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Thread: Help with corrupted OS files on HDVR2

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Help with corrupted OS files on HDVR2


    I've got an HDVR2 that I upgraded a few months back. I took the 40GB drive up to 120GB with MFSTools and the Hinsdale how-to. It's been working great for months, but has suddenly developed some symptoms of what looks to be either a defective drive (the jury is still out on the drive condition. Various tests show no failure) or corruption of certain OS files.

    I have searched and searched for an answer to my question, but can't seem to find a definitive answer. The trouble is that there's TOO MUCH information about all the various things one can do with TiVo, and much of it seems to go off on tangents that might make sense to some folks, but not to me.

    I have never been able to find a simple tutorial on the operating system and file structure for TiVo. What stuff is called, where it lives, what it does and what can be or not be done to it, what's hidden, what isn't- can't find anything like that.

    The fact that I speak DOS and Windows but don't speak Linux doesn't help, either.

    Anyway, that being said...

    I've got what appers to be at least one corrupted file on the upgraded drive, and that's the blue animated loop for the main DirecTV menu. The animation stutters and freezes, and I can hear the hard drive thrash when that animation is up.

    Is it possible to overwrite just that file (or files) and see what happens? If I put both drives in a PC, are there any tools I can use to do this? Does anyone know what the file is called, and where it lives?

    I can go ahead and reformat the upgrade drive and redo the upgrade from scratch, but I'll lose a fair amount of recorded shows if I do that. Can I do only an OS restore and keep the recorded shows? If so, would I just do a backup of the original drive in MFSTools and then a restore to the upgrade drive? Are there any specific command line switches I need to be aware of?

    The original 40GB drive has very early software on it, never allowed to call in and upgrade. When the new drive started acting up, I went ahead and let the DTiVo call home and upgrade, in the hopes that an upgrade might include that particular file- it didn't, of course. Does the upgrade complicate matters?

    I've not gotten into the other hacks because they just wouldn't do me much good- I don't have (and have no prospects for) bandwidth at home, thus no need for a network. Not having a network means video extraction is too much work. It's best in my situation if my DTiVo just does its regular thing.

    Thanks for your help- don't flame me too hard. I've been trying to find a solution to this problem for two weeks, searching and asking questions only to get the dreaded "that's video extraction, and we can't talk about that, here!" nonsense.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    If you've still got the original drive then I'd go ahead and install it back in the Tivo and then force a few daily calls to get it to upgrade to at least 3.1.1b. If you're lucky it will go all the way to 3.1.1c but I wouldn count on it. That upgrade seems to be getting distributed rather frugally for some reason but you shouldn't have any problem getting it up to 3.1.1b in no time. Once you've got the updated OS then make a backup of the drive and put it away again. If you're pretty sure your current drive is dying then get a new drive and use Sleeper's tivoscript on it to get it hacked or simply restore the backup image you created if you don't care about adding any hacks.

    There's not much you can do to save your recordings if you never hacked the drive. Doing a disk-to-disk copy would also copy over any corrupted files if that's what the problem is. Run a diagnostic program on the drive to rule out a bad drive before you try replacing it. If it's the software then just use the backup image on the same drive and start over. I'd do a low-level format to cleanse the drive before you restore the back image to it.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Thanks for your kind help.

    As I understand, it looks as if I can't save the programs that are on the large drive, no matter what I do.

    I do still have the original drive, and it's running the original software. In fact, it's installed and running right now in the DTiVo because the large replacement drive has developed this behavior. I will make a backup image of the original drive (just in case I ever want to restore to absolute zero), reinstall it and then force call ins to get it to 3.1.1c. I will then go ahead and use it to redo the large drive. Before I get to that stage, I will blow the partitions on the drive, reformat and then test again with the Seagate utilities and DriveSpeed. Then, I'll let SpinRite do a full low-level refresh and see what it reports. If all looks good, I'll bounce the stuff on the 40 over to the 120, just like I did the first time 'round and hope this never happens again.

    I'm still confused about a couple of things, though.

    Let's presume that I know which OS file or files are corrupted. (I don't, but let's pretend that I do). Why is it that I can't put both drives in my PC, run either Sleeper's ISO or Knoppix and just overwrite that one file? Or am I misreading what you said? A corollary question: Why can't I just overwrite the entire OS portion and leave everything else alone?

    Second- Suppose I decide that I do want to enable some or all of the hacks. I think I'd change the prom instead of monte-ing the beast. If I install a PLCC socket and then run Sleeper's ISO and scripts to set the unit to stop scrambling video so that I CAN extract, what happens if I need to run the original 40GB drive again? Do I need to put the original prom back in, too?

    Appreciate your help, and will keep learning about this stuff- even if it kills me! Sorry to seem so dim, but some basic conceptual information about the subject that I need to see in order to understand better has just not been easy to find.


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