Panasonic DMR hard drive data recovery - It CAN be done!! - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 160 Old 07-22-2009, 05:19 PM
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Maneater used the same size drive. I think I was trying to hint that if he still had the info on his computer, if he would try to see if it would work if he put it on a larger drive. I was reading the tivo hacks and they have been able to mount the linux drives and have been able to resize when going to a larger drive and retain the "recorded material." I think it can be done on the Philips, Panos, and Maggies, if the right person new how to read the correct info to do it. Maybe the tivo hackers could branch out to other types of PVR's
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post #32 of 160 Old 08-24-2009, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindeater View Post

I then ordered a new 160GB WD replacement HDD (almost the same spec as the original). I then wrote another tool to take all the the 149 1GB files and write them as raw data onto the new HDD.

After fitting the HDD into the EX75, to my suprise after reading all of the failures on the net, after a tense 'PLEASE WAIT', the unit came up with 47mins remaining, and operating completely normally.

I did start looking at reconstructing the movies using the info posted here, with some success, but would need to work out how the table of contents works to link together all the sub segements of movies, and gave up once I got the new HDD working.

I'm a little confused, Mindeater.

If "the unit came up with 47mins remaining, and operating completely normally," then why did you "start looking at reconstructing the movies using the info posted here"?

If it only had 47 min. remaining, what about all of the other time on the HDD? Wasn't it viewable on the Panny?

If so, why did you need to reconstruct?

If not, what happened to all your drive space?

bob
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post #33 of 160 Old 08-24-2009, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindeater View Post

That's all I keep hearing from people that it never works, but the drive I did it with is not even the same model, old one a WD 1600BB the new one a WD 1600AA, I didn't do anything I would consider clever and it worked first time. As I said, I think people making a lot of assumptions over what is actually happening when they replace a drive and it doesn't work.

The concept of requiring 'firmware' when it comes to a HDD is very odd, as the only firmware on a WD HDD is written onto the drive by WD themselves an the time of manufacture, I don't think Panasonic are going to go to the trouble of re-writing HDD firmware, I don't think they'd have the budget or the inclination to go to that sort of trouble.

I'd hardly call two WD1600's different models--at least for the purposes used here. The Panny isn't *that* sophisticated.

The *firmware* that was referred to above is not the drive firmware, but that on the Panny's motherboard. Drive size is burned into the unit on manufacture to keep you from buying a cheap model and upgrading the drive. My guess is, if you swapped the prom from an E-95 and put it and a larger drive into an E-85, you'd probably have another E-95.

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post #34 of 160 Old 09-23-2009, 02:32 AM
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Quote:


Originally Posted by mindeater
I then ordered a new 160GB WD replacement HDD (almost the same spec as the original). I then wrote another tool to take all the the 149 1GB files and write them as raw data onto the new HDD.

After fitting the HDD into the EX75, to my suprise after reading all of the failures on the net, after a tense 'PLEASE WAIT', the unit came up with 47mins remaining, and operating completely normally.

I did start looking at reconstructing the movies using the info posted here, with some success, but would need to work out how the table of contents works to link together all the sub segements of movies, and gave up once I got the new HDD working.

a little confused, the same as VideoBob
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post #35 of 160 Old 09-23-2009, 02:34 AM
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you should execute a data recovery as soon as possible
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post #36 of 160 Old 09-23-2009, 02:44 AM
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hi guys, i need some help depserately, i just formatted my hdd it is a panasonic DMR-EX77. i meant to format the dvd disc but accidently formatted the hard drive. and hence lost all the television programs which were saved, these programs are so important and is it possible to get these back? do i use the method that wade described earlier
THANX IN ADVANCE

andre
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post #37 of 160 Old 09-23-2009, 02:58 AM
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pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee can any1 help !??
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post #38 of 160 Old 09-23-2009, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreasn91 View Post

pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee can any1 help !??

Sorry to say, but it is a generally held view that if you format the HDD, you are cooked. There is no recovery from that.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #39 of 160 Old 09-23-2009, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreasn91 View Post

hi guys, i need some help depserately, i just formatted my hdd it is a panasonic DMR-EX77. i meant to format the dvd disc but accidently formatted the hard drive. and hence lost all the television programs which were saved, these programs are so important and is it possible to get these back? do i use the method that wade described earlier
THANX IN ADVANCE

andre

I'm sorry to say that I have never heard of recovering anything from a Panny HDD after formatting. We have been jumping through hoops just trying to get usable files off of a *good* drive, without losing them.

