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Old 12-27-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
RoundTuit
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Bad hard drive, bad power supply, no image!

It appears that one of my S3 TiVos has died. I have owned TiVos since the early days of the S1, but this is the first hardware failure I have experienced, so I do not have much firsthand experience diagnosing and fixing such problems.

The failure occurred upon rebooting after having to momentarily disconnect power from my HT cabinet. My Premiere XL rebooted fine, but my S3 hung on the “Welcome……Powering Up” screen with all LEDs lit. Prior to that it was working fine. I was aware of the capacitor failures TiVo owners have been experiencing, so I opened the enclosure to inspect the power supply capacitors. C701 has a healthy bulge on top, and the top of C502 has a slight bulge. All of the others look ok.

With the top of the enclosure removed, I powered up the S3 so I could measure the power supply voltages. I noticed that after a 5-second delay the LEDs came on, and then I could hear the hard drive spin up followed by 6 loud clicks and then it spun down. The clicks were coming from the hard drive, but did not sound like noise you normally hear from head seeks. The noise I heard sounded more like the heads being parked or unparked, and was very tin-like. It sounded more like the heads were hitting the metal enclosure of the hard drive. The following sequence would be repeated each time I powered up the S3:
5-second pause, all LEDs lit, drive spins up, 6 clicks, drive spins down
10-second pause, drive spins up, 2 clicks, drive spins down
10-second pause, drive spins up, 2 clicks, drive spins down
10-second pause, drive spins up, 6 clicks, drive spins down
10-second pause, drive spins up, 6 clicks, drive spins down
10-second pause, drive spins up, 2 clicks, drive spins down
10-second pause, drive spins up, 2 clicks, drive spins down
Front panel LEDs remain lit, nothing else happens after this.
At this point I am pretty certain I have a drive failure, but I measured the voltages to check the status of the power supply:
Red 4.60 V (stable)
Gray 8.69 V (stable)
Yellow 5.06 V – 5.42 V (unstable)
Orange 3.12 V – 3.16 V (unstable)
This does not look good to me. I believe yellow should be 12 volts, red should be 5 volts but is probably within tolerance, orange should be 3.33 (perhaps also within tolerance), and I do not know what gray should be.

At the very least the 12 V supply is bad and could account for why the hard drive was not working. Just to be sure, I removed the hard drive and installed it in a PC and attempted to run WD diagnostics. Neither the BIOS nor WD diagnostics recognize the presence of the hard drive.

So at this stage I believe I have both a power supply problem and hard drive failure. I have a lifetime subscription on this device, so I plan to repair it by replacing the power supply capacitors and the hard drive, and will use this opportunity to upgrade the drive to 1TB.

Here is my question. I do not have a TiVo S3 backup image, however I do have another working S3 with a month-to-month subscription. My plan is to make a backup image of the working S3 using WinMFS and use that to reimage a blank 1TB drive. I assume the lifetime subscription is tied to the serial number on the motherboard and not the hard drive image. Will this work?

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Old 12-27-2011, 03:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by RoundTuit View Post
Here is my question. I do not have a TiVo S3 backup image, however I do have another working S3 with a month-to-month subscription. My plan is to make a backup image of the working S3 using WinMFS and use that to reimage a blank 1TB drive. I assume the lifetime subscription is tied to the serial number on the motherboard and not the hard drive image. Will this work?
Yes. You'll need to do a "clear & delete everything" after startup to reset to a new serial number..
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:40 PM   #3
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Yes. You'll need to do a "clear & delete everything" after startup to reset to a new serial number..
Thanks for the tip. I planned to do that anyway because the recordings and season passes on that S3 are my wife's and there is no need to keep them. I rather start fresh as if I just took it out of the box.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tip. I planned to do that anyway because the recordings and season passes on that S3 are my wife's and there is no need to keep them. I rather start fresh as if I just took it out of the box.
You're pretty thorough, you must be an EE. You already knew the answer, you just wanted some confirmation.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:22 PM   #5
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BTW, I used to work with a guy that had a stack of round-tuits stapled to his door, right next to his no BS signs.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:44 PM   #6
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You're pretty thorough, you must be an EE. You already knew the answer, you just wanted some confirmation.
Yes, that and a lot of self doubt.

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BTW, I used to work with a guy that had a stack of round-tuits stapled to his door, right next to his no BS signs.
I only have one round tuit -- I would have gotten more but I never got around to it. I misplaced mine in late 2009, and found it earlier this month. Needless to say, 2010 and 2011 were nearly wasted years.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:32 PM   #7
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You know enough to use Low-ESR replacement caps, right?
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:54 PM   #8
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You know enough to use Low-ESR replacement caps, right?
Thanks, I do now. I recall reading this, but if you had not reminded me, I might have forgotten.

