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DIY 4TB Premiere

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by jmbach, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Feb 22, 2014 #21 of 207
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    You can use JMFS to copy the 2TB image to the 4TB drive as was mentioned. Since my 2TB was only a third full and I wanted a backup in case something went wrong and I needed a 2TB drive for the expansion step, I used the DvrBARS approach.
     
  2. Feb 22, 2014 #22 of 207
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Cox Cable...
    For those who don't want to have (or buy) smaller capacity drives, on their way to getting to larger sizes, there is the hdparm way (hard for some), then the Hitachi Feature Tool way (easy for some):

    1. Hard way (for some) Use hdparm (linux utility) to set the drive's HPA (Host Protected Area), in order to make the device the drive is attached to believe it is a smaller size, then shrink (or eliminate) the size of the HPA, as needed. This makes the host device (computer or TiVo) think the drive is whatever size you have set the LBA number to represent. hdparm can be dangerous if not used correctly (a small typo can brick your drive).

    2. Easy way (for some) Use Hitachi Feature Tool bootable (DOS-based) bootable floppy, CD, or thumb drive are all options, to just change the LBA number to reflect the drive size you need at each step you need a change (can only be done by changing LBA, not typing in the capacity you want, due to limitations in the program). The LBA number you select needs to be offset by 1 (due to Hitachi FT starting with the first LBA as zero, or one, I forget which way it is offset from the way nearly anything else reads/sets LBA number).

    With both methods you want to specify "permanently" (or "persistent"), and each requires a reboot once you set the change (and requires a hard reboot if you change it to a value, apply the change, then realize you got it wrong and need to change it to another value). The change can be reversed/altered later, but you need the permanent/persistent part to make the drive retain the change with a soft and hard reboot.

    Words of warning: If you have ever had the drive connected to a computer/host that set a HPA area on the drive, you will notice a discrepancy in the true max LBA and what the drive reports. Please make sure to check for this before moving along to changing things. If you see the drive already has it's visible LBA count reduced, the first step is to check your BIOS for an option like "save backup copy of BIOS to HDD", and disable it, and then make sure that you don't have any backup (or drive/partition management) software installed that makes hidden and protected backups within a HPA the software creates. Paragon, and (I think) Acronis, can be set to do this.

    In many cases, you may have to change your BIOS settings to change drive(s) involved to "compatible/legacy mode", or Hitachi FT may not see it (in "AHCI/Windows mode").

    I've also learned that disabling automount, within windows, via diskpart, via command prompt, is a good idea when you want to insure Windows doesn't try to alter the drive(s). This helps insure Windows will only acknowledge the drive as being connected (hardware-layer-wise), without prompting you to "initialize" the drive, or it trying to assign drive letters/mount-points/etc. While doing this is usually not necessary, it's still added safety.

    You can also purge the cache of mount-points, drive letters, and related mappings for no-longer-attached drives while using diskpart at command prompt. Windows remembers every drive it ever mounted, even if you wipe all traces from the device manager with all hidden devices fully displayed.

    As always, don't forget that anything done within windows (and linux) will (most of the time) need to be done with an administrative account and/or elevated privileges.
     
  3. Feb 26, 2014 #23 of 207
    44ml

    44ml New Member

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    Feb 17, 2014
    @jmbach,
    I did a full restore from DvrBARS to the 2TB drive using a factory image. I then used JMFS to expand and super-size it. You mentioned that the minimum OS is version 20.3.8. Do I need to install this drive in my TiVo to make sure it is up to date before continuing?

    When I run "hdparm –N 3907008064 --yes-i-know-what-i-am-doing /dev/sda", I get the following message (also from "hdparm –N /dev/sda"):
    Code:
    Max sectors    = 18446744073321592384/3907029168(18446744073321613488?), HPA set
    ting seems invalid
    /dev/sda is my 2TB drive. Any idea what's going on here? My sector counts match the 7,814,037,168 & 3,907,029,168 you mentioned above.

    Is this copying from and to the 4TB drive? I understand this as copying block = 12, length = 1 block, to block = 11. Etc. Is that correct?

    Am I copying block = 2, length = 1 to block = 15, or block = (block 2 "first partition block"), length = (block 2 "partition block count") to (block 15 "first partition block")?
     
  4. Feb 26, 2014 #24 of 207
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    The TiVo should update automatically. But yes, if this is an old image, let it update and then check under system information for version number to make sure it is correct.

    Is the drive connected via a SATA or eSata cable. I usually see this when the drive is connected via USB.

    Yes

    The former. Once the block is copied to block 15, you will then modify the values inside block 15 as indicated.
     
  5. Feb 28, 2014 #25 of 207
    44ml

    44ml New Member

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    It was connected via USB when I did the DvrBARS restore and the iBored copies between the 2 drives. I only have 2 SATA ports on board, and windows runs off an SATA drive. Both the 4TB and 2TB were connected via SATA when I ran hdparm.

