TiVo Series 3 acting up

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by sriggins, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Jan 7, 2012 #1 of 16
    sriggins

    sriggins New Member

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    Searched the forums and did not quite see anything exactly like my issues. For the last month, the TiVO has been stuttering from time to time, pixelated video, or stalling. Sometimes jumping back and replaying the video fixes it, so we don't think it is a cable signal issue.

    The menus can become slow, and one time it rebooted itself. So I opened the case and checked out the caps, and they SEEM ok. I'll attach some photos I took with my iPhone 4S.

    I plugged it all back in, tightened all cables, and it is still doing it. We have an external 500Gb HDD as well as the internal, but I do not know how to run any sort of disk utility on the drives.

    I also run the RF through a Motorola NIM100. This has been working fine for years.

    Could I still have bad caps? How would I know? Bad hard drive? How would I test both of them? Cable issues? Here are the values for ESPN while the video image was stuck:


    Modulation: QAM 256
    Signal Strength: 100
    SNR: 36/37 dB
    RS Corrected: 0
    RS Uncorrected: 0

    Thanks!

    Steve
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Jan 7, 2012 #2 of 16
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    It could be your hard drive that's starting to go south. I'd recommend downloading a copy of the drive manufacturer's diagnostic software and running a diagnostic on the drive to make sure there aren't any problems. If the drive is developing bad clusters then I highly recommend using a program called SpinRite to repair the surface defects on the platter (it's a bit pricey, but torrents are your friend;)). It exercises the platter by repeatedly writing ones and zeroes to the same segments to rejuvenate the magnetic material. I've been able to recover Tivo drives that suffered the green screen of death using SpinRite.
     
  3. Jan 7, 2012 #3 of 16
    lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

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    Does sound like bad drive symptoms. The big issue here is that the internal and external drives are "married" so if either one goes bad you lose everything. If possible, transfer your recordings to your PC and then run drive tests. If you end up having to replace a drive, I suggest that you go with a single internal drive.
     
  4. Jan 7, 2012 #4 of 16
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    John's...
    You could try running kickstart 54. That is the builtin-in Tivo Hard Drive test. You might also consider cleaning up your "Recently Deleted" folder.
     
  5. Jan 7, 2012 #5 of 16
    sriggins

    sriggins New Member

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    Thanks! Running the kickstart 54 now. My external is not a WD My Expander, just a 500gb drive I bought in an normal eSata external case (nothing else was avail when I did this) so we'll see.

    The "primary" drive seems to be taking a lot longer than the "secondary" so does that mean the primary is my external?

    I guess not, the extended tests could not be run on the secondary as it says "NoSupport"

    It passed the Conveyance, Short test and initial state tests.

    Primary passed Conveyance, now has a nice 90 min run on extended.

    Is there any way to test my external drive externally?
     
  6. Jan 7, 2012 #6 of 16
    sriggins

    sriggins New Member

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    I am ok with replacing the drive, I suppose. I have a bootcamped Mac Pro I could use for this, but it is really something I don't have the time for right now, between work and other stuff going on.

    If the primary passes, I suppose I need to run some tests on my external secondary somehow. If both those pass, then I guess I just assume one of the two is bad and replace them?

    The real pain will be losing our season passes :) The actual shows, well, we can live, it is just TV.
     
  7. Jan 7, 2012 #7 of 16
    lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

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    If your Tivo is registered at Tivo.com then you could temporarily transfer your season passes to another Tivo while you get this one fixed. I don't think that Tivo.com maintains your season pass list if the box goes offline but I haven't tried it.
     
  8. Jan 7, 2012 #8 of 16
    sriggins

    sriggins New Member

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    Yeah, I do not have another TiVo. Sadly, with the tivo dying, this is forcing to to take another look at DirecTV. They now have AMC-HD, real MRV, and I guess we can even stream Trailblazer Games over comcast internet (damn comcast, won't work with DirecTV) Anyway, their new HR34 dvr with 5 tuners is looking really appealing, and we've wanted a second TV in the bedroom.

