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Series 3 stuck in "Welcome! Powering up..." loop

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by mpthompson, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Nov 12, 2011 #1 of 223
    mpthompson

    mpthompson New Member

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    Dec 30, 2006
    Hi everyone. I've have a Series 3 + Lifetime for a number of years with no custom upgrades and it's been working fine for me. However, as of yesterday, it is now stuck in a "Welcome! Powering up..." loop. :(

    Researching the problem I now know about the Kickstart process for testing the HDD and such. However, I simply can't get any of the Kickstart tests to run. I wait for the four lights to go out, hold the pause button on the remote and release the pause button when the single orange light appears. I then punch in the Kickstart code, say 57, the orange light immediately turns off and after about 20 seconds the Tivo reboots, but the Kickstart never runs never runs after that. The Tivo just keeps going through the "Welcome! Powering up..." loop as if I did nothing. :confused:

    I have a few questions for others that may have experienced such problems.

    Is there something I'm missing about running the Kickstart tests? I've looked at multiple sources on the web and I believe I'm doing everything right.

    Would a bad power supply (or capacitors on the power supply) prevent the Kickstart tests from running? I suppose the 5V output could be working allowing the Tivo to power up, but the 12V supply to the HDD could be bad which causes a reboot -- or something like that.

    Without being able to access Kickstart, I'm a bit weary of purchasing a new HDD which may or may not fix the errors I'm now experiencing.

    Any suggestions on where I should start? I haven't yet cracked the case to the Tivo, but I'm fairly adept at soldering and working with electronics so measuring voltages and replacing capacitors or the HDD aren't intimidating to me.

    Thank you for any suggestions.

    Mike
     
  2. Nov 12, 2011 #2 of 223
    weathertop

    weathertop No worries

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    Jan 24, 2003
    Short Hills, NJ
    I've had this behavior occur on several Tivo's over the years, including my 2 Series 3s.

    In all cases, the problem was resolved after I replaced the (dead) hard drives. I also couldn't get the kickstart codes to work.

    Check out http://www.weakness.com for your best HD replacement options.
     
  3. Nov 13, 2011 #3 of 223
    lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    A bad power supply is like a poltergeist. It's probably the hard drive but it would be good to check the electrolytic capacitors in the power supply for obvious signs of bulging tops and/or leakage. If it comes down to replacing the hard drive, you might consider burning your own image instead of buying a higher cost pre-imaged one. There is a thread under the "Upgrades" forum where you can ask for an image specific to your box and the imaging software is a free download from MFSTools.com.
     
  4. Nov 13, 2011 #4 of 223
    teasip

    teasip Member

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    Aug 24, 2002
    You have to have SATA capability however, or so they now say (I burned a 1TB HD a year or so ago with an external SATA case but I understand that this is no longer possible via USB connection to a laptop). Maybe successful then because I used FW? I don't recall.

    Update: My bad. My issue had to do with removing the Intellipark software from the drive. Not the general software upgrade to a virgin disk.
     
  5. Nov 13, 2011 #5 of 223
    mpthompson

    mpthompson New Member

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    Dec 30, 2006
    OK, I'll go the route of upgrading the Hard Drive. My PC has SATA capability so hopefully it won't be that big of a deal for me to image a virgin hard drive for the Tivo.

    I'm first going to try and read my existing Tivo drive from my PC, perhaps it will have some more luck than my Tivo does. If I can't do that, I guess I'll have to purchase the software that will let me create a correct Tivo image drive from scratch.

    I'll check out the capacitors for any visible issues while I have the case opened and replace as needed. Fortunately I live within a short drive of Jameco and can probably purchase whatever capacitors I need from them.
     
  6. Nov 14, 2011 #6 of 223
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

    Read the wikipedia article on "capacitor plague" and also go to badcaps.net to learn how to spot the sometimes subtle signs of capacitor disease of the power supply.

    While you've got the cover off to examine the power supply, hook the drive up to the computer and boot with a cd or floppy with the drive manufacturer's own diagnostic software and run the long test.

    If that's an original S3 (TCD648250), I think it can't run a 2TB the way an S3 HD or S3 HD XL can, so you might want to grab one of those 1TB Seagates on sale at Best Buy this week, and if nothing's wrong with the drive you might want to grab one anyway, 'cause it looks like hard drive supplies and prices aren't getting back to normal till late next spring, and having a spare hard drive on hand could come in handy.

    However, often an inability to kickstart indicates an inability of the TiVo to communicate with the drive or the drive no longer being recognized by the TiVo as a TiVo drive.

