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Why did my WHS stop transferring my TiVo videos?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by IDSmoker, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. IDSmoker

    IDSmoker Member

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    Apr 10, 2004
    Boise, ID
    I've been using an HP MediaSmart EX480/WHS (Windows Home Server) to extend the size of my Series 3's storage space for several years now with great success.

    Using the "HP MediaSmart Expander for TiVo" addin of the WHS console to auto-transfer episodes of a show as they air to the WHS, then transferring them back to the TiVo when I was ready to watch the entire season(s) has made managing my S3's limited space doable (as well as letting me record new shows on 'speculation' and then waiting to see if they get good reviews or if the network ends up Firefly'ing them).

    This method has worked really well for me for me for some time now... but the file transfers have suddenly stopped working, with the "File Transfer Status" tab showing all transfers with a red "X" and the red error message "Cannot contact TiVo DVR, please check that it is powered-on is connected to the network. If problems persist, please consult the documentation." in the info block when you select one of the failed transfers.

    Since just about every element making up this very useful system has been deprecated by it's maker (HP gave up on the MediaSmart line... Microsoft has taken the WHS OS in a different direction, and as for the TiVo corporation... <grrr>... don't get me started, since they still refuse to put sufficiently large hard drives in even their top-of-the-line models!), I'm kinda stuck trying to figure out the problem myself.

    The only changes in any portion of my setup prior to this problem was caused by having to go back to my old router for wired networking, while changing the 'new' router to only function for wireless networking. This change occurred a week or so before the transfers began failing, so I doubt it has anything to do with the failed transfers, but I can't think of any other potential root cause. Both WHS and S3 are hard-wired through the same gigabit switch.

    Other random points about my current setup:
    1. The "Files on TiVo DVRs" tab of the HP Expander addin is still being updated with new shows from my S3.
    2. The S3 hasn't shown any issues (any new ones at any rate <grin>).
    3. I am still able to use my S3 to transfer and play content that was previously transferred to the WHS.


    Things I've already tried, unsuccessfully to fix the problem:
    1. Rebooted both WHS and S3 multiple times, including after each of the following changes.
    2. Changed which network ports (and even which switch) the S3 and WHS are plugged into.
    3. Significantly reduced the amount of video currently stored on the WHS (thinking I might have run into a previously unknown limit).
    4. Uninstalled and reinstalled the HP MediaSmart Expander addin.


    Anyone have any suggestions for other things I should try, before I have to start taking more extreme measures (like trying to pick up one of those problematic drive extenders) to avoid running out of space?
     
  2. SullyND

    SullyND L:45-21 TCF Club

    8,628
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    Dec 30, 2004
    Chicago Burbs
    I wonder if it's related to the expired certificate that is affecting TiVo Desktop and other programs such as KMTTG.

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=501067

    Can you change the date on your WHS to 2/15 without any other ill affects? That would be the easiest way to at least verify if it's the same issue.
     
  3. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    10,364
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    Aug 2, 2003
    Undoubtedly, yes, it's the same bug that affected everything that downloads from a TiVo, including the TiVo's own built-in web server interface.

    It's a cookie, not a certificate. The distinction is important, because an expired certificate could be understandable. But in this case, the cookie is being sent out with a fixed expiration date, hardwired in tivoapp, of February 16th, 2013. This is completely senseless.
     
  4. IDSmoker

    IDSmoker Member

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    0
    Apr 10, 2004
    Boise, ID
    Thanks for the heads-up!

    It's been a really long time since I manually changed a computer's date/time (it was actually a common method for getting around DRM back in the MS-DOS/Windows 3.1 gaming era!), but changing the date and rebooting my WHS did the trick... temporarily at least.

    Now I just need to go read through that thread you kindly referenced and see if I can't figure out a more permanent solution.

    Even before reading a word of that thread however, I suspect this problem is going to require work/knowledge from the TiVo users community, since every indication over the last several years, is that the people currently running the TiVo corporation do not give a damn about the people who have previously purchased and supported their products. I would love to be proven wrong, by having TiVo step in and fix this situation by properly supporting their products again, but my expectations have been set very low by their prior behaviour.

    I just wish there was a decent tech alternative out there, because I would love to use this as an opportunity to divorce myself from a company I have come to loathe.
     
  5. muerte33

    muerte33 New Member

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    Jul 4, 2008
    MoyekJ updated KMTTG to fix this problem recently:
    http://code.google.com/p/kmttg/
    RunAsDate is a cool program that will allow you to run a program with a certain date/time:
    http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/run_as_date.html
     
  6. MHunter1

    MHunter1 TiVo Bug Hunter

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    Oct 11, 2007
    Silicon Valley
    Thanks for recommending RunAsDate. It makes TiVoPlayList usable again for transferring programs. But I can't figure out how to use Windows Scheduled Task wizard to launch TiVoPlayList unattended in the middle of the night using RunAsDate.
     
  7. Mar 4, 2013 #7 of 22
    W Scott

    W Scott New Member

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    Apr 21, 2003
    Is the curl file workaround usable for the "HP MediaSmart Expander for TiVo" addin? Or is the only fix to change the date back? I got it to work for my TiVo Desktop on my PC, but do not know how you would add it to the HP?
     