I agree with Kelson, you are probably SOL on this one--but I *could* be wrong.

There are programs to unformat a DOS/Windows formatted drive--but I have yet seen one to even *read* a Panny-formatted one.

bob
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post #40 of 160 Old 09-23-2009, 08:36 AM
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You are in luck. I posted my findings in two different, but similar themed, threads:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post16984815
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post17178491

So let me state, that at least for the DMR-EH75V, the 'Format' fucntion is only a quick format that erases the MBR (or whatever is equivalent in teh file system used), but not the files stored on the drive. I'd be willing to bet all other Panny HDD recorders (and other brands as well) are similar. If it takes < 1 min. for the format to complete, it's surely not a low level format and most likely the data can be saved. But there is no way that I know of to simply undelete them and have them show up in the navigator screen. It's up to the end user to decide how to get them off and create video DVD's from them, but the information in this thread is a good start.

Whatever you do, if you absolutely want to save those recordings, do NOT record anything else on the newly formatted drive, as it will overwrite the old files. Image the drive first.
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post #41 of 160 Old 09-23-2009, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindeater View Post

I didn't do anything I would consider clever and it worked first time.

You're being WAY too humble: you're too clever by half. You continually gloss the fact that you "just happened to write a quick software routine, based on your engineering background". This allowed you to essentially clone the intact video recordings over to a fresh HDD, without losing anything, and in a form that the recorder would still accept, read and work with as if it were still the original HDD.

THAT IS UNHEARD OF. All previous attempts at HDD cloning also cloned the corruption, a zero sum game.

So every other person on this thread is doing the insanely tedious "use an expensive obscure hex editor to reconstruct each little three second clip and painstakingly reassemble the videos onto their PC drives as coherent standardized files they can then salvage using PC authoring tools". That is a task for savants, or fools with a great deal of time on their hands: I wouldn't attempt such a thing if the videos I lost were priceless, never mind the typical mundane TV fare. What you did is something entirely different and the "holy grail" people here really want to discover: how to do a quick and dirty clone of a failed recorder HDD onto a fresh HDD, cloning the video data but not the corruption, and in such a way the recorder accepts the transplant without incident and without insisting on a reformat.

I'm not sure if some of the people responding to this thread after your post understand there are now two distinct recovery methods being discussed, it can cause confusion. It should be made clear that your "holy grail" method requires your "just tossed it off in an hour" special software hack that allows the cloning of the corrupted drive intact onto a new one. Unless you're willing to publish/sell this software, and an instruction manual, your miracle cure is academic: no one else here has any idea how to follow your footsteps. You are a genius, sir.
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post #42 of 160 Old 12-06-2009, 02:47 PM
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I've just spent 40 minutes composing a response to all the above (giving details of my success at recovering data from a Panasonic HDR) and then been told I'm not logged in and was not given any way of retrieving my text.

So, essence of this message is ....... never hit the Submit button before you cut and paste your text to Notepad, or whatever, or you'll have to start typing again.

Wait on for me to re-compose the original message and post it here. I may, however, post one or two more dummy messages because it seems I can't send an email to poor old andreasn91 (see his post above) until I've posted at least 5 messages.
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post #43 of 160 Old 12-06-2009, 02:49 PM
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Here's my 4th (dummy) post. The next will be my promised addition to all the above.

im2020
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post #44 of 160 Old 12-06-2009, 03:09 PM
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See my posts above in June 2009. I accidentally (re)formatted the 250GB hard drive on my Panasonic DMR-EX85EB thinking I was formatting a DVD-RAM.

The HDD contained 100 hours of treasures that I had not yet watched so after reading worley45 (wade)'s posts in this thread I was inspired to mount a project.

I took the HDD out of the Panny and connected it to my PC (with an IDE to USB adapter cable) and followed Wade's suggestions for using HxD (Hex editor) and HJSplit (file joiner/splitter) to retrieve my treasures and then burn them to DVD. I created a few tools to streamline the process and ended up with 25 DVDs containing all my treasures.

In the meantime, so that I was able to continue using my Panasonic DMR-EX85EB, I bought a replacement Western Digital Caviar WD2500BB 250GB 7200rpm IDE/PATA for £30. Before fitting this into my Panny I copied onto it the first 320KB from the old HDD (Panasonic's proprietary formatting code) and bingo on switching the Panny back on I was welcomed with the information that I had 111 hours of Standard Play recordable capacity.

So my message is that almost anything is possible.

