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Tivo mentioned on Security Now (TWIT.TV)

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by DianaMo, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. DianaMo

    DianaMo Cubs fan

    Oct 22, 2003
    Fast Forward to the 1 hr 39 minute mark for a mention of Tivo and Steve Gibson's disk maintenance and recovery utility.


    Has anyone used it on your Tivo?

    What were your results?


    Attached Files:

  2. HomeUser

    HomeUser Active Member

    Jan 12, 2003
    A2 Michigan
    It's been a while for a TiVo drive. I did recover 100% of the drive in my daughters Series2 by running SpinRite in recovery mode. The last TiVo drive I used it on was recovering a un-bootable Series3 drive. Only a few of the many failed sectors were unrecoverable fortunately they were located in the program partition probably part of a recording. I then upgraded from that drive to to a new 750G drive.

    As a general rule I will test/"burn in" new drives before trusting them in any device making it worth the $90 new or the upgrade price (I have Upgraded every version since V2). I have had a few drives fail the initial burn in and was able to return them quickly saving the frustration of reloading the OS.

    The downside is the way SpinRite works it bypass the drives buffering features making it slow. I have a dedicated PC just for drive test/recovery so letting the tests run for several days or even a week is not a problem. I have recovered data from more than 10 PC and 2 TiVo drives in the past 20 years with it.

    Oh, I could go on and on about it.... To answerer your question: Yes I have used it on my TiVo (TiVo's drive in a PC not while in the TiVo).
  3. Thom

    Thom Unemployed and loving it !

    Jun 5, 2000
    Southern Calif.
    According to Steve Gibson, running Spinrite inside a virtual machine/box will speed Spinrite up enormously. He attributes this to the virtual machine/box having much higher performing BIOS routines that read and write larger data blocks when accessing the hard drive. The current version (6.0) of Spinrite only uses BIOS routines to communicate with the hard drive. The upcoming version 6.1 will be much faster.
  4. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    Whenever he brings this up he seems to mention that the TiVo drives are byte-swapped, which I don't think is the case anymore. That was just the S1 boxes, right?

    I've never had to use SpinRite on my TiVo drives, but I do own a copy and use it a lot on my PC drives at home and at work.
  5. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    S1s were byte-swapped, S2s and 3s were not, and I think that continues for the 4s and 5s.

    When you get a new, or new to you, drive, or go to use one you've had for awhile, best thing is to run the manufacturer's own diagnostic software long test before putting it into service.
  6. telemark

    telemark New Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    The 4's are like the 3's, using Motorola byte ordering.

    The 5's switched processor modes to Intel byte ordering, with the result that it appears many fields from the disks are swapped compared to before. There's little to no swapping actually taking place within a box, because that's how they're stored in RAM too.
  7. Jan 5, 2016 #7 of 12

    windracer joined the 10k club

    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    Another interesting thought from Steven Gibson on Security Now! regarding TiVo drives and "pulling the plug" to reboot. He suggests initiating a reboot from the menus first and then pull the plug when it's on the boot screen so that the hard drives aren't doing a lot of writes due to the video recording.

    I guess the timecode shortcuts don't work in YouTube links here, so fast forward to 1:31:23 for the segment.
  8. Jan 6, 2016 #8 of 12

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Been doing that for about 14 years now. :)

  9. Jan 6, 2016 #9 of 12

    HomeUser Active Member

    Jan 12, 2003
    A2 Michigan
    Wiithout a shutdown command it just seems like the right thing to do.
  10. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    It had just never occurred to me, but I'll probably start doing that now ...
  11. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Los Angeles
    TiVos are designed to tolerate being shut down by removing power; in their testing facility I know they have had a TiVo on an automated power-cycle switch, powering on and off continuously (while int the process of recording programs) for years. It's not going to cause a problem to pull the power cord.

    Having said that, I always put my TiVos in standby before I pull the power cord. It certainly can't do any harm!

    Edit: Added note that recording was in progress during the test. More important than hardware issues is the integrity of the data structures on the hard drive.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  12. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    Standby doesn't mean there isn't data being written to the drive, though, as the TiVo will still record shows. Steve actually mentions that in the clip.

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