Boot cycle - power supply issue?

PaulS

New Member
I am new to this forum and a not very qualified electronics DIYer (I trained in electronics 40+ years ago and then left the profession for something completely different) so please forgive me fumbling around on this! And sorry if this has been tackled before but I haven't found an exact link to my situation.

I have a HDR Fox-T2 which I have had for, I think around 15 years (horizontal side by side aerial sockets) and has worked reasonably well for many years. It started cycling on boot intermittently a few years ago and I eventually gave up with it. I've now decided to try again. It comes up with the Humax splash screen v7.30 and START SYSTEM on front display, stays for a few seconds, and then occasionally a quick green screen flash but then restarts.

I have first tried loading a custom firmware, as described on this site, none of which worked (I tried all the newest ones I think.) I have had the HDD out and checked it using an external power supply and link to my Mac, and it is working. I have tried a different 250 Gb Sata HDD and still no good. So I have powered the original 500Gb HDD with the external power supply and linked it to the main board via a SATA cable. I then installed the oldest stock firmware on this site 1.02.07, and it all worked! I was able to access everything including existing recordings on the HDD (although I'm not bothered about those at this stage).

I am now finding that if I reconnect the original power supply and sata cables, it goes back into a boot cycle and the HDD doesn't start spinning. However if I disconnect the 4 pin power lead for the HDD from the main board, it will power up and tune in to a TV channel (although it goes through the Humax splash screen just from standby, which I don't think is correct). It then goes to a blue screen, and then sometimes goes to standby,but I can wake it up and it tunes again. If I then plug in the 4 pin HDD power connector to the main board, the HDD starts and I can use it as normal.

So I'm a bit stuck. Is this a power supply problem? I have the possibility of purchasing a power supply but don't wish to waste money if that is not the problem as the existing one appears to work to a degree. I could possibly rig a block 12v/5v power supply inside the case (currently powering my external HDD link cables) but it would not run into standby I guess and the HDD would run constantly.

I would welcome any thoughts or suggestions. I am a fairly competent solderer so don't mind delving into the machine. Many thanks in advance.
 

everthewatcher

Forum Supporter
First thing I'd do is see what the output(s) of the PSU board are doing. The early ones use the PW808 which has a regulated 12V rail plus an nominal 6V unregulated one. The later ones use the PW1003 with just a 12V output.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I am new to this forum and a not very qualified electronics DIYer (I trained in electronics 40+ years ago and then left the profession for something completely different) so please forgive me fumbling around on this! And sorry if this has been tackled before but I haven't found an exact link to my situation.
I presume you are aware of these articles:

Steps for Resolving HDR-FOX Crash/Reboot Issues (click)

HDR-FOX Commissioning, Disassembly, Repair (click)

I then installed the oldest stock firmware on this site 1.02.07, and it all worked! I was able to access everything including existing recordings on the HDD (although I'm not bothered about those at this stage).
I see no reason 1.02.07 might work and others not (including CF), unless perhaps if the Flash is broken so that only 1.02.07 loads without corruption. You wouldn't want to use 1.02.07 permanently.

although it goes through the Humax splash screen just from standby, which I don't think is correct
The only time you do not expect the boot splash screen is when you avoid shut-down by turning on before the shut-down process is complete. If there's no HDD connected, shut-down will be almost instantaneous.

Is this a power supply problem?
Not for definite - the HDD is powered via the main board so that the HDD can be turned off in standby (the PSU is on all the time), so clearly there is a chance the main board switching components are the problem.
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
the HDD is powered via the main board so that the HDD can be turned off in standby (the PSU is on all the time), so clearly there is a chance the main board switching components are the problem.
I'd expect power to go to the disk constantly and the motor be spun up/down under software control, rather than having DC switching on the motherboard.
I have first tried loading a custom firmware, as described on this site, none of which worked
Which one(s) exactly? And what did it do? Don't say "it didn't work". Be precise.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
unless perhaps if the Flash is broken so that only 1.02.07 loads without corruption.
...but then the firmware load process should fail, because I expect it to confirm the value written.

I'd expect power to go to the disk constantly and the motor be spun up/down under software control, rather than having DC switching on the motherboard.
I cite the HDR-1000S problem. Depowering the HDD will save power in standby.
 
OP
PaulS

PaulS

New Member
First thing I'd do is see what the output(s) of the PSU board are doing. The early ones use the PW808 which has a regulated 12V rail plus an nominal 6V unregulated one. The later ones use the PW1003 with just a 12V output.
I've measured the pins out from the psu to the main board and they read as follows, (all voltages to chassis) starting at the blue wire.
Blue 12.25 v
12.25 v
0 v
0 v
6.57-6.7 v (varies),
6.57-6.7 v (varies),
0 v
0 v
The voltages on the 4 pin connector to the HDD show yellow 12.19 v, and red a stable 5.07 v
 
OP
PaulS

PaulS

New Member
I'd expect power to go to the disk constantly and the motor be spun up/down under software control, rather than having DC switching on the motherboard.

