View Full Version : can't get past "connecting to WebTV"

12-24-2003, 01:58 AM
turned on my RCA UTV and goes to the "Connecting to WebTV" screen and dials MSN. it connects but then never gets all the way through. it gets stuck at the "Connecting" screen, and the yellow "Connected" light flashes steadily. It looks like it never finishes making the connection. i would use my own ISP but i don't have a keyboard. would any USB keyboard work? the same problem was posted by binkatl but they didn't say what actually fixed it or what caused it. do i just put in a new harddrive? or is this voodoo. HELP

12-25-2003, 08:14 PM
turned on my RCA UTV and goes to the "Connecting to WebTV" screen and dials MSN. it connects but then never gets all the way through. it gets stuck at the "Connecting" screen, and the yellow "Connected" light flashes steadily. It looks like it never finishes making the connection. i would use my own ISP but i don't have a keyboard. would any USB keyboard work? the same problem was posted by binkatl but they didn't say what actually fixed it or what caused it. do i just put in a new harddrive? or is this voodoo. HELP

You can access the onscreen keyboard very easily. Just go to the field where you want to enter your ISP info and press the OK button on your remote. A keyboard will appear! That one had me baffled for awhile. It would have been nice if they would have placed an onscreen button to pull up the keyboard but alas, that's the way it is.

Good luck trying to get your ISP to work. I tried using mine but there is some problem with the authentication. I put in all the right info but it keeps telling me wrong password. I've been trying to update to 3.7 for 3 days now with no luck.

Be wary of the demo problem as well, if you've upgraded your hard drive or if you use the reset code you will be missing a file and your UTV will go into a demo mode that is limited. There is a thread in this forum that details the problems and a solution that requires adding a file to your hard drive. I can't imagine why DTV has not added the missing file to the stream but maybe they will if enough people complain.

Good luck! and post back here and let us know if you were able to update using your own ISP.

12-27-2003, 07:07 PM
Zfun, thanks but....
it didn't work for me. i would hear the modem BINGBONG and then the unit would shut off. i remember from other research that you have to pay MSN 12$ a month to use your own isp with WebTV. that may be why it disconnected so quick. my isp is earthlink. the onscreen keyboard was a good tip!
the larger question is this. why is it calling webtv at all? i recall from this forum during the 3.5 to 3.7 upgrade debate that the software was delivered by the satellite in with the Directv signals and the program quide as well. can someone comfirm this? i never saw a webtv screen before and i have had 2 utv boxes for 3 years. i have a feeling my hard drive has died and that is where the UTV program is. i think the webtv program is on the motherboard. any confirmations? befroe i lost this unit, it was acting strange. the picture would freeze and the only button that worked was "30 second junp". if i backed up to that freeze point in the replay it would behave the same way. only when i started to move the unit to see if overheating was a problem did it totally go south and do this Webtv connent loop. anyone have any good ideas? i have just bought 2 more UTV boxes on ebay (i absolutely love UTV) hoping i can at least get one more working and one for parts.

01-03-2004, 04:53 PM
The symtoms you are describing are those of a failing hard drive.

The green light is not blinking(and never stoping), this means the drives password is good and is trying to download a new os.

but since it stops(steady yellow modem light) this is a indication that the hard drive has failed (or is in the procces of failing).

At this piont replace the harddrive my choice would be a Seagate 120 GIG
ST 3120026A.

If you get to the point where it says part 1 of 297 your there. Could take 2 hours sometimes 2 days to download the OS. Tues-Fri the downloads have been the Fastest(hesitate to use the word fast) with friday 2:00 PM to 11:00 being the magic hours.(Mountain Time)

A straight forward way to test the drive before putting out money for a new one, use MHD3 to unlock and clear the drive.
If the drive is going bad MHD3 will never finish it will fill the screen with .................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... .................and never complete even after several days.

Hope this helps

Live long and transfer

01-08-2004, 08:39 PM
thanks for replie. is replacing the hard drive really that easy? can i just take a drive like the one you suggested, take it out of the box, plug it in, connect the phone line and other cables, turn it on and wait..... till the UTV unit downloads everything it needs to be a UTV?
i'm going to check the Led light display and see if it matches what you discribed but i'm pretty sure it the green power button light on solid and the yellow "connected" led BLINKING non stop.

01-10-2004, 12:56 AM
Upgrading your hard drive is yes, in theory, that easy. However, if your box currently isn't able to connect to the MSN servers to download the software, then it won't be able to after the hard drive replacement.

I myself haven't had any issues connecting to the MSN servers, but from trolling the forums, many many many people have. The recommendations from those that it has worked for is to plug the phone line into the UTV at the point where the phone line enters the house, and they've had the most success in the afternoons Tue-Fri. Everyone else who hasn't been able to get it to connect using MSN's regular dial-up service has stated success with using their own ISP; it does not matter that you don't pay for an MSN WebTV account. Try moving your unit and plugging it in at a different jack in the house...it's a long shot, but who knows.