    I have now started over. I restored the factory image to the 2TB drive, expanded, and supersized it. I then installed the drive in my TiVo and let it do the update. I did this without my cable card in and didn't active it so that I might be able to get an image that is useful to others if this process does require the updated OS be done first.

    I'm willing to try anything/everything. Should I try doing the iBored modifications to the 2TB drive then try making a DvrBARS backup prior to the hdparm/mfsadd/mfslayout steps? How about just mounting the VHD in windows and modifying it in iBored?

    @ggieseke, do you think this might work with the current version of DvrBARS?

    I read somewhere that Farstone TotalRecovery Pro will work with TiVo hard drives. I also understand that the 14-day free trial isn't crippled in any way. It can make physical to VMware/Hyper-v (P2V) backup images that I'm guessing are in VMDK format. They support "4TB and bigger" drives. When I get the 4TB working, I'll try making a P2V image and see if it works and how big the final image is.

    How does the format button on the front of my Premiere work? If I press it will it restore to a factory image with the updated OS? Does it work with 2TB and 4TB drives? Ideally, I'd like to create a factory 4TB VMDK image that others can use with the trial of TotalRecovery to simplify everything.

    @ggieseke, DvrBARS has been working great for the most part, I just have some user friendly suggestions for future versions.
    1 - When I first ran it on my laptop, I got an error message about the screen resolution. It let me proceed and was only slightly out of the visible area. I don't have the screen resolution here, but it isn't really small. I don't see anything that requires that much screen height.
    2 - Prior to my second attempt at everything, I managed to take the drive "Offline" in Windows Disk Management. It allowed me to make a backup, but gave me a 0x00000013 (not sure of how many 0s there were) "WriteFile" error when I attempted to restore. Hopefully that helps you make the error message a little more helpful.

    If there is anything that needs to be beta tested or just ideas you guys would like to try, I'm happy to give back. I have 320GB, 1TB, 2TB, & 4TB drives that I can play with (at least until I put the 4TB in my TiVo).
     
  6. Feb 28, 2014 #26 of 207
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    The 2TB drive needs to be connected to the SATA connector when running hdparm. However, if you are getting that invalid sector count, might need another computer to run it on.

    You can mount the VHD in windows and then use iBored to modify it.

    The Format button changes between the video formats (480i, 480p,...)
     
  7. Feb 28, 2014 #27 of 207
    44ml

    44ml New Member

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    If I put my PCI SATA controller in that computer, do you think that would work or is it more the computer that is causing the problem?

    I feel dumb. For the last 3 years I've wondered why there's no power button, but there is a button to erase everything. I guess "format" doesn't mean the same thing to most people. :)
     
  8. Feb 28, 2014 #28 of 207
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    You can only back it up while it's still a 2TB drive. Once it crosses that limit DvrBARS is useless. It was written before 3TB or 4TB drives would even boot in a Premiere. The VHD file format is the limiting factor.
     
  9. Mar 16, 2014 #29 of 207
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    For those who are interested, I have revised the procedure. It keeps partition 10 intact to work better with the tools out there.
     
  10. Mar 27, 2014 #30 of 207
    44ml

    44ml New Member

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    I just did a modified backup and quick restore of a 4TB image in DvrBARS and it worked fine. I'm completely erasing the drive now. I'll try another restore in the morning to double check it.

    The drive itself is setup the way jmbach explains above. The OS is moved to the middle for faster seek times. All of the MFS partitions are in multiples of 1024 blocks since anything short of that isn't used. Partitions 2 & 5 have been resized to 8 blocks. I was told by jmbach that this will give it 4k alignment.

    The only reservation I have about sharing this image is the possibility of information about my TiVo being on the drive. I started with a factory image, but I had to put it in my machine to perform the OS upgrade. Does TiVo write anything to the disk about my machine? If so, is there a way to remove it? Which partition(s) is the upgraded OS on? Are new premieres shipping with the latest OS? If so, does anyone have a DvrBARS backup of that?
     
  11. Mar 27, 2014 #31 of 207
    Cybernut

    Cybernut New Member

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    IF DvrBARS does indeed now successfully backs up drives larger than 2TB, then I suggest you run Clear and Delete Everything (from tivo menu Settings -> Help -> Clear and Delete Everything) which wipes out the customizations you made and resets the TiVo to factory settings. After Clear and Delete Everything finishes, it'll reboot and take you to the guided setp. At this point you need to power down the tivo and take the drive out (unfortunately since you can't get to the menus without going through guided setup and therefore cannot get to restart option under Help menu, this will be an ungraceful shutdown). Then if you use DvrBARS, the resulting image will be a clean copy but I believe it'll somehow still be married to your Tivo motherboard...and anyone else wishing to use the image will need to copy the image to their drive and then first run Clear and Delete everything to actually marry the image to their Tivo motherboard, before they can make recordings.

