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wejones

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Reply with quote  #1 
After first reading posts about this about 6 or 7 years ago, I finally tried to turn my Azbox Elite into a Premium by replacing the DOM with a hard drive.  There were 3 or 4 separate threads about this years ago, including:
http://rickcaylor.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3451510
 starting around post 8,     and:
http://www.kqlz.org/azbox/Recording/
   and:
http://rickcaylor.websitetoolbox.com/post/azbox-elite-hd-3434266?highlight=azbox+elite+module+drive&trail=930
  starting around post 916.
The original links described using 2 hard drives to replace the DOM, saying that the OS would be installed on the first hard drive, and the 2nd one could be used for recording.  It also says that on doing this, the Elite will now ID itself as a Premium.
  However post #13 of the first link, wildboys said:
Quote:
I first made two partitions on an IDE hardrive.
I connected the IDE hardrive to the receivers motherboard.
I loaded the firmware onto a usb stick.Put it in the back of the receiver
and tuned it on.It will boot and ask if you want to load firmware.
It will put the operating system on the smallest partition by default.
Once firmware is loaded.It will reboot and you are good to go.
You can record programs to the second partiton on the drive.

and in post 922 of the last link wildboys said:
Quote:
I used two partitions when i first guy
my elite.Let the azbox boot to your ide
drive and boot up to usb stich with the patch.bin
file.Take the drive out and add a seperate partition
with your computer partition software.Connect the
drive back to your azbox and format your second
partition to linux via the azbox.

which is almost the same, except for saying that it was necessary to remove the drive, and add another partition????

   Anyway, a bit confused re this, since with the DOM only, the Azbox partitions the DOM into 4 partitions that it uses for the OS, I tried it the first way.  I put in a 160 GB hard drive on which I had put 2 empty partitions, one about 500 MB and the 2nd one with the remainder of the drive space, in excess of 150GB.  Booted with patch.bin on thumb drive. Told it to format application area, and then to install the OS from the patch file. 
   It worked, however it came up still ID'ing as an Elite.  Also, when I tried to record a channel, it wouldn't record because it said there wasn't a device to record on. 
  It looks like it deleted my 2 partitions and replaced them with 4 new partitions. 
Quote:
Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/hda: 163.9 GB, 163928604672 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19929 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1               1          18      144584+  83  Linux
/dev/hda2              19          21       24097+  83  Linux
/dev/hda3              22          23       16065   83  Linux
/dev/hda4              24       19929   159894945   83  Linux

Command (m for help): q

AZBox[~]$ df
Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/mtdblock5            1.0M    384.0k    640.0k  38% /DISK1
/dev/hda1               136.7M    108.3M     21.4M  84% /MMP
/dev/hda2                22.8M      2.8M     18.8M  13% /PLUGINS
/dev/hda3                15.2M      2.9M     11.5M  20% /DISK2
/dev/hda4               150.1G     80.2M    142.4G   0% /Download


It also looks like it put all the rest of the disk space into partition hda4, ie /Download.
In a normal Elite, this partition only uses about  54 MB, ie
Quote:
Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/mtdblock5            1.0M    392.0k    632.0k  38% /DISK1
/dev/hda1               135.6M    108.3M     20.3M  84% /MMP
/dev/hda2                15.5M      2.8M     11.8M  19% /PLUGINS
/dev/hda3                 7.7M      4.5M      2.9M  61% /DISK2
/dev/hda4                78.4M     54.3M     20.1M  73% /Download


