Somehow, I Generated a So-Called "PVR Flush" on the 630 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-05-05, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Somehow, I Generated a So-Called "PVR Flush" on the 630

We're currently on our third 630 and so far it's been the best one (touch wood) with not many of the endless problems of the prior two. This one has rarely done any spontaneous reboots. But one thing we've been doing is unplugging it for five minutes every 10 days or so when it seems it's getting a bit bogged down. Like saving or cancelling a recording takes 15 seconds instead of five, that type of thing. Anyway, last night, we unplugged it for five minutes and then the fun began:

When it came back up after the five minutes, nothing that was saved appeared to be there anymore. Even after about 20 minutes. There were no recordings on the playlist and there were no upcoming recordings even though there should have been some. Plus the guide wouldn't load at all. Since I'd done that unplug thing multiple times, I knew from experience that the guide should have at least been up to some degree after 20 minutes. Due to this, I decided the best thing to do was to unplug it again, which I did.

When it came back up, there was a picture for a brief second, then it spontaneously rebooted itself, then it came back up. When it came back up, there was suddenly a mail icon, meaning I had a mail message. I didn't look at the message right away. But after about 20 minutes again, my recordings were on the playlist, the guide was there, but I still had no upcoming recordings. I thought "man, this is weird." Then I went to the mail message. The message was from my receiver! It told me (in English and French) that it had saved my recordings from my playlist, but all my upcoming recordings were gone and I had to set them again. My receiver is extremely polite, I must say.

After seeing this, I phoned tech support at Shaw Direct. I explained what had happened and was told that my receiver did a so-called "PVR Flush." This was apparently something new that the techs added into the 04.06 software as a feature for them to allow them to, as a last resort, recover lost recordings. All the signs were there -- the polite message, the fact that my recordings were there, but there was no information about the recording, just the recording itself. The problem is, the receiver *never* should have been able to do it on its own. Apparently, the only way to generate a PVR Flush is to type "PVR Flush" into the keypad on the remote under some specific circumstances. The tech I was speaking to went to technical escalation and they agreed it was a PVR Flush but couldn't believe it happened.

Anyway, everything's back to normal now, although I had to set all my recordings again. I was worried it might happen again, so I unplugged it again for five minutes to make sure it would act normally this time and it did.

I have no idea why this happened, but I wanted to mention it in case it's happened to someone else, because if so I think technical escalation would like to know about it. Additionally, in the long run I guess it's a good thing, because it's clear that there's a way of recapturing lost recordings.

The Hans
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-05-05, 05:20 PM
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Sounds like it performed a file system check or maybe a disk format and some sort of file recovery procedure. I would be more careful about unplugging in future. It could cause disk corruption under certain circumstances. Make sure the 630 is off and not recording anything first.

At 20 I had a good mind. At 40 I had money. At 60 I've lost my mind and my money. Oh, to be 20 again. --Scary
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-05-06, 01:22 AM
 
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wierd happenings last nite?

Mine spontaneously rebooted last night too (betweeen 10:30 and 11). It emptied the list and the recording schedule. after 5 calls to tech support and several soft and front panel resets and a factory reset w preserve, they said next option is to factory reset w/erase and rtc unit if list doesn't come back.

No mention of the PVR flush.... none of the Techs i talked to knew anything other than the step by step procedures they read from a book or something.

I refused to do the erase option because when I record something now it still says i have used 69% of the memory. And I am hoping it will all pop back in one day
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-05-06, 03:27 AM
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I would never unplug the pvr on a routine basis. That can cause serious corruption of a disk, just like it could and has on PC's. That is the same as a sudden power failure and is not a good thing for modern electronics. If you must do something, then try holding the power button down so it starts a reboot a little more gently.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-05-06, 08:39 AM
 
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PVR Error / PVR Flush

I've had two spontaneous "PVR flushes" then.

I had no idea that was what they were called. My 630 would spontaneously reboot, then when it came back up, the polite little mail icon was there telling me I had a PVR error.

Like you said, recordings are there (lacking any information, even the colour to denote a movie for instance) but all the recording events were gonzo.

I certainly didn't initiate a PVR flush, and I don't unplug my unit ever. Indeed, there were no problems prior to the PVR error, just a reboot out of the blue.

My Mother all had one of these last week as well, out of the blue, nothing to indicate a huge problem was happening.


This seems to be a new bug that has popped up…maybe SD 630 Support could discuss?

ATV3 / Unblock-US / Netflix / HuluPlus / Samsung LNT3242H
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-05-06, 03:02 PM
 
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PVR Flush 101

Hi Everyone,

Basically, like any database, it is possible for the PVR database on the receiver to become corrupt or encounter a serious error. When that occurs, the receiver attempts to load a backup copy. If that fails (or, if it succeeds then you hit the same error anyway), the PVR database is wiped and recreated to prevent you from being left in a continuous reboot state or other undesirable situation.

Along with containing all the information on your PVR Options (e.g. what Series you have set, historical episodes that have been recorded, etc.), the PVR database also contains all the program information on the shows recorded in the PVR List. The actual recordings themselves are separate video files on the HDD, but everything to identify them is contained in the database.

At one time, losing the PVR database meant you lost your recordings too because all the video files became "orphaned" and the box didn't know what to do with them. The "PVR Flush" process was enhanced to include a recovery sequence which goes through all the video files on the HDD and rebuilds the PVR list from the metadata contained in each file. This allows you to keep all your recordings.

