« back to Paul Annett's blog

If you enjoy this article you can get more by email when I publish them.

Where should I email them to?


Sky Plus system fault, how to fix faulty Sky+ / Sky HD without £65 callout fee

Sky Plus digibox and remote control.

UPDATE, 1 February - new section: How to fix the Sky Plus system fault yourself, and a freephone number for Sky customer services: 0800 731 6965 (then option 2, option 4). March 9, Sky have closed this Freephone number. August 21, new number to try: 0800 587 5707.

The Register has alleged that "Sky charges for repairs to non-faulty digiboxes" (January 2005), and suggested that automatic updates sent from Sky to your Sky+ box can inadvertantly cause your Sky Plus box to develop a fault, requiring a £65 engineer callout from Sky.

The Register says (and the comments left below now confirm) that Sky tech support don't always tell you how the System Fault can be fixed over the phone, and charge you £65 for an engineer callout on what is allegedly a known manufacturing problem.

It's worth knowing that if you do have an engineer visit (even a free one) your Sky Plus box is under warranty again for 3 months, so any further callouts in that time are free with no quibbles.

How to fix the system fault yourself

WARNING - following this advice is totally at your discretion and anything which happens to your digibox as a result is your responsibility, not mine. You will lose all recorded programmes from your Sky+ Planner.

Sky tech support can talk you through performing a system restore over the phone. To do this yourself, press 'services' on your Sky plus remote, then select option 4. Next press 0, 1, select - you should now see the engineer's menu. Choose option 8, 'Full System Reset'. The box will now take a few minutes to reset itself.

Try pausing or recording again, and if the problem persists disconnect the digibox from the mains power. Press and hold the 'left' and 'right' navigation buttons on the front of the digibox whilst you reconnect the mains power. Continue holding the buttons in for about 20 seconds, and when the ring of light on the front comes on, press the 'select' button on the front of the digibox (between the left and right buttons you were holding). The Sky+ recording logo lights will spin backwards and, according to the Sky engineer, this will "clear the hard drive".

Once this is done, disconnect the digibox from the mains power again and this time press and hold the 'back up' button whilst you reconnect the mains power. Continue holding it for about 15 seconds until 3 lights on the front of the box come on and you get a full-screen message saying "Updating system software. Do not disconnect mains supply or satellite dish."

Leave the digibox doing its thing for about 10 minutes and it should be fixed! Try pausing and recording things again... hopefully you've just saved yourself £65.

If you've not been so lucky, you'll have to get Sky to fix it for you. Some people report that if you ask to cancel your subscription Sky sometimes offer a free callout to fix the problem - you're more valuable to them as a paying customer than the cost of an engineer callout.

* footnote - thanks to Buck for letting me know about Sky customer service's (seemingly unpublished) freephone number. You need to dial 0800 731 6965, then option 2, option 4. March 9, Sky have closed this Freephone number. August 21 thanks DaveJ for pointing out this new one: 0800 587 5707.

Feel free to leave a comment using the form at the bottom of this page. The comments which have been left below by other readers are not the opinions or words of the owner of this website.

Further resources about Sky HD and Sky Plus


Hey, Paul - excellent news, and a great write up.

Can I have your permission to post a link on the SH forum to this item in your blog?
It would really tidy up the thread and provide closure for an increasing (I guess) number of folks.



Please do! The more places that link directly to this article using the words 'Sky plus system fault' the more people it'll help.

I am having these problems with my Sky+ Box, and I have just used the freephone number, it works, and guess what when it's them paying for the call they answer your call straight away!! No more waiting and no more expensive calls :o)

Top tip!!!


Well done and thanks. I was heading for a new satellite receiver until I read this recommendation. Sky were quick to tell me that I own the receiver as it's more than 12 months old and I would have to pay for a new one or pay for a repaired one. I just told them I was going to cancel my £10 subscription and they said they would send someone out to fix it rather than lose me as a subscriber to sky plus. Doesn't seem unreasonable. They want my business!

pass this on to www.moneysavingexpert.com so as amny as poss can get access. A free phone no is a wonderful thing!
We have a pace 2500n stuck in standby. I switched off elec to save leaving stuff "on" whilst on holiday and now its half term, no TV.. Im popular

I had a similar problems with my Sky+ box- locking and freezing up, I contacted sky, they send an engineer, he checked the box and said it was easier to change the box but said he only had the new 80gig Amstrad model would i mind ( heck no double the space free) he changed it but since that i get a pixelated picture the on view with missed sound on recording, i have had a further 2 boxes all doing the same i am told its software related but i am just wondering if its the type of hard disk that is used, when i suggest this to the engineer he said it could be. He told me that he as taken on of these boxes apart and the disc is not an 80 gig disc but infact a 160 gig disc with 2 80gig partitions. anybody out there got any suggestions

Thanks for the advice - phoned Sky thay wanted me to spend the £65. I searched the internet and found your article so I tried the fix. It worked just fine and saved the money and hassle of hanging around for an engineer and having the day off work!

PS Good Luck with the Baby, kids are at times a pain but worth every minute!

Thank you just saved me £65 or a new box. SKY what a bunch of *****

I hope you can help, my Sky+ receiver is producing a humm on the connected phone line. Even if i remove the mains, the scarts and the LNB cables the humm is still there on the phone line... Simply removing the phone cable stops the humking so i know its the sky+ box. The box is about 18 months old so out of guarantee. The odd thing is that the phone part of the box is still working so not that critical as yet but a fear it will eventually fail.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

David Loakes

I have had six sky+ boxes so far. Do not worry about the humming noise on the phone line, it happens with ALL Pace PVR2 boxes (I have had three). My best receiver (a Pace PVR2) was replaced because of the buzzing (big mistake). I should have put up with it as the Amstrad that replaced it was rubbish. I have so far had one AMSTRAD box failing every third or fourth recording and a picture quality that was near on unwatchable when there was any action going on (you could not even tell that Halle Berry was a woman as she walked out of the sea on James Bond-Die another Day). Another AMSTRAD box liked to turn itself on and off whenever it wanted. I used to get up some days and it would be on channel 998 which was not too much of a problem but would turn itself off once a day in the middle of a program. It took 30 seconds or so to turn back on. I have had an AMSTRAD that put the hard drive to sleep randomly. When this happened, trying to access any sky+ functions like the planner, pause etc. would give a message "For your information, please wait". Only unplugging it for 10 seconds would get it working again. This was annoying because recordings would fail when this happened. One AMSTRAD box kept losing lip synch for a few seconds, once or twice every minute when playing recordings or live paused TV. I have even had the engineers twice replace my box with one that was no good off the van (remember that all replacements are refurbished). One had a stuffed modem and the other had no LNB2 signal. After all the phone calls, complaints, engineer visits, I was given the freephone number. You must be given it when you have spent over £100 on phone calls or lost five working days waiting for an engineer visit. By the way, just before my warranty ran out, I phoned about audio and picture breakup problems to be told that a software update was due that would fix it and to wait for it to be downloaded. When this update did not cure the fault, I phoned back to be told I would have to pay as it was now out of warranty. I persuaded them to see the error of their ways and now have another 90 days warranty on this new box, another Pace PVR2.

i had my Sky+ 160 replaced just before Christmas when it was still under warranty, although this did take a lot of effort and the threat of me cancelling both boxes.

The second unit has been playing up for weeks locking up etc and finally all access to the planner failing. Not looking forward to the hassel of arguing with Sky i followed your advice and how it works prefectly.

Thanks for your help

Paul, thanks for this. I had exactly the same problem this week and was facing a £65 callout charge. I found your comments yesterday and followed the procedure you described above, and it's worked. My sky box is working perfectly now, no thanks to the useless b@@@@@@s at Sky.
Thanks - You're a star !

Hard disc on sky+ box packed up today. Rang to get sky engineer to visit. Sky said it would be £65 to visit. Said I would have to cancel subscription due to lack of funds and they then offered visit for special deal £32. I said I really would have to cancel as I didn't have even £32! Telephone operator was then mysteriously able to talk to supervisor and get me a free visit! Be persistent and don't pay!

Hi I am having the system fault that you describe and have just tried the fix that you recommend but unfortunately I am still having the same fault. The box functions fine for viewing but I am unable to rewind or record anything. It just gives the System Fault message. The box that I have here is PACE?
Any further ideas?

I'm glad everybody seems to be finding the 'how to fix Sky Plus' advice useful, and thanks to those who have added their own tips and stories... keep 'em coming!

hi,has anyone had problems with programmes that have been recorded onto sky plus?We seem to be unable to watch anything we have recorded....sky seem to be very unhelpful and after much hassle have agreed to send an engineer.We have only had sky installed since dec05!Also if they have to replace the sky box we will loose all recordings,unless we copy onto dvd.HELP how do we do that?

Many many thanks.
Your advice fixed our Sky+ box and saved us £65!!
Really appreciate it.

we had sky + installed arounf dec. so far have had one engineer visit who downloaded new software still having same problems. sky locks up completely, fails previously recorded programmes we have to switch off and start again. Sky have given instructions how to restart the box,but as per earlier thread we would then loose all we have recorded just trying to gte them back agaain, really pi@@ed off with them at moment. will post what happens


Wow - deja vu.... I was so happy to find your site as I, also, had a new box put in Dec 05 and have had nothing but problems with it since then. I rang sky to upgrade to a multi room option and was offered sky+ as an inclusive package, as i was already on their full deal package - I thought ok it wont cost me any more - just the £50 installation fee -- well it`s cost me a lot of frustration - missed programmes etc and having to turn the box off at the wall to be able to reboot the system. Grrrrrrr I`ve had enough now.As I write this I`m waiting for the sky engineer to call so watch this space - at least thanks to your site I am forwarned and ready for the engineer so he hadn`t better fob me off. Many thanks again

Fantastic im not alone! My Sky+ developed the same recording fault... Sky Plus System Fault
Sky+ playback and recording are unavailable.
Please call 08705 800800 for assistance so i to went through the process of calling customer services and after they talked me through various ways of resetting the box and updating the software version but only to end up worse off as now the box wouldn't even switch on. I was now faced with the option of either calling the £65 engineer or £25 for a freeveiw box whilst i waited for news on HDTV. I decided on the cheeper option for now and rang Sky customer services and explained the situation and without even mentioning possible known issues i was offered a free of charge visit and if the fault was unrepairable the box would be replaced with a new one also free of charge. Happy days!!

Ah the power of the internet, such a useful source of information. My sky plus box starting playing up around the time we started recieving updates. The final straw was when it decided to wipe all our recourdings and switch it's self off. powering the box back on was to say the least challenging, took 5 attempts at switching it of, on and unplugging completely.

A call to Sky resulted in the reset process being applied, but after a few short hours the sky plus box failed again. I found this web site and applied your recommend fix. It worked great for 24hrs and then failed again (aagggghhhh).

Here is my point/advice. After a bit more research I rang Sky and presented my case.

1. The box only started displaying a fault since the updates and changes ocurred to the sky planner.
2. I pay a hefty full subscription cost to sky
3. Yes the box is out of it's 12 month warranty/guarantee period but I do know a liitle about the sale of goods act. Simply stated it is reasonable to expect the product to continue to work beyond the 12 month period. For the box to fail only a few months out of warranty is, in my view not reasonable. (especialy as they need me to have a functioning sky box to continue to recive my subscription)
4. Hey presto I was informed that a free engineer call out will be provided to fix/replace the sky plus box.

So stay calm, state your case along with the facts. Mention your legal rights and Skys need for you to have a working system to continue receipt of your subscription and they "Will" listen and recieve the message loud and clear.

Great site. Thanks for the information

Great advice - thanks so much! Fix worked a treat, so not had to pay for engineer. Cheers...

I have had the same problem with a PACE box but have found an easier way to reset the system.
If you press the services button and go into the System set up menu, press 01 on you remote handset and then select.
You should now be presented with a new hidden menu.
At the bottom of the list is (8)Full system rebuild. If you hit this, the system will clear the hard disc and shut down the box. Wait a minute and then turn the power back on and the system should be up and running as before.
Also on the menu is item (7)Rebuild system which is useful when you hard disk is saying you have little space left but it looks like you should have. Normally if you look at the bar along the top of the planner screen you will notice that as you go down through your programs that it shows how much space each program uses. If there are spaces then you can rebuild it to reclaim the space. This option does not remove items from the planner.

Thanks to these instructions I have fixed my sky+ system fault. Now I have to stop the engineer arriving, he is coming in the morning!
Thank you very much for all the information provided on this subject.

Thanks - I was fuming when they told me it would cost £65 - I'd just given an engineer 50 quid to install a dish after moving home. When I got back from work (a friend waited in for the engineer) I found that my recording was fubared. Called them and they tried to squeeze another £65 out of me.
It seems very convenient that this just happens to occur just after the 12 month warranty is up...
Thanks for the fix - I'll try it when I get home.

They have CLOSED the 0800 number for SKY anybody else got a freephone number?


MY pacesky plus download latet update started shutting itself down done full reset on hardrive anywhone got any ideas cheers mark

Can anyone help?

My sky+ box is about 15months old now, and has worked okay so far, but recently we notice that some of the recorded programs are stuttering on the sound and vision, as though the hard drive is starting to develop bad sections where it has been recorded over and over again.

In our experience the faults occured originally in this order: 1] playback sound and vision stuttering (as Nigel describes), 2] playback fails on some recordings, 3] recording, live pause, and playback on all recordings fail. Applying the fix detailed above should sort the problem out, but you will lose all your recorded problems, and the error could re-occur at any time so if you record something you definitely want to see, watch it soon!

Our Sky+ box (warranty ran out in October 05) has just started to stutter whilst playing back recordings from the harddrive. Will a replacement hard drive do the trick or do i fork out the £65.00 for a Sky engingeer?

hi, i tried everything,but my sky+ still did not work!! i tried what was on your website,i was one of the unlucky ones,but even though it didnt work for me,everything you said it would do,it did and it was worth the try. I called for an engineer,and demanded there be no charge and it worked!!in the end,sky are coming in two days for free!!!so many thanks for the advice given on your website.This is the second sky+ box i have had and lots of problems with them ie: recordings failing,cannot count how many programmes i have lost in planner,no live pause,picture on all recordings going(squared)on play back box freezing!!

thanks alot mate you saved me £65 with your advice

I have had 3 sky+ boxes in 3 years,they only ever seem to go wrong once the warranty runs out!!! all the problems everyone has mentioned above i have also had and more!! Its great technology if it worked!!sky should make the boxes free seeing as you have to have a working box in order to subscribe to sky,even more so because of all the problems.its just a way of sky making a huge profit,its not about customer care.I also got a free call out by an engineer,i was told it was a one off on this occasion,but i have read loads on-line from people who have got the call out for free,so why cant it atleast be free when the boxes are so expensive in the first place. yes after a while things break,dont mind replacing then,but sky+ boxes dont last five minutes!!! I WISH SOMEONE COULD BE ON THE CONSUMERS SIDE FOR ONCE AND STOP COMPANIES LIKE SKY FOR RIPPING PEOPLE OFF,ON RIDICULOUS CHARGES!!!THANK GOD FOR SITES LIKE YOURS!!

Thank you for the information posted here Paul.

My Sky+ box totally packed up, the disk was full. Last year I had the box replaced and just over a year later it has started to refuse to record, and is very slow through the menus. Eventually the error messages have started saying that the disk is full, when I regularly delete my viewed programs.

I would advise anyone to follow the guide here to do the reset of the system, just follow the steps, its simple. I've literally just completed the reset.

Last year I spent ages on the phone to sky, only to have to call the 3rd party installer to fix it. If your box is out of warrenty follow the guide here to resolve its issues.



I have the Sky+ System Fault again, 6 weeks after writing this article and applying the fix. I've fixed it again but now I know it's only temporary. We pay for Sky+ and don't expect our recorded shows get wiped every few weeks without notice.

This is great i got my box at ebay and after reading about your free call out when your box is broke(did work for 6 months) gave them a call and said i couldent aford the cost and they are sending an engineer free of charge ....

Nice one paul great info !!!!!

My SKY+ box froze up on just it's 2nd day out of the box it's a Thompson (which I thought was a fairly good make), however it has done it 4 times since then.

I thought I had got lumbered with a rogue one until I found your excellent site and realised I'm just one of many.

The next time it plays up (as seems certain) I will try the Services menu method outlined by Andrew Chandler.

I have had two sky+ boxes, and just prior to the warranty ending on the latest one Sky kept phoning, asking me if I was interested in taking out an extended warranty.(yet more money for Sky). There was nothing wrong with it so i didn't. Then about a week later it all started going wrong. Just a coincidence I am sure. The usual resets worked and although annoying I was able to live with it. Then the sound went on Sky Movies 1 2 and 3 from this Jan to begining of March. Sky said it was not their fault and it must have been my AMP. Oddly my amp did not mind the other 200 channels that went through it. Then someone let slip when i phoned up to moan about it yet again that it was a problem that they were aware of and working on. I finally got (wait for it) £10 out of them when i said I would downgrade my package.
UNFORTUNATLY the box turned itself off last night and i lost all the recorded stuff. I have tried running a full reset and even the tips on this site. I have to conclude that the box is well and truely nackered.
I wish I had seen the comments before arranging an engineer as despite arguing my case AND threatening to cancel my subscription altogether, all I got was" I am sorry you feel that way, when would you like it to take effect from" (obviously did not take that far enough) i have now parted with 65 quid to have an engineer come out and tell me the obvious. And I am sure he will try and get more out of me when he eventually turns up.I am disgusted with the way that Sky CONTROL everything and we the consumer have to put up with it. And they say AOL is bad.( Yes i have got that too)
I will phone and cancel my subscription tomorrow. Maybe I will save myself a load of money in the long run.
Anyway, has anyone else been offered an extended warranty and refused, only to see the box self destruct weeks later!!!

Tried the fix to no avail, playback of recorded programs is now so bad we can't use it as it stutters and starts losing picture and sound!

Called Sky, and they suggested the £65.00 call-out, but with haggling it is now down to £32.50. They did not appear to want to go further and i did't want to end up cancelling my subscription!

Thanks Paul.

My Amstrad Box packed up this week, totally kaput after weeks of freezing and stuttering, so I have bought a brand new Pace 3100 with an 80gb hardrive from a guy on E-bay for £70, just £5 more than the initial Sky call out charge.

I've had sky+ 4 16 months,first box gave up after 3 months.new box was ok until christmas just after software update.now i never know if sky sports and other pay 4 channels will be on or not.they can be ok 4 a week then off 4 2 or 3 days.got usual response from customer services,£65 call out!finally said cancel it and i'll get ntl in.guess what,engineer coming tomorrow free of charge!

We got a new Amstrad box on Thursday (our third since December) and recorded 3 programmes to watch on Friday night and tho and behold all 3 had picture and speech missing and were unwatchable. Went on to Sky and complained and they said it was a software fault and we would just have to live with it as Sky+ was free. I pointed out that i had paid £250 for installation and buying the box and that i could have bought a decent dvd recorder for that which i could have taken back to the shop if faulty. They still said tuff. Would love to cancel Sky but would not be able to get the football if i did so i'm stuck with them and their lousy product.

Hi Paul,

Having exactly the same problems as you have described. You can add my name to those of unsatisfied customers. Best of luck with your crusade.



My Pace box has suddenly decided to jump into standby after its been on for about a minute. It plays recorded programs with no problem but a minute after switching back to live tv it packs up again. Any ideas?
If I have to call Sky I'll be using the "I'm gonna cancel." line. :)

Thanks for doing this - Our problems started just after having had the Sky+ box for 12 months (Dec 05). It continually crashes and deletes recorded programmes. It used to work again after a rebuild or a reset but now its totally gone. My wife is very upset having lost loads of her favourite progs and we pay (along with many millions of others) the full £40+ monthly whack for this.

I won't go into details, but have had a long couple of conversations with Sky tech help. Same problems as outlined re crash of sky+, all recordings lost, system fault etc. I was astonished at the unsympathetic, almost confrontational stance taken by the tech team, this before I had even started to complain. Admittedly I sounded annoyed, but so would anyone be who had recorded a couple of films, and a lot of episodes from serials, only to find that puzzling message on the TV screen. They should EXPECT that reaction, yet at this stage I was VERY controlled and civilised. What an innocent I was. I am also disappointed about time spent on telephone, money spent on telephone, going through the rigmarole of the solution procedure (faulty info as it happens after reading your article), being told if this didn't work to tel next morning for engineer call-out, being told that there were no records of these conversations, and therefore no call-out allowed unless i went through the procedure again. Being REFUSED permission to speak to a manager after I explained that I wanted an engineer to call out as I had already tried EVERYTHING sky had asked. More money, more annoyance, more stress, more astonishment at the farce that is officially known as "Sky tech help". Being told that hardly any-one has had problems with the Sky+ system, being patronised with the stupid question "if you had known in advance that there would be a problem with Sky+ losing recordings and locking up would you have still bought it?", the smug inference being clearly that yes, I would, because I was a little pleb who should know his place, and should lick the boots of the great god of broadcasting to be able to own such a magnificent invention. "WHY YES, OF COURSE I WOULD HAVE ORDERED IT; AS I WOULD ORDER A FAULTY WASHING MACHINE, TELEVISION, CAR... IF I HAD THE FOREKNOWLEDGE I WAS BUYING A FLAWED PRODUCT". BY THE WAY SKY "TECHNICAL" IDIOT, THAT'S IRONY, LOOK IT UP IN THE DICTIONARY IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IT. And all this over just 1 1/2 days, how do the other long-term sufferers cope? We can hopefully make this the non-future of Sky, as I for one will be taking it further with their bigwigs. They are not good at PR, and I am not going to take that kind of service from a company I HAVE PAID and AM PAYING a large amount of money to.

I've had Sky+ since 02.10.05 and am on my 2nd Amstrad box. Had all the problems listed above, most irritating is the sound drop out when playing back programmes. More worrying is the system freezing and switching itself off. I was offered yet another Amstrad box but refused it as the guy couldn't tell me if there would be an improvement! Tech help have taken me through the processes a million times and I've just called for a 4th engineer visit on the understainding that if it can't be fixed once and for all I will be cancelling my subscription (or at least asking for discount or free months). I'm holding out for a Pace box as Tech just told me the sound issues are only on the Amstrad boxes and that there was a shortage of Pace ones - is that because they're in high demand by any chance??!
Add my address to your list of disgruntled customers please!!


Thanks for the reset tip. Gave it a try and it seemed to work... until we were in the middle of watching a program on playback and a new recording started then it was a nightmare for the lipsync being out and the dropouts in sound. Grrr!

Then last night's 24 was awful - and the box wasn't trying to do anything else at the same time.

I think it's time to shout at Sky again because when my husband spoke to them previously and he commented that the problem had really begun after their recent update (with the new planner) they said they were aware of it but couldn't give a definite date of when it would be sorted. But from things I have read on the internet it sounds as if they have had these issues since at least Nov 2004 so I don't think they are actually bothered about sorting out the problem.

I do remember a friend who works in the television business telling me that Sky Plus had all sorts of problems and to hang off getting it until it was sorted... wish I'd listened to him now (although will they ever sort it?).

Anyway - please feel free to add me to your list for Sky.


I recently purchased a Sky plus box via Ebay to upgrade my system from basic Sky to sky+ (was sold as faulty,stuck in standby) and i used the Full system reset to fix the problem.
This fix has been well documented on a number of satellite forums,but:-.
There are a couple of other fixes that can be used.
Stuck in standby,failed recordings etc can also be due to a loose IDE cable or a faulty Power Supply.
So check the IDE cable if the problem persists,also there are a number of companys out there that sell replacement Power supplys or Power supply upgrade kits.
With the early Sky+ units (PVR1's) its always a good idea to upgrade the power supply as they are prone to fail.
Chances are 90% of the common faults are more than likely due to software updates but it's always better to be safe rather than sorry.
Hope this helps.
Cheers Kieth.

just to say thanks we have been having the same problems with sky+ with it freezing up and also not having enough space to record programmes even though we have nothing recoreded on the planner just tried you fix and guess what it worked we now have no problems at the moment.thanks

Been having problems with sky plus since the software upgrade. Basically can't watch any recordings as they all stutter too badly or turn the box off. Tried the above fix but unfortunately no better.

Last time I called Sky I was told they were planning to get a new software fix out by the end of March. Don't know how often these plans change though.

Had problems after the software upgrade last year too (though not as bad) and they were sorted out remotely eventually. Hoping this means that there is nothing wrong with the box - seems a waste of time getting an engineer out. I think it's just a case of waiting for them to fix it centrally. Could try for some money back for lost service though.

Sky have abandoned the freephone number, it now tells you to phone 0870 404040 when you phone it.

Thank you for saving me hassle, time & money

When you first ring sky about the problem they cause by more than likely downloading the bug to your sky+ box when your warranty ends, they tell you how to fix it by carrying out a system restore, they then record that this proceedure has been carried out and as it works gain your trust (but say this is a last resort and next time an engineer call out will be needed) they then give you a week or so of a problem free sky+ box before downloading a new bug to your sky+ box which won't be fixed by a system restore. £65 please......... thank you SKY scammers

I've updated the article to say that once you've had an engineer callout (even a free one), your box is under warranty again for 3 months, making further callouts during that time free. I've also added how to do the full system reset (thanks for commenting about this, Andrew Chandler).

Thinking of up-dating to sky+ but after reading this excellent site am considering waiting. Any idear when it will be safer to take the plunge?


Thanks to you guys I have fixed my Sky+ box. It's a fairly old model - had it since summer 03 and it got a bit odd last autumn and finally packed up in November. Rang the tech guys, who to be fair we're pretty nice and did talk me through some of the reset procedure but to no avail.... Haven't had any Sky+ functionality, no access to any planner functionality and no box office functionality since then and it's only my SO's addiction to football that stopped us cancelling entirely. There was NO WAY I was paying £65 call out fee.

I got really fed up last night, searched Google found this site and used the fix. However it did take a couple of goes and I left the box disconnected from the mains overnight. So I would suggest to those people who don't get a result first time to persist. Interestingly the interface was different 2nd time around. Do they queue updates?

Just adding my name to the list, started having playback problems about 2 month ago (just after my warranty ran out). Going to have to try the reset now despite having loads of stuff I don't want to lose, looks like I'm gonna have to fork out on that DVD recorder.

