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Thread: HOWTO on using a new drive to expand tivo

  1. #1
    aet Guest

    HOWTO on using a new drive to expand tivo

    This is for all those newbies explaining how to backup your original tivo drive to a new larger drive to use in your tivo. This will give you a larger amount of recording time which is always better. We aren't talking hacking here...no usb, no bash, nothing...just more space. To use this method, you must have a fairly large amount of RAM in your computer (at least 256MB). This is because you are going to copy the linux OS to RAM. You will also need your NEW drive to be formatted in fat32. By expanding this way, you leave the ORIGINAL tivo drive untouched and you may keep it as a spare.

    First download the following programs.
    --- Slax Linux ISO - This runs fully off a CD and is smaller than a business card CD.
    --- mfstool - This will backup and restore your drive.

    1) Burn the ISO image of Slax to CD. I like to use Nero because it is SUPER easy. Free 30 day trial period.
    2) Extract the MFStool and burn the folder it extracts to a CD.
    3) Remove the Drive from your TiVo using the instructions from the WeetHet Website.
    4) Change the Jumper settings on your TiVo drive to Slave.
    5) Change the Jumper settings on your New drive to Master.
    6) UNPLUG ALL OF YOUR DRIVES FROM YOUR NORMAL COMPUTER SETUP. DONT HAVE ANY WINDOWS DRIVES PLUGGED IN. Install the tivo drives in your computer like the picture below. Both drives need to be on the first IDE channel. Check on your motherboard to make sure you are using the first IDE channel. The NEW drive will go on the end of the IDE cable and the ORIGINAL TiVo drive will go in the middle of the IDE cable. WARNING!!! IF THIS IS NOT CORRECT, YOU COULD POTENTIALLY WIPE YOUR ORIGINAL TIVO DRIVE LATER ON. The CD-Drive will go on the end of the IDE cable on the second IDE channel and set as master.



    7) Boot to Slax CD
    8) At the boot: prompt, type "slax copy2ram eject" without the quotes. This is going to copy the linux os to RAM and then eject the CD when it is done.
    9) log into slax like it says on the screen...root as username and toor as pass.
    10) Take out the Slax CD and insert the mfstools CD
    11) type "mount /mnt/cdrom0" without quotes. This will mount the CD
    12) type "cd /mnt/cdrom0/mfstools-2.0" without quotes. This will navigate you to the mfstools directory on the CD.
    13) type "./mfstool backup -Tao - /dev/hdb | ./mfstool restore -s 127 -zxpi - /dev/hda"
    This should backup the tivo drive to the new drive and expand it to its full capacity. you should see a message when complete. BE SURE YOUR DRIVE SELECTIONS ARE CORRECT. YOU COULD POTENTIALLY WIPE YOUR TIVO DRIVE IF NOT CORRECT.
    14) type "shutdown -h now" to shutdown the computer. Wait until it fully stops.
    15) remove the drives and install the NEW tivo drive in the tivo. it should recognize it as the larger drive.

    If anyone sees problems with this, please correct me. I only did this once on a Samsung s4040r DirectTivo but it worked like a charm.
    Last edited by aet; 10-16-2004 at 05:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Canada
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    208
    Directly, no, but it is redundant and the ready-to-go MFStools ISO image has a linux distro and tools to backup,copy, and restore TiVo HDDs. It also works fine with 128 MB RAM. Not to mention the in depth Hinsdale howto.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    6,414
    I'm not quite sure why you went to all of the trouble to put this together when the de facto standard for upgrading a Tivo drive is to use MFS Tools 2.0 and Hinsdale's How To. You can pretty much use any old barebones PC to perform the task and you don't need a large amount of RAM to accomplish it. I fail to see any advantage of using your guide over one that's been in use for many years.

    The only difference is that Hinsdale's requires a FAT32 hard drive whereas yours copies the image to RAM. The major disadvantage of your process is that you won't be able to save the image for use later on if you ever need to restore it to the drive. It's also easy to copy a backed up Tivo image to CD-R for archiving (I've got every Tivo and ReplayTV image I ever backed up on CD, and there are quite a few). If it's stored in RAM it will get wiped when you shut down your PC to remove the Tivo drive. If it's on a FAT32 hard drive it's accessible any time you want. I've seen barebones PCs with hard drive, video card, CD-ROM, and RAM for as little as $25 on ebay so there's no reason not to have a PC with a hard drive to properly back up and archive your Tivo's image.
    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!

