Hard Disk File System investigation for the Magnavox 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 182 Old 09-16-2010, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thought this should be split out to as a different thread.


Reasons for doing the investigation of the hard disk file system.

People upgrading their disks would like to put the old drive information on the new drive and have the DVR use the full disk.


Some things already looked into:
Some people suggested it might be FAT32. Microsoft has patents on FAT32 and I looked on my old hard drive, a 160 Gig from a Magnavox 2160A and couldn't find any required FAT32 structures on the drive.

I had the idea that maybe it could be UDF. After looking at the drive image I found this not to be the case.


The drive is not partitioned and has no valid boot sector on it so looking at it with a computer is somewhat a problem. I have been using iBoard to look at my old drive. That was a bit slow so I copied the whole disk with iBoard over to my NTFS hard disk so I would have an easier time looking at the data.


What I found so far and it isn't much:
Interesting on sector 2 if found this string "HDDFs 00.07 ".

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post #2 of 182 Old 09-17-2010, 11:52 AM
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I hooked my drive outa my 3575 in here a while back and the OS saw nothing but I didn't try every possibility that might have worked.
I didn't want to blow up the drive or contents till I saw if my upgrade worked, which it still does.
IF somebody does fully figure it out it would be great for folks with multiple drives hooked up in external bays and things, provided they just wanted to do a direct edit and burn easily on their PC rather then in the recorder.
I have some pretty good and easy editing programs that make the job of dumping commercials and choosing the video format a breeze provided you want to pay for the program, and I'm sure there are free versions that work well too.
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post #3 of 182 Old 09-17-2010, 02:02 PM
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This question was asked the day the first DVD/HDD recorder shipped 8 years ago, and the answer today is the same as it was then: forget it. You cannot really perform any useful manipulation of video content of a DVR HDD once you remove it from the recorder and put it in a PC. You might as well take the HDD from a 1991 Macintosh SE and plug it into a Dell Windows XP box: same result. The HDD requires the proprietary recorder OS to access the material in any normal fashion.

Recent experiments by several members here with Stellar Phoenix recovery/hex software has resulted in salvage options for some recorder HDDs, i.e. they have failed in the recorder but a PC running the software can extract the file fragments. This usually entails seriously tedious and time consuming reassembly of the video fragments, nothing like normal video handling on a computer. And as you've hinted, the other option is to "clone" an existing recorder HDD, but this results in losing any additional capacity of the larger newer HDD.

In older, more expensive models from Pioneer, Panasonic and Toshiba one at least had the option of formatting DVD or RAM backups in a way that permitted high speed lossless return of the backed up HDD files to any replacement HDD. But I don't think the Magnavox design provides this option- perhaps wajo could chime in here with a confirmation? Maybe the Magnavox can do this with DVD+RW backups? If not, then there is really no way to upgrade its HDD capacity without sacrificing any recordings on the original HDD (or backing them up as normal DVD-Rs). On the plus side, the Magnavox is the easiest recorder in the world to upgrade with another HDD.
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post #4 of 182 Old 09-17-2010, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Maybe the Magnavox can do this with DVD+RW backups? If not, then there is really no way to upgrade its HDD capacity without sacrificing any recordings on the original HDD (or backing them up as normal DVD-Rs). On the plus side, the Magnavox is the easiest recorder in the world to upgrade with another HDD.

The Magnavox does have loss-less high speed copy to DVD disk. When I did my hard drive upgrade I used some old DVD+RWs I had. When I copied back to the hard drive I had to what they call real time copy. It basically plays the DVD and re-encodes the data. At least you can do several titles at the same time on the disk and have them saved as separate files on the hard drive.

If there isn't that much interest, I'm not going to try to do this by myself. It maybe there are just a lot of people that say, wouldn't it be nice. I know a few people have looked at hard drives they have removed from their Magnavox so there are at least a handful that might want to work on this. I can't imagine that the directory structure would be that difficult but then I haven't figured it out yet either.

