Series3 is randomly rebooting

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

  1. NotAZoo

    NotAZoo New Member

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    Feb 12, 2008

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    Well after setting up my TiVo HD yesterday I was doing great until I got the 9.2 software....needless to say I got the standard..."check the wireless unit, the cable cards, blah blah blah". Looking at the posts here I gave in and returned my unit to Best Buy for a new one. I am in the process of downloading the software updates now. I was in the 8s and now I have been downloading what is probably the big 9.2 update. Issue is it has been about an hour and a half already and it is only at 60%. Just curious if this is typical or not? Also it isn't stuck at 60% it is just going up very gradually.

    Fingers crossed though in that the 1st unit had a bad HD. THe weather sucks here and the last thing I feel like doing is schlepping over to Best Buy again.
     
  2. flar

    flar Member

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    2
    Mar 17, 2003
    San...
    I'm alarmed too for the naive user, but this is how I solved the problem.

    I used to have the Comcast PVR for HD recording and when I got my Series 3 a year ago I kept the PVR for comparison (stability and PQ comparisons for instance). At that point I was being charged the 6.95 for the added outlet and 1.50 for the extra card - no problem. Sometime during the summer I decided to dump the PVR and returned it to the Comcast store. The rental on the PVR disappeared, but I was still being charged the extra outlet fee so I called up Comcast after realizing it after a couple of months.

    I got the same run-around wrt the extra outlet fee for the extra cable card. She kept saying that the extra cable card was in a second box and I kept correcting her and she kept not getting it. I even talked about my old setup - Tivo with 2 cable cards and the PVR == extra outlet fee and she agreed that that billing had been correct. I then pointed out that I had returned the PVR which she verified/agreed - and so the extra outlet fee should disappear, right? No, she waved her hands and started talking about the extra cable card and ... No luck.

    So, finally I said "Well if you can give me one of the multi-stream cards then I'll only need 1 card. (A lie) Do you have one of those?" Note that this was a lie because I have a Series 3 and it doesn't support the multi-stream cards, but I was betting that she didn't know that and it would point out that a pair of cable cards in the same box shouldn't be considered an extra outlet any more than a single box using a multi-stream card for 2 streams. As luck would have it, this complicated "multi-stream" mumbo-jumbo was too much for her little brain to handle and she was now over her head so she transferred me to "TiVo support" or something like that.

    The TiVo support desk picked up the phone and I said "I think there is a problem with my billing ..." and before I could get any more words out of my mouth she said "Oh my god, you're right - you have a TiVo Series 3 with 2 cable cards and they are charging you and extra outlet fee - that's an error" and she proceeded to fix my billing, credit me for prior overcharges, and then hook me up with a service special that reduced my monthly fees from about $100/month to around $60/month for 6 months. Hmmm... If the first support person had only had 2 neurons to rub together I probably would have never pursued the service special and Comcast would have continued to get an extra $40/month out of me for a few months - their loss for their own incompetence.

    Back on topic

    In any case, sorry for the minor diversion on this Series 3 rebooting thread. I'm currently experiencing this problem as well and I have only had the problem for a month or so. Given the wide-spread reports here, and given that they have started for most since the fall update, I'm not willing to accept HD failure as the "cause" - perhaps a contributing factor - but clearly there is software that can deal just fine with the hardware in these boxes (pre-9.2?) so there should be software in the future that could deal with it as well if TiVo cares to acknowledge and properly diagnose the problem. I'm crossing my fingers for the 9.3 update to solve it.

    If a HD swap does end up being the only viable way to stop the problems for the end consumers, then I guess maybe I'll look into upgrading to a TB internal like I've been toying with for a while, but I refuse to be complicit with using the HD as a scapegoat for this particular problem. My guess is that a bad sector may crop up on any hard drive over a year of constant use and so the HD swap will only be a temporary fix and if the software can't deal with that then they haven't done their job.

    For the record - Series 3 with original HD, purchased just about a year ago, lifetime transferred, no external hard disk...
     
