721 Crashes Again!

R

Rocky

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 2, 2003
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0
This is the 3rd time it's crashed since the L116 download. It was replaced shortly after the L115 upgrade, due to chronic problems with the second tuner. I had held on to it in the faint hope that things would be better after the long-awaited upgrade was finally delivered. To E*'s credit, they acknowledged a problem and arranged for its replacement after some brief troubleshooting efforts over the phone.

Anyway, the current problem seems to be triggered somehow by a preset timer. The red recording light illuminates when the timer fires, but it fails to turn off after the recording should be over. At that point, the 721 is locked up, and the only thing I can to is to reboot it, either by unplugging it, or by holding the front panel power button down for a few seconds.

While it reboots, it displays a series of onscreen messages, indicating it is installing a new drive image. When it is finally done, all my previous recordings, timers and favorite channel lists are lost. :(

Does anyone else have this problem? I've been an E* sub since 12/97, but I'm really getting tired of the recurring problems with the various receivers I've owned over the years.
 
BobMurdoch

BobMurdoch

Playing XBoxOne SeriesX/Supporter
Supporting Founder
Sep 12, 2003
5,770
190
Brielle, NJ
I haven't had any of the problems that you have been experiencing, but I do know that misbehaving timers can usually be fixed by deleting the timer and creating a new one identical to the one you are getting rid of.

I also still notice that timers that start at midnight are still repeating the following night on the same channel (It does it for me as I record Angel at Midnight on one of the Superstations and the World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel... I wind up with whatever shows are on 24 hours later as well.... not a big problem, unless I have two timers set to be operating the following night.... but it may be a cause of problems for some)

The "Timers that won't shut down" bug was fixed on my machine with the last download. Delete the bad timer I recommended, cut the power (don't just pull the smart card), wait 10 seconds, and then boot it up again. Then go to your guide and add the timer back in. Hopefully, this will cure it for you.
 
R

Rocky

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 2, 2003
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Hi Bob, I appreciate the advice to delete the timer. Unfortunately, as I stated previously, the problem starts with the 721 being locked up. After it locks up, it is unresponsive to anything but a reboot, and at that point, it proceeds to re-image the HDD without any further input on my part. There is no opportunity to navigate menus, much less delete a timer. If only there were...

BTW, I have only few timers set, and none were timewise overlapping or adjacent to another timer. None are anywhere near midnight either. I guess it's time to call E* and see if my luck is any better with 721 #3.
 
ken

ken

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
296
0
Since 116, my 721 has been rebooting when back to back timers fire and I also have PIP problems when timers fire. Thanks DISH
 
R

Rocky

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 2, 2003
12
0
Crash #4

Crash #4 occurred Tuesday evening. My wife was watching live TV. There were no timers active. She said that a message appeared, saying that the hard drive had failed, and that it listed a phone number. She left it alone, but when I arrived home about an hour later, it had assumed the familiar state of lockup with the recording light illuminated. The message was gone. It was my assumption that lockups were initiated by a timer, but I guess that is not necessarily the case.

I called DISH tech support while I rebooted the receiver, and spoke with a support person while waiting for the hard drive to complete its imaging process. As before, all my recordings, timers and favorite channels were wiped out. I suggested that a new receiver was in order, since this one was clearly malfunctioning to such an extent that it was useless for its intended purpose. She refused, because the reboot/re-imaging was ultimately successful, which meant that the HDD was not faulty. Note that such a message did appear when it first crashed. She said that DISH Network was aware of software bugs, and that they were working to fix them.

I am a software engineer by profession. I have been a loyal customer of DISH Network for 6 years. I have learned to tolerate occasional quirks and glitches on my receivers from time to time. But this is outrageous. What is the point of owning a DVR that wipes itself clean every two days?

