Fixing a (Time Warner) cable box when all the buttons stop working

Every now and then, the magic elves powering our various devices overcome the spell forcing them into the mindnumbing labor of making buttons work. At that critical juncture, we discover that pressing channel up or channel down results in, well, nothing. In fact, every button your Time Warner remote control and cable box, when pressed, fails to do as ordered. No amount of prayer, incense or wand-waving fixes it, and access to important things, such as the premiere of season three of Walking Dead, seems to be endangered.

The first thing to do when confronted by such problems is to go googling. Something like “cable box channels lock won’t change” and so on. I was delivered a most useful of pages with some instructions I’ll reduce to a few even simpler steps:

  1. Simultaneously hold down the VOL+, VOL- and the INFO buttons.
  2. Wait untl the tiny display on your Time Warner cable box shows some kind of different message; mine simply presented a “- – – -,” but the post I cited said it might read “BOT.” Release the buttons.
  3. The display will cycle through a variety of unusual letter/number combinations; I enjoyed a countdown formatted with the letter “L” and decreasing numbers, starting with 9.
  4. When the time is again shown on your cable box’s display, go ahead and hit the power button to turn it back on.
  5. You’ve reset your cable box. The unresponsive buttons, or whatever your problems is, should be solved. If it’s not, try the whole process again.

Additional instructions for fixing devices from DirectTV, Dish and U-verse can be found on the page linked earlier.

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