  8. Mar 4, 2013 #8 of 22
    SNJpage1

    SNJpage1 Active Member

    3,685
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    May 25, 2006
    Atlantic...
    Just a note if you are using Tivo Desktop. Before I fixed the problem with the cookie patch, I had tried to transfer a program. After it failed it left a RED X where the box is that you check to transfer a program. I had to uninstall and then reinstall and then do the patch inorder to get rid of the RED X. Make sure you do the patch after the reinstall before you try to transfer a program.
     
  9. Mar 4, 2013 #9 of 22
    reneg

    reneg Member

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    Jun 19, 2002
    The curl file workaround does not work for the HP MediaSmart Expander for Tivo add-in. It looks like HP developed their own program to transfer files and did not rely on curl. I would not expect HP to update this add-in as they discontinued their lineup of Windows Home Servers (WHS) a couple of years ago.

    An alternative that you may want to consider is installing java & KMTTG on your WHS. KMTGG can run as a service & has a workaround for the Tivo date issue. Installing KMTTG would require a manual install through remote desktop and may be more than you want to take on.
     
  10. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

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    Aug 2, 2003
    Or pyTivo, which might make more sense for a server environment.
     
  11. HerronScott

    HerronScott Active Member

    2,770
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    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Yes, pyTivo works very well on WHS.

    Scott
     
  12. reneg

    reneg Member

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    Jun 19, 2002
    Fair enough. So, I'd say "and pyTivo" instead of "or pyTivo". The HP add-in allowed transfers of files both from and to the tivo. In the case of pulling from the tivo to the server, I think Kmttg is a better option as it can be automated as well as all the other great stuff you can do with kmttg. pyTivo is better at getting files from the server to tivo. I run pyTivo, kmttg, streambaby, & vidmgr on my WHS.
     
  13. W Scott

    W Scott New Member

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    Apr 21, 2003
    Thanks for responding.

    That I have never tried. I would have to find a link on how to do accomplish that task.

    I love my HP MediaSmart Server. It has worked well. Sorry to see HP give up on it.

    Yes, transferring to and from my WHS is important. It worked so well as additional storage for my two TiVo Primes.
     
  14. IDSmoker

    IDSmoker Member

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    Apr 10, 2004
    Boise, ID
    Would any of the suggested solutions allow me to continue managing my video transfers from the TiVo via the HP WHS console?

    I'm not really looking to make my life more complicated at the moment.

    Right now, the simplest solution seems to be to continue my once-a-week process of changing the WHS date to 2/15, allow HP TiVo Expander to transfer any/all new videos, change the WHS date back. A pain to be certain, but at least it works, and requires little effort.
     
  15. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Feb 4, 2008
    Get pytivo working on your server. You will not regret it.

    You don't need the console at all, just a web brower and the WHS ip address. Any brower will do, even on an android or ios device.
     
  16. IDSmoker

    IDSmoker Member

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    Apr 10, 2004
    Boise, ID
    I have to use the console anyway to manage my network backups (one of the more outstanding features of WHS) so adding pytivo, which I've tried out in the past, would just add another layer to an already complex system. Unless they've added a better gui to pytivo since the last time I used it, it's a rather arcane, difficult (for me) to remember process.

    But I admit that the 'change the date' workaround is already getting old...
     
  17. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

    4,059
    5
    Feb 4, 2008
    The pytivo interface is straightforward and simple. Checkboxes and a pushbutton for downloads and uploads and you are off to the races. Not sure why you think the console is needed, using a laptop from anywhere is the house (I tend to use my xoom a lot for this), with a preset browser shortcut, is super simple. I never use the console unless changing something up- even for backups you should be able to completely automate the process.
     
  18. IDSmoker

    IDSmoker Member

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    Apr 10, 2004
    Boise, ID
    After checking out pyTivo a bit further and re-checking my WHS, I found that I had an older version already installed from the last time I looked into it (when I was still dealing with the frustrations of TiVo Desktop Plus). Unfortunately, after updating to the latest version I realized that it still wasn't the solution for me since it doesn't handle auto transfers.

    I really like being able to select an episode in the HP TiVo plugin, hit a button, and have all future episodes from that series transfer over as they are recorded on the TiVo.

    Guess I'll have to start this process all over with KMTTG (thanks for the link muerte33).
     
  19. W Scott

    W Scott New Member

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    Apr 21, 2003
    So I tried transferring several shows using the TiVo Destop to my computer and then copying those files to my HP Mediasmart Server, But I am Unable to transfer them back to my TiVo Premiere XL4. They show-up but I get an error message.

    "Error playing a recording - The TiVo box was not able to record this program because there was no video signal on the channel. You may have been trying to record on a channel that you don't recieve."

    Yet I can go to any of the recordings that were transferred by the HP MediaSmart Sever and they will transfer.

    Is there a difference in the codec or file format? Can I just change an extension?

    Thanks
     
  20. IDSmoker

    IDSmoker Member

    329
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    Apr 10, 2004
    Boise, ID
    I doubt that changing the extension will help, but I gave up on the TiVo Desktop app a long time ago, so hopefully someone else will have a solution for your problem.

    KMTTG solved my problem, and I would not hesitate to recommend that you try and replace your current TiVo Desktop based solution with pyTiVo and KMTTG. You'll have to do a little more work to install and configure them (though if you're like me, it's probably not as much as you fear/expect! <grin>), but this solution seems a LOT more stable (and flexible) than the alternatives. They are definitely better supported by their creators!

    Good luck!
     

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