Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 31

Thread: Should boot CDs support LBA48? (split from: Common LBA48 mistakes)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    169

    trying to understand the root of the problem

    Hello folks,

    I've just been made aware of this thread and spend a good deal of time reading through it. Having a hard time understanding what the root of the problem is -- is it technical or is it expectations.

    In advance, let me apologize of there is an 'expectation' issue that has arisen. The InstantCake CD for the 40-hour, 80-hour and 140-hour units, with the model number TCD240XXX is NOT lba48 aware because the kernel on these systems is also not lba48 aware. This is discussed on our own forums, but it is not highlighed as part of the product description for the main reason that the product is designed to work as such:

    Boot the CD and use on any drive... it will install and expand the appropriate image and if the drive is > 137GB it will only use 137GB of it.

    Now... I never envisioned InstantCake being used in any context other than creating a single or dual drive replacement set, and it looks like another applicatin has emerged, where folks want to layer additional things, including lba48 support on top.

    Have I assessed the problem correctly, so far?

    So again, if folks thought that this version of InstantCake was LBA48 aware, or the image would work on a larger drive, that is just not the case. It wouldn't be good to insert those changes into the product because a software update would render them unusable in the future and cause lots of problems, I'm sure you'll agree.

    Now, is that the *only* problem or is there another problem that I'm not able to get my tiny little mind around? Are people now unable to layer the additional hacks on top of the newly imaged drive due to a shortcoming in InstantCake, or is this just an education issue?

    I'm more than willing to consider making changes to the distribution if it doesn't create a problem for the more 'generic' customer, but if its just an issue of folks documenting how to use the existing product in a way other than it was originally intended, then I suspect those who are actually using it that way will have something more detailed to contribute.

    Meanwhile, if there is a "bug" I need to know about it.

    Thx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    152
    Quote Originally Posted by PTVupgrade
    Are people now unable to layer the additional hacks on top of the newly imaged drive due to a shortcoming in InstantCake, or is this just an education issue?

    I'm more than willing to consider making changes to the distribution if it doesn't create a problem for the more 'generic' customer, but if its just an issue of folks documenting how to use the existing product in a way other than it was originally intended, then I suspect those who are actually using it that way will have something more detailed to contribute.

    Meanwhile, if there is a "bug" I need to know about it.

    Thx
    As someone who's used your product, and watched this thread, I consider this entirely a "newbie education issue". I disagree with ADH's warning on avoiding the product.

    Based on the primary purpose of your product, clearly it is safest for you to leave it the way it is. The original kernel's don't support LBA48.

    Now, if you want to make this easier for your customers using it for this application, I have a couple of suggestions.

    1. Add a LBA48 boot option. Make sure you have a big disclaimer that this requires you to install a LBA48 kernel or you will suffer catestrophic results.

    2. Add an option to restore WITHOUT expanding to full disk space. ie "Restore to original disk size only (User to run mfsadd later)".

    With option 2, the idea is after restoring the image they can boot with a LBA48 MFStools and run mfsadd manually. Personally, I think this would be the best enhancement option, as option 1 is likely to cause some of your "normal" customers to use it wrong.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,777
    Quote Originally Posted by PTV upgrade
    Meanwhile, if there is a "bug" I need to know about it.
    Selling a 2+yo kernel that doesn't support many/most of the hard drives sold today is clearly a bug. Please fix it. http://www.kernel.org

    I really don't want to argue about politics, spin doctoring, blame, etc. in this support thread, so we can leave it at that. If you want to argue the point, PM me or start a new thread in the general discussions forum.

    Edit: split it anyway, due to multiple replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by chrised
    Now, if you want to make this easier for your customers using it for this application, I have a couple of suggestions.

    1. Add a LBA48 boot option. Make sure you have a big disclaimer that this requires you to install a LBA48 kernel or you will suffer catestrophic results.

    2. Add an option to restore WITHOUT expanding to full disk space. ie "Restore to original disk size only (User to run mfsadd later)".

    With option 2, the idea is after restoring the image they can boot with a LBA48 MFStools and run mfsadd manually. Personally, I think this would be the best enhancement option, as option 1 is likely to cause some of your "normal" customers to use it wrong.
    I agree. The only correct way to handle this is to prompt the user to ascertain their intent.

