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Dvr Backup And Restore Software for Windows (DvrBARS)

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by ggieseke, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. Apr 13, 2013 #1 of 1472
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    May 30, 2008
    2013/04/14: Version 1.0.0.2 Patched for DeviceIoControl error reading SD cards.
    2013/04/15: Version 1.0.0.3 Patched for yet another DeviceIoControl error during restore on some computers.
    2014/11/27: Version 1.0.0.6 Added the ability to restore VHD images that it doesn't recognize.

    **WARNING**

    1. This software is provided "as is" with absolutely no warranty of any kind.
    2. Opening your TiVo will void the manufacturer's warranty.
    3. While every effort has been made to prevent data loss, the ultimate responsibility is yours.

    OVERVIEW:

    This is a Windows program designed to backup and restore TiVo DVRs. It will run on XP or later, and it should work on anything from a Series 1 to a Premiere. It is not intended as a recovery tool for corrupt or failing drives, and it will not expand or "supersize" your drive (yet).

    THE BASICS:

    1. Download DvrBARS and unzip it to somewhere on your drive.
    2. Connect a TiVo drive to your computer. USB adapters will work, but are generally much slower than a SATA or PATA direct connection.
    3. Read step 2 again. DvrBARS only scans the drives once when it first starts up. If you add, remove or change your drive configuration while it's running you will confuse the poor thing. I also strongly recommend that you do not run Windows Disk Manager while a TiVo drive is connected, because it will try to "initialize" it, which will damage the boot sector.
    4. Run DvrBARS with an account that's a member of the Administrators group or right-click it and choose Run as Administrator.
    5. If you like it and want to help support future development, find the donate option in the System Information screen.

    NOW WHAT?

    There are three backup options (Full, Modified Full, and Truncated).

    Full is perfect if you have a drive that's straight from the factory because most of the drive is all zeroes. A Full backup "xeroxes" the entire drive, but due to the way dynamic VHD files work you'll get a byte-for-byte copy of the entire drive in a relatively small file. For Premieres that's usually about 2.5GB and you can zip it down even further.

    Modified Full backups selectively copy all of the sectors that are in use, including your recordings. You'll need a lot of disk space if you have a lot of recordings.

    Truncated backups are like Modified backups, but your recordings are excluded. The final backup file will be about the same size as a Full backup of a factory drive that has never been booted, especially if you exclude the alternate Root partition (see the Settings screen).

    All three backup methods will preserve your settings, CableCARD pairing, Season Passes, guide data etc.

    There are two restore options (Full and Quick).

    Full restores write all of the information in the backup image to the target drive, including the sectors that weren't backed up. They get zeroes.

    Quick restores only write the sectors that contain data. The rest of the target drive is untouched.

    NOTES:

    There's a roughly 2.2TB limit inherent in the VHD file format. If you try to do a Full backup of a 2TB drive that has been in use for a while it will probably run for about 10 hours and die.

    You cannot make a Modified or Truncated backup of a dual drive TiVo unless both drives are connected. It has to be able to scan the entire MFS file system to figure out what sectors to include.

    For adventurous souls, you can use the VHD files with VMWare or Windows Virtual PC. Use the VHD as the source drive, boot the virtual computer with the mfstools or jmfs ISO file and you can expand, supersize, etc to another drive.

    If you have Vista or later you can also mount a VHD file in Disk Manager and use it as the source drive for further operations like turning a Full or Modified backup into a Truncated backup, but be careful to check the Read Only box.

    PLEASE HELP!!!!

    I have a perfect image of a TCD748000 Premiere XL straight from the factory. I also have a nearly pristine TCD746320 Premiere image, but it's larger because it came from a drive that had already been through one upgrade. If you have a "virgin" drive laying around somewhere, run a full backup and send me a PM. Someday I hope to have clean images of every recent model available to the community.

    Donate if you can. An awful lot of time and money has gone into this project so far, and the 100GB Dropbox account I set up for the images wasn't free either.

    KUDOS:

    Two members here (retiredqwest and jmbach) deserve a LOT of thanks and a big chunk of the credit. Their support and patience made it possible.

    The pioneers who developed mfstools and jmfs also have my deepest thanks. DvrBARS is an entirely new work, but the basic knowledge of the MFS file system came from them.

    AND FINALLY:

    I'll shut up now. If you have any problems (and there are bound to be some) post the details here.

    Enjoy!
    Greg
     
  2. Apr 13, 2013 #2 of 1472
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

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    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Does this do an actual backup of Premieres and has it been fully tested, as in restoring to a bigger drive, like a 746320 to a 1tb/2tb?

    This is a first I heard of backup/restore for Premieres since WinMFS.
     
  3. Apr 13, 2013 #3 of 1472
    vectorcatch

    vectorcatch New Member

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    Nov 20, 2008
    I tried running this on Windows 8 x64 and I get the following attached error screen.

    I did a quick bit of testing and discovered that if I put an SD card in my memory card reader, the program starts fine.

    My guess is that you are enumerating all the physical drives and trying to get their geometry. However, this call fails on the card reader when nothing is inserted. Should be an easy enough fix, you can either check to see if media is inserted or just assume the drive is offline if the call fails.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Apr 13, 2013 #4 of 1472
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    It will backup and restore but it doesn't expand. You could restore a 746320 to a 2TB drive then use JMFS to expand and supersize. I have tested it on an XL (748) and OLED S3 (648)
     
  5. Apr 13, 2013 #5 of 1472
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    That 746 image has been through the mill. It's running on at least 5 TiVos now that I know of, including 1TB and 2TB drives. For now the expansion is still achieved with jmfs, but I hope to change that in the future.

