Roamio won't complete boot, repeats: Welcome...starting up!

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by Summitt Dweller, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. Summitt Dweller

    Summitt Dweller New Member

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    Mar 15, 2020
    My 2013 vintage Roamio (model TCD846500) will no longer completely boot up. The behavior has been getting progressively worse for about 2 months with unexplained "Welcome...starting up!" notifications from the unit every few days, until last week when it ceased to startup for the first time.

    I read many posts and tried many things...nothing has worked thus far. The power-up behavior is this:

    1) Green circle light up front comes on.
    2) Internal green light is on for 2-3 minutes.
    3) Screen says "Welcome...starting up!"
    4) The yellow circle light up front flickers for 10-15 seconds.
    5) After 2-3 minutes of 1-4 cycle the internal blue light flickers, the TV reports no signal, TV goes dark, then the process repeats.

    I've allowed this to repeat through as many as 20 cycles...30-40 minutes. No change.
    I swapped in a properly-rated, working alternate power brick. No change.
    I replaced the internal hard drive with a clean SATA drive. The new drive did not appear to get initialized. No change.
    I removed the cable card and restarted. No change.
    I moved the unit to a different TV and cable. No change.

    I also connected the original hard drive to my Mac with a USB interface; the drive starts up and reports the correct size, but I can't mount it or see the contents. I do have an option to re-initialize (and presumably reformat) it but I don't want to lose my recordings if they might be recoverable.

    I now have a new leased TiVo box from my cable provider so I'll be using that going forward. I'm just looking for advice to try and restore my old recordings and repair, re-purpose, or just recycle all or part of my old Roamio. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Ashland, PA...
    I can't give any advice on most of what to do, but here's one item. If the drive you install in a TiVo is not the drive that was in that TiVo when it was last working, it will consider it new and format it. If I'm wrong about this, please feel free to post a correction. IOW, you can never "swap" drives and maintain the recordings. Since you get the yellow LED, perhaps you can try some KickStart codes:
    TiVo Kickstart Codes and Information

    A KS code of 76543210 is the same as a Clear & Delete Everything. A virtual total wipe. I've used it.
     
  3. Scott9mm

    Scott9mm Member

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    I'd try kickstart codes first but I suspect the power supply is weak.
     
  4. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    True for Bolts, but not Roamios. The difference is the location of the SQLite database (motherboard vs hard drive respectively).
     
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  5. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Have you tested both the original drive and the replacement drive with the manufacturer's tools on your PC/Mac? Also did you use the replacement power supply with the replacement drive?

    Scott
     
  6. FLSunshine

    FLSunshine New Member

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    Mar 6, 2020
    I had 2 working Roamios wipe out old working HD as I attempted to put in a new HD to temporarily transfer shows to. When I put original back in, it wiped them.

    Happened on both Roamios.
     
  7. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    Well not exactly, at least with my experience. Two of my Roamios have at least 3 drives each. All on the same OS (TE3). All were created and/or copied from drives on the same machine. I can swap them back and forth whenever I want. And they have a lot of different recordings on the drives (some the same as some were copy and expand type upgrades). Also, one of the Roamios has two drives, 8TB and 12 TB. I needed a fresh drive in that one so I popped in a blank 3TB. It formatted to TE3 since the last drive in there (the 8 or 12) was on TE3 and I am now using the 3TB, with all new recordings. However I can still put in the 8 or the 12 and they are intact. The only issue I have found is if I transfer a show from one of my other Tivos to the Roamio with the new 3TB drive sometimes the EPISODE number is missing. Description fine, show is fine, just missing episode number. If I transfer back to the Tivo it came from the episode number comes back..............................

    Oh, Premieres can have as many drives as you want. Since no flash drive (no TE3/TE4 issues, no TE4 on Premiere), everything is on the hard drive. I have some Premieres with multiple drives also, can swap them back and forth with no issues. Only drives from the same machine though, no swapping drives from one Tivo to another Tivo in any of these situations.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
  8. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

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    Only thing I can think with that is if you had different operating systems on the drives, maybe old working HD was on TE3, the current drive on TE4? Cannot swap drives with TE3 on one and TE4 on the other because of what is on the flash drive, OS have to match. If the new drive you put in was actually NEW (or blank) I don't know why you would have had the problem, it should have formatted to the same OS as the last drive in there, so if you then removed it and put in the original it should not have wiped the original............... I hope you were not swapping drives from different Roamios, that you cannot do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
  9. Thom

    Thom Unemployed and loving it !

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    Download a copy of Spinrite 6.
    Connect the TiVo drive to a desktop PC.
    Boot the PC with Spinrite and run a level 2 diagnostic on the drive for more than one pass.

    Put the drive back in your TiVo and see if it boots now.
     
  10. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    I second this advice.

    About a year ago my Roamio was rebooting on its own, sometimes two or three times a day. I fired up my copy of SpinRite and later put the drive back in my Roamio. Spontaneous reboots haven't happened since.

    I will add however, that SpinRite 6 can be slow. I ran SpinRite on my TiVo 1 TB drive for about 6 hours and it was only about 30% of the way done. I wanted to use the TiVo that evening...so I stopped SpinRite. Since the spontaneous reboots are gone I can only guess that the 30% progress was enough to cover the "sick" areas of the HDD.

