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Thread: linux can't read my tivo hard drive

  1. #1
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    linux can't read my tivo hard drive

    I recently received my PROM mod (Omikron) and have spent the past 3 weeks reading ......(buechel, ray, lrhorer, and many many others) ...to the point I am beyond confused. However, my main problem right now is "seeing" the Tivo hard drive while in Linux. I installed Debian Squeeze on an older stand alone PC and am using a Bytecc usb/sata/ide adapter to connect the Tivo drive to the usb port on the debian PC. The drive does not show up. If I place a usb thumbdrive in the same external port, I am able to read and copy files to the PC, so the ports work fine. If I go to >Applications>System Tools>Disk Utility, I can see the Tivo hard drive listed under "Peripheral Devices". When I click on the drive, the dialog box indicates "Device: /dev/sdb" and "Partitioning: Not Partitioned". The hard drive is a WDC WD10 EVDS 1tb A/V drive, which was a replacement for the original 160gb drive - done last year. Putting this drive back in the Tivo = perfect performance (record, delete, etc).

    If I use the Bytecc adapter to connect another hard drive to my Windows PC, it works fine - so I know the adapter is not defective.

    I tried using PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu, with the same result - can't read the Tivo drive (PCLinuxOS indicated the partition was corrupt and offered to format it - obviously I didn't do that).

    I can't believe there is anything wrong with the 1tb Tivo hard drive, because I backed it up today (using winmfs) and also mad a complete copy onto another identical drive using mfscopy (the copied drive also works perfectly when placed into the Tivo).

    This has been a very difficult struggle for me, being a complete novice regarding linux, but not being able to even "see" the Tivo drive is a bit crushing.

    Any help will be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Is linux not seeing the drive at all, or just not able to read the partition table? Did you use tivopart r to inform linux of the tivo partition table?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
    Is linux not seeing the drive at all, or just not able to read the partition table? Did you use tivopart r to inform linux of the tivo partition table?
    Thank you for the reply. I believe linux "is aware" of the drive because I was able to get the "no partition" info under "Disk Utility". Therefore, I guess the more accurate conclusion (as you allude to) is that linux is unable to read the partition. To answer your 2nd question, no, I did not use tivopart r. I was not aware of tivopart or how to use it. I am trying to read the associated threads you linked to in order to understand what tivopart is. As I stated in my OP, I know very little about linux. In the past 3-4 weeks, I have been reading posts in this forum and have purchased 3 linux references. I find it difficult to navigate this forum with such a poor foundation in linux, but I am trying to figure this out. I do appreciate the help. The distros I have tried (Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Debian Squeeze and PCLinuxOS, all "instantly recognized" any usb thumbdrive whenever they were plugged in - I assumed (...I know ) that plugging in a usb adapter for the tivo hard drive was equivalent.

    OK - back on point. I read through the thread on tivopart, but honestly am not sure how to use it. Any other suggestions are obviously appreciated. In my defense, I have been using windows for a long time and I am somewhat of an old dude. Just need my tivo....and this remote control....

  4. #4
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    1. Get the tivopart distribution from the referenced threads.
    2. Be sure to read the README.tivopart. Your main focus should be on the "revalidate" option, which is all you really need to accomplish your goal. Tivopart is a more general tool, and the revalidate option is only one part of it.
    3. Recompile from source, if necessary. This should only be needed if the provided x86 binaries won't run on your distribution. It is statically linked, so it may just work. Works for me on Fedore Core 14.
    4. Make sure that the directory containing tivopart.x86 is on your PATH.
    5. Plug in your tivo disk and identify the device name (e.g. /dev/sdX, where X is some letter).
    6. Run tivopart.x86 r /dev/sdX. This reads the tivo partition table and informs the linux kernel of all the tivo partitions.
    7. The tivo partitions should now be recognized by the linux kernel and should be available for use. For example, you can mount the tivo var partition on mount point /mnt via: mount /dev/sdX9 /mnt where /dev/sdX is the device name for the tivo disk identify in the previous step.

    The other option, rather than using tivopart, is to use a linux kernel that has been modified to recognize the tivo partitions automatically. This is the old school approach. It is more work if you are trying to work with a standard linux distribution, unless compiling kernels is in your repertoire. Custom iso disks specifically designed for tivo hacking usually use this approach.

    Clear as mud?
    Last edited by Jamie; 09-28-2011 at 12:28 PM.

