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I think my box is dying

Discussion in 'HD/HDR-FOX T2 Customised Firmware' started by jerrytaff, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. jerrytaff

    jerrytaff New Member

    I've had my Hdr-Fox2 since Dec 2010 and until a year ago it behaved impeccably. Then, following an upgrade to the custom firmware (probably a coincidence) it started occasionaly losing comms on the HDMI output - sometimes on picture, sometimes sound, sometimes both (it is connected to a Samsung LE37R8). In those conditions, output to scart and on the optical audio continued. If HDMI sound was lost it generally came back spontaneously, but if the picture was lost, it required a hard reset (switch at the back) to get it back. Having been stable with just the occasional problem for a year, it has suddenly become much worse, and over the last 2 weeks or so the loss of picture on HDMI has become the norm - some evenings it goes every 10 mins or so, and worse; the box does not boot up properly after a hard reset. It goes through the software loading process, then the front panel lights up with "Crash please wait". It then power cycles and does the same thing again and again in an endless loop. Normally keeping it turned off for 10 minutes before switching back on cures it. That sounds like an overheating problem to me; and I note that it has been worse since I have had it set to auto-decrypt (in the small hours only) and to run Samba. I suspect that some components have aged (capacitors?) or dry joints are showing up as a result of temperature cycling. Until this week I had never lost a recording though - but on Sunday, for the first time I got a zero length recording

    Has anyone come across a similar set of problems? Would the box still be under warranty? - I can't find my receipt.
  2. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    My first preference is a warranty claim - if you work fast you should be OK, I believe Humax offer 2 years. Receipt should not be a problem if you registered it with Humax (if you didn't - shame on you).

    It does sound like a heat problem, but not capacitors because they just go faulty (usually power rail components rather than circuit components). If your warranty is void you could try opening up and cleaning out any dust etc, make sure the fan is still running. Ultimately you might like to try the out-of-warranty repair (cheaper than a new one).
  3. jerrytaff

    jerrytaff New Member

    Thanks Black Hole.
    The odd thing is, the problems all started when I upgraded to custom firmware 1.02.20_mod_1.13. I was well and truly dissed on this forum for suggesting that there might be a connection. It seemed to be a bit better under 1.02.28_mod_2.11, but had got a whole lot worse some time after upgrading to 1.2.29_mod_2.12 and setting to autodecrypt in preparation of copying all the media off the Hard Disk over the PC network using samba. Last night, after posting I installed mod_2.14, updated all the packages and disabled cifs and mediatomb. So far (early days) it has been ok.

    So, despite everyone telling me that running the custom firmware and packages CANNOT affect the hdmi comms, it does seem to have an effect - not directly - I accept the software does not go anywhere near the interface - but indirectly, in as much as, the harder I work the system, (auto decrypt is probably quite intensive) the warmer it gets, and the worse the problem.
    I shall monitor behaviour with this firmware. If it doesn't fail I shall see what happens if I try recording 2 HD streams while recording another and streaming across the network.
    If I continue to get failures I shall see what happens if I revert to stock firmware, and run no additional processes. I assume that I would have to do that anyway before returning it under warranty.

    But has anyone else seen the "Crash - please wait" message? What does it signify? It only appears on switch on - so is that telling me that it is getting read errors when loading the firmware from flash into RAM?
  4. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    If there is more processing going on and more disk activity, there will be more power used and more heat to dissipate. The obvious test is to return to stock firmware, use it completely normally, and see if the problem persists (hopefully it does - there's nothing worse than an intermittent problem). Simultaneously recording two HiDef channels and watching a third on timeshift, while streaming a HiDef recording to a HD-FOX by DLNA, would be within the "normal" parameters for the stock HDR-FOX.

    I have not seen the crash message, nor heard of it, and can only guess what the full implications are. My guess is that the code hit an error trap and triggered a reboot; this could happen at any time - not just startup.
  5. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    The customised firmware does increase the work that the CPU has to do but only very slightly most of the time. Decryption is no worse in terms of load than streaming to somewhere else on the network at the same time as recording one programme.

    That means that the Humax TV application has crashed. Without the custom firmware that just results in the box rebooting. With the custom firmware and the multienv package installed you will get that message (actually "CRASH - Wait") displayed for 15 seconds while it gives the system time to flush any pending filesystem operations to disk and then a reboot.

    If your box is then coming up it suggests that it is always crashing on the first boot and then not on the second which is odd in itself.
  6. jerrytaff

    jerrytaff New Member

    Thanks af123. When I get the " CRASH -Wait message, I don't get it just the once. As I said in the original post, it loops trying to reboot, and failing - ad infinitum. Switching off for 10 minutes or so clears the problem - another sign that possibly it is an overheating problem. I've tried just cycling power - in the period when the message doesn't show, but if I don't leave it off for a reasonable period it just goes back into the same loop.

