• ReplayTV stuck at "Please wait..." (See: You did the upgrade and now it won't boot??? for additional information.)
• extract_rtv5
• burning ReplayTV mpegs to DVD

If a ReplayTV experiences a problem with the OS on a drive, or a drive problem, it may get stuck in a reboot loop at the initial "Please wait" screen.  Drive replacement and/or re-imaging may be required to get the drive into a bootable state again.  Another possible cause for a ReplayTV to become stuck in a reboot loop is if the mpeg partition is entirely filled (no free space/time remains).  Here's a post by Jeff D describing the problem.  The fix is disconnecting all inputs to the ReplayTV and rebooting with only an output hooked up.  Then delete some shows to free up some drive space, hook the input(s) back up and reboot.

If there are recorded shows on a drive that gets stuck in the reboot loop, the only way to retrieve those shows is by hooking the drive up to a PC and running extract_rtv5 (Here's a link to one of the original extract_rtv info pages. However some, if not most of this page is outdated.)  Keep in mind that if the drive has developed a problem (as opposed to data corruption from some other cause), it may be impossible to retrieve any data from the drive.  (extract_rtv is compatible with any model ReplayTV and/or ShowStopper, however the extract_rtv documentation makes reference to models earlier than the 5XXX series.  It does work with 50XX and 55XX series ReplayTVs).  Using extract_rtv5 is a manual recovery process that retrieves the raw files and show information.   Recovered shows can then be streamed back to a ReplayTV or they may be burned to a DVD. 

If there is software corruption on the drive, (possibly the cause of the inability to boot in the ReplayTV,) there is no point in running DOS, Windows or Linux based partition recovery tools on the drive.  Those types of tools are unable to see the OS or file system used in a ReplayTV (regardless of whether the ReplayTV drive is functional or not).  The underlying OS in a ReplayTV is based on VxWorks and there are no commonly available software tools to recover partitions or data.  However if the problem with the drive is bad sectors, you may be able to run a low level utility (like HDD Regenerator) that doesn't rely on the drive's operating system or file system to repair the drive using your computer.  In some cases, using one of these low level utilities to flag the bad sectors will then allow the drive to boot up in the ReplayTV, but if it won't boot up, may still allow you to recover recorded shows using extract_rtv.

Here is Jim Barr's web site with a ReplayTV 5XXX to DVD How-to.  A useful collection of software for manipulating ReplayTV mpegs is rtvtools.  Here's one link to rtvtools info, and here's a link to Lee Thompson's rtvtools web page.  (If Lee's site is down, click here for a backup location.) Re-imaging only the system partition will not recover recorded shows, as the record of what shows exist on a drive is kept in the system partition.  Re-imaging the system partition wipes out the record of what recorded shows exist so there is no way for the OS to then access those shows.

In the case of a two drive system that won't boot, you can try patching the first drive as a single drive system, do not choose reset the mpeg partition, and then see if the ReplayTV will boot.  If it does, any recorded shows that existed on the first drive should be intact.  Any shows that existed on the second drive will still be listed in the Replay Guide but do not actually exist on the drive.  If the second drive is not completely dead, you can use extract_rtv to recover shows to your computer and then burn them to DVD or, with 4XXX and 5XXX series ReplayTVs, import them into DVArchive for streaming back to your ReplayTV.

If your ReplayTV boots past the "Please wait ..." and "One moment please ..." screens, but then appears hung at the swirl screen, see:  
ReplayTV stuck at swirl screen (past "Please wait...")

If a ReplayTV has developed a problem with the drive, before re-imaging, it would be a good idea to run the manufacturer diagnostics on the drive.  (If the drive itself has developed a problem, running diagnostics or attempting to retrieve any data from the drive may not be possible). The following links to diagnostic tools are provided as a convenience:

Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostics

www.maxtor.com - go to Support, Software Downloads, Desktop Storage, DiamondMax Family or Maxtor Other, Diagnostics, Powermax.
Powermax (to make a bootable diskette) is also available here, or a bootable ISO image is available here.

Seagate Sea Tools Diagnostics

Other Maxtor Utilities:
Acoustic Management Utility (amset)

Write Verification Utility (wvset)

Some of these may require the creation of a boot diskette to run.  If you have another brand of drive, the manufacturer diagnostic software is usually available from the manufacturer site, under support and then downloads or software.

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