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Old 08-22-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
kdc914
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TivoHD - bad drive, mobo, or both?

My TivoHD ate it's original disk drive a couple years ago. I used one of the recommended drives and a program referenced in these forums to rebuild it and everything was fine until a month ago.

It began with the picture sometimes freezing if left on the same channel overnight. A quick channel change would bring everything back to normal. It was random and rare so I thought little about it. A week ago, it began pausing for a fraction of a second during playback but not, I think, live TV. That raised alarm bells, but I didn't have time to deal with it.

Yesterday, I watched some live TV and a few pre-recorded shows then went to bed. This morning I noticed the picture was frozen again. This time, the channel wouldn't change, the Tivo button did nothing. It was COMPLETELY frozen. I pulled the plug, waited 30 seconds, and plugged back in. All I get is "Welcome! Powering up..." and nothing more. Green power light is on, but nothing else.

Is this another drive failure or am I looking at a bad motherboard? I can replace the drive again if that will work, but don't want to go to that trouble and expense if it won't help. Suggestions?

Also, if the existing drive won't boot but the data is otherwise undamaged, can it be retrieve onto a new drive? If so, could someone point me to the instructions for that? Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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How about some HDD diiagnostics? KS54, if you can access it. Or connect drive to PC and run mfr's diagnostics.

Could very likely be power supply failing due to "capacitor disease". Check for bulging caps as shown in this photo:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...94#post8750894

This is more likely than a mobo failure, and if any bulging caps are found they (or the complete power supply) should be replaced before suspecting anything else. The thread containing that photo has lots of useful info.
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:46 PM   #3
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disk diags pending. Seagate's "SeaTools" seems pretty useless for a non-MS formatted drive. The "basic quick" tests passed. The "basic extended" tests are underway.

As for capacitors, I had one ever-so-slightly bulging 2200uf cap. All others were fine. Replaced all five 2200's anyway. No change.

With the unit on, I have 3.33v on the orange line (glop of goo* obscures the rated voltage), 11.8v on the yellow 12v line and 4.93v on the red 5v line. Those seem a tad low. Maybe bad voltage regulator? Or are those within tolerance under load? If those readings are within tolerance, then I don't think I have a power supply problem.

* before anyone says AHA!, by "glop of goo" I mean the caulk-like material which holds some components in place or to each other on the board.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:46 PM   #4
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disk diags pending. Seagate's "SeaTools" seems pretty useless for a non-MS formatted drive. The "basic quick" tests passed. The "basic extended" tests are underway.

As for capacitors, I had one ever-so-slightly bulging 2200uf cap. All others were fine. Replaced all five 2200's anyway. No change.

With the unit on, I have 3.33v on the orange line (glop of goo* obscures the rated voltage), 11.8v on the yellow 12v line and 4.93v on the red 5v line. Those seem a tad low. Maybe bad voltage regulator? Or are those within tolerance under load? If those readings are within tolerance, then I don't think I have a power supply problem.

* before anyone says AHA!, by "glop of goo" I mean the caulk-like material which holds some components in place or to each other on the board.

Hard drive diagnostic software should work at the level below what operating system and file format were used on the drive.

Did you use low ESR caps rated for 105 degrees Celsius/Centigrade?

Those voltage readings are probably okay, but try it with the hard drive not connected and see if there's a lot of difference. The whole idea of voltage regulation on a power supply is for it not to sag under load.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:40 AM   #5
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Those voltages are in spec if all the loads (e.g. HDD) were connected. I'm not sure if voltages with no load are that important. Some power supply designs require load before they regulate properly.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:30 AM   #6
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Those voltages are in spec if all the loads (e.g. HDD) were connected. I'm not sure if voltages with no load are that important. Some power supply designs require load before they regulate properly.
The motherboard and fan are enough of a load for the supply to work properly and safely, but if there's much difference in voltage readings that way and with the drive connected also, then that's a clue there's something wrong with the supply.
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kdc914 View Post
With the unit on, I have 3.33v on the orange line (glop of goo* obscures the rated voltage), 11.8v on the yellow 12v line and 4.93v on the red 5v line. Those seem a tad low.
With the drive removed, I have 3.3v orange, 12.8v yellow, and 4.98 red. I think that effectively rules out a power problem, yes?

With that in mind, and better understanding of what the disk diags were trying to tell me, I went ahead and ordered a replacement drive. Got a 1TB WD10EURX drive from Newegg. Yes, I know the WD20EURS was only $10 more, but I really don't need that much storage. I had been running perfectly fine on a 400GB drive for a couple years without running into space problems.

