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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So in my delighted haze last night, I posted my thanks for those net-resources that made my upgrade/repair possible. Now, it is back to a problem state.

Short summary:
  • Needed to replace drives, as one or more was failing
  • Series 1 DirecTiVo, original 40 GB drive plus a later added 80 GB drive
  • Two 160 GB Seagate 7200 RPM drives
  • Hindsdale instructions, two drives to two drives
After a successful report from the mfs tool, I returned the drives to the Tivo
  • Closed the case, plugged it all in: Welcome to TiVo, looping
  • Reseated everythng, then the drives didn't spin up at all
  • Tried disconnecting and reconnecting the power supply cable to the motherboard: drives spun up, everything fine.
  • Watched in the morning, fine
  • Watched in the afternoon, fine.
  • Turned on the TV tonight, and it was back to looping on the Welcome... Powering Up screen.
I've tried re-seating again, no luck. All that Hindsdale says is this:
If it sticks on the Powering Up screen, first verify that the IDE and power cables are connected fully and your drive is jumpered properly (this is by far the most common error and can be tricky sometimes as the drive diagram often needs to be read upside down, check the manufacturer website for more detailed diagrams).
The diagram for the jumpers is quite simple: it's just one pair of pins on one side of the jumpers, On for Master, Off for slave.

What makes this hardest is the inconsistency. Working for a while, then failing. Could I have a bad drive? I'm about to go back to the old drives to see what's happening.

HELP! :confused:
 

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Never messed with DirecTV tivo's but assume you may have to use the copykern command after the mfsrestore is done like on all standalone series ones. What size swap file did you install?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
funtoupgrade said:
Never messed with DirecTV tivo's but assume you may have to use the copykern command after the mfsrestore is done like on all standalone series ones. What size swap file did you install?
So, I guess what I would wonder, then, is:
  • Why doesn't Hindsdale suggest that?
  • Why would it come up several times, working, and
  • see my next post...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, so I may have ruled out the new hard drives. Not only did I see them working initially, and all day today, but when I returned the old drives to the box (just now), it did the exact same thing: Welcome... Powering Up.... Loop...

I feel like I am narrowing in on the IDE cable or the drive power cable. I have reseated the cables several times, I have double and triple checked the jumper settings. So, I'm going to rip an IDE cable out of my computer and try that, just to see what happens.

Any other ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bldxyz said:
I feel like I am narrowing in on the IDE cable or the drive power cable.
So, while it isn't a pure test, I am writing this message now using the IDE cable from my down-Tivo to drive the two hard disks on my computer.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to find a power cable I can use with this box, since the one from my computer has the wrong base connector. After that, Weaknees seems to suggest the whole freaking power supply or motherboard, but I am confused that a bad power supply would provide power to at least one of the drives (I hear it spin up), the fan, and the system itself...

Is there a doctor in the house?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay, now I'm really stuck.

I plugged the drives back into the DirecTivo box, without plugging in the IDE cable, one at a time, just to test the theory that the drive power cable wasn't working. No dice. Both drives spin up.

So here's where I am:
  • Initially, it worked
  • Less than 24 hours later, it doesn't
  • IDE cable works in a regular computer
  • Drive power cable spins up the drives
  • Suspects? Power supply that both turns on the device and provides power to spin up the drives?
  • Suspects? Motherboard? IDE connector on the motherboard, perhaps?
From what I can hear, it spins up the A drive and starts accessing it. It does that a little, waits, and then accesses it some more. It waits some more, then resets.

Advice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, so I was re-reading everything on Weaknees again, and as a last ditch effort before giving up entirely on the box I have, I tried removing, gently wiping, and reinserting the Parlex cable (power supply to motherboard) again.

And guess what? It worked. Weaknees also describes:
"For situations where cleaning the cable fixes problems only temporarily, or the cable is permanently damaged, we now sell new cables in our Parts Bin."

It just didn't make sense to me, but that's because I saw different symptoms. Last night, doing that addressed the symptom where the drives didn't power up. Tonight, it fixed the symptom where the drives powered up, but didn't get past "Welcome".

Can anyone confirm the diagnosis that this cable is faulty?
 

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The Parlex cable can be the source of both "boot loops" and complete start-up failure. I had one Series 1 DirecTiVo simply shut off one day - no front panel lights, no drive spinup, nothing. Turned out to be the Parlex cable. I've retired all of my series 1s to the attic, but I used to keep a spare Parlex cable on hand for emergencies. Order a new cable from Weaknees.

