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Old 07-14-2004, 08:53 AM   #1 (Print)
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Chester
Posts: 6
'A' Drive/'B' Drive Data distribution

The dreaded inevitable has happened to my Tivo - No boot. I get the 'Powering-up' message and nothing else, despite repeated powering off and on.

I took-out the hard drives (A drive Quantum fireball Lct 15 - 30GB and B drive Quantum fireball Lct 15 - 15GB) and tried to obtain an image, using MFSTOOLS, but no-dice. I should add that both drives were locked and I had to run qunlock to verify the correct capacities. I then decided to see if the B drive was re-usable by running FDISK and creating a Primary dos partition, then reformatting, for use in my PC but, having created the new partition, verification stuck at 0%. Obviously, the drive is useless.

I then put the A drive back in Tivo, to see what would happen and, surprisingly, I received the 'Powering-up' message, closely followed by the 'please wait a few seconds' message and this carried-on in an endless cycle. I am wondering, therefore, if it is possible to recover anything from my 'A' drive, before committing this also to the bin.

Can someone please explain how the program and data are distributed across the disks in a 2 disk system ?
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Old 07-14-2004, 09:31 AM   #2 (Print)
Tony Hoyle
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Manchester
Posts: 215
I believe it's random, but is quite likely to have put some of its system data on the B drive. If you find an image you should be able to use the A drive on its own (or just stick it in a PC as it'll work OK once unlocked).
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Old 07-14-2004, 03:43 PM   #3 (Print)
Robert S
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK
Posts: 9,905
MFS forms a unified whole, so if you lose any part of it (ie, the B drive), you can't get at any of the data in the MFS system.

This is also what's preventing the TiVo booting - the TiVo software can't start because the MFS set is incomplete. However, it has successfully loaded Linux off the A drive, so there's no reason to think there's anything wrong with that drive. (Not that there's anything that upsetting about losing a three year old 30Gb hard drive).

For future reference, the correct way to check a drive is to get the manufacturer's diagostics disk from their website (Maxtor's PowerMax for Quantum drives). This will do a thorough, non-destructive test of the drive hardware (whereas what you did don't necessarily tell you very much and trashes your data).

If you can find a 30Gb backup, you can reimage your old A drive and carry on. Such things are rather elusive, so you'll proabably be stuck with a 40Gb backup, which means you'll have to get a new, larger drive.

Please do not PM me asking for TiVo backups. I don't have any.
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Old 07-14-2004, 04:05 PM   #4 (Print)
Paul Stimpson
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Farnborough, Hants, UK.
Posts: 299
I'm just helping somebody online recover a sick TiVo. The 30GB drive passes a Powermax test. The 15GB drive is dead (SMART status bad + Powermax won't even attampt a test) but if the 15GB drive is removed the machine goes into a "Powering up"...""Almost there"...Reboot loop. The strange thing is that they said to me the 30GB appears to be configured as slave (jumper present) and the 15GB appears to have been the master (no jumper)

Is it likely that all the system software is all on the 30GB drive? If so how do I tell and is it possible to divorce the 30GB drive from the deceased 15GB, make a backup and restore it to a new large drive?

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Old 07-14-2004, 05:22 PM   #5 (Print)
Rob Nespor Bellis
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: ~, Brighton, UK
Posts: 456
On a UK two drive TiVo the A: drive is 30GB and the B: drive is 15GB.

Both drives will be jumpered cable select, the last drive on the cable will be the primary and the one in the middle will be the secondary.

AFAIK MFStool will not be able to perform a backup unless both drives ( of a two drive set ) are present, even though in theory there is no OS info on the B: drive, sorry.


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Old 07-14-2004, 05:41 PM   #6 (Print)
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Chester
Posts: 6
Thanks to all concerned. I will just have to buy a 120GB drive and run mfsrestore, using the standard tivo image file. The tivo 'A' drive is re-usable and I have just formatted it (Fat32) for my PC.
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Old 07-15-2004, 03:13 AM   #7 (Print)
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 5,205
Another point about using the manufacturer's diagnostic program is that, if the drive is still covered by the manufacturer's warranty (enter the serial number on their website), then you will be able to replace the drive under warranty.

Even if you don't want to use the drive again on your TiVo, a new drive on your PC can be handy. I use large drives in exchangeable caddies on my PC's as a fast means of backup, using Norton Ghost.


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