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Wiping a hard drive to start with empty drive

Discussion in 'TiVo Underground' started by 55tbird, May 29, 2012.

  1. 55tbird

    55tbird New Member

    Jun 24, 2007
    I had prepped a brand new hard drive with the 6.2a image but what with the local channel guide issue I would like to start completely over... I would like to completely wipe the drive so it would be empty so I can install a fresh 6.4a image.

    Any suggestions on what software I should use?

    "If this question belongs in an existing thread that's relevant then move it there."
  2. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural New Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    No need to wipe the drive. If you've got a 6.4a image you should be able to simply restore the image to the drive and it will overwrite the entire drive.

    Truth be told, I have no idea which Tivo uses a 6.4a image so check the stickys for the proper method of restoring an image to your Tivo.
  3. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Like the man said, no need to wipe it, the restore operation will overwrite everything.

    If you want to know how anyway, here are two methods.

    1. Get an image file for a bootable cd with the diagnostic software on it from the manufacturer of the drive.

    There may well be an erase utility on that.

    Even if there's not, go ahead and run the manufacturer's long test on the drive to make sure it's not fixing to go bad.

    2. Go to mfslive.org and download the zip file of the .iso image for the MFS Live cd v1.4 and burn yourself a copy (as an image).

    Do that even if you don't have a TiVo, it's handy to have.

    Disconnect all other drives except an optical drive to boot the cd in.

    When it finishes booting do

    fdisk -l

    and see what it calls the drive you want to erase.

    Probably /dev/hda (for a PATA/IDE drive) or /dev/sda for a SATA drive.

    If you put it somewhere other than the first controller it might be /hdb or /hdc or /hdd (change h to s for SATA).


    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda

    and let it run

    (change /hda to whatever's appropriate if necessary)

    or if you want to be able to see what's going on

    dd_rescue -v /dev/zero /dev/hda

    Eventually zeros will have been written to the entire drive.

    Just for fun and enlightenment, before you do the erase (if it's a TiVo drive), do

    pdisk -l /dev/hda

    and have a look at the partition map.


    fdisk -l


    fdisk -l /dev/hda

    also show partition info of the IBM/DOS/Windows variety, make sure it's the drive you think it is but otherwise don't worry about it.

    The Master Boot Record and the Apple boot page get written in different enough places that the "table of contents" survives even though the contents themselves have been overwritten.

    If the image file you want to restore ends in .tbk, then you'll need the WinMFS program (also available at mfslive.org), and a machine running XP or later.

    Otherwise it should end with .bak and you should be able to restore it with the tools on the MFS Live cd v1.4 (which is the successor to the old MFS Tools).

    Information and instructions on how to use MFS Live and WinMFS also available at mfslive.org

    Just remember




    do not know if you have the wrong drive hooked up or have more than one hooked up and specify the wrong one and they'll wipe them just as cheerfully.

    (In the event of something like that on a PC drive, there's a command line utility called testdisk on the Parted Magic cd, a copy of which it wouldn't hurt to have on hand either--also free)
  4. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural New Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Now that's an answer.;):up:
  5. royfernandez

    royfernandez New Member

    Apr 18, 2012
    Is there a way to upgrade a hacked system running 6.2a (3.1.1c with killhdinitrd) to 6.4a and retain the hacks?

    Can I use your fix?
  6. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    If you're talking about what I posted in this thread, that's not a fix, that's the nuclear option.

    It basically says restoring an image to a drive overwrites what's already there so it doesn't matter what's there and you don't have to wipe the drive first, but if you really want to put all zeroes on a drive, here's how to do it.

    If you want to splice 2 different images together, the last thing you should be doing is bulk erasing indiscriminately.
  7. royfernandez

    royfernandez New Member

    Apr 18, 2012
    I just read the other thread "6.4a Disaster" and it seems that the upgrade has been a disaster to many. Think I'd refrain the upgrade for now.

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