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Cisco 8640HDC HD-DVR Thread - Page 12

post #331 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCWebb View Post

On the "shrinking" DVR disk space problem, I also experienced this. Using the diagnostic screen on my 8640HDC with TWC ODN 5.2.0_9 I had ~60GB showing available out of a 295 GB AVFS file system with no shows recorded. The TWC tech., although friendly enough could only suggest that I turn off "AUTOHD". Multiple cold reboots did not improve the situation. I even took the drive out and put it in my Linux box, but I couldn't find anything that would recognize the file system to attempt a repair.
I was able to correct the problem using a tool CISCO builds into the box's firmware. There is a Hard disk Diagnostic Tool (HDT), that scans the whole disk and attempts to repair any problems it finds. The official CISCO document 4030720 Rev B, is available on the web (use your favorite search engine). NOTE: this tool WILL ERASE all your recordings! In this respect you may be no better off than exchanging your box. For me, I wanted to figure out how to fix this problem.
Hope this helps!
Nice find. Thanx for posting.

-nony
post #332 of 418
Does the Cisco tool just erase the recordings or all settings (I.E. your series manager and scheduled recordings settings). If it's just the recordings, that's better than having to personalize another whole box.
post #333 of 418
I solved the problem by getting rid of my 8640HDC biggrin.gif


Using an 8742HDC now and it seems pretty solid for now. At least until the next Navigator update.
post #334 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by frothy View Post

Does the Cisco tool just erase the recordings or all settings (I.E. your series manager and scheduled recordings settings). If it's just the recordings, that's better than having to personalize another whole box.
It will reset all user settings and recordings. But this may be the best last resort, if nothing else works.

Here is the direct link to the HDD Diagnostic Tool documentation -
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/video/at_home/Set-Tops/8000_STTs/4030720_B.pdf

-nony
Edited by nony - 9/10/12 at 7:32pm
post #335 of 418
Thanks Nony. That worked! Nothing else did and since I would have to reprogram a new box if tradining in, I figured I would save myself the hassle of unhooking everything and taking the trip to the local office. Many thanks for the tip. Worked beautifully and now I have my full storage space back.
post #336 of 418
How often should the box be rebooted?
post #337 of 418
FYI, I was also experiencing the "shrinking" DVR disk space problem on my 8640 on the newest (black) Navigator. Running the HDD diagnostic fixed the issue after nothing else (including TWC KC phone support) worked. Glad you all are here, saved me a swap/service appt.
post #338 of 418
Recently my TWC HD-DVR model 8642HDC has been having issues with tuning SDV channels.
Its random but I'm getting too many of the "channel not available now" messages on some SDV channels where I never got that before the past week or so.
Its been affecting some DVR recordings on some SDV channels as well now - missing recordings because of that.
The signal levels look good and I tried even bypassing all splitters and just a direct coax cable from the main outside coax feed to the HD-DVR and no improvement.
Rebooting the HD-DVR box did not improve it either.
I also rented a second HD-DVR (this one the older SA8300HDC model) for a couple days and it also had the problem of some SDV channels at times not tuning.
So it doesn't seem to be the box, unless its a bug in the new firmware version used in all the boxes now?

The return signal power output dB is in the high 40s, could that cause such a problem?
This level hasn't changed from when it worked fine and very reliably for months before the past week - can't see anything that has changed at my end.
Anybody have any ideas on what could cause this issue if its not the box?
post #339 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by BriscoCountyJr View Post

Recently my TWC HD-DVR model 8642HDC has been having issues with tuning SDV channels.
Its random but I'm getting too many of the "channel not available now" messages on some SDV channels where I never got that before the past week or so.
Its been affecting some DVR recordings on some SDV channels as well now - missing recordings because of that.
The signal levels look good and I tried even bypassing all splitters and just a direct coax cable from the main outside coax feed to the HD-DVR and no improvement.
Rebooting the HD-DVR box did not improve it either.
I also rented a second HD-DVR (this one the older SA8300HDC model) for a couple days and it also had the problem of some SDV channels at times not tuning.
So it doesn't seem to be the box, unless its a bug in the new firmware version used in all the boxes now?
The return signal power output dB is in the high 40s, could that cause such a problem?
This level hasn't changed from when it worked fine and very reliably for months before the past week - can't see anything that has changed at my end.
Anybody have any ideas on what could cause this issue if its not the box?

