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Series 3 HD stuck in "Powering Up..."

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by BOMOON, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. BOMOON

    BOMOON Negative Futurist

    87
    0
    Dec 11, 2004
    Southern NH
    Hello,
    I have a TiVo Series 3 HD that started getting stuck in "Welcome! Powering up...." mode starting sometime early this morning. I don't know what caused the problem.

    I do not have cable cards installed on this Series 3. I have DirecTV for satellite service, so I've been using the TiVo for Netflix, downloading videos from Amazon, etc. I've been doing this for a few years now with no problems.

    The obvious symptoms are:

    1. The screen message
    2. The front panel lights: two vertical rows of light: two red lights on the left, one blue (top) and one red (bottom) lights on the right. There is a yellow TiVo icon between the two vertical rows of lights.
    3. I have the TiVo USB/wireless internet adapter. It's dark, as though it's not getting any power. I tried switching from one USB port to the other on the back of the Series 3, but that made no difference.

    What I've done so far:

    1. Tried resetting by unplugging the Series 3, waiting about 30 seconds, then plugging it back in. After a few seconds, the "Welcome! Powering up...." message returns and stays there. No change from that state for several hours after the last reset.

    2. Checked all the connections, including the USB/Wireless LAN adapter, telephone line, all A/V inputs and outputs, connection to external storage (I have the WD Expander driver)

    Any ideas what might be causing this, or what I can do about it besides doing the reset via unplugging/plugging?

    Thanks for your time,
    Alan Mintaka
     
  2. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    3,960
    0
    Oct 14, 2004
    Philadelphia...
    It sounds like your hard drive has failed. Another possibility is a bad power supply, but I'd start with the hard drive. Is it the original 250GB that shipped with the TiVo?
     
  3. BOMOON

    BOMOON Negative Futurist

    87
    0
    Dec 11, 2004
    Southern NH
    Yes, it's the original. I also have the WD expander drive installed via the SATA connector on the back of the Series 3. Until I saw your message, I hadn't thought to disconnect that to see what would happen. I'm waiting for some kind of result (if any) now. It's still stuck in "Powering up" mode...

    Isn't there some way to run diagnostics on the internal hard drive, or even format it? I thought I saw some kind of way to do that in these forums but now I can't find it in the forums or in the TiVo's menus. Maybe I'm thinking of the DirecTV Genie (I have to update my profile), which has a diagnostic mode you can enter by pressing some remote keys during restart.

    But would a failure of the internal hard drive also ice the USB/Wireless Ethernet adapter?

    Thanks for the input,
    Alan Mintaka
     
  4. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    3,960
    0
    Oct 14, 2004
    Philadelphia...
    There are some kickstart codes you can run to force the TiVo to test the drive and attempt a repair: http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php

    However, if the lights are all staying on, then it is never even trying to boot from the drive, so I doubt you will be able to run any of the tests.

    The USB adapter gets powered on after the drive boots, so it will most likely stay off until you can get the TiVo to boot up. Plug it into a computer and see if anything happens. As far as the hard drive in the TiVo, you can connect that to a computer and run the manufacturer diagnostics on it from there. If the drive tests good, then you can reformat it with utilities you can find in this forum. If not, you will need to replace the drive. Again, you can find info about how to do this in this forum, or buy a replacement from a site like Weaknees.

    If you open up the TiVo, take a look at the power supply and see if there are any bulging capacitors (you'll see bulges on top of the round components on the power supply board, or even leaking goo coming out of them in extreme cases.) If you see that, it may be the power supply instead of the hard drive. You can confirm this by connecting the drive to the computer and running the tests mentioned above.
     
  5. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    If you have the one with the clock display (when it's working properly), then it's the original S3 (TCD648250B), which had the letters HD on the box or somewhere, but the model after that (TCD652160) is commonly referred to around here as the S3 HD, as TiVo pretty much just marketed it as the TiVo HD (and the one that looks just like it, but with a 1TB drive, the TCD658000, as the HD XL).

    Anyway, if you get the first "Welcome, powering up" screen, which is built into a chip on the motherboard, but never advance to the "Just a few more minutes" screen (which is on the hard drive), then something is preventing the motherboard and the hard drive from properly communicating with each other.

    Could be the data/power cable that plugs into the back of the drive has worked itself loose (very low likelihood), a bad drive (much better chance), a power supply that's going bad (good chance of that in S2s and S3s) and can't quite provide enough power to spin up the drive, or a motherboard that has developed a problem with its SATA controller (very low likelihood).