    You might want to go to mfslive.org and familiarize yourself with the MFS Live cd and the WinMFS program. The Live cd is handy to have a copy of even if you don't own a TiVo.
     
  7. Nov 14, 2011 #7 of 223
    leiff

    leiff Member

    513
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    Aug 24, 2005
    If you have a slide remote unplug it. That caused me to freeze during boot.
     
  8. Nov 14, 2011 #8 of 223
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Using WinMFS or MFSLive I hope, not Windows Explorer.
     
  9. Nov 16, 2011 #9 of 223
    mpthompson

    mpthompson New Member

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    Dec 30, 2006
    Yeah, I meant one of the suggested utilities rather than Windows Explorer.
     
  10. Nov 17, 2011 #10 of 223
    mpthompson

    mpthompson New Member

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    Dec 30, 2006
    Just a quick update for anyone who comes across similar problems. I pulled the original 250GB drive from the Tivo and attached it to my PC to run the Western Digital Diagnostics on it. SMART monitoring indicated no errors and the drive passed both the short and long scanning tests without finding any problems. WinMFS was able to backup the drive without any problems.

    Turning my attention to the power supply I measured the 12 volt line at just under 7 volts and the 5 volt line is just under 4.7 volts. The bad 12 volt would seem to explain why the Tivo no longer can communicate with the hard drive. Also, with the case off I could hear a faint "clicking" sound coming the power supply. Closer inspection revealed a number of the capacitors are swollen so I'm now assuming the power supply is the source of my problems.

    I now have a full set of replacement capacitors for the power supply on order from Digikey. Hopefully replacing the capacitors will bring the power supply back up to specs.
     
  11. Nov 18, 2011 #11 of 223
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You live near Jameco but you're going to wait for Digi-Key to ship?
     
  12. Nov 18, 2011 #12 of 223
    mpthompson

    mpthompson New Member

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    Dec 30, 2006
    Yeah. Jameco had some of the capacitors backordered so I decided to order everything from DigiKey (and a few other things I needed). Although I get two day shipping, things usually get to me overnight. Also, I was able to spec out better capacitors from DigiKey for just a little more cost.
     
  13. Nov 20, 2011 #13 of 223
    mpthompson

    mpthompson New Member

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    Dec 30, 2006
    Just a wrap up to this thread. I replaced all 15 of the electrolytic capacitors on my Tivo Series 3 power supply and the Tivo powered up without a problem. Four or five of the old capacitors were visibly swollen, but none were yet leaking. I replaced all of the capacitors just to be sure.

    There wasn't a problem with the hard drive, but I went ahead and upgraded to a 1 terabyte drive since I had purchased one earlier in the week anticipating the drive would need replacment. The upgrade instructions in the other thread are terrific and the upgrade went smoothly using WinMFS.

    Thank you to everyone for your help. Knowing that others had braved these types of repairs gave me encouragement to do it myself. My wife and children thought I was crazy when they saw the guts of the Tivo spilled across our kitchen table, but they are now very happy the Tivo is once again a member of the family.
     
  14. Nov 20, 2011 #14 of 223
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    If they were swollen, that means they already were going bad even if they never actually leak.

    If the original hard drive works with no problem (other than not being infinitely large capacity wise:rolleyes:), carefully store it someplace where it won't get lost or messed with in case you ever need it to see if the new one has gone bad. Think of it as one of your diganostic tools.

    If you bought a boxed 1TB drive, what's the model number on the box and what's the model number on the drive itself, and if you bought a bare drive what's the model number on the drive itself?
     
  15. Nov 20, 2011 #15 of 223
    mpthompson

    mpthompson New Member

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    Dec 30, 2006
    The hard disk drive I'm using is the Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB Serial ATA for Desktops. The model number is WDBAAZ0010HNC-NRSN. A link to the drive on BestBuy is here. I don't know if this was the best drive for the Tivo, but my local BestBuy store was picked clean of drives and this was pretty much my only choice in the 1 TB capacity. It seems to run cool and relatively quiet on the Tivo, but it's not quite as quiet as the original drive.

    I did put my old drive in the box for the new drive and labeled it I'll know what it is when I come across it three years from now. :) It will be kept in the same cabinet as my Tivo so I can find it if the new drive ever goes dead.
     
  16. Nov 20, 2011 #16 of 223
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    That's the number on the bottom of the box, but I was hoping for the number on the top of the drive as well, since WD, among others, can't be counted on to always put the same drive in a box with the same model number on the box. This is also true of the external enclosures with drives which they sell as well.

