Series 3 freezes, slows and the reboots

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by brian1269, May 9, 2008.

  1. hmm52

    hmm52 Member

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    I agree with your logic. Unfortunately my S3 doesn't seem to. I guess it operates in the realm of Mythos, not Logos. I've witnessed 2 episodes of frozen video after turning on TV since the morning of the 20th. Each time the HDMI cable was completely disconnected, as was antenna.

    first - No programmed recording. Frozen screen. Had enough time to disconnect cable coax. S3 rebooted within a minute. Both tuners tuned to previously frozen channel upon reboot.

    second (today) - Single 8 hour programmed recording. Turned on TV 5 hours 12 minutes into it. Frozen screen. Did nothing for 5 minutes. Then pressed play button. Indicated time at end of recording run was 5 hrs 12 mins elapsed - TV power up time, not 5 hrs 17 mins - actual ET. S3 then rebooted within a minute. Both tuners upon reboot were tuned to channel which had been recording and frozen. I'll check this recording later.

    In 312 minute period, what are the odds against checking in just as a frozen video occurs, without there being a triggering event? Disconnecting coax or hitting play button may have triggered the reboot, but not the frozen screen as it had already happened. I'll continue to monitor this as I'm recording in 8 + 2 hour blocks all week. Will detach CV cables at some point and just check with S video, or do nothing.
     
  2. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    Did you turn on the TV with the TiVo remote? If so, that probably triggered something in the TiVo. Otherwise, there may be some sort of interference (AC power?) between the TV and the TiVo.
     
  3. hmm52

    hmm52 Member

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    Tv was turned on with a Phillips universal remote macro: TV on - Preamp and Amp on - mute off. TV is used with input for S3 as the "default". Among other devices, S3 and TV are plugged into the same UPS/line conditioner; not the amp & preamp. I'll turn on the TV for now with its own remote just to be sure - TV/Amp power macro doesn't include any commands for S3 but it is under its remote mode.

    None of the 5+ hour recording was accessible. "Recording did not occur because signal was not present" or some such statement. Remaining recordings of the day on same channel were OK. Something very odd last night: Both tuners were losing display of all HDs for minutes then regaining them for a few minutes, losing them again and so on. Diagnostic tuning values behaved normally throughout - as if only cablecards or authorization were being pulled and replaced. Strange.

    Too many symptoms
     
  4. Duke

    Duke Member

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    May 6, 2000
    St....
    I wonder if the 9.3 software update did something with the way the S3's Tuners function, in concert with the original WD drives; especially with HD content. :confused:
     
  5. sbgilbert

    sbgilbert New Member

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    The same thing happened to me. Tivo tried everything and said it was either the software or the unit. As I'm not willing to wait for some future software that may or maynot help I sent it in (two months out of warranty of course) and for $150 got a refurbished unit. It works fine. I found out today that the refurbished unit has zero warranty. Next time I think I would use a DVR repair service that has 6 months warrranty on Tivo units.
    Steve
    Update.
    It didn't work fine. It was just as bad. I got level 4 support that said it was a software problem and will refund my $150 and credit my service. I now think it is a buffer problem based on the tivo community so I have bought a replacement hard drive that has a bigger buffer. Most people have a fix with a replacement hard drive. Here is hoping.
     
  6. rossm777

    rossm777 New Member

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    Rhode Island
    Sorry everyone but I could not find anything about this error in the forum. So I'm putting it here.

    For old windows users, I've run across the Tivo version of the blue screen of death.

    My system ran fine until I added the esata 500gb tivo drive with 9.2 support. I may have installed the drive before 9.2 I don't know for sure. After several weeks of everthing running fine, I got a green screen that said:

    "The DVR has detected a serious problem and is attempting to fix it.

    This will take about 3 hours

    Please do not unplug or restart your DVR"

    After several minutes not hours it reboots and everything looks normal and runs for a period of time like normal. Back in Feb the problem reocurred at least 2 times while working with tech support. They had me remove the Hard drive, which lost many of my recorded programs.

    They sent me a new S3(refurbed unit I'm sure) which had 8.x on it. so I had to wait until the 9.2 was download and then installed the esata drive. So I had to install all my season passes Etc. Everything was fine until 2 days ago when the same problem happened. Has anyone seen this before and what was the result?

    Is it the external hard disk or the Tivo unit or even possibly my Cox cable cards. It is less painful to live with the problem than to replace my S3 unit.

    Help!
     
  7. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    I've had the green screen of death a couple time myself. Never seen one until I added an external drive. I've since pulled the drive and checked it for problems and found none. My conclusion was the Tivo had an internal inconsistency which it was able to fix itself. Unless it starts occurring frequently I wouldn't sweat it.
     
  8. Frank78

    Frank78 New Member

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    Jun 30, 2008
    Thank you to all who have posted to this site. It has been helpful.

    My Tivo Series 3 has been freezing and restarting for the past two months. Sometimes it will work for about 2 hours, sometimes it won't make it past the home menu.

