Guaranteed S3 Lockup Technique (aka, 9.2a Bug)

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by VideoGrabber, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. VideoGrabber

    VideoGrabber New Member

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    Sep 11, 2003

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    If you're scheduling a recording for a program that's about to start, be very careful how much pre-padding you add. Let's say you notice it's about to start in 5 minutes, and you set things up with a 2-minute pre-pad. If by the time you finish the settings and press the button to finalize them it is no longer 2+ minutes before it starts (or the TiVo thinks there's not... I've seen its clock running 15+ seconds fast), you will be facing a "Please Wait" screen that never exits.

    Of course, if the start time had already passed, you'd expect it to just begin recording immediately, but instead the unit locks up hard. No response to any remote or front panel buttons (other than bleeps & bloops). At that point you have 2 choices:

    a) pull the power plug to hard boot the unit
    b) keep pressing buttons or remote keys until you eventually overflow the input buffer, and cause it to crash and soft reboot itself.

    I was pretty surprised and unhappy the first time this one bit me. Astonished, actually, at this coding error. Of course, you don't get the program you wanted recorded at all, since by the time the reboot finishes the beginning is long gone.

    Also, if you had a TTG session running, rebooting will kill that too... potentially costing you hours of time since you'll have to start it over again. That's because there's no mechanism to pick up where an interrupted TTG Transfer left off. So if you think you might be close to wrapping up a transfer, you may want to defer forcing a reboot, because that's a background process that continues to run, even though all the foreground processes are locked out.

    Since then, it's happened to me twice more, but I have only myself to blame for those I guess. Doesn't make me any happier.

    - Tim
     
  2. drcos

    drcos HD where available

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    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    You don't learn anything the second time a mule kicks you. :)
     
  3. bobr42

    bobr42 New Member

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    Dec 24, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    I am having an on going problem with my unit locking up and rebooting. It's to the point of wanting to just thro it away. The picture locks up and the TiVo Central locks up over and over again. This is my third unit and all are working well except the Series3 HD Unit. I will enter a comand from remote and there is a long delay for response. I've seen some similiar problems but not just like this. I'm new to this forum today as I've never had problems until this unit. What's up?
     
  4. drcos

    drcos HD where available

    271
    4
    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    Is the long delay consistent? Does it only happen at some times and not at others?

    If it is intermittent, it could be caused by the TiVo indexing programming or organizing itself for an impending software update (the OS slows down as it's doing other things in the background). Check under settings, network to see if perhaps it is indexing data.

    Mine has slowed down intermittently as you describe, but it is always fleeting, except when it is indexing a large chunk of data (for some reason, the internet downloads of program data seem to be larger on some days than others, rather than a smooth incremental update one would expect).
     
  5. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001

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    I've had upwards of 15 Tivo's, and never ever had a situation where I even needed to do this, let alone caused this bug.

    I don't doubt it exists, but find it bizarre that you've run into it multiple times. I can't even imagine a use-case where I'd want to do this. And I'm about as much of a Tivo veteran as they come (perhaps too much and that's why I can't see a use case).
     
  6. Teeps

    Teeps Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    The consumer (end user) will always find and exploit weaknesses in any system... I have a knack of finding all sorts of "bugs" in the program we use at work. Drives the programmer mad; but hey, he gets paid to fix his mistakes. Doesn't get better'n that.

    "You don't learn anything the second time a mule kicks you"; never a truer word spoken.
     
  7. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Feb 5, 2001
    I guess my point was, the OP was making this out to be some end-all bug. While I don't disagree that it's a bug, I was just commenting that it seems extraordinarily peripheral (to me) compared to the OP somehow doing this on a regular basis. I can't imagine a scenario where I'd do this at all, and in the almost 10 years I've had Tivo, I don't think I've done it once.
     
  8. Ivomir

    Ivomir New Member

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    Apr 5, 2006
    I've seen a lockup bug that may be related. If a recording is about to start I get the "Tivo wants to change the channel to record something... [Change channels]/[Cancel recording]" message. If I'm channel surfing around the same time the message appears, it doesn't accept input (I can neither let it record, or cancel the recording). Usually the message stays up until the recording starts and then goes away. But on few occasions (might be related to the new software upgrade) it stays up indefinitely - only a reboot helps.

    Ivo
     
  9. VideoGrabber

    VideoGrabber New Member

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    Sep 11, 2003
    AbMagFab commented:
    > I was just commenting that it seems extraordinarily peripheral (to me) compared to the OP somehow doing this on a regular basis. I can't imagine a scenario where I'd do this at all, and in the almost 10 years I've had Tivo, I don't think I've done it once. <

    It's true that we have radically different usage styles. Since you have _7_ TiVos and I have _1_, that may account for part of it. You also have ~6000! GB of online storage on your TiVos, while I have only 250 GB (24x less). I record and TTG an average of 75 programs each week, which may also be a contributing factor (higher than average, perhaps). As a result of trying to balance recordings with TTG transfers, on a limited capacity system, there are many times I wind up scheduling things "at the last minute". Your mileage may certainly vary.

    I've been a professional programmer for over 30 years, and if I did something as stupid as coding, "if currentTime > startTime then lockUp", I'd sure as hell fix it, even if most folks never even knew the bug was there. :D

    I'll agree with you that this is a bug easily avoided simply by following the sage advice, "don't do that", even if you're rushed or in a hurry. The consequences of failing to do so are dramatic.

    - Tim
     
  10. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    LOL:D
    My TivoHD spontaneously rebooted when I first used the signal strength meter while checking the different channels.
    As yet, this 'bug' hasn't resurfaced.
     

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