Hard Drive Swap

Denwyn

Member
We recently bought a new Panasonic PVR to replace our Humax HDR-Fox T2 Freeview PVR , after issues with it and our new TV. Initially I was going to dump it, but gave it a reprieve and connected it to a second TV in another room were it has worked perfectly, until now. We had the room redecorated and everything was moved out, since then there is a problem on the aerial in feed, its very intermittent, definitely not the cable as it works fine connected to the TV. The socket connection seems very loose on the Humax, I did pinch in the centre of the socket slightly with a pair of pliers to make that a tighter fit. I am not confident in repairing it, and with the way things with this pandemic I can't get anyone to look at it. I see a lot of these for sale on Ebay, if I was to buy one , could I swap the hard rive from mine into it, I have a lot of programmes on it I want to keep. Any Advice appreciated.

Humax HDR-Fox T2 Freeview HD Recorder
 

Luke

Well-Knwοn Мember
No, it isn't as simple as just swapping the hard drive.

With the HDR-FOX T2 all recordings are encrypted and initially can only be played by the HDR-FOX T2 that recorded them.
However, if any are SD (standard definition), or radio recordings, then the act of copying them to a USB memory device will decrypt the copy. The decrypted copies can then be played by any other HDR-FOX T2. You could then copy them back to either, or both, Humax disks.

The other alternative is to install the custom software on your first HDR-FOX T2 and this will enable the HD programmes to also be decrypted so that they can be played by any HDR-FOX T2.

Initially I was going to dump it
:eek: There are probably plenty who would take it off your hands.

We had the room redecorated and everything was moved out, since then there is a problem on the aerial in feed, its very intermittent, definitely not the cable as it works fine connected to the TV. The socket connection seems very loose on the Humax, I did pinch in the centre of the socket slightly with a pair of pliers to make that a tighter fit.
It could just be that it is not tuned to the best transmmiter for all the channels.
Does the picture get bad when you wiggle the lead?
Is it just on certain channels?
How are you sure that you are tuned to the best transmitter for your location?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Note: this has become an article about swapping a HDD between HDR-FOXes. If you wish to replace the HDD in a HDR-FOX see HDR-FOX HDD Replacement

could I swap the hard rive from mine into it, I have a lot of programmes on it I want to keep.
The fundamental problem with this is encryption. The encryption/decryption key is unique to each HDR-FOX, so one HDR-FOX cannot play recordings from another HDR-FOX except by special means. The key is contrived from the MAC and serial number (which are printed on the product label) - whatever you do, don't lose that information.

Things Every... (click), section 5:
5. Encrypted Recordings

The HD/HDR-FOX encrypts (ie securely scrambles) all recordings in the process of storing them to disk. This is transparent to the user, because they are decrypted (unscrambled) again in the process of playing the recording back to TV or streaming it out to another media player on the home network. It causes a difficulty if you want to copy the recording out for other purposes*, in summary here's what you can do and what you can't...

All about encryption/decryption: Decryption Guide

There are only a limited number of things you can do, if you don't want to install custom firmware:
  • With both HDR-FOXes connected to your home network, they can play each others recordings by DLNA: set Menu >> Settings >> System >> Internet Setting >> Content Share = On, then access using Media >> Storage >> Network. This works for StDef and HiDef (assming an HDR-FOX or HD-FOX is the client, otherwise StDef only).

  • Connect the HDD from the old HDR-FOX to a PC, and use Linux or Windows* software available on this forum to decrypt all recordings. After that, all the existing recordings will be playable by installing the old HDD into the new HDR-FOX, or you could copy the recordings into the new HDR-FOX by USB or FTP.

    * Note the HDD is formatted Ext3, which is native to Linux but requires additional drivers on Windows. Linux can be run on a Windows PC by booting from a Live Linux DVD or USB. See Things Every... (click), section 12.

  • Connect the HDD from the new HDR-FOX to the old HDR-FOX using a SATA-USB adapter (~£15), and use the on-screen menus to copy the recordings onto the external drive. This will decrypt StDef recordings in the process of copying, but not HiDef recordings. HiDef recordings need to be "unprotected" first, using a process called foxy (see Decryption Guide).
You would be well advised to install custom firmware (it's free, easy, and painless - see Quick Guide to Custom Firmware). Then there will be many more routes to achieve what you want, the least time-consuming being to "convert" the new HDR-FOX so that it has the same key as the old HDR-FOX. In that case, the process would be:
  1. Swap the old HDD into the new HDR-FOX.