  5. #5
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    jamie -
    Not as muddy as before, thnks. I tried running the command, but I get "permission denied". I had copied the tivopart folder to my home folder on the debian PC. Using superuser terminal, I typed path command (PATH=$PATH:/home/svenn/tivopart/bin) and then typed "tivopart.x86 r /dev/sdb". How do I fix the "permission denied"? Maybe I am better off using a custom iso disk, as you mentioned. I have been operating on the assumption (i know...) that I needed a full Linux install. Can you point me to a CD ISO that is appropriate for my TiVoHD (software version 11.0k)? Thank you again for your help. After many days of reading in circles and becoming discouraged, I feel very optimistic right now. svenn

  6. #6
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    Nearly there

    Quote Originally Posted by svenn View Post
    jamie -
    Not as muddy as before, thnks. I tried running the command, but I get "permission denied". I had copied the tivopart folder to my home folder on the debian PC. Using superuser terminal, I typed path command (PATH=$PATH:/home/svenn/tivopart/bin) and then typed "tivopart.x86 r /dev/sdb". How do I fix the "permission denied"? Maybe I am better off using a custom iso disk, as you mentioned. I have been operating on the assumption (i know...) that I needed a full Linux install. Can you point me to a CD ISO that is appropriate for my TiVoHD (software version 11.0k)? Thank you again for your help. After many days of reading in circles and becoming discouraged, I feel very optimistic right now. svenn
    Jamie - thanks for your help. I have given up on the full blown Linux install and will use the MFSLive Linux Boot CD ver 1.4. I tried it and was able to identify the active partition on my tivo drive (partition 6) and have copied "busybox.replace_initrd.x86" and "null-linuxrc.img.gz" to a thumbdrive, in preparation for modifying kernel. The final step for me seems to be patching the tivo_app file and disabling the CCI byte. I found several references to psxboy's tivo_app patch for version 11.0k, but could not find a download link anywhere. I did find (and downloaded) "RemoveCpiAll.tcl" but am not sure if this should be used on my version (11.0k) or if it is the same as a tivo_app patch. I am a bit stuck at the moment, but feel that progress is being made.

  7. #7
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    I believe RemoveCpiAll.tcl is not version specific. But do NOT use RemoveCpiAll.tcl until you have patched your TivoApp with ignoredrmsig1 and ignoredrmsig2. See this thread, especially posts 25 and 35.
    Please backup your drive before you do, so you can always go back and try again.
    Last edited by drcos; 09-28-2011 at 07:21 PM. Reason: add reference

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by drcos View Post
    I believe RemoveCpiAll.tcl is not version specific. But do NOT use RemoveCpiAll.tcl until you have patched your TivoApp with ignoredrmsig1 and ignoredrmsig2. See this thread, especially posts 25 and 35.
    Please backup your drive before you do, so you can always go back and try again.
    drcos - thank you for your response. The reference I alluded to in my post # 6, is in fact, Post # 35 (ScanMan) that you linked me to. That is also the post that I had problems with. ScanMan states,

    "...What you need to do is patch your tivoapp for the appropriate software version so it will ignore the DRM signatures (and hence not delete the invalid recordings), as well as the noencryption patch. psxboy has posted the patches for 11.0j in this thread and for 11.0k (ignoredrm) in that thread. After you have tivoapp patched, then run tivo4mevo's RemoveCpiAll.tcl script."

    The problem I had was I think the words "this" (in this thread..) and "that (in that thread..) were supposed to be links, but do not function that way for me (clicking had no effect). I did a forum search for "psxboy's 11.0k patch" and could not find anything. Maybe there used to be links in that thread that are no longer working.

    Again, thank you for your help. If there is a working link somewhere to psxboy's 11.0k tivoapp patch, I would love a heads up. Thanks again.

  9. #9
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    Here is the post with all the tivoapp patches for 11.0k: http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/sh...041#post310041
    ScanMan --> Just another Tivo hacker...
    Killhdinitrd SA S2 Monte S2 Unscramble Upgrade Tivo Software

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScanMan View Post
    Here is the post with all the tivoapp patches for 11.0k: http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/sh...041#post310041
    Thank you, ScanMan. I have run into yet another roadblock. I consider myself a reasonably patient person, but...this has really become a long process (numbering in the weeks). My current problem involves accessing my thumbdrive. In a stand alone PC, I boot with the latest MFSLive Linux Boot CD (Ver 1.4). I then connect my TiVO drive (using sata-usb adapter) to a usb port. MFSLive recognizes the drive as "sda" and I can check the partition map ("pdisk -l /dev/sda") and the active partition ("bootpage -b /dev/sda") - in this case, it is partition 6. I copied onto a usb thumbdrive, the following files: "busybox.replace_initrd.x86" and "null-linuxrc.img.gz" (both extracted from NillaZilla's tarball). I also copied "tivoapppatches.tcl", which you linked me to. When I plug in the thumbdrive, MFSLive recognizes it as sdb. Now the problem - and unfortunately for me, a public display of ignorance. Using no_cci's approach, when I attempt to replace the kernel by typing "busybox.replace_initrd.x86 /dev/sda6 null-linuxrc.img.gz original_kernel.bak, I get "busybox.replace_initrd.x86 not found". I have spent the last 2 hours reading everything I could find on DDB regarding use of a thumbdrive with MFSLive CD. Nowhere could I find anything that specified any special command or usage in order to get access to the thumbdrive.