Good luck with SKY, hope you manage to get somewhere.




Just about to ring Sky to report my new Sky + Amstrad box
continually locking up and stuttering in certain places when replaying stuff. The locking up is getting worse.
I'll report further on the outcome.

Tried to ring Sky today to report the fault on my Sky Plus box (see previous posting)Used the standard Sky phone number but was told to ring back on another number as they are having new software installed. Rang the number given 08702 404040 to be told that they cannot help because their system will be down until Friday and they cannot access any customer accounts. They did give a direct technical number 08702 435000 which was simlilar to the last mechanical voice but I managed to speak to someone call Neil who advised me that he couldn't either help because their new system was being updated and he couldn't access my account until Friday - same story. He did say that I would be re-imbursed for any losses!

Hows that for service - five days before thay can even check my account so I can report the problem. What an absolute shambles.

I'll try again on Friday. Just a thought, if they are using the same software on their internal systems as they use on the Sky Plus boxes we'll have to re-boot them half way through our telephone conversations.

We have quite an old sky+ Amstrad box, with a larger Maxtor hard drive installed by me. Worked a treat for much more than a year and for me sky+ revolutionised the way we watched tv.

In the past few months we get sound dropouts on Ch4, Sky1 but most channels work ok - shame it's those channels we record from the most ;-(

Done reset etc. Issues can go away if we switch box off and on and press record when show on rather than series record etc. Clearly a software issue that wasn;t there a few months ago.

I will be putting old drive back and getting sky to fix but don't feel very reassured this will happen given what I have read here and elsewhere. Have to do something since we have stopped using sky+ to record cos we can;t trust it any more to pickup our favourites series.

We've had continual problems with recordings made from C4 & E4. I set up series link to record My Name Is Earl, and IT Crowd as well as others and barely have seen any of them due to the stuttering sound and picture that plays back. I spoke to an engineer today and they confirmed Pauls point (above) that E4 and C4 are problematic channels (although others seem to be fine - does anyone know why?). Going to try the hard-disk reset now though and hope for the best... Good luck with the campaign.

The Sky Plus engineer came yesterday and replaced our faulty Pace Sky+ box with a refurbished Amstrad box (photos: Pace, Amstrad). Because I'd had a free callout last month my digibox was still under the 3 month warranty, and the replacement also now has a 3 month warranty. Fingers crossed that it doesn't develop any faults this time! (although the recent comments about Amstrad boxes developing faults as well as Pace boxes really point towards a software defect rather than a hardware problem).

I had an Amstrad box that worked fine for around 2 months, then sometimes for no reason at all when playing back or deleting a recording it would crash and the only way to get it back on was to remove the power lead, when i reconnected it the last few recordings would be marked as failed with Technical Fault 8, i called tech support and they went through the planner rebuild, still didn't work, then went through full system reset, it then worked for a few weeks more and i started having the same problems again, this time i deleted all the recordings, and it said that i had no recordings but there was only 98% free, I called Sky and explianed the situation and said i want a Pace box ONLY, the next day the engineer delivered a Pace box and its been working perfectly since then.

In Short, If you have problems with an Amstrad box ask for a Pace, but be adamant that you want the Pace Box.



I got a Thomson box in January 2006 which was noisy and kept having failed recordings, two weeks later it was replaced by an Amstrad which was quieter and worked fine for a while.
Now we get sound dropout on Dolby Digital recordings, the planner cannot be acessed sometimes without unplugging the box and turning it on again, we get failed recordings and the box turns itself off whenever it feels like it.
Called Sky and was told to wait for a software update at the end of March, called again this morning Saturday April 1st and was told an engineer would be out to me on Sunday ???? hope this isn't an April fool joke.
I demanded a replacement box and asked for a PACE box.
I also recently got an e-mail from SKY asking me if I would like to preorder SKYHD for £299 .................Yeah Right.

i am fed up with sky,this is my forth box in three yrs,just had new box for two weeks now it wont turn on!!!! yet again i`v lost loads of my programmes!!!

Add my name to the ever increasing list.... On my second Sky+ box this year and that's just failed too! First box was a Pace, current box is Amstrad. How do they get away with this behaviour towards their customers. If only there was cable in my street....


Can someone please help. I have tried the recommended way of fixing these bl**dy boxes but nothing happened. I turned off a mains, turned on pressing the buttons but then nothing happened at all after 20 secs. tried over and over agin-- please help-- am I doing it all wrong?

I have a PACE box and it is 2 yrs old now. I have been having problems for ages now. Have done all what Sky say to do ie rebuild, total system reset etc and still I have problems.

If my box is totally knackered can we buy them cheap on ebay or places like that?

Cheers, Pete

I have just had sky plus installed yesterday 5th april 2006.
All went well its an amstrad 80gb when the engineer left we noticed that the Broadband internet access had failed.....and yes i had fitted a filter to the phone line.Eventually worked out that shutting the whole lot down by the mains and re putting the phone line in again whilst it was disconected from the power solved it. Later decided to record a programme and set the record time, as soon as the box started recording the broadband went again.
When i unplug the sky plus box the broadband works fine so it must be the box.Has anybody else had this problem? any ideas to solve it?
do you need to have it plugged into the phone line all the time?
As i bought the box from sky with no special deals eg £250 because i didnt want a 12 month contract, can i just leave it unplugged from the phone line and still get the functionality?
Failing all that im going to ask them to remove it and re install my 6 year old amstrad box that never had a days problem!!

Had Sky+ for well over a year and worked fine. Then it started to jump/lose lip synch. Out of warranty but I've got NU Home Appliance cover and so Norwich Union had to pay the £65. On my fifth box now. Lost everything we recorded over Xmas and countless other times. Engineers never try to fix a problem, only ever swap the boxes for other re-conditioned models. Current one has crashed once so far but I'm too depressed and angry to call Sky yet. I reckon we've had poor to nil service for about six months - without the £65 call out, that's £270 they've had from us in subscriptions without supplying what they're meant to. I think I'm just going to switch it all off and take up reading. Keep up the good work on this site, but it's not a web campaign we need to sort these idiots out, it's a para-military one.

Thanks for this advice. We used the fix described in this article which lasted us a few weeks but eventually the problem was happening every 3 or 4 days so I had to call out an engineer who came today. Used the threat that we would leave if we had to pay £65 and surprise, surprise, we got the engineer visit free of charge and they swapped the box. The engineer, as described in other people's comments, said he had seen this problem happen alot recently and thought it was related to the recent software updates Sky were sending for the new HD ready programmes Sky are now offering. What a con - charging £65 for a problem they have caused!!!!!



exactly the same as everyone else. Have tried the reset and will try it out tomorrow. I would never have gone the plus route if I thought it would have had so many problems............

If this fails, remove the drive and plug it in a PC without any other drives in.

The maxtor tools are on Hirens boot cd http://rapidshare.de/files/17629104/hrns8.0.part1.rar.html && http://rapidshare.de/files/17629316/hrns8.0.part2.rar.html

Simply low level format the drive then use the 2 finger reboot/reset procedure. This even works if you get the no signal on channel 2 issues that indicate a HD fault.


How refreshing to find that I am not suffering alone......I have had alot of similar problems with SKY failing etc and they wanted £65 for call out so I have up to now just sufferred the fact that I keep loosing recorded programmes....However I will now be back onto Sky regarding the payment of £65 and my desire to withdraw my sky subscription.

I can t believe it, so much people have had the same problems as i have. And i mean, intermittently none of the Sky + feature work (should of stuck with my old Sky Box). Ive had my box since December 2005 and it been replaced once and it still give me problems. Im so surprised that Watchdog (BBC) have not heard about this problem.

Can we get together and produce an e-mail petition? Perhaps it could be sent various MPs, monopoly commission, BBC, to stimulate more competition. I'm stuck with miserable Sky because I can't get a Freeview signal here and I don't have cable.


I've also experienced all the previous mentioned problems with a Pace PVR2 box (cannot pause/rewind, sky planner programmes deleted, etc). After contacting Sky CS for the 3rd or 4th time, I was told to do the usual resets. After this, all worked ok for a while and then back to normal problems. The I wrote a very long winded email to BskyB. The result being a free engineer visit, who replace the Pace box for an Amstrad. Will wait and see how this one goes. All these problems seem to have started after the software updates of Sep 2005. Before then it was super.

I agree totally that something has to be done, as Sky are getting away with charging customers £65 for problems that they introduce.

Bring on WatchDog...

Hi. Discovered a few days ago that we can no longer record a programme while watching another. The warranty ran out on our box about 6 months ago. When I phoned Sky they wanted the £65 engineer fee to fix. They said only one signal is being received that is why we can only record the programme we are watching.

They went through the whole resetting of the box etc, but it still wouldnt work. I said I couldnt afford the call-out fee. Think I should phone to cancel my subscription - I am paying £46 a month for sky+ and multiroom!

Hi, our warranty ended about two weeks ago. Now our box is suffering from playback issues (Pace V2 3100). I called Sky last night who tried a few things, now the box won't do anything relating to record/playback. I suspect a HD issue so I've got a new hard drive on order. I'll attempt to fix it myself, hopefully it'll work.

They wouldn't allow me a free engineers visit and I got forwarded to their cancellation dept... maybe they are trying to tell me something?

It's very suspicious that all these boxes suddenly stop working after the warranty period??? Bit more than a coincidence!

Hey Paul, thanks for the info! I phoned Sky today and said I wanted to cancel my subscription coz I couldnt afford to pay for an engineer to visit to fix my Sky + box. They immediately arranged for an engineer to come on Saturday, free of charge! Amazing! Thanks so much........Happy Easter all!

First had the problem in Feb, just after the 12 month warranty expired. Discussed this with Sky over the phone - lady talked me through essentially your article. This fixed the problem but all programs were lost which went down well with the wife! Went again last week when I followed your guide - thanks. Tried to record a program again last night, gone again, this time, after following the guide sky+ recording was still unavailable. Wondering if a new hard disk might do the trick?


I posted a comment a few days ago with the same problems you're all having. I'd paid the £65 for a call out, and had several reconditioned boxes that were even worse than the first one. Phone calls requesting a brand new box were always met with polite refusals to give me one.

In the end I sent an e-mail to Sky's Service Desk saying how much I'd spent, how poor their service was, and that I was just going to keep getting my reconditioned box changed ever twenty or so days until NTL bring out their rival to Sky+ in the autumn, and then I'd be off. They're coming to put in a brand new box on Sunday. No doubt that'll pack up as well, but it's covered for 90 days, and I at least feel I'm getting something for my £65 now, rather than a batch of other people's knackered sky+ boxes.

I can't remember the e-mail address, but they give it to you on the helpline when you ask if there's anyone you can complain to.

It seems this is a company you really have to stand up to if you want to get anywhere. Disgusting.

So glad to find this site and realise I'm not the only one who has problems with Sky+, appears I am in the early phases of the fault but am about to call Sky for a FREE engineer visit (I only held out for the 1/2 price one last time).

Hopefully this campaign will get Sky to admit the issue, upgrade the quality of hardware so there will be no need for sites such as this - do they think we enjoy complaining for the heck of it? - All we want is a good quality of service for a fair price!

Thanks Paul for initiating this campaign

I had exactly the problems described, i.e. jerky playback, frozen recordings and sound drop outs, tried the above and after a couple of weeks the problem came back. I believe this problem is also caused by bad blocks on the disk.

In the end I took the opportunity to upgrade the hard disk to 250GB (about 125 hours) with an upgrade kit from XtendedPlay:


Now I've got loads of extra recording space and a working Sky+ box!! NICE!!!

Just spent the last 1/2 an hour (whilst waiting to be connected to Sky actually) reading all the above posts; I have had exactly the same problems; sound cutout, pixellation; now this evening the box has finally had enough of its fun and games and has died completely.

I have tried both the 7 & 8 options from the Services>01>Select menu; they worked for a time but now nothing.

In the past, the problems have been particularly with Channel 4; we gave up trying to record "Lost" about halfway through the series (although it seemed to work okay with E4); but recently we've had problems with nearly every channel.

Thing is, I've got an Amstrad box and I've just literally ordered a 200GB Samsung HA200JC hard drive for it. It's a 5400rpm one; will it matter which box I get to replace it? And might this help cure the problem?

Also, the original installer assured me that putting the box in a closed TV cabinet wouldn't cause any problems; but I have a sneaky feeling that heat may well have contributed to the demise of my box (there was also a AV Amp and 2 DVD player / recorders in there); now I've taken the back off the cabinet, hopefully things should be better.....

Well, I've finally got through and I also played the "well I think I might be better off without Sky" card on the phone (even though we are in the sticks and can't get anything apart from Sky) and because I had already called them back in January about this problem, they did give me the engineers visit for half price - £32.50.

I am expecting to get a refurb'ed box; but as soon as this shows any sign of problems, I'm going to be on the phone every day ordering engineer's visits until I get a new one.

Engineer's coming on Tuesday, so I'll let you know what the result is; but in the meantime, please add me to the campaign list......

Checked the web so haven't contacted SKY, have used your 'fix' which has worked twice(many thanks). I am expecting total failure shortly. Having now read all the posted comments, the sooner a competitor enters this market the better, customer service might count for something...

I got a amstrad sky digital box thats is stuck on standby.Is there anyway i can fix the problem myself instead of paying £65.I have been through the sky route of doing what a engineer on the phone tells you and it wont work,any ideas please?

Hi, I have tried the fix mentioned but unfortunately it didn't cure the problem, Sky+ does not work at all. Next step will be to call Sky to try and wrangle a free engineer.

My box is also only two months out of warranty, so please add me to your list.

Had Sky Plus for ages now same box no problems at all (I must have got lucky) Shortly after the channel change, which caused loads of problems when they did it....(box wouldnt re-start, lost all my recording ect.ect), I now get stalls in playback, program just freezes and shows 0 mins remaining.

Problem is now getting progressively worse, hence the search for this site.

However, I cant get into the "engineers Menu".

I press

Services>4system setup>01 or 0>1 if you like....nothing. Am I doing something wrong?


BTW add my email to the list please.


My box is also broken and i followed your advise, I was offered an engineer call out but not for free at half price £32.50. I'm thinking of calling back and saying that I am going to switch to NTL and see what they say then.

I have had my Sky plus PVR2 box for just over 2 years. It works perfect. It never misses anything and doesn't do anything it shouldn't. Am I just lucky? No. Im not. I have been fitting Sat systems for 18 years and I fitted my own.... properly.
Think about it. The sky plus box is the strongest link in the system. The weakest point is the cable and then the connections. If you have just upgraded to Sky plus and just had one new cable fitted then ask yourself how old the other cable is? Quite often it isn't even CAI approved cabling. Quite often the Engineer comes along and bangs on a Quad LNB and doesn't even bother to check the alignment when he has done it, let alone make sure the connections are tight. The new quad LNBs are rife for causing connection problems because they are exposed with nothing more than a plastic rainshield. This is easily overcome by smearing waterproof grease on the cons. Not everyone does this but its something I put on all my fresh installations and service calls. Something as simple as to many bends in the cabling or to tight a clip can cause problems as well.
Ask yourselves this question. If your box fails and gets replaced and then fails again a few weeks later and then again do you really think its a bad box? Did the engineer walk in with a replacement under his arm because he can't be bothered getting his ladders off to check everything else? A replacement will work fine until its full up of the same errors that caused the original to crash and the engineer is long gone by then and you are left once again cursing the box.
Next time you have a fault, ask yourself about the original install and try to find out which was and wasn't replaced.
We will always have product failure but the amount of no fault found boxes that pass through is far higher than than the failures.


Well.. Thank you so much for this, wish we had found this sooner as we have been without Sky+ since last autumn, as we refused to pay for an engineer call-out, out of principal and were toying with the idea of buying anew Hard-Drive from eBay!

When we first rang Sky to say that the box would no longer record and had deleted all of our saved programming, they advised that as we were 3 months out of warranty we'd have to pay. The bloke said it was very common for Hard-Drives to pack up within 2 years!! I told him that my hubby and I were IT Engineers and he was talking cobblers!

Anyway, back to today, we tried your fix a few times and it did not work, so after reading the posts on here I rang them and politely said I wanted to cancel, I said that it was a known problem and that customers within warranty were being told different things to customers not in it. She denied all knowledge of any such known problem!

She said if I paid the £65 they would guarantee a working box or a new one, I said that the charge works out at almost 10% of my yearly subscription and that I was not willing to pay that so if she would be so kind as to cancel it then I would make arrangments to go with NTL (Yeah riiiiiiiiiiiiight! But she's not to know that I'm not THAT mental.)..

So she says, "Would you be prepared to have an engineer if I did it for half-price?" so I stuck to my guns and said "That's very kind of you, but I have been lining Sky's pockets for 6 years, I don't want to line them any more, no disrespect to you. Thanks for the offer, but no, I will go ahead and cancel please."

Sure enough, on cue.. "If I got an engineer out to you free, would that suit you?" I replied "Why would you be prepared to do that as I am a suspicious person by nature." her response "You have been a loyal customer for a long time." I accepted her offer graciously!

She was originally sending an engineer out in 2 days, but we are going abroad until next week, so she is giving the day after the bank hol, so little over a week.

RESULT! Thanks everyone.

My Sky+ system gave up the ghost and before coughing up the £65 I though I would try your remedy!

Blimey! I was amazed, also by the fact I did it myself. I'm not sure if the fault will return but I'm damn sure I won't pay the £65. I have 2 boxes plus multiroom and pay them over £50 pm, so I'll threaten to cancel all. Thanks so much for the info and beinf able to record the Grand Prix for my hubby !!!!

cheers ,just saved me £69 ,think sky needs it ass smacked and i am going to tell them that just after posting this message.This is the second time this has happened to me ,first time under warrenty,they obviously have a product problem and i wont rest untill they all the world knows.At least three people i know have payed for the engineers visit and i would have too if not for your wonderfull site.
Once again thankyou off now to email sky customer service who had the cheeck to send me a £5 gift voucher for the inconvenience of MY sky breaking

I upgraded to Sky plus last september as i was going to cancel my subscription at the time as i was wasnt getting much use out of all of the channels, but decided to go for sky plus instead, as this would enable me to record programs and get some use out of my subscription. The day came and the engineer installed the Amstrad sky plus box. this worked very well for a short while.

Then it started to miss recordings and when you came to use it, it had frozen all of the sky plus functions. the only way round this is to reset the box. but by having to reset the box is just like not having sky plus in the first place as you are for ever manually intervening with the box and when you do leave it, it doesnt work.

The first time it happened I rang sky and they sent an engineer who replaced the box with a reconditioned amstrad out of a plain brown box which actually had a faulty sticker on the side!! this worked ok for a week before showing the same symptoms. i rang sky again only to be told that it was the software at fault and not the box and that they were working on new sowtware.

Mean while i am paying £36 a month and hardly watching any thing.

I rang again after a couple of weeks of further reseting, and this time they said they would send an engineer. the engineer turned up with another recon box which lasted 4 days before showing the same symptoms.

When phoning back now they are playing the "software is at fault" card. I said that i wish to cancel my subscription as i wasnt reciving the service that i had asked for, only to be told that i have signed a 12 month contract. I stated to them that i had signed a 12 month contract for a service that i wasnt getting, but they just dont seem to care!!

I am now at a loss as to what to do?! if there is anybody out there that could possible have any information as to haw i might be able to resolve this please let me know.

I just had Sky + installed about 10 days ago. Within the first weekend of recording, I got 4 that Failed. Not happy, I called the engineer directly(he left his mobile no incase of failure). He talked me thru the reset - (he was going to replace the whole box, but since I had recorded programs for my girlfriend whilst she was away, I wasnt happy to loose them).
Press Services (similar to Pauls above but not resetting whole system)
No 4 Key in "01" then select + 7 (Rebuild)
Hit Backup button on box and keep pressed -
Take out power then after a few secs put it back same time
keep backup depressed.
This will upgrade the OS on the box which to date is currently
1.31AOK EPG 4.01a.


I am in the same boat as many and have been for some time - sound drop-outs, initially only on C4 when playing back a recording but starting to notice it on live broadcasts and on some other channels too. Have already reset the system once when on the phone to Sky - lost all my toddler's shows which didn't please him much and my wife less! Worked for all of 5 minutes.

Definitely seems to be worse since the software upgrade that changed the layout of the planner.

Will have to get on to them, but am stuffed if I am going to pay £65 with no guarantee of resolution. Don't have many other options in my area (i.e. Freeview and TopupTV), but will stick to my guns and cancel if necessary.

have sytem reset, stripped the input wires down
plugged everything in and out loads of times seems im not on myself. Think your right about the sky software updates it seems that since all the menus altered i have had nothing but trouble and would gladly leave sky ,but before it went wrong (funnily enough just after 12 months as i had not taken the optional insurance) it was the best thing since sliced bread. Just wish they would stop ripping off loyal customers.arggggggggggggggg

I just found this site after ive had problems with Sky+ so thought i'd share my experience. I've had Sky+ since it came out and to be fair its a great service. However a few months back I started having problems with recording programs. Most commonly the programs recorded but had so many sound dips that they became unwatchable. I knew the box was out of warranty so just decided to live with it. This weekend I started to review how much I actually watch Sky and realised it wasnt that much. Since I have the full package at £42.50 a month I did consider cutting it down a bit, but decided instead to cancel the subscription. After following the phone options through to the 'cancel subscription' section, I was very quickly put through to a call handler. I explained I wanted to cancel due to Sky becoming too expensive and was put through to another department which I like to refer to now as the 'happy place'. These people obviously get forced to undertake 'nice' training before they can answer the phone. Anyways I was soon offered a choice of two discounts, either 3 months of half-price or 12 months for the price of 9. I expressed an interest in the 12 month period since this offered me a saving of approximately £8 per month for all the same packages. Furthermore there was no additional contract period tied in so I can still cancel anytime I want. I threw into the conversation that my box is faulty and the guy tells me he's only allowed to do one deal per call, but if I were to call back again someone would be able to help me.

Call number two and I decide to go through the same phone route, choosing the options to cancel. I explain my previous conversation to the call handler who takes me through a standard 'reset the box' routine. To be fair and polite I follow the procedure and agree to go away and test the box following the reset. I try to record a program on Sky One. I then switch channels. Pretty much all other channels are unavailable, due to satellite signal not being received. I stop the recording and hey presto all the other channels are back again.

Call number three and once again I follow the 'cancel' route through the telephone system. This time I inform the call handler of my box reset and how it didnt help. I now get put through to techical support. These people are clearly forced onto a 'not so nice' training course before they are allowed to handle calls. The guy sympathises my problems without offering any solution. Then he informs me I should get an engineer out at £65.00. I inform him that a new box is only £89.00 on sky's website so its hardly much more to buy a new one than to have the current one fixed. He kindly informs me that £89.00 is only the new customer price and that £200.00 is what i'd have to pay for a new box. This is apparently a special price for loyal customers. I inform him that i'm hardly likely to pay £200 for a new box when I originally phoned to cancel my subscription and he advises me that I should go ahead and cancel. Also he informs me that no one with my family name will ever be allowed to resubscribe to sky at the same address in the future if I do cancel. I figured this was an extremely lazy threat, especially given that the first option on the telephony system is for people wanting to resubscribe to Sky. I tell him to go ahead and cancel. He puts me back through to the 'happy place'.

Here i'm spoken to by a caring individual who is deeply saddened by my decision to cancel. I inform them my decision is now based on the attitude of their engineer. After a momentary pause the caring person offers to speak to their manager. A minute later and they are able to offer me a free engineer visit to examine my faulty Sky box. I explain its out of warranty and they say thats ok. I ask if i'll be liable for costs if the engineer finds faults and i'm informed the callout covers all replacements, including if necessary a replacement box. I agree to this.

Today the engineer came. He discovered not only a fault with the Sky box but also a fault with the dish. He replaced the box and also replaced some component on the dish. He left with the box in apparent working order. The premium channels were not available and he said it would take anything upto 4 hours for them to be restored. 5 hours later another call to sky. Some problem obviously occurred and they have to do some kind of reconfiguration to match the viewing card to the Sky box. It will take anything upto 4 hours for this to take effect. 4 hours later a call to Sky. Some mix up meant a problem that they'd observed earlier had not been escalated correctly and a reset of viewing card to Sky box was required. This will take anything upto 4 hours....

If the waiting over 12 hours now for premium channels wasnt enough, the new Sky box is now having problems recording, on the same day it was installed. Even pausing doesnt work, after a few moments it reports a recording fault and gives up. I wont know until tomorrow if I have premium channels available and even if I do I have to report the faulty box to Sky. From where I started yesterday, Ive now lost premium channels and the ability to pause TV.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day!


Had sky plus fitted Sunday 24th April by Sky engineer, tried to record on Monday 25th, suprise,suprise record faccility or pause not available (I have the full subscription). Rang sky put on hold for 32 mins, eventually they gave instructions to follow whilst on the phone but this did not work, so I was told an engineer would have to come out AGAIN.

Not happy with this I rang back, again put on hold for 20 mins but eventually was told it was a sky problem, the viewing card was not registering with the system? and that they would sort it without the need for an engineer call out.

Today Tuesday 25th April record & pause facility is still not working I am still waiting for them to fix it, am I being impatient or should I just give up ringing them?

Hi - The comments on this site helped me out a couple of months back when I was able to rebuild my planner. I've just come back from a 2 week break and the hard drive is full of all my favourite programmes with only 4% free. This morning it decides to do the old "System Fault" thing again and sadly the rebuild isn't working. I'd gladly pay £65 to anyone who can restore my box and get my saved programmes back - Only solution seems to be to wipe the hard drive as discussed. I note the entry (97) by Nico a couple of days ago but I'm reluctant to try it as it sounds complicated. Its such a shame coz I've been telling all my friends that its the greatist thing since sliced bread. Bugger.

So so pleased I found this site. I thought I was going nuts, and so did half the people in the office!! I started complaining a few months ago (hmmm, maybe around December) that Channel 4's sound jumped on recorded programs, but no other channel. People looked at me very strangely!! Then in the past month or so, gradually this has been joined by E4, Sky One, SciFi, and now anything recorded on Channel 4 is completely unwatchable. It is also starting to to freeze on live-streaming programs and not just recorded ones. I did originally call Sky about 2 months ago, and the lady I spoke to talked me through doing some sort of 'clean' of the hard disk, but not a full system restore. This didn't cure the problem, but to be honest, I've not had time to call them since. I've just done the full system restore as suggested on here, so we'll see how it goes. The intriging thing is that I actually fork out the £8.25 a month for the extended warranty, so it will be interesting to see if I'm dealt with any differently than the others on here when it goes wrong again, which I'm sure it will.

