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Old 08-05-2002, 12:24 PM   #31
klincoln
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Quote:
klincoln, if you're in the mood to experiment, would you like to try MFS Tools 2.0 with -r 0 (1 Mb block size)? Some people have expressed the hope that this might create a recoverable TiVo, but no-one's tested it.
Robert S, trying the -r 0 crossed my mind as, under the circumstances, MFST2's default larger block size is a strong suspect in my mind for the cause of mfsfix's heartburn. However, given that I want to confine my testing to a 2x137GB target with preserved recordings, I'm hesitant to invest the time to test -r 0 without the known ability to lay down a valid 128MB swap partition to accompany -r 0's smaller block size on this >140GB configuration. Just as jhburke is creatively mulling the same dilemma, I'm in search of a solution. Without a valid 128MB swap partition, I don't hold out much hope for -r 0.

I'll see what comes up between now and next weekend, and maybe give it another whirl then.

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Old 08-05-2002, 01:17 PM   #32
Robert S
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Hmm, swap partitions, it really shouldn't be that hard to make them, you know?

I think the swap partition on a TiVo is just the same as any swap partition on any Linux system. If this is true, then the following should work:

Boot any normal Linux install (I used Tom's Root and Boot Disk as it's a convenient single-disk Linux.

Create a blank file of the right size. I did

dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/swapfile bs=1024k count=128

(obviously you'll need something mounted on /mnt to take the file).

swapfile is 134,217,728 bytes long. Is this the right size for a 128Mb swap partition?

Then

mkswap /mnt/swapfile

I then did

gzip /mnt/swapfile

and it created swapfile.gz at 131kb.

Now, I'm not sure that file is the right size to copy onto your swap partition, so you might want to try the following:

From a swapping environment:

dd if=/dev/hdx8 of=/mnt/swapfile

From an environment where you have a mkswap command available (Tom's would do nicely)

mkswap /mnt/swapfile

and then from a swapping environment

dd if=/mnt/swapfile of=/dev/hdx8

If this works (I have no easy way to test it) you could gzip swapfile and post it for others to use. If swapfile doesn't compress well, once you know the size of the swap partition you could use dd as above to create a file the same size made of zeros (bs=1 count=<filesize>), run mkswap on that and then gzip it.

This is not a risky procedure, as long as the swap file is no larger than the swap partition you won't overwrite anything - the worst than can happen is that the swap won't activate at boot.
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Old 08-05-2002, 06:16 PM   #33
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I, too, am suffering the invalid swap file after using the -s 128 option in the MFSTools 2.0 boot CD. I have a Sony T60 with a Maxtor 160G A drive + Maxtor 80G B drive. Reported recording time is 204 hours, and has been working fine for a couple of weeks. After checking the threads here, noticed the swapfile issue, enabled back doors, and discovered the problem.
My quandry/question is whether to do anything now, or wait until:
A) My DirecTiVo crashes, then I take the original 40G Quantum and re-upgrade, or
B) Some genius figures out how to create a 128Mb swapfile usable by TiVo with support for fsfix.

Is it worth trying to copy the 64Mb swap file from my original drive onto the new A drive into the 128Mb partition?
I'm not sure I understand the risk of running without a swapfile, vs using a 64Mb swapfile in my 204 hour TiVo. Can 64Mb swap handle a TiVo with less than 140Gb? If so, maybe I should downgrade to just the single 160G Maxtor. I haven't read anything so far that pinpoints the cause of the fsfix, sigma 11 error, but something gave me the impression that may be related to having insufficient swapfile space for large capacity TiVos.

Thanks to all who've made the upgrades possible. The added capacity is well worth any hassles in opening the box and copying the drives.

rswift
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Old 08-05-2002, 06:49 PM   #34
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The swapfile issue and green screen recovery aren't linked in your case. It is true that increased swap space is necessary for earlier versions of MFS Tools and earlier versions of TiVo OS, that no longer applies.

There is currently no known way to make a TiVo that can recover from green screen if it's been upgraded with MFS Tools 2.0.

