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Tivo HD XL rebooting-should I run Spinright?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Puppy76, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Active Member

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    Oct 6, 2004
    My HD XL has rebooted several times while recording shows this past week...which pretty much means a hard drive problem, right?

    I've tried the boot codes 57 and then 54 and let the tests run, but it doesn't find anything, so...should I pull the drive and run Spinright on it?

    I'm hoping it's not TOO hard to open this up and get the drive out to test it?

    I guess if I need to buy a new drive, Weaknees.com is a good/safe resource? Any catch to replacing the drive, like that you can only do it once or something?

    If there is a problem, at least it's happening during the summer... I soooooo wish Tivos had built in RAID 1 and easily swapable drives! I'm more worried about my Tivo's drive failing then my PC's drive!
     
  2. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    While the drive might be a cause, a bad power supply can also cause this symptom. If you choose to replace the drive, Weaknees is a reputable source and there's no limit on replacing the drive.
     
  3. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Active Member

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    Oct 6, 2004
    Thanks and thanks!

    That's great to know...maybe I will pull it to scan it, and then if the drive checks out but it reboots again, I'll know it could be the power supply.
     
  4. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    If you know how to pull a drive, you could just upgrade it yourself and even put in a 2TB drive for just the cost of the drive. Check out the upgrade center.

    I'm not familiar with spinright, but I have used the WD online tools to scan/correct a tivo disc error. I would make an image before doing that, just in case.
     
  5. matt@thehickmans

    matt@thehickmans Hemo_jr

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    Jan 8, 2008
    I have been successful using Spinrite to recover my shows prior to copying them over to another drive. But once a drive starts going bad, it usually doesn't stop and Spinrite only delays that issue.
     
  6. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    Spinrite can be a lifesaver when all else fails, but it is expensive and slow.
     
  7. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Active Member

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    Oct 6, 2004
    I already own it, and thankfully there's not too much I need to tape right now, so those issues aren't as painful as they might be!

    I should have asked...is it possible somehow to just buy a normal drive and copy the contents of the current drive over to the new one? (Assuming there actually is a problem with the drive?)
     
  8. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I've used SpinRite to fix Tivo drives that would not boot. It usually results from bad clusters forming on the dormant partitions. When the OS takes an update and switches the inactive partitions online you get stuck in a reboot loop becaue portions of the software got corrupted because the bad clusters were never flagged as bad, allowing the data to be diverted to good portions of the drive.

    SpinRite exercises the surface material of the disc by constantly writing ones and zeroes to the drive to rejuventate the magnetic substrate. This usually allows the drive to recover enough to boot, followed by the GSOD which then allows the software to repair itself. Once the GSOD subsides the Tivo can boot completely and function normally. At this point it is advisable to make a backup image or clone the drive to a new one, becuase chances are the fix won't be permanent.
     
  9. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Active Member

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    Oct 6, 2004
    Hmm...in my case it's booting fine (I think-maybe taking a little longer than normal but I guess it's always slow), but it's apparently spontaneously rebooted multiple times.

    I only notice of course if I'm watching or taping something. Last week it rebooted once while watching the last episode of Once Upon a Time, and rebooted at least twice while it was taping some stuff Tuesday night (I know based on it splitting up multiple shows into multiple pieces while it was rebooting-how cool is it the Tivo software does that by the way?)

    Sooooo I'm kind of assuming it's hitting bad sectors on the drive or something, but could be the power supply like Stevel mentioned or who knows what. First time I've had any possible hardware issue with a Tivo, and I got my (still in use) Series 2 in 2005, and this HD XL in I guess 2009!
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    semi-coastal NC
    If it's the original 1TB drive I assume it's a WD, so go into the menus, find the restart the TiVo option, choose it, do the 3 thumbs down and then right after hitting the Enter key pull the power cord from the wall socket, not from the back of the Tivo. Then carefully remove the cord from the back of the TiVo.

    Then using a #10 Torx driver, remove the screws from the back of the tiVo that hold the top cover on (and put the screws in an old aspirin bottle or similar so they don't go wander off somewhere).

    Unplug the combo power/data plug from the back of the drive, then use that same Torx driver to undo the 4 screws holding the hard drive bracket to the chassis, taking note of which one came from where--there's probably 3 indentical ones and one with a washer--remember where it goes, and put them in something to keep them together and safe.

    Take the drive and bracket out, leaving the drive in the bracket for now.

    Plug the model number into the WD website search function, then click on the download link on the left on the page that comes up and it should lead you to where you can download an image for a bootable cd with WD diagnostic software on it.

    Run the long test.

    If it finds problems it can't fix, that's the time to sic SpinRite on it.

    While you have the TiVo open, carefully inspect the capacitors on the power supply board for the least little sign of bulging.

    You can buy a replacement supply from Weaknees and send them the old supply for a partial credit, or there's a guy on the "other" website that can't be named here that does repairs on them, which will be considerably cheaper.

    Google "TiVo prom day" and you'll find links to the site and the guy who uses a greek letter name for a screen name.

    If you know which end of a soldering iron to hold, you can replace any bad caps yourself for about $10 in parts.

    You'll want high temp, low ESR replacement caps.

    If you're near Raleigh, I know a source for them there. PM me.

    If there's anything wrong with the drive at all, you need to start shopping for a replacement, and a 2TB will give you more GB/$.

    You should also download, from mfslive.org, the bootable cd image for the MFS Live cd v1.4 and the program WinMFS.

    Also you should download the image, from elsewhere, for the jmfs bootable cd.

    There's a thread around here that discusses using jmfs to upgrade HD and HD XL drives.
     
  11. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Active Member

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    Wow, so helpful! Thanks! I'm printing that in case I mess with it tonight. (Not 100% sure if I've got a Torx #10 even)

    I've got to say, you guys are really great. People on so many forums are just jerks, and everyone here is offering all sorts of help and encouragement! Proving Tivo owners are better people? :-D Heehee maybe so.
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Nah, we're jerks here too, we just keep it hidden a little better.:)
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    One other thing, if you have to remove the drive from the bracket, you might need a #15 Torx as well, and if you have to take the power supply out, there's a screw that goes in from the outside on the back panel right above the power cord socket, and it takes a slightly smaller #8 or #9 Torx.

    Remember, that power supply is unshielded when the cover is off of the TiVo, so know where both ends of the power cord are at all times, and don't touch the power supply if you're ever running the TiVo "topless". There's some voltage on the heat sink and I don't know how much current it can push if you give it a path.
     
  14. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    And yes, you can copy from one drive to another. The MFS tools at mfslive.org are the best bet for these. But if you have disk structure corruption, you'll be copying the corruption. It's worth a try.
     
  15. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Active Member

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    Oct 6, 2004
    Thanks, and...

    Thanks! That's interesting and cool that it's possible to just copy it over...

    That makes me think maybe the way to go is to make a backup of your drive when you first buy the Tivo, so then you have the OS and whatnot already on a drive and you can just swap it in and be good to go, I assume. Wish this was all handled by the Tivo itself...seems like they could make flip down doors on it to make swapping drives easy, have built in RAID 1 (or the equivalent), built in methods of handling OS install, etc. That's about the worst thing I can say about my Tivos :up:
     
  16. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    And now you are learning how owning a TiVo is a bittersweet blend of joy and frustration.


    So much to like, so many "if only..."ies.
     

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