Series 3 HD, 11.0 Firmware, keeps rebooting

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by KMD, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. KMD

    KMD New Member

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    Mar 18, 2011

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    I'm trying to determine if I have a bad Harddrive, or if it could be a MB issue. If I unplug the unit for a while, and then plug it in, it will boot and run for maybe 10 min, but then suddenly it reboots, and the first time it might come back up for a few minutes again. However, it soons reboots again and then it will either continuously reboot or possibly eventually go to a grey screen without ever getting to the WOAFM screen. After this, all I can do is unplug it for an hour or two (to allow everything to cool off?) and then go through the same process again.

    I have gone through the QS54 test, which took about 2 hours, and passed all tests. Then I tried QS58 which never quite seemed to work like it's supposed too (GSOD), and instead just paused for a few minutes and rebooted again. Finally, I ran QS57, and it started like it should, GSOD, but while it said it would take about 3 hours to go through this process, it actually finished in about 1/2 hour.

    However, nothing is any better or different then it was. It still works as before, where it seems to work ok until the unit warms up, and then it starts to reboot. And the longer it runs (the warmer it gets??), the sooner it reboots and the less successful it is on each reboot. The fan is running and looks clean from the outside, but I haven't opened it up yet. The longer it runs, the worse it gets until it's bad enough that I can't even get to the QS point before it reboots by itself at about the point where you would initiate the QS routines.

    The harddrive seems to be running at all times, and it isn't noisy. It still has the original drive, so I suppose there's a good chance it's going out, but it seems rather strange that it passed all tests but still doesn't work for any period of time.

    Any suggestions as to what I should try next? Replacing the harddrive is no big deal, but I'm hoping it's not the MB, as I understand replacing that messes screws up the lifetime membership.

    thanks..
     
  2. Kevin D42

    Kevin D42 Member

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    Nov 7, 2009
    Sounds like a either a power supply issue or a mother board issue. I would try an alternate power supply.
     
  3. GBL

    GBL covert opiniative

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    Apr 20, 2000
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    i would take the drive out, make a backup with winMFS, then run manufacturing diagnostics on the drive or if you have a spare drive, restore to that and try it. That will tell you if it's the drive or something else.
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    I still suspect the hard drive. KS tests do not show all problems.

    Power Supplies cost $100 (weaknees.com) unless you could get a used HD for less than that on Ebay and swap its PS in. If you don't have lifetime service you could also just use the purchased HD and delegate your current one for parts. That covers the case of a bad MB too.

    Please specify:
    1. How important is keeping your current recordings?
    2. Do you have lifetime sub?
    3. How much of a DIY person are you? There are things you can do to check your PS and your HDD, but they require opening the TiVo up.

    Also verify this is a TiVo HD rather than S3 and you are not using an expander drive.
     
  5. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Dallas, TX

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    How long has this Tivo been in service?
    It does sound like there could be a issue with over-heating.
    Open up the Tivo. If it is full gunk (you'd be surprised), that could be your problem.
    At the very least, the first step of trouble shooting.
    If that's not it, then I would suspect the hard drive.
     
  6. KMD

    KMD New Member

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    Mar 18, 2011
    I would like to keep the current recordings, if possible.
    Yes, I have a lifetime sub.
    I'm very much a DYI person, and fix most things.

    The box was first activated in 2009

    Unfortunately, I don't have a spare drive or unit to rob parts from. I will open it up and see how dirty it is, cause that's always a possibility. I've thought about buying a spare drive that's preformatted for Tivo, but I don't really care about the larger size. 160 GB is plenty for me.

    How do I check the PS?

    I don't have winMFS, nor do I have a place to plug the drive in if I remove it, so testing it will be a bit difficult. I'm assuming that i would need some sort of cable and USB or something to connect it to a PC to run diagnositcs.

    Thanks,
     
  7. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    What is the internal temperature value in Messages & Settings .... Account & System Information ... System Iinformation ? Does it increase while running?

    WinMFS is a free program and using it, or running mfr's diagnostics, requires connecting your TiVo drive to a PC using either a SATA-USB adapter ($15) or one of the SATA connectors on your PC motherboard. See the sticky Drive Expansion FAQ thread at the top of this forum for more info.

    There is a four-wire cable between the PS and the HDD. Check the PS by measuring voltages between the two colored wires and either of the black ones. They should be 5V +/- 5% and 12V +/-10% and preferably should be measured with the cable still connected to the HDD. The PS produces other voltages but these two should be a good indication of its health. A new PS (weaknees.com) costs $100 so you may be able to buy a used TiVo cheaper on eBay and use its PS -- but be sure to get exactly the same model.

    To save your recordings, you could use Tivo Desktop and transfer them to a PC. If you use WinMFS to load a new drive WinMFS can also transfer the programs but to do this you have to connect both old and new drives to the PC. The USB adapters are slow compared to direct SATA connections so this can take a long time if you use them. Also, I believe the new drive needs to be at least a little larger than the old drive. Given the low prices of drives now that should not be a big issue. The biggest WinMFS issue in your case, assuming the HDD is failing, is being able to backup the TiVo operating system and recordings from it. However, if possible, this route is the cheapest one and will also not require you to have your CableCARD(s) re-paired, which often requires a truck roll.

