Ahh crap, what did I do?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Dan203, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    OK so I was trying to diagnose a tuner problem I mentioned in another thread. I was fishing around behind the TiVo trying to disconnect the tuning adapter USB cable but accidentally disconnected the eSATA cable to my extender instead. The TiVo immediately rebooted. I plugged the eSATA cable right back in, but it booted to a "permanently remove eSATA drive screen" instead of into the UI. I didn't want to do that so I pulled the plug to reboot again. Now it's stuck in a reboot loop. It shows "Welcome powering up" for a minute or so, goes blank then reboots. Over and over.

    What did I do and how do I fix it? Any advice is welcome.

    Dan
     
  2. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon New Member

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    Jan 15, 2012
    Hi Dan!

    I've been a happy user of VideoReDo TVSuite for a while now, thanks!

    I've been a Linux user since kernel 1.0.8. Since the TiVo runs Linux, there's a good chance that your TiVo uses the md (multiple device) "linear" driver to append your external drive to the internal one. If you're writing block device drivers, the linear md option is the simplest way to add capacity.

    The bad news is that the linear module (at least back then when I last looked at it) was a "forever" proposition. Once you concatenated one drive to another, there was no way to go back without losing all data on both devices. So I made a mental note "NEVER USE EXTERNAL DRIVES WITH TIVO" and continued to add recording capacity by replacing the internal drive.

    Things have probably changed since then. The fact that you get the "remove eSATA drive" boot screen seems to indicate that TiVo has some way of protecting the internal drive. You'll probably lose all your recordings, but at least the system will be usable.

    If you have the TiVo approved Western Digital My Book DVR Expander, you're entitled to call the TiVo and WD help lines for help. You may want to leave out the part about you playing out back, and simply say that you found that the eSATA connector had come undone. From what I can tell from support.tivo.com, as long as you don't plug the external drive into anything else, they may have some secret way to force the external drive to link up. You're still at risk of losing data, but it's better to try official channels first.

    The other route to take is using utilities like mfstools to either try to remarry the external drive, or at least to save the usable .TiVo files. If you're not comfortable doing this yourself, you can send your TiVo and external HD in to one of the several companies that are in the business of expanding TiVo recording capacity.

    Unfortunately I couldn't find any MFS disaster recovery information online. Maybe someone who has kept current with the various MFS utilities can offer more specific help. Right now the best help I can give is to avoid the temptation to try things I've never used before at your expense. ;)
     
  3. bshrock

    bshrock Member

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    Jan 6, 2012
    Remove any unessential device USB adapter, network cable, TA ... remove power from both the external Hard Drive and DVR. Check both ends of the ESATA cable connections the plug in the External drive then the DVR.

    { Turn around 3 times click your heals together and say "There is no place like Home' } repeat 3 times.

    if you can get it past the "Welcome Powering Up" stage run the drive check kickstart.

    If no luck, check both drives in a PC using the manufacturers boot from CD diagnostics.
     
  4. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I removed the CableCARDs and tuning adapter and tried one more reboot and this time it took. I then reconnected everything and it rebooted again and now it's back up and running. I still have the tuner problem, but it's not stuck in a loop any more.

    Dan
     
  5. NJ_HB

    NJ_HB TiVo/MCE/PSP

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    Did you repeat Guided Setup for your tuner problem? That has worked for me.
     
  6. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Repeating GS fixed a tuner problem for you? No I didn't try that, but I will. Thanks for the tip.

    Dan
     
  7. edubbrulez

    edubbrulez Member

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    Any luck with that? I have the same problem as you are experiencing.
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    What tuner problem are you having?

    Sometimes problems with one tuner and not the other indicate a problem with one or more bad capacitors in the power supply.

    The good news is that if that's the cause, it's an easy fix, less than $10 in parts.
     
  9. edubbrulez

    edubbrulez Member

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    Yep, went down that route already:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=477468

    I wish it was a capacitor problem. Right now - I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I can try and replace the power supply for $100 or do an out of warranty replacement with TiVo ($350).
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Did you ever try swapping the cable cards?


    If you have to replace the TiVo you'll have to re-pair them anyway.

    Also, if your power supply is just barely marginal, the additional current draw of one or both cards might make a difference. Try it without cards, and then with only one, and then with only the other, and then with both swapped.
     
  11. edubbrulez

    edubbrulez Member

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    Nope didn't try swapping the cards. The last time I needed to re-pair them required me to take a day off of work waiting for the tech to arrive. Not a pleasant experience.

    The "bad" tuner is tuner 0. I was under the impression that if you only have one cable card you must use tuner 0. Is that accurate?
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    No idea, I'm still on analog cable.
     
  13. edubbrulez

    edubbrulez Member

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    So I was thinking, even if I swapped the cards and the issue now occurred on Tuner 1, I wouldn't be any closer determining whether the problem was:

    Tuner
    Cablecard(s)
    Power Supply

    This seems like a no-win situation.
     
  14. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    If you swap cards and the problem moves with the card, I'd strongly suspect the card.
     
  15. edubbrulez

    edubbrulez Member

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    Perhaps. I'd like something a little more definitive though.

    One of the guys here at work has a device that can check the capacitors. I'll bring in my power supply so we can figure out if any are suspect. If the power supply checks out ok, then I'll move on to the cable card test.
     
  16. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Well, then, take it to your nearest authorized TiVo service facility.

    Oh, wait, there aren't any.

    I guess you're stuck with us.
     
  17. edubbrulez

    edubbrulez Member

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    Understood. I'm just trying to get an answer here without spending a lot of money. Of course I can always get a refurbished unit, but if I don't have to, that would be great.

    I was just saying that you seem to push bad power supplies as the cause of a lot of hardware problems. That maybe the problem here, so I would like to rule that out first. Seems reasonable as I know someone that has the right equipment and know-how. And it doesn't require Comcast.

    If the power supply checks out, then I'm going to swap the cable cards. If the problem follows the cable card, then I get a new one from Comcast.

    If the problem doesn't follow the cable card, then I can only assume a tuner problem. Something like that isn't user serviceable as far as a know.

    FWIW - I've seen bad caps on a TivoHD first hand (yesterday) - so I know what to look for.
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    You can swap cable cards without having to take the cover off of the TiVo.

    If the problem follows the cable card, you have grounds to tell the cable company to give you a new one. If that solves the problem, you've saved yourself having to screw around with unhooking all of the cables from the TiVo and find a big enough flat surface to put it on to take the cover off.

    Do the easy stuff first.
     
  19. edubbrulez

    edubbrulez Member

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    I believe I found the problem. Here's the picture of some caps that I took three months ago:

    [media]http://home.comcast.net/~edubbrulez/tivo/tivo3.jpg[/media]

    And here's one I just took this morning:

    [media]http://home.comcast.net/~edubbrulez/tivo/bad_cap.JPG[/media]

    Looks like I have to replace the 2200uf 25v cap. It's now showing "doming". Guy at work measured it and it's only showing about 1300uf and about .13 ohms. He said the resistance should be less than .05 ohms
     
  20. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Okay, always do the easy stuff first unless you have access to a well-equipped lab with well-trained techs.:D

    The good news is you can replace that one and the three around it on GP for about $10 or less.
     

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