Instantcake and Tivo

Discussion in 'DIRECTV SD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Chris Blount, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    I know this is well known and widely discussed especially over on the TivoCommunity but I wanted to put a plug in for the Instantcake software. I finally had the opportunity to use it.

    Last week the hard drive failed in my 4 year old Samsung DirecTivo. I purchased the $19.95 Instantcake software and a new hard drive and within an hour I was fully up and running. Granted, I lost the programs and all of the season passes but no biggy. The season pass list was written down.

    Great software and an easy and cheap way to get your DirecTivo back up and running!
  2. HDTVsportsfan

    HDTVsportsfan Active Member

    Nov 29, 2005
    I can second your comments and positive experience. I had to do the same thing about a year ago. It's money well spent.
    Kinda like the 15.00 membership fee for DBStalk. :D
  3. captain_video

    captain_video Icon

    Nov 21, 2005
    Instantcake is a good source for backup images if you did not have the foresight to create one when you got your Tivo or your backup got corrupted for some reason. DVRUpgrade is the only licensed distributor for Tivo images and also for the killhdinitrd'd kernels that allow us to hack our series 2 models. Otherwise, there are boot CD images available for download that allow you to create and restore backup images for free. I make a backup every time any one of my Tivos takes a software update.

    The process is quite simple to perform and doesn't require much Linux expertise other than a few simple commands. I prefer the manual method since it allows me to set up the parameters the way I want instead of letting the software do it for me. There are simple step-by-step procedures provided at the weaknees website, among others.
  4. Groundhog45

    Groundhog45 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 9, 2005
    Cedar Park,...
    If you have the opportunity before the disk drive dies, you can make a copy and save the recordings. Lots of good info at Worked for me. You can also increase the size of the drive. Of course, if the disk has already crashed, you need the new image.
  5. Iluv2watch

    Iluv2watch Cool Member

    Apr 3, 2008
    To Captain Video
    You mention there are boot CD images available for download. I read this as a Tivo image to restore to a new hard drive. Please tell me where?

    From your previous help to me, I found the mfslive web site. I download their bootable CD for backup & restore. I did not see any images. Did I miss somenthing?

    again Thanks
  6. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    You can purchase one from
  7. vlhgsd

    vlhgsd AllStar

    Nov 9, 2007
    i just bought in an hr ago and can't get the install to work at all. primary ide set with cdrom as slave as stated in instructions, 2nd ide drive is set for master. goes thru hit enter to "bake" I get:

    mount: /dev/ is not a block device
    /etc/rc.d/rc.S: /cdrom/.live/bin/ptvbake: no such file or directory

    My orig. hd was a 40gb, just doing a from scratch 20gb until my 160 shows up, but at this rate, I might as well cancel the order for the 160 if this isn't going to work.
  8. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    Try going into your bios and disabling SATA Support.

    Also, make sure no other devices are connected. Apparently instantcake is getting confused. It's trying to read another device.
  9. code4code5

    code4code5 Godfather

    Aug 29, 2006
    I used Instantcake to rebuild my Tivo drive, and ever since, I haven't been able to successfully make a call. Do others have that issue too?
  10. LI-SVT

    LI-SVT Icon

    May 18, 2006
    I used Instacake and don't have any problems with the daily call. I did have a lot of problems with the original DVR service call.
  11. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    If you have issues running it, try another machine if you can. Some computers just dont work well with it (and other linux imagers for that matter).

    I have one machine that does not like to run it at all and others it runs great on.
  12. ekolu

    ekolu New Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    The InstantCake instructions indicate that your new target drive is expected to be larger than the original. If I read your post correctly, you are trying to use a 20GB drive as your new target drive. I just replaced my original (dead) 40GB drive yesterday with a 60GB target drive and everything went smoothly using InstantCake.
  13. GirkMonster

    GirkMonster Godfather

    Mar 19, 2007
    You also need to perform a 'clear and delete everything' after installing instantcake. this will sync the image to your equipment. the service id number begins with three digits (like 301), the software version must end with the same three digits (-301 in my example) or it won't work (for long) and you should apparently not connect your phone line and make the first call to activate the dvr service if the numbers don't match...I just did that and it seems to have worked for me.

    Try it and post what happens.
  14. GirkMonster

    GirkMonster Godfather

    Mar 19, 2007
    did you do a clear and delete everything? did you check your service id and your software version? see my other post above on the topic.
  15. GirkMonster

    GirkMonster Godfather

    Mar 19, 2007
    I just installed the Instant Cake image for a Philips DSR 704 and the software version is 6.2. I have made several successful daily calls and restarted the unit after each one in an attempt to get it to take the 6.4a software update to no avail. I refreshed my services online - which was needed to activate my locals.

    Everything is working fine, I would like to get into version 6.4a of the software for a few of the features. Anyone have any ideas on how to get this to automatically take the update?
  16. vlhgsd

    vlhgsd AllStar

    Nov 9, 2007
    It did work with the 20gb drive until my 160gb drive showed up. had to disable sata.
  17. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jun 22, 2001
    Great! Glad it finally worked. Thanks for the update.
  18. madisonjar

    madisonjar Mentor

    Aug 6, 2007
    alright, I have 2 R10's coming, is it worth upgrading/hacking these tivos? or is it better just to let them be? I would love to get into media sharing one of these days, what do you guys think?
  19. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Other than upgrading the hard drive, the R10 Tivo's are not easily modified unless you replace a hardware IC. Check out the "Tivo Underground Forum" at for more details.
  20. TomMac

    TomMac Legend

    Dec 22, 2006
    I have an old R10 that appears to have a bad hard drive or the drive is corrupt. I swaped the hard with a known good one from another R10 and the box with the bad hard drive worked fine.

    If the drive is just corrupt would instantcake fix the problem?

    Would it be better to swap the 80gig WD drive for a Seagate 80gig drive that has been loaded using the instantcake program?

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