Does new HDD necessitate re-installation of Custom Firmware?

Tropi

New Member
I've owned a Humax HDR Fox T2 recorder (500GB) for about 8-9 years and I love it.
About two years ago, I installed in it some firmware whose name I don't recall, that enabled it to copy HD files to a USB stick and, from the USB stick, to a PC for editing/archiving. Eventually, a few months later, I somehow discovered how to copy the T2 files wirelessly to my PC, which was a hugely convenient improvement. I was VERY happy for a year or two!
However, aa few days ago, I noticed that newly recorded Humax files were being marked "Enc" and, although copiable to USB stick, were not readable by my PC Editor (VideoReDo 5). A couple of days later, the T2 recorder then completely lost ability to list ANY already recorded MEDIA and refused to record anything new at all. It blankly ignored those commands.
Checking its own "HDD Test" gave an "Unknown Error" and "Format Storage" also failed, although system did report 55% HDD capacity available, which sounded correct from my own memory. That seemed most odd, given that it seemed to have forgotten it had an HDD at all.
I already had a "new" (well, not exactly, but totally unused!) 1TB Seagate Pipeline HDD put aside for an eventual capacity upgrade to a 320GB FoxSat Recorder. So, I decided to fit this disk to the T2 now and hope it would fix the problems.
After an easy HDD replacement and Format on the T2, to my great relief, the recorder did then recover all its recording facilities and, gratifyingly, somehow, retained its recording Schedule too, although that seemed odd..
However, all HD recordings are still being flagged "Enc" and my PC cannot find the Humax in PC File Explorer. The files do copy to USB stick and from there to a PC but, as expected, cannot be read on the PC.
I can only assume that I need to reinstall the custom firmware in order to restore the encryption/copy workaround but, at my now scarily advanced age, I cannot recall reliably what that software was or how I did it.
Please can someone point me to the simplest possible idiot's guide to restoring the HD copy facility? I really don't need anything more sophisticated than to transfer, edit and archive T2 HD files on a Win 10 PC, which I was doing nicely until a few days ago.
In case it's significant, the T2 System Info currently reports as follows:

Software Version FHTCP 1.03.12
Loader Version a7.34
System ID 80BC.7E00
Update Date 07-Feb-14
MICOM Version 9.3
Mac Address DC:D3:21:84:D1:98

Forgive me,, please!
Since writing the above, I have found, hiding on an old WinXP laptop, what I think is the upgrade file that I originally used in the T2. It is named "HDR_FOX_T2_upgrade.hdf", File Size 23,821 kB, and my copy file is dated 08/08/2019. I'm reasonably confident that this is what I used originally, but would very much appreciate advice from wise minds here as to whether I should now go ahead and try this again? Has anything radically changed in the last couple of years? Having got the recording facility back, I'd hate to screw up at this stage!
 

Luke

Well-Knwοn Мember
@Tropi
If the old HDD has failed, there is no choice but to rebuild the CF. This does not involve restoring the Flash, but accessing the HDR-FOX's IP address from a web browser will produce the download page. This is not arduous

@Tropi Ideally you will then also update the version of custom firmware that you are using.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Directly answering the titular question:
Does new HDD necessitate re-installation of Custom Firmware?
Short answer: yes;

Long answer: The Custom Firmware is in fact "burned" into the Flash (non-volatile) memory, which was the firmware-update-from-USB process you used to install it (the same as updating the HDR-FOX with a new version of standard firmware). However, after that, you then installed a series of "packages" (including the WebIF) which (mostly) have to be stored on the HDD because of storage space limitations on the Flash. It is the packages which need to be restored to a replacement HDD, but as most people fail to recognise the difference between CF and packages, we tend to call all of it "Custom Firmware".

So long as CF is in fact installed in Flash, assessing the HDR-FOX IP address from a web browser when there are no packages installed on the HDD results in the download web page, with a button to install a basic set of packages to get the WebIF up and running.

somehow, retained its recording Schedule too, although that seemed odd.
Not in the least. You are presuming the HDD is the only storage available, but actually the recording schedule, tuning database, EPG etc is stored in Flash memory and the HDR-FOX is able to function perfectly well as a DVB tuner (without recording facilities) even without a HDD connected.

