Partial recording -- total head-scratcher

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by kmkoch, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Apr 7, 2009 #121 of 167
    microbubba

    microbubba New Member

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    I guess it would help to know more about how this thing works. Been having all the same issues (see post in this thread). One thing I find interesting is that the sound on HD channel will first start cutting out, then after a couple minutes, you rewind and play again and the recording is just fine. The data IS there. Eventual the HD channel will start pixelating bad. Same thing if you swap channel and return, it's fine. Also, if my drives are failing, why does SD record 100% fine every time? If we didn't record HD, I believe we'd have no problems. The wife is transferring all her season passes back to SD.
    I remain highly suspect of software, encoding, or something that pushes the buffer/live performance over the brink.
     
  2. Apr 7, 2009 #122 of 167
    danterner

    danterner Not it!

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    I divorced the expander, and now it is asking for alimony. Is this normal?
     
  3. Apr 7, 2009 #123 of 167
    BrightestBear

    BrightestBear New Member

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Mine keeps arguing with me about how often it gets to see the kids.
     
  4. Apr 8, 2009 #124 of 167
    Tkilmer

    Tkilmer New Member

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    Dec 25, 2003
    Sad to see TiVo's stand on this, I purchased the expander because I thought TiVo officially supported it. I have not had any issues since removing the Expander, I will need to see if I can RMA, I think I am right about a year right now.

    Thing is, I might as well just upgrade the internal drive like I did with my old DirecTivo, at least I get to upgrade cheaply and manage the failures myself. I would get 2 to 3 years out of cheap drives at least.
     
  5. Apr 8, 2009 #125 of 167
    mooneb75

    mooneb75 Member

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    Well, I really do not have much to add... I am having the same issues as everyone posting up in here...

    I can say that in my case, it does not seem to discriminate on channel number and I am unable to correlate any link on frequency, but it IS only HD that gets screwy and freezes - I just seem to have trouble with all of them at one time or another.

    I am also in the boat that changing channels will unfreeze the channel (of note - do not think I have seen any mention of it yet - is that if you are recording a show and it freezes, I am able to unfreeze it by pressing hte record button, stopping recording and then re-pressing the record button and starting the record again. This is faster than changing the channel if you are recording and want to minimize the lost bit of teh show...)

    Also of note is that I seem to have more problems at night. I was SURE that the signal was too hot and that that was the issue here, but I am attenuated and have tried a lot of values from -3dB to signal loss at -26dB. I am attenuating both the FIOS signal and the OTA antennae signal with no real change...

    My next step was going to be to try a LPF with a value of 850MHHz, but now I am thinking I will try the following:

    1) Kickstart 54 tests
    2) Divorce
    3) upgrade internal drive to 1TB and get rid of the damned expander (I am really leaning to that being hte root of the issue at this point.

    I do recall many years ago when I had a DirecTV TiVo box, we started seeing bizarre behavior and support told me the drive was failing. I simply did not believe that they were correct since I could watch recorded content with no problem, but these symptoms sure do compare to that situation...

    I too do not think that the HW is actually bad, but that there must be some messy code that makes the system less tolerant of HDD issues that before were just fine.

    Nuff said - just wanted to chime in and share my grief with all you guys in here and I wanted to note that this has been the most helpful thread I have come across with this issue. Way to stay on topic :)

    Also, I have read a LOT of other threads on this issue and learned more than I ever wanted to know about CATV Systems and the engineering that goes into them. This one simply hits the nail on the head without getting overly technical. While I really like the learning and the process of troubleshooting, this is our TV we're messing with and we NEED that in this house, so the cut to the chase in this thread is greatly appreciated. I can understand AFTER it's all better...

    I'll bve sure to post up if anything of note happens.
     
  6. Apr 8, 2009 #126 of 167
    mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

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    Well, I just divorced the expander and replaced the drive with a 1TB today. So far things are snappier. I'm "TiVo To-Go-Backing" my recordings back to the box and so far it hasn't spontaneously re-started, that's a good sign. We'll see in about 15 minutes when it starts recording two HD streams at the same time if it really worked... ;)

    Oddly, the only recording that survived the divorce was one movie that I recorded off HBO-HD probably before the expander was added. But that's confusing. I thought only shows that resided on the expander (or split over the expander and the internal drive if it does that) were lost. So EVERY show was on the expander (or split)? Or does it drop EVERY show recorded after the expander was added?
     
  7. Apr 8, 2009 #127 of 167
    danterner

    danterner Not it!

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    I too lost all but one show following the divorce. It was a recently-recorded suggestion that survived intact.

    It's been about 24 hours, and so far no partial recordings, pink screens, freezes, restarts, or other bizarre behavior.
     
  8. Apr 9, 2009 #128 of 167
    seattlewendell

    seattlewendell New Member

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    Yes it does. The reason is, once you add the expander EVERY new recording is split even if there is plenty of room on the internal drive.
     
  9. Apr 9, 2009 #129 of 167
    seattlewendell

    seattlewendell New Member

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    Has anyone had any luck with Tivo. And by luck, I mean Tivo admitting there is a problem and pledging a fix is on the way?
     
  10. Apr 9, 2009 #130 of 167
    mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

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    I guess I never caught that detail originally, but it that is one silly design. I doubt they're stripping across the drives so that seems like just away to ensure a single drive failure looses everything for you every time. At least the only thing I really lost were some old Iron Chef Americas that I hadn't gotten around to watching in a while.
     
  11. Apr 9, 2009 #131 of 167
    danterner

    danterner Not it!

