Rebooting loop & can't install custom firmware

Ann

New Member
Hi, I would be grateful for any help - I have two problems with my Humax HDR Fox T2 (1 TB hard disk).

It's started constantly freezing then rebooting (after a few seconds of showing BBC 1), just like a previous poster (sorry it won't let me include the link, but it ends with humax-hdr-fox-t2-crashing-on-start-up.3849/) but only when the aerial cable is connected. When the aerial cable is disconnected, it stops rebooting, and I can play previously recorded files. 5V Antenna Power is set to Off (and always has been). Content Share is off, and always has been. It's not connected to the network and hasn't been for ages since the portal stopped working a while ago - just HDMI and power connections.

I've looked at the steps on the webpage ending "steps-for-resolving-hdr-fox-crash-reboot-issues.5320" - but it's already set to BBC1 and the problem persists whenever the aerial is connected.

When I try HDD Test, it says "HDD Test Fail - You may recover the HDD through Format Storage (Error code: 8)".

I'm reluctant to reformat unless absolutely necessary, as I haven't watched all my old recordings yet.

I tried the System Flush Update File from the link ending cfwget.html?file=HDRFLUSH.

So that I could use fix-disk, I also attempted to install the custom firmware downloaded from the link ending "cfwget.html?file=HDR_FOX_T2_1.03.12_mod_3.10.zip"

Each time, I used a USB stick formatted FAT32 with nothing else on the stick, plugged in at the front right of the device.

But every time, with the System Flush file and also with the custom firmware file, nothing comes up on the screen about progress. No percentage time bar, certainly no End or "Success Downloading!" message. Just the usual message (because the aerial is disconnected) about "The receiver is not receiving a signal or the signal is too weak".

I've tried both uppercase and lowercase naming of the hdf file, ie HDR_FOX_T2_Upgrade.hdf file and HDR_FOX_T2_upgrade.hdf file. Still the same thing.

It seems to have done something in that it now fast forwards at 16x, which I'm sure it never used to do, I think it was 8x max.

I would be very grateful for any suggestions please as to how to check and fix the disk and stop the constant rebooting when the aerial is connected? And how to get it to install the custom firmware?
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
Just unzip the .zip file, extract the .hdf file and put it on the USB stick without mucking about with the name.
Try the rear USB socket if you can't get the front one to work.
Make sure the device goes off properly - a full shutdown. If unsure, turn off and then on again using the switch on the back.
Firmware should then load. If not, try a different stick.

You will need a network connection between your PC and the T2 to make any further progress.
Do not format the disk!
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
It seems to have done something in that it now fast forwards at 16x, which I'm sure it never used to do, I think it was 8x max.
Incorrect.

It's not connected to the network and hasn't been for ages since the portal stopped working a while
The TV Portal does work - BBC iPlayer no longer supports the pre-1.03.xx firmware.

I would be very grateful for any suggestions please how to stop the constant rebooting when the aerial is connected?
Try disconnecting the aerial, then running a factory reset (Menu >> Settings >> Installation >> Factory Default - the default PIN is "0000") - you will need to reconnect the aerial to make progress once the reset operation has started.

And how to get it to install the custom firmware?
Installing the CF is no different from manual installation of a standard firmware download. As prpr said, you do not fiddle around with the files, just unzip to the UPD and run the standard procedure. You need to gain confidence in what you are doing, and note that you have a much better chance of success with UPDs of 2GB or smaller. Try a standard firmware download first if you are unsure. More info here: https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/quick-start-guide.1301/#post-26066 - see section "installation".
 
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Ann

New Member
Thank you for your suggestions prpr and Black Hole, I'm sorry that I couldn't respond until this weekend.

Case - I had previously tried the system flush and firmware upgrade (sequentially), using a 2GB USB stick with nothing else on it except the single unzipped file, with the original files from the zipped downloads. I only tried to change the filename to uppercase AFTER it didn't work with the original unzipped file. Neither lowercase or uppercase filename worked, with either the system flush or upgrade.

