tivo recovery program ??

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by MavJaz, May 14, 2011.

  1. MavJaz

    MavJaz New Member

    May 16, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH


    Hi TiVo community!

    MyTiVoHD 500gb harddrive obviously crashed (Powering up onscreen and stays there for long time. Rebooted and now it shows 'powering up... then goes to grey screen so nothing is up probably due to power outrage from construction across the street, grr)

    Anyways, I ordered 750gb harddrive from WeaKnees and I should get it in couple days. In meantime, I'm asking y'all, what format does TiVo use? I know it is in unix world so I'm hoping to take the old harddrive out and hook it up to a PC and do data recovery. Problem is that data recovery software only does FAT32 or NTFS. I read somewhere about spinrite 6 can recover tivo recordings ?

    I want to see if I can salvage all of tivo recordings and move them onto the new 750gb harddrive.

    Any info would be much appreciated!
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Its on a Linux type software, not unix. The drive from Weaknees, you just replace the Tivo drive with it, and after its finished starting up, you may need to run 'Clear & delete everything' for the Tivo to recognize it.

    Recordings you have on the old drive are encoded to the hard drive and the only way to retrieve is from the Tivo. You can hook it to the PC to make a backup and restore to another hard drive using WinMFS, but Windows alone will not recognize the drive at all.
  3. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    Linux = UNIX as far as this is concerned, but TiVo has its own custom partition type.

    Spinrite can fix "bad sector" disk errors, but won't fix simple file structure corruption. A gray screen and nothing past "Powering up" likely means that the drive has failed completely. You could run manufacturer disk diagnostics to see - not a tool that looks at partition structures.

    Another cause of this error is a failed power supply.
  4. MavJaz

    MavJaz New Member

    May 16, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, unix=linux they're all variations, smile.

    So, you saying that the recordings that is on the 500gb is basically 'STUCK' to that specific harddrive and I can't just do a recovery and copy these files over to the 750GB ? I would think that the hardware inside TiVoHD is the KEY that are encrypted to the specific box ?

    Steve, you mentioned about a possiblity of failed PSU ? How would I go about testing it ? I am seeing green LED on the front panel and I can feel the fan blowing air out in the back of the unit.

    I plan to take out the harddrive and check what brand it is and download the disk utility to run a diagnostic if it is kaput or not. And if not, then I guess it would be a lengthy process for me to put the old harddrive back inside (if it was fixed by utility) and do tivotogo recording transfers of all shows onto computer then remove old harddrive and put in new harddrive and do the tivotogo woute back onto it, hmm ?

    I'll post the results in couple days when I get the new harddrive in the mail from WeaKnees in case y'all curious. But hey, you mentioned something about clear/delete after putting in the new hdd ? Why would I need to do that if I'm getting NEW hdd from WeaKnees that I just put in and turn on and do the GUIDED setup that's all ? It'll be my first time to do the upgrade kit...

    Thanks guys
  5. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001


    There's no data recovery -- you basically copy to another drive..

    No, they're not stuck to that specific hard drive, it's just that the filesystem is not one that your computer will understand. Basically, the tivo tools as far as I know essentially copy the *entire* drive to another -- and know the specific bits necessary to expand the size.

    (I too would love to be able to extract individual shows from a Tivo drive hooked to a computer -- that would likely be MUCH faster than the slow network transfer.)
  6. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    A partial check of the PS is to check the voltages in the power cable feeding the HDD. They should be 5V +/-5% and 12V +/-10%. Also look for bulging electrolytic capacitor cans.

    Also, check out pre-imaged plug-in drives from DVR_DUDE on eBay.

    You will probably have to get your CableCARD(s) re-paired by the Cable Co.
  7. Stuxnet

    Stuxnet Alien Infidel

    Feb 8, 2011
    You might try running the kickstart commands covered in post 2 in this thread.
  8. matt@thehickmans

    matt@thehickmans Hemo_jr

    Jan 8, 2008
    If Spinrite is able to fix the disk errors, and there is file structure corruption, the TiVo software is usually able to re-install itself. After this, the majority -if not all - of your recorded programs should be available for copying or watching. However, if the drive fails once, it is likely to fail again.
  9. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    I'll add that Spinrite is an amazing product, but it is expensive if you expect to use it one-time only. It also can take many hours or even days to run on a large disk.

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