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Thread: New Prom Mod

  1. #1
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    New Prom Mod

    Hi everyone, I just sent my TiVo to have it modified and should be receiving it from UPS this afternoon. I was wondering if some people could assist me so that I do not make any mistakes. I am being overly cautious because similar to when I rooted my Android phone, a lot of posts that I am finding are pretty old and everyone seems to have a different method of getting stuff done. That being said, I followed instructions on rooting my Android that were outdated and caused me to almost brick the thing. I would like to get some clarification on the procedures for modifying my Tivo before I actually do anything to it.

    The posts in the topic below are from 2003. Do these files still work for modifying the Kernel of TivoHD? Which one of the files do I need to use?

    http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=21976

    Basically after I get this kernel modification done, I can do just about anything else to the drive? All I want to do is be able to transfer shows off the drive using FTP and I want to stop copy protection from being put onto new shows. I have seen people post about SuperPatch, but that only shows up under Series 2 support when I search for it, so I am weary that it might not work for the Series 3?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have the older, original Tivo hard drive so I guess I could always fall back to that, but I don't want to risk anything.

    Thanks in advance,
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    996
    Read through the Overview of Hacking an S3, it contains pretty much everything you need to know. Be sure to follow through on some of the links and read those too; superpatch has more or less been replaced by tvapppatch. Also pay attention to the subtle differences in hacking the original S3 versus the TivoHD (different custom kernels, HD uses the 64-bit mfs_utils, etc.) Good luck!
    Last edited by ScanMan; 01-12-2011 at 06:37 PM.
    ScanMan --> Just another Tivo hacker...
    Killhdinitrd SA S2 Monte S2 Unscramble Upgrade Tivo Software

  3. #3
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    Alright, thanks. That's the kind of stuff I am talking about. There's tiny little differences that I guess could mess everything up.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  4. #4
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    jmartz: One thing to do is take your original tivo drive, use WinMFS (or the linux version) and copy it over to a new (and bigger) drive. Do all the hacking on that new drive. Then if you *really* get in a corner, you can always go back to square one and re-copy that drive back to the new drive.

  5. #5
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    Alright, can I use two drives of equal size? I have a new 1TB drive sitting in a box, never opened. Can I copy the drive that I pulled out of the Tivo before sending it off to get prom modded to the new 1TB drive and use that as my fallback if I really screw things up? Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but to be honest, the instructions aren't really... clear. I'm still trying to figure out this Initrd thing. It doesn't help that I am not a Linux person. I found a topic last night that had pretty detailed instructions about what to type to mount the drive and stuff... I can't find it now!! I should have bookmarked it, I thought I did... but that post seems to have vanished.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2003
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    Jmartz: Yep, you can use drives of equal size. grab a copy of WinMFS from http://mfslive.org if you're not comfortable with linux - it runs in Windows.

  7. #7
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    Ok, I started the backup before I left for work. It said it would take about 4 hours. When I get home tonight I should have two cloned drives. I am not comfortable in Linux and that's why I am weary about the Initrd procedure.

    I need to learn the commands. I finally got back to the topic which had a lot of commands listed. All I want to do is stop the copy protection from being placed on recordings. FTP would be great too, but I am not looking for anything beyond that and there is a topic in this forum that has the instructions.

  8. #8
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    Do you think it would be possible to send me some Linux commands? I can't do anything right now because I can't get the USB thumb drive mounted so that I can copy the files to the backed up Tivo hard drive. I'm getting all kinds of error messages ranging from Permission Denied, to No Such Device, to Can Not Create Directory. I think I have gotten the Tivo drive mounted using "mount -t ext2 /dev/sda4 /tivo" and using the LS command shows me an initrd file or directory, or something. I'm guessing that's the file I need to replace? My kernel is on partition 6, at least that's what it tells me when I do the "bootpage -b /dev/sda" command.

    I am thoroughly confused.


    HEEEELLLLLLPPPPPP

  9. #9
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    What's more confusing is the command that actually worked, that I found in a CCI protection removal topic is showing SDA4?? ... ext2? I thought I need to be using partition 6? or does that not matter at this point?

  10. #10
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    I'm not trying to knock you, but you should really spend some time reading and figuring out how the TiVo software/box works instead of blindly following lists of commands.

    I'll try to get you started:

    The TiVo HD is broken up into many partitions. For hacking, there's 5 that we care about. [I'll use hdaX to denote the partition as this is how TiVo's kernel shows them. On Linux, it'll probably be sdaX]:

    hda3 - First Kernel Partition (no formatting)
    hda4 - First OS Partition (ext2)
    hda6 - Second Kernel Partition (no formatting)
    hda7 - Second OS Partition (ext2)
    hda9 - "/var" partition (ext2)

    Partitions 3/4 and 6/7 work as pairs. If your TiVo currently boots off the 3/4 pair (using hda3 to read the kernel and hda4 to boot the OS) those are the partitions you should be modifying. When the TiVo does an in-place upgrade (say from 11.0d to 11.0j), it updates the inactive pair so it does not corrupt the currently running files (that way it can revert a failed update). So after the update, your active pair would be 6/7.

    To find your active pair, you run this command while booted in Linux with the TiVo's HD connected:

    bootpage -p /dev/XXX [where XXX is your TiVo HD - usually hda or sda]

    You'll get an output like: root=/dev/hda4

    That means your current pair is probably 3/4. To double check the kernel partition, you can use:

    bootpage -b /dev/XXX

    In the case above, this command should simply output: "3".

