TiVo HD + 512 WD expander slowing down randomly...any ideas?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Doug43232, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Doug43232

    Doug43232 New Member

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    Sep 6, 2005
    Columbus, Ohio

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    Two mornings ago, when I was getting ready to go to work, I noticed a more-prominent-than-normal hard drive reading/writing noise coming from our TiVo HD. It sounded like regular hard drive read/write noise, though, so I figured that an upgrade of some sort had been downloaded overnight and was installing itself (or something along those lines) and went on to work.

    That night, when we turned on the TV, we were greeted with our TVs blue screen and a "No Signal Found" message. This hasn't happened all that often, but when it has, it has always been fixed with a hard reboot of the TiVo and the WD Expander (by pulling the power cord out of both, waiting 30 seconds, plugging the power back into the WD Expander, waiting another 30 seconds, and plugging the power back into the TiVo).

    So, I did this, and after the interminably long bootup time of the TiVo, the intro animation started playing and I figured it was all working.

    But then, partway through the animation, the video and audio stuttered and skipped and froze a little bit...but it eventually got through it. However, once I was at the GUI, the background animation was noticeably jerky (and even froze for 10-20 seconds a couple times) and when we tried to bring up the Now Playing list, we got a blank screen.

    Fearing the worst (hard drive crash), I unplugged everything, waited a bit, and plugged it back in. Same thing...seemingly fine, but became jerky/slow/frozen partway through the intro animation.

    So then I unplugged everything and we had dinner, gave the kids baths, put them to bed, etc. Basically left it unplugged for about three hours.

    Then, when all that was done, I plugged everything back in and waited (with my fingers crossed) for the bootup to finish.

    It finished, and everything was fine. Animation was smooth, GUI worked as expected, Now Playing list came up fast, etc.

    I was puzzled, but figured it was just a random "blip" or something and we watched some recorded shows and called it a night.

    Fast-forward to this evening, and the same thing (almost) happened...

    Turned on the TV. Instead of seeing our TV's blue screen and error message, we saw the Now Playing list, but it was empty again and the GUI background animations were choppy/frozen.

    So, I did the hard reboot thing again, and the same thing happened as last night...it booted, got partway through the intro animation, and then became jerky/slow/frozen. After it eventually made it to the GUI, it was pretty much unresponsive (most likely just severely delayed due to whatever was slowing it down) to all remote commands and whatnot.

    So, I unplugged everything and we did the same dinner/baths/bed routine.

    After that, I plugged everything back in and it booted up fine and is currently working perfectly as I type this.

    So I'm back to being puzzled. At first it seemed like a hard drive problem, but now it's seeming more like a heat-related problem?

    At any rate, was there an update a few days ago that might have introduced this (this particular set of symptoms hasn't happened before)? Does anyone have any ideas about what might be going on?

    I want to narrow down the possibilities a little bit on this, because I'm hesitant to purchase a hard drive replacement only to have it turn out to be something else. Basically, I need to know whether it would be better for me to replace the drive, get a new TiVo, or what.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    My first idea is set up the free version of TiVo desktop on a computer with adequate hard drive space on the same network as your TiVo and copy the shows you want to save while there's still some life left in it.

    Then you can copy them to any other TiVo on your account.
     
  3. Doug43232

    Doug43232 New Member

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    Sep 6, 2005
    Columbus, Ohio
    The issue is that the bulk of our recordings show up in TiVo Desktop that they can't be transferred (darn Time Warner).

    Since I made that posting last evening, there has been a development: after getting the kids to bed and coming back down expecting to be able to watch TV, we were greeted by jerky/slow/frozen GUI animations and little-to-no remote responsiveness.

    So, I unplugged the TiVo and the DVR expander and left them unplugged overnight. Later this morning, I intend to plug them back in and see if anything works.

    Regardless, going through this every day is increasingly become a major issue, especially since it doesn't always work the same way (or for as long) after going through that.

    Our TiVo is over three years old, so we're also starting to talk about other options, such as unmarrying the external drive (we know we'll lose our recordings, but it's not like we can access them reliably at this point anyway) and seeing if that was the culprit. If so, then we'll look into expanding the internal drive.

    I'm thinking a support call to TiVo is in order first, though...
     
  4. Apr 1, 2011 #4 of 10
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    Doug43232: I just pulled the 500GB expander off my TiVo HD and did a internal hard drive upgrade (went to 2TB). The process was fairly painless and I would call it an easy upgrade. I have a thread about it with links to the instructions I used.

    Good Luck,
     
  5. Apr 5, 2011 #5 of 10
    rspad53

    rspad53 New Member

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    Apr 29, 2008

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    Can i get the link for the drive swap?
    i did that for my old sony tivo.
    I am having similar problems and have a wd 500 expander.
    is there a specific wd drive for the upgrade?
    i have a tivo hd, tcd652160
    Thanks, Rich
     
  6. Apr 6, 2011 #6 of 10
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    6,957
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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
  7. rspad53

    rspad53 New Member

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    Apr 29, 2008
    i hastily picked a seagate,st31000322cs(1tb),
    it was stated as a 7 on the noise list.
    Hooked up on internal sata, I used winmfs in windows7 to copy/create the tivo image from my original tivo 160hd and all went smooth.
    Except the noise level, even from 9 feet was very noticable.

    So i ordered a wd15EVDS, nov 7 2010 mfg date, from newegg and to confirm some posts the packing was excellent, the oem drive was in
    bubble wrap, placed snugly in a small box and then packed with paper in a larger box.

    I now burned a jmfs disk. It would not recognize the drives on my secondary Marvel controller(mb d975xbx2), so i had to put them in the primary.
    I now used jmfs to copy the winmfs seagate to the new wd.
    The copy took 7.5 hours, i expanded and then checked for aam value, which was already set at 128.
    i did NOT do anything with intelipower. And did NOT supersize with jmfs but did run winmfs against drive which
    showed already supersized(as stated in thread).
    The new wd worked perfectly and no soft reboot problems. shows 237hd hours. this was so easy i dont know why i didnt do it sooner.
    Is it my imagination or is it booting quicker than it used to with the expander?
    thank you to Comer and to atmuscarella for giving me the link.
     
  8. fpp777

    fpp777 Member

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    Jan 17, 2008
    A bit off topic, but if you add an external drive to a tivo, do you lose what is already on the internal as far as recordings go?
     
  9. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    6,957
    618
    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    Adding a TiVo supported Western Digital External drive does not affect the recordings on the Internal drive.

    Good Luck,
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,595
    62
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Yeah, it's taking it back off that buggers everything.:mad:
     

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