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  1. Hello!
    I had Apex HDD video recorder with a number of recorded video. Currently recorder is not working and I have its HDD connected to computer. HDD is regular Samsung IDE drive. But XP does see it as a 160GB disk but cannot recognize its file system. I have tryed ext2/3 readers without success. How can I detect file system of that HDD and is it possible to get an XP software that will be able to read it?
    Thank you
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    No chance. The HDD of that recorder will have low level formatting that can only be read by the software of the recorder.
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  3. Thank you. That's what I also understood. Can't understand what is a reason for such "security" (((
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  4. Member DB83's Avatar
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    It is not a security measure. It is part of the design of the recorder. There have been many topics about this yet no one can put a finger on the file system employed - one that a PC could read.

    But there is an echo with a quite old CD format developed by Phillips called CD-Video. You needed a special player to play these disks. No PC can play them. So I do wonder whether the file system came out of this.
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  5. My Apex is now being replaced with HDD enclosure (eXtreamer and alike) that performs all the same functions (without DVD) and using "standard" NTFS, serving as NAT also. So NTFS, extFAT, ext2/3/4 and other file systems (I guess) could be used also in that Apex. Still wondering why Apex selected proprietary format at the time when PC-understood file systems already existed.
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  6. Sorry for typo - NAS, not NAT ))
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    But there is an echo with a quite old CD format developed by Phillips called CD-Video. You needed a special player to play these disks. No PC can play them. So I do wonder whether the file system came out of this.
    CD-Video is a variant on laserdisc technology that is partially compatible with anything that plays audio CDs. I have no idea why you think this might be related to what Apex is doing, but I find that link to be doubtful.

    With regards to mvidelgauz's question as to why Apex would use a proprietary file system, that is a great question and it would take someone from Apex to answer it. If you want an off the wall guess that could be completely wrong, I'll give you one. Some years ago Apex's CEO was jailed in China for tax problems. My personal guess is that the charges were bogus and he simply didn't pay off the right people (China works more on bribes than you might realize if you haven't been there). By using a proprietary file system developed in house it does eliminate licensing concerns and that can't be used as a pretext for jailing him again.
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  8. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Indeed. But I not not reffering specifically to Apex. I doubt if you can take ANY HDD from a recorder and Windows, or any other OS for that matter, to recognise the data on it.

    The analogy with CD-Video was not meant to be an answer. It was simply an illustration that there exists recording formats that a PC simply can not read.
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    If I remember correctly, Apex's products were famous for ignoring copy protection, so security isn't likely the reason that the HDD is unreadable. It likely is a manufacturing decision that made sense to Apex at the time.

    However security could be part of the reason why other DVD recorders might make the data on the HDD unreadable using a PC. In a number of countries, copy protection flags are used to control whether or not the original recordings can be copied. Making everything recorded on the HDD unreadable by something other than the original recording device would be the easiest way to prevent unauthorized copying of protected recordings using a PC. As long as the recorder is not malfunctioning, almost nobody notices.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 17th Apr 2011 at 09:08.
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    I remember when it happened to me, with all my recordings of Nick Gas, and some home videos. It was discontinued, I bought another one on ebay and put my HDD in it. Now after a few more years, it's going out again.
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  11. I just cloned a HDD from a satellite receiver; the guy wanted to have a larger one, but didn't want to lose his old recordings. They have a couple security measures on there. The worst is they encrypt some parts so you can't take the drive and plug it into another receiver. The file system is EXT3, but they changed the partition flag to an invalid value, much like Acronis does with the secure zone to make it invisible (FAT partition with a flag value of 18 if memory serves). Using Paragon I was able to retrieve recorded files and look through them with an hex editor. The data didn't look like anything I'd seen before; didn't appear to have any header or table and Mediainfo didn't know what it was. I wouldn't be surprised if the videos were encrypted too. Just goes to show the lengths they will go to to prevent pirates from making high quality copies. The thing that surprises me is there hasn't been any information leaked yet, unlike everything else. Must be a lack of interest or there's too many different systems.
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  12. Whatever their reasons are (or where before) today Apex also sells players/recorders that work with "regular" disk (eigher external USB or internal). They now don't have DVD recorder and do have HDMI output... Time is going on... But now I have re-digitize all my old VHS tapes again having their quality significally degradated over the years passed since they were recorded to Apex. I am glad I didn't throw them away waiting for the time when digital copy can be saved on two different disk and accessible from computer (N years ago I paid for my Apex with 160Gb HDD twice as much what I recently paid for Verbatim recorder with NTFS and network connection and 1TB disk... ) I hope that this tandem (Verbatim recorder + xTreamer player) with dublicated copies of recordings will not "surprise" me ~ 7 years later when VHS tapes will finally become totally useless...
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  13. I have no experience with Apex recorders, but can tell you the HDD OS/file system used by nearly every DVD/HDD recorder ever made is a variation of Linux. There are ways to salvage videos from a DVD/HDD recorder with a dead DVD burner, but none of them are as easy as putting the HDD in a Windows PC and just playing the videos with a click of the mouse. You need to get a hex editor/salvage program capable of reading recorder HDD files and copying them to another HDD for reconstruction. The most popular for this purpose is Stellar Phoenix, which is available in versions to run under Linux or Windows. As nic2k4 noted, the recovered files often have gibberish headers and are usually fragmented into multiple pieces. Identifying these pieces and putting them back together in correct order is pretty tedious and time consuming: not something you'd want to bother with unless the videos are truly irreplaceable by any other means.

    Its usually much simpler to just play the HDD within the original recorder, and make an analog line out>line in copy to another recorder or a PC.
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