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S3 won't boot past "Almost there"

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Welshdog, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. Welshdog

    Welshdog Tivo this, punk!

    340
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    Austin, TX
    My 10 year old S3 failed to boot the other day. It has the original drive. The PS was recapped by
    timhbtr53 a couple of years ago and still seems to working fine. The boot gets past "powering up" screen and makes it to the "almost there" screen, but it never gets past this. I took he drive out and changed the boot partition using winmfs (thanks unitron). Option 2 would not boot past "powering up" and option 1 would make it to "almost there".

    I have tried kickstart 57 but it won't work. The smart tests passed until the overnight test. I don't know if it worked or not because the test reporting screen was gone and the test selection screen was back.

    So my options are
    1) new drive and do a software install (no backup)
    2) new drive from Weaknees
    3) junk it and get a new Bolt.

    I'm not real keen on doing a Tivo software install since I don't really have the resources for that. Weaknees is fine but I'm not sure if that makes economic sense with a ten year old machine. Comments appreciated.
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    7,529
    85
    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Make a backup with WinMFS and restore to a brand new WD Red 1 or 2TB drive.
    See if that would be better. Thinking either physical hard drive failure or some of its sectors
     
  3. Welshdog

    Welshdog Tivo this, punk!

    340
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Red, not green?

    I agree the drive structure is probably damaged. When the PS was failing it rebooted many times and had an external drive connected. After the PS was recapped, the system still crashed when the external was connected so I stopped using it. I think the internal drive was damaged/corrupted during this time.

    Also I have no experience with winmfs. Won't making a backup just copy the problems? To clarify I need two empty drives - one to back up to and the new drive going into the Tivo. Does the backup drive need to be the same size/make as the damaged drive?
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  4. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    1,855
    132
    Jan 6, 2007
    Does it get stuck on Almost There forever, or does it flash for a second and go back to the beginning again?

    I had a power supply that caused the latter (it was recapped years ago also), but if I let it continue like this for a couple of hours it eventually booted. After it got done booting it worked fine for as long as it didn't reboot again (which was a long time since it was on UPS)
     
  5. Welshdog

    Welshdog Tivo this, punk!

    340
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    Austin, TX
    As far as I know it stays on Almost There forever. I've never seen it go back to the beginning. I might try tomorrow leaving it on for a few hours to see what it does.
     
  6. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    7,529
    85
    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Greens are not made any more and seems WD changed them to Blue.
    Red does not need stuff set, WDidle3 timer , HDAT2, etc. The Red Pro line is not viable for Tivos because they are 7200 RPM.

    You just need 1 or even just the Tivo drive attached for WinMFS in Windows to backup. The backup will be a file saved on any available drive, and restored from there.
    The new drive needs to be the same or larger, and never smaller.
     
  7. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    7,529
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    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    A healthy S3 would finish booting in about 5 minutes.

    My Roamio does it in 3.
     
  8. Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

    1,764
    17
    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    Get a replacement drive.
    There are a couple members that have clean images that are easy to install.
     
    Welshdog likes this.
  9. Welshdog

    Welshdog Tivo this, punk!

    340
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    Austin, TX
    So winmfs is not able to make a backup. The bad drive is in an external USB dock. Winmfs sees the drive and lets me select it. When I select backup, choose a location, create a file name for a drive backup, and select Start, the program generates a error and then quits. Also, after I select the drive if I choose msinfo it says "Not a Tivo drive!" So either winmfs doesn't like the drive dock or the drive is so messed up it can't be saved. To add to the frustration, this computer is a SCSI only Dell - it has no SATA bus so I can't put the drive inside for a more direct connection.
     
  10. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
  11. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

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    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Are you using WinMFS v9.3 and as an administrator Windows user?
     
  12. Welshdog

    Welshdog Tivo this, punk!

    340
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Yes and yes.
     
  13. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
  14. Welshdog

    Welshdog Tivo this, punk!

    340
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Not yet. I assume if I do that I would need to use winmfs after the clone to "expand" the cloned drive? The old drive is only 250 GB I think.
     
  15. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
    For testing, I don't think you need to do that. To use the extra space you would. It has been a while though, I might be remembering incorrect.

    If I recall correct, the unit I pointed to won't crap out on bad sectors, but will eventualy write a zero if a sector can't be read. This would be equivalent to doing a dd_rescue copy from source to destination. *If* the problem with your drive was a bad sector and it wasn't in an area critical for startup, then this could get your unit booting again. Obviously if the bad sector was in an area critical to startup or you have some other problem, this wouldn't help.
     
    Welshdog likes this.
  16. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,470
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You should be able to use WinMFS to expand, but that's if it will work with a drive connected via USB and not connected directly to the PC motherboard.

    Does that PC by any chance have a 40 pin IDE/PATA header? (SCSI headers are 50 pin)

    If so, you can use a SATA/IDE adapter to connect the SATA drive to it.

    There's a whole thread about those adapters, be sure to read through to the end.


    List of SATA to PATA (IDE) adapters, please add yours
     
  17. Welshdog

    Welshdog Tivo this, punk!

    340
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I think it does. I remember seeing the SCSI card and drives, but also separate ribbon cables from the main board that looked like IDE going to the floppy and CD drives. I'll check later today.
     
  18. Welshdog

    Welshdog Tivo this, punk!

    340
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I ordered the IDE-SATA07 converter on Ebay and should have it Saturday. We'll see if it helps winmfs do it's thing.
     
  19. Welshdog

    Welshdog Tivo this, punk!

    340
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Well I got the IDE-SATA07 converter today and installed it in the PC. Winmfs still fails when it tries to make a backup of the Tivo Drive so I'm calling this old drive busted. The new drive arrives tomorrow so I'll try to install the current S3 image someone on TCF shared with me.
     

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