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Old 08-05-2012, 10:04 PM   #1
adamwsh
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Horizontal lines via Component or Composite video connections

All of a sudden, tonight, my TivoHD is showing horizontal lines no matter what I'm watching... Live TV, paused TV, a recording, a menu, etc.

This is appearing using both the Composite and Component video outputs. So I don't think it is the TV, because they are on different input sources, and others (DVD, Wii, etc) do not show this problem. In fact, the Wii was tested using the same Composite input on the TV. It only showed the horizontal lines when the Tivo was being used as the source.

Here is a video of the issue as caught by my camera on my phone. It is especially noticeable around 0:13 & 0:14. I fear there is an internal problem with the Tivo, unrealted to the typcial hard drive failures I've experienced in the past. This unit is exactly 5 years old this month.

Any ideas as to the cause & solution to the problem?

http://youtu.be/okTML1opCH8



Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:31 PM   #2
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okTML1opCH8


Check for loose connections between the Tivo and the TV? Make sure the cables are plugged in all the way.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:01 PM   #3
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okTML1opCH8


Check for loose connections between the Tivo and the TV? Make sure the cables are plugged in all the way.
Yup, did that already before posting this thread. Unplugged and plugged twice. Also, as mentioned, used both Composite and Component connections and both exhibited the problem.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:34 AM   #4
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Adam,

Check for capacitor issues in the power supply.

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:48 AM   #5
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If you'd put the camera on a tripod or something else steady and not jumped from screen to screen rapidly enough to induce an epileptic seizure I might be able to tell you something other than that it's not CRT horizontal retrace lines.

But yeah, if it's an S2 or S3, eliminate the possibility of "capacitor plague" in the power supply as a matter of GP.

Then pull the drive and run the manufacturer's long test.

Which gives me another idea.

Reboot and see if it happens during the very first screen (Welcome), which is on the motherboard and not the drive.

Also, see if it makes a difference having co-ax and Ethernet and USB cables hooked up to it or not.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:52 AM   #6
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I'd suspect a power supply issue as well.




OTOH, how is your TivoHD getting its signal, OTA?
I've seen interference like that when truckers in the area (illegally) use high powered CB transmitters.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:01 AM   #7
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If you'd put the camera on a tripod or something else steady and not jumped from screen to screen rapidly enough to induce an epileptic seizure I might be able to tell you something other than that it's not CRT horizontal retrace lines.

But yeah, if it's an S2 or S3, eliminate the possibility of "capacitor plague" in the power supply as a matter of GP.

Then pull the drive and run the manufacturer's long test.

Which gives me another idea.

Reboot and see if it happens during the very first screen (Welcome), which is on the motherboard and not the drive.

Also, see if it makes a difference having co-ax and Ethernet and USB cables hooked up to it or not.
Sorry about that. It didn't seem so fast when I was doing it. I was also just trying to show that it was consistent across all screens and didn't change with the screen image.

Also, I did reboot it, and the lines appeared immediately when the Welcome screen came up.

I am not familiar with this "capacitor plague" you are talking about, or the "power supply" issues others have referred to. Could anyone elaborate on these? Are they easy to fix or does it mean I have to trash it?

As much as I'd like to upgrade to an XL4, I'm not really interested in dropping $399 for one.

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:20 AM   #8
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Sorry about that. It didn't seem so fast when I was doing it. I was also just trying to show that it was consistent across all screens and didn't change with the screen image.

Also, I did reboot it, and the lines appeared immediately when the Welcome screen came up.

I am not familiar with this "capacitor plague" you are talking about, or the "power supply" issues others have referred to. Could anyone elaborate on these? Are they easy to fix or does it mean I have to trash it?

As much as I'd like to upgrade to an XL4, I'm not really interested in dropping $399 for one.

Thanks!
Wikipedia has a page on "capacitor plague".

S2 and S3 power supplies are at risk for it.

There are a number of threads around here dealing with the topic.

After you finish the wikipedia article, try searching this site for "S3 power supply", that should come up with some stuff that'll save us having to repeat ourselves a lot.

