Hacking a SIR-S4080R

Discussion in 'TiVo Underground' started by jaquer, May 25, 2011.

  1. jaquer

    jaquer New Member

    May 25, 2011
    Hi. I'm late to the party, but I am interested on repairing/hacking a SIR-S4080R receiver with a dead HD. I posted what I think are the steps to follow on another thread (can't link it due to low post count), but I'm going to repost here to hopefully get the right eyeballs.

    So far, it seems to me like the easiest way to get this going is gonna be to get a copy of InstantCake and the LBA48 CD from DVRUpgrade. I was planning on using The Zipper to help me build the proper boot CD to install and hack the image, but I already have some questions at this (early) stage.

    I'm not sure which version of superpatch I should use. Seems that Superpatch-67all should work, but there's also the apparently superior tvapppatch.tcl script. Will that work with The Zipper?

    If you read my original thread, apparently there's also a second, more hands-on way of performing the hack. Does anybody have any input on whether it makes sense to go that route?

    Your input is greatly appreciated.
  2. jaquer

    jaquer New Member

    May 25, 2011
    So, obviously the "scene" is dead nowadays. Still, there's is a lot of information out there. It only took me four weeks, but I was able to figure out how to revive my TiVo and hack it in the process. :D

    I'm gonna post a kind of log of what I've done so far in hopes that it helps someone in a similar situation in the future.

    First off, some Linux knowledge is definitely a huge plus. TiVo runs Linux and therefore a lot of the concepts/tasks are much easier to grasp when one's familiar with Linux.

    Also, I was able to gather most of the knowledge regarding how to hack the TiVo from step-by-step guides such as this one, and this one, and this one. While the information on some of these pages is outdated, I was still able to figure out the right path based on a combination of the information on them, and a lot of Googling.

    OK, on to the details.

    First off, since my unit was dead, and I didn't want to risk messing up my other (working) unit, I had to obtain a disk image. I know I could have just paid for the InstantCake image, but I didn't feel this was worth the investment when it seemed there was "free" (other than time) ways to go about it. I ended up finding the "62a-minimal.mfs" image on page 97 of the "Backup image and slice begging thread" of DDB.

    Next up was getting a boot CD with the tools necessary. Again, there's the DVRupgrade route, but "mfslive-1.4.iso" from mfslive.org had most of what I needed.

    In order to run non-authorized binaries, I had to hack a kernel, using killhdinitrd. There's places out there where one can get virgin kernels as well. I won't link them since I'm not sure it's allowed. I found "tivo kernel 3.1.5" around the net. I downloaded that and saved it to a flash drive along with killhdinitrd.

    I then hooked up an old 200GB drive I had laying around to my computer. Since I didn't want to deal with opening the case, I just used a USB adapter. When booting the MFSLive CD, my drive was detected as /dev/sde.

    Inside the MFSLive shell, I ran killhdinitrd to hack the kernel, then I wrote it to the disk using tpip:

    tpip -k vmlinux-3.1.5.px -o kernel.img /dev/sde
    I also modified the bootpage to prevent automatic software upgrades. I'm sure at this point the chances of DTV releasing a new version of the TiVo software are nearly close to zero, but I didn't want to take any chances.

    bootpage -P "root=/dev/hda4 console=2,115200 dsscon=true runideturbo=false upgradesoftware=false" -C /dev/sde
    I then mounted the root TiVo partition, and created a very basic rc.sysinit.author.

    mount /dev/sde4 /tivo
    cd /tivo/etc/rc.d
    vi rc.sysinit.author
    chmod 755 rc.sysinit.author
    The contents of rc.sysinit.author are very simple:

    /sbin/tnlited 23 /bin/bash -login &
    I put the drive back into the unit, attached my USB/ethernet adapter (purchased from Weaknees years ago), booted the machine and was up and running.

    This is the point where I'm at now, able to connect to the machine and looking forward to learn more. Like I said at the beginning, this took me a bit of time, and there is a lot of trial and error I'm glossing over, but the tools are definitely out there.
  3. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    The next step, if you haven't done it is busybox and FTP.
    Then TiVoWebPlus.
  4. jaquer

    jaquer New Member

    May 25, 2011
    classicat: Indeed. I had already copied tivofpd when I had the hard drive plugged into the PC, just forgot to write it in the log. The last few days have been quite exciting, trying out all kinds of neat hacks. I've got TWP running, and have even gotten the old TiVo-VLC modules working. I guess one of the benefits of coming into the game so late is that most of the tools are really mature and tested out.

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