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Troubleshooting and Repairing Your TiVo: A Few Best Practices from DVRupgrade

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by tivoupgrade, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Apr 28, 2012 #81 of 101
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Find someone at Charter who actually knows what bandwidth is and see if they've throttled you or not, and if so, have they throttled you beyond what you're paying for.

    We still don't know if you were previously getting more than you were paying for, or if you are now getting less than you are paying for, and I don't think anyone other than Charter is going to be able to answer that.

    Are you already paying them for the fastest internet package they offer?
     
  2. Jul 22, 2012 #82 of 101
    Carole

    Carole New Member

    1
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    Jul 19, 2012
    I have three TiVo Boxes two work fine one keeps deleting none scheduled from my to do list
    also some say and some disappear
     
  3. Sep 22, 2012 #83 of 101
    Kenny4200

    Kenny4200 New Member

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    Sep 21, 2012
    thanks...xunil76...i was going to check the drive..and then boot to windows..but that sure saved my ass ....whew :)
     
  4. Sep 22, 2012 #84 of 101
    Kenny4200

    Kenny4200 New Member

    12
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    Sep 21, 2012
    Yes...i might not be a great fix it all..but i would like to reduce my footprint in the world..and recycle what i can ..and not just buy everything new in the world...if i can fix it and do a little TLC ....and it works again ...then thanks...everyone in this forum for your knowledge...

    A little knowledge goes a long way :)
     
  5. Dec 8, 2012 #85 of 101
    carnac

    carnac New Member

    1
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    Feb 3, 2009
    I have a Series 2 TiVo that we use as a second DVR in the bedroom. The other TiVo in the house is working fine.

    The bedroom Series 2 has a lifetime subscription and has been working fine until a week ago.

    The symptoms are:

    Crackly sound/ audio static of both live tv (cable) and recorded shows (picture is fine).

    I removed the coax going into the TiVo and connected the coax directly to the TV (no TiVo) and the audio was fine.

    I replaced the coax (new coax cable) between the TiVo and the TV and still had the audio problem.

    Next I rebooted the TiVo - sound from the startup cartoon was fine, but no fix to live TV (still audio static).

    I checked older recorded programs, ones up through a week ago were fine, but all the ones in December have the audio static.

    I don't see any problems in the status pages of the TiVo.

    So, it seems to me like I've narrowed it down to a problem with the audio path from from the coax input to the coax output within the TiVo.

    Anyone have suggestions about a fix? I am pretty good at opening things up and doing repairs if I have some direction. Hoping to save my lifetime subscription.

    Thanks - Jim
     
  6. Dec 8, 2012 #86 of 101
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Take the top off (#10 Torx bit) and eyeball the power supply closely for capacitors showing even the slightest sign of bulging.

    Go read the Wikipedia page on "capacitor disease".

    I'm not saying that's definitely what's causing your problem, I'm saying S2s and S3s are very likely to have this problem and that it needs to be ruled out before looking for other causes, although you might want to run the manufacturer's long test diagnostic on the hard drive as well.
     
  7. Mar 16, 2013 #87 of 101
    bigwave123

    bigwave123 New Member

    1
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    Mar 16, 2013
    Hey all,

    I'm posting this in case it helps someone else with the same situation.

    My Tivo: Series 3 HD TCD648250B

    Tivo unit experienced all of the following symptoms:

    Symptom1:
    Upon power up with Cable Cards installed,
    4 LEDs turn on, then off,
    single amber LED illuminates, then extinguishes
    Unit Reboots.

    Symptom2:
    Upon power up, without Cable Cards installed,
    4 LEDs turn on, then off,
    single amber LED illuminates, then extinguishes
    Unit Boots
    Antenna TV works fine.
    You run the setup routine until you get to the cable card installation.
    Upon insertion of Cable Card 1, the unit reboots.

    Symptom3:
    Unit is powered on, appears to be working,
    Cable card activation does not work or works intermittently [ I got Cable Card 1 Activated by Comcast, but Cable Card 2 would not take the "Hit". ]
    Access Cable Card 2 configuration menu > Conditional Access. Page shows, then exist with error 164-1 (or some such) error code.
    Cycled power, device reboots and looses channels on Cable Card 1.

