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Humax hard disk freeview box

Old 20th Dec 2020, 12:04
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Rans6,

After putting the new drive into the Humax and switching on, did it attempt to format the new drive as mentioned in the first part of Specaircrew's post #12 ?
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Old 20th Dec 2020, 12:48
  #22 (permalink)  
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My Linux machine did not even acknowledge the presence of the new drive after it had been in the Humax which suggests that either the caddy does not see a formatted drive with no files or that the drive was not formatted by the Humax I will try the drive "internally" in the Linux machine to see if it is detected then. I obviously cannot cause the Linux machine to format a drive that is not detected when the USB caddy is plugged in. Last week I put a brand new drive into a netbook PC and installed Mint 18.3 onto it from a USB boot stick. I don't know if the machine detected the blank drive before the ISO image went across to it....

I am running out of unformatted or blank disc drives to try!

Time to get the lid off the linux box...

Rans6.......
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Old 28th Dec 2020, 15:48
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Just seen this thead. I had a similar problem some years ago. I found an app called humaxrw which enable a windows machine to access a humax formatted disk. It worked on the 9200 and 9300 machines, don't know if humax have changed their file structure since.
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Old 19th Jan 2021, 11:46
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Linux will clone any HDD without special software.
I've cloned Panasonic HDDs including all the recorded programs. I'll find you the link I used, I'm not teccy so anyone could do it.
I suspect your clunky HDD is on its last legs, so you might have to clone the other drive.
The small partitions presumably carry the Humax boot and game data.
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Old 19th Jan 2021, 12:31
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Copying HDD in Linux

Sorry, I can't find a link but some Giigling might work. Here are the instructions I followed. Please exercise caution and make sue you have the correct drives identified before you proceed. Every step below is a cut and paste from my PC but I cannot be held responsible if anything goes tits up. Having said that it's worked fine for me even using Mint on a dongle in a W7 machine. I'm sure you'll be able to see around references to Panasonic and the specific HDD sizes. Caveat Emptor. Best of luck.



You will need a SATA interface to allow the Panasonic HDD and the new HDD to be connected to the Linux PC.

Now you will NOT be able to view the HDD data or copy the TV recordings onto a PC HDD to view/play on a PC

All you are doing is to make another whole HDD copy so that if your original Panasonic HDD goes dead you will have a cheaper way to replace it instead of paying 140 plus to Panasonic !!!

Now remove the Panasonic HDD and connect it to the SATA interface on the Linux PC. Also connect the new HDD to the PC.

Boot up the PC into the Ubuntu desktop.
Select 'system settings' then select 'hardware' then select 'disk utility'
This will show various items and also the 2 SATA HDDs. Click on one of the HDDs. One should show '250GB unknown format'

this should be the Panasonic HDD. To check you are looking at the correct one ensure the serial number matches the Panasonic one. Note the HDD designator ie sdb the s stands for SATA. ( hda should be the Ubuntu Hdd )
The other one may also show '250GB unknown format' but check the serial number. Note HDD designator ie sdc

Now this is the most critical part. You must be 100% certain that you know which HDD is the original Panasonic HDD and which one is the new one. Do NOT guess as you will end up with a non working PVR !!!

Now select 'Applications' then select 'accessories' then select 'terminal' Repeat this again so you end up with 2 terminal windows.

In one window type

sudo dd if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sdc bs=32M ( it will ask you for the Ubuntu user password )

if means input file. sdb should be the Panasonic HDD <<<<< ensure this is the correct HDD
of means output file. sdc should be the new HDD
bs=32M will use a block size of 32meg.
( if you suspect your Panasonic HDD is a bit flakey then 'noerror' could be added. This means dd will not stop if it finds a bad sector )

So you are copying from the 'if=' to the 'of=' so ensure you have the HDD correct.

dd is the command to do a disk to disk copy. It will not display any information as it copies but

In the 2nd terminal window type

sudo pkill -USR1 dd ( you can repeat this as many times as you like while dd is still copying )

This will make the dd command in the other terminal window display information on how far it has copied. It may take a little while to show some info.
The dd command will take about 3-6 hours to finish the disk to disk copy!!

