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Old 04-28-2011, 03:35 PM   #1
mandms7
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TiVo Series 3 Suddenly Slow & Rebooting

I know there are a couple threads going right now for similar problems, but I didn't want to hijack anyone's threads.

My original Series3 TiVo (original drive and no external drives connected) recently became extremely slow at times, especially when browsing the Now Playing list. If I initiate a transfer of a show from my TiVo Premiere, it becomes incredibly slow in the menu and eventually reboots (regardless of which show I try to transfer). This all seemed to have started when we had a power outage several weeks ago, and this TiVo is not protected by a UPS (although is surge protected by a APC surge protector). Based on suggestions I've read on this board, I've tried all of the KickStart tests, none of which helped. All of the S.M.A.R.T tests reveal no issues found with the hard drive. I cracked open the TiVo, and I did not notice any bulging capacitors or anything out of the norm.

I went ahead and ordered a WD10EVDS from Amazon anyway, but I'm questioning if this is going to resolve the issue considering no problems with the drive could be found using the KickStart tests. Any other ideas as to what might cause this behavior?

I was also wondering about using WinMFS to transfer the TiVo image over to the new drive. If the original drive is having problems, couldn't the WinMFS copy process copy over a problem TiVo image, thereby bringing the problem over to the new drive?

Thanks.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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Yes, there can be problems with a WinMFS backup/restore transfer if the source is corrupted. Using WinMFS and your own backup image has the advantage that you won't have to have your CableCARDs re-paired. You can probably get a good image to restore by begging for it **here**.

The Kickstart tests reportedly don't find all problems. Did you do the "long" test (that takes hours)? To really test the drive remove it and connect it to a PC via a SATA port or a USB-SATA adapter and run the mfr's extended tests. Normally they are not destructive unless it finds bad sectors, in which case the drive is failing anyway.

I'm guessing your TiVo is old enough that the problem could be the power supply. Do you have lifetime sub?

One option for drive replacement without messing with WinMFS or worrying about whether you can backup a good image from your current drive is **here**.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:57 PM   #3
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Thanks. I have tried the long test, and it didn't find any issues. As luck would have it, I recently added Lifetime to it (TiVo game me it for $199).

Assuming someone is kind enough to provide me with an image, how do I install it on the new drive?
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:23 PM   #4
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Mandms7,
I sent you a PM regarding the image you need.
As far as getting the image restored to a HDD I'd suggest you check out this site and its software. http://www.mfslive.org/
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:23 PM   #5
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I assume what you're getting is a WinMFS backup. For detailed instructions on using WinMFS to restore it to the new drive and supersize it, see the Drive Expansion sticky thread at the top of thie forum.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A@ron View Post
Mandms7,
I sent you a PM regarding the image you need.
As far as getting the image restored to a HDD I'd suggest you check out this site and its software. http://www.mfslive.org/
Appreciate it - thanks!!!
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
I assume what you're getting is a WinMFS backup. For detailed instructions on using WinMFS to restore it to the new drive and supersize it, see the Drive Expansion sticky thread at the top of thie forum.
Is supersizing it different than selecting "Yes" when asked if you want to expand the drive during a restore operation?
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandms7 View Post
Is supersizing it different than selecting "Yes" when asked if you want to expand the drive during a restore operation?
Just go to the drive expansion sticky thread and search (Ctrl-F) on "supersize". All will be explained!
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandms7 View Post
I know there are a couple threads going right now for similar problems, but I didn't want to hijack anyone's threads.

My original Series3 TiVo (original drive and no external drives connected) recently became extremely slow at times, especially when browsing the Now Playing list. If I initiate a transfer of a show from my TiVo Premiere, it becomes incredibly slow in the menu and eventually reboots (regardless of which show I try to transfer). This all seemed to have started when we had a power outage several weeks ago, and this TiVo is not protected by a UPS (although is surge protected by a APC surge protector). Based on suggestions I've read on this board, I've tried all of the KickStart tests, none of which helped. All of the S.M.A.R.T tests reveal no issues found with the hard drive. I cracked open the TiVo, and I did not notice any bulging capacitors or anything out of the norm.

I went ahead and ordered a WD10EVDS from Amazon anyway, but I'm questioning if this is going to resolve the issue considering no problems with the drive could be found using the KickStart tests. Any other ideas as to what might cause this behavior?

I was also wondering about using WinMFS to transfer the TiVo image over to the new drive. If the original drive is having problems, couldn't the WinMFS copy process copy over a problem TiVo image, thereby bringing the problem over to the new drive?

Thanks.
So your S3 didn't give you any trouble until you brought a Premiere into the house, huh?

Is there any way you can create a situation where the two of them are unaware of each other's existence, like temporarily set one up in someone else's house or something, and see if the problems continue?

