2160A HD Great Glitch Hunt- Success! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-10-2012, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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The 2 yr old Magnavox 2160A had a hard drive glitch show up last summer. Things will record onto it, but the machine will not read through it. After it ruined a few recordings, I suddenly realized that all I had to do was save the "bad spot", protect it, & it was out of circulation. Doh! This worked like a charm until a week or two ago when I decided to run some Skip Code checks on the 2160A before doing the 727V Firmware update.

What happened? Working from memory, I mistakenly did the Skip code check that wiped the 2160A's hard drive clean. I only lost a couple of titles that I'd intended to burn to disk, so that wasn't a big deal. BUT: that Hard Drive glitch was now free, just waiting to to ruin a recording. I do plan to replace the HD with a 500GB when prices drop some more, but for now I needed to isolate that glitch again.

And so, as Baldric would say, I formulated a cunning plan. I would completely fill up the hard drive, find the glitch & isolate it again. BwaHaHaHa!

I put all of Mom's time shift recordings onto HQ quality, used SP for any potential burn & keep candidates, keeping all of them on the newly-wiped 160GB HD. Anything that didn't get watched was at least gone through with fast-Forward(the 2-arrow version; in my machine, with the old glitch, I found the 3-arrow speed would sometimes jump right over the bad spot. And the "next chapter" button would *Definitely* skip past the bad spot every time!). The only thing I deleted in this Great Glitch Hunt was commercials out of keeper recordings, & then only after being sure the glitch wasn't hiding in there somewhere.

I couldn't be absolutely sure this procedure would work, but it Seemed as though it should. And sure enough, when editing & fast-fowarding through this morning's recordings, it bumped against it, made a coupla tries complete with bad sounds, & then stopped! Success! I went back through, noted all times, & now have a 20-second snippet saved, protected, & labeled: HARD DRIVE ERROR!!! DO NOT DELETE!!!

That's the good news- now *that* bad spot won't ruin any more recordings. The bad news? Well, today's "Bomba the Jungle Boy" movie is now in two parts, with 20 seconds missing. I don't think my brother's kids will mind too much though.
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-10-2012, 06:02 PM
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You might want to Protect that title to prevent accidental deletion?
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-10-2012, 06:43 PM
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hi folks...

dvrtyro -

if you're into and have computer equipment, you can usually map bad sectors out ( at drive level, as opposed to what the mag might do )...

with correct software ( usually DOS based ), one can perform a complete ' low level ' initialization of a disk drive. this process usually locates bad sectors on the drive and maps them out, again, at the drive's level, such that when an interface ' requests ' a given sector, the drive actually presents that sector logically, but does NOT use the physically bad sector that was originally associated with the sector number in question.

don't confuse this with ' high level ' disk formatting or other tools that are associated with various operating systems.

the operations i'm referring to are all done at the drive hardware level and maintained within the drive's embedded controller. these operations are essentially ' universal ' in nature. they exist because all disk drives inherently have at least 1 or more bad sectors from the get-go in manufacturing. indeed, most manufacturers have specifications that include the maximum number of allowable bad sectors for the drive in question. the drives have a built-in mechanism to deal with those errors, such that the disk drive ' presents ' a flawless structure to whatever device it might be connected to.

bottom line is that if you have a drive that's presenting a small glitch like this, it CAN be made to never present that glitch to your mag machine. it's probably more work than most might want to do when they can go to the local store and just buy a new drive, but it can be done, and saves an otherwise perfect drive.

rgds,
ron g
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-10-2012, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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wajo- it *Is* protected, never fear!

Thanks, Ron- but what you describe is well over my head. I figure that at 2+ yrs old, with well over 5,000 hours on it, a replacement with 3+ times the capacity will be how I'll go. Until then, I'll settle for a hog-tied & penned-up glitch!
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-10-2012, 07:02 PM
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Our PhilMag HDDs can repair themselves as you use them. My refurb'd 3575 had a "bad" HDD... slow to start up, noisy, froze on playback of first three titles, wouldn't Initialize with Skip 079, failed Skip 013, etc.

I've been letting it fill up with titles then deleting them all at once, and now it plays all titles w/o freezing and Initializes normally!

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