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Dead DVR, Record Light Rapid Blinking?

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Old 11-11-2008, 01:40 AM   #1
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Default Dead DVR, Record Light Rapid Blinking?

Remote troubleshoot from out of town ...

Anyone have a list of error codes for the DirecTV Plus (SD) DVR?

My mom just lost her second DVR in a few months. Said the TV only displayed snow. I suspect a bad HD, but I'm 250 miles away, so can't tell for sure. I had her swap the bad unit out with a known good one and everything works, so it was definitely an issue with the DVR.

She did the red-button deal and unplugging the unit, but could not get it to go live. She said the blue light is faint and the record light blinks when she powers it on. She doesn't hear any noise from the unit either.

It's JUST out of warranty, but DirecTV says she's out of luck. I have a new hard drive I could probably put in there this Thanksgiving, but want to check and see if there is any way to tell if it is the HD or some other hardware on the unit not so easily replaced.

Anyone have a list to troubleshoot (the manual is pretty useless)?

Thanks...
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:00 AM   #2
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Because you're so far away, put her on the DirecTV service policy so she can call DirecTV for a technician to visit her house. All parts and labor are covered by the policy.

That doesn't help with your immediate problem but will take some pressure off you in the future.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rserkes View Post
Because you're so far away, put her on the DirecTV service policy so she can call DirecTV for a technician to visit her house. All parts and labor are covered by the policy.

That doesn't help with your immediate problem but will take some pressure off you in the future.
I second that because $5.99 a month is a small price to pay to make sure you don't have to lay down hundreds in cash.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:11 AM   #4
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I can't believe DIRECTV told her she's out of luck. I've read here several times that they'll usually replace a bad DVR for $20 when you agree to another 2 year commitment.

You're not suppose to open up the DVR and replace the hard drive since it's a leased unit. It doesn't sound like it's the hard drive since you said the blue light is faint and the record light blinks.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:01 PM   #5
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I can't believe DIRECTV told her she's out of luck. I've read here several times that they'll usually replace a bad DVR for $20 when you agree to another 2 year commitment.

You're not suppose to open up the DVR and replace the hard drive since it's a leased unit. It doesn't sound like it's the hard drive since you said the blue light is faint and the record light blinks.
Thanks all for the comments!

My brother-in-law (who lives nearby) or I am able to do all the work the D* guys do, so paying $72 a year is a bit much for nothing but a hardware replacement guarantee. She's had two units go bad, but we haven't had any other failures in the family and I haven't witnessed enough failures elsewhere where it would make $72 a year seem like a good deal. They want $100 bucks a unit. Even paying full price for both of these, we'd still be way ahead than if we'd all been paying an extra $6 a month all these years.

And frankly, charging $20 AND extending a commitment 2 years is a VERY steep price for one lousy standard def DVR. I got multiple HD DVR's and a new HD dish and install free for extending my contract the same duration.

I understand we're not supposed to open the units, but what they don't know won't hurt either party. I'll be sure to keep the bad HD (if that's the problem) around to reinstall when we eventually turn the unit in (like when I finally get my mom upgraded to HD) -- and keep my good HD.

What I'm most interested in is your statement that it doesn't sound like the hard drive because the record light is blinking. What does that sound like to you?
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:08 AM   #6
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What I do is drop the unit about 3 or 4 feet to a soft surface.Sometimes this will work. But first try the reset button a few times along with unplugging the unit and replugging it.
If all else fails call tech support and do basically the same thing 3 or 4 times along with tightening all connections and get a service appointment with a guy that will do the same thing.
After all this they will give you a new unit. Well you will have to pay I got the service agreement.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:02 AM   #7
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What I'm most interested in is your statement that it doesn't sound like the hard drive because the record light is blinking. What does that sound like to you?
It sounds like something else. Maybe the power supply is messed up, maybe something on the main board failed. I'm not 100 % sure. Try replacing the hard drive and see what happens I guess. Without opening the case you should be able to try using an eSATA drive to see if that brings it back to life.
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:19 AM   #8
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Aren't standard def DVRs pretty cheap now? I haven't priced them in a long time.
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:56 AM   #9
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Aren't standard def DVRs pretty cheap now? I haven't priced them in a long time.
They probably are but hard drives are also pretty cheap now if that's all it needs.

Even if a new standard def DIRECTV DVR is pretty cheap to get at a local store it's still a leased unit.

If DIRECTV offered to send out a refurb unit for $20 and you have to sign up for a 2 year commitment that's also a pretty cheap amount to get it fixed.
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