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Old 08-12-2008, 11:55 PM   #1
mibelleson
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Can I recover a deleted show?

I've got a season pass for the Olympics, but I didn't realize I didn't set it to delete when I want to delete so next thing I know it, the ones I wanted to watch have been deleted from the "Recently Deleted" folder!

Is there a way to get them back??
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:09 AM   #2
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No.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:33 AM   #3
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Hmmmm. Such a definitive response from an obvious expert.

There are definitely ways to go about it but none of them are easy. You would need to hack your Tivo in order to recover any deleted shows. Just because you deleted them from the Recently Deleted folder doesn't mean they're lost forever. There are several apps you can install on the Tivo that will allow you to undelete files, one of the being TivoWebPlus. Depending on the type of Tivo you have the process for hacking it will vary. If you have one of the series 2.5 SA Tivos (i.e. 5XXXX nite-light models) you will require a PROM mod in order to hack it so it probably wouldn't be worth your while.

Note that if your Tivo has recorded other shows since the original show was deleted there is a chance the area on the hard drive has been written over by new recordings rendering the original show unrecoverable.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:01 AM   #4
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So it sounds to me like the answer is "no", as indicated before.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but if the program was automatically erased from the recently deleted folder, then the space is already needed/used for another program, making it unrecoverable.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by msrolla View Post
So it sounds to me like the answer is "no", as indicated before.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but if the program was automatically erased from the recently deleted folder, then the space is already needed/used for another program, making it unrecoverable.
Yep.

There may be some parts of the "deleted" show still on disk (ie if the newly recorded shows were shorter than the "deleted" show) but finding and recovering the remnants would be quite difficult and may not produce anything usable. IMO FAR more trouble than it's worth.

Last edited by WayneCarter : 08-13-2008 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:25 PM   #6
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So it sounds to me like the answer is "no", as indicated before.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but if the program was automatically erased from the recently deleted folder, then the space is already needed/used for another program, making it unrecoverable.
I haven't tried it with my S3 Tivos but I've heard from a reliable source that nothing gets permanently deleted until the space is reused for new recordings. The Recently Deleted folder acts like the Recycle bin on your PC. It just moves the recording to another folder instead of actually deleting it from the Now Playing list. When you delete it from the Recently Deleted folder then it does the same thing as deleting any recording before the Recently Deleted folder was included in current OS versions. You could definitely recover deleted shows on older hacked OSes so I see no reason why you couldn't do it with the recent versions as well.

I used to recover deleted shows all the time on my DTivos and HDTivos using EditTitle.tcl. I don't know if EditTitle will work on an S3 platform but most tcl scripts tend to be platform independent, IIRC. If I think about it I'll see if I can get it to work on my hacked S3 when I get home tonight.

As for the answer being "no", that is not necessarily the case, at least not without hacking the unit first. However, on a stock Tivo you can kiss the recording goodbye unless you want to put some work into recovering the file. Don't discount something offhand until you've proven it doesn't work. I realize this isn't exactly a hacking forum so many of you aren't aware of the potential capabilities of the Tivo you own so I'll let it slide. Since I haven't proven that it does in fact work, I will change my response from "yes" to a "definite maybe" until I've had a chance to confirm my suspicions.
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:45 PM   #7
mibelleson
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Thanks mr.unnatural. I'm hoping to hear back from you as I didn't get to see all of the opening ceremony and a few of the best events. What's driving me crazy is that the season pass (though I have it set on record only first showings) for the Olympics takes up SOOO much room on my Tivo since each "show" is 2-4 hours. I guess I can hack and install more memory, but I'm not too familiar with hacking so I'm not really confident about messing up what's already on my machine, ykwim? Though with some guidance I don't mind trying. It's too bad the shows are not separated into events so I can just record each event that I want.
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:55 PM   #8
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It sounds like the OP didn't accidentally delete the show from the RDF, it automatrically went away because the space was needed. So it has already been recorded over and lost.

You can view the opening ceremony online (in pretty good quality) at nbcolympics.com.
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:05 PM   #9
mibelleson
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It sounds like the OP didn't accidentally delete the show from the RDF, it automatrically went away because the space was needed. So it has already been recorded over and lost.

