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Old 06-02-2014, 10:12 AM   #1
Buster
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Planned power outage...how to safely turn TiVo off

Hi there. Just got a notice that our power will be out for 12+ hours this weekend, with it cutting in and out sporadically during that period. I'd like to power off my TiVo during that period so that I don't risk a surge killing it. What's the best/safest way to turn it off? Should I just unplug it?

Thanks!
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:19 AM   #2
lpwcomp
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Originally Posted by Buster View Post
Hi there. Just got a notice that our power will be out for 12+ hours this weekend, with it cutting in and out sporadically during that period. I'd like to power off my TiVo during that period so that I don't risk a surge killing it. What's the best/safest way to turn it off? Should I just unplug it?

Thanks!
Yes, although some will advise you to start a reboot and then pull the plug.

I take it you do not have it connected to a UPS.
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Buster View Post
Hi there. Just got a notice that our power will be out for 12+ hours this weekend, with it cutting in and out sporadically during that period. I'd like to power off my TiVo during that period so that I don't risk a surge killing it. What's the best/safest way to turn it off? Should I just unplug it?

Thanks!
The way I do it if it's not on fire or something like that is to go into the menus until I find Restart or Reset option, select the Restart option, being careful not to select anything other than that, do the thumbs down button 3 times and then with one hand on the plug at the wall socket, I hit the enter button (little round thing on the bottom right of the remote--NOT the select button) and as soon as the screen goes blank I pull the plug.

I figure that lets the TiVo wrap up anything it's in the middle of and set itself to boot properly the next time the CPU gets a reset signal, which will be when I plug it back in.

People who put the TiVo on standby before shutting down usually forget they've done so and are surprised when it returns to standby when it reboots and think it's broken.
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:56 PM   #4
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Unitron gets it right, and beats me to it, again!
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:58 PM   #5
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Eek. We just pull the plug. Maybe we should reconsider.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:12 PM   #6
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Just pull the plug... it's designed to deal with outages. Just don't pull it while it's recording your favorite show.
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:19 AM   #7
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Just pull the plug... it's designed to deal with outages. Just don't pull it while it's recording your favorite show.
Do that at any number of "just the right moments", and the databases could be in a vulnerable state, resulting in misery, and/or loss of everything.

It's designed to be resistant to issues caused by power losses, not immune to them. TiVo can try their best, but there will always be periods of operation (especially when nothing is recording), that the databases will be vulnerable while doing background (invisible to the user) operations. People who state they've always just pulled the plug, without issue, have just been lucky enough that any corruption was repairable, during boot-up integrity checks. I won't add another paragraph about the many reasons why it's just a bad idea to pull power to an active hard drive. The hard drive in a TiVo is always active, when plugged in, and only inactive for that < 60 seconds on a reboot.

Is it really so much to press a few buttons to initiate a reboot, then pull the plug within the just under a minute it takes to begin actually start accessing the drive again?

If the TiVo is locked-up, or in some state that keeps the user from using the menus, that would be the only time I'd do it "your way", or advise anybody else to. So you've played russian roulette often, and been lucky. Recommending it to others? That's just not right in my book.

There's a dozen other threads predating this one. They all have the same advice given by unitron and I, along with some who claim there's nothing to fear by just yanking-out the power cord. Some advise using battery backups, for extra protection. I do, for the record.

Most TiVo users own their equipment, and want it to last. They don't have the luxury of getting a free replacement, if they abuse it or don't treat it with respect. It's not made out of glass, but it's not bulletproof, either.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:45 AM   #8
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It'd be nice if there was a shutdown in the menus. I worry that asking for a reboot will cause it to actually be doing things that it wouldn't be doing if it were just sitting there idle, but maybe I'm just paranoid.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by nooneuknow View Post
Do that at any number of "just the right moments", and the databases could be in a vulnerable state, resulting in misery, and/or loss of everything.

