How to activate cable cards after HD replace?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by dsm42, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. dsm42

    dsm42 New Member

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    May 23, 2005

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    I don't know if this is a common problem, but I couldn't find any solutions here after searching:

    I attempted to upgrade my internal HD, and when I reconnected everything, I could not get any cable channels at all. The info for both cable cards state "contact your cable provider for service" and that they're waiting for data. I called Comcast, and they were happy to send the activation code to each and to both cards, but that didn't do anything. The rep said her instructions said to pull and re-insert the cards, which I did one at a time, and then had her re-send the activation codes, but it still didn't help.

    Is there any way to get the cable cards working short of waiting for an appt with a technician to come here??

    (And, BTW, the last thing I tried was inserting each of the two cards in Slot 1, which is reported here to regenerate the pairing keys and make things harder - but at that point I was just desparate!)

    Thanks,
    Dave.
     
  2. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    I believe that the cards have to be repaired by cable provider after a HD swap. This should be something that you can do by prividing the host/data numbers to cable provider, but they usually want to send a truck out to do the job.
     
  3. LCD1080

    LCD1080 Member

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    Dec 13, 2006
    When you inserted the first cable card in the bottom slot did you wait a minute for the MMI screen to appear? On the MMI screen you should have seen the Cable Card ID, the Host ID, the Data number, and the Unit Address. Assuming you did that did and gave that information to the cable company rep, they should have sent 3 signals, namely an initialization signal, a refresh signal, and a hit signal. Did they mention those 3 signals? If you do all those things you should see the 161-4 "error" message screen? A minute after seeing that the cards should be paired and you should be good to go. All of that should be possible without a technician coming out to your place but that still may be necessary if the above doesn't lead to success.
     
  4. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    Note- you won't run into this difficulty if you simply add an eSata drive.
     
  5. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA

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    Or if you take an image of the original hdd and copy it on to the new hdd.
     
  6. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

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    What procedure? Did you get your own blank hdd and copy your old hdd? Or did you buy a pre-formatted hdd?
     
  7. dsm42

    dsm42 New Member

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    May 23, 2005
    I got a new 750G DB35 drive and attempted to copy my orig 250G drive to it, but when I installed the 750G drive it made loud clicking noises and didn't boot, and is now on it's way back to be replaced. So I re-installed the orig 250G drive, and got this problem with the cable cards...

    I'll try LCD1080's suggestion if I can reach someone at Comcast who can do it.

    But I'm worried that when I get my 750G drive replaced, and then do the upgrade, I'll have this same problem again and have to get it fixed again. But if I don't get it fixed now, I'll be without Tivo/Cable for a week. What a pain!

    In any case, thanks for the suggestions so far!
    Dave.
     
  8. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    I had to be re-paired to get it working again. (Scientific Atlanta CC's). Ive upgraded twice but only had to re-pair once. The first time I used Bumwine method to go from 250 to 500G. 500G drive booted and ran fine with no TWC intervention. The 250 went on the shelf for 6 months. Then I got a 1TB Hitachi. I put the 250 back in to update FW and get all my Season Passes in order before copying it but found that I lost pairing. I then put the 500 back in and all worked fine. So I went ahead and used Bumwine and copied the 250 to the 1TB. Then I had to contact TWC and have them do a compete re-pairing. All is well now.

    It seems (speculation) that there is data that changes periodically and is stored on the HDD. If a particluar HDD has been out for enough time and the data changes... its re-pair time.

    What brand cablecards? That may make a difference (again speculation)
     
  9. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

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    But, notice that the OP lost his pairing from the original 250g right away. So, most likely, it was not a periodic change. My guess is that the 750g did not take the image properly (which is stating the obvious) and a new hardware pairing for the machine was established. Since the machine pairing changed, the old hdd would no longer match, and now the cableco isn't paired when either drive installed.
     
  10. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

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    Also, it sounds as though you could have taken an image of the 500g drive and copied that to the new drive since the 500g was still functioning correctly. But, I am very surprised that your original 250g would not have worked if the 500g was truly an image. From everything I've read, a drive image will always work. But, maybe, the image has to be taken and used within a certain period of time, like you are suggesting.
     
  11. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    Yes, I noticed that. Its different than my experience. OP didnt say whose cablecards it was which could be a difference.
     
  12. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    I dont believe that would work. I believe you can only 'expand' capacity via MFSTOOLs once. The 500G would be a direct copy of the 250G original PLUS the expanded partition. To do as you suggest would result in two expansion partitons which I dont believe is allowed.... However.... I cant state that with absolute certainty.
     
  13. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

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    I believe you are right. It's been a while. I think that you can make an image from your first 250g and keep that to upgrade additional drives. As long as you don't put anything else in to the S3 and don't fool with the cards, you should be safe. (Unless, as you suggest, there are time constraints. Add that to what different cablecos are doing.)
     
  14. dsm42

    dsm42 New Member

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    May 23, 2005
    The cablecards are Motorola.

    The cable company tech is coming this afternoon (I didn't have time to resolve it over the phone).

    However, my worry is that this will happen again when I get the new 750G drive and do the upgrade. From comments above, it seems that it *shouldn't* but I'm not sure why copying from the orig 250G drive caused this problem in the first place (given that the 750G drive failed before it booted in the Tivo).

    So, assuming the cable tech fixes things today, is there anything I could do to help assure that the cable cards remain paired when I do the upgrade next week? (I'm using MFSLive 1.2)

    Thanks,
    Dave.
     
  15. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 17, 2007
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    I copied my 250g to an image and from the image to a bare 750g and all of my cableCARD settings stayed intact. I have never removed any cableCARDs. Whatever you do, do not switch slots and only remove them with the power off in order to protect the pairing. Anyway, I used the w e a k n e e s directions

    http://tivo.upgrade-instructions.com/index.php
     
  16. dsm42

    dsm42 New Member

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    May 23, 2005
    Mea culpa.

    I had plugged the cable into the antenna input instead of the cable input (it's hard to see back there!), and when I saw the "call your cable company to activate" on the cable card screen, I didn't even think to check that all the cables were hooked up correctly...

    Fortunately the cable techs were aware enough to find this... :)
     
  17. dsm42

    dsm42 New Member

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    May 23, 2005
    Just wanted to provide a final update.

    I received the replacement 750G drive, performed the upgrade (w/MFSLive), booted up Tivo successfully with the new drive, but the cable cards weren't working again. However, one of the status screens showed they were "tuned." I called Comcast, the guy sent some signals, and one card started working fully, and the other did not work for the premium channels (HBO, etc.). He checked with a supervisor, and then sent the "ccv host validation" signal, after which the second card started working fully as well...

    So, after a long odyssey, I finally now have a 750G Tivo with all my old programs on it, and which tunes all the cable chans we get!

    Thanks again for the suggestions above, and hopefully a record of this experience will help someone in the future...

    Dave.
     

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