I've never tried this (but I'm very technical) so here's a first-timer's perspective on the changes.
Here's what I found while applying this to my Tivo...
STEP1 - Make a backup
If you can help it put the drive in a Linux box to avoid having Windows XP write a signature to the drive on an inadvertent Windows boot.
No matter what I couldn't mount the Tivo drive on my Redhat Fedora computer. I don't know why. So, I tried doing the mfstools backup routine and it gave no feedback and seemed to run forever with the recommended settings. Don't use -f9999 as that backs up all videos (and I had about 150GB of those).
Giving up on that as a backup mechanism, I was able to run dd to copy the drive. So, i did an entire bit-for-bit copy of the drive as a simple backup mechanism.
If you want to backup on a Windows PC you'll need to boot off one of the available boot CDs. I used an MFS Tools boot CD to attempt the backup the first time. If you do the copy that way make sure you enable DMA. To enable DMA on the drives...
hdparm -d1 /dev/hdb
hdparm -d1 /dev/hdc
The syntax for that is...
[with the Tivo drive as Secondary master, hence referred to as hdc (hard drive c) and the backup drive as Primary slave, hence hdb. So dd runs as...
dd if=/dev/hdc of=/dev/hdb
it took my computer (a not particularly stellar box) about 6 hours to make the copy during which time you get absolutely no feedback. You might try the bs option (blocksize) as I assume a larger than default blocksize would speed things up.
STEP 2 - run the patch
I then took the copy drive and tested it. After testing I booted with the MFSTools CD (the only way I could find to mount the drive). My Tivo (copy) was drive hdc (Secondary Master). I then ran killinitrd on the 6th partition
It printed some good things and proceeded to patch the kernel. I tried it on most of the other partitions and it refused to change any of them. Partition three it said was an unpatchable kernel (?). I powered down, removed the drive and tested it. It booted fine.
STEP 3 - Enable the USB for Ethernet
I have trouble believing the Sleeper ISO is what we want with a non-monte'd drive (a monte'd drive runs two different os versions). So I tried to enable the USB manually. To do this I had to again boot with the MFSTools CD. Once booted I mounted the Tivo hard drive at /mnt/tivo by typing
mount /dev/hdc7 /mnt/tivo
Partition 7 is most of the tivo stuff.
Once I could see the tivo stuff i created a file named /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit.author. This file is run during the boot process.
I have a USB ethernet adapter so I copied the tivoftpd program to the tivo drive (/mnt/tivo/bin directory) and created the rc.sysinit.author file with the following contents:
ifconfig eth0 192.168.0.19 broadcast 192.168.0.255 netmask 255.255.255.0
#Telnet and FTP
tnlited 23 /bin/bash -login &
Once the file is created make it executable or nothing will run.
chmod +x rc.sysinit.author
I then unmounted and removed the hard drive (after powering down). My system booted but no ethernet that I could see (I have a Linksys USB200M and my assumption was that it used the Pegasus chipset. Now I'm stuck but will try more later...