What is your recieve or incoming signal level on the problem channels. Tune to the channel with the problem before checking the level. It needs to be between +8dB and -8dB, outside of that range your cable company needs to fix the problem. Lower than -8dB is commonly an issue.
post #340 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by John P View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by BriscoCountyJr View Post

Recently my TWC HD-DVR model 8642HDC has been having issues with tuning SDV channels.
Its random but I'm getting too many of the "channel not available now" messages on some SDV channels where I never got that before the past week or so.
Its been affecting some DVR recordings on some SDV channels as well now - missing recordings because of that.
The signal levels look good and I tried even bypassing all splitters and just a direct coax cable from the main outside coax feed to the HD-DVR and no improvement.
Rebooting the HD-DVR box did not improve it either.
I also rented a second HD-DVR (this one the older SA8300HDC model) for a couple days and it also had the problem of some SDV channels at times not tuning.
So it doesn't seem to be the box, unless its a bug in the new firmware version used in all the boxes now?
The return signal power output dB is in the high 40s, could that cause such a problem?
This level hasn't changed from when it worked fine and very reliably for months before the past week - can't see anything that has changed at my end.
Anybody have any ideas on what could cause this issue if its not the box?

What is your recieve or incoming signal level on the problem channels. Tune to the channel with the problem before checking the level. It needs to be between +8dB and -8dB, outside of that range your cable company needs to fix the problem. Lower than -8dB is commonly an issue.

The upstream power level requirements are of great importance on SDV channels. The 8642HDC seems to have trouble "shouting" through the extra filter and any extra cabling, splitters, etc. Any needed power level greater than 49-50 dBmV seems to be problematic for some 8642HDC DVRs.

NOTE: This is the UPSTREAM, not the downstream power level.
post #341 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by John P View Post

What is your recieve or incoming signal level on the problem channels. Tune to the channel with the problem before checking the level. It needs to be between +8dB and -8dB, outside of that range your cable company needs to fix the problem. Lower than -8dB is commonly an issue.

These are SDV channels that have problems tuning at times. You don't get the frequency and incoming signal level until AFTER the SDV channel tunes however.
When tuned, my digital cable channels have signal levels typically -5dB or higher, so levels seem good.
My RDC output level is +47dB.
This is using a bi-directional low noise electroline cable amplifer plus splitters and internal house coax wiring.
If I bypass the amplifier and splitters and connect the HD-DVR direct to the main coax cable feed from the outside, I get FDC = -3dBmV and similar issues with tuning some SDV channels.

I've been getting more cases this week of a lot of SDV channels with scheduled recordings failing with this message in the recording log:
"Not recorded because the channel was not available (5)"

Yesterday I also rented a second HD-DVR (model SA8300HDC) at it also had similar issues tuning some SDV channels, so it doesn't appear to be a box hardware issue.

Could this be a bug in the new Navigator software version?
Nothing else has changed recently that I can tell - before the past week or so the HD-DVR recorded extremely reliably for months, no missed recordings on any SDV channels.
post #342 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

The upstream power level requirements are of great importance on SDV channels. The 8642HDC seems to have trouble "shouting" through the extra filter and any extra cabling, splitters, etc. Any needed power level greater than 49-50 dBmV seems to be problematic for some 8642HDC DVRs.
NOTE: This is the UPSTREAM, not the downstream power level.

I'm getting a RDC output power level of +47dB in the 8642HDC box diagnostics - that seems acceptable, yet I'm still getting issues tuning several SDC channels and due to that problem I've been getting lots of missed scheduled recordings on SDV channels with this error message in the recording log:
"Not recorded because the channel was not available (5)"

I have tried testing with a second HD-DVR box I rented yesterday (SA8300HDC) and it showed similar SDV channel tuning problems. So it doesn't seem to be a particular box hardware issue, even if the older model box 8300HDC can work better with that RDC output level.

This problem started in the past week, before that the HD-DVR recorded reliably on SDV channels for months with no such issues and nothing has changed recently except for the new Navigator software update.
Could this be a bug in the newer software? Nobody else seems to be complaining about the problem though talking to the .local TWC office.
post #343 of 418
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post #344 of 418
I have the shrinking disk problem on my Cisco 8642. I've tried to do the disk diagnostic tool to erase the hard drive as suggested in this thread but I cannot get it to go into that mode. I unplugged the unit power cord, I hold in voliume plus and select simultaneously while plugging the power back in. I continue to hold the two buttons for 30 seconds or so. All I get is a normal hard reboot. It never goes into diagnostic. This is on a Bright House networks using their navigator I think it's 501 but I'm not sure.

Any suggestions on how to get into this mode?
post #345 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cy_borg5 View Post

I have the shrinking disk problem on my Cisco 8642. I've tried to do the disk diagnostic tool to erase the hard drive as suggested in this thread but I cannot get it to go into that mode. I unplugged the unit power cord, I hold in voliume plus and select simultaneously while plugging the power back in. I continue to hold the two buttons for 30 seconds or so. All I get is a normal hard reboot. It never goes into diagnostic. This is on a Bright House networks using their navigator I think it's 501 but I'm not sure.

Any suggestions on how to get into this mode?
You might want to try the procedure again, and note all of the front panel display messages during both the hold and release period.

