How to Unlock a Maxtor drive from a DVR / TiVo :

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Spildit
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How to Unlock a Maxtor drive from a DVR / TiVo :

Postby Spildit » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:34 pm

Unlocking Hard Drives

Many early-model TiVo DVRs contain a mechanism that "locks" a hard drive once it has been installed in the TiVo. When a locked drive is connected to a PC, the drive capacity will report 0MB to 10MB, rather than its full capacity.

If your hard drive is locked, then you will not be able to use or diagnose the drive in your PC.

If you have a locked Maxtor drive, the company's Powermax utility will not test the drive properly. It will test only some small percentage of the drive (0-10MB) and will likely not find any error that may actually be present. Thus, if you have a drive that is not functioning properly in your TiVo, you will want to "unlock" the drive so that a drive utility will see the entire drive.

To unlock a drive, you must download and run one of several DOS-based. One of those programs, DiskUtil, is available for download below.

Creating DOS Boot Disk to Unlock a Drive

1) Create a floppy disk that boots into DOS.

2) Download DiskUtil, unzip the file and copy the diskutil.exe file to your boot floppy.

diskutil.zip
(19.25 KiB) Downloaded 128 times


3) Boot your PC with your locked drive attached.

4) Enter the following command at the DOS prompt:

If your TiVo drive is connected to the primary master IDE bus, enter:
diskutil /PermUnlock 0

If your TiVo drive is connected to the primary slave IDE bus, enter:
diskutil /PermUnlock 1

If your TiVo drive is connected to the secondary master IDE bus, enter:
diskutil /PermUnlock 2

If your TiVo drive is connected to the secondary slave IDE bus, enter:
diskutil /PermUnlock 3

NOTE: This command is case sensitive. (You must use a capital P and a capital U.)

5) Completely power down your PC (do not use CTRL-ALT-DELETE).

6) Now remove your DOS boot disk and restart your PC and confirm that the drive recognizes the proper capacity.
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fzabkar
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Re: How to Unlock a Maxtor drive from a DVR / TiVo :

Postby fzabkar » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:28 pm

Did you dump the drive's resources before and after "unlocking" it?

What does "locking" involve? Is the reduced capacity the result of a HPA? If so, did you try tools such as HDAT2 or MHDD to remove the HPA? Does the drive report that a password is set?

I notice that DiskUtil has several command options, including "Lock":

/TempUnlock
/PermUnlock
/Lock
/Info

If you still have one of the drives, would it be possible for you to lock it again and compare the resources?

I notice that DiskUtil.exe contains the following text strings:

Challenge - 0x%X%X
Response - 0x%X%X

That is suggestive of password protection. Did you try ZU?

The following thread suggests that an earlier version of DiskUtil (Qunlock) actually "locked" a Maxtor drive that had not been used in a Tivo. DiskUtil was subsequently unable to undo the lock. This behaviour just adds to the puzzle.

http://www.wkforums.com/forums/archive/ ... -1400.html

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Re: How to Unlock a Maxtor drive from a DVR / TiVo :

Postby Spildit » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:08 pm

Hi !
I've found the link and the tool while searching on google for Seagate locked drives.
I don't have any of those Maxtor drives to test and I didn't even use the tool yet.
I just added to the forum because it might be of some use to someone with a locked Maxtor drive :)
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Re: How to Unlock a Maxtor drive from a DVR / TiVo :

Postby fzabkar » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:33 am

I'm wondering whether the drive has a DCO that disables some of its features, for example its HPA and Security feature sets. If so, couldn't you just use HDAT2 to edit the DCO in order to re-enable the applicable feature sets and then remove the HPA and password, if it exists?


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