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Old 12-24-2006, 03:00 PM   #1
jschweda
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Please Help Trying to Format Drive

I thought I would tackle the task of upgrading my tivo hard drive. I am using a Seagate 120gb and am trying to format it with the FAT 32. I am getting nothing but a message that states something like "DOS doesnt assign drive letters..." and it has the prompt at the end but it doesnt continue on to format. That was on a comp with XP. I tried to format using '98 and it gets further before scrolling over and over "Fatal Error...". I dont know what I'm doing wrong. I am using the cd that came with the hard drive and I've also tried to create boot cd from Seagates website. I've messed around with the jumpers on the hard drive and nothing seems to work. My DVD/RW drive is primary master, DVD Rom drive is primary slave. I connected the hard drive to the secondary master. Can someone give me some insight?

Thanks!!!

Jodie
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Old 12-24-2006, 03:39 PM   #2
ForrestB
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You're working too hard at this. MFSTools 2 mfsrestore command will automatically format and restore a Tivo hard drive.
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Old 12-24-2006, 06:28 PM   #3
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If you are trying to make a partition to save/transfer the TiVo backup on you can use XP to format the drive just make the partition size smaller 2 - 5G will be more then enough to hold the backup image file for transfer.

If you just want to use the drive in the TiVo without making a backup then ForrestB is correct MFSRestore will format the drive for you.

You should run the full Diagnostics from the drives CD you have on that drive anyway before using it anyway.
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Old 12-26-2006, 10:03 AM   #4
jschweda
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Ok, I'm still confused. I was using the instructions I found by doing a google search of tivo upgrade instructions. I cannot post the url because I am a new member but it is the first result from that search. Here is my current computer configuration. My DVDRW is primary master and DVDRom is primary slave. My 2 hard drives are SATA, so I discoonected those and wanted to hook up the new drive to secondary master and the old drive to secondary slave. From what I thought I understood I can use the new drive for the FAT32 partition and according to the instruction listed in URL I needed to first format the new drive. Is this correct or am I confusing myself with the instructions. I am looking to this with the least amount of jumper setting changes. Oh, by the way the BIOS is set to boot from the DVDRW drive first.

Sorry to be a pain, but all help is appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 12-26-2006, 12:56 PM   #5
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Not sure what instructions you're following, but the I think these are the best and easiest ....
http://tivo.upgrade-instructions.com/

Select your Tivo model and the instructions are customized for your brand/model. The MFSTools can also be downloaded from this site.
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Old 12-26-2006, 02:56 PM   #6
jschweda
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Actually litzdog911 those are the instructions I am following. It states that the disk has to have the FAT32 on it. I also read that you can use the new, larger capacity hard drive to use with the FAT32. The instructions do not state for us newbies how to do that, so I've been trying to use the cd that came with the new hard drive to format it, but that is where I am running into my problems. Is there another way to format the drive. I have 2 SATA hard drives and am running Windows XP.

Thanks!
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Old 12-26-2006, 09:31 PM   #7
mr.unnatural
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The FAT32 drive is used for storing the backup image when you make a backup and also for copying the image to the new drive when restoring the image. You do not need to format the Tivo drive. MFSTools does this for you when you restore the image.

DO NOT have more than one CD-ROM drive connected when booting with a Linux boot disk. It will just confuse the Linux software as it is set up to look for only one CD-ROM drive and it won't know which drive to read from.

If you allowed your PC to boot into WinXP, NT, or 2K with the Tivo drive connected to the IDE bus then the OS wrote a signature to the drive which will prevent it from booting in a Tivo. You can use the utility MakeTivoBootable to correct this or you can run a low level format on the drive to overwrite the boot partition. This can be done using the manufacturer's diagnostic software which is available from their respective websites. If the diagnostic has a quick format option where it only does a low level format on the boot sector and the sectors at the beginning and end of the drive then that's all you'll need to run.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:15 AM   #8
Krosis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural
If you allowed your PC to boot into WinXP, NT, or 2K with the Tivo drive connected to the IDE bus then the OS wrote a signature to the drive which will prevent it from booting in a Tivo.
This is not the case with XP and I highly doubt it's true with NT or 2K either. The signature only gets written if you run disk manager and give it permission. I've booted XP many times with a Tivo drive connected and no harm was done. It's a pervasive Tivo urban legend.
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:18 AM   #9
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I can't speak for XP since I don't have it installed on any of my personal PCs but I can definitely vouch for the fact that booting into Win2K will cause problems. I fail to see how it can be an "urban legend" when this fact is touted by many of the Tivo developers. If it wasn't an issue then there would never have been a need to develop the MakeTivoBootable script to correct the problem.

