Fix for TiVo Mini's losing MOCA connection

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by robatuts, Oct 6, 2018.

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  1. Oct 6, 2018 #1 of 35
    robatuts

    robatuts New Member

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    Apr 12, 2016
    Minnesota
    I've just had a 4 hour headache trying to solve for all 3 of my TiVo Mini's dropping from my MOCA network.

    (TL;DR at bottom)


    Here's my set up:
    • Bolt + 3 Mini's
    • Bolt connected to Ethernet cable for Internet access
    • Bolt connected to home coaxial network for MOCA
    • Bolt is the MOCA injector and bridge (Bolt creates the network over coax)
    • I do NOT have cable TV service
    • The only connection between my home Internet service and my TiVo's is by Ethernet connection to the Bolt
    The above configuration worked flawlessly for over 2 years.

    Then one day near the end of August 2018, the Mini's ALL dropped from the MOCA network and would not reconnect. I tried ALL of the basic troubleshooting steps:
    • Power-cycle all network equipment (Modem & Router)
    • Power-cycle all TiVo equipment (Bolt & all 3 Mini's)
    • Run TiVo Service Connection repeatedly on Bolt
    • Attempt to run TiVo Service Connection on Mini's (always failed with error that I had no connection)
    • Called TiVo and was instructed to do all of the above... AGAIN (of course, this did not fix it)
    • TiVo then told me I had ports blocked (I checked, and they were not blocked)
    • TiVo then insisted my configuration was not meeting the basic minimum requirements - however it had been set up following instructions from TiVo support staff and had been working for over 2 years already. (And it was, in fact, exactly following one of the setup options in the PDF manual they sent me during this call.)
    • TiVo said I could not use the 8-way 5-2400 MHz coax splitter that I was using - so I removed it and went direct from Bolt to a Mini, but that did not solve the problem
    Somewhere around this point and approaching 3 hours total time with TiVo by phone, I started experimenting while I was placed on hold... again.

    For my experiment, I grabbed a spare Mini (yes - I'm one of those guys) and a small spare TV (again, yes, that's me), and hooked it all up using only Ethernet directly to my router.

    AND THIS SPARE MINI WORKED FINE. To further confirm it was working, I ran the TiVo Service Connection, and even tried playing shows recorded on my Bolt. It all worked.

    So now I knew the trouble is somehow isolated to the MOCA network only. But I can't tell if it's the Bolt (did the MOCA injector die?), or if its somehow my coax cables, or even if somehow ALL of my Mini's lost their MOCA features simultaneously (seemed unlikely).

    On a whim, I then pulled the Ethernet cable out of the spare Mini and ran a coax line directly from this Mini to the Bolt... AND IT WORKED ALSO!!! (WHAT??????)

    Now my brain's on fire trying to understand how one Mini works by MOCA but the other three don't. Were the other three really all partially fried?

    So while I have this temporary setup blocking access to my desk, I ran to one of the dead Mini's, pulled all the connections off and swapped it into the testing rig.

    Still won't connect by MOCA.

    OK. Fine. I'll swap it to Ethernet... AND THAT WORKED. I ran the TiVo Service Connection a couple times and tested playing back recorded shows and no problems! (WHAT?????)

    Now the moment of truth... while still in my testing rig, I swapped it back to just a coax connection to see if it would connect to MOCA now, and... IT WORKED!

    You know how long it takes to do all of this swapping and power-cycling and waiting for the Mini's to reboot and come online again to do these tests? Well I was still on hold for all of this.

    The next level TiVo service person did come back to my call and started reviewing everything... again. Meanwhile, I've moved on to the second of my three active Mini's to see if I could fix a second one, and YUP - IT WORKED AGAIN.

    So I interrupt the questions to inform the TiVo rep what I've discovered and how I only have one more Mini to run through this process. And he waited with me while the third (and final) Mini proved successful with this Ethernet first (to run the TiVo Service Connection) followed by back to coax to confirm MOCA worked at last.

    And the last step was to put all of the Mini's back with their TV's and to reconnect the Bolt to my home coax network. And then, like nothing was ever wrong to begin with, it all worked fine (and yes, I ran a number of additional tests like TiVo Service Connections, Live TV, and recorded show playback just to confirm MOCA was flawless again).

    In the end, the trouble seems to have been some type of failed software update that left all of my Mini's in a state that could not connect to the MOCA network. As a result, there was also no way for them to be updated so that they COULD reconnect to MOCA. And the only solution was to set up a temporary rig close enough to my router so that I could connect each of the Mini's in turn to Ethernet so that they could be forced to run a TiVo Service Connection which fixed whatever was wrong with them all.

    The TiVo service staff was as polite and professional as ever, but I seriously hope someone in the same boat finds this post BEFORE wasting hours with people who didn't have clue about what was wrong nor how to fix it.