Before I give up and move to DirecTV, I would like to try something that might help. These problems began with the L116 software download. Is there a way to force the receiver to re-download L116, in case there was some sort of error with the initial download that was not detected?
 
retiredTech

retiredTech

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 15, 2003
246
0
Missouri
Re: Crash #4

Rocky said:
Crash #4 occurred Tuesday evening. My wife was watching live TV. There were no timers active. She said that a message appeared, saying that the hard drive had failed, and that it listed a phone number. She left it alone, but when I arrived home about an hour later, it had assumed the familiar state of lockup with the recording light illuminated. The message was gone. It was my assumption that lockups were initiated by a timer, but I guess that is not necessarily the case.

I called DISH tech support while I rebooted the receiver, and spoke with a support person while waiting for the hard drive to complete its imaging process. As before, all my recordings, timers and favorite channels were wiped out. I suggested that a new receiver was in order, since this one was clearly malfunctioning to such an extent that it was useless for its intended purpose. She refused, because the reboot/re-imaging was ultimately successful, which meant that the HDD was not faulty. Note that such a message did appear when it first crashed. She said that DISH Network was aware of software bugs, and that they were working to fix them.

I am a software engineer by profession. I have been a loyal customer of DISH Network for 6 years. I have learned to tolerate occasional quirks and glitches on my receivers from time to time. But this is outrageous. What is the point of owning a DVR that wipes itself clean every two days?

Before I give up and move to DirecTV, I would like to try something that might help. These problems began with the L116 software download. Is there a way to force the receiver to re-download L116, in case there was some sort of error with the initial download that was not detected?

THIS IS NOT A SOFTWARE ONLY PROBELM! MY 721 performs well even with 116 so it has to be a hardware(combo) issue.

TALK TO A SUPERVISOR AND GET YOUR RECEIVER REPLACED!

IF THE SUPERVISOR WON'T OK A NEW UNIT, CONTACT UPPER MANAGEMENT!
 
R

Rocky

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 2, 2003
12
0
Re: Crash #4

retiredTech said:
THIS IS NOT A SOFTWARE ONLY PROBELM! MY 721 performs well even with 116 so it has to be a hardware(combo) issue.

TALK TO A SUPERVISOR AND GET YOUR RECEIVER REPLACED!

IF THE SUPERVISOR WON'T OK A NEW UNIT, CONTACT UPPER MANAGEMENT!
I agree, hardware has to be a factor. I will escalate the issue with tech support before I give up on E*. Regarding HDD diagnostics, I found a menu option to test the HDD in one of the diagnostic menus, but it was greyed out so that I couldn't select it. Not sure why, maybe this option was never implemented? Is there another way to initate a HDD diagnostic test, or to force another software download, perhaps via some unpublished key sequence? I'm going to be away for a few days, so I won't be able to pursue this further until I return. I appreciate any and all comments!
 
ken

ken

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
296
0
The 721 is nothing but high priced junk, when I get to the point of replacing it, IT WON'T BE WITH MORE DISH JUNK. I am sick of being told "it is a known issue" and they won't replace it. What good is a 90 hour hard drive if you are going to loose it. I am a pissed off customer that will be a thorn in DISH's butt from now on. And I am also sick of those people on this site who say "all they want to do is complain". If I'm going to spend a ton of money on equipment and programing I expect to get equipment that works as advertised.
 
R

Rocky

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 2, 2003
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0
Replacement 721 on the way

After a total of 9 crashes since December 12, with each crash erasing all my recordings, timers and favorites lists, and after a second call to DISH Tech Support, DISH has agreed to replace my 721. The final diagnosis was a hard drive failure. This will be my 3rd 721. I hope the 3rd time is the charm.
 
MikeD-C05

MikeD-C05

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 25, 2003
26,390
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Nederland , Texas
Funny my origional 721 is like 18 months old and has never crashed and works like a charm. My 2nd brand new 721 had a tuner problem and had to be replaced a week after I got it. My replacement 721 is not new but is working just fine, knock on wood.
 
