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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, Everyone


I have an old UTV unit that I adore - it has worked fine all these years - lately having hard drive problems - it powers on OK - but I hear a clicking - and the screen shows that it is trying to connect to WebTV - hook up a phone line and nothing works - it will only give me options to change dialing options or dial. This happened last month and I was able to get it working by repeatedly taking the power cod out, and once it booted it was OK - but all recordings lost. Now even that does not work.


I think it is the hard drive - and want to put in a new one (it has the original). I have read to buy a WD 120GB Caviar - but my concern is that when I go to plug it in - and it tries to dial MSN to load the 3.7 updated software - that there will be no answer at the other end and I will have spent $100 on a drive for nothing.


Anyone know if you can still update the software by phone? Is there another way?


I am hoping to keep this one going for a while - UTV still has the best software and recording quality of all my DVRs.


Thanks for the help in advance!!


Lou
 

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Yes you can replace the drive. It's pretty easy too. Your problems sound drive related to me as well. Here is a thread that shows the software is still out there for down loading over a phone line. Less than a month old.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1166173


It contains instructions, links to photos, and such. The FAQ thread is another great resource for learning more about this aging DVR.


Good luck and report back.
 

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As guitars911 has mentioned...


The link does give you a good idea of what you'll need to do.


Glad to see the blind squirrel link is still alive... it was very helpful for me back in the day. http://www.blindsquirrel.org/UTV/


Virtually any new IDE Drive (not just WD brand) should do... keep in mind the 137GB Barrier so while a 500GB IDE drive should work... it may be a bit wasteful. If you have an older drive in your PC (Say 200GB IDE) then maybe it's time to upgrade your PC hard drive and swap the 200 into the UTV...


OS 3.8 (Summer 2007 upgrade) is still available via dial up... it had been available for Sat download for a year (at least?) for anyone still running 3.7 or earlier versions. I swapped out a drive a few months ago and the download went smoothly. If your phone line (old school hard line) is "clean" you should have no real issues. If you don't have a "hard line" you might try borrowing a friend or family members line for a few hours.
 

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Also, if you just cannot get the phoneline download to work there are instructions in the FAQ to show you how to apply it to your new drive from your PC.


Good luck.


kazak
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks - I will be plugging my phone line direct into the home phone line so it should be clean - but the info you have all given me is very, very helpful - if anyone would suggest a specific drive that would be great - am looking for drives and not easy to find 120GB drives so may go with a 160GB drive. Don't really care about wasting space or $$ - I love the UTV so much it is worth it and I have already gotten my $$ worth over the last 10 years!!


Thanks again and will report back when I get the drive and do the installation.


Lou
 

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My UTVs might be a bit "old school" as far as Hard Drive brands... but I've been happy with my Seagate and WD (Western Digital) drives (80GB-160GB range AB,BB and Seagate Barracuda class).


In the recent past (2005?) Seagate and some of the other Hard Drive providers began offering 5 year warranties (up from 1-3 year warranties). I had a bad Seagate go bad during an upgrade (not sure if I screwed it up or if it was a true hardware failure) and the replacement still has at least 1-2 years still left on it's replacement warranty should it fail. I had a good experience with them replacing the drive and would recommend them.


So as the choices of IDE maybe less I would simply recommend a "name" brand with a long warranty coverage. If your new drive should die before the UTV does, say in 2 years you might find WD/Seagate/Maxtor can get you a replacement IDE drive easier then you might have finding one on the shelves (in 2011/2012).
 

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One of my UTVs had a hard drive go flaky recently. It works sometimes, but not other times. When it's not working, the unit won't power up and the light just flashes. The UTV always powers up with the new hard drive.


I've been able to connect to web tv or msn tv or whatever it's called when the old drive works, so it appears that the modem is operational. When it's trying to update, it connects to web tv, disconnects, and then claims it is calling msn. It connects and after about 10 seconds, the tv goes black. About 20 seconds later, the unit powers down. Has anyone heard of this before? Is my entire UTV toast?


If it's just a modem problem going along with the questionable hard drive, should I try to reimage my new drive based on the old image? I can't reimage it based on one of my working UTVs can I, since the drive is tied to the unit?


Thanks.
 

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One more thing....does anyone know where I might find an image for UTV x.x? (whatever is available is better than I've got!)


Thanks.
 

