    gardibolt New Member

    16
    0
    Aug 19, 2005
    That's what I was afraid of. At least my DVRupgrade kit came in the mail last night, so if unplugging doesn't help I'll just change it out. Thanks.

    Nope, unplugging just leads to Powering Up, Almost There, GSOD, Powering Up etc. RIP lil TiVo.
     
  3. Jan 10, 2008 #203 of 1060
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,384
    0
    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    If you had a new bare drive you could try copying your "bad" drive to your new bare one using MFSLive to save your programs. (Without gaurantees that it would even work).

    But looks like you have a preformatted drive coming so that won't be an option. :(
     
  4. Jan 10, 2008 #204 of 1060
    gardibolt

    gardibolt New Member

    16
    0
    Aug 19, 2005
    KS 58 didn't work either. Said it was installing a service update, then Powering Up, Almost There, GSOD.....
     
  5. Jan 10, 2008 #205 of 1060
    Flappjakk

    Flappjakk New Member

    55
    0
    Feb 22, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    About 2 days ago (01-08-08) my Series 3 Tivo started having some problems too. It started out being very sliggish to respond to the remote, then not responding at all and on at least 1 occasion rebooted. I unplugged the power, waited a few seconds and plugged it back in. That seemed to fix it for about 5 minutes then it was sluggish again. I thought maybe it was busy doing something off in the background so i went in the other room to watch tv and forgot about it until the next day. So last night (01-09-08) I turned on the TV and the same thing was happening with the Tivo. I did some quick research and found that things from weak remote batteries, to bad cable cards, to dieing hard drives can cause my problems. So I did the easiest first by replacing the bateries in the remote. That didn't help. I checked all the connections at the Tivo and they were all tight. I pulled out both cable cards and suddenly it started working OK again. I tried putting one card in at a time, but that doesn't seem to work out too well. It seems that once a cable card is assigned by the cable company, Comcast in my case, it doesn't like to move around to different slots. So I never did narrow the problem to a specific cable card, but Tivo seems to work fine with no cable cards, and be sliggish with both. Comcast is coming out on Tuesday (01-15-08) to replace my cards, but I'm not totally conviced that's the problem yet. I've left Tivo on all last night and it was fine this morning, so hopefully when I get home tonight I can try it out and be more satisfied that the cable card(s) are the problem.

    Rich, thanks for mentioning the Kickstarts at the beginning of this thread. I'll give some of those a try to see if they help anything out. Even though things seem to point at the cable cards, I'm worried that my hard drive is starting to fail. I've had this Tivo for almost exactly 1 year, I'd hate to think the hard drive would fail that soon, but it is a Western Digital after all.

    If anyone else has any ideas, they would be greatly appreciated.
     
  6. Jan 10, 2008 #206 of 1060
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    This kind of issue has been reported before. (More on this thread.) It could be a cableco/cable card issue or TiVo processor problem but based on your post probably not the HDD so I don't think any of the kickstarts will resolve the issue.

    Try unplugging TiVo, remove your coax cable and plugging TiVo back in. If it fires up and runs fine, it could be a cable issue or a TiVo hardware problem.

    Also, if you have a broadband network connection, try unplugging it and see if that makes any difference. IIRC there are a couple of posts that indicated that the OP's had a bad USB wireless device or that their network was causing them problems. But again in your case it sounds more like a processing issue.

    You could also try running guided setup again. That apparently took care of similar problems for some others.

    Have the tech try new cable cards and check the signal. IIRC the recommend signal strength should be -10 to +10 dBmV with a SNR of 31-32. The tech should be putting a device on the line at the TiVo connection point to measure the signal.

    If all of that doesn't help you'll probably need to call TiVo and get an exchange unit. If it's within a year they'll give you another box for $49. Even if it's over a year old there are folks that have gotten them to exchange it for the $49 fee anyway.
     
  7. Jan 10, 2008 #207 of 1060
    Flappjakk

    Flappjakk New Member

    55
    0
    Feb 22, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    As usual, you're the man Rich!

