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Old 06-20-2014, 03:10 AM   #1
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Anything NEW on the "Failed while loading series" problem?

I'm looking for any new information about how to fix the "Failed while loading series" problem.

As background, I'm trying to replace a failed disk in a Series 1 Tivo. Here's my first thread: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=518233 I've given up on using WinMFS because, be it the tool or the image, I just end up with disks that reboot while processing the downloaded data.

So I've move on and pulled out an old Linux computer with images that I have successfully used before for upgrades and/or dead disk replacements. These disks don't crash, but every time they are processing the data they fail with the "Failed while loading series" error.

What's interesting is that since I've started to keep track, they always fail at 46%. That can't be coincidence.

Also, if I do a guided setup, I get the same error while processing the phone number data. I can't get past that step to even get downloading program data.

I've tried this with multiple known good disks.

I've tried this with multiple images (one I've used before).

I've tried this both restoring just the image (so only 20 hours) and expanding to fill the disk.

I've tried all the previously posted "solutions" (some of which I think were more coincidence that actual fixes): reset thumb/suggestions, reset program/to-do, aborting download multiple times, repeat guided setup, clear everything, etc, etc.

I'm simply running out of things to try to get around this. The only theories I have left are pretty ridiculous.

So, does anyone have any ideas or NEW information on this?
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:42 AM   #2
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I don't know if this will work on S1s or not, and I've not personally tried it on any TiVo of any age, but check out this technique

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...3#post10143653

and see if putting in 00000 as the ZIP Code will let you get anywhere (and then later you can go back and see if Settings, Channels, Channel List, Enter for wrong list will let you change the ZIP without having to go through all of GS).
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitron View Post
...and see if putting in 00000 as the ZIP Code will let you get anywhere...
I tried that, and setting the area code to 000, to try and get around the first all failing while trying to load that data (phone numbers I assume) during GS.

I tried it again just now, and it still fails. So that disk is now stuck in GS and I'll need to re-image it tomorrow to try whatever is next.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:54 PM   #4
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@bkc56,

weaKnees says it is a software issue and they will sell you a hard drive with software that does not have this problem for $99.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:54 PM   #5
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See this link:
http://www.wkblog.com/tivo/2014/06/s...problem-fixed/

There is another post where someone is trying to get a class action suit started:
http://www.wkblog.com/tivo/2014/04/s...oblems-update/
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fla_Travel View Post
@bkc56,
weaKnees says it is a software issue and they will sell you a hard drive with software that does not have this problem for $99.
A community minded organization might be a bit less commercial and make the software available to people who can image their own disks while continuing to offer paid services for people unwilling or unable to do it themselves.

I don't believe the solution is as simple as the information at the above linked page implies, but in my original thread I talk about a couple images I've found (one freely available already) that appear to work.

Of course an "official" solution from Tivo would be the best for everyone (well, perhaps, everyone but Weaknees).

But thanks for the info/links.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:12 PM   #7
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More info coming. I will send you a PM.
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Old 07-26-2014, 06:12 PM   #8
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Darn, I need 10 posts before I can send a PM.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Posts: 10
You win!!!
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:43 PM   #10
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I tried something that might have allowed my last successful call about a month ago. I had nothing scheduled to record for the next two days. I set the time (settime YYYMMDDHHMM) 3 days ahead. Then I forced 3 Daily Calls - rebooting before the call could complete. I set the time back to the correct time and forced 2 Daily Calls - rebooting before the call could complete. Then, I forced a daily call and let it go thru. An hour later, I had a successful call and Guide Data to Aug 26. I have done this twice. While I get a successful call after doing this, I still got the FWLS on subsequent calls (usually gaining some new Guide Data) from the last time I did this.

I am currently looking at various routines that “clean” the MFS Database. See my next post.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:29 PM   #11
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What do we know about the "Failed While Loading Series" (hereafter called FWLS) error?

