My HR10-250 has died with no warning

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by prdaly, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. prdaly

    prdaly New Member

    10
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    Aug 19, 2005
    The PVR was fine, last night, when I went to bed. Today, around noon, turned on the TV and saw the hideous gray screen of death: “Welcome. Powering up…”. Having been through this before (with a one-year old D* SD 40GB DVR unit), I immediately assumed the worst and presumed it had been in this sad state for hours. Nonetheless, I quickly switched from 'impending doom' mode to 'hopeful troubleshooting' mode and pulled the power cord from the back, waited several minutes, then restored power.

    Nope. Nada. Gray screen of death -- which might as well have stated: “You’re screwed!”

    I purchased this unit direct from D* on 23 August 2005. That makes it a smidge over 4 months old. For its entire short life, it resided quietly on a well-ventilated shelf (open on all sides) and lived on power from an equally new and dedicated UPS/surge protector which, in turn, was fed from an over-sized, over-priced, and under-utilized “Monster” brand surge protector power strip. The unit was never bumped, jarred, or touched since the day it was installed.

    D* Retention Dept. says they’ll mail out a free replacement in 3 business days. That’s a huge help -- we can all attest how expensive these units are (despite rebates, credits, and what have you). New or refurb, the CSR didn’t say (and I didn't think to ask), but I suppose it doesn’t matter either way -- given how bad the reliability seems to be, from what I’ve read in this forum.

    Despite the replacement to come, this h/w failure is pathetic and significantly aggravating. Once again, with a D* DVR unit, I have lost 10s of gigabytes of recorded programming. Unviewed programming that I was looking forward to viewing with friends and family this week during my vacation is now gone. Numerous PPV movies – gone. One of a kind concert performances - gone. The family’s entire Season Pass list - gone. None of this stuff is backed up.

    Which brings me to a question: could my HD programming have been backed up? I happen to own an unused Sony DVD/VCR recorder (about a year old). If I connected it to the replacement unit that’s coming, could I then dump HD content onto DVDs for backup? (Or, would the HD content need to be downconverted to SD prior to being dumped to DVD?, which I suspect is the case.) In short, how does one backup HD content from an HR10-250 unit? I think the answer to my question is: you can’t.

    Wonderful!!!

    Given how incredibly unreliable these units seem to be (it’s only a matter of time before yours -- and my replacement -- become paperweights), what is YOUR backup strategy?

    Here are some new rules I’m thinking of adopting: (1) At a minimum, make a list of Season Pass settings and keep it somewhere safe. (2) Dump desired content to DVD, if/when possible. (3) Consider paying the $8/mo (YMMV) to buy the “DirecTV Protection Plan”.

    The only thing more painful than sudden DVR hardware death is having to pay big $$$ to replace it. (Hence the DPP mentioned above.)

    Despite all, however, one must keep perspective; so as jamesbobo wisely reminds: "Many people suffer in this world, we should not complain about TV. ”

    I couldn't agree more.

    Seasons greetings to you all.
     
  2. Jasper

    Jasper New Member

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    Sep 4, 2001
    Herndon, VA USA
    The only thing unreliable in the HR10-250, is the original hard drive that comes with the unit. My solution was to replace it with a pair of 400GB seagate drives. Replacing and making a backup of the hard drive is not that difficult and is well worth the time investment, to me, YMMV. Plus, I now have over a 100hrs of space for HD :)

    As for losing all your recordings, I sympathize, it's happened to me too. However, as long as hard drives have moving parts, they will fail, eventually. Fact of life.


    As for backing up Hi Def on current DVD technology, well, lets just say 1 hour of HD is roughly 8.6GB. A DVD holds 4.7 GB......
     
  3. Klydeman

    Klydeman Member at Large

    44
    0
    Dec 27, 2005
    Last Night, nearly the same thing has happened to my HR10-250 that is about 14 months old. The unit has an added 300GB Seagate drive w/Weaknees bracket that has been in for about 9 months.

