Bad hard drive, bad power supply, no image!

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by RoundTuit, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. RoundTuit

    RoundTuit Member

    59
    0
    Dec 29, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    It appears that one of my S3 TiVos has died. I have owned TiVos since the early days of the S1, but this is the first hardware failure I have experienced, so I do not have much firsthand experience diagnosing and fixing such problems.

    The failure occurred upon rebooting after having to momentarily disconnect power from my HT cabinet. My Premiere XL rebooted fine, but my S3 hung on the “Welcome……Powering Up” screen with all LEDs lit. Prior to that it was working fine. I was aware of the capacitor failures TiVo owners have been experiencing, so I opened the enclosure to inspect the power supply capacitors. C701 has a healthy bulge on top, and the top of C502 has a slight bulge. All of the others look ok.

    With the top of the enclosure removed, I powered up the S3 so I could measure the power supply voltages. I noticed that after a 5-second delay the LEDs came on, and then I could hear the hard drive spin up followed by 6 loud clicks and then it spun down. The clicks were coming from the hard drive, but did not sound like noise you normally hear from head seeks. The noise I heard sounded more like the heads being parked or unparked, and was very tin-like. It sounded more like the heads were hitting the metal enclosure of the hard drive. The following sequence would be repeated each time I powered up the S3:

    5-second pause, all LEDs lit, drive spins up, 6 clicks, drive spins down
    10-second pause, drive spins up, 2 clicks, drive spins down
    10-second pause, drive spins up, 2 clicks, drive spins down
    10-second pause, drive spins up, 6 clicks, drive spins down
    10-second pause, drive spins up, 6 clicks, drive spins down
    10-second pause, drive spins up, 2 clicks, drive spins down
    10-second pause, drive spins up, 2 clicks, drive spins down
    Front panel LEDs remain lit, nothing else happens after this.

    At this point I am pretty certain I have a drive failure, but I measured the voltages to check the status of the power supply:

    Red 4.60 V (stable)
    Gray 8.69 V (stable)
    Yellow 5.06 V – 5.42 V (unstable)
    Orange 3.12 V – 3.16 V (unstable)

    This does not look good to me. I believe yellow should be 12 volts, red should be 5 volts but is probably within tolerance, orange should be 3.33 (perhaps also within tolerance), and I do not know what gray should be.

    At the very least the 12 V supply is bad and could account for why the hard drive was not working. Just to be sure, I removed the hard drive and installed it in a PC and attempted to run WD diagnostics. Neither the BIOS nor WD diagnostics recognize the presence of the hard drive.

    So at this stage I believe I have both a power supply problem and hard drive failure. I have a lifetime subscription on this device, so I plan to repair it by replacing the power supply capacitors and the hard drive, and will use this opportunity to upgrade the drive to 1TB.

    Here is my question. I do not have a TiVo S3 backup image, however I do have another working S3 with a month-to-month subscription. My plan is to make a backup image of the working S3 using WinMFS and use that to reimage a blank 1TB drive. I assume the lifetime subscription is tied to the serial number on the motherboard and not the hard drive image. Will this work?
     
  2. GBL

    GBL covert opiniative

    2,001
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    Apr 20, 2000
    Twin Cities, MN
    Yes. You'll need to do a "clear & delete everything" after startup to reset to a new serial number..
     
  3. RoundTuit

    RoundTuit Member

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    Dec 29, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Thanks for the tip. I planned to do that anyway because the recordings and season passes on that S3 are my wife's and there is no need to keep them. I rather start fresh as if I just took it out of the box.
     
  4. donnoh

    donnoh Member

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    2
    Mar 7, 2008
    You're pretty thorough, you must be an EE. You already knew the answer, you just wanted some confirmation.
     
  5. donnoh

    donnoh Member

    789
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    Mar 7, 2008
    BTW, I used to work with a guy that had a stack of round-tuits stapled to his door, right next to his no BS signs.
     
  6. RoundTuit

    RoundTuit Member

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    Dec 29, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Yes, that and a lot of self doubt.

    I only have one round tuit -- I would have gotten more but I never got around to it. I misplaced mine in late 2009, and found it earlier this month. Needless to say, 2010 and 2011 were nearly wasted years.
     
  7. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You know enough to use Low-ESR replacement caps, right?
     
  8. RoundTuit

    RoundTuit Member

    59
    0
    Dec 29, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Thanks, I do now. I recall reading this, but if you had not reminded me, I might have forgotten.

    Do you recommend replacing all of the caps? Also, is a solder sucker necessary, or is it simple to just poke the leads through with a little heat in the right place? I built my own color television set, and even though that was 35 years ago when I could actually see what I was doing, I should be able to accomplish this.
     
  9. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Well, you'll need a soldering iron to melt the old solder enough to remove the bad caps, and melting a little new solder onto the joint will help it melt more easily (because of the flux in the new solder). If you mail order the caps from somewhere, go ahead and get a roll of solder wick from them as well. (the stuff Radio Shack has now is even worse than what they used to carry, and it wasn't great compared to the name brands, and of course they aren't going to have the right kind of caps)

    Make sure the caps are rated for 105 degrees (centigrade/celsius), not 85, and that they aren't too big around or too tall to fit where they have to go, and of course, observe polarity.

    The big fat 200V or higher cap near the AC input should probably be fine.

    Find the ones that go from the +12, +5, and +3.3 Volt output rails to ground and replace those.

    Was that TV a Heathkit?
     
