Series 3 lock-up problems

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jscozz, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Aug 2, 2007 #1 of 847
    jscozz

    jscozz Member

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    Sep 28, 2002

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    I have had my Series 3 since they came out... never a problem. Plain vanilla stock unit... no mods except adding an external eSATA a couple months ago. Just yesterday it started acting funny... slow operation. Rebooted once. Now when I power cycle it, it goes through the entire start-up... through "just a few more minutes"... does teh THX logo... then the Tivo animation... then comes to the orange screen... the menu takes about 20 more seconds to show up. Once it does, the remote and rfromt panel controls do not do anything. First item "Now playing" is highlighted but nothing I do has any effect... no remote or front panel buttons. It also appears that the background smoke animation is moving slow and jumpy.

    Any suggetsions on what I can do to fix this?
     
  2. Aug 4, 2007 #2 of 847
    drcos

    drcos HD where available

    271
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    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    Try the kickstart 57 to force a HDD check would be my attempted remedy. Your TiVo should reboot and give you the GSOD saying it is checking a serious drive error. Supposedly it will take between ten minutes and three hours, but the last time I did it, it was under ten minutes (and did not appear to solve my lockup problem, but that's another thread.

    Just do a search for kickstart 57 (or 58), as opposed to Questions 67 and 68 (showing my age).
     
  3. Aug 4, 2007 #3 of 847
    bizzy

    bizzy New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    San...
    I am seeing this exact same problem. To add some data, the problem goes away as soon as I disconnect the cable TV line. I have an OTA antenna also and the unit operates fine watching OTA ATSC. As soon as the cable TV gets connected, the unit gets slower and less responsive over 2 or 3 minutes until it freezes- and watchdog reboots several minutes later.

    I've never even attached an ESATA drive to my S3, and this just started in the last day or two. What happened?

    I'm a comcast customer in SF with two motorola cablecards. My S3 is running 8.3.1-01-2-648

    UPDATE: I tried the 'kickstart 57', it had no effect, same crashes.
     
  4. Aug 4, 2007 #4 of 847
    bizzy

    bizzy New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    San...
    Well, I just made the TiVo crash the exact same way with both tuners on OTA ATSC HD programming. I've been on hold for 30 minutes now waiting to talk to TiVo tech support. At this rate, they'll be going home for the day before I get to talk to someone. :(

    UPDATE: A combination of any two HD channels (cable/OTA) will wedge the unit. Pulling the coax to bring the unit down to a single stream will make the tivo un-freeze.
     
  5. Aug 4, 2007 #5 of 847
    bizzy

    bizzy New Member

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    San...

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    I described the problem to TiVo support, and they agreed that it was probably a hardware problem. They're cross shipping me a replacement. Well, they accidentally tried to ship me a DT S2, but thats another story.. :(

    As a workaround, I popped out cablecard 2, and repeated guided setup as 1 cablecard, no OTA. The box seems to be behaving OK now.
     
  6. Aug 6, 2007 #6 of 847
    Revolutionary

    Revolutionary Too sleepy for TV...

    575
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    Dec 1, 2004
    Virginia
    Had the same problem a couple months ago (also a couple of months after adding a eSATA drive). Mine eventually got magnificently f'ed up and Tivo promptly did a cost-free advance ship replacement even though I was way outside the 30-day "free replacement" window -- which suggests to me that it is a somewhat common problem.
     
  7. Aug 8, 2007 #7 of 847
    jscozz

    jscozz Member

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    Sep 28, 2002
    Well... I think jumping to the conclusion that it is a hardware problem is just an easy way for a Tivo support tech to get rid of the issue. I don't think it is any kind of hardware failure. I think it is clearly a software problem. And I am VERY disappointed that after spending over $600 plus subscription I am now hit with this kind of problem.

    More details about my lock up:
    1) The Tivo reboots itself frequently. Getting all the way to the Tivo menu with the background animating (choppy) and no menu appears.
    2) An the occasion when it does reboot successfully, video has frequent sound drops outs and pixelation.

    **** Removing 1 of the two cable cards does not change anything (either one). Removing BOTH cable cards completely fixes the problem! No more reboots. Perfect playback. External eSata still connected and running fine! Of course, I do not get certain channels now and no HD... but the Tivo works FINE!