  3. acc10x

    acc10x New Member

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    Mar 9, 2005
    seattle
    the lady i spoke with was actually very nice and i don't feel she was being malicious in what she was trying to charge me. someone else near her (another customer service rep, her boss, who knows) simply told her that she had to charge me and she was following orders and didn't know any better. still frustrating, but i did have some sympathy for her.

    still... it should be encumbant on them to know what they're charging for and why, and be able to answer "i think you're mistaken" questions regarding it. good to know, though, that asking for "tivo support" in the future might help things out.

    two days running new box and no HD tuner hiccups of any kind. it feels weird -- like some kinda "one day at a time" milestone.
     
  4. danitaz

    danitaz New Member

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    Oct 15, 2005
    Just as a followup - my TiVO has had a new hard drive since Sunday. I currently have 310GB on my 1TB drive, and not one reboot since the installation/upgrade of the new hard drive. HD programs are being recorded normally, and I'm happy :)

    Danita
     
  5. Foobarsky

    Foobarsky New Member

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    Oct 11, 2002
    New Jersey

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    Having struggled with reboots and freezes since getting my TivoHD, I've tried everything -- remove the external drive, attenuate the signal, etc.

    I was getting ready to swap out my unit for a new (or more likely refurb'd one) due to people suspecting the hard disk. But I've now run all of the kickstarts for disk diagnostics, and it's coming up clean.

    So for those that have replaced their tivos and had the problem go away, is there any way to figure out if it's a replaced hard disk or something else they've done to the hardware? Perhaps there was a bad manufacturing run...or they have slightly changed something to deal with bad cable signals?

    I guess I'm debating hanging onto my original box until the next software update (to see if that fixes things) or going through the return process....
     
  6. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,392
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    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    I wouldn't be convinced until I pulled the drive and ran SpinRite or the free Hitachi Fitness Test.
     
  7. Eastwood

    Eastwood New Member

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    Feb 15, 2008
    To add another data point I have a one year old series 3 that started freezing and rebooting unless the cable and antennae feeds were disconnected. Eventually it wouldn't boot at all.

    I replaced the hard drive and all is fairly well now. The replacement hard drive came with older software. Since it has upgraded to the latest release I have had only one mysterious reboot and have had no pixelation or freezing, and it is once again usable (even with two HD streams recording).
     
  8. mdobbins

    mdobbins Member

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    Apr 14, 2002
    Indianapolis...
    All three of us initially observed that the symptoms of freezing, rebooting, pixellation, macroblocking, etc. were mitigated when the cable and/or antenna feed was disconnected. For some of us (myself included), the problem appears to be solved by replacement of the internal hard drive. I have gone for more than 2 weeks with the replacement hard drive with nary a problem.

    I believe all three of us had TiVo Series 3 units that were out of warranty, so a replacement TiVo didn't make as much sense as the internal hard drive replacement and/or upgrade. For those who are experiencing the problems with newer TiVos, a replacement TiVo could be the better route. As others in this thread have posted (I wasn't one of them), a new eSATA cable was the solution.

    I still think that a strong possibility exists for a correlation between software version 9.2 and the appearance of the symptoms. I hope that I (and others) don't have to reconfirm the correlation due to the eventual rollout of new software (9.3 or whatever). For now, however, I am happy to be able to use my Series 3 to watch and record HD - especially now that the writer's strike is over and network shows in my Season Pass list will begin to appear again in the next couple of months :) .
     
  9. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,392
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    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    You're not implying software caused your harddrive to fail are you? :confused:
     
  10. danitaz

    danitaz New Member

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    Oct 15, 2005
    Yes, and I actually went almost a week without a reboot after I had stopped recording HD programs with the old drive. Then out of the blue a Season Pass that I hadn't disabled decided to try to record HD and poof - reboot, reboot, reboot. Not one reboot (now in a week) with the new hard drive, and many HD recordings.

    Agreed here too - if mine had been under warranty I would have pursued that first.

