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View Poll Results: What's wrong with my TiVo?
Bad hard drive in TiVo (Seatools is wrong) 3 25.00%
Bad HDMI port on TiVo 2 16.67%
Bad HDMI port on TV 0 0%
Bad Power Supply in TiVo 4 33.33%
Other (explain below) 3 25.00%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-30-2013, 08:58 AM   #1
Saturn
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What's wrong with my TiVoHD?

Symptoms: Non-repeatable dropouts of video and audio during playback every few minutes on all recordings. TV blinks grey for a split second and the audio drops out for a second or two. Audio does NOT drop out if fed directly from TiVo to Receiver, but it does drop out if feed through HDMI and TV.

I tried rebooting and I saw the startup screens twice, meaning it rebooted itself during the first boot. Took the HD out (Seagate SV35 1GB) and ran SeaTools for Windows on it, passed all tests including the Long Generic. Booted up fine after that. Didn't have time to test it after that to see if the problem went away.

Checked capacitors on TiVo's power supply, none were bulging.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:57 AM   #2
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I suspect the HDMI has a problem related to incompatibility of the Tivo implementation and your TV's implementation. Of course the first thing you should try is a new HDMI cable.

My theory doesn't fit any of your poll choices.

Try component video and audio. I have a TiVo HD and I went to component 4 years ago due to frequent lockups using HDMI (which went away with component).
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:14 PM   #3
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Interesting theory, except this problem cropped up recently. This TiVo and TV had previously worked together for at least a year and a half like this. Replacing the HDMI cable would be tricky at best because the TV is wall-mounted and the cable is in the wall. It would be cheaper, but I'll probably try that if replacing the HD doesn't fix it.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn View Post
Interesting theory, except this problem cropped up recently. This TiVo and TV had previously worked together for at least a year and a half like this. Replacing the HDMI cable would be tricky at best because the TV is wall-mounted and the cable is in the wall. It would be cheaper, but I'll probably try that if replacing the HD doesn't fix it.
Hook the TiVo to the TV (or another TV) via composite (yellow plug) or component (red,green,blue) for a while and see if the problem persists.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn View Post
Interesting theory, except this problem cropped up recently. This TiVo and TV had previously worked together for at least a year and a half like this..........
Maybe the HDMI cable failed recently. You can't use the existing cable to pull a new one?
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:53 PM   #6
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Upon second thought I think I have two HDMI cables in there, I can probably swap them.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:59 AM   #7
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Could the cable have been disturbed recently? Perhaps the TV or TiVo were moved for some reason? Could be one or both connectors on the HDMI cable are flaky and it only worked reliably in one position. I had that happen recently to the cable that came with an iPhone.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:44 PM   #8
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You could run the HDMI cable on the outside of the wall to see if the old cable is the problem. No use going thru all the trouble of pulling a new cable if the old isnt the problem.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:06 PM   #9
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The TiVo sits in a cabinet and the TV is mounted on the wall. Not much to disturb.

Interestingly, the problem has disappeared (for now) after running Seatools on the hard drive. So I'm left with:

-flaky HD "fixed" by Seatools
-HDMI cable problem that was "fixed" by unplugging the TiVo to take it apart.

If it starts happening again I'll switch HDMI cables. But I'm leaning towards bad HD considering the double reboot I saw.
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Old 10-31-2013, 05:15 PM   #10
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I wouldn't give up on the bad power supply idea just yet.

Not all bad caps have visual indications.

That's why $diety invented things like voltmeters and oscilloscopes.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:54 PM   #11
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The HDMI port on the Tivo could be failing. That presents as intermittent video/audio until it stops working altogether one day.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn View Post
The TiVo sits in a cabinet and the TV is mounted on the wall. Not much to disturb.

Interestingly, the problem has disappeared (for now) after running Seatools on the hard drive. So I'm left with:

-flaky HD "fixed" by Seatools
-HDMI cable problem that was "fixed" by unplugging the TiVo to take it apart.

If it starts happening again I'll switch HDMI cables. But I'm leaning towards bad HD considering the double reboot I saw.
It also occurs to me that if SeaTools "fixed" that drive (probably by moving data from sectors going bad to the previously hidden sectors held in reserve for just such an occasion), that the drive is on its way downhill and it's a good time to start looking for an under $100 deal on a WD20EURS, in addition to telling me which model number power supply that thing has so I can tell you which caps you should go ahead and replace at the same time to get ahead of the game.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:22 PM   #13
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Thanks for the offer but
1) no way I'm buying a WD drive...still compatibility problems with TiVos.
2) I can find my own caps, thanks.