As for editing the files directly off of the hard drive. That will be much harder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

It's not just the file system of the drive that has to be known, but how the primary A/V data is stored on the device. Most devices store the raw output from the encoder as separate video and audio transport streams and only mux the two together into containers (i.e. .VOB file) at the time of output. Storing separate audio & video transport streams makes it very easy for the unit to send the separate A/V streams directly to the TV for playback with minimal overhead.

I know when I do a high speed dub, the unit does something that takes quite a bit longer than the burn before it saves the title out to the DVD. I thought maybe it was writing the file over to a fixed defragmented reserved area on the hard drive. Maybe it was putting the audio and video together into a .VOB. I don't know right now. Kelson might be right.

As for resizing the file system. I am hopeful that won't be too hard. It depends on how blank space is kept track of. I'm hopeful it will be modify a number and maybe put an entry in one directory for the blank space.
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post #5 of 182 Old 09-17-2010, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTheGeek View Post

The Magnavox does have loss-less high speed copy to DVD disk. When I did my hard drive upgrade I used some old DVD+RWs I had. When I copied back to the hard drive I had to what they call real time copy. It basically plays the DVD and re-encodes the data. At least you can do several titles at the same time on the disk and have them saved as separate files on the hard drive.

I bold-ed one of your remarks above for clarity. This issue of only being able to do a real-time re-encoded copy from DVD back to HDD is probably the root of advanced Magnavox users' frustration. With older machines of other brands, the high-speed lossless copy is both faster than the Magnavox and works in either direction, as long as the backup DVD is formatted as a backup DVD (not a video DVD-R) or you used DVD-RAM discs. For example, my 2005 Pioneer 531 began failing this past winter. This model (and other Pios, Panasonics, etc) can make a high speed lossless straight digital copy of 2 hours of SP material from HDD to backup-format DVD in about 12 minutes, so it took me about 4 hours/18 discs to back up an 80GB HDD. After repairing the unit, it took four hours to restore those files back to the HDD, for a total of 8 hours approx.

While dull work, 8 hours is not really that bad since I might need the backed-up files again later, and I was able to restore 38 hours of "live", editable, lossless material back to the HDD without enduring real-time and video degradation. Had I upgraded to a much larger HDD capacity, this restoration method would have preserved the larger useful capacity while retaining the original file quality (and defragmenting the drive in the process). While not ideal, its at least a reasonable alternative that lets you achieve the goal. Unfortunately new-generation designs like the Mags appear not to have bi-directional high-speed lossless dubbing, it only works in the HDD to DVD direction. This drawback must be weighed against other advantages, however: the Magnavox is half the price Pioneer and Panasonic recorders sold for, and it includes an excellent ATSC tuner not available in any other DVD/HDD model.

The Magnavox HDD replacement interface is not fussy or overcomplicated like some of the Panasonics and Toshibas (which were picky about specific HDDs and locked at their original capacity limit no matter how big the replacement), and the Magnavox uses a built-in service mode to replace its drives (Pioneers require expensive service remotes and service discs to accept new HDDs). If you drop a new 500GB HDD into your 160GB Magnavox, it recognizes the entire 500GB, no problem. The newest Magnavox MDR513 ships with a 320GB drive, which obviates the need to ever upgrade it really. The dream of shoehorning an enormous terabyte HDD into these DVD/HDD recorders loses its appeal when you realize how slow and cumbersome their navigation is: 320GB is the practical limit and I find 500 to already be way too much. You also hit a technical limit of 999 max titles on the HDD with all PVRs, so at a certain point higher HDD capacity becomes moot.

There is no mouse or command line in the recorder OS: navigating many hundreds of titles with the remote arrow keys is hopelessly inefficient even with the sleek scrolling Pioneer interface, the far clunkier Magnavox navigator would have me punching walls at anything beyond 160GB. Be careful what you wish for. (That said, I am in frequent contact with an AVS member who hot swaps terabyte drives in and out of his Pioneers, filling them to full capacity with aviation coverage. Its doable for such very long form material you expect to only view from the HDDs.)


Quote:


If there isn't that much interest, I'm not going to try to do this by myself. (...) I can't imagine that the directory structure would be that difficult but then I haven't figured it out yet either.