Then of course, there's the more difficult way of replacing the hard drive, that of course being copying the operating system image file from your computer to the hard drive (multiple posts in other threads cover how to do this...search for one by herculito) before placing in the UTV. The only reason I bring this up is that either way you go about this (for the time being anyway), you will get stuck in the "demo loop". Hal states that if you are able to download the OS as I previously discussed, that this won't be a problem, but I've read no posts from anybody that can either confirm or deny this. Apparently, DirecTV has removed a file from their stream which tells your UTV that you pay for the service, which in turn, only allows you to watch the first ten minutes of recorded programs, and other limitations in functionality.

The point I am trying to make is this: You are more than likely going to have to take the UTV box apart anyway and hotswap the hard drive in and out of your computer to fix the demo mode problem, so don't kill yourself trying to get the download to work and instead read up on the mulitple threads dealing with how to upgrade the hard drive and how to fix the demo mode problem. I would say not to worry about it unless you feel comfortable taking your unit apart, but as your unit already doesn't work, I guess it doesn't much matter at this point.

Good luck, and let me know if you need any assistance!

01-11-2004, 01:17 AM
thanks cyberbob25, i was losing faith in the forum because i have had so few responses. yours is very interesting. first off, i've go the "connecting to webtv" stuck screen, not the "demo mode loop" problem. i too have poured through this forum (and any other i could find) and for every problem there seems to be many contradicting answers.
i have bought 2 UTV boxes off of ebay. one with the 3.7 software on it and all i did was call directv and have them activate the card and everything worked. so your quote "DirecTV has removed a file from their stream which tells your UTV that you pay for the service" may not be true.
the second box i got still has 3.5 on it. i have yet to activate it but it works fine, boots right to the "home" page and plays chanel 100 and other free chanels. i have had it plugged into the phone line for days now. i will hook it up and see if anything is different.
once i hook up this this new box i should learn some answers. will this new box have trouble downloading the 3.7 software? will it access webtv when the other box would not? is 3.7 even still being delivered? i still ask the question of where does UTV boxes get there software? i remember well when 3.7 software rolled out that some on this forum said the software was delivered with the satelite signal, like the program quide. i have left a box disconnected from the phone for weeks and have had no problem. my experience has been that Directv only uses the phone line to charge for pay per view.
Next, if this new box i'm going to play with does upgrade it's software and run just fine, could i take out it's harddrive, plug it into my original "stuck on connecting to webtv" box and see if it runs? is there a marriage between the boxes components and the specific hard drive? any thoughts?
once again...thanks for your response...

01-12-2004, 02:19 AM
I am by no means an expert on any of what I am about to say, just reciting it as I understand things from what I have read (but I feel pretty comfortable in my understandings).

As for the file being removed from the stream, the file authfile.dat needs to reside on the browser partition on the hard drive. I don't quite understand this myself, but apparently, the presence of this file isn't what controls your UTV functions, but a setting in the file...for example, you have a UTV box running OS 3.5 on it for some time with UTV functions working fine...you have your box upgrade to 3.7...even though authfile.dat is not being broadcast anymore, authfile.dat still resides on the system and hence, still works. Now, let's say you upgrade the hard drive in one of your units. Authfile.dat no longer exists, and apparently is no longer sent over the stream, hence no UTV functionality. From what I've read, and hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong, when you first plug a UTV unit into the stream for the very first time, it tries to get this file automatically and then gets initialized by DTV when you subscribe to the UTV service.

Now, onto the rest of your post...

I understood what problem you were currently having...by mentioning the demo mode problem, I was simply telling you what you would eventually more than likely experience in the process of upgrading a hard drive.

As for 3.7 delivery methods, I can't give you too much insight on this. I too have read multiple thoughts on this. What I have read (no idea on the validity of this) is that automatic updates are sent through the stream, while manual updates are downloaded over the modem.

I have no idea if this second box will be able to connect where the first box cannot. Only way to find out is trial and error. The problem could just be a lot of noise in your phone line (which is a very common problem for the UTV boxes...they are very sensitive to this apparently), or a physical problem with that particular unit. So I guess I'm saying plug it in and give it a try.

As for your question regarding swapping hardware, yes, whenever you insert a hard drive into a UTV, the machine marries the hard drive. If you move the hard drive from the one unit to the other, it will be able to unlock it, but it will clear the password, re-lock it, marry it, and format it.

Hope this helps, and anybody reading this that can correct anything, please do!

01-12-2004, 12:25 PM
It all looks good to me Bob

01-13-2004, 02:02 AM
Apparently, as of today, the file is back in the stream again, so the demo mode issue should no longer be a problem for you after the upgrade.

01-13-2004, 10:33 PM
thanks bob, that was a very helpful post and i think i get it. with the info you have given me i now know how to procede. it will be a few days before i have a chance to play with my boxes, but once i do i will post what i have discovered (or verified) here.

01-16-2004, 07:33 PM
yes it is that easy,

Try connecting to webtv with one of your working units. If it works your halfway there.

Takes alot of patience to do the download. Takes alot of retrys sometime.

Other than that though, very easy upgrade.