Hard drive problem?

Jeddy

Member
Just before Xmas I couldn't access my recordings in my 4000. By turning it off / on I managed to get them back.
Today I have the same problem, except this time I can't get them back. Power off / on doesn't work. Pull plug out doesn't work. No recordings.
The drive is a few years old so I'm guessing it's had it's day? (Come to that, so has the remote.)

Any suggestions for how to confirm this please or could it be a PSU problem etc. (I know I had to replace a load of caps for similar on an old recorder)?
Also, if it does need replacing, any suggestions what I should use?
Can this be done without loosing recordings (hmmm, assuming I can get the drive working while connected to a PC)?
Or is it time to buy a new recorder (what's the current favourite).

Is there a guide or similar for this - apologies if so, I can't see one and I'm a little surprised if I'm the first to hit this.

Thanks,
Jeddy
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
Any suggestions for how to confirm this please or could it be a PSU problem etc. (I know I had to replace a load of caps for similar on an old recorder)?
Is the box booting up and the user interface working? The most reliable way to determine if the drive needs replacing is to connect it to a PC and look at the SMART data using something like Crystal DiskInfo. Post the output to the forum if you want help interpreting it.
Also, if it does need replacing, any suggestions what I should use?
Assuming it is a 3.5" hard drive then a Seagate Skyhawk is a reasonable choice or a Western Digital Purple.
Can this be done without loosing recordings (hmmm, assuming I can get the drive working while connected to a PC)?
Some people have successfully cloned the old hard drive to a new drive.
Or is it time to buy a new recorder (what's the current favourite).
I would suggest a Humax Aura or a Manhattan T3-R.
 
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Jeddy

Member
Thanks Martin.
And it's started working again...!
Will the SMART data reveal anything while the drive is working? I'm obviously loathed to go through the routine if it won't reveal anything.
If so then I guess I need to check it out before it fails.
When you say 'clone' that sounds more like a bit copy than simply formatting a new (installed) drive and copying files as I was hoping?

At least I've managed to get the Home button on the remote working again - this time cleaning didn't work, but a bit of tin foil glued onto the bottom of the button has done the trick.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Will the SMART data reveal anything while the drive is working?
They certainly won't reveal anything once the drive stops working! The drive is running autonomous internal diagnostics, fault logging, and self-repair, and accessing the SMART stats is the method for reading the current and accumulated health of the drive. Monitoring the SMART can warn of impending total failure before it's too late.
 
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Jeddy

Member
I've finally got around to doing this (not least as the drive is doing funny things again such as a couple of crashes, a period of silence after skipping etc.)

Any comments on health would be appreciated.



1655825728378.png
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
I've finally got around to doing this (not least as the drive is doing funny things again such as a couple of crashes, a period of silence after skipping etc.)

Any comments on health would be appreciated.
I certainly don't see anything to worry about in the SMART data.
 

EEPhil

Number 28
The SMART data looks fine to me as well.

There is a known problem, or is it a feature, with the 4000T/5000T. When you first turn it on, if you are too quick pressing [recordings], you appear to have no recordings. If you wait a minute or so the recordings screen vanishes then reappears fully populated.I doubt that this is the problem you are talking about. It happens to me nearly every time I power up the 5000T as I'm too quick on the remote. There was one occasion where the disk didn't power up and I had that sickening feeling that I'd lost everything. However, the power down, unplug and leave before powering up again worked and, fingers crossed, I've not had a repitition of that.
My 5000T crashes quite often. Usually it is me confusing it by changing channels too quickly using the up/down key and possibly passing through an off air channel. I've also found it better to change to BBC 1 SfdDef before powering off at night. If I leave it on Dave or CBS Justice it often won't start up and appears to be unresponsive. then it crashes, reboots and behaves itself.
 
