I think my box is dying

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jerrytaff

Member
Actually, Black Hole, that is not quite correct.

Quote from the Which Website
Sale of Goods Act says that goods should be of 'satisfactory quality', and in practice, they should last a reasonable amount of time before developing a problem. If something develops a fault, the retailer is legally responsible if the product could not have reasonably been expected to develop that fault at the time it did.

So, for example, if the LED display on a £20 DVD player breaks after two years you probably won't have a claim. But if a £200 DVD player breaks down completely after two years, you may be able to claim against the retailer.

The problem which you have identified is that my claim would be against the retailer who has gone bust. It is harder to pursue the manufacturer because the contract (of sale) was not with them.
The point for everyone to take on board, though is that the time a warranty is good for comes down to what is considered a "reasonable amount of time" for the item. I think that I remember reading that that for a premium brand TV it is has been established in court that irrespective of the warranty, a refund can be claimed if the item fails within 3 years. I don't think that anyone has yet established what it is for a PVR.
I suspect though that I would have another problem.... proving the box is faulty. It takes a few hours before it fails, and how do I know that it isn't a handshaking issue that is specific to my TV, or to the environment it finds itself operating in - anything from the mains voltage in my home (lightbulbs blow regularly because they are designed for 220V and my domestic supply is approx 250V), to the quality of the earth.
So, if it is returned, unless it failed under a repeat of the factory pass-out test due to a marginal voltage or timing, how patient would Humax be in connecting the box to the appropriate TV and waiting for (or trying to induce) the fault, before declaring "no fault found" and returning it unrepaired?
 

HarveyB

Active Member
. 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.

Jerry, yes I do have copy of their email, will send it to you directly. It even has name of Humax rep. Looks like a standard email text to me.
I bought my box from Superfi in midlands on 1 December 2010 - and it was covered by 2 year warranty and that was already the "standard" before then if I remember correctly.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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jerrytaff

Member
"I thought my box was dying", But it's taken another eight and a half years to expire!!!! Humax never did accept responsibility under warranty - to save you reading from the start, my machine was overheating under load just as the warranty expired, and the thread was left at the point where Humax wouldn't accept my credit card receipt as proof of purchase and I couldn't get a duplicate sales receipt because Comet had called in the administrators.

However, reverting to stock firmware, and providing a bit of extra ventilation it seemed stable so I decided to keep it. By 2014 I had a later version of the custom firmware running on it, had upgraded to a 2 Tbye disk, and it was still fine. I did manage to break the aerial connector off the UHF demodulator, but somehow got a good connection with it glued back.

However this week, it finally expired. I found it in a reboot loop. It would reprogramme, but otherwise, the only way of getting it out of the reboot loop is to disconnect the hard disk. It then behaves fine as a receiver, and also talks to my PC over ethernet. I have checked the disk out separately, and it seems fine. Plugging the original disk back puts it back into the reboot loop. The PSU looks fine to me, no sign of blown electrolytic capacitors. So, my thought is that it is probably the hard disk controller that has failed. The fan never seems to spin up now, but perhaps I shouldn't expect it to in a reboot loop or without a hard disk.

Still. for a machine that seemed to be dying before it was two, living to ten and a half isn't bad going.


Before offering it as spares, is there anything else I should do to try to revive it?
 

bottletop

Active Member
..
Before offering it as spares, is there anything else I should do to try to revive it?
Others that have this issue or things to consider
https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/hdr-fox-t2-boot-loop-resurrection.10229/
https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/start-up-fails-when-hdd-connected.10164/
https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/humax-hdr-fox-t2-power-up-issues.10158/
Maybe try to see it it will start up with a spare laptop drive (they have lower power requirements) - it won't solve the problem, only delay a dying HDR.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I have checked the disk out separately, and it seems fine. Plugging the original disk back puts it back into the reboot loop.
I take it from what you say the symptoms are present with two different HDDs, and at least one of the HDDs works elsewhere.

I have had a system on the bench which shows the following symptoms (not necessarily the same cause):
  • With HDD connected: VFD shows normal start-up, until the point at which it normally goes blank and the HDD is powered up. When that is due to happen the system resets and the boot restarts.

  • Win no HDD connected: System starts normally.
I have not concluded my research on this, but it is a fault on the main board. It is possible (but not certain) there could be a fix in the future.
 
