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>>> TiVo stops dead ... <<<

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iankb is offline Old Post 06-13-2004 11:19 PM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

Unhappy TiVo stops dead ...

My TiVo has started hanging, the only option being to pull the plug. It is totally inconsistent, in that I may be watching a recording, a live program, may be in the menus, usually not using the remote at the time. There is absolutely nothing odd or common in the logs at the point of failure. They just stop dead. Temperature is normal, both to me and the TiVo (42C). No SMART errors detected. If watching a program, the picture just stops dead or goes black.

Have just removed irblast, endpad and autospace to see if that makes a difference. Only TiVoWeb left to remove. It first broke when temporarily using the latest tserver_mfs7 over my AirNet. However, I can't see how this has broken the TiVo since it has not been loaded since.

Just hung within a minute of being rebooted, so those hacks weren't to blame.

Will pull drives and test them, but this doesn't appear to be the normal indication of drive failure.

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Milhouse is offline Old Post 06-14-2004 12:05 AM
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Milhouse
Senior Member

Registered: Sep 2001
Location: South London, England
Posts: 455

Hmmm.... you're asking us?

I guess it would be worth eliminating software corruption and/or hard-drive failure by installing a freshly restored image onto different drives - if the problem remains it's at least narrowed the problem down to the motherboard and/or PSU... hopefully it's software or drives failure.

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iankb is offline Old Post 06-14-2004 12:21 AM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

I was just hoping that somebody had the same problem and it was solved by just replacing the hard drive. My own instincts are that it is a motherboard or PSU failure, but I was looking for a little bit of unexpected reassurance.

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Robert S is offline Old Post 06-14-2004 06:23 PM
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Robert S
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Jul 2002
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
Posts: 9266

Do our TiVoes suffer from the event handler bug?

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iankb is offline Old Post 06-14-2004 07:14 PM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

Most people seem to get random reboots rather than a complete lockup. The whole machine seems to stop dead, though I did manage to get a few fast-forward keypresses accepted once that changed the progress bar display for FF speed, but did not move the marker. This locked up completely after a few seconds and all logs stopped dead at that point, with no apparent errors.

I changed the call back to 'phone and disconnected the wireless network. It lasted for several hours before locking up again. I then left it switched off for a few hours and am waiting to see if it locks up again today. If it does lock up, I will extract and test my drives. I've a funny feeling that my 3-year Seagate warranties may have just expired, so it could be the inbuilt SMART obsolescence has just kicked in.

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Ian.

For gold text on leather in TiVoWeb, try the redbook, bluebook, greenbook and blackbook themes, now updated with button menus

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sanderton is offline Old Post 06-14-2004 09:13 PM
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sanderton
TiVoer since 11/2000

Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Somerset, England
Posts: 4390

quote:
Originally posted by Robert S
Do our TiVoes suffer from the event handler bug?


I don't think so; I think that was a v3 problem.

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Stuart

Check out my hacks, including intelligent automatic padding, background re-prioritise Season Passes in TiVoWeb, make your TiVo send you a daily status e-mail, and other stuff we can't talk about on TC here TiVos: 110Gb + Sky + CacheCard, 160Gb + Freeview + CacheCard, 110Gb + just network (Turbonet & 802.11g)

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sanderton is offline Old Post 06-14-2004 09:13 PM
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sanderton
TiVoer since 11/2000

Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Somerset, England
Posts: 4390

quote:
Originally posted by iankb
Most people seem to get random reboots rather than a complete lockup. The whole machine seems to stop dead, though I did manage to get a few fast-forward keypresses accepted once that changed the progress bar display for FF speed, but did not move the marker. This locked up completely after a few seconds and all logs stopped dead at that point, with no apparent errors.

I changed the call back to 'phone and disconnected the wireless network. It lasted for several hours before locking up again. I then left it switched off for a few hours and am waiting to see if it locks up again today. If it does lock up, I will extract and test my drives. I've a funny feeling that my 3-year Seagate warranties may have just expired, so it could be the inbuilt SMART obsolescence has just kicked in.



