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Thread: Simple, Fast Tivo full backup.

  1. #1
    flagmaster Guest

    Simple, Fast Tivo full backup.

    I have found a sweet way to back up your entire hard drive of your tivo, that seems much faster then using the linux based iso boot cd's, plus give you the advantage of an accurate progress report.

    Im backing up two 250 gig drives from my HD tivo, bit-for-bit copies to two more 250 gig drives that sit in the safe.

    Using the linux boot cd, and using a DD (data dump) it takes about 6 hours on a P3 with ATA100 ide buss.

    I found the a DOS version of a popualre imageing softeware called GHOST, with the right swtichs works way faster. (like 2 hours per 250 gig drive).

    Boot up DOS from floppy or cd.

    Then fire off ghost.exe (I use verson 8). Put a /ir on the command line like this...

    ghost8 /ir

    Make sure your lable your drive cables---I use master ide1 and master ide2.
    Sinice in ghost when you do drive to drive, its required you use the EXACT same hard drive on the source and destitation. This casues extreem confusion because you CANT TELL wich drive is wich!!

    Primary Master is 1
    Secondary Master is 2

    local, disk, to disk, then pick 1 as souce and 2 as dest.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    did you restore this image and have it work?
    last I looked, ghost CHOKES on MFS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnyman
    did you restore this image and have it work?
    last I looked, ghost CHOKES on MFS
    /ir is a sector-by-sector "image raw" copy, and should work. I can't think of any good reason why a ghost sector copy should be faster than a linux dd if everything is correctly configured (e.g. dma, large I/O buffers, different ide channels, etc). Perhaps the "if everything is correctly configured" is the issue.
    Last edited by Jamie; 03-01-2006 at 01:59 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Ghost is costly (owned now by Symantec) and has been moving to a Windows format for "live backups". For the older DOS versions its also difficult to get the correct switches to do a bit-by-bit copy and keep the MBR intact. It also likes to stamp its own info ("mark the drive") onto the MBR if you're not careful, which may or may not ruin tivo's ability to boot.

    Its better to stick with dd since it is free and isn't pretentious.

  5. #5
    flagmaster Guest
    It has worked very well for me on the WD250gig drives, and Im trying it now on the Maxtor drives.

    Both backup and restore seem fine.

    As a matter of fact, I think my oringal drive was developing bad sectors, as the tivo would flake-out during play back of some shows, and in extreem cases acutally freeze up or reboot.

    I did the ghost copy, then copied it right back to the oirngal drive, and it fixed my problem.


  6. #6
    flagmaster Guest
    Interesting results...

    With an Maxtor ATA133 drive, it would seem that Ghost8 for dos fails to work with the drive. When writing TOO the dirve, it ges a WRITE ERROR at 30% each time. Maybe my maxtor drive is just bad and has a bad block right there.
    However, doing the copy with linux LBA48 boot cd and DD copy, it seeems to just fine.

    Ghost8 for dos works just fine reading and writing to WD 250 gig drives, but seems to choke on writing Maxtor 250 gig drives.

    My P3 computer bios auto detect shows both drives at only 136GB, seems I read someplace else this is not a problem for linux lba boot cd, but its proabaly an issue with dos based ghost---atleast it is for maxtor ATA133 drives. Perhaps my WD drives are only ATA100 and that might be the difference.

    I have 3 WD 250 gig drives (oringal tivo drive, and two more). I also have two Maxtor 250 drives.

    The reason for this is the orignal drive is stowed safely away and is ever touched (unhacked).

    One WD and one Maxtor make up my HD tivo 500 gig running setup.
    The other WD and Maxtor are for full bit-for-bit backup. I back up both drives about once every 6 months or so.

    I love my HD tivo so much that if there was ever a fire in my home, Id first save my dog, and then save my tivo.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Chebeague Island, Maine
    Quote Originally Posted by flagmaster
    Id first save my dog, and then save my tivo.
    You must love your dog very much.
    David R. Hill............... TivoWeb Hack Manager
    Chebeague Island........From the land of champions:
    Casco Bay..................The Boston Red Sox
    Maine........................The New England Patriots
    58.5 gig HDR-112 since October, 2000
    240 gig, 306 hours since January, 2004 (same machine)
    120 gig DSR6000 DirecTiVo

    "There are 10 kinds of people -- those who count in binary and those who don't."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by PortlandPaw
    You must love your dog very much.
    Notice that the wife and kids weren't even on the list?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004

    I wonder if this really worked?

    I'm betting your time savings was from stopping at the 137 barrier. Unless you try to access a show recorded on the upper half of the drive, you may never really know whether your backup was good.

  10. #10
    flagmaster Guest
    I have not wife, and no kids.. But I dearly love my doggy.

    I did take the drive to work and hook it to a newer computer with an ATA133 controller and biso that recognized the full drive capacity.

    Turns out that my Maxtor (brand new ebay purcahse) is defective. The warranty on the serial number indicates that is out by over 7 months.( warranty check) It was brand-new in the box. Not sure if there is anything I can do.

    I have used a dos program called GWScan (from Gateway) and wrote zeros to every block of the drive, but it fails too at 30% in. I dont see any low-level formatting utilites from maxtor.

    The seller pretty much assumes the deal is closed, he had no way of knowing the drive is bad, but really cant do anything about it now. It said new, and it was new in box, but the sale did not say anything about no doa's, or no warranty, so I gues Im out $100.00 bucks.

    I had to go the ebay route to get EXACTLY the same drive Im trying to back up in ghost, thats the only way it works.

    Last edited by flagmaster; 03-06-2006 at 04:39 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    You can send it to Maxtor, but if its considered "out of warranty" there will be a bench charge. Not sure if it is worth it, when new drives cost under $100 these days. Plus, there is every likelihood that Maxtor would simply send you a newer different model, anyway (if they did accept the return).

    I've used Ghost myself, so I don't understand why it should care if you restore/copy to a new/different-model drive. I believe backing up with the /ib option will also store the MBR. You could also try /ia which is ALL the drive, although I believe it will choke on the MFS partitions.

    With all the changes to Ghost over the past few years (forced serial numbers probably being the worst, I think in v.7) I'd still recommend the tried and true and steady dd.
    Last edited by Narf54321; 03-06-2006 at 05:04 PM.

  12. #12
    flagmaster Guest
    Iv been using /ir so as to do a disk to disk bit copy. The other options seem to force the creation of acutal ghost "files". This is slow and sloppy, and proabaly wont work with mfs.

    The only reason I like ghost over dd is its speed. 2.2 hours vs about 9 hours using the same computer setup and drive setup with dd on a lba48 boot linux disk.

    Im setting DMA on, on both drives, but thats it. Is there anything else I should set that will give a speed boost?


  13. #13
    flagmaster Guest
    At least on the WD drives, the backups and restores are 100% tested and working perfect.

    I was able to located a dos based factory low lever formatter for maxtor and Im running it now. So far about 2 hours in, its past the 30% point, and still working, so maybe I will get lucky.

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