OP
J

jerrytaff

Member
Thanks Both,

Black Hole - Yes, I have the same symptoms that you described; both with the original 500GByte HDD ( I never throw anything away) and the 2TByte upgrade disk. Just before the system resets and the boot restarts, the TV screen flashes green for a fraction of a second.

bottletop, I had previously followed the instructions on https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/steps-for-resolving-hdr-fox-crash-reboot-issues.5320/
which includes the System Flush etc. It didn't help, and your other links don't seem to provide any additional solutions, although an issue around the 5V regulator is definitely a possibility. There are several models on Ebay going cheap for spares only at the moment. They supposedly suffered from a disc controller failure. If that really is the reason, then it seems that it is a weakness in the design. and is likely that mine has gone the same way.
 

bottletop

Active Member
..
bottletop, I had previously followed the instructions on https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/steps-for-resolving-hdr-fox-crash-reboot-issues.5320/
which includes the System Flush etc. It didn't help, and your other links don't seem to provide any additional solutions, although an issue around the 5V regulator is definitely a possibility. There are several models on Ebay going cheap for spares only at the moment. They supposedly suffered from a disc controller failure. If that really is the reason, then it seems that it is a weakness in the design. and is likely that mine has gone the same way.
Yes, it's most likely a motherboard power issue, that's why I thought I'd throw in the suggestion
..
Maybe try to see it it will start up with a spare laptop drive (they have lower power requirements) - it won't solve the problem, only delay a dying HDR.
I.e. try a 2.5 inch sata2 laptop drive and see if you have the same symptoms. it may allow the HDR boot and keep you going.
(Although you'll regain most functionality but it won't be ideal as the 2.5 inch drive may not be optimised for PVR use. It'll only a temporary workaround - until a more permanent fix/solution.)
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
try a 2.5 inch sata2 laptop drive
Interesting experiment but I would say limited chance of success. 2½" drives don't require a 12V supply, so all the power has to come from 5V – and it's the 5V to the drive which is troublesome in my test system.
 
OP
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jerrytaff

Member
As I said. There have been a number of boxes available on ebay; and I managed to pick up a replacement for £36 (including postage). It seems to be in good condition and appeared never to have been opened - warranty seal still intact. I swapped my 2T byte hard disk into it and installed the custom firmware.

With the hard disk restored, I have access to the old diagnostic material. Looking the temperature monitor, I can now see that my old box, which was permanently on a had a temperature between 41 and 51 deg c with the fan mainly off over the last year, until 21st May, when the temperature ramped up to 55 deg. it then cycled between 55 deg (when it turned the fan on 100%) and 50 deg (with the fan on 25%) for a few days, and then was at an indicated 55 deg with the fan on 100% almost constantly for 2 weeks before it broke completely. Is there anything else in the diagnostics which is likely to give a clue as to what it was that broke?

Now some questions regarding the new system. I guess I did things in the wrong sequence... I swapped the disk containing the software packages to support the custom software before updating the firmware. Although the WebIF works, it seems that some of the other packages do not - although fan and new-portal are indicated as installed, and although I can set the minimum fan setting from the WebIF, that setting doesn't do anything, and the box displays the Humax Portal not the New custom one. So, what is the best way to get everything to work? I've tried uninstalling and re-installing the two packages mentioned above, but that does not seem to have made a difference. I suspect I'll have to remove them all and then re-install them one by one.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I recommend doing an RMA and reinstalling from scratch, because you now have no baseline. Were your recordings decrypted? If not, you'll need to use the WebIF advanced settings to impose the encryption key from the old box.

Reinstate Corrupted CF via RMA Mode
[Post earmarked for future reference and maintenance]

The following will (should) wipe the CF from the HDD so that it can be re-installed from scratch (Flash update from USB is rarely necessary). Note this does not wipe any recordings, recording schedule, tuning etc. A less drastic option, where a full re-install is not required, is to run fixweb from the Telnet menu (see step 2 below). It is wise to be running the latest version of CF – if in doubt, check.
  1. Establish a Telnet connection (for details see https://wiki.hummy.tv/wiki/Telnet). If asked for your PIN, the default is "0000" (this can be changed by the user). If not presented with a menu, at the command prompt type "tmenu".
  2. From the Telnet menu select option "rma".
  3. Reboot.
  4. Re-establish a Telnet connection (as above), and from the menu select the option to reset RMA mode.
  5. Access the HDR-FOX's IP address from a web browser – the option should be available to re-install CF.
The process was originally mooted based on general knowledge from this forum, but without explicit testing by the author. It was subsequently verified:
Well that was quick & simple - that worked, WebIF now working.

RMA stands for Return of Materials Authorisation, and is jargon for the paperwork meant to accompany returns through the company's Goods Inwards department - so they know what to do with it. Unfortunately the office jargon got out into the wild, so now RMA means the returns process in general.