  4. #4
    aet Guest

    Reason

    i decided to post this because it took me a long time to find what i wanted to do when i got my tivo. i really couldn't find a cut and dry method of only expanding your drive. that is all i wanted to do. i didnt want to hack my stuff, i just wanted to expand. all of the how-tos included hacking. i agree that it is sort of a redundant post, but i wanted to throw it out there just for the guys that only wanted to expand.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    6,414
    Hinsdale's How To is strictly for expanding, upgrading, or replacing hard drives in a Tivo. There is no hacking involved. It's as cut and dried as it gets when it comes to hard drive upgrades or replacements.
    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!

  6. #6
    aet Guest

    post

    i have read that how-to and it is very far from being as cut and dry as mine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    4,085
    One thing to note is that that SLAX CD based ISO you recommend has an LBA48 aware kernel. This is all well and good, but most TiVo's (as shipped by TiVo) do not. So if someone follows your instructions and expands onto a disk with >137GB, they're going to have MFS corruption once their disk fills up with recordings. It will seem to run fine for a while (days to weeks, depending on how fast you fill the disk) before you get corruption and your TiVo will crash and you'll lose all your recordings.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    6,414
    Hinsdale's How To is as cut and dried as you can get as long as you understand which setup applies to your situation. Hinsdale's is complete and covers every single aspect of performing a drive upgrade whereas yours only covers a single scenario. Granted, there's a lot of info you need to wade through before you can actually perform a backup, restore, or drive upgrade but it's mostly redundant info that's repeated throughout for each process. Once you realize that it's not hard to use at all.
    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!

  9. #9
    aet Guest

    distro

    if i weren't to use slax, what would i use...knoppix? also, i dont see how this matters, doesn't the mfstool just do the formatting? i assume it has a little to do with linux, but because it is a totally different non-native filesystem i guess i dont know how it works.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    4,085
    Quote Originally Posted by aet
    if i weren't to use slax, what would i use...knoppix? also, i dont see how this matters, doesn't the mfstool just do the formatting? i assume it has a little to do with linux, but because it is a totally different non-native filesystem i guess i dont know how it works.
    I answered a PM about this, but since the question was asked in public, I'll answer in public too:

    Most recent linux distributions are going to have an LBA48 aware kernel. That's going to cause grief when using disks larger than 137GB since mfstools on the PC will see the full disk and will expand the capacity to use all of it. That's what causes MFS corruption when you boot it on a TiVo that (usually) does not have an LBA48 aware kernel.

    Solutions:

    1) Upgrade the TiVo kernel to an LBA48 kernel. This is non trivial, but possible. It requires hacking knowledge that goes beyond a basic guide.

    2) Use a PC linux that is not LBA48 aware. The mfstools ISO recommended in the Hinsdale guide comes in two flavors: one that supports LBA48 and one that does not. With a non LBA48 aware linux kernel, the PC will only see the first 137GB of the disk and will only expand up to that point.
    Note that this will not be an issue for newer TiVo's, since all the newest TiVos (running software version 5.X or above) have an LBA48 kernel.

    It's definitely an issue anyone reading your HOWTO should be aware of.

    [Edit: removed a extraneous meta question.]
    Last edited by Jamie; 10-19-2004 at 07:47 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    6,414
    if i weren't to use slax, what would i use...knoppix? also, i dont see how this matters, doesn't the mfstool just do the formatting?
    MFS Tools contains a Linux distro on the CD as well as the necessary utilities required to backup, restore, and expand your hard drives. You can use it to mount your drive partitions and access the Tivo filesystem from your PC. In fact, you could use it to perform your backup procedure although I can't imagine why you'd want to. You can also use it to copy a complete Tivo drive to a new drive as well as copy individual partitions. As Jamie indicated, it comes in two different flavors so you can download the one that suits your needs.
    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!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    161
    Quote Originally Posted by aet
    This is for all those newbies explaining how to backup your original tivo drive to a new larger drive to use in your tivo. This will give you a larger amount of recording time which is always better. We aren't talking hacking here...no usb, no bash, nothing...just more space. To use this method, you must have a fairly large amount of RAM in your computer (at least 256MB). This is because you are going to copy the linux OS to RAM. You will also need your NEW drive to be formatted in fat32. By expanding this way, you leave the ORIGINAL tivo drive untouched and you may keep it as a spare.