    I have been in contact with customer support for the past 6-7 weeks. Here is the timeline of responses:
    - Call 1: Do a hard reboot (unplug and plug it back in): did not work, call back in three days
    - Call 2 (three days later): We now know there is an issue with the 9.3a software release, it should be fixed in a few weeks
    - Call 3 (a few weeks later): The Tivo tech group continues to address the issue, it should be fixed by the end of June. They passed me to the finance department and they gave me a three month service credit.
    - Call 4 (end of June): The box you have needs to be exchanged. You can either go to a retail store, or purchase a refurbished box from Tivo for $149. Otherwise, I can wait 6-7 more weeks to see if it fixes itself.
    I told them I did not want to purchase another Tivo. Considering they gave me service credit until November, I will wait it out. (Just called the cable company and got one of their DVRs)

    Just as an FYI - if you ever have any trouble call and ask for a service credit.
     
  9. Jul 2, 2008 #109 of 128
    hexagenia

    hexagenia New Member

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    by replacing the drive. Despite a Tivo diagnostics report that the original disk was fine, couldn't stand a one-tuner S3 that only captured SD channels if it were to be kept from rebooting. So I bit the bullet, bought the 1 Gig drive from Weaknees, and am reboot, freeze, and stutter free for almost a week on the original two cablecard, HD configuration.

    I am not suggesting this is an acceptable response to poor service or a viable quality product strategy, but I just wasn't going to wait weeks upon weeks for TIVO to figure out the magnitude of their problem. Or to wait on hold for hours after hours only to hear that they were aware of the problem but unclear of resolution. Sucks, but I just decided to pay my way out of this one.

    :rolleyes:
     
  10. Jul 2, 2008 #110 of 128
    Jon545

    Jon545 Jon in LA

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    I did the same- I sucked it up and got a weaknees 1GB internal replacement drive. Had slowdowns and then menu freezes, and then total freezes for the last few weeks. I had a stock S3 with 2 cable cards on Verizon Fios that had worked great for 1 year and 5 days before the problem started. I did add a antec MX-1 with 1GB WD "approved" drive (per the S3 expansion thread), but it, too had been working without a glitch since installation over 4 months ago. Read all the posts and firmly believe it's a SW problem that didn't show up instantly when they upgraded to 9.3a.

    I ran the Kickstart 54 diagnostics and started seeing occassional SMART failures in the main drive on multiple overnight testings and once on the extended test, but the shorter tests always passed, as did some of the longer tests and all the tests passed on the expansion drive. Maybe the hard drive was failing, but the symptoms are too similar to what everyone else is seeing to believe they aren't related to the SW, unless we want to believe there were a hughe number of bad drives that all decided to fail around the same time and only after the 9.3 SW came out:confused:.

    After 3 weeks TIVO-less (except for my 2 non-HD TIVOs :D), I gave up and got the 1GB internal replacement drive from weaknees. I had previously gotten bare drives and instantcake to upgrade the non-HD TIVO's but I had never played with SATA on my 3 year old Dell PC and didn't want the extra complication of needing a SATA card and getting it to boot correctly with a SATA PCI card, so I payed the extra for the preformatted drive.

    Went in easy, as expected, and it started up fine and did not require Verizon to restart the 2 cablecards. Lost all my recordings and can't hook the external 1GB to the expanded internal drive, but I can live with that. So far (1.5 days) so good. But, it still has 9.2 on the new drive, and I'll need to see what happens when it gets back to 9.3a. If it c..s out again, it's SW, but I'm hoping a fix will be found and I'll never ever get 9.3a (please, please, please). Personally, I think it's a combination of 9.3a and the drive(s) filling up, and that's why people don't see it instantly when they get 9.3a. While I'm a pretty happy camper again, I'm sorely unhappy with TIVO for not acknowledging they had a problem instead of letting hundreds (thousands?) of S3 and HD owners wonder what the heck was going on. :mad::thumbsdown::(
     
  11. Jul 2, 2008 #111 of 128
    Ilene

    Ilene Member

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    John545 - same experience here. I have had my new Weaknees drive for a couple weeks now. I am now running 9.3a much to my chagrin, so far no freezes, green screen or reboots. (I am crossing my fingers). Is it TiVo's original WD drives (mine was Aug 2006) that were somehow not good, not sure. I purposely chose the largest Seagate drive rather than the WD 1Tb drive - I have nothing to base fault with WD, but did not want to try another experiment.
     
  12. Jul 3, 2008 #112 of 128
    Jon545

    Jon545 Jon in LA

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    Ilene, I thought about going the Seagate route too, but I was already going backwards from the 250 GB internal plus the external 1 TB to only 1 TB internal. Time will tell, and I've got fingers and toes crossed. Why doesn't Tivo let us choose in preferences whether we want to accept a SW "upgrade"? I don't want to be a beta tester on my S3. And I believe that's what we all are, since TIVO's own beta testing sure didn't find some major problems with the 9.3a SW.
     
  13. Jul 3, 2008 #113 of 128
    AdmiralTivo

    AdmiralTivo You talkin' to me?

