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Sony VGX-XL3 - Page 7

post #181 of 3843
Shervinf, you've got my interest with your external tuner comment. Surely that cannot be an OCUR tuner (i.e. digital cable & CableCard). If it is, then we'd be extremely interested in knowing how you got it and got it to work!

Even if it isn't, you'd still have programming conflict problems like I earlier discussed with my Hauppauge box. Did you use the software that was discussed earlier in this thread, or do you manually dictate which tuner to record a given show off of?

General updates:

1. Haven't tried the new ATI firmware because my XL3 has actually been behaving pretty well lately (except for a new but minor problem that the blue exclamation point comes up complaining there's "new programaming conflicts" but upon going into Recorded TV > Scheduled, there aren't any...). If NVidia ever gets around to posting a 1080p driver then I'll do 'em both at the same time. I presume this will be when in their release notes they stop saying that the ability to do custom timings will be included "in a future release."

2. Never did resolve the crash problem with skipping thru shows recorded to remote drives. I did have the exact same phenomenon happen to a movie recorded to the hard drive (which again makes me think that it's some sort of inherent corruption of the file itself) but it happened only once. So, I manually dump shows to the Netgear network drive from time to time. So far I haven't written a batch file to do it automatically because I've found that copying a 6 gig movie to the Netgear at the same time as recorded a programmed show is asking for trouble.

3. I see that Sony posted yet another Blu-Ray update. The description does not explain how this one is different that the previous ones, which incidentally have all been removed from their download page.

4. gmann, just out of curiosity, does your plasma set have a setting to automatically power off when no signal is detected? (It may be called DDC in the menus.) If so, turn it off and your problem may vanish.
post #182 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmann11204 View Post

Well ive had this unit for about a week. I originally had HDMI cables connected to my Pioneer 60" Plasma. Every time i turned off the TV and turned it back on i would get no video. I had the sony connected to one of my HDMI inputs(Video 5). If i changed from for example Video 1 and back to Video 5, i would experience the same thing,no picture. I had the resolution set on 1080i. Changing from one HD station to another would cause video stutter. So i changed the resolution back to 720p and the unit worked better but once in a while i would experience the same problem with 1080i setting where i would turn off,turn on TV and no picture. After being completely frustrated by rebooting the unit each time i had to turn the TV on, i decided to get rid of the HDMI cables and replaced with component cables. The unit works much better. No video or stutter problem. What do you guys suggest,change the video card,switch to 64bit, or stay with what works even if it means not getting the best possible picture. The unit has been updated with the most recent drivers. Need help.



I have a Vista Vaio VGX-XL3 and Nvidia 7600GTL Video card hooked up to a 50" Panny Plasma via HDMI. The problem is that when I turn of the Plasma and it's off for 6 hrs or more the Video card seems to lose the signal to the plasma. I have all of my settings Video & Sleep settings set to "Never" but it still loses the the video signal. I can't help but to think that the video card "pings" the HDMI input and that if it doesn't get a return "ping" the card just shuts down. The only way I can get the video to come back up is to manually shut down the machine. Sadly, there is no "Reset" button on the Vaio. Only a Power Off Button. Every time I do this I get a black screen on startup saying Windows did not shut down properly." And the usual choices Start in Safe mode/Start Windows, etc. I know if I keep doing this I'm going to screw my system up good.


So I 'm wondering...If a powered HDMI repeater/extender would solve this problem. After all if my theory is correct about pinging the hdmi port it would keep the signal active. Or would it?

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
post #183 of 3843
Is there a replacement card from NVIDIA that will work in the VGX-XL3 and output 1080P?
post #184 of 3843
DenC: are you absolutely certain that this problem (of losing the signal) occurs ONLY when being fed from the XL3? In other words, have you confirmed that it does not happen if, for example, you had it connected to a DVD player and you left the DVD playing (or on a menu but in any event outputting video)? Or for that matter, if you left it on the DVD input, left the DVD at a menu (not with motion like a DVD's root menu) and confirmed that the monitor still wakes up seven hours later?

