Series 3 lock-up problems

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

  1. matrix1977

    matrix1977 New Member

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    Sep 26, 2006

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    I'm experiencing the same problems. Do you think I would be better off just upgrading the HD? Has that fixed the problem for most of you?
     
  2. alp44

    alp44 New Member

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    May 21, 2003
    This is going to seem weird, and I don't know if the info will help, but when I got my DiVo (TimeWarners Dual Tuner HD DVR) I had many problems with their boxes. I replaced it 3 times, and finally was told by a tech that TW has been having many problems with these new boxes since the Fed Gov is requiring them to use cable cards in their own boxes! You won't see then, but they are there. Since I also have a Series3 Tivo w/a HD Extender, I;m wondering if the cablecard technology is creating problems for "all" dvrs. That's how cable companies are able to use dual tuners, the same way Tivo's DT Boxes. Maybe that is something to look at.

    Good luck!
    a
     
  3. Attack

    Attack Member

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    Jul 30, 2001
    32303
    It fixed the issue for me. I bought a 750GB Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3750330NS and used WinMFS 9.2 to get the TiVo software copied to the new drive.
     
  4. JimWall

    JimWall Member

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    Oct 19, 2002
    My problems went away with new hard drive. Doing away with HD recording dramatically reduces the work the hard drive has to do. Tivo is always recording two shows and HD shows require far more I/O. I do think TIVO should handle issues with HD better and provide a screen showing I/O errors and even successfull I/Os that were corrected using the CRC checksum.
     
  5. Generic

    Generic Now in Dolby Digital

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    Dec 26, 2005
    SoCal

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    I probably should have done this along time ago but I would either forget or be lazy about posting. With my S3 getting the 9.4 update, it fixed the freezing/rebooting problems. It now works perfectly. I didn't want to whine about it not working and then not say anything when it was working correctly.
     
  6. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    Great news and thanks for the post! :up:
     
  7. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    +1 :up:
     
  8. KLR650Rider

    KLR650Rider New Member

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    Jun 24, 2008
    Well, I think I’ve given up on Tivo fixing my Series 3 HD. I just noticed it’s been about three months since I first started having problems. They’ve replaced my system a few times and the new one works for a couple of days on version 8.x until 9.3 gets pushed out.

    The last time I spoke with support they mentioned that they are aware of the problem and are working on a fix. The tech told me that 9.4 was the summer upgrade and wasn’t supposed to fix the freezes, hangs and reboots.

    The tech also said she would request that I be put on the beta list to test the patch but advised against it since the beta patch may make things worse. I told her politely that my machine is unusable as is so it couldn’t get any worse.

    I missed taping the Olympics and I don’t plan on missing any of the new TV shows coming out so I’m getting rid of my Tivo and switching to Cox DVR.

    Good luck to the rest of you and I hope you get your systems working again.
     
  9. Sep 6, 2008 #629 of 847
    Kylenol

    Kylenol New Member

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    Jun 11, 2008
    When I'm transferring shows sometimes, it automatically reboots and the shows say "This transfer is not making progress" and it becomes "Unavailable". It reboots it self many times but it doesn't get past the "Starting Up..." phase. I tried re-plugging and unplugging My DVR Expander but I still get the same results. The only solution that I found was to divorce it from TiVO and then marry it back; but that results in a loss of many of my programs. Is there any that can help me?
     
  10. Sep 9, 2008 #630 of 847
    Kurthi

    Kurthi Member "Lucky 200"

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    Sep 13, 2006
    SE PA
    I have been reading this thread and here is my problem.

    My S3 had been having pixelation problems on the non HD channels for the last 6 months. I didn't really care since I watched HD only. With the election coming up and my wife wanting to see shows on USA which we have no HD for, the pixelation now beacme a HUGE issue. Also I began to see more pixelation and volume drops on the HD channels in recent weeks.

    I had Comcast do a truck roll to replace the CC. This clueless tech messed with my S3 for an hour before I got home to tell him what he needed to do.
    About 2 hours after he left and replaced both CC, my S3 started the reboots, non response to commands, and slow menu responses that others in here have had.