    My 748 has been wiped and rebuilt so many times that it probably cringes every time I get near. It's for real. I have personally tested it on a dual drive SVR-2000 Series 1, a 649 Series 2, and the 748. We also built a 648 Series 3 successfully by taking a WinMFS backup, converting it to a VHD file, and restoring it.

    The minimum file size for a Premiere seems to be around 2.5GB, but that will compress to about 1.5GB if you zip it or make a .rar file with 7-Zip. It's just a honkin' big piece of software once you add the SQLite partition and the HD menus. I also preserve the Welcome video if you haven't deleted it, the showroom demo video, and the THX certification video even on a Truncated backup.
     
  6. Apr 13, 2013 #6 of 1472
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    Thanks!!!! It does indeed enumerate the physical drives on startup and that screenshot will help me tremendously. I never even considered SD drives. :eek:
     
  7. Apr 13, 2013 #7 of 1472
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    6,719
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    SF Bay Area
    What about expand and supersize with WinMFS afterwards?
     
  8. Apr 13, 2013 #8 of 1472
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

    4,018
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    May 30, 2008
    That works fine according to all tests so far (using jmfs for Premieres).

    I plan to add drive expansion in the future, but my goal is to resize the partitions instead of adding more of them. That's going to take some work.
     
  9. Apr 13, 2013 #9 of 1472
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Interesting about the SD card. Both my laptops have nothing in the SD card slot and I haven't got that error. However I never tested it with a card in the slot. But your error is with nothing in the slot. I wonder if your setup shows empty drives being mounted.
     
  10. Apr 13, 2013 #10 of 1472
    vectorcatch

    vectorcatch New Member

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    Nov 20, 2008
    With my readers the drive letter is present as long as the device is plugged in, but the drive is greyed out with a no media indication.

    Not all media readers do it this way. Some will only show a drive when media is inserted. The one on my laptop works this way.

    This problem happened with both the built in reader on my Dell U2410 and a Kingston USB 3.0 reader.
     
  11. Apr 14, 2013 #11 of 1472
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    My Lenovo D20 has the same kind of setup but I always leave the card readers disabled in BIOS. I was able to replicate the problem and version 1.0.0.2 is now available. Thanks.
     
  12. Apr 14, 2013 #12 of 1472
    dgorman

    dgorman New Member

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    Apr 13, 2013
    Thank you for providing this utility! I accidently ran WinMFS on a premiere drive and while it recognized it, it said it wasn't a Tivo drive so I did the fix swap and fixboot page (tried both option 1 and option 2) and it just causes my original drive to reboot after "Wait... Starting up". It's like I nuked the partition table. Wish I knew how to restore it back to the original.

    I was able to use this utility to see all the partitions and make a backup and restore to a new drive, and as expected magically didn't fix the partition table since this is just a byte-for-byte copy, but it does work :))

    Anyone know how to fix a "I've WinMFS'd my Premiere drive boopage" :)
     
  13. Apr 14, 2013 #13 of 1472
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    What version of the Premieres do you have?
     
  14. Apr 14, 2013 #14 of 1472
    GBL

    GBL covert opiniative

    1,740
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    Twin Cities, MN
    Tell me more about expanding an OLED S3 to a 2TB drive - I have a couple that are at 1TB that I wouldn't mind expanding.
     
  15. Apr 14, 2013 #15 of 1472
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    What model is it? I may be able to write a "fixboot" type option into the program if I have an appropriate image to start from. It was on my ToDoList anyway, but I didn't expect anyone to need it this soon.

    I don't know what the WinMFS fix swap might have done, but as long as it didn't modify the partition table we should be good. The actual contents of the swap partition are meaningless anyway. There seems to be a lot of leeway on Premieres - jmbach dumped the 746 image on a 748 and it repaired itself.
     
  16. Apr 14, 2013 #16 of 1472
    dgorman

    dgorman New Member

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    Apr 13, 2013
    Hi,

    I have the TCD750500 Premiere with the 500GB drive.
     
  17. Apr 14, 2013 #17 of 1472
    dgorman

    dgorman New Member

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    Cool. FWIW - I've been a sr. unix engineer for the last 15 years so I have comfort with using linux/unix tools - I just don't know what it "should" look like. :)
     
  18. Apr 14, 2013 #18 of 1472
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    I'll let jmbach answer that one in more detail, but I think that in your case WinMFS, mfstools or jmfs would all work as long as you haven't already maxed out the partition table limit. Your best bet is probably jmfs since it only adds one partition.
     
  19. Apr 14, 2013 #19 of 1472
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

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    I don't have a P4 image yet, but a standard Premiere boot sector may work. Let me see what I can do.

    It may take a few days since I have to go back to work tomorrow. There are only 24 hours in a day and I've been living on scraps of sleep for months now getting this beast written.
     
  20. Apr 14, 2013 #20 of 1472
    dgorman

    dgorman New Member

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    Apr 13, 2013
    Thank you! I am traveling for work this afternoon and won't be back until Thursday anyway. If it's of any help, I would be more than happy to donate to your work (paypal or other) on this project. I do appreciate people with the time and perseverance to hack on these products :)

    In the meantime, is there a way to mount the full backup so I can at least see if I can convert the shows to watch on a computer? Obviously when I mount the VHD, because the partitions are unknown, it doesn't see them. I'm learning along the way here with the Tivo formats :)

    Dan
     

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