Thanks again for restoring my sanity!

Had this issue for ages, just doing a box reset every once and a while. Rang up Sky support today and they told me it would cost £60, she even gave me the address to send my cancellation letter!!!

Rang back on the sales line and asked to cancel, put through to, I guess, a customer retention back office who 'lo and behold waived the charge.

I actaully like Sky and thing their customer service is good, however this is a design fault, I've got hard-drive working much much harder than the ones in the these Sky boxes that have been running for years no issue. We shouldn't pay for cheap kit.

Ding ding round 2!
Following my previous posting yesterday (post 100). This morning arrived and still no Sky premium channels. A call to Sky and they are having problems with their computer system and are unable to enter the necessary serial numbers to register the viewing card to the box. They will try to resolve this today sometime.

This evening another call to Sky. They are still unable to enter the registration information on their computer system. The call handler will have to pass the information to an (unspecified) internal department who will enter the information directly. I ask how long this will take. I'm informed its more likely to be days rather than hours. I guess entering two serial numbers takes time.

I think it would have been nice if they had informed me of the 'computer problems' yesterday and passed my information through to the mystical 'internal department', it might have saved me being on the phone twice today.

I got the impression that the quote 'it will probably take a few days' is meant to make me stop calling them for a few days. Maybe i'll forget i no longer have premium channels i'm paying for, or Sky+ recording facilities that dont work.

Think i'll call them first thing tomorrow...

Hi (again),

We lost the record/pause facility and after a couple of sucesses, even the detailed procedures in this thread couldn't mend it! The sky+ box was still working as a receiver, but not a recorder. Then, at the weekend, we experienced a power failure. After this, the standby light would come on, on the box, but it would not turn green. I listened to the box (sad as I am) and you could hear the disk start up, then go off. This led me to believe (having spent many years in IT) that the hard disk had had it's day, odd, after only 16 months of active service!

Anyway, as it's out of warranty, I decided to replace the disk myself, as I work in IT and it can't be that hard I thought. I fell at the first hurdle, torx security screws! A visit to maplins was on the cards when I discovered this link from a friend at work:


I ordered the 250GB kit yesterday. It arrived this morning including a torx security set and comprehensive instructions. It took 15 mins to replace the drive, re-plugged in, hey presto, back online, recording, pausing with 90 hours more recording time than when I started.

So, hopefully, I will have at least another year (normal warrantly period) of trouble free sky+ viewing!

Many thanks for your help and advice on this thread, it's great to know you're not alone!!!



What a great site this is! Came back from holiday to discover the message sky+record and pause function unavailable! Rang sky who took us through the system reset which worked for 2 days. Tried it again but it did not sort the problem. My sis's husband works for sky (installation) so he had a look but couldn't get it going so my husband rang the technical department. They told him it was not within warranty (by 1 month) and said we would need an engineer! Well you can guess the rest! We refused to pay the £65 and rang sky customer services. Despite threats of cancellation of our full package and multi room they would not budge! So I thought it may just need a womans touch as he was quite irrate and rang again myself. The woman was very abrupt and shirty with me and said we would have to pay the £65. Well I was at a loss until I found your site and felt encouraged to persivere. I did try your recommendations for fixing the problem myself but unfortunately it did not work for me. Still I thought since many of the emails I had read had people getting the free call out it was worth one more try! I am so glad I did. I called to cancel my subscription and spoke to a lovely man who asked why. I told him the whole story but also added that I did not want to lose sky but could not justify paying my £52 when I was not getting sky+ and that if I had the £65 I would have been happy to pay it but that I simply could not afford it. He then transferred me to a lady in the cancellations dept who confirmed with my husband that we wished to cancel. She then said she had looked at my account and seen that we had been sky customers since 2001 and said she would send the engineer for free! HOORRAY! She was lovely! Very kind and cheery which considering it was almost 11pm can't be easy! Anyway it will be fixed on thurs and we're very happy.Thanks so much to everyone who has posted to this site,it really gave me the encouragement to stand up and not be ripped off by sky!

Also really glad I have found this site - I to have had problems with my Amstrad DRX180, namely the sound dropping out, coming back in out of sync, then dropping out again as it re-sync's with the video. The main culprit is Channel 4, with it making an appearance on Channel 5 occasionally. Weird in that I can guarantee it will do this every week on My Name is Earl and Grand Designs, but on a 90 minute kids film Cats & Dogs there was not one problem. Does anyone technical have any clue what is causing it as from this I can only deduce that certain programs carry some "information" that sends my box barmy?
Phoned SKY, had the same experience as Charlie (post 100) - extremely caring Customer Support with regards your package (even though I was reducing it) but then she put me through to the devil incarnate in Technical. I almost smashed the phone to piece's after she admitted it was a known problem, but couldn't say when (if?) it would be addressed, and the fact that I am paying £10 for the SKY+ subscription meant nothing when I asked for this to be credited. For Pete's sake, they created the problem with their last upgrade, at no fault of my own, and yet are excepting no repsonsibility!! GRRRRRRR!!


Isn't it nice when you realise you're not alone; or going mad; or not the only person who'd love to tell Rupert Murdoch and everyone at Sky exactly where they can shove their Sky+ boxes!

We had an original Pace PVR1 Sky+ box from Jan'03 - absolutley loved it, completely changed the way we used the TV, yada yada yada...and I still love it, never had any trouble with it.

However, we then had a second Sky+ box installed in another room in Oct'04 (to replace the multiroom standard sky box we'd had from day one). This was an Amstrad ( be honest, I can't be the only one who's amazed they can keep peddling crap) and, to be fair, it worked OK for the first year or so - bit noisy, even when turned off, and tempremental, but overall fine.

Then towards the end of last year we found recordings of channel 4 were unwatchable. At the time this was the only channel with problems, and as we only watched one show from C4, we thought the fault must be with them somehow! Gradually however, more and more channels and recordings became affected. Planner rebuilds and full system resets proved useless. As the box was just out of warranty ( amazing coincidence ) I thought I'd just have to live with it.
Then I found this site and a similar thread on Digital Spy's forums and the smoke cleared - I wasn't mad and wasn't the only person with this problem; I know the box is still broke but it's somehow comforting.

Anyway, quickly realised that the problem apparently occurred as a result of a software update Sky downloaded late last year. Have spoken to Sky several times in recent weeks. They admit it's a known problem - eventually. At first they play dumb and talk about reset's and other useless measures until they realise that you know that they know and then they quickly "have a word with a supervisor" and admit that, yes, it's a known problem, they're working on it, can't say when it'll be resolved, can't swap the box (out of warranty remember) and we'll just have to bear with them.

I don't know where to go next!? After speaking with Sky again today with no real progress I'd pretty much decided to cancel my subscription and go with Telewest - they now have their own PVR system, TVDrive, and also have Teleport which is an interactive store of TV shows and films you can access anytime. Sat down this evening to order it before cancelling Sky and found that - oh the irony! - they don't cover my road yet !!!!! (only built 3 years ago).

Therefore, like many people above I feel like Sky have me over a barrel. I couldn't go back to standard TV or even the current Freeview selection, and I really, really love Sky + when it's working. But we're now in a kind of limbo - as I said to the girl at Sky today, I could well be calling in a years time to be told "we're working on it"!!

It wouldn't be so bad if the boxes had been free, but buying a second box as an existing customer cost £200.

My old Pace hasn't given me a day's trouble - it's running off the same dish and it cant be down to cables or connectors as I've swapped the boxes over and it's still only the Amstrad that's affected. I'm tempted to try and find another Pace on Quest . But ultimately I paid Sky for the box in the first place and now can't use it to record Sky because of Sky - how does that work?

It's like buying a car, driving it for a while without any problems, then the manufacturer comes along in the middle of the night, when you're in bed asleep and unable to protest, and "upgrades" the engine to run on cheese or something, only to find out that now the car won't go and they don't really know how to solve the problem!

The solution? Convert it back to petrol! The boxes were fine before they upgraded the software - stop trying to "resolve" the issue and roll back the software to the previous version. I can live without pressing the green button to set an automatic reminder for something.

Anyway, great therapy, I'll give up the couch for another patient!

Ding ding round 3!
Phoned Sky this morning to check on progress, wouldnt want them to think i've forgotten about my Sky problems. They cant give any indication of when the problem will be resolved. The details have been passed to the mystical 'internal department' and we just have to wait.

A few hours later and miraculously premium channels are working again! Recording seems to work too. Its been a tough fight but worth it in the end.

So to summarise, I started with an out-of-warranty Sky+ box which wouldnt record programs, paying £42.50 a month. After several days of persistance I now have a new free Sky+ box which works (for now at least) saving me £200.00, installed by an engineer at zero cost (no £65.00 charge for me thankyouverymuch), and the same channel package £8.00 per month cheaper guaranteed for 12 months, with no additional contract period.

I'm not normally one to complain, but when it comes to dealing with Sky it does seem to be the way to go, and they really seem willing to do anything to avoid losing a customer.

thanks for the tips spot on!

had problems with recording on sky plus from day 1 but just put it down to something we had done when we got failed recording message.Then everything in our planner was deleted and the 'system fault 'message appeared phoned sky and i was just still inside my warranty,tey told me that it was a known fault and that just to give the system time and everything would be put right.Gave it a week and still the same phone sky up and they said that i was misinformed by the previous representative and they took me through the planner rebuild option on the secret menu and it worked.
That lasted for a couple of weeks and the same happened again phoned sky again and thay tried to go through planner rebuild again and it didnt work thay then told me that i was now outside my warranty and i would have to pay a call out charge of £65 to repair my sky box.I then did a bit of research on the net mainly your site did exactly what you said explaining that i knew sky were admitting they knew about the problem when people were inside there warranty but if they were outside there warranty they were not admitting liability and charging £65.i then told them that i was disgusted with the service that i recieved and threatened to cancel my subscription,THEY are now sending an engineer out monday and said if they cant repair box they will replace it and give me a warranty. thanks for your help you truly are a star with appreciation james Sky HD

Ah-a. My Pace has recently stopped recording - No Signal problems. Having checked both inputs, it appears to be #2 that is not particulary receiving. I will try suggested fixes here but add my name to any 'group complaint' as I am not optimistic of success

Well I too am growing increasingly impatient with the recent "bug" that afflicts many more people than SKY would like to admit. I have been cursing at the box whenever I watch a recorded programme and the sound drops out for a couple of seconds or steps out of sync and is often accompanied by pixilation. In fact, this has become commonplace even for live broadcasts on specific channels (Hallmark and E4).

Those imbeciles need a thorough shoeing to get their act together. I’m willing to bet that all their development efforts are focused on the HD services and hardware they are peddling but surely a roll-back to the previous version of the s/w and old style menus must be a viable and inexpensive option to appease their disgruntled customer base. I grew accustomed to the quirks of the original package and the problems paled in comparison to the annoying glitches that regularly interrupt my viewing experience.

Paul, if that petition is still circulating, please add my name to the list of dissatisfied customers. Let’s hope the competition steps up to the plate with a similar suite of services and features to level the playing field and keep SKY honest. Fingers crossed.

Had Sky+ installed in February 05. Started having a few problems before the 12 months were up, but put them down to the upgrades to the Sky planner, as they seemed to resolve themselves once that was sorted.
Over the last 2 weeks, it faults to 'no signal being received' at least every other day. These usually last several hours. I've checked all the connectors and have turned the LNBs off and on through the installer's menu, but that doesn't resolve the problem when its dropped out. I rang the technical helpline and was told it would be £65 for an engineer's visit. When I pointed out I'm already paying over £30 a month, they said that was only for the channels, not for the equipment. So I pay £99 for the box, plus £50 for fitting to a chimney, because you can't see the right bit of the sky from a wall. Then 14 months later it falls apart and I get the pleasure of paying them more to fix a problem they've created. I'll be ringing customer services later to cancel my subscription, unless they do the visit for free.

When it works, it's brilliant and I'll miss not having it, but I'm not paying for something I can't watch. I'll go back to ntl, which had no problems and they'd have sent the engineer for free if one had developed.

Your are an absolute genius. Sky are robbers. Complete and Utter Robbers. They were insistant on a 65 quid callout.

Wanted to say a big thanks to you Paul, i have just used your fix after experiancing the same problems as the rest of you poor souls.
It seems to me that when sky introduce new products ie previously Sky + and now Sky HD our exsisting equipment starts to play up then pack up. I think there may be a bit of a conspirecy going on.
Anyway thanks again great site !!!!!!!

Well i've read a good part of this thread and thanks for the postings here, this is an excellent idea as well of course.

Honestly i'm quite happy with Sky, at least regarding their customer service. When i compare with NTL i previously had for the telly and still have for the phone + broadband i must say that Sky are far more polite and cooperative. Personally i've never waited for more than a minute to reach them when necessary, troubleshooting included.

Ok. i'm on a 42 quid or something like that per month so they may be more willing to help.. whatever.

I believe (as far as i've read) that it's a gamble that seems to work when you say to Sky "well. if you dont fix your box for free then i'll ditch you". However it's still a gamble and in my opinion Sky should think twice before they persist in playing like that.

Sky intend to develop brodband services themselves and i predict a nice (dirty) battle with NTL regarding the packages in let's say a few months. They are not in a position to gamble themselves with their cash flow.

Ok, here's my own code of conduct: My box planner has stopped working for three days now. I will call Sky so that they fix it. If they do it well and for free then they will keep me as a customer. If they believe that i'll pay 500 quids a year and on top of that pay for the maintenance of the box then they are wrong.

So i'll let you know shortly.. once they realise that most of the people do the same they'll be more willing to care. In the meantime i'll be on freeview. No wonder that the day they want me back then it'll be half price for the first 3 months.

Take care,


thanks for the help....bloody sky are robbing gits, if these problems persist maybe a move to eurobells new hard disc recorder (with FREE cover)and its HD ready!!!!!!! dont have to fork out £300 for a new one..good one sky....

I'd like to say "It's nice to know I'm not alone" but that’s like saying I feel better if everybody else is getting screwed by Sky!!!

Like others I came back form a long trip away and my Sky+ box (an original Amstrad one which was well out of warranty) wouldn’t come out of standby. Powering down the box at the mains or resetting it through ‘backup’ didn’t work. I called customer services and tried to get a free or even half price engineer visit but Sky stuck to their guns and bounced me to the cancellation department…bugger!

So £65 later I now have a ‘new’ V2 Amstrad Sky+ box (swapped out March 25), which as a sweetener has a larger hard disk than my old model. The Engineer was excellent and did pair the card with the box, tested recording etc and then waited until all my premium channels had come through before leaving, so no complaints there!

….but now I have a list of ‘faults’

1) The box always hangs after pressing Select after rotating through my Favourites with the info panel at the bottom of the screen but a moving picture behind it – All recordings that happen during this ‘freeze’ fail.
2) Lip-sync and sound dropout issues occur on recordings (from all channels) far more often than my old box. Rewinding and replaying the programme still has the dropout on it so it is part of the recording and not the decoding and playing..

I’ve tried reinstalled the software and also wiped and reinstalled but the above faults are still there.

I don’t think this is down to me having newer software installed on the new box, but I’m going to give Sky one month to get that software fix out or I’m calling for a replacement box….

Then I’ll do this every 2.5 months to keep my warranty!!! ; )

You can add me to the list of disgruntled customers.

I too have had the problems as described by just about everybody who has posted. Unlike most of them however, we have only had our Amstrad box for 2 months. Have now reset the system as per the advice - hopefully this is the end of the problems. Many thanks for the info - I hadn't yet called Sky so hopefully won't have to.

Thanks for the tip!
The Full restart sorted my system out.

I assumed the Hard drive failed as the box was still working, so I was psyching myself to open the box and install a larger hard drive for holding more recordings. I got as far us opening the box until I read this posting from google and I thought what the heck no harm trying.

Bingo it worked.
The only ANNOYING thing is all the recordings have all GONE!
Not a happy bunny!
Well at least I don't have to replace the hard drive.

For those who want to now why the fault appears, I have read some posting that it may have been down to power surges or power cuts, how true this is I can not confirm as I have a powersurge protector multi plug adaptor, obviously not working :( and not aware we had a power cut here.

Thanks from a relieved Sky+ user


I was on my third SKY+ box since January, a Thomson and two Amstrad PVR3's. Same faults again and again
Unable to access the planner without unplugging the box
Amstard boxes turning themselves off and on at random
Failed recordings
Sound drop out and lipsync problems
I decided to call it a day on Sky plus and go back to normal sky with a seperate PVR hard drive recorder or DVD recorder
I rang up to ask for a refund as the boxes were only a month old each time before going wrong, the guy on the phone offered me a PACE sky plus box to try as a last resort, so I agreed to give it a go.
When the Engineer arrived he had brought another refurbished Amstrad box and a PVR2 at that. So we sent him away and rang SKY to cancel my subscription and get a refund on the box, to be told I was tied into a subscription for 12 months.
I asked to speak to a Supervisor and told her I wasn't paying over £500 a year for something that wasn't watchable, that was supposed to be new but was in fact a refurbished item, and I quoted the Sale of Goods Act. I was then transferred to Customer care who offered me a brand new PACE box .....however.....as I was due to have SKYHD installed later in the month and apparently you can't have two NEW installations pending I would have to cancel my SKYHD box and reorder it, going to the bottom of the queue.
"Just a minute Sir can I put you on hold?"
2 minutes later.....
I can offer you a brand new PACE Sky+ box fitted in two days time and for all the trouble you have had we will reduce your next 3 months subscription by half, and will still install HD before the end of the month.
Standby for an update

I obtained a Pace 3100 a couple of moths ago - in what was excellent working order, from a sky engineer.
Plugged it in after installing new quad lnb, re-checking dish alignment, and all new cabling, called sky to activate account for sky+ etc.
Turned on, menu etc all came up. went to use the record facility to try the system out, came up with system fault!
Phoned sky, they prompted me to force a system update.
Did this, and boom - system wouldn't come back off standby !!!!
cancelled sky + account went back to sky difital after an arguement ("you should have this account for 12 months, but as you cannot receive we'll do you a favour and revert it back")
Now I have a knackered box that even a computer engineer who fixes these boxes, cannot find the fault on!
Where do I go to from here?

Will someone please help or advise.
Thanks for your advice, read all postings here, just about to try the reset/rebuild suggestions.

Pelase add my name to the email list!
Thanks and regards

RE: Alan's post


My box eventually wouldn't leave standby. If you power it on, do you hear the disk fire up then go off? This was the case with mine. I upgraded the hard disk (see link earlier in the thread) and all sorted with 130 hrs of recording time. Admitedly I did have to pay 100 notes for the privilege, but, at least I haven't given sky the satisfaction (as I'm out of warranty). Anyway, this could be what your fault is?

Also, it was a power cut (induced accidentally by me) that caused the final failure I believe?



I have a Sky + box which has developed a strange recording fault. I could record a program say the football on ITV one night and then when I want to view the program a couple of days later I get another program e.g. Weakest Link on BBC. A program on a different time and Day!!. The Planner will say Football on ITV recorded even though it is the Weakest Link on playback. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I tried the full system reset and it still didn't work, however it has since come back up, although I'm not sure for how long.

I rang customer services and just said I wanted to cancel. When they asked why, I explained the faults and that I couldn't even watch things I'd previously recorded as the Sky+ feature won't work without a signal. I was immediately offered the choise of brand new install of new dish and box with a new 12 month warranty for £65 or an engineer to fix the problem and replace any broken bits for free. Once fixed, I will also be reimbursed for the period it hasn't been working.

The installations on the roof, so I've got to wait for a heights engineer, but I finally got the sort of customer service I'd expect. Lets just hope they can resolve the problem

As an update to my comment (86), I have now had the engineer's visit, where he took away my faulty box.

It seemed to have developed a fault on the Input 1 aerial socket; when I wiggled the aerial lead, the picture jiggled, sound was affected; then eventually it just died; no signal was being received. It wasn't a problem with the feed from the dish, because swapping the cable from the Input 2 socket showed that a good signal was being received from both cables, but wasn't getting into the box.

The engineer didn't open the box (they're not allowed to, in fact), but I do wonder if this might be a fault that no-one else has picked up; worth wiggling your cables to see if you get sudden interference on screen; if so, call an engineer immediately!

As for the hard disk upgrade, it went like a dream. I simply followed the instructions (thanks, http://www.morlocks.co.uk/sky.htm) and after about 20 minutes of formatting, it was ready to roll.

I now have about 40 hours of TV (films, mostly) which I will catch up with eventually and still over 60% of the disk is free (yep, the remaining space shows correctly too!) It's more like a library that a video recorder; so I'm really pleased with it.

Any questions / comments, please feel free to reply to me through this page; I get all of the stuff through directly.



Great site although it didnt fix my sky plus box. They did send an engineer round and he said that there was a problem at their end because they just had new computers - i dont believe that though. For about 4 weeks i have been calling sky and they have told me that i would be called back and i havent been. I have never been able to record or pause since I got the sky plus. I first had a thomson box and when the engineer came he gave us a new amstrad one. Has anyone else had the same problem ? and is there a solution?



I have heard that there are concerns with the software on our SKY+ DRX-180 and DRX-280, and coming back to this forum after a long while, I am sorry to see that people are not happy. I would be very thankfull for someone who knows all the complaints to please list them in a email to me and copy one of my guys Brian Eaton beaton@amstrad.com

I am ams@amstrad.com

This is the real Sir Alan Sugar , those who folow this forum will know that. I am concerned about some of the issues on our SKY+ units as reported in this forum


Sir Alan Sugar
Losing Time.

Symptom: The clock on the banner or EPG is reading the wrong time. Typically the time slips from between 4 and 35 minutes.

What does this mean?: Any recordings scheduled in your Sky+ planner will either start late and report as part recorded or fail completely because the programme finished before your Sky+ box clock had got to the start time.

What causes it?: Take your pick, there are a number of theories. Watching ITV1 or ITV2 seems to be a hot favourite and despite my initial scepticism I tend to agree that this does appear to trigger the problem. It has been suggested that there is something wrong with the data that is transmitted alongside the sound and picture that is different to all the other channels. If it is the ITV transmissions why doesn’t it effect the Pace boxes as well as this theory suggests it is not a hardware problem at all.

Sky are aware of the issue and it is being addressed with updated software that according to some reports is due to be released in February 2005. To my knowledge nothing is being done to the ITV transmissions so it can be assumed that whilst watching ITV makes your Amstrad lose time it is not the root cause – reconcile that if you can!

What can be done?: The correct time can be restored in several ways but it will continue to slip again and again until the new software is available.

To my knowledge time loss comes in two varieties; time loss only and time loss combined with loss of programme information in the EPG so it just says “Searching for Listings” but never updates. If you have the later you have no choice but to restart the box by unplugging it from the mains. If you have the former you can go into the Sky+ Planner and play a previously recorded programme (you only need to play a few seconds) and then press backup to return to the planner, this jolts the box back to the correct time.

Forcing a Software Update: Sky CS suggested I force a software update to overcome this issue which I did. It stopped the problem for 4 or 5 days but it eventually returned. This is not a total waste of time as software does get corrupted from time to time. The current software was written for the Pace boxes so it suggests that it doesn’t perfectly match the needs of the Amstrad. Therefore if the hardware does not always react as the software demands you can end up with the electronic equivalent of gridlock inside your Sky + box. Even though it is not perfect, restoring the operating software can overcome these problems and give you a few days peace at least.

To force a software update: Switch of mains to the box, depress the backup button on the front panel of the box (not on the remote), keep the button pressed whilst switching on the mains again, keep button pressed until 4 LEDs are lit on the front panel, message appears on TV saying updating software, process is complete after about ten minutes when the box returns to stand by mode. If problem continues straight away repeat the process as software updating doesn’t always do the trick first time.

Lets hope the software update does the trick!

Sluggish Remote Control

There have been a few reports of remote control response being very poor, extreme delay between pressing the button and anything happening. The Pace units have a very crisp response to remote commands and I have noticed that the Amstrad is not as sharp but in my case is perfectly acceptable. If you are experiencing this problem and it is unacceptable try restarting your box and if this doesn’t fix it a forced software update may help. It is assumed that you have eradicated such potential causes as making sure the remote batteries are new, there is a clear line of sight between the remote and the sky box, the transmitter window on the front of the remote is not covered in grease and dog spit and you are not trying to operate the remote at a really acute angle from the front face. If possible try another remote. If none of the above works it must be hardware.

Scart Socket Problems

I have noticed that the scart connections are a bit weird but the problems encountered depend on your set up to some extent. Before Sky + I used to use the pass through scart on my DVD player (my DVD has 2 scart sockets) to connect sky to the TV i.e. if the DVD was off the TV displayed sky, if the DVD was on Sky was switched out. This arrangement is very useful if your TV only has one RGB scart socket as your DVD and Sky box can share it. However, when Amstrad sky + arrived the picture was totally distorted and unwatchable using the same arrangement. The unit would only work correctly when connected directly to the TV – the installer was asked to try another box and it was exactly the same. So I have to use the Sky + on PAL as only one of the two TV scarts is RGB and my Video is now passing through the DVD. Anyone else experienced this problem?

Poor Picture Quality

Some have encountered poor picture quality to the extreme of getting a replacement box. If one box gives poor performance I can believe it, but if the replacement also does I am more suspicious that the TV or interconnects are at fault. Or perhaps that there is something fundamentally wrong with the install – a badly made connection on the signal cable at either end can play havoc and have the uninitiated chasing their tails for weeks at a time. There is one thread on here about someone having 8 new boxes before it was discovered that there was a problem with the signal cable…and why didn’t the installer pick that up?

How good should Picture Quality be? Better than analogue and almost as good as DVD would be a fair response – if your picture doesn’t fall into that category you have a problem. I find that Sky + recordings are virtually DVD quality, better than watching live in fact – why is that?

RF Interference

Put simply the RF output from the Sky + box is so badly affected by differing types of interference, sparklies, shimmering, patterning etc. that Analogue viewing is totally spoiled. I have changed the RF Output frequency to almost every channel in an attempt to improve matters but it makes no difference at all. Only the Sky output itself is clear on RF. Reports suggest that all Amstrads suffer this in varying amounts, mine is bad.

