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Old 05-05-2009, 10:23 AM   #1
Hottrod33
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Question Hughes SD-DVR40 - bad hard drive?

I am assuming that my problems are a result of a bad hard drive but there are a few things which could point to a satellite tuner.

About 1-2 months ago, my Tivo began freezing up. Generally, the screen would just turn black. This would require a manual reboot (unplug). This has been occurring every 1-2 days or so.

The Tivo has rebooted itself a few times, but primarily it has just gone to the black screen. After a reboot, and before Directv Central appears, a Satellite Info Error appears (with options: try to require signal, go to My Playlist..). However, this usually only appears for about 15 seconds and then it goes to Directv Central, with Live TV and Playlist operating correctly. (Sidenote: at this time there is a noticable lag in the loading of Playlist, pulling of live TV).

I have always had 2 tuners and with strong signals. I have run satellite signal tests before, and the was an error as if I had selected the wrong satellite dish (the Tivo was looking for a 3rd signal, although i have not changed the satellite settings.

The past week, i have noticed a few times some occasional pixellating.

Last night the Tivo froze up about 3 times while watching back a recorded show (the same show) requiring a manual reboot. (It was also recording a live show at the same time). This is the first time it had frozen back to back in such a short time period (as usually it takes a few days).

Finally, after the last freeze up last night, I rebooted and the Tivo was stuck on Directv Central. It would not respond to remote, or buttons on Tivo box. After each manual reboot, it would again be stuck on Directv Central.

This morning I tried a manual kickstart 57. Again rebooted to a frozen Directv Central.

Then a manual kickstart 58 worked, and my Tivo is operating again.

So, is this a hard drive issue or something else? Sorry for such a long post, trying to give all relevant information.

Footnote:
Tivo box is approximately 5.5 years old
Running software v6.3
Modem does not operate (lightning over 1 year ago)
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:42 AM   #2
halfempty
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Sounds like either a dying hard drive or power supply. The dead modem causes a problem where you wouldn't be able to drop in a pre-imaged drive because a fresh install requires an initial phone call. You would have to copy over (clone) your existing hard drive to the new one.

If you want to keep that unit I would replace/clone the drive first. If that doesn't solve the problem I would send the unit off to CCS Corporation for a refurb.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #3
Hottrod33
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Pull out hard drive

Before replacing the hard drive, would it be best to pull out the hard drive and stick it in a computer to run some kind of a disk scan. I assume that there is some kind of a program that could confirm that it is in fact a hard drive issue.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:33 PM   #4
rbtravis
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http://www.hdsentinel.com/index.php
Hard Disk Sentinel will do the job under Windows. It can be downloaded from the address above. It will read data stored on the drive under S.M.A.R.T. and inform you of the drives condition.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:13 PM   #5
Hottrod33
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Thanks

Thanks for the website link. I'll see if I can get around to taking it apart.

I guess if the hard drive does prove to be bad, the next question would be:

Should I just buy a used receiver off of Ebay rather than buying a new hard? You can get a receiver for as much or less than a hard drive would cost.
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Old 05-05-2009, 02:31 PM   #6
rbtravis
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85% of Directv Tivos I bot on Ebay had bad hard drives.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:30 PM   #7
Hottrod33
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Ok, so I plugged the hard drive into my computer and ran a hard disk diagnostic on it.

I ran Seagate's SeaTools for Windows. I ran all the scans on it (Short Drive Self Test, Long Drive Self Test, Short Generic, Long Generic, SMART Check)

All the tests resulted in a PASS.

So, is there any chance that the hard drive is still bad? Or am I dealing with a different issue?
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:18 PM   #8
Hottrod33
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From Bad to Worse

Ok, so this is not good.

After I removed the hard drive, and scanned on my computer, I reinstalled into my TIVO box.

After the Almost There screen and before the satellite signal screen the screen goes blank, and my TV says no video signal. What in the world? Could I have done some damage to the box when i was removing/reinstalling the hard drive?

Sidenote: Also, inbetween the Powering up screen and Almost There sceen, the screen flickers for a split second.
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hottrod33 View Post
Ok, so this is not good.

After I removed the hard drive, and scanned on my computer, I reinstalled into my TIVO box.

After the Almost There screen and before the satellite signal screen the screen goes blank, and my TV says no video signal. What in the world? Could I have done some damage to the box when i was removing/reinstalling the hard drive?