I've read elsewhere in this forum about issues with InstantCake and "modern" computers. I don't remember having problems last time, but that WAS two years ago. In the "Tivo" directory of my home server, I found a copy of Instant Cake and WinMFS, so I presume I used one to load the image of the other. From other threads, that seems to be a workable plan. Any better one?
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:44 PM   #8
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Don't use instant cake. Beg a TivoHD (model 652xxx) WinMFS (.tbk) image that has 11.0k version software in it. Use WinMFS to "restore" it to your new drive. Say no when it offers to expand. Use MFSadd to expand. Then supersize. You might want to increase the swap size from 128MB to 1GB, but there is no consensus that this is necessary. There is consensus it will do no harm.

You will need to do clear and delete all, and have your CableCARD(s) re-paired if you are using them, and repeat guided setup. If you could get a good WinMFS backup from your current drive, instead of begging an image, you would not need these steps.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:42 AM   #9
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Don't use instant cake. Beg a TivoHD (model 652xxx) WinMFS (.tbk) image that has 11.0k version software in it.
well... as luck would have it, I bought my wife an identical model unit about six months after I bought the one that has failed. Hers has the original drive in it and is current. After painstakingly reassuring that I'm not breaking HERS, I can use WinMFS to "backup" that one and restore to mine. My current drive is dead so there's no getting configuration or anything else from that. I even tried swapping the controller board from an identical make/model I had in the house. Hindsight indicates I should have backed up that drive after I built it two years ago. Definitely won't forget that again...

As for the other tweaks/settings you mentioned, are those sufficiently detailed in the WinMFS documentation?
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:55 AM   #10
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Sounds good. Having at least 11.0k software in the image is important but if your wife's unit has been active, I"m sure that is the case.

Of course there is no advantage to using an image from her Tivo over a begged one and there is the disadvantage that you have to open her tivo and connect its drive to a PC. Begged images are readily available if you express the desire here, or especially here:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=388695

If unitron is reading this (and he most likely is) he can give you instant gratification!
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:21 AM   #11
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thanks, dlfl. I posted in my request in the referenced thread.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:16 PM   #12
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TiVo HD power supplies have a Phillips head (not true Phillips, but close), which can be turned to the right (clockwise) to increase the voltages (with the 5V being the most affected).

It's likely got a glob of white silicon adhesive holding it in place, which you will need to trim away, or just a slice-though it to allow it to turn.

Mark on the plastic part where it is, as well as the metal, so you know where it was.

Even though the HD specs 5V output, on the Premiere, they upped it to 5.1V.

If you take this approach, I recommend SLOWLY increasing the voltage, and use a meter to watch the 5V, until it gets to 5.1V, then check the others.

As long as they wind up within ~20% of the spec voltages, you should be OK.

I've sometimes had to turn it to it's stopping point to get the desired output.

The higher the voltages, the lower the amp demand from the supply.

Ideally, you should try to shoot for ~10% of specs. But ~20% higher has never caused me any issues. YMMV.

Once I post this somebody will state that if you need to adjust the regulator, there is something wrong with the PS, that you should find and fix, rather than adjusting the regulator. I only go that far if the regulator can't make up the difference, or if the differences in voltages are so great, that I can't get them all where they need to be (like winding up with overvoltage on the 12V output, to get the desired voltages on the lower outputs).
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:20 PM   #13
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...

Once I post this somebody will state that if you need to adjust the regulator, there is something wrong with the PS...
Of course there's something wrong, the adjustment thingie (trimmer potentiometer) needs turning.


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Old 08-24-2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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With the drive removed, I have 3.3v orange, 12.8v yellow, and 4.98 red. I think that effectively rules out a power problem, yes?

With that in mind, and better understanding of what the disk diags were trying to tell me, I went ahead and ordered a replacement drive. Got a 1TB WD10EURX drive from Newegg. Yes, I know the WD20EURS was only $10 more, but I really don't need that much storage. I had been running perfectly fine on a 400GB drive for a couple years without running into space problems.

I've read elsewhere in this forum about issues with InstantCake and "modern" computers. I don't remember having problems last time, but that WAS two years ago. In the "Tivo" directory of my home server, I found a copy of Instant Cake and WinMFS, so I presume I used one to load the image of the other. From other threads, that seems to be a workable plan. Any better one?
I'd be happier if the hard drive wasn't pulling the 12 Volt line down quite so much, but it does seem to still be within tolerances, so it's probably not the power supply.

You need to open up the wife's TiVo and make a back up image for that machine anyway, in case it develops problems down the road.

(not to mention eyeballing the caps in case she's about to run into "capacitor plague" herself)

While you're in there, measure the power supply voltages, with and without the drive hooked up, just to increase your experience and "feel" for this sort of thing.

Do not expect the readings to be indentical to the ones from your machine.

Also, since there were two different model power supplies from two different manufacturers used in the 652, don't expect it to necessarily be the same model.