The reason I ask is that certain Westy LCDs (e.g. 37" and 42" 1080ps) are infamous for a "wakeup" problem that require physically unplugging and replugging the monitor's power cord. Your theory about the ping is incorrect, I can boot up my XL3 with no monitor attached and then plug in the HDMI and the screen pops right up. However, it IS true that if the XL3 blanks out due to a screensaver or activation of DDC a.k.a. screen power-off in the power saver settings) then some monitors will refuse to subsequently wake up, but that's due to poor implementation of DDC in the monitor's firmware. BTW although I'm sure you know this, just setting the screen saver to none isn't sufficient, you must go into the power settings and set the screen timeout to "never" as well. Good luck.

Rusty, good idea but no soap. The video card is intimately tied into the HDCP protection scheme and would no doubt trigger a 30-day digital cable validation error. What could possibly work is a card with RGB component output, e.g. plugged into the riser card, but to my knowledge nobody sells one that puts out better than 1080i (I used to think that was a fundamental limitation of component video but then I saw a monitor that advertised 1080p with only component-in...unless that was an accidental or deliberate typo) so you'd be no better.
post #185 of 3843
Thanks for the reply on different card.

Have another question, I would like to use a different remote to use with PC other then the one that came with it. Is there a code for the unit I can use on my other Sony remote?

Thanks
post #186 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjeffb View Post


4. gmann, just out of curiosity, does your plasma set have a setting to automatically power off when no signal is detected? (It may be called DDC in the menus.) If so, turn it off and your problem may vanish.

Yes i checked the setting for "automatically power off when no signal is detected" and it was disabled, so i dont know what else what would cause the video to turn off if either i turn off the tv or switch from one video to another.
post #187 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Bull View Post

Thanks for the reply on different card.

Have another question, I would like to use a different remote to use with PC other then the one that came with it. Is there a code for the unit I can use on my other Sony remote?

Thanks

Well, definitely no and maybe yes. The remote that came with the unit has buttons that simply do not exist on a typical programmable remote. For example, a universal remote does not have a "start media center" or "watch recorded TV button," so there definitely would not be any programmable remote that would duplicate all or even the most important functions.

That being said, a "learning" remote would work, although you would have to program buttons for non-obvious uses (for example, you could teach the "eject DVD" button to be the "start media center" button).

But first: are you aware that the XL3 uses the exact same signals as a standard Media Center remote control? You can buy one of these for about $30 (even the one marketed for the XBox 360 works), or Niveus and others make super-fancy ones that can also be programmed to run audio equipment. All of them, with the incredible exception of the Sony remote, allow you to teach at least the Power and Volume up/down buttons, although you have to do so searching on the Internet to find the super-top-secret key sequence to do it. I use the stock Sony remote downstairs on my XBox extender, and I use a standard Microsoft remote on the XL3 with the power and volume buttons programmed to turn on and adjust volume of my monitor.

Gmann, I wonder if you and Dan have both tripped across a new bug. Odd coincidence that you're both reporting very similar problems at the same time. Video driver perhaps? When I was experimenting with "incorrect" NVidia drivers to try to get 1080p I did load some that would cause the screen to blank out when I switched resolutions, even though the resolution and timing was valid (blank screen after changing resolutions, but if I rebooted the screen would work just fine). Could our different experiences share a common root cause?
post #188 of 3843
rjeffb: Well the Power settings are go much deeper then just Turn off Monitor and Sleep.
I set everything in every sublevel to never. The funny thing is that if I switch the vaios outputs to Component this doesn't happen. The trouble is that the picture isn't quite as good as the HDMI. Unfortunatley, I don't have a DVD with HDMI output to test your theory. It just may be that the Pannys firmware is at fault. However you gave me an Idea. What if I were to "wakeup" the monitor by using a remote controlled HDMI Switch? Switching the inputs from 1 to 2 and back to 1 again would be like unplugging the hdmi cord. I could set up a macro on my pronto remote to do something like that.
post #189 of 3843
rjeffb: On second thought...It may not be a panny firmware thing. On my old "Home Brew" MCE 2005 box I had the Panny hooked up via the DVI port to HDMI from a nvidia 8400 graphics card (not sure if thats the model number). Never a problem. I'm beginning to think this Vaio was just a waste of time and money.
post #190 of 3843
>>I'm beginning to think this Vaio was just a waste of time and money.

