TiVo suggested clear program data, now bricked!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by spepin, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. spepin

    spepin Member

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    Apr 12, 2002
    Before I start, I've searched the forums, and while I do find several threads that are similar to mine, none seem to be exactly the same or have the same outcome.

    Several days ago, my roughly two year old Series 3 HD TiVo began popping up messages telling me that I would run out of guide data on 10/17. I checked the system info and saw that despite successful connections (both automatic and forced), my guide data was only good to 10/17. I called TiVo on 10/15 at 11:15 am. The rep had me check my guide data through to the 20th and it was all intact, so it seems that although the TiVo was actually downloading guide data, it was incorrectly showing an early cutoff date. She suggested that I perform a "Clear Program Information & ToDo List", which I did. The TV showed that it would take about an hour. A little over an hour later, I turned the TV on and noticed that the screen still had the same "this will take about an hour" message on it, but now it had a distinct pink-ish hue to it. It seemed to be frozen, so I power cycled it and it started up as normal. I came back in the room about three hours later and it was back to the same pink-ish screen as before. I left it running this time thinking it might clear itself up, but my wife just texted me at work telling me it's still screwed up. This is now going on 14 hours later. It seems that while everything was working with the exception of the guide data "to" date accuracy, I now have a brick on my hands.

    BTW, I have four boxes online, with one other of them being the same S3 HD box as this one, and it doesn't exhibit any of the guide data issues. I'm on TWC, Both S3 boxes have tuning adapters, and the only other difference is that this one has an external expansion drive (yes, it's the one that is blessed by TiVo).

    What are my options or next steps at this point?

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. Joe01880

    Joe01880 I love my TiVo

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Boston
    Unplug the TiVo HD then plug it back in and let it reboot. See if that helps.
    If your not seeing a guide go into settings/channels/channel list and make sure you have checks next to the channels you recieve.
    In the future, if it aint broke, dont fix it!
    :D
     
  3. vectorcatch

    vectorcatch New Member

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    Nov 20, 2008
    The pinkish hue is an hdmi colorspace issue that seems to happen during those clear operations. Also, and I put the shame on TiVo for this one, the message that says it takes up to an hour is wrong. It can take far longer than that and the rep should have told you it is a very bad idea to reboot it while that message is up.

    I did the same thing before and the TiVo hard drive image was messed up after that. I had to reimage the drive from a truncated backup using winmfs. I would suggest your best course of action is to try the kick start codes and if that doesn't work then reimaging your drive may be your only chance.
     
  4. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

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    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    There is a good probability that either the internal or external drive is going belly up. Since the two are married together you are in trouble if either goes bad. From what I've seen in these forums, the external drive is the most likely culprit. That being said, if you want to disconnect the external drive and re-image the internal drive to see if it is still ok I will point you to virgin links for the S3HD. One works with WINMFS and the other with MFSTools.
     
  5. spepin

    spepin Member

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    Apr 12, 2002
    I guess you didn't see the part that said that I power cycled it. :rolleyes: That means that I already did unplug it and plug it back in. Also, regarding your closing statement, seems to me that it was broke -- that's what led to my initial call to TiVo for assistance in the first place..:cool:

    Now, on to the update -- When I got home from work last night, all I had was a solid pink screen -- no graphics, nothing. Performed a kickstart 54 S.M.A.R.T. test and both drives checked out fine (after a total of 7 hours). Followed that by a kickstart 52 to re-image the primary partition from the alternate. The S3 then rebooted and came up fine. I had all my recorded programs, but it seems to have lost the pairing with the CableCard. Even after downloading guide data, and allowing it to load, when I try to go to live TV (or the guide, or the channel list for that matter), I get a screen with the spinning disc in the center that reads "Please wait, acquiring channel information". Both the tuning adapter and CableCard diagnostics look good, and TWC says that they see the card (and T/A) and can't see any problems from their end. They're rolling a truck tomorrow.

    So far, it looks like the primary partition became corrupt somehow, and performing the emergency reinstall fixed it, but left my CableCard in limbo.

    I hope i don't end up having to do a clear and delete everything...:(
     
  6. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    semi-coastal NC
    You could try KS 58, let it do its thing for possibly a few hours, and after confirming good behavior except for the cable card, tell it to restart and pull the plug right after 3 thumbs down and enter.

    Then plug it back in and KS 52 again to get it to shift back to the cable card married partitions.

    If you've got the TiVo on a test bench, you can pull the drive and use WinMFS to swap from which partitions it boots instead of running KS 52.
     
  7. Joe01880

    Joe01880 I love my TiVo

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Boston
    regardless of what it said, if you could see guide data and were not missing recordings it was not broke, but you fixed that!
     
  8. spepin

    spepin Member

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    Apr 12, 2002
    If your car was full of gas but your fuel gauge showed empty, wouldn't you say that something was wrong and maybe go visit the dealer, or would you motor your way happily down the road oblivious to the fact that the gauge was lying, all the way telling yourself that everything was good and "if it aint broke, don't fix it" since regardless of what the gauge says, you know you still have gas? Nice logic...
     
  9. spepin

    spepin Member

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    Apr 12, 2002
    Seems we have success (partially anyway)... following Unitron's suggestion, I did a KS 58, let it run all night (at least I think it was doing something -- it did a restart, then stayed on a black screen until this morning when I pulled the plug), then a KS 52 which reverted to the primary partition, restarted and i now have my CableCard pairing back, live TV, etc. The odd thing now is that while I have guide data, the system information screen "Program Information To:" field is now blank (where originally, it was showing the incorrect 10/17/11 date). Also, when I look at my season passes, they all show no upcoming episodes. I'm getting ready to call TWC to cancel the truck roll as the CableCard at least appears to be working now.

    Any idea if this guide data issue will sort itself out, is a problem with my DVR or is a problem on TiVo's end?
     
  10. spepin

    spepin Member

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    Apr 12, 2002
    More info -- seems this issue is common with TiVoHD + Mcard + T/A + External HDD:

    http://bit.ly/qYPwL4
     
  11. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland
    Which external drive are you using? The older 500GB unit was not as reliable as the newer 1TB. Your story sounds a lot like when the 500GB units kick the bucket (plus, they seem to last around 18mo to 2yr). I have not seen any of those kinds of issues with the newer one...
     
  12. spepin

    spepin Member

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    Apr 12, 2002
    It's a new (about a month old) WD 1TB My Book DVR expander (bought from Newegg, but it's the only expander that TiVo sells directly). After reading the page that I previously linked, it seems the issue is caused by extended garbage collection that runs out past 24 hours (due to the large overall drive size), so the internal process gets killed and restarted and never completes. Might end up pulling the expander if i can't resolve the issue. Seems according to others that increasing the swap partition to 2GB does the trick, but that might be more trouble than it's worth (to me anyway).

    Adding: Power cycled unit which forced program data to be re indexed. now have Program Information To: data correct. Will still need to rebuild season passes though.
     
  13. trackie999

    trackie999 New Member

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    Sep 14, 2009
    There's also an extensive thread on this topic on this forum:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=472857

    Also, I would try unplug/replugging your tivo. During boot up, it will recognize it was in the middle of clear operation and should go at it again. Tivo will also fall back to clear and delete everything if MFS partition is really messed up...

    Of course, you can always call Tivo and blame them for bricking your Tivo

     

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