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Old 09-23-2012, 11:55 PM   #1
Mike Richardson
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TiVo HDTV Series 3 has crashed/rebooted several times in one day

My TiVo model TCD652160 has crashed at least 9 times today. By "crashed" I mean it just reboots it's self. Two shows that recorded consecutively were 3 and 4 pieces each - I noticed this when I got home today after being away for the night. Then it crashed during live TV, then it crashed when I tried to re-record the same two shows concurrently, about 15 minutes into the recording. Now it's trying to still record the same shows after the reboot but I've cancelled this since the recordings are ruined.

I do not have any after market hard drive or drive expansion or anything. It's just the 160 GB drive it came with. I got it from eBay for $50 about 6 months ago when I was forced to upgrade to digital cable by Comcast. It was a refurbished unit I think because it came in a generic looking box but it had manuals still sealed up and the remote was new with new batteries.

It has never done this before. It's been rock solid since I got it. It has one MCard and no tuning adapter and it uses ethernet.

I do have an unused 250 GB SATA drive I can install if the internal drive is going bad. I just never bothered to upgrade it since it's not that much more space.

Last second update: It crashed while typing this post on live TV with no recordings. That makes 10 crashes today. My TiVo is sick

Does anyone have any ideas other than trying a new hard drive? I am pretty sure it's out of warranty but I don't know how to check.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:25 AM   #2
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It crashed again. Nothing was recording, just live TV.

I predict it's probably going to crash about every 30 minutes until I throw it against the wall.

Edit: Another crash. The TiVo is unusable.

Edit 2: Crashed again, only 25 minutes of live TV this time. My prediction was too conservative!

Edit 3: Crashes again exactly 30 minutes after the last crash. I was watching an older recorded show.

Last edited by Mike Richardson : 09-24-2012 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:38 AM   #3
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I would check for bulging capacitors on the power supply (capacitor plague) and try testing the disk with the manufacturer diagnostic software or via a kickstart 54 on the TiVo itself.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:50 AM   #4
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Most likely it's the hard drive, but it could also be the power supply.
Have you tried doing any of the kickstart functions on the Tivo?
http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php

You should at least open the Tivo and visually inspect the power supply for capacitor plague. All capacitors should be completely flat on top. If any appear to be bulging or leaking, they need to be replaced.



If the power supply looks okay, you can concentrate on the hard drive.
To comfirm whether the hard drive is bad, use the drive manufacturers utility (most likely a WD hard drive) and test it on your computer.
Don't run any tests that write to the hard drive.

If you confirm that the hard drive is bad, you can use WinMFS or the MFS Live CD to build a new hard drive.

http://www.mfslive.org/

The images you need are here (thanks to unitron):

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...01#post8831301

The .tbk image file is for using with WinMFS and the .bak image file is for using with the MFS Live CD.

If you use the above to make a new hard drive, note that you will have to run a Clear & Delete Everything once it is installed in the Tivo. This step is needed to pair the new hard drive with the motherboard.
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Last edited by steve614 : 09-24-2012 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:07 AM   #5
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Also:
It would be good to use a multimeter to measure the power supply voltages even if you don't see any bulging or leaking capacitors:
Red 5V
Yellow 12V
Orange: 3.3V
Black: Ground
There is a connector where all these colored wires plug in to the motherboard. Insert (thin) multimeter probes into the back of that connector.
WARNING: Possible Shock Hazard

After a Clear & Delete All, you will also have to repeat the CableCARD installation process. You also will have to repeat guided setup, and force connection to the TiVo server several times, then reboot, to get the lastest software installed. If the sofware version in the image you install is really old, you may have to force the update before you can even install the CableCARD, I think.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:13 AM   #6
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If it were me (which in fact it was a little over a year ago), I would use WinMFS to create a truncated backup, restore and expand to the 250.

You might also put both tuners on channels you don't get and delete anything in the "recently deleted" folder.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:11 PM   #7
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Ditto

Interesting... I came to the forum seeking info on the EXACT same issue. I too have a Series 3 that is all of a sudden rebooting several times a day... and this can happen during a play-back or while it's simply on live-tv and not recording the program.

I do suspect though that it's a bad hard-drive ... and here's why. I had one HD recorded program that when it got to a specific second in the play-back the TiVo would freeze for a moment, then reboot. The reboot was reliably reproducible -- at the exact same spot in the stream. After experimenting with this reboot several times I finally deleted the entire program.

I have a 1tb expansion drive as well. If it is a failing drive is there any way Tivo can read the logs off this box and tell me which drive might be failing?
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:24 PM   #8
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I have a 1tb expansion drive as well. If it is a failing drive is there any way Tivo can read the logs off this box and tell me which drive might be failing?
Probably not, but you can run kickstart 54.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zapatero View Post
Interesting... I came to the forum seeking info on the EXACT same issue. I too have a Series 3 that is all of a sudden rebooting several times a day... and this can happen during a play-back or while it's simply on live-tv and not recording the program.

I do suspect though that it's a bad hard-drive ... and here's why. I had one HD recorded program that when it got to a specific second in the play-back the TiVo would freeze for a moment, then reboot. The reboot was reliably reproducible -- at the exact same spot in the stream. After experimenting with this reboot several times I finally deleted the entire program.

I have a 1tb expansion drive as well. If it is a failing drive is there any way Tivo can read the logs off this box and tell me which drive might be failing?
I believe if you use the Tivo kickstart diagnostics, it will test both drives.
You'll want to try kickstarts 54 & 57.
Instructions linked in my previous post above.

My guess: it's the external. Just to make sure there isn't a communication issue between the hard drives, unplug and reseat the e-SATA cable on both ends when the Tivo is powered down.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:53 PM   #10
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You guys are getting good.

I may be able to do like richsadams and retire from this.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:58 PM   #11
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But seriously, run the manufacturer's long test on the 250* and if it passes slap my S3 HD image on it and try that in the TiVo while you run the manufacturer's long test on the 160 you just pulled from the TiVo.

*Burn yourself a copy of the Ultimate Boot CD

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

It's got practically all the different drive makers diagnostic tools on it.


But I suspect the power supply.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:26 AM   #12
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I'm having the same problem of resets. This last week it's getting worse and worse.

I ran kickstart and everything checks as good on option 54 (hard drive test). When I run option 57 (MFS test), the green screen says there's a severe error and that it will take 3 hours to fix. I've run it 3 times and all three times, the box does a reset about 10 minutes into it and the fix can never run.

I guess I'll continue to fiddle with it - thanks for everyone's suggestions.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:29 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by crazee8 View Post
I'm having the same problem of resets. This last week it's getting worse and worse.

I ran kickstart and everything checks as good on option 54 (hard drive test). When I run option 57 (MFS test), the green screen says there's a severe error and that it will take 3 hours to fix. I've run it 3 times and all three times, the box does a reset about 10 minutes into it and the fix can never run.

I guess I'll continue to fiddle with it - thanks for everyone's suggestions.
Try KS 58
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:45 PM   #14
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I just tried KS 58 twice and same thing is happening - Green screen with "serious error" and a 3 hour fix immediately followed by another reboot thus canceling the fix.

I'm thinking I'll open the box sometime today and check out the bulging thing shown earlier?
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:56 PM   #15
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I just tried KS 58 twice and same thing is happening - Green screen with "serious error" and a 3 hour fix immediately followed by another reboot thus canceling the fix.

I'm thinking I'll open the box sometime today and check out the bulging thing shown earlier?
Just remember it is possible to have more than one problem at a time.

Get the UBCD and run the manufacturer's test on the hard drive while you've got the thing open to check the capacitors on the power supply.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:27 PM   #16
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I decided to upgrade to the 250 GB drive since I could use the extra space. I deleted every recording first and also deleted the recently deleted recordings so it was completely empty of any possibly corrupted programs.

All of the capacitors looked fine on the power supply. I also preemptively replaced the coin cell battery and blew out all the dust. I didn't test the voltages but I will if it crashes any more.

WinMFS was able to get the truncated backup without problem from the old WD1600. The 250 GB drive is a WD2500AAKS that used to be the main hard drive in a Power Mac G5. It passed a long test recently when I took it out of the G5 and wiped it.

I'll try a long test on the WD1600 in the next few days to confirm if it's going bad or not. So far the TiVo has not crashed with the 250 GB, and the extra 50% or so of space is a nice bonus. Trick play and stuff works just fine even though it's not a special "AV" drive.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:22 PM   #17
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The TiVo just crashed. It ran for about 80 minutes of live TV and 20 minutes of live + recording before crashing.

My guess is now the power supply, that it took some time for it to heat up before it blipped. Or maybe the truncated backup is corrupted, although it booted just fine on either drive.

I am not having any electrical problems in the apartment, the computer didn't crash for example, and yesterday I had no problems using the Comcast DTA on the same outlet.

I'll look into kickstart and try some of that tonight before I take it apart again tomorrow.

Edit: Kickstart 57 ran for about an hour and a half before it rebooted. I don't know if it was a crash or if it was done.

Edit 2: Rebooted again during live TV + recording. I have no idea what to do really. If the power supply is bad - and all the capacitors looked just fine, none were bulging at all - why would it be so arbitrary? I mean, it works fine for so long and then just crashes? I can't really afford the outlay and increased fee for one of the new Series 4 models, but getting another older model means getting another used or maybe refurbished unit that will fail again in some arbitrary period of time.

Edit 3: I did not even get 20 freaking minutes this time. This is some BS. I am seriously considering just going to the Comcast office tomorrow to get one of their DVRs. This TiVo is the only way I can watch HD stuff and without it I have to steal the DTA from the bedroom and watch blurry coaxial pseudo digital cable with no DVR functions.

Last edited by Mike Richardson : 09-26-2012 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:44 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Richardson View Post
Edit: Kickstart 57 ran for about an hour and a half before it rebooted. I don't know if it was a crash or if it was done.

Edit 2: Rebooted again during live TV + recording. I have no idea what to do really. If the power supply is bad - and all the capacitors looked just fine, none were bulging at all - why would it be so arbitrary? I mean, it works fine for so long and then just crashes? I can't really afford the outlay and increased fee for one of the new Series 4 models, but getting another older model means getting another used or maybe refurbished unit that will fail again in some arbitrary period of time.
You might try kickstart 58, that is supposed to do a media file cleanup.

Maybe a 52? That shows to be an emergency software reinstall.
Might be worth a shot.

The only other troubleshooting advice I have is to burn the Tivo software onto a new hard drive with a known good image, just for testing purposes.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:55 AM   #19
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I just tried a kickstart 52. We'll see. There's no media files because I deleted all of them so I don't think a 58 would help. The only other option is trying a known good image. Other than that, it has to be the power supply or the motherboard. A power supply from Weaknees costs twice as much as I paid for the DVR I only have a pair of 250 GB drives available, and the original 160 GB drive, I can't afford another new drive

I have noticed the guide loads a little bit more slowly with the 250 GB drive, even though it has 16 MB of cache vs. the old hard drive with only 2 MB of cache.

Edit #243534: That wasn't even 15 minutes until a crash after doing a kickstart 52

Last edited by Mike Richardson : 09-26-2012 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I just tried a kickstart 52. We'll see. There's no media files because I deleted all of them so I don't think a 58 would help. The only other option is trying a known good image. Other than that, it has to be the power supply or the motherboard. A power supply from Weaknees costs twice as much as I paid for the DVR I only have a pair of 250 GB drives available, and the original 160 GB drive, I can't afford another new drive

I have noticed the guide loads a little bit more slowly with the 250 GB drive, even though it has 16 MB of cache vs. the old hard drive with only 2 MB of cache.
If you can solder, the parts to fix the power supply will be less than $10.

If the problem is the power supply.

You need to establish that you have a known good hard drive.

Then you should restore a known good image to it, and see how that does in the TiVo.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:33 AM   #21
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If you can solder, the parts to fix the power supply will be less than $10.

If the problem is the power supply.

You need to establish that you have a known good hard drive.

Then you should restore a known good image to it, and see how that does in the TiVo.
It just rebooted again, another 15 minute interval.

No parts are bulging on the power supply. The only thing I can do is check the voltages when it's hot, my theory being that the reboots are heat related, although there is no obstruction to air flow and the air conditioner is running at 72. My friend can solder better than I can so that's not a problem, but if nothing is bulging then what do we replace? The fan could be bad I suppose (it does spin, although kind of slow compared to a PC fan), or maybe the replacement hard drive gets a little hotter and the fan isn't compensating.

The hard drive was fully tested and wiped a few months ago and then sat on a shelf until now. The computer it came out of had no problems. I find it hard to believe we replaced one bad drive with another - and that we somehow managed to copy the truncated backup without error and restore it to this other drive. And it's still messed up after kickstart 52 - but another full test and a known good backup from the internet is the last thing I can try in regards to the hard drive.

Edit #454566: 11 minutes this time.

Last edited by Mike Richardson : 09-26-2012 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:10 AM   #22
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At this point, I would put a known good image on the hard drive and see what happens.

