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Disc crash?

#1
Slightly disturbing development with my humax (1TB HRD FOX-t2) - it has started making loud disk noises including occasionally a regular tick, tick, tick sounds that I've only ever heard from HDDs suffering a 'click of death'. The disk was never hte quietest but this is much louder read/write noises and a click, click, click.

It has happened on several occasions, usually when recording something in HD and watching something else pre-recorded.

When it happens, the playback goes to a black screen, the box freezes and shows the message "The channel is scrambled or not available" [even though I am watching a recording, not live TV]. Once everything 'unfreezes', playback continues and I can rewind and watch the bit that froze as if there was no problem.

I think that there is a fault with the HDD that causes the box to stutter enough that it freezes playback - has anybody else had this?

Is there a disk diagnostics screen hidden anywhere that would give me the SMART status of the disk?
 
#2
Slightly disturbing development with my humax (1TB HRD FOX-t2) - it has started making loud disk noises including occasionally a regular tick, tick, tick sounds that I've only ever heard from HDDs suffering a 'click of death'. The disk was never hte quietest but this is much louder read/write noises and a click, click, click.

It has happened on several occasions, usually when recording something in HD and watching something else pre-recorded.

When it happens, the playback goes to a black screen, the box freezes and shows the message "The channel is scrambled or not available" [even though I am watching a recording, not live TV]. Once everything 'unfreezes', playback continues and I can rewind and watch the bit that froze as if there was no problem.

I think that there is a fault with the HDD that causes the box to stutter enough that it freezes playback - has anybody else had this?

Is there a disk diagnostics screen hidden anywhere that would give me the SMART status of the disk?
Not that I know of (yet), but then I'm only new to it like you. Perhaps you might be able to find out something if you telnet'ed in and knew the right Linux cli.

Have you considered trying to reformat the HDD (if you don't have anything you desperately need to keep), as that might force it to tackle any bad blocks, but I agree it doesn't sound good (any way you read that!). Sorry to hear though. It should be a simple warranty claim though, if necessary.
 
OP
OP
M
#3
If it truly is a click of death, there could be large amounts of a platter that are inaccessible - if there is no way for me to see the health of the disk, I think that it goes back to Humax.
 
#4
If it truly is a click of death, there could be large amounts of a platter that are inaccessible - if there is no way for me to see the health of the disk, I think that it goes back to Humax.
I agree, but if you have nothing to loose, a reformat should, I would think, show up any 'lost' space through a reduction in the available size. Check it now, and compare afterwards (both size and performance). Good luck.
 
#6
Am I correct in saying that the free space is reported only at the GB level (i.e. 700 GB free)?
Yes, at the 'remote controller' level of operation. What's available to those others who use AF123's firmware mods and e.g. can telnet into the box and run native Linux commands is likely to be considerably more. Let's hope some much more knowledgeable than me reads your thread and responds soon...
 
OP
OP
M
#10
I think so, just keen to know if there was a way to tell if a disk problem existed before having to post off (at my cost) and wait some time before I get a machine back again.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#11
The advantage of using a real shop - take back for immediate swap. I think I've heard good reports of HumaxUK customer returns process, contact them and I think you will be pleasantly surprised (I hope - now I've said it!).
 
OP
OP
M
#12
Contacted Humax support and they are going to email a form to me whic allows me to get an exchange (hopefully no delay in getting hold of a replacement then).
 
#13
Would love to know what the outcome of this was as we have had a couple of episodes of similar behaviour.

The first time, a few months after we'd got the box, it started exhibiting the noisy clicking and flaky recordings which seemed to be due to the box crashing (or perhaps "locking up" would be a better description) for a few minutes with a blank screen or the "this channel is scrambled or unavailable". You might get 2 or 3 of these happening in a 90 min film. I thought I'd fixed it:
  • The box, and the fan exhaust at the back, was really hot. Airflow to it wasn't great. I moved it somewhere better and elevated it a bit to get some better flow to the underside vents. This resulted in an immediately obvious drop in the exhaust temperature. (We took delivery of the hummy midwinter, which might explain why the issues came on with warming temperatures).
  • That alone didn't fix things. I suspected the crashes might have caused filesystem corruption so reformatted the disk (after FTP-ing off anything worth keeping, then restoring after the reformat). Actually, I forget the details but I think there was something else which made me suspect corruption like un-deletable or immoveable recordings.
And after that, everything was fine again for months and I hoped with the overheating fixed that was the end of it. However, we have just started getting the crashes and gappy recordings again. I'm going to try the reformat again soon.

Normally linux systems can fsck their ext3 partitions to repair filesystem corruption. Any idea if there's some way of doing that on the hummy ?
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
#14
Normally linux systems can fsck their ext3 partitions to repair filesystem corruption. Any idea if there's some way of doing that on the hummy ?
Unfortunately not. Although the custom firmware provides the fsck utilities, the box just doesn't have enough memory to perform a filesystem check, let alone a repair.
You would have to remove the disk and connect it to something a little beefier to perform a check.
 
OP
OP
M
#15
Would love to know what the outcome of this was as we have had a couple of episodes of similar behaviour.

The first time, a few months after we'd got the box, it started exhibiting the noisy clicking and flaky recordings which seemed to be due to the box crashing (or perhaps "locking up" would be a better description) for a few minutes with a blank screen or the "this channel is scrambled or unavailable". You might get 2 or 3 of these happening in a 90 min film. I thought I'd fixed it:

And after that, everything was fine again for months and I hoped with the overheating fixed that was the end of it. However, we have just started getting the crashes and gappy recordings again. I'm going to try the reformat again soon.
I had all the symptoms that you had so I returned the box. Very, very good service from humax.

New box works and is much quieter - no weird clunks, ticks or anything like that.
 
#16
Thanks; sounds like I'd better get onto hummy support (bank holiday today though).

If they do send a new box, am I going to be able to play any programmes FTP-ed off the old one and restored to the new one ?
 
OP
OP
M
#17
I copied off all the SD programmes onto an external HDD plugged into the front.

Although I know that it is possible to get the HD stuff off, I had so few having had the box for only a couple of weeks and less than 7 days of that were post switchover, I was ok losing the HD stuff.
 
#18
After the TV retune up here, for some reason the HD channels weren't available immediately and I didn't miss them so never bothered retuning again to pick them up (improvement in image quality is pretty negligible IMHO, and not worth the huge increase in file size); so I only have SD stuff. 600GByte of it :)

I have an idea the FTP offload might apply some encryption to even SD content (mentioned in the release notes to the previous firmware ? Can't see them now the new one is up though). Good to know a directly connected disk will work.

(Aha: just found file HDR-FOX T2 1.02.07 Software Update.txt on my PC; states "ll content transfered from the product via FTP will be encrypted and you are only able to playback on the product when copied back on, or via USB").
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
#20
All progs are encrypted but, I believe, that any copy of SD decrypts.
No, not ANY copy, only an OPT+ button copy to USB. If you FTP the files off they will still be encrypted and only any use to the original box (NOT A REPLACEMENT).

To preserve your recordings you can either:
  • hook up an external drive and copy everything (non-HiDef) across overnight (which decrypts it)
  • use the non-modded network copy process identified in THIS THREAD to transfer decrypted recordings (non-HiDef) to your PC one-by-one - very tedious but you could write a batch script to fetch them all overnight
  • Install the mods, use the extra facilities to decrypt and grab everything (including HiDef), then restore to standard before sending back for warranty replacement.
There is a load about it on the AV Forums threads about the box.
And on this forum for goodness sake, and easier to find.