    Let's look at the alternative. Here are two bad ways to handle the situation:

    1. Assume the user is installing an LBA48 kernel, so expand to 160GB on a 160GB drive. Don't warn them about it.

    2. Install a malformed partition table on a >137GB drive, which cuts off the end of the drive. Don't warn them about it.

    Whether the product is $20, $30, or free, there is no excuse for a product to do something unexpected without informing the user.
    Last edited by alldeadhomiez; 12-10-2004 at 02:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    169
    Quote Originally Posted by alldeadhomiez
    Selling a 2+yo kernel that doesn't support many/most of the hard drives sold today is clearly a bug. Please fix it. http://www.kernel.org

    I really don't want to argue about politics, spin doctoring, blame, etc. in this support thread, so we can leave it at that. If you want to argue the point, PM me or start a new thread in the general discussions forum.
    OK, so I don't want to fight about it either, so please don't pick one.

    Back to the topic:

    Until TiVo releases a kernel that addresses the problem, I don't think it would be smart to stick my lba48 kernel into the release. The problems that could cause would be enormous. Folks would unwittingly, or explicitly install that kernel, and then get the next release of the TiVo software that wouldn't have an lba48 kernel, and would then get hosed.

    Its much better to have a layered product that installs an LBA48 kernel so that folks who know what they are doing, can do it, with the appropriate expectations.

    Is it a limitation that 4.01 is not LBA48 aware, absolutely. Is my product defective because it doesn't change that, I don't agree with that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    169
    Quote Originally Posted by alldeadhomiez
    Selling a 2+yo kernel that doesn't support many/most of the hard drives sold today is clearly a bug. Please fix it. http://www.kernel.org

    I really don't want to argue about politics, spin doctoring, blame, etc. in this support thread, so we can leave it at that. If you want to argue the point, PM me or start a new thread in the general discussions forum.

    Edit: split it anyway, due to multiple replies.



    I agree. The only correct way to handle this is to prompt the user to ascertain their intent.

    Let's look at the alternative. Here are two bad ways to handle the situation:

    1. Assume the user is installing an LBA48 kernel, so expand to 160GB on a 160GB drive. Don't warn them about it.

    2. Install a malformed partition table on a >137GB drive, which cuts off the end of the drive. Don't warn them about it.

    Whether the product is $20, $30, or free, there is no excuse for a product to do something unexpected without informing the user.
    k - looks like you edited your post. I agree with your last comment here. The challenge is anticipating what the user might do with it. The product works within the context that we've sold it in. Now the circumstances have changed, so its time to evolve it. That is fine. I just want to do it in a way that doesn't screw things up for those who have no idea what we are talking about.

    What would you suggest?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    169
    Quote Originally Posted by chrised
    As someone who's used your product, and watched this thread, I consider this entirely a "newbie education issue". I disagree with ADH's warning on avoiding the product.

    Based on the primary purpose of your product, clearly it is safest for you to leave it the way it is. The original kernel's don't support LBA48.

    Now, if you want to make this easier for your customers using it for this application, I have a couple of suggestions.

    1. Add a LBA48 boot option. Make sure you have a big disclaimer that this requires you to install a LBA48 kernel or you will suffer catestrophic results.

    2. Add an option to restore WITHOUT expanding to full disk space. ie "Restore to original disk size only (User to run mfsadd later)".

    With option 2, the idea is after restoring the image they can boot with a LBA48 MFStools and run mfsadd manually. Personally, I think this would be the best enhancement option, as option 1 is likely to cause some of your "normal" customers to use it wrong.
    Option 2 is what I would prefer. Obviously, its easier. It also prevents people from doing the wrong thing. My experience has been that people don't read disclaimers. Liability is not what I'm trying to avoid, mass confusion and broken TiVo systems IS what I'm trying to avoid.

