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Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by ggieseke, Apr 13, 2013.
The link in that posted link has the image. Even though its for the 540040, it should work on the 540140. They are the same model, just different size drives, 40GB vs. 140GB.
The .BAK is a MFSLive image file, and the .TBK is WinMFS. For WinMFS, you would need administrative rights to access the drives.
It works on Series 1 through Series 4 TiVos, but I only keep images for Premieres. The tools and images for older models are already available, so why bother?
I'm working on adding Roamio support but it's low priority.
I'm getting ready to try to copy recordings from a Series 3 HDD that's dying a slow death. I can access it in Windows 7 from bootable CDs like UltimateBootCD in order to run diagnostics. In the Series 3, it sometimes boots and sometimes gets stuck in the "Welcome - powering on" screen.
I've gotten advice in other TiVo forum threads to use the Modified Full backup. However I'm a little confused about how it creates the backup image on the target drive:
1. Does the target drive have to be empty, or does it just have to have enough contiguous free space to store the image (it's about 250GB on this stock S3 drive)? IOW, will using the Modified Full backup destroy any existing data on a drive?
2. I have one of those WD "Expander" drives that connects to the Series 3 via a SATA cable. One of the posters in the other thread suggested that recordings are "striped" across the two HD's, meaning that if I just restore the internal HD, some or all of the recordings might not be readable. If this is really the case, is there any way to incorporate the data on the external WD with the data on the internal HD when I make the Modified Full backup? My guess is that I would need to have both drives connected to my Windows 7 PC via SATA cables. Would the Modified Full backup recognize recordings striped across two drives like that?
Of course if the recordings aren't "striped" (I've always heard of it as "spanned", but... whatever) it's a moot point and I can just do the Modified Full backup on the internal HD and worry about the external HD later.
I will have to address the recordings on that external WD drive eventually though, because installing a new plug-and-play TiVo HDD is supposed to break the external SATA interface. But that's another issue....
Anyway thanks for your time reading this, and thanks for providing this great backup utility!
1. The original backup image(s) are just .VHD files that are written to anywhere you choose on your PC with enough free disk space. It could be your main hard drive or any other drive that's formatted with NTFS, so you might make it C:\MyTiVo.vhd. When you restore, it overwrites the target drive from the beginning. Any data already on that drive will be destroyed. It's a two stage process.
2. With an expander you will have to have both drives connected at the same time to do a Truncated or Modified Full backup. When you select the first drive it will see that it's married and make you select the expander. Each drive will get its own backup file, so you might have C:\MyTiVo.vhd and C:\MyExpander.vhd.
If you're confident that the main drive is the problem and you have at least 250GB of free space on your computer you could just connect that drive and run a Full backup. It will take longer but you wouldn't have to touch the expander at all. Either way you'll probably have to babysit the backup process and click OK every time it runs into a bad sector.
When you restore to a new drive it should maintain everything including your recordings as long as you don't try to expand it with one of the other tools. Even if you use a larger drive it will just duplicate the original drive (in your case 250GB) and leave the rest untouched.
FWIW, I think "spanned" is a better description. At least on my dual-drive Series 1 it may write a chunk of a recording to either drive depending on where it finds some free space, but it doesn't stripe across both drives simultaneously.
If you have a spare drive lying around that's at least as big as the S3 drive, you could try wrapping some paper towel around the S3 drive and putting it in the freezer overnight, then getting a PC ready to which you can hook up both the spare drive and the S3 drive straight to SATA or IDE ports, and use
off of the MFS Live cd v1.4 to do a byte for byte copy of the S3 drive and then you can do backups from the spare drive.
You want to have evrything set up and know what you're going to enter at the command line before getting the S3 drive out of the freezer (the paper towel keeps you from leaving any skin on it and absorbs any condensation when you bring it back out into the air), so that it doesn't get any warmer than necessary any sooner than possible.
I checked out the MFS Live CD v1.4 download site at
While forum visitors can download the MFS Live CD 1.4 ISO file, this patch requires login:
"Patch to rescue TiVo drive with errors - patch submitted by terativo"
Only registered users can download the patch. I checked the forum and FAQ and could find no way to register. In addition, I could not send inquries to the site admin because only registered users can do this.
Based on the description, that patch seems like it might be necessary for rescuing my drive.
I was able to follow the links and start the downloads from the forum posts without logging in?
I should have been more specific about which link required login. My bad, sorry. I'll revise my first post.... refer to it for the download link that requires login.
Although a registered user there for a while now, it doesn't seem to want to allow me access to that link at all. I just get a page that says:
"You are not authorised to read this forum."
I can't even figure out how to sneak up on it, because none of the 9 forums shown here:
equate to f=4 when I mouse over and look at the address in the bar at the bottom of the screen.
Can you tell me more specifically where you found this patch and why you think you need it?
" Release Note:
MFSLive Release v1.4 02-01-2009
- Updated Linux Kernel and drivers so it will support newer hardware.
NTFS read/write access and other file systems are added. With NTFS, there is no
4 GB single file size limit so you should be able to create a full backup to a file
on a NTFS formatted drive.
