Humax DVD "Saving Failed"

Discussion in 'DVD TiVo Units (Archive)' started by sirrob1, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. amgqmp1

    amgqmp1 New Member

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    Feb 27, 2003
    Iowa
    How many of you that are experiencing this have upgraded the hard drive in your Humax?

    I just received my Humax DRT-400 last week from TiVo...and, I coastered five discs last night before getting out the DVD-RW it shipped with. It's never been able to burn that properly either. I upgraded the hard drive before I even first powered the unit on (it came pre-activated). Just wondering if this is something to do with large drives...or swap partition size being too small...or, possibly these units are just junk...? :)
     
  2. amgqmp1

    amgqmp1 New Member

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    Feb 27, 2003
    Iowa
    FWIW, I put my stock drive in (which was running v5 of the TiVo OS) and it just made me a new coaster. I'm doing the "5-6" trick (instead of the "5-7" trick) per the direction of Humax Support. If that doesn't fix it...then, it appears I got a junk box and they'll replace it. Oh well, you win some you lose some... :rolleyes:
     
  3. tiv0pete

    tiv0pete Member

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    Oct 26, 2006
    I don't know if this helps, but I bought an 80-hour Humax box w/TiVo a couple of years ago, and the DVD burner fizzled out after a few months, with the "internal drive error" message. My 4-year service agreement with Best Buy allowed me to exchange it. Well, I had to go through this process three more times, because each time they gave me a new Humax box the DVD burner failed, usually after a few weeks. One actually failed after just a few days.

    So I brought the fifth one back and got a store credit, with which I bought a nice Toshiba DVD recorder w/80GB hard drive (but no TiVo). This one has now burned more than 800 DVDs without any problems whatsoever. The guy at Best Buy told me that, in his opinion, Humax (made in South Korea) was using either cheap parts or poor engineering. I also notice that my local Best Buy has not carried the Humax brand for some time now. I guess I know why! IMHO Humax is a lousy brand, as far as I can tell.

    In addition to the Toshiba, I also have a cheap Radio Shack DVD recorder w/hard drive which I simply hook up between my regular 80-hour TiVo (not Humax!) and my TV. Then I simply either copy saved programs from the TiVo to the Radio Shack to burn to DVDs, or else just set the Radio Shack to record from the AV1 input jack, where the TiVo is connected. That way, I schedule programs to record using the TiVo. And for any of them that I know ahead of time I will also want to burn to DVD, I just program the Radio Shack to record the program as the signal is passed to it from the TiVo box. (The Radio Shack box doesn't have the capability to change the channels on the Comcast digital cable box, so I use the TiVo to change the channel and pass the signal through.)

    So I can now record digital cable stuff on the Toshiba and burn it to DVD, and can record analog cable (basic cable) directly on the Radio Shack box or else digital cable via a passthrough from the TiVo box (that is connected to a second digital cable box).

    FYI, the Radio Shack box does not respond to the Macrovision copy protection signal, so it will record anything to DVD. So I simply record non-copy-protected channels (e.g., Turner Classic Movies channel) on the Toshiba, and copy-protected stuff on the TiVo/Radio Shack combo system.

    BTW, in case anyone is wondering, the fair use law allows a private individual to archive one copy of any cable TV programming (except Pay-Per-View/Video On Demand) to a videotape or DVD-R disk, as long as they don't make multiple copies for sale or distribution. It is NOT illegal to bypass the Macrovision copy protection signal, even though Macrovision would like you to think so. (Note: all five of the Humax boxes I owned, described previously, completely ignored the Macrovision signal, so they also could record anything at all and burn it to a DVD.)

    NOTE: the following section of my original message (posted on 10-26-06) is incorrect; they did not pass a law. It is still legal to own a Macrovision filter, and I own two of them currently:

    "However, Congress recently passed legislation, which Bush just signed into law, making it illegal to sell Macrovision signal "neutralizers" (electronic boxes that neutralize the copy protection signal) after Oct. 25 (yesterday). I'm glad I bought one on 10/23 which I'll probably hook up to my Toshiba DVD recorder so that it will now operate just like the Radio Shack box. (The govt. and Macrovision may try to intimidate us, but if we're within our Constitutional rights, there is little they can do if we manage to stay one step ahead.)"
     