Don't say that! Just think of how much you're LEARNING! ;-)

The sad fact is that Vista, HDCP, and HDMI are still at the same point of evolution as when Microsoft first borrowed Universal Serial Bus and Universal Plug-n-Play from Apple. Puzzle me this, Batman...how come the XL3 outputs 1080p from Vista Ultimate (see earlier in this thread) when Home and Ultimate are both installed from the same DVD?

If it weren't for the incredible noise from the wind-tunnel fan, I swear I'd hook my XBox up right next to the XL3 and watch movies off of it, since it outputs 1080p through HDMI (and the picture quality shows it, too).
post #191 of 3843
rjeffb:
I suppose you are right. If it wasn't for the fact that the XL3 is so darn sexy I would have returned it within the first 30 days. I guess you just can't depend on "out of the box" statement anymore. It appears if you "want it done right, You have to do it yourself". Problem is I'm not sure what would be better, Vista Home Premium 64 bit Or Vista Ultimate. Some people are reporting the the DVD eject button doesn't work under 64 bit. And Sony won't support anything in 64 bit. (Sonys Support isn't worth anything anyhow) From reading these threads it looks as if you got Ultimate to work out pretty good. Another thing I saw was that in order to install more than 3.5 gb of ram you have to use Vista 64 bit.
post #192 of 3843
>>From reading these threads it looks as if you got Ultimate to work out pretty good.

Not exactly. Read the part of the thread about the 30 day digital cable activation problem first (and Sony's/Microsoft's decidedly unhelpful assistance).

WARNING TO EVERYBODY: 1080p notwithstanding, don't install Ultimate on an XL3 until you read the entire thread and understand the consequences!
post #193 of 3843
Hi Guys,

I found this forum yesterday when trying to enable 1080p on my XL302 (i.e. the European version of the XL3). Like you, I could only get 720p or 1080i out-of-the-box no matter what drivers etc. Eventually, I ended up comparing the video card driver shipping with the XL302 (v. 97.xx?) and the latest official nVidia one (v. 163.75) via the driver recommended by Sony (v. 98.13).

I found that the early drivers had a flag 'DisableHDTVRes' set to '1', so I fired up regedit and changed that DWORD to a '0', rebooted and got 1080p working in all its glory under Vista Home Premium using the 163.75 driver.

Even though I've got a 302, I believe it's the same 7600GTL graphics card so it could be worth giving it a try.
post #194 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by relobe View Post

Hi Guys,

I found this forum yesterday when trying to enable 1080p on my XL302 (i.e. the European version of the XL3). Like you, I could only get 720p or 1080i out-of-the-box no matter what drivers etc. Eventually, I ended up comparing the video card driver shipping with the XL302 (v. 97.xx?) and the latest official nVidia one (v. 163.75) via the driver recommended by Sony (v. 98.13).

I found that the early drivers had a flag 'DisableHDTVRes' set to '1', so I fired up regedit and changed that DWORD to a '0', rebooted and got 1080p working in all its glory under Vista Home Premium using the 163.75 driver.

Even though I've got a 302, I believe it's the same 7600GTL graphics card so it could be worth giving it a try.

Fantastic piece of research, you are to be commended! WARNING: if you don't know how to backup your registry, don't try this on your XL3 until some of us have shown it to be successful and posted results. Also, don't forget to back up that Program Data folder so you won't lose your recorded shows in case you hose the system.

