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DVR-Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HDC


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#1 taneal1

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 03:58 PM

My first post here... Sure looks like an "interesting" site!

I attached a WDC eSATA drive to my Explorer 8300HDC (with DVR) for added storage space. It worked without a problem. My wife plugged this same drive with dozens of movies on it, into her computer thinking she could watch a movie on her Laptop. Windows couldn't find the drive, so she gave up and plugged it back into the DVR. Now the DVR doesn't recognize the drive, and asks to format it.

I REALLY don't want to lose all those movies!

Win 7 must have done something to the drive without asking, because she is certain she didn't do anything beyond looking to see if the drive was recognized by Device Manager (it wasn't).

Does anyone know which file system Sci Atlanta uses on their DVRs? I'm thinking if I can find a way to read the drive, I can see what was changed in the Master Boot Record or whatever and possibly repair the damage.

Any recommendations as to a program that would allow me to find this disk and read it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for ANY thoughts,

Tom

#2 Afterm4th

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 07:28 PM

ill help you do some research if you promise to contribute to binrev. I do lots of data recovery so im sure I can help.

You may have to use a program like get data back for ntfs to get the data, but let me do a lil research first and find out more info on the DVR

in the meantime, dont do anything else with the drive untill you are sure youknow what you're doing.


reference: http://www.brctv.com..._user_guide.pdf
http://www.cisco.com....html#~features

#3 nyphonejacks

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 11:58 PM

ill help you do some research if you promise to contribute to binrev. I do lots of data recovery so im sure I can help.

You may have to use a program like get data back for ntfs to get the data, but let me do a lil research first and find out more info on the DVR

in the meantime, dont do anything else with the drive untill you are sure youknow what you're doing.


reference: http://www.brctv.com..._user_guide.pdf
http://www.cisco.com....html#~features


not sure what quite happened with your drive... I probably would have done the same thing, only to see what was accessible on the drive, already knowing that the content recorded from the DVR onto the eSATA drive is binded to that particular DVR - ONLY... meaning even if your DVR is fried, and the cable company replaces the DVR, all your movies would be lost... unfortunately it sounds like you are probably going to lose all the data that is on the drive unless there is someone who is able to provide some type of crack... not sure of the legality of circumventing the copy protection mechanisms...

i have an 8300HD.. not sure what the differences are between what i have and the 8300HDC other than many people on the interwebs saying how much the C stands for "crap" and that they do not like it http://www.google.co...iw=1024&bih=537

I just never set up an eSATA drive out of pure lazyness.. and the fact I do not have a spare eSATA drive laying around...

#4 Powermaniac7

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 12:31 AM

Odd sounds like Windows being its usual screwy self. I've had things not be recognized before with windows and be because of lack of drivers that you didn't know you needed or the port you are using is screwy.

You could try dual booting a variation of linux say Ubuntu and seeing if that can recognize/access it or if you know of someone with a computer borrow there's and check on that.

Some computers/ports/OS's have random conflicts with particular devices for no real reason whatsoever so try it on another computer.

Anyway good luck.

#5 Afterm4th

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:29 AM

Can anyone confirm that the DVR requires FAT formatted drives?

#6 nyphonejacks

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:51 AM

Can anyone confirm that the DVR requires FAT formatted drives?

need to look around a bit more, but so far most sites that i have found (nothing official enough to provide a link yet) show either EXT3 or a proprietary file system...

#7 taneal1

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 10:17 AM

ill help you do some research if you promise to contribute to binrev. I do lots of data recovery so im sure I can help.

You may have to use a program like get data back for ntfs to get the data, but let me do a lil research first and find out more info on the DVR

in the meantime, dont do anything else with the drive untill you are sure youknow what you're doing.


reference: http://www.brctv.com..._user_guide.pdf
http://www.cisco.com....html#~features



#8 taneal1

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 10:19 AM

ill help you do some research if you promise to contribute to binrev. I do lots of data recovery so im sure I can help.

You may have to use a program like get data back for ntfs to get the data, but let me do a lil research first and find out more info on the DVR

in the meantime, dont do anything else with the drive untill you are sure youknow what you're doing.


reference: http://www.brctv.com..._user_guide.pdf
http://www.cisco.com....html#~features

Thanks Mack!

I'll wait to see what you come up with. I'd be happy to post. I'm still prowling around the site to see if I can answer any questions.

#9 taneal1

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 10:26 AM

Can anyone confirm that the DVR requires FAT formatted drives?

