6.3e on standard-def units -- is it really a problem?

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by tivoupgrade, Sep 27, 2007.

Are you having problems with 6.3e on your standard-definition DirecTV TiVo?

  1. No, everything is working just fine

  2. Yes, and I have a DirecTV R10

  3. Yes, and I don't have a DirecTV R10

  1. Sep 27, 2007 #1 of 167

    tivoupgrade Sponsor

    Sep 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL...



    With the recent software update to 6.3e on the standard definition DirecTiVo units, I've seen my fair share of posts, like this one, and this one, mentioning problems after the update.

    As has been mentioned in previous posts, software updates typically result in a higher number system failures during a short period of time because they are installed on "dormant" partitions of the hard drive which may be defective. Once the update has taken place, failures can crop up very quickly and the end result is that it can look like its the software that caused the problem.

    I've seen this happen many times over the years, and I'm only aware of one situation (an update to the Series1 DirecTV TiVo units) that there was actually a bug that caused "random" system reboots.

    The reason I'm starting this thread is to see if there is something more to it. I've seen a few posts where people have complained of system lockups and have also ruled out defective hard drives as the problem, that makes me wonder. But with that said, most people who have complained of system lockups (in the upgrade center and underground) don't seem to want to run diags on their drives, so its really difficult to tell whether its the software or the underlying hardware.

    I'm interested to know who ISN'T having a problem, and who IS having a problem with the recent update. AND, if you ARE having a problem, what type of unit do you have?

    I'm attaching a poll, so if you can respond to the poll and reply with your comments (especially if you are having a problem), that would be good to know, as well.

    The reason I'm distinguishing between the R10 and other models is because the hardware is slightly different than the other Series2 DirecTV TiVo units. I'd prefer to list ALL the models, but the number of poll options is limited to six.

  2. Sep 27, 2007 #2 of 167

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2001
    I have the RCA DVR120 and my friend has the Samsung 100 hour unit and my mother has the R10. Her R10 has rebooted twice on me while watching a show and browsing the to do list. She is on a brand new upgraded drive.

    My friends Samsung unit has also been upgraded and completely freezes and reboots. It happened several times when I was over at his house. It happened during a major storm where he kept losing signal. We thought at first he was getting power surges when it rebooted even though it was on a surge protector but then it completely froze and had to be rebooted. When I got home I found my Rca with original drive completely frozen. Then a few days later during a storm it rebooted as I lost signal, but my other Rca unit was fine.
  3. Sep 27, 2007 #3 of 167

    chuckg New Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    S4040Rs purchased 7/6/04 and 9/17/04 Flawless operation. Only record via List Guide or Manually Record by Channel and Time.

    Weaknees system 6.2a Seagate DB35s installed 7/02/07
    No problems :) :up: until:
    8/24/07 approximately. 160GB unit 6.3e activated.
    Powering up... and other problems soon started.
    8/28/07 Roughly. 320GB unit 6.3e activated.
    8/31/07 320GB Power up..... Started trouble log. Log note: F#@k!
    8/31/07 Clear and Delete 160GB as had a bunch of non-logged problems.
    Logged a bunch of problems mostly on the 320GB unit.
    9/13/07 Clear and Delete 320GB
    May be a five day pattern for 320GB unit.
    Clear and Delete did absolutley nothing for either unit that I could detect.
    9/19/07 Removed 320GB and replaced with 40 GB 6.2a drive. Not a single problem since. Five days was the 6.3e norm.
    9/20/07 Removed the 120GB and replaced with 40 GB 6.2a and not a single problem since.
  4. Sep 27, 2007 #4 of 167

    Pt121 New Member

    Mar 26, 2006
    Well, I have a Samsung Sir-S4080R and a Phillips DSR-708. Both of these units have started rebooting by themselves since the 6.3e update. The samsung likes the 10PM-12:30AM time frame to reboot and the Phillips likes the evening 4:30-6:30PM time frame.

    If I have something that needs to be recorded, I can reboot manually and it won't reboot later that night and most likely til the next night. So, it doesn't have anything to do with an time or does it....its confusing. You would think if it was time related it would reboot anyhow within the time frame whether I reboot manually or not, but it seems to work until the next night. If I leave it be, then it will just reboot within the time frames I have posted each day. Wierd...ehh?

    I have just installed the DVRupgrade 250GB hard drive for the Samsung unit. I let it connect to DVR service one time when I first set it up and have since pulled the Phone line out and hopefully it will not update from the 6.2a version that came on the drive. I'll see how it goes.