  4. amgqmp1

    amgqmp1 New Member

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    Feb 27, 2003
    Iowa
    Pioneer optical drives usually aren't considered "cheap" parts. They're not my personal favorite, but, they should work fine (what do you think is in every Mac with a burner that's been sold for the past few years?).

    Update on my story...talked with Humax support...they're sending me a replacement box. Mine must have just been a bad apple.
     
  5. tiv0pete

    tiv0pete Member

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    Oct 26, 2006

    When five out of five of my Humax DVD burners fail within months, weeks or even days, I figure there's probably a problem. And, in fact, I finally got one honest tech support person to admit that they were having a problem with DVD burners. (When I was dealing with them a couple of years ago, they tended not to want to admit any weakness in their product, and they usually first tried to blame TiVo's software, which was never actually the real problem.)

    I don't know whether the problem was with the drive itself or their implementation of it in the Humax box; and I don't know whether they've since improved. But I guess you'll find out after they send you another one. Good luck.
     
  6. Nov 1, 2006 #106 of 130
    amgqmp1

    amgqmp1 New Member

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    Feb 27, 2003
    Iowa
    Received the replacement and it seems to work fine with the stock drive. If I try to upgrade the unit to a 250GB drive...the TiVo functionality works fine, but, burning breaks like it did before. While I'm hesitant to screw with this...if anyone has any clues on why the bigger drive wouldn't work...(something with the mfsbackup/mfsrestore process from Weakness web site?)...then please clue me in. :)
     
  7. Nov 1, 2006 #107 of 130
    ashu

    ashu User title defunct

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    How soon after upgrading are you trying a burn?

    Perhaps it is forced to make a connection, and is busy (CPU) processing guide cache data in the background, leading to CPU/bus overload?

    Or perhaps, now that there is more space, it is almost always recording Suggestions (although I imagine you would have noticed if it started DURING a burn you babysit!) Try turning Suggestions off.

    My 300GB Humax DRT800 still burns discs flawlessly.
     
  8. Nov 1, 2006 #108 of 130
    amgqmp1

    amgqmp1 New Member

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    Feb 27, 2003
    Iowa
    My burn attempts were immediately after rebooting with the upgraded drive attached.

    The upgraded drive is a WD 250GB 7200RPM/8MB cache. It's a much faster drive than the stock 40GB Seagate (2MB cache) that shipped with the unit.

    I get the concern of system resource overload, however, all of my testing was performed when the box was as idle as possible. It wasn't recording on any channels, no hard drive activity was occurring (other than the live TV buffer that's always running). The "System Information" screen did not indicate any type of data processing that was occurring (or pending).

    I theorized that it may have something to do with the swap partition size...so, I repeated my testing with three different swap partition sizes (768MB, 512MB, 127MB). Didn't have a single bit of impact.

    Whatever the malfunction...with the upgraded drive...burns fail at "0% saving" (as my old unit did consistently). Instinct tells me it's something to do with the mfsbackup/mfsrestore operation I was using...however, I place a decent amount of trust in the weakness instructions (generated by their web-based wizard).

    Not the first TiVo I've "hacked"...just the first one that didn't work right with an upgraded drive. Very odd...
     
  9. Nov 1, 2006 #109 of 130
    ashu

    ashu User title defunct

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    At 0%? Sounds like an IDE controller/cable occasional malfunction (seeing as it works later with the old drive connected, which I conjecture is purely coincidental, and eliminates a faulty DVDRW drive)

    I DO tend to conjecture excessively. YMMV.

    When I swapped my drive, I replaced BOTH 40pin IDE connectors (HD and burner) with one mini (from weaknees) and one large (but 'folded' subcables for ventilation - know which ones I mean?) 80pin connector.

    One of these dohickeys.

    Oh, and monoprice and bluejeanscable are cool ... they might make a few 3-4inch connectors if we all, en masse, start requesting them for our DVRs to generate demand. Unlikely, though, seeing as only the DVD burner units use two short cables ... other S2 units need a long single connector cable.
     
