Truncated recordings??

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by gnetwerker, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. gnetwerker

    gnetwerker ex ReplayTVer

    Sep 29, 2007
    OK, I know that everyone is going to say "replace your hard drive", but here goes. I've got an original Series 3, probably five years old. In the last few weeks, it has been stuttering, and (worse) truncating recordings that appear to have completed. So you'll say "bad disk", but here's the rub: I ran the SMART tests on both the internal and the external drive, and both came up 100% clean. The problems seem to occur when two recordings are happening, or when I'm playing while a new recording is happening.

    Short of the "Hail Mary" replacement of the drive anyway, are there any ideas?
  2. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Clean it thoroughly. Talking about dust here. Clean all ventilation holes, fan, etc. Blow any dust away that may have settled on motherboard and other components. Make sure the fan is always blowing uninhibited. If comfortable doing so, check/clean/reseat the hard drive connections on the drives themselves and the motherboard. Inspect the power supply components for signs of impending trouble.

    Sort of do the same thing with the external hard drive case if comfortable/ feasable. You want to make sure all drives are running as cool as possible. Try to ensure the drives and the Tivo unit are well ventilated.

    Always suspect the possibility that the esata connections could be the source of instability. Try to ensure the connections at both ends are as secure and undisturbed as possible.

    About a couple of weeks ago, my TivoHD became very slow to respond to the remote for channel changes, going to Tivo central, anything. Eventually it gave me the "external drive not connected" screen. But even after checking the connections twice, upon rebooting each time, it still continued with the very slow response. I figured(and sort of hoped) it way only one of the drives going bad. The only thing I could think of was to disassemble, clean, and inspect everything in preparation to get a/some new drives.

    After performing this little tune up, it's been running like new again for about the last 2 weeks(fingers crossed). Until all this happend it had been running like a charm for almost 3 and a half years. But just in case, I am brushing back up on all the latest new upgrade techniques because we know the hard drives will fail eventually. Will definitely install a single 2 TB hard drive, when the time comes.

    Good luck.
  3. exraytheontom

    exraytheontom New Member

    May 10, 2011
    La Habra,...
    I seem to be having a similar problem with my unit. Seems like it started a few weeks ago. Only recording part of a program. When I went to "Live TV"
    it wouldn't show a picture until I changed the channel. Did a complete reset and seemed to solve the problem for about two weeks. I'll try to blow it out along with the external hard drive. If it is really about to die, do they no longer sell the Series III? Is my only option a new Premier? Can I hook up my external hard drive to a Premier? Does it cost more to have a Premier?
    Any help would be greatly welcome.

    Thanks, Tom
  4. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Check your "upgrade (to Premiere) offers" at . Of course to do so, you must set up an account there.

    The original Series 3 went out of production a few years back. Look for used ones(ebay, craigslist, etc.) if so desired.

    Tivo HD is no longer being made. I do read of an occasional new unit being found every now and then at Best Buy, etc. I think even the vendors here (weaknees) may have some new Tivo HD units. Otherwise, same as S3(ebay, etc).

    Be informed that if you buy a Premiere, new or used, from anywhere besides, the likely costs tied to such units are 12 months x 19.95, mostly without exception. The one exception here are the occasional refurb Premiere deals. They usually qualify for standard tivo rates(so far).

    Your upgrade offers are likely to be $270(for unit) + $200 lifetime subscription, or $200 + $12.95/ mo.($9.95 msd). also offers a $99 refurb unit, but I am not sure what subscription plans are offered for it besides the 12 mo x $12.95 rate.

    Not familiar with the S3 as I have the Tivo HD. They are pretty similar. More than likely, you could be having issues with one of the drives going bad, or maybe a faulty eSATA cable, or connection or eSATA enclosure. If things get really bad(stop working altogether), just try disconnecting the external drive, follow the onscreen prompts, and see if things start to operate properly(you will lose your recordings).

    Otherwise, there is all sorts of learning here for diagnosing and repairing your unit(if it is repairable). Maybe you might even do a little reading up here before divorcing(disconnecting) the external drive.

    Good luck.

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