Copying your 64Mb swap partition from your old drive is a good solution for now. (Unless you'd like to try the swap file method I posted just above you, that post was written with some Linux knowledge assumed, I can explain it more carefully if you're interested.)

If you want a 'safe' TiVo (ie, green screen recovers) you will have to repeat the whole upgrade with pre-MFST2 tools - or wait for a fix for MFST2 problems.
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Old 08-05-2002, 07:50 PM   #35
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Any guess as to the issues with running without ANY swapfile?? Everything seems to be working with no issues right now. Maybe it's because I haven't let the new drives start getting really full yet. My assumption would be that the swapfile might become very important as the lists of Now Playing, Season Passes, etc. start growing very large, and TiVo needs more memory space to play with the lists??
Thanks for the offer. I've not played with Linux at all, and have limited knowledge of UNIX, mostly Solaris. My first inclination is to dd the old swapfile into the new swap partition.
One thought I had is that if the new swap partition created with the -s 128 option is just slightly too small, even by a byte or so, will a properly created 128 Mb swapfile necessarily fit into the space? Not knowing exactly what the -s option really did, it's hard to predict. In my gut, I fully expect to have to re-upgrade using my old 40Gb original TiVo disk, so I've been copying to VCR most of my "must save" shows. YUK!~
Thanks for the help.
~rswift
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Old 08-05-2002, 08:14 PM   #36
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It appears that the problem with the missing swap relates to the program guide functions rather than the recording/playback functions (which are mostly handled in hardware). On UK TiVo's the missing swap prevents TiVo from making daily calls, on US machines it just seems to slow everything down (~24hour indexer runs).

On the space issue, my suggestion above was to dd the current swap partition to a file on your hard drive, therefore when you copy it back it will be precisely the right size. It would be nice if you could validate that, but copying your 64Mb swap partition over would make your problems go away very safely.
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Old 08-05-2002, 08:49 PM   #37
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I may have to wait until next weekend to play with any of these new ideas. I took the day off work today, but can't do that again for a bit. Let's hope a real fix to this, and the GSOD problem are discovered and posted soon. I'm a bit nervous now.
On an unrelated note, I've had smoke coming out of my TiVo on two occasions, yet the thing still lives on! I fried the original TiVo Quantum drive while copying it the very first time. One of the IC's on the IDE circuit board glowed white hot and smoked out. Thought it was toast, but replaced the little circuit board on the back of the drive with one off of a new spare Quantum, and darned if it didn't come back to life. Then, I smoked the motherboard while replacing the internal fan (trying to make TiVo run cooler) and while the fan supply got fried (I now use power from the 4pin hard drive connectors) the TiVo still lives.
Needless to say I open the cover of my T60 with much trepidation...
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Old 08-05-2002, 11:50 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by rswift
Any guess as to the issues with running without ANY swapfile?? Everything seems to be working with no issues right now. Maybe it's because I haven't let the new drives start getting really full yet. My assumption would be that the swapfile might become very important as the lists of Now Playing, Season Passes, etc. start growing very large, and TiVo needs more memory space to play with the lists?? =
My experience with no swap, is a series 2 tivo that starts shutting down services and leaves me with a grey screen every other day. I just need to find some time to fix it..
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Old 08-06-2002, 08:50 AM   #39
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Robert S said:

"swapfile is 134,217,728 bytes long. Is this the right size for a 128Mb swap partition?"

From http://www.mcc.ac.uk/Documentation/l...ag/x1762.html:

"The Linux memory manager limits the size of each swap space to about 127 MB (for various technical reasons, the actual limit is (4096-10) * 8 * 4096 = 133890048$ bytes, or 127.6875 megabytes). You can, however, use up to 8 swap spaces simultaneously, for a total of almost 1 GB.

With newer kernels and versions of the mkswap command the actual limit depends on architecture."


