Blinking green light, will not reset, black screen

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by BlaineMurphy, May 19, 2014.

  1. tivobw

    tivobw Member

    85
    19
    Oct 26, 2002
    Redmond, WA
    Hi Everyone, I just wanted to chime in and advise the "heat with a dryer" trick works to get my Tivo HD up and running after it loses power (I heat the 4 RAM chips next to the hard drive). I first heard about this trick in August of 2017 on another thread; check out my post here if you are interested. I've used this technique about 4 times to power the Tivo back up if it loses power.

    We have the Tivo HD hooked up to a UPS, but it only provides about 30min max backup power. So when we recently had a power outage of several hours, the TivoHD went 100% off power for all that time. This last time I had to heat the RAM chips for about 4 minutes using a hair dryer on high heat, moving back and forth across the 4 RAM chips in a slow back-and-forth pattern, with the hair dryer about 4 inches from the RAM chips. First I tried 30 seconds, then a minute, then 90 seconds and then another full minute. After each attempt I turned off the dryer and plugged in the Tivo (the case is off while I'm doing this). After the 4th attempt (when it had been heated about 4 minutes) the Tivo finally booted.

    If you look at my other post I linked above, that time I only had to head the chips about 90 seconds and the Tivo booted up. This time it took nearly 4 minutes; not sure why, perhaps it's because the Tivo was offline for about a week, as it's a secondary Tivo (upstairs bedroom) and other things occupied my attention. So perhaps when I finally got to it, the Tivo was "really cold" and it needed more heat from the dryer. Or, another thing I just considered, perhaps I really should have been heating the other areas of the motherboard (such as U3003, or the power capacitors) and when I was heating the RAM chip area, some heat was slowly drifting over to the other areas that actually needed the hair dryer, and by heating the RAM chip area for a long period of time, perhaps enough heat eventually made it to U3003/power capacitor regions and that finally caused the Tivo to boot? I wonder.

    The next time this happens, I'll try heating the U3003/power capacitor regions first to see if that causes the Tivo to boot up faster.

    BTW, in case you are wondering why I'm using this old Tivo: I tried for a while to copy content off the Tivo, but I couldn't get kmttg to work. The Tivo HD looks like it has other issues (it can't be "seen" on the network by kmttg, so I can't copy files from it). So, we are keeping the Tivo HD for now. If I get enough spare time I might dig into it again and see if I can get the content off it.

    Anyway, just thought I'd share my story in case it may interest or help others. Thanks for all your work on trying to investigate the root cause!
     
  2. SirKnowsALot

    SirKnowsALot Member

    73
    1
    Jun 3, 2015
    Kentucky
    Thanks for the account of your "hair dryer experience". I would be really interested if your theory of the heat bleeding to other parts of the board pans out (should you need to resuscitate your Tivo again).

    I've had good luck using pyTivo (pytivo) to transfer shows to/from a Tivo. I'm pretty sure it is restricted to standard definition shows (Tivo enforced limitation). It takes some doing to get set up, but then it's pretty straightforward after that.

    Any feedback is welcome.
     
  3. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    7,037
    987
    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    No it's definitely not limited to SD. I've been using it here for years with our original S3 OLED to transfer HD shows.

    Scott
     
  4. Feb 3, 2019 #244 of 258
    LtKernelPanic

    LtKernelPanic Member

    105
    1
    Sep 22, 2003
    Well mine did it again. After probably 40 minutes of heat tonight it's a goner. Now to try and remember what season passes I had after I decide how to replace it.
     
  5. Feb 6, 2019 #245 of 258
    SirKnowsALot

    SirKnowsALot Member

    73
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    Jun 3, 2015
    Kentucky
  6. dmarch

    dmarch New Member

    10
    0
    Dec 7, 2003
    This thread reads like a thriller novel. Thanks to all for the postings. My 652160 purchased new with Lifetime in 2007 finally started showing this symptom after a power outage last week. I prommed this unit in 2008 and had my fun over the years then put original prom back in after pyTivo became available. I mention this because the prom slot area is close to the memory and I don't want to complicate the research here with yet another twist. Anyway, I patiently read through all the posts before attempting anything. I started with lightly heating (200 °C air, narrow bead) the memory with my rework station air gun, no joy. No luck with the cap area and the U3003 either. To be clear, I am unplugged during the heating but I plug it in before I remove the heat. I have spare units without lifetime for parts (free from CL), made sure the spare would boot fine, swapped out the PS and HD of the blinking unit. Quick check without heat showed continued blinking green on my lifetime unit. This time I widened the heat gun scope to mimic a hair dryer and increased the air flow, same temperature. Worked backwards from the U30003 area, capacitor area and finally the memory. I spent more time on each area this time as I figured all was lost anyway. No success with either the U3003 or the capacitor areas however, I did notice that all the panel lights would flash on and off before the blinking green. This was different than the original symptom which went right to green blinking....I spent about 2-4 minutes on each of these two areas without success. The same effort at the memory area finally yielded success. Green light stayed on solid, the video out showed "powering up", then "almost there" as usual. Gonna leave it for awhile on the bench during supper then race it back to the bedroom. Again, thanks to everyone for the guidance!

