Hello! I have a laptop which runs Windows 8. If I take a hard drive out of a 'Sony HDD Video Recorder' that no longer works, and want to transfer my recordings on to PC (or a portable hard drive), how do I get my PC to recognize the hard drive from the recorder without formatting? If I format, won't I lose all my recordings?
I have plugged it up to an adapter converter, the PC makes the usual noise it makes when something gets plugged in and the drive sounds like it's running smoothly, but the drive doesn't show up in 'My Computer' I looked in 'Device Manager' and it shows up there. Is there some kind of Extractor zip file for the DVD Recorder that can get things up and running? Any help you have is much appreciated.
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VERY FEW recorders' hard drives were able to do what you are trying to do. I own one that I can do that with but it certainly is not a Sony.
Exactly how non-functional is your Sony 995 recorder? Is it completely dead, or just the DVD burner that no longer works? With these units, the HDD recordings can be played back even if the DVD section is dead. Perhaps its just a blown fuse near the power supply? If you can get the 995 HDD to play, your best bet is to buy a USB capture device for your laptop. Connect the analog outputs of your 995 to the inputs of the capture dongle, and copy the videos in real time to your laptop. This is tedious, time consuming (if you have many hours of video) and you do lose a bit of PQ due to the reconversion. But it is much easier and/or cheaper than your other options: booting your PC into Linux and using recovery tools, or buying another Sony recorder to transplant your HDD into to burn DVDs directly.
The recovery tools can be difficult to use, and as usually_quiet mentioned if there are many overlapping edited videos on the HDD, stitching them back together can be a pain. Luck is a big factor here: some people have very simple HDD recordings that exist as single large files, making recovery easier. But a heavily-used recorder will fragment recordings in little pieces scattered all over the HDD: not fun to recover. It is difficult to recommend a specific utility: most of the worldwide forum posts on this recovery topic target Panasonic DVD/HDD recorders. The recovery process for Panasonic HDDs differs somewhat from other brands, so may not fully apply to Sony HDDs (or Philips or Toshiba or whatever).
Transplanting your HDD into another compatible Sony recorder would let you work with the videos the same way you did in your original 995 (edit on your TV with the remote, burn DVDs directly). The problem is finding a model compatible with your 995 HDD: the most common Sony DVD/HDD recorders topped out at 80GB or 160GB, the 250GB models like your 995 are comparatively scarce. Sony locked down HDD capacity in motherboard firmware, so the 80GB or 160GB models may not recognize your 250GB HDD. You might also require the specialized Sony/Pioneer "service remote" used to match the HDD with the recorder CPRM system, and that remote is not easy to find in Europe.
Although this may sound cold, if these recordings are just typical movies and TV shows I wouldn't even bother trying to salvage them- it isn't really worth the trouble. Write it off as a loss and move on. Wait for re-runs to record them again on another unit, buy the commercial DVDs or BluRay discs, or download/stream them if available from authorized sites. When a DVD/HDD recorder dies and can't be reasonably repaired, scrap it unless the recordings are priceless personal family material not backed up anywhere else.
Last edited by orsetto; 13th May 2016 at 12:39.
Thanks guys for your feedback. About 2 hours ago, I decided to order a video capture device and do it the long pain-staking way. I have some family things on there, some movies and series.
To sum up the real problem with this DVD Recorder, it no longer dubs the recordings to DVD disc. The messages I get are, 'Cannot dub' and 'Cannot format disc'. At first I thought it was a problem with the one disc, but when I tried the others all of which are from a brand new pack of DVD+R, I still get the same message. So this was the reason for wanting to transfer them to PC. I don't know if the CD reader needs cleaning.
Or maybe like Orsetto said it may have blown a fuse somewhere inside.
The situation I'm in has happened with a previous recorder, but was able to connect it's hard drive to PC and with the help of a downloaded extraction file, was able to transfer all the recording from it onto PC.
Thanks, guys. I've now got the video capture device and it's working a charm. It does take longer as it's all done in real time, but a lot less of a hassle.
Thanks again guys 👍