Setting RMA mode in the HDR-FOX CF is to prepare for erasing all traces of CF from a unit for warranty return, and (as the first stage) wipes CF from the HDD. It has to be completed by installing standard firmware (thus wiping traces of CF from Flash), but in this case we don't want to do that. CF re-installation is inhibited by a flag in "RMA Mode", so to reinstall CF the RMA flag has to be reset first (as per step 4 above).
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
Although the WebIF works, it seems that some of the other packages do not
Some packages have things installed in flash, not just on the disk. By changing the unit, you have obviously lost the bits in flash.
So, what is the best way to get everything to work?
Run the fix-flash-packages diagnostic, which re-installs all those packages which have components in flash.
I've tried uninstalling and re-installing the two packages mentioned above, but that does not seem to have made a difference.
It should have done. You need to reboot to activate them.
 
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jerrytaff

Member
Thanks for the explanation prpr. I ran fix-flash and rebooted and the new portal now works. It seemed a simpler, quicker first try than BlackHole's more radical solution which I kept up my sleeve in case it didn't work. If I were to have gone down the RMA route, wouldn't the CFW reset and RMA buttons on Diagnostics do the job?

Sysmon still indicates the fan is off, even though I set the minimum to 100%. As the temperature is now down to the same sort of value that the old box sat at, and it passes Black Hole's tissue test for a running fan, I can only conclude that the Sysmon graphic is very simplified. After all, the legend shows: fan off, quarter, half and full, but the fan package acknowledges the settings are:
  • 70% - once the HDD temperature reaches 55°C;
  • 65% - when the temperature drops to 54°C;
  • 55% - when the temperature drops to 51°C;
  • 0% - when the temperature drops to 49°C;
So it seems that perhaps I should interpret the settings as minimum, 2nd setting, 3rd, 4th. Having set the minimum at 100%, (which is how I stopped the original box from crashing when I started this thread 8.5 years ago), I should expect the graphic to show only green. Also, although the graphic maxed at 55 deg c, the S.M.A.R.T. data shows the disk hit 65 deg but I don't know when that occurred. Is the raw data displayed in the sysmon graphic stored anywhere?

Finally, prior to the old box dying, S.M.A.R.T. data graphic from Sysmon showed no errors until Jan this year when the offline count went to 8. On 30th April it jumped to over 1000. increasing to 1500 the next day. That was 3 weeks before it started overheating. When it finally went into the reboot loop, according to Sysmon, the values changed to 16 offline and 72 reallocated. They have remained at that level since moving it to the new box.

How likely do you think it is it that the disk is on borrowed time, having been stressed by whatever it was subjected to when the old box failed?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Sysmon still indicates the fan is off
sysmon doesn't tell you what the fan is actually doing, only what it is predicted to have been doing were the standard algorithm in place.

How likely do you think it is it that the disk is on borrowed time
Doesn't sound good, but who knows? It all depends on your attitude to risk.

If I were to have gone down the RMA route, wouldn't the CFW reset and RMA buttons on Diagnostics do the job?
Only part of it. The only way to clear the RMA flag without using Telnet is to install a standard firmware before you reinstall CF. Might as well use Telnet (and it's worth getting in your toolbox).
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
Is the raw data displayed in the sysmon graphic stored anywhere?
Yes, otherwise it wouldn't be able to generate the graphs!
How likely do you think it is it that the disk is on borrowed time, having been stressed by whatever it was subjected to when the old box failed?
It depends what the rest of the stats. say. I wouldn't be worried yet, based on this limited information.
 
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J

jerrytaff

Member
...but not once you've done an RMA.
That's why I wasn't keen to go straight down that route. Now it seems that everything is working fine without having done the RMA. I have used the Telnet menus previously - for disk diagnosis when the original HDD had some corruptions; I just couldn't see the point of the Diagnostic Icons if they don't do the same job.
 

xyz321

Well-Known Member
The only time it should be necessary to use the RMA option is when it is required to revert to standard firmware with no evidence of the custom firmware having been installed. If the requirement is to clean out all the installed packages and associated data to fix some unknown problem then a "CFW Reset" should be sufficient.

It does the same thing as RMA but without the final step of installing standard firmware or resetting the RMA flag via the telnet menu.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
It does the same thing as RMA but without the final step of installing standard firmware or resetting the RMA flag via the telnet menu.
Great, I wasn't sure of that and have never been prepared to try it. So you end up with the WebIF download screen?
 
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J

jerrytaff

Member
Yes, otherwise it wouldn't be able to generate the graphs!

It depends what the rest of the stats. say. I wouldn't be worried yet, based on this limited information.
What I really meant is to ask whether the data is accessible in an easily readable form, and if so where?
The rest of the disk stats look OK. Now that the fan control is working, and its running cool, I think it will probably be OK. I just was interested to find out more about the temperature history. When going back far enough to see the problem, the graphic only takes one sample point per day.
 
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