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Rapid flashing green light and no other activity -- what is that?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by busyba, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. pstemari

    pstemari New Member

    12
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    Nov 20, 2004
    Renton, WA
    Same thing here.

    Power outage, power came back on, everything works except the TiVo. Tech support guy had me go through the chicken waving ritual and nada.

    Grrrr.....
     
  2. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,504
    177
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Talked to the guys at Weaknees about this one, they said there is no fix. They've tried replacing everything that can be replaced and nothing will bring back a TiVo in this state. Something on the mobo is fried.
     
  3. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    There's a guy in Australia, where they have a variation on the S3 HD,

    http://kingey1971.wix.com/tivorepairs#!faq/c1yws

    who has this to say

    In a few days I'll be getting my hands on a 658 with that problem, and will see if I can learn anything further.


    It would be convenient if the TiVo had flash codes the way PCs have beep codes, so you could get a more specific report on what's wrong.
     
  4. robomeister

    robomeister DVD TiVo Expert

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    Feb 4, 2005
    Beltsville, MD
    Unitron,

    Keep us posted. I have a couple TiVo HDs with the same symptoms and would like to know how to fix them.

    robomeister
     
  5. squint

    squint New Member

    846
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    Jun 15, 2008
    Maybe the CPU needs to be "re-balled"?
     
  6. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
  7. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    And of course his problems which are now my problems may be different from your problems, since apparently that light can mean more than one thing.

    Like I said, I wish they'd have a flashing light equivalent of beep codes to give us more detailed clues.

    But read that whole thread, he included pictures of the screen.
     
  8. weaknees

    weaknees Active Member

    3,862
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    May 11, 2001
    Los Angeles
  9. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
  10. ebabinet

    ebabinet New Member

    5
    0
    Dec 18, 2013
    Can you share what you've discovered about how to fix this issue?

    I believe my TCD652160 has this problem and I'd like to give a shot at fixing it myself using parts from another unit.
     
  11. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Since they are a business, they aren't going to tell you how to do it yourself and avoid paying them to do it.

    Which is perfectly understandable.

    And I should mention that they are a sponsor here and help keep this site online.

    And allow me to repeat, there is more than one possible cause of this problem.

    But anybody with any Series 2 or Series 3 model having almost any problem whatsoever should verify that it is not a power supply problem before proceeding to consider other possibilities.

    When you say parts from another unit, what other unit do you have in mind?
     
  12. ebabinet

    ebabinet New Member

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    0
    Dec 18, 2013
    I have narrowed my issue down to a bad RAM chip and am considering replacing it with a chip from an identical Series 3 HD that I bought on Ebay. I would consider paying someone to do the swap for me, but $180 seems a bit high to me, which is what I believe they charge for mother board fixes.
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    I'm curious as to how you determined that it's a bad RAM chip (and which one) and not something else, since there seem to be a number of "things going wrong" which can cause the flashing light.

    How large a community are you in?

    What you need is someone who can so SMD work.

    Anyone who doesn't know what that phrase means is not the repairperson for whom you are looking.

    A lot of people who do know what that phrase means also are not actually qualified to do it. Like me.

    (although I might try it on my own stuff)
     
  14. ebabinet

    ebabinet New Member

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    Dec 18, 2013
    I ruled out that it wasn't a hard drive issue by disconnecting the hard drive.
    I ruled out that it wasn't a power supply issue by testing all the voltage levels from the power supply.
    Then, I found out from a knowledgeable source that the Flashing Green Light is often caused by faulty RAM and that if you heat the RAM chips it will temporarily cause the RAM chips to work. I used a hair dryer to heat all the RAM chips a little and then after turning on the Tivo, amazingly it worked. Then through a process of heating one RAM chip at a time, I was able to determine which chip is faulty.

    If anyone knows somebody who offers SMD soldering services in the San Francisco Bay Area, please let me know. I'm sure they exist, but haven't found them yet.
     
  15. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    I'm clear on the other side of the country with no real contacts in the Bay area, but that close to Silicon Valley you should be tripping over them.

    Start a thread here at TCF in the Help forum entitled "Any SF Bay area SMD wizards available for S3 mobo RAM swap?" and see if you don't get replies from TCF'ers who can do it or who know someone who can.

    Does your knowledgeable source have any other helpful tips they'd like to pass along?

    Will the heat trick help with dead tuners or scrambled video sync?
     
  16. squint

    squint New Member

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Just go to your local Craigslist and look for xbox repair, rework, reballing. These people have the infrared rework stations and expertise to replace SMD components on motherboards.
     
  17. new pioneer 2

    new pioneer 2 New Member

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    Mar 13, 2010
    I purchased an S3 HD XL TiVo on ebay that has the flashing green light problem. Tried the obvious "fixes" of the power supply and front panel change with no impact. I was working in my garage here in Nevada and the temperature hit over 98 degrees while I was working with the issue and after reassembly with the original parts and powering up the unit I decided to leave it on for awhile and come back to it later. Still had the flashing power light after 30 minutes but when I cycled the power it came on steady, the unit booted up, and I was able to go thru a guided setup. I powered it down, left it off for 10 minutes and powered it back up and had the flashing green light again. Left it on for 10 minutes cycled power and it booted up just fine. It has been running for about two hours now and I'm going to leave it on over night. These results seem consistent with the "RAM heating" fix that was reported earlier and I was wondering if anyone has successfully repaired a motherboard for this issue. There was mention of going to one of the PlayStation repair shops but I haven't seen any responses if that was successful. Paying $180 to fix this issue seems a bit much since I have bought a couple of Lifetime S3 HDs on ebay for $150 and they both are working fine after replacing the hard drive in one and the power supply in the other.
     
  18. ebabinet

    ebabinet New Member

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    Dec 18, 2013
    Yes, it does sound consistent, and yes I was successful in repairing my motherboard by replacing the broken RAM. I ended up doing it myself which was an interesting learning experience, but quite difficult.

    You'll need to figure out which of the RAM chips is causing the problem - heat one chip with a hair dryer, turn it on, if it's still flashing let it cool and then heat another chip, etc.
     
  19. squint

    squint New Member

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    Jun 15, 2008
    I think they charge around $75 for reflows. Since I last posted in this thread, I acquired a TiVo locally that has the Flashing Green Light of Doom. I also recently ordered my own IR/hot air rework station typically used for laptop and console game repairs. I'll post again in this thread once I attempt the repair.

    Did you reflow or replace the RAM chip? Do you remember which chip it was? I want to see if a pattern emerges.

    There's another TiVo with the FGLOD on eBay if either of you want another one :):

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/321426846753?_trksid=p2055120.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    I asked the seller what was wrong with it and he revealed that it has the FLOD. I'm not bidding on it.
     
  20. ebabinet

    ebabinet New Member

    5
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    Dec 18, 2013
    It was the 2nd chip from the back of the unit and I replaced it.

    No thanks :) I've had enough SMD for quite a while.
     

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