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Series 3 Pixelation/Freezing Swapping Power Supply Hard drive with Premiere

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jef3680@comcast., Jul 31, 2012.

  1. jef3680@comcast.

    jef3680@comcast. New Member

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    Jan 1, 2007
    I have a 6 year old series 3 with lifetime that is freezing/pixelating on HD channels. Seems to work fine on SD channels. It also freezes at times on Tivo Central and the only way to get it to sometimes work again is a reboot.

    I also have access to a TiVo Premiere. Can I swap power supplies and hard drives between the two units to see which is my problem or aren't they compatible? I understand I will lose everything on the new hard drive but it has never been used anyway.
     
  2. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    Not compatible. If you have a spare hard drive at least a big as the stock drive in your S3 then there is free imaging SW and free images available to try out (see the Upgrade Forum). If it works fine on SD then I suspect that it is not the Tivo's fault. Could be the CableCard(s) going bad or possibly low signal level on the digital channels. Try tuning a problem channel and then looking at the signal level under CableCard/DVR Diagnostics.
     
  3. Aug 3, 2012 #3 of 10
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,390
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Oddball symptoms on an S2 or S3 can be related to "capacitor plague" in the power supply. Or they can be caused by something else. But the cap problem happens often enough that it should be eliminated as a possibility first.

    You could even replace the usual suspects as a preventive measure.


    You can take the hard drive out and run WD's long test after burning their bootable diagnostic cd image as an image and booting a computer from that, and make sure the drive is alright, and as long as you've got the cover off you can carefully visually inspect the power supply caps.
     
  4. Aug 4, 2012 #4 of 10
    jef3680@comcast.

    jef3680@comcast. New Member

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    Jan 1, 2007
    I had Comcast to the house and all their checks suggested it was a TiVo issue. They said the cable cards were ok. I took a Comcast DVR for a month used it about two weeks and never had a pixelation issue, so after looking at the cost of buying a Premiere XL with a lifetime or renting a Comcast box by the month I bought an XL, exchanged one of the cable cards in the S3 for an M-Card and moved the the S3 to the basement with a single card since it has a lifetime. I had previously replaced one bulging capacitor on the power supply, but it did not make a difference, maybe I should have replaced all capacitors. I received the XL last week and so far it is working good. I put the S3 on a SD TV and it is also working. The issue I now have is that the S3 does not show up on Tivotogo so I can transfer recorded programs.
     
  5. Aug 5, 2012 #5 of 10
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Disagree. The OP said problems occurred on HD channels. These channels require a higher read/write rate of the HDD and thus HDD problems are more likely to show up first on those channels.
    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the WD diagnostics are available in a version that runs directly on Windows (not requiring a bootable CD), see here:
    http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=605&sid=3&lang=en/
    I used this program 3 years ago to run extended diagnostics on a 1 TB WD10EADS drive prior to installing it in my TiVo. You don't even have to open your PC if you use a USB-SATA adapter to connect the drive being tested, although the run time will be 2x or 3X longer. In my case, using a PC much slower than what is typical now, it took almost 10 hours -- so I just let it run overnight.
     
  6. Aug 5, 2012 #6 of 10
    lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    I didn't say it wasn't the Tivo, just that there are other things as well but I did suggest trying another available hard drive or running the drive diagnostics. Yes, the WD SW can run under Windows. I run it pretty much all of the time when I get a new to me used box. I also use nothing but USB to IDE/SATA cables and just let the test run overnight as well.
     
  7. jef3680@comcast.

    jef3680@comcast. New Member

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    Jan 1, 2007
    After moving the S3 to the basement and recording just standard Definition shows, pixilation is now starting to show up again. I plan on testing the hard drive as suggested earlier. If I find it is bad can I backup the drive to my PC and then take a hard drive from a TiVo HD unit I have and reformat for use in the S3? In response to my original post lillevig said it was not possible to use the hard drive from a TiVoHD in a Series 3, is this true even if I follow the procedures listed in another thread - "TiVo Internal Upgrade Instructions: Preserves Settings and Recordings", assuming I can use WinMFS and copy the contents of the existing Series 3 HD to my computer than copy the contents to the HD from the TiVoHD? Or is it for other reasons the TiVoHD hard drive is not compatible with the S3 even if I copy the software from the S3? I have a Lifetime on the S3 and I would prefer not to pay a monthly charge on the TiVoHD unit that was given to me.
     
  8. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    1,589
    2
    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    Unless the TiVo HD is a brick for some reason other than the hard drive, it would be imprudent to use its drive as just a blank drive for an upgrade. But TiVo drives can't be cloned onto smaller drives anyway, so if the THD drive is a 160GB and the original S3 OLED drive is a 250GB, the clone would fail. Just buy an appropriate 500GB or 1TB drive and then clone to that.

    Yours is an unusual situation. Try asking TiVo if they could give you $99 lifetime on the TiVo HD. It is a Series 3 model, and you did buy a Premiere a while back. The worst they can do is say no.
     
  9. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,390
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    Look on the backs of your various Series 3 TiVos at the sticker near the AC jack and take note of the model numbers.

    Apparently one is a TCD648250 (or TCD648250B) and the other is a TCD652160.

    Start referring to them as the 648 and the 652 and we'll be sure which one you're talking about.

    TiVo created confusion by releasing the 648 with HD on the box and then releasing it's successor, the 652, and calling it the HD.
     
  10. jef3680@comcast.

    jef3680@comcast. New Member

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    Jan 1, 2007
    I have the 648250B.
     

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