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Old 03-19-2013, 11:48 PM   #1
geekmedic
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XL4 Fails After 8 Days

I purchased a new Premiere XL4 and TiVo Mini on 3/11. Last night, after only 8 days of usage, we turn on the Mini in our master bedroom only to find that it can't locate the living room DVR.

So I go down to the living room, turn on the TV, and to my surprise I see a green screen that says TiVo has detected a serious problem and is working to fix the issue and it could take up to 3 hours. We had last watched TV about 3 hours earlier. After maybe 10-15 minutes, the TiVo reboots. An endless reboot cycle started where it would display the welcome, starting up screen followed by the "just a few more minutes" screen, only to restart back on the welcome screen.

After 10 or so cycles, I decided to unplug the unit, wait a few minutes, and then plug it back in hoping that would erase anything in memory that could be causing the problem. Nope. Same situation: endless reboot cycles.

So now I must drive to Best Buy, exchange it, download all the service updates, call TiVo to transfer the subscription, call Comcast to activate the CableCARD on the new device, and then wait for Comcast to send another refresh signal to get the channels. This should take a minimum of 3 hours of my time to do this.

I'm very tempted to take everything back and say the heck with it.

Is TiVo's quality control that bad that a device should fail in 8 days? I've never had a TiVo DVR last more than 3 years because of hard disk failures. I just had my original Premiere replaced by TiVo only a month earlier because of a hard drive failure after 3 years of use.

Does anyone know of any issues that I might can fix without exchanging the unit? I don't think the unit has overheated because the unit itself doesn't feel hot and it's in a well ventilated area. I don't hear any funny noises that is typical of a fan or hard drive failure (it sounds normal when it powers up).
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:28 AM   #2
L David Matheny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekmedic View Post
I purchased a new Premiere XL4 and TiVo Mini on 3/11. Last night, after only 8 days of usage, we turn on the Mini in our master bedroom only to find that it can't locate the living room DVR.

So I go down to the living room, turn on the TV, and to my surprise I see a green screen that says TiVo has detected a serious problem and is working to fix the issue and it could take up to 3 hours. We had last watched TV about 3 hours earlier. After maybe 10-15 minutes, the TiVo reboots. An endless reboot cycle started where it would display the welcome, starting up screen followed by the "just a few more minutes" screen, only to restart back on the welcome screen.

After 10 or so cycles, I decided to unplug the unit, wait a few minutes, and then plug it back in hoping that would erase anything in memory that could be causing the problem. Nope. Same situation: endless reboot cycles.
There are occasional reports of hard drives failing the manufacturer's long test (which scans the entire drive) right out of the box, which is why we always recommend running that test before spending time setting up a new drive. I doubt that TiVo takes the time to run such diagnostics on all their drives, so occasionally a new TiVo is going to fail due to a bad hard drive. If that's what happened to you, TiVo should exchange the box, of course.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:23 AM   #3
compnurd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekmedic View Post
I purchased a new Premiere XL4 and TiVo Mini on 3/11. Last night, after only 8 days of usage, we turn on the Mini in our master bedroom only to find that it can't locate the living room DVR.

So I go down to the living room, turn on the TV, and to my surprise I see a green screen that says TiVo has detected a serious problem and is working to fix the issue and it could take up to 3 hours. We had last watched TV about 3 hours earlier. After maybe 10-15 minutes, the TiVo reboots. An endless reboot cycle started where it would display the welcome, starting up screen followed by the "just a few more minutes" screen, only to restart back on the welcome screen.

After 10 or so cycles, I decided to unplug the unit, wait a few minutes, and then plug it back in hoping that would erase anything in memory that could be causing the problem. Nope. Same situation: endless reboot cycles.

So now I must drive to Best Buy, exchange it, download all the service updates, call TiVo to transfer the subscription, call Comcast to activate the CableCARD on the new device, and then wait for Comcast to send another refresh signal to get the channels. This should take a minimum of 3 hours of my time to do this.

I'm very tempted to take everything back and say the heck with it.

Is TiVo's quality control that bad that a device should fail in 8 days? I've never had a TiVo DVR last more than 3 years because of hard disk failures. I just had my original Premiere replaced by TiVo only a month earlier because of a hard drive failure after 3 years of use.

Does anyone know of any issues that I might can fix without exchanging the unit? I don't think the unit has overheated because the unit itself doesn't feel hot and it's in a well ventilated area. I don't hear any funny noises that is typical of a fan or hard drive failure (it sounds normal when it powers up).
**** Happens
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:26 AM   #4
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Hard drives can fail anytime, lucky for you it happened right away. Exchange it and move on.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:17 AM   #5
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That experience is not typical. My Launch Elite from October 2011 is still running fine, my 2nd Elite from March 2012 is still fine, and my launch Premiere from March 2010 is still fine as well.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by geekmedic View Post
Is TiVo's quality control that bad that a device should fail in 8 days?
How on earth would TiVo (or any company that makes a product with a hard drive in it) be able to know exactly when in the future that the hard drive will fail?

