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is "Clear and Delete Everything" the same as formatting the hard drive?

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by tough joe, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Jul 2, 2014 #1 of 20
    tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    I know that "clear and delete everything" clears the drive anew.... however does it also format the drive and then installs the software?

    I've heard that sometimes the software can get corrupted and was wondering how to do a clear format and install of the software?
     
  2. Jul 2, 2014 #2 of 20
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    John's...
    No.

    s/w corruption is extremely rare and if it has occurred is probably the result of a h/w problem - bad disk or ps the most likely culprits.

    There is a kickstart code that supposedly re-installs the s/w.

    Why do you think your s/w is corrupt?
     
  3. Jul 2, 2014 #3 of 20
    tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Had a roamio pro that was RR due to repeated lock ups. they tested it and said it wasn't the hd, could be corrupt software, but replaced unit anyway as a "just in case" thing...

    im trying to learn so I can try to fix my own problems instead of shipping back under warranty.
     
  4. Jul 2, 2014 #4 of 20
    CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

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    Sacramento...
    Just a nit, but I thought that the software on the Roamio was in flash, not on the hard drive, as was the case for all previous models?
     
  5. Jul 2, 2014 #5 of 20
    lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    John's...
    It is.
     
  6. Jul 3, 2014 #6 of 20
    telemark

    telemark New Member

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    Corruption is an overly broad term.

    The OS+Application is in Flash. The window for corruption of this is small as they only change during software updates.

    The media streams are easily corrupted when a cable signal is flaky, but this is epxected so there are minimal ill effects when that happens.

    In between the two, the filesystems can get corrupted. But they can also be repaired. Or when not repaired, can be rebuilt.

    The database and the application data, can be corrupted, are not easily repaired. They're easily replaced with a C&DE.

    The most common cause of corruption is a power loss or reboot during a critical operation. This can be caused by bad hardware, or buggy software.
     
  7. Jul 3, 2014 #7 of 20
    FitzAusTex

    FitzAusTex Member

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    My two cents: needed to move my 3tb drive from a defective Roamio to a replacement, but clear and delete everything did not reformat the drive "enough". It would not work in the new Roamio until I reformatted using an enclosure attached to my mac. The new Roamio appeared to go through guided setup, install sw updates, and the usual, but service would not activate. Spent over a day trying to figure out what was wrong. After the reformat via my mac, all was well.
     
  8. Jul 6, 2014 #8 of 20
    tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    so I understand, all you did was format the TiVo drive from your pc and reinstalled the drive back into the TiVo and the TiVo basically went through the entire set up process with no further issues?
     
  9. Jul 6, 2014 #9 of 20
    FitzAusTex

    FitzAusTex Member

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    May 7, 2014
    yes, Roamios apparently store tivo data on the hd that even a clear and delete everything does not delete. Once I did the quickest "erase" that the Mac Disk Utility allows, I was up and running as soon as the Roamio completed guided setup and installed two (or 3?) sw updates. It was a brand new Roamio from best buy, so that's why I think there were multiple updates.
     
  10. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Cox Cable...
    I can confirm this. As a matter of fact, no matter how many times I did a C&DE on my 3TB Roamio basic, it retained my cablecard pairing data. I even made sure to hard power-cycle, before and after the C&DE with the coax disconnected.

    I'm taking the step of zero-wiping the whole drive (with a PC), to see if it finally loses the pairing. If it doesn't, the next step will be another zero-wiped drive that has never been in a TiVo, to see if that causes loss of pairing.

    I've run into this on three Roamio basics. Pulling the cablecard, disconnecting the coax, changing to the 00000-zip code and Tiny TiVo as provider for generic guide data to overwrite what exists, then C&DE overnight, leave the cablecard out & coax disconnected for 24 hours, complete guided setup again, insert cablecard & reconnect coax, and the cablecard remains paired/authorized & continues to receive all the channels that require pairing, plus the TA adapter requiring channels work once I plug the TA back in.

    I'm still mid-way through a bunch of testing I've been saying I would do the next time I pulled a TiVo out service and opened it.
     
  11. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Cox Cable...
    This is all true. I confirm it. I've also had data corruption requiring the drive be wiped and re-formatted, and the C&DE wasn't adequate to correct it. I had to raw format with a PC.

