Software Update Causes Mass Box Failure

A software update carried out on all Bush/Goodmans/Grundig Freesat receivers on Tuesday 13th October 2009 has caused a large number of them to fail.

The faults include inability to change channel, loss of picture and/or sound, , no satellite signal, constant rebooting, to the extreme of unable to switch on at all.

Harvard Group (previously Alba) who are responsible for these brands are aware of the problem and have been telling customers to expect a new software download in the next few days, though that leaves many without viewing until then.

Freesat have released an official statement as follows;

Freesat has been made aware of a problem with a recent automatic update made to Goodmans, Grundig and Bush freesat HD boxes causing a number of boxes to freeze. The box manufacturer is working hard to resolve the issue as soon as possible. No other freesat boxes or TVs are affected.

294 thoughts on “Software Update Causes Mass Box Failure”

  1. New Goodmans HD box has been delivered as promissed. I now feel somewhat better about the whole experience. I was always very pleased with the hardware and have really missed the great reception that the Bush HD always gave. I have been reminded why I moved to freesat over the last couple of weeks because of the terrible swimmy picture I get on freeview. Well done Harvard for sorting this mess out, and I must remember set updates to manual!

  2. Hello All, Pleased to say, had a call from Harvard PLC to arrange collection of affected Bush box. Monday, collected Tuesday and New Goodmans delivered Thursday. Been on test, appears to work, fine. Set to Manual software update. Although picture is not as good as the Bush was in HD, (Tested with the Bill on ITV red button and BBC HD), the Goodmans does not lose sound sync, as original Bush did. Thank you Harvard for eventual service.

  3. Has anyone experienced an ITV HD problem with the Humax Foxsat box, displaying a notice “This channel is encrypted or not available”, after pressing the red button, instead of the notice that the scart connections were being disable box, so refusing to load ITV HD?

  4. yes we have 3 humax foxsat boxes all have lots of the same channels+ info on guide missing.also when boxes switched off and back on keeps asking to do update,although they boxes have done what they have been able we have one which is clicking/cluncking/squeaking and scrapping constantly.tried factory reset and all the different ideas in booklet for problems no difference at all.not happy at all.

  5. Goodmans GFSAT200HD Black Freesat HD Digital Box.faulty boxes
    bought my box through the help scheme for the disabled cost £120.00
    could have bought cheaper on high street. FAILED FIVE TIMES, ON SIXTH
    sound goes, then no channel apears on screen, or sound goes picture judders
    and no channel , or turns itself off, or says no channel click up and then down
    channel appears,who has the boxes that work,and where can i get one from
    Adrian l

  6. Adrian, this sounds a bit like the problems many of us had with faulty box updates about three weeks ago. After I got my new box I still had problems but my son reset my TV back to factory settings and that solved all the problems. If you continue to have trouble this might be the original problem many of us had so phone 0208 238 7650 which is Harvard Intl who deal with Goodmans boxes and ask to speak to Lynn. She was very helpful.

  7. OK – anyone else experiencing a new problem with their replacement boxes after the debacle of a few weeks a go? Mine is now stuck in a cycle of trying to download a software update. It tries for an age then reports that it has failed and then tries again. I cannot exit this cycle and the box is essentially broken again. Anyone else?

  8. Yes me to. Like a fool I switched the replaced box back to auto update as I was getting sound synch issues.
    Now I get the download failed screen and not able to exit. You can power down and wait for reload, it works ok until you put it on stand by, then nothing ahhhhhhhh.
    Back to the phone calls.
    If you have a replacement box DO NOT switch it to auto upgrade.

  9. I think I have found a temporary fix for my problem. I unplugged it for a few minutes and then turned back on. You then have about a 10 second window to access the settings and disable the automatic update before it tries to automatically update….you have to be quick or it will enter the updating loop again! Has been working again for about an hour now so fingers crossed. I am surprised these idiots are sending out new updates at all so soon. I want a refund on my box as I have had enough of this. The original box is still unsder the original warranty but the problem is that Harvard have taken the original box and replaced it with a different model (Bush for Goodmans) so I guess Argos will not refund me? Sadly, I am wondering now if I have had enough of Freesat altogether. Does anyone here have experience of FTA satellite tuners for PC’s? Have seen a couple of models and am not bothered about HD reception (I can’t tell the difference 90% of the time) but wonder if anyone has experience?

  10. Just got off the phone to Harvard they are collecting my box tomorrow for another exchange. Anyone get the feeling of Deja Vu?

  11. If you want to by pass the offshore 10 p a minute line try 023 92248216 they are aware of the problem.
    Hopefully as a Jungle celebrity would say “I want closure! “

  12. Furious that this has also happened to my box yet again. Yesterday I switched it on and it said an automatic download had failed. I was able to watch TV yesterday but now it’s completely failed and is jammed on the grey screen saying download complete, download has failed. I’ve tried unplugging the power cable but it seems to make no difference.

