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Old 04-25-2007, 06:05 PM   #1
rbautch
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The SApper - A "Zipper-like" tool for standalone tivos

Here is an automated tool called "The SApper" (get it? ) for hacking standalone Tivos. It's nearly identical to the Zipper, except that it will work on any Series 2 or 2.5 standalone. Keep in mind this is not a tool for newbies, and please heed the following warning from the instructions:

Because standalone Tivos get frequent software updates, they require periodic maintenance and tinkering to keep the SApper modifications in tact. Without this maintenance, your modifications will not only be overwritten, but you may also stop receiveing guide data or even have your service turned off. If you lack basic computer/technical skills, or are unwilling to pull your drive once in awhile, do not proceed.

If you plan to use a wireless adapter, you may need need use stock 7.2 drivers. See here for more information.

edit 3/1/09: I have attached the source script to this post for your use. Please do not post modified versions of it. Please PM me if you have any suggestions or have any modifications you think would be useful in the official distribution.
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File Type: zip sapper.zip (6.0 KB, 134 views)
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Last edited by rbautch : 10-29-2009 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:31 PM   #2
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Let me be the first to reiterate this:
Quote:
Note 3: If you have problems during the installation, post your questions on the TCF support thread here. DO NOT mention, link to, or discuss The SApper at ddb.com.
Save Russ a lot of headache and honor this request!

p.s. Russ proves once again that he is still the man!!!
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:24 AM   #3
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You ARE the man, You must have too much time on your hands Russ. I know absolutely NOTHING about SA's so I will be of very little help for the SApper I am afraid. Not that I am much help with the ZIPPER lately (2 new 17 week old puppies just joined my household and NEED attention).
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:15 AM   #4
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Aw, man! You almost had my S1 SA bouncing off the rack. Then I read further and find its only for S2s.....

I guess I will have to be happy with your DTivo scripts

-TPM
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:09 AM   #5
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Series 1s are so easy to hack, you don't need a script, really.
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Old 04-28-2007, 01:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicsat
Series 1s are so easy to hack, you don't need a script, really.
I know, but it is always fun to mess with them.
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Old 04-30-2007, 11:22 AM   #7
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I just bought a second tivo, a series II. My first one is a series I, original model. I plan on doing the TWP/HMO feature hack, and this tool looks like it is what I need. However, after browsing through tons of forums and posts, some two+ years old, I'm not sure about a few things.

1) How do you define 'Standalone' Tivo? Does that just mean one that is not DirecTivo?

I just read that depending on my version, I may have to have the PROM swapped out to get SAPPER functionality. What a nice suprise!
2) If i have that unfortunate version, are there alternative hacks that can get me similar features that Sapper provides without doing the PROM swap? Perhaps a more manual, less automated method?

3) I need to get a USB to Ethernet adapter. I want USB 2.0. Most of the forums I have read are two years old on this front. Any current recommendations on a good USB to Ethernet adapter? It's very confusing. I have even read where if you buy the adapter Tivo recommends, its newer versions don't work with Tivo, but that was with a 6.x version of Tivo and now its 8.1 so who knows, certainly not me.

Thanks for any help.
Jason
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:03 PM   #8
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1: Yes, a Standalone generally means not a DirecTV TiVo. For Series 1/2, it means ones that can record form a cable/satellite box and have analog tuner(s).

2: You need to do a PROM hack to do any system hacks at all on 5xx/6xx models. The Sapper script has nothing to do with it. Even manual hacking needs the PROM mod. That is, unless you know TiVo's private key to sign modded kernels.

However, without hacks you can do quite a bit with a Series 2 Standalone, on the PC side of things.

3: See tivo.com/adapters . I prefer ones with real RJ45 and USB B connectors, such as the Netgear FA120 and and D-Link Dub-E100 (watch the versions though later ones are incompatible with TiVo). For wireless, the TiVo G adapter is highly recommended.
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinvr
I just bought a second tivo, a series II. My first one is a series I, original model. I plan on doing the TWP/HMO feature hack, and this tool looks like it is what I need. However, after browsing through tons of forums and posts, some two+ years old, I'm not sure about a few things.