There's no lack of interest, there is HUGE interest, its just that sales of DVD/HDD recorders have dropped off sharply and most of the old hands here long ago gave up the fantasy of easily-tampered-with HDDs. Hollywood stepped in early on, pressuring hardware mfrs to make the HDD raw data as inaccessible as possible outside the recorder chassis. They all colluded, resulting in an assortment of proprietary Linux-based file systems and OSes. No computer can host one of these HDDs and make any sense of them other than data salvage projects: certain software can reveal the individual files, but they cannot be directly manipulated as video. You have to manually catalog all the various pieces, stitch them together (blindly) in the correct playback order, then convert them into a standard video file format usable by and visible on computers (AVI, DiVX, whatever). The reward for all this effort is just not worth the time and trouble, unless of course you have priceless material on a damaged HDD that you must salvage at any cost.

Quote:


As for editing the files directly off of the hard drive. That will be much harder.

See above: there is little to no interest in harvesting these raw files if they cannot be viewed or worked with as direct video files. Kinda defeats the point.

Quote:


As for resizing the file system. I am hopeful that won't be too hard. It depends on how blank space is kept track of. I'm hopeful it will be modify a number and maybe put an entry in one directory for the blank space.

If you're referring to making a bit-by-bit clone of the original HDD to a larger replacement HDD, while retaining the additional capacity of the replacement drive, this has been attempted without success many times before. I mean, really, REALLY tried: hundreds of times by hundreds of European Sony RDR-HX recorder owners alone. Throw in another few thousand Panasonic, Pioneer, Toshiba and JVC owners and believe me: if there was a way to pull this off it would have been found by now. It can't be done: if you clone an existing drive, you clone the capacity limit right along with the videos. These mfrs are not as dumb as you'd think: they put more effort into enforcing capacity limits and frustrating HDD file access than they do any other aspect of the recorder. Very few recorder models will address a larger drive capacity than they shipped with: put in even a completely blank terabyte drive and the typical Sony, Panasonic, or Toshiba will format it as 80 or 160GB. Most Pioneers will recognize larger capacity up to a terabyte, if you use the stupid service remote/service disk tools. The Magnavox apparently has no capacity detection limit (as long as the new HDD is empty). Replacing the HDD in an older JVC is so absurdly difficult most owners give up and dump them in a closet (not even JVC remembers how to install them).

A few years back, there were two or three one-off, very chintzy low-end DVD/HDD models (RCA, Radio Shack, Polaroid) that supposedly did use near-normal HDD file formats. But these were rare exceptions to the rule, and such crummy-quality recorders that most users tired of them quickly or didn't bother. For all intents and purposes, DVD/HDD recorders are closed systems. If you want flexible, easy to handle video files and spontaneous expansion options, you're stuck with PC-based DVR solutions.
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post #6 of 182 Old 09-18-2010, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Well so far I got a few people saying it's been tried and you're probably won't get anywhere.

I spent a few hours looking at sector 4 and 5 on my hard disk and I decoded maybe 90% of it.

I included a 1.5K file of the "File" FB000_00.LST from my old drive. I suggest using a hex editor too look at it. It will not look like much otherwise.

I will use hex format a lot in the following. Basically it base 16 so there are 16 symbols used, 0-F. Decimal uses 10 symbols 0-9. Computer people like using hex because two digits is one byte. I will try to say it is hex or start the number with 0x to show it is hex. Microsoft calculator in scientific mode can translate hex to decimal and back again.

This is basically a hard drive map on where they store different data in different spots on the hard drive.

The numbers are in little-endian format so the least significant byte is at the lowest memory location:

The first line is as follows in hex format:
B0 9E A1 12 DF 23 A0 12 CF 7A 01 00 02 00 00 00

Bytes 0 - 3: 0x12A19EB0 => 312,581,808 -- This is the number of sectors on the hard disk. The drive that this came from is a Hitachi HDT721016SLA380 and the link to the data sheet is here.

Bytes 4 - 7: 0x12A023DF => 312,484,831 -- This is the number of sectors referenced in this drive map - 1.

