Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Tucson, Arizona
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More info for those thinking of upgrading their ReplayTV 4000s using SATA drives. There is a LOT of detail here but the process is simple. You don't need
1: I've now used many $7 SATA-IDE adapters to allow the RTV4K to use a SATA drive. There have been no problems. There is usually one jumper to set either to using a SATA drive on an IDE device, or the other way around to use an IDE drive on a SATA device. If you get it wrong, the drive won't work and you'll never get past the initial red logo screen. If you get it right, you'll hear the drive spin up on power-on.
2: I've now used many SATA drives. The only problematic ones are the WD green ones. The "problem" in detail are described in section g ("Notes") below. Drives that work flawlessly are 80GB WD, 500GB Seagate, 1TB Seagate, 2TB WD Red [formatted to 1TB].
3: I've now used many SATA to USB cables to setup the drive on my laptop. They're all $10-$15. Some correctly negotiate the cache information on the drive, and some don't (according to dmesg). It doesn't have any effect on the success of the process.
4: I've now used two different laptops and three different RTV4Ks to test this in detail. No changes in the process were detected.
My setup: I have a 64-bit Linux laptop. Required items are dd (or dcfldd) which is part of the system, a ReplayTV image file, and the RTVPATCH program.
HOWTO in excruciating detail:
a. Required hardware:
1. A SATA drive to IDE device adapter
2. A SATA drive to USB cable
3. A power supply with a SATA drive adapter
Note: 2&3 can be worked around by plugging the drive into your PC, however this really greatly simplifies the whole process since you don't have to open up your PC, can easily redo the process, and even can use this cable to reformat the drive (or pull shows off of it) even when it's in the RTV4K chassis... without having to unscrew it at all.
4. A ReplayTV device
5. A PC
b. Required software/firmware:
1. Any linux installation including a Live-Linux CD or USB bootable device. (DSL, Knoppix, Ubuntu, whatever on an SDcard)
2. The disk image for the proper RTV device. (I used "520430360_factory_reset.zip")
3. The RTVPATCH program
c. Physical Connection
1. Connect the power supply to the new drive
2. Connect the USB adapter cable to the new drive
3. Plug the USB adapter cable into the PC
d. Initial Imaging
1. Boot the PC using any of the Linux methods mentioned in b.1.
2. Unplug the USB adapter cable for a second, then plug it in, then wait 10 seconds
3. Enter the command "dmesg" to see the latest USB device detected, and the device designation (sdb, sdc, sdd, etc.)
Example:[ 166.573624] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb] 976773168 512-byte logical blocks: (500 GB/465 GiB)
Note: in this example we see it's device SDB and the size is 976773168 512-byte blocks.
4. If the disk image file is unpackets (ends in .rtv or .img or .dd or the link) then skip directly to step 6
5. Unpack the image. In my case it was a zip file, so I did "unzip 520430360_factory_reset.zip". If it ends with .gz then use gunzip. If you're not sure google the file extension (.zip, .gz, .7z, etc.)
6. Take the name of the image file as well as the device name from step 3 and enter the command "dd if=image_file of=/dev/sdX"
Note: image_file is the name of the image file. sdX is the device name (sdb like above is one such).
Note2: Some people have said you have to add "bs=1024" and/or "count=520000". Neither is required nor will either help unless the image file is significantly larger than 520Mbytes.
1. The RTVPATCH program expects original-style hard drive device names (/dev/hdX) instead of SCSI style device names (/dev/sdX). For this reason we need to fool the system into treating this new drive (/dev/sdb in the above example) as an older drive. Do so by the following command: "sudo rm -f /dev/hdd ; ln /dev/sdX /dev/hdd" <-- replace sdX with your device from d.3. above.
2. Run the RTVPATCH program via the command "./RTVPATCH"
3. Hit "t" to select the target drive. Use the number next to the offered choices to select "hdd". If the size shown is correct skip to step 5
4. Hit "f" to force device size. Answer Y to all questions. Use the number next to the offered drive to select "hdd". Set the size in blocks to the number given to you in step d.3 above. (example: 976773168)
5. Hit "p" to patch the target.
6. Hit "x" to exit
1. Enter the command "sudo sync" to flush all disk caches and sync the filesystem
2. Disconnect the cables from the drive
3. ***UNPLUG YOUR RTV4K POWER CORD*** and mount the drive into the RTV4K
4. Plug the RTV4K IDE cable into the SATA/IDE adapter
5. Plug the RTV4K hard-drive power cable into the SATA/IDE adapter
6. Plug the new drive into the SATA/IDE adapter
7. Connect up your RTV4K to the TV and reconnect the power cord
1. If you use a drive larger than 1.1TB, the RTV4K will only see 1.1TB. To prevent filesystem corruption you should force size to no more than that.
2. When using a WD green 2TB and 1TB drive, the following have been observed:
a. When showing Guide (TV or Replay) the background colors or highlights are not properly displayed
b. In the initial factory default screen it freezes and one can't select "I agree"
c. In the 3rd factory default screen entering the ZIP code freezes
d. At the end of the factory default sequence it errors on formatting a photo partition of any size
e. It freezes
3. All of 2a-2e are resolved by its own watchdog rebooting it 30-60 seconds later. "Resolved" means for now, but it happens again shortly.
That's all I have on this topic. Hopefully it will help someone else considering an upgrade to do it.