So anyway, while I'm confident that I could get this to work right if I put in 2 hard drives, that seems kind of a waste using a big hard drive to hold a 200MB OS, not to mention that it's messy enough having one hard drive sitting on top of my Azbox. Plus, all the drive cables I have with 2 drive connections, have one of the pins blocked to make sure you have it in the right way, but the Azbox has all 40 pins in the socket, so my cables can't be plugged in.  I had to use a real old cable that only has space for 1 drive.  I guess I could drill out the blocked hole.
   Anyway, I'm not sure what I did wrong, plus I'm not sure if it's possible for me to copy the files contained on the /Download directory, then delete that hda4 partition, re-create a small hda4 partition and a new BIG hda5 partition, then put the files back into the hda4 partition???
   Or possibly is it possible to re-size the hda4 partition without removing the files?  I think I've re-sized partitions to make them bigger, but never to make them smaller, although I don't remember how I even did that, but I can look for my notes.  BTW, the only 3 files on the /Download directory are a backup of the all_channels.dat file that I had replaced when I put my old .dat files on the Azbox, an empty lost+found directory and a file called  patch.cramfs.  I'm guessing that the 3rd one must be the patch.bin that was loaded from the thumbdrive.  Not sure if this is just a copy, or if this is what gets loaded into memory each time at bootup. 
   This whole experiment was not intended to be permanent.  If it worked, I was going to buy one of those solid state drives, which might be small enough to fit inside the Azbox, or at least would be a lot neater sitting on top.  Also, I was curious about checking out the recording on the hard drive. Recording on USB drives never has worked very well for me.  People have posted mixed results for recording on these add on hard drives.  Some say that there is a built in speed limit, others say that it works OK with hardware acceleration turned on with older firmware, but that it doesn't work with newer firmware.  So I was thinking about trying this with newer firmware, and then switch back to older firmware to see what the difference is...... all without disturbing the setup on my DOM.  

    


farva

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Reply with quote  #2 
A compactflash card could be used as a drop-in replacement for the DOM, with an IDE->CF adapter. Electrically CF is the same as IDE so the adapter is just to adapt the connector type. 
wejones

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Quote:
Originally Posted by farva
A compactflash card could be used as a drop-in replacement for the DOM, with an IDE->CF adapter. Electrically CF is the same as IDE so the adapter is just to adapt the connector type. 


That's an interesting idea.  Just looked at Amazon, and found an adapter that would hold 2 CF cards as master/slave, however it's for 44 pin IDE, not 40. I found adapters for 40 pin, but they don't hold 2 cards, so I'd have to use a dual drive cable and 2 adapters, or use a 44 to 40 pin adapter with the dual adapter.  Does sound like it's worth a try though. The adapters are cheap enough. 
Thanks.

farva

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Reply with quote  #4 
44 pin IDE is 40 pin IDE + power so if you have a source for 3.3v/5v power you can make it work with an adapter.
techjunkie02

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Reply with quote  #5 
I think the second quote in your 1st post is saying to take the disk out AFTER you installed the AZ os on it, and add another partition to it, then put it back into the AZ, and then maybe the AZ sees it as the HDD of the Prem+ , maybe??

Edited to add... You can do all those partition functions real easy in Linux using G-parted.

If you don't have Linux, download a Puppy Live-CD, and burn it. it's only a small download, maybe 200mb or less. then you can boot your computer from that CD and have a Handy Linux system that has a lot of practical uses, including that G-parted.


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wejones

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by techjunkie02
I think the second quote in your 1st post is saying to take the disk out AFTER you installed the AZ os on it, and add another partition to it, then put it back into the AZ, and then maybe the AZ sees it as the HDD of the Prem+ , maybe??

Edited to add... You can do all those partition functions real easy in Linux using G-parted.

If you don't have Linux, download a Puppy Live-CD, and burn it. it's only a small download, maybe 200mb or less. then you can boot your computer from that CD and have a Handy Linux system that has a lot of practical uses, including that G-parted.



I agree, but since the Azbox used up the whole 160 GB for it's 200 MB OS, the only way to add another partition was to delete the 4th partition, and then add two more, but I wasn't sure if I could do that without destroying the contents of that 4th partition.  But since there are only 2 files and 1 directory, I guess that shouldn't be too hard. But with Linux, I'm never quite sure what type to use. The Azbox just called them "linux" partitions.


techjunkie02

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Reply with quote  #7 
The Gparted program makes it easy. you can resize them, and add another in the new space, and it'll identify the existing partitions so you will know what type they are, you can just make the same type. 

You still have the original DOM, so you can play around with this drive and just do it over again if it doesn't work, right?

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wejones

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Right re starting over.  Should be easy.  Doesn't even need the old DOM, since it was all done from the flash and the patch file.
I think I've used gparted before, but I'd have to look at my notes with respect to how to use it. However I couldn't remember if it could reduce the size of a partition that already had data in it.  I think I usually used fdisk with my RPi's, and had no problems making a partition bigger, but wasn't able to make them smaller.  But I'll read up on gparted again. Thanks.
techjunkie02

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Reply with quote  #9 
Do you have a linux computer? If not, I'd strongly suggest the Puppy. It's super-simple, you just boot from a CD or Thumb drive and it's up and running. You can use it to examine your own computer, among many things. When you're done, just shut down, it'll prompt you to make a save folder, or just forget about it. You want to run it again, just boot it again. It is an absolute joy to use it's so easy..

