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Tivo won't boot anymore

2060 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bmeyer1968
I upgraded my Phillips HDR212 to a single 300 GB drive with a 300MB cache(as suggested in the instructions). That all went smoothly and I have been using it for about a month. I've probably got 100 programs or so saved for about 80 hours or so total (most are kids shows for my little couch potatos). Last night I went to watch it, hit the left arrow like I always do and got the 'your subscription is out' message like I do every day (I don't subscribe to the service). The odd thing was, that the subscription message and the next 2 screens (Tivo central and Now Playing) both displayed over the program that was 'live', and not the Orange or Green background. Anyway, when I got to Now Playing and tried to pick a progam, the arrow keys stopped responding, as did all other buttons on the remote. After waiting for something to happen, I finally just rebooted the unit by powering down. Now it powers up to the 'Tivo is starting, please stand by' screen and that is where she stops.

I haven't cracked the cover yet and removed the HD, but I can hear it spin up and start reading and the fan is blowing cool air out of the unit.

Any suggestions (other than just replacing the HD....I want to hold off on that until last resort) to test or fix this issue would be greatly appreciated.

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I hate replying to myself, but I do have some info to update this.

I went out and got 2 200GB drives (they didn't have a 300GB drive replacement at Worst Buy). My plan was just to get everything over to a dual drive system, and pull the video off to tape over the next few days and try to reload my 300 GB drive back from the original backup like I did previously. When I tried to do an "A drive to A+B drive full backup" as instructed in the Hinsdale tutorial it will not allow me to complete the process and says that there is not enough room on the drives for the backup. This doesn't make much sense to me. I did load up one of the 200GB drives off the original backup and that was fine, so I know the Tivo itself is good. However I could not restore a backup I made of my 300GB drive just tonight. I got an 'Internal error 4' when I attempted to restore (possibly because the source drive is bigger than the target?)

I used the Seagate drive tools to scan the 300GB drive and there are no bad sectors, but it does say that there is an invalid MBR on the disk....could this be the problem or is it just because the disk is set up for Tivo? If the MBR is the problem, can it be repaired without losing the data?

If I had a Linux machine and put the 300GB and the 200GB drives in it (once the 200GB has been restored from the original backup) can I see the file structure and just copy the saved shows over from one to the other? (NOTE: Since it is the same Tivo and I am not looking to decrypt or convert the files I don't think this violates group policy banning such talk)

I did see some info out on the web regarding dd_rescue and copying just the partitions over 10 (I guess this is where the shows are stored) to a new drive. I'd go for that since I do know that the Tivo is still good and I've already got a replacement drive working.

Please anyone....I'll take any suggestions you might have. I'm down 2 weeks of 'Lost, 'The Shield' and the first 4 hours of '24', not to mention the Bears-Panthers playoff game (bad week for this to happen).

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I have a drive that shows an invalid MBR on Seagate scan as well - did you find a solution or did you just extract the shows and use a new HD?
I don't know if mine was a MBR problem or not. What I did is covered in another forum, so I will not recap here but will provide a link.

In my case, in the end, the HD was physically fine. If yours is not, you may want to use a replacement drive instead of re-using the original. Also, if yours is damaged beyond the linux prompt detecting the HD contents, I cannot help you.

Good luck,
You can not copy a drive to another drive that is smaller and save recordings. While the TOTAL disk space is larger (300GB vs. 400GB) the new A drive (200GB) is smaller than the old A drive (300GB).

Even if you could see the video files, they wouldn't make much sense to you (the recordings are in multiple parts, and the file names are not intended to be human readable).

Using dd (or dd_rescue) you'll encounter the same problem. The sum of the size of the partitions over 10 (the mfs partitions) will be more than the available disk space on the 200GB drive.
Yeah, I figured that out after attempting the first copy. I ended up going with another new 300GB drive, then was able to re-load my original 300GB which was fine, but not created correctly (bad kernel). I did not copy the programs back, but have since loaded the original 300GB with 100hours+ at best quality video (Tivo reports a 108 max at best), so I believe all the kinks are worked out now. The replacement went back to Best Buy rental dept. (also known as the returns desk).

Thanks for the reply.
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