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Old 08-31-2012, 07:34 AM   #1
buscuitboy
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Question Series 3 (OLED) drive replacement questions

I have a TiVo Series 3 (w/ OLED) that has either a failing drive or corrupted drive. I also have a spare 500GB WD drive that I thought I would just put a new TiVo image on and then basically swap it with the S3's original (250GB) drive.

From what I can tell, WinMFS seems like the best solution to be able to install a fresh/clean image onto this drive. Can be done within Windows. I am not interested in transferring any recordings so it should be simple. I was also able to obtain a S3 image that is basically titled 648250b.tbk. This is the correct image to use with WinMFS, correct?

I have this spare 500GB drive connected to to a PC and its already mounted as drive G:. The tutorial states "Don't assign a drive letter. If you do, your Tivo Bootpage will be erased." Should I really worry about this or is it not a big deal in my case & really only if I'm maybe copying/backing up an existing drive? Having it already mounted as drive G: won't mess up my main Windows drive (C: ) either, will it?

I'm also a little confused on which option I really need to run to load my clean image on to this 500GB WD drive. I see 'restore kernal', 'restore bootpage' & 'restore TiVo drive'. I'm thinking "restore TiVo Drive" is all I need to worry about, correct? Again, all the others are really if I was copying/backing up an existing drive.

Last edited by buscuitboy : 08-31-2012 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:15 AM   #2
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you can remove the drive letter assignment in windows before proceding
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:14 PM   #3
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OK, sounds good. Will I also just worry about the 'restore TiVo Drive' option and then basically just have it load the image I got? No need to worry about the other two options (restore kernal & restore bootpage)
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:44 PM   #4
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OK, sounds good. Will I also just worry about the 'restore TiVo Drive' option and then basically just have it load the image I got? No need to worry about the other two options (restore kernal & restore bootpage)
restore tivo drive is what you want
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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you can remove the drive letter assignment in windows before proceding
OK, probably a stupid question here, but how do I "remove" the drive letter assignment? Should I go into Window's disk management and simply delete the partition for this drive? Or is there another way it should be done?

I also actually accidently went through and did the 'restore' option before I removed the drive letter and it appeared to restore the .tbk image file. However, after it was done, this G: drive was still in 'My Computer'. All the data before the restore (about 4GB) is still there too so I'm wondering if it truly did it right.

Will it work if I simply put this 500GB drive into my S3 TiVo? Or do I really need to get rid of this drive letter & start over?

Last edited by buscuitboy : 08-31-2012 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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In XP you go through disk management -- select the drive --right click -- and choose -- change drive letter and paths -- one of your options should be to remove
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by buscuitboy View Post
... I was also able to obtain a S3 image that is basically titled 648250b.tbk. This is the correct image to use with WinMFS, correct?
If it's the one from my DropBox account, then yes.

Generally the backups that work with MFS Live, or its predecessor, the old MFS Tools, are .bak files, and WinMFS defaults to using the .tbk extension when it makes a backup.

And, of course, you have to use WinMFS to restore an image made by WinMFS.


Quote:
Originally Posted by buscuitboy View Post
I have this spare 500GB drive connected to to a PC and its already mounted as drive G:. The tutorial states "Don't assign a drive letter. If you do, your Tivo Bootpage will be erased." Should I really worry about this or is it not a big deal in my case & really only if I'm maybe copying/backing up an existing drive? Having it already mounted as drive G: won't mess up my main Windows drive (C: ) either, will it?

I'm also a little confused on which option I really need to run to load my clean image on to this 500GB WD drive. I see 'restore kernal', 'restore bootpage' & 'restore TiVo drive'. I'm thinking "restore TiVo Drive" is all I need to worry about, correct? Again, all the others are really if I was copying/backing up an existing drive.
You don't have to worry about erasing the drive's TiVo Bootpage until it actually has one. What it has right now is a DOS-style Master Boot Record, or MBR, which is not needed or used or recognized on a TiVo drive.

I assume that you do not need anything which may be on what Windows thinks of as drive G.

I'm also assuming that C: is your Windows installation.

What about D, E, and F?

Separate partitions on the same drive as the partion known as C:?


Separate drives?

Either way, WITH NO TIVO DRIVE ATTACHED TO THE COMPUTER (that is, a drive which is already a TiVo drive), go into

Computer Management, Disk Management (but only since that drive already has a drive letter), and make sure that the drive you intend to turn into a TiVo drive is the drive you think it is.

You'll probably need to be running as administrator or with admin privileges, and you'll definitely need to be for the next step, which is running WinMFS.

Once you're sure you know which drive is which and sure that the PC knows and Windows knows, exit Disk Management and everything else except Windows itself.

Open WinMFS.

You'll need to select a drive, and somewhere there's a "show mounted drives" check box, which you'll need to check.

Select the 500GB drive you're planning to use.

Somewhere in the menu is a Delete Format option.

Use it on that drive you just selected, the 500GB one that's currently known as G:

Don't use that option on any other drive letters, or you could wind up with a Windows-less PC.

Now that that's taken care of, click on Restore Tivo Drive and point it to wherever you've got 648250b.tbk stored. (Sure hope it isn't on the G: drive)

If it were me, I'd up the size of the swap partition to at least 250MB.

It may take a while to do the restore, and it might look like it's frozen. It's not, it'll finish eventually, at which point it'll probably say you've got extra space and do you want to expand.

(If you think you'll want to use a 1TB, 1.5TB, or 2TB drive in that TiVo anytime soon, say no).


When you put the drive in the TiVo, it'll complain about a hardware error, probably, because it expected to be back with the TiVo Service Number of the machine from which the image originally came.

Let it do what it needs to do for a few hours to fix that.

Then go through guided setup.

Then when you've got it set the way you want it, cable cards paired, etc., make a new backup image, like 248xxxxx.tbk, where xxxxx is the first 5 of your zip code, so you'll know it's for your machine.


If that 500GB drive is one of the new WD Greens with a model number that ends in X or VX, it might not be TiVo compatable, no matter what you do to it.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:33 PM   #8
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OK, probably a stupid question here, but how do I "remove" the drive letter assignment? Should I go into Window's disk management and simply delete the partition for this drive? Or is there another way it should be done?

I also actually accidently went through and did the 'restore' option before I removed the drive letter and it appeared to restore the .tbk image file. However, after it was done, this G: drive was still in 'My Computer'. All the data before the restore (about 4GB) is still there too so I'm wondering if it truly did it right.

Will it work if I simply put this 500GB drive into my S3 TiVo? Or do I really need to get rid of this drive letter & start over?
Sometimes you get situations where drives tell programs and utilities that they have certain files and folders and partitions, but it's actually a case of "it's like a book with a table of contents and then a bunch of blank pages".

In other words, the index of the stuff hasn't been erased or overwritten, but the stuff itself has.

It might even work that way, but just to be on the safe side, pull it and follow the instructions in my other post, making allowances for what you've learned in the meantime, and let WinMFS erase the DOS/Windows formatting, which will do away with the MBR, and the do restore drive again.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:23 AM   #9
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If it's the one from my DropBox account, then yes.

Generally the backups that work with MFS Live, or its predecessor, the old MFS Tools, are .bak files, and WinMFS defaults to using the .tbk extension when it makes a backup.

And, of course, you have to use WinMFS to restore an image made by WinMFS.
Well, I did use the image from the dropbox account and did a 'restore'. For the most part, all seems to have gone good. Its installed in the Series 3 and purring along as needed, but there seems to be one minor hiccup (see below).

Now, I initially didn't use the format option at all and thought I remember reading somewhere that WinMFS talkes care of this. Should I really go back and 'format' it. Or since it seems to be working, not worry about it at this point?

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If it were me, I'd up the size of the swap partition to at least 250MB.

I am pretty sure I left this at the default of 128MB. Again, is this something I should worry about? Will it help increase performance if set to 250MB? Or should I not really worry about it at this point?



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When you put the drive in the TiVo, it'll complain about a hardware error, probably, because it expected to be back with the TiVo Service Number of the machine from which the image originally came.

Let it do what it needs to do for a few hours to fix that.

Then go through guided setup.

I did indeed get this error. It has connected to the TiVo server 3 times now since I put the 500GB drive in with the new image, but it is STILL giving me this error. Should I maybe wait some more and give it a few more tries with connecting to TiVo to help clear up this error? Or is there something else I need to do to get past this?

Now, I did go through the guided setup right away too. Does this make a difference as well? I am able to watch channels & the dual tuner functions fine, but its not allowing me to go to the "now playing' menu and/or schedule any kind of recordings.

Not sure if this matters, but since this is now a TiVo that is not used frequently & in a guest bedroom, it has no cable cards and can simply receive the basic (local) Comcast HD channels (2-1, 5-1, 11-1, etc.) since Comcast got rid of ALL analog cable in my area.

Last edited by buscuitboy : 09-02-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:10 AM   #10
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Well, I did use the image from the dropbox account and did a 'restore'. For the most part, all seems to have gone good. Its installed in the Series 3 and purring along as needed, but there seems to be one minor hiccup (see below).

Now, I initially didn't use the format option at all and thought I remember reading somewhere that WinMFS talkes care of this. Should I really go back and 'format' it. Or since it seems to be working, not worry about it at this point?




I am pretty sure I left this at the default of 128MB. Again, is this something I should worry about? Will it help increase performance if set to 250MB? Or should I not really worry about it at this point?






I did indeed get this error. It has connected to the TiVo server 3 times now since I put the 500GB drive in with the new image, but it is STILL giving me this error. Should I maybe wait some more and give it a few more tries with connecting to TiVo to help clear up this error? Or is there something else I need to do to get past this?

Now, I did go through the guided setup right away too. Does this make a difference as well? I am able to watch channels & the dual tuner functions fine, but its not allowing me to go to the "now playing' menu and/or schedule any kind of recordings.

Not sure if this matters, but since this is now a TiVo that is not used frequently & in a guest bedroom, it has no cable cards and can simply receive the basic Comcast HD channels (2-1, 5-1, 11-1, etc.) since Comcast got rid of ALL analog cable in my area.

