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HR20 rebooting frequently

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by William_K_F, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. William_K_F

    William_K_F Legend

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    Apr 20, 2002
    Hello,

    My HR20 has started to freeze often while watching recorded shows while others are recording. Pressing red button doesn't help. Is there a better way to try and reset this machine so it isn't rebooting so often (sometimes just five minutes after the last reboot).

    -William
     
  2. cdizzy

    cdizzy Icon

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    Jul 29, 2007
    That is not normal for sure.

    My advice would be to pull the plug on it and leave it unplugged for a good 30 minutes. If that doesn't help then maybe reloading software or getting a new unit all together.

    Are you having any signal issues?
     
  3. William_K_F

    William_K_F Legend

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    Apr 20, 2002
    I added an external eSATA drive and the unit worked well for a few weeks (up until around last week), now it is starting to reboot spontaneously more and more frequently over time.

    Are these units really that unreliable? Ideas?
     
  4. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    unhook external and see how it runs.
     
  5. William_K_F

    William_K_F Legend

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    Apr 20, 2002
    External is a RAID(2) drive (two drives mirroring each other). I would expect the built in drive is no better since it was booting all the time until I added the external drive. I can try this, but not clear on how it would help, plus all my current programming is now on the external drive.

    Also, it occurs to me I had recently added the internet connection, a couple months ago, I'll try disconnecting that too.
     
  6. William_K_F

    William_K_F Legend

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    Apr 20, 2002
    Does a factory reset erase all your recordings? This unit seems to be rebooting more and more frequently. Now it runs around 20 minutes and spontaneously reboots or the screen gets green rectangles very thin and long scattered about along the bottom half of the picture as it plays, a reboot fixes this issue. Unit is 1 yr and 3 months old. Is this a hardware issue or a software issue? For awhile unplugging the unit seemed to make it take longer before it wanted to spontaneously reboot again, but it seems the unit just keeps getting worse over time. I'd like to avoid losing my recordings. I have not tried disconnecting the external drive yet since that is the one with all my recordings and hence the unit is not the useful without it.
     
  7. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Is this reciever in a cabnet? might be getting too hot..
     
  8. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    It could easily be the esata.. You need to unhook it first, and then you will know if that is something that can be eliminated.. Have you checked to make sure its firmly plugged in? There may not be anything wrong with the esata, but if the connection isn't quite solid, that could cause it... And as smoke said, are they both in a cabinet.. maybe the hard drive is to hot?
     
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Depends on the unit itself, if you're looking for a specific answer. Generally speaking, I prefer the 20-700 over all the HRs. Never tried a 23. If you've got a 20-100, that's another story.

    I had random reboots constantly on all my 20-700s months ago and found that the fittings on my ground block were only finger tight. Took my trusty 7/16 open end wrench and tightened the fittings, waited an hour or so and gently tightened them again. The reboots stopped immediately.

    I would have bet money that every fitting was snugged up properly, but after receiving a PM from a moderator asking me if all my fittings were tight, I remembered that I had never checked the recently installed ground block. That PM was an act of kindness I'll never forget. I treasure my 20-700s and was at my wit's end (a short trip :lol: ) and was considering replacing them all. Four fittings, ten minutes work and nary a reboot since.

    If I were you, I'd be running around with a 7/16 wrench in hand checking fittings. If that doesn't work, might be the HR itself, might be anything.

    Check the fittings on the dish, on the BBCs, on the ground block, just make sure you check every fitting. And be gentle when you tighten the fittings. You don't need to use brute force. But you do need to go back and tighten any loose fittings after you tighten them the first time. Wait an hour and gently snug up the fitting. You'll find that you get a little more turn on the fitting that you think was tight the first time.

    If that doesn't work, go to plan B.

    Rich
     
  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Yes. I've done that several times and did the front panel reboot several times and neither has done diddly. Other than wiping out recordings.

    You said in your post #5 that you were getting the rebooting before you added the eSATA. Try the internal again and you'll probably get the reboots on that too. eSATAs that are compatible with the HR in question shouldn't cause reboots. That RAID setup should work on a 20-700. I have a RAID 2TB eSATA on one 20-700. On a 20-100? I dunno. I've never had a 100 that worked with an eSATA.

    Rich
     
  11. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Especially if the RAID setup is in the same cabinet in the same compartment. The 20s run hot anyhow and sticking an eSATA next to one in a confined, poorly ventilated cabinet is just looking for trouble.

    Rich
     
  12. William_K_F

    William_K_F Legend

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    Apr 20, 2002
    The receiver is open and stacked with the blue ray and line doubler on the wood floor with the raid enclosure on its right on the floor. Given the suggestion of overheating, I have moved the DVR to the top of the stack, it was in the middle under the blue ray player. I also plugged and unplugged the eSata connector on both ends a few times to ensure it was a good snug fit and to loosen any possible oxidation. I also ran the unit for a few hours today without the eSata and no reboots occurred, I'm returning it to the external now since there are shows I want to record tonight. It has been a heat wave here recently, so perhaps overheating is the cause. Hopefully it is just overheating that causes the reboots and now with it on top it won't get so hot. Thanks for all the ideas. I will check the various connections on the ground block which I take to mean the coax cable connections, although I'm surprised a poor connection on the input would cause the unit to reboot.

