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TiVo DVR Troubleshooting - stuck on Powering Up

Over the years, we have seen many TiVo units with a variety of problems. We also receive countless emails from TiVo users who have problems and are looking for solutions. We are able to solve many problems through email; others require us to see the unit. Some problems require TiVo owners to send the units back to the manufacturer for repair with proprietary parts.

If your TiVo has any one of the following problems, this page details our advice on what you can do to fix your TiVo:

  • TiVo is stuck on a gray screen that says, "Powering up…"
  • TiVo is stuck on a gray screen that says, "Almost there…a few more seconds please."
  • TiVo cycles between the above two screens, but never reaches TiVo Central

Note: If your DirecTV/TiVo is stuck at 28% when acquiring the satellite signal, see this page.


Defective Hard Drive
In our experience, the most likely problem is a dead hard drive (although some models with these symptoms can have power supply problems--see Defective Power Supply/Suggested Solutions, below). While there are other problems that cause the symptoms described above, the hard drive is still the most likely culprit. If you have not had a thunderstorm, electrical storm, power surge or other event that immediately preceded the problem, then this increases the chance that the problem is hard-drive related.

Some TiVo units can perform some tests on hard drives themselves. See our TiVo kickstart page for more info.

Suggested Solutions:

  • TiVo Flat-Fee Repair Service. Once price and we fix any problem with just about any TiVo model.
  • A Weaknees.com REPLACE kit for your TiVo will completely replace your hard drive(s). If the problem was drive-related, then the REPLACE kit will solve it. If the problem was not drive-related, then you can return the drive kit for a refund (less a 15% restocking fee for returns received in original packaging and in working order).
  • Testing for a bad drive: If you are willing and able to open your TiVo, there are several ways to test for a bad drive. For more assistance, see this TiVo Drive Testing Help.

Defective Power Supply
Some TiVo units are more prone to power supply problems than others, and some of those units will show "Welcome, Powering Up" as a result of a power supply failure. See "Suggested Solutions" to the right.

If you recently had a severe electrical storm, thunderstorm or other power surge, then your TiVo problem could be a blown power supply.

Generally, a complete lack of video out on power-up is a symptom of a bad power supply. Sometimes, fans will spin, but usually hard drives wont power up.

There is a known problem with some TCD140060 and TCD130040 TiVo DVRs as they get older. If you have this problem, when you plug in your unit, all of the front lights will be on, but you will see nothing on the TV--you will instead see a black screen, blue screen, or no video at all. The solution to this problem is to replace the power supply. See our power supply page for a replacement part.

Suggested Solutions:

  • Replace power supply. Weaknees.com has power supplies for most TiVo DVRs here. We can diagnose the problem and replace your power supply. Email us for details.
  • TiVo Flat-Fee Repair Service. Once price and we fix any problem with just about any TiVo model.
  • There are some units that are more prone to power supply failures than others. Non-DIRECTV units prone to power supply issues have TiVo Service Numbers beginning with 130, 140, 240 and 648. In addition, all Series 2 DIRECTV TiVo units are also prone to power supply failures.
  • If you are unsure whether you have a bad power supply or a bad hard drive, you can purchase both and return what you do not use (subject to our return policy) or you can opt for the one-price TiVo repair service (for standard definition TiVos) or our TiVo diagnostic service (for HD TiVos).

Bad/Defective Cable
In some cases, the problems described above can be attributed to a defective internal cable or a bad cable connection. There are three possibilities: (1) A bad drive power cable; (2) a bad IDE cable; (3) a bad power-motherboard connection (DirecTV/TiVo units only).

Suggested Solutions:
• If you have a DirecTV/TiVo unit (Hughes GXCEBOT; Philips DSR6000; Sony SAT T60), and if you are willing to open your unit, then the first thing to try is the cable connecting the power supply to the motherboard. Over time, the connection to the motherboard can become loose, which will cause the problems described. This cable is located underneath the hard drive bay. If you have questions, please email us or see our TiVo Upgrade Installation instructions, which describe how to open the TiVo and remove the hard drive bay.

• If you are willing to open your TiVo unit, you can also replace the gray IDE cable with another cable. Any 80-wire, 40-pin cable will do. Do not purchase a cable with a blocked 40th pin. Also note that many 18" cables will not fit in two-drive TiVos.

• There is a cable in Series 1 DirecTiVos that can become oxidized and can lose its connection. Removing, gently wiping, and reinserting this cable carefully can often fix problems. The cable is marked "Parlex" and runs from the motherboard to the power supply - Hughes GXCEBOT, Sony SAT T-60, and DSR6000 only. For situations where cleaning the cable fixes problems only temporarily, or the cable is permanently damaged, we now sell new cables in our Parts Bin.

Motherboard Problem
In some models (Hughes GXCEBOT, Sony SAT T-60, and DSR6000), units that hang on the screen "Almost There, A Few More Seconds . . ." often have a blown modem. This is usually the result of a surge on the telephone line, often due to thunderstorms. (We recommend wireless modem jacks to prevent this situation in the first place.)

In some situations, being stuck on powering up can indicate a motherboard problem. While this is the least likely cause of this problem, it is still a possibility.

• We offer a flat-fee repair service to fix motherboard problems in any standard definition TiVo, and a TiVo diagnostic service for high definition TiVos.

GENERAL NOTES: Opening your TiVo voids your warranty. You MUST pull the TiVo’s power cord before you open the unit. WeaKnees is not responsible for any damage that you do to your TiVo and is providing this information for informational purposes only.

* Philips HDR112, HDR212, HDR312, HDR31201, HDR31202, HDR21203, HDR31204, Sony SVR-2000
** Hughes GXCEBOT, Philips DSR6000, DSR6000r, SONY SAT T-60

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