Strange Noises

There have been some reports of Amstrads being very noisy such as humming and whirring noises that have taken some time to quieten down if they do at all. It would seem that apart from the noises, the performance of these boxes is poor in other ways as well. There have been reports that this is related to a specific batch of units and is not widespread.

Recording Problems.

Recording problems are not strictly an Amstrad only issue as there are plenty of Pace owners who also suffer this. The only Amstrad issue that can cause this is the losing time problem, unless somebody knows differently


I had my SKY + box replaced after 3 months (apprx) as audio and video were skipping. Now my new box, just out of warranty I think, has stopped recording programmes that are on series link. Series link seem to be being removed.

Also when I press info on a recorded program, it shows the info for a different program !!!

I have had so many problems with SKY, I think the company is a joke. It is a shame they are in reality, a monopoly, and we are all stuck with them.


I've had this problem with my Sky + box. I tried all of the methods to fix the problem and they work for a short period of time but then the recording stops working again. I contacted Sky and they are sending an engineer out today, free of charge as i'm still within my 12 month warranty. If the sky engineer uses one of the methods and it seems to resolves the problem and then decides that his job is finished, should I tell him that i've already done that before and the fault reoccured? or will this void my warranty in any way?

An answer would be greatly appreciated
Ben Ritchie


I just had a "System Fault" appear on my Sky Plus box. Was not able to record or playback recordings.

I phoned the number on the error message, went through to Technical Faults.

Technical Faults ran me through the Full System reset (after the minor resets). Then said about the System Engineer would have to call out at £65

I said that I could not afford that and would have to cancel my Sky Plus.

Technical Faults put me through to another department, who went through the whole £65 cost thing. I again said I could not afford it. The then halfed the cost to £32.50 and asked if that was OK. I again said that I could not afford that, they then went through a little talk about what packages I had etc.

Other Department then said they would send an engineer out for free as I was such a good customer :)

Free Engineer call
Free 3 months Warranty
Free Guarenteed fix

Many thanks for this blog - reading it has made me so angry at Sky as I realised my problem is not unique

For about 7 years I was big fan of Sky Digital, untill I took the awful mistake of 'upgrading' to Sky Plus last year - since then has exactly the same problems as eveyone else.
Just got back from holiday, was really looking forward to watching what I had recorded but yes your guessed it - all gone !!
Whilst on the phone getting it reset, came across this blog on google and realised I was not alone

As I spent 30 mins on the helpdesk, I've decided its my mission tomorrow to warn at least 30 people that Sky Plus is a bad idea - got a staff meeting at 9.30am with 12 people which is a good start - 30 should be easy by end of the day.


I have been having similar sky+ problems, for some reason playback skips on one channel. Had a new box cos of problems 6 months ago, but warranty only extends from purchase date, not replacement date! I was put on hold for a while to try and establish if it was a "known fault" which apparently it's not. At that point I was told that there was no extended warranty so I would have to have an engineer (surprise surprise). Have so far threatened them once with cancellation, have now tried your fix. Think it is wrong that they happily take so much money for subscriptions every month but will continue to try and fleece you for more money! The fix seems to have worked at the moment (thankyou) but would like to think that maybe we could all influence Sky in some way.

I have a customised Sky+ Box which was working for 11 months on only one input with absolutely no problems. All the problems I have encountered have been since the Sky + planner software download. I lost the capability to set reminders and the box crashed alot or wouldn't switch on at all. I have spent far too much time and money on the phone to Sky customer service/tech dept - one call costing me over TEN POUNDS!!! After taking their advice and upgrading my subscription to aleviate the problems I was having (thus parting with another £10 a month) I now face a whole new set of seemingly un-solvable issues, ie. failure to record, freezing, switching to standby with no help from me-and paying for the inconvenience! And all the time Sky have been telling me it's because I don't have a dual input!Since reading all the complaints from the rest of their disgruntled customers I now know infact this has absolutely nothing to do with it!

I had mine fitted last week. The engineer KNOCKED OFF Instant rewind and told me NOT to turn it back on as there is a software issue with it that Sky will inform me of by letter when it's fixed.

I haven't read all the comments on here, but wondered whether this may help some of you. Just knock off Instant Rewind.

He fitted an Amstrad box for me, and so far, the only problem I seem to have is it freezes for 3 or 4 seconds every now and then(on the live play, not recordings)

Reading some of the comments on here, I think I've made a big mistake putting this crap in! Just waiting for the inevitable now!:D

Rang sky tonight as sky box would not record, message on box stated there was a fault and to call sky. I was told that engineer would have to come out at a cost of £65, eventhough had engineer out and paid £65 for the pleasure 3 months ago with the same problem. Told them not prepared to pay again and would cancel sky. Sky person said fine shall we cancel now, told them would ring back and let them know. Found this site with info on how to fix fault, tried it and it worked. Sky box back in action. THANKS VERY MUCH. WHAT A CON SKY ARE. THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have an 80GB Amstrad that has required two resets in its first two weeks, the last of these, just get it to power up, was a full power-on reset as described here (which incidentally required left and right buttons be held down for almost a minute, not 20 secs). If things continue like this without a fix I might as well switch to Telewest or back to standard Sky. They can't hold me to a one year contract for this level of service.

Thanks for information

Hi, I was just looking for a Fix for my Sky+ which packed up AGAIN today.....
Lost all my saved programs AGAIN! for about the 3rd time so far this year (don't even mention last year).
usual message please call this number and we'll rip you off some more blah blah !!
I wish we had cable down our road I would change tomorrow and I would personally drive to $ky Head Office and ram this digibox where the sun don't shine..
Please please please add me to the list of disgruntled customers, I for one when we move will NOT be going back to these consumer Parasites.

thats better now i've got it off my chest...
Thank you so much for the info you have given on this page.
I am so happy now knowing that the £65 i have in my pocket will now be well spent on Me and my Family NOT $KY..

I have recently had a failed recording technical fault 9 on my SKY+ box. Any ideas for recovering the recording? Just as another point, the sky+ message:

Sky Plus System Fault
Sky+ playback and recording are unavailable.
Please call 08705 800800 for assistance.

It will force you to use the 0870 number and these are high call charged numbers. Go to http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php and it will tell you an alternative number to ring for virtually any company. Saves you a fortune in 0870 numbered phone charges.

Thanks for your advice but it didn't work. My system still stutters.


Excellent guide to reset hard drive chief. Spoke to Sky "Experts" 4 times today and they told me "there's only so much we can do over the phone!".....is there really? got to stop myself from swearing!
Anyways...thanks for the guide, Sky+ is now working a treat.


having threatened to cancel, got a free engineers visit.

Having checked it out when the signal went, it was showing a problem with no signal on LNB 1. Tried changing the cables over and the problem appeared on LNB2 with a low signal on LNB1, so I assumed it was the dish/cabling.

Engineer decided the problem was the digibox and replaced it with a brand new one, as he hadn't been given a refurb by sky. Its also an 80Gb model instead of the 40Gb we had, so a free upgrade too. Just a pity he didn't have any HD ones he could have installed!

Had my Sky plus now for just over a month. (Amstrad box)
Niggly problems occuring.
When i go to delete a watched programme or even a programme that i have watched it freezes on Delete canot exit the whole thing hangs.
The only solution i have found is to un plug the box from the mains for about 10 minutes then start the poxy thing up again.
Is this something that can be fixed by an engineer or am i wasting my time ?
Should i demand a different box, i beleive i have the sale of goods act on my side, what do you think ?

I have had problems with my Sky+ box since about February 06 and made so many calls to Sky I gave up on having any record, pause or playback ever again. But recently all my Sky channels started disappearing one by one so I was eventually sent out a new viewing card. But that was after very many long calls to Sky where I had my signals resent so many times each requiring me to wait up to 4 hours for them to work, or not work as the was the case.

Anyway, I received my new card this week and when I put it in my Sky+ was working and I was happy for once. Although not all my channels worked and said I did not have the correct set top box?? Later the same day all the channels were working but now Sky+ said system fault ring the telephone number etc etc. I did so and spend another long phone call going through all the system resetting options. At the end of this the outcome was I needed a n engineer at £65. As a single parent not an amount of money I can afford. So I had decided I would yet again live without Sky+.

I was looking on the internet to see if I could find an engineer cheaper that £65 when I came across this site. After trying the methods above a few time I must add and trying installation resetting as well I could not believe it when it worked and I now have all my Sky+ options back. Still in shock that this worked and they did not tell me to try this over the phone.

You have saved me money and I have my Sky+ back. Thank you.

I was also given a £25 credit on my Sky account for all the messing about I have had to do and all the phone calls so I really am very pleased.

Please add me to the petition.

Have had sky+ for only 6 months and have had an engineer out twice already also endless over the phone fixes from sky customer services,ringing them makes me lose the will to live,had an engineer out this week because my amstrad box will not record and keeps freezing was told by the engineer after he fiddled about with it for 10 minutes that the latest software was all loaded and it will work fine now, the next day it got worse,so am about to call sky again,i have only just found this website and it is great to know i am not alone i think we should go to the newspapers with all these comments and expose sky for the shower of s*** they are, if the technology for these boxes is not right yet they should not keep on selling them

i have read every comment that you have made regarding sky, to say that they don't help or are useless may be your opinion but has anyone even said thank you to the helpful staff that sky does have. the ones that go out of there way to help people like yourselves and gets nothing in return apart from people slandering them. sky is like any other company that only gives the same amount of warrenty but does anyone look on it like that? When you car brakes down do you say that a gargae fault not mine no you pay the cost and leave it at that. sky arent ripping people off they are a company and if anyone is bothered you can go to a local engineer from yellow pages who will also cahrge you a service call to your property. but this will solve your issues. Sky may have long queues through out the day due to the lack of patients and people complain and sky are also one of the most leading companys with in the television world. with the realise of sky hdtv and broadband as well do you not this that we as customers be more consuming when calling the call centre staff as its not there fault and they are just doing they jobs and aren't robots.

i personal have had a good service from sky and i am aware of the extened warrenty and i have had no issues that are major with the sky plus box, touch wood.


I didn't know about this site until after I spoke to a complete imbocile at sky. Its actually quite funny, while extremely annoying all at once. This email will be very theraputic to write...

I first suspected I had lost about 16 hours of recorded programmes (mostly 24 and doctor who, damn!) when sky+ kindly informed me I had no programmes in the sky+ planner. I then realised it was not allowing me to record either.

I called the 0870 number (they even make money from your misery) to the tech line. The guy "Brian" was useless. No apology for their system having lost all of my programmes, and his suggestion - priceless - "you'll have to record them again." Oh yes of course I'll just ring the BBC and aask them to repeat the last few Doctor Who episodes for my benefit shall I???

He couldn't understand the simple concept that:
a) I have bought their product in good faith
b) their product has fu$ked up and lost my programmes
c) I already subscrrive to their preimum channels - why should I pay more for an engineer.

He even had the audacity to tell me it is my box! Oh yes didn't you know I built the bloody thing from scratch myself. Why should I expect any help from sky? Fu$k wits.

I wanted to complain and asked for his surname but he said he wasn't willing to give it to me!!! I asked him if I wrote in and referenced "Brian" would they know who it was. He said probably not. I then asked what was the bloody point of giving me the name Brian??? Might as well be Mickey Mouse (would be quite apt).

Then, the icing on the cake, having told me I'd lost all my programmes AND I had to pay £65 to fix their stupid box he then switches to robot mode and says "is there anything else you would like me to help you with regarding your deleted programmes?" Oh yes please, can you record the programmes yourself and send them to me on DVD please!!! "I'm sorry sir you will have to recod them again yourself" DON'T START THAT ONE AGAIN YOU IDIOT!!!

I actually told him he was useless but he wouldn't let me speak to his supervisor as he was "unavailable."

But the happy ending so far is despite losing the programmes the sky+ box is working again. Good opportunity to get a bigger HD - any suggestions?

Cheers and well done for this excellent site

I have an Amstrad Sky+ box which has been working fine for the 12 months +. Recently it's been playing up on Channel 4 recordings, with sound cutting out and making programmes unwatchable. Reassured by the comments above I'm going to try the system reset. Will post back the results. Something is definitely wrong with the Sky service for this fault to be so common.

I have had serious problems with my sky+ box and have called sky today regarding the problem. The speech is encrypted everytime we try and record a programme and then we cant watch it! Also the recordings dont always work and therefore fail, so we can watch the programme anyway.

I called them and they told me that i have to pay a £65 call out charge.

They are not budging with me!! Help..............

I understand the sentiments made by Lauren in post 148, however to continue the garage analogy:-

When you take your car in to be serviced you do not expect them to update the electronic management of the engine resulting in continual breakdown, and then take no responsibility for this.

I too have had fantastic service from Customer Care (the bloke behind the counter taking your keys off you), but the Technical Department (the mechincs) just suck through their teeth, telling you they're well aware of the problem, but there's nothing they can do "at the moment"

And with SKY+ you're actually still paying for this "engine fault", week after week after week...

Third time my Sky+ has gone wrong. The second time on Christmas Eve I got through to the most unhelpful of operators who refused to talk me through the reset and insisted I needed an engineer. I refused to pay £65 and reminder her that my box was just out of warranty and I had paid £200 for it when now they were selling them for less than £100 and as a matter of courtesy someone should waive the engineer fee. She said that once the information was put on the computer the engineers fee could not be waived. I asked whether I could speak to a supervisor and was told none were available. I was being quite polite until she said "count yourself lucky sky+ was originally £400" in a sarcastic tone. A friend of mine actually gave me the codes to reset my sky+. However, it has gone wrong again and I have just spoken to a very helpful person at sky who has patiently gone through the set up process.

Just had the classic system fault problem. no programmes in the planner and unable to record, called tech help and was told it was probably the weather causing a power cut... stuck by that even when i told them the pc was still on...
anyway, called back to see if i could talkto someone more sensible, she went through the whole reset thing with no luck so i've now been on hold for 8 minutes whilst she tries to book an engineer. luckliy we're still under warranty so just need to pay the no doubt extortionate phone bill!
sky have us over a barrel as the only alternative here is ntl hahaha!

anyway, please add me to your list of complainants

This site is, great, informative, depressing and worrying. My Amstrad DRX180 has been dropping sound and sync for some time now, but I've put up with it till now. I thought it was the hard drive and was anticipating the install of a new one. Then I thought, what about defragging? I'm always doing on my computer, surely it must need it. Now this morning, it's started to switch off after about 15 to 20 minutes. I leave it for about 5 minutes and I can get it back on again for 20 minutes and then it switches off again. After reading this site I've got hopes of maybe sorting it. I'll let you know.
Was that really Alan Sugar, or a wind-up. It must be a wind-up. Why would we be interested in his so-called problems. Bloody hell! If he's got problems, what chance do we have. If it was him he'd have said. "I'm going down there tomorrow and I'll sort that bunch of wxxkers out. I know I make a shitty product, but I don't need then to make it worse!!" But then again, think of the money he makes out of these boxes, even if Sky only pay him ten quid a piece! Can't be much more, can it? Come on Sugar, if it's really you, get off your butt and sort them out. Feel better now for that flame. Cheers

Happy to help in fighting SKY. Let me know what I can do.

I cover media at The Independent on Sunday and am trying to find out how many Sky Plus users are having problems with their box. I had heard rumours about glitches with the picture freezing while another programme is recording with the latest versions of Sky Plus. But until I had seen this site I did not realize so many users were reporting this - and other - faults. Does anyone know how many users are having these problems? Maybe a Sky phone operator has given an estimate. What seem be the main technical faults? Please can also tell me when these problems started occuring? Many seem to be since January or February which suggests recent upgrades may be at fault. If you have any details please email me at t75webb@hotmail.com
Sky seems to be having lots of problems with its new technology with the launch of HDTV and Sky HD also being recently delayed. The result is poor customer service which I think this is an important issue to highlight. Thanks
Tim Webb

Al again - tried the whole system reset/harddrive clean/software update process described above (after growing frustrations with unwatchable channel 4 programmes recorded while watching other channels - the whole point of Sky+).

I followed the instructions , but had exactly the same fault immediately afterwards as I tried recording Big Brother (Ch4) and ER (E4) simultaneously. Big Brother recording was just unwatchable because of Norman Collier-like sound track.

Wits end. No confidence in calling the Sky Helpdesk given discussion thread above... Seems like asking for even more aggro. Grr.

my sky plus box has been playing up now for six months, reset it twice but continues to stick, or fail. rang sky who told me to buy a new one.is three yrs old but ***k me, what a help.

v. interested to read everyone's posts...

I had a Sky+ box for about 18 months when it started malfunctioning - lots of my recordings failed. I called up Sky and, after some haggling, they agreed waive the £65 fee to send an engineer round. Engineer replaced our Sky+ box with no charge.

The new box was working fine for 3 months but then system kept freezing up. Called Sky who told me that it was a problem with the viewing card and they could order a card for me.

I asked whether the exisiting card would still work in the meantime and Sky confirmed that it would. So told Sky to go ahead and order new viewing card.

Then saw that my existing viewing card was no longer authourised! Called Sky again and was only then told that as soon as a new viewing card is ordered the existing card is cancelled.

Still waiting for new viewcard to arrive and without Sky...

From my own experience and from all the posts here, it seems that there are widespread problems with Sky+ boxes. Sky need to recognise and deal with these problems.

I'm so pleased that at last the word seems to be spreading about the constant let down of what on paper seems an unbelievable concept, recording at a push of a button, and beyond that what a useless company sky really are. What you all need to understand people is that sky isn't in the business of supplying a great product, all they're interested in is making money from you guys and at whatever the cost,expensive product-cheap componets happy shareholders-very frustrated customers, but of course without competition this leaves us all with little choice or so we are lead to believe, make a choice, cancel your subscriptions and enjoy your lives a little more by spending time with the children instead of plonking them down in front of the Tv, take your partner to bed and make love, listen to the birds sing, learn to cook, write, save your subscription money and have a wonderful holiday full of memories, life isn't for seeing in pixels but for feeling, and the longer you stay a sky customer the less they'll make you feel. You choose.

Last night i was recording a couple of programmes and all of a sudden my Sky box turned itself off. I went back into the planner menu "There are np programmes in your sky+ planner". Tried to record something "System Fault, Sky+ playback and recording are not available". I've had my box about 18 months now and this is the third time this has happened. each time i have to do the reset and each time i lose all the prgrammes i was saving.

I am going to buy myself a dvd recorder and save programmes that way rather than relying on the sky+ box which i know will pack up every few months and delete everything. I feel like sending sky the bill!!

Hi, I was having problems with my Sky+ box - had one 30 min programme left on it which was using 20% of the drive - I followed your very helpful instructions, but as I didn't want to lose the one recording or my programmed recordings, tried option 7 from the engineers menu (rebuild planner) as a first attempt - it took a few minutes, but resulted in 97% free hard disk. This might be one to try before option 8 which wipes the hd or even the full power-off wipe exercise.



Thanks Paul (and Google)!
Bought a 'recon' PaceV2 through eBay and got this 'System Fault' message which was NOT cleared by a full system reset. The power-on sequences did the trick though. I'm just hoping I don't run into any of the other problems reported here, or a relapse after a few weeks (only time will tell...) Up to now I've been using a Panasonic DVD recorder, and though the results are good, its a pain in the neck to organise when compared with the Sky+ system. The number of people with 'issues' looks scary, but on the other hand, folk with no problems won't be visiting!

A very interesting (and disconcerting) site, I look forward to the raft of problems now that my sky+ Amstrad box is heading out of it's warranty period :(

Interestingly, comment 129 (allegedly from that intrepid entrepreneur, Sir Alan Sugar) appends the text of the first thread from http://forum.digitalspy.co.uk (Home > Forums > Media Zone Forums > Sky+ > Amstrad Sky+ Known Problems and Workarounds)

Oh well, happy days ahead...

Great page. Many thanks. I did the full reset-thing but it didn't work until I redid the full system reset from the engineers screen. All back to normal now.

I had the channel 4 drop out problem. Noticed this morning that an update had been carried out, spoke to Sky Techy who informed me the update last night was to have corrected the problem. My EPG version is sky+4.02d OS version 1.32B00. I'll record the coach programme and DOND today and let you know if its worked


i work for a satellite warranty company and we have known about the reset since the pace boxes went on the market the only problem with doing it is if the signal is low on input 2 it will bugger the box
if its strong go for it
cheers for ur time

Like many others, my sky+ is just over a year old, I am unable to watch recorded programmes as it jumps so much.I will be calling sky explaining I am not able to affoard the £65 call out fee, we'll see how i get on.
Keep up the good work!

Well its loads better but not perfect. Deffo watchable where as before it was not.

Have just purchased Sky+ (Amstrad) about 5 weeks ago. Alarmed to see all of these comments as am now getting following symptoms. Freezing on playback, occasional complete loss of signal with box turning itself off - then later on again, occasional but sometimes constant severe clicking, squeaking and screeching noises which often are a precursor to a problem. Sound synch problems on rare occasions. Rang 08702 number tonight - they were polite, quick and an engineer is due to call in two days. All the comments will forearm me for what sounds like the beginning of a long saga - fortunately the box is obviously still under warranty. Will update with progress (or not) as it unfolds.

I recently had the blue message of death.

Phoned Sky but wasn't expecting much help.

Was told that they would talk me through formatting the drive and if it didn't would have to pay for engineer.

I told them that I wasn't willing to format drive and put phone down.

After a bit of searching the internet I found a utility for coying files from one drive to another. I meant taking out the drive from the sky box and pluging it into the pc and finding and empty drive to copy the files onto.

4 hours later the sky planner was up & running and I only lost two of the programs from the old drive which was full.

It may seem a lot of hastle but it was worth it to avoid the wife complaining

the programme can be found at the following URL


I have since told sky to stuff there subscription and have had cable TV installed.

I hope that this will help some of you out.

Re Lauren's comment No. 147 - If my car or washing machine broke down I would happily pay to have it fixed, however, I'm not paying my garage over £50 per month!! There may be some very nice and helpful people working for Sky, however, I (and at least 170 other people according to this website) have not been fortunate enough to be put through to them after spending an interminable amount of time waiting for anyone to answer. The bottom line is we are paying Sky to provide a service and if the sky + box isn't working properly we can't utilise this service properly and being met all too often with people who are very quick to make comments such as "it's your box, not our problem" doesn't help the situation, nor the reputation of Sky. And for the record, anytime I deal with anyone on the telephone, whether it be Sky or anyone else, I will most definitely thank them if they make an effort to help me!!

Thanks for the tips.

I also had the System fault message and Pace sky+ box 3 months out of warranty. Phoned Sky and they performed a full reset and software download procedure (holding down the backup button while powering up). Sky box still had system fault, so they booked me in for £65 call out visit. (i thought they were going to charge me £200+ for a new box so didn't moan about the £65.)

Read this article and noticed the clear the hard drive technique (holding down left and right buttons while powering up) which Sky did not tell me about. Performed this and voila system fault message gone and sky+ box recording happy. Phoned Sky to cancel the call out and get my £65 back. Told the call agent at sky that the box fixed itself "mysteriously all by itself" - she said she had never heard it do that before...probably because the system is engineered to get your 65 quid...robbing *******!!

Thanks again for saving me £65!

Another Box Bites the Dust !!!!Tried to reset no joy phoned SKY you guessed it £65.00 time to pursue the cancellation route try these numbers for freephone
0800 731 6965 Press Option 4
0800 279 2000 Press Option 1
0800 587 5707 don't press * when asked

I just don't have much to say these days, but so it goes. Today was a total loss. I guess it doesn't bother me.

Follow up to my message 170. Engineer called as promised by which time our Amstrad box had deteriorated very badly and was not even functioning as a simple non recording digi box - he offered us a refurbished box in a tatty brown cardboard box. Armed with the many above forewarnings and a genuine anger that our brand new 5 week old box could apparently be quite happily exchanged for a 2nd hand one we sent him packing. I had to contact Sky for another engineer visit myself and duly read the riot act. Another call was agreed but almost needless to say the next engineer called at a time we had said we would not be in! So I had to call Sky myself again for yet another engineer who at least this time was not a contractor but a fully fledged Sky man in the super Sky van. 'Never heard one as bad as this' he said - he'd obviously heard plenty - and left us with a new Thomson box to replace the sick Amstrad - and after 10 days it's so far so good. Have had issues with their subs now - their offer to take your sub on a date of your choice includes an immediate charge for the period by which you delay - think I will 'catch it up' later OK but of course no mention of this is made to you in the paperwork or on the phone when you arrange it .

thank you for your posting, why don't those robbing dogs at sky tell you how to do a software upgrade?. I followed your instructions after my sky+ started playing up (again) and it worked brilliantly, cheers!

I love you I love you I love you!

My Sky + failed aobut a month ago, and I've been trying to find the details for the warrenty my ex is still paying for. As I'm superbly useless, I hadn't got round to this yet, and I stumbles across your site today. I thought I had nothing to lose so gave it a go. Woo hoo! Magically fixed! I can't believe they would charge £65 for that!!

After doing the full system reset I had a problem for a few minutes where the box kept turning itself off (the call centre staff at Sky say this happens when the box gets too hot - big fat liars!). Anyway, I turned the box off and removed the viewing card like Sky ask you to do when you call with a fault. When I turned it back on, all is fixed.

Thieving b*****ds!

Thanks again though - I'll be forwarding this to everyone I know!