Bytes 8 - 15: I don't know what they mean. Maybe someone else could look at it. It might be some math checks. If you look at it as a formula that needs to add up.
Bytes 8 - 11: 0x00017ACF => 96,975 - Don't know what this might mean.
Bytes 12-15: 0x00000002 => 2 - Don't know what this means.
But 312,581,808 - 312,484,831 - 96975 - 2 = 0.
This might be a sanity check to make sure all the sectors on the disk are accounted for.

Down the sector at byte 68, or 0x44 is a 2 that I don't know what it is there for either. The rest of the header is blank and is 128 bytes long total or 0x80.

I'm going to take a break now and put the file entries or disk map in another post. The rest of these two sectors are the disk map entries.

 

FB000_00.LST.dimg.txt 1.5k . file
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post #7 of 182 Old 09-18-2010, 10:33 AM
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Yeah, hex editors seem to be the only things capable of seeing or extracting any useful material from these recorder HDDs. This was reported once or twice a few years ago by extremely obsessive owners who needed to salvage their damaged HDDs and were willing to pull their hair out in the process (as I recall it took them six months to extract and assemble four hours worth of video). Eventually, one particular hex editor became the "go-to" application for those who want to play with recorder HDDs: the Stellar Phoenix software I mentioned in an earlier post. This app seems to detect more file fragment variations on more different recorder structures. It used to cost something like $300 and was only available for Linux, but recently dropped to $59 and is now available for Linux, Mac, and Windows. I haven't used Stellar Phoenix myself, I can't be bothered, but there are many posts here regarding it (particularly if you search the "Panasonic HDD File Recovery- It can Be Done!" type of threads). AFAIK its still more of a "recovery" process than an everyday use thing, and doesn't help break the capacity limit code on cloned HDDs or allow larger HDDs to be formatted to full capacity in the recorders with capacity lockouts (because their motherboards control capacity recognition: nothing you can do to the HDD boot blocks or directory structure will get around that hard-wired restriction).
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post #8 of 182 Old 09-19-2010, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't think we will be able to break the 500 G limit that there is on these DVRs. They probably will store some of the data on the hard disk in RAM and they only have so much RAM. From what I've seen so far the theoretical limit is 2 TBytes and that is they handled the math right and have enough RAM to handle it. Also, I haven't seen anything that would indicate that they could handle a 4K sector of the new hard drive. So we will have to stick with 512 sector hard drives.

If the file structure is figured out a program could be easily written to put the file fragments together. That is of course assuming that the video and audio are together. I've been warned that sometimes they are not.

As for this file map, I will need so examples from other peoples drives that are of different sizes. This will help to determine what changes with the drive size. My guess is one of the lists is tracking allocation units in the mpg part of the map. I would think they need to grow or shrink with the file system size.
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post #9 of 182 Old 09-19-2010, 02:12 PM
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Peter,

I'm glad you're investigating this. This project is just too time consuming for me to be able to continue after I've looked at the disk and tried various programs to read it.

I believe the used/free sectors allocation table are stored somewhere (most likely at the beginning) of the disk. And all the sector addresses were calculated at the time we initialize the new hard disk with SKIP 079 command. People have reported that they can use the disk with a different Mag 2160 with all titles intact. And this enable the HDD farming like the setup that auskck has.

If the disk size was just one constant stored in that allocation table then it's not so difficult. But if the whole table was calculated up front using this size, then we'll have to modify each entry to ensure they all correct. And all this is just to be able to clone the disk to a larger size disk. The audio/video files structure could be on another table that stores the sector addresses. So we'll have to figure that out if we want to extract the titles.

I'd suggest you look for the name of one of recorded titles. See if you can find it. If you can't, then the names were possibly encrypted so that people can't find them easily.
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post #10 of 182 Old 09-19-2010, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodhi78 View Post

I'd suggest you look for the name of one of recorded titles. See if you can find it. If you can't, then the names were possibly encrypted so that people can't find them easily.