There's a good picture of how subtle the visual clues can be here:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=479176

and if you can solder, you can fix it for $10 worth of parts.

If that's what's causing the problem.

But try the reboot again, with nothing hooked up to the TiVo except the power cord (and the external drive eSATA cable if you have an external attached), no cable, no antenna, no USB or network cables or dongles, and see if you get the same symptoms.

If so, open it up, inspect the power supply capacitors, and temporarily disconnect the cable to the internal hard drive and boot it again.

Without the hard drive connected it won't go beyond the Welcome screen, but if something about the hard drive is generating some sort of interference when it's spinning, it won't be able to do it with the combo data/power cable removed.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:43 PM   #9
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I looked into it the Capacitor Plague and opened my Tivo and did not find any signs of bad capacitors or any other bad components.

I've now tried it on a different TV using different video cables and still saw the problem.

I also used compressed air to clean all internal components of dust. Didn't seem to help.

It would seem I have a bad video board.

Sounds like I need a new Tivo, right?
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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The noise looks like what you see when screwing the coax cable into the RF input.

Is the noise recorded in your recordings? Try playing back a new recording on a different device like a PC?

I suspect it is a loose connector, broken shield or a grounding issue. Plug the DVR directly into the wall outlet bypassing any outlet strip.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:35 AM   #11
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I looked into it the Capacitor Plague and opened my Tivo and did not find any signs of bad capacitors or any other bad components.

I've now tried it on a different TV using different video cables and still saw the problem.

I also used compressed air to clean all internal components of dust. Didn't seem to help.

It would seem I have a bad video board.

Sounds like I need a new Tivo, right?
Are you feeding that HD both cable and OTA antenna and seeing the problem on both?
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:03 AM   #12
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Exclamation

Ok, so here's a list of what I did and saw:

* Messed up video appears on ALL screens: Welcome/Powering Up, All Tivo Menus, Live TV, Paused TV, Recorded TV, Paused Recorded TV. (The messed up video didn't change depending on what I was viewing.
* The messed up picture varies from barley noticeable to making it unwatchable.
* I tried 3 different inputs on my TV using 3 different cables (1 Component & 2 Composite).
* I tried disconnecting everything but the video cable(s).
* I moved it out of the cabinet, in case anything near it was interfering with it.
* I tried it on a completely different TV.
* I opened the case and looked for any signs of bad capacitors or any other fouled innards. (Didn't not find any)
* I used compressed air to blow out all dust from the inside of the case, including removing the cable card, blowing that out and putting it back in.
* No other devices connected to my TV had a problem (DVD, Wii, etc).

Just over 1 year ago, I replaced the hard drive in this TivoHD with "Western Digital 1 TB AV-GP SATA 3 Gb/s Intellipower 32 MB Cache Bulk/OEM AV Hard Drive- WD10EVDS" I can't imagine this would have caused the motherboard to fail, but I really can't figure out why else it would. This TivoHD unit is 5 years and 1 week old today.

I have two Series 2 boxes. One is 9 years old with a replaced hard drive (probably did that 6 years ago), and that one is still running strong. The other Series 2 is 10 years old with the original hard drive and only problem with it is that it occasionally freezes requiring me to pull the power cord to reboot.

So, my question now is, what is the life expectancy of Tivos? Does it depend on the model? I can understand the hard drive failing much more than I can understand the motherboard failing.

Tivo Customer Service said I could exchange my TivoHD for a refurbished one for $150, but A) I had replaced the hard drive, so that eliminated that option, and B) If I'm gonna spend $150, I may as well buy a Premiere.

Convinced the motherboard on my TivoHD is hosed, I went and purchased an XL4 from Best Buy yesterday. Connected it to the same TV using the same Component Cables and it works fine. So it was certainly the TivoHD that was the source of the problem, but I still am not sure exactly what about the TivoHD was causing the problem. I'd like to know, because now I have a TivoHD that aside from the messed up picture is otherwise fine, with a nice 1TB HD in it! What do I do with it now?

I'd appreciate further thoughts on this, especially my two bolded questions above.