    I am stuck again. For what I am trying to do (disable CCI and allow TTG transfers to PC), the process is probably 15 minutes for the veteran DDB'ers. For me, it has been over a month and since I am retired, some days I have literally spent 10-12 hours reading and reading. I do appreciate the help I have gotten, but it has been a very frustrating experience. My biggest obstacle is Linux.

    Thank you for any further help you can provide.

  11. #11
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    I'm not sure of your steps. Have you mounted the thumbdrive? Typically something like:
    Code:
    mount /dev/sdb1 /dos
    This will give you access to the contents of thumbdrive at the directory (mountpoint) /dos. Then you would either cd to /dos or run it using the full path. The only other thing would be making sure you decompress the gzip/tarball using the appropriate tool, I like 7-zip on Windows.
    ScanMan --> Just another Tivo hacker...
    Killhdinitrd SA S2 Monte S2 Unscramble Upgrade Tivo Software

  12. #12
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    (i replied a few seconds ago, but not sure what happened - if this ends up as a double post - my apologies)

    thank you thank you thank you, scanman - I was able to execute the replace_initrd and null-linuxrc commands and they seem to have worked. When I tried the "tvapppatches-11.0k.tcl", I got the following error message:

    line 28: syntax error: "}" unexpected (expecting "then").

    Not sure if the tivoapp was modified to disable the cci bytes, or not. I remember seeing a post, some time ago, that referenced a way to check if the tivoapp was modified correctly. I tried searching for it, but cannot find it. probably not using correct search terms. I can put the drive back in the tivo, record somethin, and see if it is still flagged and whether I can transfer via TTG.

    I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your help -even with such trivial stuff as this. It is a big deal to me, however.

  13. #13
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    If you got a syntax error, it didn't patch. You might be missing a bracket or something. Maybe try downloading it again. Make sure you don't modify the file in notepad or anything, you want to make sure it is saved as a unix file type not dos. The scripts drmcheck.tcl and ciphercheck can tell you if encryption has been disabled. To use them, you need the tivotools installed.
    ScanMan --> Just another Tivo hacker...
    Killhdinitrd SA S2 Monte S2 Unscramble Upgrade Tivo Software

  14. #14
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    ok - will download it again. when i downloaded it before, the only "save" options were "save as .tcl file" or "other files". I didn't do any modification to the file. I did open the file just now in WordPad and in the remarks section it says:

    "tvapppatches.tcl is not meant to be run directly.
    # it is sourced by tvapppatch, and contains patches to be
    # applied to tivoapp. The format is as below, with the name set
    # to "patch_"+sw version, followed by the patch location, the
    # expected original contents, and the new value."

    Am i missing some other related file that goes with tvapppatches.110k.tcl? or is it supposed to just be run by itself after doing "replace_initrd" and "null-linuxrc"?

    Just found "tvapppatch.tcl" which apparently uses "tvapppatches.11.0k.tcl". will try to figure out the syntax for using both files and try again.

    thanks again.
    Last edited by svenn; 09-30-2011 at 09:09 PM. Reason: tvapppatch

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by svenn View Post
    jamie -
    Not as muddy as before, thnks. I tried running the command, but I get "permission denied".
    The system has to be told to allow the binary to be executed. A typical binary is given read and execute permissions for some set of users. Issuing the command `chmod 555 tivopart` (from within the directory containing tivopart - otherwise use the fully qualified pathname) will give permissions for every user to read and execute tivopart.

    Quote Originally Posted by svenn View Post
    I had copied the tivopart folder to my home folder on the debian PC. Using superuser terminal, I typed path command (PATH=$PATH:/home/svenn/tivopart/bin) and then typed "tivopart.x86 r /dev/sdb".
    I don't recommend that. The path variable won't survive a reboot. I would place the tivopart file in a directory that is already in the path. /usr/local/bin may be a good choice. To look at the path, type `echo $PATH`

    Quote Originally Posted by svenn View Post
    How do I fix the "permission denied"? Maybe I am better off using a custom iso disk, as you mentioned.
    It's not what I would recommend. Unless you modify the .iso, which tends to be a bit of a pain, every time you boot the live CD you will need to re-implement the changes freehand.

    Quote Originally Posted by svenn View Post
    I have been operating on the assumption (i know...) that I needed a full Linux install.
    No, it isn't required, but it's a lot less trouble, if you ask me, especially the second, third, etc. time you hack a TiVo, or even if one must reboot during the first attempt. With an ordinary Linux install, your changes can be saved so they live through a reboot. Another issue with most of the custom live CDs used for hacking is there is not access to the internet or tools like a web browser or sophisticated editors. That, plus a Linux boot allows you to wean yourself away from bloated, slow, hard to use, and expensive software - AKA Windows.
    Last edited by lrhorer; 09-30-2011 at 09:57 PM.
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