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Old 05-19-2014, 07:30 PM   #1
BlaineMurphy
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Blinking green light, will not reset, black screen

After a recent electrical storm my Tivo has a constantly blinking green light and will not reset. I am interested in a possible remedy without having to do the "exchange" with TiVo and wish to retain my lifetime service.
I have the Series 3 HDTV DVR (about 4-5 yrs. old).

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Old 05-19-2014, 08:09 PM   #2
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Blinking green light is likely either a power supply or motherboard failure. Be careful if you follow these directions, the power supply is open, not in a cage like in a pc and there is possibly danger

Open the unit, clean it out with compressed air, check connections, and inspect the power supply and motherboard for visible damage from a power surge, and the caps in the power supply for visible bulging on top, or leakage, etc. (bad power supply is often the failure of units of your generation, storms notwithstanding... lots of threads on here)

Nothing obvious? Then try and power it up with only power connected.. no change? Then power it off and then pull the power from the hard drive... if the tivo then powers up, then its likely the power supply, weakened so that it cant supply enough power to spin up the drive and power up the motherboard at the same time.

If its the power supply, there are threads on here discuss that in depth... that list all the caps that need replacement, or you can get another power supply and swap it in...

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Old 05-06-2015, 10:14 PM   #3
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Thanks, I found one cap and replaced it, but it did not fix it. I am not sure which other caps I should change, do you know where I can get a list of the other caps I should look to replace. Thanks again

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Old 05-07-2015, 12:20 AM   #4
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Thanks, I found one cap and replaced it, but it did not fix it. I am not sure which other caps I should change, do you know where I can get a list of the other caps I should look to replace. Thanks again
There's no doubt a cap is bad if the top is rounded, but if it's not it might still be bad.

This thread

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=473394

is fairly long, but in there somewhere are cap lists for the three different possible power supplies, the one used in the original S3, and the two, either of which you might have, used at different times in both the S3 HD and the S3 HD XL.


Crossing my fingers for you that the problem is not the motherboard itself.

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Old 05-08-2015, 05:47 PM   #5
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I asked Weaknees about this once. They said that this particular problem is one they've never found a fix for. Once this happens the TiVo is toast.

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Old 05-08-2015, 11:22 PM   #6
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I asked Weaknees about this once. They said that this particular problem is one they've never found a fix for. Once this happens the TiVo is toast.
There's a guy in Australia who can sometimes fix it on their version of the HD, and shortly after I mentioned him here at TCF, weaKnees started saying they could sometimes fix it.

I suspect it has to do with the CPU's Ball Grid Array mounting or the Surface Mount technique used on some of the other chips and probably something to do with lead free or reduced lead solder as well.

Also, there are some electrolytic caps on the motherboard, so it's not impossible one or more of them is of the "capacitor plague" type and is going or has gone bad without showing outward signs.

But you need to use a voltmeter and be sure you're using a problem free power supply before trying to isolate the problem to the motherboard.

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Old 05-10-2015, 06:29 PM   #7
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"Unitron" I have heard of users heating up the onboard memory with a hair dryer and getting the TiVo to power up. I wonder if the onboard memory might have a cold solder problem that's rearing it ugly head? And what they call on board memory could be video mem. I pulled a CPU of a HD last night "from a toasted board" it's a Broadcom CPU. I would love to get my hands on a unsubed HD board that's stuck in flashing green light and trace it down with the oscope.

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Old 05-12-2015, 11:39 AM   #8
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I believe I have just the TiVo HD you need. I had the flashing green light and had PM'd you about checking the power supply for me. The hair dryer worked a couple times for me, but eventually that stopped working. I ended up just getting another Roamio. The HD is sitting in the basement gathering dust. PM me the shipping details and I'll get it out in the next week or so.

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Old 05-12-2015, 07:18 PM   #9
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I just cleaned out my inbox

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkottner View Post
I believe I have just the TiVo HD you need. I had the flashing green light and had PM'd you about checking the power supply for me. The hair dryer worked a couple times for me, but eventually that stopped working. I ended up just getting another Roamio. The HD is sitting in the basement gathering dust. PM me the shipping details and I'll get it out in the next week or so.
I Sent you a new message and lets see what we can do.

Thanks so much for a victim to test with.


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Old 05-13-2015, 05:45 AM   #10
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I Sent you a new message and lets see what we can do.

Thanks so much for a victim to test with.

Whatever you learn, PM or email it to me a few days before going public.



(It won't make me any money, I just want to feel smug for a little while)

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Old 05-14-2015, 08:13 AM   #11
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Sure will do it unitron

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Whatever you learn, PM or email it to me a few days before going public.



(It won't make me any money, I just want to feel smug for a little while)
If I figure it out I will pm you...

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Old 05-14-2015, 11:31 AM   #12
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I Sent you a new message and lets see what we can do.

