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This hack not without riscs!
I recommend using the more current hack: the OS6.x hack!

Well, some of you might have noticed the TiVo pages covering some of the very very basics of playing with the older SA (Stand Alone) TiVo's. These TiVo's rely on your cable/antenna television.

DirecTV offers similar TiVo's, however these TiVo's are used for receiving Digital Satellite (ie. DirecTV).
The advantages;

- The proprietary MPEG2 stream (coming from the satellite - full digital) is recorded directly to harddisk
- The receiver actually has 2 receivers build in, so you can watch and record, or even record 2 shows at once

On this page I show you how to modify the DiercTiVo's so they have those cool OS 4.x features like HMO (sharing movies, pictures, music etc). I based this info on my experiences with my own Hughes SD-DVR40 (RID model, but it's supposed to work with non-RID models and even SA TiVo's as well). Most other series 2 DirecTiVo's have a similar interior, the hack should work similar on those.

A real good place to look for more in depth information is the absolute best TiVo forum: DealDatabase.
For buyers: visit the TiVo website.

This can be seen as a replacement for the Sleeper Hack I published earlier.

Based on this hack you can copy movies from your TiVo to your PC and burn them on DVD or SVCD, view pictures, share movies between TiVo's, etc; read the tyTools article about all the details on how to copy movies to your PC.

Don't forget to read the Disclaimer!

Read these Credits!!!!
many thanks to David Dellanave for paving the way (it made my life a lot easier reading his guide) and to the good folks at Dealdatabase (specifically, but not limited to: Riley, Stevel, inet22, RC3105, AlphaWolf, NutKase, AllDeadHomiez, AhoyMatey, MuscleNerd, and Robert) and PTVUpgrade. Without their information, patches, hacks, tricks, and services this hack would NOT have been possible!

Note: Not all authors are "happy" with a guide like this. However I do believe that it can be of benefit to the less experienced TiVo users amongst us. Keeping up a large forum with a wonderful large amount of information is great for experts and people that want to do more with their TiVo, but for newbies it's a bitch to find out what they should be doing or not. So to the authors of the scripts/patches/mods: this article is not written with a disregard of your wishes, or any form of disrespect to your work. The TiVo-community is very grateful for the work you have done, and I personally think it deserves a great deal of thanks and respect.

Note: Before you start posting questions on the dealdatabase forum keep in mind that you must first SEARCH for an answer as most likely you're not the first one to encounter this problem! Also remember to check the newbie threads!

WARNING: LinkSys has modified the hardware of the USB200M ethernet adapters. Only hardware version 1 will work! Version 2 hardware is NOT supported by the TiVo.

TiVo - The DirecTV Series 2 PVRs


Note: this is NOT a hack to freely use either the DirecTV service, or the TiVo-service!

Specially TiVo should be credited for it's effort to create an open system, so we can modify the TiVo to our needs!

I'm not so sure about DirecTV - since they still do not listen to their customers, they can be pretty arrogant and stubborn, not to mention plain insulting when talking to their customer service on questions why HMO is not available on DirecTV TiVo's. According to their "technical people" this hack is not even possible. So here ya go: load a crap!

The aim of this hack is:

  • Upgrade your TiVo and give it some more recording space (optional).
  • Make your DirecTV TiVo run OS 4.x (including those nice features like folders, HMO, look at pictures, share recordings, etc)
  • This will enable the TiVo's USB ports which we can use the ports for Ethernet connection.
  • Enable FTP/Telnet/TiVoWeb etc, so we can remote control our TiVo.
  • Enable TyTools so we can copy a movie from the TiVo harddisk to our PC, so we can burn our recordings to VCD, SVCD, DVD or DivX.

I HIGHLY recommend upgrading to a bigger harddrive.
By default the Hughes SD-DVR40 has a 40Gb disk, good for about 35 hours of movies. Get a 120Gb disk (You can get one for less than $100!), this will give you 110 hours ...

Another reason to use another harddrive is that this way the original drive remains in tact and can be put back in the TiVo if things do not work out the way they should.


STEP 1 - Read these Assumptions

Before you begin, it's a good idea to read the now following assumptions!

  • We will use a LBA48 kernel. Basically this is only needed for disks >137Gb, but it works just fine with smaller disks.
  • We'll asume some knowledge of Linux. It's not 100% required, but it will help you understand what you're doing.
  • We asume the new TiVo disk (yes we asume a upgrade of disk size - do NOT use the original disk!) to be connected secondary IDE controllor (HDC), MASTER.
  • We also asume you hook up your CDRom drive as secondary SLAVE (HDD).
    The picture below illustrates this. It's OK if another disk or CDRom is connected to the primary IDE controller as a Slave.
    Details can be found in this guide.
  • Be carefull with the cable going from the mainboard of your TiVo to the front buttons! There have been reports of TiVo been damaged by a loose cable!
  • For full use off all features; a USB ethernet adapter is required!
  • A serial cable is not needed, but in case of trouble handy to fix things.
  • I applied this hack to a Hughes SD-DVR40 RID model, using a 120Gb harddisk (replacing the original).
  • The hack is supposed to work with RID and non-RID models!
  • Have the DirecTiVo make a call "home" before applying the hack (enable card, etc).