Have Miss Cleo run their QC dept?!


I've probably had 10 different TiVo's going back to 2001, and the only failed drive I've ever dealt with was the stupid Western Digital MyDVR Expander. It failed (which caused me to lose all of my shows on the TiVo). They sent me another one, and it too eventually ended up failing. This was Western Digital. They WERE the hard drive manufacturers!!!
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:15 PM   #7
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Is TiVo's quality control that bad that a device should fail in 8 days?
I'm DEFINITELY not defending themů My first S1 Tivo was either DOA or it died a few days later (I forget). The P4 I got within the past year (much less than that) was very flaky.. I kept it for about a week, thinking it MIGHT be software related, waiting for it to absolutely be update and such.. it wasn't.. the replacement has worked fine so far ("fine" excepting the known software bugs we've talked about in other discussions -- personally I'm *FAR* less excusing of the TON of software bugs in the HD UI compared to the SD UI.. Some may be "behaves correctly" but are definitely significant user-level changes compared to the SD UI).

But anyway, *ALL* companies DO have some DOA units. It seems like you & I have just had far worse luck than most.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:46 PM   #8
geekmedic
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It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't involve so much of my time. I am in between overnight shifts, and now I get to spend a ton of time driving to Best Buy exchanging it, hooking everything back up, staying on hold with Comcast to reactivate CableCARDs, calling TiVo to transfer the subscription, transferring all my season passes, and then losing all my recorded shows.

aristoBrat, I'm glad yours hasn't failed. I've had several units have hard drive failures since I started using TiVo in 2000. Usually last about 3 years.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by geekmedic View Post
It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't involve so much of my time. I am in between overnight shifts, and now I get to spend a ton of time driving to Best Buy exchanging it, hooking everything back up, staying on hold with Comcast to reactivate CableCARDs, calling TiVo to transfer the subscription, transferring all my season passes, and then losing all my recorded shows.

aristoBrat, I'm glad yours hasn't failed. I've had several units have hard drive failures since I started using TiVo in 2000. Usually last about 3 years.
It sucks when anything fails and is certainly not fun. I went through a period of time back in late 70's through early 80's where it seemed that every piece of electronic equipment I bought failed and had to be replaced mostly under warranty. Big waist of time and extra expense even with warranty replacements. That said nothing TiVo can do about hard drives and the one thing that is near certain is that all hard drives will fail.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by geekmedic View Post
It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't involve so much of my time. I am in between overnight shifts, and now I get to spend a ton of time driving to Best Buy exchanging it, hooking everything back up, staying on hold with Comcast to reactivate CableCARDs, calling TiVo to transfer the subscription, transferring all my season passes, and then losing all my recorded shows.

aristoBrat, I'm glad yours hasn't failed. I've had several units have hard drive failures since I started using TiVo in 2000. Usually last about 3 years.
I have been with Tivo since the very first box, later with DIRECTivo, and now back to cable. I am now on my third Premiere 4 exchange and it is very frustrating. After waiting almost a week for delivery, you are right, the frustration with cable cards, downloading new software, etc., is crazy. If you have kids, it's a time-consuming nightmare. Luckily my 2-tuner works, but all four of my Minis do not because the Premiere 4 doesn't. Hang in there. With cablecards, MOCA, splitters, etc., it's a long haul but one that is worth it in the end. That's why we have all invested $$$ to get it right.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:43 AM   #11
geekmedic
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Went to Best Buy to exchange the XL4, which took an hour and 15 minutes because of traffic, standing in line, etc. No XL4's in stock. So I had to get a refund and then purchase a Premiere 4. Probably better that way since I'm hoping to purchase a new series when they come out (if they have 6 tuners).

Now to see if I can get my season passes moved over.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:07 AM   #12
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There are plenty of ways to mistreat a hard drive. Sometimes the STORE you buy it from is guilty - there have been threads where people bought brand new drives shipped poorly from NewEgg and the like resulting in the entire shipment having to be returned the day they were received. (They all failed manufacturer's diagnostics as expected).

Likewise, there will always be random failures - perhaps the factory worker carrying a hard drive dropped it and picked it up and put it in. Or they carried a few and dropped them. They will work initially during software load as the drive remaps bad sectors, but fail shortly thereafter as the bad sectors accumulate.

For people with strings of bad luck - it could be bad power blowing through the power supply and onto the hard drives or logic boards, a bad cable grounding sending electricity through the circuit boards (i.e., ground loops) rapidly burning through components, etc. Back in the old days, a miswired electrical socket could destroy computer equipment - where neutral is assumed to be ground (neutral is tied to ground at the electrical box) and instead it goes hot. Plug in something grounded or properly wired and you've got a nice short circuit. (Not much of an issue these days as power supplies are now isolated).

Hell, it could be the store or the shippers that the store uses abuse the boxes - they just chuck them around when moving t hem from the airplane to the truck and the truck to the shelves.
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