    I have 9.4 software, but the tivo works fine when I have only CC1 installed. Putting CC 2 in starts all the above issues.

    Does this seem to point to a bad Hard Drive, a bad CC, or a bad tuner. I am having Comcast out again this Wednesday to replace the cards again. I bought this S3 on day 1 of the inital release, and after the shipping fiasco with that purchase, and very leary of dealing with TiVo shipping and repair. I would go with a new Hard Drive, but am afraid of what I may do to further harm this unit.

    I am at a loss as to what to do. any suggestions?
     
  11. Oct 5, 2008 #631 of 847
    ren_z

    ren_z New Member

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    Oct 5, 2008
    I just got off the phone with CS. All the above symptoms (slow response, no response, blank menus, reboots, etc.) They told me I have a "hardware failure" but couldn't tell me what had failed. For $150 they offered to replace my S3. Before I shell out the bux, I'm going to try removing the second cable card and will see if this helps at all.
     
  12. cogx

    cogx Member

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    Sep 22, 2006
    My S3 was ordered the first day it was available to order and has worked great since the day I hooked it up. All the updates installed properly and I had never had lockup problems or reboots, version 9.4 has been working as expected. My indoor (powered) antenna has been pulling in my 5 OTA HD channels perfectly from the same position for two years and I have analog cable (*no* cable cards).
    DVR life was all good, for two years, no complaints.

    Well... starting this past Thursday, things started to get really sluggish. Two OTA HD channels were recording and I was watching one of them and I got through it, but one time when I wanted to rewind a little bit, it sort of locked up for about 4 seconds. That was odd. Well, I watched a couple other recorded shows after that and it seemed ok.

    Unfortunately, the next day, well, everything went downhill. The same problems people talk about all over this site, I basically couldn't get the TiVo to work properly, until I disconnected my antenna and cable inputs. I've tried the kickstart 57 a few times, but it hasn't helped. I ran the kickstart 54 tests and it never came back with any HDD failure codes; all tests pass.

    With cable TV disconnected, I've found that two 1080i OTA channels tuned on both tuners will lock it up. Sometimes I've been able to have a 720p channel and 1080i channel work at the same time, but eventually it will lock things up.

    Having been in IT support for over ten years, my inclination is the HDD is bad, despite what the kickstart 54 tests are saying. However, my testing sure makes it seem like there is a problem with one or both of the tuners. Even when I put the S3 into standby, with the OTA and cable cables connected, I'm able to connect to the S3 and download all of the recorded shows to my PC. So, it *only* locks up when the tuners are active.

    Temperature has never been a problem, it has always said the internal temp has been normal and again I have not changed anything about my configuration in two years.

    So, I guess I call in and pay $150 to get a refurb unit? Something just doesn't smell right about this simply being a HDD problem. I downloaded all my content to my PC yesterday and this morning I deleted all shows and cleared out all delete programs, so I started fresh this morning for football, but once again, trying to record both the CBS and Fox games in HD has locked my S3 up. :(
     
  13. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

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    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    Hook your drive up to a PC and run the Western Digital or Hitachi diagnsotics on it. That may reveal a problem the KS are not.
     
  14. cogx

    cogx Member

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    Sep 22, 2006
    So, just to be sure, the $150 reburb replacement is valid, even if I open up my S3 and mess around with the drive?
     
  15. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    Well...yes and no. Your unit is past it's normal parts and labor warranty. TiVo is replacing it with a refurb for $149 based on your complaint. Telling them that you opened it up, pulled the drive and tested it will not sit well with them and may cause them to cancel the offer. They have no way of knowing that you opened it up unless you leave some sort of evidence...so don't eat crackers while the cover is off. ;)

    It does indeed sound like a HDD issue. However if you're comfortable with opening your TiVo, doing an R&R of the HDD to test it and all, if it were me I'd simply replace the drive. You could upgrade to a 1TB HDD, use winMFS to image it or buy Instant Cake for $20 and probably still be ahead (and have a LOT more recording space).

    Again, it does sound like a HDD problem, but before doing anything else I would contact your cableco and have them check your signal. It's remotely possible that something has gone wrong with your cable cards or the incoming signal, etc.

    Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
     
  16. JimWall

    JimWall Member

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    Oct 19, 2002
    I agree the prime suspect is the HDD.
    Passing diagnostics in TIVO or in a PC don't seem to be relavent. You can replace HDD and if problem is not gone then return HDD. I had problems with a HDD which passed all kinds of diagnostics but problems went away with new HDD. I recently reformatted the bad HDD and now using it in a newer TIVO with no problems.
    If HDD passes all tests ten I go back the theory that TIVO device driver software or HDD detects excessive CRC errors and deliberately slows down the SATA speed thinking that is the issue but then it is too slow for video. Don't believe me? Windows Server has a patch for this exact behavior. With TIVO reformatting the good drive gets the SATA interface back up to normal speed for a particular drive. Remember when tuner is dispaying a LIVE show it is really recording the show to the HDD and you are viewing the show from the HDD buffer.
     
  17. AdmiralTivo

    AdmiralTivo You talkin' to me?

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    Feb 25, 2005
    I had the same issues with locking up, reboots, etc. Removing the cable input stopped the reboot cycle, and keeping both tuners on SD channels kept the system going for a little while anyway. Eventually my S3 would reboot even when tuned onto an SD channel.

    I took the plunge and replaced the HD with a Seagate DB35 500Gb drive, and everything's been fine since.
     
  18. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Now that's an interesting and plausible theory. I've always leaned toward I/O error processing or simple data overload being an issue and began to blame it on the miniscule 2MB's of cache TiVo's OEM drives employ. Replacing the HDD with a newer model that has 8+MB's of cache seemed to cure the problem. Since it doesn't seem to be a software issue (everyone is using the same version) I'm still coming down on the side of a hard drive problem. I'm not a hard drive guru so I'm wondering (with all things being equal) does the firmware adjust for CRC or any other errors? If so, how would we explain why TiVo replacements work using the same HDD model (based on posts by some that have popped open their replacements)?
     
  19. cogx

    cogx Member

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    Sep 22, 2006
    Sunday night I re-ran the kickstart 54 tests again and this time the "extended test" failed at 55 minutes (it is suppose to run for 90 minutes), with a "Fail (read element)". I then let it run the "overnight test: seek/read, random locations", well, overnight, and when I checked it Monday morning, it also said "Test Failed: I/O error reading from disk".
    So, it passes the shorter tests, but not the extended or overnight tests.

    It also can't even record analog cable now either, so it definitely went from working perfectly as of Thursday early evening and then by Monday evening I just had to unplug it, as it rebooted itself out of the blue again and is now finally unusable.

    Now, I started thinking about the DTV transition, as I do know a few people who don't have cable or sat, and what they are going to do for recording, now that the old VCR is really a dead technology (although if they buy the DTVPal model like I tell them, they can at least match-up their recordings and their VCRs should still work).
    Don't get me wrong, I love TiVo, even despite the crazy amount of money I spent on an S3 that only worked for 2 years and now has died on me, but the hardware and subscription costs are not for everyone's (most people's) budget. HDDs are just one of those components that CE companies clearly should want to avoid putting in their products. I would hope that some future year that TiVo will be using SSD *AND* they really need to make a way for it to be trivial for the customer to replace the drive and have it format and re-load the software to the new drive, like a PS3 or a NMT. We should be able to swap in drives at any time, without concern over warranties and such.
     
  20. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    Sorry to hear that your hard drive failed. Agreed that two years is too short for what some of us "early adopters" paid for Series3's and that we should be able to easily swap drives out. The very same could be said for computers. Heck my iMac makes it close to impossible to replace the hard drive so TiVo's are a cake walk by comparison.

    But hard drive failure is part and parcel of the computer age. With TiVo running and writing data (high volumes when it comes to HD) 24/7 it doesn't surprise me too much when a drive fails. Fortunately some companies like Seagate are now warranting their drives for five years. It doesn't ease the pain of having to replace them, but it's better than the more common one-year warranty a lot of them have.

    In any case, TiVo isn't for everyone and like computers (because that's what they are) they will have problems. Hope you'll stay in the fold, but understood if you don't...life's too short to worry about some things. ;) Best of luck whatever you decide.
     

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