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Thread: Better solution for blocking updates ? Brainstorm ?

  1. #1
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    Better solution for blocking updates ? Brainstorm ?

    On July 16th, for the second time this year, my s3 was force-updated by TiVo, even though I had the flag set to NOT allow updates / auto update.

    I was on vacation. TiVo was not forefront in my mind. I am positive this will happen again, as I travel a lot, and the nature of my home network makes it difficult to guarantee constant access.

    So, my question is:

    Is there any way to be more aggressive about denying updates ? Obviously if some amount of time passes, the NO UPDATE flag is ignored and it gets forced on you.

    Is there any way I can run a cron job to auto-delete a pending update ? Is there any way I can detect that a pending update is on-deck on my system and alert/email me ?

    Any ideas / suggestions / comments ?

    Is this a common problem if you aren't paying attention and miss an update, or is it considered "odd" that I am getting updates forced on me after any amount of time ?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiver View Post
    ..even though I had the flag set to NOT allow updates / auto update.
    I assume this means you had "upgradesoftware=false" in your bootpage? "Update flag" is kind of ambiguous. I've never had that happen, but if you're worried about it, you could just edit or rename /etc/rc.d/StageE_PreApplication/rc.Sequence_500.CheckForSoftwareUpgrade.sh and /tvbin/installSw.itcl.

    Or, if you're like me and have a tiny shell script to use for rehacking during an update, you could edit installSw.itcl to launch that instead of rebooting, essentially auto-updating/hacking. Of course, you can't really effectively mod tivoapp that way unless you happen to already know the right offsets, but at least you could keep shell access and not have to pull the drive later.
    Last edited by jt1134; 07-23-2008 at 03:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    Periodically people say that upgradesoftware is being ignored [example]. Usually it is written off to user error. I haven't seen any evidence that the tivo software upgrade process has changed, although I haven't seen 9.4 yet.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jt1134 View Post
    I assume this means you had "upgradesoftware=false" in your bootpage? "Update flag" is kind of ambiguous. I've never had that happen, but if you're worried about it, you could just edit or rename /etc/rc.d/StageE_PreApplication/rc.Sequence_500.CheckForSoftwareUpgrade.sh and /tvbin/installSw.itcl.

    Or, if you're like me and have a tiny shell script to use for rehacking during an update, you could edit installSw.itcl to launch that instead of rebooting, essentially auto-updating/hacking. Of course, you can't really effectively mod tivoapp that way unless you happen to already know the right offsets, but at least you could keep shell access and not have to pull the drive later.
    Yes, that is what I meant - I had upgradesoftware=false in the bootpage. Twice in a row now.

    Can you elaborate on the first method you talk about - is /etc/rc.d/StageE_PreApplication/rc.Sequence_500.CheckForSoftwareUpgrade.sh partof the tivo hacks, or is that an official tivo shell script ? I can't get into my tivo right now, since its de-hacked, but what should I look at in those scripts when I do ?

    A more general question - is this method something I could theoretically just leave in place and ignore updates _forever_ ? I don't plan on doing this, of course, but I want to get a sense for how bulletproof I can make my system - in case I am on an extended trip again and can't deal with my tivo ...

    thanks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
    Periodically people say that upgradesoftware is being ignored [example]. Usually it is written off to user error. I haven't seen any evidence that the tivo software upgrade process has changed, although I haven't seen 9.4 yet.
    I also have heard this is not expected ...

