MFSLive Linux Boot CD (beta version)

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by pvanb, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. pvanb

    pvanb New Member

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    May 21, 2007
    I'm attempting to upgrade the hard drive in a previously-upgraded TiVo and I'd really like to keep all my shows. After almost giving up on the possibility I discovered the MFSLive tools.

    As per this thread, I see that there is a -f option in the beta versions of the Linux boot CD that will do exactly what I need. Unfortunately, the only version available for download (1.4) does not have this option. I do see that some users in the aforementioned thread found beta versions (e.g. beta6c), but I can't find it anywhere. Does anyone here still have a copy of it they're willing to share, or know of somewhere I can get it? I realize the thread is a few years old, but one can always hope.

    I also know the response to this is usually "use WinMFS," but I don't have a Windows PC so using WinMFS is not an option (I tried in Parallels, but it crashed my computer with 21 hours remaining —*so also not an option.)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    ..peter
     
  2. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Maybe it does what you need and maybe it doesn't.

    Maybe you need it and maybe you don't.

    While I'm going through a bunch of pages of comments over there and old readme's and such to try to get my memory working again, answer these questions.


    Do you not have the Microsoft Windows software, or do you not have an IBM-compatible style PC? Are you trying to do emulation on a Mac or an Intel Mac?

    Which TiVo model do you have.

    What size was the original drive and where is it? Do you know how many partitions it has or had on it?

    What size is the current drive? How many partitions?

    What size is the drive to which you're trying to "upgrade"?

    Have you tried and failed with the MFS Live cd v1.4?

    If so, exactly what commands did you use?
     
  3. pvanb

    pvanb New Member

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    May 21, 2007
    I agree I probably didn't provide enough detail to help provide alternate solutions or verify I'm on the right track at all. Here are the full details:

    I don't have a Windows PC, although I do have Windows XP installed on a Parallels virtual machine on my Intel-based iMac. I know that as a last resort I could install Windows via Boot Camp.

    My TiVo is a Series 2 TCD240040 that I bought on E-Bay many years ago (when TiVos started to be unofficially supported in Canada, but before you could buy them here.)

    The original drive as 40GB, and it was shipped to me along with the unit. I've never actually used the TiVo with the original drive, so I can't be sure it even works. I assume it has the default 13 partitions.

    The current drive is 120GB (Seagate) and was installed by the previous owner. It works perfectly well, we're just constantly running out of space. Again, I'm not sure how many partitions it has on it but when I try to expand the new drive I get the "Backup target not large enough" error.

    The new drive I'm upgrading to is a Western Digital 1TB Green Drive. I was successful with a truncated backup/restore (using mfstools) but of course the saved shows were not there. That's when I discovered the MFSLive tools and the possibility of a second upgrade while keeping the saved shows.

    I did try with the MFSLive cd 1.4 but as noted I'm getting the "Backup target not large enough" error. I did try the -f option, but it doesn't exist:

    backup -Tao - /dev/sdb | restore -s 128 -fzi - /dev/sdc

    Here's what I did with mfstools (which I compiled from source on my iMac):

    Didn't work (target not large enough):

    mfstool backup -Tao /path/to/tivo.bak /dev/diskX
    mfstool restore -s 127 -xzpi /path/to/tivo.bak /dev/diskY
    mfstool mfstool add -x /dev/diskY

    Worked (truncated):

    mfstool backup -f 9999 -6so /path/to/tivo.bak /dev/diskX
    mfstool restore -s 127 -xzpi /path/to/tivo.bak /dev/diskY
     
  4. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Do (after booting with MFS Live v1.4)

    pdisk -l /dev/current120GBtivodrive

    (that's a lowercase L)

    and tell me how many MFS partitions you get.

    First one (numerically) will be partition 10.

    Since that's a Series 2, using the -p switch/option with the restore command is right, but -z seems to be a waste of time, and probably better to leave off -x and do mfsadd as a separate step.

    Then run

    mfsinfo /dev/120GB drive

    and see if it says anything interesting.


    Also, go ahead and run pdisk and mfsinfo on the original 40GB drive, and if all looks well, boot the TiVo with the 40 installed and see if it works. If it's never been used it'll probably go to the beginning of guided setup, at which point you can just unplug the TiVo from the wall and set the 40 aside.


    Just to add for future searchers, apparently at that time TiVo was using 40 and 80 GB Maxtor drives, which are a little bit bigger than 40 and 80 GB WD drives from the same time period, so to do a full same size copy you'd have to shrink the swap and/or var partitions a little, and of course dd or dd_rescue drive to drive won't work.


    I haven't been able to find anywhere that tells exactly what the -f (or is it -F) switch on restore does and how it does it, so I don't know if it would be any help or not if you already have the max number of MFS pairs on that 120.

    If you only have 10-11 and 12-13 on the 120, then we'll just dd_rescue it to the 1TB and then run mfsadd to add 14-15.


