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View Full Version : One relative newbie's experience. Or, make the most of all your tools



pab
10-12-2004, 12:18 AM
I've been following the forums for a while in "lurk mode." I had been fairly proficient with my old Series 1 DTiVo (SAT-T60) before it GSOD'ed and the "better half" bought a replacement before I could repair the damage. I'd pretty much left the Series 2 DTiVo (SD-DVR40) alone after reading about the tortuous (as it seemed to me) process required to hack it at that time. I contented myself with mfsadding larger drives, and leaving the more involved hacking alone.

After reading about killhdinitrd, and thinking about how I could now hack the SD-DVR40 without the involved monte process, I resolved to read up on the process and take a crack at it. Finally, with the entire day off yesterday and most of today, I went for it.

First off, there was no way I was going to lose a potential of 217 hours worth of recordings that had accumulated, so the long way was the way to go. (In fact, after succeeding with the hacks, I pulled an info screen in TivoWeb, and found that I did in fact have over 200 hours of programming on the machine. Amazing how it piles up.) It took a little over 7 hours to completely dd both old drives onto new ones. After confirming that the backups were intact and functional, I put the originals in a safe place, and proceeded with the hacks.

Killhdinitrd was even easier than I had anticipated. Bootpage told me that hda4 was the active partition. Since the machine had "upgraded" to 3.1.1d earlier in the week, I dd'd partition 6 over partition 3. I was shocked at how fast it went. I had expected a slightly longer process. The killhdinitrd was successful; the TiVo booted, and the test files I put on the drive were left unmolested.

For some reason, I simply could not get my rc.sysinit.author to work. I tried every trick in the book, and no matter what I did, it just would not run. I knew I had missed something, but couldn't figure out what it was. That was when I hit upon an idea: why not actually get something out of Sleeper?

I had read over and over about how Sleeper was deprecated, had old and buggy versions of hacks, and did things in tortuous ways. But there were a few things it could do for me. It had functioning drivers for my ethernet adapter. It should be able to build a good rc.sysinit.author. And if I did some changes before putting the drives back in the machine, I should be able to keep it from doing any harm.

I booted Sleeper, and went through the steps. Since I had already killhdinitrd'd my kernal, I didn't need the weird monte setup it used, so I selected the "Prom" method. I skipped the backup and restore steps (had already done that, after all), and wisely decided to skip the "surgery" step. I DID, however, elect to install the hacks.

I selected the appropriate drivers for my ethernet adapter, assigned my IP addresses and netmask, and made a note of everything else that it did. I decided to continue to use the tivoftpd it installed, because I could at least then use that daemon to upload a new one if I chose to. I also, obviously, allowed it to configure telnet. Everything else (its version of tivoweb, kmem, mfs_ftp, etc.) I removed first from rc.sysinit.author and then from the drive itself. Overkill? Yes. Did it do more than I needed? Yes. Did it do anything I couldn't undo? No, and that's the point.

The drives went back into the TiVo, and I plugged it back in. The machine booted properly, and my programs were there and could be watched. I had two green lights on my ethernet adapter, so I went upstairs to my computer and pinged the box. It responded. I tried telnet. Worked. I tried ftp. It worked. I uploaded the current TivoWebPlus, and installed it through telnet. It ran beautifully. Now I can close up the box and get on with installing other stuff.

The moral of this story? Never discount a tool at your disposal. Is Sleeper a dumb way of doing things nowadays? Yes. There are better ways to do most of the things it does. But it's still a tool, no less in my opinion than killhdinitrd is. But you also can't rely on your tools. I could have blindly let Sleeper do everything, but because I had done my homework (and had some basic knowledge from my Series1 days) I ended up with a leaner, better functioning, and more stable configuration than the "drop in" solution would have provided. Don't be afraid to use your tools, but remember that in the end, tools are all they are, not a panacea.

Thanks to everyone on here; even though only one of you ever wrote to me to answer a direct question today, you've all taught me more about the machine in two weeks than I could ever ask to know.

tivomatic
10-12-2004, 11:11 AM
Did you set the machine not to scramble in the future? And if so what did you do?

Did you pick a static IP number for your machine?

PlainBill
10-12-2004, 11:45 AM
Glad to see you got your system running. It's nice to see a deprecated tool still has some use.

I see only one potential 'gotcha' in what you did. Did you add 'update software=false' to the boot parameters?

PlainBill

pab
10-12-2004, 05:16 PM
Did you set the machine not to scramble in the future? And if so what did you do?

Did you pick a static IP number for your machine?

I didn't set it to not scramble in the future. I'm not yet comfortable with the process of that, and I didn't want to put it in place until I'm ready to take whatever comes.

And I did pick a static IP, one within the range of my network, but one outside the range automatically assigned by my router's DHCP server.

pab
10-12-2004, 05:17 PM
Glad to see you got your system running. It's nice to see a deprecated tool still has some use.

I see only one potential 'gotcha' in what you did. Did you add 'update software=false' to the boot parameters?

PlainBill

Yes. Should I not have?

PlainBill
10-12-2004, 05:30 PM
Yes. Should I not have?
Sorry, I wasn't clear. You did it right.

Well done.

PlainBill