Partial recording -- total head-scratcher

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

  1. mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

    17,166
    1
    Oct 17, 2002
    Caraleigh, NC

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    So far so good. Gone almost a week now with the DVR Expander removed and the 1TB installed, no more reboots or slow menus. Still see some pixelation and occasional freezes/audio drops on some of the SDV channels (mostly it seems). I wonder if that could be too much signal or a bad coax patch cable from the TA to the TiVo. Only seems to happen on this one S3 though.
     
  2. danterner

    danterner Not it!

    10,628
    19
    Mar 4, 2005
    Greenacres, FL
    I haven't had a single partial recording in the week or two since I bit the bullet and removed the expander. No other oddities, either. So now I'm considering installing a larger internal drive and saying goodbye to the expander. It pains me to do so, as I feel like I'm throwing away the money I spent on the expander. Could have put that toward the internal drive in the first place.

    If I install a new internal drive, I know I'll have to do guided setup, reprogram all season passes, etc, correct? But what about my cable cards? Am I going to have to ask for a truck roll from the cable company to re-pair them, or will installing the new drive not affect them?
     
  3. mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

    17,166
    1
    Oct 17, 2002
    Caraleigh, NC
    Get yourself a couple of external enclosures that support sata and can connect to your PC via USB or eSATA. Then download and use WinMFS. It will clone your existing drive to the new drive, no need for guided setup, SPs will be there, recordings will remain, etc.
     
  4. msu-dawg

    msu-dawg New Member

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    Jan 7, 2006
    Assuming you have a PC with an open SATA port to use, just buy a new 1TB blank drive and use the WinMFS software to do the upgrade, following the instructions in post one of the Upgrade FAQ http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=370784

    That will maintain all your setup info, including cablecards I believe. I just did this and it was really easy- much more so than the old method of using a linux based boot disk and having to know all the right commands and appropriate switches.

    Only problem I had was that when I hooked the Tivo SATA drive up to my PC my BIOS wanted to make it the boot drive, instead of my existing PATA drive with windows. That was simple enough to fix in the BIOS and once Windows was up and running the WinMFS software was very easy to use using the instructions in the FAQ.
     
  5. razordullwit

    razordullwit New Member

    14
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    Feb 6, 2008

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    Just ducking in over here -- I had the same problem every one else seems to be having, but I thought it might have been related to the "FiOS pixelation" issue. My thread is over here: http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=7213405&posted=1

    To sum up, I did EVERYTHING I possibly could have before divorcing the WD Expander, and nothing worked, but divorcing the expander did. Putting it back on re-caused the problems. Replaced it with a brand new one, no more problems. And no eSATA port on my computer to diagnose drive problems...

    So...it's a really big coincidence that so many of us had our drives fail right after 11b hit...and also after the warranty expired on the drives, yes?
     
  6. mercurial

    mercurial Retro-Av

    17,166
    1
    Oct 17, 2002
    Caraleigh, NC

    I think for the average person, a couple of SATA->USB external enclosures makes it the easiest. May take a little longer but no worries about opening your case or having to adjust bios.
     
  7. microbubba

    microbubba New Member

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    Dec 31, 2006
    All I had to do was change ALL my Season Passes to the Standard Def cable channels and avoid HD altogether.:mad:

    My supposedly failing hard drive and faulty Official WD Expander are working together like a champ and Tivo operates like it originally did.:confused:

    I remain highly suspect of new code in 11b and how the eSata, Expander, I/O, are trying to deal with the overhead of HD content.
     
  8. WJB21

    WJB21 New Member

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    Oct 4, 2006
    I have basically the same experience as microbubba -- Using Comcast cable in Sunnyvale, CA.

    After the 11.0b update I had severe freezing and audio drops out along with partial recordings on certain HD channels - mostly the major network FOX/NBC/ABC.

    I ended up adding 13 dB of attenuation and noticed that the freezing/audio dropouts went away (my SNR went from 37 dB to 32 dB and sig strength from 100 pegged to 85/90).

    However, I noticed that right at the time I added attenuation - it just so happened my the 11.0c software updated was pushed to my unit. So I am not sure if it was the attenuation or the software update that reduced the freezing ...

    Things were going well for 1 week -- no freezing ... no drop outs ... recordings on HD were ok ... until this week when I noticed that 24 was partial with 58 minutes and last night Lost only made it for 7 minutes =/ Both of these on HD channels. The other HD and SD channels are recording OK --- but I noticed some audio drop outs this morning -- and checking the signal errors noticed RS corrected/uncorrected were both at zero ....

    I have had the Series 3 a little after it was released and the expander WD drive a little after it was released with no problems at all except for a "reboot when turning on TV power" issue (which I think I corrected by locating the eSATA cable away from the TV cables).

    I am not convinced yet that I might have a HDD problem ... just doesn't compute that other HD/SD channels record fine and I see the freezing/pausing on a select few. Unless certain channels are given the same HDD space before being moved to another location on the drive after recording is done ...

    But it all seems very suspicious that all these people have these problems as soon as 11.0b is released ... so maybe the software did something that made certain things like high signal strength and having an expander more prone to freezes? And odd that my problems improved when 11.0c was released (or maybe that and the attenuation helped).... Can't what be broke by software be fixed by software?
     
