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New Approach to a Stupid Problem (Drive Cloning)

Discussion in 'TiVo Underground' started by The Great Inert, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. The Great Inert

    The Great Inert New Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    If future attempts to clone my old drive should fail, is there a freeware version (or an approximation) of InstantCake?
  2. The Great Inert

    The Great Inert New Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Actually I figured it out--get an image (.tbk) and restore the drive via WinMFS.
  3. royfernandez

    royfernandez New Member

    Apr 18, 2012
    I would any day go with WinMFS. Instant Cake is a rip off! It costs $40, has a bad interface and doesn't work half the time. Woof! Instant Cake stories are haunting :)
  4. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2001
    The problem is that WinMFS can only work if you have a good drive (or image) to begin with. Instant Cake actually has the TiVo software so it can build a working TiVo drive from a blank disk.

    If your original drive it already toast the only real alternative to Instant Cake is to borrow another working drive from the same model of TiVo or get someone to send you an image. (If you're doing this preventatively you can storage an image from your drive now so you could recover using it later).

    But last I checked it wasn't possible to make a truncated image from a Premiere. So, for example, storing the image from a TiVo Premiere XL would take a terrabyte. (Might as well just clone onto a spare drive and stick it on the shelf)

    Edit: For TiVo Premieres you need to use JMFS instead of WinMFS. WinMFS hasn't been updated to handle anything newer than the TiVo HDs.
  5. royfernandez

    royfernandez New Member

    Apr 18, 2012
    Hey! That was informative and I appreciate the time you took to post it.

    I downloaded JMFS from the link you provided! I'll burn and boot my MacBook with it, you know, just to see the options available :cool:
  6. Cap'n Preshoot

    Cap'n Preshoot New Member

    Apr 25, 2011
    Katy, TX
    Ditto thanks to Jonathan_S

    What I think makes the most sense is to use JMFS to upgrade your stock 340 GB Premier drive to the maximum 2 TB (wheee) and then store your original drive clearly marked as to what it is and why you're keeping it so that when you stumble over it a few years from now you won't be tempted to reformat it or toss it or give it away. In fact I would go so far as to re-box it in the packaging that the new 2 TB drive came in (unless you bought a bare metal drive that's only wrapped in anti-stat bubble-wrap.

    Others have their own opinions about disk drives, some are informed opinions, but others are uninformed or maybe just misinformed :) about why you should put the best quality drives in versus the cheapest. Cheap drives are cheap for one reason; the cheapies are generally production culls that work fine in less demanding environments but maybe didn't fully meet spec. for CDCS (Continuous Duty Commercial Service) or maybe they're off brand clones. I've had commercial PBX (Mitel) and Voice Mail (Octel) systems running for 15+ years (130,000 + hours) on the original drives (on clean power in a temp-stable, dust-free environment) so I don't buy-into this theory about "a drive is a drive". 15 years ago those commercial-grade 40-meg and 2.0gb (respectively) drives fetched prices upwards of $600 but they also ran for 15 years and are still going. Even if shut off, they'll still spin right up.

    With today's prices for top quality drives not even double the cost of a cheapie, why would you ever risk your data (recordings) on some P.O.S. drive? To me, just the amount of time (labor) involved in HDD replacement along with the frustration of HDD failure way more than offsets the cost differential.

    In most computer applications I use and swear by WD Caviar "Black" drives. They run at 7200 rpm with a 32 MB cache. The "Blacks" are also considered "server grade" and come with a 5 yr warranty vs a 3-yr warranty on the WD green model.

    On the other hand, the WD "Green Power" drives use only half the power and thus run substantially cooler.

    I also realize that you don't need the performance (speed) for what basically amounts to a "storage" drive on your DVR. I just hate having the dang thing fail.
  7. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Perhaps one should consider saving the heavily labeled original drive in the TiVo's original box which one should not have thrown out, either, and labeling it "Do Not Throw Away".

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