Clues in the logs?

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Stuart

Check out my hacks, including intelligent automatic padding, background re-prioritise Season Passes in TiVoWeb, make your TiVo send you a daily status e-mail, and other stuff we can't talk about on TC here TiVos: 110Gb + Sky + CacheCard, 160Gb + Freeview + CacheCard, 110Gb + just network (Turbonet & 802.11g)

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iankb is offline Old Post 06-14-2004 10:29 PM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

No. That's the odd thing.

Up to the point that each log stopped, the entries in all logs are perfectly normal, and different each time.

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Ian.

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woody is offline Old Post 06-15-2004 01:40 AM
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woody
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Somerset. UK
Posts: 1068

quote:
Originally posted by Milhouse
Hmmm.... you're asking us?


i thought the same when I saw the title, and who started the thread.

not seen this, but as it doesn't appear to be function specific, then MB, or power supply, and I'd put my money on the power supply.

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iankb is offline Old Post 06-15-2004 04:51 AM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

It happened half a dozen times yesterday, and only once today. It's possible that it might just pass away.

I also wondered whether it might be caused by the AirNet card. The reason why is that the problem first started appearing when I was using double sockets with tserver_mfs7 running from a different PC to normal, and that was causing significant disturbance to the picture and sound. I am wondering whether that cause corruption to the network drivers and/or other software, albeit most of that should be on a read-only part of the filesystem. That's why I switched off the access point and changed to daily calls by 'phone.

As said before, I was hoping that somebody else had a similar problem before, so that I knew what to rule out. Searching on the forums finds loads of rebooting and non-response to the remote, but almost no total system freezes at all. If it freezes again overnight, I shall probably pull the drives and test them tomorrow.

I shall probably try replacing the power supply, since those are quite cheap. Motherboards are a different size of problem completely.

And I did expect a bit of sympathy.

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Ian.

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misterbleepy is offline Old Post 06-15-2004 03:06 PM
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misterbleepy
elly's dad

Registered: Mar 2002
Location: near Warwick, UK
Posts: 123

quote:
Originally posted by iankb
...It's possible that it might just pass away...


be careful what you say within earshot of your TiVo, you don't want to upset it any more than it already is!

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iankb is offline Old Post 06-17-2004 03:06 AM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

Well, it was a quiet night on the telly, so I took my two 80GB Seagate drives out and started testing them. What I hope is good news is that the A-drive failed. Hopefully this means that I can recover from the problem by replacing the drive, and it won't require a motherboard fix.

A total machine hang seems to be unusual with a drive failure, but I suppose that the failure is in the software/database partition, rather than the video/audio partitions. Here's hoping that's all it is.

My B-drive appears to be OK so I can apply a quick fix. Having had two RMA returns already with this TiVo, and having to wait several week's for the drives to be tested and returned from the Netherlands, I had already bought an identical spare drive which is just waiting to be swapped in. And my three-year warranties are still active as well.

If I use 'dd' to copy the A-drive to the identical spare drive, can I assume that I don't need to run mfsadd afterwards, since the drive sizes won't have changed. I assume that mfsadd doesn't use the drive serial numbers from the firmware to match up the drives, and the dd copy will be identical to the original.

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For gold text on leather in TiVoWeb, try the redbook, bluebook, greenbook and blackbook themes, now updated with button menus

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Robert S is offline Old Post 06-17-2004 04:50 AM
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Robert S
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Jul 2002
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
Posts: 9266

Yes, the drives will be identical after you copy them with dd. The TiVo doesn't care about the drive serial numbers - the signature codes it uses are just normal data in the MFS partitions.

Use conv=noerror,sync and a nice small block size. Everyone seems to be using 1024k, which is not a good idea for a faulty drive. 4k or 8k at most.

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iankb is offline Old Post 06-17-2004 05:05 AM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

Thanks Robert. I've seen your previous posts on blocksize, so ignored the 1024k in Hinsdale and am currently running with 32k.

