Hi. My old PVR is in the bin, I just have the HDD (Hitachi 3.5" ATA/IDE). I connected it to my PC and, on bootup, glimpsed a balloon saying something like 'Hitachi device installed successfully'. But then I couldn't see the drive anywhere in 'My Computer'.
I then saw a website that said PVR drives aren't formatted to work on a PC. But a reformat will wipe the recorded programmes won't it? So is there a way to get the info from the PVR HDD to my PC? (Bearing in mind I don't have the PVR itself.)
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Thread: Connecting a PVR drive to a PC
Try if you can access the hdd using a linux (e.g. Ubuntu) live cd, if not your hdd might even be encrypted,.. may be someone has a better idea, but you probably might want to post what pvr you used,...
There are many threads in these forums about this issue. Same applies with HDD's from dvd-recorders.
They use a proprietory/raw Operating System. May be based on some form of Unix but not sure. No one, to my knowledge, has ever found a way to get a PC to read the data from these drives.
The only confirmed way we've heard of to get the data from a PVR to a PC is one of the following. I doubt you're going to like these.
1) Play the video in real time on the PVR and send the output to a capture card on the PC and record it there in real time. So if you have a 30 minute show, it will take 30 minutes to record it.
2) The uglier method that I've read posts about is that some people will play the video in real time on their PVR and send the output to a DVD recorder which will record it to DVD in real time. Then they'll take the DVD and put it in the PC and rip it to get the video onto the PC.
Thanks folks. I don't have the PVR itself so it does appear that I'm stuffed. Ah well...
I dabbled with a Bell PVR a few years ago, I was trying to recover recordings for friend before upgrading the drive. I could see the files on the drive, but couldn't play them. The files didn't seem to have a header, so I couldn't tell what encoding was used. I tried to clone the drive, although that worked the PVR wouldn't acknowledge the extra capacity. In the end the drive still had to be wiped.
In case you want to play here's the procedure I used:
- Create an image of the drive with Paragon Backup&Recovery and save it to your C drive
- You can browse and extract files from the image with the program's image explorer
I can't remember what file system it used, it was either EXT2 or FAT with a bogus ID flag; the Paragon software is very good at identifying and manipulating file systems. Video files appeared to be the ones with the larger file size; maybe, Mediainfo can figure out what they are. There's an hex editor that you can use to view the files, I can't recall whether there was any human readable text in any files; that would have excluded any form of encryption on the drive.
Thanks folks. Given all that's been said, I feel rather smug in now telling you that I've succeeded! All that's required is a Linux-reading program called Ext2Fsd - http://www.ext2fsd.com/
Once I'd connected the DVR HDD to my PC, this program allowed me to give it a drive letter which showed up in 'My Computer'. All my old telly programmes were there and I've now copied them over to my main drive for editing. Editing is a piece of cake - the files are in .trp format which is merely mpeg.
All in all, I'm rather pleased...
I'm shocked that your PVR didn't encrypt the recordings. That might be impossible to find in North America. Thanks for the update on what worked. It's not likely to help North Americans any but maybe there will be a few people who have unencrypted PVR drives who can benefit from it.
To be clear, the problem is not typically that a Linux file system is being used, it's that the programs are encrypted. The use of Linux file systems just adds a layer of difficulty to people without Linux experience, but encrypted files are the show stopper. You and nic2k4 just got lucky that encryption wasn't used in your cases.
I am also pleased to read that this has worked for you.
But having read what was written in the link you posted.....
" WARNINGS:The driver may crash your system and ruin your data unexpectedly,since there might be software conflicts and I could only test iton some of the popular platforms. You should use it with care anduse it at your own risk! "I would probably have not even tried this.".trp format which is merely Mpeg" Really ??
I had an assurance from a trusted source that the program was good. Yes, mpeg - or mpeg-ts to be exact. I used mediainfo to find that out.
jman98 - I think I'm right in saying that, in the UK, only HD channels are encrypted. Luckily, my recordings were standard def.
Last edited by pooksahib; 1st Mar 2013 at 09:41.
TRP is apparently just a form of a TS file. So renaming should work but from what I read it's usually H.264 video so you need an editor that can handle that.
May I ask what PVR this was - Sky+ or just some stand-alone.
SD broadcasts from Sky are also sometimes encrypted especially the 'Box Office' ones.
TRP can be Mpeg2 also. But I would be equally concerned of multiple streams within the file which the PVR filters.
Have you actually played any of these recovered files and tried to edit them ?
A 'Freeview' box then I assume.
I guess you have been most fortunate to recover these. Would like to read the experience of others who try this method with HDDs from DVD-recorders or Sky Boxes. But encrypted files would be a totally different ball-game.
You assume correctly. It was a good enough box but had to go when HD transmissions began.