What do we know about the "Failed While Loading Series" (hereafter called FWLS) error?
1) It has been a recurring issue for many years.
TiVo Community knows (too many posts out there over the years).
2) It only affects Series 1 Tivos (the same error message on other Tivos appears to be other issues).
3) When this happened around Christmas in 2013 the TiVo engineers were on vacation and that problem was not resolved until the new year (but it came back again).
4) I had success for about a month (Feb-Mar 2014) by forcing a call, waiting for Housekeeping to finish and the Tivo to start dialing - then powering off the Tivo. Repeat this 4 times and then force a call and let it dial and download.
Then, that didn't work for me anymore.
5) I appeared to be getting download data and could watch Tivo process it. I usually got a day or two of new data (every day or so) into the Tivo before it failed. On one Tivo, my last successful call was July 2nd but I had data to Aug 3rd! While watching all this happen (and forcing calls as soon as they failed), I kept getting further along before it failed. After 3 days of this, I got a successful call on Aug 6th - did TiVo engineers fix it? - nope. I did a full backup of my drive and 3 days later, I could no longer make a successful call.
6) I read a post that showed a TClient log with a HTTP/1.1 error and that lead me to wonder if the LBA48 kernel had HTTP/1.2 support and that would fix it. I spent a week chasing this and concluded it was not the problem.
7) I have restored from backups with 1.3 and 2.5 software and let the new drive(s) upgrade to 3.0. The software update went without a hitch but I still got the dreaded FWLS error and when I Repeat Guided Setup or a Clear and delete everything I get stuck with FWLS even getting the telephone list during Guided Setup.
This tells me that Current (3.0) Series 1 TiVo software is not the solution (or even the problem).
8) weaKnees has a fix:
Buy a disk from them (or have them reformat your disk).
9) There is a 13G Phillips LBA48 image floating around that I have restored using MFSLive and I have not had a FLWS error after about a month.
10) I loaded partition 10 from the 13G Phillips LBA48 onto a drive with the FWLS error (losing all my recordings, but the original TiVo screens were intact) and it made calls with no issues.
I loaded partition 10 from a drive with the FWLS error onto the 13G Phillips LBA48 drive and it FWLS every time.
Something in Partition 10 has the problem! So, I started looking...
Software version 1.3 and 2.5 had several clean and cleanup programs that I do not see in 3.0. I like this comment section here from a 1.3 script:
#Description: Script to remove old crud from a TiVo Center's database
#$$$TIVO COPYRIGHT (Brian Beach)$$$
(PS if you want some interesting reading, Google "Brian Beach" Tivo)
I found a lot of clean-type scripts around and am looking into things in the MFS database that could be cleaned out. One thing caught my eye in an old script:
# this is a long process, skip it
# RemoveOldObjects $db /Server
So, I ran a script to delete all the /Server entries on my test Tivo - It is still running three days later (lots of retrying after errTmBackgroundHoldoff). Of course, there are over 86,000 /Server Entries. (The 13G Phillips LBA48 restored drive had 80,000 entries.)
I will keep posting as I continue to look for a solution that will allow me to fix my Tivo and keep the recordings and Season Passes.