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Old 09-28-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
jasonandjennifer
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tivo broke and lit up like a christmas tree

our tivo is showing a blue light on top of a red light on the right hand side of the front display. it is not doing anything. no welcome screen no nothing. earilier it worked for an hour or so, long enough to watch a movie from our previously recorded. at the end of the movie it froze and has displayed the lights on the front and nothing on the tv screen. anyone have any ideas?
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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what TiVo do you have? Two things normally go wrong with Tivo's, hard drives and power supplies. I'm thinking this is a power supply issue.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:57 PM   #3
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series 3, dual tuner, hd i think. it has 2 lights on the left, and a red light on bottom right, blue light above it. four lights on the front all together. (my wife did the previous post) so how do we figure if its the power supply? how much of a fix is that?? anyone done a writeup?
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:08 PM   #4
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Here are some recent threads on S3 power supply failures. I replaced mine recently, purchasing a new one from Weaknees. Check the capacitors, if they're bulging like this, you might need a new power supply. If you have soldering skills you can do this yourself (I went the purchase route).

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb....php?p=9170764

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=473394
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:57 PM   #5
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the opening screen is stuck on welcome. powering up...
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
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Could be the hard drive then.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:40 PM   #7
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can you recommend a hard drive for me? a link would be nice if you dont mind. 1tb or so would be nice will any computer hard drive work, or does it need to be made for tivo?
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:08 AM   #8
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As a general rule, tivos have 3 main points of failure

1 - power supply
2 - hard drive
3 - motherboard

Every now and then something else might fail(fan, cable, etc), but most of the time, when your tivo wont boot up at all, it tends to be one of those top 3 things.

My own personal experience has usually been the first two things. I have owned numerous tivos but to my recollection there was only one MB failure.

TC
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonandjennifer View Post
series 3, dual tuner, hd i think. it has 2 lights on the left, and a red light on bottom right, blue light above it. four lights on the front all together. (my wife did the previous post) so how do we figure if its the power supply? how much of a fix is that?? anyone done a writeup?
All lights lit up on the front panel is indicative of a power supply problem.
If you have the Series 3 w/ OLED model, even more reason to suspect the power supply as that model is starting to show signs of capacitor plague here lately.

Easiest way to tell is visual inspection. Open the Tivo and look at the capacitors on the power supply. If any of them are bulging, the power supply is your problem.



The easy fix is to buy a power supply from Weaknees and just swap it out.
For a DIY option, there are several threads discussing the fix in the Series 3 section of the forum. Search that section with 'capacitor' for a keyword and you will find them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonandjennifer View Post
the opening screen is stuck on welcome. powering up...
That just means that the motherboard is getting power as the "welcome, powering up" screen comes off the motherboard.
If the hard drive isn't working, you will be stuck on this screen.
The reason for a non working hard drive could be the power supply or the hard drive. That's why you need to inspect the power supply first.
Given the circumstances, I think it is more likely the power supply.

However, if it turns out to be the hard drive...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonandjennifer View Post
can you recommend a hard drive for me? a link would be nice if you dont mind. 1tb or so would be nice will any computer hard drive work, or does it need to be made for tivo?
A Tivo uses a standard hard drive, but it has to be pre-loaded with the TiVo OS software before installing into the DVR.
From your description above, it sounds like you have an original Series 3 w/ OLED.
But we need to know for sure as the TiVo software is not the same across models.

Depending on your skills, there are a couple of routes you can take.
The easier (but more costly) route is to get a hard drive from Weaknees.
Series 3 w/ OLED hard drives.
Tivo HD hard drives.
Tivo HD XL hard drives.