1) It has been a recurring issue for many years.
TiVo knows:
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/...ling%20problem

weaKnees knows:
http://www.wkblog.com/tivo/2014/02/m...nd-svr-series/
http://www.wkblog.com/tivo/2014/04/s...oblems-update/

TiVo Community knows (too many posts out there over the years).

2) It only affects Series 1 Tivos (the same error message on other Tivos appears to be other issues).

3) When this happened around Christmas in 2013 the TiVo engineers were on vacation and that problem was not resolved until the new year (but it came back again).
http://www.wkblog.com/tivo/2013/12/s...l-interrupted/

4) I had success for about a month (Feb-Mar 2014) by forcing a call, waiting for Housekeeping to finish and the Tivo to start dialing - then powering off the Tivo. Repeat this 4 times and then force a call and let it dial and download.
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...4#post10080384
Then, that didn't work for me anymore.

5) I appeared to be getting download data and could watch Tivo process it. I usually got a day or two of new data (every day or so) into the Tivo before it failed. On one Tivo, my last successful call was July 2nd but I had data to Aug 3rd! While watching all this happen (and forcing calls as soon as they failed), I kept getting further along before it failed. After 3 days of this, I got a successful call on Aug 6th - did TiVo engineers fix it? - nope. I did a full backup of my drive and 3 days later, I could no longer make a successful call.

6) I read a post that showed a TClient log with a HTTP/1.1 error and that lead me to wonder if the LBA48 kernel had HTTP/1.2 support and that would fix it. I spent a week chasing this and concluded it was not the problem.

7) I have restored from backups with 1.3 and 2.5 software and let the new drive(s) upgrade to 3.0. The software update went without a hitch but I still got the dreaded FWLS error and when I Repeat Guided Setup or a Clear and delete everything I get stuck with FWLS even getting the telephone list during Guided Setup.
This tells me that Current (3.0) Series 1 TiVo software is not the solution (or even the problem).

8) weaKnees has a fix:
http://www.wkblog.com/tivo/2014/06/s...problem-fixed/
Buy a disk from them (or have them reformat your disk).

9) There is a 13G Phillips LBA48 image floating around that I have restored using MFSLive and I have not had a FWLS error after about a month.

10) I loaded partition 10 from the 13G Phillips LBA48 onto a drive with the FWLS error (losing all my recordings, but the original TiVo screens were intact) and it made calls with no issues.
I loaded partition 10 from a drive with the FWLS error onto the 13G Phillips LBA48 drive and it FWLS every time.

Something in Partition 10 has the problem! So, I started looking...

Software version 1.3 and 2.5 had several clean and cleanup programs that I do not see in 3.0. I like this comment section here from a 1.3 script:
#File: cleanup-tc.tcl
#Description: Script to remove old crud from a TiVo Center's database
#$$$TIVO COPYRIGHT (Brian Beach)$$$
(PS if you want some interesting reading, Google "Brian Beach" Tivo)

I found a lot of clean-type scripts around and am looking into things in the MFS database that could be cleaned out. One thing caught my eye in an old script:
# this is a long process, skip it
# RemoveOldObjects $db /Server
So, I ran a script to delete all the /Server entries on my test Tivo - It is still running three days later (lots of retrying after errTmBackgroundHoldoff). Of course, there are over 86,000 /Server Entries. (The 13G Phillips LBA48 restored drive had 80,000 entries.)

I will keep posting as I continue to look for a solution that will allow me to fix my Tivo and keep the recordings and Season Passes.

Last edited by Fla_Travel : 08-23-2014 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:45 PM   #12
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One more from my experiences...

11) cloning (backup/restore) of a current working disk seems to work OK on the new disk.

