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TiVo HD-programs starting to freeze

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by spikedavis, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. spikedavis

    spikedavis New Member

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    Nov 23, 2003
    Hello. I have a TiVo HD-Almost 5 years old now and I have an external HD hooked up to it. In the past week I have noticed the following behavior.

    In 3 separate programs I recorded-at a certain spot in the episode, the TiVo will freeze and the remote will become unresponsive. After about 20 seconds it will resume. Any attempt to return to that point in time will yield the same behavior. And other than this, the TiVo is behaving just fine.

    Should I be concerned?
     
  2. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    How are you getting the TV signal (OTA, cable)?

    I've seen this behaviour with a weak OTA signal on one channel.

    Could also be caused by a failing hard drive. I would be most suspicious of the external drive.
     
  3. spikedavis

    spikedavis New Member

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    Nov 23, 2003
    It's cable. Any way for me to determine if it's the internal HD or the external HD before it goes out?
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
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    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    First check your signal strengths in DVR Diagnostics to rule out that possible cause.

    The simple way to determine which HDD is failing is to divorce the external drive --- but you lose all recordings made since it was married.

    Try the KickStart tests, particularly KS54. Here are two sets of instructions:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=5643823#post5643823
    http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php
    Unfortunately the KS tests don't detect all problems.

    After almost 5 years service, a HDD failure would not be surprising and the external one is more likely to be the culprit. Regardless of which HDD is failing, I would strongly advise scrapping both of them and upgrading the internal drive to 1TB or 2TB. The 1 TB upgrade can be done for between $70 and $110 depending on how much DIY involvement you invest.

    EDIT: Forgot this: Reseat the SATA cable to your external drive before you try anything else. I don't know if this requires shutting down the TiVo first so better do so just to be safe.
     
  5. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    I have used external drives with both my S3 and THD since new, and I would second the ideas above - first the eSATA cable, then the drives.

    Over the years I had several instances where my S3 started acting like this. Other symptoms can include unexpected pixelation/macroblocking and spontaneous reboots. In each case, re-seating the ESATA cable cleared it up for months or years. But you cannot be sure a drive is not failing unless you actually remove the drive and test it on a PC with the drive manufacturer's test utility.

    Also be aware that a problem with the eSATA connection to the external drive does cause defective files which can completely mimic a defective drive unless you use a utility to test the surface of the drive instead of the file system. That can be why you have identified specific points in some programs that cause a problem every time you play them. You will need to delete those programs.

    If you pull the drives and test them on a PC, you probably will not loose any recordings unless you find a defective drive. Jut make sure to not reboot the TiVo until both drives have been tested and reinstalled.
     
  6. spikedavis

    spikedavis New Member

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    Nov 23, 2003
    Ok so if I reseat the esata cable I'm assuming it will do the wipe on the external drive right?
     
  7. tiassa

    tiassa Me --Avatar

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    Jul 2, 2008
    Not really --If you pull the e-sata cable while Tivo is running, you will get a message to the effect of "Tivo can't see an external drive do you want to divorce it?" If you say "yes" it will "wipe" the external drive --it won't really "wipe" the drive (ie write zeros across it), but the contents won't be usable.
    If you don't divorce it, you can you can reboot the Tivo, plug the drive back in and it will find the drive again.
     
  8. Jim5506

    Jim5506 New Member

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    Oct 2, 2004
    Lubbock Texas
    My HD TiVo with 160GB internal drive was also freezing on playback and getting worse, so I replaced the internal drive with a WD 1TB drive made especially for DVR's (I bought 2 for about $160).

    Used Internet instructions for copying OS from old drive to new and now I have hundreds of hours of recording time and no more freeze-ups for less than $80.
     
  9. spikedavis

    spikedavis New Member

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    Nov 23, 2003
    I ran the kickstart utility and it immediately reported that the external was failing. I'm frantically trying to move all 35 episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba off the Tivo onto my Mac before I replace it/it dies. My kid would be devastated if we lost those! :O
     
  10. Jim5506

    Jim5506 New Member

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    Oct 2, 2004
    Lubbock Texas
    An option on the OS copying software also copies all your programs to the new drive.
     
  11. tiassa

    tiassa Me --Avatar

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    Jul 2, 2008
    The kickstart might be reporting that the external drive is bad because of a bad cable. After you get all the programs off of the drive, try getting a new cable for the external drive, it might fix the problem and won't cost a whole lot.
     
  12. spikedavis

    spikedavis New Member

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    Nov 23, 2003
    Damn-I just ordered a new drive off of Amazon. I'll try to go pick up a eSATA cable at lunch just in case. Maybe I can return the drive.
     
  13. ocbeachbum

    ocbeachbum New Member

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    Nov 7, 2006
    The same thing happened to me and I went through the troubleshooting steps that TIVO e-mailed me. The problem was the external hard drive. I disconnected it, lost all my recorded programs and now the TIVO works like new. Try to transfer your important shows using TIVO Desktop before you disconnect the hard drive.
     
  14. spikedavis

    spikedavis New Member

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    Nov 23, 2003
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Now when I boot up the TiVo its telling me External Storage Not Found. It asks me to press thumbs down three times and then press enter to reboot and clear the connection to the old external drive-then reboots and pits me back to the same screen. I'm stuck in this loop-regardless of if I have the old drive, new drive or np drive plugged in. I can't get it to boot up to the main screen no matter what! /:(
     
  15. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    If you want to keep it simple:
    1. Return the drive you bought to Amazon.
    2. Order a 1TB (or 2TB) drive from DVR_DUDE
    3. Install it, do clear and delete all, connect to Tivo several times until you have the latest software update then (if necessary) get your CableCARD(s) re-paired. (Actually I assume DVR_DUDE provides detailed instructions.)
     
  16. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    390
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    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    You didn't tell us anything about what you did before this started happening (and I do not have a clue what an "np" drive is). Is your "old" drive the original TiVo factory drive? Have you done anything to it other than simply trying to remove the external drive? I assume you ARE actually trying to divorce the external drive, although you did not explicitly state that.

    If you are simply trying to boot it with your original internal drive and divorce the external drive, have you tried calling TiVo support? I know they can be pretty lame at times, but this is a simple and common procedure, so that would at least be a quick way to find out if there is any special procedure to try.
     
  17. spikedavis

    spikedavis New Member

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    Nov 23, 2003

    Yeah sorry-the internal drive is an original Tivo factory drive. I did call Tivo support last night and we tried for about an hour to divorce the external drive, but I'm caught in a loop where it just continually reboots and tries to divorce the external drive. Tivo told me to send it in for a repair for 150 bucks. After grumbling and researching I decided to just get a refurbed Tivo Premiere for 99 bucks on their web store with a 3 year warranty. Probally not the cheapest solution but I'm so aggravated and just want it solved easily at this point. I'm missing out on all my shows!
     

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