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Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by BlaineMurphy, May 19, 2014.
Same problem with mine. I found a guy in Melbourne who is sure he can fix it. Faulty motherboard.
When he does you need to get him to write down for you (to share with us) what the problem is and what he did to fix it.
Is it just bad capacitors on the motherboard or actual integrated circuits (chips) on there gone bad, and which ones?
Very happy to share whatever I can learn. Frankly I'll pay to make it work again and I don't really care what the solution is. In the mean time I am buying a spare unit or two when I can.
LOVE MY TIVO. NOTHING COMES CLOSE!
Hope you didn't pay too much to get it fixed Andrew! Now that it's all about to finish in Australia & NZ. Anyone out there know how to get service EPG from somewhere else? It shouldn't be too hard, all TV's and PVR's get a EPG just a matter of getting the TiVo to show it.
I've been doing a lot of searching trying to figure out how to fix this issue. For mine, my mom has had her S3 with lifetime for 8 years and out of the blue, it's blinking continuous green on the far left light.
I called Tivo customer support, they basically told me to unplug and plug back in and then shrugged their shoulders.
As I've read this thread about caps and hair dryers - what would you recommend my first steps to be to try to fix? I'm located in the States and am a novice with "power stuff". Thanks in advance
While not definitive, first would be to open the case and check for capacitors in the power supply that are bulging outward slightly on the top. It is possibly to have power supply/capacitor issues without exhibiting this physical issue though.
Tivo Series 3 - Bad capacitors in power supply
Has the drive been replaced during this time? You could also run the drive manufacturer's tests on it to see if it passes in case you have a hard drive issue as well.
Is this the HD model?
Unfortunately, the blinking green light is basically the Tivo's way of saying, "something went wrong". Any number of things could be the cause--only a couple of which we can do anything about.
Did this happen after a power outage (or Tivo unplugged)? The hair dryer trick might allow you to get it to start back up, and once it is running it seems to be fine until power is removed. So, not a fix. A workaround.
If you're lucky, it would be the caps (as Scott mentioned above) because that is a tangible problem you can remedy with some electronics work. Either way, you have to open the unit up and inspect. If you don't see the bulging capacitors, I'd try the hair dryer treatment. You don't need to hook it all back up to test...just plug in power and see if the green light blinks continuously or only a couple of times and then remains solid.
If it goes solid, you know the heat helped. Now you need to keep power on it as you screw the cover back on and plan your path back to the Tivo's normal spot. Unplug it and hustle to that spot and plug back in ASAP. If you still have the solid green, hook all your cables, etc. back up and hope the power doesn't go out again.
As of now, we don't know why the hair dryer trick works, but it has worked for several people. Any feedback on your experience is welcomed, as it may be the key we needed to figure this out.
Here are some pictures - what am I looking for?
I have never replaced the drive.
Nice photos! Obviously a visual inspection is not nearly as good as an electrical test, but in my experience your caps look okay. What you're looking for is any kind of deformation or leaking on the tops of the larger electrolytic caps. That + on top is actually an intentionally weak spot so that if pressure inside the cap builds up too high, the top will open and relieve the pressure (versus just blowing up).
I've included a photo I got off the web that shows some caps that are most likely bad--or at least due to be replaced even if still working. Note that the tops are not perfectly flat, but slightly domed. In worse cases, there could be crud oozing out the top. If that were your situation I'm sure you wouldn't even be asking...
If you've come this far, I'd try a hairdryer on the U3003 chip shown in the first photo of post 102. You probably only need it heated for a minute max. Plug it in and see if the green LED blinks or if it stays on after a second or two.
Good luck, and thanks for keeping us informed.
Thank you so much and thank for the detailed description. I was going to totally do what you said, but then I got an email from TiVo offering a $99 lifetime transfer to a Tivo Bolt so I took it!
Was able to upgrade a Series 2 with lifetime and this Series 3 with lifetime to Two 1 TB Bolts for $399.
877-289-8486 option 4 was the number I called.
Well done! Sometimes it's not worth the hassle of trying to fix it.
so my Tivo Bolt hasn't shipped so I decided to follow your instructions above and heated up the chip for 1 minute and it powered on just fine! Amazing!
Great! Thanks for that feedback. Every bit of information brings us a little closer to a real solution.
Good luck with your Bolts.
I never got around to attempting repair of my unit. I was able to get it booted thanks to the information in this thread, and used it a while, which conveniently enough kept it eligible for the lifetime transfer offer on the bolt. When the transfer is complete and the box is deactivated, I'll be happy to donate it to "science" if anyone so desires.
My blinking green '652 TiVo HD was fixed 2 years ago by weaknees. It appears they replaced two ram chips (U800 and U801).
It's blinking green again. A hair dryer blast in the general area of those ram chips before connecting AC makes it start every time. Voltages measure OK and swapping power supplies with my other working TiVo HD doesn't help, so it's not the power supply. (neither TiVo has a cable card).
Reviewing this thread again, I really doubt it's a solder joint problem. I suspect it's a hairy-edge timing issue on the motherboard only during power-up and that slight changes in component characteristics (motherboard caps?) slightly shift the timing enough to create the problem. I suspect changing one of several components may slightly shift the timing back enough to make it work, but while still have its timing on the hairy-edge. My hunch is that a strategically placed cap somewhere may be a permanent fix.
I hate to pay weaknees again only to have this problem return, so my "work-around" is to leave my TiVo installed with no screws so I can lift the cover and slip in a hair dryer after power failures. This also lets me tread water in case TiVo again offers their lifetime transfer deal to a Bolt.
Hat's off to SirKnowsALot for his progress narrowing in on this problem and I strongly feel he was on the brink of nailing it. Although this thread has been quiet for a year, I'm wondering if anyone has made further progress understanding this "power-up" problem.
Even a small UPS can keep it running for several hours, and power outages longer than that are pretty rare.
Yes, my fallback is to put it on a UPS, but my hunch is that a permanent fix will be discovered.
You are correct, it is the ram chips, i replaced one of mine after determining which one was bad using a small pencil torch, ordered a new one from china and replaced and all is good
I assume you used the torch to selectively heat each ram chip to find out which one was bad.
Considering my re-occurrence of this problem with 2 ram chips replaced, maybe replacing all 4 would be a lasting solution if they are not too expensive. Where did you order the replacement ram chip?