    Edit: Before unplugging, felt the memory chips...they are quite warm. Unplugging and quickly replugging in bedroom area yielded blinking green. Rework station hot air revived it in place. While replacing other cables, power plug slipped out and I immediately replaced but alas, back to blinking. Fanning 200°C heat about 2" over memory for 10-15 seconds revived it yet again. Seems to be very consistent. Now to start researching UPS and memory removal techniques. I used to be quite proficient at prom removal and socket placement. I have a 20x stereo microscope that should be useful. I'll report back.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  7. russ49

    russ49 New Member

    1
    0
    Feb 13, 2019
    Reporting a successful reboot on a Series 3 HDTV TCD652160 using info on this thread. Had the green blinking light after a power outage lasting 4 hours. I unplugged all the connections let the unit set overnight, next day I removed the cover, blew out dust with an aerosol cleaning duster, reattached cables, UBS, HDMI and left the unit unplugged. Directed hairdryer at previously mentioned target area on low power from 4 inches. Concentrated on the U3003 area with only a few passes over the 4 RAM chips keeping strictly to a 4 minute time period. Quickly plugged in the power cord and happily got a solid green light and powering up on a previous black TV screen. I'd think it would be difficult to warm just certain areas as a blowdryer heats up the entire board rather quickly. Thanks to this thread got a smile today. At least so far anyway.
     
  8. SirKnowsALot

    SirKnowsALot Member

    73
    1
    Jun 3, 2015
    Kentucky
    Wow! Thanks for adding another chapter to the novel. What might have happened is that you reflowed the solder on the RAM, correcting a bad connection somewhere. Obviously not everyone will have the equipment to perform such a task, but this is good info!

    Please do report back. We're all interested or we wouldn't be here.
     
  9. SirKnowsALot

    SirKnowsALot Member

    73
    1
    Jun 3, 2015
    Kentucky
    Glad we got a smile out of you!
    And welcome to the party.
     
  10. dmarch

    dmarch New Member

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    0
    Dec 7, 2003
    I'm completely positive that I reflowed "NO" solder with my hot air station. I have used hot air to remelt solder and this was nowhere close to achieving that kind of localized heat. I was thinking there's a slim possibility that the thermal expansion of the solder during the heating process allowed a temporary connection. But more likely, the memory has simply failed and the heat magically, albeit temporarily, "fixes" the problem. My lifetime TiVo has been running like a champ for several days so I think I have time to develop a strategy. Comments are welcome.

    Practice on non-lifetime TiVo:
    1. Verify successful boot
    2. Reflow each pin on each memory chip using solder iron with fine tip
    3. Verify successful boot after #2

    If this goes well (no harm), I will attempt the same on my Lifetime TiVo. This should justify my rash statement above about "NO" solder has reflowed.

    Again on a non-lifetime TiVo:
    4. remove a memory chip using "Quick Chip" (look it up).
    5. Clean pads with solder wick
    6. Clean pins with solder iron and maybe solder wick
    7. Tin the pads and resolder the memory back on.
    8. Verify a successful boot after #4-7

    If this goes well (no harm) I will attempt to move memory from a non-lifetime TiVo to my lifetime TiVo.
     
  11. SirKnowsALot

    SirKnowsALot Member

    73
    1
    Jun 3, 2015
    Kentucky
    I re-read your original post and saw that after the unplug, the RAM was only hit for 10-15 seconds. I agree that this would not be enough to reflow solder. However, prior to that I think I understood that you heated the RAM for 3-4 minutes, and I think that might be long enough to melt the solder. However, since it failed after unplugging, there was obviously no solder reflow.
    I feel the same way. Especially when they were heated for only for a dozen seconds.
    If the problem is just a bad solder joint, you could stop after step 3 on your lifetime TiVo. That would sure be less risky than continuing on with a (multiple) chip replacement procedure.

    This is getting good! Thanks for keeping us posted.
     
  12. aweksny

    aweksny New Member

    4
    0
    Apr 9, 2018
    the problem is defenatly a bad ram chip, as i posted many months ago swapping the faulty chip out with a new one fixed the problem and mine is still working, you need to be able to individually heat each of the 4 chips to find the bad one, then replace
     
  13. Mar 8, 2019 #253 of 258
    mototex

    mototex New Member

    2
    0
    Dec 13, 2018
    Had the blinking green light. Tried the Blow Dryer stuff, still had same issue. Checked Power Supply, 3.3V - good, 12.0V -good, 5.0V was 4.75 to 4.8V which technically maybe is in spec. Yes, there were bulging caps on the power supply, just went ahead and ordered a power supply off of ebay. Installed it today and everything is back to working. Was to lazy to order/find caps and replace, getting old.
     
  14. Mar 9, 2019 #254 of 258
    SirKnowsALot

    SirKnowsALot Member

    73
    1
    Jun 3, 2015
    Kentucky
    That brings up a good point. If there are bulging caps, I would resolve that issue before moving on to the heating procedures. For those with the skills (and patience) it is an inexpensive fix that you can feel confident in....if it works. If not, move on to the heating procedures.
     
  15. dmarch

    dmarch New Member

    10
    0
    Dec 7, 2003
    I know that I said I was going to do several things to fix my green blinking problem. However, since heating the memory chips brought it back to life I kinda forgot about it. I've had no power cycles for several months so no problems until recently when I unplugged the unit for cleaning. I said to myself "oh crap, what did I just do?". Well, I pulled out the hair drier and it worked like a charm. So I guess I won't be doing anything else unless I have to.
     
  16. SirKnowsALot

    SirKnowsALot Member

    73
    1
    Jun 3, 2015
    Kentucky
    This is my life philosophy as well.
     
  17. jacktechie

    jacktechie New Member

    21
    3
    Feb 6, 2013
    South SF...
    :) Fixed. My 11 year old HD series 3 had the randomly blinking green light. I just swapped the power supply from the other HD3 (ewasted since rolled service to Bolt, but saved power supply) and in 15 minutes, it is up and working. New 750GB hard drive died in 4.5 years. Put in 1TB drive and still working after 6.5 years. Thanks everyone.
     
  18. Teeps

    Teeps Well-Known Member

    2,063
    69
    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    Now would be a good time to replace the capacitors in the failed power supply.
    Because when (not if) the capacitors fail in the salvaged working power supply; you will be back in the same place.
     

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