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Old 05-18-2012, 07:57 AM   #1
azl123
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S3 Rebooting can't Kickstart 54, no bulges - now won't start up.

Hi,
My Tivo S3 TCD 648 with DVR expander started rebooting about once a day and freezing increasing in frequency until now it simply is stuck on Welcome Powering up. Front panel has all lights on and won't Kickstart 54. Tried a new eSATA cable, booting with DVR expander disconnected with same result. After blowing compressed air through the vents with no new result and reading all posts about bulging capacitors, I opened the case and observe no bulging domes. The fan is running but the hard drive doesn't seem to spin up and is silent with no vibration to the touch. Thoughts? Thank you, this forum and site is a great resource!!!
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:31 AM   #2
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Checking the 250G Caviar the +12 V (yellow wire) is reading a volt high at +13.06 V and the +5 V is +5.11 The orange wire has a fluctuating DC reading close to zero but shows 4 V with the AC voltage measurement. Is 13 V too high for the hard drive? Not sure if the 13 V would regulate to +12 V under load with the HD running.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:35 AM   #3
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sounds like a hard drive issue. I suggest replacing it.

Also- have you done a kickstart before? THey can be tricky, so make sure you are doing it right. After a 54, try some of the otehrs that may apply to a hdd issue. THose tests are NOT 100%, and the issue may not be caught. The drive mfr utility would be best, but only as a last resort.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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Hi Jrtroo,

Thanks for the comment - I've never been able to do the kickstart successfully even with both methods of using the remote's pause button nor the front panel pause button. And now the lights in the front panel never go off. I noticed from Unitron's post on "Series 3 Repair Options" thread that the orange wire is 3.3 V and this may be a Switched Mode Power Supply which is reading ~ 4 V on my handheld meter and may regulate down to 3.3 V with load. So I agree, I think replacing the HD may be the likely option. Any idea how ot get it out? I noticed it seems to sit on these soft grommets but don't believe any of the screws on the top of the drive are for mounting. Is it glued down? Thanks!

Last edited by azl123 : 05-18-2012 at 08:48 AM. Reason: corrected typo in name
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:06 AM   #5
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Just unscrew the sled, then unscrew the drive from the sled.
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:22 AM   #6
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All lights on indicate a Power Supply or Main board failure.

Where are you measuring the return voltage? The case is not a good place use one of the center pins on the Hard Drive connector.

The hard drive is mounted with screws that go through the rubber grommets.

Detailed instructions for replacing the HD can be found Weaknees.com/upgrade-instructions
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:56 AM   #7
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Thanks Jrtroo, for the reference to the sled.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:17 AM   #8
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Hi Bshrock,

Great point - I was in fact referencing my voltage measurements to the terminal screw on the PSU which connects to the metallic frame ground. With this reference I saw +13.09 V at the PSU connector (yellow wire) and +13.06 V at the hard drive plug. And +5.12 V at the PSU connector (red wire) at the hard drive plug with reference to frame ground. I will repeat these measurements referenced to the HD power connector later today.

Thanks for the input and also the reference to HD replacement for S3 at weaknees

With all lights on being a PS or MB failure, I'm troubled by the fact that it appears I have some +12 V and +5V at the HD connector and the HD is not powering up. Perhaps if my 3.3 V is no good then there may be is a signal from the MB that is not getting to the hard drive (like an enable) that is preventing it from starting? Another possibility I think is that the circuitry on the HD failed and isn't resolving the +12 V and +5V due input circuitry on the HD that failed.

Next steps:
1) disconnect SATA from HD and power HD from an external 4 pin molex connector that has +5 and +12 from an external PC supply. My thought is to see if the HD powers up without physically removing it from the Tivo to rule out a PS/MB interaction (i.e., PSU droop or over-voltage, or MB issue like it won't send the signal to power up the HD without having the MB go through some initialization sequence

Thoughts? Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:51 PM   #9
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1 Disconnect both drives from the S3, power on the S3 see if the Lights go out.
2 Power the drive from the PC power supply see if it initially spins up.