  10. sathead

    sathead Member

    187
    8
    Jan 12, 2008
    Glad you mentioned that point about the poor quality desoldering braid from RatShack.
    I've also seen a marked drop in it's useability in the past few years- I have to pretty much tin every point before desoldering when using the RS branded braid. I thought it had something to do with my soldering skills- but I guess it's not just me who's having issues with it. I'm almost finished with the last roll of braid from RS, I ordered Elenco brand braid from Amazon and plan to give it a try as soon as the RS brand junk runs out.
     
  11. RoundTuit

    RoundTuit Member

    59
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    Dec 29, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Yep.
     
  12. ThreeSoFar

    ThreeSoFar FourNow...WaitFive

    5,431
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    May 24, 2002
    Baltimore
    RoundTuit,

    I'm near you and was ready to offer up an image for you until I got to the part about your already having another S3.

    I've done lots of TiVo upgrades, though none with a soldering iron so I'm no help there.

    Is your Premiere upgraded? We have two Premieres with 2TB drives in them, 300 hours of HD each.

    Good luck, and keep me in mind if you need an image.
     
  13. RoundTuit

    RoundTuit Member

    59
    0
    Dec 29, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Thanks for the offer. My goal for the moment is to get my wife's S3 backed up before it conks out. I opened it up and C701 is bulging like my broken S3, and of course the hard drive has a lot of mileage on it too.

    I learned my lesson the hard way. I don't use my S3 much but I noticed the last few times I viewed some recorded programs on it I saw some symptoms of the hard drive going bad -- no error messages, just some stutters and stalls during playback. I thought at the time it would be prudent to get a copy of WinMFS and make a back up. However, in keeping with my screen name, I did not.

    Today I opened my wife's S3 while she was out shopping and took out the hard drive. She uses her S3 daily, so I do not want to risk losing it. I put the drive in my PC, but when I went to download WinMFS I discovered the website is not allowing new registrations. I hope that is just temporary.

    My plan is to backup the wife's S3 ASAP, and then fix my S3 and upgrade the drive to 1 or 1.5 TB. I am kind of hoping I cannot fix the S3 power supply so I will have an excuse to get a Premiere Elite. In that case I will marry my wife's power supply with my S3 motherboard which has a lifetime subscription.

    I may or may not upgrade my Premiere XL, but I am certainly going to back it up. I have 4TB sitting on a HP Media Server, and another 4TB sitting on the PC I just built, so I don't need to keep a lot of content on my TiVos. On the other hand, it is nice have a lot of spare space available on the TiVo. I often delete something and later want to get it back. Upgrading will give me a much bigger waste bin (I have suggestions turned off, so should not have to worry about it filling up with crap).

    Any how, I am in limbo right now until I can get registered on MFSLive and download a copy of WinMFS. It is good to know that there is a TiVo fan nearby. I will keep your screen name handy.
     
  14. ThreeSoFar

    ThreeSoFar FourNow...WaitFive

    5,431
    2
    May 24, 2002
    Baltimore
    There's also the LInux Boot CD option, see mfslive.org. Or is that the site not working.

    I have the .iso for the Linux boot CD I can send you. Share it via google docs or whatever.
    The MFS software does not properly back up a Premiere to a .bak file. (Truncated backup is the term, I think.) Only good backup is the original drive on a shelf.
    In that case, just keeping your old programs you may someday want works. The oldest will be deleted first when space is needed.
     
  15. RoundTuit

    RoundTuit Member

    59
    0
    Dec 29, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    MFSLive.org is working -- just can't create a new account. I will look into the Linux boot CD option. Is the procedure essentially the same, except instead of running under Windows you do it from a native Linux boot?

    Thanks for that info. I have not yet read the info on Premiere upgrade (first things first). Hopefully by the time I get to it prices on hard drives will have come back down some.

    I have been looking for a WD10EURS or WD15EURS, and it appears I can get a 1.5TB drive for the same price as a 1TB (at currently inflated prices though). My understanding is that I can upgrade to 1.35TB on the S3 (1.1TB + 250GB), so I think I will go that route even though I don't really need the extra space).

    Again, thanks for your help.
     
  16. ThreeSoFar

    ThreeSoFar FourNow...WaitFive

    5,431
    2
    May 24, 2002
    Baltimore
    It's safest to disconnect your Windows hard drives while booting from the LiveCD. It boots to the Linux platform you need.

    The JMFS method has a LiveCD option, as well. It should work with the S3 also, I think.

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=455968

     
  17. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    jmfs was designed for the Premiere and just happens to work with the S3 HD and HD XL, but, as I understand it, is not right for the original S3, the TCD648250

    Either MFS Live or WinMFS should let you copy the 250 to a 1 or 1.5TB while making the swap partition bigger and then expand.
     
  18. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    1,778
    1
    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    If you would rather try WINMFS I can upload a copy to DropBox and send you a link or just e-mail it to you. I prefer WINMFS but have used MFSTools a little bit. Both are compatible with USB to IDE/SATA adapters (that's what I use) if you don't want to crack open your PC and mess with the internal drives.
     
  19. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    1,778
    1
    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    I got WINMFS uploaded to my DropBox location. I'll PM you the link.
     
  20. RoundTuit

    RoundTuit Member

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    0
    Dec 29, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Thanks lillevig, you rock!

    For anyone else that happens to read this thread, I visited MFSLive.org again this evening and this time I noticed two links at the bottom of the WinMFS download page to winmfs.exe -- one link for Australia, and one for everyone else. I don't recall seeing that yesterday, but more likely than not it was there and I was too dumb and blind to see it.

    Once I get my capacitors and a hard drive, and get my head screwed back on, I will report the results.

    Thanks everyone for your help!
     

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