    One thing that may be obvious but worth mentioning, is that the 4TB image isn't going to be universal...it is specific to that Tivo Premiere model. So unless someone has the same Premiere model, the image won't be of use to them (i.e. a 4TB image upgraded from a 320 gig will work only on a 320 gig Premiere...not on the 500 gig or 1TB XL models).
     
  12. Mar 27, 2014 #32 of 207
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    A truncated or modified backup might work as long as there are no shows in the final media partition, but I can't guarantee anything. It SHOULD be fairly accurate for the first 2TB and after that it's anyone's guess.

    Let us know how it goes after the erase and restore.
     
  13. Mar 27, 2014 #33 of 207
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    I feel fairly sure that if you do a clear and delete everything first and once it gets to the guided setup pull the plug. Then take the drive and examine block 0. In block 0 you will see some code and ascii characters at the very beginning followed by a bunch of 0x00 then some more code (about the middle of the block) and then 0x00 again. (You may have a few bytes of code at the very end of the block as well but don't worry about them). Overwrite that code you see in the middle of the block with 0x00 and save the changes. That should effectively erase any connection of that image with your TiVo.
     
  14. Mar 27, 2014 #34 of 207
    lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    A better option is to pull the plug a few seconds after C&D is selected, that way the image will start off doing a C&D all for the new TiVo and will not have to be re-run to syc up the TSN. I do this all the time between TiVos, saves the new TiVo setup a lot of time.
     
  15. Mar 27, 2014 #35 of 207
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Are you talking about writing zeros in the truncated backup file or directly to the TiVo hard drive itself before making the backup?

    Wouldn't the first thing on the drive be the Apple Partition Map?

    Would the TSN be hidden inside that? It's not like Apple planned for it to be there since the APM was around long before TiVos were invented.
     
  16. Mar 27, 2014 #36 of 207
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Writing zeros on the drive.

    Block 0 comes first and then the APM.

    That area that I am suggesting to zero out is unique to each TiVo, I am not completely sure what it is as I cannot find my notes at this time but I seem to recall that it has something to do with the MAC address. Don't take my word on that. Some one else may have better information than I have at this moment. If I find my notes, then I'll edit this post and clear it up.

    The TSN is not hidden in the APM. That I am highly confident of.
     
  17. Mar 27, 2014 #37 of 207
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    The first sector on the drive (sector 0 to us programmer geeks) that jmbach is talking about is known as Block0. The APM starts at sector 1.

    I don't think wiping those bytes is enough to clear out the TSN but I could be wrong. On earlier models you had to run a script known as "51 killer" to completely divorce the drive from the motherboard.
     
  18. Mar 27, 2014 #38 of 207
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    I also do this, but slightly differently. I let the C&DE complete, which leads to a reboot when it has finished the C&DE. I make sure to babysit, then pull the plug at that reboot point. Same results, but no waiting for the C&DE on every unit the image goes to afterwards. The next recipient of the drive image made this way will boot normally, without additional wait, and right into guided setup, with no issues. This is great when you intend to share the image with others, or plan to use it on multiple units of your own. It saves time.

    As long as you pull the plug between the very first booting welcome screen, and before the second "almost there..." screen, the TiVo will not boot far enough to re-link the TSN to the drive.

    I try my best to aim for pulling power before the amber light starts flickering (the point where the kickstart (KS__) codes can be entered. I think the reason the light flickers the way it does, is that it is acting like a HDD led on a computer, but can not prove that is the case.

    This method has been used for every TiVo I have owned: HD, Premiere, & Roamio base model 846.
     
  19. Mar 28, 2014 #39 of 207
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    It's been my experience that it's around 60 seconds after first applying wall socket power to a TiVo that whatever a particular model TiVo does with its front panel lights at or around the correct time to do whatever you do on that model to enter a KickStart code happens.
     
  20. Mar 28, 2014 #40 of 207
    nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    With each major platform, that time has been shortened. So far, the Roamio has made the biggest leap. I'm guestimating as fast as ~30 seconds from the time the first boot screen appears.

    That is still plenty of time. But, I consider that point the "point of no return", and would rather repeat the process, which will be faster the second time around, than hope for the best and not do it again.

    I usually am quick enough to cleanly pull power within ~5 seconds of the first screen (in that same window where intellipark can try to park the drive heads if not adjusted/disabled, when applicable).

    I use a power strip with a switch to insure a quick and clean disconnect, when possible (rather than literally grabbing and pulling the power cord out). That's a bit OCD, but that's just the way I am.

    You can zip your way through guided setup by using 00000 as your zip code with the "installer express" option, and selecting "Tiny TiVo" as your provider.
     

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