    So... anyone else have similar issues where just removing the cable cards (and leaving the cable connected) solved the problem?

    If I call Tivo support will they have any info for me or will they want me to send it back and ship me a new one (losing TONS of shows on my external 750GB drive that my wife and I have not watched yet).
     
  8. Aug 8, 2007 #8 of 847
    yunlin12

    yunlin12 Tivonation Citizen

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    San Jose, CA
    Why do you think it's a software issue? If all of the sudden Tivo stopped working, without any software change (I assume since you didn't mention any), does that sounds like a software problem? If you remove the cable cards, then the Tivo works fine, it sounds like a cable card related problem to me. Did your cable cards get new firmware?
     
  9. Aug 9, 2007 #9 of 847
    jscozz

    jscozz Member

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    Sep 28, 2002
    I have no way of knowing whether the Tivo or Cable cards got software updates... unless I logged all the info of what revision each was at before. I don;t think there are any accessible logs on the Tivo for these updates.

    Does anyone know whether any minor updates of Tivo software or Comcast motorola cable card firmware updates have been issues recently?

    In addition, depending on the bug, it may or may not be related to an update... it could have manifested based on some other condition.
     
  10. Aug 9, 2007 #10 of 847
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    I'd contact Comcast and have them re-hit your cards and/or replace them...sounds like they are the root of all evil for you. :mad:
     
  11. Aug 22, 2007 #11 of 847
    jscozz

    jscozz Member

    160
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    Sep 28, 2002
    I have spent the last week removing stiff to make sure it is unrelated to the problems I am seeing. USB NIC, then expansion eSATA drive... down to old bare bones TIVO S3... and I still get pixelation, then lockup then reboot a few times a day. Seems to only occur on HD channels. Switch to SD channel and all is fine.

    TIVO thinks it is HW problem... and will swap it out for refurb unit... I think something is hosed up in software or data on disk. But I don't see an overwhelming number of people on here with the same issue... so I have to hope that it is not cable card or Comcast related and go for the Tivo swap out.

    No one knows of any Comcast change about a month ago that may be causing this, right? It just seems that when viewing a HD channel, the Tivo is eating up a lot of cpu cycles on something... eveyrthing gets sluggis after about 20-30 minutes... then menus start sticking on screen... remote commands may take 20-30 seconds to execute... etc. Then locks hard, then reboots.

    Any last advice before I do the swap out?

    Jeff
     
  12. Aug 23, 2007 #12 of 847
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    I'm on TiVo's side this time...sounds like a hardware issue if it's only happening on HD programming. Remember hardware includes the HDD. There is a huge difference in processing HD Vs SD data...so yes, it does impact the CPU and everything else in a box that's working normally...and can be fatal if there’s a flaw.

    Comcast doesn't usually do things nation-wide, at least at the same moment. So I have no idea what they may be doing in your area (wherever that might be) but if something were up we'd probably see a lot more activity here.

    Hope all goes well. :up:
     
  13. Sep 4, 2007 #13 of 847
    murrays

    murrays Well-Known Member

    15,758
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    Bumping this thread since my S3 is showing the same symptoms as listed above.

    I think I'll be on the line with customer support soon :(

    -murray
     
  14. Sep 4, 2007 #14 of 847
    JRJr

    JRJr New Member

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    Aug 10, 2007
    Baltimore
    I'm not on the forum often, but I see I'm not the first person to experience this lockup problem. Last night, watched a recorded program, deleted it while something else was recording. I'd already noticed that the NOW PLAYING screen was uncharacteristically slow in displaying my recorded shows.

    When I came back to watch something else a while later, no response either via remote nor on the unit itself.

    I don't have cable, just an OTA antenna, and digital stations only. I've had this S3 since last November more or less, without any issues. I'd considered adding an eSata drive, but at this point don't have any need for that. My unit is as it came out of the box.

    I've tried rebooting about 5 times (I'm an optimist), and I get to an empty screen with an image of lightbulbs and nothing else, as described by others here.

    I haven't tried removing the coax antenna cable before rebooting. Does anyone have any suggestions before I spend what appears to be a long time waiting for tech support? Thanks.
     
  15. Sep 4, 2007 #15 of 847
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't sound good...and really frustrating. :mad: Points to a HDD problem.

    You could give the old standby "Kickstart 57" a try. That will cause TiVo to run its built-in diagnostic program. It's worked for some. You could disconnect your antenna before trying it, but I'm not sure that would make any difference either way.

    Kickstart 57:

    1. Unplug TiVo and wait 15 seconds.
    2. Plug TiVo in, get the TiVo remote and aim it at TiVo.
    3. Press and hold the pause button until the orange light comes back on by itself.
    4. Release the pause button and immediately type in the numbers 5 and 7 on the remote (you have about 10 seconds to do this step).
    5. TiVo will reboot and the GSOD screen will come on saying TiVo has encountered a serious error. It will then run the disk management tool which can take from 10 minutes to 3 hours to complete. During this time it will look for and correct configuration problems as well as isolating any bad sectors on the hard drive so they can no longer be used.
    6. TiVo will automatically reboot again and hopefully things will return to normal. (Programs that used any bad sectors may be lost.)

    If that doesn’t work you may want to contact TiVo and see what they suggest. You might want to get an exchange unit or look into replacing your hard drive (very easy to do).

    Best of luck!
     
  16. Sep 4, 2007 #16 of 847
    jtreid

    jtreid Member

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    Jan 12, 2006
    Reading, PA
    I, too, had similar problems several months ago. I have an ESATA FAP750GB. I attributed the freeze/reboots to some power drops/brown-outs that occurred over about a week. Terrible storms. I saw the exact problems you all are seeing. I finally went and bought me a UPS. Over the next weeks or so, whenever I saw tivo slow down in respose time or get sluggish in the menus, I would force a restart. This happened maybe three times. Since then, I've not seen any of these symptoms. Tivo may appear sluggish at times accessing the Tivo Home menu, but once it's there, the response time is normal. I think that's true of tivo in general.

    I've got to imagine that even as robust as linux is, that writing to a HDD during a power drop can create corruption. I figured that tivo must have finally rewritten that portion of the disk or hasn't hit it again.
     
  17. Sep 4, 2007 #17 of 847
    murrays

    murrays Well-Known Member

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    Ran the "Kickstart 57"...no joy :(

    I confirmed that the problem goes away when I unplugged the cable and then reappeared after I tuned to a antenna HD channel. I also pulled the cable cards and again no issue unless I tune to an HD channel.

    It's pretty obvious to me it's not the CC's.

    -murray
     
  18. Sep 4, 2007 #18 of 847
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    Bummer! :(

    I'm almost certain that I read something similar in another thread...about there being a problem when the cable is connected, and not otherwise, etc. but I'll be darned if I can find it. If memory serves the OP had to have the cable company come out and it had something to do with the signal strength being too strong...but that they were able to resolve it.

    Keep us posted!
     
  19. Sep 4, 2007 #19 of 847
    musictoo

    musictoo Member

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    Oct 8, 2003
    At least I have my sanity back after reading this thread. My S3 is about 10 months old, standard pixelation issues but no serious issues. Added an M1 + DB35 750gig a month ago and within 2 weeks I had lost every channel on both tuners. Had to pull and reinstall both cards and go through guided setup to get them back. This has happened about every 10-12 days since then. The last time it happened I called support and they wanted me to get new cable cards. I have a 3rd SA card in my Sony TV that has no issues whatsoever. By accident I was digging through the CC part of the setup menu and flipped through the ID page and the other pages and when I got out, the channels came back without having to pull the cards. And to top all that off I've had my first lockups and spontaneous reboots this weekend. Too much of a coincidence with the eSata install for me... FWIW, it's been plugged into a UPS since day one.
     
  20. Sep 4, 2007 #20 of 847
    Revolutionary

    Revolutionary Too sleepy for TV...

    575
    0
    Dec 1, 2004
    Virginia
    More and more of these stories are coalescing, and the common threads seem to be Series 3 + ESATA drive. Maybe there is a reason that this feature isn't supported yet? My first S3 got seriously cooked, and exhibited all of the same symptoms (pixelation/playback pauses, stalls, random reboots, freezes on the Home and Now Playing screens, loss of channel lists (and I don't have cablecards)).

    Can I be sure? No. But I also haven't plugged my ESATA drive up to my warranty replacement box, either, and I won't until Tivo activates the feature and sells a warrantied drive.
     

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