    BTW, have you tried using TiVo Desktop to copy off your shows to an NTFS or Ext2/3 partition?

    (Once you really get serious about TiVo, you get the TiVo its own computer:))
     
  5. pvanb

    pvanb New Member

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    0
    May 21, 2007
    pdisk -l /dev/current120GBtivodrive

    6 MFS Partitions:
    Code:
    10  MFS         MFS application region            (256.0M)
    11  MFS         MFS media region                  ( 16.3G)
    12  MFS         Second MFS application region     (256.0M)
    13  MFS         Second MFS media region           ( 21.1G)
    14  MFS         New MFS Application
    15  MFS         New MFS Media                     ( 73.4G)
    16  Apple_Free  Extra
    
    mfsinfo /dev/120GB drive

    Code:
    Total MFS volume size: 113954 MiB
    Hours in a standalone TiVo: 127
    
    This MFS volume may be expanded 3 more times
    
    Original (40GB Maxtor):

    4 MFS Partitions:
    Code:
    10  MFS  MFS application region    (256.0M)
    11  MFS  MFS media region          ( 16.3G)
    12  MFS  MFS application region 2  (256.0M)
    13  MFS  MFS media region 2        ( 21.1G)
    
    From mfsinfo:

    Code:
    Total MFS volume size: 38749 MiB
    Hours in standalone TiVo: 40
    
    This MFS Volume may be expanded 4 more times.
    
    I've got a large chunk of of HD space dedicated to TiVo shows. Unfortunately the WiFi connection is painfully slow on these Series 2s, so I'm selective with what I copy off. I am running pyTivo though, so I can stream pretty much any format of video from my computer back to my TiVo. Very convenient.
     
  6. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    TiVo screwed you when they put 4 MFS partitions on the original drive instead of just 2. That left just one more MFS pair possible on the primary drive.

    The way you upgrade to a bigger drive isn't, unfortunately, re-sizing the existing MFS partitions, it's adding them in pairs, which is what the previous owner did in going from the 40 to the 120.

    When mfsinfo says how many times you can still expand, 3 of those times are pairs to be put on a secondary drive.

    You have 2 ways to go that I can see, if you want to save your recordings.

    1. Make that 1TB drive a secondary drive to the 120. You'll either have to get a twinbreeze bracket and dual drive IDE cable from Weaknees or kludge something up yourself.

    I'm not really crazy about this approach because it doubles the number of drives that can go bad and the extra drive puts extra strain on the power supply, which is probably waiting for an inconvenient moment to develop capacitor disease anyway, as they are prone to, extra drive or not.

    2. Since it's a Series 2 it doesn't notice if any of the shows are copy protected, so it's possible to copy all of them off via Desktop or whatever, set up the 1TB as the new primary drive (with suitable JMicron or Marvell chipset adapter), and then copy the shows back from computer to TiVo.

    You'll need to copy the shows to a partition that'll accept files larger than the 4GB limit the FAT32 partitions have, or all of your 2 hour movies will be 1 hour, 55 minute movies and you won't know how they ended.

    If you can wait a while (possibly till end of September or early October), I'll run an experiment and see if WinMFS can take a single drive with 6 MFS pairs and put it all on a bigger drive and expand the existing MFS partitions, in which case you could see about using someone else's computer to do the job, but I'm doubtful it can expand those partitions, though it'll be interesting to find out, so when I can find the time I'll run the experiment whether you wait for it or not.
     
  7. pvanb

    pvanb New Member

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    0
    May 21, 2007
    I managed to find a spare Windows laptop I could borrow from the office, so I was able to run an mfscopy with WinMFS (which has the -f option built-in) and it appears to have been successful. My TiVo is now using the full 1 TB and my saved shows are intact. The actual process of of expanding the drive was almost instantaneous.

    I re-ran pdisk and mfsinfo on the new drive just to see what it did:

    pdisk -l /dev/1TB drive

    6 MFS Partitions:
    Code:
    10  MFS  MFS application region      (256.0M)
    11  MFS  MFS media region            ( 16.3G)
    12  MFS  MFS application region 2    (256.0M)
    13  MFS  MFS media region 2          ( 21.1G)
    14  MFS  MFS App by Winmfs
    15  MFS  MFS Expanded by Winmfs      (893.2G)
    
    mfsinfo /dev/1TB drive

    Code:
    Total MFS volume size: 953344 MiB
    Hours in a standalone TiVo: 1181
    
    This MFS volume may be expanded 3 more times
    
    Cheers, and thanks for all your help and suggestions.
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Cool!

    So apparently WinMFS can resize MFS partitions (something I wish I'd known earlier), which makes me wonder why spike didn't include that ability in MFS Live as well.

    Maybe it's something he was allowed to use but asked to keep secret, so he can put it in a binary that can be run by Windows, but can't put it in something where he makes the source code available.
     

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