TiVo continuously reboots

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by ejcast, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. ejcast

    ejcast New Member

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    Mar 4, 2011
    My TiVo Premiere began to act oddly last night. In the middle of watching a program it locked up and both red recording LEDs lit up. Afterwards the machine sat on the menu giving a green circle and did not respond to the remote. This evening I removed power to the unit hoping it would reboot. That hope has been rewarded with the unit cycling at the "Welcome. Starting up." screen. This screen displays for a short time, the system flashes all of the LEDs and reboots. So far no end has been found.

    Is there anything I can do besides ship it to some service center?
     
  2. dtrucken

    dtrucken New Member

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Upper Midwest
    Mine started doing the exact same thing last night and this morning. I cannot get it out of the reboot cycle.
     
  3. ADG

    ADG Allan

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    Aug 19, 2003
    New Jersey, USA
  4. beejay

    beejay Member

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    Feb 3, 2001
    Richmond, IN
    The other thread address occasional, rather than continuous, rebooting.

    I think what is reported here is a much more serious issue.

    ejcast-
    Disconnect all cables to the TiVo and see if this continues. TiVo support hints that the occasional reboots may have to do with signal levels from cable or the network. That would eliminate that possibility.
     
  5. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    If your unit is still under warranty I would call TiVo support.

    Continuous rebooting can happen for a number of reasons - I would think the most common is a failed or failing hard drive.

    If you are out of warranty and do not want to call TiVo support you can try running kickstart 54 on it. You can find more info about Kickstarts here:


    You can also pull the hard drive and run Western Digital's Data Lifeguard Diagnostic on the drive to see if it is bad.

    Good Luck,
     
  6. ejcast

    ejcast New Member

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    Mar 4, 2011
    Thanks, I tried the kickstart with no luck. It doesn't come to the blinking green and amber lights but goes straight from all 4 LEDS to just the green LED and "Welcome! Starting up..."

    It now no longer cycles after I removed the expander and everything but the HDMI cable.

    I bought it off eBay so I will contact the seller to see what warranty options are at my disposal.

    I may be seeking help on a hard drive replacement/upgrade is my main concern.
     
  7. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    When you say expander you mean an external hard drive, correct?

    That, or the eSATA cable connecting it to the TiVo, is likely the problem, it boots, talks to the main drive, finds out there's supposed to be an external as well, can't find it, reboots and tries again, lather, rinse, repeat.

    Although you should take HDMI out of the equation during testing and troubleshooting, if not permanently.
     
  8. dtrucken

    dtrucken New Member

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Upper Midwest
    This is exactly what is happening to my premier! I can't do the kick-start because the lights never flicker back and forth. The green stays solid, the yellow flashes a bit, then the Welcome! screen comes on for a bit, then it goes black, all the lights flash and we start the cycle over again.

    I also have an external drive attached. If I disconnect it, I get the screen warning me that if I continue I'll lose all my recordings. (I'd like NOT to do that if possible)

    I pulled out the primary (320GB) drive, placed it in a Ubuntu machine and ran the SMART tests on it. No errors were reported.

    I've also tried removing the cablecard, the ethernet and the hdmi, but so far no change.

    Dunno what to do next. Should I try to run the SMART test on the external drive?
     
  9. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Chicagoland
    My intuition tells me you each have the 500 GB expander? For whatever reason, they don't seem to last as long as most hard discs. I cannot recollect any solution for those other than just biting the bullet and removing the device.

    While we have not heard of that happening with the 1TB models, any issues seem fewer and farther between.

    If these drives are done for, I recommend the internal upgrade- it is easy (if you are able to pull the drive and run a SMART test you can easily do the update) and is more reliable.
     
  10. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

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    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    You did try a different eSATA cable, right? I've never used an external drive on a TiVo (and don't intend to), but if you're really desperate maybe you could move the actual drive into a different enclosure to rule out a failure there. Can anyone who has used externals comment on whether that would have any chance of working?
     
  11. dtrucken

    dtrucken New Member

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Upper Midwest
    I have a 1TB expander. I just tried a different cable. No difference. I'll try the SMART test later, and finally divorce... New drives are horribly expensive right now, but I will go the internal route with a new one.

    I downloaded speedfan and ran the SMART Extended tests overnight. The external drive passed without any problems. So, I'm not sure where the problem might be now. Are there any codes or tests for the motherboard I can run? I've got the thing opened up, so, I'm willing to try almost anything now.

    Thanks again in advance!
     
