InstantCake for Series2 Standalone Units (Release Notes)

TiVo Models Supported [software revision info]

Effective May 15th, 2009:

TiVo TCD130040 [9.3-01-2-130]

TiVo TCD140060 [9.3-01-2-140]

TiVo TCD230040 [9.3-01-2-130]

TiVo TCD240040, TCD24004A, TCD240080, TCD24008A, TCD240140 [9.3.2a-01-2-140]

TiVo TCD540040, TCD540080, TCD540140 [9.3.2b-01-2-540]

TiVo TCD649080, TCD649180 [9.3.2-01-2-649]  

HUMAX T800, T2500 [9.3-01-2-590]

Sony SVR-3000 [9.3.2-01-2-110]

Special Note: As of 5/15/2009 we have made a modification to the TCD540 version of InstantCake. Previous versions, over the past three years, have allowed the use of drives smaller than the original TiVo drive (40GB) and were also optimized for a smaller/faster download from our servers.  Due to some problems a small number of folks are having with a recent update from TiVo and a possible database corruption issue, we are making a change to our version of InstantCake in the case that it happens to be something with our specially prepared image that is causing the problem.  At this stage, we are uncertain of the origins of the problem, and whether only InstantCake users are affected.  As a result, we are going back to the ‘old way’ of preparing the image and expect there to be no problems moving forward.  The download is significantly larger, and does require the use of drives greater than 40GB (see notes below).

Product Specific Notes

InstantCake for your Series2 standalone unit builds the equivalent of our standard replacement drive kits for your unit. Unlike earlier versions, all current versions of InstantCake for Series2 standalone units do contain LBA48 support (see drive size information below). This product does not contain any modifications for your unit, other than capacity expansion.

Drive Sizes

InstantCake no longer requires the use of drives larger than the original, except for the TCD649 (dual-tuner standalone TiVo) and TCD540 versions where drives must be larger than the original drives in your unit to accommodate larger swap size; in the case of the TCD540 version, the drive must be larger than 40GB. We recommend you keep your original drive as a backup and use a replacement drive that is significantly larger. We do not recommend attempting to build any kits larger than the ones we provide. To see largest kits available you can go to our web site and select your TiVo make/model to view drive sizes used when building kits; 750GB and 1TB drives (with the appropriate PATA/SATA adapter) will work fine.

Special Instructions

Other than for the TCD649 units, this product uses InstantCake2 technology which allows user to enter an ‘advanced’ mode to specify IDE device connectivity beyond the defaults. You should be able to use this product with PC’s with only one IDE device, however we recommend you follow the basic product requirements and instructions to ensure success.

Additional Information

Please consult the InstantCake Instructions for proper use of this product and consult the Official InstantCake discussion thread on our forums if you need additional assistance.

Remember, DVRupgrade does not provide direct support for the use of DIY software utilities! 

InstantCake for Series1 DirecTV TiVo Units (Release Notes)

TiVo Models Supported

Philips DSR6000, DSR6000R, DSR6000R1
Sony SAT-T60
Hughes GXCEBOT, GXCEBOTD

TiVoWebPlus Edition Now Available

InstantCake TWP Editition for your Series1 unit includes LBA48 support, large swap, and has been tested to run on drives as large as 750GB. This special version of InstantCake will build the equivalent of our TiVoWebPlus replacement drive kits featuring TiVoWebPlus 2.0 — this means you can purchase a TurboNet or CacheCard separately and install it in your unit, connect it to your home network, and access it via any PC/MAC browser for remote scheduling and management. You can even use our popular, and free GoToMyDVR service to access your unit automatically. Your upgraded system will also be configured with telnet/ftp; if you are inclined, you can install additional modifications, as well!

Currently, InstantCake for these models will install and configure version 3.5d.

Important Note

If your unit is configured with a drive larger than 137GB, your software has been modified with a special “kernel” that allows the TiVo operating  system to recognize all of the capacity of these larger drives.  As a result, any updates to the DirecTV software on your unit, could cause problems.  With this in mind, we’ve configured your unit so it will attempt to not automatically receive updates from DirecTV WITHOUT your knowledge.  In order to do this, we’ve configured the system to “think” its making its daily call to DirecTV even though it is not doing it.  In addition, we’ve adjusted your phone dialing prefix and call waiting prefix with the *# characters, just to prevent your unit from accidentally dialing.  Naturally, you can still connect a phone line, and if you’d like to have your unit dial out you can do it at any time by editing those characters.  BUT WE RECOMMEND YOU JUST LEAVE YOUR PHONE LINE DISCONNECTED and with that in mind, we suggest you just leave things be and if you have problems with pay per view events, you can still order them from the DirecTV web site, or just by calling 1-800-DIRECTV.

