Do HD's just need to reboot now and then?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by dlfl, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. Jul 12, 2010 #81 of 104
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    You have the same firmware as my TA has. Hard to imagine how any signal TWC sends to your TA could make your TiVo reboot, even on a delayed basis. But stranger things have happened.
     
  2. Jul 23, 2010 #82 of 104
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Another spontaneous reboot sometime last night when I wasn't watching. I can tell this has happened because all the TiVo menus reset to the top menu item when you first enter them (instead of remembering the last item you used). If anyone knows that this isn't a good way to detect a reboot has occured please post. I don't want to use the on-screen clock as a reboot detector.

    My TA Sub Expires time also was updated last night so that's a suspicious coincidence -- but I've had a number of these updates that didn't trigger reboots.

    Between these mysterious reboots, everything is fine -- no pixelation problems and no menu problems. So I can't believe it's a hard drive problem.

    Maybe 11.0h will fix it :rolleyes:
     
  3. Aug 3, 2010 #83 of 104
    m_jonis

    m_jonis Member

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    Well ironic that you mention that. Mine's not rebooted since I got 11.0h. Although the annoying "gray screen" when trying to tune an SDV channel is still there (I like when my Tivo records 0 minutes of gray TV channels).
     
  4. Jan 30, 2011 #84 of 104
    flipwils11

    flipwils11 New Member

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    Bumping an old thread here, but from the responses it doesn't sound like there was a conclusive resolution to this problem. Our HD XL has started rebooting frequently (3-4 times in 24 hours) and now seems to only come up to the gray screen after the reboot, leaving me to just power it off and on again.

    I chatted with their customer support (literally web chat) yesterday and it was the typical remove the power cord, wait 15 seconds, boot up without ethernet connected stab in the dark. Sure enough, 2-3 reboots one during live TV, one during Netflix streaming, and I forget the other occurrence (I think it was overnight).

    What gives? Do I return it, or is this a software issue that Tivo needs to issue an update for?
     
  5. Jan 30, 2011 #85 of 104
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    First thing to suspect in rebooting or video problems is the HDD. How old is it? Do you have an expander drive?

    There is no particular bug pertaining to this that TiVo is likely to be fixing.
    Try KickStart 54 to look for HDD problems. Do the longest test available, may take several hours.

    I started this thread and I agree no particular cause or solution was found. However, I've switched from HDMI to component connections and reboots are few and far between now.

    If it is the HDD, there are good internal drive expansion options for 1TB or 2TB at costs ranging from $70 to $180. I've been running with a 1TB drive expansion for 1.4 yrs now.
     
  6. Jan 30, 2011 #86 of 104
    flipwils11

    flipwils11 New Member

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    Thanks, checking out the kickstart instructions now. However the thing won't even boot up past the initial setup screens. I get the sunrise initial start-up and then sometimes it makes it to the a few moments longer screen, but usually cycles back to initial boot one or two more times before going to the grey screen. After I posted initially to bump this thread I got it to boot up entirely and we watched TV for about 15 minutes before it crashed again.

    I'm running component to the TV for the Tivo. It's an HD XL purchased in August 2010 as a refurb from Tivo's site and I have not done any upgrades or mods.

    OK, it's at the few minutes more screen now.... crossed fingers that it won't crash again so I can try these kickstart tests... :(
     
  7. Jan 30, 2011 #87 of 104
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    The KS instructions assume you already have the TiVo booted up, but I'm pretty sure you can just start during the Welcome screen. Just start with step 7 in the KS54 instructions after you power cycle and see the Welcome screen.
     
  8. Jan 30, 2011 #88 of 104
    flipwils11

    flipwils11 New Member

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    So far all passes, it's on the final test now ("offline scan") and probably will finish late tonight after I've gone to bed. Thanks for the tips.

    If it passes, then what? Would you recommend I send it back to Tivo and pay their $49 under warranty replacement fee? If the hard drive tests pass then I'm not sure that it makes sense to go get another hard drive and install it myself.
     