    First download the following programs.
    --- Slax Linux ISO - This runs fully off a CD and is smaller than a business card CD.
    --- mfstool - This will backup and restore your drive.

    1) Burn the ISO image of Slax to CD. I like to use Nero because it is SUPER easy. Free 30 day trial period.
    2) Extract the MFStool and burn the folder it extracts to a CD.
    3) Remove the Drive from your TiVo using the instructions from the WeetHet Website.
    4) Change the Jumper settings on your TiVo drive to Slave.
    5) Change the Jumper settings on your New drive to Master.
    6) UNPLUG ALL OF YOUR DRIVES FROM YOUR NORMAL COMPUTER SETUP. DONT HAVE ANY WINDOWS DRIVES PLUGGED IN. Install the tivo drives in your computer like the picture below. Both drives need to be on the first IDE channel. Check on your motherboard to make sure you are using the first IDE channel. The NEW drive will go on the end of the IDE cable and the ORIGINAL TiVo drive will go in the middle of the IDE cable. WARNING!!! IF THIS IS NOT CORRECT, YOU COULD POTENTIALLY WIPE YOUR ORIGINAL TIVO DRIVE LATER ON. The CD-Drive will go on the end of the IDE cable on the second IDE channel and set as master.



    7) Boot to Slax CD
    8) At the boot: prompt, type "slax copy2ram eject" without the quotes. This is going to copy the linux os to RAM and then eject the CD when it is done.
    9) log into slax like it says on the screen...root as username and toor as pass.
    10) Take out the Slax CD and insert the mfstools CD
    11) type "mount /mnt/cdrom0" without quotes. This will mount the CD
    12) type "cd /mnt/cdrom0/mfstools-2.0" without quotes. This will navigate you to the mfstools directory on the CD.
    13) type "./mfstool backup -Tao - /dev/hdb | ./mfstool restore -s 127 -zxpi - /dev/hda"
    This should backup the tivo drive to the new drive and expand it to its full capacity. you should see a message when complete. BE SURE YOUR DRIVE SELECTIONS ARE CORRECT. YOU COULD POTENTIALLY WIPE YOUR TIVO DRIVE IF NOT CORRECT.
    14) type "shutdown -h now" to shutdown the computer. Wait until it fully stops.
    15) remove the drives and install the NEW tivo drive in the tivo. it should recognize it as the larger drive.

    If anyone sees problems with this, please correct me. I only did this once on a Samsung s4040r DirectTivo but it worked like a charm.

    which version of the SLAX should be downloaded? thanks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2
    I enjoyed your howto.
    Thankyou

    remember, we are not here to judge which method is better (in our opinions), only to present new information and help others.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    2,149
    Quote Originally Posted by filsee
    remember, we are not here to judge which method is better (in our opinions), only to present new information and help others.

    Where the hell did that come from?

    Since when did you speak for 'We'?

    Whose are 'our opinions'?

    My posting attempts try to present/refer OLD and already documented information to help others...

    This How-to is even more unecessary than the others... it's the same as other ones already online and uses different/obscure software (Slax).


    Nice first post?


    NutKase
    "God, and DealDataBase, help those that help themselves." --Shamelessly stolen from psxboy
    ------------------------------------------------
    2 each, SA S2 287hr 7.2.1a's with Lifetime.
    Hacks: 1 Manually Monte'd -140, Bash,Telnet,FTP,TivoWebPlus,
    Superpatch-67all Unscrambled/HMO,MFS_FTP Ver. N,TyTools, tivoserver
    Fully hacked SA S1

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    161
    which version of the "Slax" should I download? I have a Philips DSR704 with 3.1.1e software, thank you much

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