    So now assuming your active pair is 3/4, you'd write your killinitrd'd kernel to partition 3. The kernel partition has no formatting or "files". It's a raw copy of the kernel file. To make things easier for now, I would recommend using one of Jamie's custom kernels. They already have initrd removed. The relevant kernels can be found here: http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/sh...520#post299520 (pick the Gen06.tar.bz2 one for now).

    To mount a USB drive on Linux, you'd have to find out what drive name it was given. If you're in command line mode (no GUI), when you plug the USB drive in some messages will come up on the screen. You'd have to find the message that says the kernel added the device as "hda", "hdb", "sdb", etc. Let's assume it was "hdb".

    Now to mount it:

    mount /dev/hdb /some/existing/directory

    I believe the MFS Live CD has a /dos directory, so you could use that. Most of the time, the mount command will figure out what kind of partition is on the disk and you don't need to manually specify the format type. If it doesn't, you may have to try a few variations:

    mount -t vfat /dev/hdb /dos
    mount -t vfat /dev/hdb1 /dos

    Once you have it mounted and have access to your files, you can put Jamie's custom kernel on the TiVo drive (assume sda, and 3/4 pair):

    dd if=/dev/sda3 of=/dos/original_TiVo_kernel.px [backup the original kernel]
    dd if=/dos/name_of_custom_kernel.px of=/dev/sda3

    Now you can modify the TiVo's OS partition. Mount it:

    mount /dev/sda4 /tivo

    - plenty of directions on how to do this part elsewhere.. basically create your own /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit.author file that starts telnet and any other hacks you want, and add the tivotools software package to add command line functionality -

    The /var partition is used to store extra files not required for the TiVo to be fully functional, such as TiVoWebPlus or other assorted hacks.

    Hopefully this is enough to get you started and to encourage you to read up on what's really going on. Once you have telnet access to your TiVo, patching tivoapp to disable CCI is fairly simple.

  11. #11
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    No knock taken. I've been trying to figure this out for the last couple of days. But your instructions are very helpful. My active partitions are 6 and 7, I was able to mount the USB drive and copy the kernel you suggested to partition 6 and I made a backup of the original kernel to the USB drive.

    The next step I will do tonight when I get home is create the rc.sysinit file and copy the FTP program onto the drive. I am working with the copied drive. I will toss that into the unit tonight and see what happens. If it doesn't boot up I will make a new copy of my old drive and try it again until I get it right.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  12. #12
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    Well, attempt one resulted in corrupted partition tables. :-( Time to image my disk and try again.

  13. #13
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    So the tivo is booted using the custom kernel, but here is what I am wondering...

    the kernel is supposed to be on SDA6 and the bootup is SDA7... I replaced the kernel, and unpacked the tivotools archive per the instructions I found... now, I am looking to create the startup file, but none of the directories are in SDA7... when I look in the other, supposedly inactive partition (4) I can find the /sda4/etc/rc.d/ directory... do I have to create that directory in partition 7, and then create the startup file for the tivotools? or do I edit that file in partition 4?

    I plugged the tivo in to make sure the new drive booted properly with the new kernel and no other hacks applied. It does boot, so now I am trying to go the next step, but I was expecting to be working only in the active partition... but the inactive one seems to be where everything is... or maybe they changed it when I plugged it in for 10 minutes??

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    996
    Quote Originally Posted by jmartz View Post
    So the tivo is booted using the custom kernel, but here is what I am wondering...

    the kernel is supposed to be on SDA6 and the bootup is SDA7... I replaced the kernel, and unpacked the tivotools archive per the instructions I found... now, I am looking to create the startup file, but none of the directories are in SDA7... when I look in the other, supposedly inactive partition (4) I can find the /sda4/etc/rc.d/ directory... do I have to create that directory in partition 7, and then create the startup file for the tivotools? or do I edit that file in partition 4?

    I plugged the tivo in to make sure the new drive booted properly with the new kernel and no other hacks applied. It does boot, so now I am trying to go the next step, but I was expecting to be working only in the active partition... but the inactive one seems to be where everything is... or maybe they changed it when I plugged it in for 10 minutes??

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Jeff
    Post the output of the following commands:
    Code:
    bootpage -b /dev/sda
    bootpage -a /dev/sda
    bootpage -p /dev/sda
    This should confirm the active and alternate bootpage settings as well as the root parameter.

    For reference here is the bootpage manpage.
    ScanMan --> Just another Tivo hacker...
    Killhdinitrd SA S2 Monte S2 Unscramble Upgrade Tivo Software

  15. #15
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    Jan 2011
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    Alright, so I am not sure what was going on but I must have been looking in the wrong place? The files were there when I got home. I'm just confused... so I created a file named rc.sysinit.author and I placed it into the rc.d directory. I chmod 755 the file. Do I need to tell the Tivo to look for that file? Or does it just know to look for it? I ask because I am unable to get FTP or Telnet to work.

    Contents of the file:

    # Add /tivo-bin to path
    export PATH=$PATH:/tivo-bin

    # Start telnet
    tnlited 23 /bin/bash -login &

    # Disable firewall
    iptables -F

    #start FTP
    /tivo-bin/tivoftpd

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