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Old 02-07-2015, 09:55 PM   #1
jpscratches
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Rebooting, nothing helps

I've run the gauntlet and yet...

S3 HD with known good HD, known good power supply, good fan, plugged directly into power, traded out multistream cable card just to eliminate that and no joy, still rebooting. Unit has OS 11m...

What else causes spontaneous reboots?

Lifetime Tivo so I don't want to hit it with a hammer and yet I do.

Thanks for any ideas.

JP

BTW: No indication prior to reboot, no pixelization, no pattern that I can tell.


Last edited by jpscratches; 02-07-2015 at 10:07 PM. Reason: Additional information
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:10 PM   #2
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I've run the gauntlet and yet...

S3 HD with known good HD, known good power supply, good fan, plugged directly into power, traded out multistream cable card just to eliminate that and no joy, still rebooting. Unit has OS 11m...

What else causes spontaneous reboots?

Lifetime Tivo so I don't want to hit it with a hammer and yet I do.

Thanks for any ideas.

JP
Is it getting past the first screen (Welcome) to the second screen (Just a few more minutes) before rebooting?

If possible, watch output from yellow RCA jack, the composite video output, or 3 component video output jacks if necessary, either way, disconnect any HDMI plugs.

If it's still rebooting--

Unplug the power cord, disconnect the hard drive, plug the power cord back in, and see if it reboots.

If it just sits on the first screen and does nothing else, try it with the drive connected again and watch the front panel lights--about 60 seconds after applying power there should be a change in them--on the HD the green LED should blink.

That's the signal to enter a kickstart code and we can learn something from whether it gets that far or not.

If it can get that far, cycle power and when it flashes the LED around the 60 second mark again, do KS58

http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php

Maybe that'll straighten things out.


Also, do you have a PC running XP SP3 or newer on which you can run WinMFS and to which you can hook the hard drive, preferably to a SATA port on the motherboard directly?

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Old 02-07-2015, 10:29 PM   #3
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Is it getting past the first screen (Welcome) to the second screen (Just a few more minutes) before rebooting?

If possible, watch output from yellow RCA jack, the composite video output, or 3 component video output jacks if necessary, either way, disconnect any HDMI plugs.

If it's still rebooting--

Unplug the power cord, disconnect the hard drive, plug the power cord back in, and see if it reboots.

If it just sits on the first screen and does nothing else, try it with the drive connected again and watch the front panel lights--about 60 seconds after applying power there should be a change in them--on the HD the green LED should blink.

That's the signal to enter a kickstart code and we can learn something from whether it gets that far or not.

If it can get that far, cycle power and when it flashes the LED around the 60 second mark again, do KS58

http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php

Maybe that'll straighten things out.


Also, do you have a PC running XP SP3 or newer on which you can run WinMFS and to which you can hook the hard drive, preferably to a SATA port on the motherboard directly?
Thanks!

The Tivo boots fine, runs fine for unpredictable periods then spontaneously reboots. It can last for minutes or many hours but never more than a day. Records fine (apart from when it reboots in the middle of recording). I cannot detect a pattern for the life of me. No rhyme but there's certainly a reason.

Have disconnected the external antenna, running on cable only, complete clear and delete with known good HD. Have gone to scrapping/exchanging parts off other units that I have confirmed working.

I'd pull my hair out if I had enough but I need what remains. Yes, have access to PC and WinMFS.

My latest futile attempt is to go back to the Tivo USB wireless from a gaming type wireless that uses the ethernet port. Now waiting for it to reboot to eliminate that.

I'm starting to think it's cursed.

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Old 02-07-2015, 10:39 PM   #4
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Thanks!

The Tivo boots fine, runs fine for unpredictable periods then spontaneously reboots. It can last for minutes or many hours but never more than a day. Records fine (apart from when it reboots in the middle of recording). I cannot detect a pattern for the life of me. No rhyme but there's certainly a reason.

