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Old 10-07-2013, 12:25 PM   #1
Robin
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HD TiVo s3 won't boot

I'm sure this has been discussed to death but every "tivo won't boot" thread I come across is about being stuck on the "Welcome..." screen. Mine won't even get that far.

The TiVo has power, but no lights. If I unplug and reseat the power cord (from either end) the lights on the front of the unit flash briefly and then go out again. Nothing ever comes up on the TV itself.

Suggestions? My first thought is a bad power supply but I don't have another one here so I wanted to ask for advice here before buying one to try.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:48 PM   #2
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Update: after reading more here I figured I'd pull it out and check for bad caps.

They all look fine. I tried booting w/o the hard drive with the same results. Front lights flash for a second, then everything stays dark.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:29 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, capacitors can go bad and show no outward signs.

Do you have a cable card (or two) in this Tivo? If so, try taking out the cards and try to boot.

Does the fan spin normally when you try to boot? If not, you might try unplugging that from the motherboard.

Otherwise at this point, the next recommendation would be to use an electrical volt meter and measure the voltages of the power supply output.
Since you have to do this with the cover off and the Tivo plugged in, BE AWARE that you are going to be exposed to live electrical parts.
If you wish to go this avenue, say so and we can give further instructions.

If you are not the DIY repair type person, I would recommend that you buy a new (refurbished) power supply from weaknees and just swap the whole thing out. It's a lot easier and you don't have to work around energized equipment.
Make sure there is a return warranty on the power supply just in case it doesn't solve your problem.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:10 PM   #4
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OTA only, no cable card.

Fan does spin up.

Does not have lifetime so I think the solution is a Roamio. ;-)

I'm paid through February. Anyone know if I'll be able to get a partial refund?
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I'm sure this has been discussed to death but every "tivo won't boot" thread I come across is about being stuck on the "Welcome..." screen. Mine won't even get that far.

The TiVo has power, but no lights. If I unplug and reseat the power cord (from either end) the lights on the front of the unit flash briefly and then go out again. Nothing ever comes up on the TV itself.

Suggestions? My first thought is a bad power supply but I don't have another one here so I wanted to ask for advice here before buying one to try.
How are you getting video to the TV from the TiVo?

Can you "downgrade" to the "yellow" plug at both ends for test purposes?

The good news may be that if we can establish that the motherboard is alright you should be able to leverage purchase of an S4 or S5 into $99 lifetime for the S3 as well, which would give it resale value even with a bad drive and power supply.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by unitron View Post
if we can establish that the motherboard is alright you should be able to leverage purchase of an S4 or S5 into $99 lifetime for the S3 as well, which would give it resale value even with a bad drive and power supply.
Yeah, I would buy the non-working s3 with lifetime for the $99 plus shipping $25-$30, plus a few bucks net gain if you're willing to go through the process.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
OTA only, no cable card.

Fan does spin up.

Does not have lifetime so I think the solution is a Roamio. ;-)

I'm paid through February. Anyone know if I'll be able to get a partial refund?
If you call TiVo with your problem they might let you buy a Roamio and just transfer your existing subscription to it. It doesn't hurt to ask.

OTOH, like others have said, if you buy a Roamio with a new subscription, TiVo very well could offer you a lifetime subscription for $99 on that S3.
If they don't offer it outright, you can mention that you've read about many others who were offered this deal on this forum and see what they say.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:21 AM   #8
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I spend all my time on HH, not here. Can you give me some pointers on this $99 deal? It's completely new to me.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:57 PM   #9
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I read up some and decided I'm not up for the hassle. I'm just going to sell the old box on ebay and if someone else wants to deal with it, more power to them.

I'd prefer to keep the (1 TB) hard drive so I can reuse it in this machine. Will that hurt resale value by more than it's worth?
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I'd prefer to keep the (1 TB) hard drive so I can reuse it in this machine. Will that hurt resale value by more than it's worth?
I've bought 3 TiVo HD units recently without service, but otherwise in working order, for <$40/ea shipped. So a broken unit with an unknown problem and no hard drive is probably practically worthless.

Edit: If you buy a working TiVo HD from eBay TiVo will let you transfer your pre-paid service over to it. I don't think they'll give you a refund if you just scrap the TiVo.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:25 PM   #11
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You said "probably" as in "it would probably hurt resale value" but from what you've said it's already junk (unknown problem/no lifetime) so it doesn't seem like yanking the HD would make a difference?
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
You said "probably" as in "it would probably hurt resale value" but from what you've said it's already junk (unknown problem/no lifetime) so it doesn't seem like yanking the HD would make a difference?
When you say you have an S3, do you mean a TCD648250 or a TCD652160 or a TCD658000??
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:25 AM   #13
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Yeah, I would buy the non-working s3 with lifetime for the $99 plus shipping $25-$30, plus a few bucks net gain if you're willing to go through the process.
I keep contemplating this, but the problem is the 1 TB drive is worth more to me than the "few bucks" someone is likely to want to pay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unitron View Post
When you say you have an S3, do you mean a TCD648250 or a TCD652160 or a TCD658000??
It's the TCD652160.

