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Old 04-02-2005, 02:41 PM   #61
richierich
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All I know is that I had severe pixellation/freezing problems and I ran SpinRite data recovery software on Jan. 27, 2005 and ever since then I have not had a single problem, my unit runs a little faster and runs about 8 to 10 degrees cooler. It had an unrecoverable sector and several other bad sectors that it cleaned up with backup sectors and restored the data from those bad sectors. I highly recommend it to anyone with pixellation problems and particularly if you don't want to lose your recordings. I definitely believe that the OS has been pushed to the max and is very fragile and a bad sector can cause alot of problems. Removing bad sectors seems to have solved all of my problems. The heat buildup is caused by having to read many times a bad sector. The unit is running in hyper mode which causes the heat buildup. I am now running about 38C-41C and before it was over 48C. For some reason unknown to me my guide runs faster and Season Passes takes less time.
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Old 09-29-2005, 12:11 PM   #62
Matt Ottinger
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You all seem very knowledgable about this stuff, let me ask if anyone can give me information about this little oddity.

I have a unit that was giving me most of the standard symptoms of a hard drive failure, as described in the excellent initial post here. Stuttering, freezing, pixilation, loud mechanical clicking, pretty much the works. It got to the point that it would only work for a few hours after a reboot before it would freeze again.

So I bought another hard drive. When it arrived, I figured I'd give the original drive that proverbial "one last chance" and replace it after the next freeze, which I thought would be later that day.

That was nearly two weeks ago. Seriously, I've done nothing, and it seems to be working just fine. As tempting as it it to personify our units, it's way too easy to say that the original drive saw the replacement arrive and decided to get its act together. But I'm guessing there's a better answer than that.

I'm not knowledgeable, but I am teachable if you use small enough words. Am I living on borrowed time, or could this thing have more or less repaired itself?
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Old 09-29-2005, 02:02 PM   #63
richierich
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Alot of times it can be caused by a bad power supply which is producing marginal power which can cause these same symptoms and even emit the clicking sound which then everyone thinks that is the hard drive and off they go to replace the unit or the hard drive. Have you done anything to alter your power source. Sometimes even battery backup units can cause the power supply not to have enough power to fully activate or power up the hard drives which causes the same symptoms.
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Old 11-06-2005, 09:43 PM   #64
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Pioneer DVR-57H / Channel Changing Problems !

Pioneer DVR-57H / Channel Changing Problems !

Sometimes when I try to change channels....the channels either change very slow...like after 20 to 30 to 60 seconds...or longer....or stops responding completly..

I am not experiencing and freezing if the images.
Have checked and moved the IR cables


I have experimented with the Cable Box, Pioneer DVR-57H, IR, connections, etc...
And the only thing that seems to correct the problem is unplugging the DVR-57H
and re-booting it.

Anyone else experience this ??

This was a very expensive machine and I did take out an extended warrenty so maybe I need to take it in..........But boy you hate to do without it....
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:51 AM   #65
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Arrow TV Screen Freezing During TiVoToGo transfer

This has become a problem since the latest upgrade of the TiVo software. I set TiVoToGo to download 2 or 3 shows to one of my computers on the network, and when I check later, the TiVo is in need of being rebooted as it has completely frozen. And sometimes the downloads never complete.

It never freezes/stutters/crashes/clicks during regular viewing or during recordings. It only seems to freeze after setting up a string of downloads on the TiVoToGo software.

When I asked this question on the TiVo website's help forum, someone was very quick to tell me that I most definitely have a harddrive problem. My machine is not even a year old, and this never happened before September. It never crashes/freezes any other time. And if I download only one show, it doesn't crash/freeze.

