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Old 04-30-2014, 04:49 PM   #1
dmartin5454
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Series 3 HD Reboots Randomly

I posted previously about this unit, but didn't get any replies, so I'm trying again in a new thread. My lifetime Tivo HD was randomly rebooting, and I confirmed I had the capacitor plague problem. I ordered capacitors to replace all of them, according to a previously posted list. 4 or 5 of the original capacitors were definitely bulging and/or leaking, so I know this needed to be done. After replacement, I measured the voltages under load, and the results were: red: 4.90V, yellow, 12.00V, orange 3.31V. I'm somewhat suspicious of the red, even though it is within the +/-5%, nevertheless I wonder about it.
Also, I took the opportunity to upgrade my current 1.5T drive to a 2.0T model. I did perform a full media test on the new drive before I ran WinMFS on it, which it passed with no errors. Everything seems to work correctly with the exception of it randomly rebooting every 1-2 days. It usually doesn't go much more than 2 days without a reboot. I have been monitoring the internal temperature, and it seems pretty consistent of a low of 44C and a high of 47C, which is in the normal range.
Yesterday, it rebooted while I was watching a recording. No other shows were being recorded at the time, and I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary when it rebooted. I double-checked the internal temperature immediately after the reboot, and again it was within the 44-47C range.
There have been times that we have been away from home for a couple of days, and upon returning, the unit was frozen with static on the screen, and did not respond to the remote at all.
I'm at my wits end as to how to troubleshoot this, and what to try next. I have taken the power supply board back out and gone over the soldering with a fine eye, but I don't spot anything obvious.
I'm open to any and all ideas, and would appreciate any suggestions.
(My wife is a TV show junkie, and we have tons of recordings, so I would be in the doghouse if we had to start over with a clean install, and lose all the shows.)

- Dave
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:23 PM   #2
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Dave.

There's a possibility that there is something on that disk that is corrupted that is causing the reboots. I hate to say this, but a "clear and delete everything" may be your next step. This would, of course, blow everything including all shows and season passes away. Other than that, I don't know of anything else to suggest. Maybe someone else will chime in, since I broke the ice, so to speak. You should have a unit reset to factory defaults, and you would have to run guided setup again.

Don H
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:00 PM   #3
squint
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Did you replace all the capacitors or just the bulging ones?

You don't have to lose all your shows to see if a clear and delete all will fix your problems.

Just remove the original drive, download the appropriate image for your Tivo model, write it to a second HDD, install it, and do a clear and delete. If that doesn't fix the problem then you can reinstall the first HDD and examine other possibilities.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
dmartin5454
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I did replace all capacitors. Trying a clear & delete all on a different drive sounds like a good option -- thanks for the suggestion. I'll give that a try this weekend.
- Dave
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:06 PM   #5
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With the under load voltage readings the OP is getting post-cap replacement, the problem is no longer the power supply.

I would suggest that the OP use TiVo desktop or whatever and get those shows copied to an NT formatted partition ASAP, assuming his cable co doesn't have the anti-copy bit set on all of them.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmartin5454 View Post
I did replace all capacitors. Trying a clear & delete all on a different drive sounds like a good option -- thanks for the suggestion. I'll give that a try this weekend.
- Dave
It's what I had to do to a Tivo HD I bought off of eBay that was stuck at the powering up screen. I first put in a known working power supply. Then I pulled the drive out and connected it to my PC. It passed every diagnostic. Finally, I downloaded an image and wrote it to a different drive, installed it, and did a clear and delete. I guess it was either a hardware problem with the original HDD that was undetectable or it was a software problem.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:06 AM   #7
dmartin5454
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I too have thought that the OS could have become corrupted due to the bad capacitors, and then after copying over to a new hard drive, I just copied the corruption over as well. Using Tivo desktop to save all my recordings sounds like a good option, then starting over with a new image. Looks like I have my work cut out for me.
- Dave
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:03 AM   #8
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I have re-imaged a hard drive for use in a Series 3 and its not too hard. Basically, you use the image (I got from this forum), a desktop and free WinMFS software. I recently did it again, but for some reason it would only fully work in a XP based computer and not in a Windows 7 computer. This may have just been my set up though & it can work in a W7 machine normally.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:57 PM   #9
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At wit's end.

Any update on how things went for you? I have a very similar story. Random reboots, freezes on a Series 3 (with Lifetime). Replaced hard drive with a WD10EURX 1TB with a fresh image.

No change. Still freezes and reboots at least once a day.

Clear and delete.

No change. Still freezes and reboots.

Pulled power supply, 3 bulging capacitors. Replaced all capacitors, just to be thorough.

No change. Still freezes and reboots.

Any hope for me? Any chance yet another clear and delete would work?

Thanks, all.

P
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:16 PM   #10
squint
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Where did you get the image from?

And you replaced all the capacitors, not just the bulging ones?

