ext2 formatting in a Linux kernel.
As you are hopefully aware of, there is no internal hard drive with this DVR. To keep costs down, only two external USB 2 ports are provided.
Also, whatever HDD you choose, using your
USB interface enclosure, you are able to format the drive to either ext2 or NTFS. BUT
, performance using the 3rd party NTFS drivers they choose is poor. So much so, you are only able to record one program at a time! ext2 has no such limitation. There is literally almost a 5x increase in performance from NTFS and ext2 according to the internal speed test utility. Utter breakup trying to record two programs in NTFS are rock solid using ext2, even when watching a recorded program.
I have run numerous internal speed tests and drives formatted to NTFS only achieve a 4-6MB/s transfer speed, while ext2 formatted drives will achieve 20 to 26 MB/s (26MB/s seems to be the limit of the system, not the drives). ePVision states a need for at least 19MB/s to record two programs at once.
Remember, there are two tuners. When I was testing a NTFS formatted drive while recording a single program, playback of another recording didn't seem to bother recording. There was no breakup, unlike when both tuners were recording. Odd that a playback reading of the drive doesn't impact recording, but a 2nd write to the drive does.
Please note the following;
I recently tried a WD AV-GP type HDD designed for media recorders, namely TiVo. It is one of their "Green" drive series with a slower rotational speed (5400 vs 7200 rpm) and a dampened actuator arm to reduce noise, heat and power consumption. For TiVo it works and is required, for this it doesn't
Instead of the 21-26 MB/sec speed tests, I only got 16-18 MB/s which is below the apparent requirement. Recording two programs at one time takes a hit. Not as bad as a drive formatted to NTFS, but basically unacceptable with skips & breakups every minute or so. I also found another issue, but not sure if it was the drive or the interface that I used. Deleting those recordings took around 4-5 times longer, but they were never completely deleted. Verified on a PC, the entries were still there though file size was reported as 'zero'.
Initially, the internal disk formatting function never worked, even with two different drives on my test unit. After numerous tries with the shipped firmware, then the 1st updated firmware, it never worked. I gave up on wasting time trying to use this. Instead, I used EaseUS Partition Master with little or no issues.
After numerous requests for specifics on the procedure, it was finally stated that this should be either off or in standby, then powered up to use the utility. Later on, it was then mentioned that with a newer firmware some changes were made. Still no specifics. One owner later found the drive had to be already formatted to use the utility. Apparently, it was/is assumed that everyone only uses these 'packaged' enclosures with HDD's installed that are already formatted. Even with the recent release of the owners manual, there is still nothing about not using 'bare' drives.
If you use a bare drive (virgin), it has to be initialized or partitioned first. I don't believe formatting is the issue, it just has to be seen by the DVR and bare drives are not seen, just like they aren't seen within Windows
Aside from that, the utility provides no visible estimate display on how long this will take or how far into the process you are like most PC formatting programs seem to have.
I strongly recommend not using the internal utility
EaseUS Partition Master;
Instead, go here and download this free program to format your drive to ext2 (or NTFS if you wish).
The program works great, it's fairly easy to use and since it allows you to at least see a ext2 formatted drive within Windows (though you still can't access it) it can be used to replace M$'s utilities for any formatting. Unlike ePVisions internal buggy program, this will least give you an idea how far into the operation you are. Actually, Allen has already mentioned using this, apparently he found it before I did. There are only two functions that are not enabled, neither are of any importance here. It's not
a trial program.
Mini Tool Partition Wizard (excellent tool; free & pay);
Ext2 Installable File System For Windows;
Both of these allow reading ext2 drives within Windows with the additional drivers installed
Drivers only;Quote:Read & Write Ext2 & Ext3 files from Windows
By Andrea Helaine, eHow Contributor | updated April 16, 2012
EXT2 and EXT3 are two Linux file systems, which is the system used by the Linux operating system to organize files on the hard drive. Windows uses the proprietary NTFS file system and cannot naively access EXT2 and 3 files systems. In order to have access to Linux files systems, you will have to install drivers to allow Windows to see them.
1 Go to sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsd/files/
and click the blue "Ext2fsd" link.
2 Click on the 0.48 on the top of the page as of late 2010; your version number may be different.
3 Click on "ExtFsd-X.XX.exe" (where X.XX is the version number) and save the file on your desktop.
4 Double click on the file you just downloaded to start the installation process.
5 Click "Next" twice in the Ext2Fsd install window.
6 Select "Make Ext2Fsd automatically start when system boots" if you want the driver to load when the operating system starts.