Is anyone else experiencing this type of problem with the 7.2.something update that happened in September? Or am I alone in this issue?
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:54 PM   #66
richierich
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I believe the problem is processor related. When they went with the latest software download they reconfigured the database and there can be a problem with older recorded shows versus current recorded shows because of the way they are housed in the database, 2 different structures. That is why they ask you to purge everything and start over because of the new structure. That is my best guess. Also, if the processor is very busy and it encounters a new command via the remote it just stores that command in the task queue until it is freed up of that current task and can handle the next task in the queue, so it is not that it doesn't acknowledge your task but that it is delayed in handling that task until it get higher priority tasks out of the way.
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Old 11-07-2005, 05:48 PM   #67
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And what if everything I'm downloading is current (new since the last upgrade)?

I witnessed the image slowdown to the point where the image froze on the screen. At this point, I had not touched the remote or anything else. Then, only after the freeze, did I hit something on the remote to see if it would respond. Of course it didn't. The only thing that worked was unplugging the TiVo from the wall.

I will certainly try purging the entire system and see where that leads me. It would really be a bad thing if my 6 month old TiVo is suffering from a bad harddrive already, so I hope you're right.
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Old 11-09-2005, 05:43 PM   #68
richierich
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You have 2 tuners working. Even if you are viewing one tuner/channel, the other one can be helping to cause the problem. If you experience problems such as has been reported, go to the INFO button and change tuners and then set that tuner to a non-existent channel such as 3 or 4 and then see if your problem goes away. If it is related to an overworked processor, then that should cause your problem to go away. If not then you may have a bad hard drive. Also, if you are not plugged directly into a power source and are using a battery backup system, etc. unplug from that system and go directly into the power outlet and see if that changes things. I have seen that this can work in some situations.
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:01 PM   #69
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ok, i've read through this thread, and found out information that i didn't want to hear.....

but i still have a question. i have a series 2 80 hour with a weaknees kit piggybacking a 120 Gb drive... at any rate the tivo is not quite 2 years old.... and i got the problems starting....

first thing was the thing rebooted itself, and it stays on the "Welcome, powering up...." screen. this is what threw me - no one really mentioned that here. i thought if the hard drive fails you won't even get that far?

i get the clicking - it happens rarely though - like maybe once every five minutes. a big problem here is which drive is it? how do i know?

i definitely want to save everything i have, and know what i am doing with computers, so i plan on cloning whichever drive it is.... but don't know which drive it is. the drives are so close together, i can't tell which one is clicking. Is it safe to say the main TIVO drive is bad? how will i know that the next drive i put in won't go bad immediately?

thanks!
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:47 AM   #70
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i guess my other quetsion is if my hard drive is bad, how do i save the information on it? i can't just slave this drive on my computer can i? if the drive is "clicking" and stuff...?
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:18 PM   #71
richierich
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The clicking can be caused by a hard drive going bad or by a bad power source. If you don't have enough power to successfully boot up the drives, then it will hang with that message. I had it plugged into a an APC battery backup system and knowing that a bad power source can cause problems that mimic a bad hard drive condition, I unplugged it and ran it straight into the wall socket. That corrected the problem. There is even a way to adjust the power supply to give you more or less power because there is a window or range of power that it needs. If it is less or more than that range it will cause problems.
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Old 11-10-2005, 09:31 PM   #72
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How about pixelation during playback - only occasionally, and never during live viewing? Unit is a Toshiba SD-H400, about 14 months old.
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Old 11-11-2005, 05:13 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABTsportsline
i guess my other quetsion is if my hard drive is bad, how do i save the information on it? i can't just slave this drive on my computer can i? if the drive is "clicking" and stuff...?
^^ ?

i don't think it would be a power supply problem as the tivo has been working fine for a long time - i haven't changed anything on it since i got it when i added the 2nd drive and weaknees kit.... but that was like two years ago.

i *doubt* it is the power supply, so how do i recover the files on the Hard Drive if it is clicking?

and how do i plug in the power directly to the wall socket or adjust the PS voltage?
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:23 PM   #74
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two week bump...
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Old 11-20-2005, 06:34 AM   #75
richierich
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I can give you a link to another website that will explain how age can cause a power supply to gradually get to a point of degradation gradually where it will not generate enough power to adequately power up the hard drives which mimics the hard drive failure symptoms even the clicking noise. You take your power cord from your Tivo and just plug it straight into the wall socket if it is not plugged into it that way now. Are you using a battery backup system? How is it getting power?
If it is a bad hard drive that is getting ready to fail or die, you might be able to recover the data long enough to offload it by running SpinRite data recovery software against on your PC. I have written several lengthy posts about SR and how it works so do a search on my posts or do a search on Spinrite. Also, do a search on power supply or PM me for the link.
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:38 PM   #76
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OK...here's another one to throw at you folks.....