    My problems appear mostly identical to those mentioned in the thread you linked. It seems like returning the Tivo was the most popular solution. I'd like to know what the real problem was though. If it's the hard drive, I wouldnt mind upgrading to something bigger rather than getting a whole new unit. I'll try the things you suggested and depending on the outcome of that and the cable guy's visit, we'll see what I have to do.
     
  8. Jan 10, 2008 #208 of 1060
    Flappjakk

    Flappjakk New Member

    55
    0
    Feb 22, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    When I got home today I started messing with Tivo. The cable cards are still removed, and it was being very slow in the Now Playing menus. I haven't tried powering down, removing the coax and powering back up, but here's what I did do.

    I reran Guided Setup and that didn't seem to help, but with the cable cards removed I am now only getting the SD and unencrypted HD channels that Comcast is sending over the wire. After rerunning Guided Setup, I was navigating menus and it was still slow. I changed both tuners to an HD channel and the slow down got worse, video was pixelating, audio dropped out and it stopped responding to the remote. While it was freaking out I disconnected the ethernet cable, no help (my Tivo is wired to an ethernet-wireless bridge with an xbox 360, ps3 and a PC all of which are on the network fine). I then unplugged the coax cable and it started working fine again. I plugged the cable back in, got it to freak out again and it rebooted. I think it's safe to say it's not the cable cards since they weren't even plugged in.

    If it were a cable problem, would my other Tivos or TVs have problems too? The Tivo HD (also with 2 Cable Cards) and my Series 2s are both running fine. One Series 2 is connected directly to the cable line, the other is hanging off a cable box.

    I'll try rebooting with the coax cable unplugged but other than that, I don't really know what else to do. I doubt Comcast will be able to help. Should I call Tivo back, let them know what happened and get the replacement process started?
     
  9. Jan 10, 2008 #209 of 1060
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,384
    0
    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    If I were in your shoes, I would look at this as an opportunity to upgrade to a larger internal harddrive.

    Sounds like your not convinced it is your drive, so why not remove it from your Tivo and connect it to a PC and run the manufacturer's diagnostics on it?

    (This assumes you have an available PC with SATA connection on the motherboard.)

    How old is your S3? Don't they charge $50 for labor if within 1 yr? Out of warranty is like $150 right?

    http://www.tivo.com/buytivo/tivodvrlimitedwarranty.html
     
  10. Jan 10, 2008 #210 of 1060
    Flappjakk

    Flappjakk New Member

    55
    0
    Feb 22, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    I've had this Series 3 for just a few days over 1 year. I wouldn't mind making this an opportunity to upgrade to a bigger drive, but I don't want to go through all that and have it not be the problem. Will Tivo take a machine back if I open it up and upgrade the drive? I obviously wouldn't send them my new drive if the drive turns out to not be the problem. I just ran the Kickstart 57. I didn't watch it run, but it's been done for at least 10 minutes and it's sitting trying to display the Tivo Central screen and isn't progressing very fast. Even the background spot light things are moving very choppy and slow. If we think the drive is the problem, I'll take it out and run some tests.
     
  11. Jan 10, 2008 #211 of 1060
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,384
    0
    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    Your S3 doesn't have any seals on it. They wouldn't need to know you took out the drive to test it in a PC.

    I think it is a safe bet that the drive failing. If you have an available (newer) PC with internal SATA connectors, then testing the drive next is a no brainer, IMO.
     
  12. Jan 10, 2008 #212 of 1060
    Flappjakk

    Flappjakk New Member

    55
    0
    Feb 22, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    Ok, that sounds like a plan. I'll take the drive out and run the tests. If the drive does turn out to be the failing, how would I get the Tivo software onto a new drive? Would I have to buy a drive with Tivo SW preinstalled from a place like weeknees? If the drive isn't completely dead maybe I can copy it from the old to the new without problem?

    I've never had a Tivo apart before, nevermind upgrade the harddrive. Any tips are appreciated.
     
  13. Jan 10, 2008 #213 of 1060
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,384
    0
    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    You are sure you have a SATA motherboard in your PC? The internal drive of the S3 is SATA, not IDE.