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Ian.

For gold text on leather in TiVoWeb, try the redbook, bluebook, greenbook and blackbook themes, now updated with button menus

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Paul Stimpson is offline Old Post 06-17-2004 08:09 AM
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Paul Stimpson
Senior Member

Registered: Aug 2002
Location: Farnborough, Hants, UK.
Posts: 250

Does a TiVo use swapspace routinely or is it good about keeping stuff in memory? I only ask as I've only ever seen it referred to during GSOD recovery. I just thought bad blocks in the swap partition could cause exactly the kind of random hangups Ian was seeing.

Cheers,
Paul.

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iankb is offline Old Post 06-17-2004 11:57 AM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

The following was the output from dd. The final figures seem to be of the right magnitude for a 32k block and 80GB drives (both 156301488 sectors (80026 MB), which translates as 2442210.75x32k), but I'm not sure how to interpret the messages:

code:
/# dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdc bs=32k conv=noerror,sync dd: reading '/dev/hda': input/output error 2382476+0 records in 2382476+0 records out dd: writing '/dev/hdc': No space left on device 244209+2 records in 244210+0 records out
Are the first set of figures an intermediate error, and the second the final figures, and what do they actually mean? Is the final error due to the 0.75 of a block that it was trying to transfer?

Have started a re-run with 4k blocks, to see if the final error goes away.

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xxxx is offline Old Post 06-17-2004 12:43 PM
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xxxx
Senior Member

Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Over the sea and far away.
Posts: 447

I know that this isn't the solution to your problem (which you seem to have found anyway) but I used to have drop-outs on my Dolby amp and once or twice my Tivo re-booted. I fitted a £10 Belkin type lightning protector plug array and both these problems disappeared instantly.

Might be of use to others though perhaps the UK power supply is better than mine.

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iankb is offline Old Post 06-17-2004 02:31 PM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

I'm running with a UPS that has automatic voltage regulation. Just to be on the safe side, I have already checked the UPS log for unusual input voltages and frequencies. I think that power-supply problems are more likely to be internal.

Just one thing that I've noticed. My one real error in the dd output is at about 78GB of my 80GB A-drive. Does anybody know what type of data lies at that position on the drive? If it's just an MFS video partition, then I'm not convinced that a new drive will solve my problem. This minor drive failure may be a red herring. It wasn't even logged by the drive as a SMART error.

My standby Seagate drive turned out to be for my PC raid array, and not for my TiVo. However, I found a spare 8MB-cache 7200rpm Western Digital drive of identical size to replace my 2MB-cache 5400rpm Seagate drive. Thank heavens that WD and Seagate agree on what is a gigabyte. It's possible that the difference in response timing may alter things.

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iankb is offline Old Post 06-17-2004 11:42 PM
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iankb
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 4051

And with a blocksize of 4k, I got:

code:
/# dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdc bs=4k conv=noerror,sync dd: reading '/dev/hda': input/output error 19059812+0 records in 19059812+0 records out 19537685+1 records in 19537686+0 records out
So reducing the error to just 4k, and no end-padding error. I presume the optimum blocksize for recovery, if not for speed, would be a 512-byte disk sector.

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Automan is offline Old Post 06-18-2004 12:39 AM
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Automan
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Oct 2000
Location: South Coast, Sussex, UK
Posts: 1391

With those Belkin UPS's with Automatic Voltage Regulation you can get some quite sharp changes in output voltage when the AVR function cuts in or out.

One moment the output voltage is 249v then it's 230v then later 245v again.

The effect is very noticable if you connect a table fan or filament lamp to the units output.

Tivo's PSU should be able to handle such changes in input volts but perhaps if the unit's components are getting old may it not?

My Tivo, STB, Sky+ and DVDR are now powered by a double conversion UPS so the units always get exactly 230v AC 50Hz whatever the input mains is doing.

Automan.

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