Seeking help for TiVo Series 2

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by lbodie13, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Jun 2, 2011 #1 of 18
    lbodie13

    lbodie13 New Member

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    Jun 2, 2011

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    I am seeking any help or opinions or advice you can give me!

    After speaking with TiVo customer support, the future of my TiVo Series 2 DVR looks very grim.

    I turned my TV on, and the screen just kept saying "Welcome. Powering up..." like it usually does after the electricity has gone out (except we did not lose electricity today). There was no change beyond that screen. Then, I unplugged it, waited 2-3 minutes, and plugged it back in. Nothing. I tried that a couple more times -- and nothing.

    I called TiVo customer support, and they told me that my DVR has probably died since it is 7 years old. (I have television sets that are 12+ years old -- and they work just fine!) They couldn't tell me whether they thought just the power to the DVR is broken -- or if the hard drive has died. I know that I may have to break down & get a new TiVo DVR, but I am desperately trying to save the 40 hours of TV shows that I am dying to watch that are "trapped" on my old DVR. Is there any way for me to try to repair this myself? Is there anywhere I can take it to see if they can restore the power to it -- and possibly transfer my old recordings?

    Thank you for any help you can give me!
     
  2. Jun 2, 2011 #2 of 18
    dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    Atlanta, GA
    Usually this indicates a failing/bad hard drive, but it could also be a bad power supply.

    If you have a somewhat modest aptitude for "computer stuff", it may be possible for you to diagnose/remedy the matter yourself. Do you have a computer(easiest with pc) that you are comfortable with opening, connectiong hard drives, booting from cd's, downloading programs/aps and burning them to cd, etc. Will you be comfortable opening up the Tivo, removing/replacing the hard drive, possibly the power supply(all somewhat simple)?

    If the above has not been your areas of interest, I know of at least 2 places that do this type of work for a living. One is a sponser of this forum and you can usually see ads with links all over the pages here: Weaknees.com (www.weaknees.com). Many here, including myself have dealt with weaknees, and it is a very reputable operation. Some projects are not cheap though and can get to be pretty expensive. You can contact them for an estimate.

    Another place I have read of here, may be a smaller outfit, with less overhead,, and maybe lower rates: an ebay vendor called dvrdude. I have no personal dealings there but I think his ebay satisfaction rating is like 100%. He's easy to find with a web search: "dvrdude ebay"

    You might also check with friends that may be proficient with working on/with computers to see if they may be interested in helping you out. It's all pretty simple for someone so inclined, and most of what one needs to know can all be garnered right here on the forums.

    ps: You might read through this thread for some tips. This is by another forum member/sponser that is now (thought to be) part of the previously mentioned weaknees company:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=416062

    Good luck.
     
  3. Jun 2, 2011 #3 of 18
    Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    Dec 21, 2003
    Sounds like the hard drive is bad. You can purchase new Tivo ready drives from reliable vendors on ebay at a good price and replace the drive yourself, it's easy.
     
  4. Jun 3, 2011 #4 of 18
    a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

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    Crawfordsvil...
    While this will fix his Tivo it does nothing for:

    "but I am desperately trying to save the 40 hours of TV shows that I am dying to watch that are "trapped" on my old DVR."
     
  5. Jun 3, 2011 #5 of 18
    ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    I would run some "kickstart" tests on it (see http://www.weaknees.com/tivo-kickstart-codes.php). Start with test 54 to analyze the drive.

    If the drive has failed completely the recordings are gone forever. If it's just a bad spot or two in the boot partition, forcing a software reinstall with KS52 or KS56 might get it running again long enough to back up your shows to your computer with TiVo Desktop or kmttg.

    I have also used SpinRite to salvage a disk that was failing but not totally dead. It's not free and it takes forever to run, but it's probably the best recovery program out there.
     
  6. Jun 4, 2011 #6 of 18
    lbodie13

    lbodie13 New Member

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Thank you so very much for your help! I am going to look into all of these options over the weekend. Your advice really helps. I will also check out those other threads that I missed before.
    For now, I have unhooked my broken Series 2, and I hooked up my slightly younger (6 years old) TiVo Series 2 DVR from the other room. This way, I can work on my broken one, but still record & watch new shows in my preferred location. I am now aware that I should watch everything on there -- or back it up -- in case this happens to my second DVR in the near future! I guess I never really planned for what would happen when their product-life is over... However, I am still against resorting to the "fake" DVRs out there (local cable company) because I love TiVo too much! Thanks again :)
     
  7. Jun 5, 2011 #7 of 18
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    You know you can use the free version of TiVo Desktop to copy shows from either Tivo to the computer and then back to either TiVo?

