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Thread: Problem with Series 2 software version 7.1

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Problem with Series 2 software version 7.1

    Hi,

    Please do not be unkind: I am not a hacker, and hacking my TiVo was the last thing on my mind till this evening. That is when an otherwise friendly TiVo rep told me that he could not help me with my problem, and that I would have to either ditch my current TiVo unit and buy a new one, or send in my current unit for replacement, both of which are pretty expensive options as my unit is >1 yr old, and out of warranty.

    The problem I am facing is this: the software version I have is 7.1a. Till may, I was able to use Tivo2go and download shows off my Tivo. However, now TiVo Desktop gives me an access denied error, and the media access key on my TiVo shows up as "temporarily unavailable" when I go to view it in "Settings". The TiVo rep says that my machine has been trying to download an update since March, and has been attempting and failing to do that update every morning. His guess is due to a bad sector on the hard drive. That is when he confessed that he would not be able to help further.

    As I indicated before, I do not have hacking skills: however, I am not rich enough that I can spring for another TiVo right now. So I was wondering if there is any way I can either force the software update to happen if at all possible, or attempt to hack the TiVo. I tried to read through the instructions, however, almostt all instructions are for software versions 4.something, not for 7.1 and seem to be written for technical geniuses.

    At this point, I would be very grateful for any advice you can give.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    What is the history of the TiVo? Is there any chance it was hacked?

    What level of technical expertise do you have? There are several possible solutions, but you would have to pull the hard drive and run diagnostics on it. Can you do that?

    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.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2005
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    What do I have to lose?

    Thank you so much for answering: I have had the Tivo unit for over 2 years, and I got it from TiVo, so I don't think that it was hacked when I got it. However, I was out of town earlier this year, and some folks did have access to my apartment, so I guess it is possible that they might have hacked it: I don't know. Is it important? I could ask...

    I can do basic computer stuff, like installing software (like tivo2go, etc). I can even install windows (but takes me quite some time to read instructions). But, I cannot do "programming". Is that a problem?

    I looked up how to pull a hard drive from Tivo. I guess I can do that, though I have never tried (especially, since I do not have any other options: what do I have to lose?).

    Best Regards

  4. #4
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    My usual recommendation in a case like this is to download the drive manufacturer's diagnostics, pull the drive and put it in your computer, then run the diagnostics, in particular a non destructive low level media verification. A bad sector COULD cause the problem, but I would have expected to see choppy video, etc.

    There are many more tests that can be done, but the first is to check the drive. After that, it would be instructive to look at the logs. Ultimately, it may be necessary to obtain an image and put it on a new drive.

    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    1
    Greets all...
    A quick question, is your TiVo connected to your phone line or your home network? If it is trying to download a "large" file via telephone, well, you may have a dirty phone line or something may be causing noise on the line at intervals that allow for schedule updates but not anything larger. I would try the update via a network connection (if you don't have one, I'll bet you have a friend that does). A network card is much cheaper than a new TiVo, and a networked TiVo is even better than the "other way".

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    4
    Hello,

    StoopDown: This tivo had network access over wireless/wep. However, based on what I read, upgrades are not delivered over the network, but over the cable line. Is that incorrect?

    I have been "drafted" to help out the original poster (in the real word) with this: s/he got scared while going through the instructions on how to pull a drive and the nasty things that static can do. I don't know tivo, but I am reasonably comfortable with linux. I've spent the better part of yesterday reading this forum, and trying some stuff. As of this morning PST, this is where we are:

    - The drive was a diamondmax from Maxtor: It passed all diag tests (burn-in/full read scan), and the Maxtor s/w pronounced it "Factory certified passed".

    - I looked through the forum, downloaded the free ptv image, booted up, and mounted partitions 4, 7, and 9. Bootpage told me that the system was hacked at some point (upgradesoftware=false) and the current root was partition 4 (/dev/hda4). Boot partition was set to 7, and alternate partition to 4.

