Some odd TiVo issues

I have  couple a couple of Series2 TiVo DVRs and they just received the TiVo Fall 2008 Service Update for 9.3.2.  It’s basically a few tweaks to the UI, but the odd thing was that I needed to manually restart the TiVo.  Usually the TiVo restarts itself after getting a new system update.  Very odd, but hopefully just a one time glitch.

My in-laws have a TiVO HD and sometime last week it decided to stop recording the shows on the season passes.  I went over and took a look.  The season passes were in order and when you selected view upcoming episodes, the shows would be listed, but not listed as being recorded.  Very odd.  The fix was simple, but annoying.  I selected each season pass and saved it without making any changes.  After saving the pass, the correct shows were marked as going to be recorded.  Fortunately they only had a handful of season passes, it took a minute or two to update all of them. 

After fixing the season passes, I tried to bring up YouTube on the TiVo HD.  When I selected YouTube from the menu, the TiVo froze and stopped responding.  I gave it a few minutes to figure it on it’s own and I restarted their TiVo the hard way.  Thanks to TiVo not having a reset button, I had to unplug and plug it back in again.  After waiting a few minutes to boot abck up, it was back to normal.

That was the first time I have ever had to reboot a TiVo, their software has been very stable.  As with my Series2 units, I’m hoping that this was a one time glitch caused by system updates being pushed down the to TiVo.

Fast way to resize a virtual disk with VMware ESX Server

We’re starting some SharePoint development and I needed to create a development environment on Windows Server 2003.  So I created a new virtual machine (VM) of Server 2003 on our VMware ESX box and gave it a 1GB of RAM and 8GB of disk space.  I installed the OS and configured it for Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and then installed Visual Studio 2008.  That left us with about 1.5GB of disk space.  Oops, time to resize the drive.

The beauty of working with virtual machines is that it’s relatively easy to increase or decrease the memory and disk storage.  In this case, I wanted to add another 4GB to the virtual disk.  I powered down the virtual machine and went into the “Virtual Machine Properties” from the VMware Infrastructure Client (VIC).  I selected the hard drive and it provided a entry field for the new size.  I increased the size to 12GB, adding an additional 4GB.

That takes us part way there.  I increased the size if the virtual disk from 8GB to 12GB, but it still has an 8GB partition, the OS wont see the additional space.  I saw all some tips on that Series of Tubes that recommended downloading Linux boot disks and boot the the VM from the Linux CD images as an .ISO file.

Meh, that’s too much work.  I took a simpler path.  I powered down another Server 2003 VM that was already running on the ESX box and added new VM’s virtual disk as a second virtual drive.  I booted up the second VM and opened up a command shell.  From the command shell, I ran the diskpart utility to extend the partition.  I did the following commands through diskpart:


Microsoft DiskPart version 5.1.3565

Copyright (C) 1999-2003 Microsoft Corporation.

On computer: XXXXX

DISKPART> list volume


  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info

  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------

  Volume 0     E                       DVD-ROM         0 B
  Volume 1     C NTFS   Partition     12 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 2     D NTFS   Partition    8 GB  Healthy



DISKPART> select volume 2
Volume 2 is the selected volume.
DISKPART> extend



Leaving DiskPart...

I basically typed that in from memory, some of the numbers may be off, but it shows how to extend the size of the partition.  After exiting out of diskpart, I then shut down the second VM.  Next, I removed the virtual drive that belongs to the new VM.  Remember to select remove only and not remove and delete.  At this point I was able to power both VM’s back up.  The second VM will be slightly confused about the missing drive, but it was back to normal.  The new VM took some time to check out the resized partition after I logged back in.  With my VM, it declared it to be new hardware and wanted to reboot.  After it rebooted, it was happy and recognized that it had a 12GB partition.