Time Warner cable box problem- please help!
January 20, 2011 7:21 PM   Subscribe

I was watching TV tonight when our Time Warner Explorer 8300 cable box started whirring, our cable shut off, and weird things started appearing on the cable box panel. There were countdowns and APP and hOHD are now interchangeably flashing on the panel. My husband called Time Warner and was told that this may be a hardware problem in which case we can only get the box replaced which means we'll lose everything we've DVR'd. We have a lot of programs saved so if anyone has any advice or experience, please share!

p.s. The representative also only offered to comp us for the few days we won't have a functioning cable box which I think is ridiculous.
posted by zinegurl to Technology (5 answers total)
Presumably, you could swap out the harddrive, and put it in the replacement unit. Presumably, Time Warner will refuse to do this.
posted by orthogonality at 7:32 PM on January 20, 2011

This presumes that the whirring wasn't the hard drive dying.
posted by gjc at 7:34 PM on January 20, 2011

We just rebooted for a second time and this worked, thank god
posted by zinegurl at 7:46 PM on January 20, 2011

Depends on what died inside the box. There's usually only two parts that will make sounds:

- Fans. A dead or jammed fan can cause the unit to overheat and lock up. Especially if it's a CPU or video decoder fan. You should be able to recover saved shows in this case, but TW isn't going to do it for you.

- Harddrive. Data is gone, you won't be able to recover.

My parents had a DishNetworks HD DVR where the HD died. But it still functioned fine with the exception of the DVR stuff. You could change channels and watch TV but not save/retrieve shows or pause live content.

These things are basically desktop computers with some special graphics hardware in them.
posted by sbutler at 7:49 PM on January 20, 2011

All of my google-fu got me no list of error codes for the DVR. What I did find is that these boxes will usually still output a signal with a diagnostic screen. If you aren't getting that screen showing up, you probably have a dead DVR.

Could the data be backed up and moved onto a new DVR? Yes, it probably could. Will Time Warner do this for you? I'd think a snowball would have a better chance in hell. Moving the data would require getting the hard drive out, which requires "special tools and equipment" when all they will do for you is swap the DVR. In this case, special tools means some special type of screwdriver (tri-wing, secure torx, etc.) and something to unhook an internal clip. Your current DVR, if salvageable, will probably get recycled as this series of DVR is slowly on its way out.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:32 PM on January 20, 2011

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