    Premieres and TiVo HDs had me reformatting and re-imaging at least once a year. I only had one Premiere that ran for 3 years without going corrupt. All other cases involved the TiVo file system and/or databases being corrupted, and the hard drives not even having a single decline in SMART values (other than Power-On-Hours), and passing the full write/read tests of the drive maker. I checked the raw values that most drive maker supplied diags leave out of being viewable, which can reveal reallocated sectors that have not reached the threshold to know the associated value down from 200 (the usual beginning value). SMART diags from drive makers are sneaky. They don't want you to see the 11 sectors were reallocated, just the "200" value, that could take over 10x more reallocated sectors to drop to 199.

    I like the program "HDDScan for Windows", for finding high latency sectors that don't automatically get flagged for pending reallocations, by mfgr software.

    Acronis has a (FREE) SMART monitoring program that also watches the Windows logs for any errors related to hard drives, monitors the drive temperatures, letting you know if you are exceeding the data-safety threshold, and the drive health temperature threshold (both default based on the drive-specific data, but can be adjusted to allow less warnings). It gives you the full SMART data as well. It's called "Acronis Drive Monitor".

    I state that I have the polar-opposite situation as others say, about it almost always being a drive defect or failure, or "hardware" that causes the corruption, unless they count the TiVo itself as being the hardware they speak of. I never had a TiVo power-supply cause drive problems, but that is one thing under "hardware" that could cause corruption, and does sometimes happen.
     
  12. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Cox Cable...
    I disagree, as prior posts already outline. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, just that I'm not the only one who has had their TiVo drives get corrupted, with no part of it being due to the hard drives. YMMV, of course. Some have had the opposite experience, but not all who report drive failures actually state that they tested the drive (other than putting a new one in, and it worked). Some just are too impatient to take the time to run all the full tests that would be considered appropriate testing and/or open-up or tie-up their computer to do it.

    Kickstart 52 (Emergency Software Reinstall) no longer works for Roamios. I've also verified all other kickstarts that indicate any method of software reinstallation do nothing. Roamio is left with KS 57, 58, & 54 - which I have verified to still work. Although, I can't get the extended and offline smart data collection tests to run and complete (they will just indicate still-running for a week, if I let them), while the same tests performed on a PC will complete in ~5 hours for a 3TB WD Red NAS drive.

    I recently posted in a few threads that I needed to replace a 3TB Red NAS drive in one of my Roamios, due to drive failure (Fail 7 - read element, on TiVo SMART short tests that I could run). I'm on my 8th test cycle on a PC, and the drive seems to have only had issues in the Roamio, as all the sectors flagged bad (pending) in the Roamio, corrected without reallocation after a zero and read test. I'm trying to figure out why this would happen, so I'm doing the HDDScan tests that measure sector write/read latency, to see if anything stands out there.
     
  13. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    When I responded, I didn't notice what sub-forum we were in, but it just re-enforces my main point - that s/w corruption is extremely rare on a TiVos in general. It should be even rarer on a Roamio and is almost certainly a h/w problem of some kind, just (probably) not the disk drive, although problems caused by a bad disk might be interpreted by some users as "s/w corruption".
     
  14. tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    thanks for the replies... so what's the solution?

    issue: repeated lock ups, skipping, reboots
    when unit was sent back, I was told everything in the box was fine, hard drive tests came back fine, I was told by the tech that sometimes the software can get corrupted and a reformat of the drive is best solution. Ultimately the tech just replaced unit with a new one.

    But im trying to figure out that if this should happen to me again (or someone else for that matter) and I run the smart tests and drive comes back fine, before I go through the hasstle and expense of sending the unit back under warranty, if I do a clear and delete everything, would THAT be sufficient enough to format the drive and basically do a software install? or would I need to remove the drive from the box and do a format through my pc (and if so, would the software be installed on the hd once unit is booted up?)
     
  15. telemark

    telemark New Member

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    Resetting the Software or Hard Drive might not be enough to clear up those symptoms, but it will for some scenarios. But to try to answer the rest of your question.

    The only thing you can do from home is to pull the drive and reformat it in a PC.

    Erasing the first 2 or 64 sectors (of 512 bytes) will cause the hard drive to be reformatted when the Roamio boots next. I'm not aware of this doing anything regarding software version.

    This is different (and more complete) than a Clear and Delete Everything, which would drop some of the Application data and Database tables, but likely does not cause a reformat of the filesystems.

    The only other thing a typical home user can do is kickstart codes. There's supposedly 3 defined for software upgrades ( 51, 52, 56 ) but based on experience with the Premiere, they're not dependable to trigger when you want them too.

    I don't know of anything built in that will reliably cause a software upgrade in flash if you're already on the latest version, except waiting for the next software update. Tivo could trigger one in theory, but since hardly anyone has mentioned this (except when they had errant update), maybe they're not empowered to do so.