  10. Nov 2, 2006 #110 of 130
    amgqmp1

    amgqmp1 New Member

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    Feb 27, 2003
    Iowa
    Thanks for the advice. It did cross my mind when I had the case open...that 40-conductor IDE cables of any length sure seem out of place in this day and age. It felt a tad awkward hooking a 250GB HD up to one. ;)

    I'll check my "modding stash" and see if I've got some airflow friendly 80-conductor cables...can't hurt to try. :)

    I'll report back what I get...probably be a few days...I just got a new version of the OS...kinda like to see how that works for a bit. ;)

     
  11. Nov 4, 2006 #111 of 130
    tiv0pete

    tiv0pete Member

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    Oct 26, 2006
    Apparently my earlier comment, quoted above, was incorrect. Macrovision neutralizers/clarifiers are still available in the U.S. I guess the manufacturers won a recent court ruling. Anyway, I believe the best ones are manufactured by Sima Products Company but are also sold on the Web under different names. E.g., Sima's best product is called Sima DP-2000; but it is sold by others also under different names. E.g., Facet Video sells it as the Clarifier SX. (That's the one I bought recently, and it works perfectly.)

    I don't know if these will work with HD, but you can always ask the merchant. Mine has S-video and RCA/composite video jacks; but maybe they make HD-compatible stuff, too. If you're curious, you can Google on the phrase "Sima DP-2000" or "Clarifier SX" or you can just go to sites such as Facet Video at: facetvideo.com.
     
  12. Anymountain

    Anymountain New Member

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    Nov 10, 2006
    My Humax DVD burner just started failing after a year of working succesefully. It Burns DVD's and then fails to close them. It is obviously not a hardware issue.

    If it can burn 95% of a DVD, at 25% full or 99% full then it isn't a drivespace issue. It has to be a software issue.

    When I hear that somebody has three machines fail, after a week. There is only one thing changing in that week, Tivo Update.

    Tivo should just tell us which Burners they are making work, I'm sure everyone would rather spend $50 on a new burner, and have the issue done with. It took me longer to write this e-mail then it would to replace an optical drive.
     
  13. tiv0pete

    tiv0pete Member

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    Oct 26, 2006
    Regarding the portion of your comment that I've boldfaced, above: I don't know whether you're perhaps referring to my earlier post, which I'll quote here:

    "Well, I had to go through this process three more times, because each time they gave me a new Humax box the DVD burner failed, usually after a few weeks. One actually failed after just a few days."

    FYI, the first Humax failed after about eight months. I immediately replaced it with a second Humax, which worked fine for about three months. The third Humax, which I bought as soon as the second one failed, worked fine for a few weeks. The fourth one worked fine for about a week. There were no TiVo software updates during that period of time that would have caused the problem.

    Doesn't sound like a software problem to me. Nor did it to Best Buy's tech/repair staff, who confirmed the hardware failures each time. (Which Humax also finally confirmed after I did some arm-twisting of an honest/guilty-feeling Humax tech support person.) Humax's next suggestion? They rather lamely said, just send it to us and we'll send you another box. My response? "Well, no thanks, folks . . . ."

    That's why I'm not surprised that one probably would have a hard time finding Humax machines anymore at Best Buy, etc. That's why I'm also skeptical about the "refurbished" Humax boxes that TiVo has been dumping as "special deals" on its Web site. I wasn't able to get a definitive answer from either TiVo or Humax about exactly what burners are in these "free" boxes, except that Humax implied they were "original equipment" rather than something different/better.
     
  14. amgqmp1

    amgqmp1 New Member

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    Feb 27, 2003
    Iowa
    Definitely not an IDE cable issue. My Humax is running a GSOD repair as I type this...with my upgrade drive connected via an 80-pin cable.

    With my stock hard drive, burns are fine on this replacement for my original that always fsiled.

    With my upgraded drive (followed Weakness instructions/used mfstools 2.0), new drive is a WD 250GB 8MB 7200RPM, it will fail within five seconds of starting "Saving...0%". The failure is always the generic "internal error".

    Fingers crossed that the GSOD does the trick...I loathe the idea of using the box with it's stock drive. To get quality worth watching it's an 11 hour box...
     
  15. amgqmp1

    amgqmp1 New Member

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    Feb 27, 2003
    Iowa
    GSOD did not help with my problem at all. Neither did a "5-6", though, I'm not confident that part worked. Either way, my solution was finally found with my upgrade drive and my second DRT-400....perform a "Clear & Delete Everything". The box is now booted...just did another test burn to a DVD-RW...and all is well. Hopefully my trials and tribulations help someone along the way...