Step 2 - Getting a TiVo 4.x image and a Boot CD

Goto www.ptvupgrade.com, select from the "Products & Services" menu, the submenu "Software Tools".

There you will find the "InstantCake" and "LBA48 BootCD".

Both need to be purchased (InstantCake: $19.99, BootCD: $5). A little price knowing that:

a) the image a a real and correctly working image of a TiVo 4.x (known GOOD image)
b) the image is optained legally.

The INSTANTCAKE image you will need is either the "TIVO/TCD240040" (40Gb disks) or the "TIVO/TCD240080" (according to the explanation this last one is good for ALL disksizes, so >40Gb).


The tools CD is what they refer to as the "PTVupgrade LBA48 CD with MFStools and Enhancements" CD (code: LBA48-401DD).

I would say for almost $25 it's worth while to do the right thing ...

STEP 3 - Downloading Additional Tools

From the DealDatabase we need to get some more tools. The InstantCake and the Boot CD are just a part of the puzzle here.

We need:

init_framework.tgz (some handy tools)
dssapp (correct use of the RID chipset)
lba48_2.4.18.px (large disk support)
You can download them from this thread.
Thanks to RC3105 for his work on this!
tivotools.tar.rar (some tools, utils, etc.) You can download it here.
The file has been included in the image; but keep in mind - the most recent version can only be found on the dealdatase!
Much thanks to AlphaWolf for allowing me to use the file!
superpatch-4all-NutKase-0.7.1.zip (HMO features) You can download it from this thread.
Much thanks to NutKase for the wonderful job!
bootpage-20040921.zip (enhanced bootpage) The file can be found in this DealDatabase thread.
Many thanks to AllDeadHomiez for posting the file!
guide_patch_v401b.tcl (removes Guide error) You can get in this thread.
Many kudo's to AhoyMatey and MuscleNerd for posting it!

Now you might wonder why I'm not offering this on the WeetHet download page.
That has 2 reasons:

  1. Most of the creators do not want to see there files elsewhere popping up.
  2. The threads explain a lot about these tools, and also give you links to support threads.

So unless they approve that I make an archive available with their scripts/patches, I will not have it in my downloadspage out of respect for their work.

STEP 4 - BURNing two CD's

Before we can do anything we will need to create ourselves TWO cd'S.
One which will be the LBA Boot CD from PTVUpgrade, and another one holding all these fancy tools and the TiVo 4.x image.
This is what the directory/file structure should look like of the "Tools CD". The easiest way is to make a folder somewhere on your harddisk and call it something meaningful. Then copy the individual files in there according to this structure.

To achief this, we need to extract some of these files:

  • bootpage-20040921.zip ... bootpage directory
  • tivotools.tar.rar ... tivotools.tar file
  • superpatch-4all-NutKase-0.7.1.zip ... superpatch-4all-NutKase-0.7.1.tcl and set_mrv_name_ADH.tcl

We also need to extract the TiVo 4 image from the ISO file. There are some tools out there that can help you with that.
I used WinRar to extract the full ISO image. Once extracted in the folder "_IMAGE" you will find a file called "000001".
Rename that file to "tivo.mfs", and copy it into the "image" folder.

The sturcture should look tlike this (as suggested by David Dellanave):

bootpage (DIR)
| bootpage (FILE)
| bootpage.c
| bootpage.h
| bootpage.tgz
| Makefile

dssapp (DIR)
| dssapp

image (DIR)
| tivo.mfs


(download the files - except for the 4.x image - from the indicated threads at DealDatabase!)

Once you have assembled this structure you can copy it all into the root of a CD (use Nero for example to build a CD like that).

Nero is an ideal tool for creating the
Nero is an ideal tool for creating the "Tools CD"

Note: I requested permission form the authors/posters of the relevant article to give me permission to package this all. For several (good) reasons some of them declined.

The second CD we need to burn is the "ptvlba48-4.01DD.ISO" Boot CD from PTVUpgrade. Again Nero can be of assitance here as it allows you to burn ISO files (choose from the menu "Recorder" - "Burn Image" and select the ISO file).

Mark both CD's properly, so you will be able to identify them later (I marked them as "Boot CD" and "Tools CD").


STEP 5 -What Else do we need?

  1. Screwdrivers
    Basically we need a Torx T10 and a Torx T11 screwdriver.
    Some models might need a Philips screwdriver.