Thanks so much for a victim to test with.
I'm looking to get it out next Tuesday or Wednesday.

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Old 05-14-2015, 08:07 PM   #13
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All i need is the system board...

I have power supply and a front panel so all I need is the main board cut down on shipping cost.
Thanks for the kind use of your board...

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Old 05-16-2015, 04:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by timhbtr53 View Post
I Sent you a new message and lets see what we can do.

Thanks so much for a victim to test with.
I have one with the same symptoms. If you develop a solution and need a second test, let me know. I'm not particularly attached to this one, over a year or two I bought 5 broken lifetime S3's/THD's for cheap, and repaired either power supply caps, or hard drives. 80% success rate is fair for what I put in them, but 100% would sound better.

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Old 05-19-2015, 01:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by timhbtr53 View Post
I have power supply and a front panel so all I need is the main board cut down on shipping cost.
Thanks for the kind use of your board...
I'm sending it from work, so it shouldn't be that much. I was just planning on sending the whole thing.

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Old 05-22-2015, 07:31 PM   #16
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Got it today.

unitron I hope you see this, This is a crazy one here... The unit will post super fast then the blinking light and the fan is not working. I tested voltage the 5 volt line was a little low so I put my recapped P/S in and same thing super fast post no fan blinking green... I have a A/C that pop it's top on the run/start cap today so I have to find a cap in the morning but the fan part is got me thinking something is not resetting the CPU.... Will keep you updated


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Old 05-22-2015, 09:12 PM   #17
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Update

I got the TiVo to boot. I'm going to let it run tonight. I think it's the memory on the board. I reseated the cpu cleaned up a lot of old bad solder. It might take some time but I hope I can get it fixed.

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Old 05-23-2015, 07:20 AM   #18
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I got the TiVo to boot. I'm going to let it run tonight. I think it's the memory on the board. I reseated the cpu cleaned up a lot of old bad solder. It might take some time but I hope I can get it fixed.
That is awesome!!

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Old 05-27-2015, 02:17 PM   #19
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Wish me luck...

I have it down to one memory chip. U800 the first memory chip to the front of the HD has been running VERY hot. I can heat that chip up and it will power right up no where else will that work. I pulled two chips off my parts board and going to float off the bad chip then a good clean up and refloat a chip down and keep my fingers crossed for no cold solder joint or bridges.

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Old 05-28-2015, 11:47 AM   #20
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pulled u800

Quote:
Originally Posted by timhbtr53 View Post
I have it down to one memory chip. U800 the first memory chip to the front of the HD has been running VERY hot. I can heat that chip up and it will power right up no where else will that work. I pulled two chips off my parts board and going to float off the bad chip then a good clean up and refloat a chip down and keep my fingers crossed for no cold solder joint or bridges.
____________________________________________________________ _
With u800 out of the circuit I get the same no power blinking green... Now it's clean and seat the new used chip...

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Old 06-01-2015, 01:36 PM   #21
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Well no luck

I replaced U800 and still have the same problem. So back to the old drawing board I go. My old eyes need a break from looking at micro traces on this board. I do have to think it's a "low or no lead solder" problem as unitron pointed out to me... I have to say he a pretty smart dude. Well it's back to the dungeon to try again......

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Old 06-02-2015, 05:24 AM   #22
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Good luck.

Let me know if you need a different unit to test with.

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Old 06-03-2015, 08:31 AM   #23
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I have a lifetime HD with the same problem. Power supply and hard drive are good. I think a mobo problem is all that's left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timhbtr53 View Post
I got the TiVo to boot. I'm going to let it run tonight. I think it's the memory on the board. I reseated the cpu cleaned up a lot of old bad solder. It might take some time but I hope I can get it fixed.
By "reseating" do you mean you reflowed or reballed the CPU? I think I have access/ability to reflow the chip, but reballing is in the next higher paygrade.

Anxiously awaiting your next progress report...

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Old 06-03-2015, 09:56 AM   #24
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Yes we pulled the CPU and cleaned it and reflowed

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I have a lifetime HD with the same problem. Power supply and hard drive are good. I think a mobo problem is all that's left.


By "reseating" do you mean you reflowed or reballed the CPU? I think I have access/ability to reflow the chip, but reballing is in the next higher paygrade.