BTW: If you didn't replace the Linux kernel on your TiVo boot drive, you are only using 137GB of each of the 160GB drives. To get the full 160GB, you'll need to use copykern to update to a LBA48 Linux kernel, and you'd need to redo the upgrade from scratch. If the extra 23GB per drives is not important to you, you can leave it as is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dan Collins said:
The Parlex cable can be the source of both "boot loops" and complete start-up failure. I had one Series 1 DirecTiVo simply shut off one day - no front panel lights, no drive spinup, nothing. Turned out to be the Parlex cable.
I'm beginning to believe the Parlex cable will do it for me. I am hoping to hold out for about a year until some of the HD stuff settles down and I can find the right HD screen for my room/cabinet.
Dan Collins said:
Order a new cable from Weaknees.
Did so last night. I figured: $12 for a chance to fix it wasn't a bad price to pay.
Dan Collins said:
BTW: If you didn't replace the Linux kernel on your TiVo boot drive, you are only using 137GB of each of the 160GB drives. To get the full 160GB, you'll need to use copykern to update to a LBA48 Linux kernel, and you'd need to redo the upgrade from scratch. If the extra 23GB per drives is not important to you, you can leave it as is.
You know, I learned about the LBA48 thing after I had done the upgrade, and if I could go back in time, I'd have bought a single 250 GB drive, updated the kernel, and gone from there. However, jumping from 108 hours to 259 hours seems fine, especially if I am going to have to watch all that stuff within a couple of years while I transition to a new DVR. The difference in price between the 120s and 160s was slim.

Thanks for your post. It helps give me hope. In the meantime, I'll be making a list of all the shows I'm missing and figuring out how to watch them later... :D
 

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Not updating the kernel will start showing its ugly face as soon as your drive gets about half full with all sorts of problems - bad recordings or no recordings or ?. This is not an option. I learned the hard way after upgrading and reselling four series ones without using copykern. They all ended up coming back, some after quite a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
funtoupgrade said:
Not updating the kernel will start showing its ugly face as soon as your drive gets about half full with all sorts of problems - bad recordings or no recordings or ?. This is not an option. I learned the hard way after upgrading and reselling four series ones without using copykern. They all ended up coming back, some after quite a while.
Hm. Why don't the Hindsdale instructions say that? They seem to imply that there's no problem other than it not being able to address it.

Anyway, give me a little hint on the best place to get instructions for this, since I can feasibly do this now that I'm waiting on the Paralex cable anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay, now I am losing faith...

After some research here (albeit limited), I can't seem to figure out what I can do to go
  • From: Dual Drive, 40 and 80
  • To: Dual Drive, 160 x 2

It looks like I need to use a Boot CD (that has biteswapping, support for disks larger than 137 GB, and copykern on it), but I'm not sure how to do it, physically. With the boot floppy, I was able to plug all four drives in (two old, two new) and just fire away. With a Boot CD, I'm down one IDE port.

Is it done in two steps?
1) Upgrade to one 160 disk,
2) Expand to 2?

From Hindsdale, in going from two drives to one larger one:
mfsbackup -Tao - /dev/hda /dev/hdb | mfsrestore -s 127 -xzpi - /dev/hdc

But this shows -s 127, which I'm beginning to understand needs to be more reflective of larger partitions.

Or should I just assume that if I buy one of those newer BootCD's that comes with copykern that it'll have instructions for what I need to do?

Oh, and then there's this scary statement:
Link below said:
Note that using an LBA48 kernel on your TiVo means that you will have issues when a new version of the TiVo software comes out since the kernel shipped with the new software will not be able to see the entire disk which may cause serious corruption of the media filesystem the TiVo uses to store programs (I don't have a spare large disk to try and see what will actually happen in this case). In the worst case your TiVo might end up in boat-anchor mode. Therefore, you should keep a backup of your TiVo (both before and after you upgrade to the LBA48 kernel) and be sure to do another backup before the roll-out of a new version of the TiVo software. It should be possible to catch the TiVo when it is at the "pending restart" stage and replace the kernel in the newly updated kernel partition but you will need to be vigilant. It's best to have a backup in case something untoward happens.
Using large disks with TiVo
 

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funtoupgrade said:
Not updating the kernel will start showing its ugly face as soon as your drive gets about half full with all sorts of problems - bad recordings or no recordings or ?. This is not an option. I learned the hard way after upgrading and reselling four series ones without using copykern. They all ended up coming back, some after quite a while.
NOT TRUE!! Unless he used a LBA48 boot CD to run mfstools, his MFS partitions don't know anything about the disk space beyond 137GB. Before there were LBA48 kernels readily available LOTS of people upgraded with 160GB, using only the first 137GB.
 

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bldxyz said:
Okay, now I am losing faith...

After some research here (albeit limited), I can't seem to figure out what I can do to go
  • From: Dual Drive, 40 and 80
  • To: Dual Drive, 160 x 2

It looks like I need to use a Boot CD (that has biteswapping, support for disks larger than 137 GB, and copykern on it), but I'm not sure how to do it, physically. With the boot floppy, I was able to plug all four drives in (two old, two new) and just fire away. With a Boot CD, I'm down one IDE port.

Is it done in two steps?
1) Upgrade to one 160 disk,
2) Expand to 2?

From Hindsdale, in going from two drives to one larger one:
mfsbackup -Tao - /dev/hda /dev/hdb | mfsrestore -s 127 -xzpi - /dev/hdc

But this shows -s 127, which I'm beginning to understand needs to be more reflective of larger partitions.

Or should I just assume that if I buy one of those newer BootCD's that comes with copykern that it'll have instructions for what I need to do?

