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Thread: Tivo Hacking 101 for Newbies

  1. #1
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    Tivo Hacking 103 for Newbies

    Updated 03/28/2007 (actually 3/29 but I was too lazy to correct the date ; changes from previous issue highlighted in blue)

    Updated 03/21/2006 (changes from basic issue 102 highlighted in red)

    I had been working on an updated Tivo Hacking FAQ to supplement my original DTivo Hacking FAQ that's become more than a bit outdated. I could never seem to develop enough momentum to get the project going and keep it going so it never materialised as a result. Looking over the many posts that seem to keep reoccuring I thought I'd take the FAQ one step further and create more of a roadmap for newbies.

    One thing I'm seeing is a plethora of posts asking what can be done with a Tivo. I figured this was a good starting point but I felt that the what should also be supplemented with the why. If you know why you need to do a hack then the what and the how become more apparent. Keep in mind that this is not meant to be a How To or a Guide in any sense of the word. I'm just trying to outline what you can do with your Tivo, why you need to do what I've outlined and in what order, and where to look for the info.

    Note to mods and other Tivo Gurus - Please review the data in the attached zip file for correctness and accuracy. If you find any errors, typos, misrepresentations or anything that is flat out wrong please send me a PM and I will take actions to make corrections immediately. If you feel I left anyone out that should be credited for his or her accomplishments let me know and I'll include them as I'm sure I've left out more than a few names in the credits.

    I will update the file as often as necessary with the release dates of any posted corrections so check back from time to time to ensure you have the latest corrected copy.

    Initial release dated 8-16-04

    1. Revised to update info on DVD player/recorder model hackability - 8-16-04

    2. Revised to include info on killhdinitrd, HMO, MRV, backported USB drivers, OS versions 4.X, 6.2, and 7.1, unified mfs support, and superpatches - 7-11-05

    3. Updated to include link to Weaknees interactive drive upgrade tutorial; indicated static IP address issues with 6.2 and linked to lgkahn's thread and script; indicated that NTFS partitions not supported by Linux boot discs - 7-12-05

    4. Made a correction and added a link with regards to 6.2 networking issues per 7.1's recommendation.

    5. Added info on serial port designations when setting up the bootpage on various models.

    6. Corrected links and references to TivoWebPlus. Removed references to original depracated version of TivoWeb. Added link for discussion thread and mfsstream module download link for 1.2.1. Added info about large drive upgrade issues when using drives >250GB. - 10-10-05

    7. Added info on hacking with 4.0x and 6.2, indicated that Sleeper's tivoscripts is depracated and no longer used, mentioned the Zipper program (I know, I know, but it had to be mentioned), mentioned the latest DTV NDS DVR, discussed the need for larger swap files with the latest megadrives and the use of the -r 4 switch and tpip with mfsrestore, provided the doc in both Word and pdf formats. - 03/21/2006

    8. Added info on DT and S3 Tivos, mentioned latest OS updates for all models due to DST issue (feedback appreciated if any version listed is incorrect), mentioned mfslive boot CD and TySuiteJ extraction utility. Any and all comments welcomed, as always - 3/29/2007
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by captain_video; 03-29-2007 at 10:45 AM. Reason: See change record at bottom of post
    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!

  2. #2
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    Nice work. I would have found it a very useful reference when I was starting out.

  3. #3
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    nice work

    I looked at the how to and though it was great, except for one thing. How do I install the ftp program onto the tivo? Is there another guide out there that can tell me this.
    I have installed the tivo hd in my pc and have gotton the bash prompt but I have not found a ftp progam or how to get it installed on the tivo?
    my tivo is a series 2.

    any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Paul
    Last edited by hhhs8; 11-08-2004 at 08:14 AM. Reason: it is a series 2

  4. #4
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    Installing TivoFTPd is as simple as placing the binary in an appropriate folder (i.e. /hack), and calling it from your rc.sysinit.author file.

    Also, as to the guide: you neglect to mention that killhdinitrd works perfectly well on non-HD tivos, and is now the de-facto standard method for hacking new tivos (although the series 2.5/1.5 hardward is not yet fully hacked this way, still requiring prom mods).
    Last edited by The Only Druid; 11-08-2004 at 09:54 AM.

  5. #5
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    what / how do I call tivoftp in the rc.sysinit.author file.

    where can I find tivoftp?

    thanks
    Paul

  6. #6
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    Okay, I'm going to say this nicely, because many people on this board wont:

    If you're ever asking a question of the following format: "Where do I find <x>", that simply means you haven't tried SEARCHING for that file. There isn't a single file, not a one, that you could reasonably ask for on this board that you couldn't find JUST as easily by using the search function of the forums.