Could this be the cause of the problem, i.e. MFS2 *is* creating a 128Mb swap file/partition, but TiVo is unable to recognize it because of kernel/hardware limitations?
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Old 08-06-2002, 10:15 AM   #40
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From the mkswap man page:
Quote:
It is roughly 2GiB on i386, PPC, m68k, ARM, 1GiB on sparc, 512MiB on mips, 128GiB on alpha and 3TiB on sparc64.
Note that before 2.1.117 the kernel allocated one byte for each page, while it now allocates two bytes, so that taking a swap area of 2 GiB in use might require 2 MiB of kernel memory.
It sounds like the tivo kernel is new enough to use 2 bytes per page, and that swap partitions can be up to 2 GiB. Maybe I'm wrong, and who knows what TiVo did to the kernel, but I think we're safe in that regard. However, it might be wise to create 2 64MB swap partitions and use them both (or even better, have one on your second disk, better performance.)
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Old 08-06-2002, 11:30 AM   #41
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I don't know if this applies to the version of Linux running on TiVo. It certainly might apply to the version on the Tom's Root and Boot Disk I used (quite an old one, something like 1.7 (of TR&B)).

mkswap did say something like 'truncating swap file to ' and gave a number that I think did start with 133. That was what got me paranoid about file lengths, wondering if dd had created a file that was too large for the TiVo's swap partition.

TiVo are unlikely to have fiddled with the VM on their kernel. I would think a swap partition create the way I suggest would work.

It's not easy to create another swap partition on your B drive as that drive will be full of MFS partitions. TiVo doesn't need the speed of multiple swap partition.

I do wonder, though, if you needed emergency swap for a mfsfix whether you could set up a swap file on /var.

However, it does seem that 64Mb of swap is plenty for TiVo running later than TiVo OS 2.0 and it's only when you get no swap at all that people seem to have real problems.
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Old 08-06-2002, 12:17 PM   #42
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Yeah, a swap file in /var/ might come in super-handy. However, I generally don't have much room in /var and it is getting smaller all the time. But a simple swap file rather than a partition might make it easier for some people to get their TiVos running again.
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Old 08-06-2002, 04:20 PM   #43
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I have a Thompson (UK) TiVo with factory fitted 30Gb and 15Gb drives which I want to upgrade to 2 x 120Gb, probably this weekend. Since I'd prefer to have partitions with 1Mb blocks and an increased swap file (to avoid repercussions with fsfix), I don't mind experimenting a bit. I'll try MFStools with the -r 0 and -s 128 options, followed by Robert's procedure above, and let you know what happens. :-)
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Old 08-06-2002, 04:32 PM   #44
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Unfortunately we don't know that -r 0 fixes the GSOD problem and I don't know how to run mfsassert without a shell on the TiVo. Can you add mfsassert -please to the start up script the same way I added mkswap? The system should then reboot and green screen. (Does that sound right klincoln?)
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Old 08-07-2002, 02:57 AM   #45
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OK - Once I've confirmed I've got a working 128Mb Swap file, I'll add mfsassert -please to rc.sysinit and see if it recovers.

Question - when fsfix finishes repairing a partition successfully, does it usually reboot the box or just continue with startup? If it reboots, I'd need to interrupt the process at some point to prevent getting into a perpetual loop <break - fix - reboot - break - fix - reboot ...>.
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Old 08-07-2002, 05:45 AM   #46
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I went back last night and checked my DirecTiVo which I had upgraded with a 80GB drive. It looked fine as far as the swap file goes. I did notice, though, that it was at 64MB instead of what I had been reading here (128MB). I understand what swap files do but I am left wondering if there's some great increase in performance or need for a 128MB swap file.

Also, I'm thinking about taking out the 80GB drive and giving it to my daughter (she's building a PC) and putting a 120GB drive inside it. I remember reading a while ago that TiVo would slow down noticably with drives over 100GB. Is this still an issue or is it related to the swap file size or it being corrupted?

Thanks,

Brad
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Old 08-07-2002, 06:07 AM   #47
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Ivor, you'd probably need to catch it on that first reboot and reset the sysinit before letting it green screen.

