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Stuck in S03 Hell: what to do next

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Dork., Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Dork.

    Dork. New Member

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    Jan 22, 2011
    Hello everyone!

    We recently re-subscribed to digital cable (and have a new Tuning Adapter with TW) after a few years of only having OTA channels. A few months after that my S3 HD TiVo (which had been solid as a rock) started acting up, claiming it didn't have all of its program info. So tonight, like an idiot, I re-ran guided setup while I researched the problem further.

    And while guided setup took forever to complete, I read all about how the TA's keep the garbage collection from happening, and that all you have to do is leave the TA unplugged periodically to get everything working again, but you should never, ever run guided setup when you're in this state. Uh oh.

    So, as you have probably guessed, guided setup failed with an S03 error. So now I think I'm hosed.

    I tried all of the relevant kickstarts. 57, 54, 52. The last one I tried was 58, and after trying that one I am now stuck in a permanent GSOD reboot cycle. I am thinking I need to take some drastic action.

    I did a bit of TiVo hacking with my old Series 1, but I was too lazy to do anything special with this HD. I even got the external WD expander drive when it came time to get more space, so I still have the stock drive in the unit. I have a lot of reading up to do on how the state of the TiVo hacking tools have changed over the past 8 years or so....

    I don't think there is any way to save the recorded shows at this point, is there? From what I have read, my best bet may be to take a truncated backup of my current drive, wipe the drive, and then reapply the truncated backup. Then put my TA on a timer. :p

    (I plan on checking for dodgy capacitors first, then doing some good scans of those drives, to make sure that they are still good.)

    Any comments or suggestions on what to do next?

    Thank you!
     
  2. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    Jul 6, 2002
    boston'ish
    Nope, you're on the right track,
    Before anything get the capacitor situation assessed and resolved if needed
    That may resolve the running issues and you can get your recordings.
    I'd also pull the current drive for safe keeping and drop a new drive with a new blank image on it just for testing, don't mess with the drive that has potentially salvagable recordings on it.

    p.s. you'll find bad caps.. I promise.
     
  3. Dork.

    Dork. New Member

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    Jan 22, 2011
    No, the caps look OK, no obvious swelling or leaking. A ton of dust bunnies, though. With so many failures, I'm surprised nobody has made their own yet. It's got the power specs printed right on the board, after all.

    Using a different drive is a good idea, I do have a 1TB spare lying around, it's even a WD drive (WD10EVDS). But there must be a reason I'm not using it? I need to test it, I think, to make sure it works. But I never imaged my stock drive before, I still think I will need to make a truncated backup of the stock drive and then apply it to the new one.

    Does having an external drive complicate recovering the recordings?

    Update: The 1 TB drive failed SMART on the reallocated sector count, but I have a 500 GB WD5000AAKS which passes SMART, so I am running the tests with the WD utility overnight....
     
  4. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

    10,122
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    Jul 6, 2002
    boston'ish
    That would make things more complicated, I call a foul on "facts not in evidence"! :)


    I've never done the HD swap to a clean one for testing on a system that was running an expander drive, so no advice there. Head down to the upgrade forum, you don't need to make a backup, there are images down there.
     
  5. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

    4,059
    5
    Feb 4, 2008
    Looking at a capacitor is only helpful if they have failed catastrophically. You sound handy, and really need to check the voltages to see if it is good. Personally, due to the issues with caps on older S3s, I would not bother going the drive route until making sure the PS is good.

    Also, external drives often give symptoms that you indicate in your OP. That information would have been more helpful in that post. Is it a 500 GB unit, or the newer 1TB? The older ones fail more often, and would my leading suggestion to investigate before cracking open the unit for any reason.

    So, to summarize, in my suggested order:
    Check the external drive first. Test, check connections, and eventually unpair to see if that is your problem. Does not really hurt as the recordings sound like they are already lost.
    Check voltages on PS- with load if you can.
    Internal drive- test externally with the mfr drive tools.