Relobe, please check back with us in a week or two and advise if this registry change has had any unexpected negative impact on recording, stability, etc. One would think that if that's all there is to it, then Sony had a reason for disabling it but other than the 30-day activation bug, I had no problem recording or viewing in 1080p in Ultimate (which presumably has that flag already set to "0" - I still have a hard drive with Ultimate installed and I will check out what's in that drive's registry for confirmation).

Also, I would not consider this "approved" for general release until it is confirmed to not affect digital cable activation (which may be different in Europe than in the U.S.) beyond the critical first 30 days.
post #195 of 3843
I know I'm probably going off the track by asking this but, Is it true that vista home premium has a ram upgrade issue? I read at TGB that in order to upgrade your vaio's max of 4 gb you have to switch to Vista Home premium 64 bit. Excuse me if I'm wrong but isn't the limit set by the motherboard and not the os? I'm a bit confused.
post #196 of 3843
I am having TV signal issues as well with my VGX-XL3, no matter what has been done it would never diaplsy any channels and would always say there is no TV signal detected hence I do not have any channels at all in media Center. As an IT admin, I have troubleshot by myself and with Sony level 1 and 2 support techs to no avail even after installing all available updates and even got the Motorola signal booster (http://broadband.motorola.com/consum...ault.asp)which claims to boost the signal up to 32times (15dB). They decided to send me a tech with a replacement tuner within 48hours and RCN which is my cable provider will send a tech out on Sunday to install the Cablecard. I understand that I may have postpone the cable company tech cablecard installation until I can at least get basic cable to work because if it does not work there is no way cablecard will work if the tuner keeps saying it cannot detect any TV signal.

Anyway, does anyone else have any experience in this situation?




Techworxs, LLC - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions for Homes and Businesses.™
post #197 of 3843
Relob, you are a genius. You have found what any number of us have been looking for for months, and which Microsoft, Sony, and NVidia have been unable (or unwilling) to solve.

1080P FOR EVERYONE!

Your solution worked perfectly, and I don't even have the latest drivers. I reconnected my spare hard drive with Ultimate (which has had 1080P working since day 1), searched for the key, and found there was no DisableHDTV key...which would be functionally equivalent to having it but setting it to 0. This explains absolutely everything: why Ultimate does 1080P while Home doesn't, even though they can be installed off the same DVD (or course they would have different registry entries; they'd have to, wouldn't they?)...and why some installers of Ultimate couldn't get 1080P to work (they no doubt have the offending key in their registry)...why other HDPCs like Niveus get 1080P in Home with the same card...and most of all, why I could get 1080P to come up (although with undesireable side effects) in Home by deliberate installing the wrong driver: it would have used a different set of registry keys!

The entire XL3 community, or at least anyone who trips upon this thread, are in your debt. BTW, there are people with other machines - including laptops - with NV7600s who have reported the same problem. Your solution may apply to many or even all of them.

I can confirm that this fix does not affect normal operation, playback, or recording. Time will tell it if has any long-term effects but I'm betting "no." 12/27/07 UPDATE: half-way to the "magic" 30-day milestone, everything okay so far.

1. Start > Run > Regedit
2. If the left panel is not scrolled to the very top, manually scroll to the top and click once on "Computer" to highlight it.
3. Edit, Find. Type "DisableHDTVRes" in the box and click Find.
4. When DisableHDTVRes appears highlighted in the right panel, double-click on it.
5. Type "0" and click OK.
6. Edit, Find Again.
7. When DisableHDTVRes appears highlighted in the right panel, double-click on it.
8. Verify that the value is "0." If it isn't, type "0" and click OK.
9. Repeat steps 6 through 8 until you receive a "Finished searching the registry" message or the value displayed is 0. (What's happening is that the DisableHDTV key may be stored in several locations throughout the registry - twice in mine. Once it's found all of them, RegEdit will loop around to the beginning again, and of course the first instance it finds will be the first one you already changed to 0 so now you know you found them all).
10. Close RegEdit, shut down the PC, turn the PC back on.
11. Right-click the desktop, click Personalize, click Display Settings, click Advanced Settings, Monitor.
12. The "Screen Refresh Rate" dropdown should now contain choices for 50Hz and 60Hz (previously all you saw were 29Hz and 30Hz). Choose 60Hz, OK, OK, and you're done. This may or may not also be possible through the NVidia applet depending on which version of the NVidia Control Panel you have.