    Now, that said, TivoFTPd is a simple ftp daemon [i.e. server] that runs on your Tivo to allow transfer of basic files back and forth. It, along with enabling bash, enabling telnet and installing the utilities [i usually use AlphaWolf's S2 package], are the basic things you need to do [besides running killhdinitrd to hack the kernal] in order to hack your tivo.

    If you just do a search for "download tivoftpd" I guarantee you'll find the file. In fact, there's an updated version that automatically chmods your files, and is setup to run as a tpm, so you could search for "tivoftpd tpm"

    As to running it; if you use the TPM, it will add the line to your author file. Seriously though, its an extremely simple step: you add a line to your author file to invoke the program, which is a simple, single mips file.

  7. #7
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    Look at the very first forum in the Tivo section and you'll find the tivoftpd file. Alldeadhomiez just posted the latest version there.

    Point taken about killhdinitrd. Take a look at the date this thread was started and you'll find that I put this together before killhdinitrd was being used in place of Sleeper's tivoscriopt or other monte methods which is why it wasn't covered in much detail. Killhdinitrd is most definitely the way to go for hacking a S2 Tivo.
    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!

  8. #8
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    29 unusual question?( lost all commands?)

    before everyone comments:

    a) I've had my tivo 2 years, and updated/installed the 2nd hd/tivonet stuff.
    b) I have 15 years unix/linux experience
    c) I HAVE attempted to search (here and elsewhere) for the answers.

    My tivo stopped responding to me.
    (it still works, and now has updated program stuff too: BUT)

    I can no longer find any commands (even ls ) on my tivo box.

    I can still successfully telnet/ping the box
    a df shows
    Filesystem 1024-blocks Used Available Capacity Mounted on
    /dev/hda7 126911 15256 105102 13% /
    /dev/hda9 126911 5919 114439 5% /var

    any idea of a newbies guide to REINSTALLING the linux commands into your system?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchbnj
    before everyone comments:

    a) I've had my tivo 2 years, and updated/installed the 2nd hd/tivonet stuff.
    b) I have 15 years unix/linux experience
    c) I HAVE attempted to search (here and elsewhere) for the answers.

    My tivo stopped responding to me.
    (it still works, and now has updated program stuff too: BUT)

    I can no longer find any commands (even ls ) on my tivo box.

    I can still successfully telnet/ping the box
    a df shows
    Filesystem 1024-blocks Used Available Capacity Mounted on
    /dev/hda7 126911 15256 105102 13% /
    /dev/hda9 126911 5919 114439 5% /var

    any idea of a newbies guide to REINSTALLING the linux commands into your system?

    It sonds like you did not block software upgrades, and you system took one. For all practical purposes, you have an unhacked system.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  10. #10
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    Updated on 7-11-05 to include info on killhdinitrd, HMO, MRV, backported USB drivers, OS versions 4.X, 6.2, and 7.1, unified mfs support, and superpatches.
    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!

  11. #11
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    Thank you for the update! This was exactly what I was looking for.

  12. #12
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    Wow, I appreciate the time you took to write this out. Even having hacked my tivo before, I was finding it difficult to catch up on the latest and greatest methods.

    I have a couple of questions.

    1. I have searched for the latest software for enabling telnet but cannot find it. Can someone point me to the correct thread?

    2. I do have one question. I previously used sleeper's iso to hack my s2 sa tivo. Killhdinitrd is obviously the way to go now, but will it block software updates or do I need to do something separately to do that?
    Stargate Atlantis

    SA Series 2 - 322 hours
    Encryption disabled
    Extraction enabled

  13. #13
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    Nice job on the FAQ.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Player1
    Wow, I appreciate the time you took to write this out. Even having hacked my tivo before, I was finding it difficult to catch up on the latest and greatest methods.

    I have a couple of questions.

    1. I have searched for the latest software for enabling telnet but cannot find it. Can someone point me to the correct thread?
    You're going to hate yourself. It's on your TiVo, in /sbin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Player1
    2. I do have one question. I previously used sleeper's iso to hack my s2 sa tivo. Killhdinitrd is obviously the way to go now, but will it block software updates or do I need to do something separately to do that?
    See here.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  15. #15
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    Now people can say to newbies..."READ THE FAQ", before they scream "READ THE STICKIES."
    SD-DVR40/160GB/4.0.1b/superpatch/usb2/tytool/ms_ftp/tivowebplus
    HR10-250 (stock) as of 12-9-05
    HR10-250/superpatch/usb2/tserver/tivoweb
    DirecTivo R10 (stock)
    "Test drive"60GB/6.2/superpatch/usb2/tytool/hmo/extracted scrambled shows with kernel & tools found here.

    94Supra formerly TT now one T

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