(Oh, and btw, for the record, I like the look of the HD Menus on the XL4, but they are really sluggish!)

Thanks, gang, for your help and support!
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:01 AM   #13
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Ok, so here's a list of what I did and saw:

* Messed up video appears on ALL screens: Welcome/Powering Up, All Tivo Menus, Live TV, Paused TV, Recorded TV, Paused Recorded TV. (The messed up video didn't change depending on what I was viewing.
* The messed up picture varies from barley noticeable to making it unwatchable.
* I tried 3 different inputs on my TV using 3 different cables (1 Component & 2 Composite).
* I tried disconnecting everything but the video cable(s).
* I moved it out of the cabinet, in case anything near it was interfering with it.
* I tried it on a completely different TV.
* I opened the case and looked for any signs of bad capacitors or any other fouled innards. (Didn't not find any)
* I used compressed air to blow out all dust from the inside of the case, including removing the cable card, blowing that out and putting it back in.
* No other devices connected to my TV had a problem (DVD, Wii, etc).

Just over 1 year ago, I replaced the hard drive in this TivoHD with "Western Digital 1 TB AV-GP SATA 3 Gb/s Intellipower 32 MB Cache Bulk/OEM AV Hard Drive- WD10EVDS" I can't imagine this would have caused the motherboard to fail, but I really can't figure out why else it would. This TivoHD unit is 5 years and 1 week old today.

I have two Series 2 boxes. One is 9 years old with a replaced hard drive (probably did that 6 years ago), and that one is still running strong. The other Series 2 is 10 years old with the original hard drive and only problem with it is that it occasionally freezes requiring me to pull the power cord to reboot.

So, my question now is, what is the life expectancy of Tivos? Does it depend on the model? I can understand the hard drive failing much more than I can understand the motherboard failing.

Tivo Customer Service said I could exchange my TivoHD for a refurbished one for $150, but A) I had replaced the hard drive, so that eliminated that option, and B) If I'm gonna spend $150, I may as well buy a Premiere.

Convinced the motherboard on my TivoHD is hosed, I went and purchased an XL4 from Best Buy yesterday. Connected it to the same TV using the same Component Cables and it works fine. So it was certainly the TivoHD that was the source of the problem, but I still am not sure exactly what about the TivoHD was causing the problem. I'd like to know, because now I have a TivoHD that aside from the messed up picture is otherwise fine, with a nice 1TB HD in it! What do I do with it now?

I'd appreciate further thoughts on this, especially my two bolded questions above.

(Oh, and btw, for the record, I like the look of the HD Menus on the XL4, but they are really sluggish!)

Thanks, gang, for your help and support!
"What do I do with it now?"

Mail it to me and forget you ever owned it.

But seriously, have you tried booting it up with the combo data/power plug removed from the hard drive?

You'll still get the welcome screen that way, and you'll either eliminate the drive as the source or confirm it.

And I still wouldn't give the power supply a passing grade without subbing in a known good one from another HD or HD XL, or checking all of it's outputs for flatness with an oscilloscope.

The motherboard can go bad, it's just the part least likely to.


Oh, when you send it, if you think you'll need it you can keep the remote, but be sure to include the original hard drive.

Hey, I'll even chip in on the shipping.


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Old 08-07-2012, 11:04 AM   #14
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One other thought, you could try recording something and copying it to computer via TiVo Desktop or even just a TiVo to TiVo transfer to your new TiVo and see if the interference is actually in recent recordings themselves.

If it shows up in recordings made before the problem started, then the cause is supernatural and you'll need to contact an exorcist.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:45 AM   #15
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Convinced the motherboard on my TivoHD is hosed, I went and purchased an XL4 from Best Buy yesterday. Connected it to the same TV using the same Component Cables and it works fine. So it was certainly the TivoHD that was the source of the problem, but I still am not sure exactly what about the TivoHD was causing the problem. I'd like to know, because now I have a TivoHD that aside from the messed up picture is otherwise fine, with a nice 1TB HD in it! What do I do with it now?
If the problem is only with newer recordings, it could be a recording issue (although it seems like it would affect only analog recordings), but it sounds more like a playback issue. Can you try HDMI playback?