The less costly route involves you buying a new hard drive and loading the TiVo software on it yourself.
First, you would need to search (or ask for) a software image for your Tivo model in this thread:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=388695

Then you would use one of the tools from MFS Live to load that image onto a blank hard drive.
http://www.mfslive.org/
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:26 AM   #10
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As has been mentioned, doing a new hard drive is pretty straightforward and the images and SW are free but having all of the LEDs on does sound more like a power supply issue. Definitely check the capacitors first. You wouldn't want to buy a new drive if one is not needed and certainly don't want to risk toasting it with a bad PS.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:35 PM   #11
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... but having all of the LEDs on does sound more like a power supply issue.
I just want to point out that on the OLED S3, all four LEDs stay lit on the "Please wait" screen and don't go out until just before the "Almost there" screen.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:30 PM   #12
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I just want to point out that on the OLED S3, all four LEDs stay lit on the "Please wait" screen and don't go out until just before the "Almost there" screen.
Thanks. That's about the only generation of Tivo box I haven't had personal experience with.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:31 PM   #13
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can you recommend a hard drive for me? a link would be nice if you dont mind. 1tb or so would be nice will any computer hard drive work, or does it need to be made for tivo?
There really aren't any hard drives specifically made for the TiVo, there are drives which will work in the TiVo after someone puts the TiVo software on them.

And there are drives that won't work in at least some TiVo models even with the software on them.

Probably your best bang for the buck, so to speak, right now is the WD20EURS

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita...words=wd20eurs

but someone will have to hook it up to a computer, run the WD diagnostic software long test to make sure there's nothing gone wrong with it between the factory and you, and then put the TiVo software on it.

It's not horribly difficult to do so.


HOWEVER!

It really sounds like you need to sort out whether there's anything wrong with the power supply first, before making any assumptions about the current hard drive or whether a new one will make things better.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:08 PM   #14
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so my tivo model is tcd648250b, its a series 3 hd. the power supply is 149 till i get the core back. did you guys say there is a thread on how to FIX the old power supply as opposed to an expensive (about $110 net shipping and core refund) replacement?
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:25 PM   #15
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so my tivo model is tcd648250b, its a series 3 hd. the power supply is 149 till i get the core back. did you guys say there is a thread on how to FIX the old power supply as opposed to an expensive (about $110 net shipping and core refund) replacement?
If you know which end of a soldering iron to hold, you can do the repair yourself for about $10 in parts.

Provided you know which capacitors to replace, and assuming that the problem is the power supply.

Do you have any experience with a soldering iron or a soldering gun?

Do you have any experince with a voltmeter, ohmmeter, or multi-meter?

Do you have any experience swapping parts inside a desktop computer?
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:49 AM   #16
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If you know which end of a soldering iron to hold, you can do the repair yourself for about $10 in parts.

Provided you know which capacitors to replace, and assuming that the problem is the power supply.

Do you have any experience with a soldering iron or a soldering gun? YES, SOME.

Do you have any experince with a voltmeter, ohmmeter, or multi-meter? LIMITED. NOT REALLY.

Do you have any experience swapping parts inside a desktop computer? NO, BUT I USED TO GUT MAGLITES, AND UPGRADE THEM WITH DIRECT DRIVEN LED'S, IM NOT A COMPLETE SODDERING/ELECTRONICS LOSER
answers in quotations above
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:52 AM   #17
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latest update. i took the top of the tivo and i didn't really see any swollen capacitors. id love a second opinion. anyone willing to pm me a cell phone # or an email address so i can shoot them a few pics for a 2nd opinion?

in the meantime, anyone got a link to a software preloaded, 1tb to 2tb hard drive for my next mod?
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:59 PM   #18
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latest update. i took the top of the tivo and i didn't really see any swollen capacitors. id love a second opinion. anyone willing to pm me a cell phone # or an email address so i can shoot them a few pics for a 2nd opinion?

in the meantime, anyone got a link to a software preloaded, 1tb to 2tb hard drive for my next mod?
Post the pics here, but if the visual clues are any more subtle than illustrated by steve614's picture upthread, we probably won't be able to tell visually.

If a cap is bulged in any way, it's gone bad, but it can go bad without providing visual evidence.

If you know the difference between serial and parallel, you can replace the one or two caps that are connected across the +5 Volt line, i.e., the + lead is connected directly via the copper on the bottom of the circuit board to where the red wires are connected, and the - lead connected directly to ground, where all the black wires are soldered in, and the one or two directly across the +12 Volt line, which is the yellow wires.

