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 Post subject: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 20th, 2018, 19:33 
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Hello from a new member; I am looking for assistance using hard disks salvaged from two ‘personal video recorders’ (here in the UK often called ‘set top boxes’ or PVR).

I removed a 500Gb SATA(2) Western Digital HDD from one of the PVRs (Humax model: PVR-9150T) and installed it in a caddy/enclosure to connect to the PC (Windows 7 64bit Pro) and an old laptop (Windows XP).

Initially the disk wasn’t recognised but Disk Management showed it as only 149Gb “unallocated”.
It can be formatted and functions as a 149Gb but I would like to regain the full 500Gbs. (The result was similar on both the Win 7 PC and the XP laptop.)

I have previously successfully used “Dban” HDD eraser (https://dban.org/ ) to completely wipe HDDs. But it that led to a ‘partition’ of only 149Gb. I have also used command line "Disk Part" "Clean" but to no avail and was equally unsuccessful with a couple of other open source utilities said to remove partitions.

I presume the HDD is partitioned to a proprietary format (which I have been unable to identify) and the accessible 149Gb is what was the remaining ‘available free space’ from the PVR.

Having looked around the web and this forum I am unable to identify how I may utilise this 500Gb HDD (and a 1TB HDD which as yet I have not identified or removed from the other scrapped PVR, a Panasonic model: DMR BWT740).

I can add specific detail of the actual model and serial numbers of the two HDDs involved if necessary.
Any advice or suggestions would be welcome, thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 21st, 2018, 1:01 
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If you don't see all partition it's a windows problem, use an external software to eliminate all partition and recreate you prefer partition type. Use minitool partition wizard or gparted


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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 21st, 2018, 2:10 
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First check whether the capacity is being reduced by a HPA or DCO.

https://www.hdat2.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 21st, 2018, 9:40 
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Most likely the drives are "locked" to the DVR / PVR device and there is some HDD firmware manipulation in place to cut the capacity of the drives ...

Try to run MHDD and check if the drives do report the full correct capacity to the "eid" command.

If not you might want to try something like this :

http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=51

And if you can't restore the full capacity of the drives using that tool/method you might want to consider a service like this :

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Drive-ID-Passp ... 2674160463

:D

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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 21st, 2018, 16:25 
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Joined: October 20th, 2018, 18:07
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Thank you for the three replies today.

Spildit: could you please elaborate on what you suggested, I do not understand: "Try to run MHDD and check if the drives do report the full correct capacity to the "eid" command."
I have already used http://hddguru.com/software/2007.07.20- ... tore-Tool/ which confirmed the the 500Gb disk is actually 500Gb.

fzabkar: I don't expect the capacity of the HDD has been reduced as both devices were sold as providing the respective 500Gb and 1Tb capacities (but in addition to looking at the actual labels on the disks I have already used HDD Capacity Restore Tool, see also above).

magnetepazzo:I have already used "minitool partition wizard" which only recognised the unallocated 149Gb free space. (unless I didn't use the utility to its full potential).
Is there any merit is trying "gparted"?

In hindsight I ought to have mentioned I was already confident the disks had not had their capacity limited.
I shall continue to explore the other suggestions and report back.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 21st, 2018, 16:39 
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If the drives do report the correct capacity to the capacity restore tool just try to issue the security erase ! Use something like Victoria for windows and use the erase function near the password function .... let the drive erase itself (wait for bsy light to turn DRDY and DSC). You can later re-partition the drive and re-format.

Check if the drives do have any jumpers set to limit the capacity. DBan should erase the drive by LBA so it should remove the partitions ....

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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2018, 0:59 
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Joined: January 12th, 2016, 3:46
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Location: India
Hi
AV hdds (video) are having specific firmware optimized for continuous writing , such drives have low rpm & low read speed.
ecc error correct mechanisam is altogether removed .
These disks are not supposed to be used in desktop pc applications.


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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2018, 2:31 
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posidon wrote:
ecc error correct mechanisam is altogether removed

https://www.seagate.com/files/www-content/product-content/skyhawk/files/image-perfect-smart-safe-solution-cb4-tp694-1-1701us.pdf

Quote:
Built In Powerful Error Correction Code

Powerful error correction and data recovery algorithms are built in to ImagePerfect, providing the highest assurance against video frame losses while intensive multiple video streams are recording. Its high speed on-the-fly error correction coding1 also helps to ensure no video freeze frames during live playback. These significantly reduce the chances of unrecoverable data error or video intermission in surveillance applications.

1 Higher data error (sector/ bits) correction on-the-fly will reduce the number of drive retries.

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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2018, 9:33 
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Joined: January 12th, 2016, 3:46
Posts: 52
Location: India
Hi
Pls. note "Powerful Error Correction " code is specific to writing video streams only.
There is technical difference between 2 ( ECC error correction for normal Desktop / enterprise disks and Error correction implemented in video hard disks.
Don't mix both things as they are different optimized for particular type of disk only.
Hope it is clear now.


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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2018, 14:51 
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posidon wrote:
Pls. note "Powerful Error Correction " code is specific to writing video streams only.

Error correction is not limited to video streams. A PVR needs to be able to write and read file system information in addition to AV data. Regular ATA Read/Write Sector commands are used for critical data while the ATA Streaming Command set is used for AV data.