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You might try and test your tuners by pulling all the SAT cable connections and try and "power up" the UTV. If it can power up normally and act as it should there may be a Tuner aspect involved. I'd take one good Sat cable connection and individually check each tuner (one at a time). Using the System Test and Signal Strength meter should let you know if either are bad.


When one of my RCA UTVs lost a tuner... it would "black screen" during a power up if I were running solely on the dead tuner.


So check your tuners and then avoid the "bad" tuner... if the tuners are OK or the problem is still popping up... try a hard drive swap.
 

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Both of my tuners work on this Sony unit. (I'm trying to replace an RCA unit that had one tuner go out.) The problem with this Sony is that it can't record ANYTHING (hard drive issues, I guess). It doesn't always power up (allegedly a hard drive issue). It always powers up with the new hard drive, but I can't seem to download a new OS over the modem. It only "black screens" when I'm trying to install a new operating system via phone line.
 

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Have you verified that your Jumper Settings are set correctly?


Many newer Drives are set with the Cable Select Option which UTV doesn't recognize properly.


You'll want to make certain it is set to Single or Master. Usually you'll receive a "Repair" error screen for a bad jumper setting but it isn't 100%.


The UTV can actually operate without the Hard Drive installed... It will attempt to download the OS over the modem (as if the drive existed) and then repeat itself until it can see a drive and successfully download the OS. So if you want to try a "dry run" without the drive to confirm if the UTV is working properly...


If you still get the "black screens" then you have a problem with the UTV or maybe a bad Video Cable or TV issue. If you can swap the Cables/TV... you can be sure it isn't the Hard Drive/Cables/TV... you'll narrow it down to something specific to the UTV itself. You might try alternative Video Outputs (RCA/S-Video/Coax) to make sure the "black screen" is happening on all outputs.


Good luck. Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK - so I bought a Western Digital WD1600 drive and the installation went very smoothly thanks to all the helpful suggestions I got here - especially about the jumper settings.


Now - I hook up and it already looks like it has recognized that there is a working drive there because I can go further with the dialing and connect than before - it hooks up to MSN and starts downloading the update - but it disconnects in the middle somewhere. There are 297 parts to the download - the first time I got up to 77 but since then can't get much beyond the 40s and sometimes it only downloads 3 parts and it loses the connection. I am using a direct connection to my main phone outlet on a land line - and, after making the dialing audible - the line sounds clean - but it still disconnects.


Short of uninstalling the drive and setting it up on a computer - are there any other ways I can download the software onto the drive in the UTV case?


Thanks for all the help!!


Lou
 

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ICUDoc, I'm in essentially the same spot you are. I only got 15 out of 297 parts downloaded, and that was on the best line in my house. (Boy I love Verizon!)


The bad news is the drive now appears to be locked. If I stick it into my PC, I can't initialize it. I've tried putting it back into the UTV and pulling the cable while it's powered up, but the damn thing is still locked. Unless I can unlock it somehow, it's either get yet another HD and try to install the image from the PC, or rely on the phone to successfully download 297 parts. I'm not looking forward to either.


fwiw since this might come up again, my black screen after calling in went away when I changed the jumpers on the HD to "single" (actually no jumper) rather than "master".
 

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Guys, just keep trying to dial out for the OS. A lot of people have reported it took quite a few tries over several days to finally get the entire 297 parts. Some say the MSN servers get overloaded, but I think some UTV's modems are just picker than others. Try it at a friends or family members house. That does the trick on occasion.


The last time I dialed out for the OS I must have been lucky as mine took on the 3rd or 4th try at about 4pm on a Sat or Sun afternoon, can't remember which, but it was over the weekend.


charlcas, your drive is locked. The new drive has married / locked itself to the UTV. Just reinstall it and keep trying to dial out. Just be patient and try at different times of the day.


The unlocking instructions are in the FAQ thread if you want to try and unlock the drive so you can load the OS from a computer. I have the 3.8 OS file somewhere, let me know if you may need it and I'll look for it.


Don't give up! It'll work out...
 

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charlcas,


Glad you pointed out the "Single" Jumper Setting. Many drives don't even mention a "Single" setting... So if the "Master" setting is somehow not working... some addtional research or experimentation is called for. WD's "Single" setting has in the past been to pull the Jumper(s), but check your manual/drive.