    TL;DR

    Failed software update of some kind left my TiVo Mini's all in a state that could not connect to the MOCA network. Had to connect each of the Mini's to a Ethernet connection temporarily so that I could run the TiVo Service Connection to fix them. All good after that.
     
    Frankieboy, tommiet, sakaike and 5 others like this.
  2. Oct 7, 2018 #2 of 35
    snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    Very impressive debugging. Thank you for taking the time to write this up, I'm sure there are people who have had issues for a long time that will benefit from your efforts.
     
    robatuts likes this.
  3. Oct 7, 2018 #3 of 35
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Not that it would have had any better results, but missing from the bulleted list is doing a full power reset of all the TiVo and networking gear, per the following:
     
    robatuts likes this.
  4. robatuts

    robatuts New Member

    7
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    Apr 12, 2016
    Minnesota
    Too true! I actually DID do that procedure and forgot to include it in my narrative. Thanks for pointing that out as it may resolve the issue for some users before going to the extremes I had to.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  5. NoVa

    NoVa Member

    222
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    Feb 26, 2006
    NoVa
    Thank you for this.
    Only 1 of my 4 Mini's loss its MOCA connection.
    I tried to do guided setup on it but it couldn't locate my main Bolt.
    I tried krkaufman idea but that didn't work either.

    At least there is something that may solve this.
    There only problem is that my A/V closet is a bit far away.
    I may just try to buy a 30+ft ethernet cable & see if I can run it from the router to kitchen cabinet where the Mini is located.

    Question:
    What happens on the Mini during guided setup - when I connect via ethernet ?
    Do I select ethernet or MOCA during Min setup?
     
  6. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Another option is just bringing the Mini to the router location, connecting the Mini to the router with a short Cat6 cable. If needed, you can use a simple video monitor with a HDMI port to provide the Mini with a display.

    If attempting the temporary Ethernet fix described above, you’d connect the Mini via Ethernet and configure it for an Ethernet connection.
     
    NoVa likes this.
  7. NoVa

    NoVa Member

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    Feb 26, 2006
    NoVa
    Just ordered a 50ft ethernet cable.
    Will be handy to have around in other use cases I am sure ;)

    Ok thanks for confirming.
     
  8. mdsd77

    mdsd77 New Member

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    Oct 17, 2018
    i see you use the onboard Tivo Bolt MOCA - I have an external MOCA setup (devices used later in this post) - I am curious to you know if I could use the onboard for the TiVO bolt and minis and keep using the external for the rest of my computer needs...my TW/Spectrum router combo has the MOCA capability as well but I do not have that set to the ON state. I just utilize the Actiontec ECB6200 Bonded MoCA Network Adapter.... I guess I am asking can you use more than one MOCA setup at a time concurrently?
     
  9. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    I did this as a test some years ago and with MoCA 1.0 and 1.1 devices. The trick was to specify one MoCA channel (low) on one setup and the other one set to use a higher MoCA channel. I also used different encryption for each system. With MoCA 2.0 and specifically the bonded versions, I am not sure if it would work or not, I suspect it would, but not all MoCA devices have access to the necessary settings, i.e., MoCA channels and encryption, but some do.
    If you are planning on this helping with anything internet related, you are not likely to see any benefit because ultimately it is all coming from the same source/the internet. Most of the Tivos non-streaming traffic would be potentially beneficial, but how much and if it's worth the trouble???
     
  10. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Nov 25, 2003
    I recall the MoCA 2.0 specs (PDF) describing the ability to have two MoCA networks ... though not two bonded channel networks; one would be a single channel, which would work fine since TiVo gear isn’t capable of bonded channels.

    See section 2.1.1, describing the D-Low and D-High sub-bands. The single channel network would be setup within the D-Low band and the bonded channel network within D-High.

    64ED743B-2482-4062-8ADE-6835E47A9C30.jpeg AFDFDC07-02C8-429A-8F9F-426A9D134204.jpeg
    p.s. I’m not sure whether MoCA 1.1 devices (v1 or v2 Minis) connecting to the single channel network would affect this plan.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  11. NoVa

    NoVa Member

    222
    4
    Feb 26, 2006
    NoVa

    Well - after purchasing a 50 ft ethernet cable & trying the above with no positive results, I tried reconnecting my main Bolt to the mothership (TiVo Service Connection) & lo & behold after reattaching the coax to the Mini - it worked again!

    So like you - what I surmised is that the Mini was going through some updates (schedule or just dialing back to the mothership) last week when we had some Hurricane Michael related flickering.
    While I do have a UPS on the router, switch, Mini, Bolt & router, it probably still messed with the Mini udpating.

    Oh well TL; DR : note to self - always try to do a TiVo Service Connection on main TiVo before doing anything else.
     
