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Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by comer, Sep 20, 2010.
I fully agree with everything you say.
It's my understanding that your model (a four-tuner unit), fully supports 4K alignment, in all respects. Did you achieve it, post upgrade? I'd like to have a look at your partition layout, if you have the time.
I have no idea as I just copied the original 500Tb drive using jmfs Live CD than expanded it, and super sized it, than I back up the full 2Tb drive into a 1.6Tb file using (DvrBARS). Now when I need a 2Tb image for any TP-4 it only takes a few minutes to make. If you tell me what to do to get the partition, I do have a spare 2Tb drive with the AF that I can make a 2Tb TP-4 drive for and check the partition layout. The only program I have that did show the partition layout was the old WinMFS and I don't think it works with the Series 4 disk drives.
The mfslayout utility is included on some Linux distro Live boot CDs/DVDs. It's on the JMFS distro, and might be on the MFSLive CD. I just don't know how to "pipe" the output to a file, as I'm not very Linux experienced. I *think* Linux fdisk can give some info, as well, but it's VERY dangerous to play with fdisk if you don't know what you're doing, or aren't careful.
The mfslayout and fdisk version, or maybe it's the kernel, of the JMFS distro don't know how to report/display 4K info properly, last I was aware. But, you can always Get the most recent Ulimate Boot/Rescue distro, and then you have a chance of getting correct data reported.
The 2TB XL4 unit is 4k Aligned. I will have to get back to you about the 500GB TP4 model but if memory serves, it is 4k Aligned as well.
You could create a virtual device with VBox or any other virtual machine product, load the JMFS iso or MFS live iso in the "Virtual CD Drive" and the vhd of you TiVo image from DvrBARS as the "Virtual hard drive". Start the virtual machine and have it boot off the "Virtual CD Drive" and you can look at or manipulate the TiVo vhd at will.
Sounds harder than it is. It is relatively easy. Would work with a copy of your backup vhd just to be safe.
Redirecting the output of mfslayout should be a simple matter of adding "> pathtofile" to the command (minus the quotes and where pathtofile is the full path to the file). The more difficult part would be mounting a writable file system other than the TiVo drive, especially if you later want to access the file from Windows or Mac OS.
Somehow my last post mysteriously disappeared overnight, but as long as we're on the subject of VMs it should be easy to create another virtual drive and redirect the output of MFSLayout or whatever tool you prefer to it as lpwcomp suggested. With Windows 7 it's easy to create almost any virtual drive that you want and then use it in a virtual machine. That's one of the main reasons I didn't create my own compressed file format for DvrBARS and stuck with a standard that most virtual machine software already knows how to deal with.
P.S. The next time I'm censored without even the courtesy of a PM will be the last time I ever contribute a damn thing. Write your own frelling software and buy your own 100GB Dropbox for the images....
The last bit wasn't directed at you, I just wrote everything in one post and didn't consider how it would look.
What do you mean? The forum moderators wiped out a post of yours on here without saying anything? That's not entirely a shock to me, though.
If that's the case, maybe you should try and keep the image thing more on the DL... There's a reason there's a cleverly named thread on here for people to beg for images. Then a person who has it can send a PM with a link. But, in the past, the person with the image, or the link to get to it would *discretely* PM the info, to the person requesting it. They generally didn't post on any threads "Image sent", or even reference it, except maybe a hint that they should check their PM box, if they kept begging and it was already waiting for them.
I'd wondered if they'd lightened up around here, since people have been asking for images all over the place lately. It used to be if a person did that, they'd get notified (more like warned) to use that one thread.
I had to do a whole cloak-and-dagger dance, a long time back, by getting told to use that thread, then I got a PM, where I had to give an email address, then was emailed a link to a FTP site, along with a password, and asked not to give out the link or password, due to the FTP site winding up getting shut down regularly.
Please don't take out your very understandable frustration on the users of the forum. You have my full support, and I applaud your hard work. I'm sure many others feel the same.
It only takes one person, especially a forum operator, or moderator, that opposes image trading or gifting, that's either paranoid that TiVo will shutter this site with a lawsuit over TiVo's intellectual property, or doesn't condone the practice to shut you down. The forum sponsors can't be very happy with your work and free image trading, though...
Personally, I'd love for a new, better forum to come into play, and turn this place into the ghost town that MySpace turned into after Facebook came along. But, it takes money to provide this, and your excellent work is a threat to the sponsors of this forum, who profit when people want or need to re-image and/or upgrade their TiVo.
I'd be much more vocal, and blunt about how I feel about the way this place is run, and who gets to pull the strings, but I don't want to find myself banned, the next time I come to check the forum...
Yeah, the ">" was what I thought, but I didn't know for certain where the output file would go. With the JMFS distro, I believe it just got wrote into a built-in ram-disk, but that distro's tools/kernel weren't made to deal specifically with 4K sectors. I wonder how hard it would be to just update the JMFS Live distro to display accurate data...
Do you know which mod removed it and have any idea why it was done? While there are certain topics that are "forbidden" on the TCF, I've never heard of a post being removed simply for discussing image sharing, which goes on all of the time. There's an entire thread pretty much devoted to it.
Just to clarify something. At this time the XL4 2TB drive is 4k aligned but still uses 512mb sector addressing in the partition tables. Now JMFS will add an aligned partition if the last partition ends on the right boundary so the new partition will start the correct 4k boundary. WinMFS does the same for non premiere Tivos. When TiVo transitions to drives over 2TB, then they will have to use 4k blocks. At that time JMFS will have to be re written. Or if we support some of our excellent programmer(s), we could get a program that not only backs up and restrores premiere Tivos and beyond but also gives us a truly optimized expanded image. :thumbup::thumbup:
That's a good reflection of what I've been thinking: You just put it in a concise and understandable way.
