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Old 06-14-2002, 01:11 AM   #1 (Print)
TiVo sTeVe-o!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 61
Note FOR NEWBIES: Telnet on 3.0 for the first time

Updated August 6, 2002 - An updated version of these instructions are now included of my TiVo Newbie Hacker Guide at:


I didn't start to hack my TiVo until after my 3.0 software was installed. So in response to some posts I've seen in here, I've written these steps for first-timers to gain telnet access to their 3.0 systems if they never had any prior shell access. Please use at your own risk.

These steps assume the following conditions:

- You did not previously have shell access to your TiVo.
- You are currently running version 3.0 TiVo software on a Series I TiVo.
- You have an Ethernet adapter installed in your TiVo, such as TiVoNET, TurboNET, etc., that is functioning (you can ping your TiVo from another computer on your network).

These instructions are largely based on the TiVo Hacking FAQ sections 4.6 and 2.15, some posts in the TiVo Underground Forum, and my own experience setting this up with a Sony SVR 2000 and TurboNET Ethernet adapter.

You will need the following for this procedure:
- A PC with IDE hard drive connectors
- 2 blank 3.5” floppies
- A TiVo (duh!)

1. Print out these instructions now so you will have them to reference when you’re not in front of a Web browser.

2. Start by downloading the following two files:
a. Dylan's Boot Disk

3. Follow the instructions in Dylan’s README file to build a Linux Boot Disk. If you are running Windows (95/98/ME/XP/NT/2000), this is done by simply inserting your blank 3.5” floppy into your Drive A: and running the MAKEBOOT.BAT file.

4. Using your second floppy, make a DOS boot disk and copy the QUNLOCK.EXE program to it.

5. Power down both your PC and your TiVo. Remove your TiVo cover using a Torx 10 screwdriver to remove the screw and slide the cover off the unit. Don’t pry! If you have trouble, put your TiVo on the ground and use a gentle “kick” on the top edges to slide the cover toward the rear of the unit. Congrats! You just voided your warranty!

6. Carefully remove your primary TiVo drive (called the A Drive). It’s jumpers are currently set to make it an IDE Master (as opposed to a Slave) so to make things easy, let’s keep it as a master when we install it in your desktop PC in the next step. But to do so, it must be installed on IDE Channel 2. I’ve been told that this procedure won’t work if you install it in your PC the IDE Channel 1 Master. This process will work if it’s the IDE 1 or 2 Slave, but you’ll have to change jumper settings now, and then back when you put it back in your TiVo. So to make things easy, just keep is as master and we’ll install it on IDE 2 Channel 2.

7. Unplug the IDE cable and power cable from whatever device is in installed in your PC as the IDE Channel 2 Master. You can find out the IDE channel by looking at the markings on your motherboard next to the IDE connectors, and the Master will be the device that is connected to the first connector as you move away from where the cord plugs into the motherboard. There’s a good chance this device will be your PC’s main hard drive.

8. Plug the IDE Channel 2 Master connector and the power cable into your TiVo A Drive. If you’ve got the IDE connector installed the wrong way, you’ll find out soon enough in a subsequent step. Just power down and swap the connector and start over from this step.

9. Insert your Linux Boot Disk into your PC and power it up.

10. If all goes well, your system will boot into Linux. Watch all the messages on the screen as they fly by. Near the end, Linux will attempt to connect to all your IDE devices. It will most likely name your floppy drive something like “FD0” and it will name the drive you installed as the IDE Channel 2 Master something like “HDC.” After it names your drives, it will tell you how megabytes it sees on the disk (while Linux loads you’ll have time to locate this number.) MAKE SURE THIS NUMBER MATCHES THE SIZE OF YOUR TIVO A DRIVE. If it is low (such as 9-10MB), then your drive is locked. Follow step 11 ONLY if your drive is locked. If it isn’t, skip ahead to step 12.

11. USE THIS STEP ONLY IF YOUR DRIVE IS LOCKED! To unlock your drive and allow Linux to access it properly, power down your PC, insert the DOS boot disk with QUNLOCK.EXE on it, and restart your machine. It will boot to a DOS prompt. Enter the following (without the quotes): “QUNLOCK 2” and hit ENTER. This will unlock the IDE Channel 2 Master. If you installed the disk on a different IDE Channel or as a slave, just run QUNLOCK to see the correct number to run to unlock your drive. Power down your PC, re-insert the Linux boot disk, and boot into Linux. Watch carefully to make sure your drive size is properly reported. If it’s not, then something went wrong with the unlock process. You either entered the wrong number as the option, or you didn’t power down to allow the drive to power up in an unlocked state. For more info about locked drives, check out section 2.15 of the FAQ.

12. When Linux is done booting, you will see a login prompt. Type in “root” (no quotes) and hit ENTER.

13. You will need to “mount” your drive so that you can edit the necessary files. The first file you need to edit is on Partition 4. To mount this, type:

mount /dev/hdc4 /mnt

The “c” in the above example means it’s the IDE Channel 2 Master. If you have yours set up differently, then refer to Section 4.6 of the FAQ for the correct letter to use.

14. Type “joe /mnt/etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit” (without the quotes) and hit Enter. This will open the joe editor and load the file that TiVo looks at when it first boots up.

15. Page down to the bottom of the file add the following on a line all by itself:

tnlited 23 /bin/bash -login &

16. Save the file by typing CTRL-K followed by CTRL-X. You should get a message that the file was saved.

17. Type “umount /mnt” and hit ENTER to unmount Partition 4.

18. Now you need to make the same change on Partition 7, which stores an exact copy of the startup files. Type “mount /dev/hdc7 /mnt” (no quotes) and hit ENTER. Then repeat steps 14 – 17 to edit the startup file on this partition.

19. When you’re done making changes, type “exit” and hit ENTER to log out of Linux.

20. Power down your PC, remove the TiVo A Drive, and re-install it in your TiVo.

21. Power up your TiVo, wait for it to boot, and then telnet to the IP address of your TiVo. You should see a bash shell prompt! You’re in! Hack away!

Like I said, I'm kind of a newbie myself, so if you have any questions, post them here and I'll try to answer. But more likely, someone who really knows what they are talking about will probably answer better

Oh - and check the FAQ. Everything in here is based on stuff I learned in there and browsing through the forums.

Good luck, and happy hacking!

Steve Jenkins

P.S. Did I mention your should check the FAQ?

Last edited by stevejenkins : 06-11-2003 at 11:32 PM.
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