I'm thinking the software became corrupted on the 1st hard drive and when you copied it, you also copied the corruption.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:21 AM   #23
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Two points:

While a bulged capacitor ALWAYS means it is bad/going bad, the failure to have a bulge does not mean it is good. Reading your story, this is your most likely source of a problem, though that could have caused an issue with the disk.

Have you tested the drives with their manufactures drive tool? While the tivo tests can be good indicators, the mfrs tool is the best to see if the drive has an issue. That is the true measure of good/bad drive.

Now, you could have some software corruption, but if does not pay to investigate that route if you have a hardware failure.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:34 AM   #24
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There seem to be a number of S3 HDs with reboot problems all of a sudden.

I'm beginning to wonder if it's more than co-incidental.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:10 PM   #25
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I have the TiVo at my office right now. I took the cover off and then let it boot. Even without any cable connection (and so nothing to buffer on the drive), it's rebooted 3 times in the past hour. I just now checked the voltages in line with the hard drive during the 4th boot and got 12.26v for 12v (yellow) and 4.97v for 5v (red). As I type this it's already rebooted again.

The 250 GB drive was tested with WD's Data Lifeguard Diagnostic on a PC a few months ago after I pulled it out of the Mac, which was not having any problems when I pulled the drive.

I'll ask my friend to look at it when he gets back since he knows a little more about power supplies than I do. There's just nothing strongly indicating a problem: the power supply might be bad (despite voltages in range), the software might be bad (despite the emergency reinstall), the drive might be bad (despite it having been tested albeit a few months ago), or maybe TiVo pushed out some kind of update that screwed up Series 3.

The internal temperature is 42C with the cover off, other forum posts indicate this is fine. Didn't check with the cover on but it's rebooting either way.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:49 PM   #26
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I have the TiVo at my office right now. I took the cover off and then let it boot. Even without any cable connection (and so nothing to buffer on the drive), it's rebooted 3 times in the past hour. I just now checked the voltages in line with the hard drive during the 4th boot and got 12.26v for 12v (yellow) and 4.97v for 5v (red). As I type this it's already rebooted again.

The 250 GB drive was tested with WD's Data Lifeguard Diagnostic on a PC a few months ago after I pulled it out of the Mac, which was not having any problems when I pulled the drive.

I'll ask my friend to look at it when he gets back since he knows a little more about power supplies than I do. There's just nothing strongly indicating a problem: the power supply might be bad (despite voltages in range), the software might be bad (despite the emergency reinstall), the drive might be bad (despite it having been tested albeit a few months ago), or maybe TiVo pushed out some kind of update that screwed up Series 3.

The internal temperature is 42C with the cover off, other forum posts indicate this is fine. Didn't check with the cover on but it's rebooting either way.
If you can hook it to a computer and run WinMFS, click on mfsinfo and see if it's set to boot from 2,3, and 4, if so do the fix boot thing, option 2 and if it's set to boot from 5,6, and 7, choose option 1.

I doubt if they've done anything to the software since k, but if it's stuck trying to change over to the alternate partitions, maybe this'll help it straighten itself out.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:11 PM   #27
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I decided to copy the known good image you posted to the 250 GB and then do an extended test on the 160 GB. It's running guided setup right now and so far hasn't crashed.

I did a kickstart 52 yesterday which should have reinstalled the OS and then changed to the new partition if I understand correctly, but it still crashed after that.

My theory is something happened to the software, either the original drive is failing or maybe it got corrupted some other way, and that corrupted software carried over. I can rule this out if the old drive passes the test and the new software crashes. That would mean it has to be something other than the hard drive. Some kind of transient power supply issue causing it to hiccup and reboot, or maybe the logic board.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:09 PM   #28
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Well, mine completely died yesterday before I could get the cover off (couldn't find a tool small enough to unscrew the screws anyway). I guess I'll just give up and buy a new Premiere.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:22 PM   #29
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Well, mine completely died yesterday before I could get the cover off (couldn't find a tool small enough to unscrew the screws anyway). I guess I'll just give up and buy a new Premiere.
Ironically enough, if you don't already have lifetime on it, buying that Premiere puts you in a position to get it for only $99.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:33 PM   #30
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Ironically enough, if you don't already have lifetime on it, buying that Premiere puts you in a position to get it for only $99.
Do you mean getting lifetime on a new Premiere for $99? How do I go about that? I've never had lifetime on any of my 3 boxes to date.

I'm looking at buying from either TIVO, Best Buy, or Amazon...
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