Do you recommend replacing all of the caps? Also, is a solder sucker necessary, or is it simple to just poke the leads through with a little heat in the right place? I built my own color television set, and even though that was 35 years ago when I could actually see what I was doing, I should be able to accomplish this.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:09 PM   #9
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Thanks, I do now. I recall reading this, but if you had not reminded me, I might have forgotten.

Do you recommend replacing all of the caps? Also, is a solder sucker necessary, or is it simple to just poke the leads through with a little heat in the right place? I built my own color television set, and even though that was 35 years ago when I could actually see what I was doing, I should be able to accomplish this.
Well, you'll need a soldering iron to melt the old solder enough to remove the bad caps, and melting a little new solder onto the joint will help it melt more easily (because of the flux in the new solder). If you mail order the caps from somewhere, go ahead and get a roll of solder wick from them as well. (the stuff Radio Shack has now is even worse than what they used to carry, and it wasn't great compared to the name brands, and of course they aren't going to have the right kind of caps)

Make sure the caps are rated for 105 degrees (centigrade/celsius), not 85, and that they aren't too big around or too tall to fit where they have to go, and of course, observe polarity.

The big fat 200V or higher cap near the AC input should probably be fine.

Find the ones that go from the +12, +5, and +3.3 Volt output rails to ground and replace those.

Was that TV a Heathkit?
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:37 AM   #10
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...If you mail order the caps from somewhere, go ahead and get a roll of solder wick from them as well. (the stuff Radio Shack has now is even worse than what they used to carry, and it wasn't great compared to the name brands, and of course they aren't going to have the right kind of caps)
Glad you mentioned that point about the poor quality desoldering braid from RatShack.
I've also seen a marked drop in it's useability in the past few years- I have to pretty much tin every point before desoldering when using the RS branded braid. I thought it had something to do with my soldering skills- but I guess it's not just me who's having issues with it. I'm almost finished with the last roll of braid from RS, I ordered Elenco brand braid from Amazon and plan to give it a try as soon as the RS brand junk runs out.
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:57 PM   #11
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Was that TV a Heathkit?
Yep.
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:04 PM   #12
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RoundTuit,

I'm near you and was ready to offer up an image for you until I got to the part about your already having another S3.

I've done lots of TiVo upgrades, though none with a soldering iron so I'm no help there.

Is your Premiere upgraded? We have two Premieres with 2TB drives in them, 300 hours of HD each.

Good luck, and keep me in mind if you need an image.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:18 PM   #13
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RoundTuit,

I'm near you and was ready to offer up an image for you until I got to the part about your already having another S3.

I've done lots of TiVo upgrades, though none with a soldering iron so I'm no help there.

Is your Premiere upgraded? We have two Premieres with 2TB drives in them, 300 hours of HD each.

Good luck, and keep me in mind if you need an image.
Thanks for the offer. My goal for the moment is to get my wife's S3 backed up before it conks out. I opened it up and C701 is bulging like my broken S3, and of course the hard drive has a lot of mileage on it too.

I learned my lesson the hard way. I don't use my S3 much but I noticed the last few times I viewed some recorded programs on it I saw some symptoms of the hard drive going bad -- no error messages, just some stutters and stalls during playback. I thought at the time it would be prudent to get a copy of WinMFS and make a back up. However, in keeping with my screen name, I did not.

Today I opened my wife's S3 while she was out shopping and took out the hard drive. She uses her S3 daily, so I do not want to risk losing it. I put the drive in my PC, but when I went to download WinMFS I discovered the website is not allowing new registrations. I hope that is just temporary.

My plan is to backup the wife's S3 ASAP, and then fix my S3 and upgrade the drive to 1 or 1.5 TB. I am kind of hoping I cannot fix the S3 power supply so I will have an excuse to get a Premiere Elite. In that case I will marry my wife's power supply with my S3 motherboard which has a lifetime subscription.

I may or may not upgrade my Premiere XL, but I am certainly going to back it up. I have 4TB sitting on a HP Media Server, and another 4TB sitting on the PC I just built, so I don't need to keep a lot of content on my TiVos. On the other hand, it is nice have a lot of spare space available on the TiVo. I often delete something and later want to get it back. Upgrading will give me a much bigger waste bin (I have suggestions turned off, so should not have to worry about it filling up with crap).

Any how, I am in limbo right now until I can get registered on MFSLive and download a copy of WinMFS. It is good to know that there is a TiVo fan nearby. I will keep your screen name handy.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:34 PM   #14
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Thanks for the offer. My goal for the moment is to get my wife's S3 backed up before it conks out. I opened it up and C701 is bulging like my broken S3, and of course the hard drive has a lot of mileage on it too.

I learned my lesson the hard way. I don't use my S3 much but I noticed the last few times I viewed some recorded programs on it I saw some symptoms of the hard drive going bad -- no error messages, just some stutters and stalls during playback. I thought at the time it would be prudent to get a copy of WinMFS and make a back up. However, in keeping with my screen name, I did not.

Today I opened my wife's S3 while she was out shopping and took out the hard drive. She uses her S3 daily, so I do not want to risk losing it. I put the drive in my PC, but when I went to download WinMFS I discovered the website is not allowing new registrations. I hope that is just temporary.
There's also the LInux Boot CD option, see mfslive.org. Or is that the site not working.

I have the .iso for the Linux boot CD I can send you. Share it via google docs or whatever.
Quote:
My plan is to backup the wife's S3 ASAP, and then fix my S3 and upgrade the drive to 1 or 1.5 TB. I am kind of hoping I cannot fix the S3 power supply so I will have an excuse to get a Premiere Elite. In that case I will marry my wife's power supply with my S3 motherboard which has a lifetime subscription.

I may or may not upgrade my Premiere XL, but I am certainly going to back it up.
The MFS software does not properly back up a Premiere to a .bak file. (Truncated backup is the term, I think.) Only good backup is the original drive on a shelf.
Quote:

I have 4TB sitting on a HP Media Server, and another 4TB sitting on the PC I just built, so I don't need to keep a lot of content on my TiVos. On the other hand, it is nice have a lot of spare space available on the TiVo. I often delete something and later want to get it back. Upgrading will give me a much bigger waste bin (I have suggestions turned off, so should not have to worry about it filling up with crap).
In that case, just keeping your old programs you may someday want works. The oldest will be deleted first when space is needed.
Quote:

Any how, I am in limbo right now until I can get registered on MFSLive and download a copy of WinMFS. It is good to know that there is a TiVo fan nearby. I will keep your screen name handy.

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Old 12-28-2011, 08:32 PM   #15
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There's also the LInux Boot CD option, see mfslive.org. Or is that the site not working.

I have the .iso for the Linux boot CD I can send you. Share it via google docs or whatever.
MFSLive.org is working -- just can't create a new account. I will look into the Linux boot CD option. Is the procedure essentially the same, except instead of running under Windows you do it from a native Linux boot?

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The MFS software does not properly back up a Premiere to a .bak file. (Truncated backup is the term, I think.) Only good backup is the original drive on a shelf.
Thanks for that info. I have not yet read the info on Premiere upgrade (first things first). Hopefully by the time I get to it prices on hard drives will have come back down some.

I have been looking for a WD10EURS or WD15EURS, and it appears I can get a 1.5TB drive for the same price as a 1TB (at currently inflated prices though). My understanding is that I can upgrade to 1.35TB on the S3 (1.1TB + 250GB), so I think I will go that route even though I don't really need the extra space).

Again, thanks for your help.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:44 PM   #16
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MFSLive.org is working -- just can't create a new account. I will look into the Linux boot CD option. Is the procedure essentially the same, except instead of running under Windows you do it from a native Linux boot?
It's safest to disconnect your Windows hard drives while booting from the LiveCD. It boots to the Linux platform you need.

The JMFS method has a LiveCD option, as well. It should work with the S3 also, I think.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=455968

Quote:

Thanks for that info. I have not yet read the info on Premiere upgrade (first things first). Hopefully by the time I get to it prices on hard drives will have come back down some.

I have been looking for a WD10EURS or WD15EURS, and it appears I can get a 1.5TB drive for the same price as a 1TB (at currently inflated prices though). My understanding is that I can upgrade to 1.35TB on the S3 (1.1TB + 250GB), so I think I will go that route even though I don't really need the extra space).

Again, thanks for your help.

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Old 12-28-2011, 09:31 PM   #17
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It's safest to disconnect your Windows hard drives while booting from the LiveCD. It boots to the Linux platform you need.