    There are some (new?) kickstart codes for resetting hard drive data, so a PC might not be required eventually. Since they've not been widely circulated, discussed, or tested, I only mention in passing until we've vetted what they do and don't do.
     
  16. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    Sep 21, 2004
    There is a kickstart code for re-installing the OS (52) and one for downloading the latest OS from TiVo's servers (56) but I do not know if these work on the Roamio's.
     
  17. tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Thank you very much Telemark. Very insightful.
     
  18. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Cox Cable...
    I must be on everybody's ignore list, since I've documented the kickstarts that still work on Roamios (but am not aware of the "new" secret ones telemark mentioned in passing).

    From Weaknees - includes many retired codes: http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php

    These are the most important known ones:

    52 - Emergency software reinstall (pre-Roamio ONLY, screen shows "Installing Update")
    54 - SMART tests
    57 - Filesystem check (screen shows Green Screen Of Death, or "GSOD")
    58 - Filesystem check & cleanup (screen shows "Installing Update")

    Nobody is certain what is different about 57 & 58, other than the screen that displays. I let a 57 complete, then on the reboot I run 58. These two can put you into a un-escapable boot-loop on models before Roamio (unknown why it sometimes happens). I've TRIED to make them bork a drive in a Roamio and couldn't get a boot-loop to spontaneously happen. I tried close to 100 times.

    KS 52 is the safer one to use on pre-Roamio models (retired on Roamios). It checks the filesystem the same way it would for an automated rollout update (and TiVo doesn't want updates killing TiVos), and has never killed a TiVo I used it on in years (but could if the alternate partition had bad sectors in it, so the next rollout update would bork anyway).

    On the question about C&DE (Clear & Delete Everything), I also covered that in detail. Just run all the manufacturer tests making sure all sectors can be read, and then overwrite (zero-out) the whole drive to correct any "pending" sectors, which will either involve the drive correcting the sector, or re-allocating a spare in it's place. Zeroing the whole drive is the ONLY way to start over FRESH.

    Just wiping the boot sector, to invoke a TiVo format only rewrites the partition tables, boot sector, and some MFS-specific things. All the old data will still exist on the drive, the filesystem will just mark the areas as empty, and nothing is done to verify the sectors can be read or written, they just get overwritten when new data is to be written.

    A TiVo-performed "format" is just like a "quick format" on a PC, where you could still recover the data from any sectors with recovery software, because only the tables (maps to where data is) are actually wiped, but not the data in the actual sectors (which may include bad sectors not yet discovered).

    TiVo can ONLY mark sectors bad (to keep from using them again), not repair them, or reallocate them. I just went through a drive that a TiVo erroneously marked 11 sectors as bad, which did not require reallocation, and were removed as pending, as they were corrected, rather than reallocated.

    For some reason, I always have problems down the road if I don't take the time to do full RAW read & write tests on drives I put in TiVos, before putting them in. I end up taking them out later to do so, and the TiVo will have marked sectors bad that are not actually bad. I use Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows (WinDLG) to do so.

    I use HDDScan for Windows if the WD diags choke with a "Fail 7 - read element - too many bad sectors" (does happen sometimes, for some weird reason). Once I've done a full verify & write operation, usually WinDLG will then do both operations, and no bad, reallocated, or slow sectors will exist.

    I think WD must do a lousy job of factory RAW formatting, or something.
     
  19. tough joe

    tough joe New Member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Thanks! A bit off topic but what's the difference between IR and RF modes? (according to the link above, weaknees says remote must be put in IR mode...) What's the difference between the two?
     
  20. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Cox Cable...
    It kind of is, since threads exist to guide you through this. It's easier to type it up again, than for me to find them again to post the links.

    IR = InfraRed (invisible light waves, created used LEDs too transmit).
    RF = Radio Frequency (this can be BlueTooth, 2.4GHz, or practically any frequency within bands the FCC allows for consumer electronics).

    Other than the first slide remotes which used bluetooth, all TiVo remotes used IR.

    I just use an old pre-Roamio remote most of the time, rather than changing the mode of the remote. Red C+TiVo button held will change to IR-only and the light on the remote will be red when pressing buttons. Green D+TiVo held will change back to RF, and the light will be yellow (even though the TV command functions emit using IR (as nearly every TV requires IR).

    The kickstarts can't be activated with the remote in RF mode. As far as kickstarts go, the IR address assignment can be set to anything. Just beware that a remote set to zero will control every TiVo in range, and zero is the default for IR address. Hold Pause+TiVo (then use a number 1-9) to get off the 0 address. All TiVos including Roamios still accept IR commands.
     

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