Where I work we have several DVD recorders, this particular case refers to two Pioneer DVR-530H ones. We went to two live events, the cameras were plugged to a switcher board, which then was plugged to one DVD recorder to record the whole event (originally the cameras were supposed to record, but to make a long story short, they didn't).
Back at the office a co-worker checks two DVR-530H from the events, sees that both are there, so he proceeds to download one of the events to DVD, checks them, makes copies (for archival and for the client), then starts deleting the tracks one by one the from the DVR to make room for future events.... then he goes to do the same on the other DVR... and finds that all the files are deleted there as well (our guess was that the second DVR was also picking up the remote control signal from the first one as he was deleting the tracks). After the obligatory yelling fit from the boss (he wasn't fired) now we're faced with a dilemma.... can the video tracks be recovered somehow?
The DVR was unplugged and hasn't been used since then (well, after a bit of frantic searching looking for the files), we recovered some bits of video here and there from other sources, but the main one was there and the client wants it... help?
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The Pioneer 530 series does not have an "undelete" function for HDD recordings, only dvds. Once you erase a video from the HDD, there is no way (none) to recover it using the recorder controls.
If these lost event recordings will cost you an important client, you will have to try and recover them using a PC. You'll need to carefully remove the HDD from the recorder and attach it to the internal IDE/PATA and Molex power connections of a desktop PC. The Pioneer HDD is formatted with a variation of the Linux file system: reading it will require a Windows-Linux utility (or booting the PC from a Linux CD/DVD). Identifying the files that comprise the lost event recording, and stitching them together into a single video that you can process into a standard DVD, will likely entail additional utilities. This sort of file recovery has rarely been reported or documented for Pioneer recorders, but the procedure for Panasonic file recovery should be roughly similar: try googling various A/V forums for "Panasonic DVD/HDD recorder file revovery" until you find a strategy you feel comfortable trying. If no one in your organization has ever done anything like this, and the client is valuable, I would suggest consulting a HDD file recovery specialist: they might be able to reset the file flags to "not deleted" (at significant $$$ expense).
Note the Pioneer recorders use proprietary methods to mate the HDD to each individual unit. Once the HDD is removed, the recorder may be rendered inoperable when it is put back in. There are many versions of the DVR-530, designed for various countries: some versions will not notice the HDD was removed/reinstalled, while others will not reboot correctly without first using the Pioneer Service Remote and Service DVD to reset a code number in the firmware.
Unfortunately there is no easy, quick, inexpensive solution to this dilemma: good luck to you!
Last edited by orsetto; 14th May 2014 at 23:41.