I had a TiVo series 1 (Philips unit, I think) that I added an 80GB drive to. After about 6 months to a 1 year of use, it began more of what I'd call a "stumble" than a pause/freeze/stutter.

Basically the picture pauses just for a split second and continues. Audio stays in sync just fine. It occurs maybe every once in a while..sometimes a couple times a show, usually less. The closest thing I can think of to compare it to is when a DVD swtiches layers on older players. You get this brief pause, just long enough to for you to begin to think half of an "uh-oh" before it continues.

As time went on, it seemed to become more frequent. But about that time I sold that unit and bought a Series 2 unit for the HMO capabilities. I immediately added a 100GB drive to it.

After about 18 months of use, the same problem is showing up again.

Over the life of this unit, I've probably recorded thousands of hours of TV. I think we have nearly 50 season passes set up, plus lots of wish lists. Can't hardly watch "Live" TV as it's always recording something. I'm on normal analog cable, no converter.

In any case, I have wondered if perhaps the filesystem is getting fragmented. That's what it feels like....as if there isn't a drive hardware problem, but just enough of a brief pause while it has to go to a far-away area of the drive to pick up where it left off. It really is very slight, not even a full second. But it's annoying, and it seems to continue to get worse, which would fit with the fragmentation theory.

I've maybe only ever had it crash once, temps are usually around 40C. Other than that, it doesn't really act up.

Any thoughts on this, or is my theory total nonsense?

-Michael
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:09 PM   #77
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My series one has been pixelating and stuttering, and it's getting worse and worse. It's practically unwatchable now.
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Old 01-09-2006, 02:00 AM   #78
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HR10-250 pauses and flickers

I am have a problem with my new HR10-250. My old RCA HD reciever (no Tivo) worked just fine using component in. My HR10-250 however frequently pauses the restarts. I also noticed that when watching the preview loops on channel 100, the pause will happen in the same spots. When I rewind the pauses are recorded. I have only had this thing for 2 days and not sure what I can do to fix it.
The Directv installer will be out soon maybe he will have a fix? LOL? Based on what Ive read here, I have to take the HD out and run Spinrite or replace it?
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Old 01-09-2006, 08:32 AM   #79
richierich
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How long have you had it? You can have it replaced under warranty. I would make sure that it is not caused by input problems. Hard drive problems normally demonstrate pixellation, stuttering, etc.
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Old 01-12-2006, 02:45 PM   #80
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RR, what do you mean by "Input Problems"? Should i buy monster cables?

I called Cust Support and they are sending me a new one. Wow I just bought this one! I hope I dont get one that does the same!

Have you or anyone else actually seen this problem corrected via replacement of unit or HDD?
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Old 01-12-2006, 03:53 PM   #81
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Normally, if it is a bad hard drive that works intermittantly, then when it works and you rewind it, it will play perfectly not as you say with pauses in it. The pauses are caused by the reading of the hard drive but if it is happening in the same place every time you replay a recording then that was caused because the input signal was not constant and had a pause in it which was recorded because of the input signal and not the hard drive. If you have bad weather which causes pixellation, your recorder will record it and it will be like that every time you replay it. If you have a good recording but a hard drive going bad then sometimes you will get pixellation but at different spots or places in the recording. It may happen 2 minutes into the playback or 10 minutes or whatever and then the next time it may play fine. These are 2 different problems. I am wondering if your problem is caused by a bad input signal or a bad tuner.
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Old 01-30-2006, 02:52 PM   #82
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Me Too