I went ahead and bought and activated a Roamio with lifetime so I'm able to upgrade the HDT to lifetime for $99. I can also have it swapped with a Premier for around $170.

Can't decide if any of it is worth it, though.

I need to figure out whether we kept the original drive that was in it.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I keep contemplating this, but the problem is the 1 TB drive is worth more to me than the "few bucks" someone is likely to want to pay.



It's the TCD652160.

I went ahead and bought and activated a Roamio with lifetime so I'm able to upgrade the HDT to lifetime for $99. I can also have it swapped with a Premier for around $170.

Can't decide if any of it is worth it, though.

I need to figure out whether we kept the original drive that was in it.

The original drive was probably a WD1600AVJS, if you've got a large collection to sort through.
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:28 AM   #15
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Found it!

My FIL is having problems with his Comcast DVR. I know nothing about cablecards except that they exist. I haven't had cable since it was an actual cable that plugged into the back of my Series 1. (Since then it's been DTV or OTA).

Could I:

* Pay $99 to get lifetime
* Pay $170 to upgrade to a working Premiere
* Get cablecard(s) for Comcast

?
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:18 AM   #16
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the problem is the 1 TB drive is worth more to me than the "few bucks" someone is likely to want to pay.
I don't care about the drive; take it out; I'd be putting a larger one in anyway.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:07 AM   #17
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Found it!

My FIL is having problems with his Comcast DVR. I know nothing about cablecards except that they exist. I haven't had cable since it was an actual cable that plugged into the back of my Series 1. (Since then it's been DTV or OTA).

Could I:

* Pay $99 to get lifetime
* Pay $170 to upgrade to a working Premiere
* Get cablecard(s) for Comcast

?
Found the original drive?

Did you put it in the TiVo and see if it works?

We need to make sure the problem is either your drive (physically), your drive cabling (power and/or data), scrambled software on the drive which is otherwise fine, Intellipark enabled on a WD Caviar Green, or the power supply, or a combination of any or all of the above, and not the motherboard.

If the motherboard is the problem, find someone who'll pay you for it to get the power supply, because repairing the motherboards on those units just isn't feasible, and unlike the older models, including the original S3, you can no longer move the crypto chip to another of the same model motherboard to save a lifetime sub.

I'd diagnose it for you, but shipping both ways, even just between VA and NC and back, is more than you can pick up another 652 for.

If you want to do the diagnosis yourself, and put a lot of time into learning stuff that may or may not be of any further use to you, I'll be happy to offer what advice I can online or otherwise from a distance.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:46 PM   #18
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Couldn't you move the CPU to a working motherboard? I'm guessing that would require an IR rework station at the very least.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:09 PM   #19
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Couldn't you move the CPU to a working motherboard? I'm guessing that would require an IR rework station at the very least.
It's a Ball-Grid Array chip, so definitely not a job for those of us playing along at home with our magnifying glass and bismuth alloy SMD-moving solder.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:11 PM   #20
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Robin, I hate to see a $99 lifetime offer go to waste if the problem is anything other than the motherboard.

Would you be interested in learning the basics of using a Voltmeter?
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:19 AM   #21
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I have a degree in computer engineering. I pretty solid there. ;-)

I just haven't gotten around to opening it back up to poke around.

Any thoughts on the $99 lifetime + $170 to swap for a premiere?

Personally I didn't want a premiere since I'm OTA but $270 for a warranteed premiere with lifetime seems like a deal. (for my FIL)
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:01 PM   #22
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I have a degree in computer engineering. I pretty solid there. ;-)

I just haven't gotten around to opening it back up to poke around.

Any thoughts on the $99 lifetime + $170 to swap for a premiere?

Personally I didn't want a premiere since I'm OTA but $270 for a warranteed premiere with lifetime seems like a deal. (for my FIL)
That is a deal. Cheaper than lifetime alone. And it should be fine for your FIL.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:23 PM   #23
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Anything special I need to know about cable cards?
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:52 AM   #24
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I have a degree in computer engineering. I pretty solid there. ;-)

I just haven't gotten around to opening it back up to poke around.

Any thoughts on the $99 lifetime + $170 to swap for a premiere?

Personally I didn't want a premiere since I'm OTA but $270 for a warranteed premiere with lifetime seems like a deal. (for my FIL)
Yeah, good for him, but that doesn't tell us whether the S3 HD problem is the motherboard (in which case you might as well take that $99, add $1, trade it for a Benjamin, and light a cigar with it), or not the motherboard, in which case it can be relatively easily fixed, making the $99 worth putting into it.

If you get readings on the +12 V line (yellow wire), or the +5 V line (red wire) that aren't within say half a Volt or so of nominal, like if the 12 Volt line has sagged down to 10.5-ish, then it's worth replacing caps even if they don't show any bulges, 'cause the problem is probably the power supply (although the hard drive may have its own separate co-incidental problem).
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