Again, there is no reason you can’t use your unit as you normally do, however we’ve made these minor changes to give you the option of resisting a future software update without your knowledge.  We don’t know whether or when DirecTV will release any additional updates, however the chances are that running with your current version is fine for the foreseeable future.

InstantCake for your Series1 DirecTiVo unit includes LBA48 support, large swap, and has been tested to run on drives as large as 750GB. InstantCake will build the equivalent of DVRupgrade NetReady replacement drive kits; these are drives with TurboNet and CacheCard drivers installed, as well as bash serial access enabled. You can purchase a TurboNet or CacheCard separately and do the software configuration yourself without reinstalling the drive in a PC. Note that if you are using an external modem plugged into your serial port, you may need to disable BASH access to prevent conflicts. We recommend the use of TurboNet cards instead of external modems. Also note that InstantCake does not support TiVoNet adapters; only TurboNet and CacheCard adapters.

Drive Sizes

Drives must be larger than the original drives in your unit to accommodate larger swap size. We recommend you keep your original drive as a backup and use a replacement drive that is significantly larger. We do not recommend attempting to build any kits larger than the ones we provide. To see largest kits available you can go to our web site and select your TiVo make/model to view drive sizes used when building kits. We recommend the use of single drive in these units, vs dual drives. We feel that age of these units combined with the fact that single drive units are ALWAYS more reliable than dual drive units is a good enough reason to stick with a single, large drive.

Additional Information

Please consult the InstantCake Instructions for proper use of this product and consult the Official InstantCake discussion thread at DVRplayground if you need additional assistance. Remember, DVRupgrade does not provide direct support for the use of DIY software utilities!

InstantCake for Series1 Standalone Units (Release Notes)

TiVo Models Supported

Philips PTV100, PTV300, HDR110, HDR112, HDR212, HDR312, HDR31201, HDR31202, HDR31203, HDR31204, HDR612 
Sony SVR-2000

Software Revision Information

InstantCake for ALL Series1 standalone models contains version 3.0 of the TiVo operating environment.  TiVo announced end-of-life (EOL) for this product over five years ago, so this is not expected to change.

TiVoWebPlus Edition

InstantCake TWP Editition for your Series1 unit includes LBA48 support, large swap, and has been tested to run on drives as large as 750 GB. This special version of InstantCake will build the equivalent of our TiVoWebPlus replacement drive kits featuring TiVoWebPlus 2.0 — this means you can purchase a TurboNet or CacheCard separately and install it in your unit, connect it to your home network, and access it via any PC/MAC browser for remote scheduling and management. You can even use our popular, and free GoToMyDVR service to access your unit automatically (this free service may be terminated at any time). Your upgraded system will also be configured with telnet/ftp; if you are inclined, you can install additional modifications, as well!

Product Specific Notes

InstantCake for your Series1 standalone units includes LBA48 support, large swap, and has been tested to run on drives as large as 750GB. InstantCake will build the equivalent of DVRupgrade NetReady replacement drive kits; these are drives with TurboNet and CacheCard drivers installed, as well as bash serial access enabled. You can purchase a TurboNet or CacheCard separately and do the software configuration yourself without reinstalling the drive in a PC. More information regarding NetReady can be found here. Note that if you are using an external modem plugged into your serial port, you may need to disable BASH access to prevent conflicts.  We recommend the use of TurboNet cards instead of external modems.  Also note that InstantCake does not support TiVoNet adapters; only TurboNet and CacheCard adapters.

Drive Sizes

Drives must be larger than the original drives in your unit to accommodate larger swap size. We recommend you keep your original drive as a backup and use a replacement drive that is significantly larger. We do not recommend attempting to build any kits larger than the ones we provide. To see largest kits available you can go to our web site and select your TiVo make/model to view drive sizes used when building kits.

Additional Information

Please consult the InstantCake Instructions for proper use of this product.