Have disconnected the external antenna, running on cable only, complete clear and delete with known good HD. Have gone to scrapping/exchanging parts off other units that I have confirmed working.

I'd pull my hair out if I had enough but I need what remains. Yes, have access to PC and WinMFS.

My latest futile attempt is to go back to the Tivo USB wireless from a gaming type wireless that uses the ethernet port. Now waiting for it to reboot to eliminate that.

I'm starting to think it's cursed.

BTW, a good idea to try running it without HDMI as a test. That will be next.

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Old 02-07-2015, 11:17 PM   #5
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BTW, a good idea to try running it without HDMI as a test. That will be next.
Tested using component video (HDMI disconnected) and it took about 10 minutes before reboot.

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Old 02-07-2015, 11:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jpscratches View Post
I've run the gauntlet and yet...

S3 HD with known good HD, known good power supply, good fan, plugged directly into power, traded out multistream cable card just to eliminate that and no joy, still rebooting. Unit has OS 11m...

What else causes spontaneous reboots?

Lifetime Tivo so I don't want to hit it with a hammer and yet I do.

Thanks for any ideas.

JP

BTW: No indication prior to reboot, no pixelization, no pattern that I can tell.
I would never run a Tivo plugged directly into the power outlet. I always use a UPS.

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Old 02-08-2015, 12:55 AM   #7
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I would never run a Tivo plugged directly into the power outlet. I always use a UPS.
I have always run my Tivos on house power. I have another of the same model that hasn't hiccuped in 10 years. The one I'm working on has lifetime so I'm not willing to give up on it easily.

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Old 02-08-2015, 08:30 AM   #8
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Define "known good" when you say hard drive and power supply. I have seen brand new drives quickly developed bad sectors.

Consider trying a fresh image on the unit and see what happens.

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Old 02-08-2015, 09:38 AM   #9
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I have always run my Tivos on house power. I have another of the same model that hasn't hiccuped in 10 years. The one I'm working on has lifetime so I'm not willing to give up on it easily.
Wow! I didn't think the Series 3 came out 10 years ago. And no 'hiccup' in all those years? Fantastic!
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Define "known good" when you say hard drive and power supply. I have seen brand new drives quickly developed bad sectors.

Consider trying a fresh image on the unit and see what happens.
The only way a HDD is "known good" is when it is connected to a PC and the extended diagnostic test is run (successfully).

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Old 02-08-2015, 12:00 PM   #10
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I have always run my Tivos on house power. I have another of the same model that hasn't hiccuped in 10 years. The one I'm working on has lifetime so I'm not willing to give up on it easily.
I also vote for putting any TiVo (and anything with a hard drive) on a good UPS. Is the other TiVo that hasn't hiccupped in 10 years on the same circuit as the problem unit? That would tend to rule out glitches in your incoming power, but a loose wire somewhere or a large load starting up could cause a local glitch. And everything associated with a TiVo should be properly grounded, with all grounds (for outlets, network cables, coaxial cable shields, etc) connecting to the same grounding point. Varying ground levels can cause strange problems. Random freezes and reboots can also be caused by heat issues.

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Old 02-08-2015, 12:04 PM   #11
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The only way a HDD is "known good" is when it is connected to a PC and the extended diagnostic test is run (successfully).
I would take it further and run destructive tests as well. And then read the drive and see how many sectors are pending bad and how many sectors have been reallocated. Also if the drive experienced any ATA errors. The manufacturer diagnostics although good don't always give you everything mainly because they will accept some issues as long as they don't go beyond a certain threshold. I have had 3 drives in the past year that the manufacturer diagnostic passes in which I found errors. One was a TiVo drive and the other PC drives. In all cases I was having random problems that until I replaced the drive never went away despite all the other troubleshooting I did.