When finished you will have 2 HDDs that are both exact copies of each other.

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Old 19th Jan 2021, 12:50
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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He seems to miss out the simple fact that both HDDs must have a power connector, too.
Sorry about that.
And a 1tb disc might take 12hrs to copy.
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Old 19th Jan 2021, 13:53
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As for

If I return it to Humax for repair will they lose all of the recorded material?
They don't tend to repair yours for you, they send a repaired one out and yours will then get cleaned and repaired to go into stock awaiting the next person
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 23:27
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
... I had a Phillips tape system with Hot Gossip on it. All I needed was the obsolete recorder to play it on.

My hearing is so badly damaged now I suppose I can't accept anything but perfect audio, which of course, rarely occurs. However, before Covid, I did visit the friend that gave me one of them and his audio was 'acceptable'...
I somehow recollect in my distant past (the 'deformitive years') making sure our box was always tuned to the Kenny Everett show, purely for the 'acceptable audio' of Hot Gossip! If only my eyesight and hearing was better than my memory now. YouBoob still has some segments available, just for 'acceptable audio verification' mind you!

Oh how they writhed and twirled...

Last edited by Thirsty; 21st Jan 2021 at 00:00.
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Old 20th Jan 2021, 23:48
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Originally Posted by rans6andrew View Post
We have a couple of these machines which are two or three years old. One of them has a 1TB hard drive, the other a .5TB hard drive, both are rotating platter thingies. The units are the same model as far as can be seen.

Both are fairly full of recorded stuff.

The 1TB unit has thrown a wobbler last evening when the picture and sound suddenly stopped and then became intermittent at a slow rate, pausing for several tens of seconds between 1 or 2 seconds of play. There was the sound of the hard disk access suggesting that a recording that had been set was still happening. We left it to recover and went to bed. Today the machine goes through the waking up procedure but never completes.............. There are some of the expected screen messages showing the waking up process and it gets to the second part of what it should do from memory and then... nothing.

Some questions:

If I return it to Humax for repair will they lose all of the recorded material?

If I remove the drive from the faulty machine might I be able to read the files off it with anything I have to hand? I have a disk caddy to USB unit which can power up a disk drive and allow access to the files IF the format is common to either a Win8 PC or my Linux Mint machines.

Is there any point in swapping the drive from the bad unit to the good unit to see what happens? As the drives are different sizes I wonder if anything else in the machines is different to allow the OS to load, bios settings not on the disk could cause both machines to end up broken .....

Anyone?

Rans6....................................................... ..............
Sounds like you have physical damage. Running a spinning drive with audible internal loose elements is just inviting further damage. The ONLY way to ensure no further data loss is to send it off for clean room data recovery. I have done this a number of times where customers have valued their data as irrecoverable. Yes they have paid the five figure price for the privilege, but they did get their data back as the drive is carefully disassembled in ultra-clean room conditions, cleaned, reassembled and the data copied onto a new drive using know working electronics. Don't do this at home unless you just want the drive magnets and platters to play with, and don't mind losing all data.

In your case, the shows will eventually come around again, hopefully, so somebody else has a copy. It is not like they are NASA deep space recordings or BBC shows and have been lost to mankind forever. Humax may replace the drives, but they will not do data recovery for you, at least not for free.

Doing a direct copy to another drive may get most of the data off your old drive. Setting to drive copy software to ignore bad sectors will mean that files that have bad areas will be corrupt as chunks will be missing on the copies, and unless you have a copy of what sectors map to what files, you might not know which files have not been fully preserved. If your stars are aligned, the bad sectors may be areas that do not currently have any valid data pointing to them, and all your data files remain intact on the new drive. If so, go buy a lottery ticket and enjoy your new found good karma.

The other consideration is while you are copying disk-to-disk instead of file-to-file, all the bad areas (not just the ones flagged as in use) are re-tried a few times, and the drive is still spinning while this extended data transfer is in progress. If you truly have catastrophic drive damage, the longer your drive is spinning, the greater your final loss is going to be. Conversely, if your drive is fairly full and fragmented, file-to-file copy is going to involve a lot more head movement across the faulty platters, and the amount of devastation will be greater.

