Series3 is randomly rebooting

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by gquandt, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Dec 17, 2007 #1 of 457

    gquandt jumperGQ

    Dec 17, 2007


    I have a Series3 with a connected eSATA external hard-drive (Seagate FreeAgent Pro 500 GB, installed by the hack method prior to recent software release). I have had it since last May and everything seems to work great....BUT....recently it has been randomly rebooting. Also, upon reboot it occassionally brings up a screen that says "TiVo has discovered a fatal error and is attempting to fix. This could take up to 3 hours. Please do not power off or restart during this time." It ultimately always gets past this and works fine again, usually after about 1 hour.

    Is anyone else having this problem? Any suggestions? I am tempted to return it to Costco and buy another one (gotta luv the costco return policy). However, the hassle of getting Comcast out for cable cards again is not pleasant.

  2. Dec 18, 2007 #2 of 457

    zoeacrute New Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    I have the same problem, but it only happens when I play an album on the Rhapsody Service. It never takes 3 hours to reboot. Usually 15 minutes. Very annoying though.
  3. Dec 19, 2007 #3 of 457

    n0pa New Member

    Aug 29, 2006
    Do you put the Tivo in standby?
  4. Dec 19, 2007 #4 of 457

    dkmize New Member

    May 31, 2007
    I am having the same problem - randomn reboots. I do not have an external hard drive or even use rhapsody - sometimes it gets VERY slow which often follows with a self reboot. Sometimes after the reboot, the screen is a weird blue/green color then I have to pull the plug and force another reboot to get it to normal. Any ideas?
  5. Dec 19, 2007 #5 of 457

    KJW Member

    Sep 27, 2003


    I was getting random re-boots when flipping channels so I returned my tivo to costco and picked up another. the cable card switch was a pain -- took five calls to finally have the cards bound to the new machine and I needed four separate sets of numbers (new host id, cable card no., cable card from cablevision, and the number of the cards that slide into the cabel cards. but I did not have to have a tech come out. let's hope this one works better.
  6. Dec 19, 2007 #6 of 457

    nickmyer5 New Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    I had this problem too. I was told by tech support that it could be a number of things:

    The TiVo itself
    The power supply
    The cablecards
    The ethernet connection

    I was told to plug my TiVo directly into the wall vs. through a power strip. I was also told to remove the cablecards and ethernet cable and see if it works okay. If it doesn't then it's probably a hard drive issue. If it does help then it's usually a problem with one of the remaining three things. I managed to narrow it down to my ethernet cable which was surprising to me. I swapped it out and haven't had the reboot issues again (although it's only been a day).

    That being said, I powered on my TV this morning and experienced a black screen and my TiVo was unresponsive. I had to reboot it myself to see the powering up screen. What gives? I might just return this TiVo HD and swap it for another as I'm tired of dealing with my current one.
  7. Dec 19, 2007 #7 of 457

    KJW Member

    Sep 27, 2003
    I received the same useless response from Tivo tech support. But because my tivo only had a problem on average once a week, it would take me over a month to determine if it was my power supply, either of my two cable cards, or my tivo wireless adapter. And during that month I would have to do with a crippled tivo. Ridiculous -- regardless of what the problem is, the tivo should not just spontaneously re-boot.
  8. Dec 19, 2007 #8 of 457

    sstatman New Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Could you give me more details about this? Are you using the free trial, or do you have a Rhapsody account? When did it happen? What were you doing when it happened? What sort of Tivo do you have?

    If I can get some basic info, I can research the problem on the Rhapsody service end and try and track this down ...
  9. Dec 24, 2007 #9 of 457

    NJChris Kermie Loves Elmo TCF Club

    May 11, 2001
    I've been having random reboots lately. It seems it has been since the last update.

    I've noticed that I turn on the TV and whatever channel the Tivo is on might be stuttering. If i do a rewind it fixes it. I'm guessing this builds up to the problem.

    I can't see how this is a hard drive problem since the stuttering doesn't happen again after rewinding or using the 7-second replay or 30 second skip.
  10. Dec 24, 2007 #10 of 457
    Cajun Man

    Cajun Man New Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    I have been experiencing this problem too. Until a couple of weeks ago, my S3 has always been absolutely rock-solid reliable. But lately, it has been rebooting every couple of days on average.

    Great question. Yes, I have always put my TiVo in standby mode. And now I am wondering if this is part of the issue?

    Another possible theory is that the S3 does not like being connected to an HDMI switch. I have been using an XtremeHD 4-port switcher for almost 3 months, with no issues. But I am wondering if TiVo's latest software update has added some instability relative to HDMI switches?

    Does anyone else utilize an HDMI switch (or an HDMI-switching receiver) between their S3 and their TV?
  11. Dec 24, 2007 #11 of 457

    mohanman New Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    I just had my first random reboot. Had my TIVO less than one week. I was watching a recording of the Peoples court.

  12. Dec 24, 2007 #12 of 457

    jvother New Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    I had some problems too, after I installed the TiVo-sanctioned eSATA drive. In three years I never saw that "fatal error" screen (with a Series2 and Series3), but now I've seen it twice in addition to one non-fatal reboot. It only happened on my Series3 when I was fooling around with cables in my entertainment system. I did not bump the external drive, but the cable probably got bumped. I'm guessing it is very sensitive to that, so when I recently added my blu-ray player I unplugged the TiVo first. I figured I'd rather do that than see that "fatal error" screen again.

