Hi all,

First time wiki, long time reader - hope this helps someone, somehow

I have titled this - Go FAQ Yourself

Being ULTRA paranoid about walking the TiVo path (thanks largely to a failed Playstation 2 mod chip install saga I won't go into, and a wife who remembers that saga quite well), I decided to write this little FAQ as something to have printed out for me to 'virtually' hold my own hand. Why, you ask yourself, am I writing a description of something I am writing specifically for myself? Good question. Suffice to say, that I want to give something to the TiVo community and the excellent people that it includes.

This FAQ details EXACTLY what I planned to do, and what I actually did to achieve the following;

Get a Sony SVR-2000 running with as much hard drive space as is economically viable, make it as fast as possible (menus and such) and get it to use my home broadband network for guide data - and obviously, make it work with my Foxtel Digital (Sydney)

Endless reading told me what I needed to do to achieve that was;

Get a Sony SVR-2000 running with 2 new large hard drives, a hard drive mounting bay, a CacheCard (with 512 MB RAM) and a new TiVo remote



1. Find an SVR-2000 on eBay or where-ever else you can - George (http://www.eksys.com) has links to eBay TiVo's for sale - I found mine for USD$50 although this did not include a remote and was sold as 'Faulty' http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5765098622&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOAB:AU:6 (until 01/07/05)

2. Get it shipped to George - as it is a US unit, and most sellers don't like sending internationally, George will receive, test and on-ship for the low low price of USD$20 (which may change at his discretion, I do not represent him in any way)

3. George also supplied the CacheCard, HDD Mounting Bay, Remote, AV Cables and Null Modem Cable - Prices available from his website

4. After testing the unit out (included in the forwarding fee) George forwarded the unit to me - you have to be careful with bringing things in from the states, as customs and tariffs (so I have heard) can really get in the way - USPS (US Postal Service) seems to be the answer - George knows all this.

5. You CAN send the unit down to Darren King (http://www.members.westnet.com.au/kingey1971/tivo/) for modification - but the only one that may be useful for me is the 2nd Audio Input (which I can always do later) - Darren does also image hard drives for free (bless him - better yet, pay him something) as long as you pay postage. I didn't want to do that, as I am a network technician by day, and really should be able to do it - besides, I hate the idea of wasting his time.

6. READ! I have spent a good 2 weeks of at least 3 hours per (work) day of just reading different websites, listed below, before I even ordered my TiVo. Now that George has sent it, it will possibly be another 3 weeks before I even see it - so now is an excellent time to be as prepared as possible to read all the documentation I can find about what it is I am supposed to do.

http://www.oztivo.net/twiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome - the chief resource for most everything I know about TiVo http://forums.oztivo.net/ - where single questions meet single answers in your area http://www.aocg16.dsl.pipex.com/tivomods.html - nice little RJ45 Mod http://tivo.upgrade-instructions.com/step1.php - very handy walkthrough for Hard Drive http://www.weaknees.com/instructions/sa_s1_dual_replace.pdf - 2 disks, 1 TiVo

Actual Work

The TiVo has arrived, you have the following;

1 x Sony SVR-2000 1 x Remote 2 x Big HDD's (personally, I used the HDD that came with the TiVo [30GB] and hopefully a 160GB drive I purchased) 1 x CacheCard 1 x 512MB SD133 RAM Chip 1 x tivomod RJ45 -> Port Kit (as above) or RJ45 -> RJ45 Connector and Patch Cable (as supplied by George) 1 x Null modem serial cable

1 x Computer with which to image your drives 1 x CD with the Current image burnt to it 1 x Set of Torx Screw Drivers (T-10 and T-15) 1 x Phillips head Screw Driver

First I began with the Hardware side of things - naturally.


RJ45 Mod - http://www.aocg16.dsl.pipex.com/tivomods.html

This was hard to track down in Australia. The part he used in the project was a Neutrik NE8FDVYK (Fortunately he told me, as it was a bugger to find). These are available from a few places (Google it) but I chose Ambertech (In North Sydney) for price (<AUD$20) and location.