R

Rocky

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 2, 2003
12
0
My 1st 721 worked great for a few months, until the 2nd tuner gradually started to fail. My 2nd 721 worked great for a month or two, until the L116 download. I installed and activated 721 #3 last night, and it seems to work fine so far. I'm considering buying a 2nd receiver, so the kids can watch their TV in another room while the wife and I enjoy something non-animated. I want to step up to a HD receiver to use with my HD-ready TV, but none of the DISH offerings look ready for prime time.

[rant] Charlie can't seem to make up his mind about how and when DISH should roll out HDTV. I'd like to see a few more HD channels made available before I make the jump. What a fiasco the SuperDish introduction turned out to be. All of the DISH HDTV receivers have lengthy lists of bugs reported. I'm tired of beta testing their receivers without compensation. It's all very disappointing. I will be watching to see what DirecTV comes out with in the next few months. [/rant]
 
R

Rocky

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Member
Oct 2, 2003
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721 #3 fails after 6 weeks

Friday 2/20, it displayed the dreaded 'HDD failure' message and rebooted itself. It seemed to recover, but continued to reboot occasionally (3-4 more times) saturday morning. Around noon on Saturday 2/21, it failed completely. The power light flashes rapidly, and the screen displays the DISH logo, along with a message that it is validating the hard drive. :no

I called DISH and they are sending me 721 #4.
 
LER

LER

Supporter / Pub Member / Server Weenie
Sep 28, 2003
7,055
30
Round Rock, TX US
Hrm. I installed my first 721 this weekend, and it's already RMAd.

This one had a devil of a time getting the switchmatrix right, and once it did, and got L116, it worked
ok for ~9 hours then lost all it's auth'd programming, and so I rebooted it, and it got stuck on
the "705 starting receiver. Pleease Wait...." message for >4 hours. So, I called dish, and there is a new one coming.

Weird.

What was interesting is the styrofoam in the sealed box was broken, so I wonder what shipping monkey used it for a football?

More when I get the replacement.

LER
 
R

Rocky

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 2, 2003
12
0
Some people have had great experiences with the 721. I'm not one of them. Welcome to the '721 Victims' club, LER. Good luck with your replacement.

What's really funny is what the 2nd level tech said to me on Saturday. She said that 721 hard drive failures are very rare, and that I shouldn't be concerned. I don't know how she could look at her screen, where presumably she'd have seen my customer history of 3 failures and counting, and make such a statement.

Personally, I'm done with the 721. As soon as the new unit arrives, it's going to be shipped to <online dealer whose initials are DD> as a trade-in on an 811.

On to a whole new set of bugs and aggravations!
 
MikeD-C05

MikeD-C05

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 25, 2003
26,390
16,491
Nederland , Texas
Had my origonal 721 going on two years now . Bought my second one two months ago and it had a flaky tuner so rmad it . My first one suffered from a hard drive failure this month but it reinitialized the hard drive and it works fine now. I think a lot of people have problems with these receivers but some of us know how to do the reboots and the resets to get it back up and running. It is really hit or miss with Dish's receivers.
 
R

Rocky

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 2, 2003
12
0
If your 721 works great, count your blessings. I would not wish my experiences on anyone.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I've had LOTS of experience rebooting my receivers. :rolleyes: My current receiver never gets past the 'Validating Hard Drive' screen, no matter how long I let it run after a reboot.
 
LER

LER

Supporter / Pub Member / Server Weenie
Sep 28, 2003
7,055
30
Round Rock, TX US
Rocky said:
If your 721 works great, count your blessings. I would not wish my experiences on anyone.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I've had LOTS of experience rebooting my receivers. :rolleyes: My current receiver never gets past the 'Validating Hard Drive' screen, no matter how long I let it run after a reboot.
You might try pulling AC power from it for >10 minutes.

Still get the RMA, but it might help...
 
R

Rocky

Thread Starter
Member
Oct 2, 2003
12
0
LER said:
You might try pulling AC power from it for >10 minutes.
Thanks for the suggestion, but been there, done that. :) I left it unplugged overnight with no better results.
 

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