    By the way, that brings me to a side note. Is there any reason that there is no shutdown option on the TiVo? I hate simply unplugging or turning off computers without at least attempting to go through the shutdown sequence.
  13. Dec 24, 2007 #13 of 457

    Ksas New Member

    Dec 24, 2007
    My S3 worked great without a crash for over a year. I added a drive expander from Tivo and have had a few reboots with the green screen. When I installed the drive the S3 responded that it wasn't an approved drive. I got the drive from Tivo! My guess is that there are still some issues in the software related to the drive expander.
  14. Dec 25, 2007 #14 of 457

    psquared New Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    My Series 3 has been randomly rebooting as well. It seems to be getting more frequent. I don't have an expansion drive or anything different in my physical installation from when I first got the S3 and it has run fine for quite some time until now.

    The problem seems to build up as the machine gets slower and less responsive. The reboot can almost be guaranteed if you press multiple buttons once it starts getting stuck on operations.

    This led me to suspect either of two possible issues:

    1. Rhapsody, which I have as a subscription service - Rhapsody has always been a bit buggy, slow and subject to stalling. BUT - the reboot has never occurred during my use of Rhapsody itself. Nevertheless, I wonder whether the use of Rhapsody sets things in motion for the build-up to a need to reboot.

    2. Could there have been a software update that has caused the problem?

    I saw the power supply/ethernet/cable card suggestions earlier in the thread, but I don't see how any of that would fit my situation, which seems to be a Tivo internal software or hardware problem.
  15. Dec 25, 2007 #15 of 457

    geodon005 Member

    Mar 10, 2004
    I, too, was stricken by the reboot bug for the first time yesterday, although my reboots were not so random. Live TV was fine, but anytime I tried to watch a recording, it would lockup within a minute or two and spontaneously reboot. I also called TiVo, and got the same advice everyone else has mentioned (and tried them all with no luck), but since I did have an Apricorn DVR Expander, one bit of advice from the tech seemed useful: remove the CableCards and see if I could still watch a recording. No luck trying this either, which pretty much pointed to the hard drive. I then "unmarried" my external drive and rebooted, rerunning guided setup. That worked! Even though I lost all my recordings, the new recordings I have made all work without a hitch. I will be ordering a TiVo-approved external drive this week.
  16. Dec 25, 2007 #16 of 457

    retired_guy New Member

    Aug 27, 2004
    Don't know whether this will help or not but it did solve a rebooting problem for me. Apparently my batteries were getting weak so that when I pressed the remote two or more times in a row, the signal sometimes wasn't being transmitted properly to the Series 3 TiVo and I sometimes got a reboot. When I put in fresh batteries, the problem went away. It's a cheap and easy thing to try.
  17. Dec 25, 2007 #17 of 457

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Mar 23, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I have never put my S3 in standby, and yet I have experienced these same random reboots lately. For the record, my S3 has an MX-1 hooked up to it with a 750GB DB35 inside. Like others have mentioned, my setup has been rock solid until recently.
  18. Dec 25, 2007 #18 of 457

    Ksas New Member

    Dec 24, 2007
    Could be. My remote batteries went dead a few days after the start of this problem. I have replaced them and haven't had a reboot since. I'll keep an eye on this.
  19. Dec 25, 2007 #19 of 457

    KJW Member

    Sep 27, 2003
    I know some very knowledgable and helpful Tivo employees monitor this forum. Hey guys, any idea what is causing this?
  20. Dec 26, 2007 #20 of 457

    Bschneider New Member

    Sep 2, 2005
    Here is a post that I wrote back in November regarding random reboots..

    TiVO Series 3 problems..with a fix


    I had a really strange problem with my TiVO Series 3 yesterday and I just wanted to let everyone what the symptoms were and what I did to fix them.

    Last week the Series 3 received an update to its software. The verison went from 9.1 to 9.2j. That version last 5 days and on Friday 11/09 the verison went to 9.2a.

    On Friday, my wife and I were watching a recording while the Tivo was recording two shows and transfering another from a computer. Everything as far as we know was working just fine.

    The next morning, I got up and saw that the Tivo rebooted but it was hung at the screen " powering up.." I unplugged and plugged the Tivo back in and all was well for about 5 minutes. It crashed again, it always hangs at the "powering up" screen. This went on for about 2 hours, until I decided to call Tivo Support. Actually, I had to wait until they were open.

    I was on hold with support for about 45 minutes until I finally got someone. I explained the problem and we then started to troubleshoot. The call lasted two hours. Ugh! We popped out the CCs and it seemd to have fixed the problem. So we re-ran the guide to remove the CC guide. After about 15 minutes of it not crashing, we re-ran the setup to again incude the CCs. What was really weird was as soon as I inserted the first card, the Tivo crashed. So we thought that the CC was bad.

    So I removed both cards and everything was fine for about an half hour except that the picture was pixalating, freezing, etc. Support told me that either the cards went bad or the Tivo went bad. So he asked me if I wanted to swap out the Tivo. I told him that I will think about it and get back to them. (He stated that an advanced replacement unit would cost $799 plus shipping until they received my unit)

    So I hung up with support and starting thinking about the problem. There was no cards in Tivo and it was still having problems crashing. So I took out my original hard drive and put it back in. Wouldn't you know it, all the problems went away.

    Now what is the real problem, the hard drive or the new software version that was installed, 9.2a? So I went to CompUSA, and purchased a 500gb drive ($109), the same size drive I have in there. I copied the suspected drive over to the new drive, that took 5 hours to complete. I placed the new drive into the Tivo and turned it on.

    So far, not one crash and I didn't loose any of my recordings.. All is well in the life of the Tivo Series 3.

    Just a word of caution, if your Tivo starts rebooting randomly, it just may be that the drive is starting to fail.

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