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DVRupgrade.com's INSTANTCAKE is out of date

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by w2jo, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. w2jo

    w2jo New Member

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    Jun 28, 2003
    I recently purchased "the latest" circa 2007 InstantCake upgrade package for my Tivo Series 3 from DVRupgrade.com. I read (going in) that a) there was NO PRODUCT SUPPORT of any kind available and b) NO REFUNDS. OK says I, but last time I tried it, it worked fine so likely with my computer experience, I can make it work. OOPS!!! That did not turn out to be so.

    The program was designed for OLDER PCs where there were a) PATA drive ports and b) (apparently) just two SATA ports. None of my four PCs now meet that criteria. I tried it on three computers, two with multiple (6 and 8) SATA ports and on a 2009 HP laptop using a USB to SATA adapter. In none of these configurations could InstantCake identify and connect to the DESTINATION SATA port (or USB port) so as to be able to write the InstantCake Tivo package to the destination 1TB drive.

    It was true! ABSOLUTELY ZERO support was available from DVRupgrade and no refund was available either! Let the buyer be AWARE!

    Finally, in despairation, I went to this and other Tivo forums and found the program KNOPPIX at http://www.bumwine.com/tivo.html and it worked beautifully. I did not need the InstantCake image, but just used the original Tivo Image from the original OEM drive from Tivo.

    http://www.bumwine.com/tivo.html speaks of http://www.mfslive.org/winmfs/ which is supposedly even easier to use, but I did not try that one out.

    I tried to publish this information on the DVRupgrade.com website, but they would not allow these comments on their website. I can understand why. It seems to me that DVRupgrade.com needs to have their InstantCake program updated to work with modern computers OR quit selling it.
     
  2. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    The only reason to buy InstantCake is if you don't have an image. If you need the software to install an image on a disk, MFSLive is free. You can use it with the IC image. Given that all the TiVos for IC used PATA disks there would be no point to SATA support. USB, though, is another matter.
     
  3. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    That is incorrect. Series 3 use SATA disks and instantcake for a Series 3 is supposed to work with SATA disks and even a SATA CD-ROM, at least according to the instructions here.

    Even if the price were still $20, instantcake wouldn't be worth the price. At $40 it is a complete ripoff.

    Having said that, it should have worked. I guess the point is moot, but I would be interested to know exactly what you did.

    When I replaced my dying 160GB drive in my TiVO HD with a !TB, I used WinMFS.
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Even if I didn't have an image, I wouldn't use IC as there is another option that I would prefer: DVR_DUDE sells plug-in upgrade drives (just google "ebay dvr_dude"). $145 for 1 TB and $200 for 2 TB. Then subtract the $40 you save by not buying IC, then subtract whatever you think your time and aggravation dealing with IC would be worth.
     
  5. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    Yes, free images here on the forum and free tools on MFSlive.org. That being said, the image on the Instantcake will still be good (though an old factory version) and can be transferred to a flashdrive following directions here: http://www.dvrupgrade.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1734

    Once you mount the flashdrive with the image, you can use a USB to SATA adapter cable to do the imaging. I've done this just to prove it works but normally I use WinMFS and my USB adapter cable.
     
  6. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    dvrupgrade may be a sponsor of TCF, but selling an S3 image IC disk that is incapable of installing that image is not only inexcusable but prima facia evidence that whoever's minding the store doesn't really know what they're doing, or worse, doesn't care.
     
  7. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I don't think they care. Makes me question the other stuff they sell on the website.
     
  8. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Last I heard DvrUpgrade and Weaknees are the same people. If that's correct then you guys are badmouthing weaknees also (??).
     
  9. farmermac

    farmermac Recorder of shows

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    Jan 31, 2012
    I know I'd be calling my cc company about this purchase
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    There has been speculation that Weaknees absorbed/bought out/took over dvrupgrade, but I don't know of any official announcement or acknowledgement.

    You'd think they'd be able to do better with it than just operate it in zombie mode.

    It's like someone not really familiar with Instant Cake took the main package and just substituted an S3 image where an S1 or S2 used to go and didn't bother to do anything about the part wrapped around that, the whole "boot and load an OS" installer package, having been written to only work with IDE devices, and only in a certain configuration (something about which one the cd drive has to be and which one the target hard drive has to be).
     
  11. Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

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    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...

    My thoughts exactly...

    Very happy with the 2TB dvr_Dude drive in my OLED S3.
     
  12. billbillw

    billbillw Member

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    Aug 15, 2005
    Atlanta
    Chances are, you simply needed to change a BIOS setting for Instant Cake to find your drive. I used it a couple years back (with my very modern PC with 6+ SATA ports) with no issues. If I recall, you need to set the SATA mode to IDE instead of ACHI or RAID.

    BTW, at that time, I had no good image to clone for the new drive. My original drive image was corrupt. Instant Cake was the easiest method. I should also mention that I managed to get a free copy of Instant Cake, so the $40 wasn't an issue.
     
  13. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Well that should be a lesson to all of us:
    1. Be a computer expert.
    2. Get your commercially-sold software for free.
    I'll take back item 1 if the IC software comes with instructions about the BIOS setting.
     
  14. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    jmfs is very easy too, works for Tivo HD and above, AFAIK. (Definitely doesn't work for original S3..)
     
  15. shadowplay0918

    shadowplay0918 Member

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    May 16, 2011
    I used dvr_dude as well on my 3rd THD and using dvr expanders on the 1st 2...wish all 3 had larger internals...
     
  16. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Except that you have to use WinMFS to Supersize a THD or THD XL drive. So, for any Series 3, I would recommend using WinMFS exclusively unless you are going with a drive larger than 1TB.
     
  17. haidawei

    haidawei New Member

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    Feb 3, 2007
    I used Instant Cake last night (did not have an original image) and ran into the same problem (PATA vs. SATA). I was able to find the solution online. You need to edit some information and add a script. Once I did that, everything worked smoothly to get the Tivo back up and running.
     
  18. w2jo

    w2jo New Member

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    Jun 28, 2003
    ==================================
    Where I had the problem with INSTANT CAKE was when it came time to IDENTIFY the various hard drives so as to transfer the InstantCake image. I set up the first two computers with ONLY two drives. The CD drive was on SATA1. I plugged the USB Flash drive with the IC image in and identified that port (I think) as sdb. I set these up in the Bios so I could boot from the CDROM drive and that all worked fine. I then had the NEW 1TB HDD on SATA2. Unfortunately, Instant Cake was unable to find (or at least write to) the sda, sdb, sdc, sdd, which were the ports which KNOPPIX indicated were the potential SATA ports of interest.

    When I switched to KNOPPIX to transfer the old Tivo Disk Image over, it identified all the ports properly and the transfer went along without a hitch.

    So.. My suggestion is that InstantCake needs to be updated so it is able to properly identify ports on MODERN computers and not just those that have two PATA ports and two SATA ports. Reports are that such two PATA and two SATA port computers work fine and that is what I had in 2006 when I last used InstantCake successfully.
     
  19. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    But you're basically always going to be using a drive over 1 TB nowadays...?
     
  20. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    That's probably true for most people, but not all. I used 1TB to replace my dying 160GB drive in a THD. Admittedly, that was a year ago, but if I had to do it today and I could get a 1TB drive for the same price or less, I would do the same thing.
     

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