1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Instant Cake ripoff

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by funtoupgrade, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. funtoupgrade

    funtoupgrade New Member

    2,000
    0
    Mar 15, 2005
    Just a warning to those thinking about buying an instant cake for their TiVo. I know in most cases these do work, but just want to let know my recent bad experience. I paid the $43+ for an instant cake download ($39.99 + sales tax) which would not work on my computer. The program froze part way through. In various places on their web-site they mention the fact they will not support either the download or CD instant cake, but no mention of this at the point of downloading. I can understand no support for commands, etc. once the program is working, but when you can't even get the thing to work at all there ought to be some recourse other than check our forum (which is not going to solve the problem of download not working).
     
  2. chucker

    chucker New Member

    13
    0
    Apr 24, 2011
    I have used their product and it was a little challenging to say the least. It should come with more warnings about not being for computer novices.
     
  3. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    7,138
    66
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    I see IC as a poor last resort considering there are better alternatives.

    First, if you haven't bought your new HDD yet, just buy a pre-imaged drive from DVR_DUDE (just Google). The cost will be about $40 more than what you would pay for the "naked" HDD and no-fuss, no-muss.

    If you already have the HDD, take a look here:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=30&f=25
    in particular the thread entitled "Need an image, don't PM me"
    You can install that image with free program WinMFS which is easy to download and use.

    If IC isn't even being supported I am baffled at the high price. I bet they could make more money selling it for $20.
     
  4. smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

    20,724
    158
    May 24, 2003
    I recall using instantcake once to deal with an S2 that had a failed drive and no backup. I recall it working well with no issues.

    Often when someone tries to automate a systems task like this, it ends up being a very fragile program, unable to deal with unexpected errors that come from differences in end-user hardware. You'd almost be further ahead learning a bit more about Linux and running the commands manually.

    For the OP, if the program doesn't work for you, I'd insist on getting your money back. No sense in paying for something that you cannot use. I sell software on the internet myself, and when a user comes to me with a genuine issue where he bought something but cannot use it for whatever reason, I always refund. It's just software, a refund is an easy remedy and nothing is lost by either party.
     
  5. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    28,861
    209
    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    I've bought and used InstantCake several times, and it always worked exactly as promised. But it probably is sensitive to PC connections being "just right".
     
  6. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    4,389
    11
    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    I think I've only purchased an InstantCake image on one occasion and never had any issues with it. The best alternative to IC is to create your own backup image when you first get your Tivo using WinMFS. There's no reason why anyone should ever have to buy InstantCake if they perform this one simple task.

    Unless you have another source for a backup image, InstantCake is your only available choice. InstantCake is a Liinux-based utility so you need to know the command line instructions before you make your purchase. They're quite simple and basic for Linux and not hard to master. WinMFS uses a GUI and works in Windows and is about as idiot-proof as it gets for this type of utility.

    The moral to the story is - plan ahead;).
     
  7. CatScratchFever

    CatScratchFever Guest

    886
    0
    Apr 14, 2011
    Prescott AZ
    I thought this was going to be about food.
     
  8. Techdem

    Techdem New Member

    5
    0
    Apr 27, 2011
    I think selling the images is wrong, they should provide the software only with the ISO's as a free download ><
     
  9. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    28,861
    209
    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    Well, I'm somewhat curious as to what arrangement they have with TiVo that allows them to sell copies of the TiVo software while TiVo actively frowned on people who made images available for free download. Parts of the image are TiVo's copyrighted software and ordinarily it would be illegal to do what DVRupgrade is doing, unless they have permission from TiVo. Maybe they do, I don't know.

    DVRupgrade did put some effort into scripting the IC install, though it uses freeware underneath to do the actual work. They also create and test variants for each type of system. I don't begrudge them some compensation for that and you can pretty well trust that you're getting a good, clean image. I do have a problem with the current price they are charging, which is double what it used to be, but it's my choice as to whether or not to pay it.
     
  10. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    4,389
    11
    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    DVRUpgrade is the only distributor licensed by Tivo to distribute images of the Tivo OS.
     
  11. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    28,861
    209
    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    Where did you get that information?
     
  12. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

    4,389
    11
    Feb 2, 2006
    Ellicott...
    It's been widely known for quite some time. I'm surprised you weren't aware of it. I'm pretty sure I read about it in these forums. If DVRUpgrade wasn't sanctioned by Tivo they would have been shut down long ago for illegally distributing licensed software.
     
  13. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    7,835
    38
    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    If he were sanctioned by TiVo I would think he would mention that fact, for number sold I don't think TiVo would take the time to try to shut him down if he was not sanctioned by TiVo. TiVo would have to go after everybody selling HD with TiVo software already on them.
     
  14. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    7,835
    38
    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    If he were sanctioned by TiVo I would think he would mention that fact, for number sold I don't think TiVo would take the time to try to shut him down if he was not sanctioned by TiVo. TiVo would have to go after everybody selling HD with TiVo software already on them.
     
  15. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
    0
    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Count me as one who also thought DVRUpgrade was licensened to distribute TiVo software.
    The reason for the 100% price increase? TiVo probably upped the license fee and DVRUpgrade is just passing along the cost.
    The only other way I've seen TiVo software distributed is 'under the table', friends helping friends...
    If TiVo frowned on that happening, I'm sure they could lock down the software to prevent DIY upgrades.
     
  16. lew

    lew Active Member

    4,048
    15
    Mar 12, 2002
    The cost of IC doubled shortly after Weaknees acquired DVRUpgrade. My guess is Weaknees is more interested in selling plug n play drives then selling DIY tools.

    Back when he was posting Lou said they had permission from tivo to distribute the images. Tivo shut down many of the FTP sites which hosted images. A simple letter would have been enough to shut down a commercial site, hosted in the US.
     
  17. shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

    1,910
    3
    Jun 22, 2008
    You still have to pay Tivo to use the software. It seems like it's in Tivo's best interest to let a third party distribute the software, because it keeps old hardware in service longer. The profit center for Tivo is the subscription fees, not the hardware.
     
  18. mrdave

    mrdave New Member

    13
    0
    Apr 28, 2011
    i to had problems, but i kept at it and after failing and reading i 2 found what I was doing wrong. first if you burn an iso it must be at a slow speed second you get 3 downloads do them at different times to reduce d\l errors.
    also you must understand you have to use a larger drive than 160 gig. and when you get pissed walk away and relax because you think you read 1 thing when it doesn't say it learn to rean all messages closely. my second burn first was series 2 d\l second was hd 652160
    so try that too. good luck
     
  19. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

    2,507
    0
    Nov 12, 2004
    Texas
    +1 I think Weakness is charging so much because they can. Not because TiVo has changed any pricing for them.
     
  20. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    7,835
    38
    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    For monthly your correct but for Lifetime TiVos it's a dead loss for TiVo to have you repair the unit, instead of purchasing a new TiVo.
     

Share This Page