Importing a DVD recorder's HD's content to a computer. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-29-2012, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello. I'm trying to save the recordings of a damaged Toshiba rd-xv45 before discarding it. I'm in the long tedious process of burning DVDs, but I am wondering :

Is there a way to use directly its seagate HD on my computer, and to import the data from there ? It would allow for more flexibility, and I could get rid of the whole machine earlier. I don't know how the data is encrypted on this DVD recorder's HD, and if there are available tools to access it from the computer. I'm not keen on just tring, as I'm not certain if I can just remove the HD and put it back into the recorder if I fail to access its content from the computer. Just in case it turns out to be a one-way trip, I'd prefer to know in advance if plugging this HD on my computer could be useful or not.

So, has anyone of you already tried to read a retrieved DVD recorder's HD from a PC ? Does anyone know the chances of decyphering this specific model's recordings ?

I've been asking in other forums, and they advised me to come ask the question here instead. So... uh, hi.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-29-2012, 12:13 PM
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It isn't really practical in the conventional sense. Your recorder stores the video files in a form of Linux OS, so in theory you can boot your PC using Linux (or third-party Windows utilities) and it will recognize the HDD. But the actual video files are likely scattered in multiple small segments using gibberish file names that would mean nothing to you. Using a couple of apps and utilities, you can piece together these segments to make a complete video, convert them to DVD format and author DVDs. But you can't expect the HDD to just show in Windows explorer with all the videos instantly available to work with as if they were MP4s or AVIs or WMVs. In 9 out of 10 cases, you would only attempt PC importing as a last-ditch salvage effort when no other options are available (i.e. the recorder died altogether or its burner won't work).

Since you seem able to still burn DVDs within the recorder, you should probably continue until you get everything off the HDD. Its tedious, but not nearly as tedious as scavenging file fragments on your PC. For more details on this than you'd ever want to know, there WAS a dedicated extensive thread here titled something like "Panasonic DMR Hard Drive Recovery: It Can Be Done!" I can't seem to find it now with AVS search, but perhaps another Panasonic owner will chime in with a link to it. The info applies to most any recorder, not just Panasonic.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-29-2012, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

...Since you seem able to still burn DVDs within the recorder, you should probably continue until you get everything off the HDD. Its tedious, but not nearly as tedious as scavenging file fragments on your PC. For more details on this than you'd ever want to know, there WAS a dedicated extensive thread here titled something like "Panasonic DMR Hard Drive Recovery: It Can Be Done!" I can't seem to find it now with AVS search, but perhaps another Panasonic owner will chime in with a link to it. The info applies to most any recorder, not just Panasonic.

Yes, there is such a thread but it has just four posts.

The extensive discussions are found in this Magnavox thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1277209/hard-disk-file-system-investigation-for-the-magnavox-2080-2160-513/0_60

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-29-2012, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

Yes, there is such a thread but it has just four posts.

That Panasonic thread with the four posts was a followup "copycat" thread which stupidly hijacked the topic title but had nothing useful in it. Prior to that, there was a long-running Panasonic-specific thread which "inspired" the Magnavox thread you linked to: some of the info there was not duplicated in the Mag thread. The original thread title definitely had the words "It CAN Be Done!" in it, including the exclamation point, but sadly seems to be one of the threads that were inexplicably lost during the recent AVS revamp. Unless someone bookmarked it and can provide a direct link, I don't think it will ever turn up again via the AVS search engine. Too bad.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-30-2012, 05:37 AM
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SUBTITLE: Investigating HDD DVDR Data With a Computer...
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

...For more details on this than you'd ever want to know, there WAS a dedicated extensive thread here titled something like "Panasonic DMR Hard Drive Recovery: It Can Be Done!" I can't seem to find it now with AVS search, but perhaps another Panasonic owner will chime in with a link to it. The info applies to most any recorder, not just Panasonic.
.

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post #6 of 9 Old 08-30-2012, 08:04 AM
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This topic comes up every month or so and the ultimate answer is always the same -- it just varies in how many follow-up posts it takes to get there.

@Enalo,
The bottom line answer to all this is that there is no simple, straight-forward way to simply pop the HDD out of a DVDR, pop it into a PC and expect to see a file list of all your recordings you can just drag and drop onto secondary storage.

Just do like citibear says and keep burning them off to DVD R/W so you can sneaker-net them over to your PC. As you trudge through the process, be thankful that your DVDR's HDD is not bigger than it is. Remember this experience when you consider what features you want in your next recording device -- i.e. ability for network transfers.

All those people who want a 1TB HDD on their DVDR yet no way to get the stuff out of there except to burn them off, 1 disk at a time. Talk about self-inflicted pain.

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post #7 of 9 Old 09-01-2012, 06:16 AM
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The quality of DVDs is really poor compared with broadcast HD so alot of quality is going to be lost that way, unfortunately.
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-02-2012, 01:08 AM
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The issue isn't the quality of the DVDRs but the quality of the encoding of the video image you transfer to DVDR. I am just watching the most recent Doctor Who, Asylum of the Daleks, encoded in .mkv at 720P. The video quality is great (the program content is another story). DVDRs are a lot more stable than HDDs, as anyone knows who has heard their hard drive make a clicking sound and able to do nothing more. The real question for me is how much time do you want to spend storing video files. I burn the recordings on my Magnavox 515 to DVDR and then convert the files to XviD format which I store on two external hard drives (redundancy in case one hard drive crashes). Much more time consuming than if you just store your recordings on a PVR or Tivo device.
The end quality on XviD is good enough for me. Some people even go further, encoding in .264 and .mkv format, to get near HD quality recordings.
In most cases, the final digital recording will be under 4.35GB, so you can burn the video file to DVDR.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-02-2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enalo View Post

Hello. I'm trying to save the recordings of a damaged Toshiba rd-xv45 before discarding it.

That Toshiba unit is made by Funai, so you must check the links posted for DigaDo and ClearToLand ->

Hard Disk File System investigation for the Magnavox
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