Remember, DVRupgrade does not provide direct support for the use of DIY software utilities!

Convert Download to Shippable Item

I can not burn my downloadable item.  Can you send me a CD version instead?

Sorry, we can not.  We do ask that you have a full understanding of how to burn ISO images before you complete checkout.

If you must have a CD version of the product you will have to order it separately.

Some Helpful Pointers:

  • If you are able to extract the iso from the zip file, then your download item is complete.  If you are not, then you can try re-downloading again. If you have exceeded your download attempts, we will re-enable them as a one time courtesy, however if you have lost or misplaced your DIY product and need the links regenerated, we will not allow a regeneration.  Download regenerations are only for those who are having trouble initially getting a good download.
  • Make sure you are burning the iso as an image and not trying to extract the contents of the ISO and trying to burn them.  The ISO is a complete, bootable image that just needs to be written as a bootable image.
  • It has been reported that if you are using Nero Express you will not be able to burn an ISO image so make sure if you do not have the Nero FULL Version installed you can download their free trial version. http://www.nero.com
  • Try burning at a slower speed or try a different media or a combination of both.

Lost DIY download or CD

I have deleted or lost my DIY download product or DIY CD.  Can I download it again or have you ship me another copy?

Unfortunately, no. DIY products fall under your responsibility and therefore we can’t help with lost or misplaced items.  If you have recently purchased an item from our cart and have your login email, login and see if you have an available download left.  If you do, you can go ahead and download it again. If you don’t, then you will have to purchase another copy as we only re-generate downloads for those who are having trouble initially getting a good download, not for those who need help replacing their lost items or for those who just want to download as many times as they can.

If you have received your order confirmation for you DIY product, just follow the instructions at the bottom of the email where it says Log In.  Your user name and password is something you setup yourself so please make sure you remember that.  If you do not, you can request a re-set password but the system is completely automated and we have no control over it.

If you have previously purchased a DIY CD from us and have misplaced it, you will have to purchase another copy as we only ship out 1 copy per order.

DIY Software Question or Support Issue

I have a question about InstantCake, PTVnet, or one of your TiVo Upgrade Boot CDs. How can I get the answer?

We do not provide direct support for these products. This allows us to keep prices low and keeps these products as true to their nature as possible – after all, they are DIY products, and the expectation is that you will spend the time and effort to learn to use these tools without our assistance.

InstantCake Instructions

Introduction

InstantCake is a custom DIY software tool designed to quickly and easily create a basic replacement drive kit from a standard off-the-shelf PC hard drive. InstantCake comes as a single CD (or as a downloadable ISO which can be easily burned to CD) for your specific TiVo Digital Video Recorder. The CD must be booted from your PC’s CD-ROM drive, and it will ask you several simple questions about the upgrade you wish to perform. InstantCake will then create a replacement drive kit on one or two standard hard drives that must also be connected to your PC. Your original TiVo hard drive is not used or required for the upgrade and we recommend you keep it in a safe place and use it as a backup in case anything goes wrong with the new drives you’ve created.

Requirements for using InstantCake

You will need an x86-based Personal Computer (PC) with two IDE interfaces which can be accessed as the PRIMARY and SECONDARY devices, and a CD-ROM which you can use to boot our CD. You do not need to be running Windows XP or any specialized software, in fact, we recommend you disconnect your hard disk drive(s) to ensure their protection, as well as disable any SATA devices supported on your motherboard. The InstantCake software boots and runs from a CD we supply you or can be burned if you’ve downloaded it as an ISO. You will need one or two blank hard drives which will be formatted for use in your TiVo. We do not recommend you use your existing TiVo disk drive for InstantCake installations, in fact, in many cases it will not work: the target drive is expected to be larger than the original – please keep your TiVo drive in a safe place as a backup; at least until you’ve used InstantCake successfully at least once.