  2. An open PC
    We need a PC, any PC, with at least one harddisk and a CD Rom player installed in it, and being able to boot from CD Rom
    There are no speed limitations etc on the type of PC, as long as it can do this:

    The harddisk must at least have one partition (usually the C-drive) formatted with FAT or FAT32, with at least 2 Gb free space. This free space will hold the backup image of the original TiVo harddisk.
    The harddisk must be installed as MASTER on the PRIMARY IDE (IDE-0).

    The CD Rom player must be installed as the SLAVE on the PRIMARY IDE (IDE-0).
    We need this so we can boot the system from CD Rom

    The PC must be able and set to boot from CD Rom (in the PC BIOS, set FIRST BOOT DEVICE to CDROM).

  3. IDE Flat cable
    So we can connect our original TiVo harddisk to the PC we will utilize for hacking the drive.
    Some PC's have this second IDE cable already installed - so check first!

  4. Replacement harddisk (strongly recommended)
    Since prices are so low, I would recommend getting a 120Gb disk or larger.
    5400 RPM (if you can get one) will work just fine (low noise level).
    A 7200 RPM or even 10000 RPM drive will give you a better performance but they also produce a bit more noise and heat.

STEP 6 - Removing the harddisk from your TiVo

OK, so we're ready to open the TiVo and removing the harddisk.


1. although the power cord might be disconnected,
hold quite a nice voltage to zap you!

2. Either use an anti static (ESD) wrist thingy
or grab something that is grounded,
to discharge static electricity your body might CARY.
Static electricity might damage the sensitive parts OF the TiVo!


Remove ALL the cables from your TiVo (satellite antenna, video, audio, power, etc)!

Now put the TiVo on a table so you can easily access all connectors, screws etc.
Get the Torx T10 and remove the 4 screws on the back, indicated by the red arrows below:

Hughes DirecTV TiVo - Remove the 4 screws on the back
Hughes DirecTV TiVo - Remove the 4 screws on the back

Once you removed the 4 screws, slide the hood of the TiVo to the backside of the TiVo. It might require some force to get it going.

Hughes DirecTV TiVo - Remove the hood by sliding it to the back
Hughes DirecTV TiVo - Remove the hood by sliding it to the back

Once you opened, you will see the main components of your TiVo:

Hughes DirecTV TiVo - A: Harddrice, B: Powersupply
Hughes DirecTV TiVo - A: Harddrive, B: Power supply

Be very careful, avoid touching the power supply (B: the brown colored PCB).

Now we have access to the harddrive (A). You will see that an IDE flat cable and a power cable (familiar to those who have opened a computer before) that connect the harddrive to the TiVo mainboard (the green PCB).

Hughes DirecTV TiVo - Harddisk located
Hughes DirecTV TiVo - Harddisk located

In the image above you see the harddrive. Notice the arrows:

A Screw 1 of the harddrive bracket
B Screw 2 of the harddrive bracket
C Harddrive power connector
D Harddrive IDE cable
E After removing A, B, C, and D, slide the bracket in this direction

I think the table above explains most of it;

Remove the screws (A and B), the power cable (C)(watch out for the white flat cable!) and the IDE cable (D).

Now move the harddisk in the direction as indicated by the arrow (E) until you can lift it and take it out.

The 4 screws of the harddrive can be removed with a Torx T11.

Once removed, we can continue with the next steps,...

STEP 7 - Installing the TiVo harddrive in your PC

Note: Unlike the sleeper hack (since this hack does not make a backup!), there are not requirements for the C-disk (primary master).

This PC should also have a CD Rom player. Make sure the following requirements are met:

  • The computer should be able to BOOT from CDROM.
  • The CDROM player should be connected as SLAVE on the PRIMARY (IDE-0) IDE.
  • The new harddrive should be connected as MASTER on the SECONDARY (IDE-1) IDE.

Tip: Verify in the BIOS of your PC that the first boot device is set to CDROM.
Usually you can get into the PC's BIOS by pressing the "Del", "Ins", "F1" or "F10" button (at boot time it will usually show a brief message indicating which key to use). Commonly in the "Advanced settings" section of the BIOS you can change the boot device to "CDROM" or "IDE CDROM".

If your computer meets these requirements, then it's time to continue to the next step: Connect (if not already there) the FLAT CABLE to the SECONDARY IDE (IDE-1). Connect the other end of the flat cable to the new TiVo harddrive.
Connect the second connector of that FLAT-CABLE to your CDRom drive.

Connect a power connector to the TiVo harddrive, and don't forget the power for the CDRom-drive.

Verify that the jumpers of the TiVo harddrive are set to MASTER, and the ones on the CDRom drive to SLAVE.

Please write down first how the jumper where set, so you can set them back later - if needed.

Tip: if you do not have documentation on the jumpers (either a manual or printed on the harddrive itself) then lookup the drive on the Internet on the manufacturers homepage. They usually have an online manual for the drive showing the jumper settings.