  5. Sep 27, 2007 #5 of 167

    tivoupgrade Sponsor

    Sep 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL...


    chuckg et al,

    If you still have those drives with 6.3e on them, do you have the skills/desire to look at the log files which sit on /dev/hdX9 in /var/log/kernel? If not, no big deal, just wondering if you happen to have that...

    Either way, though - could you run diagnostics on the drives using the diagnostic utilities that can be downloaded from here?

    Would be really cool if we could eliminate the possibility of you having bad drives, although it sure seems like more than a coincidence that people with multiple units are having problems.

    pt121 - if you don't have a PTVnet kit, and you don't want your unit to update, unplug your unit from the phone line, and although you will get "nag" messages to make your daily call, your unit shouldn't update and will continue to work fine. The only difference will be that to use pay-per-view, you will need to order from the directv.com site, or call to order a PPV.
  6. Sep 27, 2007 #6 of 167

    Pt121 New Member

    Mar 26, 2006
    Thanks Lou,

    I will keep the phone line disconnected. I don't usually order any PPV movies, so that really doesn't matter. The drive I had in the Samsung is a Western Digital WD800BB. I've downloaded the WD tools from their site and will, if I have time, try and run them over the weekend to see how the drive does.

  7. Sep 27, 2007 #7 of 167

    dtremain New Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    New Jersey
    Neither my Samsung 100 hour or my R10 is having a problem that I would relate to the software update.

    I am having momentary blackouts only on local channels in the New York area. It seems to happen about once an hour and has been happening for a few weeks. There's a little pixelation, the screen goes black for about five seconds, the audio generally continues however, and everything returns to normal.

    A Google search brings up a thread of other people in the New York area having the same problem over the same period of time with their Directv signal. It only affects the local channels and never happens on the national "cable" channels.

    Since other people are having exactly the same problem and it only affects the locals, I suspect that it is something other than the software ujpdate.

    It is quite annoying, however.
  8. Sep 28, 2007 #8 of 167

    rvfrueh New Member

    Nov 12, 2003
    Madison, WI
    HDVR2 and R10. Both updated the same day in early september, and ever since then, they've both been rebooting, with apparently no rhyme or reason. They lock up, usually while recording, and never recover.
  9. Sep 28, 2007 #9 of 167

    StinkingWally New Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    NE Mass.
    I started web searching for similar problems when my R10 started seemingly random reboots end of August/ begining of September. Almost went the hard drive replacement route until I started seeing all of the different forum posts including the DirrecTV site. I'm waiting to see how this shakes out before going through all that. I think it's 6e and not the drive.
  10. Sep 28, 2007 #10 of 167

    Zephyr Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2005
    However, R10 reboot problems started prior to the 6.3 recent upgrade on my unit. We are seeing new problems since the update, particularly slow response when using many of the key functions. Knock on wood... we have seen several days go by without a reboot. Have not hooked up telephone since 6.3 added. So, for now, reboots have been miraculously cured. My confidence level is less than 50/50 that we are out of the woods.
  11. Sep 28, 2007 #11 of 167

    ST1100A New Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    Oceanside, CA
    Both of my DSR-708's started having problems after the 6.3e update - reboots, color loss, go to live TV and have a black screen, some recordings listed as Partial with a record time of 0:00.

    Read on the forum about the update going to a new sector and having a bad hard drive. OK, the units are three years old or so. So I ordered two replacement drives from Weaknees.com (300 GB each, one for each unit as a total replacement).

    Get the drives and put them in. They were preloaded with 6.2, and I had no issues with either unit - Cool, I fixed it!! Then the 6.3e download was loaded back onto the units (should have yanked the phone cord, but I thought the issue was the drives).

    They now reboot at least once a day. Lose color (press pause - colors back!). Get black screens when you go to live TV - sometimes. I think the 0:00 recordings are from the black screens, we set both tuners to unused stations at night so the unit has to change channels to record - seems to be working so far.