    You'll need a large chunk of hard drive space partitioned NT to support files bigger than about an hour and fifty minutes at best quality.
     
  8. Jun 6, 2011 #8 of 18
    Triple H

    Triple H New Member

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    Jun 5, 2011
    I am also having the same problem. My hard drive died in my S2 (TCD540) Tivo. I replaced it with a WD 500GB IDE PATA (WD50000AVJB). I was able to backup and restore a Tivo image from my orginial Tivo (80GB) hard drive to this new hard drive using MFSTools 2.0. Since I can not access the old hard drive I am not backing up or restoring any shows. I am going to start over. The last command I used was

    #mfsadd -x /dev/hdc

    which imporved my hours from 81 to 147, but I am thinking that it should be closer to 300+ hours and might need to run the LBA48 script. Can anyone assist me on how I would use the full hard drive capacity? Do I just boot the CD-ROM and magically it expands or is there a command I need to run.

    Also, since I am taking the time to upgrade is there any additional functions like telenet, fTP, HMO, etc that I can also do at this time.

    Thank you,

    Triple H
     
  9. Jun 6, 2011 #9 of 18
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    The S2 should already speak LBA48, it's just S1s that need the kernel patch.

    That's 81 hours at basic quality, which means the 500 should show around 500 hours, so something's wrong.

    Are you using a GigaByte brand motherboard?

    Using the MFS Live cd v1.4, do


    hdparm -N /dev/hd'x'

    where
    'x' is a, b, c, or d, depending on where you've got that Caviar Blue hooked up.

    See if it says anything about a host protected area (HPA).

    Also do

    pdisk -l /dev/hd'x'

    and report the results.


    That other stuff you're talking about I'm pretty sure requires a PROM replacement and this site won't let me provide a link to the site that'll tell you more about prom day, so send me an email or private message if you need further.

    As for HMO, you can achieve some of that with the free verison of TiVo Desktop and a Series 2 or newer unit.
     
  10. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    Ontario Canada.
    It sounds like you may be using an older MFStools CD.

    Get a newer one which has the LBA48 kernel itself, or use WinMFS.
     
  11. HomeUser

    HomeUser Active Member

    2,452
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    Jan 12, 2003
    A2 Michigan
    Because the "Welcome Powering UP" screen never changes my guess is either the drive is completely dead or there is a power supply problem in your TiVo. Is there any change in the front panel lights?

    If you are familiar with PC hardware I suggest you download the hard drive's manufactures run from CD diagnostics remove and check the drive using a PC. Note: unplug all the other drives in the PC to prevent it from booting the OS. The "Underground Playground -> TiVo Upgrade Center" section is a good place to look for checking, copying or replacing the hard drive.

    Are both TiVos the same model? If they are you could try swapping the power supplies between them. Caution: Do this only if you know you're way around electronics if not get someone that is qualified to do it otherwise you may do sever damage to the TiVo and / or yourself.
     
  12. Triple H

    Triple H New Member

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    Jun 5, 2011
    I downloaded MFSLive 1.4 and did a #pdisk -l. I see 16 paritions on the drive. When I add all the sizes of the partitions togehter it is around 130GB. So it is not using teh full drive. Is the a command I could use besides the

    # mfsadd -x /dev/hdc

    Do I have to start the restore from the begin again? If so, is the a manual of commands to use for MFSLive. I used MFSTools 2.0 to do the backup and restore function. Also, not sure if it might be a limitation of the PC. I am running a P4/2.8 from 2004 or 2005 that I dug out of my closet. There is no newer BIOS for this PC.

    Just want to verify if I can use WinMFS to backup/restore to 500GB HD on S2.

    Thank you.

    HHH
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Once again, classicsat is smarter than am I.

    You used an old version of MFS Tools that didn't speak LBA48. I should have spotted that.

    Yes, you have to start again from the beginning. Sort of.

    I'm pretty sure that the backup you did with MFS Tools 2.0 can be used by MFS Live v1.4.

    Note that this time the command will be "restore", not mfsrestore.

    restore -s 250 -xpi /dos/yourbackupfile /dev/hdc

    should do it.

    Don't worry about -r and -z

    The guy who does prom day can do the soldering for you, but we're talking about in the neighborhood of a Franklin and a Jackson to get it done, and it's only a week from now.


    Edit to add:

    Although I'm pretty sure MFS Live can use the MFS Tools backup file, WinMFS makes a backup file neither can use, and it can only use backup files that it creates.
     