  9. greggt007

    greggt007 New Member

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    Dec 8, 2005
    another victim here, recording mainly in sd, but record hd and sd version when nothing else is taping on other tuner. but i will bite the bullet and get an sata-usb enclosure to upgrade to a 1tb drive.

    as someone else mentioned, i was hopefully the problem would go away when only 1 hd channel was recording or tuned, but that is not the case. i regularly record attack of the show on g4 sd, and kudlow reports on cnbchd at the same time and kudlow is often partial.

    i am also an original expander'er. so that argument might have weight. i talked my buddy into an expander last thanksgiving and he isnt having any issues..
     
  10. geoelectric

    geoelectric New Member

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Ditto here. Been having partials since mid-Jan (11 original). Went through four or five support calls with Tivo, swapped cablecards, eSATA cables, put on attenuators, kickstarts, etc. For months I've been using To Do to remap all recordings to SD because all HD recordings fail. In addition, have had frequent reboots.

    11.b and 11.c have both come down, neither fixed the problem, though reboots lessened a bit with 11.b.

    Yesterday finally pulled the Expander (was putting it off because I didn't want to lose the tens of hours of recorded shows I still hadn't watched) and now all works perfectly. I just don't buy a hardware problem, what with the large number of people with the same issue.

    I'm really beyond angry. I'm stuck with this solution now--it's cheaper to upgrade the internal drive than go Moxi, since I've already paid lifetime. However, I'm going to have a hard time recommending Tivo ever again. If they're not doing adequate QC on pushed software releases, they aren't trustworthy.
     
  11. RustySTL

    RustySTL Member

    66
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    Feb 26, 2007
    I pulled my expander a few weeks ago and haven't had any problems yet.

    I have a second TiVo HD that did not have a DVR Expander and I decided yesterday that maybe I'll try to install it on that TiVo. As of today, not one issue.

    The only difference between the two TiVo HD's is the one I had the problems with is about a year older. This second one I just purchased before Christmas.
     
  12. alissaaa

    alissaaa New Member

    1
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    Apr 20, 2009
    I'm on the phone with TiVo as we speak and currently reformatting my TivoHD after unplugging the DVR Expander. The TiVo rep I am speaking with said that this is the first time he's had someone call with this issue.

    I've been having pixelation issues, turning on the tv to a black screen, a bunch of partial recordings (Mostly on Monday nights, oddly enough, but always on HD channels).

    Hopefully this fixes the problem. But I won't be happy to have to pay to buy a new DVR expander!
     
  13. cdp1276

    cdp1276 Member

    75
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    Mar 24, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I have to say I have 11.0c software version and got it early than the normal deployment that happened a few days ago, and for 3 weeks now I've not had any issues. Mine was so bad before this, lots of partial recordings, couldn't fast forward as it would skip huge chunks rather than the normal speed, and constant loss of audio/video during watching (macro blocking). I don't have the WD Expander drive but rather a Maxter Quickview Expander external drive on this S3. So not sure what has happened but for now, I'm so happy it is working as it should again. This to me also proves this is likely more of a code or driver issue than the constant divorce or bad drives.
     
  14. RustySTL

    RustySTL Member

    66
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    Feb 26, 2007
    It's been one week now and I haven't had any issues when I moved my DVR expander to my other TiVo HD. Both of them work fine....strange.
     
  15. kyoung2112

    kyoung2112 New Member

    1
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    Apr 25, 2009
    This past week, I noticed that a bunch of of HD recordings since around the beginning of April were partial recordings with audio/video blocking when viewed. I'm not sure if they were recorded that way, or corrupted at some point after recording. I have an HD TiVo with a Western Digital 500GB expander. Both the TiVo and the expander were purchased around the beginning of this year, and things have worked great up until now. I ran the Kickstart 54 on the drives and they showed up with no errors. Note that I just received the 11.0c-01-2-652 software version yesterday afternoon, so we'll see if new recordings come in any better from this point on. Several HD shows recorded last night came in fine. I also deleted all the existing partial recordings.
     
  16. tootal2

    tootal2 Active Member

    1,291
    3
    Oct 14, 2005
    I got a partial recording last night. The cable went out for a few hours last night. On my s2 hooked to a cable box I get "this channel will be back shortly". On my hd it just stops recording.

    Im on charter cable and there having money problems I hope the 30.00 price increase will help them
     
  17. kohai

    kohai New Member

    5
    0
    Apr 24, 2009
    Tivo support has me looking into my SNR level being too low.

    See post other post about it (forum won't let me link to it).

    I think I'm having the exact same issues as everybody else in this thread! I guess I get to try divorce my expander next before my wife divorces me for partial recordings....

    C.
     
  18. seattlewendell

    seattlewendell New Member

    248
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    Jan 11, 2006
    Pulled the expander and the problems went away. Thinking of trying a different expander. Anyone else using a different expander (problem free) besides the Western Digital?
     
  19. Buddy-series3

    Buddy-series3 New Member

    18
    0
    May 17, 2009
    Another with the same problem. I have had the Tivo HD for a year with the WD 500 expander. Mostly been all good until the last month - lots of partials, pixalation and some freezing. Last straw tonight - partial recording of final episode of 24. Ouch. I have tried kickstart 54 and both drives checked out fine - but beginning to think of trying the expander disconnect. I hate to lose those recordings but can't live with this performance.

    Can someone explain what a good RS corrected and RS uncorrected number would be?
    Also, signal strength is 80-85 on one card and 35-60 on the other. Is this normal? Is it ok?
     
  20. kohai

    kohai New Member

    5
    0
    Apr 24, 2009
    I never posted the results of my disconnect. It worked. It solved the problem. So, I upgraded my internal drive to a 1TB drive with winmfs.

    Tivo really needs to address this and acknowledge they busted things.
     

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