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I searched and searched, but could not find anything similar to this. Here is the (long) story.

DVR is Tivo HD with a myDVR 1TB external drive and the stock 160GB internal drive.

Unit is stuck on a loop: boots to "Welcome" screen, moves to the "Almost there" screen and hits the green screen of death. After a few seconds (not three hours) the green screen goes away and the process repeats.

Removing the external drive creates a different loop: Boots to Welcome and Almost there screens as before, but then gets to the screen where it detects the missing external drive. I go through the process of removing it, the unit shows a screen saying it is removing the drive, reboots and the whole process repeats (detects missing drive, removes it, reboots, detects missing drive, removes it, reboots ...). Clearly the unit fails to remove the external drive.

I tried to run the kickstart routines; unit gets to the amber/green/red LEDs on, I push the KS code, LEDs go out immediately, unit reboots but never gets to the KS menu, it repeats one of the above cycles. This process is the same whether the external drive is connected or not.

I have done the following:
- Removed the internal hard drive, tested with WD tools, drive passed the quick and advanced tests.
- Removed the cable card, no change.
- Tested the little CR2032 motherboard battery, it measured 3.1V. Tried a new battery just n case, no change.
- Visually inspected the power supply, capacitors seem fine, no sign of bulging or discoloration.
- Inspected fan, works fine.
- Used compressed air to clean the internals, unit is was reasonably clean, now looks new.
- Cleaned eSATA cable ends and connections at the drive and the unit with contact cleaner, inserted/removed multiple times to clear any debris.

Brief history: unit had the SO2 error not too long ago. I repeated the guided setup, which fixed the problem. Before this sad state, unit was stuck on a reboot cycle. I disconnected everything and reconnected the next day letting the unit and the drive cool down overnight and the unit came up fine. So there seem to have been a few warnings before now.

I ran out of things to try. Any ideas? Try another power supply? Buy another hard drive?
Or should we declare the motherboard dead?

Chris.
I have never used an external but doesn't WinMFS have a tool for divorcing an external?
 

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Not sure if you have to have both drives connected to the computer to do a 2nd drive divorce with WinMFS. If you do you could get a Sata to Esata bracket, it just connects a computer Sata port to a bracket with Esata connector. Or you could pull the drive out of the Esata enclosure and hook it up directly to a Sata port? If none of that works just put an S3 image on a new drive, put it in the Tivo and run clear and delete everything? Doubt it's the MB though it could be, or power supply as mentioned...............
 
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