Tivo Mini "Startup Loop of Death"

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by MannyE, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. dougdingle

    dougdingle HD Tech

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    Jul 4, 2007
    West Coast

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    False Hope Boot Loop is a great name for the symptom.

    My dead Mini that behaved as described would occasionally actually get all the way to 'Live video' from the Roamio, then spontaneously reboot and go to the red screen of death.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  2. Rustwood

    Rustwood New Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    I talked to customer support and the rep seemed to have never heard of the red screen message. I didn't even try to get into the green screen message. She kept wanting me to (a) try a different HDMI port on the TV (b) try a different HDMI cable, and (C) connect it to a different TV. I told her about the boot loop and she tried searching for that, but she still didn't seem to come up with anything relevant.

    I finally got her to agree that the box is dead and she transferred me to sales to get a "special deal". That turned out to be $25 dollars off of a new $199 Lux. I told her other people were getting replacements for $39 and she said yes, they are refurbished units. I said that would be fine, but then she did some checking and said I wasn't eligible because my mini is more than 5 years old (exactly 5 years and 1 month). I believe she said if it is less than 3 years old they will replace it with a new one, if it is less than 5 years you can get a refurbished unit, and if it is more than 5 years you can only get a courtesy discount (apparently $25).

    If anyone can suggest better language to use when reporting this problem, I may give it another try and see if I get a better answer. Maybe if I do it via chat I can send pics of the screens and it will be less painful.

    I am not inclined to spend $175. My brother has a spare mini so I am going to try to activate that for now. He eventually wants it back for another TV/room though, so the activation/transfer may be a hassle for us both. Our cable contract is up in a few months so I may have to think hard about cutting the cord and going to a pure streaming solution. I've been planning to do that anyway when our 5 year old Roamio box dies. Most of what we watch now is from streaming services, but I would miss skipping commercials with network/cable shows, news and sports.
     
  3. dougdingle

    dougdingle HD Tech

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    I have found that if you get a Customer Service rep who seems clueless, it's best to keep things really simple: "It turns on and immediately goes to a red screen that says "xxx" and if you unplug it and replug it, it does the same."

    Sometimes, as in your case, even that is too complex and they just keep reading the script they've been given, then hit you with what it will cost to fix your problem. I have in the past had the occasional success in just saying "Whoops, gotta go, the baby's crying!" and hang up and call right back before the first one has time to complete his/her database entry, and try again.

    It does sometimes seem to depend on who is answering the phone on the other end as to what sort of deal you can get. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
     
    Rustwood likes this.
  4. Rustwood

    Rustwood New Member

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    Sep 6, 2015
    That was my strategy, but no dice. Fortunately my brother has given me his extra mini and it is working fine. The call to transfer service was even super easy, thankfully. I'm still going to keep an eye out for a mini on Ebay, and I'll start exploring streaming services and hardware. I want to know more about the alternatives before my cable deal comes up for renewal.
     
  5. AllOutOfDucks

    AllOutOfDucks New Member

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    Mar 8, 2021

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    I experienced the A93 mini loop of death and contacted customer service. Seemed like more of a show than anything to me... let me put you on hold to research... let me see what I can offer you... oh, great news, $25 discount. At least they didn't waste my time going through the troubleshooting spiel and basically said they assumed I'd done it and was getting the same results. What irritates me is that I had debated upgrading because Netflix and prime kept buffering and instead had purchased a fire stick a couple months ago. First world problems.
     
  6. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Nov 25, 2003
    Related threads:
    Possible long-shot fix, >here<.

    FWIW, info on our failed Mini’s:
    Also:
     
  7. SullyND

    SullyND L: 31-14 (10-2) TCF Club

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    One of my Minis is shot. I run TE3. Is the issue with downgrading Minis to TE3 resolved? Does it matter which Mini I get?
     
  8. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Nov 25, 2003
    Yes, as of Feb 10th. The “dog chewing Internet cable” upgrade issue is mostly resolved, as well, with a few older Mini’s running TE3 still encountering upgrade problems, though with new symptoms.
     
  9. lhvetinari

    lhvetinari Ambassador to the City of Chicago TCF Club

    591
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    Jun 24, 2019
    Chicago
    I think the date window is moving forward, as one would expect. With years in active service (trouble-free), after a 2 month period of disuse, I now have a non-booting Mini. Date is 7-2015, TSN beginning is A93-0001-90D2. Booted to "Almost There" once, now gets stuck in a loop of TiVo-dude, black screen, TiVo-dude (first stage of startup, the old logo when he had a face).

    Anybody had luck on CSR roulette lately before I just grab a used one off Fleabay? It's for the kitchen, no big deal if it's out awhile, but I'm not putting a full-price new Vox in there.
     