Took up the option of Sky multiroom in April this year using Sky's special offer. Moved my old sky box into another room & had skyplus put in living room. Already had full package so cost just a tenner on top with skyplus box being free. The first 2 months, although the systen itself was fine, Sky over charged me twice , promising to level things out the following month. Then they stopped my premium channels for no reason, so I had to call them on their expensive number to get them to sort it out. Days later, I was sent a letter telling me that cos I have updated my package it was going to cost me an extra amount etc. Another phone call to Sky before they appologised and said it was their mistake etc and the bill for June would be zero as previously stated. They did exactlty the same the following week. 2 weeks ago today, I found that I could not view previously recorded progs and that pause & record were unavailable. A phone call to Sky again only to be told they didn't know why this had happened but would send a signal down the line to me to sort it out but it may take 2hrs to take effect. 2.5 hrs later when it hadnt worked, another call was made and they said it may take 4 hrs to work. They also wanted my viewing card numbers for both boxes. After 4 hrs, I called again and they took the same details. They said it could take upto 48 hrs cos my viewing cards were matched to the wrong decoders and they weren't authorised to sort it out. After 48 hrs with no promised call back from them, I called again (obviously irate at this point). They took my card details again and said that they had a software fault at their end which was only effecting a few customers but they had passed it on to their IT dept. After a week, I called back to find out what the hell, if anything was being done. They then informed me that since it had been reported to the IT dept, they dont have anything to do with it anymore and there was no time limit on it being sorted. A couple of days ago, I asked my wife to call them and approach them in a calmer manner as at this point I couldn't promise that I wouldn't threaten the useless piece of s**t on the other end of the phone. After a 20 minute wait in a queue late on Sunday evening, she ended up losing her temper when all they wanted to do was re iterate that it wasn't their problem anymore cos it had been back heeled to the IT dept. In the meantime, I had been emailing Sky aswell but upto yesterday they hadn't even bothered to reply to me. Its 2 weeks now and I'm no further forward. Wish I hadn't bothered with Sky plus now. Bloody good when it works, shame about the none existant Customer Care though. If I ever get it sorted, I'll post the findings etc.Aybody else suffered this badly ?

can i connect my sky+ box to my computer

Brilliant, saved me 65 quid I couldn't afford, and gave me the satisfaction of bypassing Sky.

You're a star.

the first sky+ box i got kept switching off and green lines would appear on the screen called out sky they change it the second box would keep randomly missing recordings told them to either change it again or we would cancel they did and we had no futher probs

and never paid a penny, jus by persevering keep at them if its
rong get them to do it right!

I have just used the hard drive reset on the box and looks like it worked great. I knew about the engineers menu and full reset option before but never lasted long. This software download should work fine providing they have the bugs sorted. Now only to upgrade the hard drive to a 250gig and we will be set.

Thanks for the information I will keep you updated.



Thanks - just saved me £65 [well more like £200+ as I would probably have bought a bigger-and-better replacement box].

Just a note about the 0870 premium rate calls to Sky [my first call informed me I was in a queue and would be answered in approx 42mins].

Looked at www.saynoto0870.com and their latest advice worked a treat. Not only an 0800 number, but got through to the 'engineer' in less than 5 mins, although I did have to repeat my details twice [once in India, then again in Scotland]. The resulting advice was useless, but at least it didn't cost me hours on a premium rate number.

I am having a problem with my Sky + box and wondered if anybody can help? I have the white Sky + box (any help!!??) and am having problems picking up some channels. When I try to watch BBC2 (102) Sky One + (107), 328 and some others I get the 'No satelite signal is being recieved' message. I have called Sky, tried a full system reset, checked all connections are ok and I still get the same problem. Very occasionaly it works, but it's always the same group of channels that fail. Sky want to charge me for an engineer to come out as they say it's because all the channels that are failing are on the same frequency and my box is stuffed. Any ideas??

Hmmm , just had the System Fault problem ...

Thanks for the advice and the System update finally did the trick.

I've had the Sky+ box since Nov 2005, few fail recordings but nothing significant has gone wrong with it.

Last week had a call from Sky to say that the warranty had run out on the box and would I like to pay a one off fee to extend warranty f
or 5 quid a month - I told him in no uncertain terms, that I didn't want any and resented his assumption that I'd automatically pay this. He made it quite clear that if the box went wrong, I'd have to pay a 65 quid enginner fee ...

Lo and behold, 1 week later the f***ing box broke ... coincidence, not sure, bloody suspicious though ... system updates causing faults, probably ....

Amzing!!!!! I took the advice and it works (recording and all!). Thanks a lot mate. I think Sky's service is terrrible and I was thinking about switching to telewest or somin.....

A big thank you to this page. I have had the sound problems for months. I hoped the latest update would fix it but didn't. I phoned up Sky and threatened to termintate my contract. They sent out a free engineer who installed a free new Pacer box. A big result!

Good forum - have had several problems with PACE box over the last few years, the total reset option described above works a treat - apart from deleting every recoded prog. Funny thing... 2 out of the last 3 probs I have had, have all involved recording Doctor WHo...... coincidence or something more spooky !!

Thanks mate, I had the same problem only i didnt have to ring sky up and had it fixed after 20 mins because i came across this site.

I keep getting a technical fault when I try viewing e4 more4 etc... just seems to affect certain channels if I move off the channel and come back to it after a minute or so sometimes this resolves the problem but it is rather annoying

Sky have no explanation for this

Hi - does anyone know how to help me with this problem? I have Sky + and recently my battery low alert came up, I've replaced the batteries and now the remote won't work at all - any ideas on how to access the planner from the box itself or will I need a new remote? Thanks Emma

Thanks for all your help and suggestions, I had lost the ability to record and had lost my personal planner. I am disabled and on invalidity benefit so my sky+ is a very expensive luxury and cannot afford to pay them for a call out to tell me what I already know. did the complete reset and all now seems ok, if I can do it anyone can.
Keep up the good work.

Thanks for the info.

I was already on my 4th Sky+ box (2 of which I had the £65 charge) so I was happy I found this site when it started playing up again. It's working fine for now.

I've been getting failed recordings for last few weeks. Unfortunately neither full system reset or software update imporved matters so I phoned Sky today and after threatening to cancel, managed to get them to waive callout fee. I can also confirm that (as of today at least) the 0800 number mentioned here ... http://www.saynoto0870.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1060112694/75
works and, after a bit of a queue, takes you straight through to an agent in Scotland.
Thanks to the info on here I've saved about £70!!

Tried the instructions on how to 'clear HDD' then updated firmware as instructed. Before i was getting a constant system fault even after resetting my box but after wiping the HDD and downloading the latest software all my problems were solved...no £65 call out charge!

guess what every body another sky box just out of warranty and wont record get system fault message when try to pause.
i went away on honey moon and recored the last two weeks of big bro for my new wife and two episodes of lost when we returned we thought great all recored and present 15% left too
so we watched an episode of big bro and went to delete it arrggghhhh its paused
so got up turned it off at the mains and whent back to the sofa few muintes of pressing the sky button and on she came! hope its all there still i said.
but thats right you'd guessed if nothing in my sky planner and get that good old message to ring sky so i did
but the automated line said we are very bussy at the mo
so please call back latter.
hmm i thought maybe it's them.
Next day i ring back this time my call will be answered in 32 minuites ur joking i thought im not paying for your cock ups so i hung up.
im finnished with sky now its clear that they cause the faults for their own greed and anyone reading these responses can see i say we all boy cot sky now send back those boxes to sky now and demmand the last month be refunded and
send them a bill for the faulty box and all costs incurred for stress and calls etc lets bankrupt em
give your money to dvd rental companies we can watch what ever we want for £15 a month with no adverts no sodding technical faults
and lets face it most people watch free channels any how so buy a freeview hdd recorder sign up to a dvd rental company to watch smallville i struggle to think of any progrrammes that we watch like simpsons lost smallville that arent on e4 0r 4 there free remember and your new freeview hdd recoreder which cost less than a years sky plus can record for you. the rest u can rent
so up yours sky everyone spread the word when at work at the pub save your hard earned cash and go on holiday. i will....

Been with sky two years and have had the same letter from them every month, that one of the sky boxes is not connected to the phone line. every month I phone them and go through the same process of pushing buttons and re-setting. last month had a letter that they were increasing my bill as i am not complying with the contract my wife phoned them agian and they said there was no problem and apologised and would not increase our bill.This month yet again another letter and I have snapped and phoned and told them that i was not pressing another button and to stick their sky. I now have an engineer coming out tomorrow and and if this does not work NTL here I come.

As a 60 year old duffer my box failed and found this site by accident, tried the full reset which worked for 4 days and then packed up again. bought a new box off the internet and all seems fine except that it will not record anything on channel 4 !!

any ideas gratefully received.

Mike Wiltshire,

I came across this site today and feel even more angry with sky than before as it is blatantly obvious that they have done the same to us as many other customers. We are on to our 2nd sky plus box, which we've had for three months now, and are just out of warranty.

The first box started playing up after 6 months and we logged our complaint about the freezing and glitching and they told us to wipe and reset. We had a great deal of programmes we wanted to watch (even throug the pain of missing most of an episode of lost and desperate houswifes). We did as they said and it happened again, however we were out of our 12 month warranty (even though we'd lodged our first complaint within the warranty period) We managed to get "their special rate of £32" and an engineer came out and replaced the box and we lost all or recording again.

We had a call from sky offering for us to extend our now three months warranty and we declined and now our box has totally gone on the blink. We can't even get it to switch on so can't apply the method on this site.

Oh and perhaps the best bit - we rang last night to be told the technical assistance department closed at 11 and we would have to ring them back - as if they don't get enough money out of us.

Has anyone else had the same problem as us? When we unplug and plug back in it makes a strange whirring sound intermittently then won't even switch on



Finally its fixed, they obviously knew that the hdd gets cluttered with what not that is not in the sky+ planner to add the "Planner Rebuild" option to the Engineers Menu! When there were no recorded programs the hdd reported to be 95% full!!!


Don't go to Sky if your recording stutters. Get a local computer firm/person to fit a new hard drive. Much cheaper than going to Sky. And you get your own back on them. The HD in my Amstrad is discovered to be a very old and unreliable type. So my box is now being fitted with a current model and double the size. r0n

Can anyone offer some advice please. I upgraded to sky plus in April. I bought two boxes and applied for a multi room subscription. However my direct debits since have been as follows, May £115.96, June £74.49 and July £96.58!! I rang each time and was told I was being billed for two subscriptions in error. However as my August payment approached I was told I was due to be debited with another £95. I told Sky I couldn't afford it so they advised me to cancel my direct debit and that I wouldn't get cut off because in reality they actually owed me two months money. So I cancelled the DD. In the meantime the technical side was sorted (my ex directory number was stoppingf call backs to the boxes and I needed to add a pre fix to the dialing number), but the account hasn't been. Tommorow, against all previous advice, I am going to be cut off as, my balance stands at £95 in debt. Each time I phone I have to explain the whole problem again. I must have called 15 times and tonight I waited a full hour before speaking to someone. I have already written to the Head of Operational Finance after the first demand for the £95, and in reply I was sent a card saying I would get a £10 credit! That of course is nowhere to be seen. My Sky account on screen has one statement for August only showing the amount due. Rather than me owe them £95, by my calculations they owe me £60! How do I sort this mess out?


Thank you for all the info! We've had a problem since returning from hols on Monday AM (standby locked - couldn't do anything). Tried the fixes (backup button while reconnecting) from Sky technical and then resorted to a £65 callout fee scheduled for Saturday. Was in the process of considering switching to NTL and looking for comparisons when stumbled upon this site. Did the fix mentioned at the start (holding the left and right buttons while repowering), erased the HD, and then did the other reboot/download fix. Held the upper and lower buttons this time (at first nothing was happening - this seemed to unlock it fully) and voila - we had sky back. It was with great pleasure that we used the 0800 number provided on this site (thanks!) to call and cancel the service call, letting them know that their attempt to gloss over the fact that they flogged bogus software patch to us, locked our system and wanted our £65 wasn't going to work! Cheers and I'll keep this site handy for any future "mysterious" problems! Good luck to all! BTW - NTL is supposed to be coming out with a larger, better Digital HD on their box in late November...might be worth it??

Hi all, have read through the constant stream of problems with sky. I have sky+ and after eight months it has got itself stuck on standy mode and I will need to wait for two days ish for a super tech to talk me through the software upgade. Why does it need to be upgraded by sofware to unlock it???? Unless it has been locked. Strange....Anyway I think if everybody complained to there local trading standards then they would have to build a case against sky becauase of the reputition of faults. I will be complaining tommorrow without fail..

I had the problem of the box freezing when playing back recorded programmes. the "i" banner would always say that the signal had been interrupted during recording. What I noticed is that when changing channels there would be a big click in the sound. this had never happened before. After doing the full reset this click sound is not there anymore . Lets see if the recording works better now

I've had the SkY+ 160 for over a year now, although when I first got it they had to send me replacement after a month as the drive got very noisy and packed in. Apart from the occasional inconvenience of it freezing and having to unplug it and restart I've not had any major problems. I want to buy my elderly mother a Sky + box as she's just moved into a house where the previous owner had Sky + and has left all the cabling and dishes intact. However my mother only wants the freview channels. Tried to ask Sky if this was possible but the Sky + and Sky Freeview sales departments are seperate and neither knew if this could be done. Sky + said they only sell Sky+ boxes with programme packages, ie you can't just pay £10 a month for Sky + only. But eventually someone from the Sky Freeview sales suggested I get a Sky + box independently and then call the Freeview sales team to get the card that will allow her to view. But I don't want to do this unless I can be sure she can use the Sky+ facilities at £10 a month. Anyone know if this is possible?

Hi, I feel quite lucky having read through this forum, as I have not suffered too badly with Sky (YET!).

I have recently had a new Sky HD box installed where the Sky+ box used to be & the old Sky+ box has been moved to another room (replacing the old standard Sky box). During the installation process the engineer swapped the viewing cards around so that my "primary" card has moved from the Sky+ box to the new HD box. I had several weeks of programmes on my Sky+ box and was not warned that these would be affected by the HD installation.

However, I have now discovered that although all the programmes are still listed on my Sky+ planner I am unable to view them, with a message saying "Recording No Longer Available" appearing.

A phone call to Sky has resolved nothing with the customer support informing me simply that this is a known problem & that there is nothing that can be done to rescue my recordings. Apparently the recordings are not only linked to the box, but also the viewing card and as the viewing card is now "paired" with the new HD box, I cannot watch them. I asked if they could swap over the viewing cards & they said that this would cause problems with the HD service and that the "Viewing Card Department" would not be prepared to do this anyway. If this is a known problem, surely I should have been warned prior to installation????

Has anyone else suffered this problem? Is there any way of viewing my recorded programmes? Can I swap over the viewing cards temporarily myself to watch/copy the programmes ?

It is sooooooo frustrating knowing that the recordings are there and that I can't access them!!!!

Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Just a short note to say that I had a problems with Sky+ box last year. It was out of WAR. I simply refused to pay £65 on the grounds that I already pay £10 per month ..... For WHAT?? Eventually they gave in. don't know what the call cost!!!

We are a UK company specialiseing in the repair of Sky+. We will endeavour to help anybody with their problems with Sky+
MD of Digi Repairs(Uk & Ireland) Ltd

We bought a sky plus box 14 months ago. It's an amstrad. It was fine for the first 6 months. We started getting drop outs and play back problems. We know we're not alone any advice?

Just a quick note that today I got the problem with system fault and not being able to read the hard disk for recorded programmes. Simply got in to the hidden menu and did a reset. Fixed the problem so far. Lets wait and see how long it lasts.


My Sky+ box is not receiving any signal through the second input channel. I have swapped the leads around and input 1 is still okay - nothing via input 2. I have performed a full system reset and powered dwon etc. Any ideas?

We have an Amstrad sky plus box and have the dropout/stutter problem. The fix at the top of this blog fixes the problem for a while but after a couple of months it starts to deteriorate again. We have a support contract but I suspect all they will do is apply this fix. Would they replace the box just for this fault or does it need to be more serious?

Does replacing the box with a Pace cure the problem? Anyone had the swap and can say it worked?

What is the actual problem? I’m in the computer industry so would happily change the disk if I thought that would cure the problem but I’m not sure it’s the disks’ fault. Any one got a ‘techy’ explanation?

hy i live in france and i have a sky + dis ho o get it fixed need to know the coördinations for the dish and stuff like that


Had problems with my sky+ recording and didnt want to loose all the recordings so I tried this and it worked.

Press services button on the Sky+ remote
- Press 4 then 0 then 1 and then select
- Press 7... a warning message will now appear on the screen warning you that this move will delete the entire contents of your harddrive (relax... the one in the Sky+ digibox not your PC!)
- Press select... a message Housekeeping will appear. The system will shut down. Leave it shut down for a full minute.
- Switch digibox back on, Message searching for listings will appear. Wait until this dissappears.
- Select TV Guide. Select desired program and try the recording sytem

Might just work for people and ensure that you dont loose what you already have recorded.
Anywho just though you should know. some great posts here ;-)

Im about to get sky reading all your posts it sounds very worrying would like to get skyplus but i think i may just get the normal package. Also we can only dial out to 0800 numbers will this be a problem

Our Sky+ box has started the annoying "there is a fault and you cannot record anything or have access to your planner" nonsense.
After 3 times, I rang sky to say I would buy a new box for £99. They said it was £159 because of the installation. I said "what installation - it is a plug and two television leads, I think I can manage!" and they said "it must be done by one of our engineers and that costs £60!!!!!"
What a rip off.
Anyone know where I can buy a new box?

This "system fault" error kept re-occuring on my Sky+ receiver and live TV would no longer pause.

I was thinking of upgrading the disk anyway, so went for a Sky+ hard disk upgrade kit from XtendedPlay and now it's all sorted. They delivered next day and the instructions were very easy to follow.

Great Site.

Sky customer services is the worst i have ever come accross. Any helpline that has a minimum 20 minute wait on a premium number is disgusting.

Money, money, money. All Sky care about. Once you have signed up, you may as well have sold your soul to the devil!

Three sky+ boxes within the first 2 months, touch wood this one works now.

Hi, thanks for the info.

I called Sky told them of the problem (my system went off completley, no picture, sound or info bar) so we went throught the reset procedure with them (which I had already tried three times myself) and that did not work, they informed me that I would need the engineer at the cost of £65 blah blah blah I told them I would cancel as I was not happy and they did not really want to convince me to stay so I ended the call and went through the above procedure and "hey presto" it worked, I was a little reluctant to try it at first as I did not want to lose my recorded programmes but that seemed a much better option than putting another £65 in the pockets of Sky after the forty odd quid a month I already pay, the thing that worries me now is I have just bought myself a new HD ready set and wanted to get the HD box but at a cost of £350+ with installation is it going to have similar problems & is it worth the hassle???

I have sky multi room with Sky plus as one of the boxes. On return from my holiday the box was in a frozen state. As per normal I rebooted. The box was back up and running only the certain movie channels showing "no satellite signal received" the rest were okay. This continued for a few days until the normal digibox had the same symptons. So I called the Tech support they advised me to power down and backup this made the "no satellite signal received" message permanent. Then I rebooted the other box which also started showing this message permanently. They then reset the LNB which still made no difference. I asked if this was update related they said "no" and I will need an engineer £65. I have tried the solution above but it didnt seem to work. Any ideas anyone. Ps some great info has been posted

We had a power cut today for 3 hours and when the power was restored, yep, you guessed it, no sky+ and the "system fault" message. 3 planner rebuilds, 3 total system resets did nothing. Powered up pressing left and right buttons then select did the trick. Didnt need to reboot new software as it now is ok, for the time being.

Keep up the good work..

i cancelled my subs with sky it ends 10/10/06 and guess what yesterday i noticed my box was recieving a call and now its stuck on stand by ? coincidence ? ive tried to use the forced reboot and it updates but stays off .im glad im going to top up tv lets hope we dont get shafted by them as well

I have bought and HD tv and was thinking of getting skyHD I'm a bit scared now does anyone have any tips for this. Thank you and a great site.

has anyone else who up graded to sky+ had difficulties with recording pause etc. The sky+ has never worked thy say problem at their end something to do with data bases. I am really fed up paid for sky+ got nothing any ideas box has never recorded.

What a great site - i felt alone before reading this! I had Sky+ fitted last week and am suffering all the above problems - isn't it about time everyone complained to trading standards and watchdog?

Thankyou so much for this page!

Sky+ has been weird for a week after we had a couple of power surges in a thunderstorm. Channels would randomly receive no signal or become choppy (like how it gets in a storm.) As it was only occurred to certain channels (E4, Bravo, FX) we'd assumed that either the dish has become knocked in the storm or the problem was at the other end. Switching off the box at the wall seemed to temporarily fix the problem but it would often need to be rebooted several times a day... and still we had numerous failed recordings (Sporanos, Adult-Swim and the double Lost finale ARGH!)

In my frustration I Googled the problem and discovered this magical place! :D So nice to hear we are not alone!

We took the plunge and followed the reformatting instructions and so far so good! Its only been an hour or so but channels that were skipping all over the place have completely recovered!

fingers crossed we'll be able to catch the LOST finale repeat this weekend! ;)
Thanks again!

PS. Also thanks for the tip about hard balling Sky… if we have any more problems we’ll be sure not to let them get their £65! Crooks!

Hi All

i had sky+ installed (upgraded from normal) on Sun 24th Sept and have spent the last week on hold etc to sky trying to get live pause and record working - i have been given every excuse under the sun by technical and yesterday finally got ot the bottom of it. I persisted ringing and spoke to a guy yesterday who basically said they had no communication that i had sky+ installed - even though they booked the visit and know the engineer had been - he seemed to know what he was doing and promised to sort it. He actually rang me back at home 5 minutes later to say he had done it and to test - hey presto - working! After reading all the posted problems i nearly gave up - but i would def recommend ringing the 01506 number as you get straight through.

If your Sky+ machine is stuck in standby, or gives you no picture at all when you turn it on, don't panic too quick. My Pace Sky+ box wouldn't come back to any life after I had turned it off at the wall one night (silly I know, I think you should put it to standby before doing that). After turning it off - on - off - on at the mains (with many minutes in between) about 5 times during the course of the day, I was about to change my hard drive back to its original 40gb one to see if that helped. I pulled the machine out, half hanging by all its leads and unplugged the power, screwdriver at the ready. Wrong screwdriver, I needed the security bit set. Well I thought I would try re-powering it once more, and after a few moments, plugged the power back in and went to look for the driver bit set. A few minutes later, I return. I press the on button and - blow me down if it didn't come on right as rain, talking about the merits of Sky+ as if it hadn't been off all day! I don't know if its relevant (I doubt it) but I had unplugged the phone line as well on that (but also on the previous) occasion. Also I had used the on button on the box rather than the remote, but again, probably not relevant. I think perseverence was the key. So the missus doesn't lose her Grey's Anatomy recordings after all. Just as well...

Thanks for the top tips.

Just to let folks know, you don't necessarily have to do the lot and lose your recorded programmes.

My Amstrad box went from refusing to play back recorded stuff yesterday, to refusing to leave standby mode today. I did the forced software update (power on with the back up button pressed) ONLY, and now (for how long I don't know!) have a functioning box with all my recorded stuff intact.

Thanks again, Cheers!

I rang sky last week as i had no rewind etc. They gave me phone instructions on how to reset the system which worked fine. Today the problem was back with all of the recordings lost. I rang sky to ask for the reset code, which i was given last week. I was told that i could only use the reset once as it could damage the box, but they could send an engineer out for £65, i told them to forget about it. I have used your codes and the box is now working perfectly.
Many thanks for the help i found on your website and even more thanks for saving me £65. Good Luck

Hi everyone, reading the issues on here seems to point to a common theme. I have just rang to inform them I no longer wish to pay for their TV, I have a Sky + pace box and I've had issues after issues with it 'over 2yrs now :-(. The general faults are;
1. Live pause does not work, the TV picture continues for about 5 seconds until it pauses but then you can do nothing.
2. Changing channels, nothing happens then the thing skips up so many channels and puts itself on standby
3. You go to record then a message appears to say that there is a recording fault and the service is not available.
4. Sky planner is empty when there are recordings in there.

I spoke to their tech support yesterday and told them I was not happy, the women told me that it was my box was at fault and to go through some steps to resolve the issues.
I told her that I have done a restore already and reload the box software. She then told me £65 for an engineer, when i argued over the cost she told me that there was nothing she could do!!!
next day I rang the customer helpline, got through to the billing department and told them I wanted to cancel my contract, I now have an engineer coming next week free of charge.
Remember, companies like NTL have improved their service and as I pointed out to Sky today, I can get the same TV package from NTL, cheaper and also their version of Sky Plus is being released this year with free HD.
I really find it strange that every time Sky alters the software, other problems are created that sometime they will admit to and sometimes they won't.

I have had similar problems to the rest of the people on here and for the first time, something posted on the Sky website has worked!!! I am on my 3rd box but the last engineer who ame out gave me his personal mobile number and said to call him if anything went wrong again. I didn't want to have the hassle of waiting in for an engineer to arrive so did a bit of browsing and found Sky's own suggested solution

Customer Support > Product Support > Article
Login/Register Print this pageUnable to view recordings

This can happen when the total storage space for the programme recorded is less than the amount of disk space used leading to lost disk space. To confirm that there is lost disk space try the following procedure:

1. Using the Sky controller press the tv guide button followed by the green button for the Sky+ Planner.
2. Press the up/ down arrows until the last recorded programme is highlighted.
3. If the yellow event size indicator at the top of the screen shows a gap before the right hand side of the dark blue bar then there is lost disk space.

Once you have identified that you have lost space, rebuilding the Planner should rectify the problem. This process will stop all the recordings currently in progress and reboot your Sky+ box. If you are currently recording a programme you may wish to rebuild your planner once the recording has been completed.

1. Using the Sky remote press the services button.
2. Using the up/ down arrow keys highlight System Setup and press select.
3. Press 0, 1 and select to access the Installer menu.
4. Highlight Sky+ planner Rebuild and press select.

You will receive the on screen message This Will Take a Few Minutes to Complete, the Rebuild Will Stop all Recordings and Reboot Your Sky+. Press select to continue or back up to stop.

This process can take up to two minutes at which point the message will disappear. The Sky+ box will then carry out the reboot procedure, switch itself of then on and wait in standby mode. Leave the box on standby for 60 seconds, switch on and check to see if this has rectified the problem.

This is the first time something sky have suggested has not involved me paying them and has not meant I have lost all of my recorded programmes.

I'm going to save this blog though as useful to know I'm not the only one who has had as many problems with the system.....if I wasn't addicted to it, I would have got rid long ago!

I had attempted to reset following Sky TV's advisors instructions. They told me that all the checks were complete and that i would need a call out costing £65.
Looked at this site on Friday and remembered the key points.

Re-set the system first time and saved myself the call-out charge......