    Also, the author of SpinRite has re-started its development and the soon to be released version 6.1 will be many times faster than the 15 (20?) year old version 6.0.
     
  11. Summitt Dweller

    Summitt Dweller New Member

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    Mar 15, 2020
    Hello Scott, and thanks for your post. Yes, I tried every combination of power supply and drives possible with the same results in all cases.

    Can you elaborate more on "manufacturer's tools"? I have no PC available, only Macs and Linux servers. I appreciate all the Spinrite 6 recommendations too, but I don't want to spend $80+ on a tool that I don't even have a proper platform to support.

    My new, leased TiVo is working nicely and I've already downloaded most of what was recorded on the old drive. So, at this point, I think I will pull the original drive from the original Roamio again and attempt to reinitialize it from my Mac. I might then put it back into the Roamio just to see if it might auto format and return the unit to a useful state.
     
  12. Summitt Dweller

    Summitt Dweller New Member

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    Mar 15, 2020
    I have no PC available, only Macs and Linux servers. I appreciate all the Spinrite 6 recommendations too, but I don't want to spend $80+ on a tool that I don't even have a proper platform to support.

    My new, leased TiVo is working nicely and I've already downloaded most of what was recorded on the old drive. So, at this point, I think I will pull the original drive from the original Roamio again and attempt to reinitialize it from my Mac. I might then put it back into the Roamio just to see if it might auto format and return the unit to a useful state.
     
  13. DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

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    You're on the right track.

    Just for completeness, SpinRite will soon be available for Macs too. The author is working on updates. The first version out will handle larger drives (than the old version did) and work many times faster. The next version after that will boot computers that boot from EFI (not BIOS). This will include Macs and modern PCs. SpinRite is a wonderfull tool to have.
     
  14. Thom

    Thom Unemployed and loving it !

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    The author of Spinrite (Steve Gibson) has stated publicly that he has no problem with someone downloading a bootleg copy for a single onetime use to get a computer working again. If you use it more than that, he asks that you buy a copy.

    Google should be able to find you a site that has an available download of version 6. It's been out for decades.
     
  15. JZA

    JZA New Member

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    Dec 8, 2019
    Howdy,
    I have the same or similar. One day I saw the screen showing "Welcome, Starting Up...", and that's all I've seen on this Roamio Plus since. I tried a new WD Red 3TB, and same response.

    BTW, the two LEDs at the front of the mobo blink at about 6-10 seconds after power-up, the screen goes to black for ~2 seconds, then the Welcome graphic returns and just sits there forever. I've tried other random hard drives, but I haven't prep'ed any of them. (I've upgraded a Bolt just by installing a new unformatted drive). Forums say that it could be a weak power supply, but extensive reading leads me to believe that's a plague on units with PS's that have 5V & 12V rails -- lots of wires. The Roamio Plus has just two power wires -- 12V+ and 0V-, and with the PS looking fine (no bulging caps or burns) I doubt it's a PS issue. I acquired this unit from an auction, so I don't know its full history.

    That leaves the motherboard. Is it possible that these units can die a death from a loose solder joint at an ASIC chip? Or other such mobo-based fault? Are there any stories of successful repairs to this behavior that involved anything besides the HD and PS?

    I've spelled out my full situation in this thread.
     
  16. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Staunton, VA
    Typically each manufacturer of hard drives has their own set of tools that they provide for testing their drives (and in some cases for copying content from old drives to new drives). Western Digital for example provides tools for both Windows and Macs.

    Software and Firmware Downloads | WD Support

    WD Drive Utilities software allows you to configure, manage, and diagnose your WD drive. With WD Drive Utilities, you can
    • Run drive diagnostics
    • Manage RAID configuration (For RAID supported models)
    • Erase and format drive
    • Set drive sleep timer (on supported drives)
    • Register drive
    Scott
     
  17. jim schrader

    jim schrader New Member

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    Mar 29, 2020
    I tried a lot of ks codes none worked for mine until I found this forum thanks its now up and running. Mine had a software download error.
     
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  18. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Ah, Yes. Good Ol' Spinrite has fixed more than a few HDD's being used for TiVo's. We are all awaiting Mr. Gibson to release the biggest revision since who knows how long, but it is overdue.
     
  19. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    I thought Mr. Gibson had said that OTHER people who have a paid copy of Spinrite are welcome to use their paid copy to help another person get their machines fixed, but that he would appreciate the person who got the fix from another perosn's copy to then purchase a copy of Spinrite.

    IOW, he is asking people who use another person's copy of Spinrite to fix the problem to PLEASE then purchase their own copy of Spinrite: as an obligation: making that first successful use "legal" or morally correct. Something like riding a train without a ticket, but you may be asked to PURCHASE a ticket at the destination to "make things right". You got a free ride for the moment, but you paid your fare in a retroactive manner. However, Mr. Gibson further stated that if Spinrite could not fix the problem, then Mr. Gibson would not expect that person to purchase a copy of Spinrite because from Mr. Gibson's point of view, there is no obligation to do so using someone else's paid copy if that one time if it did not succeed.

    OK, I may be wrong, but I am going on what he has been saying in the most, latest, recent years. I don't think he meant to allow even a single successful use of someone else's paid copy of his product that fixes the problem to be FREE, but, instead, is asking merely for one to "make it right" in a retroactive manner.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020

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