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Old 11-04-2009, 09:32 AM   #1
Laserfan
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Is there an "easy" backup method for TiVo hard drives?

As time marches forward, I'm concerned about possible catastrophic hard drive failures of my two TiVos, and am trying to understand my options. I see there are a number of post-failure solutions, e.g. make a new one with InstantCake, buy a new one from DVRUpgrade, or try to repair the failed drive per the sticky here (did I miss anything?).

But what about Backup options, i.e. I expect that I can pull the drives from each of my TiVos and image them (using Acronis True Image for example), then re-image to a new drive after a failure. Izzat right? Is there any easier way, using perhaps the eSATA connection? If not, why wouldn't TiVo include an eSATA backup utility in their core software?
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:51 AM   #2
classicsat
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You need to pull the drive to make an image of your drive.

WinMFS is the way to go.

Acronis is made for drives set up for PC partitions and file systems. A TiVo drive is just a big lump of data to it, and you do not want to back that up. WinMFS and other tools back up TiVo drives to a nice compact image file.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:13 PM   #3
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WinMFS or any of the MFSTools boot CDs will do the trick. I always make it a point to back up my Tivo drive whenever I get a new Tivo or prior installing any hacks. I'll never understand why so many people wait until their drives fail and have to resort to buying InstantCake when you can make your own backup image in about 15 minutes at no cost.
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:38 PM   #4
Laserfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicsat View Post
You need to pull the drive...WinMFS is the way to go [and not ATI]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
I'll never understand why so many people wait until their drives fail and have to resort to buying InstantCake when you can make your own backup image in about 15 minutes at no cost.
Many thanks fellas. Never heard of WinMFS before finding it here but I will definitely try it as you've suggested.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:18 AM   #5
mr.unnatural
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You'll find WinMFS here:

http://www.mfslive.org/
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:24 PM   #6
Laserfan
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Site is remarkably complete, right down to the nitty-gritty of "computer setup" instructions with pics of cables, settings, adapters, etc.

My TiVos work 99.99% of the time, so I don't come here very often anymore, and really appreciate that there are many others that do, and keep abreast of all this stuff! Thanks!
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:26 PM   #7
Laserfan
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It's been >3years since I visited here, but when I did a Google internet search on TiVo Backup guess what I found--this thread THAT I STARTED from almost exactly 5 years ago. What a repository of good information the TiVo Community Forum has been, especially given how lousy my memory has become!

My Series 3 decided to act-up after 7 years and I thought the hard drive was dead, but right now I am using Mfscopy in an attempt to copy the WD 250GB original hard drive over to a new 1000GB Seagate. So far about 50% done with no errors--hopefully even if I do encounter errors later in the process the TiVo OS will have been copied successfully anway and this thing will boot.

I had found the TiVo in an unresponsive state last Sunday morning, and when I pulled the plug and then replugged it was working and I watched the last of the Lions/Falcons football game. But then that same evening I went to watch the Sunday Night Football game and it was lit-up like a christmas tree and would not boot at all. Thought the HDD had died because that was the symptom (all LEDs lit and displaying Welcome Powering up).

The power supply voltages check-out OK and while I suppose IT could be flaky well I'm hoping the WD stays alive long enough for me to copy it (and all the unwatched shows we have on it). EDIT: Mfstools copy worked. If I have any more problems I will know to replace the power supply.

Posting this just in case anything new has developed in the realm of TiVo backups? TiVo really should consider adding a featureset to have the eSATA drive function solely as a backup i.e. a mirror of the internal drive...

BTW my sig is out-of-date; the S3 (and no doubt the HD) is at 11.0m now.
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Last edited by Laserfan : 10-30-2014 at 05:48 PM.
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