Suggestions re: dead Series 3 w/ Lifetime

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dig_duggler, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I have a Series 3 Tivo with lifetime, stuck at the 'Welcome Powering Up' screen and I can't get to the kickstart menu (the lights never go off), so it might not be the drive. I hate my cable company (cablecard nightmare stories) and just use analog and OTA.

    I have two Series 2's in other rooms on MSD my wife uses. I have an older component (1080i) tv. I think my options are:

    1). Call Tivo and see what they will do. Another thread indicates I might get offered a Premiere and transfered lifetime for $270 ish...

    2). Keep the Series 2's (MSD dies if s3 doesn't call home?) and just get a box to convert digital OTA to analog (ugh). Can't find any QAM tuners that do component out currently. Use that + basic. No time shifting.

    3). Cut the cord?? Just use basic...

    4). Get a new tv, maybe a mac mini and use eye tv. $$$$

    5). Sigh. Get a cable co dvr...

    6). Something else...

    What would you do?
  2. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    Ummm Fix it? It is normally not too hard to figure out if it is the hard disc or the power supply. You may also look to a third party to fix it (weaknees offers this).

    Sell it? It does not sound like a MB issue, so someone may buy it to repair it. Use the funds for that new Elite/XL4.
  3. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    Repair or have someone repair any bad capacitors you might find in the power supply.
    If none (doubtful on an S3 at this point) I'd replace the drive.
  4. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    Are you saying that the S3 was your first box and that the S2 boxes got MSD based on the S3? Are the S2 boxes lifetimed? If so, then it doesn't matter what you do with the S3. If you don't want to try figuring out the problem (usually power supply or hard drive), then a call to Tivo wouldn't hurt. I've heard some cases where they will sell you a refurb box and transfer your lifetime for a nominal fee.
  5. dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    S3 was my lifetime - S2's used the MSD off of that.

    Unfortunately I think where I'm ending up - since I didn't use any cable companies specials in years (and they can't get the cablecards working on my S3) - I qualify for a package that gives me a (surely crummy) HD DVR, an expanded channel package (from standard to digital which goes from 70 channels to 250+) and an internet upgrade (from 7Mbs down/512 up to 40 Mbs(!!) down/4 Mb up) for $10 more a month than I'm paying now. Price good for 2 years, no contract. In the interim I can try to fix the S3 and if I want, try using cable cards again or just sell it (which will complicate my MSD issue). I love my Tivo, and maybe this cable company dvr will send me screaming back. No contract, so I don't see the downside in trying and it gives me time to narrow down hard drive or power supply. I expect the interface to be worse, but in my situation I will get more digital channels. Additionally this is Brighthouse, and those with cable cards with them say they restrict what you can do incredibly from the threads here.
  6. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Stuck at the welcome screen makes diagnosis more difficult.
    It could be that the hard drive went bad and is not detectable by the system,
    the power supply is bad and it's not getting enough power to the hard drive,
    both (power supply went bad and took the hard drive with it).

    I guess the question is, how skilled are you at attempting to repair this Tivo yourself?

    The first thing to do after you unplug and open up the Tivo is to visually inspect the power supply, specifically the capacitors.
    If you see any bulging capacitors, it is best to correct that problem before proceeding.

    If the power supply looks okay and you have a spare hard drive lying aroung with sufficient size, that you KNOW works, you could get a S3 software image (model specific) from the image thread and use WinMFS to restore that image to your spare hard drive.
    If the Tivo boots up, all that will be needed is a clear and delete everything and you'll be good to go.
    If not, then it's back to suspecting the power supply. Further diagnosis may require you to power up the Tivo while it is open.
    Really at this point, all you can do is check the voltages of the different outputs on the power supply (you'll need a voltmeter with small leads). If they aren't up to specs, replace the power supply.
  7. dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Thanks for the help! The dual potential problem scared me off a bit. I feel fine swapping a drive, but power supplies... dunno. I might try to fix it on my own in spare time, or just sell a defective lifetimed one on ebay ....
  8. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    You can get refurbished power supplies from Weaknees or certain sellers on e-bay. Basically just a board swap.
    You can also get hard drives pre-loaded with the Tivo software so all you have to do is swap that out.
    Worst case scenario, it's even possible to transplant the Tivo's crypto chip onto the motherboard of another Tivo.
    Just depends on how much you care about keeping that Tivo's lifetime subscription alive and how much you have to spend.
  9. bmgoodman

    bmgoodman Member

    Dec 20, 2000
    I was also leery of doing a power supply swap, but it turns out it was easy, at least in the S2 Tivos.
  10. rainbow

    rainbow Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Re the power supply switch on the OLED S3-that whole board with the capacitors, etc. just screws off. If you have one from another OLED s3, just switch them. I did that w/mine-but it did not solve my problem.

    Let me know if you want to sell yours. If the price is right, I might be interested.
  11. Leon WIlkinson

    Leon WIlkinson TiVo Gone Wild

    Feb 13, 2000
    TiVo Town
    This... Much easier then I thought.
  12. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Yeah, 4 screws and a motherboard plug is about as easy as it gets, and better than replacing the hard drive. Same with the fan.
  13. dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Year later update - I finally got some time for this. Found a never used S3 on craigslist for $50 (it had been sitting in someone's garage for years), plugged it in, updated the software (after finally figuring out v 8.X didn't support WPA2 encryption) and made sure it all worked. Swapped the drive into the lifetime , had to do a Clear and Delete everything (got a weird hardware failure need to reboot message on the Tivo, a quick search of this forums led to that solution) and I'm back up and running. Keeping the unused S3 for power supply and parts (and I already took it's unscratched hood). So for anyone with these problem descriptions - at least in my case it was the hard drive.
  14. dstoffa

    dstoffa Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    New York, NY

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