If the drive does spin up download the manufactures boot from CD diagnostics then run the tests using the PC. (with the PC's drive(s) disconnected)
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
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Thanks Bshrock
To be clear, my S3 has one <internal> drive <and one external expander drive>, so I'll disconnect <them> from the mb and power up the S3 to see if the front panel lights go out (what will this indicate?)

Also, found the WD2500BS I have stock in the S3 has a data sheet on wdc.com indicating +/- 10% on the 12 V and +/- 5% on the 5 V so it looks like I'm in spec from the Tivo PSU.

Last edited by azl123 : 05-18-2012 at 02:56 PM. Reason: clarifying drives
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:48 PM   #11
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If the MB and PS are good only the Green light would be on after the TiVo's initial power on self test.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:43 PM   #12
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You or someone familiar with PC's could check the drive in a PC (with the PC's drive disconnected to prevent booting the OS)

Downloads for WD Caviar Blue / SE / SE16 (SATA II) You want the one that boots from the CD "Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS (CD)"
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:29 PM   #13
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Update: unplugged both HD (Caviar 250G internal) and WD Expander and powered up. All lights are on and stay on. So never got through POST I believe. Also re-measured 12 V and 5 V at the connectors on MB and read 13.00 V and 5.12 V. Now that this points to MB, I'm wondering what are my options since this box has lifetime on it also.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:33 PM   #14
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Hi Homeuser VicW, I looked on WD's site earlier but couldn't get a hit from WD2500BS but didn't look in support, thank you for the link!
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azl123 View Post
Checking the 250G Caviar the +12 V (yellow wire) is reading a volt high at +13.06 V and the +5 V is +5.11 The orange wire has a fluctuating DC reading close to zero but shows 4 V with the AC voltage measurement. Is 13 V too high for the hard drive? Not sure if the 13 V would regulate to +12 V under load with the HD running.
Those readings are actually a little high, but don't adjust the little trimmer pot on the power supply board just yet.

Click support on the WD website, enter the model number of the internal drive, on the results page there should be a download link on the left you can click that'll take you to a page where you can download an image file for burning a bootable cd with the diagnostic software on it.

Make that cd, boot a computer with it with the internal drive attached, run the long test.

Do the same for the external. You might need a SATA to eSATA adapter.

You should also download the image for the MFS Live cd v1.4 from mfslive.org and burn yourself a copy of that, it may come in handy.

Remember, burn as image.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:51 AM   #16
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Hi Unitron, I will definitely need an adapter since my Windows PC has no esata. I saw a USB to sata/esata on Amazon, do you think that would work? I ask because the bootable diagnostic CD from WD's site indicates no Windows7 support (only XP/Vista). Since I also have an older XP machine I was thinking USB to sata/esata would work. Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:29 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by azl123 View Post
Hi Unitron, I will definitely need an adapter since my Windows PC has no esata. I saw a USB to sata/esata on Amazon, do you think that would work? I ask because the bootable diagnostic CD from WD's site indicates no Windows7 support (only XP/Vista). Since I also have an older XP machine I was thinking USB to sata/esata would work. Thanks!
Is there not a bootable cd with it's own operating system (some version of DOS) with the WD diagnostic software on it that will work on those drives to save having to involve Windows at all?

If you had an S3 HD (TCD652160), you could borrow the eSATA port on the back since it's just a separate socket with a cable that plugs into a regular SATA controller on the other end.

Some eSATA ports on computers are the same thing. Maybe you've got a friend that has one they could spare for a while.

Or you could Google up how to disassemble that external without breaking the case so as to test only the SATA drive inside and bypass the case electronics.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azl123 View Post
Hi Unitron, I will definitely need an adapter since my Windows PC has no esata. I saw a USB to sata/esata on Amazon, do you think that would work? I ask because the bootable diagnostic CD from WD's site indicates no Windows7 support (only XP/Vista). Since I also have an older XP machine I was thinking USB to sata/esata would work. Thanks!
Yes the USB - SATA adapter will work the speed will suffer. You want the "Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS (CD)" it does not care what OS is on the computer.

Make sure the computer will boot from the CD *NOT* the windows hard drive before attempting to boot the CD with either TiVo drive attached.
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