The JMFS method has a LiveCD option, as well. It should work with the S3 also, I think.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=455968
jmfs was designed for the Premiere and just happens to work with the S3 HD and HD XL, but, as I understand it, is not right for the original S3, the TCD648250

Either MFS Live or WinMFS should let you copy the 250 to a 1 or 1.5TB while making the swap partition bigger and then expand.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:02 PM   #18
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MFSLive.org is working -- just can't create a new account. I will look into the Linux boot CD option. Is the procedure essentially the same, except instead of running under Windows you do it from a native Linux boot?
If you would rather try WINMFS I can upload a copy to DropBox and send you a link or just e-mail it to you. I prefer WINMFS but have used MFSTools a little bit. Both are compatible with USB to IDE/SATA adapters (that's what I use) if you don't want to crack open your PC and mess with the internal drives.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:37 PM   #19
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MFSLive.org is working -- just can't create a new account. I will look into the Linux boot CD option. Is the procedure essentially the same, except instead of running under Windows you do it from a native Linux boot?
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If you would rather try WINMFS I can upload a copy to DropBox and send you a link or just e-mail it to you. I prefer WINMFS but have used MFSTools a little bit. Both are compatible with USB to IDE/SATA adapters (that's what I use) if you don't want to crack open your PC and mess with the internal drives.
I got WINMFS uploaded to my DropBox location. I'll PM you the link.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:34 AM   #20
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I got WINMFS uploaded to my DropBox location. I'll PM you the link.
Thanks lillevig, you rock!

For anyone else that happens to read this thread, I visited MFSLive.org again this evening and this time I noticed two links at the bottom of the WinMFS download page to winmfs.exe -- one link for Australia, and one for everyone else. I don't recall seeing that yesterday, but more likely than not it was there and I was too dumb and blind to see it.

Once I get my capacitors and a hard drive, and get my head screwed back on, I will report the results.

Thanks everyone for your help!
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:48 PM   #21
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Thanks lillevig, you rock!

For anyone else that happens to read this thread, I visited MFSLive.org again this evening and this time I noticed two links at the bottom of the WinMFS download page to winmfs.exe -- one link for Australia, and one for everyone else. I don't recall seeing that yesterday, but more likely than not it was there and I was too dumb and blind to see it.

Once I get my capacitors and a hard drive, and get my head screwed back on, I will report the results.

Thanks everyone for your help!
As long as you can download from there get the iso for the MFS Live cd v1.4 as well and burn yourself a copy.

Very handy to have, even if you don't own a TiVo.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:14 PM   #22
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Bad harddrive, ok power supply, recovered image!

Success! WinMFS is slicker than snot, and tastes good too.

I backed up an image from my wife's S3 and restored it to a WD1000FALS I had laying around. Tried it in my wife's S3 and it booted fine, 157 HD hours. The only issue I had is on my first attempt to restore the image to the new drive -- I got an "error writing media inode 1." When I backed up the original TiVo drive I put it in my PC using a StarTech hot-swapable SATA dock. When I tried to restore the backup image to the 1TB drive I used an USB IcyDock just to see if it would work -- it didn't. By moving the drive back to the StarTech dock I was able to restore it lickity split.

While I had my wife's S3 open I noticed that capacitor C701 had a similar bulge to my bad power supply, so I measured the voltages as a sanity check. I was surprised to see that the Yellow 12V pin on the motherboard connector measured just 5.5 volts -- similar to my S3 with the "bad" power supply. Seeing this, I moved the 1TB drive to my S3 and it booted right up.

Question to Unitron: Is it ok to measure power supply voltages at the motherboard connector without a load -- i.e., while disconnected? Or, is this just a sign that both of my S3s are on the path to failure? I plan to at least replace the bulging caps.

My plan going forward is to run with the WD1000FALS until the harddrive prices come back down, and then get a couple of WD AV-GP greens (probably 1.5TB) and upgrade both S3s.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:30 PM   #23
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Success! WinMFS is slicker than snot, and tastes good too.

I backed up an image from my wife's S3 and restored it to a WD1000FALS I had laying around. Tried it in my wife's S3 and it booted fine, 157 HD hours. The only issue I had is on my first attempt to restore the image to the new drive -- I got an "error writing media inode 1." When I backed up the original TiVo drive I put it in my PC using a StarTech hot-swapable SATA dock. When I tried to restore the backup image to the 1TB drive I used an USB IcyDock just to see if it would work -- it didn't. By moving the drive back to the StarTech dock I was able to restore it lickity split.

While I had my wife's S3 open I noticed that capacitor C701 had a similar bulge to my bad power supply, so I measured the voltages as a sanity check. I was surprised to see that the Yellow 12V pin on the motherboard connector measured just 5.5 volts -- similar to my S3 with the "bad" power supply. Seeing this, I moved the 1TB drive to my S3 and it booted right up.

Question to Unitron: Is it ok to measure power supply voltages at the motherboard connector without a load -- i.e., while disconnected? Or, is this just a sign that both of my S3s are on the path to failure? I plan to at least replace the bulging caps.

My plan going forward is to run with the WD1000FALS until the harddrive prices come back down, and then get a couple of WD AV-GP greens (probably 1.5TB) and upgrade both S3s.
Switching supplies don't like to be run without a load, and sometimes won't run without a load.