Directions for using InstantCake

  • Step 1: Configure your PC such that your CD-ROM drive is connected as the primary slave device. You may need to adjust a jumper on the rear of the CD-ROM; many CD-ROM drives have the jumper set for cable-select (CS) and you can simply move the jumper to the slave position (SL) to ensure it is configured properly. To ensure the CD-ROM is connected as the primary IDE device, use the IDE cable connected to your PC’s C drive; this is typically connected to the primary IDE interface in your PC. If you have more than one CD/DVD device in your system, please disconnect all but one of them. We recommend you disconnect your PC’s primary hard drive (and any other hard drives that are installed in your PC) to ensure they are not accidentally overwritten by the InstantCake software.
  • Step 2: Configure your PC’s system BIOS so that you can boot from CD-ROM, and ensure your CD-ROM is installed as the primary slave on your PC.
  • Step 3: Configure and connect one or two new drives destined for your TiVo on the PC’s secondary IDE interface. You will need to refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for master and slave settings for your hard drives’ jumpers. Do not use the cable-select jumper settings for your new drive(s); it is important to know which drive is the master and which drive (if you are building a dual-drive kit for your TiVo) is the slave to ensure they are properly installed in your TiVo.
  • Step 4: Apply power, and boot the InstantCake CD. The CD will auto-boot and prompt you with a few questions before building your kit.
  • Step 5: Please take note of all messages, warnings and instructions which may be displayed when the InstantCake program is done running. Knowing these important details may make a difference, especially if you need additional support.
  • Step 6: Install your new drives in your TiVo.

What are the InstantCake System Requirements?

What are the InstantCake hardware requirements? What size/type of hard drive do I need? Do I need a special PC?

InstantCake is NOT designed to be installed on your existing TiVo drive. In many cases, an attempt to do so will not work because we’ve expanded the swap space created when InstantCake installs. This means that you should be using a hard drive that is larger than the drive in your original TiVo unit. This may disappoint you, but it shouldn’t – we think you should keep your original hard drive as a backup drive anyway. AND, if you think the software is corrupt on your original drive and that is why you purchased InstantCake, we hate the break the news to you – most software corruption issues are due to a bad hard drive, so unless you went out of your way to mess up your original hard drive, then chances are its toast, anyway. Do yourself a favor, go get a new hard drive (you can purchase mighty large ones for less than $100) and use InstantCake in the way it was designed.

As for the PC, you do not need a special one, although we’ve heard some folks have problems with older AMD K6 types of PC’s. Regardless of the PC you use, you need to follow the aforementioned installation instructions and ensure that your CD-ROM is connected as the primary slave device (/dev/hdb) and that your new TiVo drive is connected as the secondary master.

What is InstantCake?

InstantCake is an inexpensive “do-it-yourself” product we offer to make it as easy as possible to complete your own TiVo upgrade in the safest and most responsible way.

You see, before InstantCake, you had (and still have) several options when it comes to upgrading your TiVo.

Baking a Cake from Scratch

You can do it all yourself, and although its easy for some, its not easy for everyone. There are many technical details to consider, and if you make a mistake in the process, you could render your existing TiVo drive inoperable. We know that many have been successful peforming their own upgrades with little or know trouble at all. We consider this akin to “baking a cake from scratch” – some people can do it, and some people have the time to do it, and some people LOVE to do it. That’s great, but its not for everyone.

Going to the Bakery

If you want a quick and easy to install kit, or just to have someone do ALL the work for you, you can use a professional service such as PTVupgrade. Heck, we were the FIRST to offer such services to the community, we understand that people either don’t have the time, don’t want to spend the time, or just don’t want to mess with their PC, or learn anything technical associated with their TiVo. They just want more hours! That’s just like going to the bakery to buy your cake! You pay for it, but its the easiest way to go.

InstantCake, Just add Water!

Ok, now here is where InstantCake comes along. It fits right in the middle. Easier and faster than baking from scratch. Cheaper (and sometimes faster) than ordering a pre-made kit or a professional installation. You still have to be a little bit technical to bake your cake, however. You must have a PC and know how to hook up your CDROM and a blank hard drive or two in the proper configuration. You also may need to know how to burn an ISO image to create a bootable CD if you are going to download the product.

Once you’ve secured InstantCake, you simply boot your PC from the CD, and answer a few questions; the InstantCake baking process will install the necessary software on your hard drive and prepare it so that it can be immediately installed in your TiVo! Now, you will be removing the existing drive from your TiVo and replacing it with the new one(s) you just created, so make sure the wife and kids have already watched their shows or saved their favorite programs to videotape. We said it was easy, but we didn’t say it was perfect! (If you would like to upgrade and SAVE your existing programming, you can send your unit for a GOLD installation and we’ll take care of it).

So, in a nutshell, that is InstantCake. Cheap, easy, and fast.