Factory reset - I should have mentioned that I'd already tried a factory reset previously (with the aerial disconnected, then reconnected when it started scanning), several times, and it didn't work. After I saved the channels detected, it just started the rebooting loop again. I've just tried it again for luck, and got the same thing - constant rebooting loop when the aerial is connected.

Power switch - I've also now tried using the power switch at the back instead of the round switch at the front of the device, and that didn't work for either the system flush or firmware upgrade, whether the USB stick was plugged into the front OR the back of the device. Just the same "The receiver is not receiving a signal or the signal is too weak" shows, nothing about a flush or upgrade progress.

I'd be very grateful for any further suggestions (beyond buying another PVR!). I guess I'll try a different USB stick next.

Is there a way to connect the Hummy to my PC and try to force the system flush or firmware upgrade from there? (I assume I don't need to connect to my PC to the Hummy BEFORE trying the flush or upgrade, just having the USB stick plugged in with the right file in it when booting should work?)

Thanks in advance for any more thoughts.
 
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Ann

New Member
Just to report that, with a 512MB USB stick, the system flush actually did something. However, when I reconnected the aerial for the channel scan and finished it, it then started the constant rebooting again. I'll try with the same stick but the firmware upgrade file instead tomorrow, and hope that will do a proper firmware upgrade and let me try using fix-disk.

Any ideas as to why the constant rebooting when the aerial is connected would be most gratefully received.
 

Border

Member
Have you tried resetting the DLNA database? Or clearing the EPG. Someone may be able to tell you how to clear the EPG database.
 

Border

Member
However, when I reconnected the aerial for the channel scan and finished it, it then started the constant rebooting again.

When you get to the stage of rescanning perhaps try a manual scan of a single 'mux' perhaps non BBC and then try plugging in ariel . Does it reboot on all groups of channels or only certain groups of channels?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Try disconnecting the hard drive. If you can't get any joy even then, I'm sorry to say I think it's had it.
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
Any ideas as to why the constant rebooting when the aerial is connected would be most gratefully received.
It's probably trying to write the time shift buffer on a partition with a corrupted filesystem.
Custom firmware + fix-disk is your best option, as you have correctly identified.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Disconnecting the HDD should diagnose that. If the reboots stop with the HDD disconnected, there is every chance that repairing the HDD (or even fitting a new one) will resolve the problem. If they don't...

Not disconnecting the HDD leads to the difficulty of how to apply fix-disk with the reboots going on.
 
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prpr

Well-Known Member
It won't write to the time shift buffer without a signal to record. This has already been ascertained. Neither does unplugging the aerial require opening the case.

In any case, in maintenace mode, there is no signal recorded as the Humax software is shutdown. This is the whole point of maintenance mode.
 
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Ann

New Member
Thank you all for your kind suggestions, especially prpr for the explanation on why it's doing this.

Black Hole I'd rather open up the case and disconnect the hard drive only as a last resort. I'm a bit clumsy with physical things, at school I was always the one spilling chemicals or dropping blobs of solder, and I don't want to risk breaking something! So I want to try other options first.

Border I'm not on custom firmware yet and don't know how to reset the DLNA database or clear the EPG, is there a way to do that for the standard firmware please? I'm on version 1.03.12. It's hard to change channels in time before it starts rebooting, but so far it's rebooted while tuned to BBC1 and also Film4+1. I should mention that I'd previously tried a manual scan, but that didn't work. I don't quite follow, how can I do a manual scan of a single mux and then reconnect the aerial? Doesn't the aerial have to be connected during the scan?

