Originally Posted by User NamePSAVS2019
I have been given an old Panasonic DMR-EX85EB
which is dead. When I powered it up I got the HD ER
message and nasty knocking noises from HDD.
I took the HDD out and connected it to PC via
USB/IDE cable. More nasty knocking then silence.
ie I reckon the drive is totally stuffed.
I now have a replacement drive but reading this thread
shows that I am lacking the firmware to bring it back
from the dead. I see from your post date it is almost
10 years ago to the day so this may well be a long shot,
do you still have a copy of the code and firmware and could you
please send it to me. I checked out your Panny link but it is no
longer valid. Cheers Pete
The EX series firmware seems more tightly controlled than the firmware for other recorders.
It maybe that you could recover the firmware from a duplicate EX85EB and transplant that to a new drive.
Or even the fault with the drive that you have is with sectors beyond the part that you need.
This is going to sound complicated.. perhaps because I haven't given a lot of thought into explaining it to people in general..
The IsoBuster 4.4 version now has the ability to read the structure and recordings of many Panasonic DVD recorder drives.
I have not tested it with that specific model, but you could connect that damaged drive through a USB bridge with a PC.. do not allow it to initailize or format that drive!
Then run IsoBuster and see what it sees on that drive.
If its one that it can understand, then right click on the icon for the beginning of the file system and select Properties to get the LBA sector.
Then go back to the Top of the drive and right click and extract the sectors from zero to that LBA sector to a file.
You can then use IsoBuster to "merge" that file on to a new drive, or use a rawwrite tool like HDD Raw Copy Tool to put those sectors back on to a new drive.. either should work. Put that "prepped" drive into the EX85EB and it should request permission to format, do that and your done.
I've done this with a number of Panasonic drives so that I could keep the original drive, prep a new one and put it in its place, and format it.
I could then through another procedure restore the original drive so that its recordings could be played again.. without formatting and without the power connector trick... you only need to copy the current transaction log sector to the old drive so it does not prompt you to format an older good drive that currently has recordings on it.
Quite a bit of progress in understanding and working with these old machines has occurred in the last three months. It may be ten years too late.. but its progress none the less.
I wish I had the funds to explore and solidly support the UK Panasonic EX series.. but I do not for now.. and they are kind of rare to find used anyway.