OK. At least I know I'm not alone. I have a Series 2 DirecTiVo RCA DVR-40 that worked great for over a year and then began to pixelate/pause/stop. It seemed it was only while I was recording 2 shows and watching a third. I did some research; aha, a bad HDD. Replaced original 40GB with Maxtor 160GB (whoo hoo) and it worked great for a week and a half. Last night it did the ol' pixelate/pause thing, but this time it was non-responsive to the remote. Well, not completely non-responsive, I pressed FFwd x 2, DirecTiVo Button, Pause, FFwd, Play, or some combination thereof and after about 15 sec. it began executing the remote commands... very slowly. A command, wait about 3 sec. and another command, etc. I've read through this thread and plan to try a few of the recommended solutions. But am curious if I'm the only one with the "combo" of freezing/non-responsive remote.
Thanx for any further insight.

Last edited by arbiggs : 01-30-2006 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 01-30-2006, 03:04 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timckelley
My series one has been pixelating and stuttering, and it's getting worse and worse. It's practically unwatchable now.
I replaced the bad hard drive using the Hinsdale instructions, and am really happy with the results. My TiVo works perfectly now, good as the day I bought it.
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Old 01-30-2006, 03:30 PM   #84
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When it is not responsive to the remote, it is busy or CPU bound and queues up the task in the task queue until it can get to it. This can be caused because it is taking a long time to read the data because of a bad sector. Running SpinRite software can correct the bad sector problem for a while but if you have a relatively new hard drive I would not think that should be the case.
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:02 AM   #85
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Arrow Not the harddrive

I'm convinced that my series 2's case of the stutters is not harddrive related. A few months ago I saw the classic symptoms of a bad harddrive- crashing, rebooting, etc. I purchased a new (bigger!) drive and for a coupel days everything was good- then the stutters came back.

If I trasfer show to either my other Tivo or PC (usuing multi-room and pc-to-go respectufully), shows are flawless. When I restart my tivo, even the theme song is jumpy from time to time.

I really think this started when the last update came down- the one with games and podcasts and stuff. Called tivo, and they made it sound like they had never heard of the stuttering problem!). It really looks like the cpu/mpeg decoder,bios are just lagging.

My harddrive temp is 35degrees, and I haven't heard any clicking sounds. Have tried replacing the IDE cable.

Anyone else see these symptoms? Suppossedly there is a new update coming out in the next month or so- untill then I'm keeping my eyes open for a new box on ebay.
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Old 02-14-2006, 06:09 AM   #86
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Well, I did not have any problems until the last release and then it happened to me. I finally sent the unit off and replaced the bad drive and now it is working perfectly so in my case it was definitely the hard drive but what was funny was that it worked okay until that last download occurred.
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:19 AM   #87
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woolerym,

Sounds like a classic hard drive failure to me. If your tivo is just plugged into the wwall, for instance, and is not on a conditioned power source like a UPS, fluctuations in the power can seriously damage hard drives. This may have happened to both of yours. Hard drive problems are often be dormant until the software is updated because of tivo's partitioning scheme, in which one system partition is never in use, then gets switched in during an update. It has nothing to do with the system software itself.
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:20 AM   #88
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Could it be that something is causing his HDs to go bad, so that if he simply replaces the HD, that one will go bad too, because of the underlying problem?
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Old 02-14-2006, 02:34 PM   #89
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If there is an underlying problem, it is usually simply an unconditioned power supply combined with local power fluctuations coming from the electric company. I highly recommend using a UPS for your tivo.
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:00 PM   #90
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I have the APC S15 which is one of the best power conditioning battery backup units out there and my unit failed right after the last upgrade. I think that is very interesting, however after running SpinRite I found out I had some bad sectors so I ran it and it worked for awhile and then screwed up again so I ran SR again and it worked for awhile and then whammo. I then sent it off to Weaknees for a replacment drive.
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