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HR21-700 freezing after x452 update

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by wxman1969, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. wxman1969

    wxman1969 Cool Member

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    My HR21-700 updated to the new software on Dec. 14. That evening when I turned on the TV for the first time I got the announcement for the new Cinema feature, which basically alerted me that a new software build was installed. But things went downhill pretty fast. That evening I observed numerous pauses of roughly 15-20 seconds during live and recorded broadcasts, something I hadn't ever seen on this receiver in the 2+ years I've had it. Then the next day when I turned on the TV it seemed fine, but the receiver was not responding to commands from the remote or from the buttons on the receiver. I waited several minutes and no change. Finally had to hit the red reset button. After it rebooted it was fine, but I still was getting the pauses during live and recorded shows. And then at one point the receiver just rebooted itself while I was watching a show and doing nothing with the remote. The next day, same behavior. Receiver was frozen and required a reboot. When it came up I noticed that a few shows that would have recorded during the time I wasn't using the TV were in the play list, but had zero minute recordings. I had to reboot at least two more times that night. Same thing today. Finally called DTV. The initial responder did a couple "tests" and passed me on to the next level support. They had me reboot, do a system diag by holding the info button for about 10 seconds. It gave me a code which I provided to the CSR, who then said it didn't sound like a hard drive problem but they would be sending me a new one.

    So, I'm curious, just coincidence with the software upgrade or definitely related? The CSR said this sounded highly unusual based on very few complaints since the updates went out on the 14th and 15th, and I didn't see anything in the sticky thread about any major problems like this. Was my DVR just due and this update just put it over the top?

    Also, the CSR couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me what model receiver they'd be sending me. What should I expect, and what should I be really fearful of (if anything)? Aside from this latest incident and the occasional annoying response lag between the remote and receiver that I just sort of got used to I've been mostly pleased with the performance of this particular model.
     
  2. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Almost every NR seems to cause some HRs to fail. Nobody's ever come up with a reason for this other than the mystical "marginal HDD". Some folks will tell you it's a coincidence, others will go off on some other tangent, doesn't really matter, it sounds as if your 21-700 got shot at and hit. Shame, that's a good reliable HR, one of the few 21s that are.

    What will you get? Whatever they send you. Cruel? Truth. You might get a 21-700, they seem to send out the same model if they can. What to be fearful of? Mostly the replacement itself, no matter what model they send you. You might get lucky and get one that works. If you have problems with the replacement, get another one. Replacement roulette. You just keep getting them and sending them back until you get one that works. Shame, but that's how it works. I wish you luck.

    Rich
     
  3. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    What normally happens is the New Software is written to a new area on the hard drive that just happens to have a Bad or Marginal Sector on it. Then the Old Software is Deactivated and the New Software is Activated and then as the CPU reads the OS Software at some point is reaches the data where the Bad Sector is. It then can spend an inordinate amount of time trying over and over in different ways to get a successful read on this data but finally fails so it issues a command for a Reboot to try to get around this situation but you can't get around a Bad Sector so you need to either Replace the Hard Drive and lose your recordings or send it back for a Replacement and still lose all of your recordings.
     
  4. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    In simplest terms - reboot the unit and it should rectify your problem. There's a myriad of reasons an update might smudgeon up your unit, but 99% go away with a reset.
     
  5. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    He stated that the CSR did have him Reboot the DVR and that didn't help hence my Post.
     
  6. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Two reboots in succession would render a guide flush.
     
  7. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    So maybe he had Bad Guide Data and when detected it would Reboot but he needed a Double Reboot within 30 minutes so the Bad Guide Data would be Flushed and the New Guide Data would be Rebuilt.
     
  8. Sea bass

    Sea bass Icon

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    So, I'm curious, just coincidence with the software upgrade or definitely related?

    Well I have an R15-500 which constantly rebooted, froze, skipped after a software upgrade. After searching the forums, replacing the HDD and capacitors, I forced a software update, which was the previous (older) version and ever since the unit has run perfect.
     
  9. wxman1969

    wxman1969 Cool Member

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    Oct 22, 2007
    And just to clarify, I had rebooted several times prior to calling the CSR. Reboots worked for a few hours but always by the next morning it was frozen. Sometimes when I turned on the tv it was showing a live broadcast but was non responsive to commands. Other times, like this morning, the screen was grey and also non responsive. Will reboot again but I'm sure it will only be a temporary fix. Any chance I'll get the most recent dvr model?
     
  10. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Always a "Chance", but no guarantee.

    We're hoping that solves your problem.
     
  11. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Winters,...
    Are the reboots you refer to the "red button kind", or the power recycle kind? Put another way, does not the power down for, say five minutes, and a cold restart not flush the guide cache?
     
  12. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    If you can Reboot using the Menu Method, do it that way and only the RBR (Red Button Reset as a next to the Last Resort which is Unplugging the DVR)
     
  13. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    I can assure you that the firmware does not live on the disk so this "new area" theory isn't true.

    What is most likely the case ....

    With each new update over the past year (or so), DIRECTV has refined the drive checking process. This is for increased reliability over all DVRs. So while Rich584 might not like the use of the terminology, a marginal drive may not have been flagged in a previous software version, but becomes flagged after the new firmware is loaded. Again, the goal is to identify drives that are problematic before they become a serious problem.

    Also, it is entirely possible that the simple restart of the DVR triggered problems. Drives are mechanical after all and it may coincidentally be it's time is up.

    In any event, here's to hoping the new device solves your problems.
     
  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    What I don't get is: How do we know the HDD is bad? I don't see any proof of that in this thread. I didn't suggest it was the HDD in my first post in this thread. I'd be kinda surprised if it was the HDD. Sure wasn't the HDD on the 24-500 that I had that did all those same things and more. I'm still using that HDD and there's nothing wrong with it.

    I'll go along with "marginal HRs", but until I see some proof of the actual HDD in those HRs going bad, I'm not going to accept that almost every HR that goes bad after an NR is caused by a bad HDD.

    I've lost HRs after NRs that had HDDs externally and internally and I've always used those drives in the replacement HRs.

    Rich
     
  15. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    The units do run a diagnostic check upon startup....so I suspect its tested and identified perhaps at that point. A diag test obviously would also be more in depth but also show it.
     
  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    The TS said in his OP that he had run a test, got an error message and the CSR didn't think it was a hard drive problem, but was sending out a replacement HR.

    Rich
     
  17. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Yup...that's why they sent the new unit. The diag test error message number gives them an indication if its the unit, the drive, or something else. Apparently, it was not the drive.
     
  18. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    The software/OS is not installed on the hard drive.
     
  19. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Correct - I believe Doug pointed that out a few posts back. ;)
     
  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Which was my point. I really think the HDDs get blamed more than they deserve. I thought there was a general agreement by us a couple years ago that the NRs weeded out the HRs that were prone to failure. All of a sudden, or so it seems, the HDDs are getting blamed for most of the problems. I've had two HDDs that I can truly say failed. Out of all the HRs I've had. Two. Another anomaly, think you? I've had them that were so noisy I couldn't stand them, but they recorded and played back, so I can't really say that they had "failed".

    Rich
     

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