If you want more details of anything described above or if you want a copy of the code to format a replacement 250 KB HDD post here and I'll respond.

im2020
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post #45 of 160 Old 12-26-2009, 02:26 AM
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Hi Im2020

went round my folks yesterday for xmas dinner and their EX85EB is exhibiting all the symtoms of a HDD failure. Why do things always go wrong at xmas?? That said, there was nothing on worth recording - as usual!

They dug the receipt out and most annoyingly its 3 months outside its 2 yr warranty . It wasn't cheap...

So I've pulled the HD out and stuck it in my PC this morning and sure enough it's knackered - BIOS cant even 'see' it - just the 'thunk' of the arm hitting the end stop on power on.

Soooo....I'd be most appreciative of a copy of your code and partition image so I can stick a new HD in it for them. Would that be possible?

cheers
Mark
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post #46 of 160 Old 12-27-2009, 09:55 PM
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If you are not trying to get anything off the old hard drive, you won't need his code. Just get a new hard drive and put it in. Upon power up, the recorder will tell you that the hard drive is not formatted properly, and asks to format it. You say "yes" and it does so. End of story, it formats the drive and you can use it. Only one thing, the new drive you install must have a capacity equal to or greater than the original. It will format to the size of the original drive, even if you put in a larger one. A search here will turn up the drive models people have used in the past.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #47 of 160 Old 12-29-2009, 10:16 AM
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Hi

oh ok, thanks for that.

I thought I'd read elsewhere (before finding this site) that you needed an installation CD that was only available to authorised dealers in order to format a new drive due to the fact that it contains a separate partition with firmware on it.

Confused.. :-/
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post #48 of 160 Old 12-29-2009, 10:18 AM
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dummy post
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post #49 of 160 Old 12-29-2009, 10:18 AM
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post #50 of 160 Old 12-29-2009, 01:19 PM
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Your link doesn't work and since your EX Panny is a European model it is possible it requires extra steps. The US Pannys only requires a compatible drive be installed and the firmware will format the drive correctly.
Pioneers in the US/Canada require a special service remote to replace the hdd but not the Pannys.
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post #51 of 160 Old 12-29-2009, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Your link doesn't work and since your EX Panny is a European model it is possible it requires extra steps. The US Pannys only requires a compatible drive be installed and the firmware will format the drive correctly.
Pioneers in the US/Canada require a special service remote to replace the hdd but not the Pannys.

His link worked for me.

I was very surprised, to say the least, when I read that thread he was pointing us to. It seems that such an HDD replacment procedure is not as simple as with E85, EH50, Eh55, EH75 models *I* am familiar with. It's odd that Panasonic would change their design and put the firmware on the HDD in these machines. It changes the process for replacing the hard drive from trivial, to nearly impossible. Why?

mbslk280, I am very sorry for misleading you in this. I saw your model, EX85EB, and never really mentally processed the "X" in the EX, so I was speaking of a different model completely. All my mind processed was the "85" and that was my mistake. They shouldn't re-use model numbers, it confuses people like me.

I bought some IPOD accessories as a Christmas gift this year, making the HUGE mistake of getting IPOD NANO Gen 4 items, instead of IPOD NANO Gen 5 items. They are incompatible apparently. Well, *I* didn't know!

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #52 of 160 Old 12-30-2009, 02:17 AM
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Hey Church AV Guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

mbslk280, I am very sorry for misleading you in this.

lol - no worries. Thanks for clarifying.

Yep, its most frustrating. They bought this model specifically 'cos it has a built in SD card reader and so can copy their photos to DVD (they dont have a PC).

The HDD itself (which I believe has a 3yr warranty) is dated 02 SEP 2006 Ho hum...

Happy holidays
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post #53 of 160 Old 01-29-2010, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by im2020 View Post

See my posts above in June 2009. I accidentally (re)formatted the 250GB hard drive on my Panasonic DMR-EX85EB thinking I was formatting a DVD-RAM.

The HDD contained 100 hours of treasures that I had not yet watched so after reading worley45 (wade)'s posts in this thread I was inspired to mount a project.

I took the HDD out of the Panny and connected it to my PC (with an IDE to USB adapter cable) and followed Wade's suggestions for using HxD (Hex editor) and HJSplit (file joiner/splitter) to retrieve my treasures and then burn them to DVD. I created a few tools to streamline the process and ended up with 25 DVDs containing all my treasures.

