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S3 issue (not sure where I should start)

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by chrishicks, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. chrishicks

    chrishicks Tivo Junkie

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    Dec 30, 2003
    MI
    I know this is a fairly common topic here but I just didn't know which topic I should possibly piggyback off of so I just started a new one. If there is a specific topic that a mod feels this belongs in feel free to merge it with that one.

    So a few weeks ago I started noticing one of my S3's started rebooting daily. Having changed out a bad power supply on another one my first thought was to see if this one was going bad. I take it apart and blow out all the dust and check out the caps. Visually they look fine. No bulges, leaking or anything, not even the slightest bit. I put it all back together and think maybe it was just all the dust(it was pretty loaded with it) and carry on. All is good for the day and I watch a good 6 hours of programming with no hiccups or anything.

    Now here's where I start to wonder. The next morning I notice it's around 6am and I see the S3 reboot as all the lights on the display are on. A few minutes later and I see the clock. I switch over and see it sitting on an HD channel. I decide to put the box on a few SD channels and let it go. I move a few menus around so they're not at the default "top" spot and then leave for the day. I get home and check the box and everything is still as it was when I left it other than the channels as it recorded a few shows in prime time. I spend some time watching them and again no issues with the recordings. No pauses, stuttering, etc which wouldn't make me think I have a bad drive. I go to bed and again the next morning it's around 6am again and the box once again reboots. After it's up and running I check the channels and once again it's on HD channels. This repeats for a few days.

    Time for more simple troubleshooting I figure. I move almost all season passes that are for HD channels to another box and delete them from this one. Now it's only recording a single HD show(which I couldn't move due to multiple tuner conflicts but doesn't record for a few days out so I figure I can still test) and a few SD shows. I put the box on SD channels once again and leave it alone. No recordings scheduled on the box for this day/night. The box stays on SD channels. Once again all is good until the next morning. Around 6:30 it reboots yet again. It seems that something is triggering a reboot in the mornings as they always seem to happen between 6-7am and it's not related to the HD channels which I was thinking prior.

    Now this morning I had what I thought was the bad drive signal because it started to reboot loop. It would get to the "almost there" screen and right as that was going away I was back at "welcome" again. However after 3 times of doing this it started up like normal and has been fine since. Again, no menu issues, no stuttering, etc.

    So where would be a good place to start with this? Should I run a specific Kickstart? Could the power supply still be bad despite visually looking fine? On the box that has the replaced PS the caps were visually swollen on the tops which is why I ask. Can you actually have a bad drive even with no pausing/stuttering issues? I ask because in the dozen or so boxes I've had through the years every bad drive I'd encountered had those symptoms so I just never experienced anything but those. Can it be some weird cable card thing? Whenever I check the signal levels on the box they're never really low(most are in the 80-90's range with the remainder being 60-70's) so I'm a bit lost on what to look for. What would cause the box to reboot every morning at around the same time? Is that just a big coincidence?

    Sorry about the length of this along with the mass amount of questions at the end. I'm just trying to think of anything and everything. And just to add since I didn't mention it above, the drive is an upgraded 1TB drive. No eSATA connected drive. The box is also plugged into a UPS.
     
  2. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
    Reboot is very often a drive going bad but sometimes could also be an issue with power being supplied to the drive.

    My guess is you have a drive starting to fail and error correction is sometimes recovering/remapping bad sectors.

    Suggest you pull the drive and run manufacturer diagnostics on a PC.

    Do NOT run kick start 57 on the drive as the chances you'll be left in a gsod death loop are high.

    If you see drive errors, buy a new drive and use dd_rescue to copy the failing drive to the new drive, then put it back in TiVo and run kickstart 57
     
  3. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    Go into sys info and see if you're running 11.0k or 11.0m.

    If it hasn't updated to m yet, it could be that it keeps trying to do so (by rebooting and switching to the alternate set of boot partitions where the new version would have been written to when it was downloaded).

    And you should go ahead and start copying to PC whatever shows don't have the anti-copy bit set, in case we need to re-image your drive.
     
  4. ciper

    ciper New Member

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    Nov 4, 2004
    I vote to connect the drive to your PC and run a smart diagnostic on it. My THD had a few random hiccups and even though the drive appeared to be fine the smart diagnostic tool I used showed there were many reallocated sectors (the sign of a drive that will go bad soon).

    The tool I prefer is this one since its open source and available for almost any OS
    http://gsmartcontrol.berlios.de/home/index.php/en/Downloads
     
  5. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    PartedMagic, which is a Live cd type Linux GUI, available as its own bootable cd and as part of the Ultimate Boot CD, includes GSmartControl--just click on the Disk Health icon
     
  6. tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Im curious, would the pink screen in the tivohd be a sign of a bad drive? My issue just started today when a cable channel lost the full signal and pixelated for a while. Then poof. 2 of my TiVo roamios needed to be restarted, and the tivohd would not recover after a hard reboot. right now, she's unplugged... but im wondering if the pixilation has caused the tivohd drive to die. ? any ideas?
     
  7. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Under those circumstances I'd be hesitant to guess what the problem is, but I'm pretty sure pixelation can't do any physical damage.

    Whether what caused the pixelation could also have caused other problems is a separate issue.

    Is that HD connected via HDMI, or even component video?

