S3 Hangs on Almost There Screen After External Storage Removal

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by TostitoBandito, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

    346
    93
    Sep 17, 2006
    Mill Creek, WA

    Advertisements

    Hey all. I just fired up my lifetime series 3 for the first time in a few years. Here is the exact sequence of events best I recall.

    • The Tivo was previously connected to external storage, but not anymore, so I got a screen after powering it on where I told it I was no longer using the external storage so it proceeded to enter some sort of cleaning/reset process.
    • The process eventually hung at a black screen so I restarted and it seemed to resume, complete and eventually hang on the "Almost There" screen.
    • I power cycled multiple times and it would always hang on the "Almost There" screen indefinitely.
    • I did kickstart 54 and ran the SMART tests and it passed.
    • I did kickstart 52 and kickstart 59, both with no effect.
    • I just now did kickstart 54 again and have it doing the overnight hard drive test, though I expect it to pass.
    And before anyone asks, I have replaced all the caps and I did this only a year or so before I stopped using it regularly. It ran ok and had zero issues with those new caps for that year, so the power supply is fine and using fresh/new caps.

    Seems like the answer here is to reimage my disk, unless anyone has any other ideas? It's weird that it doesn't seem to be able to recover and boot cleanly after removing the external storage. Like I said though it hadn't been on for a few years, it ran fine previously and there is no evidence of hard drive or power supply issues.
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    13,033
    1,250
    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Are you sure you replaced ALL the caps? If its been stored for a few years, then how can you have replaced them in a year?
    It can still be a bad drive as its old now.
     
  3. TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

    346
    93
    Sep 17, 2006
    Mill Creek, WA
    Bought the series 3 new at release. The power supply gradually started dying back in 2014. Was really finicky about powering back on, and then eventually wouldn't power on at all. Ordered replacement capacitors for the entire board as per the numerous posts in these forums, replaced all of them, and it powered up fine on the first try and there were zero issues since then. I then retired the series 3 at the end of 2016 when I replaced it with a Bolt due to the stupid MPEG4 stuff from Comcast. It ran perfectly fine with zero issues on the replaced capacitors for almost two full years before being placed in my closet for the last few years.

    As for the drive, sure it's old but there's zero indications that it's bad. It's currently doing the overnight test and all the graphs I've looked at as it's been going through the tests have shown normal results. I don't disagree that I may end up giving up and re-imaging or replacing it, but I like to have evidence of a fault before I do something like that. Especially for a device whose only potential use is as lifetime transfer fodder.

    Is there a stock/factory disk image someplace that I can download and use to overwrite what's on mine? I suspect that even if I were to backup what's on the disk and restore the same image back to it (or a new disk), I'll likely have the same issue since I suspect I have a corrupted or otherwise messed up install/config as opposed to a hardware failure. Would be nice if these had a factory reset button or kickstart function, but that ship has sailed...
     
  4. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    1,721
    582
    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    Hmmm, I do not see that limitation - but maybe you mean just only potential use for YOU? I still use my S3s every day, and except for the limitation of only two tuners, I find the S3 a far superior box to the Bolts that I also have.

    Do you have this box connected to your network when booting? Try it the other way too (if connected now, reboot without the Ethernet cable, or vice versa). Also, on a cold boot, do you see the option to select demo mode in Guided Setup? If so, do that once to see if you can get a completed boot cycle.

    I cannot say for sure what your problem is, but I strongly suspect it is related to the Rovi software update that all boxes needed back in 2017 to make it compatible with their database changes. We saw numerous boot-loop problems back then with all models when a box that had been in storage attempted to re-do guided setup before it had updated the software. Since you first booted it recently without the previously used external expander, it did not have a chance to update anything before it needed to reconfigure the drive and access the current database structure.

    If this is the case, you may indeed be forced to re-image the drive with current S3 software to get past your problem.. But first, make sure you have done at least on full power-off reboot since the problem started. I have seen a couple if instances where a box did download the necessary update during GS, but it would never properly load it during the soft reboots done by the GS routines. Powering down the box caused it to reload the waiting software immediately on the next boot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  5. TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

    346
    93
    Sep 17, 2006
    Mill Creek, WA

    Advertisements

    Yeah I've done multiple full power off reboots. And no it hasn't been connected to the network for any of them. The only things plugged into it are HDMI and power.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  6. TostitoBandito

    TostitoBandito Active Member

    346
    93
    Sep 17, 2006
    Mill Creek, WA
    To close this out, I put a fresh image on a different drive (1TB WD from a myDVR expander) to fix the issue. However, I strongly suspect that there is nothing wrong with the original drive and it too would've worked fine had I been able to put the new image on it (winMFS required a larger drive to fit the image).
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements