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Fixes for MFSTools 2.0 swap problems

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by Robert S, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Dec 1, 2002 #281 of 609
    Robert S

    Robert S New Member

    9,725
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    Jul 8, 2002
    Cambridgeshi...
    You can't make the the MFS Tools 2.0 floppy boot byteswapping, but then you don't need to because MFS Tools has internal byteswapping.

    If you need to boot byteswapping for some other reason, just use a Dylan or TiVoMad floppy, they have all the tools other than MFS Tools.
     
  2. Dec 4, 2002 #282 of 609
    raiders

    raiders New Member

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    Feb 9, 2002
    Santa Barbara
    got a gsod reboot loop on a series 1 directivo with a 200MB configuration of 120mb maxtor disk a and 80 mb maxtor disk b

    Followed Robert's instructions from the 3rd thread and the directivo is now back up. Is there a specific place in the logs to look to determine what caused the gsod. Ran the maxtor disk utilites and the drives are ok.

    Is there a way to increase the 64mb swap to 127mb using the existing disks without losing recordings so that a future gsod can attempt recovery automatically?

    Thanks to all who contributed to this thread and helped with the instructions on recovering from gsod
     
  3. Dec 9, 2002 #283 of 609
    gigageek

    gigageek New Member

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    Aug 23, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    raiders: No, there is no way to increase the 64mb swap to 127mb using the existing disks without losing recordings. There is no unused space on the disks, so they would have to be repartitioned (thus blasting all recordings) to change the size of the swap partitions after the fact.

    bonurn: The reason I deleted/recreated my partitions was because I had renamed them after I renumbered them (in retrospect, this was ENTIRELY unnecessary); deleting/recreating the partitions was less work to get back to where I started than was renumbering & renaming them (although probably not much less work). If you just renumbered the partitions to do the GSOD fix, just renumber them to put them back the way they were.
     
  4. acrobidoux

    acrobidoux New Member

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Ohio
    Hi Everyone,

    I am looking to buy a Hughes DirecTivo 2 system and adding a large drive to it, replacing the existing single drive.

    My company is going to be purchasing a Logicube Solitaire Turbo Hard Drive duplicator for me to use at work. Has anyone ever used a drive duplictor with the Tivo drives? This unit will make an exact copy bit by bit of any OS, therefore I will have the required swap file that everyone is talking about (although it will be 64MB). I did not read through this entire post, but did read that Hinsdale thinks the 64MB will be enough due to the new versions of the Tivo software. What are your thoughts on this?

    Also, I am considering the Western Digital 1200JB (120 GB) hard drive that has an 8MB cache (all other drives use 2MB) and 7200 RPM Speed. This drive is fairly quiet as I have installed several in PC's at work. Has anyone used this drive? Will I see a performance gain using this drive with the Tivo? In PC land, these drives perform better because of the larger cache.

    Thank You

    And Sorry if I am asking a question that has been discussed before!

    Andrew
     
  5. gigageek

    gigageek New Member

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    Aug 23, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    acrobidoux,

    I don't know about that particular drive duplicator, but my guess is that it will hose things up unless you're duplicating your current TiVo drive onto another identical drive. (And what, exactly, might be the point of that?) After it faithfully copies every bit of the old drive (including partition info), what do you suppose it might put in the unused space on a larger drive? My recommendation: just use MFSTools like everyone else.

    As for the WD120JB, you're wasting your money on the 8MB buffer. The original DTiVo drives (which are capable of recording 2 shows while watching a third, previously-recorded, show) are only ATA33 with 512kB buffers. The larger buffer is good for PC performance, but useless for the TiVo application (continuous streaming of data, as opposed to random file access).

    I've got a WD120BB (2MB buffer) in my SA TiVo, and it works fine. It's a little bit louder than the Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (ST380021A) in my DTiVo, but Seagate didn't make a 120GB drive earlier this summer when I bought my drives. As always, YMMV.
     
  6. Robert S

    Robert S New Member

    9,725
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    Jul 8, 2002
    Cambridgeshi...
    Why does everyone want to use some strange new tool for TiVo upgrading when there are well documented tools and procedures that work much better? I suppose I should give you some credit for not asking if you could use Norton Ghost, though :)

    This machine will make an exact copy of your TiVo drive on to any drive of equal or greater size. The drive will work in your TiVo, but will appear to be exactly the same size until you use MFS Tools to expand it.

    If you don't expand swap, you can put no more than 180Gb of disk space in your TiVo without breaking the mfsfix filesystem repair utility.

    There are circumstances where cloning a disk this way is a good idea, although you can do the same thing with dd in a PC if you don't happen to have a drive duplicator handy.

    If the TiVo is new, it would be a better idea to do an MFS Tools backup and restore to transfer the image to the new drive. (You only need to clone the drive if you want to keep your recordings). This will be much faster and allow you to expand your swap painlessly.

    Once your new drive is full (ie, you're sure it's OK), you can use MFS Tools 2.0's mfsadd function to add the original A drive as a B drive if you still want more space.
     
  7. acrobidoux

    acrobidoux New Member

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Ohio
    Thanks Robert S,

    I was wondering if you would still need to expand the drives using the tools.

    The tools sound like the best and only route to take, although once I get everything on a new 120GB drive I might use the duplicator machine to keep a backup on hand. This will allow me to bypass taking the drive out of the Tivo and putting it in a PC when/if the Tivo crashes.


    Norton Ghost:) :) :) :) :) is a joke!

    Thanks Guys,

    Andrew
     
  8. Jan 3, 2003 #288 of 609
    mhubbard44

    mhubbard44 New Member

    5
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    Jan 2, 2003
    Linden, NJ
    I've been following this thread hoping to read about a way to upgrade/save a dead A drive without losing all my recordings. I've been reading these threads about swapping file--is there any chance I can use a working B drive to allow Tivo to boot and possibly repair its self with a new swapping file?

    Background: Sony Sat-T60, A drive: stock Quantum Fireball 40GB, B drive self upgraded Maxtor 4G120J6 (120GB). The upgrade went fine almost a year ago. One morning recently I turned the TV on and the unit said powering on. It's been stuck there ever since. I wonder if a software upgrade initiated the failure.

    Anyway I've run the Maxtor drive testing utility with both Tivo drives as the only drives connected to the PC and the Tivo A drive is not even recognized as a hard drive to run the utility against. The Tivo B ran through the basic and the advanced test with flying colors. Is there any chance anything but an a complete disk failure would cause the disk to not be recognized as a drive?

    Also is there a way to save or restore the A drive with the bootable Tivo CD and some of the linux based tools? If not does anyone know if this PTVupgrade.com place can really save your recordings with their get well kit? Are there any log files on the Tivo B drive that would be helpful in diagnosing the problem? If I restore from my pre-upgrade backup to Tivo drive A do I lose all the programs on the second drive even though its already been blessed? Basically is there is anyway to save any of your recordings when you have a failed Tivo A drive?

    FYI I work in the PC industry so anyone responding please give me the technical answer no need to dumb it down for me. If someone can point me in the right direction I'll do whatever possible to save my recordings. I have the entire second week of Spielberg's taken on my Tivo and I will do anything to get my movies and stuff back.

    Thanks in advance
     
  9. Jan 6, 2003 #289 of 609
    gigageek

    gigageek New Member

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    Aug 23, 2002
    Dayton, OH
    Dude, I think you are SO screwed. :eek: :mad: :eek:

    It sounds like your A-drive has gone Tango Uniform on you; if so, there is no way to get any of your recordings off. To draw a PC analogy, the OS and FAT are on the (dead) A-drive. Two-drive TiVo units are much like a logical drive that consists of two physical drives, and you lose everything if either drive dies.

    You can restore your backup onto your current B-drive (should give you ~100 hours), or buy another 120GB drive and have a really huge TiVo. This won't get your recordings back, but it will get your thumbs & season passes back to where they were when you made the backup.

    You did make a backup when you upgraded, right?
     
  10. douglasec

    douglasec New Member

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    Oct 28, 2002
    Tiburon, CA
    I have a Series2 80 hour that I'm trying to expand with (hopefully) a new 120Gb and new 100Gb drive. I have the bracket from 9thtee and the Y adapter and ATA 100 IDE cable BUT have a question about possibly ambiguous instructions in the Hinsdale FAQ. In Config #3 (single to new A&B drives), saving all recordings, it says:

    "NOTE: Remove the "-s 127" from the following command lines if backing up/restoring a Series 2 80hr image (does not function with increased swap)"

    The command line is given in the FAQ as:
    mfsbackup -Tao - /dev/hdc | mfsrestore -s 127 -xzpi - /dev/hda /dev/hdb

    QUESTION (finally!)...does this mean remove the "-s 127" (which increases swap file size) ONLY IF RESTORING TO ORIGINAL (OR ANOTHER) 80Gb DRIVE BECAUSE IT"LL RUN OUT OF SPACE FOR THE SWAP FILE? In other words, if I'm expanding to two new LARGER drives, shouldn't I also leave in the "-s 127" command to expand the swap file- is this an ambiguity which should perhaps be reworded in the FAQ? Is there any way to ask a senior forum member what the appropriate command is (and perhaps why?) I've also seen reports that the Series2 units with extra RAM *might* not need the expanded swap to complete recovery from the GSOD (even with 220Gb?) and wondered if this might not be a reason why you WOULDN'T want to expand the swap - anyway, I'm "stuck outside of Mobile with the Ambiguity Blues again", as little Bobby Zimmerman would say...I'd like to do this once and do it right (especially saving all the recordings and the time involved with that route)...thanks for all the superior brainpower!
     
  11. Websteria

    Websteria New Member

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    Jan 22, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    because I'm thinking of doing the same thing. I'm going to take my existing 80mb drive and copy it to a new 120. In the FAQ it states:

    Note: Remove the -s 127 from the following command line if restoring image to the original TiVo A drive or if restoring a Series 2 80 hr image (reported that this unit may not create a working image with increased swap)

    Is this accurate?
     
  12. douglasec

    douglasec New Member

    6
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    Oct 28, 2002
    Tiburon, CA
    I got tired of waiting and had more time to ponder, and decided to go ahead with the -s 127. It WORKED! It took over 12 hours to transfer all the 75Gb of programs, but it just now booted right up with the new time (250 hours!) and similar noise and heat. I think my guess about not having room to increase the swap if restoring to the same drive was correct in retrospect, but bigger drives should have no problem. Even the lates FAQ now says "MAY" not work, where the earlier one said "WILL' not work if restoring an 80 hour Series2 image. Some 80s are a "little" bigger depending on brand and model, so I guess it's conceivable the extra swap might work with a new "80Gb" drive that had some room to spare compared to the 80Gb WD Performer it replaced, but a 100 or 120Gb seems like a sure thing from my experience. Go for it!
     
  13. Websteria

    Websteria New Member

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    Jan 22, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks! Post back in a few weeks and let me know if you've experienced any strangenesses with using the -s 127 flag. I'm planning on waiting at least until my warantee period is up (March, sniff snuff) to crack the box... although, if something was going to break, would you think it'd be the hard drive? Hmm...

    Thanks.
    Jeff
     
  14. douglasec

    douglasec New Member

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    Oct 28, 2002
    Tiburon, CA
    Websteria - It's more complex but you should consider using BOTH drives - the only problem is you are asking for trouble if you just mfsadd or blesstivo to add the second drive if you DON"T add the additional swap .... though recent posts here suggest if you know the GSOD rescue routine in the first few posts of this thread is not such a big deal since chances of it happening to you are very small, so why agonize over it (like I did, of course) if it's not a widespread problem. You could just blessthe 120Gb, add it as the second drive and "voila!" - 200Gb at yourcommand!
     
  15. Websteria

    Websteria New Member

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    Jan 22, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    I might do that, but I was going to wait on purchasing the mounting bracket from 9thtee.com until I was ready for my second drive... perhaps I should do it now.

    So are you saying I'd need to expand the swap on my existing 80, or add the swap on my new secondary 120 then?

    Thanks.
    Jeff
     
  16. douglasec

    douglasec New Member

    6
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    Oct 28, 2002
    Tiburon, CA
    Possibly neither, since some higher-level posters on this thread are suggesting that it's a tempest in a teapot, since the GSOD recovery info at the top of this thread could be used in the very slim eventuality that this happens to you. Someone suggested just taping a note with the info inside your case in case it ever happened to you and you forgot what to do. If you buy into that, get the bracket and just ADD the new 120 (BlessTiVo or similar while hooked up to a PC for a minute), plug it in on the new bracket and you're done! Quick, relatively painless and mostly a question of whether you can sleep soundly at night knowing you "only" have 64Mb of swap space, which for maybe 98% of owners will be all you ever need.
     
  17. Websteria

    Websteria New Member

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    Jan 22, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    If I do add the 120, is it going to definitely cause problems if I do the -s 127 switch to add the swap space, or not. :) It sounds like it's not definite that it won't cause problems if I don't... the FAQ isn't really clear on this issue.

    Edit: I did read something in one of the higher posts about the TiVo needing larger swap space if you're going to expand beyond 180 gb (which I will eventually), so I think I'm going to go with copying everything onto the new 120 and then eventually buying another 120 (or 160 *grin*) and installing that one. That way I can keep my existing 80 as a secondary backup to the one MFStools makes in case something goes awry.

    Thanks for all your help! I ordered the mounting bracket yesterday.
     