  2. Install custom firmware as per Quick Guide to Custom Firmware.

  3. From a web browser: WebIF >> Settings >> Advanced Settings, set key from old HDR-FOX (computed from MAC and S/N)*.

  4. Reboot. Now, so long as CF is installed, the HDR-FOX will adopt your customised key, and old and new recordings will be playable. Should the HDR-FOX boot without CF, it will revert to its native key, with all consequences.

  5. (optional, but advised) Install auto-unprotect, and set the WebIF to automatically decrypt all old and new recordings (see Decryption Guide). Once all recordings have decrypted, it won't matter what key the unit boots with.
* How to compute the key (from https://wiki.hummy.tv/wiki/Custom_Firmware_Package_Notes#Stripts): concatenate the 12 hex digits of the MAC, with 20 hex digits obtained from the S/N by converting the first 10 digits to hex ASCII. Presuming the S/N is purely numeric, this is not so difficult as it sounds because the decimal-to-hexASCII conversion is simply to prefix each digit with "3". Thus, for example: for MAC 00-03-78-bd-11-f3 and S/N 6371044960-1234, the first 12 hex digits of the key will be 000378bd11f3, and the subsequent 20 digits 36333731303434393630, so the whole key is 000378bd11f336333731303434393630.

Alternatives/additionals worth considering:
  • Use CF to decrypt everything on the old unit before transplanting the HDD, then the new HDR-FOX won't need a customised key;

  • Use CF or PC to decrypt everything on the old unit, then copy the content into the new HDR-FOX (by USB-SATA, FTP, or as a network drive) - the new HDD has potentially a newer HDD;

  • Take the opportunity to install a bigger HDD;

  • Watch the old recordings from the old HDD by connecting it to the new HDR-FOX as an external drive (the old drive needs decrypting first, alternatively it would work if the new HDR-FOX is given the same key);

  • Use the old HDR-FOX as a network file server and access it from the new HDR-FOX using Media >> Storage >> USB (this requires decryption or matching keys, and proper configuration of the CF, but is much better than DLNA).
 
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OP
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Denwyn

Member
It's definetly tuned to strongest transmitter, I have no idea at all on custom software. Box is as we bought it,it did a software update a few years back,nothing since.
The fundamental problem with this is encryption. The encryption/decryption key is unique to each HDR-FOX, so one HDR-FOX cannot play recordings from another HDR-FOX except by special means. The key is contrived from the MAC and serial number (which are printed on the product label) - whatever you do, don't lose that information.

Things Every... (click), section 5:


All about encryption/decryption: Decryption Guide

There are only a limited number of things you can do, if you don't want to install custom firmware:
  • With both HDR-FOXes connected to your home network, they can play each others recordings by DLNA: set Menu >> Settings >> System >> Internet Setting >> Content Share = On, then access using Media >> Storage >> Network. This works for StDef and HiDef (assming an HDR-FOX or HD-FOX is the client, otherwise StDef only).

  • Connect the HDD from the old HDR-FOX to a PC, and use Linux or Windows* software available on this forum to decrypt all recordings. After that, all the existing recordings will be playable by installing the old HDD into the new HDR-FOX, or you could copy the recordings into the new HDR-FOX by USB or FTP.

  • Connect the HDD from the new HDR-FOX to the old HDR-FOX using a SATA-USB adapter (~£15), and use the on-screen menus to copy the recordings onto the external drive. This will decrypt StDef recordings in the process of copying, but not HiDef recordings. HiDef recordings need to be "unprotected" first, using a process called foxy (see decryption guide).
* Note the HDD is formatted Ext3, which is native to Linux but requires additional drivers on Windows. Linux can be run on a Windows PC by booting from a Live Linux DVD or USB. See Things Every... (click), section 12.

You would be well advised to install custom firmware (it's free, easy, and painless - see Quick Guide to Custom Firmware). Then there will be many more routes to achieve what you want, the least time-consuming being to "convert" the new HDR-FOX so that it has the same key as the old HDR-FOX. In that case, the process would be:
  1. Swap the old HDD into the new HDR-FOX.

