The data recovery is the most important thing for me but don't have 100,s of £s to get it done professionally.
1) Can I follow a similar procedure to the Part5 in PioneerFAQ manual in copying the drive image to a new drive using knoppix (linux liveCD version) and still have the video content intact as well as a fully functional DVR unit?
2) If I successfully extract the contents of the failed drive to another HDD can I use my PC to edit and burn to DVD?
The forum implied this isn't possible but couldn't find a definitive answer?
Background to my problem:
The other day with an almost full HDD only 1.5 hours free, and the warning to Optimise regularly appearing for 1/2 a year (did try optimise but never enough free space). Finally started editing out comercials to transfer some more content to DVD so could get enough space to optimise and as I tried to delete a commercial the unit froze. Had to hold the power button to restart the unit. but now comes back on with HDD Err on the display and a message saying "Hard drive information incorrect reinitialise disk", the initialise menu option says it will earse all content! I really need some of the footage on the HDD so don't want to reinitialise / format the drive. The instructions for replaceing/fixing the drive on this forum all says have to reinitialise (i.e. earse the content I am trying to save) to get the unit working again with a new drive.
There is some mention to Stellar Phoneix BSD data recovery for recovering deleted files but this is expensive couple 100 £'s. But I can't find anywhere that says what format the HDD content is stored in other then the file system is BSD based, which I thing means USF1 or USF2.
As data recovery is most important I don't want to expirement until the the vidoe footage is recovered.
I hope with some help this post can become a guide as I'm sure more and more of these drives are going to start to fail as the year goes by.
Thank you in advance,
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First, while its totally understandable, you really hosed yourself by letting the drive get full to the point you only had 90 mins left on it. Must not ever do this. These recorders do not have maintenance routines for their hard drives, they need a LOT of breathing room: if they get 90-95% full they are nearly guaranteed to crash- hard. Take those annoying on-screen capacity alerts seriously, folks: your recorder is not kidding. If it has a total capacity of 80gigs you should not fill it beyond 72, and you should be even more conservative if you have many short clips instead of long TV shows and movies on it. Make sure you always have at least 10% free space showing on the bar graph.
The Pioneer 530 series was a particularly tricky model because of the program guide timer software it has embedded on its drive. This software is flaky and easily corrupted, when it dies it takes the whole drive down with it and complicates any attempt to retrieve its data. To date, the ONLY reported successful retrieval method is the Stellar Phoenix BSD Recovery tool you mentioned. But as you noted, it does cost money and is not a "click-you're done" solution. The file system used on the hard drives of these recorders is a variation of UFS that is deliberately designed to be unreadable by anything but the recorder itself. Standard UFS recovery tools don't work because they can't fix whatever proprietary file glitch is preventing the recorder from reading the drive. If you clone the drive to a new drive, you'll clone the file glitch right along with it. There's a slim chance you might convince a Pioneer service center to rescue the files somehow, but thats unlikely and probably expensive.
If you can obtain the Stellar Phoenix software, AND get advice from a successful user on how to do the data repair, you *might* be able to salvage your files. But from what I've read on these boards it is a very difficult and tedious process. In 99.9 percent of these cases, its better to grieve the loss and move on. For all practical purposes, your videos are gone.
Have you tried the hard reset that works with U.S. Pios:
Unit on, press and hold the On/Standby and STOP buttons on front panel (not remote) simultenously till unit shuts off?
wabjxo: Have you tried the hard reset that works with U.S. Pios:
I have checked the DVD backup of some very important footage and the DVD is corrupt sods law! So tedious is the path I will follow. Still not wanting to accept that the footage is gone for ever the drive is currently with a tech friend to confirm it isn't actually a hardware failure.
From the comment:
orsetto: The Pioneer 530 series was a particularly tricky model because of the program guide timer software it has embedded on its drive. This software is flaky and easily corrupted, when it dies it takes the whole drive down with it and complicates any attempt to retrieve its data.
Anyone out there with experience of data recovery please let us know what you did?
Plan of action:
Clone the corrupt drive so experimenting won't lose the original content or current corrupt setup.