7 Select "Enable write support for Ext2 partitions" if you want to be able to write in the Linux partition. You can always read the partition with the option chosen here.
8 Select "Enable force writing Ext 3 partitions" if you want to be able to write on Ext3 partitions.
9 Click "Next" to finish the installation process.
10 Reboot the computer when prompted.
11 Go to the "Start" menu and select "All Programs," then "Ext2Fsd" and then "Ext2Fsd Volume Manager." Your Linux partitions will be visible with their Ext2 or Ext3 labels.
12 Double click on the partition you want to mount and assign it a letter to be able to access it from Windows.
13 Go to "Start" and click on "Computer" to have access to the Ext2 or 3 partition(s).
Tips & Warnings
You can choose any free letter you want.
Writing on Linux partitions can be dangerous as the driver does not update the journal entry of the partition. After writing on a Ext3 partition you might be required to let the Linux operating system check the partition next time you access the drive from Linux.
When you have several hard drives with Ext partitions, do not use the same letter to mount them even if you do not mount them at the same time. Choosing the same letter could confuse Windows and produce writing errors on the drive.
A more advanced program with separate drivers is here.;
Quote:It installs a pure kernel mode file system driver Ext2fs.sys, which actually extends the Windows operating system to include the Ext2 file system. Since it is executed on the same software layer at the Windows NT operating system core like all of the native file system drivers of Windows (for instance NTFS, FASTFAT, or CDFS for Joliet/ISO CD-ROMs), all applications can access directly to Ext2 volumes. Ext2 volumes get drive letters (for instance O:). Files, and directories of an Ext2 volume appear in file dialogs of all applications. There is no need to copy files from or to Ext2 volumes in order to work with them.
Here is a excellent post from a new member 'Ed Bear' regarding specifics of the file system used;
VideoReDo for editing recordings in your PC;
This program seems to be one of the most popular video editing/authoring programs around. There are three versions. Their TVSuite & TVSuite H264 seem to be the best choices. Questionable if the addition of the H264 capability would be worth the additional cost for this application;
Here is their forum with a number of "How To" Guides;
Two most popular video editing forums are here;
Playback programs for your Windows PC;
is a very popular program since it will play most every type of file, but will not
play these recordings (unfortunately).
(interestingly it is from Korea) is suppose to play these back, but I had problems with memory errors locking up the program. During the install process there is the ability of unchecking certain options that add toolbars and/or other add-ons which I did uncheck when I tried it (as I do with any program with similar 'extras'). Unfortunately, every time I opened the program, an annoying "Unable to find member" message appears (having to do with one option I did not allow) which was annoying.
Media Player Classic
, This is the older version of this open source program, but found that after a few seconds it would freeze, then it completely crashed the O/S. (I run XP Pro which may be part of the issue)
But, there is a newer "Media Player Classic-Home Cinema
" version which is over a year newer that works fine. No idea why one crashes and the other runs fine, but here is the site and program.
The current version is 1.63;
This surely is a good choice. It's also open source, not
connected to M$. (I surely would never recommend it if it was M$). It has a option under "Properties" to read the details of the file you are playing which could be of help to troubleshoot. If anyone finds another suited program, please post.
Program to read video and audio file formats from Digimetrics called MediaInfo
Quote:The MediaInfo data display includes:
Container: format, profile, commercial name of the format, duration, overall bit rate, writing application and library, title, author, director, album, track number, date, duration...
Video: format, codec id, aspect, frame rate, bit rate, color space, chroma subsampling, bit depth, scan type, scan order...
Audio: format, codec id, sample rate, channels, bit depth, language, bit rate...
Text: format, codec id, language of subtitle...
Chapters: count of chapters, list of chapters.
MediaInfo analyticals include:
Container: MPEG-4, QuickTime, Matroska, AVI, MPEG-PS (including unprotected DVD), MPEG-TS (including unprotected Blu-ray), MXF, GXF, LXF, WMV, FLV, Real...
Tags: Id3v1, Id3v2, Vorbis comments, APE tags...
Video: MPEG-1/2 Video, H.263, MPEG-4 Visual (including DivX, XviD), H.264/AVC, Dirac...
Audio: MPEG Audio (including MP3), AC3, DTS, AAC, Dolby E, AES3, FLAC...