I THINK it does. The drive orginally had an NTFS format. When I attached it to the 8300, the DVR insisted on formatting the drive again. So unless they use some type of proprietary format, for the moment I'm thinking it could be a FAT. I've tried a bunch of programs to try and ID the format, with no luck. "Parted Magic" easily found the drive, and reported it had no problems. I couldn't find a way to display any format data, though.

I'm wondering if Win 7 messed with the Master Boot Record in an attempt to read the disk... Trying to do some research in that direction at the moment.

#10 Afterm4th

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 05:31 AM

step one

torrent this:
http://thepiratebay....1.0_DVD-PROTEUS

step two
attach the drive to a windows machine

step three
mount the iso you downloaded with ultraiso or another iso mounting utility

step four
run getdataback for ntfs on the target drive



if you really want to get your hands dirty, do more research and download this:

http://www.cgsecurit...stDisk_Download


testdisk is cross platform. it will restore your partition, but you NEED to know the specifics of the partition before you start messing around. if you dont know what you're doing then you can make things worse.

If you're super serious about getting the data back get another 2tb drive and make an excact bit for bit image.

#11 taneal1

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 02:05 PM

Thanks for the advice Mack,

I have Hiren's Boot DVD. I have tried EVERY program on the disc, and only Parted Magic detects the eSATA drive. It displays all the WD data correctly including the drive size. It reports the PARTITION and FILE SYSTEM as UNALLOCATED, so I still don't know which file system is used by the SciAtlanta 3800HDC.

If the drives are somehow marked with a code so they will only play on a specific DVR, then there's no reason for a proprietary format for copy protection. My plan is to pick up another eSATA drive, format it with a FAT partition, plug it into the DVR and see if it formats the disk. If not then a FAT partition is what it uses. If it formats the drive, then I will try a a Linix format, and repeat the procedure. If I can determine the type format used, it will be a good start towards either reading the data off it, or repairing the drive. Of course, the DVR may automatically format a new drive regardless of the format already present... Or they may use their own format for whatever reason.

#12 Afterm4th

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 02:52 PM

so what you're saying is that any/all of the recovery programs on hirens do not even detect the drive but parted magic does?

That would be very odd if that were the case.


Go to your disk management and see if it's showing up there. If it's showing up there you should be able to run get data back on the drive.


When Using hirens, dont boot into the disk. Boot into windows, then go to your CD rom drive. Hirens has lots of windows tools.

#13 taneal1

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 08:14 PM

so what you're saying is that any/all of the recovery programs on hirens do not even detect the drive but parted magic does?

That would be very odd if that were the case.


Go to your disk management and see if it's showing up there. If it's showing up there you should be able to run get data back on the drive.


When Using hirens, dont boot into the disk. Boot into windows, then go to your CD rom drive. Hirens has lots of windows tools.


Correct. ONLY Parted Magic detects the disk, and I agree that was a surprise.

The disk does NOT appear in Device Driver nor does appear using the Admin tools to force a rescan of the drives.

Although I do have Hirens burned onto a disk, I did NOT boot with it. I ran the programs from the disk under windows per your advice.

The only thing I was able to learn is that the Disk Partition and File System are UNALLOCATED.

#14 Afterm4th

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 11:18 PM

that is very strange that the drive shows up in parted magic but not in the drive manager.


2 things I would suggest:

a) try it in another computer all together

B) use hirens boot cd, boot to the disk, and choose to boot into mini XP. inside of minixp try loading up get data back for ntfs and see if the drive is detected. You many have to go into your bios and set your SATA to comparability mode to get it to detect properly in minixp



im guessing how you have it set up is with an esata cable and not a usb cable.


Other than those two suggestions the only other thing I can suggest is taking the drive out of the enclosure and connecting it via regular sata connection.


Let me know how that goes!

Edited by Afterm4th, 25 November 2011 - 11:19 PM.


#15 taneal1

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:13 PM

that is very strange that the drive shows up in parted magic but not in the drive manager.


2 things I would suggest:

a) try it in another computer all together

B) use hirens boot cd, boot to the disk, and choose to boot into mini XP. inside of minixp try loading up get data back for ntfs and see if the drive is detected. You many have to go into your bios and set your SATA to comparability mode to get it to detect properly in minixp



im guessing how you have it set up is with an esata cable and not a usb cable.


Other than those two suggestions the only other thing I can suggest is taking the drive out of the enclosure and connecting it via regular sata connection.


Let me know how that goes!

I will try it on other computers and let you know...

The drive is enclosed in a plastic case with no obvious way to remove the drive.

Booted with Hirens to MiniXP (SATA to compatability mode) - no luck detecting the drive with any program...

After I rebooted back to windows, just for the hell of it I retried Disk Management via Admin tools. The eSATA drive appears without a drive letter as UNALLOCATED space of about 1TB.

Also, it shows up in Device Manager (it's an additional drive anyway) as WDC WD10EVVS which doesn't match the drive model, but it is Western Digital.

Next with the UNKNOWN DEVICES program, the eSATA drive DEFINITELY is detected. It shows up as WD My Book AV 1020 USB device with correct Hardwarde ID and the Enumerator - USBSTOR. That's the second time it is referred to as a USB device. Apparently, I need to start looking for it as a USB device, although it is MOST DEFINITELY plugged into an eSATA connector!

Edited by taneal1, 26 November 2011 - 05:15 PM.


#16 Afterm4th

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:52 PM

I will try it on other computers and let you know...

The drive is enclosed in a plastic case with no obvious way to remove the drive.

Booted with Hirens to MiniXP (SATA to compatability mode) - no luck detecting the drive with any program...

After I rebooted back to windows, just for the hell of it I retried Disk Management via Admin tools. The eSATA drive appears without a drive letter as UNALLOCATED space of about 1TB.

Also, it shows up in Device Manager (it's an additional drive anyway) as WDC WD10EVVS which doesn't match the drive model, but it is Western Digital.

Next with the UNKNOWN DEVICES program, the eSATA drive DEFINITELY is detected. It shows up as WD My Book AV 1020 USB device with correct Hardwarde ID and the Enumerator - USBSTOR. That's the second time it is referred to as a USB device. Apparently, I need to start looking for it as a USB device, although it is MOST DEFINITELY plugged into an eSATA connector!




What was the exact model of drive? I'll help you find a tare down (an instructional on how to open it up)

Once it is open, connect it directly to a sata port. Once this is done we will have eliminated some of the guess work with the esata driver etc

If it is showing up in the drive manager you should be able to run get data back for ntfs on it (even if it shows up as unallocated)








EDIT:

you can try this first... if you do get the data check the videos to see if they are all intact.

There's something I forgot about doing data recovery on NTFS until just now. Unless the drive was recently defraged then chances of recovering large files (ie, video file) fully intact is low. You may recover part of the file, but the end of it could be corrupted, but you wont know until you try.


My new suggestion:

Use testdisk

http://www.cgsecurit...g/wiki/TestDisk


scan the disk with testdisk, it will tell you what partition MFTs it finds. It will most likely find the partition near the beginning of the HDD (usually sector 64 if i remember correctly) It will tell you what type of partition it is. It will then give you the option to write the correct partition map to the disk. After this you will need to re-boot to access the partition.




..one other thing I forgot about was to have you test to make sure the drive isnt failing. Use a program like HD Tune to make sure the drive is functioning correctly. If the drive is failing we could just be wasting our time.


Let us know your progress!

Edited by Afterm4th, 26 November 2011 - 06:08 PM.


#17 nyphonejacks

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:52 PM


that is very strange that the drive shows up in parted magic but not in the drive manager.


2 things I would suggest:

a) try it in another computer all together

B) use hirens boot cd, boot to the disk, and choose to boot into mini XP. inside of minixp try loading up get data back for ntfs and see if the drive is detected. You many have to go into your bios and set your SATA to comparability mode to get it to detect properly in minixp



im guessing how you have it set up is with an esata cable and not a usb cable.


Other than those two suggestions the only other thing I can suggest is taking the drive out of the enclosure and connecting it via regular sata connection.


Let me know how that goes!

I will try it on other computers and let you know...

The drive is enclosed in a plastic case with no obvious way to remove the drive.

Booted with Hirens to MiniXP (SATA to compatability mode) - no luck detecting the drive with any program...

After I rebooted back to windows, just for the hell of it I retried Disk Management via Admin tools. The eSATA drive appears without a drive letter as UNALLOCATED space of about 1TB.

Also, it shows up in Device Manager (it's an additional drive anyway) as WDC WD10EVVS which doesn't match the drive model, but it is Western Digital.

Next with the UNKNOWN DEVICES program, the eSATA drive DEFINITELY is detected. It shows up as WD My Book AV 1020 USB device with correct Hardwarde ID and the Enumerator - USBSTOR. That's the second time it is referred to as a USB device. Apparently, I need to start looking for it as a USB device, although it is MOST DEFINITELY plugged into an eSATA connector!


still could not find any official information about the filesystem from cisco or scientific atlanta but most of the forums - most google results are for the AVSfourm (who helped me out with a HDMI matrix switch install a few months ago) most threads seem to think that it is a linux filesystem such as EXT3 or something like that... perhaps why your windows PC is having a hard time identifying it?

