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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 26, 2012 #21 of 116
    Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Member

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    It just rebooted again, another 15 minute interval.

    No parts are bulging on the power supply. The only thing I can do is check the voltages when it's hot, my theory being that the reboots are heat related, although there is no obstruction to air flow and the air conditioner is running at 72. My friend can solder better than I can so that's not a problem, but if nothing is bulging then what do we replace? The fan could be bad I suppose (it does spin, although kind of slow compared to a PC fan), or maybe the replacement hard drive gets a little hotter and the fan isn't compensating.

    The hard drive was fully tested and wiped a few months ago and then sat on a shelf until now. The computer it came out of had no problems. I find it hard to believe we replaced one bad drive with another - and that we somehow managed to copy the truncated backup without error and restore it to this other drive. And it's still messed up after kickstart 52 - but another full test and a known good backup from the internet is the last thing I can try in regards to the hard drive.

    Edit #454566: 11 minutes this time.
     
  2. Sep 26, 2012 #22 of 116
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    At this point, I would put a known good image on the hard drive and see what happens.

    I'm thinking the software became corrupted on the 1st hard drive and when you copied it, you also copied the corruption.
     
  3. Sep 26, 2012 #23 of 116
    jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Two points:

    While a bulged capacitor ALWAYS means it is bad/going bad, the failure to have a bulge does not mean it is good. Reading your story, this is your most likely source of a problem, though that could have caused an issue with the disk.

    Have you tested the drives with their manufactures drive tool? While the tivo tests can be good indicators, the mfrs tool is the best to see if the drive has an issue. That is the true measure of good/bad drive.

    Now, you could have some software corruption, but if does not pay to investigate that route if you have a hardware failure.
     
  4. Sep 26, 2012 #24 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    There seem to be a number of S3 HDs with reboot problems all of a sudden.

    I'm beginning to wonder if it's more than co-incidental.
     
  5. Sep 26, 2012 #25 of 116
    Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Member

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    I have the TiVo at my office right now. I took the cover off and then let it boot. Even without any cable connection (and so nothing to buffer on the drive), it's rebooted 3 times in the past hour. I just now checked the voltages in line with the hard drive during the 4th boot and got 12.26v for 12v (yellow) and 4.97v for 5v (red). As I type this it's already rebooted again.

    The 250 GB drive was tested with WD's Data Lifeguard Diagnostic on a PC a few months ago after I pulled it out of the Mac, which was not having any problems when I pulled the drive.

    I'll ask my friend to look at it when he gets back since he knows a little more about power supplies than I do. There's just nothing strongly indicating a problem: the power supply might be bad (despite voltages in range), the software might be bad (despite the emergency reinstall), the drive might be bad (despite it having been tested albeit a few months ago), or maybe TiVo pushed out some kind of update that screwed up Series 3.

    The internal temperature is 42C with the cover off, other forum posts indicate this is fine. Didn't check with the cover on but it's rebooting either way.
     
  6. Sep 26, 2012 #26 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    If you can hook it to a computer and run WinMFS, click on mfsinfo and see if it's set to boot from 2,3, and 4, if so do the fix boot thing, option 2 and if it's set to boot from 5,6, and 7, choose option 1.

    I doubt if they've done anything to the software since k, but if it's stuck trying to change over to the alternate partitions, maybe this'll help it straighten itself out.
     
  7. Sep 26, 2012 #27 of 116
    Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Member

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    I decided to copy the known good image you posted to the 250 GB and then do an extended test on the 160 GB. It's running guided setup right now and so far hasn't crashed.

    I did a kickstart 52 yesterday which should have reinstalled the OS and then changed to the new partition if I understand correctly, but it still crashed after that.

    My theory is something happened to the software, either the original drive is failing or maybe it got corrupted some other way, and that corrupted software carried over. I can rule this out if the old drive passes the test and the new software crashes. That would mean it has to be something other than the hard drive. Some kind of transient power supply issue causing it to hiccup and reboot, or maybe the logic board.
     
  8. Sep 26, 2012 #28 of 116
    crazee8

    crazee8 New Member

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    Well, mine completely died yesterday before I could get the cover off (couldn't find a tool small enough to unscrew the screws anyway). I guess I'll just give up and buy a new Premiere.
     
  9. Sep 26, 2012 #29 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Ironically enough, if you don't already have lifetime on it, buying that Premiere puts you in a position to get it for only $99.
     
  10. Sep 26, 2012 #30 of 116
    crazee8

    crazee8 New Member

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    Do you mean getting lifetime on a new Premiere for $99? How do I go about that? I've never had lifetime on any of my 3 boxes to date.

    I'm looking at buying from either TIVO, Best Buy, or Amazon...
     
  11. Sep 26, 2012 #31 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Sorry, no, lifetime on the S3 for $99 if you're also buying a Premiere which would otherwise mean discontinuing the sub on the S3.

    It's like their one last shot at getting some money out of you and it, and keeping their subscription numbers up.

    Which is why if you sell it to someone first, they aren't getting that offer, 'cause they aren't a subscriber yet, and so they don't have any leverage with TiVo like you would.