As unitron says, it could still be the power supply, so you could test that with an oscilloscope. And if that passes, I suspect the motherboard has various "bypass capacitors" (if they're still called that) here and there. If one of those near the video output circuitry failed, that circuitry might see local voltage ripple. I'm not familiar with the motherboard circuitry.

If you don't want to engage in the adventure of fixing the TiVo HD, you can sell it on eBay or elsewhere with appropriate disclaimers about the video problem.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:19 PM   #16
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Possible ground loop noise.
Disconnect the Coax cable from the TiVo.
If the problem stops, you will need to ground the Coax cable to the home's electrical system.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:49 PM   #17
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"What do I do with it now?....

But seriously, have you tried booting it up with the combo data/power plug removed from the hard drive?

You'll still get the welcome screen that way, and you'll either eliminate the drive as the source or confirm it.

...
That is one thing I did not try. Man, now I regretting setting up the XL4. I'd bet it's the Drive. I'll have to test that tonight when I get home.

Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:56 PM   #18
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That is one thing I did not try. Man, now I regretting setting up the XL4. I'd bet it's the Drive. I'll have to test that tonight when I get home.

Thanks.
Remember, I'm not talking about anything being wrong with the software on the drive, but with something about it creating electrical noise that's getting picked up somehow.

Which may leave it still perfectly fine to use in a computer.

I still lean toward suspecting the power supply.

Take a look at the picture this guy just posted.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=490795

I almost couldn't spot the bad one myself.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:26 PM   #19
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Remember, I'm not talking about anything being wrong with the software on the drive, but with something about it creating electrical noise that's getting picked up somehow.

Which may leave it still perfectly fine to use in a computer.

I still lean toward suspecting the power supply.

Take a look at the picture this guy just posted.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=490795

I almost couldn't spot the bad one myself.

Ok,yeah, I looked at that thread, and the picture. I do see the slight bulging he's talking about. I do not have any capacitors that look like that.

And I understand what you mean about the drive operating causing the interference, not what's on the drive, but the drive spinning/being powered up. That would suck if a 1 year old drive is doing that. Although, buying a new drive for $60 is a lot cheaper than paying $399 for a new XL4 (plus $399 for lifetime service).

Ugh!

Again, I'll check the drive tonight.

Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:35 PM   #20
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Ok,yeah, I looked at that thread, and the picture. I do see the slight bulging he's talking about. I do not have any capacitors that look like that.

And I understand what you mean about the drive operating causing the interference, not what's on the drive, but the drive spinning/being powered up. That would suck if a 1 year old drive is doing that. Although, buying a new drive for $60 is a lot cheaper than paying $399 for a new XL4 (plus $399 for lifetime service).

Ugh!

Again, I'll check the drive tonight.

Thanks.
Could be the drive generates that kind of noise and there's a little RF filter cap on it to shunt that noise to ground and that little cap has failed.

I'm not hard drive designer/witch doctor/voodoo priest so I can't say for sure.

But troubleshooting/diagnosis is a matter of eliminating variables so that you're only testing one thing at a time.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:05 PM   #21
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...

But troubleshooting/diagnosis is a matter of eliminating variables so that you're only testing one thing at a time.
Yup. Well aware. The trick is figuring out which things you are able to eliminate. Powering off the HDD is one thing I did not yet eliminate.

I'm telling ya, I'm fully expecting the drive will be the cause of the problem. Only because I already went and bought an XL4 and paid for a lifetime subscription. I believe I'm able to return the unit to Best Buy and get my money back on the subscription as long as I do both within 30 days.

If it turns out to be the HDD, I have to ask myself it is is worth the hassle of buying a new drive, doing the whole drive copy process, installing the new drive, hoping it fixes the problem, and if it it does then decide if I want to return the XL4 or not.

Looks like used non-lifetime subscriptions HDs are going for only around $50 on ebay. That wouldn't even cover the cost of a new drive in the thing.

