Dead HD - Can't Clone

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by meingraham, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Mar 2, 2018 #1 of 18
    meingraham

    meingraham New Member

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    Jan 10, 2008

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    I have a dead Premiere XL (TCD748000). The hard drive is dead. It will not spin up. Therefore I cannot clone it; even a partial image. Is it possible to purchase a replacement HD (WD10EVVS or 2018 equivalent 1TB HD) and flash a TCD748000 image onto it? Any other steps such as quieting, disabling auto-park, etc. that I would need to take care of?

    I've spent about 8 hours today trying to find & read what others have done. That's where I got the points about the extra steps besides the disk imaging. Unfortunately most are older posts, using older or "discontinued" software utilities, for older TiVo models or talk about upgrading (e.g. copying or cloning). I just don't have an existing HD to start from.

    I had recorded the pertinent information from the DVR (service # & MAK). Would I retain my lifetime service subscription?

    I would be very appreciative if someone could provide guidance on what HD to purchase and where and how to flash an image onto it.
     
  2. Mar 2, 2018 #2 of 18
    kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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  3. Mar 2, 2018 #3 of 18
    ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    WD10EVVS is a green drive but not designed for DVR use.

    Recommending the WD Red drives instead. WD10EFRX, WD20EFRX and up to 8TB.

    Lifetime service and MAK (issued) is retained in your tivo.com account.

    You would need to obtain an image from @ggieseke and use DvrBars to restore, MFSTools 3.2 to expand (on larger drives, noted above.)
     
  4. Mar 2, 2018 #4 of 18
  5. Mar 2, 2018 #5 of 18
    meingraham

    meingraham New Member

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    You're right, it's a green drive as that's what the label on it says - "GreenPower Hard Drives by WD". What's interesting is that today I opened up my DVR for the first time since I purchased it. That's the drive that's came with it! So, TiVo, maybe that's why it started flaking out 2-3 years ago (I now realize it was the HD slowly dying until it died completely last week). Why would they ship with HD not made for DVRs!
     
  6. Mar 2, 2018 #6 of 18
    meingraham

    meingraham New Member

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    Jan 10, 2008
    The only link I found to download MFS Tools was from SourceForge but SourceForge is offline. I was visiting SourceForge earlier today for KMTTG and they were having problems then. Perhaps they've been hit by the same DDOS github was hit with. In any case, is there a alternative repository to download MFSTools 3.2 from?
     
  7. Mar 2, 2018 #7 of 18
    kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    It looked like SourceForge was working from here...

    -KP
     
  8. Mar 2, 2018 #8 of 18
    meingraham

    meingraham New Member

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    Jan 10, 2008
  9. Mar 2, 2018 #9 of 18
    kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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  10. meingraham

    meingraham New Member

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    Jan 10, 2008
    OK, that site works. But that's 2005... and README says it's 2.0 not 3.2. Plus it's a makefile. Pretty sure I don't have the tools (compiler, linker, etc.) or the knowledge to create the executable. Hoping there's a 3.2 Windows executable ready to go on https://mfstools.sourceforge.net/ or somewhere else.
     
  11. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    MFSTools 3.2 is not a Windows application. You need to look for the .ISO which is a CD image, which you burn to a CD and boot from it, and just have the Tivo drives hooked up.
     
  12. NorthAlabama

    NorthAlabama tabasco rules

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    sweet home, al
    try these:

    MFS Tools 3.2
     
  13. meingraham

    meingraham New Member

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    Jan 10, 2008
    OK, that makes sense. Regardless, a makefile is going to be beyond my abilities. I can burn a ready to use ISO... and take it from there (i.e., boot from the disc). But making the ISO... a bridge too far.
     
  14. meingraham

    meingraham New Member

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    Jan 10, 2008
    Lovely! Got the ISO. Thanks!
     
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  15. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Last time I made a bootable CD was with DVD Decrypter. It rips content such as video as well to PC.

    There is a user/password to MFSTools 3.2, Root/tivo (lower case).
     
  16. meingraham

    meingraham New Member

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    Jan 10, 2008
    I thought I'd close the loop and post the outcome and a few learnings in case someone stumbles on this topic in the future.

    I successfully restored my new HDD... the old failing drive behaved itself long enough to get it ghosted. Our TiVo Premiere XL is back at work. I did not need the "virgin" TiVo image but will retain it in my file archive as insurance for the future.

    I used our Dell 660S SlimTower to perform the copy. This was a bit of a challenge as this system only has two SATA ports. Therefore I had to learn how to boot the MFSTools image from a USB drive.

    I had to set the PC to legacy boot mode rather then UEFI in order for it to recognize the bootloader. This was the case whether using the DVD I burned from the ISO or the USB flash drive.

    I used HDDRawCopy to create the USB boot image. A 2GB thumb drive was large enough. I used the RAW file (MFSTools_3.2_openSUSE_Leap_42.1_JeOS.x86_64-1.0.4.oem.tar.gz) linked by @jmbach in this post - MFS Tools 3.2

    I tried using the ISO to create the USB boot drive using RUFUS and Universal USB Installer (UUI). The PC recognized the boot loader and began the bootup, but it did not complete successfully. Lots of stuff scrolled by on screen and then it errored with "Failed to find MBR identifier !" and then just rebooted. I didn't go back and try to troubleshoot this any further after I got the RAW file to work.

    The new HDD I purchased was the same size (1TB) as the failing drive. Both are Western Digital but the new one is a WD10EFRX Red HDD and the old one (what came with the new TiVo DVR from the factory) was a WD10EVVS GreenPower HDD. Since we don't fill this up, I didn't see the reason to spend the extra $30 for a 2TB or any larger. This also meant that I did not have to learn how to expand the drive to a new larger capacity. I just had to ghost the original 1TB to the new 1TB. Job done.