    Because I've seen gray screens when the motherboard and the drive weren't communicating properly, and of course there's the famous Green Screen of Death (which is technically a screen of "the TiVo has to spend some time fixing something but is expected to recover") which is unmistakably green--green doesn't get any greener--but never heard of a pink screen, which makes me wonder if only part of the color signal is getting through--the more colors you throw in the closer the screen gets to white, not black, 'cause adding light is the reverse of adding pigments.

    Can you connect the HD's composite video output (yellow jack) to a composite input on the TV and see what that looks like?

    I'm curious as to what would have required all of your TiVos to need rebooting at the same time.

    Do you have them plugged into a UPS or straight to the wall socket?

    Since we're talking about a Series 3, you need to be sure there's nothing wrong with the power supply before you get too deep into the troubleshooting, 'cause a failing supply can cause all sorts of strange symptoms.

    Go read up on capacitor plague ( subject to which S2s and S3s are at high risk of being).

    And as long as you'll need to take the cover off to check the supply, might as well undo the drive bracket and take it and the drive to a PC and run the drive manufacturer's long test diagnostic on it.
     
  8. Nov 1, 2013 #8 of 47
    tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Thanks Unitron - I'll be able to spend the day tomorrow playing with this. I'll keep you posted.

     
  9. Nov 2, 2013 #9 of 47
    tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    All three tivos have battery backs plug in devices. (I have 2 roamio pros, and 1 tivohd). The problem im having is with the tivohd.

    After running kickstart 57 - there are no errors to report.

    The Tivo HD has a TiVo wireless adapter connected via the unit's usb port. I have no external hds, no cable boxes, no dta. Nothing external connected except for the wireless thing.

    Here's what I got so far. I get a black screen with the dancing bubble "searching for signal". I bypassed the TiVo and plugged the cable line directly to the tv - works great (after scanning). (the 2 other roamios in the house working great. When I connect the cable wire back to the tivo, and then Tivo hdmi out to tv hdmi in , for some reason, I just get that dancing bubble "searching for signal".

    I have a m-cable card. if that matters.

    Note: The previously recorded shows from Tivo Central play back perfectly.

    Any ideas on how to fix this?
    Thanks,
    Anthony
     
  10. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    Weird new CableCARD issues can also be tied to bad capacitors in the power supply.

    If it were me? I'd grab an image from the ether, put it on a new if small hard drive, and run that for a week and see if it resolves things, that eliminates the drive. If it still reboots, then it's the power supply. You may even have a flaky drive AND a questionable power supply, especially if this is an OLED S3, then your PS needs capacitor replacement IMO.
     
  11. tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Would anyone know if calling the cable company and have them "unpair" and then "repair" the cable card may work? or would that do more harm than good?
     
  12. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    hint hint hint :D
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    The Babe from Boston has an excellent point about the power supply, but go into the DVR Diagnostics menu and see what that reports about the tuners and about the cable cards.

    I've got an HD with one bad cable tuner and it keeps cycling through the different modulation options instead of settling on one the way the other cable tuner does.

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be power supply related.


    Any chance your cable company went 100% SDV and forgot to tell you?
     
  14. tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Ran all tests on Tivo - SMART test took the longest. No issues. However, all of my analog channels returned, and a smattering of HD channels as well. I called the cable company, he had me unplug the TiVo, remove the cable card. plug the TiVo back in. After it rebooted, he had me install the cable card and he "paired" it over the phone again. Still the same issue. He suggested that a power surge may have invalidated the card. So i'm heading to the cable company tomorrow to swap out the cable card. Hopefully that will fix the problem.

    My cable company went 100% digital a few months ago.
     
  15. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    boston'ish
    *sigh* sometimes I feel like I'm on ignore...
    The symptoms you're describing are exactly what can happen with power supply issues, the CableCARD acts weird, doesn't pair, or has trouble with some channels. since the OLED S3 and to a lesser extent, the Tivo HD are known for capacitor issues, you're ignoring the #1 potential cause of these issues by troubleshooting around them.
     
  16. tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Hi diane - I really do appreciate your help. Im not ignoring you - I promise. Its just that im trying to avoid buying a power supply for $100 from weaknees. If I can solve this problem with no cost - that would be great. But I really thank you for all of your help so far.

    Something new started happening - now im getting pixilation on several hd channels. Not sure if that is related to the pwersupply or cablecard, but just throwing it out there.

     
  17. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    If you can solder, then you can redo the power supply, it's $10 worth of parts. It's just that all your symptoms are right up the alley of a power supply with aging and failing caps.

    In the past few years on TCF and with my own unit, I went through almost the exact steps you have, and each step got a little better, but never resolved the issue, until the caps were replaced, then magically the unit was a bulletproof champ again. This is especially true with OLED S3's and has started to be common in Tivo HDs.
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Seriously, power supply problems are so likely in S2s and S3s that you have to make sure that you don't have them before you can trust the results of any other troubleshooting that you do.

    And since it's extremely likely that if none of the caps on your power supply have gone bad it's just a matter of time until one or more does, it's good preventive maintenance to just go ahead and replace the usual suspects.

    Frankly, anyone who has an S2 or S3 that's working just fine should consider recapping the supply now, before it gives trouble, unless they don't care if their TiVo goes bad.
     
  19. tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    ok - new cable card - same problem. except now all channels that I am getting are all pixelating. every channel.

    not to mention many channels that are not coming in.

    So it looks like im going to have to buy that power supply.
     
  20. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    You have no geeks in your circle of friends or family that have soldering skills? it's really very basic soldering, I wouldn't recommend learning with a power supply, but it's one of the easiest repairs out there.
     

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