  12. robatuts

    robatuts New Member

    7
    10
    Apr 12, 2016
    Minnesota
    And... it's happened again!

    Last night when just trying to relax and watch TV, I found that 3 of 4 TiVo Mini's could not connect to the BOLT over MOCA (I did not check the 4th TiVo Mini, but I assume it too was not working).

    I "turned it all off and on again" using both soft (using the menus) and then hard (pulling the power cords) methods when the first attempts didn't work. This included the Mini's, the BOLT, and the router.

    In the end, the only rescue was to grab my 50' Ethernet cable and run it from the Mini I most wanted fixed to the router. Ran a single TiVo Service Connection and PRESTO! the Mini was working again and I could unplug the Ethernet cable immediately and it continued to work. As you can see from my original post, it has been about 7 weeks since this last happened. What a pain. And very disheartening since all of the previous work proves it's a TiVo issue - NOT my network/cabling.

    Here's the new twist though: Somehow, within the next 12 hours or so, the other two TiVo Mini's simply reconnected to the BOLT over MOCA without further issue. Not sure how that works or if there's any relationship to me fixing ONE of them and then not checking the others again until after the nightly TiVo Service Connection from the BOLT, but that's the only place I can guess. (FYI: 4th Mini also worked fine when checked today, but I have no proof it wasn't working last night when the other 3 were discovered to be disconnected again.)

    Just thought I'd share in case anyone smarter than me sees the pattern/issue and can teach TiVo what to fix. This is already getting old.
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  13. Douglas Koontz

    Douglas Koontz New Member

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    Mar 7, 2018
    I just had a similar experience and found a problem I hadn't seen before...I have a Bolt (connected via ethernet), a Roamio (ethernet), TiVo Bridge (creating MoCa network) and 4 Minis (all using MoCa). This setup has been stable and reliable for last 18 mos, until last night. At least two Minis (only ones I checked) starting experiencing "studdering" video and audio. I thought my bridge had malfunctioned since it would not come ready after resetting/restarting. Tried removing the bridge and using the Bolt to create the MoCa network, still no dice.

    I then checked one of the other Minis and found it was completely dead, wouldn't even boot to the TiVo Home screen. I unplugged that Mini and disconnected it from coax and boom, my bridge came ready and all the other Minis reconnected with no problem. Needless to say I'm relieved but also a little embarrassed 'cause it was my wife's suggestion to unplug the Mini! Never thought a failing device could take down the whole network but guess it can. Didn't see this possibility in any TiVo troubleshooting info so live and learn!
     
  14. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Nov 25, 2003
    Good to hear things are working again (except the one Mini?).

    Examples like this are why a full power reset (described above) is a good starting point for previously working setups.
     
  15. GISGuy

    GISGuy New Member

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    Jun 6, 2016
    I had the same issue, the MAC address on the TiVo Bolt randomly changed (last 6 characters) causing all of the connected Minis to say Family Room (TiVo Bolt) not found and they were unable to tune to any channel and connect to the internet. I unplugged all of the network cables to all of the minis, rebooted the router, reconnected the network cable to a single mini, rebooted it and then verified it could tune to a channel, which it was then able to do. I then repeated these steps for each additional Mini. Problem solved.
     
  16. miketx

    miketx Active Member

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    Sep 22, 2005
    All 4 of my Minis lost "connectivity" last night. Very very suspicious that all of them failed together. If I connect them via ethernet, they all work, but fail again if the ethernet is unplugged. However, if I run a network status, I get a good MoCA signal on all of them.

    My network:
    MoCA from Fios OTN supplies the Fios main router with internet connectivity.
    All Minis connected via MoCA.
    Roamio OTA (via ethernet to Fios router) provides tuners

    Tried all the tricks in this thread, rebooted my router, power cycled Minis, re-ran Guided setup on the Minis, except clear and delete everything. Puzzled.
     
  17. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    Does the process you followed on your network equate to powering everything off and then one by one starting with the modem/router and allowing it to completely reboot before going to the next device?
     
  18. miketx

    miketx Active Member

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    Sep 22, 2005
    No. I've never had to do something like that with my Tivo setup, which I've had for ~ 6 years. But guess I might try it tomorrow......so far 3 of my 4 Minis are still down (4th one I put on a wifi ethernet adapter, so the wife could watch TV in the kitchen....very important if you want food for dinner ;) ).

    But this still looks/smells like a major bug.
     
  19. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Houston, Texas
    Minis will show power levels for other Mini Nodes, even though those connections are of no value or use.

    The important nodes will be the connection to the TiVo and to the Internet.

    What are those power levels like?

    -KP
     
  20. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Also, try the 'rebooting things one at time' deal, but work on each Mini node individually.

    -KP
     

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