    - On partition 7, there was some "custom" (i.e not-tivo software) like tivoftpd (in /bin) and busybox but partition 4 did not have them. Based on my limited knowledge, and what I gleaned from reading through theses forum threads (including PlainBill's concise instructions on upgrading to 7.1a manually) I thought it would make most sense to bring up the TiVo, and telnet into it to further understand the initial problem (reboot cycle every night, missing media access key) and probably perform the second pending upgrade manually again followed by the superpatch 67. So I had to "hack" the tivo. That is where I ran into the first set of problems:

    - First I pulled (dd in) the kernel from partition 3, backed up, and killhdinitrd'd it: that worked, and killhd recognized the kernel to be 3.0U5.
    - Then (for safety) I pulled partition 6, bakced up, and tried killhd... but that was not recognized as a kernel image (maybe because it was a romfs from an earlier monte?)
    - Copied over tivoftpd and sysinit.author scripts (edited) into partition 4.
    - As bootpage -p and bootpage -b were giving me conflicting info, I pushed the killhd's image on both partition3 as well as partition6, and tried bringing tivo up (I know this is deprecated behavior, however, I had no way to tell which was the actual partition, and I had the original images backed up). [For the next few steps, we had to shuttle the tivo hdd between the PC and the Tivo for appropriate action: tivo tto try booting up, and PC for analysis, and copying kernel images, files, etc] This sent tivo into a "Powering up" --> Reboot cycle, without even going into the next screen.
    - At this point, I figured tivo needed the romfs (or whatever image waqs on partition 6) so we restored that partition and tried booting up the tivo again: this time, tivo reached the second orange screen ("almost there" screen) before rebooting. We let this happen twice before pulling the plug.
    - Then, we looked at the kernel logs and the tv err log files on partition 9 (as we do not have a serial cable, that is the only way we could figure out what was happening during the boot process). It turned out to be the iptables issue. We (tried to) fix that several times without success until we found out that our files on partition 4 were being deleted each time, so we probably had a kernel that was not modded properly.
    - We tried downloading the stock 3.1.5 kernel from the place indicated elsewhere on this site: although the server was up, it did not recognize the user id /password. We tried several times before giving up and buying the ptv enhanced cd. We got the 3.1.5 kernel from that cd and put in into partition 3, made appropriate iptable changes, and tried booting up the tivo, but faced the same problem: reboot cycle, custom files deleted from partition 4. I figured that was because it was booting from partition 6/7 as indicated by bootpage.
    - We tried changing the boot partition and alternate partition with bootpage, and although bootpage told us that it had written the bootpage (with "bootpage -c") when we queried it after the bootpage save, we got back the old values. Even attempts to flip the partitions (bootpage -f; bootpage -C) did not work: bootpage did not give any errors: just that querying bootpage after the save gave us the old values, not the changed ones.
    - So, out of sheer desperation, we put the 3.1.5 image into partition 6, made changes to partition 4(iptables, sysinit.author, busybox, etc) and rebooted. This time we got to the tivo screen, and was able to play the earlier recordings.

    We still have the following problems:
    - Are we doing something wrong with bootpage when we try to change values in teh bootpage? We did something like:
    bootpage -B 3 /dev/hdd
    followed by:
    bootpage -C /dev/hdd

    - Also, while the tivo is back up, the original problem remains: we tried to hook in the tnlited in the sysinit.author script. However, network access from the tivo is not available after the 3.1.5 kernel upgrade.
    ~ Tivo can see the wireless network and pick up the SSID
    ~ Tivo reports on the wireless network strength
    ~ The router logs show a wireless connection. So it seems that the wireless carrier connection is being set up okay.
    ~ DHCP connection fails. I read on this forum that due to a module issue DHCP will fail unless a custom af_inet.o module can be inserted. However, despite searching on this forum, I cannot find that module for the 3.1.5 kernel (my linux machine is not set up to cross compile for tivo as I do not have one)
    ~ We tried changing to a static IP address and configure the router for static IP addressed. However, the router is not able to ping the tivo, and the tivo is not able to connect to the gateway (router).

    I will unfortunately not be able to work with the original poster until later this evening, but even if I could, I am out of ideas on how to help. I will be very grateful if you can help out with some ideas.

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Aug 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukhiInsaan
    I am out of ideas on how to help. I will be very grateful if you can help out with some ideas.
    Geez, who would hack someone elses tivo without telling them just because they happened to have physical access to the apartment? That's pretty despicable, if you ask me. Perhaps s/he should find out who did this and make it their problem. On the other hand, they might make things even worse.

    It sounds to me like the OP doesn't need or want a hacked tivo. If I were you, I'd get a stock tivo image and restore it to the drive. That image should upgrade to 7.2 fine. You can find stock images on emule, or you can buy an instantcake image from PTVupgrade. The downside of starting over with a stock image is that you'll lose all recordings. If that's important, it should be possible to "fix" the existing drive, but that's more work. It sounds like it was hacked with tivoscripts (aka sleeper). First thing you'd need to do is "unsleeper" it. PlainBill has a post on how to do that.

