Any LA locals willing to diagnose my HD TiVo?

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by PJO1966, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. PJO1966

    PJO1966 Hi. What is this?

    11,467
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    Mar 5, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've been having reboot issues with my HD TiVo. Most of the time it reboots in the middle of a recording. Last night it rebooted at some point, but I don't have any partial recordings. I think that's the first time it ever rebooted while it wasn't recording a Season Pass. When I first got it I had drive issues and had someone replace it with 2 Maxtor 300GB drives. I was wondering if there were any local LA peeps who might be willing to take a look at the drives. I am trying to avoid doing a Clear & Delete All because I have three pages of recordings I'd rather not lose. I cleared the Thumb settings and suggestions, but apparently that was not enough. I don't trust my minimal computer skills to attempt anything on my own.
     
  2. levytv

    levytv New Member

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    studio city
    if this is a weaknees machine you should call them. i had this early before the system died and it was a weaknees machine and they repaired it for a minimal cost.
     
  3. PJO1966

    PJO1966 Hi. What is this?

    11,467
    664
    Mar 5, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA

    Not a weaknees machine. I'm also trying to avoid shipping it out. I did that when I had the two drives put in and it was out of commission for a week.
     
  4. levytv

    levytv New Member

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    Jul 19, 2004
    studio city
    well weaknees has fixed my machines sometimes on the same day. highly recommended.
     
  5. PJO1966

    PJO1966 Hi. What is this?

    11,467
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    Mar 5, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks, I'll check them out to see if they'll repair a TiVo they didn't upgrade. I think I did buy the bracket from them. Maybe that will be enough.
     
  6. PJO1966

    PJO1966 Hi. What is this?

    11,467
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    Mar 5, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    It looks like I'm out of luck with WeaKnees.
     
  7. PJO1966

    PJO1966 Hi. What is this?

    11,467
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    Mar 5, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm bumping this up to renew my plea. At this point it looks like I'm going to have to go through the Now Playing List and write down everything to download from Bit Torrent. Every time it crashes now it gets stuck in a loop. It only comes back if I unplug it after a crash. It's crashed twice in the last 15 minutes. It's on its way to becoming a very expensive doorstop.
     
  8. Thom

    Thom Unemployed and loving it !

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    Southern Calif.
    You should make a copy of the Powermax utility diskette from the Maxtor website, then run this utility on your Tivo hard drives (while they are connected to your desktop computer).

    It sounds like your Tivo is simply encountering bad spots on the hard drive. The Powermax utility can repair (swap spare good sectors for bad ones) these bad spots.
     
  9. PJO1966

    PJO1966 Hi. What is this?

    11,467
    664
    Mar 5, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA

    I've never done anything like this before. What do I need to plug the TiVo drives into my PC?
     
  10. JTAnderson

    JTAnderson Active Member

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    Redondo...
    If you do attach your TiVo drive to your PC, be VERY CAREFUL not to boot Windows while it is attached.
     
  11. Thom

    Thom Unemployed and loving it !

    3,940
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    Jun 5, 2000
    Southern Calif.
    The Powermax utility runs on PCs, not Tivos. The Powermax utility will test the hard drive in the PC for bad spots, and tell the hard drive to substitute good areas for the bad ones.

    Once you are done, put the drives back in your Tivo and see if your problem is gone.
     
  12. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Sep 6, 2004
    You probably don't want to hear this, but there are HDDS and then there are HDDS. Maxtor makes some great HDDs (I have one I use for Mac backups). But some drives are much better for PVR use than others. You might take a garden-variety Maxtor off the shelf and not have issues, but if not designed for multi-media, it might not have the streaming throughput needed, regardless of what kind of burst performance it has. Maybe that's relevant to your problem, or maybe not.

    Rather than trying to figure all of that out, I simpy assume that Weaknees and 9th Tee have already figured out what works well and what doesn't, and if it comes to replacing or adding HDDs, I leave it up to them to make the decision as to what drives are appropriate. Not a real cure for you in particular, but that's my 2-cent advice to anyone thinking that a trip to Fry's will save them a hundred bucks. It might just not be worth it.
     
  13. Fezmid

    Fezmid New Member

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    Twin Cities, MN
    I've never believed in that. A harddrive is a harddrive. They don't make "special DVR" drives. Hell, if a 5400rpm drive is good enough to work, then no 7200rpm drive is going to have a problem.

    CW
     
  14. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Well, then no offense, but you obviously don't have a clue what you are talking about.

    Typical HDDs have smaller buffers and do regular thermal calibration. MM HDDs have larger buffers and don't. Typical HDDs pause regularly for various maintenance overhead and other reasons, which is fine if you are crunching a spreadsheet, because you won't notice it. They may also have tremendous burst throughput, which might be necessary for certain applications. What they don't have is the sustained minimum throughput necessary for MM.

