Fail 7 and Fail id - without symptoms

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by sigs, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. sigs

    sigs New Member

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    Jan 5, 2008

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    I'm sorry if this has been covered, but I've searched and can't find any similar previous posts.

    In the process of trouble-shooting the hook-up a new DVR expander (which still isn't working, presumably due the OEM eSATA cable that I haven't replaced yet), I ran a Kickstart 54 on my Series 3. SMART test gave me a "Fail 7" on the primary drive. Tried Kickstart 57, but to no avail. Called TiVo Support. Tech read through his cookbook and asked if I used a lot of Thumbs-Up or Thumbs-Down ratings. I don't. He had me clear the TiVo ratings and suggestions anyway. Still no help.

    Meanwhile, I decide to check out my other units with Kickstart 54. The HD-XL seems fine. The old Series 2 DT immediately returns a "Fail ID." TiVo tech told me to repeat Guided Setup. No help.

    Now here's the kicker. NEITHER of these units has shown the least bit of a problem in actual use. No freeze, no glitch, no nothing. The only "problem" is the result of the SMART test on both disks, which I found only because neither of my HD units would recognize the DVR Expander (again, probably because of the bad OEM cable) and the trouble-shooting guide suggests a KS 54. So, the questions are:

    Are both of these disks really about to die? Are these fail codes without ANY symptoms really significant? Should I try to offload and replace these units ASAP, or are they likely to last for months/years before I see any symptoms?
     
  2. Feb 5, 2011 #2 of 10
    danielowen

    danielowen New Member

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    Jan 23, 2011
    My Series 2 DT also immediately returns a "Fail ID." Did you ever find the answer to your question?
     
  3. abbyqueue

    abbyqueue New Member

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    May 17, 2007
    My Series 2 ALSO immediately returns a Fail ID... my symptom that prompted the testing was that I noticed the TiVo was not recording some Season Passes, saying that someone in my household did not allow the TiVo to change the channel, which is impossible. The tech told me to perform the Kickstart 54 testing, and that was my result. Any thoughts?
     
  4. sigs

    sigs New Member

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    Jan 5, 2008
    Just to post an update:
    It's been nine months and neither of these units has suffered any sort of failure or even shown any symptoms (knock on wood). Since I didn't get an answer, I was sufficiently concerned that, instead of adding the DVR expander, I just converted it to an external drive on one of my PCs and use it to dump programs I might really want to preserve if one of these units crashes. Still waiting on some enlightened soul to answer the original question of why these error messages are popping up.
     
  5. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

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    KS54 runs SMART tests

    (If it were me, I'd pull the drive, hook it to a computer and run the manufacturer's diagnostic software on it)

    SMART is supposed to predict failure in the future.

    On of the things it takes into consideration is how much time the harddrive has been operating overall, and since TiVo drives are running 24/7/365, that's a lot of time, and SMART may give that more weight than is actually appropriate under the circumstances.

    TiVo drives aren't started and stopped and started and stopped very often, with the attendant 'thermal cycling', so one that's been running 1 year non-stop is probably in better shape than a drive that's been 12 hours on, 12 hours off for 2 years, even though the 'on' time is the same.
     
  6. sigs

    sigs New Member

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    Jan 5, 2008
    Well, I just saw this last post a few days ago, so I decided to go ahead and give it a shot. But, first I decided to run the SMART test again, just to see what would happen. My Series 3 passed all tests - no Fail 7 to be found - TWICE, just to be sure. Haven't tested the old DT-80 yet.

    But now the kicker is that I noticed a few days ago, when I pulled back a couple of programs that I had transferred to my PC, both showed intermittent pixelation and loss of audio on the old Series 3. Went back and played both files on the PC - no problem with the files. Pulled back several other old programs from the PC - same result.

    Then I went and pulled the same programs from my PC to my HD-XL. They played back perfectly.

    So, previously, when my Series 3 was giving me a Fail 7, it appeared to be working flawlessly. Now, when it passes the SMART test, it is giving me problems, but only on transferred programs. Any clues?
     
  7. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
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    Are you using the (TCD648xxx) S3 to record any new shows off of air or cable or wherever?

    Do those play back all right, but copies from the computer don't?

    If recent recordings are good, but copies of shows that play back well on the computer don't play back well on the TiVo that's playing back recent recordings well, I'd suspect the network connection between the TiVo and the computer.

    Have you tried, for the sake of experimentation, bypassing the computer and copying shows from S3 to S3 HD-XL and from XL to S3, and seeing what you get?
     
  8. sigs

    sigs New Member

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    Jan 5, 2008
    Sorry, should have provided those details before.

    New shows on both units record and playback just fine. Can transfer back and forth between the two and playback just fine. Both are hardwired into my somewhat complicated home network (my house is the Bermuda Triangle of wireless signal). There are a couple of routers and one switch in between the S3 and HD-XL, a couple of routers and another switch in between the PC and the S3, and a couple of routers and a couple of switches between the PC and the HD-XL. Everything is gigabit, so transfer rate is limited only by the TiVos - typically can play a show while transferring from one TiVo to the other with no delay. The PC is older and just using the TiVo Desktop software, so transfer is usually slower from PC to TiVo (and vice versa). I get the same results (good playback on HD-XL but break-up on S3) from two different Macs running kmttg and pyTivoX connected via wireless, so it seems to be specific to the S3 and affects programs pulled back from any computer I've got.

    Im considering a KS58 on the S3, but would want to pull ALL the shows off of it first for safety and I have a fair number of copyrighted programs on there right now.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  9. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    All of the shows are copyrighted, your problem is the ones that are copy-protected.:D

    If your S3 can record and playback off of antenna or cable with no problem, then I don't think the problem with shows copied back from the computer is an indication of a drive problem, unless the TiVo is somehow magically able to know exactly where the problem sectors are and reserve those for transferred shows.

    You say the shows look all right on the computer. Is your computer monitor anywhere nearly as big as the television being fed by the S3?

    If not, maybe the picture on the computer monitor is too small for you to see the problems there.

    But then again, you say they're okay when transferred to the HD.

    Must be something screwy going on with the networking between the S3 and the computer.

    Do you still have an external drive attached to that S3?

    The "if new shows play back ok, your drive's ok despite the problems with transferred shows" line of reasoning still applies, because those new shows are being written to the internal and external drives simultaneously (so that one show has to be reconstructed from both drives), so something's got to be screwing with the network.
     
  10. sigs

    sigs New Member

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    Jan 5, 2008
    Will try to troubleshoot the network and see if I can find the troublesome step. Unfortunately, it would have to be some combination of components, since all the other various pathways seem to work, all using some subset or another of the route from PC to S3. Maybe I have a router conflict that has popped up somewhere.

    As for your other questions: I never did hook up the auxiliary drive to the S3. Never got it to work, with a variety of cables. Now have it sitting as an external drive on my PC. As for playback on the PC, it is definitely clear, as it is when transferred back to the HD-XL and on my Macs. The glitches on the S3 are very obvious - on video and audio.

    I did, indeed, wonder if the unit somehow handles transfers from a PC somehow differently - if there is some sort of compression/decompression step that might be more problematic with these types of read/write operations if the disk was in bad shape or heavily fragmented. That's why I was thinking about a KS58.

    Will report back. Thanks.
     

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