is my Series 3 dead ?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by tivoknucklehead, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. tivoknucklehead

    tivoknucklehead Well-Known Member

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    tried accessing it from work today on my slingbox. I keep seeing "Welcome, Powering Up" then after a few minutes ,"weak or no video signal detected" , then loops back to "Welcome, powering Up"

    of course I am heading out of town until Sunday so I can't go home to check it out, but is it likely a dead hard drive?
     
  2. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    Most likely culprits are the hard drive(s) or power supply. You will probably have to troubleshoot to find out which one.

    External drive involved?

    Any other modifications(upgraded internal hard drive, etc.)?
     
  3. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Is it an S3 or a HD model? (Both are Series 3.) In either case what dwit said pretty much applies. But when you eventually get into details, the exact model can make a difference.
     
  4. tivoknucklehead

    tivoknucklehead Well-Known Member

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    Series 3 that also has an tivo brand e sata extender drive attached. Standard model besides that
     
  5. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    Well, that external drive/enclosure/eSATA cable jumps to the top of the culprit list. Best situation would be if it's just the signal path being affected at one of the connections on the end of the eSATA cable. Carefully disconnect and reconnect each end of the cable. Maybe do this 2 or 3 times to help strip off any unseen corrosion/oxidation that may be hindering the signal. If you happen to have a spare cable laying around(hopefully one of high quality), that would be ideal. Then see if you can get things started up.

    If it's the enclosure, or the drive itself, I really can't advise. It seems they tend to go bad, sometimes in relatively short order, and I don't read here much of anything to do but go ahead and start preparations to disconnect the external drive. Then see if the Tivo boots up and guides you through the process of divorcing from the external drive. Be prepared to lose all recordings made when the external was attached.

    If you cannot get the Tivo to start up then, either the image on the internal has become corrupted or had just gone bad. This probably means re-imaging the drive, or preparing and installing a new drive.

    You may also need to visually inspect the power supply. Someone else will need to help you with that, as I have no experience there.

    Good luck.
     
  6. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    I agree with dwit that the external drive is a very likely culprit, but if you get to the point of suspecting the power supply (it can be marginal enough to power the motherboard, but not still have enough "umph" left to run the internal hard drive also, and not getting an answer from the drive, or drives, at boot can cause the repeating boot screen problem), go to badcaps.net and lcdalternatives to learn how to visually inspect for capacitor disease.

    Another way to inspect power supplies for capacitor problems is see if any of them have the CapXon brand name. That brand is notorious for premature failure, sometimes without an visual indication at all, except, of course, for the brand name.
     
  7. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    Now that we're getting into more details, this info is important. Internal drive and/or power supply replacements all are model-specific. What is your model number?

    If your model is the older (S3) model (starting with 648) it is much more likely you could have "capacitor disease" in your power supply. This is when the larger metal can capacitors will bulge or show leakage stains. They can be replaced and that will usually fix it.

    You could try the Kick Start 54 diagnostic test:
    http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php
    However these tests sometimes miss drive problems.

    After that, divorcing the external drive is the first thing to try, keeping in mind you will lose most or all of your recordings. However that drive is by far the most likely thing to fail, especially if it's more than 18 mos old. Before doing that however, try reseating the eSata cable connections and even try a new cable. Bad cable connections also are a very likely failure point.
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    You can also suspect the power supply for the external drive.
     
  9. tivoknucklehead

    tivoknucklehead Well-Known Member

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    well I got home to troubleshoot and it will not boot up with or without the esata drive plugged in, suck on the welcome screen. Its 5 years old, I want to get the new quad tuner one and now I have an excuse to :)
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Wanna sell it cheap?

    Have you tried disconnecting the data lead from the external and starting it up to see if you can hear the drive spin up? Or put a voltmeter on the external's power supply's output plug? In other words, have you ruled out the power supply of the external drive as the problem?
     
  11. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    Atlanta, GA
    Did you try the kickstart diagnostics? It also may be worth trying removing the the internal hard drive and run the manufaturer's diagnostics.

    If it passes all tests, you could try to acquire an image and try to re-image the drive. If you were to reimage, and managed to get it booted, it will still probably be best to buy a new 1 TB or 1.5 TB drive to prepare and install(using the WinMfs program, easy, free). The original drive is probably near the end of it's life span.

    Same applies if you just happen to have a spare, working 250 GB(or larger) sata drive around. You can try to load the acquired image and see if the Tivo starts up.

    Again, never hurts to open an old, failed unit up to check the fan, blow out any dust and debris, check and reseat the connections to the hard drive, etc.

    Even if you get the Premiere/Elite, if your S3 has a lifetime subscription, it's worth looking into getting it working again(if the drive is the issue).
     
  12. tivoknucklehead

    tivoknucklehead Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the suggestions but I am not going to put any money into this old thing and I'm surely not interested in opening it up. I got 5 years out of it
     
  13. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    I assume then that you do not have lifetime service on it.
     

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