Not only do I confirm that the 60Hz selection is there, and not only do I confirm that my monitor now reports "1080P 60Hz"...I can also confirm that the screen looks much, much better.

Thank you again!!!

P.S. Those of you with Blu-Rays: let us know how 1080P works (if it looks better, fills the screen or underscans/overscans, etc.) 12/27/07 UPDATE - see my posts on Page 9 re. Blu-Ray and 1080p; short answer is it works, but download those Sony BRD updates.



Quote:
Originally Posted by relobe View Post

Hi Guys,

I found this forum yesterday when trying to enable 1080p on my XL302 (i.e. the European version of the XL3). Like you, I could only get 720p or 1080i out-of-the-box no matter what drivers etc. Eventually, I ended up comparing the video card driver shipping with the XL302 (v. 97.xx?) and the latest official nVidia one (v. 163.75) via the driver recommended by Sony (v. 98.13).

I found that the early drivers had a flag 'DisableHDTVRes' set to '1', so I fired up regedit and changed that DWORD to a '0', rebooted and got 1080p working in all its glory under Vista Home Premium using the 163.75 driver.

Even though I've got a 302, I believe it's the same 7600GTL graphics card so it could be worth giving it a try.
post #198 of 3843
>I know I'm probably going off the track by asking this but, Is it true that vista home premium has a ram upgrade issue?

I haven't tried upgrading but it is true that a 32-bit OS without special extenders would not be able to access more than 4GB at a time (2^32 = 4,294,967,296 bytes). This has been a problem since the beginning: DOS couldn't access more than 1 MB of RAM, and Windows 95 couldn't access hard drives bigger than 512 GB. In both cases workarounds were invented (remember GeeWhiz DOS?) but ultimately the solution has always been to increase the word width. Extenders are much more practical with hard drives because disks are very slow compared to processing speed anyway (so you don't notice the hit that much) and, back when all I/O went through the BIOS, you could implement the fix right at the BIOS level. Here's a carryover from the distant past that's still lurking inside your PC: if you install a 250GB ZIP drive as your A: drive, you can only access the first 32MB because the original DOS floppy driver was 12 bits (allowing 4096 clusters of 8K each = 2^12 x 2^8 = 33,554,432 bytes)!

Naturally, as has been demonstrated repeatedly in this thread, upgrading the operating system on an XL3 is a really, really bad idea...

TechIEG, it is a known problem with CabelCards that they have a high cut-off threshhold of signal and CableLabs recommends against having any splitters upstream at all (although I have one and have no problems). CableCards and the whole HDCP scheme relies on the idea that if anything seems unusual, assume that the user is attempting to hijack the signal. Your booster idea is exactly what I would have tried. However, this absolutely should not be the issue if you cannot even get any signal at all on the first 100 channels with no CableCard installed. The Digital Cable Tuner in the back of the XL3 becomes just a standard QAM tuner when you yank the card out. I'm sure this is too obvious, but I presume you have verified that there is signal of some kind by plugging the cable into an old TV set?
post #199 of 3843
Just finished changing 1 to 0. Works great.

