I intentionally posted this in a public area in the hopes that maybe someone else will benefit from this.
I have a VIP 722k receiver from Dish Network. I've been having issues where the receiver would slow down (as is slow down responding to remote commands) and randomly lock up. I'd have to go over and hit the reset button to reboot it and all would be good for a few weeks again. I had been doing that for a good 6 months now. Recently the problem was getting worse- where it would lock up right in the middle of watching a show. Last night it locked up during recording and without me actually watching anything. Today I go to turn the TV to see what's been DVR'd for the day (I DVR a LOT of programming) only to find that the receiver is again locked up hard. This time, however, a reboot doesn't work. It freezes at the Starting Up screen. Ok, I figure I must need to do a hard reset by unplugging it. Try that and, again, it locks up at the Starting Up screen.
My first thought is a bad drive- as a failed drive tends to be the primary problem with DVR's. However, unlike when I've had drives fail before, I never once had a hard drive error message pop up nor do I hear the tell-tale click, click, click.
So, since I own this receiver (and because I'm exceedingly impatient) I decide to rip it open to see what might be the issue. Fortunately you can open this receiver by just removing 5 screws and there are no Warranty tamper tags to worry about. Comes apart very easy.
As soon as I get it open I discover the problem- two failed caps. One is a failed cap on one of the satellite inputs (which likely happened last summer when my Dish antenna got zapped by lightning). The other was a cap on the SATA drive power supply circuit.
I replace both of those caps and throw it back together. Reconnect it and power it on. Bingo! Works perfectly!
Here are the caps that were bad in my receiver (the cap by the satellite input #1 was very likely from the lightning strike and was probably not causing this particular issue as that cap was just acting as a filter).
The cap that was the main issue was C194 and is very near the SATA power connector on the main board (it's right under the hard drive). It's a 1200uf 6.3v cap. I replaced it with a 1200uf 10v for good measure.
The other cap, on the satellite input, was labeled C89 and is a 820uf 6.3v. I only had a 820uf 6.3v on hand so I replaced it with that (which, as I mentioned, should not be an issue because it's just a filter cap on the input and not acting on a voltage rectifier circuit).