  9. Jan 30, 2011 #89 of 104
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    In your case the TiVo $49 option is probably the best, since you will get 1 TB of HDD in the replacement, and the problem could be something else such as the power supply.
     
  10. Mar 6, 2011 #90 of 104
    flipwils11

    flipwils11 New Member

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    Posting an update to my saga. We received a new Tivo HD XL paying the $49 out of pocket and luckily we were on vacation for a week which made the inconvenience slightly more palatable.

    We've had our new Tivo for about 2 weeks and it's already rebooting multiple times a day. Now it will almost do it on command when you go to the now playing list. Tivo will only be sending us a new power cord which they think will somehow fix the problem.

    I'm not sure what to do at this point. If the power cord doesn't work some miracle, do I ask them to provide us with a Tivo Premier? The HD XL is still under warranty but this $49 replacement and 2 week cycle needs to stop. Is anyone else having these types of problems? Is there a bad software update that has some sort of bug in it?
     
  11. Mar 7, 2011 #91 of 104
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Are you using HDMI? If so try component connections if possilbe. HDMI can cause lockups/reboots and I am running component because of reboots I strongly suspect were caused by running HDMI.

    If the power cord doesn't do it, see what TiVo suggests next.

    Any possibility of momentary power dropouts of your AC? Are you using a UPS?
     
  12. Mar 7, 2011 #92 of 104
    janry

    janry New Member

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    I use to reboot my TiVo once a week just to head off problems. Then, I upgraded by hard drive and quickly found I no longer needed to do that. Now, I only reboot if I'm having a problem and I can't remember the last time that happened.

    Oh, and I'm connected via HDMI. One lesson I learned is not to switch inputs to or from the TiVo HDMI input while the TiVo is booting.
     
  13. Mar 7, 2011 #93 of 104
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Have you checked the capacitors on the power supply? Starting a couple of years ago, there was a huge rash of bad electrolytic capacitors (coming out of China, I think) that got stuck into lots and lots of pieces of equipment, including TiVos. According to Omikron, something like 1/3 of the units he is seeing on his bench have bad capacitors. A cap only costs about $.20 ($1.50 from Radio Shack), and replacing one on a single layer board like the power supply on the TiVo is a 2 minute operation. After incandescent bulbs and hard drives, the power supply is always the most likely item to fail on any piece of electronics, and a flaky supply can easily cause lock-ups or reboots. If you are even remotely comfortable with taking the cover off an electronic device, I heartily advise inspecting the caps on your power supply for bulges or cracks. If no, have an electronics savvy friend do it. Anyone handy with a soldering iron can safely replace an axial lead power supply capacitor. (SMDs on high density, multilayer boards are another matter.)
     
  14. Mar 8, 2011 #94 of 104
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    That rash of bad electrolytics (which I call "capacitor disease") started over a decade ago, about the time of BX chipset Pentium II/Celeron motherboards.

    The ones that fail are usually Low ESR, high temperature rated capacitors used in the high-frequency switching circuits of power supplies, and a Radio Shack cap isn't likely to be up to spec, even if the working voltage and microFarads are the same.


    badcaps.net and LCDalternatives http://lcdalternatives.auctivacommerce.com/default.aspx

    offer further reading on the subject and are sources of quality caps, as are mouser.com and digikey.com if you already know what to look for.
     
  15. Mar 9, 2011 #95 of 104
    flipwils11

    flipwils11 New Member

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    Update: We received the new power supply from Tivo and the Tivo plush doll along with it, which I guess is their attempt to buy off our animosity right now.

    Well, Tivo crashed during the evening news with the new power supply so there goes that idea. I'm guessing the power supply is in response to the bad capacitor problem?

    Then tonight during one of our shows it crashed and we missed 10 minutes of recording. As if that weren't bad enough, while watching the recorded show (what little it got of it) the damn thing crashes again.