    Approximately 5 times over about 3 hours the unit reset itself and came to the same "Powering Up.." screen. After consulting the forum, found a large number, going back to October, with a similiar problem.

    My initial thoughts were that I had a hardware problem. I believe now it is software problem. While some in the forum, may have had some HD issues at the time and replaced them, this re-install of the HD and OS seems to have cleared the problem.

    I did a Clear & Delete and so far this morning, no problem with crashing, BUT all the channels 1-70 are not there. Where did they go? I suspect there was some in compatibility with D*TV changes and the DVR TIVO Service (guide). Does anyone have any information on this? I see discussion that D*TV has changed there lineup to eliminate TIVO?

    When going through the 'Setup' I noticed that the DVR service said 'Until the "Guide" is fully downloaded over the next 2 weeks, I would may have issues with recording or finding programming.'

    Any thoughts?
     
  4. prdaly

    prdaly New Member

    10
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    Aug 19, 2005
    Did you do the replacement on your own, or via a friend or some other means?

    I see that Weaknees, for example, uses Maxtor Quickview drives and claim that most Tivos do too. http://www.weaknees.com/maxtor_quickview.php

    But if the HR10-250 uses that drive make/model, I guess I'm underwhelmed -- mine died after only 4 months of light-to-moderate use.

    I need to learn how to do that.

    I've been burned twice now by failed DirecTV DVRs -- losing all recorded content both times. I'm not eager to go through this a third time.

    OTOH, I do enjoy the damn HD Tivo...so [throws up hands]...what-ah-yah-gonna-do? :confused:
     
  5. e_phat

    e_phat New Member

    10
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    Sep 19, 2004
    Hello,

    My HD tivo all of sudden isn't putting out a signal. It powers up fine and everything but the component signal does not seem to come up. it is about 1 year old. Who did you contact to work with warranty issues? This sucks cuz I bought the thing for almost $1000 back then!
     
  6. Jasper

    Jasper New Member

    116
    0
    Sep 4, 2001
    Herndon, VA USA
    PRDALY
    If you check out the Upgrade Forum one of the first posts is for Weaknees' How To Guide. It gives you a step by step guide for backing up your current TIVO and installing a new hard drive. It's really not that difficult and well worth the time.
    Good Luck :eek:

    The original HR10-250's came with a Western Digital 250GB drive. From what I've seen and heard, almost all of them have crashed within a year..........Mine died after about 6 months, which gave me the perfect excuse to upgrade :p
     
  7. kbohip

    kbohip New Member

    663
    0
    Dec 29, 2003
    Colorado...
    My HD-Tivo's drive died in only 3 months. I'm now on my second box and hoping it lasts longer. If it dies again I'll just get another one from Directv but this time I'll back up the apparently crappy WD drive to a decent Seagate drive. Funny thing is I've had great luck using WD drives in all of my computers. I have two that have been running non-stop for over 5 years!
     
  8. forecheck

    forecheck Active Member

    756
    64
    Aug 5, 2000
    Roseville, CA
    I just replaced my original WD drive this week. It made it nearly 18 months, which I guess is pretty good from what others have experienced. For the last month it had been stuttering pretty frequently, with the occasional reboot. I had added a 2nd drive, so the first step was determining which drive was going bad. Once I figured out it was the WD, I used dd_rescue to clone the drive to a new Maxtor and was able to preserve my recordings on both the original drive and what was on the 2nd drive.
     
  9. Jan 2, 2006 #9 of 16
    Klydeman

    Klydeman Member at Large

    44
    0
    Dec 27, 2005
    I have a follow-up. The Clear & Delete seems to have improved the reboot & reset issue that occurred with my TIVO.

    But I have a question for 'forecheck' (or someone else)

    I am experiencing 'skips' or moments of recordings that stop for 1-5 seconds then start again. I guess this has been going on for 'awhile', and I have come to somewhat annoyingly accept them. Does this sound consistent with a failing drive?
     