You can view the opening ceremony online (in pretty good quality) at nbcolympics.com.
Thanks for the link! Will go check it out. As for the other events... I'm still sad. I guess there's always Youtube.

So if it gets deleted from the "Recently Deleted" does that mean the space was needed and it has been written over? I thought tivo just deletes them routinely.
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:23 PM   #10
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The Recently Deleted folder holds deleted programs until the sapce is needed. I forget what the algorithm is for the order in which shows are deleted - it's either the order in which they were recorded or the order in which they were deleted (more likely). Given that you probably had a 4-hour block of programming it doesn't all get overwritten immediately but the program block is in all likelihood no longer intact.

I should have clarified that just about every event can be streamed at the NBC olympics site. You have to download and install a WMP plug-in but the video is in 16:9 and it looks better than any streaming video I've seen, although there is still obvious compression. I think they start with HD resolution and compress from there.
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:48 PM   #11
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I haven't tried it with my S3 Tivos but I've heard from a reliable source that nothing gets permanently deleted until the space is reused for new recordings.
True

Quote:
The Recently Deleted folder acts like the Recycle bin on your PC. It just moves the recording to another folder instead of actually deleting it from the Now Playing list.
Also true.

Quote:
When you delete it from the Recently Deleted folder then it does the same thing as deleting any recording before the Recently Deleted folder was included in current OS versions. You could definitely recover deleted shows on older hacked OSes so I see no reason why you couldn't do it with the recent versions as well.
Right again [emphasis mine]. BUT when TiVo deletes something from "Recently Deleted", it's because it needs the space for a new recording and the old file begins being overwritten "immediately" - so the original answer is still correct "No" (the program is toast).

Quote:
I used to recover deleted shows all the time on my DTivos and HDTivos using EditTitle.tcl. I don't know if EditTitle will work on an S3 platform but most tcl scripts tend to be platform independent, IIRC. If I think about it I'll see if I can get it to work on my hacked S3 when I get home tonight.
That was probably before "Recently Deleted" was added (and the delete confirmation deleted).

Quote:
As for the answer being "no", that is not necessarily the case, at least not without hacking the unit first.
On a TiVo with "Recently Deleted", the likelihood that anything can be recovered is pretty much zero.

Quote:
However, on a stock Tivo you can kiss the recording goodbye unless you want to put some work into recovering the file. Don't discount something offhand until you've proven it doesn't work. I realize this isn't exactly a hacking forum so many of you aren't aware of the potential capabilities of the Tivo you own so I'll let it slide. Since I haven't proven that it does in fact work, I will change my response from "yes" to a "definite maybe" until I've had a chance to confirm my suspicions.
Knock yourself out - and let us know what happens .
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
Hmmmm. Such a definitive response from an obvious expert.

There are definitely ways to go about it but none of them are easy. You would need to hack your Tivo in order to recover any deleted shows. Just because you deleted them from the Recently Deleted folder doesn't mean they're lost forever. There are several apps you can install on the Tivo that will allow you to undelete files, one of the being TivoWebPlus. Depending on the type of Tivo you have the process for hacking it will vary. If you have one of the series 2.5 SA Tivos (i.e. 5XXXX nite-light models) you will require a PROM mod in order to hack it so it probably wouldn't be worth your while.

Note that if your Tivo has recorded other shows since the original show was deleted there is a chance the area on the hard drive has been written over by new recordings rendering the original show unrecoverable.
You can send a tivo to Jupiter with the right hacks and mods.

No matter what kind of hacks are possible, the OP will not ever recover the lost recordings, plain and simple, just like my original response.
The most practical way for the OP to reduce the chances of this hapenning again is to get a 500-750 GB hard drive.
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:23 PM   #13
mibelleson
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Originally Posted by pdhenry View Post
The Recently Deleted folder holds deleted programs until the sapce is needed. I forget what the algorithm is for the order in which shows are deleted - it's either the order in which they were recorded or the order in which they were deleted (more likely). Given that you probably had a 4-hour block of programming it doesn't all get overwritten immediately but the program block is in all likelihood no longer intact.

