HDR FOX T2 - should I upgrade from 2.18/1.02.20 (or reset) because of problems?


New Member
Last few weeks seem to have developed lots of problems:

* physical remote control very intermittent in operation, have been using the web if remote but even that is not responding in last few days
* hdmi sync problems with TV now taking many attempts to get signal through to TV - have changed hdmi cable
* on startup - seems to go through several cycles of displaying the humax screen, on unit it shows the word Crash. - Usually starts after about 3/4 attempts
* via WEB IF frequent notifications of crashes and packages being disabled (no indications as to what is crashing or the disabled packages)

I have disable the dlna server already to no effect ( I do have a NAS with twonky) but that has been on network for over 12 months now.

My question is should I do a reset of the current version of CFW or should I do an upgrade.

If an upgrade what should I do - the upgrade matrix is not clear but I suspect that I need to get a later version of CFW (what ?) , run the prepare to upgrade script and then install the later CFW - is that it?

Any help would be appreciated.

If this setup was working fine until recently, you should be looking for something that has changed not changing something in the hope it might fix whatever it is. A full or flakey HDD could cause some or all of your problems, have you tried running a disk check? How-to HERE (click).

There was a debate recently about whether 1.02.20 would continue to be supported with CF updates, which is why the update table no longer shows it, but the outcome was that it will continue to be supported. There is at least 2.20 for 1.02.20, if not more recent, and updating the CF will give you better tools for disk checking and repair. If you are not particularly wedded to 1.02.20 (see Things Every... (click) section 1), you could install standard firmware 1.02.32 or 1.03.12, then the latest relevant CF, and then run the diagnostic fix-flash-packages to iron things out. Don't expect that to sort out your problems though.
Hmm looking like the unit might be faulty itself. Ran the hd disk check and it all came back clean.

It now goes through the restart loop a variable number of times - gets as far as showing the CFW 2.18 version on unit then the word crash. I can't find any info about what might be causing the crash. Likewise when there is a crash notification waiting for acknowledgement on WEB IF it says to see the crash log - but there i snothing specific in there about what caused the crash or what packages are being disabled.

I did try the maintenance option to reset the CFW to its 'out of box state' in case there was a mis match in installed packages but again that had no effect. Also tried with unit disconnected from the network.

Because of TV sync HDMI not working - connected up via Scart tonight - that was ok for a while and then it lost the sound at one point, and I couldn't communicate with the unit via web remote control or physical remote control, but could still see what was happening via web IF. All very erratic and disheartening.

It seems as previously stated by Black Hole that upgrading the cfw won't resolve the problems, so unless someone has a very good suggestion - think it is a case of rescuing what is in the hd by ftping it off, and then contacting humax.

I am not sure what they can do at this stage considering the unit is now 3+ years old.
I wonder whether you might be having psu problems given the age of your unit.

It has crossed my mind recently that, whilst most HDs and HDRs aren't that old, there could come a time when the electrolytic capacitors in the psu start to dry out and cause the psu voltages to go out of tolerance, leading to general instability. This became an increasingly common problem on Topfield PVRs as they got older.

Just speculation, but some of the earlier units may be getting to the point now where that could possibly become a problem, partly dependent on how well ventilated they've been and hence how much that caps may have dried up. Changing the caps usually isn't a problem if you know your way around a soldering iron, and I've done hundreds in my job over the years, but it may be worth checking your psu voltages just in case.
This is worrying indeed as my HDR was purchased in July '11.We love our Humax - especially SWMBO who thinks it's the best piece of technology we've ever purchased - and the new Humax just doesn't seem to offer the same features and facilities.
I know only we can decide, but what's the opinion of others about whether it would be prudent to purchase a refurbished HDR from Humax Direct? We don't need 2, but if they're going to start failing.....?
I would stress again that this is purely speculation on my part. The issues described could be down to something else entirely, and the psus may last for very many more years with no problem, even on the oldest examples. We simply don't know yet until someone has an issue that testing proves is due to this.

I only mention this through direct experience over more than 20 years of fixing switched mode psus as part of my job where the capacitors have dried out, and also being an ex Toppy owner who had this problem. In general with these types of psu, failure modes can include the voltages simply going out of tolerance over time and thus causing instability, or else the psu, having maybe been on for months or years continuously, being switched off and then failing to start up again until heat is directly applied to it (via a hair dryer for example), to warm the faulty capacitors in the kick-start circuit.

Toppys were prone to this because they ran pretty hot, as they had no cooling fan. The HDR runs somewhat cooler as it has a fan, and hence I'd expect the psu to last rather longer. The HDR would generally NOT be junk if this happened. So long as it was caught in time (before any voltages got so far out as to cause main-board damage), then the capacitors ought to be easily replaceable if you can use a soldering iron, or failing that there may be members here willing to take it on. This happened on the Toppy forums where a couple of guys would (and still I believe) repair other member's psu boards for no more than the component cost and postage (a few quid), or else will supply a complete kit of the correct components for a DIY job.
think it is a case of rescuing what is in the hd by ftping it off, and then contacting humax.

I am not sure what they can do at this stage considering the unit is now 3+ years old.
You are aware (of course) that the recordings must be decrypted before FTP.

According to previous reports, Humax are likely to offer you a get-it-working service which is not much cheaper than buying a refurbished HDR-FOX (if any are available).
Just had a look at the Humax Direct site and they're offering an HDR Fox T2-G (Grade A) 500Gb
What's the "-G" mean, please? My current HDR is not so named - it's an HDR Fox T2 500Gb
It's just that it is a refurbished unit. "-G" = "Grade A" = ex-demo/display/returned, checked over and repaired if necessary, supplied in a plain carton and with a 1 year warranty. All we can get these days.

When it comes give the outer packaging a close visual inspection before signing for the delivery. When you unpack (do it straight away) check everything is present (unit, remote, HDMI cable, manual) and check for damage (any distortion of the metal case, misalignment with the plastic facia, or cracks in the facia). Reject if there is any indication the unit may have been dropped in transit. Take photos, note the serial number.

(In the event of rejection due to transit damage, Humax will claim damages from the courier company, and the courier company may chase you for information relating to the claim. You do not have a contractual relationship with the courier company, and do not have to answer their questions - neither is it likely you are qualified to offer an opinion on the adequacy of the packaging. You supply evidence direct to Humax and only to Humax.)

Only then power it up, and run acceptance tests (to be continued).
Update: Thanks rpb424 re advice re power supply problems - may be that, not sure, but having had a psu problem on my ex-Toppy I know where you are coming from. I'm not to be trusted with a soldering iron however .. :)

I managed to ftp all of my recordings off - having made sure they were all decrypted first. I then went through a couple of steps all to no avail - didn't expect them to do anything but just wanted to rule out everything possible.
1. Reset the CFW to an initial state as if just installed - no difference. Still getting crash problems on restart.
2. Set the unit to RMA and re-installed humax standard firmware 1.02.32 - after this the device would not get past system start at all and was continuously going through a reset / restart loop.
3. Will now be contacting humax for their views...will then have to weigh up whether I continue with humax models or maybe spend £180 ish on my raspberry pi and use that with xbmc to get what I want.
4. In the meantime dusted off old Toppy from loft ... works fine but obviously not true HD like the fox - but it does the job and allows me to carry on recording whilst deciding what to do else where.

Thank you all for your help so far.