    Danita
     
  11. mdobbins

    mdobbins Member

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    Apr 14, 2002
    Indianapolis...
    Caused? No. Contributed? Yes.

    Mechanically, the old TiVo Series 3 hard drive still appears to be OK as determined by testing with Spinrite. Even though I haven't done so, I'm guessing that I could wipe the old drive, transfer the contents of the new drive to the old drive, and put the old drive back into use. I don't know enough about the software side to knowledgeably speculate, but I'm suggesting that something in the code may have caused one or more read/write operations to reach a point that resulted in the beginning of the observed symptoms.
     
  12. hamilde

    hamilde New Member

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    Sep 23, 2003
    Long time reader first time poster!

    I have a long history with Tivo boxes and have upgraded all of them with larger hard drives (1-S3, 2-TivoHD, and 4-S2’s). This is kind of a long story (sorry about that) but I thought it may have some scenarios that may give some people some ideas on what is going on with the reboot issue on the S3 and HD boxes.

    I got an S3 in fall of 06. Before it even had its cable cards installed, I replace the hard drive with a 500 GB WD drive. I used Winmfs to copy the drive over. Cable cards were installed, no problem and all has been well ever since. Shortly after the TivoHD came out I bought one. Before I even ran the guided setup, I replaced the hard drive with a WD 500 GB. Again the cable guys came and with a little bit of trouble getting the second CC installed no problems for a year or so. A couple of weeks ago I got a free TivoHD with Tivo Reward points and like usual I installed a larger hard drive, this time a 750. No cable cards yet but the box works just fine with an OTA and basic cable hook up. I decided that while I was at it, I would upgrade my original HD with a 750. All went well with the upgrade until the next morning when I woke up to find the box rebooting over and over. I put the old drive back in and all has been well for the last week. I wrote it off as the hard drive so I splurged and bought a 1TB Hitachi drive. Again, I used Winmfs, copied the old 500 over and installed it. I tried to make it reboot by having it record 2 HD programs while downloading from Unbox and transferring a program from my computer. It worked great from 3 in the afternoon until 12 AM when I went to bed. I woke up this morning to find it rebooting. I put the old drive back in and it is working just fine.

    The only difference with the box is that I installed a 1 Gbit hub to connect both boxes to my network. This shouldn’t be an issue since both boxes worked fine for two weeks. I don’t know now if there is a problem when you break the 500 GB barrier but the new box still works with the 750. I guess I will know more when I have the cable cards installed. If it starts to reboot then, I will try to put a 500 in it and see if it starts rebooting.
    I just thought this would provide some more data to help people start figuring out what is going on.
     
  13. danitaz

    danitaz New Member

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    Oct 15, 2005
    I certainly don't know enough about the Tivo's file system to speak with any authority. That said, I DO know that Reiser, for example, seems downright prone to barfing and telling you that the hard drive is toast, and then reformatting with EXT3 gives you another 3 years on the drive (especially with SuSE Pro/Open-SuSE - I've not had one problem yet with a server using Reiser, but then again I don't "tinker" with servers the way I do workstations). So, while I would expect that "software" would cause trouble with more than HD programming, I would never rule out such a possibility. My husband is an EE, and he talks about "software fatique" as an odd phenomenon of software over time. The problems seem to pop up randomly - some have had their tivos a long time (mine is from Nov 2006) and others are almost new. some had this problem long before the 9.2 update, some of us relatively "late" - mine really didn't start until sometime in January, and you would have thought if it was 9.2 causing it, it would have shown up sooner. I do know that the new drive has "fixed" it. Whether just backing up and reformatting the original drive would have done it, I don't know. Guess someone could test that idea.

    Danita
     
  14. hizhonor

    hizhonor Member

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    6
    Feb 3, 2002
    Ferguson, MO
    Replying to myself to keep things current ...

    Unfortunately, success with replacing the cable was just a two week tease. Audio/video freeze at power up of the TV is back, and rebooting is a foregone conclusion with just a few button pushes on the remote. Very frustrating.