I should have clarified that just about every event can be streamed at the NBC olympics site. You have to download and install a WMP plug-in but the video is in 16:9 and it looks better than any streaming video I've seen, although there is still obvious compression. I think they start with HD resolution and compress from there.
Darn. Oh well. Thanks for the info!
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WayneCarter View Post
On a TiVo with "Recently Deleted", the likelihood that anything can be recovered is pretty much zero.
I think there's one slight exeption, but it doesn't apply here.
I remember reading reports that there's an odd behavior with recently deleted and really old shows, in a situation where space has recently free'd up on the TiVo.

You can sometimes delete a months old show and even though there's free space it won't get displayed in recently deleted. In that situation a hack might well allow you to undelete that show, since it's present on disk (not yet overwritten) but just not being presented by the UI.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:24 AM   #15
mr.unnatural
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No matter what kind of hacks are possible, the OP will not ever recover the lost recordings, plain and simple, just like my original response.
And what exactly are you basing this on? Your vast knowledge of hacking Tivos? I've been hacking them ever since they were first introduced (did my first hard drive upgrade using Dylan's boot disc and BlessTiVo on the original HR112 SA model). The only way recordings are permanently lost is if the section of the hard disc containing the recorded program is written over. Until that happens you can theoretically recover them at any time. I know because I used to do it all the time. If the Tivo deletes it because it needs the space then this is what takes place as Wayne indicated. When you delete a show all you're doing is removing the entry from the master boot record or file allocation table or whatever it's called in Linux. The data will reside on the hard drive indefinitely until such time as it is written over by new data.

FWIW, I tried an old beta version old EditTitle that was designed for OS version 6 and all I saw was the contents of the Recently Deleted folder. Note that this program tends to be OS version specific so just because I couldn't see beyond the RD folder doesn't mean the deleted shows aren't still accessible. I don't have mfs_ftp or TivoWebPlus up and running on my S3 at this time so I have no other way to test the process.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:49 AM   #16
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TiVo's "Recently Deleted" is virtually identical to Windows' "Recycle Bin" - both systems "Delete" files moving their directory record from the normal directory to the "Recently Deleted" or "Recycle Bin" directory. In both systems, "Deleted" files can easily be recovered by simply returning their entry to its original place in the normal directory - no hacks required.

Hacks used to be required in both systems before they implemented the "Recently Deleted"/"Recycle Bin". You would go through the normal directory, find the remnants of the entry for the deleted file, and use it to recover any parts of the file that weren't already overwritten.

The issue here is a program automatically deleted by TiVo. TiVo automatically deletes programs for two reasons:
  1. To make room for a new recording. In this instance, TiVo clearly needed the space occupied by the deleted show (that's why the show was deleted), so its space was overwritten by the new show. If the old show was longer than its new replacement, some of the old show might be recoverable by hacking, but the chances are not good - for instance, if something else gets recorded (scheduled, season pass, wishlist, or suggestion), the space occupied by the remainder of the deleted file gets used first. And remember, if Suggestions are enabled, any free space will be reused quickly by suggestions.
  2. To adhere to the "Keep At Most" when recording a new episode of a show. Again, TiVo is deleting the show in preparation for recording new material. In this case, there is a possibility that the deleted space won't be reclaimed immediately - does TiVo put automatically deleted material in "Recently Deleted"? I doubt that it does since I have never seen an automatically deleted show in "Recently Deleted". And again, if Suggestions are enabled, any free space will quickly be overwritten.

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Old 08-14-2008, 02:52 PM   #17
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What part of NO is so confusing to people? The OP has a season pass for the freakin' olympics. That's hours and hours of HD content every day. Between NBC, Universal, and USA my S3 is recording olympic events almost constantly, often on two channels. Even with 2tb of storage, I still have an empty recently deleted folder and only a few suggestions. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that "deleted" space is being overwritten immediately.

And, even if it wasn't, what's the point of arguing about whether the OP might be able to find occasional random blocks of data that haven't been written over? The amount of effort and technical skill required to attempt such a recovery is beyond most people. While it may technically be possible to recover a bit of content, that possibility is irrelevant because of the extreme measures necessary to attempt said recovery. So even if you're right, it doesn't matter. It's not going to happen. It's gone. Move on.

If I wasn't so lazy, I'd post a copy of that "internet argument" picture with the little kid screaming at the donkey. Or the special olympics picture since, while it is pretty offensive, it kinda ties in to both the olympic theme and the theme of the picture. Even if you win...
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