    How can these jokers run a business like this? I’m not able to deliver the box up to a courier until next week and goodness knows how many times this is going to happen. It appears to be a monthly problem with them.

  13. I too spent ages on the 10p minute line the other day after my box kept shutting down.

    The nice lady in India told me that an update was due on Monday or Tuesday and SHOULD solve the problem – hmmmm

    Well, tonight the update came. First attempt failed.

    Second attempt downloaded, told me then that the update was being applied and not to turn off my set as it would take around 3 mins.

    Left it alone and went away. Fifteen minutes later came back to find it with the blue light on and nothing.

    Whatever I do now, nothing gets me from standby and the blue light.

    Surely this problems must come under the Sale of goods act 1979 as “not fit for purpose”?

  14. Thanks to someone else on here at the second attempt (you have to be very very fast) I was able to get the box into the first install mode and then after it had installed the programmes again I went back in and changed the updates to manual from automatic.

    However, I am going to write to these jokers at Harvard asking for a voucher to take to Argos to buy a brand new box (but not theirs because I wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole after this) so that I can have the service I’ve paid for.

    I will be doing this quickly because if they’re having to courier all these boxes back in for a second time I don’t give much for the firm’s chances of surviving much longer.

    They should be sacking whoever at their technical team is responsible for this fiasco.

  15. Unfortunately switching the update to manual did nothing whatsoever for this box because it still flashes up a message telling me the download has failed and do I want to try again or exit.

    If you try to exit nothing happens so you have to unplug the box again.

    I’m trying to source a Humax HD box and when I’ve bought one I’ll be sending the invoice and photographs of the error messages on the Goodmans box to Harvard Intl.

    I was without the box for two weeks last time and I’m now on the third day of problems with this new one. I don’t think it’s acceptable that a new box should fail in less than a month.

    Watch this space because if I get a new box and these people refuse to refund the money I will be taking them to the county court.

  16. Anyone else who had a box that was replaced after the first fiasco whilst still under warranty might benefit from knowing that Harvard can apparently return the original box to you. If you call they will initially insist that you have to return the replacement box to them first but, if you refuse, point out that they kept your original box without your consent and threaten legal action, they will back down very quickly. I received a callback from someone more senior after the first person refused, within a few minutes. They say they will return my original box today and exchange for the now broken replacement. I’ll then keep my fingers crossed that Argos are not wise to all of this and will give a refund. The person I spoke to was very aggressive and rude though…not a word of apology for the gross inconvenience they are causing people. They also confirmed that the problem arises because they sent replacement boxes with a software version that cannot cope with the new update.

  17. I should add that they claim your original box has been updatesd and will now function…for a week or two anyway ’til they break it again.

  18. I Purchased A HD Goodmans Box Yesterday (19-11-09) It Worked Fine Untill I Put It Into Stand By. When Turning Back On It Stated New Software Availiable.I Selected Download & Guess What… It Failed. I Spent TWO HOURS On The Poxy Helpline £12 That Cost & Gave Up As I Didn’t Get Through. I Then Contacted Harvard Int Directly On 0208 238 7650 (Free To Many People) I Asked For Customer Services & The Switchboard Put Me Through To The Same Line That’s 10 pence A Min. I Hope It Cost Them This Time. I Am Now Awating A Call Back From Techninal (Within 72 Hours) As The Software Is Still Duff & They Told Me Software Version 4. something, Will Not Let The New Version Update. What A FIASCO…£120. I Paid + £12 In Calls, Fu***ng Tw**s GOODMAS Used To Be A Good Company.
    What A Mistaker To Maker.

  19. The goons on email support obviously are incapable of reading.

    Just had a reply (standard script obviously) to ask me to phone the 0871 number to resolve my problem.

    I had made it VERY clear in my email to them that I was not prepared to waste more money on that line and gave them two contact numbers plus of course the email.

    Amazing PR feedback these guys are going to get!

  20. I faxed Harvard Intl on Friday at 8.50am after first being given the wrong number by their switchboard (can’t they get anything right?) and my threat of county court action resulted in an immediate return call a few minutes past 9am saying they were going to send me a brand new box which would be able to take the next upgrade which will not be happening until late January.

    As far as I can ascertain, the boxes we were all sent after our last upgrade failure have the same software as the ones which failed so last week when they rolled out another upgrade they had the same issue.

    I have been assured that this new box will have newer software loaded on it. I was also told that they were sorting out the upgrade on Friday and that when I got home the box I currently have would be working correctly.