    I know that this forum is predicated on folks who are very into modifying, tweaking, and troubleshooting their Tivo. A few years ago this would have been me as I wired my entire house a few years ago (pre-Wifi) with Cat5 to have ethernet in all rooms, I'm a former developer and a Comp Sci undergrad so I know my way around computers with both hardware and software, and I am an avid car enthusiast who has rebuilt the engine in his vintage car. But you know what, when the first and then the second kid arrives, all that goes out the window I've found. I come home from a long day and I just want ***** to work. Like Tivo. I just want to watch TV get the kids in bed, watch maybe one more show, and go to bed myself. And I can't even do that.

    We are calling Tivo and ask that we try one last ditch effort and that they give us free of charge a Tivo Premier because hopefully the latest and greatest hardware does not have this problem. If not, they can kiss their service agreement and us as customers good-bye.

    I'm sorry for the rant, but when the hardware is under warranty and they want to use us as a field test for some beta hardware and software troubleshooting, this makes me feel less like a valued customer and more like a guinea pig.

    Oh yeah, while I was typing this after it rebooted, we went to the list to try to continue our program and the piece of crap crashed again. :eek:
     
  16. Mar 9, 2011 #96 of 104
    flipwils11

    flipwils11 New Member

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    Update, 2 more crashes while on hold with Tivo. They asked us to do a hard reboot and remove all cables other than the power cord and component video from the Tivo (we are using component btw, not hdmi). It rebooted and came back up and I was able to go into the Tivo settings list and it crashed again.

    So now we know it crashes without any ethernet connected or the over the air antenna coax connected (that's what I'm using, over the air HD antenna). Also I have my equipment in a cabinet and Tivo thought there was an overheating issue so it is now out on top of the cabinet in open air and it still crashes.

    What wondrous new troubleshooting idea will Tivo come up with next? Should I go buy a rubber chicken and wave it over the thing? Oh, and this is amusing, while my wife was on the phone with Tivo technical support the guy was helping us and on the phone and all of the sudden said "I'm sorry maam, they're telling us we have to get out of here because it smells like burning" and he hung up the phone. LOL! This can't be serious. Am I on candid camera? Is someone sending us empty Tivo boxes with MS Windows 95 PC's inside masquerading as a Tivo?
     
  17. Mar 9, 2011 #97 of 104
    m_jonis

    m_jonis Member

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    I feel your pain. Let's see, bought a new TivoHD, it kept rebooting. Tivo tech told me it was:
    a) not enough power through the outlet (funny, my other THREE TivoHD work fine on same outlet when I tried them one at a time)
    b) cable signal was "too strong". They don't like to see 100% signal strength, but supposedly TivoHD like to see 70% signal strength (BS, if I don't get at least 90%, several of my HD channels won't come in at all)
    c) Must be that ethernet cable.

    I finally complained enough and they shipped me a refurb unit. Refurb reboots itself immediately after getting the "almost there" screen.

    I gave up, bought a NEW unit and it's worked fine (as are my other 3 TivoHD).

    But now I gotta call and get the replacement replaced (ought to be fun) and go through the whole thing all over again.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they (Tivo) sent you a refurb unit and it's got a problem.
     
  18. Mar 9, 2011 #98 of 104
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Sorry if I missed it, but have you guys ruled out powerline fluctuations?
     
  19. Mar 10, 2011 #99 of 104
    flipwils11

    flipwils11 New Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I am not sure how to rule out power line fluctuations, but other devices including our Blu-ray, TV, and receiver are plugged in in the same area and none have ever had a problem.

    Got to thinking more about the "we need to leave the building" comment last night from the service rep. It was 8:56 when my wife got through the queue and they closed at 9. When the call to evacuate came, it was about 5 after so my cynical guess is they didn't want to deal with our call so they made up a (crack-pot) excuse to get off the phone. Nice.
     
  20. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    The only completely certain way to rule out power fluctuations is to put your TiVo and TA on a UPS, which is highly recommended in general, since it prevents a momentary power loss from causing a TiVo reboot. The smallest APC Back UPS model that sells for about $50 will do fine for those two items.

    The other devices not having problems is fairly strong evidence but devices differ in their ability to survive power drop outs.
     

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