1) If the guide timer software thing is the complicated bit, can it be removed from the equation somehow i.e. use a different firmware? have seen someposts of people replacing bigger drives where the timer doesn't work but can access the HDD content. Install this firmware and see if it works?
2) The clone method in pioneer FAQ doesn't clone the first few sectors leaving it free for the ID setting thing, am thinking if can figure out the sectors that are used by the timer / guide (hoping it is a specific consistant area on HDD) then can pop in a fresh 3rd drive get it set up to work and take just the timer guide bits and put onto the corrupt drive image, so have the old content with a fresh set of settings. Comments will or wont work because?
3) File system index: I guess the other thing that could go wrong is if the total number of titles edit points is too large, and /or this index has got corrupted. As it failed whle making a new edit point. No idea what to try if this is the case any ideas?
4) Recover the source files from the drive to a PC and edit / burn from there:
orsetto: The file system used on the hard drives of these recorders is a variation of UFS that is deliberately designed to be unreadable by anything but the recorder itself.
Any further comments/suggestions welcome ...
All of the examples of drive cloning at pioneerfaq involve simple, clean replacement of one drive with another EMPTY drive. Other than spotty reports of people using a Unix Hex Editor or the Stellar Phoenix tools to recover *some* programs from bad drives, the general answer to this disaster is "too bad". I'm sorry, but you can spend quite a long time banging your head into a wall hoping to find a solution, and there really isn't any. The file system in these recorders is based on Unix but isn't *really* Unix: its a bastardized system intentionally designed to be unrecognizable to any standard version of Unix OS. Only the program guide timer software in the North American and Europe/Australia models is a "true" Unix file, which is how dedicated hobbyists were able to figure out ways to isolate and restore it.
Your model 530 is a "between the cracks" international unit that requires cloning the drive to replicate its basic format on the replacement drive. You will of course also clone your programs and the errors, but as stated in pioneerfaq the machine will REQUIRE you to erase-reformat the new drive upon reinstallation. One way or another, you will not be able to simply boot up anything from the old drive and get it to work normally in the recorder. The best you can do is make your machine usable with a new drive, and put the old one on a shelf until the day someone figures out how to repair them. At present, the only possible salvage involves using the Stellar Phoenix tools to try to repair the disk structure (expensive, may or may not work) or a Hex Editor tool to pick thru your drive fragment by fragment, painstakingly reassembling each program into a standard Unix file that can be repaired and then saved to DVD as MPEG2. The Hex Editor doesn't actually read the files as video or assemble them, all it does is allow you to see them as code recorded on the drive. There is no visual preview and no way to really know what you're doing: you'd be flying blind and working with gibberish Pioneer filenames, hoping against hope you are assembling them correctly. We are talking about days and weeks of work here, possibly months. Unless this sort of gearhead task is your "thing", you're much better off forgetting about it. Assume the programs are gone until and unless someone finally figures out a miracle fix. Or rob a bank to buy Stellar Phoenix, with no guarantees.
You're not alone by any means: DVD/HDD recorder users around the world have been working on this problem for six years with little to no luck. All the recorder mfrs use similar nonstandard file systems to defeat any attempts at moving programs onto a PC, they don't care that this also prevents you from rescuing files from a bad drive. Frustrated Pioneer users are far outnumbered by desperate Toshiba and Panasonic users, and let me tell you there is no more single-minded, dedicated, hardworking fanatic than a Panasonic user. If *they* haven't discovered an easy solution yet, there isn't one.
Maybe it is not a very easy and perfect solotuion, but I was very happy, when after 2-3 years of desperate searching the solution, finally I can watch my old videos about my children and family. Years ago I put my cloned 160 Gb HDD from Pioneer DVR-720 in a safe place, to use it later, when time allow to use new methods of recovering lost videos from desktop DVD recorders.
You may be or but I am
I'm preparing to replace 160GB with 400GB Samsung SpinPoint HD400LD.
[I have: GGV1179, Firmware3.56, WinLIRC + home made serial-to-IrDA cable + cfg.file, service manual]
Old HDD is working OK.
I want transfer files from old to new HDD (I'm lazy to burn movies onto DVDs).