I have found the title names and they are clear ASCII text. More about that later.
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post #11 of 182 Old 09-19-2010, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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The following is the first map record I have on my hard disk, it is in hex format:
02 00 00 00 02 00 00 00 06 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 2e 00 53 59 53 43 54 52 00 44
46 30 30 30 5f 30 30 2e 4c 53 54 00 00 00 00 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

I'm just going to call these parts of the hard drive as files. They are not really files but more like partitions or something like that. Anyway, I'll include the map of my hard disk.

Bytes 0 - 3:
This is the sector number the file starts at.
0x00000002 = 2

Bytes 4 - 7:
This is the length of the file.
0x00000002 = 2

Byte 8:
0x06 = 6 - Don't know what this means but it is always 6 on my disk image.

Bytes 9 - 21:
Always 0.

Byte 22:
Always 0x2E = 46

Byte 23:
Always 0.

Bytes 24 - 42:
File name, it is justified to the highest byte location and buffered by 0s. In this example there is a 0 in the file name. The space after SYSCTR is a 0 or null and not a ASCII value of space of 32.
The file name is SYSCTR F000_00.LS

Bytes 43 - 63
Always 0.

Here is a table of my hard disk map:
File Name Starting Sector Length
SYSCTR F000_00.LST 2 2
FB000_00.LST 4 3
SYSCTR TR000_00.LS 7 1
FONT_DAFONT_DAT.DAT 8 8193
BU_DVDFBU_DVDFS.DAT 8201 20748
BU_LOG_BU_LOG_D.DAT 28949 24090
VBI_DATVBI_DATA.DAT 53039 8192
TI000_0TI000_00.IFO 61231 394
TM001_0TM001_00.MAP 61625 922200
TC001_0TC001_00.CHP 983825 51000
TM002_0TM002_00.MAP 1034825 922200
TC002_0TC002_00.CHP 1957025 51000
MPG_SEGMPG_SEGM.DAT 2008025 8
AV001_0AV001_00.MPG 2008033 310476800

Last sector used is 312484832
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post #12 of 182 Old 09-19-2010, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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My current stab in the dark on what is stored in the various drive sections:

SYSCTR F000_00.LST
This is just the drives title so to speak. Looks like there is a pointer to the drive map and two other numbers I don't know the meaning of. There is a text string that give the file system name and version number.

FB000_00.LST
This is the drive map as I like to call it. It setup where everything lives on the disk. What I have figured out so far is in a previous post.

SYSCTR TR000_00.LS
Mine is blank so either it was used and not anymore or is for future use.

FONT_DAFONT_DAT.DAT
Mine is blank from what I can tell. Maybe the fonts for close captioning is stored here. I never turned that on so maybe.

BU_DVDFBU_DVDFS.DAT
Mine is blank from what I can tell. I think this is the scratch area for building disk your going to burn. It is too small to store the DVD here but I think it would build the list of sectors to be copied to the DVD.

BU_LOG_BU_LOG_D.DAT
Mine is blank from what I can tell. Since it starts with BU like the previous, I think it might have something to do with DVD burning. Since it says log it could have error logged here as well. Nothing but guesses since it's blank.

VBI_DATVBI_DATA.DAT
Mine is blank fro what I can tell. I don't know what VBI could mean. Maybe someone else would have a idea.

TI000_0TI000_00.IFO
This is where the titles are stored. The title names are in ASCII text format. I haven't studied this yet to try to figure out the records.

TM001_0TM001_00.MAP
TM002_0TM002_00.MAP
Two map files. I haven't looked at the records enough to see what is going on. They are very large and there is some pattern to the data. If people want to extract file from the hard drive this record will need to be decrypted. Looks like the records maybe very small, maybe 16 bytes each. Still I just glanced at the data and didn't try to dissect it. I don't know why there are two maps. Maybe I should save them both out the my NTFS drive and compare them. They might be copies of each other.

TC001_0TC001_00.CHP
TC002_0TC002_00.CHP
I think the chapter marks are stored here. These files seam to be very sparsely populated on my hard drive. So it might be hard to figure out what this file is about.

MPG_SEGMPG_SEGM.DAT
This is a very small file and there is very little in it.