    Symptom4:
    Power supply clicking and when I was able to get the Tivo to boot without cards, the monitor would freak briefly when i switched between the Tivo Menu and Live TV -- this seemed like an indication of a power supply drop-out.

    Ok, now for the solution. There were two problems:

    [BTW, Hard drive was not defective. Earlier, I replace my upgraded HD with a clone and also tested the upgraded HD using Western Digital's SMART diagnostic tool - Drive check out fine. It's a free download]

    Upon inspection of the power supply, C401 and C402 (both 2200uF/6.3V RLS, O620)were bulging. Testing showed they were defective (confirming the obvious). These caps are located underneath the large heat sink on the power supply board. After replacing the caps, the Tivo will boot consistently, solving Symptoms 1 and 4 above. Other power supply caps appear not bulged.

    Next, and here's the interesting bit, I also replaced the cable cards from Comcast (these are Motorola cards) but only got Card 1 to activate and show channels. Finally, while the Comcast service center was still on the line, I traced the cable out of the Tivo to find it was going through my surge protector [which is a fancy, Monster Power unit].

    After removing the surge protector and connecting Tivo directly to my cable wall socket, everything started working with no problems. Symptoms 2 and 3 above went away. It appears that some problem with the cable source triggers some failure/protection mode in the board or cable card/main board combo.

    So, in summary, there were 2 bad power supply caps and an upstream failed cable surge protector.

    In hindsight, it makes sense as the event that caused the Tivo's failure was a couple of blackouts in our house power. This may have toasted the surge circuit in the power conditioner and pushed the lousy original caps over the edge. Moral of that story, when you're troubleshooting, start clean from the wall.
     
  8. Mar 16, 2013 #88 of 101
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Any problems with the power coming into the TiVo will be dealt with by the AC input side of the power supply.

    All of the problems for which the S2 and S3 supplies are famous are caused by faulty, if not outright bogus, capacitors on the DC output side which are supposed to filter high switching frequency ripple out of the 12 Volt and 5 Volt outputs. This means they're partially charged and discharged thousands of times per second, which is stressful, and over time and use they aren't able to stand up to the stress the way they would be able to if they were the quality which they purport to be.

    So it's mostly use on the DC output side and not problems on the AC input side that cause the power supplies to go bad.

    Anything exposed to the incoming cable signal might be at risk for other problems if there's anything wrong there.
     
  9. May 25, 2013 #89 of 101
    sdavie3

    sdavie3 sdavie3

    8
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    Nov 10, 2008
    Manhattan
    I have two Series 3 HD (TCD652160) models running on Verizon Fios multi-source M-cards, with upgraded drives (1-TB). Both had been running fine for the past few years, but the older of the two of them (about 4.5 yrs old) recently (over the past month or so) has begun to freeze unpredictably, during live programming and consequently when recording as well - resulting in incomplete recordings.

    I have restarted a coupled of time with no success in resolving the problem.

    I believe the hard drive is a WD caviar Black, but am not 100% certain on that.

    Any suggestions on how best to proceed? Thanks
     
  10. May 31, 2013 #90 of 101
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Anytime a Series 2 or Series 3 TiVo misbehaves, eliminate "capacitor plague" in the power supply as a possible source of the problem before troubleshooting further.
     
  11. Aug 24, 2013 #91 of 101
    iloqutiss1

    iloqutiss1 New Member

    4
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    Aug 24, 2013
    I did as the guide said. Removed the HD from tivo. Downloaded Western Digital HD diagnostic on my pc and connected and tested the drive. Just the first two "non destructive" tests. Both passed. I then reinstalled the drive in tivo and hooked it back up. The screen says powering up then goes black.. nothing. Before the diagnostic I had no problems with boot up, just stuttering and pixilation. What gives?
    Model # TCD652160, Western Digital 160 GB drive BTW.
     
  12. Aug 24, 2013 #92 of 101
    iloqutiss1

    iloqutiss1 New Member

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    Aug 24, 2013
    Ok, I sure wish I would have seen this post before blindly following your guide. Apparently this is what happened to me. Please edit your guide that it can happen. Also the link for WD diagnostics says its for an image to burn on a bootable cd. If that is really where the li8nk pointed I wouldn't have this problem. All I found was a diagnostic program to install in windows. Would anyone be kind enough to help me find a firmware image for my tivo? That seems to be what I need at this point.
     
  13. Aug 24, 2013 #93 of 101
    HomeUser

    HomeUser Active Member

    2,376
    1
    Jan 12, 2003
    A2 Michigan
  14. Aug 24, 2013 #94 of 101
    iloqutiss1

    iloqutiss1 New Member

    4
    0
    Aug 24, 2013
    Thank you!
     
  15. Aug 25, 2013 #95 of 101
    iloqutiss1

    iloqutiss1 New Member

    4
    0
    Aug 24, 2013
    Thank you homeUser! WinMFS did the trick. Xunil76 was spot on with his warning. You can corrupt the boot sector of the tivo drive if you boot into windows with your drive connected. OP please add that fact to your warning section along with a link to WinMFS just in case. It would also be helpful to update your link to the correct Western Digital program to make a bootable cd. Data Lifeguard for Dos is the one I should have used instead of the Windows version but the guide is not clear on this. Anyway despite my difficulties along the way I do appreciate this informative guide as it saved me from wasting $50 on a new drive that isn't the fix I need. Thank you.
     
  16. Aug 25, 2013 #96 of 101
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Actually, it depends on which version of which version of Windows.

    Versions before XP and early versions of XP apparently would see what appeared to them like a blank, never before used drive because there was no IBM/DOS style Master Boot Record and no code was included in them to allow them to recognize the "boot page" used on TiVo drives or the Apple Partition Map style of partitioning, so they'd very helpfully set up said drive with an MBR in anticipation of the PC user going on to set up partitions on the supposedly empty drive.

    Did I mention that TiVo boot pages and MBRs use the same part of the drive?

    So Windows would write the MBR and that overwrote the boot page.

    By the time of XP service pack 3, Microsoft had fixed this problem to the extent that just booting up with a TiVo drive attached doesn't trigger the automatic writing of an MBR.

    However, I'd recommend not opening Disk Management in XP while the TiVo drive is connected, just to be on the safe side.

    And, as mentioned, WinMFS can fix the boot page on Series 1, 2, and 3 TiVo drives.

    Not sure about Series 4 (Premieres and such).

    You certainly can't use WinMFS to copy or expand a Series 4 drive--TiVo changed some stuff on them and that was after the most recent verison of WinMFS was written.
     
  17. Jan 4, 2015 #97 of 101
    CT71812229

    CT71812229 New Member

    21
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    Jul 31, 2010
    If you have lifetime on a Tivo series 3 and it's broken can it somehow be transfer onto a new series 3 TiVo? Is lifetime recognize through just the Ethernet Jack or the whole motherboard? Can the whole motherboard be transferred onto a new Tivo? Thanks.
     
  18. Jan 5, 2015 #98 of 101
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Have you actually fixed your problem yet? There may be newer info available, depending on your circumstances.

    Are you sure it's not at least partially a power supply problem?
     
  19. Jul 1, 2015 #99 of 101
    mrdave

    mrdave New Member

    13
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    Apr 28, 2011
    i by no means am an expert, but i do a lot of research.
    my view is this

    1 a bad drive or bad os/software how do you tell the difference ?

    2 updates that improve performance or corrupt the os/software

    3 updates that add or remove features without us being told

    4 a nasty thing called kernel panic may cause this as well

    5 do we own or lease our units.

    6 if it's open source os/software then why can't get a copy to repair/fix our own hard drives

    7 so that being said is it a hardware problem or a software problem or do we just keep replacing units because we just have no way of telling.

    just my thoughts, with no answers
     
  20. midnightmarauder

    midnightmarauder Member

    81
    0
    Oct 9, 2006
    So my Tivo Roamio gets to the starting up screen and about 12 seconds later the green led will flash and the screen will go black and reset to the starting up screen again.
    I pulled the hard drive and put it in my known working roamio and it boots up fine.

    Do you think it may be the powersupply board in the roamio that went bad?
     

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