In the meantime, so that I was able to continue using my Panasonic DMR-EX85EB, I bought a replacement Western Digital Caviar WD2500BB 250GB 7200rpm IDE/PATA for £30. Before fitting this into my Panny I copied onto it the first 320KB from the old HDD (Panasonic's proprietary formatting code) and bingo on switching the Panny back on I was welcomed with the information that I had 111 hours of Standard Play recordable capacity.

So my message is that almost anything is possible.

If you want more details of anything described above or if you want a copy of the code to format a replacement 250 KB HDD post here and I'll respond.

im2020

Hi, I've stumbled across this site after trying to fix my sisters EX85EB. HDD was dead (clunking) so have fitted a replacement and it's asking for the service CD.

Would really appreciate the code to format so it works, and also confirming what file system I should format in?

Thanks, Mark
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post #54 of 160 Old 01-30-2010, 06:45 AM
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Hi Mark

I PM'ed im2020 around Christmas time inquiring about obtaining a copy of the code to format the HD but never received a reply.

If you fair better, or manage to get hold of the holy grail installation CD, please do let me know!

cheers
Mark
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post #55 of 160 Old 02-02-2010, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbslk280 View Post

Hi Mark

I PM'ed im2020 around Christmas time inquiring about obtaining a copy of the code to format the HD but never received a reply.

If you fair better, or manage to get hold of the holy grail installation CD, please do let me know!

cheers
Mark

hi i am new to this group and i have been reading all the replys, i have a Panasonic DMREX-77 and the hard drive has packed up i have a spare hard drive but need the software to instal on the new hard drive, i have spent days looking for this, does anybody have a coppy i could have or tell me were i could get hold of a copy.
this machine is to good to just bin, i would be really greatful if anybody can help.
many thanks Diddywaxman.
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post #56 of 160 Old 04-02-2010, 01:26 AM
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Well Done Worley45!! Yesterday I pressed the wrong buttons and instead of deleting a DVDRAM, I deleted (not formatted) my nearly full hard drive on my DMR-HS2 !!! I found your post, and am starting the long process of trying to recover some precious recordings. I have succesfully replaced the hdd in the -hs2, so can continue using it. I have put the hdd directly in the pc, and it can see it as "hard disk 3", there are already 2 hdds in there, but cant play the saved "a1.mpg" file with any DVD player prog. It also is a lot bigger than 16Mb. Are there any more tips that might help?
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post #57 of 160 Old 04-20-2010, 03:55 AM
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I recently tried installing a 500G HDD to my Pana DMR-XW300 to replace an ageing 250G. Earlier posts suggested any larger HDD would be formatted to 250G. No luck for me, my system simply reported "Format Unsuccessful".

I then cloned the 250G onto the 500G using a program called Selfimage. I installed the 500G and it worked just fine. All recorded titles were available and remaining disk space was as per original 250G HDD. So far so good.

While the 500G was installed I deleted one recorded title. I then removed the 500G and reinstalled the 250G. The DMR wanted to do an automatic format as it could no longer access the titles. It seems the DMR records the title information (index) somewhere other than on the HDD. If the HDD does not match the recorded title information, the DMR tries to reformat the HDD, ie all titles are lost. This could explain many of the earlier automatic reformat comments in this post. Once you install a different HDD and do any reformat, even the original HDD will no longer work as there is a mismatch between the title records and the HDD.

I reinstalled the 500G HDD and because the HDD contents match the title records, this continues to work fine. I am now stuck with using this HDD as it is the only one that matches the title records.

Hope this info helps someone.
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post #58 of 160 Old 04-20-2010, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWylde View Post

I recently tried installing a 500G HDD to my Pana DMR-XW300 to replace an ageing 250G. Earlier posts suggested any larger HDD would be formatted to 250G. No luck for me, my system simply reported "Format Unsuccessful".

I then cloned the 250G onto the 500G using a program called Selfimage. I installed the 500G and it worked just fine. All recorded titles were available and remaining disk space was as per original 250G HDD. So far so good.

While the 500G was installed I deleted one recorded title. I then removed the 500G and reinstalled the 250G. The DMR wanted to do an automatic format as it could no longer access the titles. It seems the DMR records the title information (index) somewhere other than on the HDD. If the HDD does not match the recorded title information, the DMR tries to reformat the HDD, ie all titles are lost. This could explain many of the earlier automatic reformat comments in this post. Once you install a different HDD and do any reformat, even the original HDD will no longer work as there is a mismatch between the title records and the HDD.

I reinstalled the 500G HDD and because the HDD contents match the title records, this continues to work fine. I am now stuck with using this HDD as it is the only one that matches the title records.

Hope this info helps someone.