    The needs of a PVR drive are very different. They don't need burst performance, which is why 5400 RPM drives can sustain three simultaneous HD streams. Even 19.39 Mb/s times three is only about 7.3 MB/s and is well below the sustained throughput of modern low-RPM IDE HDDs, which is why some PVRs only have 4200-RPM HDDs. What they really need is streaming performance. IOW, don't pause or you risk a hiccup in the video, which you WILL notice.

    This is exactly why MM HDDs exist, and is exactly why PVR and replacement vendors use them exclusively, and don't use Raptors or other high-throughput drives or the bargain-basement drive on sale this weekend at Best Buy. Thinking any hard drive is just like any other hard drive is like thinking that one person is just like any other person. Thinking you can go to CompUSA and pick any drive off the shelf for your HR10 is a perfect example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.
     
  15. PRMan

    PRMan New Member

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    Jul 26, 2000
    Yorba...
    Tyrone, your post is an example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.

    MM drives weren't even invented when the original ReplayTV used 4200 RPM drives to power their original 1xxx, 2xxx and 3xxx models. And they ran just fine. TiVo used the same drives (although the 5200 RPM versions because they had a fan).

    I threw a bargain-basement 5200 RPM 200GB Maxtor which I got for $50 AR into my HD TiVo a year and a half ago and have had none of the issues listed above. I threw a super-cheap drive in my other SD TiVo as well. Both are running great to this day, with no problems other than those common to everyone--upgraded or not (such as 1-second skip). I also put them in all of my ReplayTVs. All of my friends have done it too. None of us have had the problems listed above which have one and only one cause:

    A BAD HARD DRIVE

    All MM drives do is run quieter by--get this--running slower. I admit our upstairs TiVo is too loud to sleep with if the armoire doors are open. I don't care, I just close the doors. They still do thermal recalibration and will still pause to move a bad sector or whatever maintenance needs to be done. And you may get a one-second glitch if they move a bad sector.

    There is VERY little difference between a MM drive and a normal one. Only slightly more difference than that between a CD-R for music and a normal CD-R. Which is to say 99% of the difference is marketing.
     
  16. TyroneShoes

    TyroneShoes HD evangelist

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    Without any proof, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. But sorry, MM drives have been around since the late 90's, and well before Replay. I can say that with some degree of confidence since we have used them for professional multi-track audio recording for quite some time. We also have used them for years in professional video server RAIDS, and in that configuration they can help to allow "slow i/o" conditions of up to 4 seconds without recording "black frames" or hiccuping during playback.

    And they absolutely do NOT pause for T-cal as do off-the-shelf drives. The feature you are speaking of is acoustic management, which is something quite different and not relevant to the discussion at hand. It does slow burst throughput a tiny amount (which is not important in this application), but has no effect on minimum streaming throughput (which is).

    You might be able to put a garden-variety drive in your Tivo or Replay and get away with it, but you will have a much more comfortable minimum streaming throughput margin with a MM drive, and over the course of its lifetime, a much better chance of never seeing slow i/o breakup. Maybe that's not all that necessary for a 1-tuner SD Replay that tops out at 3 Mb/s. But this forum is about the HR10, and the requirements there or for any 2-tuner HD PVR are much more rigorous. It's completely up to you if you wish to play with fire.

    My humble opinion, which I think I have a right to share, is that based on those facts and my experience, or even in spite of both of them, using the HDDs that have been proven by the professionals to work well is insurance well worth the cost. But you are free to drive dangerously close to the edge of the cliff if you wish.
     
  17. JTAnderson

    JTAnderson Active Member

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    Redondo...
    I recall in a similar discussion that TiVoPony remarked that the Quantum trademark "Quickview" was utterly meaningless. The so-called Quickview drives were no different from their standard drives.
     
  18. Fezmid

    Fezmid New Member

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    Dec 6, 2001
    Twin Cities, MN
    You have a right to share your OPINION -- but to tell someone they have no clue what they're talking about??? :rolleyes:

    As the previous poster stated, we've had a TiVo engineer here say that the drive type makes no difference. Fact of the matter is, streaming video isn't all that demanding (from a speed perspective) on a harddrive. Set the block size high and it reads/writes in huge chunks. You really think an 8M or 16M buffer is going to do much for performance when you're writing 12G/hour? Read some benchmarks, most say it does practically nothing.

    They don't make special "database disks," even though having 100 users hitting a database simutaniously is MUCH more demanding than a simple video stream or two. Why not? Because they wouldn't be able to market that. The AV industry has been duping people forever with claims of "My super-cooled platinum cable gives better audio results than a plain old audio cable!" and they're (mostly) all bogus.

    If it makes you feel better to buy an "AV" harddrive, go for it -- your own peace of mind might be worth it to you -- but don't come here and say that you're absolutely 100% right about it.
    CW
     
  19. JTAnderson

    JTAnderson Active Member

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    Redondo...
    Well, TiVoPony is from marketing, not engineering. That may leave the subject up for a little more debate. :D

    (Why am I contradicting my own point?)
     
  20. Fezmid

    Fezmid New Member

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    Twin Cities, MN
    Really? I always thought he was from engineering... Oh well. :)

    CW
     

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