Swapping HDD in Panasonic DMR-T3040 DVD/HDD Recorder

  • Unit only recognizes first 40 GB of a drive… presumably, this can't be changed without a new firmware
  • no need to preformat drive or copy contents from old drive
  • make sure drive is set to “slave” mode (master or single drive mode will result in the unit not being able to recognize the drive)
  • when a different drive is installed, unit will claim it's unformatted and ask to format it. This will erase everything on the drive.

Reinstalling old drive without reformatting

  1. Insert drive, but don't close case.
  2. Start unit, wait for unformatted message.
  3. Disconnect power and/or data cable from the drive. (I did the power cable since it's easier to unplug.)
  4. Tell the unit to go ahead and format the drive.
  5. Wait for it to try to format… this will obviously be unsuccessful. It'll eventually say something like “HDD FAIL.”
  6. Unit should turn itself off (or you can do so with power button). Let it turn off gracefully (don't force a power-off).
  7. Reconnect HDD
  8. Start up unit again. This time, you shouldn't receive the unformatted message. Instead, the contents of the drive will be accessible.

Accessing MPG files from Panasonic HDD on a Computer

  1. Install PhotoRec (often part of the testdisk package). – http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec https://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=testdisk
  2. Attach HDD to computer with USB→IDE adapter (no need to change jumpers for the adapter I used).
  3. Figure out which block device is the HDD from the Panasonic recorder (“sd?”).
  4. Create a directory for the recovered files and cd to that directory.
  5. Run photorec as root (or using sudo).
  6. Select block device corresponding to HDD from Panasonic recorder.
  7. Under “Options”, set “Paranoid” to “Yes (Brute force disabled)” and “Keep corrupted files” to “Yes”.
  8. Under “File Opt.”, deselect all file types (using the s key), then select “mpg”.
  9. Select “Search” on the “Unknown” partition.
  10. Tell it that you have an “ext2/ext3” filesystem. (I don't think this step actually matters.)
  11. Tell it to put the files in the current directory by pressing the c key.
  12. After recovery is completed, quit the program.
  13. Reattach the hard drive to the Panasonic recorder.
  14. Using the “Direct Navigator” function on the Panasonic recorder, compare the contents of the drive to the files you just created. Rename the files and use the touch command to change their modification timestamps.

Side note: Some files might be split or have two tracks smashed together if the disk got “fragmented.” This happens if you delete older recordings and the recorder reuses the empty space by recording on top of them. Unfortunately, haven't yet found a good method to automatically recover from this situation. (Had to resort to manual editing.)

electronics/swapping_hard_drive_in_panasonic_dvd_recorder.txt · Last modified: 2014/06/22 23:45 by tdobes
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