    I also will note this is an HR20-100. I've also added a 6 inch fan behind the unit to blow on the back part with the connectors and I opened the unit and blew it with compressed air to get rid of small but significant dust build up inside. Hopefully the dust removal will reduce overheating. I tried to disconnect power to the internal Sata drive to reduce internal heat, but the unit will not boot with its sata drive power disconnected, so had to return its power.
     
  13. William_K_F

    William_K_F Legend

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    Apr 20, 2002
    I've noticed another pattern. When the unit goes into the pink and green stripes long thin horizontal patterns filling up about a quarter of the screen in a band below the center of the screen and the remaining portions become ghost like with multiple frames superimposed as it moves forward through the video, I find that I can switch to other channels or recordings and it works fine.

    For example, switching to HBO Ladies Detective Agency last night when this happened, I saw a normal picture and was able to watch the full hour show with no crash/hang and perfect picture. However, if I tried to switch to live TV on FOX or ABC it showed the garbled picture, but switching to PBS was fine. I also tried some recordings, Fox's 24 was garbled, PBS's Antique Road Show was fine but PBS's Nature was garbled, ABC's Lost was garbled.

    I wonder if this is due to the machine set up to view in native resolution? Perhaps one of the paths in the hardware is overheating for say 720p, but 1080p is fine?

    We had been trying to watch Lost, and would get through another ten or fifteen minutes or so of the final episode when it would freeze the screen and reboot after about ten seconds. We did this about four times last night. Finally, on last try, it went to the purple and green pattern within about 30 seconds of viewing after we had booted and fast forwarded up to our place in the program. On reboot, it loses the current viewing position and resumes from the beginning of the program.

    I now have the unit raised up about 3 inches above the below blue ray player with two wooden slats to help with ventilation.

    I believe all the trouble started after we switched to using the HDMI output of the unit, I also set it up to use 1080p, which I hadn't used before.
     
  14. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    If I may ask, is the line doubler you mention hooked up between the HR20 and the television? I've never seen reboots due to negotiation problems, but if anything could do that, perhaps an unsupported line doubler might.
     
  15. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    All I did when I was having the rebooting problem up was tighten four fittings on the ground block. Doesn't sound like your system is grounded. Should be, I'd call D* and get them to put a ground block on your system. And since it is a mandated device, by the NEC, it shouldn't cost you anything. I would also avoid stacking anything on or under the HR.

    Anybody that has read my posts knows I have little good to say about the 100 series. But, in your case, I kinda doubt your problem lies in the HR or the eSATA, but in your "system" (everything from the dish to your HR). Since you have a 20, you should be able to read the temperature with or without the eSATA hooked up. Try it and tell us what the reading is. They can run as high as 127 degrees. The 21s run much cooler.

    Don't happen to belong to the Protection Plan, do you?

    Rich
     
  16. William_K_F

    William_K_F Legend

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    Apr 20, 2002
    It is a DVDO iScan VP50.
     
  17. William_K_F

    William_K_F Legend

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    Apr 20, 2002
    I checked and there is no grounding block. Other than potential safety issue, would this be a source of crash issues? The system worked fine for about a year before this started happening.

    At present the internal temperature is 99 degrees F. This is with fan blowing from behind and the heat wave subsiding, although my issues predate the current heat wave.

    Just signed up, need to wait 30 days for it to take effect, although getting a refurbished unit could have its own downsides.
     
  18. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I really don't know. My system never worked correctly until I had it rebuilt last year and they finally installed the ground block along with all the other things they did. But, the NEC does mandate grounding the system. Can't hurt to get D* to do it and might save you some grief down the line.

    You've done a good job of cooling it. I don't think I've ever heard of a 20 running that cool. That's not the problem.

    Smart move. The replacement (I've never seen any sign of a refurbishing process, altho I do know that D* contracts that out) situation is better now than it used to be. If you have multiple calls or replacements sent out due to the same problem, the Case Management Group steps in, and they stick with you till the problem is solved.

    Have you made sure that each connection is more than finger tight? I know that seems a tad illogical, but it fixed my problems with rebooting. Oddly, my problem was isolated to my 20-700s and didn't affect any of my 21s.

    I'll tell you one thing, no matter what you read, different models function differently. Ideally, they should all work the same, but they don't.

    Rich
     
  19. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    That's abnormal and I've never seen something like that.

    That sounds like one of two things: Either you have a serious problem with your "system" or the HR is shot.

    All six of my Panny plasmas are set to Native on. That's probably not the problem. One of the things I have noticed since I started using the Pannys is that setting the resolutions to include 1080i produced a noticeably better picture than shows broadcast in 720p. I could always tell when the show was broadcast in 720p. Seems as if the Panny downscaled the 1080i broadcasts and produced better PQ than a straight 720p feed.

    Well, it's certainly not an overheating issue, I'd consider Stuart's suggestion about that line doubler. Did the problems occur before you put that on? I had similar problems with a cheap HDMI switch. Wrecked two 20-700s and almost ruined a 21-700. My 22 decided that the 720p Panny it is hooked up to is actually a 1080p TV and checked the 1080p resolution box itself (I swear this is true, I did nothing with the resolutions, it did it itself) and the only problem I have is the slip problem.

    Rich
     
  20. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    What kind of TV do you have? Model number and brand. I just read about line doublers and you might not need that and that might be causing the problem.

    Rich
     

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