If figured out it will take 40 months to pay for itself vs. renting a horrible DVR from Verizon.

Like I said - UGH!
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:58 PM   #22
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I'm also still leaning toward power supply or other grounding issue.

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Old 08-08-2012, 12:27 PM   #23
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Last night I disconnected the hard drive, connected only the composite video cable and power cord. I still saw the lines on the Welcome screen and the gray screen that followed it. So I guess it isn't the hard drive causing the problem. So I guess that leaves motherboard or power supply.

Here's a picture of the power supply. I still didn't see any obvious signs of trouble.

IMG_20120807_200401.jpg
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:50 PM   #24
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The PS may have non-obvious problems. You should measure the 5V (red wires) and 12V (yellow wires) relative to gnd (black wires) where they are soldered to the PS board. WARNING SHOCK HAZARD.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:00 PM   #25
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The PS may have non-obvious problems. You should measure the 5V (red wires) and 12V (yellow wires) relative to gnd (black wires) where they are soldered to the PS board. WARNING SHOCK HAZARD.
I own a volt meter, but have no clue how to do what you're suggesting.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:23 PM   #26
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Well you know how to get to the PS since you sent a photo of it. See how all the black/yellow/red wires are soldered to the board. I believe there are labels on the board near these points (5V, 12V and GND).

Be careful not to touch anything but the designated pads with the probes and do not touch anything inside the TiVo with your fingers (or nose ).

Set up your voltmeter to read DC voltage.
Connect the TiVo power.
Hold the black (-) meter probe on the GND pad (where the black wires all go).
Touch the red (+) meter probe to the 5V pad (where all the red wires go) and read the voltage.
Touch the red meter probe to the 12V pad (where all the yellow wires go) and read the voltage.

The 5V reading should be between 4.75V and 5.25V.
The 12V reading should be between 10.8V and 13.2V.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:30 PM   #27
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Well you know how to get to the PS since you sent a photo of it. See how all the black/yellow/red wires are soldered to the board. I believe there are labels on the board near these points (5V, 12V and GND).

Be careful not to touch anything but the designated pads with the probes and do not touch anything inside the TiVo with your fingers (or nose ).

Set up your voltmeter to read DC voltage.
Connect the TiVo power.
Hold the black (-) meter probe on the GND pad (where the black wires all go).
Touch the red (+) meter probe to the 5V pad (where all the red wires go) and read the voltage.
Touch the red meter probe to the 12V pad (where all the yellow wires go) and read the voltage.

The 5V reading should be between 4.75V and 5.25V.
The 12V reading should be between 10.8V and 13.2V.
A better, safer way to do that, provided your meter has probes with metal coming out of the end that are like big needles is to stick the black one down into the plug on the motherboard in a hole where a black wire goes, being careful not to let it touch anything else, and then with the meter set for something like 0-25V DC, stick the red probe down into a hole in that plug where a red wire goes to check the 5V line, and then into a hole with a yellow wire to check the 12V line.

Orange should read about 3.3V


Usually the bad cap likes to hide underneath that heat sink overhang where it's hard to see and hard to remove and replace when unsoldering the old one and soldering in a nice new reputable brand high temp, low ESR replacement.


If your black meter lead has an alligator clip, anywhere on the metal chassis should do, preferably someplace not near any of the circuit boards in case it slips off.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:31 PM   #28
unitron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamwsh View Post
Last night I disconnected the hard drive, connected only the composite video cable and power cord. I still saw the lines on the Welcome screen and the gray screen that followed it. So I guess it isn't the hard drive causing the problem. So I guess that leaves motherboard or power supply.

Here's a picture of the power supply. I still didn't see any obvious signs of trouble.

Attachment 16742

Yeah, that looks like the one in my HD.


Shine a bright light under that heat sink overhang.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:47 PM   #29
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One other thing, if the power supply is regulating properly, those voltages should read about the same with the hard drive connected or disconnected.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:16 PM   #30
adamwsh
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I haven't had a chance to do the voltage test yet, but I do have the TivoHD connected to the TV still, and it hasn't acted up at all today. WTH!?
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