    I'm fast running out of substitution suggestions in trying to isolate the problem. Next up, after moving all the content from my 500GB WD drive is to try the supported expansion HD solution.

    Steve
     
  15. JimWall

    JimWall Member

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    Oct 19, 2002
    Here is an update on my saga.
    I pulled both Hitachi 1 TB drives and did a test with spinrite. Both drives would freeze and I would have to reboot but then would freeze in different places. I then did the same with my two new 1 TB WD drives. Had same issues. I moved to a different PC and each drive tested perfected every time with spinrite. I think the difference is with the disk controller on the machines. Also the PC having issues was the one I did the upgrade with. So that could have caused problems with took a while to surface.
    I did try different esata cables and even used one with external and internal connectors bypassing the esata enclosures electronic. None made a difference on S3 or pcs.
    With the restarting hitachi drives from TIVO; I got a zone map checksum error running mfsinfo on the drives.
    At the same time I put the original drive back in the S3 and it worked perfectly after applying the software updates.
    On good PC I copied the 2 Hitachis from S3 to WD with no errors. I then put then into the TIVO and still had restarting problems. I removed the external and had it divorce. It works fine but a lost a lot of shows that had all or part on the B drive. It has been working perfectly since.
    Since the WD is cooler I rather have it as the internal anyway.
    With my problems on one of my PCs I wonder if the latest software update does have driver and disk controller issues with some 1 TB drives. S3 may had a hiccup with communicating with the external drive, didn't handle it properly, restarted and got some corruption. Over the past year I got several alerts from S3 about external being missing. I would shut S3 down, cycle the external, check cables and all would be fine for a long while.
    I plan on redeploying the hitachi drives in an external RAID 5 on my new TIVO HD.
     
  16. memphislim

    memphislim New Member

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    Dec 13, 2002
    Update: I now have had the 9x software for a week or so and no apparent reboots, no freezing, all apprears well on the new box Tivo sent me. So reboots with 8x, nothing at all with 9x. Keeping my fingers crossed. Only thing that has changed from a non-working to a working Tivo is the brand new box. Same cable cards, cables and 9x software as was using on 2 nonfunctional Tivos.
     
  17. builtfa

    builtfa New Member

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    Jul 21, 2004
    I have a new Series 3, and while it does not exhibit the known issue of resetting while it is on, it has reset to the Powering Up Screen after I turn the TV back on after a short period of inactivity.

    Situation:Turn off TV. Turn on TV. Tivo does not respoind. Black screen.
    In a few minutes, the Powering Up screen comes on.

    This has happened three times in the last two weeks.

    Does this signal possible hard drive failure?

    It is connected to my Hitachi 51F59 via HDMI.

    At first, I thought it was a defective HDMI cable, but it wouldn't go to the Powering Up screen if that were the case.

    When it is on the "black screen," however, the red hard drive lights are on, and the orange activity light comes on when I press the remote.

    TIVO Tech Support, especially the Alabama call center, is useless.

    I have read through this thread, and hesitate to just return the unit if it is NOT a hard drive problem.

    It seems to me the red lights would not be illuminated if the hard drive was failing but I could be wrong.

    I have had the Series 3 for about 3 weeks.
     
  18. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,392
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    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    I would stop using HDMI and switch to component and see what happens.
     
  19. builtfa

    builtfa New Member

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    Jul 21, 2004
    Thanks, Greg. I need to check it out. I did read something about HDMI being quirky with S3.

    I'm new to the S3, and have to check the component connections. I already have a Slingbox attached to it, and see if there are any component connections left.

    (Sorry if I seem too lazy to check, but I am still working (Work from home)).
     
  20. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    6,392
    2
    May 21, 2004
    Slower...
    That does complicate things. There is only one set of component outputs. But I would switch the Sling to composite (if you can) at least for awhile until you can see if it is the HDMI causing your reboots.
     

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