    You need to open the unit up, check the power supply capacitors while it's opened up, and take the drive out (you can leave it on the bracket) and hook the drive to a PC and run Western Digital's diagnostic software long test on the drive.

    And there's no law that says you can't have a drive going or gone bad *and* a power supply falling victim to "capacitor plague" at the same time.
     
  6. BOMOON

    BOMOON Negative Futurist

    87
    0
    Dec 11, 2004
    Southern NH
    It's model TCD648250B) and says "TiVo Series 3 HD Digital Media Recorder" on the upper left front of the case, for what that info is worth now...

    But now that you've pointed out the different models, I'll update my profile to reflect the details.

    I have the "lifetime" TiVo subscription for this Series 3. If I open it to play around with the innards, will I be violating any of the terms of that subscription, or any warranties associated with it?

    Also, note that my system profile (below) includes one of those APC UPS power supplies. Summer is the season for a lot of brownouts and thunderstorms around here. I've found that these APC supplies are good for the line surges and interruptions during brownouts, but can't do much if there's a nearby lightning strike. If I'm home when there's a storm, I disconnect everything from the wall (INCLUDING the ethernet) and hope the storm blows by before the APC battery runs down.

    But if I'm not home when a storm hits, it's possible that the APC can let a lightning surge bleed through. It's happened before with one of my PCs.

    Thus the APC needs to be checked too to make sure it hasn't been compromised. It's easy enough - I'll just move the TiVo plug directly to the wall outlet and see what happens.

    In any case, I'll be checking into the terms of that subscription before I open the unit.

    Oop, thought of another Q: if I remove the drive, how do I go about running WD diagnostics on it? All of my PCs around here are Windows 7 OS. I thought I saw somewhere that the TiVo drives used a Linux OS....

    Thanks,
     
  7. BOMOON

    BOMOON Negative Futurist

    87
    0
    Dec 11, 2004
    Southern NH
    Same Q's for Unitron: will opening the unit violate the terms of the "lifetime" TiVo subscription, and will the drive be recognized by Windows 7?

    Just noticed your avatar. Did you really have a sitdown with Amanda Tapping? I'm a big fan too - have all the series DVDs, plus the Continuum and Ark of Truth Blu-Rays. Hated Atlantis though. Was disappointed in the overused "Space Vampire" theme (and blatantly copied from "Lifeforce") for the wraith. Why do beings that feed on life energy have to look like a cross between bloodsucking vampires and lampreys? All that, plus the "city" Atlantis only had three or four rooms and one hallway. My house is bigger than that.

    Load of off-topic nits. Sorry, folks!
     
  8. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

    4,059
    5
    Feb 4, 2008
    If its not working, then the lifetime subscription is worthless! You'll need to get it fixed somehow, and that requires an open unit.

    Anyhow, upgraded discs (which requires much more than just opening the box) have impacted warranty claims, but never have I seen it impact lifetime service.
     
  9. BOMOON

    BOMOON Negative Futurist

    87
    0
    Dec 11, 2004
    Southern NH
    Granted, but would TiVo have to authorize and/or perform the service?
     
  10. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    1,588
    1
    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    A TiVo warranty covers repair or replacement of a malfunctioning unit for some period of time. Your warranty on an original Series 3 unit has surely expired. Lifetime Service means that TiVo will continue to provide schedule information and maybe occasional software updates for the lifetime of the unit. "Service" doesn't mean that they will service the unit in the sense of changing a failing component or anything like that.
     
  11. ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

    4,024
    12
    May 30, 2008
    Just download WD's Data Lifeguard Diagnostic, hook the drive up to your Windows 7 PC, and run the long test. It could care less what's on the drive (Linux, etc). Windows won't see it or assign a drive letter to it, but the WD program will.

    If you can connect it directly to a SATA port on the motherboard that's best, but even a USB adapter is OK. If you use an external adapter or dock it probably won't give you SMART info, but the short and long tests will still run.

    Don't fret about the warranty - it's long gone in any case. While it's open look at the top of those capacitors in the power supply carefully. Anything except "it's absolutely perfectly flat" means that it's bad, and sometimes even that's not a sure bet. With a 648 it's not IF, but WHEN unless the power supply has already been replaced.
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You go to WD's site, search the model number of the drive (I think all the 250s were WDs) and on the left hand side of the resulting page will be a link for an image (a .iso file) that you download and burn to cd as an image (so it'll be bootable), and boot the PC with that.

    It ignores the software on the drive, so it doesn't matter what, if any, operating system or partitions are on the drive, it deals with it at a lower level.

    Which is why you can use their diagnostics on a brand new WD drive that hasn't been high-level formatted or partitioned yet.

