Grey Screen on Reboot

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by crlayne, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. crlayne

    crlayne New Member

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    Apr 14, 2008

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    My TiVo HD froze up this morning. When I tried rebooting I get the "Powering up" screen for about 10 seconds, and then it immediately goes grey when it would normally switch to the "just a few minutes more" screen. I unplugged for 30 minutes and then tried again, but still cannot get past the grey screen. The fan is working but I do not hear the hard drive spinning.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
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    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    You will need to remove the cover of the Tivo to inspect the hard drive. If the hard drive is indeed the issue and cannot be resurrected, it will need to be replaced with another hard drive that has the appropriate Tivo software loaded on. This entails buying a "pre-imaged" drive from certain vendors, or preparing a drive yourself with an obtained "image" if it cannot be salvaged from your Tivo hard drive.

    A "preimaged" drive will be "plug and play", if that is the issue. Preparing a non pre-imaged drive yourself will involve connecting a new, blank hard drive to a computer and working with typically free software. There is also software for sale.

    So if this is a Tivo HD with a lifetime subscription, it is certainly worth trying to repair. I guess the same, if there are recorded shows on the drive that are dear to you. Be advised that if the hard drive is truly dead, the recordings are essentially unrecoverable.

    If the subscription is not lifetime, or you are not so concerned about the recordings saved, there are often brand new Tivo HD units for sale on ebay for around $70, give or take. Used ones for even less. You might consider one of these units also for parts(all except motherboard) to repair your own unit with a lifetime subscription.

    Also, for a lifetime unit, I have read that Tivo will sometimes replace your unit for like, $150.

    All that said, I'm not so sure the hard drive is the problem. It could be the power supply. My tivos typically stay on the "welcome, powering up" screen for at least a minute or so before going to the "almost there" screen.

    Good luck.
     
  3. crlayne

    crlayne New Member

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    Apr 14, 2008
    Thanks for the information. I did try removing all connections and plugging it directly into the outlet, but still had the same grey screen outcome. Not sure I'm savvy enough for hard drive replacement, but it would be fun to try.
     
  4. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
    0
    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Well, the only way to really check the hard drive is to remove the cover of the Tivo, and observe/feel/listen to the hard drive.

    If you have never opened up a computer/tivo, then the preimaged drive from weaknees.com, dvrdude/ebay, etc., is probably going to be the best route for you, if indeed your unit has a lifetime sub. Simply replacing the hard drive is extremely easy. Trust me.

    Otherwise(if unit is not lifetime), finding another new Tivo HD would be the thing for you.

    Again, you might consider calling Tivo customer service, first. But weigh all your options before deciding.
     
  5. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,590
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC

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    Go to mfslive.org and start reading about the MFS Live cd and the WinMFS program.

    Then come back to this thread and ask more questions when you have a better idea what questions to ask.

    A word of warning. Do not use a GigaByte brand motherboard with which to work on TiVo hard drives. They have a "feature" (which isn't really documented and apparently can't be disabled) that creates a hidden area on the tail end of hard drives called a Host Protected Area. This shrinks the usable space on the drive by a little bit, which in and of itself wouldn't necessarily be a problem, but since TiVo drives use a partition table and system different from the traditional DOS pc type, the motherboard doesn't realize that the drive is already formatted and creating the HPA can screw up the drive and the stuff on it. The drive can be erased and re-used, but you lose the stuff on it that way.
     

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