Luke's quote above is from HDR-FOX HDD Replacement. That will tell you everything you need to know... and if it doesn't I will add it.

Something to note is that (disregarding Custom Firmware for the moment) the HDR-FOX only stores recordings (and other media) on the HDD. Everything else (user settings, recording schedule, etc) is stored in non-volatile memory. Therefore replacing, or disconnecting, the HDD has no effect on the remaining functionality.
 
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OP
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Tropi

New Member
First of all, thank you both for such swift and helpful replies and my sincere apologies for not acknowledging them sooner while I experimented with this problem and attempted disk recovery, in between other obligations. There is a great deal to read and I feel sure that all the required info is there. But it really is quite time consuming and I might feel compelled to ask the odd question or two as a bit of a shortcut! But please let me say, how impressed I am with the enormous work put into developing this software, documenting it and the totally professional “look”. It’s simply amazing.
I am not fully there yet, but am well on the way back to normality.
I didn’t re-install the Custom Firmware as, when I went to the T2’s IP Address, everything seemed to work well and I don’t want to break anything that is already working. I installed auto-schedule-restore, auto-unprotect, tidy-folders and undelete as the most likely to be of instant and long-term value.
I can now manually copy both HD and SD files to USB sticks and, from there, to a PC for editing. :)
In Windows File Explorer, under This PC, I can now see HDR-FOX T2 Media Server again. :)
I can now use my home network to copy SD files from the T2 recorder to a PC and significantly faster than with USB sticks. :)
But, so far, I have not yet recovered the ability to transfer HD files via home network. So that remains a problem.
Using Windows File Explorer, as I did before my disk failure, I can see the T2 Folders that I know contain HD files, but opening those folders says they are EMPTY and the HD files that are not already in folders don’t show either. ie, my home network can both see and copy SD but can neither see nor copy HD files.

Am I missing something obvious? I have looked in Service Management and I see that cifs, nfs and samba are not installed. Since I don’t know what they are, I decided not to mess with anything until after asking you gentlemen - do these have anything to do with networking?
 

Luke

Well-Knwοn Мember
I installed auto-schedule-restore, auto-unprotect, tidy-folders and undelete as the most likely to be of instant and long-term value.
I can now manually copy both HD and SD files to USB sticks and, from there, to a PC for editing. :)
In Windows File Explorer, under This PC, I can now see HDR-FOX T2 Media Server again. :)
I can now use my home network to copy SD files from the T2 recorder to a PC and significantly faster than with USB sticks. :)
But, so far, I have not yet recovered the ability to transfer HD files via home network. So that remains a problem.
Are you sure there isn't also a problem with the D recordings that you have copied off using your home network? Do those network SD copies play on your PC?
 
OP
T

Tropi

New Member
Are you sure there isn't also a problem with the D recordings that you have copied off using your home network? Do those network SD copies play on your PC?
You had me quite worried there! But I just double checked again and Windows can definitely see the SD files, copy them to PC over ethernet or WiFi, edit them (VRD 5) and play them.
 
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Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I didn’t re-install the Custom Firmware as, when I went to the T2’s IP Address, everything seemed to work well
Which "re-install" are you talking about? If you mean re-install as per a firmware update from USB – as I said, that should never be needed. But if you mean re-install as per the installation web page at the IP address, the only reason that might not occur assuming you have fitted a new HDD (as per the title) is if the HDD already has WebIF (etc) resident on it.

I took it that you had fitted the
"new" (well, not exactly, but totally unused!) 1TB Seagate Pipeline HDD put aside for an eventual capacity upgrade to a 320GB FoxSat Recorder.
...and I didn't expect that to have already been prepared in the manner described.

But, so far, I have not yet recovered the ability to transfer HD files via home network.
Curious. With auto-unprotect installed, HiDef recordings should behave the same as StDef recordings. Please describe exactly how you go about transferring StDef recordings which does not work for HiDef recordings.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
There is a great deal to read and I feel sure that all the required info is there.
I have re-read your posts and come to the conclusion you might be your own worst enemy. The reason my first reply only addressed the title of this thread is you have presented such a confused (and confusing) picture of events that I doubt you are actually taking measured logical incremental steps and might be using a scattergun approach to achieving (more in hope than by design) what you want.