Sky are ripping people off and could have given this info on the checks that they run with the customer.

hi all
i have had the same problems regarding my sky+ box failing to record/pause etc.,i tried the full resetfunction but still no use. i am too just outside my warranty so phoned sky u-p explaining the problem.They said about having to pay for the engineer to come out(£65),but pre armed with the information from this site i suggested about having to cancel due to lack of funds.can i suggest to anyone having problems please keep a cool head and be nice and polite to the operators, this gets a much more pssitive result.tell them how much you enjoy sky but simply cannot afford to pay for the repair so unfrtunatley you will have t cancell your subscription. you will then be transferred to the cancellation department.(dont worry you wont have to cancel), these people are much more apologetic than the technical support people. give these guys your sob story (whilst still being diplomatic altough im sure you could happily rip their heads off face to face)and low and behold they can negotiate a half price call out. Stick to your guns and by some unimaginable quirk of fate after a brief chat to their supervisor they will come back to you with a call out totally free of charge. thank them profusely and once you have put down yur phone you can then shout at the top of your voice F*&*ING CONNING TOSS*%$ yu might als like to kick the cat if you have one but dont let the RSPCA find out..(only joking about the cat.)

And another .... ever since we've had Sky plus we've had problems with recordings disappearing from the planner, the box becoming "unreachable" via remote, recordings stopping half way through and finally about 2 or 3 months ago, the old record and pause issue. The fix described at the top of the page worked - many thanks for that - unfortunately just about half an hour ago i lost all the sound from the sky box. Terrestrial TV works fine so definitely down to the Sky plus box. Went through everything that I could think of to try to resolve the problem but it seems completely "fubard'" now. Suppose I'll have to get onto Sky again but all they do is wind me up with their indifferent attitude. The tech helpdesk has a "cribsheet" taped to the desk next to the phone. When you call up, they work their way through the sheet but if they get to the bottom of the sheet and the fault isn't resolved, they're stuffed and we're exasperated !!

Hello everyone.
I've just discovered this site after experiencing the kind of problems the rest of you have been having with Sky. I must have been reasonably lucky as my Sky+ box worked quite well for nearly a year. ( Not that long really is it, compared to the working life of the majority of other electronic devices in common use in the home?) Anyway, six days before the warranty was due to expire my Sky+ box started to play up. Playback of recorded programmes would freeze. How luck I thought that this has happened within the warranty period. Everyone on this site having experienced Sky's customer service in action will realise how naive I was!!
Contacted Sky.
I was talked through doing a hard reset, losing about three quarters of a disk of recorded programmes.
This seemed to clear the problem and the Sky+ box started to behave itself again....for about three weeks. As the hard disk started to fill with recorded programmes the fault re-appeared.
Back on the phone to Sky where I was put through to Angela....a Scottish robot. She listened for a while, eventually telling me I would need an engineer to call at a cost of £65. I informed her that I had reported this problem six days before my warranty ran out. And that obviously the procedure I had been told to follow by the lady talked to initially had not solved the problem. She just kept repeating I need an engineer NOW and that NOW I was not covered by a warranty as I hadn't taken out their extended warranty. She kept repeating this statement over and over. She was not prepared to listen to reason.
I told her I was not at all satisfied with the situation and would take the matter further. She told me in a very 'couldn't care less' attitude to put my complaint in writing.
We pay Sky over forty pounds a month.
They really couldn't care less about us could they?

Bah, didn't work for me. I've tried the planner rebuild, system reset and the software reload, and the problem persists. I'll try cancelling later.

Hi, excellant site, today SKY have 'upgraded' the planner, do not bother to call them, just use the green button instead of the old sky + option . If you ring them they try to sell you a HD Box.


I've been trying to contact SKY, but the freephone numbers seem to be out of date (typical SKY). Any idea how I can talk to these thieves without paying through the teeth again?

sky box 6 months old replace with recondite one will not give new one

All I can say is after a little persuading and a 1 hour phone, my faulty sky+ box will be fixed FOC by sky. Cheers mate this blog is great who said nice guys finish last.

Thanks for the tip it worked a treat.

It is prob already mentioned somewhere, but can't find what I'm looking for.

I have been having the same problems with freezing on play back, planner list being wiped (recorded and to be recorded) and then unless reset as instructed above will not even add programmes to be recorded.

So restoring it to record is easy, but I'm having to do this probably once a month at least. As with most people this problem started a few months after the warranty had ended. I know I could have paid and had it extended, but hey with the amount I pay to sky each month to have this service I don't have much spare cash lying around. Like a lot of people I work shift and so on the days I have off I like to catch up on the TV I have missed. Now I am still missing everything because it has been deleted.

I have been on to the phone a few time to Sky and each time I have been given a about a 3 week wait for the engineer, who will only do what I can do myself and reset the box. What do I need to do and is is possible to get a new box and will the same problems just happen again?

Help please I have TV withdrawal already from the loss of about 5 hours of TV when it happened again tonight :0(

Add me to the list of people who owe thanks for the info on the hard disc reset.

My box (Pace v2) wouldn't come out of standby. I'd tried the software re-load and that didn't work so bit the bullet and went for the disc format. 10 minutes later I was watching and recording without problems.

If it happens again I'll look at replacing the hard drive.

thanks again


Hey Paul, your blog just saved me £65 or of course a new box!!! I was on the phone for 30 minutes asking the Sky employee if their boxes come with an expiry date cuz a lot of people have been having the same problems, i.e. "system fault"! Then i thought to myself let me type on google 'sky+ system fault' and see if there are other people experiencing same probs, and there it was your lovely blog... :D

Thanks again A MILLION!

Hi, found your site after day of frustration. Got sky for first time today, well nearly got it. Engineers installed box (a refurb, though when i signed i wasnt informed it would be) and it didnt work at all. Ive had to take another day off work to have it installed next week! I started paying my subs 9 days ago too. Im writing then a letter of complaint as we speak as there are other points regarding their sales techniques and offers that im fuming about.


I'm just researching this to see if I can get down all my options to fix my Pace 3100 Sky+ box - it's the same old problem of being stuck in standby - the red light is on, but nothing tried so far has made it go green. Powering off, pressing the backup button and waiting, then off and on again - I'm going to give the things in here a go.

Phoned Sky earlier, my box is out of warranty (actually it's well over two years old, so I'm not totally miffed) and said they could get an engineer out on Tuesday to swap the box out... reading this forum makes me think I might as well try the "I've got a Freeview tuner in my telly anyway, so I'm just going to cancel for a while and see what it's like" line to see if I can get a free swap-out.

It would be good to have a post with the definitive list of things there are to try... I've seen the back-up button mentioned, but also left and right and up and down buttons. I can also hear my harddisk spin up and go quiet - I had been thinking it might be drive related.

Will update this site if I succeed fixing it myself by trying the things listed here.

OK, so I tried all the remedies in here and although I got the 10 minute reset screen, it still didn't want to come out of standby after that had completed. I guess that sometimes your box is just dead. In my earlier post I did say I wasn't that miffed, as it's lasted quite a few years... however, after seeing all the people in here phoning Sky and trying to get the swap-out done for free... figured I'd try it as well.

Phoned Sky back up (I'd already arranged an engineer to come round this coming Tuesday) and said I'd like to cancel the engineer's visit and my subscription because being without a Sky+ box today had caused me to do some experiments at home with the integrated freeview tuner in my LCD - this is all true by the way - and that I'd decided I would just go with freeview as it was simple, it worked and much cheaper - this is less true, freeview is not for me!

The lady duly cancelled my engineer's visit and then asked if I could wait on hold while I was passed over to another dept. for my subscription cancellation... I waited and then got through to what must be "Customer Retention" and explained my situation as nicely as possible... and outlining clearly that the reason I wanted to quit Sky was because freeview seemed to be 'good enough' for me - and then stressed, I would never have found this out if my box hadn't broken...

Straight out of the blocks, this lady offered for the swap-out to be free of charge... so I 'could think about it for a month or so'... I get the feeling I could have pressed for a bit more to be honest - but as that was the purpose of my call we quickly agreed that the engineer would still call on Tuesday and swap out my box at no charge.

Both of us seemed quite happy with the outcome.

the reason you all get the persistant problems is because you listen to people like paul hardy who's solutions are at best very misinformed.if sky is so bad then go to ntl.believe me you will regret it

I have the new sky plus box with high def so the 160mb hard drive is a bit limited holding only 30 hrs of hidg def. is there anyway to access the extra 160mb on the supplied hard drive which is apparently a 320 mb but sky only give you 160mb of that ? also is there anyway to connect the sky plus box to an external hadr drive and transfer the programme files data as with a computer?

I have had problems with my Sky+ box now for a few months, random switch offs, failed records, dumped planners etc. And whenever I phone Sky it's the same attitude, as displayed by the engineers comments above a variation on the "What's your alternative?". I pay for a service, to not deliver that service 100% of the time is breech of contract. I accept techniocal faults occur and it is reasonable to assume a call out to fix etc. However when the goods are quite clearly not of merchantible quality as bourne out by this, and many other customer complaints then Sky should either 'fess up and fix for free. Or withdraw their service until they can get it working without what could be described as excessive faults.

I for one will use freeview asap, and buy any Sky series I would have watched on DVD when they come out, then resell them once watched on Ebay, thus saving myself £36.00 a month.

As I don't have sports I see this as a very viable cheaper alternative.

I tried these helpful hints, sadly this did not fix me, it seems one of the channels on the reciever is 'donald ducked'

Sky said that as i had never had a call out with them they will give me a free call out, in 2 days!!

seems they have pepped up their customer service!!

a soft reset option...
powerdown sky from mains
wait 1-2 minutes
power up sky

LEAVE for 1 minute

on handset press TV then sky button.

use this option before hard reset, you might be able to watch recorded programs

good luck

Hi, I've read through quite a few of the comments on this site and I seem to have a problem that hasn't been mentioned already. I have 2 programmes recorded on my SKY + leaving me with 86% disk space, but when I try to record more than an hours worth of TV the recording fails with the message 'Out of disk space'. I think I might have to try your reboot but I don't want to lose the two programmes saved in my planner. Any suggestions?

"I hope this this temporary fix works for you until Sky address the wider issue."

Seems that Sky have done nothing to address problems with boxes. I have had 2 engineer visits to address loss of channel navigation, lack of planner, etc - all to no avail. Our two Thomson boxes are still dying regularly - anything up to three times a week.

One of the engineers gave me the instructions for updating system software but he said that if it is carried out with the viewing card still in, it will not be effective.

Sky have just written to me to offer me maintenance for £10 a month, as my Sky + boxes are approaching 12 months old... a bit rich on top of the £50+ a month we pay for Sky which we only receive intermittently.

Interestingly enough, when I tried to report another instance of our problem this evening, the recorded message was that they were too busy with other calls to take mine..... Sounds like Sky are having problems... and I know how they feel!

I haven't read all this thread so don't know if my info has already been said, but here goes.
Last weekend I spilled coffee into the top of my Amstrad (rubbish!) sky+ box.
At the time I was in standby and recording the American football.
I knew something was wrong when the remote didn't work (sheepish grin!) and went onto my usual forum and started a thread to find out if the problem was terminal.
By this time I had taken off the cover, mopped coffee off the circuit board, and was drying the innards in front of my fire.
A poster on the forum I was on said he worked for sky and reminded me of the 4,0,1,sel. code to get into the housekeeping menu.
I managed to get the channels up and running but record, playback, live pause etc. showed a system fault.
But what I want to tell you is that the guy from sky says that a 'full system reset' reformats the HDD, while a 'planner rebuild' defrags the HDD.
Maybe doing a planner rebuild at regular intervals might solve some of your problems.
I found your thread because I was looking for opinions on 'XtendedPlay', as I've just sent off for a 250gb upgrade for my box.
So far everyone seems a damn sight happier with them than they are with Sky.
I'll add this thread to favourites and let you know how the upgrade goes.

Good luck everyone.

This is the most ridiculous fix. I have found that there is a definite degradation of sky plus recordings once you have used up 40% of your disk space. This fix will work as what you do is free up all the space by formatting the disk ie. losing all recorded programs and going back to 0% used space. Sky seems to be just like a windows
pc system, when its a fresh install its great and it degrages over time when more stuff is put on it. Sky is having a laugh by giving us a crappy product for which they have a simple fix, reinstall and start from as it was new. I for one dont belive they will fix it ever and will be switching to XP Media center to record my stuff. Please kill off sky plus it is a useless monopolistic product marketed to people who have no decent choice, bring in tivo series 2 (Tivo is brought by sky and they do not market it at all)

Have just got to the bottom of all the problems everyone seems to be having and it amazing how similar they all are!!! Am now inspired to try the fixes before calling in the 'heavies'.

Sky+ box stuck in standby...... and guess what, only just out of warranty after declining extended option. All seems a bit coincidental to me.

Here goes, will let you know how it goes!

It's about time company's like Sky woke up and smelt the coffee ....
Satisfied customers = recommendations = more customers = more profit.
Dissatisfied customers = complaints = less customers = less profit!

Update as promised....

Hey presto. The fix worked ... we now have sky back. Only just though, so am not counting too many chickens just yet!

Thanks for the help .... just hope it lasts out a wee bit longer!

Not sure if this has been mentioned before but I have had two (self employed) Sky engineers tell me that they get £6.50 per repair job.

Not sure how Sky add that up to £65!

I have been considering upgrading to Sky+ but these horror stories have put me off!
From a non-technical standpoint, not understanding what makes a digibox work, I see a common thread in most complaints that arouse my suspicions of a conspiracy.
1)Apart from problems with "new" boxes, the problems become more severe just after warranties expire. Especially when the offers to take up extended or maintenance warranties are turned down.
2)When reported to Sky the excuse always seems to be it was caused by a software update problem. Customers then go down the engineer call-out route or use the over the phone fixes.......

Unless all the box suppliers - Amstrad, Pace, Thompson etc are installing poor quality components consistently, which is doubtful, my guess is that the problem is of Sky's making on the software front.

This is where I dip out on the tech side. I have had Sky for more than 15 years graduating from analogue to digital 8 years ago to a Pace box without a minute's trouble BUT I disconnected my box from the phone line as soon as my 12 month obligation was up.

Questions - what are all these 'software' updates that apparently cause problems and are they necessary? Can/could you live without them or even notice you hadn't got them?
I don't know, but to my mind disconnecting Sky from the phone line seems the first line of defence. Then you may have to blame the equipment!

Incidentally I keep getting phone calls from Sky pushing the extended warranty for my "aged" box but my constant refusals have not affected the service at all.(If I need to contact Sky for eg. a PAYG item I phone!!)

Just a thought.

My Sky+ worked for just over a year and then problems recording from Channel 4 started (has now spread to other channels). Sky Tech have been useless in trying to resolve the problem and persist in offering an engineer call @ £65

For the last month I have ben plagued with the problem of freezing screens, box stuck on standby and all the other tell tale signs that the sky+ box has seen better days. Called the sky 'help' line and after holding for 25mins got through to a chap who had less idea about getting the box working than me. After another 30mins of depowering/ starting up changing power supplies/ loosing the will to live he advised...'Your box doesn't seem to be working correctly!' 57mins on the phone and he decided I best talk to technical dept. after a time he put me through to another person who suggestd a download process. Eureka.. it worked - for 12 hours. Next morning back to square one. I decided to go down the line of looking at the switch of hard disc from Xtendedplay's 160gb hard drive. Ordered the box on Monday delivered Thursday and installed in 30mins. My box is now as good as new, 4 times the recording capacity and all for £90 plus p&p. For an out of warranty box this has to be the answer. Sky are offering Sky+160to new customers at £199. Goodness know what price to existing customers? For less than half the introductory offer you can make your box more like the product sky meant it to be with over 80 hours of recording capacity. Check it out at http://www.xtendedplay.co.uk/

Hi All

Just come across this site whilst waiting for SKY+ tech support,I have the full package but and so far been hanging on the phone for over an hour. Basically I have lost most of my channels, only BBC1 BBC2 and ITV along with SKy nEws work, every other channel just displays some information on the channel, has anybody else had this problem? I have only had SKY+ for 2 months and had many problems with getting prem plus, this seems to have been resolved but I was told that my box was calling back 4 times a day as opposed to once a month. I have the normal box - multi room which is fine, its just the SKY+ box that has the problems!
Anyway will give it 10 mins more, till I hang up, the service is absolutely diabolical, just wish I could get NTL digital in my area....

Grrrr why give us this technology and then pull our hearts out by it messing up all the time. (Box no 3 in less than 1 ½ years) The worst thing is that after many attempts at your tips (which have always worked by the way) it still wont record and is now just a fancy looking basic box, however it does automatically go onto the demo channel which persisted in taunting me on how great Sky plus is and all the things I can do with it…doesn’t say what little life span it has on it.. funny that…Sigh…may try one last ditch effort and kick it otherwise will wait until I have an hour to spare out of my life to talk to the smoking monkeys.

Tried download process a while back - worked for a short while. Am also going to try Xtendedplay option going to 250GB on PACE PVR2. will report back ...

Re my earlier posting on 1 Nov. I did contact Sky regarding the terms of upgrading to Sky+ (the mandatory 12 month phone connection applies) because it would now be a logistical (after decorating!!! etc. alterations) problem re-routing a telephone cable to the box.
Although I had fulfilled the original 12 month connection agreement when I first had digital installed I was told that I had to re-connect to a phone line for the first 12 months of Sky+.
Why, I wonder? Is it not just a different box???
Curiouser and curiouser eh!!!
Has anybody established exactly why this condition is imposed, and for whose benefit?
I shall not become a Sky+ customer.

I have an Amstrad DRX180 and am suffering from the problem where sound and vision are garbled but only on certain channels (e.g. Channel 4 and Sky Sports channels).

I've tried all the reset procedures, and upgraded the hard disk using the XtendedPlay 250MB kit. All to no avail.

So my question is... what is different about these few channels that causes them to screw up? I think I read something somewhere that suggested it was the type of surround-sound encoding used.

A reply to Stephen Morgan, I had the same problem with Multi Room and sky plus. For some reason one works and one doesn't. When I first had it installed my normal Sky box upstairs worked fine and received the signal no probs. Now they've fixed Sky Plus ( I wasn't receiving any channels, sounds like the same as you have now) my normal Sky doesn't work. Once you get it sorted, send them your phone bill and highlight all the calls you've made working out how much it's cost to call them. Even if you don't get the full amount they are obliged to give you a discretionary payment of £6.00. Good luck.

Should the sky plus box be connected on line (ie telephone line in)
before performing the software reset (Press and hold the 'left' and 'right' navigation buttons on the front of the digibox whilst you reconnect the mains power. Continue holding the buttons in for about 20 seconds, and when the ring of light on the front comes on, press the 'select' button on the front of the digibox (between the left and right buttons you were holding). The Sky+ recording logo lights will spin backwards and, according to the Sky engineer, this will "clear the hard drive".)

Guess what!!
My Sky+ has stopped recording for the 3rd time in a MONTH. This is really getting sill, think I'm going to look into what NTL are up to with their version.

I have a Sky+ box, but the + is switched off so I can't rescored etc. However the box would still allow me to use the programme reminder guide, until recently. If I try to use this function or try to use pay to view, the system says "System Fault" you can not rescored this programme.. (I know that!!), it seems that the box believes the 'Select' key on the remote is the 'Rescored' key. Just lately the fan on the back of the box will not shut off, (yet another fault). I have tried all the above reset actions including software update with no success. Any body got any ideas, could it be hardware, i.e. Drive or PSU, or is it possible my box has at last died...
Just one last thing.. I herd that if you connected a 9V battery across the phone line input on a standard Sky box, you would be able to receive all channels, is this true and does it work on the Sky+ box?

[b]Sky should stick to providing simple satellite digibox receivers[/b] and leave the PVR market to other manufacturers who can provide the "Plus" facilities as an seperate device. It started out this way when Tivo pioneered this technology. Having the PVR seperate protects the brand meaning problems with either device will soften the blow when a user runs into difficulties. For example, they can still watch their recordings when/if their receiver plays up or they can still watch tv when/if the PVR plays up. [b]Sky's brand is being tarnished with all this added un-reliability since they entered the PVR market.[/b]

Re : my post of Nov 3rd.
Extended play disk drive arrived in post with toolkit and simple instructions. 30 mins later Pace PVR2 sky+ box extended from 40GB to 250GB and more importantly now records again after simple std system reset- very impressive !!
(I have no commercial connection with company)

I have suffered the same fault as many of you, my box wont record and planner gets lost. After rebuilding my hard drive 3 times, downloading new software, and then having it crash the very next night, I read your blog and did the HD reset using the backup button. All was great for 12 hours then it did exactly the same fault again.
I rang sky this morning and told them of my problems, and reminding them of my previous calls to them, and whilst they were apologetic, they refused to waiver the call out charge. I told them i just couldnt afford it, they said sorry but that is their policy, i requested they cancel my sky+ subscription as i did not need to pay it as i wont be using the record function, and the first person DENIED there is a charge for this service. After putting her straight about this, they put me through to retention department and after explaining that all again, and that being a multi room sky+ customer for 18 months with this recurring fault i did not think this was good customer service, they processed my cancellation request and asked if there was anything else I needed.

Not great service I think so I will be changing from sky asap.

Ive got the breakdown service so dont get the charge for call out.However I experience all the problems everybody else gets.I have recently had my amstrad box replaced with a pace.Guess what! about an hour after it was installed no film channels, most channels not receiving a signal.I Did a hard drive rebuild twice and now have Epg software version Sky+ 4.10.c.This seemed to clear it.2 days later some channels no receiving a signal I then did the process of bringing the channels back in line.
Press the services button.Select 4 for system set up.Key in 0 and then 1.Prss select then select 6
Press select.This brings the channels back in line.All is working at the moment but Im just waitng for something else to cock up.Great site.HAVE WATCHDOG TAKEN SKY TO THE CLEANERS YET.IT WOULD BE A GREAT STORY FOR THEM.

Thanks again for all your comments.

Steve - I contacted Watchdog about this issue when this article had over 100 comments from similarly dissatisfied Sky customers, but never heard back from them. Now there's nearly 300 comments! Keep 'em coming!

Great site. A good friend of mine told me about this site. I had the system fault coming up. When I finally managed to use the 2 navigator buttons plus the select button in the middle and the following instructions, it finally worked. Saved me a new Sky+ box. Excellent site. Many thanks.

Re my post of 6/11.

Switching off the "pause live TV" feature seems to have cured my problems with garbled reception of Channel 4 and Sky Sports. Not a problem for me, because I don't use that feature. I just hope it stays fixed.

Hi, This problem seems to be an issue with Sky boxes per se.

I refuse to give anymore money to Sky than my SkyDigital subscription. I wouldn't mind paying for equipment but I object to the additional subscriptions charge for Sky+.

Anyway my solution is to use an LG DVD Recorder with an 80Gb HDD. Its not as elegant as Sky+, but I've never had one failed recording. Only problem with my LG unit is it doesn't respond to the Auto View signal so you have to program the timer too.

My older Phillips DVD recorder used to detect the Auto view signal and start recording to DVD (no HDD back then).

I was keen to get Sky+ until I read this page, now I'm glad I saved the money - will wait for the technology to mature....

Just read on another site that watchdog has something on for sky customers next programme.

I have had loads of problems with sky+, now stuck in standby tried fixes but nothing does phoneline have to be connected to digibox

In answer to the previous coment from Mike on the 9th Nov, interesting note about Watchdog but missed the program. Try pressing the backup button for a few seconds while attaching the power cord, let it update the software and reset. It might spark your system back into life and yes you need the phone line connected cos SKY will complain and threaten to cut your discount/discontinue your viewing for breaching your interactive agreement you signed even though it might be over a year since you bought the box. They threatened me when my 4 year old son decided the line didn't need to be plugged in either much to my dismay when I received a letter telling me it was disconnected and that I had 4 weeks to reconnect or risk paying the full price for 2 boxes instead of the discounted multi-room price only to find the telephone extension cable was in fact faulty anyway, which was a bit of a panic but I sorted it eventually.

I just managed to work out on my broken system that the SYSTEM FAULT error and lack of ability to record or pause/rewind live TV was down to a faulty hard drive. I put the disk into a PC and ran the manufacturer's HUTIL program on it (drive was a samsung 160GB model) and it detected a "DMA READ" failure which basically meant the drive was inaccessible to all but the manufacturer's program, since the Sky box and Windows use DMA access to be able to see the drive's full size.

If your system is like mine and well out of warranty you can save yourself the hassle of the £65 callout + cost of replacement Sky+ box by purchasing a much cheaper 80+GB standard IDE hard drive from ebay and fitting it in place of the existing one. Perform the LEFT+RIGHT button hold down during power on followed by select when the ring of light comes on to initialise the drive and hey presto you have a working box again with more space to save stuff on. Warranty? Who needs one when these boxes are so easy to repair yourself with info written right on this site.

Yes the software may be a bit cheesy but holding the unit's backup button in during power on and leaving it for 10-15 minutes solves most of those problems if only temporarily (static build up can cause software corruption just like it can stop your viewing card from working properly!). Oh and if your viewing card is misbehaving just wipe the chip on it on your jeans or something else made of cotton.

One thing I have found when upgrading the hard drive in a standard 40GB Amstrad model to a 160GB samsung drive was that the system fan came on a few days later at full speed and refused to stop (Very noisy!) so I disconnected it given that there are enough slots on the case to allow cooling. If anybody has an answer for this I would be grateful as I now feel that the lack of the fan was the cause of the drive failure through too much heat not that it was ever too hot to touch which is odd.

Blog owner, I hope this sounds ok, it is all from working experience rather than made up knowledge and I think it might help some of those people out there who are not afraid to look inside their out of warranty boxes.

Excellent Site.Thank you. I have had the same recording issues as many others and the same, less than satisfactory, responses from Sky. Having read most of the postings and tried most of the proposed solutions I think that a change of hard drive seems to be the only viable action. Can anyone confirm that this actually does work? If anyone knows of an alternative source of Premiership football, please advise as I would then be free to do what I know I should do - ditch Sky!