    I was hoping for an easy, obvious fix to this. Sadly work is piling on, and I have several finals due, so I'm going to take the path of least resistance.

    The test on the primary is still running and I REALLY APPRECIATE all of your help. If that passes, I suppose I'll yank my external drive out after my final paper is written, and see if I can run some tests on it under bootcamp. Luckily it is super easy to swap drives in my Mac Pro's case. Hmm, I have an external FW/USB Dock also, can I run MFG tests via that, or does the drive need to be connected directly to SATA?

    Thanks again! I hope I can rescue this thing, but it sure getting annoying.
     
  9. Jan 7, 2012 #9 of 16
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    The caps look okay (that's a probability that the power supply is okay, not an absolute guarantee).

    Start with KS 54 and see what you get.
     
  10. sriggins

    sriggins New Member

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    Thanks for all of your help! The test is still progressing, but after review and discussions with my wife, we have decided to switch to DirectTV. This could be good, or bad :) We got the new HR34 with 5 tuners, and MRV installation.

    I'll continue to run these tests, and test the external drive independently (because it could become a computer backup drive if it checks out) and will report back here with all of the results (to try and aid anyone finding this in the future)

    For $100 I was able to get the HR34,and we're saving soooo much over xfinity (and no TiVo fees, we were paying yearly, and due in april) that the two year experiment is worth it. If it sucks, well, my bad, learn my lesson, and will check out TiVos again in 2 years.

    In the meantime, we'll use this TiVo to watch our recorded stuff until it is empty, or dies. I hope the former.

    Thank you all again. Really love my TiVo. Are people interested in a comparison between the S3 and the HR34? I don't have a premium, so I cannot speak to that model. if so, I'll report back the entire process. If not, I'll go my merry way :)
     
  11. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    The DTV HR34 looks pretty sweet, but I had to think "so THAT'S why it took so long for the HD DirecTivo to be released".
    Direct TV probably delayed development on the DTV Tivo so they could work on the HR34. Sleazy bastards. :p
     
  12. sriggins

    sriggins New Member

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    Feb 21, 2005
    Yeah now I get to figure out how the DECA and other stuff will work with my existing cabling :) Being able to record 5 shows is exactly what we were looking for. We just lucked out, because I had no idea this DVR existed until today. I guess I have the TiVo to thank for that.
     
  13. sriggins

    sriggins New Member

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    Feb 21, 2005
    It's been a week or so and the TiVo is acting worse and rebooting more.

    On a lark, I put tuner 2 on SD channel while tuner 1 was recording HD. The recording went flawless, and no skipping on either channel.

    So we moved all season passes to SD while we wait for DirecTV in a week or so.

    So the question is: Could a bad cable card cause this stuttering/pixelation/slow UI/reboots?

    Or could it simply be that driving 1 HD channel is less work for the DVR to a failing PS has to work less and is less likely to fail?

    I'm mainly asking because I'd like to collect data for those who come across this issue after me. And I'd like to keep the TiVO in workable condition if I can.
     
  14. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

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    It sounds like something just can't keep up with all the data you're moving. That could be a result of hard drive errors, but you might see something similar if one of your hard drives is just not up to handling multiple streams of HD video. What models of hard drives are they, and how much onboard cache do they have? Power supply issues can also make hard drives act flaky, especially under high loads.
     
  15. sriggins

    sriggins New Member

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    Feb 21, 2005
    The internal drive is stock, the external is a Seagate baracuda I bought years ago, has been fine. I think I am back to it being a power supply issue. I was hoping it was a single bad cap that was clearly bad, but I cannot see any visual indicators on the caps that one is bad. Will keep an eye on it, thanks!
     
  16. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Is this an OLED S3? If not (if it's a TivoHD), you can use jmfs, you don't need Windows at all.. (heck, even with a S3, you don't need Windows, the upgrade process is just slightly harder)
     

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