I have looked in Service Management and I see that cifs, nfs and samba are not installed.
Case in point. Why did you look in Service Management when you don't understand why it's there or what it's telling you? For background information only: nfs-utils is networking for Linux/Mac systems (NFS), whereas cifs & samba are the client and server (respectively) of Windows (SMB) networking.

You should only install what you need, and we have not yet established what you actually need because of lack of detail (yes, I realise you are using a Windows PC, but that does not necessarily mean you need to install Windows networking).

Some of the things you've mentioned in your posts could simply be that you haven't turned on some options in the Humax menus.

Yesterday I was too busy, but even now I look at your ramblings and honestly can't work out where to begin, so instead of trying to build on where you are let's start again:
  1. The version of CF you have installed is not indicated by the filename – all firmware update files are called "HDR_FOX_T2_upgrade.hdf" in order to be accepted at all. Make sure you have the current latest version by visiting the wiki downloads page (click) and downloading file HDR_FOX_T2_1.03.12_mod_3.13.zip. Unzip and install it (see Quick Guide to Custom Firmware for full details).

  2. Presuming you have access to the WebIF: WebIF >> Diagnostics >> CFW Reset. That wipes out the existing software (not firmware) installation so we can start again from scratch.

  3. Now access the WebIF IP address from your browser and you should be greeted by the "install" page (there might be some glitches, keep trying until the install page comes up). Proceed with the basic install.
This establishes a baseline so we know what we're working with. Let me know when you've done this, or if you couldn't make it work.

Meanwhile: a question. Did you actually install the "new" HDD you mentioned, or have you been plodding on with the original HDD (I suspect this is the case, otherwise you shouldn't have had a working WebIF)?
 
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OP
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Tropi

New Member
Sorry, if it seemed rambling. I was trying to ensure that I did not omit anything critical. Everything that I did and could also recall was noted in the order it occurred.
To clear up one apparent confusion, my first post said this
. . . totally unused . . . 1TB Seagate Pipeline . . . I decided to fit this disk to the T2 now and hope it would fix the problems. After an easy HDD replacement and Format on the T2, to my great relief, the recorder did then recover all its recording facilities
It's hard to know how that could have been clearer. The old HDD is out. I fitted a new, un-prepared, virgin HDD in the T2. I formatted it with the T2. I HDD Tested it with the T2. It has now performed several completely successful recordings, playbacks, USB transfers of SD and HD files and some network transfers of SD files.

Now, a small but very relevant "ramble".
The old HDD is on my table, half full of older recordings..
I have used DIskinternals Linux Reader to recover around 250 GB of files from it to a Windows Laptop.
Subsequently, all my available time has been spent in trying to copy those recovered files to the T2's new HDD.
After some very time consuming failures, I have now arrived at a procedure that seems to work effectively, albeit, very slowly. describing all of which could be considered a large ramble! So I won't.
I still have some way to go on this task and have decided to do nothing else until it is completed successfully. But I have seen enough to establish that
(a) Most of and probably all of the old HD files are recoverable to the new HDD.
(b) All these older, recovered HD files ARE visible to and copiable over the Windows home network.
It will probably take me another day or so to complete this task. Only after that will I revert to the networking problem with new recordings and work my way through the instructions, for which, thank you very much..
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
It's hard to know how that could have been clearer. The old HDD is out. I fitted a new, un-prepared, virgin HDD in the T2. I formatted it with the T2.
The issue remains confused. The above does not equate with...
I didn’t re-install the Custom Firmware as, when I went to the T2’s IP Address, everything seemed to work well and I don’t want to break anything that is already working.
...unless you saw the "install" page and proceeded to install the WebIF etc. If that is what you did, it is a detail you omitted.

Now, a small but very relevant "ramble"...
Relevant to whom? If you were able to recover recordings directly from the HDD, they must have been decrypted – which is another detail you failed to mention.

You clearly want to go your own way on all this, so I'll leave you to it.
In my view, you might have saved yourself a lot of faff by fixing the existing disk instead of replacing it.
 
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