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TiVo HDTV Series 3 has crashed/rebooted several times in one day

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Mike Richardson, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Sep 24, 2012 #1 of 116
    Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Member

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    Sep 24, 2012
    My TiVo model TCD652160 has crashed at least 9 times today. By "crashed" I mean it just reboots it's self. Two shows that recorded consecutively were 3 and 4 pieces each - I noticed this when I got home today after being away for the night. Then it crashed during live TV, then it crashed when I tried to re-record the same two shows concurrently, about 15 minutes into the recording. Now it's trying to still record the same shows after the reboot but I've cancelled this since the recordings are ruined.

    I do not have any after market hard drive or drive expansion or anything. It's just the 160 GB drive it came with. I got it from eBay for $50 about 6 months ago when I was forced to upgrade to digital cable by Comcast. It was a refurbished unit I think because it came in a generic looking box but it had manuals still sealed up and the remote was new with new batteries.

    It has never done this before. It's been rock solid since I got it. It has one MCard and no tuning adapter and it uses ethernet.

    I do have an unused 250 GB SATA drive I can install if the internal drive is going bad. I just never bothered to upgrade it since it's not that much more space.

    Last second update: It crashed while typing this post on live TV with no recordings. That makes 10 crashes today. My TiVo is sick :(

    Does anyone have any ideas other than trying a new hard drive? I am pretty sure it's out of warranty but I don't know how to check.
     
  2. Sep 24, 2012 #2 of 116
    Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Member

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    Sep 24, 2012
    It crashed again. Nothing was recording, just live TV.

    I predict it's probably going to crash about every 30 minutes until I throw it against the wall.

    Edit: Another crash. The TiVo is unusable.

    Edit 2: Crashed again, only 25 minutes of live TV this time. My prediction was too conservative!

    Edit 3: Crashes again exactly 30 minutes after the last crash. I was watching an older recorded show.
     
  3. Sep 24, 2012 #3 of 116
    sbourgeo

    sbourgeo Hepcat Daddio

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    I would check for bulging capacitors on the power supply (capacitor plague) and try testing the disk with the manufacturer diagnostic software or via a kickstart 54 on the TiVo itself.
     
  4. Sep 24, 2012 #4 of 116
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Most likely it's the hard drive, but it could also be the power supply.
    Have you tried doing any of the kickstart functions on the Tivo?
    http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php

    You should at least open the Tivo and visually inspect the power supply for capacitor plague. All capacitors should be completely flat on top. If any appear to be bulging or leaking, they need to be replaced.

    [​IMG]

    If the power supply looks okay, you can concentrate on the hard drive.
    To comfirm whether the hard drive is bad, use the drive manufacturers utility (most likely a WD hard drive) and test it on your computer.
    Don't run any tests that write to the hard drive.

    If you confirm that the hard drive is bad, you can use WinMFS or the MFS Live CD to build a new hard drive.

    http://www.mfslive.org/

    The images you need are here (thanks to unitron):

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=8831301#post8831301

    The .tbk image file is for using with WinMFS and the .bak image file is for using with the MFS Live CD.

    If you use the above to make a new hard drive, note that you will have to run a Clear & Delete Everything once it is installed in the Tivo. This step is needed to pair the new hard drive with the motherboard.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Sep 24, 2012 #5 of 116
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,997
    18
    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Also:
    It would be good to use a multimeter to measure the power supply voltages even if you don't see any bulging or leaking capacitors:
    Red 5V
    Yellow 12V
    Orange: 3.3V
    Black: Ground
    There is a connector where all these colored wires plug in to the motherboard. Insert (thin) multimeter probes into the back of that connector.
    WARNING: Possible Shock Hazard

    After a Clear & Delete All, you will also have to repeat the CableCARD installation process. You also will have to repeat guided setup, and force connection to the TiVo server several times, then reboot, to get the lastest software installed. If the sofware version in the image you install is really old, you may have to force the update before you can even install the CableCARD, I think.
     
  6. Sep 24, 2012 #6 of 116
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    If it were me (which in fact it was a little over a year ago), I would use WinMFS to create a truncated backup, restore and expand to the 250.

    You might also put both tuners on channels you don't get and delete anything in the "recently deleted" folder.
     
  7. Sep 24, 2012 #7 of 116
    zapatero

    zapatero New Member

    3
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    Jan 12, 2006
    Interesting... I came to the forum seeking info on the EXACT same issue. I too have a Series 3 that is all of a sudden rebooting several times a day... and this can happen during a play-back or while it's simply on live-tv and not recording the program.

    I do suspect though that it's a bad hard-drive ... and here's why. I had one HD recorded program that when it got to a specific second in the play-back the TiVo would freeze for a moment, then reboot. The reboot was reliably reproducible -- at the exact same spot in the stream. After experimenting with this reboot several times I finally deleted the entire program.

    I have a 1tb expansion drive as well. If it is a failing drive is there any way Tivo can read the logs off this box and tell me which drive might be failing?
     
  8. Sep 24, 2012 #8 of 116
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Probably not, but you can run kickstart 54.
     
  9. Sep 24, 2012 #9 of 116
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I believe if you use the Tivo kickstart diagnostics, it will test both drives.
    You'll want to try kickstarts 54 & 57.
    Instructions linked in my previous post above.

    My guess: it's the external. Just to make sure there isn't a communication issue between the hard drives, unplug and reseat the e-SATA cable on both ends when the Tivo is powered down.
     