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    Greenacres, FL
    It's probably a design decision to make sure that the expanders aren't usable as portable storage, allowing you to take shows recorded from one Tivo and carry them over to watch them on another. Or maybe not.

    As for the one recent show that was still on my Now Playing list after I divorced the expander, it was probably the first thing recorded immediately after the divorce. I deleted it right away and I don't recall seeing its date.

    Since the divorce, everything has been glitch-free. But I'm already hurting for space.
     
  12. Apr 9, 2009 #132 of 167
    mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

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    Yes, but they could just key the recording to the TiVo and that would do the samething (I'm sure someone could break it but then again, if I REALLY wanted to I could probably break THIS system). Just annoying.

    I've been glitch free since the divorce too but since I did a divorce then a internal drive upgrade to 1TB drive, I can't be 100% certain if was an expander issue, an internal drive failing issue, or a little of both. I lean towards the latter.
     
  13. Apr 9, 2009 #133 of 167
    BrightestBear

    BrightestBear New Member

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    I never did. The party line was that either my TiVo or my expander was going bad.

    So I gave up and ordered a TiVo HD XL to back up my S3. Without the expander, I didn't have enough storage capacity, and I didn't want to crack open my S3 and void the warranty. You win, TiVo! Here's more of my money!
     
  14. Apr 9, 2009 #134 of 167
    seattlewendell

    seattlewendell New Member

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    They always do....they always do.:mad::mad::mad:
     
  15. Apr 9, 2009 #135 of 167
    seattlewendell

    seattlewendell New Member

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    Exactly. Tivo even said this was the reason when they first announced the expander. They wanted to show content companies that they are making some effort to not let Tivo be part of the piracy problem. Even if it's pretty weak.
     
  16. Apr 9, 2009 #136 of 167
    seattlewendell

    seattlewendell New Member

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    I wonder if this is a firmware issue. I purchased my expander when it was first released mid 2008. Anyone having this problem with any of the new expanders?
     
  17. Apr 9, 2009 #137 of 167
    toolkit

    toolkit New Member

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    Seattlewendell, I guess you mean the firmware inside the DVR expander, right?

    That's an interesting observation. I'm having the same problem others have been having. I've been trying to understand why so many people had their expanders "go bad" at the same time, right after a software upgrade in the TiVo. Furthermore, some people have even reported having the problem even though their drives (both internal and external) fully pass the Kickstart-54 tests. Even in that case, if they divorce the external drive, the problems seem to go away.

    Historically, a lot of people detect problems with their hard drives right after a software update. But I generally think that is because when a software update happens, the entire update gets downloaded into a new partition (while the old software is still in use on an old partition), and then when the machine reboots, it starts using the new partition and stops using the old one. So the software update causes the machine to start using a part of the disk it wasn't using before. However, none of the software should be stored on the external drive, so the partition(s) on the external drive shouldn't change when one gets a software update, so the usual mechanism that uncovers a failing drive doesn't seem to fit in this case.

    I have been assuming the issue has something to do with the eSATA driver, which may have been updated as part of the recent software releases. If that theory is true, then I was trying to understand why everybody with DVR expanders aren't seeing this issue. Maybe a change to the eSATA driver causes problems only on certain external drives with certain firmware.

    As an aside, I wonder what percentage of people with external drives have been experiencing problems. Maybe everybody is. Probably not, but I can't say for sure. I for one have been experiencing problems, but I didn't bother to post here about it (until now), and I haven't called TiVo either.

    Maybe I'll post a poll to try to estimate how many people have external drives, but have NOT had any problems.
     
  18. Apr 9, 2009 #138 of 167
    seattlewendell

    seattlewendell New Member

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    Exactly. Manufacturers makes small changes to firmware even though they don't change the model number of the device. I am thinking that those of us who purchased the extender early on (last year when it was first available) might not have the new firmware that's compatible with the new eSATA drivers. I sent an email to Western Digital about this. No response yet. If they say it's the esata firmware that would be good and bad news for me. Good news because I will finally know what on earth is happening. Bad news because I do not have any way of updating the firmware (no eSATA port on my Mac).
     
  19. varley

    varley New Member

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    Apr 11, 2009
    I've been having partial recording problems for the past few weeks also and assume it's a hard drive issue. I have a 500 gb external attached. I'm currently running the 54 diagnostics on the TiVo, but after reading the comments, I've decided to unplug the external drive and replace the internal with a 750 gb drive I just ordered from WeaKnees.

    I hope that the single large drive will solve the problems. On a side note, whenever I had a brief power outage, the TiVo HD would restart, but wouldn't recognize the external drive until I unplugged the TiVo and let it restart after the external drive was already powered on. I would always dread leaving town and there being a power outage because nothing would get recorded. Now with a single drive, that should fix it.
     
  20. msu-dawg

    msu-dawg New Member

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    Jan 7, 2006
    While I still believe the number of people reporting this problem seems rather high to simply be coincidental to the software upgrade, I knew that even if Tivo might eventually be able to fix the problem that I think they created, the fact is that I had no control over my own destiny if I sat back and did nothing (aside from the divorce which put me with unacceptably low recording time).

    So my shiny new WD10EVCS came in earlier this week and last night I ran diagnostics on it (full write 0's to the disk). Got up this AM and the WD DataLifeguard software said everything was fine with the disk. So I did the swap in the Tivo using the WinMFS software. Piece of cake! That was so much easier than the old method of command line promps in Linux booted from CD! Now reporting 157 Hours HD capacity and I don't have to worry about not jiggling the eSATA cable. Sweet!
     

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