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Series 3 freezes, slows and the reboots

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by brian1269, May 9, 2008.

  1. May 9, 2008 #1 of 128
    brian1269

    brian1269 New Member

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    I first noticed this a week or so ago. My Series 3 (with two cable cards) started getting extremely sluggish. Any kind of remote action, moving between menus, building lists, fast-forward/rewind, etc. was not responding like it should. Then after a while the controls on the remote will stop working all together and the TiVo will reboot. It did this tonight during Lost and that was the last straw. Also sometimes I will turn on my TV and the screen will be black and then, after a few minutes, the TiVo reboots.
    I noticed other people in the forum were having issues with video freeze, claiming it was due to a recent update. I'm not sure if my problem is related or not because I haven't seen others mention auto restarts. Is anyone else having issues like this? After having numerous cable card issues in the initial setup, my Series 3 has been working great for more than a year now until this started recently.
     
  2. May 9, 2008 #2 of 128
    JustAllie

    JustAllie Number crunchin'

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    Arlington, VA
    Same thing is happening to me. :(
     
  3. May 9, 2008 #3 of 128
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Slower...
  4. May 10, 2008 #4 of 128
    brian1269

    brian1269 New Member

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    I don't think it's a hard drive issue. The unit has been working fine until a few weeks ago, right around the time 9.3 was released I think. I talked to tivo tech support, they said to try a few things. One of which was to see if it does the auto restarts with the coax cable unplugged. I did that and watched recorded programs for a few hours and the problems seemed to stop. I plugged the cable back in and immediately the freezing and auto rebooting started again. So now I don't know what to do.
     
  5. May 10, 2008 #5 of 128
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    There seems to be couple of issues out there, so I am not going to take a side myself.

    But I've heard lots of people talk about unplugging the coax stops the reboots. But why does that eliminate a hard drive issue and make it software? Seems to me, if there weren't any input it would not be trying to record to the disk at all...

    This thread has gotten TivoStephen's attention. But is it the same problem as yours?

    That problem seems to be picture freezes but audio continues.
     
  6. May 10, 2008 #6 of 128
    brian1269

    brian1269 New Member

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    You're right, it doesn't eliminate a hard drive issue. It just makes me more suspect of the recent software update. Of course I already suspected that when I came on here and saw many people started having problems after 9.3.

    My next step will be to unmarry the drive and then plug the coax back in and let it use just the drive in the unit to see if the reboots still happen. I have to finish watching about 10 hours of recorded programs first though. lol

    Thanks for that thread, Greg. I might try what TiVoStephen suggests also, although it looks like most of those problems are on TiVo HDs and I don't see any mention of auto reboots.
     
  7. May 10, 2008 #7 of 128
    TiVolunteer

    TiVolunteer lotta lurk rare post

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    Cary, NC
    Same thing happening to me here as well -- extremely slow (so slow you can see frame by frame movement on the background videos of the menus) then lock up and auto reboot. Then the cycle starts again. Just started this three days ago -- I was traveling but saw it via slingbox but couldn't get home to debug.

    Only seeing it on one of my three S3's -- it is a "stock" s3 with no external drives or modifications. The only way I've found to break the reboot cycle is to pull the plug. It then stablizes for a few hours and seems perfectly fine. Then it starts up again with the cycle.
     
  8. May 10, 2008 #8 of 128
    EVizzle

    EVizzle ^^MacGvyer^^

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    I had a weird but fairly similar issue with my S3. One recording became very pixelated and the audio kept dropping out. After ten minutes or so of it getting worse, my Tivo rebooted. I deleted the show and have had no issues at all since.

    My guess is that the HDD is going bad, so I transferred my most important shows. No problems since, knock on wood.
     
  9. May 12, 2008 #9 of 128
  10. May 13, 2008 #10 of 128
    brian1269

    brian1269 New Member

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    OK after a few days of testing various things, I have narrowed it down to either the software or the original TiVo hardware.

    First thing I did was unplug the cable. With no signal coming into the box, everything immediately starts to work fine. I can watch recorded programs no problem, all controls are responsive.

    The next thing I did was plug the cable back in and divorce my external hard drive. After it was done removing the drive, and with cable signal connected, it was worse than ever. Nothing worked, it would freeze up almost immediately.

    I then unplugged the cable again and rebooted. It returned to normal working order.