    If you buy a pre-imaged drive (google "ebay dvr_dude" or go to weaknees.com) all you do is install it. But you have to do a "clear and delete" and completely redo the setup just like on a new TiVo. You lose your recordings and may have to have the CableCARD(s) re-paired.
     
  8. KMD

    KMD New Member

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    Mar 18, 2011
    I didn't check temps before opening cover and scanning internals. I didn't think the dust was all that bad, as I've seen PCs with a lot more dust. Anyway, used compressed air to clean the unit and the fan and blow dust off the surface of and under MB. Amazing results! Dang thing works now, and hasn't rebooted once -- crossing my fingers.....

    Checked temperature after it was running for about an hour, and it was 41 C or about 101 F. Seems warmer then it should be when it's only about 70 deg in the room. When I had the cover off, I noticed that the fan is temperature controlled, and runs slower when it's cool, and sped up a little with the cover on. I didn't check the temp with the cover off, but I will try that tonight.

    Would it be harmful to leave the cover off entirely? I noticed that the fan doesn't really blow air across any components, rather it just draws it in the bottom slots and blows it out the back and the air flows however it wants to across the heat sinks. Of course, if you leave the cover off, it won't draw it in the slots anymore, but then the cover isn't on and holding the hot air inside the unit either so it should run cooler with better natural convection. Just wondering if anyone has tried this before.

    Does anyone know where the temperature thermistor is located? Is this on the main processor temperature? I think on PCs, that's the typical location, but just wondering if that applies on a Tivo.

    thanks for all the comments.
     
  9. tpatch

    tpatch New Member

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    Jan 14, 2004
    My Tivo is having the same issue. I went through KS57 and KS54. KS58 seemed to get stuck on a gray/black screen, and I am not sure what that means. Before having the rebooting problem, one night last week, the fan got really loud (only temporarily) so I am wondering if it is a heat issue.

    After reading your experience, I will check the temp of my Tivo and clean the dust out. I expanded my drive so will swap it with the OEM drive to see what happens. Sorry, I donʻt mean to hijack your post, but your description sounds nearly identical to my problem.
     
  10. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    My THD runs 44C in a fairly well ventilated cabinet in a 68F room. IIRC temps up to 50C are not a concern. I don't think you need to run with the cover off. I'm impressed that the fan is actually modulated per temp.
     
  11. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    I would:

    Read how to make a backup, and make one ASAP (the cables are cheap and instructions are free -OR- open the machine and unplug the installed HDD and use those connections)
    Clean out the machine, and run without a cover to see what happens
    Buy a 1TB drive and upgrade to that

    If you still have a problem, it would probably be the PS, go to ebay and get a replacement.
    Enjoy new drive
     
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I'll be amazed if that makes even a one degree temp difference, but you might see a change if your expansion drive is the culprit.
     
  13. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Both my TivoHDs are running 44 C and 46 C (reported as normal), so either you're running cool or I need to dust out my Tivos. :eek:

    Seriously, the fact that you started experiencing reboots suggests that the drive could be on the way out.
    It's possible that your Tivo has been running hot for some time, and the hard drive tolerated the heat until recently.
    As time goes on, the hard drive will continue to degrade and eventually fail at lower temperatures.

    I would start planning to replace the drive NOW.
    Link to info for an internal drive upgrade: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=370784#S5
     
  14. tpatch

    tpatch New Member

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    Jan 14, 2004
    Yesterday, my Tivo was rebooting periodically and progressively got worse until it seemed to be stuck in a reboot loop.

    My Tivo was also not that dusty inside, but vacuuming and compressed air has cured the reboot issue. It is running at 36C (normal). Been running for 2-3 hours now without a reboot. My fingers are crossed...
     
  15. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    That's good. My THD has never shown less than 42C and seems to work fine. I have to suspect something else is behind this, e.g., removing the cover perhaps reseated a connector somewhere. Or maybe there is a critical niche that runs hot due to dust, even though the temperature reading shows "normal".
     
  16. tpatch

    tpatch New Member

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    Jan 14, 2004
    I should add that while the cover was open, I disconnected the HDD and reconnected it. I also unplugged everything from the back of the unit and replugged it in.
     
  17. Cablefree

    Cablefree New Member

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    Feb 8, 2011
    My HD TiVo was doing the exact same thing. I had replaced the drive and it has been working fine for about a month and then last week started to reboot over and over on me again. I unplugged it several times and finally got tired of putting it back in the shelf and decided to leave it face down (standing on end) on the floor. When I plugged it back in it booted up and stayed running for hours! Put it back on the shelf and it started rebooting again. Hmm, I wondered if maybe I had a bad connection somewhere inside. I pulled all the connections off the the mother board and hard drive and reconnected everything and so far, 3 weeks later no issues.
     
  18. Floydian

    Floydian New Member

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    Jul 16, 2009
    Hi everyone. This might be a little late for some of you, but I had a similar issue where my Tivo was rebooting and eventually just stopped working; just a solid blue screen and the hard drive wouldnt spin up with the IDE cable connected. Examination of the power supply revealed a bulging capacitor. I picked up a replacement for $1.59 at the local electronics store and my problem is solved. If your comfortable with a soldering iron, go for it!!!
     

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