AV001_0AV001_00.MPG
There is where the video is stored. I did try saving out the first couple of megabytes and got a short clip of one title.
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post #13 of 182 Old 09-19-2010, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I would like to see how the drive map numbers here change with the size of the disk. My guess is that most of the length numbers would stay the same except for the .MAP and of course the .MPG files.

Here is where things get a bit messy. I need to see how things change when bigger and smaller drives are installed. I was hoping that some people could give me a hand in getting data to look at. The dd command or under windows the iBoard could extract the first few sectors so we could look at them. It would be helpful. For now we could do just sector 0 - 6.

The alternative is for me to get another unit to run experiments on, does J&R have any stock right now?

I don't want to be messing with my "production" unit.
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post #14 of 182 Old 09-21-2010, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I ordered a unit from J & R. I should have it next week. I plan on formatting two hard drives in the test unit. One will be a 80 Gig and one the 160 it came with. With both of them formatted but no saved titles, it should make seeing the differences between them very easy.

I do plan on running several experiments that would tie up the test unit for possibly weeks at a time. I am curious if we can break the 500 Gig limit or if the firmware won't let you. I'm also wondering about the 600 title limit but that is very much an academic exercise. I don't see the point of doing that as CitiBear pointed out the listing menu system on the unit makes even 600 title very unruly. Besides a 2 Gig drive with 600 titles at HQ would be about an average of 37.5 minutes per title to fill the disk. Not unheard of with enough of a mix of 30 minute and 1 hour shows.
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post #15 of 182 Old 09-24-2010, 08:51 AM
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Peter, while you wait for the other unit, could you post some of the smaller files you've extracted, like the VBI....DAT and the .IFO files? Some of us may want to take a gander as well.
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post #16 of 182 Old 09-25-2010, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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If I find time I will look at some of these other files today. I don't think it will happen though.

I saved out the entire file except for the two map files and the mpg file. There I saved as much as I could in a single 500K zip file.

I did find out that the two map files are indeed different.

 

SYSCTR.TR000_00.LST.zip 0.1494140625k . file

 

FB000_00.LST.zip 0.3984375k . file

 

SYSCTR.DF000_00.LST.zip 0.173828125k . file

 

FONT_DAFONT_DAT.DAT.zip 4.95703125k . file

 

BU_DVDFBU_DVDFS.DAT.zip 12.3232421875k . file
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post #17 of 182 Old 09-25-2010, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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post #18 of 182 Old 09-25-2010, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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post #19 of 182 Old 09-25-2010, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTheGeek View Post

My current stab in the dark on what is stored in the various drive sections:

Could one of the unknown sections be designated for the 6 hour auto-record buffer?
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post #20 of 182 Old 09-26-2010, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

Could one of the unknown sections be designated for the 6 hour auto-record buffer?

The whole structure minus the the .MPG file is under 1 Gig. The auto-record buffer video data has to be saved in the .MPG file with the rest of the video. It may have a special place in the .IFO and .MAP and .CHP files. It looks like .IFO gets the records that are not used get zeroed out so that should make it easier for us to figure out what is going on there.

I don't think the .MPG file gets zeroed out, they just overwrite the allocation unit when recording.
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post #21 of 182 Old 09-26-2010, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTheGeek View Post

My current stab in the dark on what is stored in the various drive sections:

VBI_DATVBI_DATA.DAT
Mine is blank fro what I can tell. I don't know what VBI could mean. Maybe someone else would have a idea.

From: VizmayaTech VBI Data Sicing

What is VBI?

VBI stands for Vertical Blanking Interval. In analog video display, such as a CRT, a video frame is shown by drawing horizontal lines from the top to the bottom of the screen. Once a frame is completely drawn, the beam has to travel back to the top left, to start drawing the next frame. Since there is nothing to show while the beam retraces, this interval is blanked and hence called the vertical blanking interval.

VBI Data

During vertical blanking time, no video is shown. So the display is not consuming anything from the incoming video signal. This interval effectively leaves open a chunk of bandwidth that can be used for data communication. To keep things simple, the horizontal lines (referred to as just lines', henceforth) are continued to be transmitted during the vertical blanking interval, but the lines do not contain video. Each VBI line, or group of lines may contain data, encoded as per a variety of standards. The most common used VBI service is the closed caption service, which is used to show text subtitles.