I actually decided to use a different part though. The Neutrik NE8FDP is pretty much the same as the one John used, except instead of a krone connection on the back, it actually has an RJ45 port. Krone tools are not cheap (although I do have one for work) - you could probably use a screwdriver, but why bother?


The hard part with this mod was cutting the hole in the back of the case. In the guide John used a "24mm Sheet Metal Hole Punch", which only seem to be really common in the UK. Fortunately, I had a mate who worked with sheet metal and was willing to help out. I wouldnít recommend doing this mod unless you can cut a nice neat hole - otherwise it will look crap and defeat the purpose. To cut the hole we just used a metal hole saw, and then filed the edges down to make it a bit tidier. You could also use a tool called a nibbler they are available from Dick Smith Electronics for about $17 (P/N#4945).

Following advice from Darren - I decided to remove the motherboard from the TiVo completely. This way I can be rough as guts with it and not worry about metal shavings or damage to the motherboard.

Follow the guides on George's website (http://www.eksys.com/howto.html). This will show you what you need to do to open the case, and take out the motherboard (as well as install the CacheCard).

If you decide not to do this part of the guide (it is really only for aesthetics) George's guide works for the Kit he sends with the CacheCard. George assures me that it doesn't restrict airflow, and I am sure Darren would say something about it if it did, but I personally don't like the look of it - and like making life difficult for myself!


HDD Upgrade

With the rough stuff out of the way, we can now clean out the empty TiVo shell. This is very important, make sure you get it spotless - no metal filings at all. Put the motherboard back in (a la George's Guide) and make sure it is all looking happy. Now we follow this guide (http://www.weaknees.com/instructions/sa_s1_dual_replace.pdf) to install the second hard drive kit. It is all relatively straightforward and shouldn't give you too much of a problem.

Don't mount your HDD permanently yet (as you will need to take it out again anyway) but make sure that it all goes together.

Now take both HDD's out and move on to imaging

* SECOND HARD DRIVE * as of this moment, I have not got my big shiny 160GB HDD - I will update this guide as to what you do to it (although it should be simple, there is an option in the CD GUI that says second hard drive)


Imaging the Drives

This seemed confusing until I actually had a go. My Linux knowledge is limited, but I do know a little bit. First, download the ISO file from http://www.oztivo.net/oztivofiles/images/iso/ The correct file for the Sony SVR2000 will be called ozTiVo_installer_SVR2000-XXXXXXXX.iso (where the XXXXXXXX is the most current release date ie 20050417).

I was preparing to follow these guides (in order) to complete the imaging process - so there is no point me getting technical, it is all there

Weaknees.com Guide (Good Hardware Guide) http://tivo.upgrade-instructions.com/step1.php OzTiVo guide (Concise and easy to read) http://www.oztivo.net/twiki/bin/view/Install/PrepareTiVoDisk Hinsdale's How-to (Long and boring, but full of info) http://www.newreleasesvideo.com/hinsdale-how-to/index9.html

Being a sucker for punishment, I decided to just have a go. It was dead easy.

I disconnected all my pc's normal drives; put the original 30GB TiVo to Primary Master and my CD Drive to Secondary Master. Booted up the PC and the rest was beyond simple. There is a GUI with clearly labeled options, so I am sure you know what you want to do. Select which drive to image (only one choice), then get it to image the drive (should take about 10 minutes) then exit out and turn the PC off.

Put the HDD back into the TiVo


Install the CacheCard

Follow the guides on George's website (http://www.eksys.com/howto.html). As you have already installed the Neutrik connector, you will not need to cut or stick anything, just plug the patch lead straight in.

Once you have the card installed, I found it was helpful to cut the small plastic pin (that holds the foot in) down just a little (about 5mm). This helps hold the foot in and makes the CacheCard more secure (in my opinion).