    I have had the problem again in the last few days with it first losing the hdmi output, and then failing to reboot - it occurred once on Wednesday and again once tonight. After Weds event I tried to contact Humax - I emailed uksupport@humax-digital.co.uk but have not received a reply. Is there another way of contacting them?
  7. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    I've never had a reply to an email, although there is some indication they have reacted to my emails (possibly coincidental). Ring them up.
  8. prpr

    prpr Well-Known Member

    Companies that publish so-called 'support' email addresses and then never reply (and probably never read) really p*ss me off. What on earth is the point? It just wastes their customers' time. Hardly a good way of impressing them.
  9. jerrytaff

    jerrytaff New Member

    Agreed prpr.

    Black Hole, you wrote about a 2 year warranty if registered the purchase. I believe I did, but I can't find a way of checking - no online "my registered products" page unlike most of the other consumer electronics manufacturers. Its absolutely typical. I've got 3 box files full of receipts, warranties, manuals etc, but I can't find the paperwork for the one item I need it for; and the website is quite explicit -
    Please retain your original receipt/proof of purchase as this will be required to validate any warranty repair in the future.
  10. Brian

    Brian Administrator Staff Member

    I'm sure I have seen it mentioned somewhere, that if you purchased the item with a credit/debit card, you can use the relevant bank/credit card statement as proof of purchase.
  11. HarveyB

    HarveyB Active Member

    Brian is correct, I had my box exchange a couple of weeks ago and the email from Humax clearly states that copy of receipt or bank/credit card statement will suffice.
    No requirement to send copy of registration itself.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  12. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    Not me :D
  13. jerrytaff

    jerrytaff New Member

    Black Hole, you wrote about a 2 year warranty if registered the purchase.
    so who was pretending to be you in the first response to this thread that went
    "My first preference is a warranty claim - if you work fast you should be OK, I believe Humax offer 2 years. Receipt should not be a problem if you registered it with Humax (if you didn't - shame on you)." ?;)
  14. jerrytaff

    jerrytaff New Member

    Thanks brian and HarveyB. I've found the credit card statement - I bought it on 21st Nov 2010. I sent them the email informing them of the fault on 21st Nov 2012. Anyone fancy running a book on whether or not they'll take it back? I bought it from Comet, so no chance of taking it back to the store!
  15. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    Ah, sorry, caught red handed. Somebody else posted something very similar in another topic I think.
  16. HarveyB

    HarveyB Active Member

    You will probably be better phoning them, from comments elsewhere in this forum, they are not to hot on responding to emails.
    I suggest you don't bring up the subject of registration when you talk to them.
    Could be a good idea to register before calling anyway - it does not seem to stop you doing so even after 30 day window.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  17. mihaid

    mihaid Member

    You should be fine because the warranty runs from when you receive the item, the box is not being used whilst in transit, which would have been at least 1 day, right?
  18. jerrytaff

    jerrytaff New Member

    Wrong! I didn't buy it online, but in store (from Comet as stated earlier). So, taken away from the store about 3pm on 21st Nov 2010. Email sent to Humax at 00:25 on 21st Nov 2012. It would be a bit harsh to claim that to be outside the 2 year warranty. Even if they claim that to be the case, I think that consumer law is on my side, because it is reasonable to expect it to last longer. But first I need to find time during office hours to speak to them. (Stupidly busy, and working well into the evening)
  19. jerrytaff

    jerrytaff New Member

    OK, I spoke to them on their 0844 number. Their opening gambit was that it was out of warranty so they couldn't help. That was after being held in a queue for over 5 minutes. Eventually they then stated that they would repair it as a good will gesture but only if I had the original receipt. They claimed that they ALWAYS read and respond to emails, and didn't believe that I had sent them one, but even if I had, it would not have made much difference because they did not even have the 2 year warranty when I made the purchase. They also stated that anyone who has told me that they act on a credit card statement alone is lying; that they never do that. So HarveyB do you still have that email? Where did you buy it though. I imagine that the situation is different if you bought from Humax Direct.

    I went back to Comet to see if they could do a duplicate receipt, but they are in the middle of a closing down sale. Apparently all their HQ staff have gone, as have all the sales databases - they can only access sales from after the date they called the liquidators in. I guess I can get a duplicate sales receipt from Mastercard....
  20. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    Consumer legislation says that within a reasonable period of purchase (which depends on the nature and cost of the product) faults shall be taken as inherent unless the supplier can demonstrate otherwise. This is a legal right and nothing to do with the manufacturers warranty, which is voluntary and goes beyond the legal rights. Your rights beyond the "reasonable period" depend on you being able to prove the fault was inherent at the time of purchase, which nobody normally bothers with because of the difficulty.

    I'm pretty sure 2 years is well beyond the legally enforceable reasonable period, for which you would only need to prove the date of purchase (by any means), and for which it is the retailer who is responsible (not the manufacturer). Thus you are in the hands of what Humax are prepared to do as good will, not what you have a legal right to.