Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Where does TiVo keep what?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    213

    Where does TiVo keep what?

    I thought I had asked something along these lines here or on the mfslive forum about a year or 2 ago when I was even less prepared to understand the answer, and it turns out I asked on TCF about this time last year

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=459439

    but didn't really get the level of detail I wanted, so....


    The TiVo has 2 places to keep stuff, partitions 2-9, and the MFS pairs (and lately an additional single MFS partition).

    I know the TiVo Service Number, in addition to being on the sticker on the back where the power cord plugs in, is stored in the Atmel crypto chip*, but I'm assuming it's also on the hard drive somewhere so that you don't get error 51.

    So, where does TiVo keep that and all the other stuff that makes your TiVo your TiVo, the stuff that would be different on the same model owned by someone else across the country, stuff like zip code, cable company, dial in number you selected, network info like wireless network name and password, fixed IP if you gave it one, Season Passes and Wish Lists, cable card pairings, which channels you want displayed in the guide, and all of that other stuff unique to that particular TiVo?

    Is it all in the MFS partitions? Is it all in partition 10? Is it all somewhere in 2 through 9? Is some of it in 2-9 and some of it in the MFS partitions?


    Much gratitude in advance for any knowledge and wisdom you can pass along on this topic.



    *Let's just say learning about that involved a magnifying glass and low melting point alloy
    Too busy TiVo wrangling to watch television anymore.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    5,601
    In a nutshell, in the MFS database. The logfiles are kept in partition 9, and can be wiped at the whim of the OS. Any information specific to your TiVo is there only in the context of inclusion in a log file.

    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
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    213
    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBill View Post
    In a nutshell, in the MFS database. The logfiles are kept in partition 9, and can be wiped at the whim of the OS. Any information specific to your TiVo is there only in the context of inclusion in a log file.

    PlainBill
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Okay, the MFS database is in one of the MFS partitions? Any one in particular, or is it spread across more than one of them?

    Or is that what you're referring to as a logfile, and it's kept in the Var partition?

    And if not, what is kept in the Var partition?
    Too busy TiVo wrangling to watch television anymore.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    5,601
    Bear with me; it's been a long time since I dug into a DirecTiVo. No, it's not the same, but at a gentler time TiVo software would run on the DirecTiVo.

    Off the top of my head, here is the layout of a TiVo drive.

    Partition 1 - partition table, and boot parameters.

    Partitions 2, 3, 4 - one set of kernel, boot, and root partitions (I'm not sure about the order).

    Partitions 5, 6, 7 - second set of kernel, boot, and root partitions.

    Partition 8 - swap space

    Partition 9 - var; this is used strictly for temporary storage. As an example, when a software update is downloaded, it is stored in var, then transferred to the mfs database. If you list the directories you will find a very familiar directory structure.

    Partitions 1-7 are read only except when software is upgraded. Partitions 8 and 9 are r/w, but no user data is stored there.

    Partitions 10 and above are arranged in pairs, and hold all recordings, configuration information, and user data. At the moment I am attempting to recall how to even view the structure from a command prompt. This thread seems to have some pointers.

    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
    May 2007
    Posts
    456
    Not sure if this helps any... I copied is some years ago...

    Try a "pdisk -l /dev/hda /dev/hdb"

    cat /etc/fstab

    Partition map (with 512 byte blocks) on '/dev/hdb'
    #: type name length base ( size )
    1: Apple_partition_map Apple 63 @ 1
    2: Image Bootstrap 1 1 @ 44161324
    3: Image Kernel 1 8192 @ 44161325 ( 4.0M)
    4: Ext2 Root 1 524288 @ 44169517 (256.0M)
    5: Image Bootstrap 2 1 @ 44693805
    6: Image Kernel 2 8192 @ 44693806 ( 4.0M)
    7: Ext2 Root 2 524288 @ 44701998 (256.0M)
    8: Swap Linux swap 262144 @ 45226286 (128.0M)
    9: Ext2 /var 262144 @ 45488430 (128.0M)
    10: MFS MFS application region 524288 @ 45750574 (256.0M)
    11: MFS MFS media region 33494098 @ 46799150 ( 16.0G)
    12: MFS MFS application region 2 524288 @ 46274862 (256.0M)
    13: MFS MFS media region 2 44161260 @ 64 ( 21.1G)

    Device block size=512, Number of Blocks=312581808 (149.1G)
    DeviceType=0x0, DeviceId=0x0

    Glad you found this because I am not really up on a lot of the partition info and what does what. BUT I'll give you a WAG as to what they are based on the little I do know and the descriptions you provided.

    Partitions 1 and 16 I haven't a clue about.

    Partitions 2-7 These are the partitions affected by slice upgrades. They hold different versions of the Tivo OS, file system, the stuff that makes Tivo a Tivo. When a slice upgrade is done the "active set" (The 3 partitions that are actually being booted to (2-4 or 5-7)) is copied with the changes to the inactive set. Then the boot set of partitions is changed and a reboot happens and the inactive set becomes the active set and vise-versa. These partitions are required to remain so you can't just delete one set to get more space (answers your previous question). Both are needed in case you have a bad upgrade the system will have something to revert back to automatically. These partitions are normally read only.

    Partition 8 - Not sure but would assume a swap file for linux.

    Partition 9 - /var. Reading around you will references to hacks being kept in the /var directory and that /var is read/write or that /var periodically gets wiped. The linux OS is different than windows. One of the ways is that all devices must be mounted before they can be used and they will show up someplace in the directory structure like directories in windows. That includes partitions on drives. So when you hear references to /var on a tivo it is referring to this partition.

    Partitions 10 - 15. Not positive exactly but the mfs partitions (I thought it was 1 big partition but I guess I am wrong) is where the shows are stored for your viewing.

    Partitions 2-9 take up only a relatively small amount of space, I would guess low single digit gigabytes at the most if that. So deleting them would not gain you much and could brick the system.

    Anyone that knows better feel free to correct, amend, append. Like I said I only have a very basic knowledge of the real inner workings of Tivo.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    213
    Unlike the DOS/Windows/IBM-compatible partition scheme, where the Master Boot Record and partition table are at the front of the drive but fdisk doesn't show them, the Apple scheme has a bootpage at the beginning, which doesn't show up in pdisk, but the list of partitions is the Apple Partition Map, which shows up as the first partition, partition 1 (they don't do the start counting at 0 thing in this case).

    Ordinarily, if you expand, a 3rd MFS pair gets added, and those are partitions 14 and 15. Until comer's jmfs cd, expanding was pretty much limited to adding MFS pairs, not single MFS partitions.

    Any unpartitioned space gets called an Apple Free partition (yep, if there's no partition there they call it a partition).

    If you copy a TiVo drive onto a bigger drive and don't expand, pdisk will show the extra space at the end as an Apple Free Partition.

    mfsadd knows that it can overwrite that space to put in more MFS partitions, and the more dangerous options of pdisk will let you overwrite it, but comer's jmfs cd interprets it as an actual partition, which is inconvenient, because this often leads to what it should create as partition 16 being created as partition 17, cause the Apple Free Partition is the 16th. When you boot the drive in the TiVo, the TiVo interprets that 17th partition as external storage ('cause you can only have 16 partitions on a single TiVo drive), and since it doesn't find the WD id string it expects from an external, it makes you divorce that partition, so you wind up back where you started. Of course that's only on S3 HDs and S4s, I'll have to try comer'izing an S2 drive and see what happens, probably nothing good.
    Too busy TiVo wrangling to watch television anymore.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •