Series 3 Freeze-Reboot: What Should I Do?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by shfawaz, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Davenport

    Davenport New Member

    Jul 23, 2008


    I purchased my S3 in May of last year. It's worked perfectly for 14 months and then last Monday (July 14th) it started rebooting every 10 minutes or so, consistently. I called tech support and they said I had a defective unit and I needed to exchange it. Since it was out of warranty, they charged me $149 for a replacement (which is a lot nicer than buying new). The RMA center is just a few hours up the road, so I shipped the "defective" TiVo on Wednesday, they received it on Thursday and shipped me back a refurbished unit, which I received on Friday. I was pleasantly surprised by the quick turnaround, but when I opened it, it looked like the TiVo has been dropped as the front was all bashed in. I didn't even bother hooking it up. When I called to complain, they apologized and said they would replace it with a brand new unit. So I shipped off the broken refurb on Monday and received a brand new unit today. I hooked it up and it doesn't even get past the "Welcome! Powering up..." screen before it reboots. I let it go through the reboot cycle 8-10 times and then called tech support again and all their computers were down (and still were as of 15 minutes ago) so they couldn't help me. But the technician did say that I will probably have to ship this one back too as they are having "a lot of problems with the series 3 boxes" and tried to talk me into swapping it out for their standard HD unit. Lame.

    What's going on? I do not have CableCARDs. I have tried disconnecting the coax (that goes to an OTA HD antenna), the HDMI, and the WiFi adapter, but it's still rebooting over and over again. I don't know what software is on this new unit (because it never fully boots), but the original one that worked fine for 14 months and then started rebooting every 10 minutes was running version 9.3a-01-2-648.
  2. Davenport

    Davenport New Member

    Jul 23, 2008
    Since my unit was out of warranty the first time, I did have to pay to ship it back, which cost about $12 at the UPS store. When I had to return the replacement unit, they supplied a mailing label so the shipping was free.
  3. Beachbum55

    Beachbum55 Member

    Jan 1, 2004
    Tivo technical support confirms all of the details and gives you an RMA number. You have to provide your own packaging to return the unit to Tivo. I had the original box, but I'll probably need to buy a larger box to protect it during shipment. Tivo provided me with a UPS shipping label and they said they would air freight the replacement unit back to me as soon as they receive my box.

    Will keep my fingers crossed that the new unit works!

    I've still got my old Pioneer Tivo unit in another room that burns DVDs, so I can burn some programs here and there and watch it on my DVD player in my living room.
  4. mrdazzo7

    mrdazzo7 Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    I'm still debating on whethere I should A: Wait for the magical software fix with no ETA, B: Replace my hard drive, or C: ship the unit back to Tivo and get a replacement.

    A: Best option, but with no ETA, how long am I supposed to wait? I miss my HD!!

    B: Can those who have done this comment--did replacing the drive solve the problem, even after updating to the software that (seems to have) caused the problem in the first place? How long has the unit been working correctly since the replacement? If it did work, which drive did you get?

    C: Since I got a refurb less then a year ago, I'm thinking of sending it in to Tivo, but I've read several posts from people saying their replacements had the same problem, which makes me weary. To go through the hassle of even getting the unit out of my entertainment center is enough to turn me off to this idea, let alone lugging it to the post office and shipping it!

    Any advice is great guys. I'm going on a solid month without my S3 and it freakin sucks. If replacing the drive would fix it i'd get one right now.
  5. Duke

    Duke Member

    May 6, 2000


    Exchanging lots of S3's because of the problems that surfaced after 9.3a, in some cases multiple times per owner, must be costing TiVo a fortune in support expense......
  6. deecee

    deecee New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    My 8 month-old TiVo HD began an endless cycle of reboots yesterday and there is now an RMA issued for a replacement (refurb) S3 which will cost $54.
  7. memn0ch

    memn0ch New Member

    Nov 2, 2003
    I just purchased a Refurb THD and it seems to have the same reboot issue and I am doing the RMA. Getting really nervous about it though considering all of the issues that I am reading about here.

    The RMA Center is about 30 miles away from me, and I was considering just driving there to see if I could exchange it on the spot. Wasn't sure if they would let me though. Does anyone have experience with this?

  8. Wensey

    Wensey New Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I am convinced that the lockup I am seeing is related to turning the TV on. My failure is that it can't play video, whether saved or in the playback buffer. It never crashes while I've been watching, only when I've just turned it on. Sometimes it is crashed immediately when I turn it on, but the video that it is frozen on is the current screen, not 20 minutes earlier or anything.

    I am not using HDMI. I am using component video, but I switched to S-Video and it still crashes.
  9. Cajun Man

    Cajun Man New Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    For anyone interested, I experienced a similar problem with my S3 for almost a week. I tried various things, but nothing worked. In desperation, I performed a "Clear Thumb Ratings & Suggestions" operation. (I decided to try this after reviewing my thumb ratings, which went on for more 30 screen-pages.)

    A couple of a days later, I have not -- so far anyway -- experienced a single reboot. Prior to the fix I was experiencing random reboots after watching 5 to 15 minutes of any show in my Now Playing list. My S3 would also reboot randomly when recording shows, or even when sitting idle in Standby mode.

    As the old saying goes, "Your mileage may vary." Nonetheless, clearing your thumb ratings might be a simple fix to try if you are experiencing random reboots.

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