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External portable HDD to use with a Humax HDR-FOX T2 - Can you help!?

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
OK, so I was being a bit loose with my use of "unhealthy" (poetic licence).

This has come up in several topics so let me make a definitive statement:

A USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 (with USB 2.0 fall-back) drive with separate power supply (usually called "External") will be fine, it draws little or no power from the USB interface but has the inconvenience of finding an extra mains socket.

A USB 2.0 drive that is powered from the USB port (usually called "Portable") will usually be OK; the USB 2.0 specification permits a device to draw up to 500mA, and a properly designed port will be able to supply that. Some drives used to be provided with a double plug lead so as to take power from two ports - this is not an option with the HD-FOX, and awkward with the HDR-FOX, but is not common these days. I currently have two 500GB USB2 drives connected (and functional!) to my HDR-FOX.

A USB 3.0 drive will have a fall-back mode that communicates with a USB 2.0 port. However, the specification permits a USB 3.0 device to draw up to 900mA and this exceeds the rated capability of the HD/HDR-FOX's ports. This is not to say that such a device will draw more that 500mA, just that it could and still be within specification, therefore you would have no comeback. It is entirely possible that a drive designed for a USB 3.0 port is not fitted with a socket for an external supply, and not provided with an external wall wart.

The effect of drawing too much current from the USB port will be mis-operation of the drive and possible mis-operation of the HD/HDR-FOX. It should not lead to damage in either (if properly designed).

Please note that manufacturers reserve the right to change specification without notice, so while it might be shown that a particular make and model of USB 3.0 drive works with an HD/HDR-FOX, it is likely but not certain that another one of the same model will also work, and the slight variations between HD/HDR-FOXs could stop the same device working on a different HD/HDR-FOX. These are the sorts of thing that happen when taking a risk outside specification. A way to side-step this is to use an external powered driverless USB hub (preferably USB3).

It is for those reasons that I personally would avoid a USB3 drive if faced with the choice, especially as I have no computers fitted with USB3 ports to take advantage of the fast transfer rates. If you have a computer with a USB3 interface and are likely to want to transfer data from/to the drive you might be tempted and consider the (slight) risk acceptable - but note that the transfers between the drive and the Humax will only go at Humax speed. The risk balance will change as the industry shifts to USB3, and USB2 portable drives become difficult to obtain.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
If it's of any interest, Tesco currently have the 750GB USB2 Samsung M2 portable discounted to £34.98 (if you can find one).
 

jackdaww

New Member
i'm trying to copy from hdr foxt2 to my seagate expansion drive 500gb -- get message cant copy to ntfs file type.

i can copy to a usb pen stick ok - thats fat32 format - but limited file size.

the objective is to get files across to my laptop and pc - i dont need HD and dont want custom firmware .

ive read through the threads - it sounds the ext3 format would be ok but im not clear how to do this and what the latest situation is .

i can get another hdd drive and reformat it.

any help welcome.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
The Humax will read but not write to an NTFS formatted USB HDD, there are various options detailed HERE, If you need to stick with NTFS then you can write from the Humax to a NTFS USB HDD, but only if you install the Custom Firmware package. You can FTP directly from an EXT3 drive (that can be formatted for you by the Humax) to your P.C., without using the Custom firmware via the Humax's LAN connector, just turn on FTP in the Humax menus e.g. Menu >> Settings >> System >> internet settings >> FTP server = on and then enter ftp://10.0.0.200 from your P.C. web browser, user name = humaxftp, password = 0000. Note:- replace 10.0.0.200 with the IP address of your Humax
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
the objective is to get files across to my laptop and pc - i dont need HD and dont want custom firmware .

ive read through the threads - it sounds the ext3 format would be ok but im not clear how to do this and what the latest situation is .

i can get another hdd drive and reformat it.
You can use the Humax itself to format a drive (up to 1TB) as Ext3, which will solve the file size limitation. It does mean you will need a utility to read the drive on a Windows PC though. Ext3 is directly supported by Linux, or Linux utilities that have been ported to Windows.

As you are not interested in HiDef (which would remain encrypted anyway), the 4GB file size limit of FAT32 equates to over three hours of StDef, so are you sure you need anything other than FAT32? You can then use Windows without other utilities to format and read it.
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
I think Ezra has mentioned the most easy (non-customised firmware) option. Allow the Humax to format the disk as EXT3 and then copy the recordings over to it, which will result in them being decrypted. You can then connect to the Humax over the network using FTP and access the EXT3 drive and download the decrypted recordings straight from there.
 

jackdaww

New Member
thanks for all replies.

i have now copied from foxt2 to a 16gb usb pen fat32 - went ok but painfully slow - 3 hrs for 16gb.
it also brought over .hmt .nts .thm files which i dont remember getting with the 9200t and e-linker.
would it be any faster using ext3 on a hdd ?
i have tried using foxt2 to format but the format option is protected - greyd out - prefer to format on pc anyway if possible.
the joys of ftp networking etc are still to come.

many thanks again
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
I doubt that the copy speed will change a great deal by changing formats, the Humax is not only copying but also decrypting the files and this takes time, the smaller 'sidecar' files are really only needed by the Humax for thumbnail pictures, bookmarks etc. but they are very small compared to the TS files. The format of USB devices on the Humax is intended to format USB hard disks rather than USB flash devices, it won't format any device smaller that 32GB and EXT3 (the only option) is not suitable for flash devices anyway. The copy process would be faster to a hard disk drive, but will still be slowed down by the decryption taking place
 
so are you sure you need anything other than FAT32? You can then use Windows without other utilities to format and read it.
I have a 160GB drive (ex my 9200) which I tried to format to FAT32, but my Win XP laptop wouldn't, it insisted on NTFS.

Any idea how to force it to do FAT32? I beleive this size should live with FAT32 without disk size restrictions.
 

grahamlthompson

Well-Known Member
I have a 160GB drive (ex my 9200) which I tried to format to FAT32, but my Win XP laptop wouldn't, it insisted on NTFS.

Any idea how to force it to do FAT32? I beleive this size should live with FAT32 without disk size restrictions.
Windows by design won't format large FAT32 partitions, you have to use a 3rd party formatting programme. If you use FAT32 you are stuck with files smaller than 4GB. Why not use EXT3 and install the free PC EXT3 driver (EXT2FS)
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Unless you are moving HiDef content, the faff of an Ext3 driver isn't necessary (although whether it is more faff than managing to format to FAT32 is another matter - I wasn't aware Windows was limited in this way).

Another option is to use the Humax to format Ext3, copy to the USB (thus decrypting), and then accessing the USB drive while it remains plugged into the Humax across the network by FTP.
 

grahamlthompson

Well-Known Member
Unless you are moving HiDef content, the faff of an Ext3 driver isn't necessary (although whether it is more faff than managing to format to FAT32 is another matter - I wasn't aware Windows was limited in this way).

Another option is to use the Humax to format Ext3, copy to the USB (thus decrypting), and then accessing the USB drive while it remains plugged into the Humax across the network by FTP.
Max is 32GB

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314463
 
Unless you are moving HiDef content, the faff of an Ext3 driver isn't necessary (although whether it is more faff than managing to format to FAT32 is another matter - I wasn't aware Windows was limited in this way).

Another option is to use the Humax to format Ext3, copy to the USB (thus decrypting), and then accessing the USB drive while it remains plugged into the Humax across the network by FTP.
I'm not worried about the 4GB limit, it is more to use it as a 'supersized USB stick' when I want to save some recordings. I don't expect to want to save any Hidef stuff anyway.

Thanks for the pointer, I'll try some other way to format it.
 

distantbel

New Member
Just thought I'd give the benefit of my recent experience on this. I wanted one or two drives to act as means of getting recorded programs off the Humax and onto my pc so I could then store them on the NAS drive, or burn to DVD, or take to other people, and then wipe from Humax. I had a couple of 2.5 inch 60Gb Hitachi Travelstar drives (formatted as NTFS) salvaged from some old Dell notebooks, so I bought from Amazon a couple of drive enclosures (less than £3 each including post from a company called "memorycapital" and fit perfectly and work instantly!) I downloaded a free program called "fat32format.exe" from Ridgecrop Consultants website and ran the program in a command window (there are helpful instructions on the website). It formatted the drive in literally seconds. Ok this all sounds easy, but in reality I tried lots of dead-end paths before I found this program, but it just works. On the pc I play the .ts file directly in VLC, and never any problems (though I do always record in SD, 'cos not filling up the Humax hard drive with large files which are encrypted is more important to me than not having HD quality). Now a very happy bunny.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
Your SD files are also encrypted while on the internal HDD, they are decrypted when you copy them to your USB HDD using the Remote >> OPT+ option. You can also do the same trick with Hi-Def files if they have been modified using FOXY or by installing the Custom Firmware. Also, it is possible to FTP the files directly from your USB HDD to a P.C. without installing the Custom Firmware, See the FTP notes in the Foxy link
 

acopia

New Member
Thread update:
I bought a buffalo HD-PCU2 1.0 TB ministation [usb external hard drive] as my drive was getting full and the kids didn't want to delete their favourite shows.

-Humax HDR Fox T2 -reads and writes without reformatting from it's shipped FAT32 format.
-It doesn't have or need external power supply.
-Humax plays my apple mp4 videos that I have transferred from PC. [made using freemake]
-PC plays humax files with VLC media player

It is really small and neat and the blue LED is the same shade as the Humax blue light for those that care.
It was much easier than I thought.
(I did update the Humax firmware last year which may have enabled some features.)
 
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