DVR disc

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by davcbr, Aug 6, 2009.

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  1. davcbr

    davcbr Registered Member

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    Recently, my Panasonic DVR started making disc noises that from my experience are a prelude to failure. I took the disc out of the machine, finding an ordinary looking Maxtor 100GB disc. My intnetion was to get an image of this disc so that I could then do a repair when it became necessary. I had been looking around the web and found no references to Panasonic, but I did notice Pioneer users having difficulty because Pioneer would not give out a system load for people to use. Simply send in your unit please and WE will replace the disc. I got basically the same response from Panasonic by email. I have tried another disc, but there is obviously some code on the panasonic disc, because this would not do a complete boot.

    Now, I have taken the disc onto my desktop, and found it to be logged on by the bios, but invisible to Windows. This made me think some variation of unix. But, when I booted to the Acronis CD, it shows up as "unallocated". So, it must be a house built system Panasonic uses. But, what I find is that Disc director and True Image will not copy the disc or cretae an image.

    Is there some way to get around this?? It would seem that what I want to copy may not make sense to True Image, but could there not be some way to simply make an image anyway? If anything, this would be a good selling point for Acronis. Just do a google on - DVR disc replace.
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    davcbr:

    I had a similar issue with a disk in a Tivo box. The Tivo system uses Linux but relies on several hidden Host Protected Areas (HPAs) to make data inaccessible to most techniques.

    You might want to check out DVRUpgrade and DealDatabase for additional information. One of these sites sells a boot disk that will clone a Tivo disk; perhaps they also have software for your Panasonic DVR. Normal cloning techniques (TI, for example) will not work.
     
  3. davcbr

    davcbr Registered Member

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    Your answer makes sense. In the disk editor, I can read that some text is there ["Panasonic" for one ] but the disk shows as unallocated.

    Absolutely convinces me that I made the right decision to go ahead with plans to make my own dvr WITH A COMPUTER.

    Thanx
    DC
     
  4. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Does your Panasonic DVR allow uploading from an external source via a USB port? For example home made recordings or slide shows.

    I upgraded to a larger HD for my Humax HD PVR. Transfers of SD material are allowed both to and from the box via its usb port. HD recordings however have a "one way valve" blocking transfers from the internal drive to one connected externally.

    It was a simple matter to save all the programs I wanted to keep, both SD and HD, by mounting the replacement drive in the PVR and then doing what amounts to a reverse clone, but on a file by file basis, from the old drive connected to the PVR's USB port.
    I should have kept a note of the taken to copy the data. It was faster than real time by about one third.

    To come back on topic the PVR drive is formatted in EXT3. If there had not been a USB port on the PVR it may have been possible to do a complete copy using the Acronis Sector by Sector backup/restore process. It may be worth a try.

    Xpilot
     
  5. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    You are quite lucky if your PVR has a standard partition structure and a well-known format. TI understands ext3, so it should be able to image or clone your disk directly.

    However, on most of these DVRs the recordings are put in a special Host Protected Area (HPA) on the disk that is invisible and inaccessible by computer operating systems. This is probably done for copyright protection purposes. You can only get at the HPA through special hooks in the drive's firmware. If you connect a disk with an HPA to a computer you will not even be aware that there is an HPA on the disk unless you compare the reported disk size with the label on the disk. Windows, Linux, TI, or other standard tools will only see and report the disk size minus the area occupied by the HPA.

    I suspect that is what is going on with davcbr's DVR, but I could be wrong. It would be really fortunate if the info on the disk was in the clear so that it could be transferred to a new disk.

    davcbr - If the disk is a Maxtor 100 GB drive, what size is reported by Disk Director?
     
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