So basically you have this setup now:

DirecTiVo to OS4 - Hooking up your harddisk to apply the hack in your PC
DirecTiVo - Basic Backup setup

Note: this is just a sketch on how the connections should run - the position of IDE-0 and IDE-1 connectors may differ, depending on the type/brand of mainboard your PC has. Please consult the manual of the mainboard to identify the right connectors, or incase you don't have a manual, look closely on the mainboard. Some mainboard's have text printed next to the connectors.

STEP 8 - Installing the 4.x Image on the harddrive

In order to write the image to the harddrive, we must first boot our PC using the BootCD. This will boot the Linux operating system.

At boot it will show you the ISOLINUX message and will give you some options. Just press ENTER here.
Loading vmlinuz ..... will appear and the bootsequence is running now.
This particular Linux version will try to autodetect whatever hardware it needs for the hack.

Note: I like to recommend using a PS/2 keyboard. This Linux distro seems to have issue with either my USB-bus or USB Keyboard (Logitech).

Once your system has booted, again some options are presented. Hit ENTER again.
Now you will see a cursor blinking in a DOS-like environment (a shell prompt "PTVupgarde /#" will be visible).

Now remove the BootCD, and insert the ToolsCD.

Before we can use the ToolsCD we need to mount it (the yellow test is what you enter, finish each line with pressing ENTER):

PTVupgrade /# mount /dev/hdd /cdrom
mount: block device /dev/hdd is write-protected, mounting read-only
PTVupgrade /# 

Next step is to write the image to the harddisk:

PTVupgrade /# mfsrestore -s 127 -xzpi /cdrom/image/tivo.mfs /dev/hdc 
Starting restore
Uncompressed backup size: 818 megabytes
Restoring 818 of 818 megabytes (100.00%) (79.62% compression)
Cleaning up restore.  Please wait a moment.
Restore done!
Adding pair /dev/hdc14-/dev/hdc15
New estimated standalone size: 131 hours (52 more)
PTVupgrade /#

The numbers in this example may very (depending on image size and harddisk size).

Note: Some people might run into trouble here when using a 40Gb disk. This has to do with the slightly differeny geomtery of your disk. David suggest on his website to decrease the size of the swap to 50M (-s 50). But that's for more experienced users.

Once completed execute the following commands:

PTVupgrade /# cd /
PTVupgrade /# umount -f -a -r
PTVupgrade /# halt
The system is going down NOW !!

The system will not shutdown - a reboot is mandatory!

We now copied the 4.x image to your new harddrive. But we're not done yet!

STEP 9 - A new Kernel

The PTVupgrade CD comes with some handy tools for mounting, kernel copying, and such. We'll now first do some mounting and replace the kernel.

So we have to boot the PC again using the BootCD.

At boot it will show you the ISOLINUX message and will give you some options. Just press ENTER here.
Loading vmlinuz ..... will appear and the bootsequence is running now.
This particular Linux version will try to autodetect whatever hardware it needs for the hack.

Once your system has booted, again some options are presented. Hit ENTER again.
Now you will see a cursor blinking in a DOS-like environment (a shell prompt "PTVupgarde /#" will be visible).

Now to work with the bootCD we need to mount it, and we need to prepare the mount of the harddisk by making a directory for it:

PTVupgrade /# mount /dev/hdd /cdrom
mount: block device /dev/hdd is write-protected, mounting read-only
PTVupgrade /# mkdir /tivo

Next step is mount the TiVo harddisk, one of the following two commands will work, the other one will fail.
If it replies "mount: you must specify the filesystem type" then this means this one failed. Try the other one.

Option 1:

PTVupgrade /# mount /dev/hdc7 /tivo
PTVupgrade /# 

Option 2:

PTVupgrade /# mount /dev/hdc4 /tivo
PTVupgrade /# 

Once mounted we need to extract and copy the kernel to the new disk:

PTVupgrade /# cp /cdrom/s2_kernels/3.1.1c/vmlinux.px.gz /tivo/var/vmlinux.px.gz 
PTVupgrade /# cd /tivo/var
PTVupgrade /# gunzip -d -v vmlinux.px.gz
vmlinux.px.gz: 38.3% -- replaced with vmlinux.px

Tip: Linux has a cool Shell feature where the TAB-key can be used to "autocomplete" commands, filenames, pathnames, etc.
So instead of typing the very long copy command, you could type: cp /d[TAB]/s2_[TAB]/3.1.1c/vm[TAB]. Where [TAB] represents you pressing the TAB key. This line will then automatically expand to the full names. It will save you a lot of typing ...

Now we put the killhdinitrd kernel in both kernel partitions. One is enough, but this way we do not need to which one is used with the bootpage:

PTVupgrade /# dd if=/tivo/var/vmlinux.px of=/dev/hdc3

1+1 records in
1+1 records out
PTVupgrade /# dd if=/tivo/var/vmlinux.px of=/dev/hdc6

1+1 records in
1+1 records out


STEP 10 - Additional Hacks

We will no continue to add some more hacks

Now it's time to go to the ToolsCD. We do need to unmount the BootCD first, swap CD's, and mount the ToolsCD.

