My bi-polar Tivo

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by casbahman, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. casbahman

    casbahman New Member

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    Jun 7, 2002
    Alviso...
    I've had some true wierdness with my Tivo over the past month. And, just when I thought I had it all solved, it comes back again.

    The brief rundown:

    I have a Sony SAT-T60. About 4 or 5 months ago I upgraded it and put 160GB and 200GB Maxtor drives in, moving from a single drive configuration to a dual drive one.

    Everything had worked fine until, about a month ago, I lost the green background on my Now Playing list. (I don't recall if other backgrounds were affected.)

    Within a couple days, another problem had developed. I would select to play a program. Immediately, the screen would come up asking whether or not I wanted to delete the program, as if the program had just ended. When I went back to look at the program, it would indicate that there was a partial recording (i.e. 44mins of a 1 hour show). So it did record something, but when I try to play it, it simply asked if I want to save or delete the program. Not all programs would exhibit this behavior, just some.

    I then encountered a followup issue. When I would select to not delete the program (the one that wouldn't even play as mentioned above), I would get the following error message:"Error playing a recording. The recorder was not able to record this program because there was no video signal on the channel. You may have been trying to record on a channel that you don't recieve." Well, I do get the channel. I can view it right now.

    The next problem became much more severe. Within a couple days of the afforementioned behavior, another problem occurred. I would be watching a recorded program and the show would freeze in the middle of playing. Then, after 3-5 seconds, the Tivo would shut off. I would turn it back on and it would go through the "Welcome" and "Almost there" screens. Then it would reacquire the satellite signal, finally going back to live programming. This was repeatable behavior as I could watch the same program and it would freeze at the same position on the recording and go through the whole bootup sequence. If I skipped past that part of the program, I could continue to watch the program to its end. Not all programs did this, just an occasional one.

    Finally, the last straw. I turned it on one morning to find a grey screen saying "CANNOT BOOT KERNEL". The only thing I could do was unplug/replug. This did not help. I used Maxtor's Bootdisk to test the drives and no problems were found. (incidentally, those two drives are now running without a hitch in my Windows computer).

    To solve the problem, I reinstalled my original 40GB Tivo drive that I had kept as a backup. Once successfully installed, all afforementioned problems went away. My Tivo ran without a hitch with that drive for 3 weeks.

    Then I took the plunge. I took 2 different drives, both Maxtor 160GB drives, and went through the upgrade process again. These drives were in my Tivo for less than a week when the same sequence of events began to happen: first the loss of the green background, then oddly premature ends to programs, and finally programs freezing and the Tivo rebooting. The only thing that has not happened this time that happened before is the "CANNOT BOOT KERNEL" error, which I fully expect to happen in the next couple days.

    Calgon take me away!

    Anyone seen this sequence of events, or something similar? Is it a weakness in Maxtor Drives? Is the 137GB barrier interfering in some way? Am I doing something wrong? Does someone have a voodoo doll of my Tivo?

    Help!

    Darrin
     
  2. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

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    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    These are classic symptoms of hard drive problems on the Sony SAT-T60. You have, of course, doubled your odds of hard drive problems by using two hard drives. Have you tried using Maxtor's PowerMax DOS-based diagnostic utilities on these drives to see if you can pinpoint the problem drive(s)?

    Also, what's the internal temperature of your SAT-T60 like with two drives installed? High temperatures can cause early drive failures.
     
  3. casbahman

    casbahman New Member

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    Jun 7, 2002
    Alviso...
    These are classic symptoms of hard drive problems on the Sony SAT-T60. You have, of course, doubled your odds of hard drive problems by using two hard drives. Have you tried using Maxtor's PowerMax DOS-based diagnostic utilities on these drives to see if you can pinpoint the problem drive(s)?

    Yes, I used the PowerMax boot disk on the 160GB and 200GB drives that I first used to upgrade the device. They passed every test. I've since reformatted them and plugged them in to my Windows machine. They are fully operational in the PC.

    Since the problem reappeared in the 2 new drives that are currently in the Tivo, I have not redone the test.

    Also, what's the internal temperature of your SAT-T60 like with two drives installed? High temperatures can cause early drive failures.

    Well, if I could get to the screen, I would check. Seems that I can click the Tivoguy button and get to the main menu, but the background is missing and it will not let me arrow down to select System Information. However, I can tell you that I have modded my case to account for the extra heat. I have two holes cut in the top of the case, right above the hard drives, with a hard drive cooler (mounted on the outside of the case over these two holes) blowing air down onto the drives. I have no means of measuring it but it is significantly cooler than the way it came from the store; I can now touch the case, whereas before it was hot to the touch with only one hard drive and a completely closed case. The last time I checked the temp, which was after I lost the background, but before the other symptoms appeared, the temp was 41 degrees.

    Darrin
     
  4. Sep 2, 2004 #4 of 16
    casbahman

    casbahman New Member

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    Jun 7, 2002
    Alviso...
    No replys in the last week so I thought I would give this a bump up the topics list.
     
  5. Sep 2, 2004 #5 of 16
    mrrjm

    mrrjm New Member

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    Sep 2, 2004
    Maybe upgrade and install just one of the drives and see what happens. I am not familiar with your unit, however, when my upgraded tivo started acting up it turned out that one of the drives was failing. I'm not an engineer or anything but it's possible that maybe the drives are spinning at different speeds causing the data to arrive out of squence. Then of course it locks up, freezes, etc.