Traditionally to "unlock" a UTV drive you need to "unmarry" that drive from the receiver. So if you want to use a UTV "locked" drive on a PC... you'll need to either replace the UTV Drive with another (long process) and then perform the "unlock" procedure after the UTV has "remarried"... IF you have a spare or alternative UTV that is already "married" you can use that UTV to perform the unlock procedure and afterwards restore the UTV's "original" drive without losing it's recordings/settings (if you performed the unlock properly).


As far as options when trying to get a clean download using a phone line...


Have you tried using the "NID" (Network Interface Device) Box and it's test jack that effectively overrides all the in-house wiring and provides the "cleanest" connection?


Have you disabled call-waiting? (either inside the UTV or manually?) Do you notice any "cross-talk" or noticeable interference on the line? It might seem "clean" but it might not be. Double check your telephone cables... just because the extension you tested is "good" doesn't mean the line/jack you are using to the UTV is just as good. Check for bad contacts/plugs/surge protectors/etc. that might be between the UTV and the "good" source.


Best of luck.
 

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^^^ Good tip on disabling call waiting. I over looked that one earlier. That one alone fixed a few of my friends dialing out troubles over the years.


Here is a copy of the current version OS 3.8. Good for the first 10 downloads or 90 days. If you DON"T need it, please leave the 10 uses for those in need. Thanks...

http://rapidshare.com/files/281093261/utv_3.8.bin.html ( click free user, wait 45 sec's or so then hit download )
 

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There is also a drive utility that you can use to unlock a married drive. You can get it at
Code:
Code:
http://dealdatabase.com/forum/showpost.php?p=175762&postcount=25
The best way to use this is to make a DOS boot floppy with this util installed on it. Unplug all drives but the one you want to unlock. That way you don't screw up and erase your system drive. Read what it says, it takes 30 min + to unlock a 40 gig drive even if the util looks like its finished. 1.5 hours for a 120 gig, etc.


If you can't get this for any reason I'll be happy to make it available.



kazak
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Have tried 40 or 50 times so far - get up as high as 68 parts of 297 and it disconnects. Disabled the call waiting - have tried two different phone outlets including the one directly on the Verizon FiOS box in my living room.


Will keep trying but don't think this is going to work - and don't have the time to try to now unlock the drive and then to install the OS 3.8 directly.


Looks like I will have to use the DirectTV new DVR they sent me as a replacement. Farewell, UTV!!


Thanks for all the help.


Lou
 

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Howdy Doc,


This might be the "Oh yeah that engine light HAS been on the whole time, but I didn't mention that. Is that causing the sucky performance?" moment. It isn't the "cause" of the problem but it points to a symptom that is...


Correct me if I'm wrong ICUDoc, but your Verizon FiOS box and "phone service" are VOIP based and not a traditional phone line service?


If that is the case traditional dial-up modems don't do so hot getting a stable connection with Voip "phone service". Think of it like one of those old "Wireless Jack" extenders. They work OK on old "Call home" Directv receivers (or for a spare phone) but a UTV needs a "cleaner" line for a stable higher speed connection. If you have tried running a system test (Checks Phone/Signal/Both Tuners/Access Card) you might even see the Phone connection "fail" it's test while on the FiOS box, or "Wireless Jack"... Even if it does "Pass", the quality of the connection may still not be good enough for a stable OS download.)


I'd suggest finding a "traditional" phone line someone can let you use for a few hours and your UTV can live on...


Good Luck,
 

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mhd3 did indeed unlock my drive. Being 120gb, I gave it a couple of hours.


Moving right along, I used FlexHEX to load the 3.8 image. Since I included the "zero" step, it ran all night. A couple of hours ago, it finished up, or so it appeared.


I put the hd into my UTV and......damn, it said it needed to dial out to check for the latest update. I wasn't expecting that. I'm guessing the image didn't get properly loaded since it's currently trying to download 297 parts of my new software. Wow, it got the whole way to part 3 this time.


There is no way I will ever download 297 parts with the Verizon service in my neighborhood. When I get some time, I'll pull the hd out again, unlock it, and try to image it again.


An interesting note about my downloading failures: It fails after receiving part N. The first two tries today N was 3. The last time I actually got to a personal best, 81. I'll get some message telling me that I've been disconnected, and I'm asked if I want to reconnect. When I reconnect, it dials out and apparently gets connected to MSN. However, it just keeps saying "Receiving part 81 of 297". It never increments beyond it's failure point. It looks like I'll need to get all 297 parts in one try, which is not possible in my neighborhood.
 
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