    Now if I could only figure out why it won't boot properly when all the screws are in for the case lid. (yes, seriously)

    Maybe some other company will come out with a bit better DVD burning TiVo in the future...though, I'm not utterly convinced the headaches many of us have had aren't TiVo OS deficiencies...and/or poor communication between TiVo and partner orgs (e.g. Humax).
     
  16. tiv0pete

    tiv0pete Member

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    Oct 26, 2006
    I just recorded the mindbending film "Memento" off the Bravo channel last night on my Toshiba DVD/HDD recorder. Because Bravo isn't commercial-free, I first removed all the commercials. Next I burned a copy of the movie as originally released onto a blank DVD. Then I went back to the hard drive and reshuffled all the scenes into their actual chronological order (first 22 scenes in B&W, last 23 scenes in color, and reversing the order of the color scenes vs. the orginal release. The re-edited version in actual chronological order is wonderful to watch, especially right after watching the original release version.
     
  17. amgqmp1

    amgqmp1 New Member

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    Feb 27, 2003
    Iowa
    I hate to be "that guy", but, you're a bit OT my friend... ;)

     
  18. ashu

    ashu User title defunct

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    Nov 8, 2002
    MD
    Wait for it ... he's going to tell you to Get a Life. At least that's what he did when I pointed out (less diplomaticaly) that he was straying off-topic. Again. :rolleyes:
     
  19. amgqmp1

    amgqmp1 New Member

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    Feb 27, 2003
    Iowa
    I don't want to turn this into a users complaining about other users thread...but, the off-topic post is cross-posted too.

    Tiv0pete -- from one user of these forums to another -- please keep posts remotely on-topic, and, please don't straffe the message boards with the same posting in different threads (i.e. cross-posting).
     
  20. Jan 7, 2007 #120 of 130
    mmmelpomene

    mmmelpomene New Member

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    Jan 7, 2007
    I'm no techie, but I thought I might add my two cents and explain exactly what my machine's issue has been, the steps I have taken and the problems which have resulted, in case it might help clear up things for anyone else:

    I have the 800, I've stuck with it, double-clicking remote and all, and now... my burns fail all the time. Constantly. When it first happened I used a CD lens cleaner to brighten things up, thinking to myself that I'd never used one before and should see if it were dirty. Fixed me up right for a few discs, then right back to "saving failed", after which point it started flunking out after every successful recording and eventually failed immediately and near-permanently for every burn, without making it past 2% that I can see and usually failing in the "Preparing" stage, after hanging there for at least 2 minutes.

    I've tried saving a single show in case it were objecting to the new shows listing at 50% and not 49% (I usually have 2 on a disc), changing which show I save, changing discs, same response... "saving failed". The DVD-RW is a new type I've not used before, but I've had "saving failed" on discs of this ilk that I am then able to turn right around and re-record over the identical disks with different programs, so the discs themselves aren't bum. I used to have the problem only with a particular drama series, then turned around and tried to do a week's worth of the same exact television show (this time I chose a talk show), to put paid to this nonsense about "bad" recordings. I've gotten the same results:

    IF anything burnt, 2 episodes burnt to one disc and then, even after immediately removing the disk from the drive and deleting the successfully burnt episodes, the next pair of episodes would fail to burn. I tried nos. 1 and 2 in record order, 1 and 3, 2 and 4, 2 and 3, and 3 and 4 - no rhyme or reason to the fails, once it starts failing it would fail until I ran the lens cleaning disc through or reset the machine. Today I have deleted a batch of junk and am currently at almost 100% free space. I also today had a problem with the disc drive refusing to recognize first that the drive door was actually closed, then that it actually contained a disc at all - this is not a new problem for me, but mainly in the past it happened when I accidentally left the disc tray open for a while and then I thought it might be understandable because I'd confused the machine - not so this time.

    I've been through two system resets (though not a hard reset yet nor the button dance, I'm waiting until I have enough time to babysit) and 2 "reset DVD"'s from the menu. I have no other components sitting on top or below the player within six inches, with the exception of a side by side stereo receiver (they still don't touch), so there would be no external reason for the machine getting hot. The only guesses I had were wondering if maybe the shows that are giving me issues have recently switched to HD and that makes a difference, or that my off-brand -RWs are junk. I would easily and happily blame the -RWs for all the flaws and switch back to my Memorex, which always worked great, but then I came here and saw that there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the brand of discs which were giving others problems.
     

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