I've now done this with two different source disks. One from one of our Tivos so a full guided setup was not required (but it still worked if I did one). The other was from a used Series 1 I just got from another zip-code so it required a full guided setup.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:48 PM   #13
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With regard to this problem specifically on S1s, how does it relate to the "late every autumn for several years S1s couldn't complete calls" problem?
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:31 AM   #14
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@unitron
I am not aware of that problem description.
I am aware that the FWLS error does seem to crop up repeatedly over the years. Most recently last December, again in Feb and again in June/July (still not fixed). I first encountered the problem on my secondary Tivo back in Feb this year. My primary Tivo started in late June/early July.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:52 AM   #15
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I'm seeing a new problem on 2 of the 3 images I have which do NOT have the FWLS bug. They will partially loose their guide data such that the search screens show "No programs". The To-Do list is populated. If you view upcoming episodes in a season pass they are displayed. But you can't do a search because there are no programs listed.

For those playing the home version of our show, the 13Phil48.bak image doesn't do this (but has other problems). It's the two images captured from working Tivos that show this problem.
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:23 PM   #16
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My background:

I own 6 Series 1 Tivos - two are actively used.
My Primary Tivo has been running since 2001 and has never had the FWLS error that I
noticed until this June.
My Secondary Tivo first had this problem in Feb of this year which I fixed by
forcing 3 daily calls and powering off the unit when the call started. The problem
reoccurred in April after I rebuilt the hard drive using my Primary as the source -
but, my Primary showed no symptoms. Even with my working Primary as the source, my
Secondary continued to get the FWLS error.
Then, my Primary also started FWLS in June. I have only had 3 successful calls on
my Primary since then - all three occurred after I was trying various tricks. It
has not made a successful call on its own.
Towards the end of July, I rebuilt my Secondary with a Phillips image and have not
had the FWLS since. I am reluctant to do this for my Primary as I will lose my
recordings, my Season Passes and my Wish Lists.

I originally thought that the problem was older HTTP 1.0 protocol software on
Series 1 Tivos and whenever the TiVo servers were updated, patched or otherwise
modded, the HTTP protocol would also be updated and the TiVo Engineers would
re-patch the servers with a fix for Series 1 Tivos. I no longer think this is the
root cause for the FWLS problem.


Tricks that have had various success:

Force three daily calls in a row and power off the Tivo when the call starts (this
forces housekeeping). Then force a daily call and let it go thru. This has worked
for me a couple of times but has not worked recently.

Reset Thumbs Ratings & Suggestions. This has not worked for me.

Clear Program Data & To Do List. I have not done this.

Clear and delete everything. I did this and was stuck because the FWLS error would
not let me complete Guided Setup.

Unplug the Tivo for three days. I have not done this. Some people have reported
success doing this.

Change the Tivo time to 3 days into the future. Force 3 Daily calls without letting
the call go thru. Force Garbage Collection using the following bash command:
dbgc-mcp -fg-gc. This worked for me once.

Change the Tivo time to 30 days into the future. Force 3 Daily calls without
letting the call go thru. Force indexing. Force Garbage Collection using the
following bash command: dbgc-mcp -fg-gc. This worked for me once.

Change the Cable Lineups back and forth. This worked for me once.

Change the phone area code to try different call-in numbers around the country. I
had no success with this.


Troubleshooting information:

I restored old images with 3.0 software and they all exhibited FWLS.
I restored old 1.3 and 2.5 software images. They each upgraded to 3.0 software with
no problems. Then, they all exhibited FWLS.
My reference Philips image does not have the FWLS error.
Using a landline to phone in or using Turbonet for broadband access makes no difference.
While the reference Philips image has the LBA48 kernel, it also worked without
error when I loaded the original Tivo kernel - NOT a kernel issue.
I compared the reference Phillips tivoapp with the original tivoapp from other
images and they are identical - NOT a tivoapp issue.
The boot partition for both are the same - NOT a boot issue.
I used dd to copy the root partition from a FWLS drive to the reference Philips image
and it made calls successfully - NOT a software issue.
I used dd to copy the Phillips partition 10 onto any image that has the FWLS error
and they were able to make successful daily calls after that (lost all my recording and everything else of course).
I used dd to copy partition 10 from any image that has the FWLS error onto the
Phillips partition 10 and each time the new image FWLS
-- Looks like a MFS database issue.

