Extracting recordings from Panasonic EH55, E75, EH59, EH69 working
This is terribly premature news, but also very cool.. warning: fragmentation and long recordings, and hundreds or thousands of recordings per drive have not been tested yet. These are working only with a small sample of recordings created for this specific testing purpose.. real world testing has yet to commence.
The Panasonics break into year families as well, but also feature families with enough difference to require treating them as individuals.
(2003) PATA E80H E100H
(2004) PATA E85H E95H E500H
(2005) PATA EH50 EH60
(2006) PATA EH55 EH65 EH75
(2007) SATA EH57 EH67
(2008) SATA EH58 EH68
(2009) SATA EH59 EH69 EH49
That means unless we have actually touched one of these models for testing, it likely won't work because of the differences between them. Only trust the models we have said explicitly (are) working and don't generalize that to assume they are (all) working.
So far the specific models tested as working are EH55, EH75, EH59, EH69
Models E500H, E50 and EH57 are not tested (yet).
It is still quite amazing however to see the recordings listed by recorder title and then be able to copy them to a PC and played back in VLC. The IB gui makes it a very simple procedure of selecting the desired recordings and indicating where to put them. The original recordings on the hard disk are (not) deleted from the original hard disk. IB does not write to the original hard disk, it only "reads" the original recorder hard disk.
side note: for all but the earliest models tested, they will accept a [smaller] hard drive than what came with the unit, however that drive (from the EH55 models forward) must be "blessed" or "preformated" with a section of the drive either by using a firmware update CD or by copying the bytes up to the signature MEIHDFS sector from the old drive to the new drive. Not doing so will effectively 'brick' the unit since (a completely blank drive)) cannot be "formatted" by the recorder alone. [This is a complicated procedure!] Forget about dreams of upgrading to larger hard drives, or a simple hard drive swap when a drive fails.. you need to seek experienced assistance unless you have an abundance of confidence and can live with the consequences. -- that said removing the hard disk for duplicating recordings to a PC and returning the drive should be safe, the risks are literally in your hands.
(Also) migrating or "returning" a drive back to a recorder after a new one has replaced the first drive, is not possible. The recorder nvram or eeprom retains a copy of the disk recording inventory, formatting "wipes" this from the recorders memory and it cannot be restored. - dubious aborted format procedures do not work, because the last inventory in nvram will never match what is actually on the hard drive.. eventually you will have to format the drive to re-sync the recorder memory with what is actually on the hard disk and that resets everything to square one, from that point (forward). The recorder will make a copy of the recording meta data into its nvram or eeprom (for New recordings), but will not get that information from the hard disk. The copy on the hard disk may be used for performing a checksum on boot to determine if a reformat is necessary.. but otherwise doesn't seem to used by the recorder.. fortunately for us it is a complete and accurate copy of what is in recorder memory... as long as they are "mated". Returning a "mated" hard drive to the recorder does not experience these issues because what is on the hard drive matches what is in recorder memory.
Until now.. if the recorder and hard drive became "un-mated".. those recording files on the hard disk would have been effectively (orphaned) and become unrecoverable. For "supported" or "tested" recorder models.. it is now possible to (dub/copy/offload) those recordings to a PC before returning the drive to the recorder and performing a "format".
Last edited by jwillis84; 04-15-2019 at 11:47 AM.