Now to work with the bootCD we need to mount it, and we need to prepare the mount of the harddisk by making a directory for it:

PTVupgrade /# umount /cdrom

Remove the BootCD, and insert the ToolsCD. Then type:

PTVupgrade /# mount /dev/hdd /cdrom
mount: block device /dev/hdd is write-protected, mounting read-only

So on with the ToolsCD. First let's copy the required files to a hack directory:

PTVupgrade /# mkdir /tivo/hacks
PTVupgrade /# cp /cdrom/superpatch-4all-NutKase-0.7.1.tcl /tivo/hacks/ 
PTVupgrade /# cp /cdrom/set_mrv_name_ADH.tcl /tivo/hacks/
PTVupgrade /# cp /cdrom/guide_patch_v401b.tcl /tivo/hacks/

Next we will install the "init framework":

PTVupgrade /# cd /tivo
PTVupgrade /# tar -zxvf /cdrom/init_framework.tgz
./init/uma6fix_license.txt ./test.conf



Now we need an extra step for so called RID models.

RID models can be identified by looking at the back of the receiver. There is a label identifying the brand and model (mine has it's sticker where the power goes into the TiVo).

RID models have a RID number there. Something like "RID: 000012345678".
My Hughes SD-DVR40 is a RID model.

We need to replace the original DSSAPP with our new one.
First we move (mv) the original file (rename it), then we copy (cp) the new file to this location, and finally we make the new file executable (chmod):

PTVupgrade /# mv /tivo/tvbin/dssapp /tivo/tvbin/dssapp.orig 
PTVupgrade /# cp /cdrom/dssapp/dssapp /tivo/tvbin/
PTVupgrade /# chmod +x /tivo/tvbin/dssapp

Now we need to copy the kernel to a place where the "init framework" expects it to be:

PTVupgrade /# cp /cdrom/lba48_2.4.18.px /tivo/init/vmlinux.px

We will no continue with the installation of the TiVo BusyBox and TiVoFTP deamon, etc.

PTVupgrade /# mkdir /tivo/busybox 
PTVupgrade /# cd /tivo/busybox
PTVupgrade /# tar -xvf /cdrom/tivotools.tar

This will generate a long list of files that are extracted to /tivo/busybox.

The next step should be done carefully! It writes the bootpage so the TiVo knows where to boot from, and sets a few things like not to do software updates, etc. So pay attention here!

PTVupgrade /# cd /cdrom/ 
PTVupgrade /# ./bootpage/bootpage -p /dev/hdc root=/dev/hda7

This "bootpage" command will respond with either "root=/dev/hda7" or "root=/dev/hda4", make a note of this.
As of now I will asume /dev/hda7. Replace this with /dev/hda4 if you got a respons that said "root=/dev/hda4".

The now following command is ONE SINGLE line! I had to wrap it so it would be in a reasonable size for this webpage!
After the "-p" there is a SPACE before the double quotes!

Naturally, if you're using /dev/hda4, then enter /dev/hda4, and not /dev/hda7!

PTVupgrade /# ./bootpage/bootpage -P
"root=/dev/hda7 dsscon=true console=2,115200 upgradesoftware=false" -C /dev/hdc
Updated bootpage on /dev/hdc Updated bootpage on /dev/hdc

Check the outcome of this action as such, make sure the reply of the program matches the one you see below (naturally, if you're using /dev/hda4, then it should say /dev/hda4, and not /dev/hda7):

PTVupgrade /# ./bootpage/bootpage -p /dev/hdc 
root=/dev/hda7 dsscon=true console=2,115200 upgradesoftware=false

We will now edit the rc.sysinit.author. We will use the editor "pico" for that purpose.

PTVupgrade /# cd /tivo/etc/rc.d
PTVupgrade /# pico rc.sysinit.author

The Pico editor will start, now copy the following text:

UW PICO(tm) 3.8           File: rc.sysinit.author           Modified


export TIVO_ROOT=
export MFS_DEVICE=/dev/hda10
export PATH=./:.:/utils:/bin:/sbin:/tvbin:/tivobin:/busybox

tnlited 23 /bin/bash -login &



route add -host gw
route add -net gw netmask


Be VERY accurate in what you are doing! Verify this text at least 3 times (I know I did).
Once you're sure you did it right: press CTRL+X. This will exit the editor.
The editor will ask you if you want to save the modifications, press the "Y" key.
Then it will ask if your want to use the rc.sysinit.author filename. Press the ENTER key.
Pico will now report how many lines it has written and will return to the Shell prompt.

You can verify (if you want to) the content of the rc.sysinit.author file by typing: more rc.sysinit.author. This will display the file content.