Excellent site,
I have had three sky + boxesin less than 2 months due to the hard drive making a humming/whistling noise.
Has anybody else had this, if so is there a cure.The boxes were Amstrad(1)Thompson (2)

Just fixed by 'System Fault' by holding in the left and right arrow buttons. Fantastic website and advice - Sky wanted me to pay £65 for an engineer visit and also told me that I might have to pay £99 on top of that for a new box. Thank you very much for the help

Its me again.Posted my blog on November 8th.Box worked ok for a couple of days.It did not record any of the programmes set to record.I checked the signal reception and the same old problem with no signal on input 2.Did all the suggested things.Box worked perfectly for another couple of days and again failed to record with input 2 'not locked'.Is this a problem other people are getting a lot.My dish is ok as is the wiring and connections.Im now thinking of getting a DVD recorder to use in conjunction with the Sky + box.Is it possible if I do this to record one programme and watch another at the same time?Any advice will be greatly appreciated.Thanks

My problem is losing the planner.

When I switch on box I can view listings and watch programmes but if I hit planner I get a message saying please wait. You could wait all day and nothing happens.

If I pull plug from mains and wait a min and plug back in I can access the planner.

Can somebody tell me a workaround for this problem as it's a nuisance having to unplug everyday and reconnect.

I have recently heard that there is a new epg s0ftware version Sky + 4.20a.Does anybody know of this one.Also I have been told that to fully update the software the viewing card has to be pulled out.Is this true?Is this software version for all boxes.Mine is a Pace.How many times do you have to do a full reboot.Ive done it twice and it is still on version 4.10c.

Hi all
Just an update on my situation. I was told that my boxes weren't connected to the same phone line, even though I only have one phoneline in the house. So as a result they charged me £33 for a multiroom violation. I rang to ask them why their technology wasn't working and was assured that the fault was wholly on my part, I probably had disconnected the line at some point and forgot to put it back. I assured the call centre operator that I wasn't stupid and could follow the connection from my phone box to the sky box. I was then told I was probably x directory or my number was witheld, again I told her that I thought I would know if I was either of these. I then told her I had asked for an engineer five times now and under my twelve month warranty I was entitled to have one. So these two engineers came this morning, pressed a couple of buttons and did a callback and hey presto no problems. I asked the engineer what he had done and all he could tell me was he went into option 4 on services then 0 then 1 and select opens up an engineers menu. You then go to option 6 set new channels (?) and this installs your channels to the box, but it also does a callback to sky to show them that the boxes are working on that telephone line. So it's just worth noting if you have a callback problem that this may be the way around it, cause if it was up to the call centre operatives you would get nothing but more charges. As a result though I called Sky again and told them that the engineers said that they couldn't find a problem and I have been credited back the £33. Still awful customer service though, I find it appalling to be called a liar, they more or less told me that they didn't believe my second box was in my home. As soon as my years contract is up Multiroom is out!!!!

Due to a fault with my sky viewing card, sky issued me with a new one. Upon inserting the new card, I was unable to view the movie package. On contacting sky they advised me to to go to the services menu and carry out a number of changes. It worked and I had all the movies available. GREAT!

However after putting the phone down to them and turning the sky box off, I was unable to turn it back on. With the box stuck in stand by mode I again called sky (more 0870 call charges) they advised me to down load some new software, but this failed to take the system out of stand by.

They then claimed I needed an engineer to call out and wanted to charge me £65.00!!! Up until the time of inserting the new card the box worked fine, however sky claimed this was a pure coincidence and as the equipment was out of warranty there was nothing more they could do. Having researched this problem on the net, I came across this site. When I rang sky back and quoted some of the points raised on this site they agreed to send an engineer out free of charge.

Im now waiting for the engineer and will update you as to the outcome.

Id like so say thanks to everyone who has posted these problems, please keep it up.

Can anyone help. I am having problems with the sound breaking up on my Sky+ box which is now about 18 months old (I refused to pay the £10 per month insurance they wanted) and guess what I now have problems!!!

I have read that it is possible to get to the engineers menu but it will not come up for me.
I have gone to services>system set-up> then pressed 0 but nothing happens.

SO I then did the full rebuild using the buttons on the forn of the box (as described at the begining of this blog) but that has not cured the problem either.

Anyone got any idea's, I am loath to pay Sky for perhaps fixing a problem they created.

Is it worth upgrading the hard drive using http://www.xtendedplay.co.uk/sky-hard-disk-upgrade-kit-250gb-drive-p-47.html


Paul, I love you! This shit just saved my having to buy a new Sky+ Box. I am out of the country but still in Sky's footprint, and they wouldn't entertain an engineer and said I needed a new box. Follow the reset instructions and OK, I lost the crap I'd recorded, but it's all working.

Big hugs and kisses from me and the Mrs. :-)

Thanks for all the help guys. I had a dodgy ( my 3rd ) Pace box - the reset has worked brilliantly. I refuse to keep paying Sky loads of money for their extremely poor service (except for the football). I was considering switching to HD but will wait to see NTL's new offering looks like.
Keep up the brilliant work.

Well, all I can say is AWSOME! (well and a little bit more ;-)

I just purchased a second hand Sky + box. When I tried to record something and watch another channel it stuttered and hung. However it would resync if I went up and then back down a channel. The fan also went crazy during playback, so I guessed it may be that the disk was fragmented and in need of a format.

Tried your instructions and hey presto, not only did it cure the problems, but also all the menus speeded up by about 5 times!

Before I followed your instructions I noticed that the signal for LNB1 dropped out completely when it hangs. It may be that it doesn't have enough CPU power to manage the signal from LNB1 when it tries to stream from a fragmented disk.

Thanks again.

Just wanted to say thanks I called Sky today (not on the free number) and spending 20 minutes with the engineer on the phone couldn't get my Sky+ recording working again. He also said that he had systems problems and couldn't get my details so I would to ring back and yes a engineer would cost £65. I tried steps above and hey presto my systems working again.
Thank you very very much.

Hi, we had an engineer out on Friday (had to take the day off!), and our faulty Sky+ box was replaced with a supposed new one. We've woken up this morning to find a blank blue screen and no Sky! The green light is on...but we can't get anything other than that blue screen. We spoke with the company who had installed the new Sky + box on behalf on Sky, and wouldn't you know it? They are not able to return until mid week...another day off work??!! Any ideas would be gratefully received...before my husband throws the box through the window!!!!

Thanks for the reset information,My recordings got wiped and I couldnt record or playback and eventually could not even get the box turned on. Sky told me I would have to pay £65 for an engineer, Why cant they tell you this reset information over the phone? I have 65 good reasons why not. The people they send out just do the same as I have done. They are not even engineers.Has anyone ever seen them repair a box on the spot?
Many Thanks

Hi I posted a while ago. After Sky+ stopped recording, pausing etc and just said system fault I was in a dilemma none of the above resets worked for me and I was loathed to pay £65.00 to Sky for there own mistakes in equipment so I had two choices pay them or try a new hard drive from www.xtendedplay.co.uk as recommend by others on here for £90 I have NO EXPERIENCE in this kind of thing I am not technology minded! but I thought what the hell I don’t want to pay Sky. So I ordered it and although my hands were shaking I managed to replace the hard drive myself following their easy step by step instructions and hey presto its as good as new plus I now have double the recording space! Even if you are not technology minded like me I would recommend this to anyone.

Also I would like to say that there so called “free Sky+ box” when u introduce a friend offer is a pack of lies. If you friend signs up independently they will get 3 months reduced line rental and free equipment and instillation. If you introduce them they will then have to pay £65.00 instillation and you will have to pay £65.00 for them to plug in your box, thus ripping off your friend and making you look like the bad guy!

After last weeks feature on watchdog I have written to them via e mail about the above offer and also my own problems with sky plus (3rd box now after 1 ½ years would have been fourth if not for this website) I think the more people that write to them the more sky will listen to us about there ridiculous waiting times on the phone that WE are paying for and there call out fee for people posing to be engineers who if cant solve the problem with there high tech menu (that we use!) then produce here’s one I replaced the hard drive on earlier but still might be faulty. Why should the customers keep paying for Sky’s deals and mistakes its not like they cant afford it either! I encourage anyone who has had or has a problem to log it with watchdog on the BBC website.

Help!!!! I tried to turn my Sky+ box on sunday to no avail, so tunred it off at the mains for 5 seconds then turned it back on. Eventually I got the green light and everything was ok, (so I thought!) until I could smell burning and spotted smoke coming out of the left vent on top of the box. I turned it off at the mains straight away as I was going out. I re-powered yesterday and everything seems fine except for a faint smell of burning (probably from sunday). I was wondering if any one else had suffered this problem or has anyone got an explaination?

I have been having problems with my Sky+ PVR2 system since the September 2005 update. Performing a full reset appeared to sort the problem for a week or so and not recording on more than 30% of the disc appeared to help. Following a power down it failed to come out of standby. Left Right reset resulted in the dreaded recording light; performing a sytem update works but followed by standby again.

I phoned Sky and was offered a new box at £99 + £60 for an engineer visit. I explained that I did not need an engineer, just the box. When I threatened to leave they effectively said goodbye. I instead bought a brand new PVR3 from Simply Digital and fingers crossed works wonderfully, so far.

If there are any electrical engineering students out there forget hacking the Xbox 360, reverse engineer the system software that Sky are sending and find out why these boxes are failing. If it can be proved that these faults are software related then Sky are going to get stung by one hell of a group law suit.

Sky + Box Still Making A Humming /Whistling Noise Have Tried Turning The Rewind Off To No Avail.Will Contact Sky Again And Probably Get A forth Box In Less Than 3 Mths, Luckily I am Still In Warranty.Do I Have To have A Sky+ Box With Multiroom? As I do Not Use The Record Facility That Often.

I have two sky plus boxes and they regularly need replacing just outside warranty. I am very suspicious of this and now have decided to log the frequency of this occurrance and use this info in the future. Husband wants the HD box but I am not prepared to pay out and have similar problems. Is anyone else doing the same?

I have two sky plus boxes and they regularly need replacing just outside warranty. I am very suspicious of this and now have decided to log the frequency of this occurrance and use this info in the future. Husband wants the HD box but I am not prepared to pay out and have similar problems. Is anyone else doing the same?

We've got a Amstrad PVR 3 box as our first pace box gave up the ghost after 18 months. Managed to get thru to Sky and in fairness the engineer was pretty good. I told him how unhappy I was with losing all the recorded programs and asked how many times people ring in. He said it's a regular thing and that although they keep feeding this information up the line nothing has changed! Good to see that Sky are interested in continuous improvement!

Don't know if this has already been covered. My problem is only with one or two channels, ie. ITV and Channel 4. These are very jerky when viewing on output 2 and obviously when recording on output 2. Have tried all the reset advice in this thread with no improvememnt. Is this a problem with the box rather than the software?
Also I have a spare box with a blown PSU, would swapping the good PSU be a good idea or am I likely to blow it as well?

Great site thanks but I can't see my problem listed, please can somebody help. Last night the sky + box turned itself to standby and the red light came on and now it just will not turn on. Sky had me turn it off for 2 min at the wall and then turn on again, same. Then they said press the backup button and unplug it, while still holding the button and plug it back in again, still will not turn on and now of course want £65 to come out. Any thoughts please?

Found a freephone number for Sky (have just used it to contact technical about my pants Sky+ box)....

0800 051 2595

I am also having problem recording from just channel4. Could it be something that channel4 are doing?

Channel 4 - problem

Number of places and here suggest switching off live record feature to solve problem

well all i can say to your site is tanks alot as i did have a problem as many of you guys did with the sky+ box as it would not record or even have the function of live pause tv but thank to the fix ive saved myself £65 thank u once again

Great site, but had no problems except since yesterday, decorat8ing so had to move every thing, now the palnner has lost a lot of stuff, (Tried all resets my fault), and again this afternoon, same again,
Has anyone noticed a new software change,
do the hardrives in 2 year old paces die.
Threatened to cancel sky last price hike and got 1/2 price for 6 months having been with them so long, any ideas would be of help.

Sky do seem to have done something following the Watchdog programmes.My Pace box was not working at all well but lo and behold a couple of days after the Watchdog programme my box is working perfectly.I hope Im not speaking too soon!!!.Has anybody else noticed that their box is now behaving as it should do ?

We also only have a problem with ITV and Channel 4 which both job when on playback, does anyone know with who the problem lies. Thanks

Thanks for the info. Followed instructions at the top when one box was getting no signal ( second box on same LMB was OK ). The box works fine after the full system reset.
I owe you a pint Nice Paul !

Hi, Purchased a Sky+ box of e-bay recently. Works great and i am in Rep of Ireland. However when i power off the box overnight and power up again the following day i tend to loose the epg menu. A full "new installation" generally fixes the problem but not all the channels come back.
I am currently using the box for free to air purposes only so only have 1 input cable. any ideas ?

Hi ; tried the total re-set as my Amstrad (V2) was stuttering on C4 / History Channel and sometimes Sky News. No joy, so decided to change the hard drive rather than chance a secondhand box from Sky. Dead easy using http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/jerome/sky+hdupgrade.htm page, but I used a Samsung SpinPoint V120CE, 250GB 5400RPM/FDB from https://www.ultratec.co.uk/ (£90). Didn't solve the stutter problem, so I guess the problem is inherent to the box - 3 years old now - or maybe the software update as previously alluded to above... Anyhow, I guess
I've got plenty of hard drive space to record loads of problems, and some of them will work properly! Only other problem seems to be a constant humming now from the box - even when it's in Standby - possibly the fan? Ah, well... Excellent blog!

When I playback a recorded live broadcast from my sky + box the picture is flashing and jumping all the time. Sky tells me its TV problems (samsung led TV)not a sky problem. Can anybody help please.

Hi just had my lnb & old pace box replaced for free when we said we would cancel, so that's a new box & new lnb and free call out just for saying your going to cancel. At first they offered to halve the cost but I said no.So it pays to complain, monthly £37 is more important to them , remember this everyone. By the way also have a Freeview Topfield box which is first class even better than the sky+ box, can record 2 channels & watch another is some cases.

hi i have a sky + and says system fault i did what you said but still the same what can i do ?

Just found this fantastic site after experiencing problems with my Sky+ box and wanted to know if anyone else had similar problems!!
I had a 2 year old 160GB with the "box going into standby mode and would not switch on" fault. I called Sky & after they failed to fix the machine by telephone, they send an engineer out within a couple of days. He just glanced at the box and said it couldn't be repaired on-site and it needed replacing.
I pointed out to him that it was 160 & I required it replacing with a box with the same memory capacity. He assured me the new box was the same capacity. When asked, he did admit it was a reconditioned box.
The new box is an Amstrad and it seems to whirr rather loudly. My last box was very quiet!!
After recording a few programs & noticing th memory cpacity going down quicker than normal, it becme apparent that the new nbox was not a 160GB box. I called Sky & asked them about it, only to be told that I had to have that box as they no longer supply 160gb boxes unless I take Sky HD.
I am so angry, as I paid £450.00 for the larger capacity box when they first came out 2 years ago.I could have paid £99 and had a standard Sky+ box at the time, but chose to pay the extra. I also lost about 40 hours of programs when the box failed. I asked Sky for some compensation and was advised to write to them with complaint!!
Has anyone else paid out for the 160BG box and had it replaced by Sky with an inferior model?
I am thinking of buying a new 160GB box from Ebay to at least have a new box with a large memory!

Another question - can Sky HD be delivered through the Sky+ cabling or do I need new cables if I do eventually want HD (when the prices have gone down!!)

I have had an Amstrad v3 + box for nearly a month. I have had to reboot several times due to live rewind pause etc not working. Yesterday got the fault & lost all recordings! Have tried full reset with your instructions but no joy. I think there must be a serious fault as the fan runs at full speed all the time! An engineer is due in two days and will prob swap out box. I feel I should get a brand new, not a recon replacement, because it is only a few weeks old. I don't want to be without + for xmas, so will have to put it in writing to Sky if they try & fob me off with a recon box.

Hi all,
I have aqquired a Pace 3100 Sky+ box. i cannot get my other tvs to work using thr Rf2 port, going through a loftbox.. it worked with my panasonic normal sky box. i have tries "SERVICES" 4,0,1,8 but it ask me for an "Access code" of which i dont have.. i want to check to see the Rf2 is switched on. Thanks..

how do I turn "off" live record please

Worked for me too! I managed to guide my 70 year old mother through your instructions over the phone!
Thanks a million - you've "made" her Christmas!


Some very useful information on this site, so thanks for that. However I have a couple of questions. We have had a Pace Sky+ box for about 3 months now, and so far so good, no problems [touches wood] but my other half has several short programs on there he would like to keep. I know they have a standard IDE HD inside them, but what format are the programs recorded in? In other words, if I backed the HD up to my computer [by removing it and piggy backing onto IDE channel as a slave] would the computer be able to read the file system first and then the actual video format? [yes, I am aware that could cause warranty issues, but at the moment, this is a hypothetical question]
Next question, I have done some research and apparently though these standard boxes have an 80GB HD, its actually 160, but you can only access 80? Is this true and do we know why?

Keep up the good work. Knowing what the issues might be down the line, and how to deal with Sky if thoses issues do manifest themselves is great, many thanks to everyone for the input!

On the day of installation I was horrified to discover that my Sky+ box was Amstrad, it felt like my home had been violated. Even though it worked for 6 months I have still been on edge waiting for it to fall over. It now ruins every programme it "records" Please ensure that during the installation of your sky+ box the sky enginner does not try and leave an Amstrad product in your home, you can specify an alternative.

My reply to Yvonne
Can you simply not copy these recordings you wish to keep onto a Recordable DVD or a VCR. It would be much easier and cause no warranty problems.

Hi, My Sky+ locked up again today. The sync was lost on all channels except the 6xx range, I thought my TV was U/S.Carried out all the fixes twice then it worked again. Has anyone told Watchdog of these faults that seem to appear after the updates ?
Many Many Thanks!!!

Just like to thank you, after reading some of the comments, thought I would be out of luck. Guess again, after I rang Sky last week ang going through what I had already tried myself knowing of the sub menu, was told an eng would need to visit, told them to hold off, we were in the middle of moving home and no point until settled. Then came across this site, followed instructions, bingo, can forget eng and now look forward to x-mas with record button in hand. Many thanks again and Happy Christmas to all.

Tried all the suggestions on here. Now i have a working tuner but no record/playback with a contact customer services screen.
took the seagate drive out and put it in PC, ran seatools and found a boat load of bad sectors on it. Some of them can't be re-allocated, so i obviously have a broken hard drive which cant be formatted.
what do you think would be best option, a new upgrade Hard Drive, or pay over the odds for a refurb box?

Thank you so much. We have spent 2 hours on the telephone to sky who told us that we would have to buy a new Sky + box as ours was out of warrenty and seemingly broken. My main problem was that we had to pay £60 on top of the price of the box for someone to come out and plug our new box in. After a lot of arguing and me losing the will to live two days before xmas i stumbled upon your website and tried your suggestion. My sky + box is now working and this is the best xmas present i could have and it hasn't cost me a thing . I would like to thank you very very much and wish you all the best for the new year.

Just wanted to add my name to the list with long term Sky+ problems (Amstrad v2 box with poor lipsynch and recorded programme sound stuttering problems especially on premium film channel recordings).
I am currently in e-mail dispute with Sky after some failed phonecalls - and whilst waiting for my new hard disk to be delivered so I can try that. I'll send an update if anything works out!

Ive bought a sky+ box from ebay and connected with a quad lnb and an extra cable and its working fine for all the movie and sports channel but recording facility doesnt work. Im not on a phone line. Do i need to be???, It says that ive got SYSTEM FAULT. tried all of the above. Any suggestions?

We are not worthy
thanks for the info worked a treat for me all i can say is sky and me have exchanged lawyers letters and they suck (in my opinion)
the bottom line is this your £37 quid or whatever you pay to them is your cash. your buying a service and they aint delivering, complain as i always do in writing to them and you WILL be compensated the more the complaints the better the comensation i just won over £1000 back from them for charging me for film 4 for a right few months unawares to me also ive had compensation for poor service with my sky plus box. so get a letter off to them and if you have a friend who is a solicitor ,qc etc get them to do you a letter reminding them of there contractual duties to the client.(you).
so add me to your sky suck list.
john, glasgow

Excellent guide thanks!
I had a just a blue screen when I turned my box on so thought it was a dead one, this trick rescued it though :-)

free phone number still works as of boxing day , had to phone as my amstrad box only lasted 24 days a whole 1 year 6 days less than my old pace plus box sky comming out sat lets see how long this one last! hum any bets on less than a month not taken

Worked a treat. Thanks

Firstly, great work on this page. We need people to stand up against profiteering glutons! Surely a deliberate attempt to break they're own equipment to get more money out of paying customers is asking for a court case; isnt it!?

I have a Thomson 160 Sky+ box, it was given to me by a family friend, after they had SkyHD installed; but it is stuck in standby, the power light flickers occasionally aswell.

I have tried holding the 'backup' button while powering it up, it displays the software update message on the TV and it seems to go through the software update procedure, but then just stays on standby again.

I have also tried holding the 'Left and Right' Navi buttons while powering on to format and restore the hard drive;; but the 'ring of light' never comes on.

I have removed the hard drive from the box and installed it into a PC, which appears to work fine. I have also tried another hard drive in the box, but with the same result. Nothing.

Is there anything you can do with the RS232 console port? Or is it just there for show?

There is no point me calling Sky as it is a second hand box from someone else and they wont help me. Is there any hope for this box, or shall I just call my loses and aquire another one!?

Many thanks.

I too have expereinced these same issues with an Amstrad PVR3. Tried the resets as detailed above, and to no avail - still stuttering sound and vision. I have performed an additional diagnostic step - not mentioned above. I have identified that the problem lies with the signal processing from "dish input 2".

The way to do this is to
1) perform the resets as detailed.
2) Then turn the Sky+ box round, begin recording the currently displayed program, and unscrew one of the dish inputs - if the screen goes blank and a message appears "Signal Lost", then you have removed the correct input currently in use by the recording program.
3) If nothing happens, re-connect the dish input, and remove the other dish input. You should now see the "Signal Lost" message. - You have now identified which dish input is currently in use by the box.
4) Remove the currently identified dish input, and stop and restart the recording - this forces the box to switch to and use the other dish input.
5) Swap the cables over between dish inputs, and repeat to ensure the problem is not cable specific.

Results -
a) if you have the stuttering vision & sound on one dish inoput only, then this is where the problems lie. Only a box replacement will fix them.
b) if you have the stuttering on one cable regardless of which dish input it is connected to, then cabling is the issue (probably connection quality rather than cable quality)
c) if the stuttering is present on both dish inputs, and both cables, then the hard disk may be at fault - check connections, and also check the fan is operating - heat can be a problem for these boxes.

I don't know if this helps anyone but I have had a long running dispute with Sky over the Sky + recording issues (that so many of us seem to be experiencing).

I was getting nowhere with Sky as my Amstrad Box is out of it's 12 month guarantee period.

As polite as I have been with Customer Services, even notifying them I intended to cancel my subscription failed to get them to waive the £65 engineer call-out fee.

However, having read through various articles (mainly about the Sale of Goods Act) I found the following advice ...

"I purchased goods over a year ago and the guarantee has now expired. The trader has advised me that he does not have any responsibility for the goods. Is he right?"
No! Guarantees are extra to your legal rights. If you can show that the goods were not of satisfactory quality at the time of sale i.e. they were not as durable as it is reasonable to expect, then you may have a claim against the trader or finance company (if applicable) for compensation.

I took this argument to Customer Services who had previously refused to advise me what the "reasonable" life expectancy of a Sky + box is (they had actually emailed me to state that there is NO guarantee it will work after the 1-year warantee expires).

I have never seen such a quick change of heart - they arranged straight away for a free engineer call-out, and stated they would replace the box immediately if he couldn't fix the problem. I don't think I have ever spoken to a more helpful Customer service agent !!

It would seem that the legal issue revolves aroud the definition of "durable" and "reasonable"; and that in this instance a Sky+ box that breaks down after 16 months cannot be seen to be of either satisfactory durability or reasonable quality.

Hope this information might help some of you !!

After waiting 17 minutes for connection to Sky's call centre, I was connected to somewhere in Asia. The guy was very nice but just went through a pre-determined set of questions and said that I would need a Service Call for £65. What a 'con'. Has anyone thought about a 'class action' against Sky for selling equipment with known manufacturing faults?

sky came today and replaced faulty amstrad box i made shaw he gave me a pace box instead sofar so good ,pace box is more responsive and better quality picture as well. The engineer told me that eaven on his own box he has switched off instant rewind as with it on the hard drive is working all the time

My Girlfriend's Family had a dodgy Sky+ Amstrad box and Sky refuses to admit that there is a bug with them which can cause certain recordings and live viewings to jump and skip audio (to the point where it is unwatchable). After ringing sky, and agreeing to pay a half-price call-oyt fee, we made the operator aware that we would NOT accept another Amstrad box (any ones you get are usually reconditioned anyway). The sky guy came (after trying his best to get us a Pace box as an alternative) but he had none so his manager was forced to consent to the engineer giving us the new Thomson 80 Gig Sky+ box. This all happened because they must have thought we had multiple Amstrad boxes with the same problem previously - he even asked us!(even though we hadn't - we just attempted resets ourselves) and they decided to just give in. This clearly means the engineers don't check previous call out records (because there were none!) or are just not made aware of them by Sky. Just to say persist and don't be afraid to chat to the Sky engineer...It's amazing what a cup of tea and a word in the ear about you 'knowing the problem' can do.

Just a note to agree with Tony's post. Defo turn off instant rewind!!!! If you want to go put the tea out or answer the door/phone...Press pause! As someone who works in IT (and as common sense) a hard disk that is writing away all day every day will fail a lot quicker than if it's just being used VCR style. Plus it makes your Sky+ box slower to respond.

hi there just found your website on google.i upgraded to sky+ with sky multiroom 6days ago and my remote has packed upafter 6days talking about getting your money worths after trying the fixed you mentioned ive had no joy got an engineer calling tomorrow 31.12.06 will let you know how i get on

I have an Amstrad DRX180 which 'froze' following a power cut last night. Could get nothing on-screen. My son had seen your website so we went through your restore procedure and eureka it's back. Took the opportunity to upgrade to a 160GB disk.
Thanks for your help. Happy New Year.

Many thanks for the advice. I had no joy with Sky support who told me I would need an engineer to come and install a new box for me. This advice has saved me a great deal of money as it has brought a supposedly dead box back to life.