Brad, I don't think swap size affects the user speed I upgraded with TiVoMad and went to 128Mb and that was noticably slower than the original 40Gb config. That drive then died and MFS Tools 2.0 came out while the drive was being replaced. With MFS Tools 2.0 the TiVo feels very similar to how it did with the 40GB despite now being a 120 and having 11 pages in NP, even with no swap at all! The problem with no swap was that the indexer got stuck, not that the TiVo was unresponsive.

I think you should be find with 64Mb of swap, but there are several methods in this thread for fixing any swap problems you may have.
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Old 08-07-2002, 10:11 AM   #48
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No noticable speed degredation

I upgraded to a single 120GB Hard drive. I've noticed no change in speed - more importantly, neither has my wife (beleive me, when she knows I've been monkeying with something, she's quick to let me know if I broke it or made it worse).

In the absence of the swap file problem (I don't have the swap problem - did not use -s 128), I think the only real slowdown you will see is in some "live" calculations made by TiVo - For example, the Season Pass manager - it may take much longer to calculate changes/additions as it has many more scenarios and data to sort through to calculate available space, potential conflicts, priorities, etc. It's this kind of live calculation that will get slower with more available/stored information to take into account! (I don't have enought season passes, wish lists, etc to have this get noticably slower, but with the new hard drive, I'm well on my way).

One live process that probably wont be effected is searching for programs to record. You're still working with the same amount of guide data (2 weeks).

I'm guessing that the swap file problem caused MAJOR slow downs because TiVo's indexing engine used the swap file to speed up indexing. Without the ability to index, a bunch of stuff probably get hosed - Program Guide, searching for programs to record, etc.
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Old 08-07-2002, 03:37 PM   #49
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Smile

I upgraded my Phillips HD112 about three weeks ago and just checked the (kernel) log files using backdoors.

It read:

"activating swap partitions"
"adding swap:65532 swap-space (priority-1)"

I guess that means everything is ok.

I used MFS Tools 2.0 and Hinsdale's Upgrade Configuration #2 (dated July 8, 2002) to restore my original 14 hour drive backup on to a virgin 100 gb Maxtor and I also added a second virgin 100 gb Maxtor.

The restore command I used is as follows:

mfsrestore -zpi /mnt/dos/tivo.bak /dev/hdb

My original backup was made using:

mfsbackup -6so /mnt/dos/tivo.bak /dev/hdc

I used the following command to expand the two drives:

mfsadd -x /dev/hdc /dev/hdb (note: no -s command)

I now have a 250 hour machine and have had no problems that I'm aware of over the past several weeks of use. Hope this helps.

Last edited by deek_man : 08-07-2002 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 08-07-2002, 04:11 PM   #50
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It's actually the mfsrestore command that affects swap, by the time you get to the mfsadd stage, your swap is already set up.

Anyway, thanks for the input.
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Old 08-07-2002, 04:45 PM   #51
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Sorry about that. I know where to plug in the cables but my understanding is a little superficial The restore command I used is as follows:

mfsrestore -zpi /mnt/dos/tivo.bak /dev/hdb

My original backup was made using:

mfsbackup -6so /mnt/dos/tivo.bak /dev/hdc

Swap is ok and box works great (see previous post). Hope that's a little more helpful.
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Old 08-08-2002, 05:30 AM   #52
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Update:

I started my upgrade yesterday, having first made and tested a divorced backup of my original drives.

mfsbackup -Tao - /dev/hda /dev/hdb | mfsrestore -r 0 -s 128 -xzpi - /dev/hdc /dev/hdd was used to copy my original a and b drives to the new ones using standard sized blocks and an expanded 128Mb Swap partition.

As expected the swap partition signature was not recognized by TiVo, and when the new drives were placed in the system this resulted in a perpetual reboot/GSOD/pause/reboot loop.

The disks were returned the disks to my PC to try and fix the swap partition which was expected to be found on /dev/hdc8.