The next step wih this file is to make it executable:

PTVupgrade /# chmod 755 rc.sysinit.author

One last thing we have to do is to disable the netfilter, so your TiVo is not limited in it's ability to connect to other IP-addresses. We will do this by renaming the netfilter file:

PTVupgrade /# mv /tivo/etc/netfilter-enable /tivo/etc/netfilter-notenabled

Basically we're done now, so it's time to prepare your PC for a shutdown:

PTVupgrade /# cd /
PTVupgrade /# umount -f -a -r
PTVupgrade /# halt
The system is going down NOW !!
The system is halted. Press Reset or turn off power
System halted.

You can now rutn off the power of your PC.

STEP 11 - Putting the new disk into the TiVo

Now we're ready for our first run.

Remove the TiVo disk from your PC, and install it into the TiVo (look at the pictures where I show you how to get the disk out).
I have not used a dual disk setup - so I have no clue what to do with that. But with a single disk setup, you can leave the jumpers of the disk to MASTER.

Tip: this might also be good time to clean the fan of your TiVo. Just like with PC's these fans suck in a lot of dust.

After putting the disk into the TiVo, make sure that:

  • The IDE cable is connected to the harddrive
  • The POWER cable is connected to the harddrive
  • The flatcable from the mainboard to the TiVo front is still connected and secure
  • DO NOT CONNECT the phoneline!
  • Plugin your USB to Ethernet adapter if you want to use one!

If you're sure about this, then connect the dish cables, the audio/video cables, and your USB ethernet adapter (hooked up to the network). Make sure your TV is ON and on the right channel! Again, even for DirecTiVo's: DO NOT CONNECT THE PHONELINE!

I recommend doing a double check here. If you're sure everything is fine, and you have you remote handy, then connect the power connector.

The TiVo will start showing the following screens:

DirecTiVo with TiVo OS 4 running!
DirecTiVo with TiVo OS 4 running!

Between screens 1 and 2, you will see a black screen for a bit (about 10 to 20 seconds).
Screen 4 appears when you haven't hooked up your regular antenna (why would I need that again?).

If you get screen 4, or a screen saying "Error 51" (if not: skip this part and continue with the "Guided Setup") then the Guided Setup will not start. You will need to go to the "TiVo Messages & Setup" - "Restart or Reset System" - "Clear and Delete Everything" to clear problems. The pictures below illustrate this procedure:

DirecTiVo - Clear and Delete ALL settings
DirecTiVo - Clear and Delete ALL settings

Now they scared me for a minute there with their nice 1 hour message, but in the end it took about 35 minutes for my TiVo to Clear and Delete everything. Oh, the parental code is "0000".

Once done it reboots the TiVo, showing again the welcome screen and such, but this time without an error message going straight to the "Guided Setup". The Guided Setup is a basic question and answer game, so just read the questions and answer them accordingly. Some screenshots:

DirecTiVo - Guided Setup
DirecTiVo - Guided Setup

Note: during this process it will ask you to ACTIVATE your account. DO NOT DO THIS. Your account/card has already been activated before, so just press the TIVO button.

DirecTiVo - DO NOT reactivate your card!
DirecTiVo - DO NOT reactivate your card!

Once complete you can look at the system information page:

DirecTiVo - Woooohooo, OS4 running
DirecTiVo - Woooohooo, OS4 running

In the setup info you will notice that the TiVo (DVR) has no name, and that the HMO options are not enabled.
Other items we need to fix: make a fake call daily, and maximu speed for USB 2.0 adapters :-)

Note: it will take up to 2 days before your TiVo has all the Guide info up to date.

Also check, incase you have one connected, if your USB ethernet adapter is active. Most of these adapters show connectivity by one or more led's lighting up. To make sure this happens:

  • Connect the USB adapter to the TiVo
  • Connect the USB adapter to the network, router, hub or whatever
  • Make sure the ethernet cable you're using is a GOOD and WORKING cable

Once the system has started, go to the menu "System Information" - "Settings" - "Phone and Network Setup" - "Edit Phone or Network settings". In the now showing menu you can choose:

DirecTiVo - Setting your network settings
DirecTiVo - Setting your network settings

First set the "TCP/IP settings". To keep things easy you can either set a fixed IP address (at least you'll know which one that will be) or a DHCP IP address (at least you know the settings are right). I used a fixed IP address, so I don't have to snoop around to find where my TiVo is.

Wireless users: you might want to checkout the wireless options here. I do not have a wireless adapter so I wouldn't know what to do with it.

STEP 12 - Even more patches ...

In this step we will deal with some of the items I mentioned before, like the name of the DVR and such.

First of all: we need a network connection to the TiVo!

We need to setup a telnet connection to our TiVo, personally I prefer using PuTTY (see our downloadspage), but the regular Telnet command in Windows will work just fine too.