    FWIW, the s3 I have was (at one time) (not by me) enrolled in the tivo beta program. I think there is something special about its ID ...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiver View Post
    Can you elaborate on the first method you talk about - is /etc/rc.d/StageE_PreApplication/rc.Sequence_500.CheckForSoftwareUpgrade.sh partof the tivo hacks, or is that an official tivo shell script ? I can't get into my tivo right now, since its de-hacked, but what should I look at in those scripts when I do ?
    it's a native tivo script. here's the contents :
    Code:
    if [ "$upgradesoftware" = false ]; then
        echo "Not upgrading software"
    else 
        emergency=""
        if [ "$EMERGENCY_REINSTALL" = 1 ]; then
            emergency="-e"
        fi
        /tvbin/checkForSwInstall $emergency
        if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
            #
            # Time to install s/w
            #
            /tvbin/osdwriter /tvbin/InstallingSoftware.png
    	echo -n "INSTALLING" >> /dev/ircatch0 2>/dev/null
            /tvbin/tivosh /tvbin/installSw.itcl
        fi
        export -n EMERGENCY_REINSTALL
    fi
    as you can see, there's plenty of ways to edit it. Or if you rename installSw.itcl, then the tivo can't ever run it, since it won't even know what its name is.
    A more general question - is this method something I could theoretically just leave in place and ignore updates _forever_ ? I don't plan on doing this, of course, but I want to get a sense for how bulletproof I can make my system - in case I am on an extended trip again and can't deal with my tivo ...
    you couldn't leave in place for forever, since you'd stop receiving guide data at some point, but it should hold it off long enough for you to rehack it without pulling the drive.

  7. #7
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    so that's that ?

    I just rename installSw.itcl to "dontrun.itcl" and chmod it 0000 and ... tivo can never force the update on me no matter what they do ?

    That's fantastic. I do not mind at all waking up one morning to find I don't have guide data anymore - I can live with that for a day or a week while I get around to rehacking.

    Waking up and realizing two weeks of recorded shows are DRM'd is a different story.

    Final question - do other things start failing when the guide data goes ? I assume season passes will start to fail, but all the data (previous shows) will still be intact, and the tivo will still "work" (watch tv, watch already recorded shows)

    Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiver View Post
    I just rename installSw.itcl to "dontrun.itcl" and chmod it 0000 and ... tivo can never force the update on me no matter what they do ?
    About the only way you can make sure "tivo can never force the update on me no whater what they do", is to not call in. If the box calls in, you're giving control to tivo to do things to it. We can circumvent their current processes for pushing updates (which haven't changed in years), but there is no guarantee they won't change them in the future. If you really don't want tivo altering your box, you should not allow it to call in. Of course, then you won't have guide data either.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
    About the only way you can make sure "tivo can never force the update on me no whater what they do", is to not call in. If the box calls in, you're giving control to tivo to do things to it. We can circumvent their current processes for pushing updates (which haven't changed in years), but there is no guarantee they won't change them in the future. If you really don't want tivo altering your box, you should not allow it to call in. Of course, then you won't have guide data either.
    Understood.

    But _given everything we know now_, I just need to rename that file and I am good to go ?

  10. #10
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    I wouldnt just delete it.

    What I would do is save a copy somewhere, and just make it do the echo 'Not doing updates' part without the IF part.

    That way, Tivo won't see funky stuff with files missing and try to do a file restore someday.

    So change it to read:

    echo "Not upgrading software"


    That's it

  11. #11
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    i would say pilot error both of my boxes are rebooting nightly to try to install the upgrade to 9.4 but the upgradesoftware flag is working and they are not installing it.

    are you sure your hacks are not getting blown away just due to a rewritten /var


    this is what the flag should look like

    bash-2.02# bootpage -p
    No device name given, assuming /dev/hda
    root=/dev/hda7 dsscon=true console=1,115200 upgradesoftware=false
    bash-2.02#

  12. #12
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    no pilot error, unfortunately.

    That is indeed what my 'bootpage -p' outputs.

    I have re-hacked and gutted the script we discussed above, so we'll see ...

  13. #13
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    Why not just set up a rule on your router to not let the Tivo to make connections outside of your network?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnusss View Post
    Why not just set up a rule on your router to not let the Tivo to make connections outside of your network?
    No outside connection == no guide data.

  15. #15
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    Right, but at least while he's out of town then there is no worries. But I guess they could just as easily... unplug the cable.

    Quote Originally Posted by jt1134 View Post
    No outside connection == no guide data.
    Last edited by magnusss; 08-31-2008 at 12:38 AM.

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