  14. Triple H

    Triple H New Member

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    Jun 5, 2011
    I tried to run the following command, but it didn't work:

    # restore -s 250 -xpi /dos/tivo.bak /dev/hdc
    /dos/tivo.bak: No such file or directory.


    So here are the commands that I used:

    # mkdir /mnt/dos
    # mount /dev/hda5 /mnt/dos
    EXT4-fs: Update your userspace programs to mount using ext4
    EXT4-fs: ext4dev backwards compatibility will go away by 2.6.31

    Tried command again it failed.
    # restore -s 250 -xpi /dos/tivo.bak /dev/hdc
    /dos/tivo.bak: No such file or directory.

    However I was able to run this command:
    #backup -6so /mnt/dos/tivo2.bak /dev/hdc
    Source drive size is 81 hours
    - Upgraded to 147 hours
    Backup image will be 81 hours


    Any suggestions?

    Thank you.

    Triple H
     
  15. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Lemme see if I got this straight.

    The backup image file you made with MFS Tools 2.0 is named tivo.bak and it's located on the first logical partition inside the extended partition on the hard drive that is the Master on the Primary IDE controller on the computer on which you're trying to do this.

    DOS and Windows would consider the first partition on that drive, the first and only primary partition, to be the "C:" drive, and the partition with the backup file in it to be the "D:" drive.

    MFS Live sees this drive as /dev/hda, sees the first partition, the primary, as /dev/hda1, sees the extended partition as /dev/hda2, would see the other 2 primary partitions as /dev/hda3 and /dev/hda4, but doesn't because they don't exist on this drive, and sees the logical partition with the backup file on it as /dev/hda5.

    The 500GB drive you want to use in your TiVo is connected as the Master on the Secondary IDE controller.



    If all of the above is correct--

    Boot from the MFS Live cd, then do these...

    mount -t vfat /dev/hda5 /dos

    (if no error message, then ...)

    ls -l /dos

    (those are lowercase "L"s, and you should see tivo.bak listed along with whatever else you've got on your "D:" drive, so once we know that it's where we think it is...)


    restore -s 250 -xpi /dos/tivo.bak /dev/hdc


    (let us know how that works out)
     
  16. Triple H

    Triple H New Member

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    Jun 5, 2011
    OK Here is what I have:

    Windows XP World MFS Live CD
    unknown /dev/hda1
    c:\ Windows XP Boot Drive* HPFS/NTFS /dev/hda2 Master Primary
    Win95 Ext (LBA) /dev/hda3
    f:\ Win95 FAT32 /dev/hda5

    Tivo Hard drive /dev/hdc Secondary Master

    * The C drive is a 80GB HD which is divided into (a) 65GB Windows XP NTFS partition and (b) 10GB Fat32 partition
    Nothing (empty) on Primary Slave
    CD-Rom is on the Secondary Slave

    d:\ and e:\ are optical drives in the Windows XP World.

    The backup (Tivo.bak) is on /dev/hda5 from MFSTools; however when I try to this command it fails:

    # mount -t vfat /dev/hda5 /dos
    mount: Can't find /dev/hda5/dos in /etc/fstab

    Ok, I tried a couple of other commands, but no luck.

    Thank you.

    Triple H
     
  17. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    That unknown partition is probably a hidden primary partition with the equivalent of a Windows XP installation cd on it, that your XP installation knows about and you aren't supposed to.

    In the PC world, drives can have 4 partitions.

    Usually one of them is an extended partition (you can only have one of those), so that you can have logical partitions inside it (until you run out of letters)

    Depending on how many primary partitions you have (0 through 3), and in what order they were created, the extended partition will be hdx1, 2, 3, or 4, but the first logical partition inside it will always be hdx5 in the Linux world.

    If you're getting

    mount: Can't find /dev/hda5/dos in /etc/fstab

    then I'm pretty sure that mount is looking for /dev/hda5/dos, and not looking for /dev/hda5 in order to mount it at /dos.

    My first thought is that you didn't leave a space between /dev/hda5 and /dos

    I'm pretty sure fstab means file system table, and that's were it keeps a list of what it created.

    Try again, and after it boots, do

    ls -l

    That should show you what the cd has created in memory (a bunch of directories, some empty and some not, and files).

    Among them should be /dos and it should be empty

    ls -l /dos should show if there's anything in it.

    If you get a successful mount, then do

    ls -l /dos

    and make sure that tivo.bak is in there.

    Report back
     
  18. Triple H

    Triple H New Member

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    Jun 5, 2011
    I think that did it. I missed that space /dos. I will test tomorrow. I will let you know if it worked. Thanks for everything. Kudos.
     

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