Interestingly, the problem returned with a vengeance and swapping to the other HDMI cable in the wall fixed it. So I've got a new cable and 90 degree adapter on the way...
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn View Post
Thanks for the offer but
1) no way I'm buying a WD drive...still compatibility problems with TiVos.
2) I can find my own caps, thanks.

Interestingly, the problem returned with a vengeance and swapping to the other HDMI cable in the wall fixed it. So I've got a new cable and 90 degree adapter on the way...
What kind of compatibility problems?

(other than S1s don't like Caviar Blues, PATA or SATA, even with a Marvell chipset adapter)
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:25 PM   #15
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I bought a WD green drive for my S3 way back when. It wouldn't boot from it. Googled and it was a known incompatibility.

Apparently (some? all?) WD drives also have a soft reboot problem with TiVos. Really the problem is probably the TiVo's non-compliant SATA controller, but w/e. There's some utility you can run on the drive to change some setting to fix the problem but that's way more effort than I want to spend on it these days.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:45 PM   #16
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I voted HDMI on Tivo, since Im assuming you already tried a new HDMI cable, and input on the TV.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn View Post
I bought a WD green drive for my S3 way back when. It wouldn't boot from it. Googled and it was a known incompatibility.

Apparently (some? all?) WD drives also have a soft reboot problem with TiVos. Really the problem is probably the TiVo's non-compliant SATA controller, but w/e. There's some utility you can run on the drive to change some setting to fix the problem but that's way more effort than I want to spend on it these days.
Not an issue if you buy the drive indicated (WD20EURS).

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Old 11-05-2013, 08:52 AM   #18
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So why the WD20EURS over Seagate's SV35 or Pipeline drives?
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
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So why the WD20EURS over Seagate's SV35 or Pipeline drives?
Because I'm currently using 3 of the EURSs and they're all doing fine, whereas I have no experience with those particular Seagates.

If you get a new old stock WD20EURS, you may need to run wdidle3.exe /D to disable the Intellipark feature, but the newer ones seem to either not have it or come from the factory without it enabled.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn View Post
I bought a WD green drive for my S3 way back when. It wouldn't boot from it. Googled and it was a known incompatibility.

Apparently (some? all?) WD drives also have a soft reboot problem with TiVos. Really the problem is probably the TiVo's non-compliant SATA controller, but w/e. There's some utility you can run on the drive to change some setting to fix the problem but that's way more effort than I want to spend on it these days.
The regular WD Caviar Green drives have, or at least have had, a feature called Intellipark.

Basically this parks the heads and spins down the motor if there's no data I/O for a certain (adjustable) number of seconds.

For a lot of "green" applications this would be a good energy saving feature.

But when you warm boot a TiVo, and sometimes even with a cold boot, it causes problems, because the drive isn't called on soon enough in the boot process and it goes to sleep.

The TiVo wasn't designed to cope with drives that can go to sleep on their own, because a TiVo is constantly reading from and writing to the hard drive, except during a boot or reboot period where it's getting itself woken up and organized before it starts trying to talk to the drive.

If the drive is asleep when the TiVo tries to talk to it, the TiVo doesn' know to wait for it to wake up, and so it'll interpret that as a need to reboot or as a bad drive.

If it reboots, then the drive has time to wake up, not get called upon before the timeout runs out, and go back to sleep before the TiVo calls on it and doesn't get a reply.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

TiVo themselves put some drives with that feature enabled (and therefore that problem) into TiVos in the factory before figuring out what was going wrong.

So there was nothing wrong with the drives themselves.

They were doing what they were designed to do.

It was just that that particular feature is incompatible with use in a TiVo, but once it's disabled they're fine drives for a TiVo, and even better there than higher RPM hotter running drives like the Caviar Blacks.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:49 PM   #21
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Isn't it true that if you put an image containing software version 11.0k or 11.0m on the upgrade WD drive, you don't have to worry about intellipark?
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:21 PM   #22
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Isn't it true that if you put an image containing software version 11.0k or 11.0m on the upgrade WD drive, you don't have to worry about intellipark?
I don't think the one would have anything to do with the other, unless k or m have wdidle3.exe built in and run it with the /D switch at every reboot.

Of course it would have to load that into RAM before doing a warm boot since it wouldn't be able to count on getting it from the drive.

