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Thread: How to Identify OS Version on a Bare Disk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    How to Identify OS Version on a Bare Disk

    I have an old drive from my very first series 1. I'd like to find out what OS version is on the disk but I don't have a working series 1 to put it in. I do have a bunch of Linux and Windows machines, the ability to open them up, and a handy USB to IDE adapter.

    What's the easiest way to find the os version on this disk???

    If I remember correctly I removed this disk before I ever powered on my original series 1 unit. I'm fairly sure that I imaged and upgraded to a bigger disk right away. If that is the case then I want to be sure to preserve the contents of this disk.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Dougal County
    mount tivo root partition

    cat /etc/build-version

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Wow, nice and simple.

    I plugged the disk into my USB to IDE adapter and plugged that into a linux machine. The partition table was unreadable. I remembered that series 1 disks are byteswaped. This is where I ran into problems. I was unsbale to find a way to byteswap a USB disk under a recent 2.6 linux kernel. I googled and found references to an old device mapper module to do byteswapping but it doesn't build on recent kernels.

    So my question now turns into:

    What's the easiest way to mount a series 1 disk on a recent 2.6 linux kernel?

    Is it easiest to download some old tivo hacking ISO with a 2.4 kernel and physically plug the drive into a real internal IDE port? Any recommendations on what ISO to use and where to get it?

    I've forgotten a lot since I messed around with my old series 1...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    This is what I ended up doing.

    1) Connect the drive with the PATA to USB adapter.
    2) Use dd along with the option "conv=swab" to image the drive and byteswap
    3) Install "The Sleuth Kit" to get the program mmls
    4) Run mmls on the image file to find the beginning offset and size of the ext2 volume
    5) Use dd with the skip and count arguments to copy the ext2 partition out of the disk image and into another file
    6) Mount the resulting ext2 image with 'mount -o loop ...'

    Worked great!

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