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S3 OLED is in perpetual reboot cycle

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by aaronkn, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Aug 8, 2012 #1 of 16
    aaronkn

    aaronkn New Member

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    Nov 8, 2002
    :( Yesterday evening our S3 OLED went into an endless reboot cycle. It gives us the "Wait, Powering Up" screen for a couple minutes, and then boots again, with same result. I tried to do a kickstart, but it just reboots to the same cycle after I enter the kickstart code. Does this simply mean that the hard drive is completely dead? Or is it just mostly dead, with a chance of being saved (would hate to lose all those shows)? Is there maybe something else going on with the tivo itself?

    The unit has a lifetime sub, and quite honestly I like it much better than our premiere, so I'd like to save it. If it is simply a case of replacing the hard drive and all will be well, does anyone have a disk image for model 648250B, and is it difficult to do? If it is not difficult, I'd rather do it myself to save some cost.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Aug 8, 2012 #2 of 16
    Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

    1,665
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    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    First thing is to open it up and inspect the power supply capacitors for bulging, indicating they are failed or failing. Repair or replace the PS and retest.

    If no problem found with the power supply.
    You can get a new hdd of same size and do a drive to drive bit copy. This will preserve all data, just as it is, so recordings should not be lost.

    It's not that difficult to do, if you are comfortable with connecting internal pc drives.


    There are aftermarket solutions too; but are more expensive and in some cases all recordings and preferences are lost.
     
  3. Aug 8, 2012 #3 of 16
    aaronkn

    aaronkn New Member

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    Nov 8, 2002
    Thank you for the response. I will check the capacitors, and hope there is no bulging. I am comfortable with connecting internal pc drives, but am not sure of the process and what I should use, so please pardon my ignorance. I've been doing some searching and found a .TBK file that Unitron had linked a few months ago. I downloaded it but my computer doesn't appear to have anything that recognizes that type of file. Is this something that you use WinMFS to copy to a new drive? My current drive is 500GB, but if I am going to have to get a new drive to image, I'd like to upgrade to a 2TB.

    I looked up WinMFS to download that, and it looks like that has not been updated since Jan. 2009. I'm concerned that the instructions there talk about a capacity limit being 1.2TB. So does that mean I can not use WinMFS to image a 2TB drive?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Aug 8, 2012 #4 of 16
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    San Diego,...
  5. Aug 8, 2012 #5 of 16
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Referring to the original "TiVo Series 3 HD" as the "S3 OLED" is very common in this forum.
     
  6. Aug 8, 2012 #6 of 16
    mikeyts

    mikeyts Stream Warrior

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    Okay--I'd never seen it before, or at least I never noticed it until it was used in a thread title (and the trademark is "Series3", no space, to be pedantic some more :D).
     
  7. Aug 8, 2012 #7 of 16
    Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

    1,665
    4
    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    At this point you're out of my knowledge zone.
    All I know for sure is:
    you can use a 2TB drive (have a 2TB drive in my S3-OLED from DVR_Dude)
    You can use a 2TB drive and retain current data (recordings)
    I do not know how to do either...
     
  8. Aug 8, 2012 #8 of 16
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    Dallas, TX
    Sometimes you come across a post where someone says "My series 3 Tivo is failing" and it turns out they mean "TivoHD". Their statement is technically correct since the TivoHD is a 'Series 3 platform' Tivo. So it helps when OLED is mentioned. I will add OLED to any post I make to make sure it is known which series 3 Tivo I'm talking about.

    Having said that, IIRC there is no DIY 2TB upgrade path available for the Series 3 OLED Tivo. You have to resort to Weaknees or DVR Dude on e-bay.
     
  9. Aug 8, 2012 #9 of 16
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    It has reportedly been done. Start at this post. Not sure if anyone has done it directly from an original 250GB drive or not nor how difficult it is. I think the OP should go to that thread and post his problem there.
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    An S3 OLED is what I occasionally refer to as a "thermometer front" TiVo.

    :D

    If someone says OLED, well, there's only one model that's had an OLED display, so that makes it easy to know which one they mean.
     
  11. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You're talking about 648250b.tbk?

    That's for using WinMFS to restore with.

    648250b.bak

    is for using the MFS Live cd to restore with.

    (Even if you don't own a TiVo you should download the .iso file for the image from which to burn a bootable cd-r so as to have this handy for the other stuff on it. Go to mfslive.org Latest version is 1.4. Latest version of WinMFS is the 2009 one.)


    There has apparently been some recent success putting 2TB drives in a 648 by a couple of different methods, both of which use WinMFS and maybe something else.

    Do you currently have the original drive in that TiVo?

    Are there any recordings on it you really, really, really want to try to save?

    Search this site from the main forums page

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/index.php?

    for where we've been talking S3 power supplies and capacitors these past several months to learn about that problem which, if it hasn't happened to your TiVo yet is still hanging over its head like the Sword of Damocles.

    After we've ruled out the power supply as the problem, or maybe while we're in the middle of that, we can check your drive.

    Go to Western Digital and download the image for making a bootable cd with their diagnostic software on it.

    You can get there by taking the model number on the sticker on top of the drive and plugging it into the WD website and searching for it, and clicking on downloads on the left of the page your search takes you to.

    Do you have any other spare hard drives lying around?


    (and don't capitalize me, it tickles)
     
  12. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
  13. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    +1 to this. My OLED S3 also recently had the bulging capacitors/reboot loop issue. Here's another thread on the subject of replacing the power supply.
     
  14. aaronkn

    aaronkn New Member

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    Nov 8, 2002
    That is very promising indeed! Thank you for pointing this thread out.
     
  15. aaronkn

    aaronkn New Member

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    Nov 8, 2002
    Hi unitron,

    Sorry for the capitalization. Habits of a capitalist society, I guess. Yes, I was talking about 648250b.tbk I'll see about getting MFSlive as well.

    Have not had a chance to open her up yet, with work and family commitments. Hope to crack it open this weekend. I don't have an original HD for this, as we bought it already upgraded to a 500GB HD. And unfortunately I don't have any spare drives around, except maybe an old 20 or 40GB drive hidden somewhere that was pulled out of a computer. When I open it up I can see if there is any activity whatsoever from the drive. If not, I'm guessing diagnostic software won't apply.

    While it hurts to lose the recordings (a couple shows we had multiple seasons saved up), in the grand scheme of things, there are worse things in life. So as long as the box is still working, a new hard drive will not be a terrible thing to have to do. Hopefully the power supply will look good.

    Oh, and yes, while this is the only model that Tivo officially labels as the Series3, there have been postings here as well as listings on eBay where people say Series 3 HD only to be referring to the "Tivo HD". So I put OLED to differentiate that this is the original Sneech on the Beach, and those other boxes don't have any stars upon thars.

    Thank you everyone for the helpful references in the above postings. Wish me luck.
     
  16. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Yeah, TiVo kind of muddied the waters by coming out with the 648 and calling it the Series 3 and saying that it was or that it does HD, and then releasing another S3 platform TiVo and calling it the HD.

    What you do is you get the manufacturer's diagnostic software and use that to run the long test on the drives while hooked up to a computer whose power supply you know to be good.

    With the high failure rate of S2 and S3 power supplies, never assume that the drive is bad until you've tested it independently of the TiVo.

    And while you're running those drive tests (always test a new one before putting it into service), you can be closely inspecting the TiVo's power supply for "capacitor plague", since there's a very good chance that it's got it.
     

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