#18 Afterm4th

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:11 PM

still could not find any official information about the filesystem from cisco or scientific atlanta but most of the forums - most google results are for the AVSfourm (who helped me out with a HDMI matrix switch install a few months ago) most threads seem to think that it is a linux filesystem such as EXT3 or something like that... perhaps why your windows PC is having a hard time identifying it?



this is possible, but he did say it was working in his PC at one point.

You can always try plugging it into a mac or ubuntu machine...

edit; OH YEAH, if windows asks you to initlaize the drive, choose NO.

Edited by Afterm4th, 26 November 2011 - 06:11 PM.


#19 Powermaniac7

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:41 AM

Sounds like Windows is being a pain in the ass again for no particular reason, unless it is hardware related. On that note would you mind listing your system specifications maybe some references on the net to your motherboard having a screwy eSATA port.

Reminds me of the fact my gold plated usb connected keyboard occasionally doesn't power up when my computer does -.- and I've had this problem with two motherboards now and with my mouse which also has a gold plated usb connector. Damn technology being so helpful but having so many possible problems and slight variations etc etc =( but I love it so lol.

Edited by Powermaniac7, 27 November 2011 - 10:41 AM.


#20 taneal1

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 06:48 PM



I will try it on other computers and let you know...

The drive is enclosed in a plastic case with no obvious way to remove the drive.

Booted with Hirens to MiniXP (SATA to compatability mode) - no luck detecting the drive with any program...

After I rebooted back to windows, just for the hell of it I retried Disk Management via Admin tools. The eSATA drive appears without a drive letter as UNALLOCATED space of about 1TB.

Also, it shows up in Device Manager (it's an additional drive anyway) as WDC WD10EVVS which doesn't match the drive model, but it is Western Digital.

Next with the UNKNOWN DEVICES program, the eSATA drive DEFINITELY is detected. It shows up as WD My Book AV 1020 USB device with correct Hardwarde ID and the Enumerator - USBSTOR. That's the second time it is referred to as a USB device. Apparently, I need to start looking for it as a USB device, although it is MOST DEFINITELY plugged into an eSATA connector!




What was the exact model of drive? I'll help you find a tare down (an instructional on how to open it up)

Once it is open, connect it directly to a sata port. Once this is done we will have eliminated some of the guess work with the esata driver etc

If it is showing up in the drive manager you should be able to run get data back for ntfs on it (even if it shows up as unallocated)








EDIT:

you can try this first... if you do get the data check the videos to see if they are all intact.

There's something I forgot about doing data recovery on NTFS until just now. Unless the drive was recently defraged then chances of recovering large files (ie, video file) fully intact is low. You may recover part of the file, but the end of it could be corrupted, but you wont know until you try.


My new suggestion:

Use testdisk

http://www.cgsecurit...g/wiki/TestDisk


scan the disk with testdisk, it will tell you what partition MFTs it finds. It will most likely find the partition near the beginning of the HDD (usually sector 64 if i remember correctly) It will tell you what type of partition it is. It will then give you the option to write the correct partition map to the disk. After this you will need to re-boot to access the partition.




..one other thing I forgot about was to have you test to make sure the drive isnt failing. Use a program like HD Tune to make sure the drive is functioning correctly. If the drive is failing we could just be wasting our time.


Let us know your progress!


While I was exploring the drive's box for a way to open it I found a small rectangular area that appeared to be a cover. With a LOT of fussing I was able to remove it. I expected to find a screw or something... Would you believe that that under this UNMARKED plastic cover lurked a USB port? My computer found the drive , and under "Devices and Printers":

NAME: WD My Book AV 1020 USB device
LOCATION: port_#0003.Hub_#0008

Running GetBackData for NTFS under Win 7
PHYSICAL DRIVE DETAILS:
121601 CYLS * 255 DEADS * 63 SECTORS
LBA SECTORS 1,953,525,168 (932GB)

NO DRIVE LETTER
NO PARTITIONS

GetBackData is currently running and at 18% completed:
Index Allocs: 0
Boot Sectors: 0
Files Identified: 5834 Starts, 0 USRDEF
MFT entries: 0, 0 $MFT

Master File Table entries ZERO? Does that mean no files???

Edited by taneal1, 27 November 2011 - 06:50 PM.





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