    So for the people saying it's bad drives - sorry, it's bad software, at least for my units!!! Oh, and except for the upgrade in drives and the extra fan kit Weaknees sells (only in one, the one in the entertainment center - I thought the drive was going bad due to heat) my units are stock and unhacked.
  12. Sep 28, 2007 #12 of 167

    Legoman32 New Member

    May 8, 2006
    I have been having problems for weeks right after the 6.3e upgrade. I have a Hughes SD DVR40. A few weeks ago the freezing started. The signal strength was always going in and out constantly. mostly out. no reboots, but basically always searching for a signal. Last week it stopped. Screen went black and now nothing. Hard down. Unplugging and rebooting only gets to "Almost there, just a few minutes", then black screen. Doesn't respond to anything. I assume this means my hard drive is dead?? Also, quite annoyingly, I can't seem to get the signal strength any better. I have and older Sony receiver, from before my TIVO that I hooked up to see if the signal strength was related to the upgrade or something else. I'm guessing both. I really hate not having access to the programming I paying for, not to mention, the frustration with the signal strength.
  13. Sep 28, 2007 #13 of 167

    rbtravis New Member

    Aug 9, 2005
    Parker, Co....
    Consider buying Instantcake and PTVnet from DVRupgrade. The current version is 6.2a which you had working. Answer yes to the Disable phone question and unplug in the phone after the initial setup. make sure you have a logon to directv so you can order pay per view (if you desire) and your Tivo's will not upgrade to 6.3e unless you plug in the phone line and force it. Hence your problems will be eliminated. Good Luck.
  14. Sep 28, 2007 #14 of 167

    tivoupgrade Sponsor

    Sep 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL...
    legoman32 - If your unit isn't booting at all, it sounds likely to be a hardware problem. More likely the hard drive than anything else.

    ALL - thx for your responses so far. Trying to keep an open-mind and be objective here, with history as a backdrop for my own predispositions. Looking at the survey and the discussion so far:

    1) the sample size is still small
    2) the number of people that are having problems is relatively high
    3) there is something to be said for the possibility that folks who aren't having problems at all, may not even have found this thread (the forums do attract more folks with problems than folks without them, IMHO)
    4) many folks haven't ruled out hard drive problems
    5) there are several folks with multiple systems having problems - that sounds like more than a coincidence

    So, right now, I'm leaning towards the notion that this is not the typical fallout that occurs during an upgrade, but still trying to be objective; hopefully more people will respond to the poll and post their observations.
  15. Sep 28, 2007 #15 of 167

    vicmeldrew New Member

    Sep 28, 2007

    well add me to the list; my tivos were both flawless until this upgrade - both stock; now both freeze and reboot; something is wrong and needs to be fixed
  16. Sep 28, 2007 #16 of 167

    tivoupgrade Sponsor

    Sep 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL...
    vicmeldrew - I don't see you as having responded to the poll - you can do that at the top of this thread (that is the closest to 'a list' as there is at this point...
  17. Sep 28, 2007 #17 of 167
    Mark Griswold

    Mark Griswold New Member

    Apr 22, 2003
    My HDVR2 started experiencing pixelation and loss of audio shortly after 6.3e. I haven't seen any random reboots though. On one occasion, the unit locked up while playing a NPL recording, right at the point where the pixelation occurred.
  18. Sep 28, 2007 #18 of 167

    dtremain New Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    New Jersey
    You're in Connecticut. Has the problem been with New York local channels?

    That seems to be an issue affecting more than just DVR users.
  19. Sep 28, 2007 #19 of 167

    CaptainLate New Member

    Jun 17, 2004
    Long Island NY
    Add me to the list of R-10 owners having problems since the software upgrade.I have not had a single problem with my R-10 in the 2+ years that I have owned it.After the software downloaded in early September I get random picture dropouts,audio dropouts and color dropouts on some channels.Most of these occur on my NY local stations with poor quality picture on those locals,but they happen on other channels as well(Sunday Ticket,Encore).These take place a couple of times per hour.I never had any of these issues before this and will leave it up to the technically astute members of this forum to draw their own conclusions about these issues.My R-10 is unmodified and connected to the phone line with both the composite and S-video cables connected.Thanks in advance for any answers that are forthcoming
  20. Sep 28, 2007 #20 of 167
    Beer Geek

    Beer Geek New Member

    Mar 14, 2007
    I have a HDVR2 that I've had since '02 (IIRC). The only change was swapping for a pre-formatted 80GB Weaknees drive a little over a year ago. Since the 6.3 change, my HDVR2 has frozen multiple times (black screen, no response to remote, green and red lights both on), and the video blanks out for a second when you switch between menu screens (like going from a show title to the show info screen or to the playback itself).

    Dumb question- if I have a zippered HDVR2 running fakecall (which I'm about to turn on w/ DTV), do I still need to disconnect the phone line to avoid 6.3?

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