    I recommend you do that before doing anything else with a new drive, just in case it got hurt during shipping or slipped past Quality Control or something.

    It's not the Linux on a TiVo drive that Windows doesn't recognize, it's the Apple Partition Map that they use that Windows won't recognize.

    As far as Windows knows, it's an empty drive, but you won't be using Windows to look at it or diagnose it.

    (although you may use a program called WinMFS that runs on Windows, but that's not the same thing)

    If there's a problem with the drive, come back and let us know, and be looking for a 2TB WD20EURS on sale somewhere for around $100.

    That's the best GB/$ deal, it's got a 3 year warranty, and it's designed for 24/7 A/V use.

    Any warranty on that TiVo should have run out long before now.

    The lifetime subscription is good for the lifetime of that particular machine, as defined by the TiVo Service Number, which is recorded on the sticker on the back and burned into a chip on the motherboard.

    That original S3 is the last TiVo model where you could (with great difficulty) move the chip to another of the same model motherboard to save the lifetime sub.

    So, as long as you keep that TiVo running, or make it look that way, the lifetime sub remains in effect, regardless of who owns it, or whether you've changed the hard drive.

    When the TiVo contacts the TiVo, Inc. servers for program info, it gets the TSN off of that chip and reports it, and the servers check the database for the account status of that TSN.
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC


    I thought the Wraith were pretty much a direct steal from the replacement villains in the last season or 2 of Earth:Final Conflict myself.

    Atlantis was a reverse Tardis--looked much bigger on the outside than it was inside.

    :D
     
  14. BOMOON

    BOMOON Negative Futurist

    87
    0
    Dec 11, 2004
    Southern NH
    Great info Unitron, thanks. I've since ruled out the APC UPS as the problem with respect to the power supply, so it looks as though it really is something internal to the TiVo. Time to disconnect everything, pull the unit, and perform battlefield surgery!
     
  15. BOMOON

    BOMOON Negative Futurist

    87
    0
    Dec 11, 2004
    Southern NH
    More good info Unitron, thank you.

    Tonight I've gotten as far as physically removing the drive from the S3. It was a bit of a problem with those star wrench screws, especially the ones inside the case that connected the drive mount to the chassis.

    The worst is over though. Tomorrow I tackle the WD diagnostics. It's good to know about that 2TB replacement option. I hope that's the worst case scenario.

    What hurts is that this hard drive has recordings for the entire Cheyenne and Maverick TV series. I'd hate to lose those, but.... Then again, my only option for archiving them was capturing them in real-time using a Canopus or Hauppauge card, and then burning the recordings to DVD or BluRay. Maybe that was too much work to justify the results.

    A working S3 is the realistic goal now.

    Thanks again for the advice and have a good one,
     
  16. ADG

    ADG Allan

    2,122
    4
    Aug 19, 2003
    New Jersey, USA
    Same thing happened to me last month on one of my S3's. Ordered a new hd from Weaknees, replaced it, and everything was fine. There are only a few things that can go wrong - hd, power supply, mobo or fan - that's really all there is inside the case. More often than not it's the hd or ps - and in my case it was the hd.
     
  17. WO312

    WO312 Active Member

    1,372
    0
    Jan 24, 2003
    Finger...
    That star shaped screw is called a Torx screw. I've used both T-10 and T-15 screwdrivers on Tivos - I've forgotten anymore which models use which. It's always a good idea to have both T-10 and T-15 screwdrivers at home.
     
  18. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
    0
    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Right, because the only reason I can fathom for having "difficulty" is not using the proper size wrench for the job. I believe all units so far actually need both sizes, but apparently, with "difficulty", the T10(or whichever size is smallest) can work on the larger sized screws. If I'm not mistaken, the screws that attach the drives to the brackets are larger than the "case" screws.
     
  19. ADG

    ADG Allan

    2,122
    4
    Aug 19, 2003
    New Jersey, USA
    T-10 torx for the case, T-15 for the drive brackets
     
  20. BOMOON

    BOMOON Negative Futurist

    87
    0
    Dec 11, 2004
    Southern NH
    The "difficulty" for me was that my star wrenches are in one of those "Swiss Army Knife" handles. To get to the tight spots inside the case where the drive mount was attached, I had to take the wrench handle apart and extract the right wrench. That took away the leverage for the wrench, so I just gripped the end with needlenose pliers.

    BTW the caps on the PS "look" ok as far as no bulging tops, sides, or explosion artifacts go. The fan also comes on when the unit is plugged in and powered up. I was hoping for something obvious but... on to the hard drive diags.
     

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