Tivo HD fails to remove external drive or run kickstart

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Chrispap, May 27, 2018.

  1. Chrispap

    Chrispap New Member

    6
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    May 27, 2018

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    I searched and searched, but could not find anything similar to this. Here is the (long) story.

    DVR is Tivo HD with a myDVR 1TB external drive and the stock 160GB internal drive.

    Unit is stuck on a loop: boots to "Welcome" screen, moves to the "Almost there" screen and hits the green screen of death. After a few seconds (not three hours) the green screen goes away and the process repeats.

    Removing the external drive creates a different loop: Boots to Welcome and Almost there screens as before, but then gets to the screen where it detects the missing external drive. I go through the process of removing it, the unit shows a screen saying it is removing the drive, reboots and the whole process repeats (detects missing drive, removes it, reboots, detects missing drive, removes it, reboots ...). Clearly the unit fails to remove the external drive.

    I tried to run the kickstart routines; unit gets to the amber/green/red LEDs on, I push the KS code, LEDs go out immediately, unit reboots but never gets to the KS menu, it repeats one of the above cycles. This process is the same whether the external drive is connected or not.

    I have done the following:
    - Removed the internal hard drive, tested with WD tools, drive passed the quick and advanced tests.
    - Removed the cable card, no change.
    - Tested the little CR2032 motherboard battery, it measured 3.1V. Tried a new battery just n case, no change.
    - Visually inspected the power supply, capacitors seem fine, no sign of bulging or discoloration.
    - Inspected fan, works fine.
    - Used compressed air to clean the internals, unit is was reasonably clean, now looks new.
    - Cleaned eSATA cable ends and connections at the drive and the unit with contact cleaner, inserted/removed multiple times to clear any debris.

    Brief history: unit had the SO2 error not too long ago. I repeated the guided setup, which fixed the problem. Before this sad state, unit was stuck on a reboot cycle. I disconnected everything and reconnected the next day letting the unit and the drive cool down overnight and the unit came up fine. So there seem to have been a few warnings before now.

    I ran out of things to try. Any ideas? Try another power supply? Buy another hard drive?
    Or should we declare the motherboard dead?

    Chris.
     
  2. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

    3,039
    631
    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    You probably need to restore an image to a new hard drive. It possibly could be the power supply, too. Check the caps when you're in there.

    -KP
     
  3. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

    1,694
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    Nov 5, 2008
    I have never used an external but doesn't WinMFS have a tool for divorcing an external?
     
  4. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

    1,694
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    Nov 5, 2008
    Not sure if you have to have both drives connected to the computer to do a 2nd drive divorce with WinMFS. If you do you could get a Sata to Esata bracket, it just connects a computer Sata port to a bracket with Esata connector. Or you could pull the drive out of the Esata enclosure and hook it up directly to a Sata port? If none of that works just put an S3 image on a new drive, put it in the Tivo and run clear and delete everything? Doubt it's the MB though it could be, or power supply as mentioned...............
     
  5. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    7,555
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    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA

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    Sure sounds like a power supply problem which is typically replace the primary caps that fail for $10-$15 in parts (several pinned threads here on this).

    Tivo Series 3 - Bad capacitors in power supply

    Series 3 Tivo HD Capacitor List

    Scott
     
  6. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    3,146
    327
    Jun 22, 2008
    If you have a PC near the Tivo HD, you could open the cases of both devices, disconnect the power cable from the tivo drive and connect a power cable from the PC. If the Tivo power supply is failing, this might give some extra needed current to boot the Tivo and then you will know the Tivo power supply is failing.
     
  7. Chrispap

    Chrispap New Member

    6
    2
    May 27, 2018
    Thanks to everyone who replied!

    UPDATE: I just replaced the power supply with one from a working Tivo, but no change. So my problem is definitely not the power supply.

    That leaves the hard drive or (ugh!) the motherboard. I have a 2TB drive ready to go. I can use MFS Live to copy/expand my current 160GB drive, but I worry that the presence of the expander may complicate things. So I'd like to try putting a fresh image on the new drive. At this point I have given up saving the recordings, I'd be thrilled to have my Tivo back.

    Any idea where to get an image for the TCD652160 and instructions on how to install it? I have a PC with a CDROM that I can use.

    Thanks again for taking the time on a holiday weekend to help me out.

    Chris.
     
  8. Chrispap

    Chrispap New Member

    6
    2
    May 27, 2018
    UPDATE 2: I tried using the MFSLive tools to upgrade to the 2TB hard drive anyway, and it failed with the message "Volume header corrupt".

    Maybe we are getting somewhere! Next thing to try is copying the Tivo image on the new drive. Hopefully someone out there has it and can share with me.

    Chris.
     
  9. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    7,555
    1,107
    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Check your Inbox. I sent it to you earlier today.

    Scott
     
  10. Chrispap

    Chrispap New Member

    6
    2
    May 27, 2018
    Wonderful, thanks! I will report back with results.

    I need to find a windows PC to prepare the drive, all I have now is a friend's Windows laptop. Maybe one of those USB2SATA cables would work, we will see.

    Chris.
     
  11. Chrispap

    Chrispap New Member

    6
    2
    May 27, 2018
    Success!

    Folks thanks for all your help, especially Scott for sending me what I needed to prepare a new hard drive. Not only do I have a perfectly functioning Tivo, but the capacity is now ~200 HD hours!

    To recap, my Tivo HD was stuck in a GSOD loop, I could not run any of the kickstart routines, nor could I divorce the external hard drive. The big clue came when I tried to use the MFSLive tools to backup/restore to a bigger hard drive, and I got a "Volume header corrupt" message.

    The solution was to install a new Tivo image on a new hard drive. I repeated the guided setup and called the cable company to re-pair the cablecard with the Tivo. Everything went smoothly.

    The hardest problem for me was finding a Windows machine to attach a SATA drive. A friend did it for me, so I did not use any of the USB to SATA cables.

    Note: during the guided setup, I got a message that the cablecard was invalid and the Tivo would not display the cablecard menu. I rebooted the Tivo and the problem went away.

    Chris.
     
    HerronScott and kpeters59 like this.

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