If your drive is degrading and has ever expanding bad areas, the Humax software (probably some form of Linux) may be mapping them out of service and saving your data to known good areas. In this case, take it as a timely warning and replace the drive and copy over your data before it fails altogether. Most drive failures give some warning - if you are looking for them. In you case, the warnings are quite clear. Do not procrastinate.

1Tb drives are quite cheap these days. Worth trying, if only just for the experience and awareness that backups are a necessary part of computing these days. Like the Vatican Bank motto: Jesus saves, so should you!

If you just want to isolate the problem, swapping a known working drive into the suspect box sounds like a easy task to confirm the electronics are not faulty and you hard drive is on the way out. Spinning hard drives have been carefully designed over decades of experience to survive the warranty period, and often not much more. The manufacture date will be on the drive near the serial number. If it is still under warranty, you will get a blank hard drive (often reconditioned and not new), and an offer of data recovery on your old one, AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE, if the manufacturer comes to the party.

Please keep us informed of what you eventually end up doing.

Last edited by Thirsty; 21st Jan 2021 at 00:07.
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Old 25th Jan 2021, 10:41
  #30 (permalink)  
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I am still undecided over this issue. The Humax machine did not attempt to do anything to a brand new, unformatted HDD as far as I can determine. This leaves me with two options:

1) to purchase a 1TB drive and attempt to do a clone copy. This assumes I can persuade the drive to operate by warming it a bit. I already know that it starts to work, if left connected and you keep trying to access it, as it warms up.

2) to purchase a 1/2TB drive and clone copy the drive from our other Humax machine of the same model.

In either case I am leaning towards a SSD rather than a HDD as the machine accesses the drive all of the time it is powered on and it makes a slightly annoying chortling noise. An SSD should be silent in use.

I still don't know if it is a quirk of the disk caddy that stops my Linux mint machine from seeing a totally blank drive. Maybe if mounted internally it will be seen?

I have obtained Clonezilla cloning software to allow the two options to be tried.

Rans6......
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Old 25th Jan 2021, 13:06
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rans6andrew View Post
I am still undecided over this issue. The Humax machine did not attempt to do anything to a brand new, unformatted HDD as far as I can determine. This leaves me with two options:

1) to purchase a 1TB drive and attempt to do a clone copy. This assumes I can persuade the drive to operate by warming it a bit. I already know that it starts to work, if left connected and you keep trying to access it, as it warms up.

2) to purchase a 1/2TB drive and clone copy the drive from our other Humax machine of the same model.

In either case I am leaning towards a SSD rather than a HDD as the machine accesses the drive all of the time it is powered on and it makes a slightly annoying chortling noise. An SSD should be silent in use.

I still don't know if it is a quirk of the disk caddy that stops my Linux mint machine from seeing a totally blank drive. Maybe if mounted internally it will be seen?

I have obtained Clonezilla cloning software to allow the two options to be tried.

Rans6......
Is there anything in the Humax settings menu about "inititialising" or "formatting" a hard drive? The Humax firmware might not be clever enough to auto-detect the new drive so you might have to tell it. This could be key to getting another HDD/SSD working.

Also, if your Humax box is anything like mine, the operating system is actually the firmware and lives in the EEPROM - pretty much only recordings are saved to the HDD. It's not like a Linux or Windows PC where the OS gets installed to the HDD (although you can utilise custom firmware which does utilise the HDD for extra software). You probably have little to gain by cloning the existing box's HDD, unless you really don't want to lose your recordings, but even then you risk transferring corrupt data which could cause playback problems.
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Old 30th Jan 2021, 07:40
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An interesting thread.

I have a Humax Fox T2 HDD recorder and only the other day was wondering if I will be able to swap the disc when it eventually fails. The reason for doing this is that it is the only HD PVR that I know where it is straightforward to move HD recordings to my laptop for watching when travelling long haul (not that I am doing a lot of that at the moment!). The DRM on all others prevents this, tying recordings to the original Humax motherboard. To learn how to do this, search for Foxy on the hummy.tv website already mentioned.
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Old 30th Jan 2021, 15:03
  #33 (permalink)  
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Errm, until the machine completes it's boot up you cannot access the menu to see if there is a format option!