- Patch to rescue TiVo drive with errors - patch submitted by terativo
- Fixed Internal + eSATA drive backup on S3.
- Fixd dd_rhelp - patch submitted by Overlook (http://mfslive.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=160)
- Added tpip tool (http://mfslive.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=654)
- Added /bin/bash (http://mfslive.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1067)"
Looks like MFSLive has it as long as you have the latest build.
Jeez, I did it again. Sorry! I found it in the first message in this forum thread:
Boy, I'm slipping. This is actually getting scary. For more info see jmbach's message above and my response below.
Hmm. I guess the message could be read to mean that version 1.4 includes that patch. It's a little vague on that point.
BTW that link for the patch still doesn't work for non-registered users. As Unitron has reported, it doesn't work for him when he's logged in either.
Just to keep things organized, here again is the link to the forum message reported here by jmBach:
At the moment, the PC I need to use for this recovery op is busy on other things. I'll have to wait another day or two for it to finish (it's rendering Blu-Ray recordings) before disembowling it to connect the TiVo S3 internal and expander drives.
From what I've read in the documentation, the S3 has some issues with the MFSLive and WinMFS software, specifically in dealing with the external expander drive. It seems as though the external drive must be "divorced" before recovery of the internal drive can begin. This would result in the loss of all recorded programming on the external drive, plus any recordings that were "spanned" between the two drives.
What's not in the documentation is any description of recovery options for the external expander after it's been "divorced".
As I reported earlier, other TiVo forum posters have said that replacing the old S3 internal drive will break the external eSata interface. That means that even if recordings which were "spanned" on the old drive are partially recovered on the new drive, the portions that were "spanned" to the expander will still be lost.
Only way to find out is just try to do something with either MFSLive or WinMFS when that PC becomes available.
Here are links to the docs I've been talking about. Do text searches for "S3" to see the model-specific caveats. For the MFSLive guide, you'll have to access the chapter links to do that. The WinMFS guide is all on one page.
I have been inside the code of MFSLive and although I am not intimate with the code I have been working on modding the code to work with larger drives. Especially when trying to combine two drives into one.
The patch that you are looking for is in the latest release. However, it appears that it addresses MFS errors and not OS issues or getting around a bad drive.
So my questions to you are:
What is your current setup.
What is the setup you want to end up with.
And are wanting to salvage your recordings. (I assume yes)
Apparently that's all stuff that was added since v1.3b, so if you've got v1.4, you've got all that stuff.
And I guess there's a private forum where those guys who can actually read and write the code for MFS Live discussed that stuff, and it's a forum to which I was never issued an invitation to join back when spike was still actively running the site.
Which may be just as well, because I'd probably only have gotten in the way.
I've modified my signature to show the current setup with the TiVo:
TiVo S3 HD TCD648250B 250GB HDD + WD eSATA Expander
Right now the TiVo's internal 350GB HDD is the one that's dying. The WD eSata Expander drive seems to be OK.
What I would like to do is replace the internal 250GB HDD with a 1TB or 2TB plug-and-play internal TiVo drive. I'll probably buy it from one of the two vendors recommended by other posters in this thread.
Once I've installed the new HDD in the TiVo, I'd like to backup/copy the recorded programming on the old TiVo HDD and Expander drives, then restore the programming to the new internal HDD.
No doubt that's wishful thinking but I want to give it a shot. What's probably going to wreck the plan is the fact that I can't use the Expander drive as-is with the new internal HDD. That's because installing these plug-and-play drives supposedly wrecks the eSATA interface.
Thus if I want to restore all programming on both the old HDD and the Expander drive, I have to backup/copy both of them and somehow take care of any recordings that were "spanned" across the two drives.
There are suggestions in the documentation for MFSLive and WinMFS to the effect that for a TiVo S3, I'll actually have to "divorce" the expander drive and toss away the recorded content before making a backup of the internal HDD. Any "spanned" programs would also obviously be lost.
I'll just have to try the programs to see what happens if I try to backup both drives.
It may well be that I'll just have to toss all of the old recordings and just start over from scratch with the new drive. I really would like to save some of those programs though - the complete "Maverick" and "Cheyenne" series among other classic westerns and old TV series.
Hope this is the information you wanted. If you need more, just let me know. I'm a captive audience.
I doubt that very much. This isn't lip service, just an observation that in these forums you put a lot of effort into trying to make things work for other people. That kind of agenda never gets in anyone's way.
Besides, raising a little hell over in those forums could only be an improvement, especially in the area of documentation.
Now let's see if that last one snags a bass!
That setup has been successfully combined into one 2TB drive by one member here that I worked with. It uses a version of MFSLive that I partially modified along with using a hex editor. Send me a PM if you want to do it. Don't want to clutter up this thread by going to far off topic.
just had my Tivo Premiere rebuild fail for the second time in two months. The drive is a WD10EURS.
Being that it is formatted for Tivo, if I run the WD diagnostics app on this drive, will it mean anything?
Does the drive need to be formatted for either Windows or Mac for that diagnostics app to properly note errors, etc.?