1) How do you define 'Standalone' Tivo? Does that just mean one that is not DirecTivo?

I just read that depending on my version, I may have to have the PROM swapped out to get SAPPER functionality. What a nice suprise!
2) If i have that unfortunate version, are there alternative hacks that can get me similar features that Sapper provides without doing the PROM swap? Perhaps a more manual, less automated method?

3) I need to get a USB to Ethernet adapter. I want USB 2.0. Most of the forums I have read are two years old on this front. Any current recommendations on a good USB to Ethernet adapter? It's very confusing. I have even read where if you buy the adapter Tivo recommends, its newer versions don't work with Tivo, but that was with a 6.x version of Tivo and now its 8.1 so who knows, certainly not me.

Thanks for any help.
Jason
Look at the first digit of the service number on the back of your tivo. If it's a 5 or a 6 you need to have your PROM modified.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:58 PM   #10
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I modded my PROM installed an larger hard drive with Instantcake, rebooted and everything went fine. I pulled the drive ran sapper and now I'm in an endless reboot sequence. Started all over same thing happened a second time. This is on a Tivo 649080.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-17-2007, 01:43 AM   #11
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Can't slicer or superpatch program be used to keep the updates from overwriting Sapper? It would suck to have to keep updating or adding back your hacks?
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:21 AM   #12
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Can't slicer or superpatch program be used to keep the updates from overwriting Sapper? It would suck to have to keep updating or adding back your hacks?
That's life with an SA Tivo. You lose all your hacks when you take an update and you don't want to block updates or keep the phone disconnected on a SA Tivo so it's a real Catch22 situation. Fortunately, keeping your hacks after taking an update isn't all that hard. It's simply a matter of mounting the currently active partition and the old partition in your PC and copying the files over. This requires some basic Linux commands and, of course, a Linux boot CD.
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:01 AM   #13
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Tried a third time no go, seems to be a script problem with the HACK directory (like it is not there).

Anyway I just Instantcaked the drive again, loaded it into the TIVO and ran through the full setup. I can ping the drive, but I can not open FTP or telnet to the drive (Sapper was not installed).

Also I was looking back at my Zipper stuff (I hacked my DTivo about 18 months ago) and there seemed to be more files and subdirectories created on the boot disk

So what now?
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:46 AM   #14
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Thanks for the feedback Mark. I uploaded version 1.2 beta a few days ago, which fixed a problem with bootpage that would have prevented anything from getting copied to your tivo, and may have caused your reboot loop. After the SApper is run, the added directories should be nearly identical to a Zippered tivo, including the /enhancements directory.

The bootpage parameters set by the SApper will keep your tivo from automatically upgrading and overwriting your hacks, but you have to take the upgrades at some point, as captain_video points out above. The Slicer is a tool for automating that upgrade process, while maintaining most of your hacks. I find it convenient because of the frequency of the software updates on standalones. Slice upgrades do not always go smoothly, so I suggest doing a manual slice upgrade on your first one, so you get an idea what's going on - plenty of info on slice upgrades here and on DDB.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:44 AM   #15
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So I am clear, every time the Tivo get's a OS update you have to remove the drive, hook it to your PC and reload the hacks? Am I thinking right?
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:00 AM   #16
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No. A slice upgrade is done without pulling the drive. If you use the slicer, it's as easy as running a script and rebooting.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:16 AM   #17
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I downloaded all of the files last night, including buying the bootdisk, instantcake, and slicer.

What I did noticed is that the Sapper CD had far fewer files and directories than my Zipper CD did. Right before I left to work I created a hybrid CD with the Sapper files plus the missing Zipper CD files (Hack dir, Tivowebplus dir). I will try that tonight.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rbautch
Thanks for the feedback Mark. I uploaded version 1.2 beta a few days ago, which fixed a problem with bootpage that would have prevented anything from getting copied to your tivo, and may have caused your reboot loop. After the SApper is run, the added directories should be nearly identical to a Zippered tivo, including the /enhancements directory.