XV105 - you might want to clone your existing drive before it gives any issues, it is an uphill struggle once the drive gets dodgy.

Rans6...................
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Old 1st Feb 2021, 05:34
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Originally Posted by rans6andrew View Post
XV105 - you might want to clone your existing drive before it gives any issues, it is an uphill struggle once the drive gets dodgy.
I will indeed - likely to a spare 1TB SSD that I have (like you commented, to reduce noise) - and if that doesn't work, to a spare 2TB HDD that I also have.
The only challenge for the moment is that I am on secondment living in Sri Lanka and my T2 is boxed up in the spare room back in the UK!
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 15:44
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Rans6:

Another very useful forum is hummy.tv, where there is much expertise on most (all?) Humax products. I have a Humax HDR-FOX T2 and have been there successfully for help on a couple of problems, including HDD replacement.

Good luck!

KP
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Old 15th Feb 2021, 16:21
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Originally Posted by rans6andrew View Post
Errm, until the machine completes it's boot up you cannot access the menu to see if there is a format option!.
Take the duff HDD out then and replace it. The machine should still boot even without a HDD connected. If it still doesn't boot after that, sounds like you have something else going on.
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Old 14th Mar 2021, 18:41
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I finally found the time to have another play and find the following:

I used Clonezilla to create a copy of the 500GB drive from the good machine. I tried it in the working machine and it made it work normally. Good.

I put the copied drive into the 1TB faulty machine and it "started" but never completed booting up, resetting and re-starting at about 5 min intervals.

I then put the copied drive into the good machine which booted up and then behaved like a new machine by updating the OS and re-tuning all of the programme channels. It then worked normally. All of our recorded programmes were apparently preserved intact, I only watched a few minutes of one to check but everything seemd OK.

Some drives are not 100% compatible with the disk caddy! Something I suspected from before.

Clearly the faulty 1TB machine does something to a good 500GB drive when I is installed which makes it obvious to the good 500GB machine when installed there, I don't know what.

The 1TB machine does not initialise a blank 500GB drive, again I don't know if it would do to with a 1TB drive but I am going to find out soon.

I am not in a position to see if the good 500GB machine does anything useful with a blank 500GB drive.

A close inspection of the innards of both machines shows that both have the same iteration of the same circuit board. The circuit boards have no obvious option links or switches but they may have information programmed in which stops them from working with the wrong size HDD.

The disk partitions are similar between the 500GB and 1TB drives, the two smaller ones are the same sizes, only the large video storage space is changed.

I have got no further with warming the faulty 1TB drive to see if the data can be cloned. Until the 1TB SSD arrives I have nowhere big enough to clone it to.

I have a work around which takes the disk caddy out of the cloning process.

Rans6.....
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Old 15th Mar 2021, 12:40
  #38 (permalink)  
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I revisited hummy.tv and went a bit further in and now I understand. Each machine encrypts the files using its MAC address as the encryption key. No wonder one machine didn't work with the HDD from another. I di try a blank drive in one machine but may not have left it for long enough for it to rebuild its OS from a www download..........

Rans6..........................
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Old 19th Mar 2021, 17:26
  #39 (permalink)  
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After swapping hard drives back and forth the box reloaded its OS and then re-tuned the channels and......... everything seemed OK. Since then we have found one channel, Drama on freeview 20 has a poor signal showing as a blocky picture and dropping out regularly. I swapped back to an old freeview box last evening and it shows no issues with the Drama channel (or any other that I tried). I don't understand.

Rans6.....................................
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Old 20th Mar 2021, 11:05
  #40 (permalink)  
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I do understand now. While testing the old freeview box didn't show any issues because I was only playing with its remote controller during the swap and test. The freeview recorder plays up on Drama only when I sit in my chair with a laptop computer in use on my lap. If one thing doesn't cause problems something else will.

Rans6...........
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