Once you've taken her drive out (leave it on the bracket) and made a truncated backup for it (I presume it'll be a .tbk file via WinMFS), hook it up in your TiVo, disconnect the SATA data cable part of the combo connector that goes to the drive by unhooking the end that connects to the motherboard--that way the drive won't actually boot in the wrong TiVo*--and see what voltage readings you get on your power supply with her drive being the one hooked to it.

[*As you probably know by now, a TiVo will display the first screen (which is on a chip on the motherboard) even without a drive connected--it just won't move on to the second one (which is on the drive).

And anytime you power up a TiVo, you should have the TiVo video output (preferably audio as well) connected to a display thingie of some sort, even if it's just an old portable B/W set with line input jacks, just in case it does something out of the ordinary of which you should be aware.

Also, it's better to plug and unplug the wall socket end of the power cord than the back of the TiVo end, so as to reduce wear and tear on the power supply's AC connector thingie. It's possible to break the solder connection between the pins of it and the power supply circuit board.

Even better is a power strip of some sort with a switch for the outlets, so you don't have to do any cord pulling at all while the power supply is exposed like that.]

Then take it out and put it back in her machine and get it back in service before she gets mad.

If you're only restoring to a 1TB drive, an older version than 11.0k would have been adequate. I think "k" was needed to exceed 1.6 (although I don't know if that's decimal or binary 1.6).

Have you seen any 10EURX success stories?

One of the reasons for recommending the EURS is that it has been reported by a number of people to work in a TiVo.

Instant cake is supposed to install itself from a bootable Instant Cake cd.

Which means there's a different version for each model TiVo, because each model has its own image file.

However, IC was originally written to be run on IDE drives in machines with 4 possible IDE hookups (Primary Master and Slave, Secondary Master and Slave), with the cd connected to a specific one and the target drive connected to a specific one.

As motherboards with only one IDE controller or computers with SATA optical drives came along, people had problems with IC.

If you have the correct .iso file to make a bootable Instant Cake cd that's the one for the 652, and can find out somehow which file on that cd is the actual truncated image intended to go onto a 160GB (or larger) drive (and that may have been another IC problem, the assumption that it was being used to go onto a larger drive than the original instead of just restoring the original), that image file will not work with WinMFS.

You'd need some version of the old Linux command line MFS Tools.

The most recent version, the MFS Live cd v1.4, will do nicely.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:39 PM   #15
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...

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Let's leave my love life out of this.


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Old 08-24-2013, 10:18 PM   #16
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Just a word of caution:

The aluminum heatsinks on most switch-mode power supplies (which is the type used in both computer and TiVo PSUs) tend to be live (line in voltage), or even voltage-doubled, so if you should accidentally rest your hand on one, you'll likely be hit with line voltage, or higher.

I've been hit by thousands of volts so many times, as well a tripled line voltage, that all it does is tickle me, or wake me up enough, so that I don't do it again.

But, it can still be lethal. One very important thing is not to have one hand on the case, and let the other touch anything live. This is because the current will go from one hand, through your chest (and heart), and out the other hand. It's also easy to rest the same hand on the case, and have another part of that hand make contact, which is less likely lethal, since the current only passes through your hand.

I'm not saying danger, don't bother. Just noticed nobody brought it up.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:19 PM   #17
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Just a word of caution:

The aluminum heatsinks on most switch-mode power supplies (which is the type used in both computer and TiVo PSUs) tend to be live (line in voltage), or even voltage-doubled, so if you should accidentally rest your hand on one, you'll likely be hit with line voltage, or higher.

I've been hit by thousands of volts so many times, as well a tripled line voltage, that all it does is tickle me, or wake me up enough, so that I don't do it again.

But, it can still be lethal. One very important thing is not to have one hand on the case, and let the other touch anything live. This is because the current will go from one hand, through your chest (and heart), and out the other hand. It's also easy to rest the same hand on the case, and have another part of that hand make contact, which is less likely lethal, since the current only passes through your hand.

I'm not saying danger, don't bother. Just noticed nobody brought it up.
Excellent post.

And it reminds me that I forgot to do what I intended--mention Rule #1.

Always know where both ends of the TiVo power cord are at all times.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:20 PM   #18
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well, it definitely was the drive. Thanks to everyone for all the help! THIS time, I definitely will back MINE up so that I don't have to rebuild my season passes, etc.

Using WinMFS, I restored the backup of my wife's TCD652160 onto a new WD10-EURX drive. Three "mothership" connections and two reboots later, almost everything is normal. I had to call my cable provider about the cable card for some channels, (wife's drive image had HER card info) but they reset it over the phone. Only thing still not working is I can't record?!? That one I don't understand. Program in my to do list didn't start recording automatically. It also wouldn't record when I manually selected it from the TV listing or the info bar using the select button. Ideas?
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:46 PM   #19
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Since you used an image from another TiVo, I think you need to do a Clear and Delete (which means that you'll need to get the CableCard repaired again).

Scott
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