Oh, and then there's this scary statement:

Using large disks with TiVo
Don't worry, be happy! :)

You have a series 1, so you WERE able to simply upgrade a second time using mfstools (which does the byteswapping automatically). Series 2 TiVos have two more partitions than do Series 1s, so they can only be expanded once. Besides, if you had a byteswap problem, your TiVo would never have booted.

If you did the upgrade to the 2 160GB drives using the standard (i.e. NOT LBA48 aware) mfstools boot CD, then you are fine. Once your Parlex cable is fixed you'll have two 137GB drives.

IF you want to go back and start over, and use copykern to update the kernel, you can get an additional 45 hours or so of storage. If that's what you want to do, it will be difficult staring with 2 drives. You'd need to a "A and B to one new larger A drive" upgrade from your 80 and 40 (120GB total) to one of the 160GB drives, then add the second 160GB drive as a new drive B. Doing that, while preserving recordings, would take a long time.

Don't worry about the "future update" issue - The Series 1 TiVos will never get another update.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dan Collins said:
Don't worry, be happy! :)

If you did the upgrade to the 2 160GB drives using the standard (i.e. NOT LBA48 aware) mfstools boot CD, then you are fine. Once your Parlex cable is fixed you'll have two 137GB drives.
I am pretty sure it was the standard set of tools. I used the link for the boot floppy in Hinsdale's 2/8/05 instructions, MFSTools2 Boot Floppy

Dan Collins said:
IF you want to go back and start over, and use copykern to update the kernel, you can get an additional 45 hours or so of storage. If that's what you want to do, it will be difficult staring with 2 drives. You'd need to a "A and B to one new larger A drive" upgrade from your 80 and 40 (120GB total) to one of the 160GB drives, then add the second 160GB drive as a new drive B. Doing that, while preserving recordings, would take a long time.

Don't worry about the "future update" issue - The Series 1 TiVos will never get another update.
Yeah, I think I'm about done. The main reason I don't want to mess with most of this stuff is that I don't actually own a PC. I have a Mac. Back in the day I first upgraded, there was a BlessTiVo for the Mac for Series 1, and that couldn't have been easier. But to borrow a friend's PC is sort of a pain, and doing that once is all I care to do.

I'll let you two argue it out if there's disagreement, but I'm fine to stick with 259 hours. Honestly, all it'll do is fill up with tons of shows I'll never watch.

Thanks so much for the encouraging words. Hoping Weaknees puts the cable in the mail today, as I could be back in business by Monday if they do!
 

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No argument or real disagreement, I just always use the PTV LBA48 software and have never messed with WeaKnees because of their 137GB limit. I continue learn more Tivo related info every day, so this was helpful to me also.
 

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I didn't really read this thread to closely, but I'll add:

1. There won't be any more TiVo software upgrades for Seires 1 units so you don't need to worry about that

2. With larger drives* you need a bigger swap space (hence the -s 127 I believe) or the system will be flaky and reboot itself periodically.

* in my case, a single 160GB drive did not work reliably until I made it with the bigger swap space. Since then it's been fine for several years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mars Rocket said:
2. With larger drives* you need a bigger swap space (hence the -s 127 I believe) or the system will be flaky and reboot itself periodically.
This is the command I used:
mfsbackup -Tao - /dev/hda /dev/hdb | mfsrestore -s 127 -xzpi - /dev/hdc /dev/hdd

I think you are saying that I should be okay. Nice to hear some agreement on this, since I was not looking forward to re-doing what I did Wednesday.

I am looking forward to that cable arriving, though!
 

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If you use a boot diskette, I know how passe is that, you can copy from the two present drives to the two new drives using four IDE connections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay, so here's an interesting thing:

Yesterday, I wiped and re-inserted the Parlex cable again, just as I had on Thursday evening. Thursday, within 2 hours, it failed again. Yesterday, I left the cover off and the box is still running over 24 hours later.

I have read this thread ("how hot is your Tivo?") and am interested to note that my TiVo runs on the high side of normal (high 50's, C). This was the case both before I upgraded from two smaller drives to these two newer drives, and after. Also of note, I replaced the fan, too, having had some prior memory of heat being a potential issue.

Now, I am willing to believe that the original hard drive failure (and perhaps the parlex cable failure too) could be from running so hot for so long, especially since with the cover off, it is running at 41C, rather than 55-61C (which is what I've seen before).

The current setup includes closeable piece of furniture (sometimes enclosed, othertimes not). I have vented the top shelf in two places and attached fans that run when my stereo receiver is on, which is always the case when I'm watching TiVo, but not so overnight, say, when my DirecTivo will be recording things.



On the upper shelf (heavy, wood), the lowest component is a DVD player (rarely on), the next component is the DirecTivo box, and atop that is a VCR (rarely on). I suppose I could put the Tivo box on the very top and leave the cover off all the time as an effort to reduce temperature.

:confused: So my question is: how widespread are failures associated with heat? Is this a reasonable explanation as to why the Parlex failed, too? Should I expect that other things might soon fail, and is it reasonable, then, for me to leave the cover off (would that outwiegh the benefits of putting it back on)? :confused:

Thanks to all who have offered their help so far! :D
 
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