You can operate it without the hard drive installed, 'cause the motherboard also draws on the +5 and +12 Volt rails.

Use an alligator clip to attach your meter's black lead to a good ground point on the chassis and a skinny pointy probe on the end of the red lead, and with a steady hand you can contact the metal in the socket next to the ribbon cable.

The WD1000FALS is a good drive (I'm running 2 in one S2 DT and another in another S2 DT), but it does get quite warm and if you can figure out how to add a fan that specifically blows on it, do so, otherwise at least put some plastic or rubber stick-on feet on the bottom of the TiVo to get it higher up off of whatever it's sitting on to improve airflow into it.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:58 AM   #24
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The WD1000FALS is a good drive (I'm running 2 in one S2 DT and another in another S2 DT), but it does get quite warm and if you can figure out how to add a fan that specifically blows on it, do so, otherwise at least put some plastic or rubber stick-on feet on the bottom of the TiVo to get it higher up off of whatever it's sitting on to improve airflow into it.
Nice, glad it went well for you.

FWIW, we've always run some or all of our TiVos on their side. I always figured having the vents more open than horizontal combined with the bigger top-to-bottom delta giving better convection had to help.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:18 PM   #25
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Need an image for TCD649180 DT won't boot, hangs at "Powering Up" I'm new to this but not afraid!!! I see the Cake CD's but thought there might be a better solution than $29. I did an upgrade on a series 1 many years ago, just downloaded and ...
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:11 PM   #26
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Need an image for TCD649180 DT won't boot, hangs at "Powering Up" I'm new to this but not afraid!!! I see the Cake CD's but thought there might be a better solution than $29. I did an upgrade on a series 1 many years ago, just downloaded and ...
I'm not psychic enough to know whether your problem is a bad power supply, a bad hard drive, a bad hard drive controller, a good hard drive with something gone wrong with the software on the drive, or everything's fine, but either the power cable or the data cable to the drive or both have come loose somehow.

Therefore I don't know if you actually need an image or not.

If you need an image, you can use a TCD649080 image, which can be found by searching this thread

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=388695

It will restore as 80GB worth of partitions, and if you use it on your original 160GB drive you'll have to expand to use the other 80.

This will complicate things if you want to use a bigger drive later.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:24 PM   #27
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FWIW, we've always run some or all of our TiVos on their side. I always figured having the vents more open than horizontal combined with the bigger top-to-bottom delta giving better convection had to help.
Sorry to revive/hijack an old thread -- ThreeSoFar: are you still doing Ok with your TiVos on their side? I googled this and came up with this thread. How long have you been doing it? I'm moving one into a garage and the side is the only good way I have of keeping it.

Thanks!
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:35 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by peakay View Post
Sorry to revive/hijack an old thread -- ThreeSoFar: are you still doing Ok with your TiVos on their side? I googled this and came up with this thread. How long have you been doing it? I'm moving one into a garage and the side is the only good way I have of keeping it.

Thanks!
Ten plus years. Not an issue, you,ll be fine. Tipping over Dan be an issue...try to make sure it has some side support.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:39 PM   #29
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...... Seeing this, I moved the 1TB drive to my S3 and it booted right up. .....
@RoundTuit

Did you ever actually replace the bulging C701 capacitor on your or your wife's Series3? I have a Series3 that reboots on it's own. I ran a kickstart 54 diagnostic and the SMART screen had FAIL and FAIL4 on all the quick stats but passed the "scan" that ran 87 minutes. All the other tests that are not part of SMART passed except for the sequential read that always fails with an I/O error. I have ordered a 1 TB drive formatted for Tivo not wanting to mess with the formatting. In the mean time I've peeked inside the case and my C701 capacitor is bulging a bit on top but does not appear to be leaking. I was just wondering if your new drive did the trick and whether or not you eventually changed out the caps on the power supplies as well. I have no soldering skills whatsoever. My eyes are so bad I had to have my daughter read the C701 marking on the circuit board. LOL I'd appreciate any info you could share. A Heath Kit color television. I'm impressed. I used to get their catalogs but never took the plunge on any kit.

Thanks.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:06 PM   #30
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In the mean time I've peeked inside the case and my C701 capacitor is bulging a bit on top but does not appear to be leaking.
A bulge is the sign of failure. Many capacitors fail long before they start leaking.

Your best bet is to get that power supply repaired/replaced before it fails completely, possibly damaging other components in the process.

It's possible that a bad power supply could be causing the reboot problems you are having.

You can get a replacement power supply at weaknees.com or on e-bay.
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