    Next I removed the cable cards, plugged the cable back in and started it back up. No luck again, it freezes up almost immediately.

    Lastly I unplugged the cable, rebooted with no coax or cable cards, and everything works again.

    I think I have eliminated everything but the software update or the original hardware just going bad. I guess my only step left is getting a replacement box.

    I still think it was the recent 9.3 update since that's when all these problems started.
     
  11. May 13, 2008 #11 of 128
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Why don't you test the drive using a Western Digital or Hitachi diagnostic boot disc in your PC?

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=6269055#post6269055
    This user discovered his drive would pass the read tests, but failed only during the Write Zeros test. That one is harder to perform, because you have to reimage after running it.
     
  12. May 13, 2008 #12 of 128
    billyjoebob99

    billyjoebob99 Member

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    It sounds like the internal hard drive is having problems writing. It would explain why removing the external made it worse. With the external gone every write had to go on the internal. When you disconnect the coax all writing stops and everything is fine.

    I had a similiar problem with my external drive. Everything recorded before the problem could be watched but watching or recording new stuff was hit and miss. When I divorced the external and tested it showed multiple write errors. Got a replacement drive from Seagate and it's been fine ever since.
     
  13. May 13, 2008 #13 of 128
    brian1269

    brian1269 New Member

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    You mean test the internal drive right? If it was the external drive that was bad, then the unit should have worked when I divorced it.

    To test the internal drive wouldn't I have to open up the unit and take it out, voiding the warranty? And to replace the internal drive would cost more than the $50 to have them send a new unit anyway.

    If the internal drive is bad, and according to them it is, then I will just let TiVo take care of it. In fact I just called them a whiole ago, explained all the things I did and started an exchange. They said it is a known hardware issue.
     
  14. May 13, 2008 #14 of 128
    brian1269

    brian1269 New Member

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    Jul 24, 2003
    Kingsport, TN
    I think you are right. That would make sense. The last thing I tried to do was copy a video over the network and that also caused the unit to freeze up.
     
  15. May 13, 2008 #15 of 128
    madneon

    madneon New Member

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    Ft. Bragg NC
    My vote is in the HD same symptoms ( On 3 different S3 tivos) swapped out the WD to a Segate DVR drive and all is well...
     
  16. May 13, 2008 #16 of 128
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Yes, the internal.

    Void the warranty? Yeah, technically. Would they know? Nope.

    If your still in a warranty period, yeah I guess you could/should send it back if for no other reason then to get a good backup 250GB drive. ;)

    But for as little as $100 you could double your disc space with a new drive. And avoid the hassel, possibly keeps all your settings and recordings.

    Finally, because we all want to know! :D

    How could they know if your drive is bad? That sounds like they are implying there is a know problem with a batch of drives in Tivos out there. Of course, one should never trust a CSR. :)
     
  17. May 13, 2008 #17 of 128
    brian1269

    brian1269 New Member

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    Kingsport, TN
    Yeah, if it had happened in like two more weeks I would be outside the $49 replacement window and then maybe I would have tried to do something myself. I don't know a whole lot about getting the TiVo software on a new hard drive though.

    Yeah I think that is exactly what they are implying. They know the symptoms and know that it's probably the hard drive that is failing. It's not impossible that a hard drive with constant use can fail after one year, but I guarantee the MTBF rating is a hell of a lot longer than that!
     
  18. May 14, 2008 #18 of 128
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    Silicon...
    If you're using HDMI, this is the thread:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=369334

    I tried HDMI again with 9.3a and had no problem for about a week. After another reboot, I went back to component.
     
  19. May 14, 2008 #19 of 128
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    MTBF is not meaningful for individual drives.
     
  20. May 15, 2008 #20 of 128
    lupes

    lupes New Member

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    Feb 7, 2007
    I had the exact same symptoms as stated by the OP. Tivo wanted me to send it back for a refurb. Having replaced several S1 drives in the past I wanted to try a new drive first; others had mentioned success with this route.

    Changed out my old drive with a new 320GB WD and it is working great. I will be testing the old drive tonight to see if the WD tools can find any errors.

    Swapping a drive is very easy using MFSlive cd (I prefer to backup and restore via file as I can burn this to a DVD and always have a backup image handy incase of drive failure) and if it doesn't work, well everyone can always use more hard drive space...

    If you are bored, you can read my saga here:
    long winded story of my tivo trouble and eventual fix
     

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