    Good luck whatever you choose to do.
     
  6. Dork.

    Dork. New Member

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    0
    Jan 22, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestions, I'm doing them a bit out of order though.

    First, I ran the WD extended test on my 500 GB drive overnight and it failed. Bummer. I obtained am image and put it on the drive just to see what would happen, and it stalled on the "powering up" screen. I'm not too suprised.

    Then, I pulled the internal 160 GB drive from my TiVo (also a WD) and ran it through the WD extended test, and it passed. Whew.

    Now I am using WinMFS to make that truncated backup. It's taking a while, though. and I get the spinning ring of wait-a-minute in Windows 7 while it runs. Is that normal? (edit: Yeah, I left to feed the kids, and when I came back Windows 7 informed me that GUI tools stopped working. So much for that idea.)

    In the meantime, while I had the TiVo powered up with the 500 GB drive installed I dug out my handy $5.99 meter and checked the supply board:
    3.3V read 3.33
    5V read 4.98
    12V read 11.86

    That 12V reading seems low, but not low enough to cause concern.

    So, next I'll reinstall the stock drive and try to run it without the expander. If that fails, I'll put the Linux MFStools on a USB drive and try making a backup that way.

    the expander is a newer 1TB model. I have already opened it to see that it is a WD10EVVS drive. Before trying to use it again I will pull the drive and try the WD diagnostic tools on it....

    Thanks for all your help!

    Update #2: With the stock drive in and no external drive, I still seem to be stuck in a permanent reboot loop where it keeps asking me to divorce the external drive, but then reboots and asks me again. I think that it may not be worthwhile to make an image of this drive, it is so far FUBARed.

    I now have the WD10EVVS from the DVR Expander running its diagnostic. I think it will take a few hours. I will go do other things until it finishes, then figure out what to do next. If the WD10EVVS passes the extended test, maybe I should just try putting my new image on that and installing it internally?
     
  7. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You have to divorce the external from the internal before doing a truncated backup of the internal, otherwise the backup itself expects the external to exist and be connected.

    Of course divorcing them means losing all shows recorded since the external was first connected.

    Unless the voltage readings without a drive connected are considerably different from the ones you got with a drive connected, the power supply is probably alright if you don't have any visible bulges or leaks.

    Since you mention a 160GB drive I assume you mean you have a TCD652160.

    You need to find a drive that's at least 160GB and that passes the manufacturer's long test and restore a 652 image to it, and use that to test the motherboard.

    For use with the MFS Live cd v1.4

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/49887720/652_gset.bak


    For use with WinMFS

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/49887720/652_gset.tbk

    Those are 11.0k, not 11.0m, but they're perfectly adequate to get the unit up and running again if the motherboard is okay.

    Since they start in Guided Setup you might not run into an error 51, it may just fix that automatically, but in case you do, or it otherwise talks about a hardware problem or gives you a "green screen", what's going on is that your unit has a unique TiVo Service Number burned into a chip on the motherboard, and the images were taken from a different 652 with a different unique TSN, and the conflict has to be resolved, so if it says it's got to do something and don't mess with it for 3 hours, just leave it alone to do its thing.

    If it hasn't rebooted and moved on from the 3 hour screen after at least the better part of a day, only then should you unplug it and replug it.

    It'll probably be fixed, but just couldn't or didn't initiate that final reboot.
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    There's a possibility, though perhaps small, that the drive inside the external drive is itself okay and the power supply for the external case or the eSATA cable or jack are where the problem is.
     
  9. Dork.

    Dork. New Member

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    Jan 22, 2011
    Thanks for the info. Your images were the ones I had found. :)

    I wonder if I can divorce the drives with WinMFS. (I want to wait to check until the scan of the drive from the DVR expander is done, in about an hour....)

    I've read conflicting things as to whether these Tivo HD's can take drives more than 1 TB. Can they? And can I use any new WD Green drive as long as I figure out how to wdidle it?