Sidenote: Also, inbetween the Powering up screen and Almost There sceen, the screen flickers for a split second.
Most probably you have overwritten the TiVo drive's boot sector by having it attached to your computer and booting into Windows.

However, all is not lost. Just look around the upgrade or underground sections of these forums for a little utility called "make TiVo bootable" or some such and read how to use it. It will repair the problem.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:33 AM   #10
Hottrod33
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Ok, that was annoying

Ok, so I figured out my last issue on the boot up.

The hard drive was just in standby mode. Prior to unplugging and opening my TIVO it was in Standby Mode (as I had been trying to reduce unnecassary writing to the hard drive). So it booted back up into Standby Mode (weird, I would have thought that it still would have gone through satellite signal.

Anyway, I want to revisit the satellite issue. I previously indicated the Satellite Error I receive after boot up. Looking at the signal strengths again, there is no signal being received on Sat C (110deg). The Satellite selection is on Oval, 3LNB.

In addition to the DVR w/ 2 tuners, there is a third non-DVR in the house with 1 tuner. The non-DVR receiver is also set to Oval, 3LNB and also is not receiving a signal on Sat C (110deg).

Is all of this an issue with the satellite dish? Is there a way of knowing if I do infact have a Oval, 3LNB dish? Should I just reset my satellite dish to Oval, 2LNB? Would the lack of Sat C cause my DVR to Black screen on me?
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:02 AM   #11
rbtravis
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Look at the dish and see if it is oval or round. Do you normally get international channels? You may have a round dish.
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:33 PM   #12
Hottrod33
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Picture of Satellite Dish

I'll let you tell me what kind of a dish I have. Here is a picture.

It does have 3 knobs on the arm, which I am assuming are LNBs.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Satellite Dish.jpg (11.9 KB, 11 views)
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Old 05-10-2009, 03:16 PM   #13
rbtravis
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3 LNB Oval, Did you have Directv set up the disk, and are you sure it is properly pointed. If it is a tuner CCS corp can fix it, they do component level repairs. http://www.ccscorporation.net/dss.htm
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Last edited by rbtravis : 05-10-2009 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:18 PM   #14
Hottrod33
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Satellite Setup

Yes, DirecTV setup the dish approx. 5+ years. I think the installer probably set up the satellite settings originally on the DVR. In addition, the 2nd receiver was replaced about 1 year ago, (that also has Oval, 3LNB) I believe I'm sure I did the auto-detect on it too.
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:15 AM   #15
mikeyboy
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I had the same problem, found it to be a rusted connection at the LBN on the dish, would make contact and disconnect frequently, when it lost signal it DVR froze requiring reboot. I would check the cabling and connection from dish to dvr.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:53 PM   #16
Hottrod33
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Thanks for the Info.

Was it Sat C that was disconnecting like mine? I don't think it would be the cabling, because both receivers show no signal on Sat C, it must me on the dish. Did it black screen for you on the freeze up, with Sat. Error on reboot?

How did you fix the problem? did you have to replace any parts? sand? or just snug up the connection?

The only problem is the dish is on the roof, that the end of the house that is 3 stories high. Arggg.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:43 AM   #17
mikeyboy
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pic would freeze, I would reboot and work for about 5 min and refreeze. It would pixilate like rain fade does. On ever other reboot it would say can not get info from satellite. I cant remember what satellite the error was showing but when I traced the wires to the dish I think it was the center connection on the lbn that had rusted. I cleaned it up and replaced the rg6 connector and havent had a problem since. is this the only receiver you have? Does the other receivers lock up or pixilate? can you borrow a buddy's or family's to hook up for about an hour and see if it locks up, I hooked up my Bro in laws and it did the same thing, that's why I started tracing the cables.
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:59 AM   #18
tallgntlmn
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I would argue that the modem being dead is not a deal killer as far as making a call. My SD-DVR40 was hooked up to an external modem for nearly its whole life because the internal would not work with VoIP. I don't have the page that shows how to make the cable to connect one though. It's a rather easy process if you're technically inclined. Or you could just buy one. But you might need to be careful what kind of modem you buy. My Hayes 33.6 would work but a Best Data 28.8 would not.
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:43 PM   #19
wangda
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Bad DirecTivo

I had the same problem last year with my Series2. I had the same problems with the bad modem, pixelation, and hanging. I think the tuners were going bad and eventually the entire unit died. I ended up getting an old DirecTivo from someone else and started over.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:51 AM   #20
Duffycoug
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Just update the software to version 6.4a and your problems will go away.
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