You could try cloning the 500 back onto a new 250 if the software allows it. You only need the first 250 gig copied.
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post #59 of 160 Old 04-25-2010, 10:46 AM
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Hi there!

My uncle had a problem with his Panasonic DMR-EH56: The DVD-drive broke down and the whole recorder seems to be useless. But I wrote a script to copy most of the data from the hard drive disk. The data will be saved as MPEG files. So almost every application should be able to read them.

For this special Panasonic recorder the script worked really good. From the 160 GB (~ 149 GiB) hdd I could automatically recover about 70 GiB (this means, that the script found parts of the same recording itself and the film was complete without manual work). But I cut the files, so the size is without any advertisements.

The script also found the other data (so probably around 70 GiB), but it wasn't able to recognize which of the pieces belong together. But I think, that many of this recordings were deleted, because most of them are very short. The script has also problems, if advertisements are cut out, because after this process the timecode is not continuous anymore. I don't really know the content of the hard drive disk, because it wasn't actually my recorder.

Now the problem: The script should work, but I can't test it more than I already did. Also some parts of the code are far from perfect (and the very last thing is not completed yet), but my time is limited.

Is anyone here who has interest? It's a Python script (tested with Python 2.6 ). I used it on a Linux based system with a copy of the hard drive disk (copied with dd). So I needed the space for the copy of the hdd and for the MPEG-output of my script (~ 2× size of hdd). But it should be possible to use the hdd directly as input (haven't tested this, but it definitly requires root-priveleges.). I don't know if it's possible to use the script on Windows, too. If Windows can create a exact copy of the disk there is no problem. On Linux you can use the hard disk directly as input file (/dev/sdX), don't know if this is also possible on Windows (I'm not a Windows user anymore).

It took me a while to write this script, so I would be happy if my solution could help others too. But be aware: Maybe it's a bit complicated (especially for Windows users), but not as complicated as looking for the MPEG-chunks by hand

If there are no interested people, further work would be unnecessary in my opinion. Then I would use my time for other things But would also be a pity if the (currently not fully completed) script would lie around on my hard drive.

Cheers
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post #60 of 160 Old 04-25-2010, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0x1BBE898 View Post

Hi there!

My uncle had a problem with his Panasonic DMR-EH56: The DVD-drive broke down and the whole recorder seems to be useless. But I wrote a script to copy most of the data from the hard drive disk. The data will be saved as MPEG files. So almost every application should be able to read them.

For this special Panasonic recorder the script worked really good. From the 160 GB (~ 149 GiB) hdd I could automatically recover about 70 GiB (this means, that the script found parts of the same recording itself and the film was complete without manual work). But I cut the files, so the size is without any advertisements.

The script also found the other data (so probably around 70 GiB), but it wasn't able to recognize which of the pieces belong together. But I think, that many of this recordings were deleted, because most of them are very short. The script has also problems, if advertisements are cut out, because after this process the timecode is not continuous anymore. I don't really know the content of the hard drive disk, because it wasn't actually my recorder.

Now the problem: The script should work, but I can't test it more than I already did. Also some parts of the code are far from perfect (and the very last thing is not completed yet), but my time is limited.

Is anyone here who has interest? It's a Python script (tested with Python 2.6 ). I used it on a Linux based system with a copy of the hard drive disk (copied with dd). So I needed the space for the copy of the hdd and for the MPEG-output of my script (~ 2× size of hdd). But it should be possible to use the hdd directly as input (haven't tested this, but it definitly requires root-priveleges.). I don't know if it's possible to use the script on Windows, too. If Windows can create a exact copy of the disk there is no problem. On Linux you can use the hard disk directly as input file (/dev/sdX), don't know if this is also possible on Windows (I'm not a Windows user anymore).

It took me a while to write this script, so I would be happy if my solution could help others too. But be aware: Maybe it's a bit complicated (especially for Windows users), but not as complicated as looking for the MPEG-chunks by hand

If there are no interested people, further work would be unnecessary in my opinion. Then I would use my time for other things But would also be a pity if the (currently not fully completed) script would lie around on my hard drive.

Cheers

I'm definitely interested. Three potential problems:
1) I'm running WinXP (but I know how to run a knoppix disk)
2) My data is now stored as an image file
3) The data came from a HDD that required a format. Panny HDD formats are 'simple' in that they only overwrite the TOC (or whatever the correct linux term is) - the actual mpeg data is still there, just no direct pointers to what is what.

Let me know if you think it'd still be OK to use and what I'd need.
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