There was a case a few weeks ago where someone also exhausted all the usual fixes and then found out his outlet had a grounding issue that was causing the reboots.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:00 AM   #11
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As usual, everybody is neglecting to mention the potentiometer that adjusts the voltage on the 5V rail (with minimal effect on the rest). Newer models have an auto regulator, and eliminated it. 5.1V is ideal, as long as the other voltages don't wind up higher than 5% maximum over-voltage. Newer models label the red output as "5.1V".

The adjustment is there because that's the most important voltage for the TiVo HD. If it didn't matter, they wouldn't have spent the money to make it adjustable. The range it can adjust is so minimal, that it's "safe" to do so.

The white silicone caulk needs to be sliced to allow it to turn. Since this adjustment is made with the power live, one needs to be careful with the phillips screwdriver, and making sure to keep it (and your hands/body parts) off the case, and away from the heatsinks (many power supplies have live heatsinks).

Plug the TiVo into a GFCI outlet, like found in kitchens and bathrooms, for added safety, when working with live power. Use an extension cord, if the GFCI outlets are only near sinks and water.
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Last edited by nooneuknow : 07-24-2014 at 06:51 PM. Reason: fixed a percentage value
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:55 PM   #12
dmartin5454
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As an update to my situation, I kept getting the random reboots even after replacing all capacitors and installing a new drive. Finally I tried plugging the Tivo into a different electrical outlet. I was getting a reboot almost every day, and after switching to a different outlet, I only get a reboot every 5 or six days. I'm thinking that a UPS might clear up the remaining reboots, but I haven't tried that yet.
- Dave
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:07 PM   #13
pelagoram
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Thanks for the follow-up, guys. I replaced all of the caps listed here on a post on this forum (12 or so, I think)

The image I used was downloaded from a link I got from this forum as well (sorry - it looks like I am too new of a member to be trusted to include the actual links to this stuff in my post). The file was linked through a Dropbox link, filenames was 652_gset.tbk.


The grounding issue sounds interesting - I am currently plugged into a UPS, which I would think would clear up any line issues. Admittedly, I'm no engineer, so I could be placing false confidence in the UPS.

Nooneuknow, can you talk me through exactly what needs to be done on that 5v potentiometer? I wonder if that might just be what I need to do.

Thanks, all!
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:17 PM   #14
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That image sounds good.

I think the original person with the grounding problem did have it on a UPS.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:28 PM   #15
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Hmm - very interesting. Do you happen to have a link this this guy's thread? Or any advice on checking for that problem on my end?

Thanks!
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:57 PM   #16
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I think this is it:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...ight=grounding
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelagoram View Post
Thanks for the follow-up, guys. I replaced all of the caps listed here on a post on this forum (12 or so, I think)

The image I used was downloaded from a link I got from this forum as well (sorry - it looks like I am too new of a member to be trusted to include the actual links to this stuff in my post). The file was linked through a Dropbox link, filenames was 652_gset.tbk.


The grounding issue sounds interesting - I am currently plugged into a UPS, which I would think would clear up any line issues. Admittedly, I'm no engineer, so I could be placing false confidence in the UPS.

Nooneuknow, can you talk me through exactly what needs to be done on that 5v potentiometer? I wonder if that might just be what I need to do.

Thanks, all!
While I use UPS's with AVR on all my TiVos (but not the TVs), and recommend using them, I have a few things to say that are for this particular conversation.

All a basic UPS can do for you is to act as a surge protector, and kick-on when the voltage drops to something like 90VAC. A better one will have AVR (Automatic/Active Voltage Regulation), the better ones being the kind that doesn't require the battery to correct low/high voltages. The best have all of the things already listed, plus the higher-end ones let you adjust the voltages that will trigger correction, and have software and a USB/Serial cable to let you log what is going on with your electricity (this can really expose a LOT of things that would otherwise go unnoticed).

One thing many tend to forget, is most home AV devices don't even have a ground prong on the power cord. It's just line and neutral (neutral is very close to being a ground), lacking the "safety ground". With TiVo, I can't emphasize enough, that the power supply and rest of it are designed to ground via the coaxial cable shielding ground. If your coax is not grounded properly (cable and/or antenna), end-to-end, you can't expect the built-in surge protection to work, or the TiVo to work in the way it was designed to. Throwing a UPS inline, unless it is correcting line voltage problems, is just an expensive surge strip (with a ground to shunt transients to), not eliminating the need for proper grounding of the coax cable, and tight connections at all points. All should be tightened with a wrench, tight enough that they can NOT be loosened by hand, and not much more than that.

On the potentiometer (5-5.1V voltage adjustment) :

This is to be done with the power supply installed, screwed down, and connected to the mainboard and hard drive. Never plug in a TiVo power supply without the loads connected.