The ability for a user to do a manual PVR Flush is indeed a new feature in 04.06. The "automatic" flush and recovery has existed back to 00.13 and prior.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-05-06, 03:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHans View Post
The problem is, the receiver *never* should have been able to do it on its own.
Hi TheHans,

You can take a look at my previous post, but basically this part of what was communicated to you is incorrect. The receiver is able to do this on its own when it detects the corruption, attempts to restore a backup, and fails. The PVR Flush clears the database, recovers your recordings, starts you with a rebuilt database, and delivers the mail message so you're aware of what's happened.

I agree with the previous posters that the frequent power losses probably contribute to the chances of seeing this more frequently. That said, you might be able to rest a little easier knowing there isn't anything you can explicitly do to trigger the PVR Flush, short of entering the hidden sequence.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-05-06, 03:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a1canuck View Post
I refused to do the erase option because when I record something now it still says i have used 69% of the memory. And I am hoping it will all pop back in one day
Hi a1canuck,

If I'm understanding your post right, you only have 1 or 2 things in the PVR List but the HDD still shows 69% full?

If that's the case, it sounds like the recovery sequence wasn't triggered for some reason. You can force another PVR Flush, which will clear out PVR Options again but will recover your recordings.

Press OPTIONS, 9, 78735874. Enter your password (if applicable) and follow the instructions to do the Flush.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-05-10, 02:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Press OPTIONS, 9, 78735874. Enter your password (if applicable) and follow the instructions to do the Flush.
SD 630 Support, thanks so much for your help it worked like a charm, I now have all my recordings back. I am so glad I didn't take the advice of the 2 techs that wanted to do a factory w/erase, and RTC my receiver. If at all possible please try and get this info of the PVR flush out to the tech team, it would probably save the company a fair amount of money in unnecessary receiver RTC's. not to mention all the customers that would be extremely happy to get the chance to watch the shows they recorded.

A1canuck
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-05-10, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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I agree that this PVR Flush is a great thing *if* you're having a problem. But if it's happening spontaneously as it did for me, another poster on this thread and her mother, it's kind of a pain. I still think it would be useful for those who have it happen spontaneously to contact Shaw Direct. I was told that this was not supposed to happen at all unless the sequence of keys was keyed in. I know SD Support has said here that the 630 can generate the PVR Flush itself under the right circumstances. This obviously somewhat contradicts what I was told on the phone.

Personally, I hope that anyone who has it happen spontaneously contacts Shaw Direct to report it, because this is what I was told by technical escalation via the agent I was speaking to. Like some other things with the 630, it can be a bit too sensitive sometimes and with some feedback, the PVR Flush could be improved in the next update.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-05-11, 07:19 PM
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pvr flush

Just happened to me this morning, what a pain in the ass to reset all the events. especially when you have 50+ events. other then that the new firmware is okay.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 2011-06-05, 05:20 PM
 
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Had something similar happen, what a pain. Was on the phone for more than an hour with tech support, had to elevate to a manager after the first one.

First tech support checked my signal strength and then asked if I could play back the most recent recording -- then proceeded to say "well, it looks as if everything is working - oh, it's not? what seems to be the problem now?" It was as if he was absent from the first half of our conversation. Then he said it's normal for all of your recording events to erase themselves when they send out a firmware update, when I said no, and programming 40 or 50 new recurring events is a real pain, he recommended that I only program 2 things to record - maximum 3: Can I speak to your supervisor please....

Anyways, aside from losing all the recording events, all my recordings have no info - just the name, channel and date. When you sort by grouping episodes, it says I have 1 episode of everything, and it puts separate episodes of the same show as a new line, showing 1 episode. I have 20 lines of "CSI", for example.

We tried a factory reset with "preserve content" enabled, but it didn't help. I know that factory reset with "erase content" will work (I put in a new drive and did this step - the system with the new drive looks OK). I'm back to the old drive to try and watch as much of the stuff as I can before going to the drive with the factory reset done on it.

I sure hope this is not to be expected on a regular basis. I can't believe how casually they take this at SD - "oh, well we just need to do a factory reset and erase all your data. No, there is no method to back up the data, and even a new receiver will be blank." If SD sold computers there would be many, many, many dissatisfied clients and potentially lawsuits for lost information. It's not like it's one or two of these things with bad hardware, it is the firmware - developed by them - which is destroying data. Maybe not so bad for someone who is always up-to-date on their TV watching, but I like to leave some series on there to watch later (in the winter, say).

Anyways, I really am hoping this gets resolved with new firmware next month.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 2012-10-11, 06:36 PM
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I am having issues with my 630 receiver as well. It sounds like I need to do a pvr flush because it says it is 94% full when there is only one half hour program saved and showing up in the list. I don't have a button on my remote that says options to go through the flush procedure. Help!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 2012-10-11, 09:40 PM
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pvr flush

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffitz View Post
I am having issues with my 630 receiver as well. It sounds like I need to do a pvr flush because it says it is 94% full when there is only one half hour program saved and showing up in the list. I don't have a button on my remote that says options to go through the flush procedure. Help!
make sure nothing is being recorded
options-9-7-8-7-3-5-8-7-4
select delete
after the reset, check your pvr list and delete those
you will lose all your recording events
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 2012-10-11, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Buffitz View Post
I don't have a button on my remote that says options to go through the flush procedure. Help!
Didn't you get a Shaw Direct remote with your 630 when you bought it? If you don't have a remote with the "Options" button then I would say you're screwed.

~Gary
Shaw Direct DSR 630 HDPVR w/Ontario Life | Aquos 46" 120Hz LCD TV | Watch Me!
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