  12. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Rochester NY
    If your drives are passing the SMART tests I recommend you order another eSata cable before you give up on the external drive. I tried 2 cables on mine and couldn't get it to work then I ordered one of the cables specifically recommended in a thread around here somewhere, that listed eSata cables people were finding that did work. Now it works fine and I would have sworn by looking at the cable that it was the same as the one I had: The cable I ordered was:


    Good Luck,
     
  13. dtrucken

    dtrucken New Member

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Upper Midwest
    Hmm, I have tried 2 different cables on the external drive. And the SMART tests also passed using them. Is there any explanation why a cable that works for SMART tests isn't good enough for other things? The first cable worked reliably for 18 months.

    I might believe the connector on the motherboard is dead, but I'm very skeptical about mysterious selective performance by copper wires depending on brand name printed on insulation and corresponding marketing campaigns.
     
  14. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    I had the same issues/concerns/suspicions you have. All I can tell you is I had an approved WD 1TB external connect to my Series 3 HD for over a year, near the end it would take 2-3 tries on a re-start for it to find the drive then it finally could not find it. I tried the cable from the approved WD 500 GB external drive that I had been using on my TiVo HD (it was working as of the day I removed the drive) and it also would not work.

    I found the thread that talk about what replacement eSata cables were known to work and ordered one. I worked instantly and I really can not tell the difference from the other 2 I had.

    For $5 I would give it a try. If you do post back with your results.

    Good Luck,
     
  15. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

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    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    Do you run the SMART test with the eSATA enclosure plugged into your computer? One possible explanation is that the eSATA connector on the TiVo is loose or out of spec somehow which causes an intermittent connection.
     
  16. dtrucken

    dtrucken New Member

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Upper Midwest
    Right. I used the eSATA cable from my DVR extender and plugged the end that used to go into Tivo into my laptop and ran the SMART tests.

    I could believe that the eSATA connector in Tivo is damaged or inferior or something. Dunno how to actually test that, except perhaps buying the specific one mentioned above and waiting several days for it to arrive.

    But, what I have now is a 320GB internal drive and a 1000GB external drive. Could I simply run the upgrade with JMFS from the 320 to the 1000? That way I'll have nearly the capacity I had before and NOT have any eSATA cables to haunt me. Will it work, or is this external drive somehow marked so that it won't work?

    Before doing this, it appears the Kickstart instructions for Premiere are different on the official tivo site than on this site. http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/308 I'll try once again to get kickstart working...
     
  17. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    5,093
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    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland
    If your plan is to crack open the case and use the bare drive, it should work. I believe you can verify that the drive is the same that others have purchased separately and used for this upgrade if you review the upgrade forum.
     
  18. dtrucken

    dtrucken New Member

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Upper Midwest
    Thanks.
    I tried the other instructions for kickstart and they didn't work either.
    So, I tried to divorce the drives, what an ordeal. No matter what I do I can't do it.
    I always end up back at the External Storage Missing screen. If I plug in the external drive, I'm back to the endless reboot loop.
    Now what do I do?

    Update 1: Took 320 GB drive out of Tivo, put in computer, started jmfs. It says no Tivo drives found. The drive is there but the MFS is somehow gone? Is this even possible?

    Update 2: My 320 GB drive says it has 4 MFS partitions, but no Header, the 1000 GB driver says it has 2 MFS partitions, and no Header. Is there a way to add a header or obtain an image?
     
  19. mvnuenen

    mvnuenen ~0.0~

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    Jun 1, 2007
    Durham, NC
    Last night my Premiere Xl worked fine, this morning I am having exactly the same issue: continues reboot and never passes the Welcome screen...
    My first inclination was also a failed hard disk. Nevertheless, seeing that multiple people are having the same issue, could it be software related? I don't know if I got a recent firmware update or not.
    I'm kind of stuck on what to do next: try to repair, call Tivo support or get a new Premiere....

    Update: I don't have an extender and was able to go straight into Kickstart 54 test. So far it passed the Initial state, Short test and Conveyance test. The Extended test is running now (still 3.5 hours to go...).
     
  20. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    6,939
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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    You didn't mention if you have an external hard drive attached or not.

    If not it is very likely your hard drive failed. Remember all hard drives are the same they work until they don't. Any individual drive can fail at any time, averages don't really mean much when you are talking about 1 specific hard drive.

    I would call TiVo Service, they can walk you through some testing. If they think it is a drive see what they will do for you.

    Good Luck,
     

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