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Old 07-18-2014, 03:26 PM   #1
DianaMo
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Lightbulb Tivo mentioned on Security Now (TWIT.TV)

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

http://twit.tv/show/security-now/463

Has anyone used it on your Tivo?

What were your results?


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Old 07-18-2014, 06:53 PM   #2
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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).

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Old 07-18-2014, 07:23 PM   #3
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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.

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Old 07-18-2014, 10:10 PM   #4
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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.

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Old 07-19-2014, 12:45 AM   #5
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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.

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Old 07-19-2014, 05:37 PM   #6
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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.


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Old 01-05-2016, 08:38 PM   #7
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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.

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Old 01-06-2016, 06:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windracer View Post
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..
Been doing that for about 14 years now.

Scott

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Old 01-06-2016, 06:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by windracer View Post
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.
Wiithout a shutdown command it just seems like the right thing to do.

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Old 01-06-2016, 07:00 PM   #10
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It had just never occurred to me, but I'll probably start doing that now ...

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Old 01-07-2016, 01:46 AM   #11
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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.


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Old 01-07-2016, 08:09 AM   #12
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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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