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Old 09-17-2013, 01:50 PM   #1
buscuitboy
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Question What else could cause a reboot loop

OK, I have a Series 3 (OLED) that started going into the dreaded reboot loop. It had one budging cap on the power supply & I figured this was the problem. Since I didn't feel comfortable changing it myself, I pulled the power supply from it & had a local repair shop replace it for under $20.

However, when I got it back & installed it, it still was in a reboot loop. I pulled its 250GB stock hard drive and ran the WD extended test on it. It came back clean. I even put this 250GB drive in another identical Series 3 (OLED) unit I have & it worked totally fine. No problems.

Now, in order to help isolate the potential problem, I also pulled the 500GB working hard drive from this other working Series 3 (OLED) and put it in the non-working Series 3 (OLED). Still no luck & in a reboot loop. Therefore, I figured it was a power supply issue & there must be another capacitor(s) that needs to be replaced.

Instead of pulling it like before, I just kept the power supply in the Series 3 (OLED) this time and just took the whole unit back to my repair shop. Informed them that power supply probably has another bad cap on it that needs to be replaced (even though they all looked visually fine). They just called me and said ALL the caps on the PS checked out OK so it must be something else.

So, what else could possibly be wrong here? I am gonna maybe try to pull the power supply from the working unit and put it in the non-working unit and see what happens. However, is there something else that could be causing the reboot loop. I know there is basically only really 3 main components to these things; motherboard, hard drive and power supply so can’t imagine what else it could be.

I initially get the “powering up” screen, but it never gets past that (to the 'just a few more minutes' screen) & reboots back into it so this is what also makes me think its the power supply, but any other thoughts?
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:04 PM   #2
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Has anyone checked the actual voltages and ripple on the power supply outputs? Should be done with loads connected.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:09 PM   #3
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Capacitors can't really be thoroughly tested in circuit so unless they removed them or at least disconnected one leg, I wouldn't take their word for it.

I had one bulging capacitor in an apparently functional Tivo HD and replaced all 13 capacitors, not just the likely ones to fail.

Swapping in the power supply from a working unit is probably the most logical next step.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
Has anyone checked the actual voltages and ripple on the power supply outputs? Should be done with loads connected.
I am not sure what they actually did, but they just came back and said everything looked good on the power supply so they think its something on the main board. I was a little skeptical its the main board (since I am getting the "welcome" screen), but wasn't totally sure. It was a free estimate so I wasn't too worried/upset about their initial diagnosis.

I guess I'll see what kind of results the working power supply produces and go from there.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:16 PM   #5
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I would of tried swapping Power Supplies between units especially since the unites are identical.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:20 AM   #6
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Only the isolated caps can be tested in circuit. The ones in parallel cannot be tested in circuit.

I had an issue with two of three of the caps in parallel. One had almost imperceptible bulge, the other was flat. They only tested bad with ESR meter after removal.

Your other drive might just work with the dying PS because it draws less power.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfhub View Post
Only the isolated caps can be tested in circuit. The ones in parallel cannot be tested in circuit.

I had an issue with two of three of the caps in parallel. One had almost imperceptible bulge, the other was flat. They only tested bad with ESR meter after removal.

Your other drive might just work with the dying PS because it draws less power.
However, you can look at the outputs with an oscilliscope and if you see any appreciable high frequency ripple you know there's a cap in there falling down on the job.

Also, if you have one obviously bad cap (visible bulge), then any other one in parallel with it has been having to take up the slack, so replacing the other one on GP instead of bothering to test it makes perfect sense.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:58 AM   #8
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Also, if you have one obviously bad cap (visible bulge), then any other one in parallel with it has been having to take up the slack, so replacing the other one on GP instead of bothering to test it makes perfect sense.
what I suggested is consistent with what you are saying so I am not sure why you are responding as if I am disagreeing with you.

I tested my caps after I pulled and replaced just to prove to myself I didn't waste my time replacing them even though they weren't bulging. It takes seconds to test them so it isn't like a big ordeal.

Bulging caps always test as degraded while some non-bulging caps can still be bad. My point to OP is to question how the shop determined the PS is good before ruling out the PS.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:25 AM   #9
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test with the other power supply. Easy to do, don't even need to move it to the other system, just pull the wires across. It is a tight stretch but tests quickly.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:49 PM   #10
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what I suggested is consistent with what you are saying so I am not sure why you are responding as if I am disagreeing with you.

I tested my caps after I pulled and replaced just to prove to myself I didn't waste my time replacing them even though they weren't bulging. It takes seconds to test them so it isn't like a big ordeal.

Bulging caps always test as degraded while some non-bulging caps can still be bad. My point to OP is to question how the shop determined the PS is good before ruling out the PS.
And I'm saying that instead of unsoldering one leg of each cap, the shop may have scoped the outs for ripple to see if they needed to go any further.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:36 AM   #11
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And I'm saying that instead of unsoldering one leg of each cap, the shop may have scoped the outs for ripple to see if they needed to go any further.
I thought you might have meant that, but then in the same post you wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by unitron View Post
Also, if you have one obviously bad cap (visible bulge), then any other one in parallel with it has been having to take up the slack, so replacing the other one on GP instead of bothering to test it makes perfect sense.
You seem to be suggesting that scoping is useful for testing the power supply in one sentence, but then the next you are saying don't rely on the scoping if a bad cap was in parallel with another, replace it anyway.

Seems the net effect is to pull the capacitors that are in parallel with the bulging cap regardless of what the scope says.

That is more consistent with what I was saying.