prpr thank you for confirming the view that custom firmware and fix-disk is the best option. I'll try that later and report back - I assume you think there isn't a more lightweight solution?
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Disconnecting the HDD is not at all difficult, in fact it would be pretty difficult to get it wrong. Switch off the box. Remove the three screws holding the lid on and pull the flat red wire that goes from the main board to the HDD. Its easier to pull it at the main board end (it just pulls off, there is no 'catch' holding it in place). There is no need to remove the 4 way power cable (which does have a 'catch').
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
thank you for confirming the view that custom firmware and fix-disk is the best option. I'll try that later and report back - I assume you think there isn't a more lightweight solution?
If you want to get the unit working again... no. Disconnecting the drive is a quick way to see if it is the cause of the problem, but assuming it is you will need a way to restore it. You could spend a lot of time getting to fix-disk and waiting for it to run, and then find it didn't help (which is not to say that it won't). It just depends how averse you are to opening up: do it first, with a potential large saving in time, or run fix-disk first with the risk you may end up having to open it in the end anyway (or maybe not).
 
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Ann

New Member
Thanks all for your further comments.

Trev - that's really helpful, ta, but as I'm not the most dextrous of people, I'll wait till I can have a friend round next weekend who can help me disconnect the hard disk with less risk of damage!

I assume if the drive is the problem, the only solution is to buy a new drive? Or even a new PVR?

Black Hole - thanks for the link, in fact I'd found it previously and tried the steps there first. I tried to include the link in my first post but the forum wouldn't let me as I don't have enough posts, which is why I just included the ending humax-hdr-fox-t2-crashing-on-start-up.3849/ Just for completeness, the rebooting loop only happens with the aerial connected, but it's still doing that even after a reset to factory default and attempted system flush (and attempted custom firmware install). Even when it's tuned to BBC1. As mentioned previously, 5V Antenna Power is set to Off (and always has been). Content Share is off, and always has been. It's not connected to my network as my TV Portal had seemed to stop working a while back (I couldn't get anything on the portal, I know iPlayer had stopped working but there was nothing else either - and I'm on 1.03.12.)

All - I tried to upgrade to the custom firmware using a 512MB USB stick, and it seemed to work this time in that it was showing progress and seemed to complete, but - really basic question I know - how do I check that the custom firmware has in fact "taken" please? After removing the stick and starting up again, it doesn't look very different at all. My System info says "Software version FHTCP 1.03.12". It was 1.03.12 before but I can't recall if it had the FHTCP prefix. And if I connect the aerial back, it's still continually rebooting.. Don't know if I should make another attempt to install the custom firmware?
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Don't bother with all the upgrade stuff yet. Just do the HDD thing, then report back. As BH says you can waste an awful amount of time trying to prove whether or not it's the HDD when a five min bit of unscrewing/disconnecting will put you on the right track pretty much straight away.
If the drive is the problem, and you can stop the constant reboot, it is possible that it can be fixed, or worst case replaced. You say it's not connected to your network as the portal does not work, but is the network cable disconnected?
 
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Ann

New Member
I'd retried the upgrade before your last reply Trev, and after reconnecting my network cable I have my TV Portal working again, when for ages it wasn't showing anything! The portal only shows BBC, YouTube etc (I guess 5, 4, etc aren't doing apps for this), but it's great to have iPlayer on there, I've tried playing something and it works. I'm just about to download and install the full web interface.

Trev, I do appreciate your point about the HDD disconnection thing, but I'll have to leave that until the weekend when I have a friend coming round as I don't trust my manual dexterity (you haven't seen how clumsy I am, and my eyesight is really bad too which doesn't help!).

I'm pretty sure it's the HDD given what prpr said. The question is how bad it is - if it can be fixed through fix-disk, I figure it's worth giving that a go.
 
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Ann

New Member
I've installed the full web interface and on connecting to my device via my PC web browser, got this message:

!! WARNING !!

There appear to be some hardware problems with the internal hard disk on this device.

Disk realloc sector count is: 1160
Disk pending sector count is: 27
Disk offline sector count is: 27
Go to disk diagnostics

I clicked the diagnostics link but the table of results is huge. I've saved the file in case it's helpful to post any of it here. SMART Status PASSED but lots of read failures.

Installing Putty soon to try maintenance mode.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Fair enough. there can't be a lot wrong with the HDD as you can still play stuff. I suspect that prpr got it in post #9 with a corrupt TS buffer or somesuch.
 
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