http://puppylinux.org/main/Overview%20and%20Getting%20Started.htm


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wejones

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Reply with quote  #10 
I have a very old Ubuntu on a USB drive that I can boot instead of XP on one of my computers, and that computer also has a VMWARE Ubuntu installation that I can run in a window under XP, and another XP computer that has that CYGWIN thing installed.  But my main Linux computers are my 3 Raspberry Pi computers, and I'll probably pick up one of the new version 3 or whatever it's called.  They are small, but very powerful for their size.  Anything I can't get to work on the RPi, I can probably do with one of the Ubuntu installations, although it might be nice to have something a little less bloated than the Ubuntu. 



wejones

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Reply with quote  #11 
Well, I pulled the hard drive out of the Azbox, and mounted it in my RPi. 
I tried to use fdisk to delete the 4th partition, re-create it as a small partition, then create a new 5th partition using the rest of the disk space.
   It let me delete the 4th and re-create it smaller.  However then I tried to create a new 5th partition, and fdisk told me that I couldn't create a 5th partition unless I change one of the existing partitions from primary to extended.  Apparently there is a limit of 4 primary partitions???  So I ctrl-C aborted out of the fdisk. 
   It said that extended partitions are only for logical partitions, which was why I chose primary.  Anyway, I don't really understand the difference between primary and extended, so I'm not sure whether it would be OK to make the 4th partition extended, and then make a 5th partition as primary???
  It was suggested by a fellow member that I should use gparted instead of fdisk, that gparted would make the extra partition, but apparently I don't have gparted on this RPi.  I'm pretty sure I used that before, but it must have been on one of my other RPis or maybe on Ubuntu?  But before looking for it, I'd like to confirm that it is capable of making 5 primary partitions or find out if I really need to use primary partitions, since I don't have a clue re what the difference between primary and extended really is.

techjunkie02

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Reply with quote  #12 
are you able to add a second physical disk? That disk could also contain 4 primary dos partitions.
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wejones

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by techjunkie02
are you able to add a second physical disk? That disk could also contain 4 primary dos partitions.
Yeah, I'm assuming that would work.  I just thought that it would be neater to do it all on one disk as was described by the 2 posts I referenced. Just confused re what I might have done different.  Maybe his 2nd BIG partition was extended, and the Azbox made 3 more primaries out of the 1st small partition?
  I will probably end up putting 2 CF or SD chips in as the 2 physical drives. 
techjunkie02

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wejones
Yeah, I'm assuming that would work.  I just thought that it would be neater to do it all on one disk as was described by the 2 posts I referenced. Just confused re what I might have done different.  Maybe his 2nd BIG partition was extended, and the Azbox made 3 more primaries out of the 1st small partition?
  I will probably end up putting 2 CF or SD chips in as the 2 physical drives. 


can only have 3 primaries if you use the 4th as an extended
maximum 4 primaries per disk, or 3 and an extended.
I think linux follows this same rule, but not sure, cause I've always had multi-boot systems where one of them, at least, was a windows/dos system!

Gparted will tell you the file structure and partition type.


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techjunkie02

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Reply with quote  #15 
I just read thru the links you provided, and I think this one is the key post;

I first made two partitions on an IDE hardrive.
I connected the IDE hardrive to the receivers motherboard.
I loaded the firmware onto a usb stick.Put it in the back of the receiver
and tuned it on.It will boot and ask if you want to load firmware.
It will put the operating system on the smallest partition by default.
Once firmware is loaded.It will reboot and you are good to go.
You can record programs to the second partiton on the drive.

I think you first need to know what kind of partitions those first 2 he created were.
Because, from what he said, I'm thinking that the AZ just went ahead and created it's needed file structure, Inside of that 1st partition. Irregardless of the normal partitioning rules! And, when it's done, you are able to use the SECOND partition as additional storage.

So, I would pull the DOM module and view it's physical structure using the GParted program, and see how it's created, and see if that gives me enough info to know what partitions to make on the HDD.

If I can't determine it. I'd just start making 2 basic linux partitons on the hdd, and try what he said and see what happens. If it works, great! If not, re-do to different partition type(s) and try again. You've got nothing but time to lose, because you can always just re-install the original DOM!!

Hope that makes sense to you [wink]

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