    This time last year (Black Friday sale), I got 3 1TB Caviar Blacks from Best Buy, 1 in store, one purchased online and picked up in store, and one purchased online and shipped to my house.

    All 3 were the same drive as far as Best Buy and their Black Friday sale price listing were concerned, all 3 were in fact the WD1001FALS (that's the model of the actual drive, printed on the sticker on top of the drive).

    The 2 that came out of the local store had WD10000LSRTL on the bottom of the box, but the one they shipped had WDBAAZ0010HNC-NRSN on the bottom.

    If you have occasion to take the top off of the TiVo again anytime soon, I'd love to know what model they're putting in that box now.

    Those 3 drives have been running 24/7 in a couple of S2 DT TiVos for almost a year now with no hiccups, but since the Caviar Blacks run at 7200rpm, and do get rather warm, I've got extra fans in there with them.

    The Blacks also have that nice 5 year warranty.

    Fortunately for me Thailand hadn't flooded at the time and the sale price was about half what they're asking now.
     
  17. Nov 22, 2011 #17 of 223
    lstorey

    lstorey want a GS fix!

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    Mar 17, 2005
    DFW
    I'm running into this problem today...nearly 3 year old S3 that is stuck on the power up screen and rebooting doesn't seem to help.

    I'm going to look for the thread that was mentioned about replacing the hard drive. Is this hard to do?
     
  18. Nov 23, 2011 #18 of 223
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    It's not all that difficult. The easiest and by far most expensive way is to buy a drive that's already ready.

    weaknees, who help pay to keep this site online, are a popular source.

    dvrupgrade, who apparently have been absorbed by weaknees but maintain a separate site, offer a kind of "instant TiVo hard drive" cd, and, I think, drop in replacement drives also.

    And there's a guy on eBay about whom nice things have been said.


    First you need to establish that it is the hard drive that's at fault and not something else.

    Like perhaps the power supply. Some had inferior capacitors used, which are starting to give trouble now. That's a slightly more difficult fix than hard drive replacement, but not all that hard.

    What's the model number of your unit? TCD648xxx, TCD652xxx, TCD658xxx?

    Are you using cable cards with it?

    Go to mfslive.org and start reading up on the MFS Live cd and WinMFS.

    What do you have in the way of a computer that you can open up and hook another hard drive or 2 to?

    Let me know if it has a GigaByte brand motherboard and I'll tell you the extra precautions necessary with those.

    Also, read

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

    and then have a look at

    badcaps.net

    for a little further education

    And go see what Torx drivers look like

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torx

    You'll need a #10 to open the TiVo and maybe an 8 or a 9 to remove the power supply if it's necessary to fix it.


    You really should have arranged to have had this problem a couple of months ago before the floods in Thailand caused a big hard drive shortage and ran the price of them up so badly.:)

    Oh, do you have many recordings you want to try to save?
     
  19. Nov 26, 2011 #19 of 223
    mpthompson

    mpthompson New Member

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    Dec 30, 2006
    As unitron, mentioned above, you will want to first check to make sure that the problem is indeed your hard drive. I was able to verify that my original hard drive was still working by taking it from the Tivo, connecting it to my PC using a SATA cable, and using the utilities from the Western Digital web site (my original Tivo hard drive was a Western Digital) to verify the drive was functioning correctly. The utility was called "WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic Utility (DLGDIAG)." I also used WinMFS to also back up the drive at that time just in-case I messed things up while attempting to repair my Tivo.

    Once I ruled out the hard drive I then examined the power supply and determined that it was no longer producing accurate voltages. I was going to order a replacement power supply, but I opted for taking a chance with replacing the electrolytic capacitors myself. Replacing the all 15 electrolytic capacitors on the power supply did indeed fix my problem and the power supply once again produced the correct voltages and my Tivo functioned again without a problem.

    Once the power supply was fixed and since I had the case already opened I went ahead and updated my Tivo's 250GB hard drive to a 1TB hard drive. Following the instructions in the other thread, I found the process pretty straight forward. However, I would warn you that you will need to know how to connect SATA drives temporarily to your PC in order to perform the upgrade/replacement. This can be done by cracking open your PC case and running cables from the SATA ports on your motherboard to the hard drives or using external USB drive cases for SATA drives. If such things make you nervous, you are probably better off paying someone else to make the repairs or upgrade.
     
  20. Dec 2, 2011 #20 of 223
    chadclifford

    chadclifford New Member

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    Feb 20, 2007
    I'm having the exact same problem as you. Can you elaborate on exactly what you did to replace the capacitors? I'm not sure what you did exactly. Thanks in advance.
     

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