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    I just started having the exact same issues with my Series 3, stock everything, a few days ago. I see a lot of people theorizing (with some supposedly told by CSRs) that it might be a software issue with a fix on the way. I have also seen a lot of theories about how a software problem could translate into a HW problem, bad sectors on the disk, fixed buffer location, etc. etc.

    I have since purchased a replacement drive and plan on doing an image/replacement on the internal drive myself to save a little money. My question is this: to the people who already have done the replacement, or plan to do the replacement, aren't you concerned that the problem will manifest itself again with the new drive? Or is the current theory that the combination of defective drives + defective software is the root of the problem? I have seen one or two posts from people that have had the same issues with replacement drives too, which worries me greatly.

    I'm just concerned that I'm throwing good money after bad, when TiVo really needs to fix the software problem before I go about replacing any hardware.
     
  14. Jul 3, 2008 #114 of 128
    Jon545

    Jon545 Jon in LA

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    Yes, that's a concern. But not having my HD TIVO for more than 3 weeks was a bigger concern than the money. I was also worried that with the poor state of my S3 it might not be able to download the "fixed" SW when it came out.

    I've decided to try and not let it get 9.3a for a while. I'm disconnecting my wireless from the S3, and I'm only going to reconnect it every day or two and then allow it a quick "call" to get updated guide data. Don't know if this will keep the mothership from downloading 9.3a or not, but I'm going to try.
     
  15. Jul 3, 2008 #115 of 128
    Rev. Noch

    Rev. Noch New Member

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    Dec 29, 2003
    I just wanted to put in my experiences as well.

    I bought my S3 in December when CompUSA was going under. I've been using it OTA ever since. It was fine until a few weeks ago when I noticed it was not responding to any commands. It was also stuck at the UI menu where the animation looked choppy. I tried to reboot and it would either reboot it's self at a random point or get stuck in the UI menu. I let it sit for a week unplugged while I went out of town. When I got back, it worked for a couple of hours but then locked up again.

    I saw here on the forums before I went out of town that people were having luck with replacing the disk drive. After it froze up, I decided to actually get a larger hard drive like I had been planning on since I got the TiVo. I bought a WD 1TB drive from MicroCenter since they had it on sale for $160. I copied all of my stuff from the old drive to the new with the winMFS tools. So far all seems well. I'm crossing my fingers that this does not rear it's ugly head again.
     
  16. Jul 3, 2008 #116 of 128
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    Try restarting TiVo from the menu. Most likely it would NOT work because of a compatibility problem with that drive and S3.
     
  17. Jul 3, 2008 #117 of 128
    hiddentrout

    hiddentrout New Member

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    Yeah. I agree that it sure seems there's more going on here than simply bad HDs. In this post, TivoJerry states that "To date, all reports that I know of for the 648 prefix unit have also been accompanied by more severe symptoms such as system slowdown/lockup, inability to access menus, or reboots. We performed analysis of these units and found them to have bad drives."

    I couldn't agree more with Jon that this (apparently) massive rash of S3 HDs aren't coincidentally all failing at the same time. I'm not an engineer, nor a statistician, but I'd guess the odds of so many folks having simultaneous HD failure, which just happens to be right about the same time that the 9.3 update causes serious problems on the TivoHD units, is pretty dang slim.

    I'm not trying to "gotcha" TJ with the quote above, I'm just agreeing with Jon that it seems far fetched to me.

    FWIW, I just purchased a new 1tb Seagate drive to replace the stock drive in my S3 but, if it turns out it's not entirely HW-based, then that's another $150 down the drain...

    Sigh.
     
  18. Jul 5, 2008 #118 of 128
    garyriet

    garyriet New Member

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    I experienced lockups, slow response and reboots for the since June 13th. After reading the forums and basically losing my mind "Oh my GOD what are we going to do the Tivo is broke" we pickup up a Seagate 1TB drive from Best Buy for $180. Tried running WinMFS and it would just stop responding. SO I downloaded MFSLive and tried a backup that way, it failed with a bunch of errors. I then ran dd_rescue it found 8 errors completed and then went to expand it. mfsadd failed with a no header error or something , long night can not remember the exact error message. Booted back into windows and was able to do a truncated backup. Lost all my recordings but saved the wishlists and season passes. Have not had any problems the last 12 hours. SO I would say it is definetly releated to hard drive issues. Is there a way to telnet or ssh into the Series 3? I it be cool to run iostat and sar to get some performance data from the unit.
    Gary
     
  19. Jul 7, 2008 #119 of 128
    Rev. Noch

    Rev. Noch New Member

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    So far the TiVo is working without any problems. Thanks for the heads up that restarting from the menu may be a bad idea. I don't want to rock the boat.
     
  20. Jul 7, 2008 #120 of 128
    greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    Assuming you have an original S3 and not a TivoHD you'll experience the restart problem (with that particular drive) during any software updates too I would imagine. Could leave you missing recordings if not caught in time. :(
     

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