Is my hard drive failing or something else?

rbrian

Member
For the last two weeks, my box has had trouble playing back both recordings and delayed live tv. After about 15 minites, it'll freeze for a couple of seconds, and then carry on playing, but not from the point where it froze - it'll jump forward however long it froze. Live tv is ok, which to my mind points to the hard drive - but the web if diagnostics say it's ok, and I've only had it 6 months. I'd expect it to fail instantly or after a few years. I'm on 1.03.12 2.22. image.jpg
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
It's still probably worth going into Maintenance mode and running the fix-disk procedure. It can't do any harm.
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
For the last two weeks, my box has had trouble playing back both recordings and delayed live tv. After about 15 minites, it'll freeze for a couple of seconds, and then carry on playing, but not from the point where it froze - it'll jump forward however long it froze. Live tv is ok, which to my mind points to the hard drive - but the web if diagnostics say it's ok, and I've only had it 6 months. I'd expect it to fail instantly or after a few years. I'm on 1.03.12 2.22. View attachment 1293
Your photo doesn't show the interesting attributes; what are the values of attribute 5 (reallocated sector count), 9 (Power on hours), 197 (Current pending sector) and 198 (offline uncorrectable)?
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
As you have a 2TB hard disk drive fitted, I'm guessing you fitted the drive yourself. I'm wondering if the drive has been set-up correctly
 
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rbrian

Member
Now it keeps saying the channel is unavailable or scrambled. How do I do more advanced testing? Is that a command line thing? I couldn't find anything else in WebIF. I did indeed fit the drive myself. It's the model recommended on a guide I found, but I didn't do anything special - plugged it in and it just worked. I didn't align sectors or anything, could that be the problem?
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
The newer Humax firmware (1.03.xx) may do the 4K alignment for you now, you can check this in the Web-If >> Diagnostics >> 4kalign >> Run Diagnostic, notes HERE
 
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rbrian

Member
The newer Humax firmware (1.03.xx) may do the 4K alignment for you now, you can check this in the Web-If >> Diagnostics >> 4kalign >> Run Diagnostic, notes HERE


Thanks! It's easy when you know how! The output looks fine to me. I also attached some more details about the hard drive, but I don't really understand what it's saying. I have to go to work now, I'll do some more testing this evening.

I discovered last night that SD recordings play, with some skipping, but HD recordings either take up 0 bytes and couldn't be tracked, or take up the right amount of space, but just display a black screen with a banner saying the channel is unavailable or scrambled. That sounds more like software to me, perhaps something to do with decryption? Where should I look?
SmartAttributes.pngAlign4k.png
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Now it keeps saying the channel is unavailable or scrambled.
Try a factory reset: Menu >> Settings >> Installation >> Factory Default. This will require retuning and restoring your schedule (manual or automatic from WebIF), but not affect anything on the HDD (unless you select the format option).
 
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rbrian

Member
I upgraded to 1.03.12/3.00 this morning, and the only HD recording today works fine. I guess that would do much of the same stuff as a factory reset. Now, assuming new recordings will be ok, how can I recover the old ones?
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
I also attached some more details about the hard drive, but I don't really understand what it's saying.
The hard drive SMART data looks to me as though the disk is in very good health.
I discovered last night that SD recordings play, with some skipping, but HD recordings either take up 0 bytes and couldn't be tracked, or take up the right amount of space, but just display a black screen with a banner saying the channel is unavailable or scrambled. That sounds more like software to me, perhaps something to do with decryption?
Have you tried turning off the power supply to the box and waiting for 2 minutes and then turning it on again (ie not just putting it into standby)? We sometimes see problems with the encryption keys and (maybe once or twice a year) and the only fix is to turn off the power.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I upgraded to 1.03.12/3.00 this morning, and the only HD recording today works fine. I guess that would do much of the same stuff as a factory reset. Now, assuming new recordings will be ok, how can I recover the old ones?
I wasn't sure from your post whether the live channels were scrambled or just recordings. The Humax can get into a state where the encrypt/decrypt key is corrupted - during which time only new recordings will play back, and after a cold restart (which re-establishes the key) old recordings and new recordings will play but not those recorded during the corrupted state.

There is no way to recover recordings that were scrambled like this, unless they were decrypted at the time. Any recordings from previously that were decrypted during the corruption are also lost (unless their previous state is preserved in the undelete folder).

Updating firmware is not the same as a factory reset. I suggested that as a means to recover from scrambled live broadcasts.

If you are in a position where a large number of supposedly decrypted recordings are not playing, it could be that the ENC flag is not correctly reflecting the state of their contents. If a decrypted file has the ENC flag set, or if an encrypted file has the ENC flag clear, the Humax will be confused and report it as scrambled. You can manipulate the ENC flag using the hmt utility on the Telnet command line, or I think there may be a WebIF diagnostic to do it.
 
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rbrian

Member
Live TV is and always has been OK. I found encheck, which runs from WebIF, and reports 3 files with the wrong flag. All 3 of them are old, and play ok. There are actually around 50 which fail to play!

I seem to remember a fix to do with sidecar files which worked in the past with those which say they take up zero space, but I can't quite remember how I did that.

Is there anything that can be done for the encrypted ones? A message did pop up when I went into WebIF, saying decryption had failed for several files. Even if they don't play on the box, could I do something with a computer?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
It depends exactly what's wrong. If they have failed to decrypt because they were encrypted with a corrupt key, there is nothing anybody can do. If they have failed because they were decrypted with a corrupt key, again there is nothing that can be done with the "decrypted" file - only if the original still exists somewhere (af123 will have to say whether the WebIF auto-decrypt is intelligent enough not to replace the original file if the decrypt fails).

The best bet, at the moment (and in my opinion) is to disable auto-decrypt for the time being and handle everything manually. For a "scrambled" decrypted recording, try flipping the ENC flag back with the hmt utility and see if the recording then plays (on the Humax).

No, there's nothing that can be done with an encrypted file on a PC. The only thing that knows how to decrypt it is the Humax that encrypted it (and no other). On the other hand, if the .ts is in fact decrypted but the .hmt flags are wrong, playing the .ts on a PC (or making the .hmt inaccessible by renaming it and then playing the .ts on the Humax) should work.
 
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