It's designed to be resistant to issues caused by power losses, not immune to them. TiVo can try their best, but there will always be periods of operation (especially when nothing is recording), that the databases will be vulnerable while doing background (invisible to the user) operations. People who state they've always just pulled the plug, without issue, have just been lucky enough that any corruption was repairable, during boot-up integrity checks. I won't add another paragraph about the many reasons why it's just a bad idea to pull power to an active hard drive. The hard drive in a TiVo is always active, when plugged in, and only inactive for that < 60 seconds on a reboot.
An appliance like a TiVo should be essentially immune to the effects of unscheduled power interruptions, at least if they're "clean". We should always use a UPS to protect against short power glitches and especially against the rapid power cycling that can be so hard on electronic equipment. But a simple dropping of power can occur even with a UPS after the mains power has been out for a while, and that shouldn't cause problems. Programming techniques have been around for many years that can allow recovery from such power interruptions, although I admit that TiVo may not have employed all such safeguards or may not have implemented them properly.

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Is it really so much to press a few buttons to initiate a reboot, then pull the plug within the just under a minute it takes to begin actually start accessing the drive again?
For the tech-savvy people who frequent TCF, probably not. But that is a lot to ask from a normal person expecting to use the TiVo as a recording appliance.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:47 PM   #10
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Wow, lots of good discussion here - thanks everyone! Sounds like I will do the reboot + pull plug. It's a bit of a 2 man operation because I'm not sure I can see the TV screen from where the plug resides, which is the only tricky bit here.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:09 AM   #11
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Wow, lots of good discussion here - thanks everyone! Sounds like I will do the reboot + pull plug. It's a bit of a 2 man operation because I'm not sure I can see the TV screen from where the plug resides, which is the only tricky bit here.
I recommend using a power strip, perhaps with a switch (or individually switched outlets) to provide a more convenient connect/disconnect location for the TiVo than getting down on your hands and knees to try to get to the wall outlet (or preferably the UPS), and not to plug and unplug the TiVo end of the power cord any more than necessary, especially on S1s and S2s.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:10 AM   #12
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I agree that there should be a true shut-down option/mode for such situations as the OP and moving to another room, etc. I know people who have killed their DVR's because the lost electricity (the workers unintentionally shut down power) or had to pull the plug hoping to SAVE the DVR from planned shut downs only to find they most likely pulled the plug at just the wrong moment. A true shutdown for ALL DVR's out there, not just our TiVo's. Prompts could pop up warning that this shutdown is to only be used on rare occasions such as moving or planned loss of electricity. Great idea, pmiranda, even if the odds are in our favor that nothing bad will happen, we still have that risk, and when we've busted our DVR's, tears will flow.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:36 AM   #13
nooneuknow
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I recommend using a power strip, perhaps with a switch (or individually switched outlets) to provide a more convenient connect/disconnect location for the TiVo than getting down on your hands and knees to try to get to the wall outlet (or preferably the UPS), and not to plug and unplug the TiVo end of the power cord any more than necessary, especially on S1s and S2s.
Yep. As you and I agreed in some past thread, it's best to have the TiVo on a power strip with a switch, and/or best to unplug the blade end (not the back-of-TiVo end), preferably with something making that end easily identifiable as being for the TiVo, and with the quickest and cleanest disconnect. Nothing beats a switch for quick and clean.

As for the comments that DVRs should have a true "shutdown" option... There's a reason there isn't one. It eliminates calls from customers that accidentally shut down their DVR, or forgot to power it back on, and rush to curse-out a support rep, because of their own mistake, causing them to miss an episode of (whatever).

Even having a switch on the power strip can be a problem, if somebody carelessly vacuums or dusts and hits the power switch. I had to superglue the switches on some strips on, due to multiple instances of this happening. Sad, but true...
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:39 PM   #14
Buster
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Just wanted to say thanks...followed unitron's helpful step-by-step, and both of my TiVos were able to start back up without incident when the power came back on.
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