How is it that an old backup from 2004-2005 with 3.0 software FWLS? Something in
it's first call must have changed the MFS database such that it could not load the
new Program Guide data.

I have tried various means to scrub/cleanup the MFS database with no success. (I
really don't know a lot about the MFS structure and just look at old scrips that I
have used and modified.)

I have not tried to examine differences between the reference Philips MFS database and those that FWLS.

I am off on a trip and will probably not do any more investigation until October. Maybe TiVo will have a fix out by then - I hope my Primary Tivo does not run out of Guide data before I get back.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:06 PM   #17
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My failures have settled into some clear classes that seem to be 100% repeatable. I have a total of 5 different base disk images (backups), some of which I have multiple copies with various software versions as I'd take a new backup over the years.

Any backup (old or current software) that requires me to go through Guided Setup (because the cable setup changed since it was saved) will get the FWLS bug, typically while processing the phone number data, but always when processing the guide data.

Any back taken from a currently working Tivo will download data OK. But within a few days going to program search will show "no programs" even though the to-do list is fully populated. A daily call won't fix it. It takes another guided setup, but then in a few days we're back to "no programs".

The 13Phil48.bak image has neither of the above two bugs, but after a few days the green LED will go out and it is totally non-responsive to the remote. It take a power-cycle to fix.

So with 5 different images (and multiple version on two of them) I have exactly (let's see, carry the one), ZERO that work.

The EWLS is frustrating because Tivo could fix it if they wanted to. The "no programs" is frustrating because I see no reason why a currently working image would not work when restored to a new disk. And I have no idea what to make of the third case (although it's frustrating too).

Grrrr.....
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:58 AM   #18
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Good news (maybe).
I woke up early and started to play with my Primary Tivo. I forced a daily call and it FWLS. I decided to change area codes to try different dial-in numbers, you have to make a test call to verify that the number is good and all settings work. I kept getting "Service Unavailable" - this was around 5:30 AM. I could listen on the phone and hear the connection being made, but appearently the TiVo servers were off-line. A couple hours later, I was able to select a new dial-in and it made a successful call. So, I forced a daily call. A couple more hours later, I see the status is at 84% and 9 minutes to go. Those 9 minutes took close to 30 minutes and I got Succeeded! I have program guide to Friday, Sep 5th. This is the 4th successful call since June.
Were the TiVo servers off-line while the TiVo Engineers put in a patch for the "Only a small number of TiVo Series 1 DVRs" that have this issue? I don't know yet. It may have been because I kept changing the dial-in numbers. I leave tomorrow for my trip. I will force a couple more daily calls before I leave and report my results.

Last edited by Fla_Travel : 08-25-2014 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fla_Travel View Post
`Were the TiVo servers off-line while the TiVo Engineers put in a patch for the "Only a small number of TiVo Series 1 DVRs" that have this issue?
Highly unlikely. I regularly have connection problems which will "magically" go away after a while. Besides, any fix is probably going to be in the Tivo software which would imply we might see a software update when (if) Tivo fixes it.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:26 AM   #20
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Well, Darn!
First couple calls forced within a couple hours were successful. Calls last evening and this morning failed. So, I tried to change area codes to try other numbers again. The verification call fails - Failed while preparing data.

A test call worked.

@bkc56
I don't think it is a software issue - The Philips image that is working for me for the past month is using the same software that my Primary is using that regularly FWLS.
Something in the MFS database or database structure is more likely to be the issue. TiVo downloads include various .runme files that run before the Guide Data is processed. They used the runme files to change the DST dates. So, TiVo could send out a runme file to cleanup and repair the MFS database - but they would have to take the time and energy to figure out what is going on to know what to fix.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:46 AM   #21
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It's been a few years, but I seem to remember that, phone line or TurboNet, an S1 would often fail mid-GS when trying to download the local phone numbers--even bypassing the phone line with Ethernet it would still want to get that local number list.