So start your engines and setup a telnet session (in a DOS box in Windows: telnet <ip-address>):

DirecTiVo - Telnet session to your TiVo box
DirecTiVo - Telnet session to your TiVo box

The telnet session will show you the shell prompt of your TiVo: "bash-2.02# ". You can see this as a kind of DOS on your TiVo (allthough a Linux Shell is far more powerfull than a crappy DOS shell).

Note: for a telnet session TCP/IP port 23 is used.


To be able to change anything, we need to make sure the drive is set to read/write - the TiVo by default mounts it as a read-only drive.
Please note that if you had to use /dev/hda4 instead of /dev/hda7, then replace the 7 with a 4!

bash-2.02# mount -o remount,rw /dev/hda7

Now it's time for some changes (NutKase superpatch, and name setting). Replace YOURTIVONAME with the name you wish to use to identify your TiVo.

Note: The name of your TiVo (allthough not recommended) can have spaces. You will need to put double quotes around the name!

bash-2.02# cd /hacks/ 
bash-2.02# chmod 755 superpatch-4all-NutKase-0.7.1.tcl
bash-2.02# ./superpatch-4all-NutKase-0.7.1.tcl
(C) 8/21/2004 by NutKase - COMMERCIAL USE PROHIBITED

Credit goes to CapablePerson66, rc3105, SledgHammer and others.
and ESPECIALLY alldeadhomiez for his time and knowledge.

All errors are mine.

Your TiVo Software version is 4.0.1b-02-2-240
Please write down your TiVo Software version.

Patching your tivoapp...

1. Your 4.0.1b-02-2-240 tivoapp was updated with the proper superpatch-4all.
2. Your original tivoapp was backed up and is called /tvbin/tivoapp.original.
3. You need to run the set_mrv_name_ADH.tcl, I've included, to 'name' your tivo.

bash-2.02# chmod 755 set_mrv_name_ADH.tcl 
bash-2.02# ./set_mrv_name_ADH.tcl YOURTIVONAME Setting nametable for "YOURTIVONAME"... bash-2.02# chmod 755 guide_patch_v401b.tcl
bash-2.02# cp /tvbin/tivoapp /tvbin/tivoapp.guide_patch
bash-2.02# ./guide_patch_v401b.tcl /tvbin/tivoapp.guide_patch

(C) 11/22/2004 by AhoyMatey - COMMERCIAL USE PROHIBITED
Thanks to MuscleNerd who wrote the original 4.0 guide patch
Thanks to alldeadhomiez for all his advice and help
File was patched
bash-2.02# mv /tvbin/tivoapp.guide_patch /tvbin/tivoapp 

It is good practice to remount the disk as a read-only drive (if this fails, you can reboot anyway).
Please note that if you had to use /dev/hda4 instead of /dev/hda7, then replace the 7 with a 4!

bash-2.02# mount -o remount,ro /dev/hda7

You will now need to reboot your TiVo.

Note: it can take 1 to 2 days before your guide data is all complete again!



Based on AlphaWolfs suggestion in this thread in the DealDatabase, we can use crond to make fake calls daily and have the log file wiped every day. Cron is commonly used in Linux/Unix for running tasks automatically at certain times.

Agian: To be able to change anything, we need to make sure the drive is set to read/write - the TiVo by default mounts it as a read-only drive. Please note that if you had to use /dev/hda4 instead of /dev/hda7, then replace the 7 with a 4!

bash-2.02# mount -o remount,rw /dev/hda7

Next execute these instructions:

bash-2.02# echo "root:x:0:0:root:/:/bin/sh" >> /etc/passwd 
bash-2.02# echo "root:x:0:" >> /etc/group
bash-2.02# mkdir -p /var/spool/cron/crontabs
bash-2.02# touch /var/spool/cron/crontabs/root
bash-2.02# echo "0 0 * * * fakecall.tcl" >> /var/spool/cron/crontabs/root
bash-2.02# echo "0 0 * * * wipelogs" >> /var/spool/cron/crontabs/root
bash-2.02# echo "/busybox/crond" >> //etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit.author
bash-2.02# crond

This will prepare the required files for crond to run (autostart, and such).

If you're not apply any other hacks, then mount the disk as read only again:
Please note that if you had to use /dev/hda4 instead of /dev/hda7, then replace the 7 with a 4!

bash-2.02# mount -o remount,ro /dev/hda7


USB 2.0 at maximum speed


The standard TiVo software does not seem to utilize the full capacity of the USB 2.0 standard. So for those of you who do use a USB 2.0 device (for example the LinkSys USB200M - like I do - more models can be found at the bottom of the Sleeper Hack page), this will be a speed booster (about 3 times faster!)!

The required drivers can be download from your TiVo directly, and this method will be used.