Which one(s) exactly? And what did it do? Don't say "it didn't work". Be precise.
 
OP
PaulS

PaulS

New Member
I've tried HDR_FOX_T2_1.02.20_mod_3.13k, HDR_FOX_T2_1.02.32_mod_3.13, HDR_FOX_T2_1.02.32_mod_3.13d, HDR_FOX_T2_1.03.12_mod_3.13. I have also tried the system flush HDR_FOX_T2_system_flush - in fact I think I started there as I suspected a firmware issue. All of these resulted in the same boot cycle problem so "didn't work" meant that nothing was resolved.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Ah, missed that in my haste. Seems to rule out the PSU.
I don't think the OP means everything was working as it should:
So I have powered the original 500Gb HDD with the external power supply and linked it to the main board via a SATA cable. I then installed the oldest stock firmware on this site 1.02.07
I'm sure this firmware version thing is a red herring.

I've measured the pins out from the psu to the main board
You would need an oscilloscope to see whether the supply voltages are stable when on load, but the values you have given look OK if they were on-load when you measured them. Brief instabilities would not register on a multimeter, but would cause misoperation.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
HDR_FOX_T2_1.02.32_mod_3.13d
That's a special diagnostic build you shouldn't be using unless advised to.

I have also tried the system flush HDR_FOX_T2_system_flush - in fact I think I started there as I suspected a firmware issue.
The System Flush isn't relevant to a firmware issue.

It strikes me you're using a scattergun approach.
 
OP
PaulS

PaulS

New Member
I presume you are aware of these articles:

Steps for Resolving HDR-FOX Crash/Reboot Issues (click)

HDR-FOX Commissioning, Disassembly, Repair (click)


I see no reason 1.02.07 might work and others not (including CF), unless perhaps if the Flash is broken so that only 1.02.07 loads without corruption. You wouldn't want to use 1.02.07 permanently.


The only time you do not expect the boot splash screen is when you avoid shut-down by turning on before the shut-down process is complete. If there's no HDD connected, shut-down will be almost instantaneous.


Not for definite - the HDD is powered via the main board so that the HDD can be turned off in standby (the PSU is on all the time), so clearly there is a chance the main board switching components are the problem.
Yes I am aware of the articles which was where I started, but having established I can get the thing going using 1.02.07, I think I need to work through some of the other updates again to see if they will work. However your last comment about board switching components makes the most sense as the unit now seems to work without the HDD powered up, and continues to work when powered, but boot cycles if the HDD is powered from off. But as I said above, I am no expert and struggling with limited knowledge.
 
OP
PaulS

PaulS

New Member
That's a special diagnostic build you shouldn't be using unless advised to.


The System Flush isn't relevant to a firmware issue.

It strikes me you're using a scattergun approach.
Thanks - I probably need to re-read the original articles and work through methodically again, which is what I had begun to do but was getting nowhere until I went back to 1.02.07. As mentioned above, it may well be that the firmware is a red herring but having got only one of them to work, it at least felt as though I was getting somewhere as opposed to getting nowhere previously. Which of the custom downloads should I try? Is it best to simply progress through the various updates from the stock version?
 
OP
PaulS

PaulS

New Member
I don't think the OP means everything was working as it should:

I'm sure this firmware version thing is a red herring.


You would need an oscilloscope to see whether the supply voltages are stable when on load, but the values you have given look OK if they were on-load when you measured them. Brief instabilities would not register on a multimeter, but would cause misoperation.
Don't have access to a scope. Yes, voltages on load when measured.
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
He said he already tried that in post #1.
I would install HDR_FOX_T2_1.03.12_mod_3.13 with the disk disconnected and go from there - either change the disk, use alternate PSU for disk, or both, and table the results.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Throwing £50 at the problem gets an eBay HDR-FOX, if nothing else as a source of spares (but if it's working - use it). Otherwise the problem is open-ended.

Make sure it is the same version as the one you've got (if you want to use one or the other as spares).
 
OP
PaulS

PaulS

New Member
Sounds good to me.
I think that about sums it up. Although I suspect the firmware issue is a red herring, because using the older stock version made things work, I will still try a methodical working through different versions, just to satisfy my curiosity. I will also re-try the alternative Sata HDD. But I will also try and tabulate my results and go from there. From what I've seen so far I am also beginning to think the PSU is not the issue, but will leave that conclusion until further testing.

I am happy to throw a small amount of money at the unit but the motivation to get this going is less about daily usage )as we use Catch-up TV and Netflix etc so much), and more about ability to record stuff such as films, which are not available elsewhere. It is also about me hating to see an item wasted that might be repairable! So I will go as far as I can, but this whole process might end up me offering the unit on eBay! But we will see.

Very many thanks so far - you have all been very helpful. I now just need some hours later in the week to devote to this. I'll get back with some results from my testing.
 
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