Just can't help wondering why Sony put everyone who has bought one of these units into a spin about this issue?
post #200 of 3843
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post #201 of 3843
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post #202 of 3843
Yes, when I use the same cable connection straight to my TV (Sony KDL-46XBR4) or on my old TV, and to my cable box all channels are present but to the VGX-XL3 its always no signal. So it may well be a bad tuner. Hopefully changing it will resolve this. When I do get it to work I will need to install a splitter so I can split the connection between my cable box and the XL3, perhaps there will be no issues and if there are any signal split issues the signal amplifier should do the trick I hope.

It sucks that the new Sony Home Entertainment Server (HES-V1000; http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665231960) does not look similar to the XL3, which makes it hard to blend it into one's living room setting just like any other A/V appliance. I don't know what they were thinking. Its just like having a desktop sitting in your living room...not cool at all. The Sony rep tried to sell the sleek black looks and uniqueness, I just was not buying it for a penny.

Rusty Bull, this registry issue is not a Sony issue, its a Microsoft thing by design. As a Windows Systems Administrator myself, there are a lot of different registry hacks where you edit the registry and change values to 1 or 0 to enable or disable other features that come standard on Servers or other versions of the same OS or even not previously on any OS. Otherwise how would there be any difference between Oses, and how would they make the regular user go out and purchase an upgrade or higher version?

I have just set 1080p on my system and I must say it works like a charm. After following the instructions above, upon restart right-click the desktop and select "Nvidia Control Panel" (assuming you have the current update), under "Video & Television" click "Change The Signal or HDTV Format" and you will see the 1080p option, select and apply it(at this point it is 1080p alright but icons and fonts are so tiny it can make you go blind before long), exit the Control Panel. Right-click your desktop again and this time select Properties, in the Properties dialog box click Display Settings > Advanced> Monitor, then select 60Hz, click OK (this will automatically Apply and exit) or just click Apply then Yes to accept the changes before the countdown reverts the changes back then click OK. To make things more legible/readable from the couch or otherwise, while still in the desktop properties, at the top left under Task click "Adjust Font Size (DPI)", select "Larger Scale (120DPI) - make text more readable", click Apply and OK then restart your system. Now you we talking 1080p, everything looks awesome.

I would like to mention that first thing I did when I got my XL3 (of course after playing around with it and trying to make the tuner show some channels) was to delete the RAID and do a complete system recovery to remove the lousy RAID 0 (this is no good at all because if one disk fails the data on the other one is completely useless as all data is stripped half and half across both drives). I have no idea why Sony even thought of going RAID 0 in the first place. I went non-RAID and replaced the two 250GB HDDs with two 750GB HDDs. So now I have 1.5TB on the XL3. The primary HDD is divided into two; C: was reduced to 100GB and will only contain Windows OS and system files, the D: is 650GB and will house the Documents folder which will hold all multimedia (music, pictures, etc) except TV recordings (I had to relocate the Documents folder to the D: ). The "Recorded TV" has been relocated to the completely empty second drive so that it can have the whole 750GB to itself without slowing down data access on the system drive when it dumps those heavy recorded files into the HDD, data backup can also be stored in a "Backup" folder on this second drive. Doing this is the best way Sony could have done it for faster data access on both independent HDD with the use of the different partitions for multimedia, and data security so that in the case of a disk failure data on the other drive or partitions are still usable when the failed HDD is replaced. It also helps maximize HDD space usage as any other RAID type would at least cut the total HDD size in half, so RAID in general is just not the best option on the XL3.

FYI: To access the RAID configuration screen, on startup hold CTRL and tap I continuously to get to the RAID setup screen to delete the RAID partition so that upon doing a complete system recovery each drive is independent as non-RAID disks and you can also edit the size of the C: .

Another thing I noticed is that sometimes when the system is put on standby or when the TV is tuned away from the XL3 input, there is no video for some weird reason. One way I try to get around this is to press and hold the green power button on the XL3 remote for a few seconds then it kind of re-up itself then display video, I would rather not have this issue. Anyone got any idea or experience with this issue?