    And your comment about the external power supply is making me think that I want to either install the drive from the DVR expander directly in the unit, or get a larger drive....
     
  10. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    That's because the rules have changed, as of 11.0k and above you can do a 2TB drive with no issues.
     
  11. Dork.

    Dork. New Member

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    Jan 22, 2011
    Gah! The drive in the DVR expander failed the long test, too. That couldn't have helped my issues at all.

    So I went out and got a 2 TB drive (another WD Green, I know it seems like all my WD drives are bad but I got a good price and already have all the tools....) I'm currently running the long test on that but assuming it passes I'll wdidle it and install the new image and see what happens....

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Which model number WD green?

    Much success has been had with the WD20EURS, which is specifically designed for 24/7 A/V use.
     
  13. Dork.

    Dork. New Member

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    Jan 22, 2011
    No, it's an EZRX. According to the magic decoder ring, the "Z" makes it a desktop drive, and the "X" makes it a 3 Gb/s drive which is 6Gb capable. Still had to fix the intellipark.

    It's not an AV drive, but I'll take my chances with it. It just passed the first phase of guided setup, which is farther than I've gotten so far.

    So I finished guided setup, then shortly after I saw the "Problem found" message and it asked me to reboot. I'll let it sit overnight.
    While I was in there I did notice that I don't seem to have the full 2TB available, even though WinMFS supposedly expanded the partition....

    Well, that was fast, and now I have an error 51, so I'm off to clear and delete everything.
     
  14. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    When restoring an image or copying from smaller to larger with WinMFS, when it offers to expand, say no.

    Then at least select the target drive and look at it with mfsinfo, if not remove it and test it in the TiVo.

    Then use WinMFS's mfsadd to do the expansion as a separate step.

    Sometimes doing it as part of the initial operation appears to work but doesn't, so the solution is to just plan to do it separately.
     
  15. Dork.

    Dork. New Member

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    Jan 22, 2011
    Yup, I had to run mfsadd again, then the TiVo could use the whole 2 GB.
    Then I had to call TW to get the CableCard paired again. So it looks like I am all set now. (I took the time to pull the drive one last time and make a backup, just in case...)

    FWIW, I saw in one of the Tuning Adapter/Garbage Collection threads that there is a theory that increasing the swap space would make this problem happen less often, so I increased it to 2 GB when I made the new image. We'll see if that helps.

    Thank you all very much for your help!
     
  16. dianebrat

    dianebrat I refuse to accept your reality TCF Club

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    damn that's small, what is it, a 30sec loop? :D
    (yeah, I know you meant TB's, but had to say it...)
     
  17. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
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    And then he used the entire 2GB as swap!

    :D
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Actually, 2GB is about 30 minutes of best quality analog cable.
     
  19. Dork.

    Dork. New Member

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    Jan 22, 2011
    hah! That's what I get for typing too fast.

    So, severa lhours later, it looks like even though I have program information well into next week, only today's program information has been indexed, or something like that. I just replaced a bunch of season passes by browsing by channel and picking out the shows, but when I look at the To Do List, most of those shows show up as "none scheduled". I didn't expect the indexing to take this long. I'll turn off the TA overnight to make sure that doesn't interfere with anything....
     
  20. Dork.

    Dork. New Member

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    Jan 22, 2011
    Final update (for any of you who are interested...)

    Not sure whether turning off the TS was the solution or not, but the box did finally index.
    The last thing to take care of was the Video on Demand (Netflix/Amazon) settings. At first, selecting the "Video on Demand" menu item did nothing. But then I remembered that you had to activate VoD on Tivo's website -- it was entirely possible that TiVo thought the unit was configured properly, but the unit itself wasn't.
    So, I logged into tivo.com, disabled VoD on that TiVo, and re-enabled it. Then I forced a connection, and that triggered a system update. So now I have everything back the way it was.

    Thank you, everyone, and happy new year! I'll try and remember to update at some point to let you know how my non-AV drive is doing.... :)
     

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