If it comes down to it, those who want these tools need to show their support and commitment, help in any way they can, and if need be, chip in some financial aid towards a project, that may have to distance itself from forums sponsored by those who would rather SELL it to us and advertise it on the banner ads we're forbidden to even block, which, in turn, funds this place.
It's been done before, but over at the forum that dabbles in the areas we're prohibited from discussing here, or even providing links to from here.
LONG LIVE FREE TOOLS FOR TIVO OWNERS TO REPAIR/RESTORE/UPGRADE/BACKUP THE EQUIPMENT THEY HAVE ALREADY PAID FOR THE PRIVELEGE OF OWNING AND USING!!! DOWN WITH THE TYRANTS AND PROFITEERS THAT WANT TO FORCE THEM TO PAY FOR IT!!!
Yeah, that's a bit over the top... But, if those who work so hard to provide the tools are going to get censored here, what choice is there? Just give up, bend-over and take it for doing it for free, and giving it to us for free? I don't think so. That's just wrong.
This one wasn't even about images, just my personal opinions about 4K partition aliagnment or lack thereof.
I ran DvrBARS past TiVo and they had no issues with it (while obviously not being able to endorse it). Big brother isn't the problem.
I tried to get them to approve posting the links to the images but you can probably guess where that went. They haven't said no, but I think it's best to keep it on a PM basis for now. I'm checking in here several times a day and monitoring most of the sub-forums.
I have no idea where that post went. It was slightly in opposition to some other people's opinions re AF drives but I was clear that it was only my own WAG. It was still there yesterday afternoon but today it's gone. I'm typing with my left hand and a straw in my mouth at the moment, and it really ticked me off.
I do my TiVo work on an old HP P4 computer in the cellar with XP on it, I once tried the VD and got it to work, but now I do use MS version of the XP VD on my windows 7 to run some old 16 bit programs, an old (from the 80s Db Master) data base and my alarm control. If you want the image to play with just PM me.
I was hoping I had at least part of the post in a notification e-mail to jog my memory but no joy as I cycled Thunderbird yesterday just after Noon, which emptied the trash. I certainly don't recall reading a post by you that would merit deletion.
As far as posting the links to image d/l sites is concerned, it may just be a case of keeping things on the "downlow" to make it less likely that TiVo will take "official notice" and also maybe make it less likely that some of the advertisers would consider withdrawing their ads, but who knows?. I certainly don't think it has anything to do with kowtowing to TiVo, Inc. requests or being cowed by threats from external sources.
Perhaps the sponsors don't want people finding out that their pre-imaged drop-in upgrades might not be what they make them out to be, when it comes to the 4K matter... I partially blame Western Digital (and anybody else), who says Windows XP is the only platform that requires alignment, without disclosing the extra wear and tear that unaligned disk read/write cycles cause when not 4K aligned. The performance hit is no secret to users, but they don't advertise/advise on that either...
I'd suggest you be cautious with Big Brother (TiVo). They could just be trying to get as much info as they can, to pass along to their legal team.
I've had one pretty high ranking person at TiVo say something was fine, then as soon as a repeated it I got whammied by somebody higher.
I'm not saying to become paranoid, just be aware that what can often seem as good-faith discussion, can sometimes just be data-mining. The more they know about your work, the easier it is for them to use what you've given them against you, or take from you to present as their own work.
While TiVo has been allowing people to self-upgrade, without their approved means and equipment, allowing people like Weeknees/DVRUpgrade/DVR_DUDE/Comer to do what they do, they COULD change their minds.
The more they know about how your software works, the easier they could blacklist it/come up with countermeasures, or basically steal your work and sell it as their own.
It took somebody else making their own remote season pass manager to get them to make their own.
You also have to consider that while TiVo isn't required to provide any support to anybody who opens their TiVo up and changes anything, it doesn't stop people who have from calling in and demanding support.
There's no doubt in my mind that they are weighing the pros and cons of letting you innovate, while most of what they do is litigate.
Just be careful, for your sake. There still is the fact that if your tools become as robust, useful, and easy as many envision in the future, you're a direct threat to the primary sponsors of these forums.
Best of luck. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help. I have a lot of TiVos, a lot of computers, and a lot of time. I just wish I was more familiar with Linux, and the Tivoized version of it,
I think it likely that at least weaKnees/DVRUpgrade pays TiVo for the right to distribute the s/w. This is based on the fact that there used to be a user maintained site that hosted most if not all of the then existent images which was shut down due to threats of legal action by TiVo. Meanwhile, DVRUpgrade was selling InstantCake with nary a peep from TiVo. And both weaKnees and DVRUpgrade (they were still separate at that time) were selling pre-imaged drive. It wouldn't surprise me at all if dvr_dude has a similar arrangement,
That's all very logical and makes sense. I also have a hunch that TiVo never hassled Comer, as if I recall correctly, he's in Canada.
I used to have access to the site you mention as well (or one that was as you describe), and recall it being shut down a few times, before whoever was reviving/mirroring it, playing invite only, password protected, catch me if you can, under multiple ftp site URL changes, ceased hosting it. I still have all the content that was on there.
I seem to recall that horrible piece of work known as InstantCake, claiming to be licensed by TiVo for distribution. I find that CD works good for shimming up a wobbly workbench now (but was the ONLY source for a DIY image at the time, and got the job done on the old models, before drives reached 1TB capacity, which it couldn't handle). It sure wasn't cheap, either, especially considering the TiVo user would technically be paying to get the same software that they already paid licensing to use before their TiVo hard drive died on them...
Now, in the present, if these DIY drive upgrade suppliers are paying licensing fees to TiVo, while the mere use of these upgrades absolves TiVo of providing support to the end-user, something stinks...