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Recovering from report error #51 to TiVo

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by funtoupgrade, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. funtoupgrade

    funtoupgrade New Member

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    After restoring a new larger hard drive to each of my two TiVos I found that the TiVo software was indicating the unit was detecting a hardware error and that I should do a reset to clear the problem. The message also indicated that if the reset did not clear up the problem I should call TiVo and report error #51. Doing a search on this forum was no help with this error number (that I could find anyway). On my Humax the error message said to call Humax and report error #51. My first conclusion was that Time Warner did something to cause the problems, but before blaming them I decided to call TiVo as directed. I called and reported error #51 which the tech never heard of. After going though a number of hoops with him, we determined that the TiVo would not record in any mode. Since the hard drives were just installed I had not yet gotten that far in getting the units ready for normal use. After jumping through some more hoops he said the software was corrupted and I needed to do a clear and delete everything to return the unit to factory specs.

    I have just completed doing this on the Humax and the error message is gone. The unit seems to record normally in manual mode which it would not do before, so the "clear and delete" seems to be the magic fix for this particular error message.

    I will initiate the process on my series3 tonight before going to bed so it will be ready for the new guided setup in the morning. I am hoping this process will not screw up my cable cards which I just got working again after a power outage and several Time Warner visits.
     
  2. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Google "tivo error 51" and you'll find plenty to read.
     
  3. May 1, 2011 #3 of 15
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Here's an excellent explanation of what the error #51 is all about. Credit goes to AlphaWolf from DDB. I would have posted the link but the forum software blocks links to the "other" forum.

    You will note that the discussion refers to a 51killer.tcl script. This can only be used on a hacked Tivo to clear the error message. Otherwise, you'll have to perform a Clear & Delete Everything to get rid of the error.
     
  4. May 3, 2011 #4 of 15
    funtoupgrade

    funtoupgrade New Member

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    Sorry, I assumed all the important info regarding this problem would be somewhere on this forum and not elsewhere.
     
  5. May 3, 2011 #5 of 15
    funtoupgrade

    funtoupgrade New Member

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    Could someone elaborate on the "51killer.tcl script"? This does not mean anything to me, and I would love to know how to get/use it since a clear and delete does unpair the cable cards. In our area (Orange County CA) Time Warner refuses to let customers pair up the cable cards via phone and insists that a tech come out and do it on the phone - very dumb!
     
  6. May 3, 2011 #6 of 15
    unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Googling "TiVo error 51" will return a bunch of links to both this site and others of which TiVo "advanced" users should be aware.

    This site is an excellent resource, but it's not the only one, and one shouldn't limit oneself to relying solely on this site.
     
  7. May 4, 2011 #7 of 15
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    The 51killer.tcl script is used on a hacked Tivo to remove the error #51 by clearing out the diskconfiguration key on your Tivo's hard drive which would otherwise prevent the recordings from playing back on the drive. The only other way to get rid of the error is by performing a Clear & Delete Everything which erases all recordings from the drive. The 51killer.tcl script allows you to transfer a drive from another Tivo of the same model without losing your recordings.

    You may be able to find it via a Google search. If not you may have to go to the "other" Tivo forum that discusses Tivo hacks not addressed here.
     
  8. May 4, 2011 #8 of 15
    funtoupgrade

    funtoupgrade New Member

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    Thanks for the info. After exploring the "other" forum I am in no better position to use 51killer.tcl script than before. On that forum they seem to think everybody all ready knows how to hack. What I need is a step by step set of instructions on how to use this script to clear the error including the hardware setup. I guess such an animal is not out there anywhere as near as I can tell. I guess I will have to stick with clear and delete then call Time Warner for a tech visit.
     
  9. May 4, 2011 #9 of 15
    stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    Actually, the other forum expects that you have some rudimentary Linux skills and that you can read. It is true that the information needed can be scattered, but for what you're doing it is just the basics. In that forum, people believe that if you don't understand what you're doing, you shouldn't do it, hence the frowning on hands-off scripts and guides.

    In order to use 51killer.tcl, you must first "hack" the TiVo to allow installation and use of Telnet and FTP. After that, it's pretty simple. Perhaps you want to try the "Underground" section of this (TCF) forum if you need hand-holding.
     
  10. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Just to keep things clear, your reference to a "hacked Tivo" means a Tivo that has had motherboard chip modifications, correct?
     
  11. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    Only some of the newer TiVos need hardware changes. But at the very least you will need a network adapter or a custom serial cable.
     
  12. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    The PROM needs to be modified in order to break the "chain of trust" on the Tivo. Once you've done that you can modify the tivoapp file and install any other hacks you'd like. The main purpose of this is that when you hack the unit, your installed files will remain intact.

    The Tivo performs a check during bootup to see if any files have been added or modified that differ from the ones that were originally installed with the OS. If it finds something that does not belong, it deletes the errant files and removes all of your hacks.

    Hacking the Tivo byasses this startup check and allows any installed hacks to stay installed. The rc.sysinit file you create is run automatically and then initiates any installed hacks set to run in the background. One of the hacks involves setting up a bash prompt. This allows you to connect to the Tivo via a serial cable or telnet and run scripts from the bash prompt, such as the 51killer.tcl script. The 51killer.tcl script runs and clears out the mismatched data from the hard drive, as described in my previous post. When the Tivo reboots it rebuilds the data based on the current hardware and allows your existing recordings to play.
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    If one installs a modified prom (on a TCD649080) and runs 51killer.tcl, would that allow using the drive(s) from a different TCD649080 and allow access to the recorded shows already on that drive that were recorded when it was in the previous machine(whose motherboard now has problems but I'm still paying the monthly rent on it)?
     
  14. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    No - you would have to have previously disabled encryption on the box that recorded the programs. As far as I know there is no way to remove encryption already there on that model TiVo. All 51killer.tcl gets you is avoiding recreating season passes, etc. The recordings will be there but will not play.
     
  15. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Thanks, I understand much better what's going on now.
     

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