Those are the usual suspects and it's probably more a matter of when they go bad than if.

Go read up on capacitor plague and Low ESR.

Will this fix your problem?

No guarantee.

But if you do it right, it can't hurt.

The welcome screen is on a chip on the motherboard, the just a few more minutes screen is on the hard drive.

If it never gets beyond the welcome screen, then there's something interfering with communication with the hard drive.

(also if it goes from the welcome screen to a featureless gray)

Bad or loose cable

Scrambled software

Mechanical and/or electronic failure of the drive

Not enough power available to properly start and run the drive.

Way down on the list, failure of the hard drive controller on the motherboard.

A little higher on the list, not enough power available to run the drive controller properly.

You have to be sure that the power supply is working properly before you can put any faith in other diagnosing.


While you've got the TiVo opened up looking at the PS, you need to take out the hard drive and hook it to a computer and run the drive manufacturer's diagnostic software to test the drive, first the short test, then the long test.

The latest version (5-point-something) of the Ultimate Boot CD has the WD, Seagate/Maxtor/Quantum, Hitachi, and Samsung diagnostic utilities, as well as all kinds of "you never know when it might come in handy" computer stuff.

You download the .iso file, the bootable cd image, and burn it as an image onto a cd-r.

If you have a GigaByte brand motherboard, we need to talk further before you attach the TiVo drive, or any drive, to it.

If you happen to have a spare, even temporarily spare, 250GB or larger hard drive (SATA, not IDE), you could use the TCD648250 image I've got on DropBox and restore it to that drive and test it in the TiVo.

If it comes up rarin' to run Guided Setup, then that would suggest that the problem is the drive you're currently running in that TiVo.

Your best bang for the buck right now, big, new, "known to work in a TiVo", drive-wise, would probably be the WD20EURS at $120 or less if Amazon or newegg put it back on sale anytime soon.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:14 PM   #19
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should i try the hard drive or send this to someone? do u guys know anyone we can ship this to for repairs. this has a lifetime subscription and that's more valuable than the dvr itself so i gotta keep it. that's basicly in the motherboard right?
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:19 PM   #20
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Your best bang for the buck right now, big, new, "known to work in a TiVo", drive-wise, would probably be the WD20EURS at $120 or less if Amazon or newegg put it back on sale anytime soon.
but then i have to load the right software onto it myself right? where can i just send this sucker in to a professional?
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:57 PM   #21
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If you're willing to spend the money, you can send your unit to Weaknees.
http://www.weaknees.com/s3-s4-repairs.php
Looks like $100 labor charge plus parts and shipping.

You can save some money if you are willing to open up the Tivo and replace the parts yourself. You can get replacement parts from Weaknees. They have hard drives and power supplies that you simply swap out.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:12 PM   #22
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but then i have to load the right software onto it myself right? where can i just send this sucker in to a professional?
The motherboard has a chip on which is recorded the TiVo Service Number for that particular unit.

Your TCD648250 is the last of the TiVo models with this number stored on a separate "crypto chip", which could be moved (by someone who knows what they're doing with soldering and unsoldering multi-lead surface mount devices) to another motherboard of the same model, moving the TSN with it.

When a TiVo contacts the mothership, it sends the TSN, the TiVo, Inc., servers look it up in a database and tell the TiVo unit what it's account status is.

There are people who will sell you a 2TB hard drive ready to drop into your TiVo. It'll be just like starting with a new TiVo, you'll have to do Guided Setup again, re-pair your cable cards again, put in Season Passes and Favorites and stuff again, and of course any show recorded on the old drive won't be on the new one.

It will cost more than just buying a drive and doing it yourself.

How much more depends on from whom you buy it.

It would be a good idea to test the current drive first to see if there's anything wrong with it.

In addition to the manufacturer's diagnostics, which should take no notice of anything as high level as the TiVo software on the drive, you can also run WinMFS as administrator, select the TiVo drive and click on mfsinfo to see if it finds anything wrong with the TiVo software on the drive.