Now it is a time to make experiments with file system.
What Linux/UNIX distribution is best for it Ubuntu/OpenBSD/other?
What tools are usefull? I found UFS filesystem driver for Windows, but read only.
Can I put old HDD back in recorder without loosing my movies?
Have you any hints or tips? (service secrets?)Pioneer DVR-530H-S fw3.56 400GB HDD
discoverer of 2nd hidden menu
To member pio433, if you have indeed found a file salvage solution that worked please post details here that would be helpful to member fortisMilvus and many others who are in desperate need of assistance.
To member kofola, yes you can usually put the original drive back in the Pioneer recorder without losing your videos. You may need to go thru the process of deleting and restoring the ID number with the service disc and service remote, then the drive should be recognized and not insist on reformatting. In some rare cases, removing and reinstalling the original drive does result in loss of videos: sometimes the recorder will reject it and insist on erasing it before it will accept it. There is no room whatsoever for "laziness" with these machines: by far, the easiest way to preserve your videos is to put them on DVDs *before* you mess with the hard drives. It is much MUCH better to spend a week or two making the DVDs the "easy" way by using the recorder normally. Restoring or rescuing files after the drive is removed and/or shows errors is difficult or impossible.
It is technically very difficult or impossible to transfer your videos from an old hard drive to a new one and have them still be accessible on the new drive, at least on a Pioneer. If you manage to make an exact clone, the recorder will generally not recognize the additional capacity on the new drive, which defeats the purpose of the upgrade. Basically you run into the same issues as when trying to copy files off a "bad" drive: these files are meant for the recorder alone to use, any attempt to work with them outside of the recorder usually fails.
JUST AS A GENERAL WARNING: there have been a lot of inquiries on various forums lately regarding modifications and upgrades to the Pioneer x30 models particularly. I have done a lot of work with these machines, and feel I should warn people NOT to play around with them if at all possible. The 530, 531, 533 and 633 are extremely quirky and weird and they react unpredictably when their hard drives and burners are replaced by do-it-yourselfers. Best advice, if it is working properly *leave it alone* and enjoy it for what it is. Any service to an x30 model is best performed by Pioneer service center. (The earlier Pioneer x10 and x20 can be self-serviced with no problem, as can the recent and current x40 and x50 series. But the x30 series is odd: be very very careful with them.)
Thank you orsetto for answer.
Now I make DVDs, but it takes a time.
I'm not afraid of any mistake by replacing HDD. I understand this process and I have all tools and documents.
Also I'm ready to make experiments with filesystem this (next) weekend.
see you later
>Is there any tool for resizing a UFS partition or slice?
growfs(8)Pioneer DVR-530H-S fw3.56 400GB HDD
discoverer of 2nd hidden menu
Finally started editing out comercials to transfer some more content to DVD so could get enough space to optimise and as I tried to delete a commercial the unit froze. Had to hold the power button to restart the unit. but now comes back on with HDD Err on the display and a message saying "Hard drive information incorrect reinitialise disk", the initialise menu option says it will earse all content! I really need some of the footage on the HDD so don't want to reinitialise / format the drive.
I Googled the phrase "hard disk drive info is incorrect" and found this topic in the rec.video.dvd.players newsgroup archive. It offers the best solution, considering the circumstances and the pessimistic posts I read in this topic.
You should be able to copy all the files to DVD-RWs.
The "Disc Navigator" is inaccessible but the "Play" button should be working, i.e. you still can watch & copy all titles! To navigate between titles, press "Play" to start playing a title, then use the "Prev"/"Next" buttons or the numbers to enter the title number you want to jump to (as instructed in the manual). Insert a blank DVD-RW (VR mode) and simply press "One Touch Copy" when playing a title. Once "Hi-Speed Copy" appears on screen, you can press "Stop" (then press "Display" to watch the copying process).
Last edited by dave2070; 11th Dec 2012 at 03:36.
Hi, I have had a the same problem with a crashed hard drive on a Pioneer 630H and found a solution that worked perfectly!!
