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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lately my Rogers Nextbox is giving me a lot of problems. I first noticed it a few days ago when I could not power on the PVR. It would work after a power-cycle the PVR. Then after maybe 30-60 minutes, it would freeze and I would have to power cycle again.

Since I own this PVR, Rogers is not helping. They offered me a rent-to-own option for $25 per month.

Symptoms:
1. After a power cycle, wathcing live TV is OK for maybe 30-60 minutes. Then it would freeze and may or may not resume playing. Eventually it would stop and I will have to reboot again.
2. After a power cycle, if I watch a recorded show, after maybe 30-60 minutes, I can no longer control the box by the remote. The show may continue to play but it would eventually stop.
3. When the box freezes, I cannot control the box with the remote. Even the red/blue switch in the front would not work.
4. The right back side is warm to the touch when I put my hand on the top of the box.
5. After I power cycle the box, Red/blue switch in the front would work. However, even if I do not turn on the PCR, it would stop working after some minutes.

I did some research and the suggestion was to replace the HDD. I also read that there is a cooling fan inside the box. Is it possible that this fan stopped working and it overheats (this is why it would stop working after 30-60 minutes)?

Please help. Based on the symptoms, is this still a HDD issue? Appreciate your advices before I order a HDD.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As a temporary solution, I put a fan on top of the box for cooling. I happen to have a 3-inch USB fan which can blow air downward. I put the fan near the center of the box. While the top panel is now cool to the touch, the box would reboot. So, with the fan, the box behaves differently now. Since I do not know the layout inside the box, where is the best place to put it?

I check and there is no instruction on net to open the box. Did anyone have ideas how to open it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just bought a set of these security Torx bits and a can of compressed air.

I look at the CAV10455HD: 6 screws at the bottom, one screw each on the right and left panels and one screen in the back panel above the HDMI. Which panel should I remove first? A bit worried because I may break something.

My USB fan only blows air up or down. I now put it on top near the power cable and let the air blows down into the box. This workaround seems to work well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is there a fan inside the 4K-PVR?
Good chance that this fan and/or dust is the reason of the overheating.

The box is a rectangular, can you tell me that layout of the components inside?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can see that the 2 side and top panels are covered by “holes”. I cannot tell if they are real vents or just decors. I have a Shark vacuum with good suction, where should I point the nozzle?

Also, since I bought a can of compressed air, where should I shoot the compressed air?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Surprised that there is so little information on the CAV10455HD. If the fan seized, where can I find a replacement fan?

Also, who manufactured these boxes: Cisco or Technicolor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Instructions to open the CAV10555HD: (All screws are Security Torx of size 10)
1. For the top cover, 3 screws to be removed, one on each side and one in the back.
2. Use a prying tool to remove the top cover.
3. There is an inside metal cover. 8 screws to remove.
I attached 2 pictures here in case other members like to see the layout of a CAV10455HD.

My observations:
1. No fan.
2. No or little dust inside, A few days ago, I did use an air duster to blow inside the box.
3. There is a small spongy thing between the metal cover and the heat sink. This may be a thermal pad.

I think over time, the thermal pad is no longer ”pressing“ on to heat sink, hence the overheating.
I will replace the thermal pad; maybe a larger one to cover the heat sink.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The current HDD is Toshiba 1TB DT01ABA100V and it is working fine so far. However, it is 3-4 years old and it is used almost daily.

If I buy a new surveillance HDD, how do I format the drive? I ask because with the new HDD, there is no operating system so I may not be able to go to the GUI to do the factory reset.

Not sure if I should get a bigger drive, I don’t want the processor of the PVR to work harder. How about the Seagate Skyhawks 1TB Surveillance Drive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I do not know what happened but the PVR seems OK now. I removed the plastic outer cover and leave the inner metal cover (not screwed on). I was watching a recorded show and at the same time, the PVR was recording another show. This went on for 2 hours and the PVR did not freeze.
The thermal pad is still doing its job because on the metal cover, the area around the pad is warm to the touch. I then touched the heat sinks, the white portion was hot and the rest of the heat sink was lukewarm. Is this normal?

I was thinking to replace the thermal pad but it is not easy to find at all. The dimension of this pad is 33mm x 20mm x 8mm. I called Canada Computer, they do not sell thermal pad at all. While Amazon do sell thermal pads, they are all too thin: 0.5mm, 1mm, 1.5mm and 3mm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Actually, the thermal pad is doing its job. On the metal plate, the area around the pad is noticeably warmer than the other side.
In theory, adding a layer of thermal pad may help but it may interfere with the heat dissipation of existing pad. Like I said, the existing is working well.

I have an USB fan which used to cool my old Android box. I place it on top of the thermal pad and it reduces the temp of the heat sink (the while portion) significantly. This fan is excellent with 3 speeds and even in the lowest speed, it would cool the heat sink to a proper temp (warm, not hot).
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
….. Another thing to do might be to add just enough padding between the plastic cover and the metal cover to force contact.….
Good idea. I may try this. This padding does not need to Be anything conducting. I will check if anything I can use around my house. Maybe as simple as a piece of plastic or cardboard……
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I have decided to leave it as is. Somehow the box does not freeze anymore even without the fan.
I re-assembled he box together tonight and just the same, I am leaving the fan on the box to flow air downward around the thermal pad. I tested this yesterday without the plastic outer cover and it worked very well, ie: the white part of the heat sink was cool to the touch.
I am leaving the fan because I figured the cooler the box, the better it would operate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
The Netbox froze again this evening even I put the fan on top of the processor. I did record 2 shows at the same time earlier this evening. Both were one hour show but the PVR only recorded 22 minutes.

Question: I put the fan on top of the processor, on top of thermal pad. Should I put the fan on top of the hard disk? I figure that hard disk would have to work harder when it records 2 shows. Maybe the hard disk overheated?
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Thanks for your comments.
Possible reasons for freezing:
1. HDD: Rarely overheats.
2. HDD: Last time I open the box, I noticed that it is a Toshiba HDD, not sure of the speed.
4. Power Surge: Not likely. The Nextbox is connected to a APC 2800J surge protector (1-2 years old)
4. Weak components: Not sure. Same components for years.

Maybe the root cause was not heat related. Is it possible that the hard drive is getting too old? Unfortunately, then Nextbox does not come with any disk utilities to check the HDD.

There is no way to tell how long has this HDD been in service. While I got this PVR, it might be used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I just googled and the typical life span of a HDD is 3-5 years depending on usage.
My question is since the Netbox is always on, is the hard drive working (spinning) when the PVR is in idle mode?
If the PVR freezes more often, the only thing I can do is to replace the HDD. Too bad I cannot be certain that the root cause is the HDD. Kinda of a waste to spend $100 just to try.
 
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