TiVo Premiere Won't Start Up

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by epstewart, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    Mar 1, 2003
    My TiVo Premiere won't start up. When it is plugged in, the green LED comes on, the fan starts, and it puts a "Welcome! Starting Up ... " screen on the TV. After a while the amber LED flashes several times, and then stops flashing. Then the TV screen goes dark and the TV indicates it is searching for a signal. The fan in the TiVo then stops ... and that's it. Nothing further happens. The green LED, however, remains lit.

    This is after the Premiere was disconnected for a week or so pending repairs to and repainting of a water-damaged wall in my living room.

    When we were reassembling the TV and associated entertainment gear, the external My DVR Expander got dropped. I have tried powering on the Premiere with it disconnected, but the results are the same.

    I suspect the internal drive may have gone bad. The power supply seems to be OK, as is the fan.

    Then again, I find it strange that a week or so of not being powered on would trigger a hard drive failure the next time the Premiere is plugged in???

    Can anyone offer any suggestions? They will be much appreciated ...

    Edit: My real question is, how can I be sure it's the hard drive without actually replacing the drive?
     
  2. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't exactly sound like a normal hard drive failure. When I have had drives fail they end up in a reboot loop or locked on a starting up screen. I would call TiVo support and have them go through it with you.

    Good Luck,
     
  3. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    How is your TiVo connected to your TV? Can you try a different cable (i.e., switch from HDMI to component) to see if it's a cable/port/video format issue?
     
  4. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    Thanks for the advice, atmuscarella. I'll call TiVo support when I get a chance and see what they have to say.
     
  5. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    windracer,

    Good idea! I'll try switching from HDMI to component and see if it makes a difference ...
     
  6. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    Well, there was still the same problem with component cabling. So I told TiVo's online chat support about it, and was urged to call the TiVo support telephone number and ask about an exchange of my Premiere. I got no real confirmation that the problem was actually the hard drive, but for $149 plus local tax, TiVo will swap a refurbished Premiere for mine, with free shipping in both directions. With "advance exchange," I'll receive the replacement Premiere and then use the carton to ship mine back to TiVo. The refurbished replacement will inherit my Lifetime Service on the original Premiere, and the usual extra charge to do that is being waived, owing to the fact that my unit is less than two years old.
     
  7. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    That's very generous of them to offer to sell you a $80 refurb'd Premiere for only $149.
     
  8. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    Looking at it that way, I'd say I'm getting Lifetime Service on the refurb'd Premiere for $69!

    My real complaint is that my original Premiere lasted but 21 months.

    I have two TiVo HD units, two and three years old respectively. Both failed to live past their second birthdays, losing the ability to boot due to hard drive or power supply issues, it's hard to be sure which. I haven't tried fixing/exchanging those and probably never will.

    I have a five year old Series 3 HD unit that is still working fine.

    I now rely mainly on a Verizon FiOS DVR box, made by Cisco, that has multi-room capability when used with two companion STBs from Verizon.
     
  9. shamilian

    shamilian Member

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    NJ
    I would disconnect everything from usb and ethernet and cablecard.
    Use the component cables and boot.

    If the unit does not come up (give it a few hours) and give you the option of booting without myDVR then reboot and use kickstart. I think it takes some work to get the Tivo to realize the myDVR is gone and not coming back. (also I have read that the screen is often blank while Tivo tries to fix the disk)
     
  10. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    I already have my replacement Premiere on the way. Also, the whole point is that I cannot boot my unit in the first place. From what I know about kickstart, you have to begin with a TiVo that has successfully booted and that allows you to go to TiVo Central in order to initiate the kickstart.
     
  11. shamilian

    shamilian Member

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    NJ
    No.

    Kickstart is before the boot.
     
  12. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    OK, then how do I do the kickstart?
     
  13. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    Here's a link to kickstart instructions for each platform:

    http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php


     
  14. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    What you should do is go online and find a youtube video of how to take apart the external's enclosure, then remove the drive inside and hook it directly to a computer and run the manufacturer's diagnostics on it.

    If it passes, re-assemble and connect the enclosure to the computer, then boot the computer with the MFS Live cd v1.4 to see if it detects the enclosure. (DO NOT let it boot into Windows) Use Shift + Page Up to go back up the boot messages to see if it got detected and if that doesn't work use Ctrl + Page Up.

    Unless it boots, gets to the prompt, and then detects the enclosure the way it does with USB thumb drives.

    If so, hit enter once , then type

    poweroff

    Then, hook it up to the TiVo and boot the TiVo, see it boots with the external attached.
     
  15. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    I tried kickstart with no success. I got to where I pressed Pause and got the blue LED lit on my Premiere, and then I entered code 54 to test my hard drive.

    The first time I did that, after failing to put anything on the screen for several minutes, I got a warning about my external storage not being attached. I said to forget the external storage, and it said that would involve a lengthy wait (the screen saying so kept coming and going) and then a reboot. Eventually, the reboot came, but the Premiere still couldn't get past the initial welcome screen.

    I then powered down and up again and re-attempted kickstart code 54, but I never saw the menu for the kickstart test appear on my screen. The TV kept saying there was no signal instead. No menu ever appeared, after several minutes.. So I gave up.

    Could it be that the hard drive is just not accessible, for some reason? Could the reason be a faulty power supply?
     
  16. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    Thanks, but I have a refurbished Premiere en route to my house from the folks at TiVo, a deal that was predicated on my having never opened the original Premiere.
     
  17. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    semi-coastal NC
    I never said a word about opening up the TiVo, just the external drive.

    That's what you dropped, so that's what's suspect.

    Unless you dropped the TiVo as well.

    Was the external plugged into the TiVo when it was dropped? Could the eSATA jack on the TiVo have been subjected to stresses and strains for which it was not designed?
     
  18. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    Whoops, I misunderstood you ... so sorry about that!

    I have only Mac computers, not Windows ... not sure if I can comply. I have BlackX (TM) things that let me attach external SATA drives, if that helps. But I have no clue how to run mfr. diagnostics on the expander drive???

    Also, MFS Live CD 1.4 and I are total strangers???

    I could run Disk Utility (std. Mac software) ...

    Thanks for yr. patience & help ...
     
  19. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if the MFS Live cd will boot an Intel Mac or not, and I don't know if the bootable cd version of the WD diagnostic software will, either.

    You can't use Windows to look at a TiVo drive without screwing it up, I don't know if that's true of Macs or not, although TiVo drives use the old Apple Partition Map.

    The reason to open the external's enclosure is to test the drive separately from the electronics in the enclosure.

    The way to proceed would be to test the bare drive, and, if it passes, hook it back up to the enclosure electronics and hook that up to a computer and test the combination of the drive and the enclosure electronics, and if that passes, then hook it to the TiVo and see if the TiVo will boot and find it.

    Is there any possibility that when the external was dropped it put any strain on the TiVo's eSATA jack?
     
  20. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    Mar 1, 2003
    I can't see how to open the My DVR Expander enclosure ... no obvious screws. Any tips?

    The connector is eSATA, which I have no port for on either Mac.

    I expect my replacement Premiere to arrive today. I'll try the Expander with it PDQ. If it works, problem solved. If not, I can be fairly sure the fall to the floor was fatal.

    As for whether any hypothetical problem is the drive, the enclosure electronics, or the connector ... I'm not sure what I'd do to fix said problem, even if I could isolate it ...

    Anyway, thanks for your input ...
     

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