So I've always suspected that the problem is on TiVo's side of the connection, and not in the S1s themselves, especially since it seems to sometimes be a problem and sometimes not. I've even joked about it happening in the fall because TiVo was trying to get to the end of the year without paying their phone bills.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:16 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fla_Travel View Post
TiVo downloads include various .runme files that run before the Guide Data is processed. They used the runme files to change the DST dates. So, TiVo could send out a runme file to cleanup and repair the MFS database...
That makes sense. No matter what the root-cause is, I imagine they could write a script that would repair the damage so things would work again. I just wish they'd stop dinking around and DO so.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:32 PM   #23
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I don't have a S1 but this worked on my old ReplayTV. Change the connection baud rate to a lower rate. Most of the time anything 9600 or less worked reliably for me.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:33 AM   #24
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@jmbach:

Thank you for your input. I am experiencing the problem with both landline phone and broadband via Turbonet. I can look at the files as they are downloaded and they appear to arrive intact. The error is Failed While Loading Series which happens after the download is complete and the Tivo starts to load the new guide data. Multiple files are downloaded and the .runme files appear to run correctly. Then, the Program Guide file starts and gets thru a portion of the file when the FWLS error occurs. Something odd is happening in the MFS database. It might be a structure problem or some sort of corrupted data or something else entirely.
Tivo should be looking into this as they do acknowledge the problem exists.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:31 AM   #25
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**Have you tried to restore an older image that does not have the problem and let the TiVo update itself to see if the problem stays gone?
I reread the posts and saw that has been tried and failed.

Looks like all WK did was make a hybrid drive (or perhaps just using the Philips image itself) and is using that as a base image.

I would like to look at the images if you would not mind. The Philips image that works and the image that doesn't. Perhaps we can make our own hybrid images.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:45 PM   #26
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Found a Philips image. It looks like the only Kickstart codes that it accepts is a 52, 56, 57, and 58. So Emergency Software Install, Software Install, MFS check, and MFS Cleanup. It might be a long shot, but since perhaps this might be an MFS issue, has anyone tried a KS 57 and/or 58?

I agree that since copying partition 10 from the Philips image to any other image and the problem resolves, it is an MFS issue. With some upgrades on S3 and newer TiVos, some times the MFS is tweaked to go along with the OS update. Not unreasonable to try a KS 57 or 58. I would guess that the WK fix is exactly what you did, copy the Philips partition 10 over to your broken image.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:26 PM   #27
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@jmbach:

I am currently travelling and do not have access to my images.

I have used older images with current and older software and the problem occurs with those.

I have tried the 57 & 58 kickstart codes on my secondary a few months ago and had no change - it still FWLS. Good idea and I did not document that I tried that. Other threads about the FWLS error have also noted that kickstart did not fix the problem. If my Tivo still has this problem when I return, I will try the kickstart again on a different image.

WK does not care about Recordings, Season Passes, Wish Lists or Thumbs. They provide a drive that starts off with Guided Setup. They could use any of their images that does not exhibit the problem to set up their new drives. I think the Sony Series 1 is slightly different from the Philips Series 1. And they would need a different source for a working DirecTivo image.

I did, briefly, look at the MFS structure of the Philips image. I found several old directories that are not on my FWLS structore. They are empty (or have subdirectories that are empty). So, I will look a little more in depth when I get back - not expecting to find anything of signifigance.

Last edited by Fla_Travel : 08-29-2014 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:49 PM   #28
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I've got a couple updates to my post above after additional messing around...

Quote:
Any back taken from a currently working Tivo will download data OK. But within a few days going to program search will show "no programs" even though the to-do list is fully populated. A daily call won't fix it. It takes another guided setup, but then in a few days we're back to "no programs".
I was able to get the search data back without guided-setup. I tried clearing thumbs and suggestions, did a daily call, and later the search data worked. I haven't lost it again (yet). I don't know if it's causal, but it's interesting.

Quote:
The 13Phil48.bak image has neither of the above two bugs, but after a few days the green LED will go out and it is totally non-responsive to the remote. It take a power-cycle to fix.
I'd been restoring this on my Linux machine using MFS2.0. Per a suggestion I tried restoring it using the MFSLive CD. There were no currupt inodes on the restore, and, so far, I it hasn't gone unresponsive.