  10. forecheck

    forecheck Active Member

    756
    64
    Aug 5, 2000
    Roseville, CA
    I don't know if that behavior is a sign on the hard drive failing. I think it is somewhat "normal" for the HR10-250 to pause for a second or two during live TV or a recording every now and then, but no content is lost. What happened to me was the hard drive started to click loudly every now and then, and eventually having skips in the recording where a couple of minutes or more was missing.
     
  11. PJO1966

    PJO1966 Hi. What is this?

    11,403
    630
    Mar 5, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've had some HD TiVo weirdness recently.

    1. On the day after New Years Day the TiVo reset 3 times during the Rose Parade.

    2. Yesterday I turned on the TV and no matter which channel I tuned to on the TiVo it said "Channel Not Available". I restarted it and it was fine... for a while.

    3. I turned on the TV today and it was stuck on the Welcome. Powering Up..." screen. I unplugged it and plugged it back in. When it came back up I checked to see if there were any partial recordings from last night. Sure enough, Gray's Anatomy stopped 39 minutes in. If the TiVo had come back up within the next 21 minutes it would have restarted the recording, as it did with the Parade. It seems that TiVo was stuck on that Welcome screen all night.

    For the record, I had hard drive issues after the first few months and replaced the original drive with two larger drives. Hopefully this won't end up being more drive issues. I'm going to leave in an hour and have a very busy night of recording. I can only hope that everything will record. I got lucky last night. Grey's Anatomy ended up being a recap show... no loss there. Maybe another restart will be in order before I go...
     
  12. hiker

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

    1,352
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    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    I have several HR10's and they are all very sensitive to signal cutting in and out caused by rain fade. This can cause reboots and continued reboots until the channel is changed to one with a stronger signal. So check your signal strength and maybe some dish alignment tweaking is necessary.
     
  13. PJO1966

    PJO1966 Hi. What is this?

    11,403
    630
    Mar 5, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    I just ran a system test which failed. Sat In 1) 87% 2) 0%. I guess that could be the problem.
     
  14. PJO1966

    PJO1966 Hi. What is this?

    11,403
    630
    Mar 5, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Just in time for yet another major TV event, I'm having more issues, and it's been rock solid for a while. Sorry for the lengthy description, but it was a lot of weirdness...

    I was recording Arrested Development on Fox HD and the Olympics Opening Ceremonies on NBC-HD... both OTA. I went to play AD by selecting Play on the menu. It jumped back to the Now Playing List. I had to hit the play button to get out of that loop. I watched the first segment of AD then watched the first hour of the Olympics, zipping through the entire hour of fluff. Just as the actual ceremonies were about to start I was caught up to real time so I watched something else. When I went back to the Olympics, it still said that it was recording in the Now Playing list, but there was nothing after I had stopped watching. It basically stopped recording right at that point. I checked and saw a message saying that the channel was unavailable. Changing the channel up then down fixed that. I looked for upcoming viewings and saw that it was repeating in the middle of the night. I didn't set up the recording then because it would take too long, so I watched the second half hour of AD, up to the point where it stopped recording, right when the Olympics stopped. I went back to set up the early morning replay of the Olympics, and there were no upcoming programs listed in the guide at all. I tried to tell the TiVo to stop recording the Olympics (even though it wasn't actually recording) and after a very long wait I got an error message. I unplugged it and all was well. I checked the recording and all went well overnight.

    I seem to be stuck in a dilemna. The HD TiVo is having many issues. The R-15 is having its own issues so my hopes for DirecTV's own upcoming HD DVR aren't too high. I just want a reliable solution to DVRing HD material. I really don't think that's too much to ask.
     
  15. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    22,725
    909
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    Mine have been reliable since May 2004. In Summer 2004 I replaced the original WD drives and put two 250GB Maxtor drives in two of my HDTiVos, and they have working great since then.
    Of course now that I wrote this I'll get home next week and one of my units will be dead. You never know. But so far I have been very pleased. It's so much easier recording HD with the HD-TiVos than the way I had to record HD with the PC from 2001-2004.
     
  16. PJO1966

    PJO1966 Hi. What is this?

    11,403
    630
    Mar 5, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA

    I did the same.
     

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