Advice wanted/Tivo drive replacement & swap

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by OBGasman, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. OBGasman

    OBGasman New Member

    Apr 17, 2011


    Thanks in advance for your help. I've been a looooonnnnnggggg time lurker and have been incredibly appreciative of the help and advice of forum members.

    I currently have 2 Tivo HDs (A & B). Both have lifetime service. The drive died in unit "A"... the powering up screen never went away and then I ran the WD Diagnostics on it which gave me a SMART error consistent with a dead drive. My wife declared that she can't live without the 2nd TiVo, so I went out and bought a new one to replace "A".

    In the mean time, I realized that "A" has retained value and I should just replace the HD. When looking at new drives, I also realized I could get a 1 TB Caviar Green for ~$50 and I figured I could just use InstantCake to create the image. However, I have run into problems. The essence is that my computer has nothing but SATA connectors and I am unable to mount my DVD player despite following the advice on both this forum and the DVRUpgrade forums... I don't know linux and am just flailing at this point.

    So, my specific questions are:
    -Can I use winmfs and use the HD from unit "B" to create the image for unit "A"?
    -If there were beta tests, "B" would be in one. Does anyone have any experience with this situation?

    -I'm seriously banging my head against the wall w/r/t IC. I'm all SATA and cannot get my DVD player to mount. I have a USB DVD player but that doesn't seem to help. I've gone through HDX and SAX letters A-F to no avail. The only thing I haven't done is the editing suggested by post #16 in this thread. (b/c I am on my 1st post, I can't type the whole url...) /tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=415677. I also have not tried connecting my drive to a USB port as I don't have a connector and am not thrilled about sinking more money into a possibly unworkable solution.
  2. Stuxnet

    Stuxnet Alien Infidel

    Feb 8, 2011
    So you're saying you can't boot from your DVD/CD... is that correct? What about a thumb drive... can you create a bootable USB drive? I had to do that to upgrade my Premiere when I needed my DVD/CD's SATA cable for the drive copy.

    FWIW I bought 2 USB/SATA adapters thinking I would use those to copy the drive. It turned out that I could see either one of them... so I agree w/you... don't buy a USB connector unless you're sure it will work (or you have a cost free return option).
  3. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I also am not sure about what you say is going on with IC, but to answer about using winmfs; yes, you can use winmfs to copy the TivoHD image from one unit to use in another TivoHD unit.

    You might first use winmfs to try to copy the image from original "broken drive" in case any cable card settings are involved. Not sure if that would be a consideration, but all moot anyway if the image is not recoverable from the broken drive.

    Good luck.
  4. OBGasman

    OBGasman New Member

    Apr 17, 2011
    Stuxnet, I can boot from the IC CD, but I have the exact same issues mounting the drive that others with pure SATA systems describe. I've tried many/most of the solutions listed both here and on the IC forums except those that require reprogramming the underlying linux code that was mentioned in post 16 of this thread: .../tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=415677. I've read others having success using an ESATA connection but I'm hesitant to invest more money for a solution.

    dwit, thanks for the response... The more I'm reading, this really seems like the direction for me to head.

    Thanks for the help!
  5. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC


    Do I understand correctly that ptvupgrade is selling Instant Cake cds for TiVos that come with SATA hard drives, but the IC cd still has the old Linux on it that won't let you boot in an optical drive attached to a SATA port?
  6. robomeister

    robomeister DVD TiVo Expert

    Feb 4, 2005
    Beltsville, MD
    I would highly recommend using WinMFS to copy the "good" drive to your new 1TB drive. You will need to do the following:

    remove the 160GB drive from the good Tivo,
    attach both drives to your computer,
    make a backup of your good drive,
    copy the image from the good drive to the new drive (it will prompt you to expand the drive) or restore the backup image of the good drive to the new drive,
    put the new drive into the broken TiVo and
    fire it up.

    Once it boots, you will have to do a Clear and Delete Everything to marry the drive to the hardware. This will trigger a Guided Setup and will phone home. Your Lifetime Subscription will show up at the end of the Guided Setup.

    If your new drive is a "Green" drive from Western Digital, you might need to run a program to turn off the weird parking feature that those drives come with standard. If you don't, the drive may appear to work, but will not do a soft reboot.

    Good luck and let us know how things go.

  7. peter888chan

    peter888chan Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    WinMFS is the way to go. And if you can only hook up one extra SATA drive at a time to your workstation, that's fine. Do what robomeister said, but instead of a disk to disk backup, I would backup the good drive to an image file. Then hookup the new 1TB drive and do a restore. You'll need to do a clear and delete everything. But then after doing that and reconnecting to Tivo, it should be recognized as having lifetime. And you will now have a WinMFS backup image too.

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