You can't diagnose a bad hard drive and bad power supply simultaneously with both of them in the TiVo, you have to divide and conquer, eliminate, if only temporarily, variables.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:13 PM   #23
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ill test the hard drive. anyone done a how to cause i have no idea how
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:48 AM   #24
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ill test the hard drive. anyone done a how to cause i have no idea how
Do you know how to burn a cd as an image?

So that an .iso file becomes a bootable cd because the boot files are in the right place?
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:17 PM   #25
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so im just tossing around the idea of selling it for parts or as is and replacing it with a premiere series 4 2tb 4 tuner setup. i have cable now, i assume its digital, how do i know that it will work for me. my series 3 does, does that automaticly mean i can switch to a series 4?
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:25 PM   #26
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tivo-OEM-160...item35c13ac397

will this hard drive work?

id like to get it functional before i sell it, or possibly to use it for a while as is and be a cheapskate for another year or so. will any old tivo hard drive work? does it have to be a series 3? does it have to be from the same model # tivo? or am i completely off and i have to look at the model # on the hard drive?
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:58 PM   #27
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so im just tossing around the idea of selling it for parts or as is and replacing it with a premiere series 4 2tb 4 tuner setup. i have cable now, i assume its digital, how do i know that it will work for me. my series 3 does, does that automaticly mean i can switch to a series 4?


If you have cable AND you're using cable cards in that S3, then you have digital cable, but that model requires 2 cable cards, one for each tuner, and cannot use a single M-type for both tuners, although it can use 2 of either the S or the M type.

The newer TiVos may only have a single cable card slot, which means having to use an M type card.

So you might have to get your cable company to exchange cards.

It's also possible that your cable company currently offers both analog and digital, and that you've been using the analog and don't have cable cards.

Where are you and who's your cable company?
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:00 PM   #28
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tivo-OEM-160...item35c13ac397

will this hard drive work?

id like to get it functional before i sell it, or possibly to use it for a while as is and be a cheapskate for another year or so. will any old tivo hard drive work? does it have to be a series 3? does it have to be from the same model # tivo? or am i completely off and i have to look at the model # on the hard drive?

That's the hard drive for the TCD652160, the S3 HD.

It's only 160GB.

What you have is the original Series 3, which comes with a 250GB hard drive.

The TCD648250 image has to go onto a drive 250GB or larger.

But, if you have the equipment to put an image on a drive, you have the equipment to run the manufacturer's long test on the current drive to see if that's the problem or not.

You don't need a TiVo drive, specifically, and if it's a drive from any model TiVo other than the TCD648250, the TiVo software on the drive won't be of any use.

If the problem is really the power supply, replacing the hard drive is pointless.

Do you own a PC that can boot from a cd, and does it have SATA ports, and is the motherboard something other than a GigaByte brand?

And what's your local Craigslist site?
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:13 PM   #29
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If you have cable AND you're using cable cards in that S3, then you have digital cable, but that model requires 2 cable cards, one for each tuner, and cannot use a single M-type for both tuners, although it can use 2 of either the S or the M type.

The newer TiVos may only have a single cable card slot, which means having to use an M type card.

So you might have to get your cable company to exchange cards.

It's also possible that your cable company currently offers both analog and digital, and that you've been using the analog and don't have cable cards.

Where are you and who's your cable company?
i dont think we have cable cards. i live in southern maryland and have metrocast cable.

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Old 11-06-2012, 05:20 PM   #30
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That's the hard drive for the TCD652160, the S3 HD.

It's only 160GB.

What you have is the original Series 3, which comes with a 250GB hard drive.

The TCD648250 image has to go onto a drive 250GB or larger.

But, if you have the equipment to put an image on a drive, you have the equipment to run the manufacturer's long test on the current drive to see if that's the problem or not.

You don't need a TiVo drive, specifically, and if it's a drive from any model TiVo other than the TCD648250, the TiVo software on the drive won't be of any use.

If the problem is really the power supply, replacing the hard drive is pointless.

Do you own a PC that can boot from a cd, and does it have SATA ports, and is the motherboard something other than a GigaByte brand?

And what's your local Craigslist site?
mine is the tivo tcd648250B, so i need a tivo hard drive from one of them to be plug and play?
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