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All my timers failed today- Not the 921's fault

Discussion in 'Standard Definition Receiver Support Forum' started by DonLandis, May 25, 2004.

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  1. DonLandis

    DonLandis Hall Of Fame

    Dec 17, 2003
    I had a bunch of timers that failed today. Why? Because some nitwit at DishNetwork decided to shut down my 921! That's right, they shut off my 921. After 7 phone calls to CSR's this evening, the net result is that I'm still down and they can't fix it. They think their computer systems are messed up. Told me to call back in 24 hours.
    The second to last attempt by an "advanced tech support" guy managed to get the sound turned on but the video is still not synced. I'm now getting sound from one channel and picture from another channel plus a mesasage that my Smart (stupid) card has a lobotomy. I'm getting serius radio channel now on HDNet MOvies with the HDNet picture. I don't even know how this is possible unless they somehow have a two tuner conflict, pic from one tuner mixed with sound from the 2nd.

    It all started, unknown to me, when one of their accountants decided to add additional receivers to my account. I saw it on my bill so I called and after 45 minutes got them to fix the billing error, I think. In the process this dimwit CSR deactivated my 921! Now no one can figure out how to fix what they broke!

    But, all is not lost. CSR #5 or maybe it was #6 said that if they can't fix it, she could have a new "942 sent to me as a replacement."

    Don and his day in CSR hell!
  2. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Hall Of Fame

    Jan 15, 2004
    Un-freakin-believable. You emailed ceo@dishnetwork.com, right?
    Demand that the "942" be delivered immediately, and a 921 will not be acceptable. :D
    You do know that the 942 is a "future product" shown at Team Summit, right?
  3. DonLandis

    DonLandis Hall Of Fame

    Dec 17, 2003
    Yes. If I wasn't so angry at that moment I would have busted out laughing. It is so typical of how some people do their jobs these days. I'm sure there was some memo to all CSR's on this and what I got was the sum understanding of that memo on the 942.
    Anyway, I just corrected her and that what I want is for them to correct their own screwup on my 921 and don't want a 942! Based on what I read about the 942, it is no 921.

    Was able to access the DVR between the flashing Smart card error screens and watched two of my prior to yesterday fiasco recordings. DVR still works fine.
    This AM I called as I was instructed to but the CSR said, after 30 minutes on hold that my 921 is locked and only a supervisor can unlock it. Said it would be done in 30 minutes. The supervisor on duty at this time is "Mary" I will check back on time to see if Mary has done what was promised.

    Now this is pertinent to the 921 bug saga because why can these CSR's access other receivers but the 921 requires special instructions that the regular CSR's can't do? This was call #8 and a total of 3 hrs and 20 minutes on the phone to get this issue resolved since 11AM May 24.
  4. Mark Lamutt

    Mark Lamutt Your Neighborhood Liasion

    Mar 23, 2002
    Sorry to hear about your troubles, Don.

    Moving thread to the DVR discussion forum...
  5. DonLandis

    DonLandis Hall Of Fame

    Dec 17, 2003
    OK- No problem Mark but we're up and working again and in the process learned quite about some things we have been doing as a practice that are bad for the 921.

    After spending 2 hours on the phone with Adv tech support who was very familiar with the 921 issues, we got the 921 up and running.
    The problem- The CSR who erroniously shut down my 921 was the one responsible for the trouble. She should not have done that. After doing all sorts of tests the smart card was carefully reconstructed to work again but the 921 still would not activate. After several more tests and a long powerplug reboot the 921 activated as it was before yesterday.

    Here are some tips for people with multiple receivers, including a 921.
    Be sure your 921 is placed as Primary receiver when you initially activate it. When the 921 is in a secondary or additional receiver position, it can be deactivated if they move anything on your account. Once the 921 is deactivated it seems to be very difficult to reactivated without special hits and procedures from their center.

    New info about how to do a proper reboot of the 921:

    Many people have been using the power button to reboot the 921 by holding it down for 7-10 seconds. This is very detrimental to the health of the hard drive. It is OK to do this sparingly, when absoutely necessary but not "prophylactically" as some have stated. IT can cause premature 921 failure. The simple reason for not doing the power button reboot is that it causes the hard drive to spin down and right back up again, jogging the disks off and on rapidly.
    Instead the proper way to do a 921 reboot is to first power button off to standby, then pull the power plug and leave it out for a minimum of 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Longer is fine but they have selected 2 minutes and 20 seconds as minimum for proper and most complete reboot. When the time is up plug back in and if it doesn't come on power button to turn on.

    Some had done a smart card out and in but the adv tech person said that is hardly ever needed as the proper reboot is the best to try. He also said that the reason the power button reboot takes so much less time is because it doesn't do a full reboot that is often needed on the 921.

    I was lucky that the 921 wasn't permanently damaged over this screwup. If this last procedure didn't work they were ready to RMA the 921!
  6. JM Anthony

    JM Anthony Child of the 60's DBSTalk Gold Club

    Nov 16, 2003
    Don - sorry to hear about your woes. I started to chuckle at some of your initial posts, but started empathizing as I watched your hours on the phone rack up. That truly is CSR hell! Thanks for the follow through post and its helpful info. for the rest of us. I hope I'm never in the same spot. My kids would kill me if the 921 was down that long.
  7. David_Levin

    David_Levin Icon/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

    Apr 22, 2002
    2 min 20 sec:
    I wonder what is in the 921 that requires that kind of power off time for a proper reboot. It's hard to imagine anything electrically different once going beyond a few seconds.

    hard drive spin down/up:
    So should we disable automatic hard drive spin-down on our desktop pc's? Seems like hard drive vendors should design for this.
  8. DonLandis

    DonLandis Hall Of Fame

    Dec 17, 2003
    I don't know either but the tech did say that they came up with that time after lots of input on what works. I get similar instructions from my tech support on my cable modem. I usually do a fast unplug and replug to reset it but they alwys say you must leave it unplugged for a minute to "completely dump everything": I picture large filter capacitors taking that long to discharge in the system, dumping all volitile memory as one explanation. The 921 tech says that the biggest problem with the 921's code is often you can end up with pieces of corrupted code left hanging.

    I suppose the best explanation is that the best experts on this stuff are no better than your local shade tree mechanics. If it works, why question it? Just do it until it can be shown not to work.

    Yesterday I was surfing through the serius channels all afternoon, several hours. Then I went to switch to HDTV and the 921 wouldn't budge. I did the power plug 2minutes and 20 second routine and all was well. Probably, would have worked with 30 seconds too but what's another minute or two to do it the way Dish has suggested? Ok I understand some people need to account for every second of precious time when couch potatoing. :D
  9. Foxbat

    Foxbat Legend

    Aug 1, 2003
    This reminds me of Clarke's comment that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
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