-nony
post #346 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by nony View Post

You might want to try the procedure again, and note all of the front panel display messages during both the hold and release period.
-nony

I tried it multiple times and the only message I ever got on the display was "boot". Then it would just start in the normal cold boot procedure with messages such as "ocap" and whatever other messages normally occur during a cold boot. I ended up giving up and taking the box back to bright house and swapping out for a new one. It might be that there's something different between 8642 and the 8640. Mine was 8642. It also could be that bright house has blocked that feature somehow. I think most of the people in this thread or on some other system like TWC or Cox.

Anyway thanks to everyone for all their suggestions. I've got a new box that works fine now. Good luck to the rest of you.
post #347 of 418
I have the misfortune of Brighthouse and the Cisco box. When I change the channels of non HD it change normally. When I change the channels in the HD range. It goes black for a second the Input from the Panasonic comes up and then the channel comes in. Very annoying. Their only suggestion was to try a different HDMI cable and input, but no help. Any ideas?
post #348 of 418
It could be a couple of things. For one it's just taking longer to tune to a different channel in HD these days. That's because you are not really changing channels, everything is sort of behind-the-scenes on demand. Your cable box has to send a signal back to the network telling it which channel you want to watch and then it starts sending you the data stream. There just isn't enough bandwidth to send all the channels in HD down the pipe once. But if your info on the TV is coming up that's an indication that the cable box is perhaps switching resolution. For example if you've got both 720p and 1080i enabled in your output and you switch from a channel that is 720 over to a channel length 1080 then your TV has to resynchronize. If you force the cable box to show everything at 1080 and do the up conversion on its own then when you change channels on the cable box the HDMI doesn't need to resynchronize.

At least that's my experience on that topic. There are probably more knowledgeable people who could tell you more around here.
post #349 of 418
I think I have the resolution on Auto Select. I will force 1080. Thanks for the advise. I hope it works.
post #350 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cy_borg5 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by nony View Post

You might want to try the procedure again, and note all of the front panel display messages during both the hold and release period.
-nony

I tried it multiple times and the only message I ever got on the display was "boot". Then it would just start in the normal cold boot procedure with messages such as "ocap" and whatever other messages normally occur during a cold boot. I ended up giving up and taking the box back to bright house and swapping out for a new one. It might be that there's something different between 8642 and the 8640. Mine was 8642. It also could be that bright house has blocked that feature somehow. I think most of the people in this thread or on some other system like TWC or Cox.

Anyway thanks to everyone for all their suggestions. I've got a new box that works fine now. Good luck to the rest of you.
Cy_borg5,

I'm glad to hear that you worked things through. The HDD diagnostics have been in the code for a very long time. The anticipated sequence of front panel display messages based upon my repeated runs on my 8640HDC are as follows -

[65tr]
[[----]]
[boot]
[ -:- ]
[diSC] (you can release at this point)
blank (long wait)
blinking [diSC] (press any key to abort)

And your display (component, composite, not HDMI) will show the following -


and then,

and more revealingly,

and superficially,

and following the 'deep scan'


-nony
Edited by nony - 9/27/12 at 2:52am
post #351 of 418
Hi nony,

Is your 8640 still behaving following the short/long diagnostics run? I am afraid I may need to perform the procedure on mine. For awhile early this year, I was able to unplug the 8640 and reboot to get it to reclaim the space from deleted programs as reflected in the % full indicator, but that is no longer working. The purge procedure didn't help in my case ,either. I am estimating that mine is currently showing less than 30 hours HD capacity based on % full reading and what programs are currently on it. Seems like it used to hold double or more of that amount on its 320GB drive. So, unless they changed to higher quality codecs or something, it doesn't seem right. I started noticing this in the summer. There are a few recordings on it I hate to lose, and the short/long diagnostics procedure seems destructive to your recordings/settings, so I've been hesitant to try it. I'm trying to exhaust all other options first, and as a long shot hoping TWC releases a software update to fix it wink.gif Of course, mentioning this to the TWC CSR on the phone just got me the standard response of, "There's no issue of which we're aware, so we can send a technician out, or you can go ahead and do a box swap".

What I am wondering is if there may have been some transient issue in the sequence of ODN and other updates that caused some of the space to be lost, but AVFS isn't smart enough to reclaim it without the diagnostics run. Kinda like chkdsk it seems... In any case, I'm wondering if 5.2.0_9 is now in such shape that it is no longer losing track of some of the available space.

I haven't seen any errors otherwise, and my box's diagnostics don't list any bad sectors on my hard drive. I hate to do this and lose my recordings if 1) it doesn't fix the problem, and 2) if the problem is still present and it's just going to recur (which is why I ask the question about your experience since performing the procedure).
post #352 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by strikefast View Post

Hi nony,

Is your 8640 still behaving following the short/long diagnostics run?