Is it specifically saying hardware error, or error 51?
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:28 PM   #11
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Yea, it has a long message about the error, but at the end it basically says if it keeps happening to contact TiVo & report error #51. Anything I can do to fix this or do I need to contact TiVo to get it resolved?

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Old 09-02-2012, 01:47 PM   #12
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Yea, it has a long message about the error, but at the end it basically says to contact TiVo & report error #51. Anything I can do to fix this or do I need to contact TiVo to get it resolved?
Try "Clear and Delete Everything" and then do Guided Setup again after it finishes with the C&DE.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:14 PM   #13
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OK, will try that. Should I worry about going back and both "formatting" the drive with WinMFS and/or increasing the 'swap partition' to 250MB? Or is it not worth the hassle?
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:12 PM   #14
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OK, will try that. Should I worry about going back and both "formatting" the drive with WinMFS and/or increasing the 'swap partition' to 250MB? Or is it not worth the hassle?
If you aren't going to try to go to a 1TB or 2TB drive anytime soon, might as well leave it as is, right after you tell us the model number and manufacturing date of the drive.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:34 AM   #15
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OK, deleting everything and going through the guided setup again as suggested seemed to work. I am now easily able to access the 'Now Playing' area and record channels as needed. All is good.

As far as possibly going to a 1TB or 2TB drive in the future. I don't see this happening as this DVR is in a guest bedroom and not used much. No cable cards either and for now, its pretty much getting just the local HD channels (2-1, 5-1, 11-1, etc.). This might change in the future so we'll see.

Actually, I might go back to the original 250GB drive. I prepped and put this spare 500GB drive in it cause I was really trying to determine the real reason it was rebooting all the time. I thought it was a cap issue on the power supply and had that fixed, but it still rebooted.

I then realized that it wouldn't reboot if I didn't have ANY source hooked up to it. Essentially nothing was even getting recorded on its 30min 'live' buffer. Therefore, I figured it was a hard drive issue. Transferred all its recordings to my main Premiere and then put in this 500GB spare WD drive. Sure enough, its now working great and no rebooting issues have occurred.

At some point, I'm gonna go back and run some test on its original 250GB drive and see what that says. If it comes back clean & with no errors, then I'm thinking the drive just got corrupted & that is was why it kept rebooting. I would then also like to put a clean image on it again and put it back in this series 3. Will see.

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Old 09-03-2012, 11:49 AM   #16
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Whatever else you do, I strongly suggest you arrange to have a TiVo formated drive stored somewhere safe so the next time something happens you can pull the existing drive and replace it with the backup. 'A five minute fix that will determine if the issue really is with the existing hard drive.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:41 PM   #17
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OK, deleting everything and going through the guided setup again as suggested seemed to work. I am now easily able to access the 'Now Playing' area and record channels as needed. All is good.

As far as possibly going to a 1TB or 2TB drive in the future. I don't see this happening as this DVR is in a guest bedroom and not used much. No cable cards either and for now, its pretty much getting just the local HD channels (2-1, 5-1, 11-1, etc.). This might change in the future so we'll see.

Actually, I might go back to the original 250GB drive. I prepped and put this spare 500GB drive in it cause I was really trying to determine the real reason it was rebooting all the time. I thought it was a cap issue on the power supply and had that fixed, but it still rebooted.

I then realized that it wouldn't reboot if I didn't have ANY source hooked up to it. Essentially nothing was even getting recorded on its 30min 'live' buffer. Therefore, I figured it was a hard drive issue. Transferred all its recordings to my main Premiere and then put in this 500GB spare WD drive. Sure enough, its now working great and no rebooting issues have occurred.

At some point, I'm gonna go back and run some test on its original 250GB drive and see what that says. If it comes back clean & with no errors, then I'm thinking the drive just got corrupted & that is was why it kept rebooting. I would then also like to put a clean image on it again and put it back in this series 3. Will see.
Get WD's bootable cd image and make yourself a cd from it (burn it as an image).

Run the long test on that 250.

If it offers to fix anything, let it.

Hard drives have extra, unused sectors that are there to be swapped for sectors that go bad, so if you have any bad sectors it'll copy the data out of them as best it can to new, previously unused and unavailable sectors and re-map things so the bad sectors are marked bad or don't use or something and anything destined for them gets re-routed to the new ones.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:49 AM   #18
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Whatever else you do, I strongly suggest you arrange to have a TiVo formated drive stored somewhere safe so the next time something happens you can pull the existing drive and replace it with the backup. 'A five minute fix that will determine if the issue really is with the existing hard drive.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I would just assume keep the WinMFS & S3 image I have in a safe place instead. Since the S3 image is only about 300MB, I have even been able to upload/ftp it to my website provider's servers (bluehost) for safe storage. I figure why tie up an entire hard drive as a back up in hopes of maybe using it. Since I now understand & feel comfortable with the process for reimaging a S3 drive, I am a pro at it and can do it as needed. While I love my TiVos, there are really no shows that are that vital if I lose them so just slipping in a new drive would be OK with me.
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