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Old 05-04-2014, 02:01 PM   #1
bgeiser286
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Question 5 month old Roamio Plus dead; data recovery

I purchased the Roamio Plus, transferred recordings to it from an old unit I knew was dying and have the capacity used at 85%. Yesterday, while watching a show, the unit stopped working. What had been playing froze. Finally a screen appeared that advised me to unplug and restart the unit. I did that and it has stayed at the startup screen since.

My question is getting the data. I so seldom have time to watch tv and now, although I could get another unit, I want the data on the existing drive. I'm sure it is a hard drive failure but since we have no way to backup what we record, another unit does not help me if I can't watch what I have already recorded.

I am very computer literate and wondered if anyone has ever removed the drive, tried to bypass the boot sector, and transfer the data to another drive. I did email weaknees and they advised that for $100 they would run a diagnosis on the unit but any parts, including a new drive is extra AND they would try to retrieve my data.

I am simply frustrated that a new machine would crash so fast AND that ,as a proponent of Backing up data, we have no way of doing this easily on the TIVO equipment.

All ideas are appreciated! Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:07 PM   #2
lessd
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Did you change out the drive or is this an original Roamio Plus with a 500Gb drive ?
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:24 AM   #3
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You can save recordings to the pc using kmttg but if the tivo will not boot from the drive you are out of luck. There is no way to retrieve the recordings directly from the drive. They are encrypted and stored in a manner that cannot be read elsewhere.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:50 AM   #4
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Hard drives crash, an unfortunate reality.

You could try and running the mfr diagnostic on the drive to see if its really bad. If it is, then not much you can do. I have never heard of the freezer test helping remove tivo content, but I know the kickstart codes may help you out.
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Old 05-05-2014, 02:44 PM   #5
L David Matheny
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Hard drives crash, an unfortunate reality.

You could try and running the mfr diagnostic on the drive to see if its really bad. If it is, then not much you can do. I have never heard of the freezer test helping remove tivo content, but I know the kickstart codes may help you out.
In case the drive is in the process of failing, I would first try cloning it with Gnu ddrescue as found on the Ubuntu Rescue Remix CD (similar I believe to what is used by JMFS, but possibly newer). But if the drive can't be seen by your computer's BIOS, it's probably a goner, barring extreme desperate measures like freezing.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:13 AM   #6
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Does Spin Rite 6 work on tivo drives? It has a good track record of recovering errors that make the drive usable.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:21 AM   #7
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Does Spin Rite 6 work on tivo drives? It has a good track record of recovering errors that make the drive usable.
Yes.

SpinRite would be an excellent tool to help a sick TiVo drive become healthy again.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:41 AM   #8
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Yes.

SpinRite would be an excellent tool to help a sick TiVo drive become healthy again.
I second that (technically third)!

Unlike other "recovery" utilities, SpinRite works with the original drive, and doesn't care what the content is, at all, in any way. Others require a drive of equal, or greater, size to send the raw data to, and will not attempt any repairs to the original drive.

Some will say that you should try a DD/DD Rescue clone first (which is sometimes the right advice). But, if you have SpinRite, or are willing to buy it, it's probably the best utility for this job.

Since we don't yet have any tools/utilities to do the things we did with prior TiVo platforms, SpinRite is well worth the money, if the contents of the drive are worth the cost of SpinRite. You then have SpinRite for any other disasters, later on, with any drive, from anything.

Just be prepared to wait days, or even weeks, for SpinRite to complete it's job. It runs at such low-level operations, that it runs slower than even the slowest SATA drive.

If getting back online is of greater importance, forget SpinRite, and feed the TiVo a new drive to prepare, and get to setting everything back up again.

If you backed-up your SPs and other things with KMTTG, beforehand, it's much less difficult to get back up and recording.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:50 AM   #9
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TiVo is really behind the game on automatic backups. We should be able to attach an external drive and TiVo automatically back up all recorded shows.

Nothing is worse than your TiVo biting the dust leaving you helpless to all the recordings you haven't watched yet.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:00 AM   #10
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TiVo is really behind the game on automatic backups. We should be able to attach an external drive and TiVo automatically back up all recorded shows.

Nothing is worse than your TiVo biting the dust leaving you helpless to all the recordings you haven't watched yet.
I had my Tivo reboot yesterday and it was stuck on the Starting Up screen. Thankfully pulling the plug was all that was needed to get it to boot, but last night I started pulling all shows off with kmttg just in case the drive was going bad.

While an external clone might be the easiest option.....I doubt Tivo will ever do it.

Since my Mac Pro is up 24x7 anyway, I might look at kmttg and it's ability to do auto transfers: http://sourceforge.net/p/kmttg/wiki/auto_transfers/

Anyone have any luck with this?

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Old 05-06-2014, 12:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by geekmedic View Post
TiVo is really behind the game on automatic backups. We should be able to attach an external drive and TiVo automatically back up all recorded shows.

Nothing is worse than your TiVo biting the dust leaving you helpless to all the recordings you haven't watched yet.
There are NAS boxes you can buy that will do backup. Just set a show as KUID and it will automatically back up. Later, when you see that show listed on the NAS you can delete the show from the TiVo to free up space if you wish.

There may be others, but I know the Netgear readynas does this now.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by geekmedic View Post
TiVo is really behind the game on automatic backups. We should be able to attach an external drive and TiVo automatically back up all recorded shows.

Nothing is worse than your TiVo biting the dust leaving you helpless to all the recordings you haven't watched yet.
I can also do this with Tivo Desktop or KMTTG. I select a show and all future shows will automatcally transfer to the PC shortly after the TiVo has finished recording it. Or i can manually select a show and transfer it right away. Of course if a recording is restricted, then there is no way to get it off the TiVo, except by viewing it on another TiVo with MRS. But it still resides on the TiVo it was originally recorded on. With FiOS only HBO and Cinemax are restricted from transfers.
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:29 PM   #13
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There are NAS boxes you can buy that will do backup. Just set a show as KUID and it will automatically back up. Later, when you see that show listed on the NAS you can delete the show from the TiVo to free up space if you wish.

There may be others, but I know the Netgear readynas does this now.
It only works for recorded content that doesn't have the copy flag set, it's not any different than Kmttg or Tivo desktop. If your cable company sets the copy once flag, there is nothing the netgear NAS can do. If your cable company doesn't set the copy flags then Kmttg is a much better solution.

Tivo needs to provide a real backup solution for TiVo's, esp for series 5 since so far there is no solution other than an complete sector backup.
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:41 PM   #14
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It only works for recorded content that doesn't have the copy flag set, it's not any different than Kmttg or Tivo desktop. If your cable company sets the copy once flag, there is nothing the netgear NAS can do. If your cable company doesn't set the copy flags then Kmttg is a much better solution.

Tivo needs to provide a real backup solution for TiVo's, esp for series 5 since so far there is no solution other than an complete sector backup.
So is it the same for playback too? Like TiVo Desktop and KMTTG? You have to transfer it back to the TiVo to watch it? Or can you stream it directly from the ReadyNAS?

Right now I have a dedicated PC for Tivo Desktop/KMTTG and my Blue Iris software for my IP cameras with a 4TB drive for storage. But if the ReadyNAS allows you to stream the content back to the TiVo, I would consider getting a 4-bay one to use instead of my PC. Since I have a bunch of 2TB and 3TB drives that are not being used that I could put in the ReadyNAS. And streaming the content back would be a better solution than having to transfer the shows back to the TiVo to watch them.
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