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  10. lhvetinari

    lhvetinari Ambassador to the City of Chicago TCF Club

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    Chicago
    As expected, no luck. Rep indicates that only dead A95s are eligible for replacement - rep recommends I buy a new Mini at full-cost, or go to Weaknees to get the existing one repaired (not really sure what they'd do with this).

    Looks like it's a strike-out.

    Update: I'm going to see if my Comcast franchise is still a free-cablecard zone (used to be, one of the weird Chicago things) - if it is, I'll just put my old Premiere in the guest room and stick that Mini in the kitchen. Otherwise, I'll grab a cheap one off the 'Bay.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  11. dougdingle

    dougdingle HD Tech

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    Jul 4, 2007
    West Coast
    Looks like I may have been one of the last people to luck out and get replacement refurb Mini Voxes (without remotes) for two dead A93's for $39 each. I did not have to return the Minis.

    I had a short conversation here with some person who thought I should be wearing a tinfoil hat for suggesting that TiVo is killing off older Roamios and Minis to get people to buy new gear. He was actually quite rude about it.

    For the record, I believe there's a decent chance that is exactly what is happening. Way too many people posting here with identical "My Mini is dead" posts for it to be just some big coincidence.

    In any case, after about 20 years TiVo is reaching end of life for me as a concept. When the Roamio dies, I'm done with TiVo and cable.
     
  12. lhvetinari

    lhvetinari Ambassador to the City of Chicago TCF Club

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    Ehh, I don't know about intentional death, but I fully believe there's some physical issue in them (a bad cap somewhere, clock chip malfunction, flash memory controller, etc) that's causing it. Given enough analysis I feel like an issue could be identified like the cap-plague era of S3s, but due in part to the lessening use of TiVos as a whole, and the cheapness of Minis compared to full-boxes with Lifetime, I'm not sure anyone would bother spending the time required to identify the issue and possible solution.
     
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  13. dougdingle

    dougdingle HD Tech

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    Nonetheless, I find it interesting that many are dying right around the same time, with most of them being around five years old.

    It went from the relatively rare event to quite a few posts here about it.

    And since the vast majority of TiVo hardware owners don't know this forum exists, you have to wonder how many Minis have just gone belly up and the person moved on to something else, or bought one off ebay.
     
  14. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    So under that logic, the bad caps that Tivo had in the HDs were all a nefarious plot too, along with all the other electronics that died in the same period for same reason?

    C'mon man, sh!t happens. I've posted here before that I have 3 A92 Minis and all still work fine.
     
  15. CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

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    Just checked a Mini v2 that has been running TE4 (only used it for testing a few years ago and left it on TE4). It's stuck on the old TiVo guy boot loop, never gets past the TiVo guy before rebooting again.

    TSN - A93-0001-9086-xxxx - Aug 12, 2015
     
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  16. lhvetinari

    lhvetinari Ambassador to the City of Chicago TCF Club

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    Interesting, sounds like mine - dead after not being used for awhile. And you’ve got the newest dead one so far. Doesn’t inspire confidence.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. Mjrtarget

    Mjrtarget New Member

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    Jan 1, 2016
    Toms River, NJ
    Add another Mini to the list. Mine is stuck at the Tivo logo. I called support and they wanted me to buy a new one for around 175.00. No way am I spending 175.00 on a Tivo vox. In case someone cares. Mine is a A93-0011-90CA-**** 03/19/2016. Not sure what I am going to do at this point.
     
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  18. lhvetinari

    lhvetinari Ambassador to the City of Chicago TCF Club

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    I'd complain to another rep or two. Not only is yours the newest of the bunch to come down with the affliction, but yours is only a month outside the "5 year window" other reps have mentioned. If you have the time or desire, I'd call and clang some skulls, worst that happens is they continue to tell you no.
     
  19. eric_mcgovern

    eric_mcgovern Member

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    Jan 8, 2002
    This just happened to mine as well. I purchased a few Minis used (A93) the one that just reboots was activated 05/01/2015. "TiVo Guy" appears for a few seconds, then reboots. When I turned on the TV it was doing it - not sure how long as it is a tv I don't use much. Total bummer because I have had the TiVO Mini for less than 2 months. The other one I have (activated 03/25/2015) is still working perfect.
     
  20. dougdingle

    dougdingle HD Tech

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    Jul 4, 2007
    West Coast
    Lot of that going around. I've had two fail, and was 'lucky' enough to get in on the tail end of "We'll sell you a refurbished newer MiniVox for $39," something they no longer offer.

    My more than two decades long love affair with TiVo is slowly but surely ending. I have no intention of replacing anything else that fails in my system (Roamio Pro, two Minis, two MiniVoxs). Streaming has gotten just too good and too convenient. I will miss having offline content when the Internet goes out, but then life is filled with compromise.
     

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