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Old 02-08-2015, 12:22 PM   #12
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Have you checked your system logs for any indication of an error logged before the reboots? On Series 3, on the System Information Display, pressing Clear Clear Enter Enter 0 brings up a short menu with an option to view System Logs. System logs can be quite useful for diagnosing problems.

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Old 02-08-2015, 01:51 PM   #13
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I think that is a bad hard drive.


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Thanks!

The Tivo boots fine, runs fine for unpredictable periods then spontaneously reboots. It can last for minutes or many hours but never more than a day. Records fine (apart from when it reboots in the middle of recording). I cannot detect a pattern for the life of me. No rhyme but there's certainly a reason.

Have disconnected the external antenna, running on cable only, complete clear and delete with known good HD. Have gone to scrapping/exchanging parts off other units that I have confirmed working.

I'd pull my hair out if I had enough but I need what remains. Yes, have access to PC and WinMFS.

My latest futile attempt is to go back to the Tivo USB wireless from a gaming type wireless that uses the ethernet port. Now waiting for it to reboot to eliminate that.

I'm starting to think it's cursed.

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Old 02-08-2015, 10:46 PM   #14
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Do you have a spare SATA drive at least as big as 160GB you can use temporarily?

I'd slap a 652 image on it and see if the re-booting happens with it.

If it does, then the drive in there now is probably not the problem (but I'd be running the drive maker's long test on it as long as I had it out anyway), and if it doesn't reboot with the new temp drive, I'd be suspicious of the one in there now.


I was thinking if KS 58 didn't do anything for you that you could use WinMFS to see which set of partitions it's booting from and set it to use the alternate set to see if that helped.

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Old 02-09-2015, 11:47 AM   #15
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I have suspected every component of being the weak link but, because sometimes the unit will reboot on channel changes, I suspected something in the tuner section might be a problem. When I replaced the cable card, the Tivo tech that Comcast referred me to asked about my signal strength. Every station on the tuner was registering 100%. He pointed out that it could pose a problem.

I did a little research and found that Tivo may not be able to handle strong signals. I don't have an attenuator but I do have a bunch of splitters. I tried several that dropped the signal between 3.5 and 7 dB. 3.5 still had the tuner pegged at 100%. The 7 dB dropped the signal into the 70% range, with fluctuations depending on channel. The oft-rebooting unit lasted for 7 hours without a reboot, while it was recording two shows and stopping, rewinding, fast-forwarding playback of one of the recorded shows. Previously, this would have certainly caused a reboot. I did notice some pixelation during playback, so the signal was getting weak enough to degrade. But previously the machine had gotten to rebooting at least once if not several times in an hour.

I think dialing the signal into the 80-90% range might do the trick but we'll see. Ordering some attenuators from Amazon today.

Anyone have experience with this?

Once I get the signal strength dialed in, I will again do thorough testing of the HD. The idea of getting the system logs is great. Didn't know they were available.

Thanks all for your input. Greatly appreciated!!!

JP

PS "Known good" means they were operating properly in another Tivo.

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Old 02-09-2015, 04:08 PM   #16
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Actually, it sounds like a bad PS to me.

Irregular issues, rebooting, problems when current flow changes, all sounds like a bad PS and not the drive. It sounds like "known good" is not a visual measure of caps or a physical measure of voltage, so not a high water mark to judge "good" by.

At a minimum, do a visual of the caps before dealing with the hard drive.

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Old 02-09-2015, 04:48 PM   #17
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It would be best to get all your signals in the 80 - 99 range, although that is impossible to do in my case. You can run with levels somewhat above 100 with no viewing problems or long term tuner damage.

However, I doubt your reboots are signal related. Power supply or hard drive are the prime suspects.

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Old 02-09-2015, 08:36 PM   #18
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It would be best to get all your signals in the 80 - 99 range, although that is impossible to do in my case. You can run with levels somewhat above 100 with no viewing problems or long term tuner damage.