Time to boot

I didn't even bother connecting the TiVo to my TV at this point, as I wanted to get in and make sure it was actually working. Set your PC back up again so that it works, plug the TiVo into the network, and plug the serial cable into both the TiVo and your PC. Plug the power into the TiVo - (sidebar, I didnít buy a power cable, I used a playstation cable - any figure 8 will do. I didnít think the plug was polarized, but I have always plugged the right pin (of the plug in the wall) to the square hole on the TiVo) - it should buzz and hum and make you feel all warm and fuzzy.

Now that it is alive you should connect and see what needs changing. First, open up Hyperterminal - create a new connection to your COM port, with the following settings (9600 Data bits: 8 Parity None Stop Bits: 1 Flow control: None). Now connect. Hit enter a few times and you should come up with [Hintsortips.TiVo] # or something similar (it should be readable, and not gibberish) if it is gibberish or not there, you are on the wrong COM port, or your settings are askew.

when connected type " bootpage -p /dev/hda " (no ") (thank you http://www.oztivo.net/twiki/bin/view/Install/PrepareTiVoDisk)

this will come up with something like " root=/dev/hda4 TV_STD=PAL GS=1 netcard=turbonet "

type " bootpage -P 'root=/dev/hda4 TV_STD=PAL GS=1 netcard=CacheCard' /dev/hda " (no " but leave in the ')

This is basically telling it, on boot, your main drive is here, your video type is this, you are running guided setup and your network card is the CacheCard. By the way, all these commands should be considered case sensitive.

OK, type in reboot and let it tick over. Try to connect by Hyperterminal and hit enter a few times

Now type nic_config_tivo so that you can set your IP address details

For this networking stuff, just try to work it out - there is simply too much to cover and prepare for especially without knowing what your network is like. Just try to note the following

TiVo by default will connect using DHCP - use this if you can If you donít use DHCP, remember what you set the IP address to - I thought I set it to .5 but in fact it was .50 (D'Oh!) Make sure that your firewall isnít screwing around with you - my firewall let the first setup call through, but not the second If you run a network cable down the stairs, have the intelligence to remember that when running up the stairs. The CacheCard (and turbonet) have a link light to show you if your cabling is good

Once you have good cabling, and your network set up, you can put the serial cable in a safe place, and connect Hyperterminal to the TiVo using the IP address instead.

This was the single most difficult part of the whole thing for me (and I am a network tech by day -shakes head-) to be fair though, I was using 3 lengths of cable, down the stairs attached by 2 connectors I have never tested, as well as using a cross-over in there somewhere, and firewall software that is badly out of date.

Once this is done, go and plug her in to the TV.


Guided Setup

This was a pain for me, but this was the network, not the image - you should not have this problem.

This is all very basic, follow the guides on Minnie

http://www.oztivo.net/twiki/bin/view/Trash/InstallGuidedSetup30 http://www.oztivo.net/twiki/bin/view/Trash/InstallGuidedSetup30Hints

Once you are through that, you can have a look on tivoweb http://yourtivosipaddress in the phone section it will tell you how far into the download of data it is. Let this go until it is done, once it is finished (40 minutes maybe) it will start indexing. I was fortunate enough to be doing this on a Friday, which made the indexing quite short (as there was little data to index). Once that is complete, I got it to do another daily call, just to make sure there was nothing else that it missed (which would never happen, but hey)

Once that was done, reboot the TiVo - this is best done from TiVoWeb, as opposed to ripping the plug out.

It should now boot up in Normal Mode - which is distinguishable by not saying maintenance mode on the boot screen. If not, leave it running for another hour or so and reboot again. Continue until you are in normal mode.


Normal mode

You are done, it all works - go and set some wishlists and enjoy your TiVo


Still to come

Installing the RAM in the CacheCard and setting the TiVo up to make best use of it Configuring and installing 2nd Hard Drive Backing up, Removing and Replacing, 30GB HDD with large hard drive (budgets suck)

I hope this helped you in some way


-- KieranBlock - 03 May 2005

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