Originally Posted by dansamy
I recently purchased a used tivo hd from eBay, which was reported to be "in good, used condition" & functional. Upon getting it all set up on ota digital antenna only, the recordings freeze, do not play & then the tivo begins to reboot. After a few moments on the welcome screen, it flashes over to a blank gray screen with no remote response at all. It must be unplugged to reboot. Any ideas? HDD? PSU? Mobo? I do not wish to shotgun pays until it works as intended. If there's multiple causes for this symptom, I'd prefer to contact the seller to return it & either try another unit or just do an XBMC PC.
How much did you pay and does it have a lifetime subscription or not?
Generally when a TiVo goes from the original Welcome screen (which is stored on a chip on the motherboard and not on the drive) to a plain, featureless gray screen, it means there's a problem with communications between the motherboard and the hard drive, but that the motherboard is at least somewhat aware of the existance of a hard drive.
(If you boot a TiVo with no hard drive attached, data-cable wise, it never moves beyond that first screen to anything else.)
All of the Series 2 and Series 3 TiVo models are subject to possible power supply problems because millions and millions of unintentionally faulty electrolytic capacitors flooded into the global supply chain beginning over a decade and a half ago.
This problem is generally referred to as capacitor plague.
The good news is that if that's your problem it's easily fixable for about $10 in replacement Low ESR caps rated for use at up to 105 degrees C and a little soldering.
If the hard drive can't get quite as much current as it needs to operate properly, that could produce the trouble you're having.
On the other hand, so could a problem with the hard drive itself.
Also possible is faulty data connection between hard drive and motherboard--perhaps due to a combination of heat related expanding and contracting before shipping and getting bounced around during shipping making the data cable come lose at one end or the other.
All of these are going to require using a #10 Torx bit to take the screws out and removing the top from the TiVo chassis.
Lots of people here have worked on their own TiVos, replacing hard drives and repairing power supplies, so we should be able to guide you through the necessary steps.