I’ve been experiencing the well documented transfer failure problem for the past two days now, and would like to contribute what I have found. First a brief description of my setup/situation
Tivo model: Tivo Series2
Tivo OS: 7.2.1-oth-01-2-140
Router model: Linksys wrt54g
PC model: Dell Inspiron 8500
PC OS: Windows XP Pro
Tivo Desktop Software version: 2.0
Connection to Tivo: Wired
NIC card: Broadcom 440x 10/100 integrated controller
I received the 7.2 upgrade, and was still able to transfer files without issue, (as I have in the past). However a few days later I noticed that one of my transfers had stalled. I used the “Stop Transfer” button to stop the transfer. When I went to restart the transfer, I noticed that the entry for that program in the “Pick Recordings to Transfer” window was replaced with text similar to the phrase, “no description available” or something to that affect. Having had this problem before, I followed the instructions I found on the web and shut down all Tivo processes, deleted the files from the cache folder, as well as the .dat and .log files from my Tivo Desktop folder and then restarted the Tivo processes. This corrected the problem and allowed me to select the program for transfer. However since then I have been unable to transfer programs. Initially every transfer resulted in the following error message: “The TIVO DVR is busy with another transfer. This recording will begin to transfer when the DVR is available." I contacted customer support, and after several Tivo restarts, unpluggings of the Tivo, reinstallation of the Desktop 2.0 software, turning off all firewalls, (including the router’s firewall), and unplugging the USB adapter from the Tivo, I now receive the following error every time I try to transfer a program: “This transfer is not making progress.”
Up to this point my story seems very failure with others I have read, however the following contains what I believe is some new information which I hope will spark someone’s mind to a solution.
Having no success with the desktop software I decided to try transferring files by directly accessing the Tivo through my web browser. I have done this in the past without issue and though it would be a good test/temporary solution. Although I was able to access the “Now Playing” page, when I clicked the download link, I was taken to an error page that said:
session id missing
It is the “session id missing” error string that I hope provides a clue about this problem. I am assuming that the problem encountered by the desktop software is the same problem encountered by the web browser, and that the web browser is able to report the exact problem while the desktop software is not.
A search of the string: Tivo “session id missing” led me to the following link :
(I’m a first time poster and as such can not place links in my post, however if you enter the string: Tivo “session id missing”
into Google you will get only one link that leads to the page
where it looks like a problem was found in the wget command , (that I assume is used to retrieve programs from the Tivo). The contents of this link are a bit over my head, but I wanted to include the link in case is provides some meaningful clues to someone.
I have also used a packet sniffer to capture the traffic going between my pc and Tivo in the hopes of finding additional information about this problem. I was able to see the actual “get” command that my pc sends to the Tivo, but I don’t know enough about this type of communication to identify problems. I should also note that the TivoTransfer.log file, located in the TivoDesktop folder, seems to contain some of the same information I found with the packet sniffer.
Well there you have it; that’s everything I’ve been able to find so far. I’ve been wrestling with this problem for two days, and will continue to do so. I will update this post if I learn anything new. If anyone has anything to add, or believes that I have missed a possible resolution to this problem please let me know.
I have determined that the “session id missing” error that resulted from trying to transfer a file through the web browser interface was the result of having cookies disabled in the Mozilla Firefox browser. I enabled cookies and attempted the transfer again. This resulted in the “Save As” dialog box being displayed allowing me to specify where I wanted the file downloaded to. I selected a directory and began the download process. Although the “download” window was displayed, the file did not actually transfer. It seems that the PC is able to establish a connection with the Tivo, but the Tivo does not actually send any data.
Further attempts to transfer files with the desktop software continue to fail.
The two calls I have placed to tech support have each ended up with the support rep telling me that there is something wrong with my equipment/setup. I would consider this a valid assumption if not for the fact that I have no difficulty in:
1. Downloading the programming schedule from the internet, (thereby using my network).
2. Having the desktop software accurately report all of the programs on my Tivo, (thereby using my network).
3. Manually connecting my Tivo to the Tivo company’s servers, (thereby using my network), to check for updates.
It is my belief that when a transfer fails, the Tivo itself can be unaware of the failure. Once this occurs, the Tivo will think that there is already a transfer underway, (even though it has actually been canceled), or some other type of ongoing network activity that would prevent it from honoring any other transfer requests. I think this information may even be stored on a file on the Tivo which would explain why rebooting or unplugging the Tivo doesn’t resolve the problem.
If this is the case, then this is a problem with the Tivo operating system software itself, and all the unplug, reboot, uninstall, re-install, rename, deactivate transfers, reactivate transfers hoops that so many are jumping through, are just workarounds to a real problem that I have yet to hear Tivo admit to.
I will however contact tech support again as I am a glutton for punishment. (At least I’ve never had to wait for more than 3 minutes to get through).
I have found a resolution to my transfer problem, thanks to some posts on this and other web sites. Although I was able to “fix” the problem, I think it is ridiculous that I had to jump through so many hoops to get it working again. I think my problem and the other similar transfer problems that have been discussed are all the results of bugs in both the Tivo operating system, as well as the Tivo Desktop application. The bottom line is the Tivo can not “clean up” properly if an error occurs during the transfer process.
To fix the problem I had to disable the transfer option on the Tivo web site, rename my Tivo, clear out the desktop cache, delete the tivotransfer.dat file, re-enable transfers on the Tivo web site, and reboot my PC. I have created a web site that details the steps I had to go through in order to get my transfers to work again: http://hitechheadaches.blogspot.com/ . I intend to continue to update this site with information on the resolution of other Tivo problems. If you have anything to add or comments to make on the resolution instructions I placed on the site, simply click the comments option on the page and type away.