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Thread: Error #51 (Unfixable even with "51Killer" or "Reset and Delete Everything")

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    5

    Error #51 (Unfixable even with "51Killer" or "Reset and Delete Everything")

    Ok guys. Before I go into this problem, let me state, that I have searched the forums, but the symptoms I'm having are not identical to what I have been seeing out there, so here goes.

    I recently purchased a Hughes model SD-DVR40. I let it run for a few days to download updates. The machine was updated to the 3.1.1b OS. I downloaded Sleeper's ISO (tivoscripts 1.02), and used it to to backup the original 40GB drive and restore it with monte and hacks onto an 80GB drive. This was about 20 days ago. Everything seemed to be running perfectly...

    ...until a couple of days ago. TivoWebPlus RC4 had stopped responding. Otherwise, the machine seemed to be running fine, but I went ahead and restarted it.

    I then received the infamous error 51 after it had rebooted. Problem here is that the image that was used to setup the 80GB drive came from this exact DTivo! From what I've read, usually, this occurs as the result of using someone else's image. But this is the image from the original 40GB drive that came out of this DTivo. So, assuming that this really was a hardware error, I immediately figured that it might have been some form of corruption on the disk.

    I re-restored the backup of the image from the original drive back over the replacement 80gb drive and put it back in. The machine booted fine, and everything was working again. I even recorded a show. The next morning, the error 51 was back!

    So I came here and began searching for information regarding this error. After finding the 2 options, I tried them... both. First I tried the clear and delete. It didn't work. As soon as the system was back up, the error message returned. So later on, I tried the clear and delete again. Still didn't work and I noticed that I lost my locals (that I pay for monthly). So then I uploaded the 51killer.tcl and ran it and restarted the system. Still got the error 51 and no locals. I looked in the System Information before and after each time, and the Service Number is a bunch of 00000's.

    So my assumption now is that the issue is one of the following things.

    Either A) The crypto chip has gone bad. In which case, I guess that I am out of luck considering I've opened the box.

    Or B (highly unikely - considering that I re-restored the drive)) The area of the drive where the generated key gets written to might be corrupt and unable to reliably store the generated key.

    Or C (not sure about this one)): The partition where the key gets written to is somehow mounted as readonly and the tivo is unable to either delete the old key or write the new key.

    In any case, I have the original drive still intact from the night that I backed it up. I have reinstalled it back into the DTivo and am ready to plug it in and turn it on, but before I do, I just wanted to see if anyone has any ideas that I might try before I potentially mess up the original drive. I am concerned that the chip or some other mechanism may try to "invalidate" this (the original) drive.

    I didn't know what information to try to pull for this one, but if anyone would like for me to take any steps, please let me know.
    Last edited by Arcadion; 02-26-2004 at 11:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    5

    Btw...

    I just wanted to extend my appreciation to the developers in the Tivo Hacking community that makes this stuff possible.

    Anyone know where I can sign up to donate for this site? I understand that the new server has already been covered, but certainly there is room for helping to get a memory upgrade or perhaps more disk space :-) .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    245
    I'd try your restore to a different HD. Sounds like your HD is going south

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    5
    Quote Originally Posted by rpl
    I'd try your restore to a different HD. Sounds like your HD is going south
    Thanks man. That is such a great and obvious idea (I really feel kinda dumb for not thinking that - I guess my fustration and concern is keeping me from thinking clearly).

    I'll post back after I try a different drive.

    Thanks again for the quick reply!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by rpl
    I'd try your restore to a different HD. Sounds like your HD is going south
    Thanks again for the tip. I put a new drive in that night, and the S2 DTivo has been working fine since. This seems to confirm that the issue was the hard drive. At least its now been documented here (for searches), that error #51 can result as an effect of a drive going bad, in case anyone else ever experiences it under these same conditions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    114
    I've been noticing this problem on one of my T60s that are running 3.1 w/ a cachecard. The drive is relatively new, and the 51s come and go. I also frequently see a problem at boot and it stops at around 60%. Noticed that if I go through the menus and then back to Live TV, it starts the download again (and typically succeeds). I've pulled the 512MB stick from the cachecard to see if makes any difference for the current test. So far so good.

    I'll test with and without a few other things to see if I can narrow it down, but if this sounds like something other than a HDD problem, I'm all ears.

    (I have a new rev of the cachecard on the way, also.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    2,402
    Quote Originally Posted by OvitivO
    I've been noticing this problem on one of my T60s that are running 3.1 w/ a cachecard. The drive is relatively new, and the 51s come and go. I also frequently see a problem at boot and it stops at around 60%. Noticed that if I go through the menus and then back to Live TV, it starts the download again (and typically succeeds). I've pulled the 512MB stick from the cachecard to see if makes any difference for the current test. So far so good.

    I'll test with and without a few other things to see if I can narrow it down, but if this sounds like something other than a HDD problem, I'm all ears.

    (I have a new rev of the cachecard on the way, also.)
    Have you checked the temperature? I've had HDs go bad from getting and staying too hot.
    ew

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,777
    A quick way to exercise the crypto chip is to read back the serial number in a loop:

    Code:
    while :; do crypto -gsn ; done
    Since cali and some others (?) have reported seeing bad/sloppy connections to the chip, you may want to gently flex that area of the board or spray it with Quik-Freeze while running that loop to see if it affects the operation of the crypto command. I believe the crypto chip is an Atmel AT90SC3232 or AT90SC6464.

    I'm pretty sure you will also see error messages on startup that could point you to the source of the error #51. For instance, if it's caused by a mismatched DiskConfiguration key, you will see messages complaining that the serial number does not match. If it's a hardware failure, you will probably see messages that tell you which component is failing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    114
    I'm pretty sure you will also see error messages on startup that could point you to the source of the error #51.
    The T60 is definitely not reading the Service Number as I can see all zeros in Tivoweb/SysInfo. However, the problem is transient and the box seems to recover after awhile. The box rarely ever gets above 41C, so I don't think heat is an issue yet.

    Is there something I can focus on in the logs to help pinpoint the error?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    114

    Question

    OK, upon further testing, I have different results:

    (service number has been deleted for obvious reasons)

    # while :; do crypto -gsn ; done
    <partial service number>
    <valid service number>
    Bad hex digit :
    <partial service number>
    <mostly garbage>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <mostly garbage>
    <mostly garbage>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <mostly garbage>
    <partial service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <partial service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <partial service number>
    Got bad response 1
    <partial service number>
    <partial service number>
    Bad hex digit :
    <mostly garbage>
    <valid service number>
    <partial service number>
    <valid service number>
    ^C

    I waited about 10 minutes after the boot, and everything looks normal now.

    # while :; do crypto -gsn ; done
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    <valid service number>
    ^C


    So, although the box appears to recover, I would like to see if this problem can be entirely corrected. (Might this be the source of the intermittent #51 error?)

    Is adjusting the 5VDC a workaround for this issue or is this procedure unrelated?

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