To ensure that VBI data goes wherever the video goes, VBI data is actually encoded as video. This allows VBI data to be transmitted transparently across any carrier media (Over The Air (OTA), cable, satellite, fibre optic cable etc) that is designed to transmit the video signal.

Raw and Sliced data

The hardware that receives VBI data may just sample the VBI lines to collect the data bits, with no knowledge of the type of data it contains. This is called raw data. The raw data may then be processed by software to interpret the contents.

The other possibility is to have the VBI hardware interpret the VBI data, based on the type or standard used on the line(s). The output in this case is extracted information such as closed caption characters, or data packets. This is called sliced data.

Typical VBI data extraction hardware supports both modes. The 'sliced' mode is much more useful, since a lot of low level functions such as data extraction , error correction are handled by the hardware. Raw data is primarily used to work with non standard VBI data, and for re-encoding unmodified into an output video signal.

A note on Interlaced video

NTSC analog video uses interlaced video. This means that even though the video has 30 pictures (frames) per second, the video is transmitted as 60 fields by splitting each frame into an odd and even field.

How much data can VBI carry?

In NTSC, the VBI consists of 21 lines. Lines 1 to 9 are reserved' for television timing signaling. Lines 10 to 21 are available for data transmission. Line 21 is widely used for closed captioning, hence the available lines are 10 - 20, a total of 11 lines.

Each VBI line can transmit up to 288 bits. At a rate of 60 fields per second this amounts to a raw line data rate of 17, 280 bits per second. Note that actual useful data rate would be much lower, due to packetization and error correction overheads.
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post #22 of 182 Old 09-26-2010, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTheGeek View Post

I don't think the .MPG file gets zeroed out, they just overwrite the allocation unit when recording.

If the HDD becomes full with saved recordings, will that interfere with the auto-record buffer time? If it does not interfere I would think there has to be some method to reserve space for the buffer.
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post #23 of 182 Old 09-26-2010, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTheGeek View Post

My current stab in the dark on what is stored in the various drive sections:

TI000_0TI000_00.IFO
This is where the titles are stored. The title names are in ASCII text format. I haven't studied this yet to try to figure out the records.

From FILExt.com

File Extension IFO

The IFO file type is primarily associated with 'DVD Info File'. An info file associated with a .VRO video file. The .VRO file contains the video stream and the .IFO file contains various scene and timing information. This is different from a .VOB file where that information is included in the file. Several manufacturers use .VRO/.IFO files. If present, the file VIDEO_TS.IFO consists of control and playback information for the entire DVD. VIDEO_TS.IFO is known as VMGI (The Video Manager Information file). This file is required to be present on a DVD-compliant disc.



Maybe this is only used for HDD->DVD dubbing purposes?
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post #24 of 182 Old 09-27-2010, 04:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

From FILExt.com

File Extension IFO

The IFO file type is primarily associated with 'DVD Info File'. An info file associated with a .VRO video file. The .VRO file contains the video stream and the .IFO file contains various scene and timing information. This is different from a .VOB file where that information is included in the file. Several manufacturers use .VRO/.IFO files. If present, the file VIDEO_TS.IFO consists of control and playback information for the entire DVD. VIDEO_TS.IFO is known as VMGI (The Video Manager Information file). This file is required to be present on a DVD-compliant disc.

Maybe this is only used for HDD->DVD dubbing purposes?

I believe that the titles live in the TI000_0TI000_00.IFO file. But maybe they are in a similar format as the VIDEO_TS.IFO. At least we can start looking at it that way and see if it matches.
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post #25 of 182 Old 09-27-2010, 04:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

If the HDD becomes full with saved recordings, will that interfere with the auto-record buffer time? If it does not interfere I would think there has to be some method to reserve space for the buffer.

I don't see a file outside the .MPG that is large enough for a 6 hour SP buffer. So it must be saved in the .MPG. Maybe in the .MAP file there is a pre-reserved auto-record buffer section so it won't get used for anything else. These are the things we need to figure out if we want to extract titles from a disk.