In any case, I'm wondering if 5.2.0_9 is now in such shape that it is no longer losing track of some of the available space

I haven't seen any errors otherwise, and my box's diagnostics don't list any bad sectors on my hard drive. I hate to do this and lose my recordings if 1) it doesn't fix the problem, and 2) if the problem is still present and it's just going to recur (which is why I ask the question about your experience since performing the procedure).
You may want to go into the ODN diagnostics and report line-by-line from the Disk Info Page. (p.11 of 23)

I have never had this particular problem, so I can't tell you if this is a one-shot cleanup or requires periodic maintenance, similar to those pesky memory leaks (that the developers are certainly aware of) which require periodic reboots.

-nony
post #353 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by nony View Post

You may want to go into the ODN diagnostics and report line-by-line from the Disk Info Page. (p.11 of 23)

How do I get to that particular diagnostic page? I see one that's 39 pages long, not 23.

Thanks
post #354 of 418
Everything looks pretty normal on that page. AVFS size is 294GB, with 15GB available (89% full), 1 device. Statuses: Ready/Normal.

The 89% looks less "normal" to me, only when taken in the context of what I have currently recorded:
20.5 hours of HD and 17 hours of SD

A whole lot less than what it used to hold, I can assure you... Easily half or less of previous capacity. This is why I thought it might be experiencing the "shrinking" disk problem.

The thing is, I never used to have this shrinking disk issue for two years, so I assumed something related to a recent software update changed that, which is why I speculated that 5.2.0_9 or some other recent release over the past couple of months introduced this problem. Since I don't know exactly when it started, I don't know if 5.2.0_9 might be the source of the problem, or if it might be the solution to a problem introduced in the immediately prior release, for example. Bottom line is, I hate to wipe everything out with the HDD diagnostic and start all over if it turns out that 5.2.0_9 still has the bug that is losing track of the true amount of AVFS space, and I just have to do it all over again later...

That's why I was asking if your DVR seemed to be shrinking or losing space again after you had done the HDD diagnostic.
post #355 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by grenier View Post

How do I get to that particular diagnostic page? I see one that's 39 pages long, not 23.
Thanks

For me, I just hold down the Select key on my remote until first the power light starts blinking, and keep holding it until the mail light starts blinking. Then I let go and press the down arrow on the remote. PgUp/PgDn to get to the page of interest. Press Exit when done.
post #356 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by strikefast View Post

For me, I just hold down the Select key on my remote until first the power light starts blinking, and keep holding it until the mail light starts blinking. Then I let go and press the down arrow on the remote. PgUp/PgDn to get to the page of interest. Press Exit when done.

Thanks, that worked.
post #357 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by grenier View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by strikefast View Post

For me, I just hold down the Select key on my remote until first the power light starts blinking, and keep holding it until the mail light starts blinking. Then I let go and press the down arrow on the remote. PgUp/PgDn to get to the page of interest. Press Exit when done.

Thanks, that worked.

Perhaps we should all include the IPG firmware being used (Passport, Navigator, Trio, etc.) when discussing things like diagnostic pages. The above does not work on a 86xx DVR running Trio.
post #358 of 418
If the shrinking hard drive space is a flaw in ODN 5.2.0_9, who do we complain to? Calling Customer Service is pointless.
post #359 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

Perhaps we should all include the IPG firmware being used (Passport, Navigator, Trio, etc.) when discussing things like diagnostic pages. The above does not work on a 86xx DVR running Trio.

A good suggestion. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that it was for ODN 5.2.0_9 in my case (the version of Navigator I have on that box), but forgot to restate it.
post #360 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by grenier View Post

If the shrinking hard drive space is a flaw in ODN 5.2.0_9, who do we complain to? Calling Customer Service is pointless.

I feel unsure as to whether 5.2.0_9 still has the problem or not (vs. some other recent prior release). This is because I haven't payed that close attention over the last few months to the series of ODN versions that have been deployed to my box that could have helped create this apparent situation with the filesystem. I'm leaning that way, though, based on the issues others are seeing.

I also am at a bit of a loss on how best to contact TWC. I don't know if you've seen this, but there is a social media oriented site that came online a year or two ago that some folks have used to contact TWC with slightly better success, but I haven't used it myself:

http://www.twcableuntangled.com

I agree that calling customer service generally isn't going to give you much insight into what's going on, but if you can get in touch with Tier 3 support, sometimes that can shed more light on things (even if their hands are still tied in terms of what can be done). I have had mixed success getting in touch with them over the years, because it generally requires the front-line customer service folks to escalate your issue to them. In my experience, they don't like to do that on the video side until you've done the "regular" stuff they ask you to do first without successful resolution (i.e., have a technician come out, perform a box swap, etc.).
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