That's based on two theories:

1. There really is such a thing as hardware jealousy.

2. The Premiere has so many problems that they spill over to anything else it touches.


Although I'm attempting to be humourous, I'm also serious about eliminating the Premiere as a possible source of the S3's problems.

In order to eliminate the impossible so as to be left with the improbable as inevitable (to mangle Holmes's dictum), one must first establish that the seemingly impossible actually is.
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:56 AM   #10
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No, actually my Premiere and S3 were living in harmony for a period of time. Then my 1-year subscription on my S3 ended, and I didn't have a subscription on it for several months. I caught TiVo on a good day, and they gave me lifetime on the S3 for $199. It was soon after that when we had a power failure that my S3 started freaking out.

I'm still really scratching my head as to what is going on. Seems to only lock-up/reboot when doing anything related to transfers from my Premiere. Once I start getting something transferred, everything gets slow. The animations in the background start stuttering. Eventually, it ends up rebooting. I'm not seeing any pixelation or other issues when watching live TV or viewing recordings, so it just doesn't seem like a typical hard drive failure. The symptoms don't sound like those associated with a power supply failure either.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:26 PM   #11
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If you can live without your Premiere for a few days, shut it down and unplug it, and see how the S3 does without any other TiVo on the network.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:41 PM   #12
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I received my new hard drive from Amazon. I'm in the process of trying to restore an image I received that ends in .mfs. Unless I'm missing it, the Drive Expansion sticky thread doesn't cover what to do with this type of file. I tried using WinMFS to restore the image, but it says it isn't a valid backup file. How do I handle this image file?
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandms7 View Post
I received my new hard drive from Amazon. I'm in the process of trying to restore an image I received that ends in .mfs. Unless I'm missing it, the Drive Expansion sticky thread doesn't cover what to do with this type of file. I tried using WinMFS to restore the image, but it says it isn't a valid backup file. How do I handle this image file?
Try the MFS Live cd v1.4, available as an .iso download at mfslive.org

You burn it, as an image, to cd and boot from it.

Click on the "Full Guide" link on the left at that site to learn how to use it.

Post back if you need more help or PM me.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:46 PM   #14
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Well this is becoming increasingly frustrating. I downloaded the MFS Live iso and burned it to cd. Put the image I received onto a USB flash drive and booted into mfslive using the cd. Issued the following command:

mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /dos (mount the USB flash drive)
restore -s 128 -xzpi /dos/mybackup.mfs /dev/sda

It starts restoring the backup and gets to 97.88%. It then tells me "Cleaning up restore. Please wait a moment" followed by "Restore: Premature end of backup data".

Don't have a clue where to go from here. Google searches come up completely empty and MFS Live is completely lacking in MFS Live 1.4 support.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandms7 View Post
Well this is becoming increasingly frustrating. I downloaded the MFS Live iso and burned it to cd. Put the image I received onto a USB flash drive and booted into mfslive using the cd. Issued the following command:

mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /dos (mount the USB flash drive)
restore -s 128 -xzpi /dos/mybackup.mfs /dev/sda

It starts restoring the backup and gets to 97.88%. It then tells me "Cleaning up restore. Please wait a moment" followed by "Restore: Premature end of backup data".

Don't have a clue where to go from here. Google searches come up completely empty and MFS Live is completely lacking in MFS Live 1.4 support.
I've had that before. It could be there's something wrong with the backup file. Perhaps it got corrupted during the download. Can you download it again?

Of course it could be that it was faulty when it was made and whoever made it didn't test it but just assumed that no error messages meant no problems, in which case you could download it a million times and never get a working restoration.

Try this.

Get Windows to do a full format on your USB flash drive (which will, of course, erase everything on it), then copy the backup file to the newly formatted flash drive.

Then do (assuming you're restoring to that new 1TB drive)

mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /dos
restore -s 500 -pi /dos/mybackup.mfs /dev/sda

I've boosted your swap partition to 1/2000th (the generally accepted rule of thumb) of your 1TB drive and I've left off the "zero out unused partitions" option and the "expand" option.

The first probably isn't necessary, and the second can be done later.

If you get a successful restoration this time, put it in the TiVo and test it. If it works, take it back out, boot from the MFS Live cd again, and use

mfsadd -x /dev/sda

with no other hard drives attached to the computer.

The -x switch is supposed to be "expand all drives" and -X is supposed to be "expand specified drive(s)", but I've never had any success with -X, so I just use -x, where "all drives" is the entire only hard drive connected at the time.

If you don't get a successful (pre-expansion) restoration, assume you've got a flawed backup and try to download it again or get it from a different source.