If a title is deleted the record in the .IFO file is zeroed out, but the associated allocation units in the .MPG file just get deallocated not zeroed out. So the data is still there but not associated with any title. Many file systems do this. This is how you can undelete something on a FAT file system.
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post #26 of 182 Old 10-01-2010, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTheGeek View Post

I believe that the titles live in the TI000_0TI000_00.IFO file. But maybe they are in a similar format as the VIDEO_TS.IFO. At least we can start looking at it that way and see if it matches.

I found a free windows utility called "Disk Investigator 1.5" on ZDNet. It looks pretty good. It does Text, Hex, and Decimal. It reads raw disk data by cluster or you can read files directly from directories. You can also recover deleted data if you know how to find it. I haven't messed with it too much yet but I ran your IFO file.

Disk Investigator text output of TI000_0TI000_00.IFO file:

\\..w....................................................... ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ ............................................................ .....................48 Hours:514 Stargate SG-1..........................................-.......<<br /> ..............................9FK.................48 Hours:514 Stargate SG-1..........................................-.......<<br /> ..............................9FK.................48 Hours:514 Stargate SG-1..........................................-.......<<br /> ..............................9FK.................48 Hours:514 Stargate SG-1..........................................-.......<<br /> ..............................9FK.................48 Hours:514 Stargate SG-1..........................................-.......<<br /> ..............................9FK.................48 Hours:514 Stargate SG-1..........................................-.......<<br /> ..............................9FK.................48 Hours:514 Stargate SG-1..........................................-.......<<br /> ..............................9FK.................48 Hours:514 Stargate SG-1..........................................-.......<<br /> ..............................9FK............. ...The Monopolar Expedition:223Bi..................................L......... ..................................................
...The Monopolar Expedition:223Bi..................................L......... ......................................................The Monopolar Expedition:223Bi..................................L......... ......................................................The Monopolar Expedition:223Bi..................................L......... ..................................................
...The Monopolar Expedition:223Bi..................................L......... ......................................................The Monopola
*********** End of Cluster ***********

Edit:
That's just the first of 50 clusters in the file as downloaded on my PC HDD.
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post #27 of 182 Old 10-02-2010, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I got the DVR from J&R on Monday but I haven't had time to look at it yet. It is still in the box. I'll see if I can set it up this weekend and run a few tests.
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post #28 of 182 Old 10-19-2010, 08:36 PM
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The ATSC/QAM tuner in both OTA and cable modes has gone haywire in my first 2160A. I had bought the extended service plan from WalMart and am awaiting the shipping label. On the phone with the service company lifetimeservice.com I was told breaking the warranty seal to remove and clone the HD prior to repair is an acceptable practice. After my new 160G HD arrives I'll clone the Hitachi in it now prior to sending in for service in case whatever it returns is missing my 54 titles, but I went ahead and dd'd the first 8 sectors in case anyone here who is more adventurous than I can make use of it. It shows 23h 13m free @ SP. First title is 1:47:34, 54th is 0:41:28.

h t t p : // fm.no-ip.com/ Tmp/ Dfsee/ magn1head.bin

Genuine HD via ATSC and BUD satellite DVB.
Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409
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post #29 of 182 Old 10-20-2010, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post

The ATSC/QAM tuner in both OTA and cable modes has gone haywire in my first 2160A.

What do you mean by "haywire" and what troubleshooting steps have your taken... Soft Reste, Hard Reset, etc.?


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post #30 of 182 Old 10-20-2010, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post

The ATSC/QAM tuner in both OTA and cable modes has gone haywire in my first 2160A. I had bought the extended service plan from WalMart and am awaiting the shipping label. On the phone with the service company lifetimeservice.com I was told breaking the warranty seal to remove and clone the HD prior to repair is an acceptable practice.

I'm really surprised to hear that they allow breaking the warranty seal. Very forward thinking! I have one machine under Walmart extended service, and I applaud this wise policy. (unless it's a fluke and everyone else will say it's no longer covered.... )
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