    One of their employees took the trouble to phone me at home at 6pm on Friday evening to make sure that the old box was working, which it was, and he helped to sort out our other Goodmans box which had also gone wrong during the upgrade.

    I have to say that he was very helpful and I’m pleased he is sending me another new box but really these problems should not keep happening and it’s hard to understand how the firm hasn’t got a grip on them yet.

  21. Is this a new problem? Since having two replacement boxes from Harvards things have been ok. Until yesterday! Now I can only get BBC1 and a couple of other random ITV stations. Terrific over Christmas! I share a dish with a neighbour so can’t be reception can it?
    How do you get money back on these sets so I can change to another, non-harvard, product?


  22. Don’t relax. See above for further problems I’ve had with my Goodmans replacement box. Took it back to Comet where they tested it and agreed that it was faulty and gave me a full refund. Just in time as the year was up two days later. So I’m off to get a nice new Humax. My advice is to try and get your Harvard’s box taken back even if your replacement is ok at the moment. I just don’t think they are any good and can collapse at any time – possibly too late for refund.
    Good luck

  23. I also had a problem on Christmas Day where the sound disappeared and I had to unplug the box twice before it was resolved. If I ever have to replace the box think I’ll consider Virgin or Sky, I’ve really been put off Freesat I’m afraid.

  24. Liz
    I’ve gone over to Freeview – £100 for new aerial – £140 back on old Goodmans box so in profit and the service is great and not missing Freesat at all.

  25. Hi, My Sagem Freesat Satellite HD Recorder box seems fine. Maybe this issue is just with other set top boxes

  26. What’s happening with this Freesat rubbish.I moved last September and my Grundig GUFSAT01HD was working fine when it was disconnected.I put the thing in the cupboard for a couple of months or so,until I got around to putting a new dish up and within a very short time it started updating itself.Well,that was the end of the box,as it is now stuck in standby with the blue light refusing to go out.I spoke to those loonies on the helpline and all they could suggest was to take it back to where it was purchased with the original receipt if it was less than a year old.I asked them what the position was if it was more than a year old and the idiot said there was nothing they could do.I find it hard to accept that they can destroy someones property and come out with this stupid remark.Has anyone else had this problem.

  27. I just recently heard that this update fiasco could be the work of Freesat’s competitors (I wonder who that could be,LOL).Has anyone else heard this rumour.

  28. No picture apart from message saying “Freesat receiver is downloading new system software Do not switch off the receiver” but nothing is happening – line along the bottom shows 0% and not moving! What’s going on?

  29. Pauline – my receiver has been on for weeks and nothing – went last night to watch Dr Who and it decided to do a software update.

    I think it somewhere around 30 minutes to do it – the progress bar for the download was VERY slow to move towards 100%, but it did finally get there and everything is still working – PHEW!

  30. my box has been stuck with blue light on for months cannot get it going wot can i do , i phoned goodmans and was on for for 25 mins without any success 🙁
    gutted i do not have receipt for my box anymore

    help plz

  31. My humax fresat box will not switch on just get continious lines going arround the display

  32. I took back 2 Bush boxes and 1 Grunding box to Argos.can i buy a box somwhere which is working properly ,maybe i’ll have to switch to Sky.

  33. Thanx admin.
    I’ve just ordered Manhattan from Amazon,i’ll have to wait as they don’t have any in stock at the moment(maybe that’s a good sign).
    I shall keep my fingers and toes x.
    And i want to take this opportunity to thank you all.You have clarified lot’s of things for me. We just have to stick together 🙂
    man at Grunding said that its bad luck. i thought does my Karma really spread this far!? i thought i better check The Allconective net……
    This has helped me a lot
    Thank you all x

  34. @Anna

    Amazon haven’t yet stocked the item so you might be waiting quite some time. Try satbuyer, they have access to much more stock.

  35. I got my manhattan box on friday,pluged it in…and its not working… who instaled freesat here.he siad its freesat this time,gave me d number to call office.Called office about 15.13.d answering machine said our offices r now closed we r open from mond.-fri. 9am-5pm.!left messege.let’s i’m more considering Sky

  36. @Anna

    Think you have been fed a line by a questionable installer. Either the receiver is faulty (unlikely given the reliability of the Manhattan) or he wasn’t capable for setting up for Freesat. Freesat doesn’t have faults but if they did, the same would be apparant with Sky too.

    If you have no satellite signal, or cannot get the first screen to recognise your postcode, the fault is with the installer.

  37. I have a goodmans freesat hd box that still has all the faults mentioned in the beginning. It’s nearly 3 years have they still not sorted it out? If so have I missed the update somehow & where would I get it. It’s beginning to put me off (A) GOODMANS & (B) FREESAT who should make manufacturers sell things that work! Otherwise who’s going to buy it?

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