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DTR-T1000: recovering from 'Nearly Ready'

MontysEvilTwin

Well-Known Member
#1
The maintenance mode recovery options are long known: see here. I have been tinkering with a second-hand unit that I bought stuck in 'Nearly Ready': see here.
For this model to boot up correctly, the hard drive needs to contain the required partitions and be powered up (radical, I know), otherwise the unit will get stuck on the 'Nearly Ready ' screen. So if anything is wrong, it won't boot. No wonder so many boxes get into this state. If the fault is due to a failing hard disk or PSU it is an easy fix. In my case I think the problem is down to the way the main board distributes power to the hard drive and I think this is a common fault. On the HDR-FOX, the power management seems pretty simple: in essence the power to the hard drive is switched on during boot up and switched off at shutdown. On the DTR-T1000 it is more complicated: presumably due to the requirements of the different eco modes and options, there is more scope for the software to switch the power on and off and it seems that the switching can go wrong.
As indicated in the first link, the maintenance mode USB/ internet recovery will often get the box running again. If this does not work I would then try the factory reset option. Sometimes the first procedure is not enough, and the box still won't progress past 'nearly ready'. Whenever I have run the factory reset afterwards, it has never failed to get to the set-up wizard, and once this process has been completed it has always booted into the fully operational state afterwards.
During my tests, the box got stuck in a state whereby it could not get past 'nearly ready' but the maintenance recovery procedures were failing to run. The disk was powered on start-up, but the power was being cut on entering maintenance mode. If the disk is not spinning during maintenance mode, all options except for 'software reset' will fail immediately. The 'software reset' option appears to work at first, but the box locks up and has to be rebooted. I could only get around this by disconnecting the disk's power cable and powering the disk from an external source. Then the USB/ internet recovery procedure worked ('Upgrade OK' on the front panel). Briefly turning off the external power made the box reboot. I reconnected the power and ran the factory reset procedure from maintenance mode. This worked too. I turned off the power to reboot the box and then shut everything down before the box had got past the 'Humax' splash screen. I reconnected the hard drive to the main board and closed the case. On rebooting the disk span up immediately and the box booted into the wizard and is now operating normally again.
Occasionally the hard drive on this unit still spins down during operation. If this happens, the system thinks the drive is full and refuses to schedule recordings. Usually a reboot is all that is needed to get it working again. I think this intermittent fault may be hardware related: I did buy it as faulty after all. I have an idea though. In high eco mode, the USB ports are continuously powered while the unit is on. Even if the supply to the hard drive has dropped the USB ports are still powered. These ports are little use on this device and I have wondered about replacing the 3.5 inch drive with a 2.5 inch one and using the main board connection that is normally used to power the front port to power the drive. I think this should work fine with the box in high eco mode.
 
#2
Thanks for the info Monty. I recently purchased a heap of Humax boxes (& other stuff) at an auction, for £10 - one was a "Nearly ready" DTRT1000. Tried the reset options with another 3.5 HDD, nothing doing, it could not achieve it.
So in desperation, just before it was heading for the bin (having read your post regarding laptop HDDs), I tried an old 2.5 160gb old Laptop HDD, tried the reset & wipe in maintenance mode & it worked! - machine booted up & passed the "nearly ready" barrier , then it updated it's firmware via my internet connection. It then worked fine - so I reconnected the original 3.5 HDD & it wiped & reset OK & the box is now working fine. The Firmware must contain a "Fix" for the power problem you describe (or the original firmware was corrupted) - but you have to overcome the barrier, to get there! All it now needs, is the correct remote.

I now have the other two Boxes to sort, a Foxsat HDR, that as soon as it goes to searching for channels, it reboots.
EDIT: Fixed, replaced all the rubbish Capxon caps (4* 1000uf, 1*47uf, 1 *1uf 2*220uf PSU PW808) & updated the software via usb. Why do Humax, sink the good ship, for halfpence of Tar?
The other one, is a PVR9300T that searches for signals, but never finds any! I have replaced PSU electrolytes, no change.
This seems a great little Humax forum, thanks for the help.
Bob (W.Suffolk)
 
Last edited:

Luke

Well-Knwοn Мember
#3
During my tests, the box got stuck in a state whereby it could not get past 'nearly ready' but the maintenance recovery procedures were failing to run. The disk was powered on start-up, but the power was being cut on entering maintenance mode. If the disk is not spinning during maintenance mode, all options except for 'software reset' will fail immediately.
Thanks for that idea. I bought a second hand 'Nearly Ready' DTR-T1000 that does not go into maintenance mode. I just have to find time to try it.
I am sort of hoping that it won't work as I bought it for spare parts!
 

Mekon

New Member
#4
The box will run OK on a 2.5"HDD. The Sata plug used to plug into the 3.5"HDD also has 5v on it and there is no need to find 5v elsewhere. Just plug in the Sata cable to the 2.5" HDD and sticky velcro the drive to secure it inside the cover and you have a working box. Less demand on the 12v too.
 
#5
The box will run OK on a 2.5"HDD. The Sata plug used to plug into the 3.5"HDD also has 5v on it and there is no need to find 5v elsewhere. Just plug in the Sata cable to the 2.5" HDD and sticky velcro the drive to secure it inside the cover and you have a working box. Less demand on the 12v too.
Thanks for that idea - I will try it with my nearly ready (again) box - I gained a 2.5 drive from a dead Goodmans freeview box. Does the drive need any other preparation, or will the Humax format it OK?
 

Mekon

New Member
#6
No. I used my 2.5" hdd with a single partition in NTFS and it did its own thing. Dunno anything about the Goodmans format.
 
#7
Thanks for the tip, I used a spare 2.5" 750gb drive & yes, it works fine now - I drilled a couple of holes in the top of the old 3.5" drive holder to mount it.
Runs quieter too. Software upgraded as I had the Lan connected. I used the full maintenance mode to get the 2.5 hdd recognised. "Factory reset, delete recordings" was selected.
There must be a fault in the 3.5 PSU that causes the original problem.
 
#8
Further troubles (inc no video) with a T1000, were solved by replacing all the PSU capacitors. about 6 in all.
The latest software, whilst not being very nice to use - is more stable I feel, than the old version. They are great boxes - when they work!!
 
#9
Also, while you have the box apart, fit a fan to cool the CPU. That pathetic excuse for a heatsink is not up to the job!!
To prove my point, try touching it`s after it been running for about 10 minutes!!
You`ll get a burnt finger.
A 40mm fan stuck to the HDD caddy will help, but fit one to help cool the CPU.
The fan on the back is there to keep the hard drive cool and does not work full time. If they do, mine is faulty.
But the CPU is under `heatsinked`.
 
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