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Thread: Reboot Cycle SD-H400

  1. #1
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Reboot Cycle SD-H400

    The drive on a Toshiba SD-H400 Tivo/DVD machine started to fail, so I pulled out an old IDE Seagate drive I had. Since I have 2 of the SD-H400 units in the house, I pulled the drive from my "good" one to make an image. When I restored with mfsrestore onto the Seagate drive, everything seemed fine, no errors reported.

    I put the drive back in the "non-working" Tivo and got the "powering up" and "almost there" screens. It then jumped back to "powering up" screen, then went to the GSOD. The disk started to spin for a while there, so I left it alone. I came back after a little while and it was back to the power up reboot cycle.

    What am I doing wrong? I put the other drive back in the "good" Tivo and it still functions fine, so I am pretty sure I got a clean image. The Seagate drive I am using is 160 GB, and is an old IDE drive I had. It had been sitting in an external enclosure, and in the past I had intended to use it for backups. However, I actually only powered it up a handful of times, so it is still nearly brand new. Is it possible the disk was bad? Is there any way to force a low level format and then try again?

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    Sounds like you might have a bad drive. See:

    http://www.wkforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9

  3. #3
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    Sep 2010
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    Default

    I checked the drive with Seagate's tools and it does seem like there is a problem with the drive. So I went out and bought another drive. It is a 250 GB Maxtor drive. I restored the known good image and it seemed to work, showing over 200 hours as the new capacity. However, when I put this drive into the Tivo, it won't even boot up. All I get is the "powering up" screen and a some loud intermittent clicking from the drive, like it is trying to spin up but can't.

    Is it possible there is something else wrong? It seems unlikely that I would have 3 drives fail in succession (the original drive, the 160 GB Seagate drive that had at most about 10 hours on it, and the 250 GB Maxtor drive). Is there a chance that something else is not working? Could a bad image cause any of these problems?

  4. #4
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    That 250 sounds bad. Maxtor hasn't made 250s in years - where did you get it? Is it used?

  5. #5
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    Sep 2010
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    Default

    Yes, I bought 2 used drives. The seller and I both tested them before I tried installing them in the Tivo and they both seemed fine. FYI, I tried the second 250 that I bought as well later last night and it got past the "powering up" screen to the "almost there" screen, but then went back to GSOD and reboot cycle.

    I know I have been using older drives, but is it really likely that all of them failed, even though they behaved just fine prior to installing in the Tivo? Is it possibe a bad image, or maybe a damaged IDE controller or something is causing failures?

  6. #6
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    It could be a motherboard issue, but we've seen many, many drives over the years that pass the manufacturer's diagnostics, but still fail to run well in TiVos. And we've seen this especially with Maxtors. Our policy has been that if a Maxtor tests OK but won't boot a TiVo, it's bad. So we try another, and we are almost always successful.

    Considering the age of the drives, and the fact that they each react differently, that would be my bet.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2010
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    OK, I guess I should have done more research about drives before dropping $35 on 2 Maxtor disks. Are there recommended PATA drives these days? Seems like the only ones are WD, though I don't know if they are just their SATA drives with an embedded SATA-PATA converter.

  8. #8
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    I hate to say it, but at $35 for two drives, you got what you paid for.

    We recommend new AV SATA drives with our SATA-IDE adapter. But we do still have Seagate DB 35 PATA drives is some sizes, and that's what we recommend with PATA drives.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2010
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    OK, now I'm really stumped. I went out and bought a brand new drive, a Western Digital AV drive and it fails in exactly the same way as the other drives. That is, here is what happens on boot up:

    - gray powering up screen
    - Tivo almost there screen
    - gray powering up screen
    - Tivo almost there screen
    - green screen (this will take 3 hours, do not turn off, etc.)
    - gray powering up screen
    - Tivo almost there screen
    - repeat gray screen and almost there screen cycle over and over

    The thing that I don't get is that I am using a known good drive and installing it on a known good system. That system still works with the original drive (as I mentioned I have 2 identical Toshiba SD-H400 machines).
    This is starting to drive me crazy.

    Any tips would be appreciated. Is it possible that the image is being corrupted somehow? Is there a bug with the Dell computer system I am using to do the backup/restore?

  10. #10
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    Sounds like you have a bad image at the very least.

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