    BTW, on standalone tivo's, the upgrades do come through the network or phone line, not the cable.

  8. #8
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    I'd say your choice may be determined by the OP's desire to keep recordings. If s/he is willing to lose them, reimaging is the best option. If keeping recordings is important, it is possible to recover from this mess.

    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.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2005
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    I guess OP is not even sure if s/he was told that the tivo was hacked. Anyways, taking the problem back to the source in this case will not help, as the suspected root cause of this probelm is not an adult.

    I guess I have already unsleepered the tivo (based on plainbill's post) however, I might be mistaken.

    I don't know if I should restore a stock tivo image

    Restoring a stock tivo image might have two problems:
    - All recordings will be lost (which is a problem: OP ran into issues while attempting to archive shows on tivotogo, and that started this saga: s/he is insistent that all attempts be made to preserve existing recordings)
    - The media access key will be lost ( I think: is that a client side cert?)
    - I have already installed a 3.1.5 kernel, which is working fine except for the network. I would much rather bring the network up and leave telnet access in, so that when OP has problems in the future, I can drop into a shell (much better than running around with hdds) and help out. I checked w/ OP, and s/he would prefer that as well.
    - Tivo has washed their handls off this unit, and pretty much said that they do not care what OP does with this unit.

    If I can just get the network up and running, I think I should be able to handle the upgrade from there. Will installing a 4.0 kernel help?

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukhiInsaan
    If I can just get the network up and running, I think I should be able to handle the upgrade from there. Will installing a 4.0 kernel help?
    You can't run a 4.0 kernel with 7.x software. They use different linux kernel versions (2.4.18 verses 2.4.20).

    The thing that is missing for dhcp access is af_packet.o. The 7.x kernels have it built into the kernel, but the 3.1.5 kernel did not. You can get around that by loading the af_packet.o module yourself. It's GPL'd, so here's the module file. Source is from the 7.1 kernel sources posted at www.tivo.com/linux. This needs to be loaded early, before the tivo startup scripts attempt to run dhclient.

    Another option is to monte into the stock 7.x kernel, neutered with replace_initrd.

    Note that by choosing to keep the tivo hacked, you're probably going to have to be involved in every tivo software update that is sent down to this tivo. Tivo software updates are still a manual process on hacked tivos. A hacked tivo is not a no maintenance proposition.
    Last edited by Jamie; 09-11-2005 at 04:01 PM.

  11. #11
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    My suggestion: Since the OP wants to keep the recordings, the easiest approach is to reload the software. First of all, establish EXACTLY what version of software you are running. With all due respect to the OP, I don't trust anybody to remember the software version. Without the system running, the best way to establish this is through checking the creation dates on some of the files. I don't have a SA TiVo, so someone else should confirm the version.

    The next step would be to dd the appropriate kernel to the boot partition and reset the boot paramaters to the stock configuration (NO upgradesoftware=false).

    Alternatively, it may be possible to use a killhdinitrd 3.1.5 kernel and do an emergency reinstall of the software. Coupled with resetting the boot parameters, this would result in a 'stock' system. At that point, have it dial in and (hopefully) download the upgrade.

    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.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    You can find out the software version on a tivo disk installed on a PC with mfs_ls:
    Code:
    mfs_ls /SwSystem
    You'll see one or more software versions, one of which will match the FSID of the ACTIVE entry. That's the software version currently running. The others are either old, or waiting to be installed. For example,
    Code:
    # mfs_ls /SwSystem
    dir: fsid=4042 count=3
          fsid   type     name
          -----------------------------------
        253456   tyDb     7.1b-01-2-240
        401645   tyDb     7.2.0-oth-01-2-140
        401645   tyDb     ACTIVE
    This shows that I'm running 7.2.0-oth-01-2-140 as the ACTIVE software version. I just upgraded from 7.1b, so it's still hanging around. The MFS_DEVICE environment variable needs to be set to point to your tivo disk (e.g. /dev/hdc for secondary master).

    One note: if the disk really was hacked with tivoscripts/sleeper, then scrambling was probably turned off with a kmem patch. You'll need to clear the cso keys with csoscout before they'll be playable without the kmem patch.

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