TiVoMad disagreed, however, giving the following:
Code:
Partition check:
 hda: hda1
{my Windows hdd}
Code:
 hdc:Signature 9214, be16 Signature 1492
Blocks in Map - 10
 mac st=1 sz=3f name='Apple' t='Apple_partition_map' bim=10
 hdc1 mac st 51ff040 sz=1000 name='Bootstrap 1' t='Image' bim=10
 hdc2 mac st=5200040 sz=1000 name='Kernel 1' t='Image' bim=10
 hdc3 mac st=5201040 sz=40000 name='Root 1' t='Ext2' bim=10
 hdc4 mac st=5241040 sz=1000 name='Bootstrap 2' t='Image' bim=10
 hdc5 mac st=5242040 sz=1000 name='Kernel 2' t='Image' bim=10
 hdc6 mac st=5243040 sz=40000 name='Root 2' t='Ext2' bim=10
 hdc7 mac st=5283040 sz=40000 name='Linux swap' t=Swap' bim=10
 hdc8 mac st=52c3040 sz=40000 name='/var' t='Ext2' bim=10

 hdc9   } various MFS regions
 hdc10  }
 hdc11  }
 hdc12  }
 hdc13  }
 hdc14  }

 hdc15 ... name='Extra' t='Apple_Free' bim=10
 hdc16
{blank}

I haven't had a chance to look at my original drives again, but it would seem that the partition labels do not match their contents. The log files I expected to have found in '/var' were all on hdc9; hdc8 was unmountable and hdc7 appeared to contain a root directory rather than a swap file. This is about as far as I got before I had to stop.

Any ideas why the partition names appear to have changed?

Ivor.
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Old 08-08-2002, 12:56 PM   #53
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I think this is just the rather confusing layout of the boot-up partition table list. If you use pdisk you'll see the labels are correct, and your experiments with mount also verified it. (7 is root, 8 is unmountable because it's swap and 9 is var.)

If you look closely you'll see that the first partition (Apple_partition_map) doesn't have a number and hdc16 doesn't point at anything. Perhaps on this list the partition names are at the end of the lines and wrap around to the beginning of the next line on an 80 col screen?
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Old 08-08-2002, 04:12 PM   #54
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That would make most sense - in fact it seems quite obvious now that you've pointed it out, I'm surprised I didn't think of it! :-)

In any case, I'm about to revisit fixing the swap file shortly. Wish me luck! :-)
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Old 08-08-2002, 07:01 PM   #55
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Robert was right - pdisk displays the partitions correctly, the version shown at boot up was what confused me! Anyways...

The new A disk was removed from my Tivo and rc.sysinit was modified to add mkswap /dev/hda8 at the start of the file. The disk was then returned to the TiVo and the box rebooted.

Mkswap ran and the swap file was created successfully (from the kernel log at next reboot):

mkswap: warning: truncating swap area to 130752kB
Setting up swapspace, size = 133885952 bytes
...
Activating swap partitions
Adding Swap: 130684k swap-space (priority -1)


So far so good, but then after a while it continued with:

Time set to: Thu Aug 8 22:58:36 2002
Have a nice day.
Checking for additional disk...
hdb: Generic ATA management
Starting EventSwitcher...
Filesystem is inconsistent - cannot mount!
Writing 207040 bytes to OSD at address 0
Filesystem assert: cbMap >= sBucket at fszone.C line 170 in FsZone::FsZone(bool, enum FsZoneOwner, long unsigned int, long unsigned int, long unsigned int, long unsigned int, long unsigned int, long unsigned int, bool = false)
Filesystem flagged as inconsistent!
Tmk Assertion Failure: cbMap >= sBucket
FsZone::FsZone(bool, enum FsZoneOwner, long unsigned int, long unsigned int, long unsigned int, long unsigned int, long unsigned int, long unsigned int, bool = false), line 170 (fszone.C)
Tmk Fatal Error: Thread main <78> died due to signal -2


at which point, following a few seconds of GSOD, the box reboots...

Back to the drawing board.
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Old 08-08-2002, 08:01 PM   #56
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I upgraded a series 2 AT&Tivo 40 G to a 120/120 with MFS2.0 about a 5 days ago. Unfortunately I used the dreaded -s 128 option and did not discover the swap problems discussed here untill afterward. Dang.

Symptoms: It boots OK and will run for about a day, then I get a UI lockup. It keeps recording though, I just can't get menu control. After reboot it runs fine for another 24hr or so.