Posted by Yvonne on 18 Dec. (post #3537)

I know they have a standard IDE HD inside them, but what format are the programs recorded in? In other words, if I backed the HD up to my computer [by removing it and piggy backing onto IDE channel as a slave] would the computer be able to read the file system first and then the actual video format? [yes, I am aware that could cause warranty issues, but at the moment, this is a hypothetical question]


The answer I'm afraid is NO. Sky+ boxes use a different file structure and recording format to normal PC's. There IS some software from: http://www.copyplus.artisswebdesign.co.uk/index.php that will enable you to copy your recordings from one hard drive to another (if you are upgrading the hard drive from, say an 80Gb to a 250GB) using a pc but it will NOT allow you to transfer them to the pc or indeed view or record them onto DVD.

To use Copy+ you need a pc running Windows XP and two "spare" IDE channels for the source and destination Sky+ drives (just disconnect the CD or DVD ROM drives temporarily).

The only way to view your recorded programmes or to archive them onto DVD is to "play" them in a Sky+ box :(

An excellent forum where many of these issues are discussed is: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=35 (where, incidentally, I found a link to this blog).

Nice one Paul. Hope all this evidence will sway Sky to putting more of an effort into resolving the many, many problems that there are with Sky+ boxes.

When my Sky+ box stopped recording properly, I tried the full system reset you suggested, but still no good. A chat with one of Sky's pleasant Scottish blokes - as forecast, he offered me a £65 service call. But I gently demurred, so he arranged a complimentary visit. The engineer was obviously expecting a hardware failure, and quickly changed my Amstrad box for a Pace one. No mention was made of payment, so it must have been free. As a result, Sky keep my £43 per month account, and we are all reasonably happy.

Quick Summary:
Amstrad DRX180 started showing increasing problems with sound and picture dropout on recorded material. Sky technical support on 0800 051 2595 went through planner rebuild plus total system reset, no good. Quoted £65.00 for an engineer callout, politely refused on grounds of what they are charging for monthly fee plus all the info learned from this forum. Asked to be put through to cancellations, spoke to a very helpful guy called Shawn, explained, free service visit arranged for two days later with no arguments. Try it, they don't want to lose customers. Be nice, you're more likely to get a good result!

Cheers saved me £65.

I was just getting a blue screen when the box turned on, instead of doing a full system clean I just updated the system software, step two of the above guide "disconnect the digibox from the mains power again and this time press and hold the 'back up' button whilst you reconnect the mains power. Continue holding it for about 15 seconds until 3 lights on the front of the box come on and you get a full-screen message saying "Updating system software. Do not disconnect mains supply or satellite dish."

Once this was done the box was back working with all the programmes I'd recorded.

my sky+ box had been freezing and jerky for ages, then last week packed up altogether. just installed the xtendedplay 250gb replacement hdd and it is working again only with 5 times the recording capacity. it was very easy to do. this was my 3rd box. don't waste your time trying to get help from sky. their customer service is apalling !! unfortunately no cable in my town.

4 hours on the phone to Sky 4 sepperate calls and the sky+ box still would not record. I was told I needed an engineer call out £65. 10 mins on the net found this blog. 10 mins later system fixed thankyop very much indeed. SKY YOU SUCK bunch of **************** fill in whatever you want

Just got of the phone to Sky after being on there nearly an hour overall, refusing to pay the £65 call out fee for the faulty sky+ box, the best people to speak to is the cancelations department, they are moret han helpfull and arrange you a free call out if you are a reliable customer, and they put £10 on your account for the phone calls.

Had many problems with my Sky + box, ever since we first got it over three years ago. Over Xmas it refused to record, live pause or instant rewind. I called Sky and with out even a quibble the guy said 'it sounds like the hard drive has gone' Great I thought I have to buy a new box. He went on 'I will get an engineer out to you to replace the box free of charge'!!!!!!! The engineer came out on the 2nd of Jan and replaced the box. As far as I am concerned Sky have come good for us. Our original box was more than 2 years past it's gurantee period and they did not have to replace it F.O.C. but they did without any quibbles call out charges or anything. I have been with Sky since it started many years ago wehn the sub's for the full package was only £10 pcm. Perhaps I was awarded customer loyalty or something. If tehy can do this sort of thing for me then surely they can do it for others. So try your luck and if it is not offered.......ASK!

Hi... Nice Blog... My Sky+ also went t*ts up over Xmas.
13 months old - Using the reset tips worked 4th time. All other times Hard drive was humming like crazy. Suppose wont be long before it goes completely.

I also have suffered many different problems with my Amstrad sky+ box.

After trying all day to get through to Sky I eventually got through at midnight. I gave a brief outline of the problems such as sound skipping and even turning off for no reason.

A very nicely spoken woman then said "Of course we need to sort this out for you sir. Would you like a visit from one of our engineers"? To which I said how much will this cost? No charge was the reply.

Many other forums have taken up the fight about mainly Amstrad boxes. So perhaps Sky realise it's easier to just address the issue rather than risk bad press. Especially as they have just announced the sell of over 2 million units.

So if your having problems ring, you might not get the fight your expecting.

Great Blog!

please can anyone help. i have recently bought a new television and can't get a code from sky to enable the sky plus remote to work the television they say its not possible and that i should just try the different codes available. i don't think this is acceptable as i'v tried 15 now and none have worked. please help if poss.

I had a box given to me by someone who had bought HD. As it was much newer than mine, we connected it up. After a few weeks, got up one morning and could not access planner nor would it record or live pause. Phoned engineers who told me how to do a full system reset. This worked for few days then nothing would work, it just would not record. Accessed your site and tried the fix. Could not get the bit where you hold select button to work but updated software. Still did not work. Did a full system reset then updated software which took much longer than ten minutes and hey presto it now works. Don't know how long for but many thanks for your help.

Ive just spent a good couple of hours reading what is very useful information. I have also just sent an email to the major tabloids and bbc watchdog underlying this ongoing problem for thousands of people including myself. In future i am going to stick to a dvd recorder and use my autoview on my basic pace box to record and i suggest you all follow suit to avoid the inevitable. I like the way SKY increased my subscription cost last year without informing me. Nice touch. I dont need the money to pay for my house, car, kids, future, you need it more than me.

I have an Amstrad Sky Plus Box with an increasing amount of channels with sound sync problems (BBC1, ITV, Chan 4, Chan 5 etc). Intend to buy a new Pace Version Three Box. Question: Will Sky activate my Sky Plus without an Engineer input (with a £65 charge) & will it solve my problems.

hi. have just tried your fix but unfortunately it didnt work. have had extra sky plus installed for just 3 days and niether box has been able to record. all sky will say is it is a fault on their side and i,ll have to wait. my original sky+ box works great and always has. any ideas on what i can do ? thanx

Have had sky+ for about 3 years, no problems until last night. The Sky+ planner now keeps freezing when i try and delete a watched programme and navigate my way round the menu. Has anyone else had this problem, before i begin the seemingly inevitable argument with sky. If not i will let you know as and when i fix it.


had exactly the same problem last night. Now Sky+planner hangs when try to delete or page up and down. Only a reboot clears it but it'll hang every time now.


Having a problem with my Sky+ HD box and only had it installed in June 2006. First problem is failed recordings which started last night. It gives the reason for the failed recording as "no signal". I have checked and I have a signal on both LNB's. Another problem is when recording a HD program I have a problem watching a previously recorded HD program - its keeps stuttering and freezing. Have tried the housekeeping procedure as advised by Sky. Is it just coincidence that my failed recordings have started after this?

Arrrrr! good site, wonder if u can help, got sky + from friend who was selling, uncle fitted it, will record but wont let us watch any other channel whilst doing so just say's signal not recieved! also port 2 signal has only blue wonder if this is whats causing my problem so got new lmb but dunno which connecters on the quad to use? please help me!

Had my Sky+ box since Oct 05. Just today box has crashed and said system fault playback and recording not available. I rang the sky tech support team who after talking me through the system reset procedure, which did not work, told me that I would have to pay £65 for an engineer to come out to sort the problem. Told them that I could not afford to pay £65 and they offered me no alternative. I have now been waiting for about 3 hours for a manager to give me an 'urgent' call back. Since the guy at sky tech support gave me the system reset advice, my system had totally crashed i.e. no longer had recording and playback facilities as before but now the thing wouldn't even turn on so I had been left with no channels. I then found this website and tried your advice and followed the procedure but unfortunately after 3 attempts it still did not work but I did manage to get my channels back so thanks for that. I have since reading the posts on your website, telephoned sky cancellations department to give 30 day cancellation notice. However, when I tried to cancel they put me through to a very nice lady who said that seeing as I am such a valued customer, on full package, with 2 boxes and have been a customer since 2003 that not only will they send out an engineer this Thursday free of charge but that he will come out and either repair the existing box if possible and if not, they will replace it with a new box FOC! Thanks for the advice to all regarding persisting with leaving them, as my problem is now sorted. Don’t back down, say youll leave and they’ll try keep you is the advice and it works from my experience. Shame you have to threaten to leave them to get a standard of customer service that should come as standard! I am now a happy bunny for the timebeing as I can still view my sky thanks to this website… I will miss my recording facility and my planner of course but at least the fixing of box or replacement box is not costing me £65 now! Fingers crossed the box is unrepairable on thurs when the engineer comes and I get a new one as this one has similar problems i.e. crashing etc; as experienced by many others I can see from these website comments. Will post know what happens when the engineer visits thurs. :)

I think this blog is wonderful! I have same problems as everyone else - tried the instructions uptop but to no avail. Rang sky, refused to pay £65 call out charge, was then offered it half price, still refused and then offered FOC. Engineer coming on Thursday who will either fix it or replace. TOP TIP: Sky cancellation team members have a certain amount of 'deals' they can give out (half price or free of charge) per week, starting on a Tuesday through till Friday. Best time to ring is Tue/Wed when they still have these deals to give out. (as read on moneysavingexpert.com) Good luck to you all - remeber don't give in - you are a valuable customer to them and they will do their best to keep you.

Great Blog!
Tried all of the above fixes, still had same problems with anything I've recorded being unwatchable.
I was thinking of buying a new hard drive, but followed Huffmast3r's instructions above - changing the leads over, etc, which proved very useful, so I won't buy a new hard drive quite yet,

As a last resort called Sky on the freephone number 0800 051 2595. Patiently waited for an someone to answer (not stressed 'cos it was free!)
Patiently listened, following all of the reset instructions, playing dumb all the way thru (not too hard that bit!).
Waited until the bit about me "needing an engineer callout as my box appears to be faulty and will probably need to be replaced and it will cost £65"
Pleaded poverty for this bit with it being Christmas and all that, and as if by magic I now have a engineer coming this Thursday FOC!!

Be nice! They're not that bad! You'll get there in the end!!

Once again excellent blog, will pass this on to my other mates with Sky+, with similar problems!

i made a post on 2/1/ at 21-09 hrs, and that post is attributed to Adam Burden, whereas a post by someone else on 3/1 at 18-03 hrs is attributed to me (Tom Boyd). i use firefox. am i alone with this problem ?

pls ignore post i made about wrong attribution of posts. i was thinking the poster was above the post, not below it. what a fool am i ! by the by, the xtendedplay hdd i installed is still working great, and having 120 hours recording capacity is worth the £90.

Tom, I've added a border around each comment to avoid further confusion about who posted which comment.

My Sky+ Pace box has gone into permanent standyby mode. Tried resetting as per ealrier blogs but to no avail. Rang sky and they gave me the usual spiel about the £65 call out - given advice above I threatened to cancel and would you believe it they are sending an engineer next week for free. Thanks for all the tips on this site - great!

Whenever I'm recording on one chanel with my Sky+ I get a "not recieving signal" message on all of the other channels.Any ideas?

Had problem with Sky+. All recordings wiped out, and planner not working. Called Sky (40 minutes on 0870 number) and was told the usual story (65 pounds for engineer charge) after trying to reset over the phone. Requested to speak to a supervisor, and after crying about how my Oprah programmes had been wiped out, I am now getting an engineer free of charge to fix the problem.

Still pissed about the lost recordings, and would have to transfer programmes onto a more reliable medium in the future.

Beware of sky plus and sky HD!


brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they are replacing my box on monday for £32.50.

I have borrowed a Pace box but it will not play Sky sports saying that this is the wrong viewing card. How do I tell the box to accept the card?

Hi, need advice recently any program i seem to record on sky+ has either the sound dropping in and out or the picture pixelating or both, it's starting to crack me up! i'm fed up of ringing sky customer services and being told i have to wait an estimate of 20 minutes. Anyone hazard a guess whats up?

ps I think i have an amstrad box

Sky+ has become a real pain of late. First the boxes (we have multiroom)turn themselves off and fail to record programes. In addition, the Sky+ in the bedroom doesn't call through to Sky so the cheeky buggers have charged me an extra month ssub's at £26. I called various call centres and went through rebuilds. One call centre told me taht they could take me off re-dial the list and I wouldn't be cahrged - this was a lie. I wrote a three page letter to Sky (including a copy of the T&C's) and told them to refund the money or I'm off. I heard nothing from them for a month, then out of the blue I had a randon letter telling me an engineer visit had been booked. There was no mention of my letter to them or an apology or refund. When the engineers came they told me I had been put on a ghost system and that was the problem. I called Sky and the call centre agents told me that the engineers were wrong.

Does anyone know how I can get my Sky + box to connect to telephone line to dial Sky and so I can play on-line games? Neither box will go on-line and yes, I have swapped/replaced the connections to the main tel line.


I think that there must be a timer chip in Sky boxes as mine seem to know when the warrenty runs out. 1 year and 1 week to the day after having 2 replacements my sky+ box has given up the ghost. I have lost all recorded programs, again! After reading the info above I rang sky and was told the usual, £65 charge bla bla bla. After speaking to the cancellations department explained that I was less than happy with any charge have hit on the same result. FREE! the ols saying is right, if you dont ask, you dont get! Sky are not going to give up a £30, £40 or £50+ a month subscription for a call out charge of 65 quid. Even the idiots in Sky customer service know that. Its about all they do know. On a funny last point, they refused to speak to me for a while today because they thought I was not the account holder and that they needed to speak to my parents to deal with anything regarding the account. Fantastic. They should move all call centers to India, oh, they have!

Just found your fantastic site! We were called about a warranty just before the we'd had sky + for 1 year, we'd had no problems so said no then 1 week after we'd had it for 1 year we encountered problems. Our box turns itself off all the time. At first it wasn't that often, then it was every 5 mins, then it was every few weeks and for the last few weeks it has been every 30 mins. We cannot record anything because the sk box turns itself off and it takes 5 mins before we can turn sky back on. We initally rang the 0870 number when we first had the problems back in November and after being on hold for 30 mins we were told it would be £65 for an engineer which we refused to pay. We put up with the problem for the last few months until today when I found this site! The above 0800 number is to order statements through the post, the number to call is 0800 051 2595 which I found on the say no to 0870 site. I got through straight away and told them I wanted to cancel after again they tried to charge me £65 for an engineer and hey presto we are getting an engineer out for free this Saturday! I really hope this will be an end to the problem but after reading all of your comments I am doubtful.

thanks so much for the tips. My Sky+ lost all my recordings last night. We were watching a recorded programme whilst it was recording another. Which it says is possible to do ... well not with our box. Only had the SAME Sky+ problem fixed just over 3 months ago, so the warranty has run out. Great ....
Anyway, will be passing on your website to all my friends and family. Excellent Blog.

thank you for saving me £65..all i had was a blue screen, but with everyones help ive now fixed it.
thnaks darran

had sky plus for 2 years as yet no problems apart from the minor freeze and non record of progs but did have lack of hard drive space which i cured thanks to tip on your site .my system is out of extended warranty soon is it worth paying £100 for 1 years cover.

As with a lot of the people on here, my sky+ developed a system fault after locking up when deleting a watched program from the planner and then powering down and up. Before having any knowledge of this fantastic site I called the technical line and got try this and that to finally hear the immortal line 'you'll need an engineer and that will cost (you guessed it!) £65. I asked for a supervisor who was not pleased to be hauled out of a meeting and she also said no way on the free one, even when I quoted the Sale of Goods Act to her, she even said that as the box was 13 months old I would have to take it up with the manufacturer if I thought it was not fit for purpose or durable. I ended up saying I would need to cancel and that got me nowhere. (hard faced ***)

When will people like this get it into their thick heads that if they sell faulty goods whether it be under or over the 12 months they were the people we had a contract with and therefore they are by law the trader and they must deal with faults etc. The only person that goes to the manufacturer in a supply chain is the one who paid the manufacturer.

Anyway found this site and read with interest all the success stories, so off I went called 0800 051 2595 (worked a treat Jo) spoke to someone in cancellations and explained that I had been to technical, could not afford £65, I already pay a full package rate, can’t use the package without the equipment, pointed out sale of goods act and explained how rude they where in technical, well blow me after saying all that to her without taking a breath, she said ‘that’s ridiculous, I’ll get you an engineer for free’, so whilst I was on a roll I asked if the replacement box would be new or refurb, she said ‘you bought a new one so we will replace it with a new one’ So it goes to show some of the sky team can surprise you with their common sense – engineer comes Tuesday, such good news I may get the custard creams ready for him.

i have just used the 0800 0512595 after being on hold for 25 mins on the 'official phone number'...and guess what? - straight through to technical within 1 minute. my sky+ box has multiple issues(card reader faulty, recorded programmes unwatchable etc etc) and is nearly three years old so i dont really mind paying £65.00 for a call out charge and 'new'box as i feel this is fair wear and tear, however i wont be so understanding if it fails again anytime soon !
(a little worried about having a reconditioned unit though..will i be opening myself up to yet more grief)??

I am now on my third sky + box and yes the warranty has ran out.I couldnt even turn the sky + on to get the phone number where the manual says to locate. I only came on the internet to get a phone number and found this site.YES it made my day. its working now and if i need to speak to sky your advice has sunk in thank you.

Just rang sky after over a year of skipping and failed recordings on my amstrad box, told them I want to cancel my subscription when asked why told them about the faults and that I know its caused by a software fault ( I know a sky engineer through a friend )and that i'm not going to pay for something I cant use, they directed me to cancellation dept to see if I was bluffing ( I was'nt )then offered an engineer F.O.C. if I stayed so he's coming next week.My advice is be prepared to cancel, stick to your guns and do not pay for something you cant use through no fault of your own !!!

Hi - how on earth do you stop the Sky+ box whistling....it is driving me to distraction.

Sorry if there is a post on this already, but I couldnt see one.


my sky+ has a problem in that it cancels recording and will not do live pause, But this only happens on ITV 1 all other channels are OK

I have just had a few conversations with sky. I first had a problem with my dish - immediately followed by system fault. I have had the system for 14 months - had system fault twice now. Last time they replaced the box as it was in warranty - they did not tell me that it was not a new box but a reconditioned one. When I tried to explain to the person on the end of the line that I really expected an item like this to havea lifetime of longer than 7 months she was realy quite rude - patronising, repeatedly interrupting me...
I have now tried the procedure above and -weyhey!! it worked - I still want to complain to sky about their treatment of me but I am really pleased to have sorted the problem myself. I am now wondering whether this means that that is always a software issue and not a hardware one!! Surely Sky have a duty to remedy tbhis if this is the case. It also looks like the problem was caused by power surges/power cuts i last week's strong winds. I am wondering whether to protect my sky plus box from this in some way?
Thanks for the advice - it was very very welcome!

We have 2 sky + boxes. No worries for a year then after 12 months almost to the day it both boxes suddenly develop faults with playback freezing. I have been down this road before with Sky (which is why i ended up taking 2 sky plus boxes) and thought I would call to pay for extended warranty. The day i did this (a few weeks later) the boxes immediately fixed themselves! Decidedly dodgy. What concerns me is that i effectively have a hard drive connected via a phone line. A "virus" and "fix"?

Sky+ Issue for months and months. 3 service enginners. new dish and box. Skipping, freezing and sound clipping even worse than before. Recordings unwatchable, channels pixilate.. Sky's responce...? Take the Direct Debt each month..Any thoughts my friends

BEFORE ANY OF YOU DO A BACKUP ON A SKY+ (the procedure thats being talked about where your depresing the backup button) i would make sure your signal strength & quality for either input 1 OR (doesnt need to be both) input 2 is above 50% gray otherwise you may blow the flash memory chip inside the box resulting in it getting stuck in the standby mode!!! you can check your signal by pressing services, (4) system setup, then (6) signal test. Also before you do a backup or the hardrive reset (the one where you hold the 2 navigation buttons on the front of the box), dont switch the box off at the mains straight away, id recommend leaving it off at the mains for about 20 seconds to let it slow itself down, switching straight off sometimes damages the hardrive.
also some of you guys have been reporting that you have some channels missing with No Sat Signal message on the screen. to be honest the backup may help for this but probably not, its ussually a fault with the LNB (part looking at the dish) or dish out of line.

I have two sky+ boxes, the second has replaced a standard sky box which developed a fault. Due to sky commanding £65 to look at my system I obtained and fitted this new sky+ box myself without any problems, except when trying to get sky to marry the card & sky+ box. After two weeks it has suddenly developed a fault whereby it kept freezing and now it is stuck in the standby mode. Has the flash memeory chip blown and if so any ideas how to reoplace?

further to my comments on the 21st january.
i have sat here all day awaiting the engineer with my replacement box. my allocated time slot was 11am-2pm (he arrived at 4pm-yey!).
WITH DEPRESSING INEVITABILITY...less than 30 mins after he had left i tried to use live pause,which did pause ok but when i pressed play the screen stayed frozen. the only way to stop this was to press the sky button and skip to the current picture. it also wont rewind.
i called the engineer directly- he was too busy to come back (i was too busy to wait in an extra 2 hours for him to turn up late but i did)
all sky technical could do was talk me through the resets i had already done so now i am awaiting the next available weekend engineers slot.
if sky dont come through for me and offer some help then i shall be going down the cancellation route. sky plus is great when it works but it surely cant be worth all this agravation can it?

Many Thanks for your site. Just ran the fix you documented here and it appears to be ok - just worked out how much we have paid for this service over the past 2 1/2 years £1500 - not even funny ! Thinking of going to freeview soon as I am not happy with the quality of the sky service or equiptment - thanks to the site though

when recording a programme on sky plus all the other channels say no signal being received any idea why

I just followed this advice and now my Sky+ is working. Was previously just getting a System Fault message and the harddrive was spinning noisily. Phoned Sky tonight and was told I needed an engineer to visit and charged £65 to my Credit Card. Will phone in a minute for a refund. Cant see why they cant talk us through this procedure....oh yes I can, they are money grabbing bastards that offer shite service and shite quality...but theres no competition! And the woman on support said that I always have to be connected to the phoneline with Sky+ to 'receive software updates'...lying f*ckers!

Same problems but the fix didn't work. Phoned the 0800 no listed above and first went to technical, told them I'd already done the rebuild and full system restore etc and they told me £65 call out. Asked for disconnections and got a very nice lady who I told I couldn't afford call out charge. She then offered it for £32 and when I said couldn't afford that, agreed to send an engineer out for free as I was on the full price package. No hassle at all!! PS, it appears that evening calls go to the Scottish call centres so try calling then to avoid the Indian call centre. Remember to use the 0800 number instead of the 0870 number.

Reviewed all these comments with interest. Same problem as everyone else, lost recordings, screen freeze, 3 changed boxes during the 12 months (ended up with old recon Amstrad!!), skipping sound and countless hours on an 0870 number. Last telecon was the usual £65 call-out and even when I said we'd cancel they said fine. So spoke to my insurance legal help-line and they said drag them through the small claims court. Up here in Scotland, you'd only end up paying about £30 and there's no costs awarded against you when the claim is under £200. Main point to note is that you'd be using the Sale of Goods Act. Wherever goods are bought they must "conform to contract". This means they must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality (i.e. not inherently faulty at the time of sale). You have 5 years (in Scotland) to bring a claim but after the first 6 months, you have to prove that the goods were inherently faulty. I pointed this all out to Sky in a letter and they have agreed to send out an engineer free, replacing the box and then offering a 3 months further warranty. That's not quite as good as a new box + 12 months but at least I avoid going to court. I'm sure there are more ways to skin a cat as others on here have proved but at least this way worked for me.


Just like to say great Blog just followed the advice above and fixed my sky+ recording problems. Cancelled the engineer and save £65.

Many Thanks

ABSOLUTE DISGRACE!! I work in a call centre were all our calls are recorded and monitored - if we dealt with our customers the way Sky Technical deal with their customers (us) we'd be out the door like a shot - the difference is that we HAVE competition and have to be aware of customer relations, Sky have no such problems and it seems their staff know this and can treat us all like idiots with their stinking attitudes. After many hours and countless arguements I've finally decided that enough is enough and I'm cancelling this mickey mouse service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Pity there is no alternative satellite though!!!!!!!!!!

My Sky+ box developed the System fault a couple of months ago after almost filling up my drive with the Champions League! (Why do they stick so much on before and after?)

Anyway, the fix on this site solved it then. But my box developed the fault again this weekend and after several attempts, it still wouldn't fix it this time.

I phoned the 0800 0512595 number and went straight through to Tech Support (spoke to a Scot called Andy). He asked me a couple of things and I explained what I had already done. He said I would have to have a £65 callout. I acted all innocent and claimed poverty due to the interest rates etc and explained it was a months package to me. He simply said.."I'll put you in for a free callout"!!

Thanks for the all the help guys. Keep up the good work. Remember, don't always go in with guns blazing; sometimes just being calm and nice does help!

Hi what a great site!!, I have a completely blue screen, not my dish, 'cos multi room is working, tried re-booting no joy, before I ring 'them' any suggestions?

Always get the LNB on the dish checked.A lot of problems which are apparently the box are in fact a faulty LNB on the dish as I recently found out.

Hi,once again many thanks for your tips to reset SKY+.it seems every so often playback freezes or the picture gets 'choppy'(technical terminlogy...)& a hard reset sorts it out.gonna donate as you've saved me £130 so far & are now bookmarked for the next time....
thanks again Nigel

I have a problem with my new sky plus box. On the TV Guide page most channels/programs are shaded white. If they are shaded white I am unable to recorded these programs...? I've obviously set it up wrong somewhere but have rebooted as intructed and it seems to be no cure...

Me again. More investigating seems to conclude the recording error is not related to the colouring on the tv guide. Also on some channels i hear a audible error note on changing channel???? have i just been given a dud box?

Footnotes about Sky HD

eXTReMe Tracker