However, I doubt your reboots are signal related. Power supply or hard drive are the prime suspects.
I have replaced the HD three times, once with a brand new drive, twice with drives from working machines. They all exhibited the same behavior. I've swapped power supplies (the first had bulging capacitors, the one in there now does not), all exhibited the same behavior.

I'm not convinced that the too-powerful signal is the only cause of my troubles but I'm absolutely certain it's the cause of a good portion.

Once I was able to bring the signal down from 100 to 70, I went from having several crashes an hour to none for 7 hours with a lot of channel changes, recordings starting and stopping, etc.

I'm not going to stop looking once I have the signal stabilized. Will have 3dB attenuators in my hands by Wednesday night so I should be able to dial the signal in pretty close to ideal.

Thanks for all the input!!!

JP

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Old 02-09-2015, 10:12 PM   #19
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Actually, it sounds like a bad PS to me.

Irregular issues, rebooting, problems when current flow changes, all sounds like a bad PS and not the drive. It sounds like "known good" is not a visual measure of caps or a physical measure of voltage, so not a high water mark to judge "good" by.

At a minimum, do a visual of the caps before dealing with the hard drive.
I don't doubt that PS issues may be contributing somehow but having tried three different power supplies (the current one has no bulging capacitors) with the same behavior, my journey has pushed me elsewhere. Once I get the signal tamed, I'll voltage test and, if necessary, rebuild one of the extras I own.

JP

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Old 02-09-2015, 10:24 PM   #20
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What if you just unplug the coax and set a group of like 20 shows to play all? See if it survives without the signal interfering.

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Old 02-10-2015, 12:48 PM   #21
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What if you just unplug the coax and set a group of like 20 shows to play all? See if it survives without the signal interfering.
Good idea.

I'm prepping a brand new AV-GP drive right now. It's done a 9 hour sector test and passed using WD's tool. I will do a voltage test and look for bulging capacitors, get my attenuators in to adjust signal strength, then see how it behaves. If it's still crashing, I'll do your test without incoming signal.

Thanks for the suggestion.

JP


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Old 02-12-2015, 09:51 PM   #22
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Good idea.

I'm prepping a brand new AV-GP drive right now. It's done a 9 hour sector test and passed using WD's tool. I will do a voltage test and look for bulging capacitors, get my attenuators in to adjust signal strength, then see how it behaves. If it's still crashing, I'll do your test without incoming signal.

Thanks for the suggestion.

JP
Be careful not to touch the supply itself while doing any of this.

Start it without the drive plugged in and check the +3.3v, +5V, and +12V.

Then, with it still plugged into the electrical socket on the wall, plug the drive in and check again.

Then connect the cable or antenna cable, whatever you use.

Check readings.

Then insert any cable cards.

Check readings.

Then connect whatever you use to connect to the internet and your home network.

Check readings.

If you have to use a Tuning Adapter, plug it into the TiVo's USB port and check the readings.

There should be very little difference in the readings if the power supply is good and doing its job of voltage regulation.

The 3.3V should be nearly dead on, the 5V can vary a little above or below, and the 12V can vary a little more than that, but if it's down around 11.5, or if somewhere in those "adding current draw" steps it starts to sag down around there, that's an indication of not being quite up to snuff.

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Old 02-15-2015, 01:37 PM   #23
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Good idea.

I'm prepping a brand new AV-GP drive right now. It's done a 9 hour sector test and passed using WD's tool. I will do a voltage test and look for bulging capacitors, get my attenuators in to adjust signal strength, then see how it behaves. If it's still crashing, I'll do your test without incoming signal.

Thanks for the suggestion.

JP
The saga continues. Had the attenuated signal at 90%, a good working hd (original 160), good working PS and everything was stable. No reboots for 24+ hours.

Took my brand new EURX drive and my old suspect drive (a 1TB Seagate) and used the old suspect drive as the image (since it has all my media on it) to clone to the new HD. As soon as I installed the new HD in the Tivo, the reboots started again.