Techworxs, LLC - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions for Homes and Businesses.™
post #203 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerx83 View Post

..It has 3 major issues:

1) it does NOT support 1080p only 1080i. That explains why ads for it never specified 1080p instead they specified "full hd"

2) Fonts look like crap. Turning the "ClearType" option on or off has no effect. My old windows XP box connected to the same monitor can do 1080p and the fonts look great.

3) BLue Ray Disc playback on it is not as good as on the stand-alone Sony BD player. The picture doesnt look as good....

4) it's overpriced like a motherf******
post #204 of 3843
Tech, you would not be the first person to have a bum tuner on an XL3, hope that works out. There was much speculation on why RAID0; if you read the whole thread, we once thought that it was necessary to keep up with the HDTV data flow but that's clearly not true. HOWEVER, it is absolutely necessary to keep the RAID, and in fact the original drives, if you were to upgrade to Vista Ultimate and record digital cable (I'm not going to repeat that whole sordid story but it's recorded earler). Now that we know how to do 1080P in Vista Home (thanks again relobe!) that just became a non-issue. Directing everything to the D: drive has a much, much bigger advantage in that you can now backup and restore the C: drive without overwriting your TV shows (but read my earlier posts on how to do it because you also need a copy of your hidden license files).

Oh, and there's no need to change the font size in order to make 1080P readible: Best Buy has the Sharp 52" on sale...:-)...
post #205 of 3843
Tech, I had exactly the same issues with a tuner and nothing helped. I have restored my XL3 to a previous snapshot (which was working perfectly fine at that time) and even that did not help. Spent countless hours on the phone with Sony support and even they could not figured out what was going on. I was on the verge of returning the whole damned thing, but at the last moment I decided to restore to the original factory configuration using Sony's Recovery DVD. Immediately after that tuner started working. My guess is that one withe windows updates (infamous security upgrade) did not fully go through causing a lot damage.
post #206 of 3843
rjeffb, can you please point me to the thread or page where the RAID and original HDD issue was discussed. I would like to know more about it and what others may have experienced with any changes made to it.

dzhafar, I may try that too. I don't remember trying on a clean install. The original drives still contain a fresh installation without updates so I can put them in and try your suggestion.

Thanx.



Techworxs, LLC - Computer, Network, VoIP, & Technology Solutions for Homes and Businesses.™
post #207 of 3843
Quote:
Originally Posted by techieg View Post

rjeffb, can you please point me to the thread or page where the RAID and original HDD issue was discussed. I would like to know more about it and what others may have experienced with any changes made to it.

dzhafar, I may try that too. I don't remember trying on a clean install. The original drives still contain a fresh installation without updates so I can put them in and try your suggestion.

Thanx.

Well, there certainly is a lot of info herel We started discussing the RAID issue in this thread back on 5/6/07. Aharding proved that a RAID1 configuration would work some weeks later; I posted directions for breaking the RAID (which you've obviously already figured out on your own) and on 10/16/07 I posted a series of experiments proving that HD video issues were not caused by lack of RAID. Regarding Ultimate's maddening insistance on not changing your disk configuration, see my post in this thread 8/21/07, and an exchange of posts with dannyalh around 8/28/07. Microsoft's Knowledge Base article 925582 talks about what happens if you make any change whatsoever to the hard drive configuration in Vista Ultimate (but not Vista Home). In my opinion, Ultimate's EULA should start out with "Warning: by installing this software you acknowledge that you will never change your hard drive configuration, and agree and accept that if you do and have to reactivate Windows then your digital cable will then stop working 30 days later, and you're just peaches with all that. Press to continue."

I am skeptical of dzhafar's suggestion because the situation he described SHOULDN'T affect QAM (non-Cable Card, non-"premium," non-HDCP, non-digital channels) but I've given up thinking the XL3 and Vista follow logic and I'm one of many for which a clean re-install has worked wonders. Dzhafar is dead on about the updates...I can't stress enough how sensitive the XL3 is to random Microsoft video and security patches, this thread is filled with examples of updates trashing previously working machines, especially in how they affect various aspects of HDCP.