The bootpage parameters set by the SApper will keep your tivo from automatically upgrading and overwriting your hacks, but you have to take the upgrades at some point, as captain_video points out above. The Slicer is a tool for automating that upgrade process, while maintaining most of your hacks. I find it convenient because of the frequency of the software updates on standalones. Slice upgrades do not always go smoothly, so I suggest doing a manual slice upgrade on your first one, so you get an idea what's going on - plenty of info on slice upgrades here and on DDB.

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Old 05-17-2007, 09:18 AM   #18
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Oh yeah one more comment the Sapper instructions are wrong. In Step 3 - D there should not be the "sh"
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soapm
So I am clear, every time the Tivo get's a OS update you have to remove the drive, hook it to your PC and reload the hacks? Am I thinking right?
The from 10,000' overview of what happens when you get an OS upgrade is something like:
  1. Tivo releases an upgrade to the OS.
  2. The "Slices" (parts of the upgrade) are downloaded to your Tivo
  3. The Tivo "sees" the slices and the OS is updated onto a new partion on the Drive in the Tivo.
  4. The Tivo changes the partition to the one that has the New OS on it and reboots using the new OS.

If this process is done on a hacked Tivo you will have to pull the drive to rehack it or pull the drive to remount the old partition and move the hacks to the new. There is a setting that can be changed (as rbautch mentioned) to that interrupts the above process after the slices are downloaded but before the OS is updated. This is good because you can then do the upgrade MANUALLY (or with a script like Slicer) and in addition to upgrading the OS to the new partition also copy the hacks you have made to the new partition. If done properly most if not all of your hacks should be still functional after you reboot which is when the OS update takes effect. This should preclude the need of pulling the drive from your tivo to reapply the hacks. On DirecTv w/Tivo units (I know this thread is about SA Tivo's) OS upgrades are rare so it is not generally an issue. With SA Tivo's the OS is updated more frequently and at some point would be an issue (Tivo might not work properly unless an up to date OS is installed) if you never upgraded the OS. Meaning that you should be comfortable with the idea of having to do some maintenance on your hacks at irregular intervals in order to either keep your hacks (if you allow automatic upgrades) or keep the tivo running properly(if you don't allow automatic upgrades).

It should be noted that even if a manual slice upgrade is done properly, depending on what was changed in the OS, some of your hacks might still not work and require an update of that particular hack.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:41 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by MarkF2
Oh yeah one more comment the Sapper instructions are wrong. In Step 3 - D there should not be the "sh"
Fixed, thanks.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:48 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF2
I downloaded all of the files last night, including buying the bootdisk, instantcake, and slicer.

What I did noticed is that the Sapper CD had far fewer files and directories than my Zipper CD did. Right before I left to work I created a hybrid CD with the Sapper files plus the missing Zipper CD files (Hack dir, Tivowebplus dir). I will try that tonight.
Neither the Zipper or SApper CD contains those directories. They are contained within the rbautch_files.tgz archive. After the script runs, check your tivo drive to see if all the usual directories were created - twp, enhancements, etc. Also post the serial console output as your tivo boots.
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbautch
Neither the Zipper or SApper CD contains those directories. They are contained within the rbautch_files.tgz archive. After the script runs, check your tivo drive to see if all the usual directories were created - twp, enhancements, etc. Also post the serial console output as your tivo boots.
I'll pick up a null modem serial adapter tonight and see if I can get it to work.

Something must be wrong with my SAPPER download b/c I get the error while it is running. I specifically recall an I/O error about "HACK" (it was 1AM and I was half asleep). I downloaded it last night, I'll try a fresh download tonight (making lots of coasters). I'll try to make notes on what directories are created after SAPPER runs.

Also even tho I have the instantcake image in the correct directory the SAPPER make CD (ISO) BAT file did not add the image to ISO file.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:26 PM   #23
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Darn RS didn't have the correct null adapter in-stock so no go there.

