Whats happening to my ULT ? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Microsoft UltimateTV PVR > Whats happening to my ULT ?
teejay44's Avatar teejay44 10:10 PM 06-15-2005
Lately while I'm watching a recorded show, the picture I'm watching on myb my ULT will start flashing and in a couple seconds will go to a blue screen . I will have to turn it off for a while , I can turn it on and it will work for a while....Tonight I was trying to watch a show and it died.

>It is about 5 or 6 years old with a 160 gb HD upgrade, 6 months ago.
>No failed tuners
>It has happened with 85% full and 95%

Tonight it happened and I went through and dumped a bunch of shows. I am down to 80% and havn't had a problem for the past 10 minutes.

Is it a capacity problem ?
Any thought's ?
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kmp14's Avatar kmp14 12:07 PM 06-16-2005
Sounds like the hard drive is dying.
teejay44's Avatar teejay44 09:41 PM 06-16-2005
I had a HD go out.... The ULT tries to dial out and can't....This isn't the same symptoms...
Went out 3 times tonight , now I unplugged for 10 min and still won't come back... Guess I'll leave it off over night.......
lgodave's Avatar lgodave 09:25 PM 06-17-2005

By "now I unplugged for 10 min and still won't come back", I hope you don't mean it will not power up... (Be sure your power cord is good and the circuit is still LIVE)

Instead of unplugging your UTV you might try a UTV "Reset" Code like 12357... easier then unplugging the UTV. IF you must unplug it... I prefer disconnecting it from the wall and Not directly at the UTV power connector itself... Never like the "arcing" noises it makes...

I'd suggest before attempting a Hard Drive Replacement that you "Restore" the UTV to it's "out of the box" like condition.

Using UTV Code 23552355 will basicly default your UTV back to a "like new" conditon. (THIS WILL DELETE ALL YOUR RECORDINGS AND UPCOMING RECORDING SETTINGS so be sure to dump what you want to save before doing the code)

You will be left with a UTV (with it's OS intact) that should hopefully work like new. If it doesn't you may have to look at problems with the UTV itself or possibly with parts of your SAT Setup. Cable Runs, Connectors, Multi-Switchs, LNBS, etc...

Keep us posted.

Good Luck,
teejay44's Avatar teejay44 02:27 PM 06-18-2005
I left it unplugged over night.... Didn't use it that day , Sat. afternoon fire it up and watch about 20 min. of recorded material then flash it dies again....If it is hard drive,,,,how come it is still recording the show s with no problem? It is at 75% now..I have had the unit up on blocks to stay cool for years now . it is in the open air , not a cabinet.

No long time Ult, people recognize these symtoms ???
lgodave's Avatar lgodave 09:27 AM 06-19-2005

By "flash" you are talking the Video Feed not the UTV Lights flashing, right?

When it "dies" does the UTV actually power "off" or reset?

I'd be interested to know when it "dies" IF the Video feed is still intact and the problem is with cables or maybe the TV.

Are you using RCA A/V Cables... S-Video... and/or Coaxial cable connection to the TV?

If it's RCA A/V Cables try using the second set of connectors on the UTV (AND the TV if you got them). If you have a different pair of A/V Cables try those too. If that fails try the Coaxial Cable feed... A bad S-Video alone would probably still give you audio (unless the TV is cutting out the signal). If you are using Coaxial Cable try to connect your UTV via A/V cables to your TV/VCR/Receiver to check the A/V signal.

A bad cable or loose connection might explain the "flashing" and Blue Screen I guess.

Keep us posted on what you find and post a more exact/detailed account of your UTV problem. If as you say the UTV can "record" without error AND a check of the History Log shows no Start/Stop interuptions of recorded/recording shows then I'd suspect an EXTERNAL problem with your UTV...

If you suspect it is INTERNAL, I'd still recommend the 23552355 code it should clear up any glitching software problems and clear the buffers.
teejay44's Avatar teejay44 05:09 PM 06-20-2005
The flash , is the actual picture flickering and flashing right before it goes to a blue screen. The green light stays on and will flash as I push the buttons on the remote. After the picture dies I power off...I can usually wait a couple minutes and try to power on . sometimes it comes right back on, other times I have to wait upwards 10 or 15 minutes. I am at 75% on a six month old 160 gig HD. The history shows all shows recorded, no tuner changes. Is there a lot more heat from a 160 gig vs the original HD ? The problem doesn't seem to be a cble problem, Have not moved the unit or the cables and the problem just comes and goes w/o any physical movement on my part or the Ult.
BTW ,,, I have S-video to 55' mitsu.
Thanx for your help.
teejay44's Avatar teejay44 11:07 PM 06-27-2005
The last 3 days things are like normal... I have no idea what changed...happy though...
lgodave's Avatar lgodave 03:49 PM 06-28-2005

Are you using a Battery Backup (UPS) Power Strip on your UTV?

Not that it's common but if it is/was then you can discount power flux from being the cause of the problem. UTVs and DVRs don't like Brown/Blackouts in general.
teejay44's Avatar teejay44 04:24 PM 06-29-2005
No battery back up ....I did delete to about 75%...I'm going to fill it up again and see what happens ...
lgodave's Avatar lgodave 05:23 PM 06-29-2005

I'd suggest dumping the rest of your recordings and try the 23552355 code which will "restore" the UTV to an "out of the box" condition. (You will lose all recordings/upcoming recordings and setting)

While some don't recommend it, I regularly keep all of my UTVs (4 of them) running in the upper 90% range... I just hate dumping stuff I might watch someday (alot of the stuff I recorded but haven't gotten around to watching)... My UTVs don't seem have any problems doing this...

I regularly run both tuners on channel 1020 and just watch off the Hard Drive and rarely from "Live" Feeds... So that might effect how my UTVs perform...

Point of the story is, it's good to "clean out" the Hard Drive once and a while (Just like with your PC) and start over... but if properly maintained there shouldn't be a reason why you MUST keep your UTV % below a certain level.

"Restoring" the UTV and refilling the Hard Drive from that point will give you a better idea if the problem is Hardware related... since the "Restore" option should reduce the possible Software concerns.

Good Luck,
teejay44's Avatar teejay44 10:06 PM 07-14-2005
Well after about two weeks of trouble free sub 85% capaity, The problem has returned .. When it gets to 85% the picture starts to shake and jump, then goes to grey.Then the ULT won't respond to any commands. I have deleted to about 75% and so far its running good.... I guess it must be this HD since no one else confirms a problem with these symptoms.....Just hope it holds out till the HD DVR's get here....
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