Ranger also got his system working with a clean install; but for curbnoise, it was re-flashing the tuner card that did the trick (although he already had his CableCard plugged in). Try downloading and installing Sony's ATI driver to re-flash the tuner card - but for reasons explained elsewhere in this thread, you'll need to disable your firewall and possibly deactivate User Access Control from within msconfig (which any sane person would do anyway until such time as Microsoft actually gets User Access Control working in some sort of coherent way). Although that technically is for DIGITAL cable, the fact is that it also drives the general communications back and forth with Vista. Also check that the card is recognized, go into Control Panel and verify that - it appears somewhat counterintuitively as a network card. But just because it is recognized doesn't mean there's no problem; the lack of a big exclamation point in Control Panel does NOT prove that it is working, just that it is communicating with Vista. Also, you may have to attempt the flash several times before it "takes" and it needs a cold boot afterwards. In fact, whenever you have tuner problems you need a full shutdown to reboot the Digital Tuner Card (somebody posted a way to warm boot the tuner but it appears to depend on having a CableCard already installed). Best 'o luck.
post #208 of 3843
rjeffb, If I clearly understand you, since the whole RAID issue has to do with Vista Ultimate only then I should have no cause for alarm since I have no remote plan whatsoever to install/upgrade to Ultimate anyway. Or am I getting something wrong here?

Although in my opinion, I am still trying to see logical reason why the absence of RAID should cause issues since all that the OS and its internals need is HDD space to read and write data to/from RAID or not (I certainly would not like cutting my disk space in half by using RAID 1 either).

One thing I did not mention earlier was that, while I was on the phone with Sony prior to replacing the HDD, the rep had said that I would not be able to use any HDD not procured from them because their HDD come with a Sony software signature that would only let you do a recovery/install on the XL3. I doubted it and still proceeded with using the two 750GB HDD I now have in it without issues (the tuner issue had been there prior to all this though). And all recoveries till this point have all been done with recovery disks created on DVD-R because I could not find the original Sony recovery media kit, which I just received from Sony yesterday.




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post #209 of 3843
>>rjeffb, If I clearly understand you, since the whole RAID issue has to do with Vista Ultimate only then I should have no cause for alarm

Correct. The problem is that while all versions of Windows, starting with XP, require re-validation if you make significant changes to hardware, in the case of Ultimate - and only Ultimate - any change whatsoever to the hard drives constitute a "significant" change. You can revalidate via Internet or phone, but now your Windows Genuine Advantage authorization key has changed - and your digital tuner will see that as proof you are attempting to put that tuner into a different, unauthorized machine. 30 days later, your cable stops working and there's nothing that can be done about it, as Microsoft says Sony has to issue a new cable tuner key and vice-versa. BTW I don't think that simply breaking the RAID will trigger this (i.e. if you continue to use the exact same two 250G drives but as separate disks rather than one RAID) because the hardware checksums should still be the same, but I haven't actually proven that and have no intention of wasting time on it. As you and others have observed, 250GB is woefully small for an HDPC anyway.

As far as the XL3 restore system only working with Sony disks, I did try a system restore to a Seagate drive early on and it did bomb out with some obscure error message. I didn't record the message because at the time it didn't seem significant. It could also just be a coincidence but then, Sony is fanatical about intellectual property protection. It frankly seems like 100% bull but Sony is notorious for doing stuff like this. What I did, and what everyone should do, is get Acronis, do a full backup of the RAID0 to offline media, and then never use the Sony backup again - and never, ever delete that full backup so you can always get back to your original "as shipped" condition regardless of your hardware configuration. I of course made and keep my Sony restore DVDs, but I use Acronis and my USB drive to actually restore my system.
post #210 of 3843
Trying to keep things short..What Benefits if any does Acronis Have over Norton Ghost 12.0?
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