Last edited by sfhub : 09-22-2013 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:57 AM   #12
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Did you try resetting your software with a fresh image?
That just fixed my S3 Tivo.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:01 AM   #13
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Question

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Originally Posted by ilovedvrs View Post
Did you try resetting your software with a fresh image?
That just fixed my S3 Tivo.
I guess I can try this again if needed, but the 250GB stock drive that is in it functioned perfectly fine in another identical unit. Actually, I did a "clear and delete everything" while it was in the working S3 (OLED).

The repair shop is claiming the problem is on the motherboard. I thought I saw somewhere that its possible the battery on the motherboard could be dead/worn enough to cause some problems. Now, as previously mentioned, I still need to swap power supplies from working S3 unit & suspect/hope this will fix it, but in case it doesn't, could this battery theory be a possible issue too?

Last edited by buscuitboy : 09-23-2013 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:47 AM   #14
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I guess I can try this again if needed, but the 250GB stock drive that is in it functioned perfectly fine in another identical unit. Actually, I did a "clear and delete everything" while it was in the working S3 (OLED).
If you booted the drive and used it for a while on the other working TiVo AFTER the C&DE then it is probably not the drive.

On the other hand, if you just did a C&DE but didn't run it for a while on the other TiVo, the drive might still be an issue. A clear and delete everything can actually expose hard drive problems because the bad areas may have been "occupied" by something that isn't being used often.

Similarly you may have been on 11.0k software during previous testing and during the back and forth got upgraded to 11.0m. A software upgrade from 11.0k to 11.0m could expose the same hard drive/filesystem issues as it switches partitions to the previously inactive one.

I think reimaging is worth a shot, or even reimaging to a spare SATA drive you may have one lying around.

Either that, or at least put the drive back in the functioning TiVo just to make sure it is still functioning (to eliminate the possibility of changes to the drive since you last tested)

Quote:
Originally Posted by buscuitboy View Post
The repair shop is claiming the problem is on the motherboard. I thought I saw somewhere that its possible the battery on the motherboard could be dead/worn enough to cause some problems. Now, as previously mentioned, I still need to swap power supplies from working S3 unit & suspect/hope this will fix it, but in case it doesn't,
They are claiming motherboard by process of elimination or did they test something on the motherboard that leads them to that conclusion?
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could this battery theory be a possible issue too?
I don't think the battery is the issue as there are TiVo's in service way past the life of the CR2032 battery and there hasn't been a flurry of people saying they need to replace the battery.

I think early on TiVo did have issues with the RTC resetting and the battery running out, but they modified the software to record some of that info on disk so in most situations a reset clock isn't that big a deal because it gets a recent time using the disk and sets the clock via network query upon boot.

I do notice some time values resetting to Thursday Dec 31 4:00pm when I pull the plug to switch drives so it is likely my CR2032 is done. I will probably replace it while I have mine open. Since TiVo doesn't give the year, I am not sure what it internally resets things to with a dead CR2032. Most recent Dec 31 that were on Thu were 2009, 1998, 1992, 1987, and 1981.

Last edited by sfhub : 09-23-2013 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:30 AM   #15
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They are claiming motherboard by process of elimination or did they test something on the motherboard that leads them to that conclusion?
Yea, I think them claiming its the motherboard was merely a process of elimination.

I'll have to throw its 250GB drive back in the functioning S3 and see what version of software its on.

Now, let me ask this too concerning the recent S3 update. I have a Series 3 HD (TCD652160) & I happened to notice over the weekend that it seems to now have the 11.0m update. Is this pretty much an update that will be on the motherboard? Or is it in the drive software?

I ask cause if its drive goes, I have spare TCD652160 that works, but isn't being used and could use its drive as a replacement. Would I run into a problem though as I would think since its been sitting a while so its on 11.0k.

Also, I have a TCD652160 image I got from here, but am assuming its the 11.0k version as well. If I use this image to upgrade to a larger drive, would I also run into possible problems (since the TiVO has been upgraded to 11.0m)?
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:03 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by buscuitboy View Post
Now, let me ask this too concerning the recent S3 update. I have a Series 3 HD (TCD652160) & I happened to notice over the weekend that it seems to now have the 11.0m update. Is this pretty much an update that will be on the motherboard? Or is it in the drive software?

I ask cause if its drive goes, I have spare TCD652160 that works, but isn't being used and could use its drive as a replacement. Would I run into a problem though as I would think since its been sitting a while so its on 11.0k.

Also, I have a TCD652160 image I got from here, but am assuming its the 11.0k version as well. If I use this image to upgrade to a larger drive, would I also run into possible problems (since the TiVO has been upgraded to 11.0m)?
The update is on disk. During my recent repair process, I went back to an 8.x image (unit was on 11.0m) and let it upgrade on its own with no issues.

The only time you'd have an issue is if you went to a version PRIOR to 11.0k and upgraded the drive so it had greater than 1TB *partition*.

If you went to a version PRIOR to 11.0k, then let it upgrade to 11.0k/m, then upgraded to partition > 1TB, then you wouldn't have an issue.

I should also mention by "issue" I mean booting issue.

I did have an issue with guide data taking forever to load (needed the full 13 days). I could have resolved it using a Clear and Delete Everything, but didn't want to lose my Season Pass and channel list customizations. I ended up going into settings->channels->channel list, then pressing Enter, then re-choosing my video provider, selecting the same as existing. This appears to wipe just your guide information and indexing and redownload the full set. It took around 4hours to complete the whole process vs over 15hrs and counting.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:15 AM   #17
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OK, I read another post here of someone with a similar reboot issue on their Series 3 and they wound up installing a fresh new image & said it worked. While I would not have guessed this since two different drives I tried in this non-working S3 worked fine in another identical S3, I guess anything is possible and its worth a shot. I have done it before and its not hard at all so we'll see what happens.
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