Neither of the above suggest anything is fixed, but the longer it keeps working the higher the odds of success.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:39 PM   #29
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Just returned home.
Last successful call was Wed, Sep 24
Last call Failed while loading series
Program Guide Data to Monday, Oct 6

Looks like a couple shows didn't get recorded while I was gone for a month. Can't tell if it ran out of Program Guide Data or something else happened.

I clearly still have the dreaded FWLS problem. Too many shows and movies recored to loose if I update my primary Tivo to the 13 Phil image.

On the other hand, my secondary Tivo that I built from the 13Phil image worked the whole time I was gone with no hiccups.

Last edited by Fla_Travel : 09-28-2014 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:07 AM   #30
DarkHelmet
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Danville, CA, US
Posts: 111
I've had my old SVR2000 sitting on my work desk for a few months now trying to coax it out of guided setup and into doing a phonehome.

A month or so ago the behavior was different. When I was looking that the /var/log/tclient log file I could see that there were three IP addresses in use for the phonehome call. I 208.73.180.147 208.73.180.148 208.73.180.149

About a month ago the failure was that 2 of the 3 servers were returning a http 4xx or 5xx error when fetching some the slice files. The tivo would keep using the same server over and over again, and failing in the same way. I had to firewall block the bad servers to get the tivo to try the remaining good one. I found that a firewall remap of the bad IP's to the good one also "worked" in that the downloads completed.

More specifically, a http fetch of the IR-standard-v550.slice.gz file failed on two of the three servers.

However, I still got stuck at the FWLS error. When I looked at the log files it went like this:
Code:
Oct 11 20:55:08 (none) db[149]: Loader Processing ProcessUnpacker(/var/packages/IR-standard-v550.slice.gz)
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) db[149]: Loader ProcessUnpacker(/var/packages/IR-standard-v550.slice.gz): Error Processing = 0x3001d
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) db[149]: Loader FinishedLoading(ProcessUnpacker(/var/packages/IR-standard-v550.slice.gz)) nAction=0/0 batch=0 batchtrans=0 badbatch=0
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) db[149]: loadgeneric nProcessed=0 (ty=0 subty=57005 svrid=(null) vers=0): nNotLoaded=0 nSnow=0 nComplete=0 nIncomplete=0 nerr=0
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) avalPP[149]: DBLoad Failed with errcode <3001d>!!!!!
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) avalPP[149]: post processing of file /var/packages/IR-standard-v550.slice.gz (2) returns FAILURE_0003001D (3001d)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) avalPP[149]: Result of processing file 2 (/var/packages/IR-standard-v550.slice.gz) is <3001d> 
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) avalPP[149]: File is required, and so we puke! 
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) avalPP[149]: AvalancheManager::StartDirectory returns <1e0011>
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) avalPP[149]: StartDirectory puked, returned <0x1e0011>
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) avalPP[149]: CLEARING OUT ANY DIRECTORIES THAT CAUSED US TROUBLE
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) avalPP[149]: Nuking dead directory <0x7f886bd0>
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) avalPP[149]: NukeFromDisk returns <0>
Oct 11 20:55:21 (none) avalPP[149]: DONE CLEARING OUT TROUBLED DIRECTORIES
It was always this file, same error code.

I tried again today and got the exact same failure as before (yes, I pasted today's log above, so sue me!

However, on a whim I tried the command from above:
bash$ dbgc-mcp -fg-gc

And voila! It worked. It completed guided setup and did a guide download. Then I realized I made a mistake and had to redo guided setup again. It still worked. I realize this has worked once for people but I only needed it to work once

Anyway, if a foreground garbage collection "solved", including the 3 day and 30 day time skip variants, this really feels like a fragmentation or utilization issue. Clearly, something's not right.
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11 TiVos (both standalone (dating back to SVR-2000) and DirecTV) in boxes / powered off.
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