I understand what you're saying about running disk manager but I've used it many times in Win2K and don't always get prompted for permission to write to the boot sector. I believe you only get that prompt when formatting a drive with disk manager. If you haven't had problems with XP then I can only suspect that you've been extremely lucky. There have been warnings posted about booting into any NT-based Windows OS in virtually every tutorial posted about setting up Tivo drives in a PC so guess which philosphy I'm going to follow.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.unnatural
I can't speak for XP since I don't have it installed on any of my personal PCs but I can definitely vouch for the fact that booting into Win2K will cause problems. I fail to see how it can be an "urban legend" when this fact is touted by many of the Tivo developers. If it wasn't an issue then there would never have been a need to develop the MakeTivoBootable script to correct the problem.

I understand what you're saying about running disk manager but I've used it many times in Win2K and don't always get prompted for permission to write to the boot sector. I believe you only get that prompt when formatting a drive with disk manager. If you haven't had problems with XP then I can only suspect that you've been extremely lucky. There have been warnings posted about booting into any NT-based Windows OS in virtually every tutorial posted about setting up Tivo drives in a PC so guess which philosphy I'm going to follow.
All it took is one, the others just copied. That's how legends get started Might be a bit of Windows bashing in there as well. If you didn't get the message some times it's probably because the disk was already initialized by Windows at some point.

MakeTivoBootable is for those who do run disk manager or corrupt their boot sector in other ways. Just think about all the multi boot systems out there, if what you say was true, they wouldn't work!

I generally tell people to avoid booting XP myself, just to be safe. XP (and other OSs) may come up with the "this disk is not formatted, do you want to format it?" message even without explicitly running disk manager. Keeping them out of XP is a safety measure. Now, installing XP, or any other Windows OS, will definitely corrupt your boot sector. If you want to run multiple OSs it's always advisable to install Windows first because Windows wants to be the only OS on your computer. Microsoft has never been known to play well with others
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:40 AM   #11
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The general rule of thumb has always been NOT to boot into any NT-based OS with your Tivo drive attached to the IDE bus or you could run the risk of making it unbootable in a Tivo. I just know that this has always been touted by those whose credentials I know and respect and have contributed heavily to this hobby. I know nothing of your technical background or contributions to this hobby so I think I'll go with my gut on this one. FWIW, the premise of not booting into an NT OS has always been part of Hinsdale's How To from day one and so far you're the only person I've ever heard that disputes this claim. I'm surprised none of the hack developers have not chimed in to disprove this theory since they would certainly know the truth of the matter.

If you want to boot into XP with your Tivo drive attached then be my guest. I've already experienced the non-bootable issue with Win2K and I have no desire to repeat it, thank you very much.

P.S. I didn't use Disk Management to do anything to the drive to cause the problem either. The drive booted fine in my Tivo prior to booting into Win2K. I had previously made a backup of the drive and had simply forgotten to remove it from the PC when I booted it back up a day or so later. The drive was a backup that I was using to capture the 6.3b slices so I could make a backup of a clean 6.3b setup. When I realized I had booted into Win2K with the drive attached I immediately powered down the PC and tested it in my Tivo, but it simply refused to boot. I verified that nothing was causing the problem, such as incorrect jumper settings, bad cables, etc. I tried running MakeTivoBootable but it never seemed to work for me, perhaps for the reason you indicated about using Disk Management. I then performed a low-level format and restored the backup image I had created from the same drive. The drive now boots without a problem.

What I do know about Disk Management is that it prompts you to set the drive letter for the drive you are formatting so it will not change. I had previously formatted my drives using Partition Magic and the drive letters had a habit of changing whenever I removed or added any device on the IDE buses. The issue at hand has nothing to do with setting up the drive letters so they won't change. The problem is that the OS is writing a signature to the boot sector regardless of whether you used Disk Management or not. Disk Management simply allows you to set a fixed ID to the drive.

Last edited by mr.unnatural : 12-28-2006 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 12-28-2006, 06:45 PM   #12
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As I stated, I generally tell people to avoid booting windows myself. I just don't want them to panic if they find Windows booting by accident. Often more damage is caused by them getting scared and powering off during the boot. I only have two win2k systems, one laptop and my main server so I'm not going to do any testing on those. I have booted XP many a times with the Tivo drive attached though and never had a problem.

For safeties sake, yes, avoid Windows while working on your Tivo, just don't panic if you do accidentally boot it. Worst case, as you say, you will have to restore the boot sector.

I respect Hinsdale a lot, but I can't help jabbing at him over the fact that the only time I saw a GSOD is on a system he upgraded himself
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:26 PM   #13
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A GSOD can happen to anyone at anytime. It has no bearing on the capability of the person making the modifications. The series 1 models were notorious for getting green screens if you just looked at them half cross-eyed. I've gotten the GSOD numerous times on my series 1 units but I can't recall ever seeing one on any of the series 2 models I've worked on.
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