If you haven't done so: make the TiVo disk read/write. Please note that if you had to use /dev/hda4 instead of /dev/hda7, then replace the 7 with a 4!

bash-2.02# mount -o remount,rw /dev/hda7

Note: these instructions are based on David's intructions.

bash-2.02# cd /hacks
bash-2.02# wget http://www.weethet.nl/downloads/usb20.tar.gz
Connecting to www.weethet.nl[]:80
usb20.tar.gz 100% |************************************| 99571 00:00 ETA
bash-2.02# tar -zvxf usb20.tar.gz
cd /lib/modules/ bash-2.02# mkdir backup
bash-2.02# mv ax8817x.o backup/
bash-2.02# mv usbcore.o backup/
bash-2.02# mv usb-ohci.o backup/
bash-2.02# mv /hacks/usb20netmodules-2.4.18/usbcore.o /lib/modules/
bash-2.02# mv /hacks/usb20netmodules-2.4.18/usb-ohci.o /lib/modules/
bash-2.02# mv /hacks/usb20netmodules-2.4.18/usbnet.o /lib/modules/
bash-2.02# ln -s /lib/modules/usbnet.o /lib/modules/ax8817x.o
bash-2.02# rm -rf /hacks/usb20*

Now we need to edit the test.conf file. The original content of this file, which resides in root (type: more /test.conf to see the content), is:


echo "starting test.conf"
export PATH=./:.:/utils:/bin:/sbin:/tvbin:/tivobin:/busybox
export upgradesoftware=false
for foo in /init/*.init ; do
echo "starting $foo"

This file is executed during the boot of your TiVo, before system initialization scripts kick in. This file allows you to add scripts/mods. We need to add some lines here:

/sbin/insmod /lib/modules/usbcore.o log2_irq_thresh=4
/sbin/insmod /lib/modules/usbnet.o
/sbin/insmod /lib/modules/usb-ohci.o

There are a few ways to do this, probably the easiest is either using "vi" or the "echo" command. Since not everybody is equally skilled with VI, I suggest using the echo command. We have seen the use of this before, so use the command as displayed below:

bash-2.02# echo "/sbin/insmod /lib/modules/usbcore.o log2_irq_thresh=4" >> /test.conf
bash-2.02# echo "/sbin/insmod /lib/modules/usbnet.o" >> /test.conf
bash-2.02# echo "/sbin/insmod /lib/modules/usb-ohci.o" >> /test.conf

This should be it.

Mount the disk as read only again, and reboot your TiVo.
Please note that if you had to use /dev/hda4 instead of /dev/hda7, then replace the 7 with a 4!

bash-2.02# mount -o remount,ro /dev/hda7

Links and more to read

One of the goals of these hacks was to be able to extract (download) recordings from your TiVo to your PC.
Thanks to NutKase for his SuperPatch (and the good folks that contributed to that), the recordings are no longer encrypted.
This means we can now use a tool to download recordings to our PC so we can process them further and burn them on a DVD, VCD, or SVCD.

I wrote a rather long article on that, you can find it here.
I have used TyTools10r4 for that. There are other tools out there that do a similar job, however I found TyTools to be the easiest in use.
So go ahead and read How to extract Recordings from your TiVo using TyTools !

Further reading and other TiVo related links:

TiVo Supplies:

PTVupgrade - Supplies image, tools, disks, etc and has great TiVo forum and the best TiVo images.
TiVo - The TiVo company ...
DirecTV - Supplies DirecTV TiVo's that work with the DirecTV service.
9thTee - Supplies, more aimed towards the older TiVo's, more specialized in cables, jacks, etc.
Weaknees - Supplies and TiVo's.

Video Extraction:

EtiVo - Alternative to TyTools, which supports transcoding to other formats (like DivX) as well.
gtivo - a GTK/Gnome (Linux) application for TiVo
TyTool - homepage of TyTool?
Old TyTool/TyStudio Sourceforge project
ty-mp4-rrs - Transcode ty-files to MP4 for RSS feeds.
TiVoTool - The TyTool alternative for Mac OSX and Linux (see also wiki).
TiVo-MPlayer - plays Ty-streams, now part of mplayer (for Windows, Max OS X, Amiga, and Linux).
TyShow - DirectShow help so you can play Ty-files in Media Player.
Media Player Classic - cool and flexble replacement for Windows Media Player.

Hacks, Patches:

Sleeper Hack - Hack your OS 3.x DirecTiVo
OS 4.x Hack - Hack your TiVo to OS 4.x enabling HMO and MRV (this article)
OS 6.2 Hack - Hack your TiVo to OS 6.2 enabling HMO and MRV
DealDatabase - THE forum for (advanced) TiVo fans!
6.2 Slice Upgrade Guide - by David Dellanave


PTVupgrade forum - from the makers of InstantCake and PTVnet - highly recommended.
DealDatabase - THE forum for (advanced) TiVo fans!
TiVo Techies

Home Media Option (HMO):

JavaHMO - Media server for use with the new TiVo HMO features (view pictures etc on your TiVo).
Galleon - Free open source media service for the TiVo.


TiVoWeb Modules





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