  2. Install custom firmware as per Quick Guide to Custom Firmware.

  3. From a web browser: WebIF >> Settings >> Advanced Settings, set key from old HDR-FOX (computed from MAC and S/N)*.

  4. Reboot. Now, so long as CF is installed, the HDR-FOX will adopt your customised key, and old and new recordings will be playable. Should the HDR-FOX boot without CF, it will revert to its native key, with all consequences.

  5. (optional, but advised) Install auto-unprotect, and set the WebIF to automatically decrypt all old and new recordings (see Decryption Guide). Once all recordings have decrypted, it won't matter what key the unit boots with.
* How to compute the key (from https://wiki.hummy.tv/wiki/Custom_Firmware_Package_Notes#Stripts): concatenate the 12 hex digits of the MAC, with 20 hex digits obtained from the S/N by converting the first 10 digits to hex ASCII. Presuming the S/N is purely numeric, this is not so difficult as it sounds because the decimal-to-hexASCII conversion is simply to prefix each digit with "3". Thus, eg: for MAC 00-03-78-bd-11-f3 and S/N 6371044960-1234, the first 12 hex digits of the key will be 000378bd11f3, and the second 20 digits 36333731303434393630, so the whole key is 000378bd11f336333731303434393630.

Alternatives/additionals worth considering:
  • Use CF to decrypt everything on the old unit before transplanting the HDD, then the new HDR-FOX won't need a customised key;

  • Decrypt everything on the old unit then copy the content into the new HDR-FOX (by USB-SATA, FTP, or as a network drive) - the new HDD has potentially a newer HDD;

  • Take the opportunity to install a bigger HDD;

  • Watch the old recordings from the old HDD by connecting it to the new HDR-FOX as an external drive (the old drive needs decrypting first, alternatively it would work if the new HDR-FOX is given the same key);

  • Use the old HDR-FOX as a network file server and access it from the new HDR-FOX using Media >> Storage >> USB (this requires decryption or matching keys, and proper configuration of the CF, but is much better than DLNA).
Thanks for the very detailed reply, afraid most
 
OP
D

Denwyn

Member
It's definetly tuned to strongest transmitter, I have no idea at all on custom software. Box is as we bought it,it did a software update a few years back,nothing since.

Thanks for the very detailed reply, afraid most
Oops...thanks for the very detailed reply, I understand some of what your saying, but afraid a lot is beyond me. Not tech minded enough. Thinking about it a bit more, maybe I should just forget about the moving the recorded programmes. For now I may have a look at all this firmware stuff, and have a play around with that. Will possibly still get another Humax from EBay.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
For now I may have a look at all this firmware stuff, and have a play around with that.
I think you will be surprised how easy.

Will possibly still get another Humax from EBay.
If you preserve the old one, you can retrieve stuff later. Meanwhile, without doing anything special, you will at least be able to:
With both HDR-FOXes connected to your home network, they can play each others recordings by DLNA: set Menu >> Settings >> System >> Internet Setting >> Content Share = On, then access using Media >> Storage >> Network. This works for StDef and HiDef
 
OP
D

Denwyn

Member
I will keep the old one for now, re the network stuff, its only been connected to the network once when we first bought it, every thing he
 
OP
D

Denwyn

Member
Oops sorry having issues with wireless keyboard. Everything here is except for PC is on wi-fi , so connecting the box isn't going to happen. I did try it online a very long time ago, didn't impress me at all. If it needs to be on the network, i may still have a set of plugins somewhere.
Ill get another box and see what i can do.

Thanks for all the advice
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I did try it online a very long time ago, didn't impress me at all.
The standard functionality isn't worth writing home about, just about OK for iPlayer, but you have to remember it's 10 years behind the curve.

CF pretty much relies on communications over the network though. Wired is best, but failing that you can use a USB WiFi dongle (Ralink RT3070 only), HomePlug (Ethernet over powerline), or even Ethernet-to-WiFi adapters (eg TL WR-702N).
 

everthewatcher

Forum Supporter
The socket connection seems very loose on the Humax...
Taken with the circumstances leading up to this, it's possible the socket has been mechanically dislodged from the tuner module can.

Wouldn't be the first time this has happened - I found it had happened on one of the Humaxes here while moving things. Fixing is easy enough if you have experience of repairing such things.