1. Use a sharpie marker to mark the position you started at, making sure to mark the stationary part and the moving part.
2. Safely have your voltmeter hooked into one of the RED 5V lines, and a BLACK ground wire, at the mainboard connector (bend some paperclips to get down in there if need be, and make the meter as "hands-free" as possible.
3. Slice the silicone that is preventing adjustment (just slice away enough to allow it to turn, and make sure the markings you made are still lined-up)
4. Plug in the AC power cord, let the TiVo get fully booted, and turn potentiometer clockwise slowly, to bring the voltage up to a minimum of 5V. Then probe the others voltages. if you can bring the RED up to 5.1V (a 2% increase), and not exceed a maximum of 5% over-voltage on the others (which should not be exceeded), that's my recommended voltage. If the power supply is operating properly, with no bad or borderline components, you should get the 5.1V, without the others climbing much, if even a noticeable amount. Just be sure to keep probing all of them as you adjust (even though the amount it can be adjusted shouldn't endanger anything, it's just a good practice).

Orange = 3.3V
Red = 5V (5.1V ideally) 5 x 1.02 = 5.1 (a 2% increase).
Yellow = 12V

If the adjustment is turned all the way to the stop, and you have at least 5V, and the other voltages are within +/- 5% (a little high is better than low), consider it done. No need to re-glue the adjustment in place. If you can't get a full 5V, 4.9V would be the lowest I'd consider. Going by what you posted, it sounds like you'll land at perfect output voltages. By nudging the voltage, the amperage draw will be reduced, and the power supply will operate more efficiently. On top of that, everything downstream gets what it was designed for.

TiVo power supplies were calibrated at the factory that made them, using a "dummy load", which isn't ideal, but is fast and cheap. After the TiVo HD, they went with self-regulating designs, eliminating the potentiometer, and resulting in better ability to compensate on the fly.
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Cisco tuning adapters should never be used inline (using the TA coax OUT port) to connect a TiVo, if MoCA is in use. Use a splitter w/PoE filter on leg to TA, use other leg for the TiVo. Enjoy!

Last edited by nooneuknow : 07-24-2014 at 06:54 PM. Reason: fixed a value
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:20 AM   #18
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Thanks much for the detailed explanation. Will take a look and see what I can do.

Thanks!

P
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:57 PM   #19
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Our Series 3 has been locking up and rebooting randomly. I've run all the Kickstarts and they seemed to finish correctly. There is a non-approved external drive on this unit. I checked PS voltages today and the only one that looked suspicious was the 12v which came in at 11.6 and there is one bulged cap.

So, at this point I'm thinking of just getting a PS from Weaknees. I have done cap replacement before, but I'm older now and less confident in my abilities. I also have considered doing a clear and delete before replacing the PS just to be sure there is not some corrupt file that is causing the crashes.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:10 PM   #20
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A C&DE might not clear out all software corruption. The typical recommendation is to download a fresh disk image and overwrite the drive.

A bulged capacitor warrants replacement. Partially because Weaknees charges so much, some forum members (me in NorCal and Tim in Baton Rouge) will do capacitor replacements for the cost of parts and shipping only.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squint View Post
A C&DE might not clear out all software corruption. The typical recommendation is to download a fresh disk image and overwrite the drive.

A bulged capacitor warrants replacement. Partially because Weaknees charges so much, some forum members (me in NorCal and Tim in Baton Rouge) will do capacitor replacements for the cost of parts and shipping only.
Don't forget that WK sells new-old-stock, which means the power supplies have been in the warehouse for nearly as long as the product they go in has been around.

They should still give roughly as many years of life as the original did, which should be long enough to not merit something as insane as paying that much, and then replacing "the usual suspects" caps, just because they "tend to go bad".

I'm in full agreement that they are over-priced. But, they must be selling them, or they'd have reduced the price by now, I would think...
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squint View Post
A C&DE might not clear out all software corruption. The typical recommendation is to download a fresh disk image and overwrite the drive.

A bulged capacitor warrants replacement. Partially because Weaknees charges so much, some forum members (me in NorCal and Tim in Baton Rouge) will do capacitor replacements for the cost of parts and shipping only.
Thanks Squint, I'll PM Tim since he is closer to me. That's a very nice thing you guys do for folks.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:01 PM   #23
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Got my PS recapped (Thanks Tim!!) and the S3 is behaving better - no random reboots. We are still seeing some hangs during show playback. Also even some pixelation/breakup during live TV. Just to get somewhat of a clean slate here I did a C&DE today. One thing I'm a little confused about is my Season Passes. I thought the active ones (ones with shows airing) would repopulate from information stored at Tivo Central. So far I have not seen this happen. Am I wrong here or is there something else I need to do?
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:21 PM   #24
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I am having problems with my TCD 658000 rebooting during playback, sometimes several times an hour. I contacted Tivo and they told me that this is a known issue with Series 3 units and that they are working on it.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:13 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Gregg12y View Post
I am having problems with my TCD 658000 rebooting during playback, sometimes several times an hour. I contacted Tivo and they told me that this is a known issue with Series 3 units and that they are working on it.
They are probably referring to the issue with reboots at the end of show playback. This was resolved on TiVo's end and should be resolved upon next connect to TiVo.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...6#post10233626
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=520735

However if you are having random reboots all over the place, it might not be the same issue. You might have some hard drive or power supply problem.
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