    Also, if you paid for a 3 year sub back when lifetime wasn't available, and that 3 year sub is running out, you can threaten to cancel/not renew and get the offer.
     
  12. Sep 27, 2012 #32 of 116
    Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Member

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    edit: The TiVo doesn't crash anymore. Unfortunately, the Cable Card lost it's CP Auth, so some random arbitrary channels don't load anymore, despite calling the activation line twice. I don't think they are doing it right.

    edit 2: Tried 1-800-XFINITY. They fixed it right away.

    So basically, somehow the software went bad on the drive (but not the drive it's self), causing it to reboot every 10-20 minutes. I had to download a fresh image. This caused the Cable Card to become unpaired, which (predictably) took several calls to Comcast to get fixed. 3 days later I can now again enjoy my $2.49 apartment subsidized cable.

    Thanks for your help, especially to unitron for posting the fresh image.
     
  13. Sep 27, 2012 #33 of 116
    L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

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    Your conclusion seems reasonable, but how can that happen? I thought the TiVo checked its software while booting, mostly to make sure nothing has been hacked. It's not practical to check for garbled video data, and changes in something like a season pass might be hard to detect, but how can the TiVo not notice software that has been modified, either intentionally or accidentally? Could reboots be caused by something like a garbled season pass?
     
  14. Sep 27, 2012 #34 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Okay, until I know more, I'm going to blame cable cards. :)
     
  15. Sep 27, 2012 #35 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Gremlins.

    :D
     
  16. Oct 1, 2012 #36 of 116
    barbja

    barbja New Member

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    I also started having this same problem on one of my S3s about 6-7 months ago. It started rebooting itself so often that its now in a state where it won't leave the orange/yellow 'please wait' screen anymore.

    I do eventually want to replace the drive; I'm just waiting until I have the spare dollars and gumption to do it.

    I guess I could replace it with a premier. I have an elite, but I got that just so that I could have 4 tuners (how can you resist more tuners?!). I like some things better about the elite's interface but others I don't. I Greatly prefer the S3 playback transport controls though -- the way that they implemented the 30 second skip in the freakin' premier is maddening.
     
  17. Oct 1, 2012 #37 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Have you bothered to open up the S3 and look at the power supply capacitors?
     
  18. Oct 3, 2012 #38 of 116
    MickeS

    MickeS New Member

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    My Series 3 started having this same issue a few days ago. It had bulging capacitors, so I replaced them tonight, but it's still doing the same thing.

    I ran the kickstart HD tests, and I got a "Fail 7" message on two of the tests. I ran the "fix MFS" kickstart code, and the green screen came up telling me it had discovered a serious error, and that it was attempting to fix it and this would take up to 3 hours. However, just minutes after, the TiVo restarted again, went into the same MFS fix mode, restarted again, etc.

    So I don't know what's going on... but I'm thinking I might give a new replacement drive a shot.

    So my question is, which drives are currently recommended for a Series 3? I tried to search, but didn't find any concise answer. I don't care much about size, I have an upgraded 750GB WD drive in it right now, that's been in there for like 5 or 6 years, and is OK sizewise.

    Are any of these drives OK: http://www.shopsws.com/hard-drives-accessories/3-5-internal.html

    Anything Best Buy has that I could get?

    Would prefer to buy something locally ASAP and get things working again...

    Thanks!
     
  19. Oct 4, 2012 #39 of 116
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Unfotunately you just missed the chance to get a WD20EURS from Amazon or newegg for $100, now it's back up to $120.

    I'd avoid everything on the link you included as being too small, too new, or too fast, or some combination.

    Avoid WD drives with Zs and Xs in the model number, avoid 6Gb/s drives, a 2TB drive is your best GB/$ ratio buy right now and 2TB is the biggest drive your TiVo can use.

    A WD20EADS, WD20EARS, WD20EACS, or WD20EURS at around $100 would be good, but only the EURS seems to still be available at any price.

    There doesn't seem to be agreement on which Seagates do and don't work.

    Someone mentioned using a Samsung or Hitachi the other day, I suppose you could search the entire site for each of those names in turn to find the comment.

    And anything at Best Buy these days will probably be in a retail box with its own part/model number, which means there's no way to tell what's actually in the box.

    And I think everything they have on the shelves is down to a 1 year warranty at this point, which should be a big red flag, although all of that isn't BB's fault, but the drivemakers'.
     
  20. Oct 4, 2012 #40 of 116
    MickeS

    MickeS New Member

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    Thanks for the quick response!

    I looked at the old drive now, and it wasn't a WD, it was a Seagate drive model DB35.3. I'll keep your criteria in mind when looking, thanks.

    I'm thinking of this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148900
    As far as I can tell, it's a similar drive to the one I had in there (supposedly designed for DVR use with 24x7 use). Promo stuff from Seagate here: http://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/consumer-electronics/pipeline-hd/
    Anyone used it?


    I also put the original 250GB drive back in just now to test, and the TiVo started just fine with that, so I'm guessing the issue is the drive, maybe it was both the drive and the capacitors before... either way, those capacitors were bulging, so the $11 I spent replacing them were probably well spent anyway. :)
     

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