Now thinking the original (1TB Seagate) HD wasn't failing but had a corrupted image. Taking the new drive out, going to put a fresh image on it and start over. So much for my old media.

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Old 02-15-2015, 07:39 PM   #24
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Now thinking the original (1TB Seagate) HD wasn't failing but had a corrupted image. Taking the new drive out, going to put a fresh image on it and start over. So much for my old media.
Can you transfer the shows to your PC first or are they copy-protected?

Scott

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Old 02-16-2015, 01:45 AM   #25
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Can you transfer the shows to your PC first or are they copy-protected?

Scott
I'd like to do that Scott but don't know how. Done some googling but what comes up with doesn't seem like it addresses my concern or involves arcane command line hoop jumping. Have PC and reasonable understanding of software/hardware so I'm willing to try if you have a suggestion.

In the meanwhile, looks like I'm onto checking voltages on the PS to see if it's within reasonable tolerance.

Do appreciate the suggestions!

JP

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Old 02-16-2015, 09:30 AM   #26
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kmttg would be a place to start. Hopefully it will stay up long enough to download the programs.

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Old 02-16-2015, 10:49 AM   #27
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I'd like to do that Scott but don't know how. Done some googling but what comes up with doesn't seem like it addresses my concern or involves arcane command line hoop jumping. Have PC and reasonable understanding of software/hardware so I'm willing to try if you have a suggestion.

JP
If the TiVo can stay up long enough to transfer as Jim indicated, kmttg or TiVo Desktop can be used to transfer shows to your PC assuming you have enough disk space. No arcane command line hoop jumping needed (again assuming your cable company does not have extended copy protection set. Comcast is good not copy protecting anything except movie channels and I've heard Time Warner is bad, copy protecting everything except broadcast stations).

Scott

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Old 02-17-2015, 05:10 PM   #28
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Dead THD.

Sequence of events:

1. TiVo hung, don't remember what I was doing.

2. Power cycled.

3. TiVo got into a reboot loop. Would get all the way up, then immediately reboot.

4. Pulled drive (a 2TB WD Green) and hooked it up via USB 3 dock. Ran long test and it passed with no errors.

5. Put drive back in and now I get nothing. Lights and fan come on but no video. Disconnecting drive doesn't change anything.


It's on monthly (yeah, yeah, don't want to hear it) but I am sure that when I call TiVo to deactivate it, they will offer $99 lifetime so the question is - is it worth it on the chance that it can be repaired? I examined the PS and there were no bulging caps.

I wasn't actually using it for much except for OTA backup and recording of a few things available "free" only OTA.

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Old 02-17-2015, 05:21 PM   #29
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Dead THD.

Sequence of events:

1. TiVo hung, don't remember what I was doing.

2. Power cycled.

3. TiVo got into a reboot loop. Would get all the way up, then immediately reboot.

4. Pulled drive (a 2TB WD Green) and hooked it up via USB 3 dock. Ran long test and it passed with no errors.

5. Put drive back in and now I get nothing. Lights and fan come on but no video. Disconnecting drive doesn't change anything.


It's on monthly (yeah, yeah, don't want to hear it) but I am sure that when I call TiVo to deactivate it, they will offer $99 lifetime so the question is - is it worth it on the chance that it can be repaired? I examined the PS and there were no bulging caps.

I wasn't actually using it for much except for OTA backup and recording of a few things available "free" only OTA.
It sounds like it could be the power supply, and it would require only some time (and minimal $) to replace the PS caps to be certain. OTOH, I guess you could try to nail down the $99 PLS first, and then if recapping fails you could get a refund as long as you're within the 30-day buyer-remorse window.

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Old 02-17-2015, 06:50 PM   #30
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I would still try a fresh image on a spare drive to make sure something in the MFS structure did not get corrupted.
I would also get a program like HDD Guardian and have it check the drive for any pending errors (might have to hook it up via SATA)

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