Saving a Tivo disk

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by Doomster, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Doomster

    Doomster Member

    Nov 5, 2003


    Hi, I have an SD-DVR40 Series 2 Tivo. Never had a problem with the Tivo receiver until today. Came home from work and I noticed that the Tivo was stuck on a particular frame of the temporary 30 window.

    I thought it was because perhaps the Pause button was clicked. But it wasn't. Playing Play did nothing. Pressing the DirecTV button did nothing. Tried the buttons on the box, rather than using the remote. Nothing.

    So I rebooted it. When it came up, it got stuck at the "Welcome Powering Up..." stage. Left it for 30 minutes, nothing.

    I rebooted it again, and again, stuck at "Welcome Powering Up...." stage.

    So I took apart the box and checked the disk. I have an MFSLive 4.1 disk and I booted up a PC from that. Trying to see if there's a problem with the boot partition of the disk.

    I have two questions:

    1) Is there any tools/SW on MFSLive that allows me to check and fix bad superblock sectors? FSCK is disabled on MFSLive. And pdisk is limited. It only showed all the partitions but did not display anything that said that the disk had a bad sector

    2) I can live with a bad disk. I have spare Western Digital PATA drives. MFSLive has the dd_rescue tool that allows me to copy the contents of the original disk to a new disk. My question is, if I was to copy to a new disk, does the new disk have to be baked with InstantCake first? Or can I copy to it in virgin form?

  2. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Let us assume for the sake of discussion that the MFS Live cd v1.4 sees your TiVo's hard drive as


    pdisk -l /dev/hdc

    will show you the Apple Partition Map, and of course it's better if it does than if it doesn't.

    mfsinfo /dev/hdc

    will show you stuff about the MFS partitions

    If mfsinfo doesn't show a problem you could try copying to a new drive with


    or with the

    backup | restore

    trick, and neither one needs anything done to the target drive because it'll just overwrite anything on there.

    But since we're talking Series 2, you really need to make sure the power supply hasn't fallen victim to "capacitor plague" first.
  3. Doomster

    Doomster Member

    Nov 5, 2003
    I am aware of the Power Supply's cheap capacitor problems. On another Series 2 Tivo, the power supply went out -- I replaced the power supply and it worked well.

    However, may I ask how the bad power supply would cause the Tivo disk to be stuck in the "Welcome Powering Up..." stage?

    I can certainly look into replacing the power supply, even if for preventive reasons. It's relatively easy to do.
  4. wscannell

    wscannell Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    The power supply may not be supplying enough power to spin up the hard drive. If that is the case, you will see this symptom. I just had to repair such a problem. The 12 volt section read 11 volts, but the drive was not spinning up. New power supply and the unit booted up fine.
  5. Doomster

    Doomster Member

    Nov 5, 2003


    Wscannell, how did you read the 12V section? Did you use some electrical tool?

    For my situation, I got a new HD, baked InstantCake on it, then used that instead of the old HD (that had all my recordings). The HD booted up fine. This makes me think that the root cause was the original disk.

    But for future reference, how could I determine the power voltage from the power supply? Any electrical tools out there that can assist me? Sorry for my ignorance - I'm a software guy, not electronics or hardware.

  6. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    What you would typically use for this is called a "multimeter". It doesn't have to be a fancy one - Harbor Freight has them for under $10 and they're not much more at Home Depot or Lowe's. The idea is that you would connect the negative lead of the multimeter to the power supply pin for "ground" and the positive lead for the 12V (not sure if this is red or yellow, typically.)

    I will caution that reading voltage like this can be deceiving as many times the power supply shows fine without a load, but can't deliver the proper voltage with a load. That said, I'm skeptical that it's a hard drive voltage issue. Can you hear or feel the hard drive spinning up?

    "Welcome. Powering up" indicates that the TiVo software did not load. There are MANY possible reasons for this.
  7. wscannell

    wscannell Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Doomster - I could tell the hard drive was not spinning up. I measured the 12 volts at the connector to the hard drive (with it connected) using a digital volt meter (multimeter). You can just stick the probes into the back of the connector. The black wires are ground. The yellow wire is +12, the red is +5 volts.

    It read 11 volts, which is a bit low, but not impossibly low. I connected the hard drive to an external power supply and it spun right up. This means that although the voltage was marginal, the power supply was not producing enough amperage to start the drive motor. Upon inspection of the power supply, the capacitors were slightly bulged at the top. When new, they are flat or very slightly concave. I had a spare power supply, so I changed it and my Tivo was back running.

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