Product Manual SV35 Series (for 24×7 video surveillance applications):
https://www.seagate.com/staticfiles/support/docs/manual/ce/SV35%20Series/SV35.6%20Series/100687219.pdf

Quote:
4.3 Supported ATA commands

Read DMA C8H
Read DMA Extended 25H
Read DMA Without Retries C9H
Read Log Ext 2FH
Read Multiple C4H
Read Multiple Extended 29H
Read Native Max Address F8H
Read Native Max Address Extended 27H
Read Sectors 20H
Read Sectors Extended 24H

Read Sectors Without Retries 21H
Read Stream DMA Extended 2AH
Read Stream Extended 2BH

Read Verify Sectors 40H
Read Verify Sectors Extended 42H
Read Verify Sectors Without Retries 41

Write DMA CAH
Write DMA Extended 35H
Write DMA FUA Extended 3DH
Write DMA Without Retries CBH
Write Log Extended 3FH
Write Multiple C5H
Write Multiple Extended 39H
Write Multiple FUA Extended CEH
Write Sectors 30H
Write Sectors Without Retries 31H
Write Sectors Extended 34H
Write Stream DMA Extended 3AH
Write Stream Extended 3BH

Write Uncorrectable 45H

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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2018, 15:08 
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Audio/Visual Seamless Streaming - Whitepaper | November 2007:
https://www.hgst.com/sites/default/files/resources/WP_AV_25March.pdf

Quote:
Handle Stream Error

An additional optimization provided by the Streaming Command Set is the Handle Stream Error or HSE bit. AV applications may need data that must be correct, like computer system data, for software or file information, etc. The HSE bit allows an AV system to do full error recovery in steps, with other stream commands between attempts to do error recovery. If a command times out, the system can retry the command with the HSE bit set to 1. This causes the command to try again, starting at the level of error recovery that was reached at the previous try.

For example, a system may be running several streams of AV data and also need computer quality data. If an error occurs during the computer data read and the time limit is reached, the data is not returned. The system then services the AV streams, to keep the buffers full, and then retries the computer data command with HSE set to 1. The drive starts where it left off and continues until the data is accurately recovered or the time limit is reached. The system can continue this process until the computer data is recovered, without causing an interruption in the AV streams.

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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 22nd, 2018, 15:16 
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Nice clarification !

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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 24th, 2018, 13:27 
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Thanks to all those replied.

I have had no success accessing the full 500Gb of the HDD. As a consequence I have not attempted to investigate the 1Tb disk.

At the suggestion of some of those who replied I have attempted to use ‘Victoria’ and ‘Gparted’.

Victoria - I am sorry to say I was unable to understand how to confidently use the software’s interface to achieve anything helpful. I was unable to find much by way support information online related to manipulating the partition.

GParted – I downloaded and burned the ISO file 3 times using the Sourceforge website and one of the mirrors, and used two different disk burning software. When booted all three loaded the initial GUI but then reported multiple errors when reading the remaining files.

The 500Gb HDD is a Western Digital WD1600AWS, WD AV – GP manufactured in Aug 2011. There are no jumpers set.

In the past I have salvaged and easily reused at least four HDDs from video recorders (simply using Dban and having the HDDs in a USB connected caddy/enclosure), but this one has become so time consuming and frustrating I am on the point of giving up!

Is there any possibility of a complication arising from having this 500Gb disk in a USB linked caddy/enclosure?

If there might be some step by step instructions for using the Victoria HDD utility (or an error free version of GParted) I would be tempted to give it another try.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 24th, 2018, 17:13 
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hi
victoria
option Advanced
kilck View part data
Please send foto
maybe clear mbr
victoria option write

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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 24th, 2018, 17:44 
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I would use the demo version of WDMarvel to dump the drive's firmware. Then examine module 02, or upload it here.

https://wdmarvel.com/en/demo/

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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 24th, 2018, 18:16 
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Addendum
Operator Error!

With apologies to Spildit...
I had (until a few minutes ago) neglected to follow your instructions (re Victoria) to "use the erase function near the password function .... let the drive erase itself (wait for bsy light to turn DRDY and DSC). You can later re-partition the drive and re-format."

But having now tried it I found that the (Victoria) 'Erase' command isn't supported for HDDs connected by USB.

It would be a 'pain in the ......' to open up the desktop case not least because all my SATA sockets are in use, I would need to disconnect something and try it.
Because of other priorities it will be a few days before I will have time to try installing the drive in the PC case and report the outcome.

Thanks to vides and Fzabkar for your recent replies - I shall explore your suggestions also.

Thanks to all.


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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: October 26th, 2018, 14:39 
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Goes without saying that the "problem" might be related to the fact that you are using USB connected drive... Meaning tools like Victoria, MHDD, etc will not work properly by USB ... Also you will not be able to do much with WDMarvel by USB even if your USB case/adaptor do support the WDMarvel USB - ATA passtrough (or in other words even if WDMarvel can "talk" to your drive by USB) ...

First step is to connect the drive by SATA and check if BIOS/MHDD/Victoria can ID the drive with full capacity. If so just erase the drive ... Maybe using DBAM by SATA instead of USB ?

There might be limitation with your USB dock/adaptor like hidding some partition, etc making the tools unable to clear LBA 0, ect ... Just start by connecting by SATA.

There might even be the chance for the USB dock to have it's own software installed on the start of the drive, blá blá blá ....

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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: November 1st, 2018, 2:15 
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October18 wrote:
The 500Gb HDD is a Western Digital WD1600AWS, WD AV – GP manufactured in Aug 2011.


Something is wrong here.......Do you see "WD1600AWS" printed on the label of the drive???? If yes, you have a 160GB drive not a 500GB. Please post pictures of both drives labels to understand what's happening here.

Rgds

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 Post subject: Re: Using HDDs recovered from video recorders.
PostPosted: November 1st, 2018, 10:31 
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WD1600AWS is a 160 GB drive so yes ... this explains why It can be formatted and functions as a 149Gb ... This is correct as the drive IS NOT a 500GB drive llolololol

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