I know this thread is a bit old now but boy it's helped me. I just wanted to thank everyone involved in it especially the ones who created the python script.
After reading every bit of this thread - parts of it several times, I managed to to successfully recover some family movies from a Panasonic DMR-XW350.
Along the way I made a few mistakes which wasted many hours so here's a rundown of the seccessful procedure I used in hope that it saves the next person some time:
(This is for Windows users)
1. Download python 2.7.5 from:
(there are multiple versions. My computer is running Windows 7 64bit so I chose Python 2.7.5 Windows X86-64 Installer)
2. Dowload the dvr-recover.py from:
3. Create a directory under C: called python and put the downloaded files in there (make sure you unzip them first). Then create a sub-directory called recovered - this will be where you export the recovered files to.
4. Create a .img file of the HDD. (I wasted lots of time trying to get the script to access the HDD directly.) To create the image file I connected the HDD to my pc via an external USB dock and used Stellar Pheonix NTFS Recovery to create the .img file (there are probably other programs out there that will do this job). Due to lack of space on my PC's HDD I craeted the .img file on another separate external USB HDD. This ensured I had enough space on my pc to export the recovered files to later.
5. Open a cmd prompt - to do this hold down the windows key and push the r key on your keyboard, type cmd and hit enter.
6. Type cd c:\python to change to the python directory.
7. Now we need to setup the dvr-recover script so it knows what to look for and where to export it to.
This is how mine looked after I edited it:
C:\Python>python dvr-recover.py setup show
To achieve this run the following commands (hit enter after each line):
Python>python dvr-recover.py setup input add E:\hdd.img
Python>python dvr-recover.py setup export_dir recovered
Python>python dvr-recover.py setup min_chunk_size 0
To check your settings type:
Run python dvr-recover.py setup show
If you make a mistake and want to start from scratch type:
python dvr-recover.py setup reset
8. Now you're ready search the .img file for your data - type:
Run python dvr-recover.py create
9. Once that's finished your need to sort the files - type:
Run python dvr-recover.py sort
10. Then all you need to do is export - type:
Run python dvr-recover.py export
When it's finished you should be able to see all your files in the recovered directory and play them with Windows Media Player.
I hope this saves someone some time. The hardest part might be finding some software to create the .img file. I was lucky I already had Stellar Phoenix. Btw, I tried using Stellar Pheonix to recover the files but without success (wasted days on that part of it before I found this thread). Do take the time to read through the thread especially pages 1 - 3.