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Jeddy

Member
Thanks, I know exactly what you mean and I regularly do that (and my heart misses a beat) too, but this isn't that problem. The Jan problem seemed to sort itself out. More recently I have had a few crashes which is unusual, I've had one recording which showed 60mins recorded but only played to 50mins and refused to go past there (even FF or jumping a minute). Also when skipping ads recently a number of times it has resumed playing video without sound which may take 15secs or so to start - it has done that before though.
It's a combination of multiple things recently which prompted me to get the smart data.
I guess it's good news there are no HDD problems, but it's slightly annoying when I do get problems anyway.
 

EEPhil

Number 28
I think I've had problems with losing the sound after skipping over ads. I'm impatient and haven't waited for it to sort itself out. I usually skip back 15s (?) and it recovers.
Recordings that show one time and only play for less - had those as well. Could be the Humax crashed, although I'd expect the time shown to match the actual time.

The 4000T/5000T has some dodgy software on an underpowered processor. It was made to a price point and appears to have been let out into the wild before testing was complete. Unfortunately, like most Humax products apart from the current one, it appears to be abandonware. Updates are rare.
 
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Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Unfortunately, like most Humax products apart from the current one, it appears to be abandonware. Updates are rare.
...and yet they released an update for the grand-daddy 2010 HDR-FOX to "cure" the iPlayer certificate problem, last year. Mind you, the equivalent update for the HD-FOX very nearly cripples it!

Also when skipping ads recently a number of times it has resumed playing video without sound which may take 15secs or so to start - it has done that before though.
That's not a HDD problem. The problem is that by skipping you are diving into the stream data at a random point, and the codecs are unable to pick up... but that sounds a lot worse than anything I've experienced with a HDR-FOX.
I usually skip back 15s (?) and it recovers.
The stream formats in broadcast data are adaptive, and typically change at programme-advert boundaries. I presume there is some kind of preamble in the data when this happens to tell the codecs (although they have to be able to lock on without the preamble, even if this takes longer). By skipping back you might be returning to a point before the preamble for a format change.

Adaptive formats are why some media players have difficulty with TS recordings – typically, media players detect the stream formats at the beginning and assume they won't change (which, in "normal" media files, they don't).
 
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Jeddy

Member
Thanks.
Yes, jumping back fixes the problem for me too.
I have had recordings ending before they should have, but as you say, they show as 50mins not 60 and the time reflects that, the odd bit was everything said it was a 60min recording but it just refused to play the end, that was new.
Thanks for the insight blackhole.
As long it's not the HDD there's not much I can do, although to be fair, I guess for a box 5.5yrs old which is used heavily and on for many hours per day I shouldn't grumble too much.
 

EEPhil

Number 28
I have had recordings ending before they should have, but as you say, they show as 50mins not 60 and the time reflects that, the odd bit was everything said it was a 60min recording but it just refused to play the end, that was new.
I don't suppose these recordings display the broken symbol when you first play them.
I know I've had similar problems, very occasionally, but I never got to the cause of the fault. Most likely something stopped the recording but didn't update the sidecar files (*.hjm - we don't know the contents of this, but if it is an encrypted form of the .htm file used in earlier models it contains important information about the recording). If it happens to me again I will try to examine what happens.
 
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Jeddy

Member
I do get the broken recording icon together with 'This program failed to record because there was no program broadcast on time' or whatever the exact message is a certain amount, however invariably the recording then proceeds to replay normally (although maybe there is a problem in the last few seconds, who watches past the start of the closing credits). As for whether that was the case with the recording mentioned above where I only could play 50mins I can't be sure, I'm afraid I deleted it.
 

EEPhil

Number 28
who watches past the start of the closing credits
I do! Which is why the continuity departments of most broadcasters apart from Talking Pictures really annoys me!
This program failed to record because there was no program broadcast on time'
I usually get this on BBC4. Never understood why. The programme exists and in full.
As for whether that was the case with the recording mentioned above where I only could play 50mins I can't be sure, I'm afraid I deleted it.
Been there, done that.
 
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