  10. Sep 24, 2012 #10 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You guys are getting good.

    I may be able to do like richsadams and retire from this. :)
     
  11. Sep 24, 2012 #11 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    But seriously, run the manufacturer's long test on the 250* and if it passes slap my S3 HD image on it and try that in the TiVo while you run the manufacturer's long test on the 160 you just pulled from the TiVo.

    *Burn yourself a copy of the Ultimate Boot CD

    http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

    It's got practically all the different drive makers diagnostic tools on it.


    But I suspect the power supply.
     
  12. Sep 25, 2012 #12 of 116
    crazee8

    crazee8 New Member

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    Jan 30, 2009
    I'm having the same problem of resets. This last week it's getting worse and worse.

    I ran kickstart and everything checks as good on option 54 (hard drive test). When I run option 57 (MFS test), the green screen says there's a severe error and that it will take 3 hours to fix. I've run it 3 times and all three times, the box does a reset about 10 minutes into it and the fix can never run.

    I guess I'll continue to fiddle with it - thanks for everyone's suggestions.
     
  13. Sep 25, 2012 #13 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Try KS 58
     
  14. Sep 25, 2012 #14 of 116
    crazee8

    crazee8 New Member

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    Jan 30, 2009
    I just tried KS 58 twice and same thing is happening - Green screen with "serious error" and a 3 hour fix immediately followed by another reboot thus canceling the fix.

    I'm thinking I'll open the box sometime today and check out the bulging thing shown earlier?
     
  15. Sep 25, 2012 #15 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Just remember it is possible to have more than one problem at a time.

    Get the UBCD and run the manufacturer's test on the hard drive while you've got the thing open to check the capacitors on the power supply.
     
  16. Sep 25, 2012 #16 of 116
    Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Member

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    Sep 24, 2012
    I decided to upgrade to the 250 GB drive since I could use the extra space. I deleted every recording first and also deleted the recently deleted recordings so it was completely empty of any possibly corrupted programs.

    All of the capacitors looked fine on the power supply. I also preemptively replaced the coin cell battery and blew out all the dust. I didn't test the voltages but I will if it crashes any more.

    WinMFS was able to get the truncated backup without problem from the old WD1600. The 250 GB drive is a WD2500AAKS that used to be the main hard drive in a Power Mac G5. It passed a long test recently when I took it out of the G5 and wiped it.

    I'll try a long test on the WD1600 in the next few days to confirm if it's going bad or not. So far the TiVo has not crashed with the 250 GB, and the extra 50% or so of space is a nice bonus. Trick play and stuff works just fine even though it's not a special "AV" drive.
     
  17. Sep 25, 2012 #17 of 116
    Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Member

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    Sep 24, 2012
    The TiVo just crashed. It ran for about 80 minutes of live TV and 20 minutes of live + recording before crashing.

    My guess is now the power supply, that it took some time for it to heat up before it blipped. Or maybe the truncated backup is corrupted, although it booted just fine on either drive.

    I am not having any electrical problems in the apartment, the computer didn't crash for example, and yesterday I had no problems using the Comcast DTA on the same outlet.

    I'll look into kickstart and try some of that tonight before I take it apart again tomorrow.

    Edit: Kickstart 57 ran for about an hour and a half before it rebooted. I don't know if it was a crash or if it was done.

    Edit 2: Rebooted again during live TV + recording. I have no idea what to do really. If the power supply is bad - and all the capacitors looked just fine, none were bulging at all - why would it be so arbitrary? I mean, it works fine for so long and then just crashes? I can't really afford the outlay and increased fee for one of the new Series 4 models, but getting another older model means getting another used or maybe refurbished unit that will fail again in some arbitrary period of time.

    Edit 3: I did not even get 20 freaking minutes this time. This is some BS. I am seriously considering just going to the Comcast office tomorrow to get one of their DVRs. This TiVo is the only way I can watch HD stuff and without it I have to steal the DTA from the bedroom and watch blurry coaxial pseudo digital cable with no DVR functions.
     
  18. Sep 26, 2012 #18 of 116
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    You might try kickstart 58, that is supposed to do a media file cleanup.

    Maybe a 52? That shows to be an emergency software reinstall.
    Might be worth a shot.

    The only other troubleshooting advice I have is to burn the Tivo software onto a new hard drive with a known good image, just for testing purposes.
     
  19. Sep 26, 2012 #19 of 116
    Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Member

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    Sep 24, 2012
    I just tried a kickstart 52. We'll see. There's no media files because I deleted all of them so I don't think a 58 would help. The only other option is trying a known good image. Other than that, it has to be the power supply or the motherboard. A power supply from Weaknees costs twice as much as I paid for the DVR :( I only have a pair of 250 GB drives available, and the original 160 GB drive, I can't afford another new drive :(

    I have noticed the guide loads a little bit more slowly with the 250 GB drive, even though it has 16 MB of cache vs. the old hard drive with only 2 MB of cache.

    Edit #243534: That wasn't even 15 minutes until a crash after doing a kickstart 52 :(
     
  20. Sep 26, 2012 #20 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    If you can solder, the parts to fix the power supply will be less than $10.

    If the problem is the power supply.

    You need to establish that you have a known good hard drive.

    Then you should restore a known good image to it, and see how that does in the TiVo.
     

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