(Now that I see who I think was your source I suspect it was okay when it left his hands, but got damaged during upload or download)


Oh, since there were 3 different Series 3 models, make sure you get (or already have) the right backup file for your model.
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:10 PM   #16
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unitron - I would have done your procedures, but I obtained Instant Cake and decided to try that route. As my luck would have it, I could not get this to work on my PC. I simply could not identify or mount my cdrom drive. Tried everything, including some workarounds that people posted on the forums. I ended up using my laptop, and that worked with no issues. The upgrade supposedly completed successfully....

I stuck the new drive in my TiVo, and now it is just sitting at the "Welcome Powering Up" screen. Drive is dated 1/2011, so it can't be the Intellipark issue.

I'm ready to pull all my hair out. This has been the absolutely most frustrating upgrade I've ever tried.
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:27 PM   #17
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unitron - I would have done your procedures, but I obtained Instant Cake and decided to try that route. As my luck would have it, I could not get this to work on my PC. I simply could not identify or mount my cdrom drive. Tried everything, including some workarounds that people posted on the forums. I ended up using my laptop, and that worked with no issues. The upgrade supposedly completed successfully....

I stuck the new drive in my TiVo, and now it is just sitting at the "Welcome Powering Up" screen. Drive is dated 1/2011, so it can't be the Intellipark issue.

I'm ready to pull all my hair out. This has been the absolutely most frustrating upgrade I've ever tried.
So I gave you procedures to follow, but you chose to do something else instead?

If you could boot your PC from the MFS Live cd, you should have been able to boot it from the Instant Cake cd. Whether IC could then work with a non-PATA hard drive (/dev/sd'x" instead of /dev/hd'x') might have been a problem.
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:35 PM   #18
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Didn't see your update until after I obtained Instant Cake. I'm not even sure the image I received the other day works, so i thought I'd try a method I know *should* work. Instant Cake would boot on my computer. During the config process, it asks what your device is for the cd-rom (sdx, hdx, etc.). No matter what I tried, it wouldn't work.

But I got it to work on my laptop, but now its stuck at the Powering Up screen.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:30 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Didn't see your update until after I obtained Instant Cake. I'm not even sure the image I received the other day works, so i thought I'd try a method I know *should* work. Instant Cake would boot on my computer. During the config process, it asks what your device is for the cd-rom (sdx, hdx, etc.). No matter what I tried, it wouldn't work.

But I got it to work on my laptop, but now its stuck at the Powering Up screen.
My experience with it is limited, but it only really wanted to know where the target hard drive was.


Try it in advanced mode.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:11 PM   #20
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The problem ended up being the Intellipark feature. After disabling it, my TiVo powered up fine. Didn't think the issue persisted in my drive (Jan 2011 build date).

Transferred a couple shows from my Premiere without any reboots or slowness, so I'm assuming it was the drive that had the problem (even though all the tests said it was fine - guess it could have been a software issue). Hopefully when my TiVo gets up to the latest version of code (currently on 9.2a) it doesn't experience the problem again.

Thanks for everyone's help.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:39 PM   #21
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I thought Intellipark only prevented soft reboots -- but I won't argue with success! You can get your software updated in a few minutes by just forcing several connections to TiVo until the status says "pending restart", then reboot the TiVo.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:47 AM   #22
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Up on the latest software and still no slowness or reboots during transfers. Either was the hard drive or the image got damaged.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:28 AM   #23
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Wow, two weeks ago my TiVo was being really slow - it would take 10 times as long to go through the To-Do List than it did the week before, and then I noticed the background animation was stuttering. Funny enough, everything else worked just fine - all the recordings were fine. And other than the slowness, it was otherwise fine. It even rebooted just fine.

Last week I found this thread and guessed it was the hard drive, so I pulled it and imaged it and dumped the image on a spare. Turned out it was 1 bad sector 40GB in (according to ddrescue). Figuring it's just a recording that would be corrupt (512 bytes are bad - so what?), I put it on an old replacement (I didn't need to upgrade it, but finding any hard drive under 1TB new is almost impossible) 300GB drive that was sitting around and it booted up and everything. And it was back to being fast again.

Still can't figure out how that 1 bad sector could've made it so slow... especially since it's smack in the middle of the first media partition - there shouldn't be anything other than a recording there. Not even the original TiVo videos that it came with should be that far into the drive...
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:04 AM   #24
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If it was recording the live buffer to that part of the disk it would explain it.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:27 AM   #25
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Could be, but that one sector was marked "Sector awaiting replacement" which means the next write will usually fix it by replacing it with a spare.

Considering the drive doesn't have any bad sectors otherwise, it's kinda strange. Just happy I caught it early and could make a backup and replace it. And that the sector was something unimportant compared to what could've been.
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