[Edit] Now I've checked instead of relying on memory, it was on a Sony ST-SB920 tuner not a Humax.
 
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Denwyn

Member
Probably going to look for a used replacement off EBay, I understand that any recordings can’t be transferred to the replacement Humax, and swapping hard drives won’t work either. I am thinking of taking the hard drive out to keep as a spare, would this work, and just need reformatting.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I understand that any recordings can’t be transferred to the replacement Humax
As stated previously: they can, by the right process. It is incorrect to say they can't - only that you can't be bothered.

swapping hard drives won’t work either
As stated previously: it will, by the right process. We can help you through it, it isn't difficult - you just have to be able to follow instructions precisely. Here's somebody who did exactly that, very recently:
Hi all
After swapping the hard drive into the spare. Unit, all is working nicely and the OLD unit is no longer working, instead going through the Start up loop.

I decided not to swap the power over as I had not done this before, but I could see a couple from screws and connectors that would have needed - these boxes are brilliantly simple.

with the encryption key swapped over (thanks again df) it looks like it’s resolved, so I’ll update the title of the thread 👍👍

amazing to have so many experts in this group to help keep these boxes alive.... they are far better than anything else on the market.

move got 1 recording / serving to all our TVs via fire stick/ vimu app and it just works!

thanks again 🙏🏻 #kudos

I am thinking of taking the hard drive out to keep as a spare, would this work, and just need reformatting.
No reason why not, if that's really what you want to do.
 

/df

Well-Known Member
Probably going to look for a used replacement off EBay, I understand that any recordings can’t be transferred to the replacement Humax, and swapping hard drives won’t work either. ...
If you think that, you should read post #3 again. I admit there is a lot of it, but it lists ways of doing both those.
I am thinking of taking the hard drive out to keep as a spare, would this work, and just need reformatting.
It would, but the CF route allows you to plug the old disk into the new machine using a USB SATA caddy and still use your existing content.
 

MymsMan

Ad detector
Probably going to look for a used replacement off EBay,
Because of the customised firmware HDR T2's still command reasonable money second hand compared to other 10 year old electonics
If you are not interested in trying the customised firmware you could replace it with a newer model from any manufacturer
 
OP
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Denwyn

Member
I've bought one from eBay, looks ok, should be here on Monday. Only ever use it to record stuff, never use it to watch TV channels TV has all I need inc apps..Can't complain about the Humax it's done well for a good 10 ish years now.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
never use it to watch TV
So you miss out on good stuff like live pause then, and when you want to schedule a recording you need to turn on the 'FOX, switch the TV to the HDMI input, and then access the EPG... what a faff.
 

MymsMan

Ad detector
I wouldn't give up the ability to schedule recordings from anywhere in the world without interrupting the use of the TV.
Nor the ability to avoid remove ads from programmes while they are still playing
 
OP
D

Denwyn

Member
So you miss out on good stuff like live pause then, and when you want to schedule a recording you need to turn on the 'FOX, switch the TV to the HDMI input, and then access the EPG... what a faff.
Used to do all this when we bought it 10 years back, TVs have vastly improved since then, iPlayer, Netflix, Prime. Etc. I tend to look at the weeks programmes on Humax a week ahead, see if there is anything worth recording and click them, don't find it a faff at all, if I went through all the channels yes it would be, but basically we only tend to watch mainstream and a few film channels. Its worked great for us. I will say the Humax guide is visually better than the guide on our main Samsung Qled, which isn't easy to read. I use the Humax on 2nd TV, and it suits me fine just to use it for recording things i like. When the Ebay one arrives I may have a look at all this firmware stuff, and have a play about with it on the old box, I did have a quick look, but will have to sit down and read up, so much of it in the lists.
 
OP
D

Denwyn

Member
I wouldn't give up the ability to schedule recordings from anywhere in the world without interrupting the use of the TV.
Nor the ability to avoid remove ads from programmes while they are still playing
I find enough to watch on UK TV, Iplayer, Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5 apps, Netflix and Prime, without watching rest of world stuff. Don't tend to watch a lot on the commercial stations live, so adds don't bother us, if we record anything can just fast forward. Don't understand the "schedule recordings. from anywhere in the world", I take it this is something to do with firmware updates, which i am going to look into and try out on the old box, then if i bugger it up its no problem.
 
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