Anxiously awaiting your next progress report...
____________________________________________________________ _

It. What a mess it was. I have a SMD station but not the one we used, it was a 10 grand station that just about does every thing for you. I did replace the memory chip U800 with mine but it lifted a lan but I was lucky it was a trace that was a ground. So I made a trace from the board to the leg. I had to rest my poor eyes after that job. It's something on the mobo you can heat the memory chips up and it will pop from blinking to a power up. I was starting to think it might be the flash prom with the label on the a SST chip. It has a W/R life of about 5 years but I don't know how many times TiVo has sent commands to it. And as "unitron" pointed out to me and it's a great point is it a lead free solder problem? The time frame is right and I know when the CPU floated off it was horrible I have seen other chips from TV set that float off and it's just a little flux and alcohol clean up but no not on this mobo.... I am open to any feedback.. Thanks Tim

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Old 06-03-2015, 08:26 PM   #25
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More Questions

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____________________________________________________________ _

It's something on the mobo you can heat the memory chips up and it will pop from blinking to a power up. I was starting to think it might be the flash prom with the label on the a SST chip.
I want to move from a leech to a contributor as quickly as possible, so please forgive all the questions. Are you saying here that the LED was blinking and as you added heat it booted up without power-cycling? How much heat? I've tried the hair-dryer trick without success, but I wasn't sure how long I needed to hit it with heat.

Regarding the prom chip, I seem to remember from (probably series 2) that the Tivo did not have the capability to write to the chip. If indeed the prom is just bootstrap code, it could be read-only and fairly durable.

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Old 06-03-2015, 09:16 PM   #26
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If you can get a heat srink gun

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I want to move from a leech to a contributor as quickly as possible, so please forgive all the questions. Are you saying here that the LED was blinking and as you added heat it booted up without power-cycling? How much heat? I've tried the hair-dryer trick without success, but I wasn't sure how long I needed to hit it with heat.

Regarding the prom chip, I seem to remember from (probably series 2) that the Tivo did not have the capability to write to the chip. If indeed the prom is just bootstrap code, it could be read-only and fairly durable.
It takes a lot about 250C but I did heat it with my SMD station at 200 C and unplugged it and plugged it right back and it booted. Keep the heat on the first memory chip to the front of the mobo. If you look on the board look for U800. Let me know if you have any luck doing that please.

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Old 06-04-2015, 10:45 AM   #27
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Got the LED to change anyway

Using a hairdryer (don't have a heatshrink gun--yet) and a length of PVC to direct the heat better, I did not succeed but at least got a change in the green LED behavior. Might be a clue.

Heating the RAM chips didn't seem to help any. Because of the diameter of my PVC I heated the chips in pairs. Neither pair seemed to make any difference.

I moved to the CPU and heated it while the LED was blinking. After several minutes of blasting it with hot air the LED went from a 1/sec blink rate to something like 10/sec. It blinked so fast that it almost looked on solid. I cycled the power, but no cigar.

Based on what I'm seeing, I think I'll focus on the CPU. If I get the chance, I'll try reflowing the solder with an SMD rework station.

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Old 06-04-2015, 12:29 PM   #28
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Great glad to have some help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirKnowsALot View Post
Using a hairdryer (don't have a heatshrink gun--yet) and a length of PVC to direct the heat better, I did not succeed but at least got a change in the green LED behavior. Might be a clue.

Heating the RAM chips didn't seem to help any. Because of the diameter of my PVC I heated the chips in pairs. Neither pair seemed to make any difference.

I moved to the CPU and heated it while the LED was blinking. After several minutes of blasting it with hot air the LED went from a 1/sec blink rate to something like 10/sec. It blinked so fast that it almost looked on solid. I cycled the power, but no cigar.

Based on what I'm seeing, I think I'll focus on the CPU. If I get the chance, I'll try reflowing the solder with an SMD rework station.
____________________________________________________________ _

Get ready for a pile of goop. You will see what I mean about the no lead or low lead solder. It can be done with a SMD station it's a Broadcomm chip. Let me know if you have the blob also.. Thanks for the info.
Tim Oh if you look at U800 does it look burnt on the top? If not it maybe from over heating from the great guy that donated the TiVo HD.

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Old 06-04-2015, 03:32 PM   #29
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RAM chip photo

Here's a photo of my HD's RAM chips. U800 looks okay to me.
Regarding the CPU, I'm going to try to just heat it up enough to melt the solder underneath and not open the can-of-worms by removing it as a first test.

If that doesn't get me anywhere, then I'll remove it and go from there.

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Old 06-04-2015, 05:10 PM   #30
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Thanks and yes they look good

You know everyone of this HD's went in to the blinker hole after some kind of power event "loss of power" If you have a SMD rework station like I think you do try heating up around the U800 chip area and the SST Bios chip the one with the white label on it. Try around 250C for oh 15-30 secs and pull power and replug power and see if you get a boot. The one I am testing on had one cap that was in the breaking down stage I check it on my LCR and it was not 2200 mfd it was more like 1100 then it would drop down to 500 -600 a bad cap.. Now we have a potable power supply break down with a mobo problem wow this is almost as bad as what was first the egg or the chicken? I still think it's going to be a simple fix but finding the fix is going to be the fun part but I like a nice challenge.

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