My Humax Forum » Freesat HD » HDR 1000, 1010, 1100S

Hard drive issues

(622 posts)
  1. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson

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    AngusA - 18 minutes ago  » 
    Just another datapoint on the hard drive issue. My HDR-1000s suddenly lost all recordings and ability to record/pause TV in mid October. That situation remained the same for around 4 weeks until suddenly last week, all recordings reappeared as did the record/pause capability. I noticed that for the entire period the box was faulty, the On Demand channels images disappeared even though on demand still worked okay. When the recordings reappeared, so did the On Demand images and I feel this is not coincidental. My gut feeling (as an electronic engineer) is that the issue I describe is firmware and not hardware related. Were it to be hardware, I cannot see why the box would recover nor why the On Demand images would re-appear at the same time as the recordings.

    This also happened on some units returned to Humax under warranty some time after they were sent back. I wouldn't expect it to stay fixed for very long.

    We already know that the earlier production boxes using the same firmware aren't prone to this issue.

    | Thu 30 Nov 2017 14:17:47 #601 |
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    AngusA

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    Well it's a strange one for sure and I'm under no illusion that my troubles are over! It's of course very significant if earlier hardware is fault-free while running the same firmware. Component tolerances are certainly a possibility but I would have expected a more permanent failure in that case and certainly not a recovery after several weeks. It may be a combination of less than robust firmware running on hardware with one or more marginal components. Perhaps there is a perfect storm when the firmware reaches a particular state.

    One thing I know is that it is very painful to debug firmware retrospectively and trying to find the particular combination of circumstances that leads to reported failures on just some units. I can quite see why a manufacturer prefers to replace units (at some cost to the consumer) rather than try and find the errant code.

    No doubt my box will have failed next time I turn it on!

    | Thu 30 Nov 2017 14:32:34 #602 |
  3. grahamlthompson

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    AngusA - 13 minutes ago  » 
    Well it's a strange one for sure and I'm under no illusion that my troubles are over! It's of course very significant if earlier hardware is fault-free while running the same firmware. Component tolerances are certainly a possibility but I would have expected a more permanent failure in that case and certainly not a recovery after several weeks. It may be a combination of less than robust firmware running on hardware with one or more marginal components. Perhaps there is a perfect storm when the firmware reaches a particular state.
    One thing I know is that it is very painful to debug firmware retrospectively and trying to find the particular combination of circumstances that leads to reported failures on just some units. I can quite see why a manufacturer prefers to replace units (at some cost to the consumer) rather than try and find the errant code.
    No doubt my box will have failed next time I turn it on!

    We think though it's not definite, it's a resistor on the motherboard that goes out of spec. This stems from a comment made to a member here by Humax support. Before this the general consensus was it was likely to be a blown capacitor though no signs of bulging were ever spotted.

    The Foxsat-HD (but not the Foxsat-HDR) used the notorious Capxon capacitors in the power supply. Fortunately a simple and cheap repair.

    | Thu 30 Nov 2017 14:49:57 #603 |
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    AngusA

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    It's possible of course and they may have changed to say a 5% tolerance resistor from a 1% on earlier hardware. That still leaves the question why it suddenly fails and more importantly, why it recovers after a prolonged period of time? In my experience, resistors rarely go out of spec but of course will do when heated. That would be an explanation but switching the box off to cool would resolve and this does not work I understand. Another possibility could be a revised layout of the box internals in later versions such that a heat source is now closer to a heat sensitive component but again, I would expect the behaviour to be more repeatable and predictable. I can't get away from there being at least some connection to the firmware as the root of the fault but I am quite open minded to the possibility there's a hardware connection too.

    | Thu 30 Nov 2017 15:01:23 #604 |
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    nickkr

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    "That still leaves the question why it suddenly fails and more importantly, why it recovers after a prolonged period of time? ".... as an "electronics engineer" I'm surprised that you have never experience a dry solder joint or a simple intermittent bad connection!!!

    | Fri 1 Dec 2017 12:43:50 #605 |
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    AngusA

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    Well of course I have had plenty experience of both of those and did not discount a change in manufacturing process as a possible cause. I'm just trying to suggest my take on this from a single unit's evidence. If we are in the business of speculation, I can suggest plenty of other possible causes....

    | Fri 1 Dec 2017 13:15:51 #606 |
  7. REPASSAC

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    From reading many posts on this issue I note that older units (late 2012 and 2013) do not have the issue.
    This suggests to me that the component concerned, believed to be a resistor, either was changed (unlikely, I think) or failed to conform to specification (more likely, I think).

    | Sat 2 Dec 2017 9:10:30 #607 |
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    roybert

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    My less than 3 year old Freesat hdr1000S suddenly showed that recordings were not available and Disk Drive needed formatting press OK to start formatting. Tried power down and restart but same problem. Tried again 12 hours later and the stored recording recordings shown as available and unit appears to function correctly??
    please provide details of components that have been identified as suspect in similar earlier posts.
    Regards
    Roybert

    | Sat 9 Dec 2017 13:09:57 #608 |
  9. REPASSAC

    REPASSAC

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    It is said to be a resistor but which one has not been disclosed.

    | Sat 9 Dec 2017 16:18:18 #609 |
  10. andyfras

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    nickkr - 1 week ago  » 
    "That still leaves the question why it suddenly fails and more importantly, why it recovers after a prolonged period of time? ".... as an "electronics engineer" I'm surprised that you have never experience a dry solder joint or a simple intermittent bad connection!!!

    I think that this is the most likely cause of the problem. I am a repairer of a great many Topfield PVRs, and I have often been sent faulty ones which magically fix themselves after a few weeks of being unpowered. I'm confident that this is down to lead-free solder which cracks due to heat, then the connection grows back over a period of time. It fails again quite soon of course. Unfortunately, the fault is usually under a BGA chip, so it cannot be fixed with a soldering iron. There are a great many videos on Youtube of various 'fixes' for this type of fault, often on PC graphics cards.

    If you look at the fan on your Humax, you're unlikely to see any sign of dust, indicating that it rarely, if ever runs. The main processor runs so hot that you would get a burn off the heatsink, so it may be this chip that is the problem, or one of the surrounding ones. If Humax reduced the threshold temperature for the fan, I think the problem would not occur; perhaps that is what they did in later versions?

    | Sat 9 Dec 2017 17:57:25 #610 |

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