    The MFSTools in the downloaded image (2.0 documentation) had some instructions on mounting drives. I was trying to diligently follow these instructions but found that no manual mounting was needed after the fact. I lost a lot of time figuring this out. The USB boot device came up mounted. After I figured this out, I then was able to find where the tools where on the image (/usr/local/bin). The more up to date 3.2 usage documentation is here - MFS Tools 3.2

    Once I got the software all sorted and ready to go... off to the races.
    • Connect the new HDD to the HDD SATA port(blue 660S SATA motherboard socket - 6Gbs). As this must be the master SATA port, this drive appeared as /dev/sda
    • Connected the old HDD to the ODD SATA port (white 660S SATA motherboard socket - 3Gbs). This is a slave SATA port. This drive appeared as /dev/sdb
    • I had to change BIOS settings (F2 for Dell) to disable secure bootup and set to legacy boot. Just putting the USB Storage device as the first in the boot sequence did not work. The system did not "find" a boot loader and continued on to the next device, the Windows bootable HDD (while I tested booting from USB I left the Windows HDD plugged in). This was the same issue even with the bootable DVD (burned from the ISO file). Only booting in legacy mode worked for either (USB or DVD) boot image. I found out later that I could have used the boot manager dialog (F12 for Dell), change the boot mode to Legacy, Secure Boot Off. This will then list the available devices for booting in Legacy mode as well as the UEFI devices. From the Legacy device list, choose the USB flash device.
      • Secure Boot Control: Disabled
      • Boot Mode: UEFI --> Legacy
      • 'USB Storage' as first bootable device
    • The system booted from the USB flash drive.
    • The Linux login credentials are 'root' / 'tivo'
    • The USB drive appeared as the last device in 'fdisk -l' (/dev/sdc when both HDD were connected). The drive was mounted at '/' at boot.
    • MFSTools are located at /usr/local/bin
    • Used mfsinfo and mfsck to find and verify the correct drive (sdb) as the source (i.e., the one with our files on it)
    • mfscopy -Tai /dev/sdb /dev/sda
    • The original estimate was 8+ hours to copy. This duration was re-estimated each time it encountered sector errors. At 15% complete it was still showing over 8 hours remaining. I left this running while we went out of town. When we returned the following evening, the copy had completed in about 12 hours. I performed a Linux shutdown and disconnected the two TiVo HDDs.
    • Reinstall the 660S HDD & DVD "rack"
    • F2 to restore the BIOS boot settings (or enable Secure UEFI mode through the F12 dialog):
      • Boot Mode: Legacy --> UEFI
      • Secure Boot Control: Enabled
      • I re-sorted the boot device list to have the HDD as the first device. On first boot the BIOS device list label was the HDD model and part number rather than "Windows Boot Manager". After saving the settings, the boot sequence began. At the bottom of the screen, rather than the "spinning circle of dots" "hour glass", an all blue Windows logo appeared. The system then booted to the existing Windows installation environment as expected. I shut down the PC and re-booted into the BIOS settings. The boot device list now listed the HDD as "Windows Boot Manager" as before. This time when the system booted, the graphic at the bottom of the screen was the usual "spinning circle of dots". Any time the HDD had been disconnected, the BIOS reverted to no label (if no HDD present) or the HDD's model & part. The battery backup on the BIOS must also have the BIOS querying the system components at the hardware level.
    I put the new HDD back in the TiVo, connected all the cables, and powered up. It booted (definitely speeded this up w/o all the erroring out that must have been taking place with my old HDD!)! Everything was back - settings, recordings, etc. Both tuners tune. All expected channels show up. All in order. I only had to wait for the Program Guide to refresh and then everything truly was back to normal.

    One extra step that may be warranted is that after the initial boot, if you've had to have the CableCARD re-paired (I did because I used it in our HD HomeRun PRIME temporarily), power the TiVo down, remove the CableCARD for 15 seconds or more, and then boot the TiVo again. For some reason the TiVo was not displaying the updated Program Guide content (even through a power cycle) even though the Program Guide load had completed successfully. Clearing the TiVo's mind along with the CableCARD's mind seemed to put everything in order.

    I spent a LOT of hours figuring this all out. Was this worth the $100 I saved by going the DIY route instead of purchasing a ready to use Premiere XL HDD "off the shelf"? I just couldn't see spending $150 for what I expect will only be another couple of years before I cut the cord altogether. Well, it was character building ;-)

    I hope this summary helps someone in the future!

    Cheers!

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
    kpeters59, vawlb and dstroot like this.
  17. vawlb

    vawlb New Member

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    Apr 6, 2014
    I had to thank you for writing this. I worked through the same steps by doing many searches and lots of reading. Your hint about using HDD Raw Copy was just what I needed after Rufus failed to create a bootable USB flash drive. Once I did that, I was able to use MSFTools to copy/expand three 500 GB Tivos onto new WD Red Plus drives. Also replaced the fans while the fans while the boxes were open.

    All is well. Thanks for your help.

    Maybe your notes should be a sticky?
     
  18. smifam

    smifam New Member

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    Jun 23, 2005
    Thank you for the info, Mike. I am able to boot up MFSTools and I get 4 options to start. Is that where you put the user name and password? Each time I choose an option the software quits. I have been pouring over the forums and am not able to find the correct steps to sign in., or what the start page looks like. I am trying to use a HP stream laptop to copy the original Tivo hard drive. Also using Sata to usb, and cannot remove the computer's hard drive.
    Thanks in advance.
     

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