I have every reason to believe I have the swapfile problem, but when I access the logs with the backdoor, I do not actually find the....

"activating swap space"
"unable to find swap-space signature"
"swapon: Invalid argument"

....entry. Actually, I can't find anything listed on the swap file activation? Am I looking in the wrong place? var/log/kernel, right?

Is it significant that I can not find this in the log file? I should find it within the time-area for the most recent boot, correct? What other activity in in the log in the same general area?

Any input would be apreciated.

Note: I did find, in another log file, a line that stated (something like) "swap file size 0000000". All the other files/partitions listed had significant file sizes.

Thanks.
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Old 08-08-2002, 08:58 PM   #57
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You'll see it fairly early on in the boot sequence, the date will be in January because the clock has not been set at that point. There will be three lines of error messages if it fails, but just one logging success.
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Old 08-09-2002, 04:48 AM   #58
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kingmiwok - if you are going to take the drives out anyway to fix the swap file, you might find it quickest to use the TivoMad or Dylan's Boot disk to mount the /var partition (number 9 on the Tivo A drive), load the kernel log into an editor and then search for 'swap'. As Robert says, it should be a few lines before the box corrects the date and time.

The swap file is easy enough to fix by putting
Code:
mkswap /dev/hda8
at the start of the /dev/hdaX/etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit file (where X is either 4 or 7 depending on your config). See Robert's post at the start of this thread for full details.

--oo0oo--

I completed my second rebuild earlier this morning after running
mfsbackup -Tao - /dev/hda /dev/hdb | mfsrestore -s 256 -xzpi - /dev/hdc /dev/hdd
to create a drive with a 256Mb Swap partition but leaving out the -r 0 parameter [standard block sizes]. I then got TiVo to recreate it's own swap partiton by adding mkswap /dev/hda8 to rc.sysinit as above and tested it by running a full program call. This seems to be working fine [no GSOD] I'm not going to tempt fate by running mfsassert -please on this system despite the larger swap file, since I'm fairly certain this would fail.

Interestingly mkswap did use the full 256Mb allocated to it, although the partition is definitely 256Mb and the MFST2 readme suggests it could use up to 511Mb. Regardless, it is still using the same 133885952 bytes as before, just short of the original 133890048 bytes limitation for early versions of linux...

Thanks to everyone involved for all their help!

Ivor.
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Old 08-09-2002, 06:44 PM   #59
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Thanks for the replies/advise. Much appreciated. I'll tackle it this weekend and report anything out of the ordinary.

Slightly OT... I noticed you guys are from the UK. Many of the posts here are, which leads me to believe (incorrectly?) that Tivo may be more of a phenomenon in the UK than in the US.

In the US there is somewhat of a name recognition for Tivo, but it is hardly a household term. Among my closer friends (mostly computer geek types here in Silicon Valley), NONE have a Tivo. And even though you can't get me to shut up about the virtues of Tivo if asked, I can't get them to take the plunge and get one. It's almost as though they don't get why it's better than their VCR, or don't care. They seem to prefer to watch DVDs they have bought/rented.

I think maybe they see it as just another unwanted distraction competing for their time. We are all in our 30s+. Maybe it's more popular with a younger crowd, but I don't believe so.

Is Tivo huge in the UK? Lots of name recognition with the general population? (I have a fascination with why some products take off and others flop, or never get broad acceptance. Yet will be very popular elsewhere.)

Again, thanks for the tech help.
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Old 08-10-2002, 03:04 AM   #60
Ivor
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Middlesex UK
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Quote:
Slightly OT... I noticed you guys are from the UK. Many of the posts here are, which leads me to believe (incorrectly?) that Tivo may be more of a phenomenon in the UK than in the US.
This thread http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...threadid=70772 suggests there are about 35000 TiVo users in the UK and about 422000 worldwide. That's maybe just over 1 box per 800 households here which would explain why I don't know anyone else who has one... The UK board can probably account for this better than I can.

Last edited by Ivor : 08-10-2002 at 03:12 AM.
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