I'm at a loss I created a new SAPPER CD (fixed the instantcake image issue) and I still get the following error when running the Sapper:

Copying Hacks to Tivo Drive
cp: Read Error: Input/Output Error
Copying custom Kernel to Tivo drive
1+1 Records in
1+1 records out
Kernel copied successfully
I/O errors may be ignored.

the rest of the script went fine and it said it was successful. When I install the drive in the TIVO and boot up I go into an endless reboot sequence.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:26 PM   #24
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Hey Russ, On the SApper page Under "Step 1 - Create the SApper CD", "The Third Component is a Tivo software image" has a link for downloading your SA Tivo Software image and says "or here if you have a combination Tivo/DVD burner." It doesn't have a link to the image as I think you intended.
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWThiers
The from 10,000' overview of what happens when you get an OS upgrade is something like:
  1. Tivo releases an upgrade to the OS.
  2. The "Slices" (parts of the upgrade) are downloaded to your Tivo
  3. The Tivo "sees" the slices and the OS is updated onto a new partion on the Drive in the Tivo.
  4. The Tivo changes the partition to the one that has the New OS on it and reboots using the new OS.
.
Wow, great info. I stored it in my tivo folder for future reference.

One last bit of confusion, when you get a new OS it goes to a new partition? I am a windows man and think of a partition encompassing the entire drive (depending on how you format it). Sounds like Linux must divide the drive into several partitions. When the new OS goes to a new partition do you loose the space of the old OS on the old partition? Can you regain that space?

In windows, after creating a new partition you have to format the drive which would mean loosing all your data. This seems a little different????
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:10 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbautch
Neither the Zipper or SApper CD contains those directories. They are contained within the rbautch_files.tgz archive. After the script runs, check your tivo drive to see if all the usual directories were created - twp, enhancements, etc. Also post the serial console output as your tivo boots.

Looks like all of the expected directories were created in partition 7, partition 6 has 4 directories c;, d:, e: and tivo all empty. I did not find a directory called enhancements or twp
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:34 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkF2
Darn RS didn't have the correct null adapter in-stock so no go there.

I'm at a loss I created a new SAPPER CD (fixed the instantcake image issue) and I still get the following error when running the Sapper:

Copying Hacks to Tivo Drive
cp: Read Error: Input/Output Error
Copying custom Kernel to Tivo drive
1+1 Records in
1+1 records out
Kernel copied successfully
I/O errors may be ignored.

the rest of the script went fine and it said it was successful. When I install the drive in the TIVO and boot up I go into an endless reboot sequence.
Try using different burning software. Search the Zipper thread for input/output error for more info. I'll do more testing tomorrow.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:40 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbautch
Try using different burning software. Search the Zipper thread for input/output error for more info. I'll do more testing tomorrow.
Yup saw that already. I was using Nero 7m then I tried Roxio, same thing. I'll search for the I/O Error
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:41 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWThiers
Hey Russ, On the SApper page Under "Step 1 - Create the SApper CD", "The Third Component is a Tivo software image" has a link for downloading your SA Tivo Software image and says "or here if you have a combination Tivo/DVD burner." It doesn't have a link to the image as I think you intended.
Thanks. Fixed it.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:50 PM   #30
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Ok, I found this though I have no idea what it means;

How many times can I expand using mfstools?
To answer this questions, we need to know how tivo drive is organized.
Tivo drive can have up to 16 partitions per drive.

"A" drive
Partition 1 - Modified Apple Partition Map
Partition 2 - Bootstrap 1
Partition 3 - Kernel 1
Partition 4 - Root 1
Partition 5 - Bootstrap 2
Partition 6 - Kernel 2
Partition 7 - Root 2
Partition 8 - Linux Swap
Partition 9 - /var
Partition 10 - mfs application region 1
Partition 11 - mfs media region 1
Partition 12 - mfs application region 2
Partition 13 - mfs media region 2
Partition 14 - mfs application region 3
Partition 15 - mfs media region 3
Partition 16 - Apple free
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