    #1 You can buy a preformatted drive from weeknees.

    #2 Buy a bare drive and try to copy your current drive to it using tools at MFSLive. It will probably bring over all the problems, but you should then be able to do a KS 52 and reinstall the software cleanly. This assumes the portion of the drive containing the installation data is intact.

    #3 InstantCake. With an S2 this is usually my first choice. But last I heard was IC S3 image requires the use of a IDE->SATA adapter which seems silly. Not sure if this is still the case.

    To check the drive you will want to create a bootable CD containing the either Maxtor's or WD's diagnostic software on it. Unplug your Window's drive and plug only your Tivo drive into your motherboard.
     
  14. Jan 10, 2008 #214 of 1060
    Flappjakk

    Flappjakk New Member

    55
    0
    Feb 22, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    Yes, my PC has SATA, but it's 1.5Gbps SATA. I doubt it matters, the copy would just be slower than the 3Gbps SATA.

    Of course I don't have the Torx screwdriver I need to take the cover off. I guess this will have to wait until tomorrow. Thanks for your help. I'm sure I'll be pumelling this thread with questions from work tomorrow in anticipation of Tivo surgery.
     
  15. Jan 10, 2008 #215 of 1060
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,384
    0
    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    I've been trying to find where on the InstantCake site it says you must have the IDE->SATA adapter. No luck. There is so much information on DVRupgrade.com, but it is hard to find. I couldn't even find the release notes for the S3 version. :thumbsdown:

    Dug up this thread where somebody claims to have gotten IC to work w/o the adapter.
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=5616217#post5616217

    In this same thread the OP was saying how they wouldn't let him download it, but made him buy the CD version because they expect you to also buy the adapter. :thumbsdown:

    Finally, I tried using IC to do my S2 with my brand new PC (a new Abit IP35 motherboard) and it wouldn't work at all. It only has 1 IDE port and it is one of those weird J-Micron ones. Took it to work and used an older computer with no problem.

    Just trying to saying InstantCake isn't as easy as it used to be.
     
  16. Jan 10, 2008 #216 of 1060
    gardibolt

    gardibolt New Member

    16
    0
    Aug 19, 2005
    Changed the hard drive out with a DVRUpgrade kit and it seems to be working. Annoying but at least the TiVo is back at work. I suppose I could have done the blank HD route but I was impatient and not entirely confident of my not-so-mad skillz.
     
  17. Jan 10, 2008 #217 of 1060
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    What a PIA huh? If it runs fine w/o the coax connected my money is on a processor going bad, not the HDD. But you never know.

    There's no way for them to know if you swapped out the HDD if you want to try it anyway. If not, I'd get on the phone with them and plead your case for a new box under the one-year warranty. Tell them it's been getting worse for month now. You can still upgrade the HDD on a replacement and you won't have to worry about something else failing at some point. (Those kinds of things stick in the back of my mind :rolleyes:)

    I agree, your cable company is probably not the issue if your other TiVos are playing nice.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
     
  18. Jan 10, 2008 #218 of 1060
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,384
    0
    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    I'll take that bet. ;)
     
  19. Jan 11, 2008 #219 of 1060
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Woo hoo! Momma needs new shoes! ;)

    It's almost always the HDD. But the coax thing seems to rule that out according to the posts on the other thread. We'll see what Flappjakk comes up with.
     
  20. Jan 11, 2008 #220 of 1060
    Flappjakk

    Flappjakk New Member

    55
    0
    Feb 22, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    I really appreciate the help guys. I'm far from being a Tivo expert, but in my experience with computer hard drives, I'll never buy a Western Digital drive again. It wouldn't surprise me one bit to find that another WD POS is dieing. I'd much rather spend the money to upgrade to a nice Seagate 750GB+ hard drive than spend the money to get a refurb replacement from tivo. The thing that makes me think it's not HD though is that once the coax cable is disconnected, it acts ok and will play back recorded shows without problem. I guess when I test the drive tonight I'll find out if it's going bad or not.
     

Share This Page