Besides, after learning their lesson, I'm sure TiVo has made sure that any WD drive that is capable of Intellipark has it disabled before the drive is imaged and put in a TiVo at the factory.

You have to have the drive hooked directy to the SATA port on the PC and not run it through a USB adapter for wdidle3.exe to work because it has to work way down in the drive's firmware below the software on the disk level, so I'd think TiVo would attack the problem from some other angle than having the TiVo mess with the drive's firmware every time it booted.

Now in order to run a drive bigger than 1.2TB, or maybe it's a drive with a partition bigger than that, up to the 2TB drive size limit, you need one of the newer versions of the S3 software, although I don't know if any of the 11.0"something before k" versions would work or not, but k and m definitely will.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:24 AM   #23
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If you get a new old stock WD20EURS, you may need to run wdidle3.exe /D to disable the Intellipark feature, but the newer ones seem to either not have it or come from the factory without it enabled.
Unitron,

I'm not aware of any of the WD20EURS (or any of their AV-GP series) coming with Intellipark enabled.

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Old 11-06-2013, 09:24 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Isn't it true that if you put an image containing software version 11.0k or 11.0m on the upgrade WD drive, you don't have to worry about intellipark?
Quote:
Originally Posted by unitron View Post
I don't think the one would have anything to do with the other, unless k or m have wdidle3.exe built in and run it with the /D switch at every reboot.
........
Yeah, thanks. I searched the forums for what I thought I had seen on this. Guess my "soft" ware was acting up again.
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Unitron,

I'm not aware of any of the WD20EURS (or any of their AV-GP series) coming with Intellipark enabled.

Scott
That would be good news, although I think I saw something about it depending on when it was manufactured. I've got one purchased from Amazon in March this year. I ran the WD extended diagnostics on it and put it on the shelf, planning to replace the 1 TB in my 652 when I get around to it.

The extended diagnostic took 20 hrs to run using a USB-SATA adapter, but I decided not to watch it run so it wasn't too bad.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:05 PM   #25
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Unitron,

I'm not aware of any of the WD20EURS (or any of their AV-GP series) coming with Intellipark enabled.

Scott
I talked to someone somewhere here on TCF within the past month that had one that had been manufactured a while back and they said they had to disable Intellipark on it.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:33 AM   #26
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I talked to someone somewhere here on TCF within the past month that had one that had been manufactured a while back and they said they had to disable Intellipark on it.
User error perhaps? The first one that I purchased was August 2012 for my son and it did not have Intellipark enabled and I'm pretty sure that's part of the AV series to not have it enabled.

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Old 11-07-2013, 10:50 AM   #27
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This uncertainty is exactly why I won't get a Western Digital. Potentially saving an hour of messing around with trying to boot to DOS and get some stupid intellipark feature disabled is worth the extra $10 or so to get a different brand.

I've never had any such problem with any Seagate drive in a TiVo. Also, I was an intern for Seagate one summer, so I've still got a soft spot for them.
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:08 PM   #28
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I've never had any such problem with any Seagate drive in a TiVo.
There's a good chance that you are having a drive problem now.

Your tivo came with a western digital drive as original equipment. If you kept it, try putting it back in your tivo and see whether you still have the reported problems. Also if you don't have a multimeter to check the power supply voltages, buy (or borrow) one.
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:10 PM   #29
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There's a good chance that you are having a drive problem now.
Hard drives die, particularly in a 24/7 read/write environment like a TiVo. What I meant was that I never had a problem with a new Seagate drive in a TiVo.

As stated above, the problem was resolved by swapping HDMI cables. I haven't seen it return. I'm not saying the HD and/or power supply aren't about to die, but I'm not going to go poking around with something that is exhibiting zero problems.
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:12 PM   #30
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This uncertainty is exactly why I won't get a Western Digital. Potentially saving an hour of messing around with trying to boot to DOS and get some stupid intellipark feature disabled is worth the extra $10 or so to get a different brand.

I've never had any such problem with any Seagate drive in a TiVo. Also, I was an intern for Seagate one summer, so I've still got a soft spot for them.
You burn yourself a bootable copy of the Ultimate Boot cd, which you should have anyway, and you hook the new drive to the PC, boot and run the manufacturer's long test before putting it in service.

If the drive happens to be a "green" WD, wdidle3.exe is on the UBCD and only takes a few moments to run.

There may be a Seagate model which works just as well if not better in the S3s than the WD20EURS, but I don't personally know about it.

I've had good results with that particular WD model.
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