  18. Scot

    Scot New Member

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    Jan 29, 2003
    Last October I upgraded a Philips DSR6000 with one Western Digital 120 Gb drive on A, then later installed a Maxtor 120 Gb drive for B. In each case I followed Hinsdale's procedures for upgrading a single drive, but unfortunately I did not catch the part about increasing the swap space, and left it at the default 64 Mb. That error came back to bite me a couple of weeks ago when the unit started to spontaneously reboot. The reboots happen after viewing about five minutes of recorded program, or in trying to record. I should note that both drives are nearly full, within a few hours I'd guess, of programs that I have set to not delete unless I do it myself (green ball). Thinking that deleting some of the shows might help whatever the problem was, I killed about twenty hours of programming, but it was no help.

    I thought it might be a problem with the A drive (it was making a clunking sound when the spontaneous reboot started), I dd'ed the contents of the A drive onto a spare 120 Gb Samsung, then used mfsadd -x /dev/hdc /dev/hdb to marry the new A to the old B. The spontaneous rebooting continued and eventually the thing went into the GSOD loop, so I applied the trick of temporarily using the unused root partition as swap, and got the thing going again, but the spontaneous reboots continued.

    While it was up, I started deleting more shows, this time starting with the most recently recorded. The time between spontaneous reboots seemed to increase as I did this, but that's not conclusive. Anyway I didn't get very far with that approach because the thing went into the GSOD loop again, and the partition swap trick doesn't seem to be working (after about three hours, anyway). I'm thinking I'll let it go all night to see if it heals itself, but I'm really hoping that I've missed something else that will get the thing working again without trashing the recorded shows.

    I'm pretty sure it's a data/software problem, as reinstalling the original drives results in a rock stable TiVo again. And I've run the manufacturers diagnostics on the upgrade Samsung and Maxtor drives, and both tested out fine.

    At this point it looks like I'll have to repeat the upgrade process, this time increasing the size of the swap partition. But I'm leary of doing it, as there seems to be something else going on that's causing the spontaneous reboot, and I'd hate to load it up with programming again only to end up in the same place. Can one of the gurus out there think of anything about the retention settings I used, perhaps interacting with the full state of the drives, that could have kicked this off? It's at 3.1.0.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas...

    Scot
     
  19. douglasec

    douglasec New Member

    6
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    Oct 28, 2002
    Tiburon, CA
    Scot - sorry to hear about your rebooting - I know Mac drives (as an example I know well) start getting squireelly when you leave less than about 10% free space on a drive because of increased danger of cross-linking files in little fragmented sectors left over from previous erasures; seems to both slow and mostly confuse the OS. Dunno if TiVo-nix has the same problem, but your deletions sound like a reasonable attempt. Maybe you could see on a PC the ACTUAL size in bytes of your 120s, and if the currently unused one has 64mb additional space to create the larger partition for the 128Mb swap file while transferring from the existing 120 (out of luck if it's the other way around, however)...how's your temperature? Some 120s are really toasty (especially two of them) and I know drive-related heat and/or weak power supply causes lots of reboots on Windows machines. You could upgrade to a new 160 "A" drive (adding the swap at that time) but perhaps you've already bought enough drives for this year, especially if you have a motherboard or power problem! I'm actually rather a TiVo newbie, though I've worked with Macs and Wintels for donkey's years, so get a second (third, fourth) opinion from a TiVo God first; YMMV.
     
  20. Feb 5, 2003 #300 of 609
    Michael248363

    Michael248363 New Member

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    Jul 22, 2002
    Salt Lake...
    I've been overloaded with information and options! Some of which seemed to be conflicting at times. I've read through this thread and I'm only a little bit closer to knowing what I need to do, but nowhere near close enough to be able to actually do it. I guess what I need are step-by-step instructions on what I need to do based on the units that I have. I hate asking to be spoon-fed this, but I have no experience with Linux beyond what I did for the upgrade. I've used PCs for years so working w/ hardware and command prompts don't scare me.

    I've got two Phillips DSR6000 DTivo units. Both were upgraded back in July '02 using Hinsdale's instructions and MFSTools 2.0. Each unit has dual 160Gb drives (259hrs each). One of the units is currently in GSoD reboot hell. The other is operating fine. I have done no hacks, backdoors, shell access, TivoWeb, etc. to either of the machines other than the HD upgrade and S-P-S-9-S to get the time to display.

    I would really prefer not to lose my season passes and everything that I've recorded. So that said, what do I need to do to fix the one that is in GsoD reboot hell and what do I need to do for the one that is currently running normally?

    Thanks for the help.
     

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