The hard drive crached due to a power failure and I could not access any of my recordings (and the disk was of cause 90% full as always). It just came up with the "incorrect drive info"
The solution: I opened the unit and removed the drive (guide in pioneerfaq.info). I installed the drive in an external USB disk case and attached it to a PC running windows.
An now to the new part: I downloaded and installed the program UFS Explorer Standard Recovery. I let it seach though the disk and it found all of the recordings that could be downloaded to my PC!
I needed to purchase a license for the program (22 Euro), but I used the trial version first. It allowed me to let the program scan though the disk and show me what files it had found (but not to extract any data).
After I had copied the data to my PC I reinstalled the drive in the DVR and let it initialize the drive (removed all my recordings). It still came up with "HDD ERR" bu I could fix that by loading new firmware, using the guide from pioneerfaq.info.
I now have a fully functional DVR again!
I hope this helps other owners of a crached Pioneer DVR 530/630H
Just to report back: everything went as planned. I copied all titles to DVD-RWs and initialised the HDD. It's now fully functional again!
Very good to hear the "blind" one-touch-copy trick worked for you guys! Someone here would have suggested it I'm sure, if it was understood that you could still get the videos to play off the HDD. That wasn't quite clear from your posts, most of the people who ask about drive recovery have drives that crashed and don't play properly at all. Your reports remind us "experts" we need to get more details about a situation when someone asks about "HDD ERR", and not just assume you mean your HDD is totally hosed: if you can get the videos to play at all, that opens more possibilities of recovery success.
Hey all, I realize this post is quite old but it is still very relevant in Google searches for corrupt Pioneer DVR harddrives. I had a 633H drive corrupt on me last week. I wrote a few scripts to help me recover the contents successfully (which I have completed). You can see all the fun details here: http://knoopgroup.com/blog/pioneer-dvr-harddrive-recovery-tools/
I have been reading these posts with great interest in the last 2 months,since I experienced the HDD error on my Pionner 645 DVR.This is a 250GB unit and has been used a lot in the last few years untill the HDD error report came up.Before this I was getting when the unit was switched on HDD repair and then HDD repair complete.Now after all this trauma I suffered which you will read below,I like to advise every one that once you ger the HDD repair message all that means is that your unit is just about to fail.Please do not take this lightly.It is serious.What you need to do imediately is archive all your important files on disk and empty your HDD. After this initialise the HDD and optimise it.This way you will never end up in tears, like me.I had about 120 video files on this unit before it failed.This means that my unit was about 80% full.I still had about 20GB of space for more recordings but obviously this unit does not like it.After I tried all things mentioned in these forums like hard reset and reboot nothing worked,So here I am in real frustration trying to see What I can do to salvage my files.I came across Mike Knoo"ps well documented ways of recovering these files using UFS explorer.So I downloaded this software and tried.I got very confused because this is a complex method and not a simple one.I e-mailed Mike and sent hime attachments of my results but he never answered.So I gave up on this method all together.Then searching and searching I come across a software called Stellar Phoenix.Now this is a software that initially will let you use it up to a point for free but to complete the recovery you need to buy the software.Its about $USD50.oo but if you have important files to recover I think its not a lot of money.Well this is possibly the simplest to use.3 clicks and you are done.First you need to remove the HDD from your recorder and install it in an IDE enclosure and then connect to you pc.The Stellar software will scan your HDD and create an image of your recordings.Than it extracts all your files and they are presented to you in audio and video format.At this point it will show you a picture of the content of one of your files.At this point to recover your video files you need to buy the software.Than you hit recover video and you are done.All your files are there and you can opened them with Nero and view them like they were in the first place.A remarkable software.What I like about was the simplicity of it.With the UFS explore software I think you need to be a software enginner to use.In my case the unfortunate part was that out of my 120 original files ranging from a 10 minute file to a 2 hour video file, I ended up after recovery with about 852 video files,wich leaves me with the mamouth task to cut and paste in order to recreate the original files.But all my files are there.When I contacted Stellar and asked them why I ended up with so many small files they sad that my HDD would have been very corrupt.So folks never accumullate too many files in your HDD. If you do at some point you will get pain and tears.
Happy days to all
Niconas - which Stellar Pheonix software did you use as there are several?
Some new info!
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