    I supose you could get 2 new indentical drives and see what happens. Big $ though.

    Ray
     
  6. Sep 2, 2004 #6 of 16
    casbahman

    casbahman New Member

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    Jun 7, 2002
    Alviso...
    The two drives that are in there now are identical 160GB Maxtor drives, of the same model number.
     
  7. manleylabs

    manleylabs New Member

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    Oct 22, 2004
    Chino, CA
    Hey casbahman,
    I also had my backgrounds go missing all by themselves on my T60. Did you ever figure out why yours went away?
     
  8. casbahman

    casbahman New Member

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    Jun 7, 2002
    Alviso...
    Never did, but my problem seems to be part of a larger issue.

    Do some more searching for your problem because I seem to recall seeing people who only had the missing backgrounds problem discussing potential solutions.

    Darrin
     
  9. manleylabs

    manleylabs New Member

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    Oct 22, 2004
    Chino, CA
    Hey thanks for the reply... seems so far from what I have seen on all these boards is that you have to do a proper backup of the whoel drive and then restore in order to get the backgrounds back. It is odd. I do not undertsand why they are there, but not being pulled up... and why they disappeared.

    Anyway, going to Tivo Central without backgrounds freezes up the unit, so the first workaround for this I did was to change the Tivo Central timeout screen to a much lower (faster) value so it only freezes up for just a minute or so instead of the default 15 minutes. That's the fist step. That and avoiding going to that screen at all, just going to the Now Playing list and using my TivoWeb more. When I get some time I will do a -f 9999 backup from my original drive and try a restore to my big drive. Probably have to redo all my hacks and stuff, which is why I just want to figure out how to fix this backgrounds problem. ....again, they look like they are there, and show up under mls lists, but they won't display under the menu... weird.

    Thanks to anyone and everyone on helping to figure this out...
     
  10. Snowman

    Snowman New Member

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    Oct 27, 2004
    Nashville, TN
    I know NOTHING, but that won't stop me from trying. Does your unit have the lba48 patch? I believe that the symptoms you're having (show trying to delete when you play it) is one of the symptoms of having a drive over 127 (or 137) gig and it going past that amount of data.

    If that's not even remotely close, forgive my ignorance.
     
  11. casbahman

    casbahman New Member

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    Jun 7, 2002
    Alviso...
    :up: :up: :up: :up:

    That's the best advice I've heard yet. I read about the patch but don't believe I applied it. I recall reading that the kernel would just ignore the extra space so went ahead without it. And since all seemed to work fine without it I figured the advice was correct.

    In a couple weeks when I sit down to fix this, I'll be sure to apply the patch.
     
  12. joneSi

    joneSi New Member

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    Mar 28, 2004
    Ahem...is this thing on? :)

    Yes this is due to the LBA 48 problem. There is a kernel patch for the Sony because If I can remember right, that is a S1 unit. If it is the Kernel patch is applicable check out this link here for the patch file and see if you can upgrade.

    Those are definately the symptoms of a full drive past the 137 barrier

    good luck

    jonesi
     
  13. casbahman

    casbahman New Member

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    Jun 7, 2002
    Alviso...
    Hallelujah!

    All praise the greatness that is Tivo Community. :)

    Thanks folks. After I fix everything, I'll be sure to post my results for people's future reference.
     
  14. casbahman

    casbahman New Member

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    Jun 7, 2002
    Alviso...
    Never did post my reply but I can say now that in fact, applying the lba48 patch was the fix. Everything ran fine once that was on.
     
  15. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

    3,328
    794
    Aug 21, 2002
    New York...
    Just as background to anyone that stumbles across this thread in the future:

    The symptoms shown here are actually the result of using a LBA48 boot disk to run mfstools and then running the drives in a TiVo with an older, non-LBA48, kernel.

    What this did was create MFS partions on the drives that used the entire 160GB. This was duly recorded in the TiVos allocation map. However, the kernel in a Series 1 TiVo can only "see" upto 137GB of disk space. So, once a recording hit the 137GB barrier, and the TiVo thought it had another 23 GB available, the OS just wrapped around and started overwriting other parts of the drive. This is why it took a few weeks to happen, and why it got progressively worse.
     
  16. LastPlace

    LastPlace Member

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    Feb 21, 2005
    A few weeks ago I finally successfully (or so I thought :( ) upgraded my Series1 Sony SVR2000 machine.

    My husband has been happily and rapidly filling it up - it's definitely beyond 137 hours of programming - and now shows me that he's got two problems going on

    1. Some shows just jump to the end - even though there was nothing to watch

    2. Other shows say they didn't record due to a lack of video signal

    It doesn't appear that there's been any problem with the Comcast (Motorola) cable box that provides the signal so I'm thinking the problem may be related to the LBA48 kernel.

    In my flurry of attempts to upgrade I don't have copious notes but know that I did finally boot using an LBA48 kernel, followed tivo-upgrade directions and the drive showed 300+ hours available on a 300GB Seagate 7200.9 drive (which came recommended in another thread).

    Where can I go from here? If I have to lose the shows that will be OK but definitely NOT my first choice.

    I've read about some patch for the Series1 but that was in very old threads and I did identify this as a Series1 any time I was given a choice for a download.

    If I need some downloads would you be able to direct me to the specific sites - the biggest challenge has been actually finding files to download that folks have been so gracious to take the time to help me out with!

    Thanx for any thoughts, comments & suggestions :)
     

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