    Is anyone opposed to this?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    4,075
    Quote Originally Posted by PTV upgrade
    Option 2 is what I would prefer. Obviously, its easier. It also prevents people from doing the wrong thing. My experience has been that people don't read disclaimers. Liability is not what I'm trying to avoid, mass confusion and broken TiVo systems IS what I'm trying to avoid.
    Seems to me that this option doesn't work unless you also switch to an lba48 kernel. If you create the intial partition table on a non lba48 system, a mfsadd later on a lba48 system will not fix it. This was discussed in the original thread this forked from:
    Quote Originally Posted by alldeadhomiez
    If you used a non-LBA48 kernel during either expansion or imaging, you will need to fix it by hand or start over.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,777
    Quote Originally Posted by PTV upgrade
    What would you suggest?
    I would update the CD to use a recent kernel, then change the software to prompt the user in an ambiguous situation. I estimate that this would take a competent programmer under two hours.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    169
    Quote Originally Posted by alldeadhomiez
    I would update the CD to use a recent kernel, then change the software to prompt the user in an ambiguous situation. I estimate that this would take a competent programmer under two hours.
    Well, it will definitely take longer than that in wall clock time, as running the business and doing development work are difficult things to multiplex. Testing will also be required.

    Meanwhile, I'd politely suggest you reword your warning to be a bit more diplomatic, maybe something to warn folks that using it in a fashion other than what it was designed to do can result in nasty results. There is a fine line between warning folks and torting a business.

    Lastly, its PTVupgrade not PTV upgrade; I have a trademark to defend, so please do not put the space in between the two words.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    4,075
    Quote Originally Posted by PTVupgrade
    Lastly, its PTVupgrade not PTV upgrade; I have a trademark to defend, so please do not put the space in between the two words.
    The reason I've been adding the space is to foil the auto-linking substutition code that seems to be part of the forum software: see above, where I didn't add the space, and the quote comes out garbled.
    Last edited by Jamie; 12-10-2004 at 03:53 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,777
    Quote Originally Posted by PTV upgrade
    Meanwhile, I'd politely suggest you reword your warning to be a bit more diplomatic, maybe something to warn folks that using it in a fashion other than what it was designed to do can result in nasty results. There is a fine line between warning folks and torting a business.
    Are you threatening me?

    I'd politely suggest that you begin shipping products that don't write out malformed partition tables, so fewer people will have a reason to, ahem, "tort" you.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    314
    Quote Originally Posted by PTV upgrade
    There is a fine line between warning folks and torting a business.
    PTV upgrade, your product is broken in many ways. It's a pathetic move to try to start stifling people for pointing that out.

    And I'll continue to type "PTV upgrade", thank you very much.

    Wow.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    169
    Quote Originally Posted by MuscleNerd
    PTVupgrade, your product is broken in many ways. It's a pathetic move to try to start stifling people for pointing that out.

    And I'll continue to type "PTVupgrade", thank you very much.

    Wow.
    Every single time I've attempted to be reasonable and approach a situation constructively, you guys ATTACK.

    I'm sick of it.

    And I've not attempted to stifle anyone. You guys want me gone. Tough. I'm not going away. I'd love to work together, but creating misconceptions and insulting me is not going to make life easier for anyone.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    314
    Quote Originally Posted by PTV upgrade
    Every single time I've attempted to be reasonable and approach a situation constructively, you guys ATTACK.
    I never even posted a message to you before, let alone attacked you. But it is increasingly obvious that you deserve the negative attention snowballing in your direction.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    2,406
    Quote Originally Posted by PTVupgrade
    And I've not attempted to stifle anyone. You guys want me gone. Tough. I'm not going away. I'd love to work together, but creating misconceptions and insulting me is not going to make life easier for anyone.
    Lou,

    I am going to stay out of this one, since I am clearly a senior representative of this forum which you sponsor and the forum owner would not like to take an "official" stance that conflicts with a sponsor.

    However, I need to just give you a heads up. Are you aware that the folks that you are writing to can very simply and without much effort crush your business and render your customers helpless and/or tivoless?

    It does not make sense to make enemies of them. I hope you understand that they are as passionate as you are, and they are talented enough to cause you and your customers grief.

    I have no indication that they are planning this, but I do warn you to look into the 25Xtreme/Tivoweb1.9.4 fiasco.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by JJBliss; 12-10-2004 at 04:14 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •