Recovering from a failed (TiVo) upgrade

I ordered an additional drive for our long running Series 1 Tivo last week from one of the firms that specializes in such things. The drive “marriage” didn’t go well, and the unit was stuck at the Green Screen of Death—and, since these upgrades are supposed to just work, I didn’t have a backup. Scrambling through various forums searching made it clear that finding a software image was unlikely, but also pointed to a solution: PTVupgrade’s InstantCake.

InstantCake is a CD-based program that, if you reconfigure a PC such that the CD-ROM boots as the primary IDE and the drive or drives for your TiVo are on the secondary IDE, will format the drives and install the necessary software to operate your TiVo. For most PCs now, this procedure is at matter of swapping cables around and waiting for a little bit. You’ll lose all your programs and settings, but it means that you can pick any pair of drives as replacements. (Remember that the Series 1 can’t use more than 137GB of its drives, so going past 160GB is pointless.) And you can restore regardless of whether you have a drive or not; you have a read-only image on stable media.

Highly recommended.

[ T: TiVo ]