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Old 08-04-2012, 12:23 AM   #1
~kyle
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Bad M-Card?

I have a refurb Premiere I bought from Woot over a year ago. It's been unopened in it's box until a couple of months ago when I hooked it up and started using it unactivated as an OTA tuner. A couple of weeks ago I called to activate it as the second Premeire in my HT setup (and to convince them to give me the $99 lifetime deal on my month to month TiVoHD).

It's been working great but I've only been using it with an antenna. A few days ago I decided to go ahead and get a cable card for it (I have Comcast service and my other Premiere and my HD are both on it already). I powered it down and installed the M-Card but when I powered it up it never would get to the setup screen. I'd get the "We're almost there" screen but it would eventually get to a blank blue screen with nothing but the TiVo guy in the upper left corner. I could hit the TiVo button on the remote and it would cause it to reboot again and eventually end up at the same screen.

I assumed it was an issue with the M-Card and sure enough when I removed the card everything worked fine again. So I went by the Comcast office and told them I had a bad card and they gave me another one. I came home, put it in, and guess what?...same thing, same blue screen with the TiVo guy in the corner. Again, I removed the card and it worked fine.

I chatted with TiVo and they told me it sounded like a hardware issue and to call them to see about getting a replacement Premiere. They were pretty much no help at all.

As a test, would I lose pairing information if I were to try the M-Card from my working Premiere or HD just to see if the unit will get to a setup screeen and verify that my box is good? Could I install the questionable card in one of my working units to see if they boot up to verify that the card is good?

My gut feeling is that I got two bad cards in a row but I want to make sure if possible before I go to Comcast for the third time. I should also mention that this second card I got looks like it's been well used.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:47 AM   #2
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No, you will not lose pairing information if you try the other card
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:50 AM   #3
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I think the cable cards are hot swapable, meaning you can put them in/take out while the device is powered and running.

Also, you would need to go through guided setup after its paired as it won't take you there itself.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
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No, you will not lose pairing information if you try the other card
On my TiVos, if I remove the card and try another card, the pairing info changes when I put the original card back in.

This happened recently on FiOS after I had paired my three cards. When I tried one card in another box and then put the original card back in, the original card was no longer paired and I needed to call their automated CC pairing number to re-pair the CC to the box.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:22 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I just tried hot swapping the cards. As suspected the known good card worked in Premiere#2 and instantly came up with the screen saying a cable card had just been installed.

When I put the questionable card in my known good Premiere#1, it wouldn't come up at all. I had to power it down and back up to get it to do anything.

Once I put the good card back in #1 everything worked fine and I did not lose pairing info.

It kind of pisses me off that TiVo cs would instantly tell me the unit was bad and to call them about replacement but I'm glad that I don't have to do that. At least now I can tell Comcast with confidence that they've given me two bad M-Cards in a row when I make my third trip over there.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ~kyle View Post
chatted with TiVo and they told me it sounded like a hardware issue and to call them to see about getting a replacement Premiere. They were pretty much no help at all.
Unless they were expecting you to pay for the exchange, I do not understand what your beef with TiVo is nor exactly what you expected them to do. It was Comcast that gave you two bad cards.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:12 PM   #7
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Unless they were expecting you to pay for the exchange, I do not understand what your beef with TiVo is nor exactly what you expected them to do. It was Comcast that gave you two bad cards.
agreed.... not sure what else they could do.... Comcast issue
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
Unless they were expecting you to pay for the exchange, I do not understand what your beef with TiVo is nor exactly what you expected them to do. It was Comcast that gave you two bad cards.
Correct, it was Comcast's fault and I told them I suspected it was but wanted their opinion. They said no, it sounds like it's the Tivo. I don't really have a "beef with TiVo" but it was frustraing that the rep wouldn't even pay attention to what I was asking.

Also, are you saying that they would have replaced a Tivo that I've had for well over a year that I didn't even buy from them?
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:57 PM   #9
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agreed.... not sure what else they could do.... Comcast issue
They told me it was not a Comcast issue.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:13 AM   #10
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They told me it was not a Comcast issue.
I guess the CSR assumed that since you had tried two different cards with the same result, that the problem was in the TiVo. After all, they have absolutely no way of knowing. I suppose what he should have done was to tell you to verify that you had a good CableCARD but I doubt you would have been happy with that either.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:16 AM   #11
~kyle
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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
I guess the CSR assumed that since you had tried two different cards with the same result, that the problem was in the TiVo. After all, they have absolutely no way of knowing. I suppose what he should have done was to tell you to verify that you had a good CableCARD but I doubt you would have been happy with that either.
I'm really not sure what your problem with me is, but if I offended you I'm truly sorry and promise you that I will say no more about this matter other than this. All I wanted from CS was help in troubleshooting whether it was the card at fault or the TiVo. Even though that's specifically what I asked for they would not assist me in any way even after telling them that I have two other known good boxes and cards. I ended up figuring it out on my own with help from this community of which I already thanked both before and after they offered help.

Sorry, I'll post no more about this. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ~kyle View Post
Thanks for the replies. I just tried hot swapping the cards. As suspected the known good card worked in Premiere#2 and instantly came up with the screen saying a cable card had just been installed.

When I put the questionable card in my known good Premiere#1, it wouldn't come up at all. I had to power it down and back up to get it to do anything.

Once I put the good card back in #1 everything worked fine and I did not lose pairing info.

It kind of pisses me off that TiVo cs would instantly tell me the unit was bad and to call them about replacement but I'm glad that I don't have to do that. At least now I can tell Comcast with confidence that they've given me two bad M-Cards in a row when I make my third trip over there.
I had a problem on one cable card and Comcast can read the signal strength coming back to them from my TiVo+Cable card system, I had a bad splitter; changed it out and my signal went to 43, The Comcast CSR said it should be between 38 and 44. Only Comcast can measure that, the user can't. Other MSO most likely can also measure this back channel signal strength but I have no knowledge if their CSRs can.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:32 AM   #13
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You didn't offend me. I'm just at a loss as to what you expected the TiVo CSR to do. What you did - switching cards around - is not recommended practice. Although the the probabilities are low, a bad TiVo can damage a good card and a bad card can damage a good TiVo. One of my former bosses destroyed 5 additional packs and damaged 2 additional drives while troubleshooting what turned out to be a head crash on one drive.

FWIW, I probably would have done the same thing you did, but I would never expect a TiVo CSR to recommend it.

In an attempt to lighten things up, I'm going to repeat an old joke I've told before:

How many CEs does it take to change a tire?
Spoiler:

Five. Four to hold the car up and one to change out each tire until he finds the bad one.

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