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:
- Swap the old HDD into the new HDR-FOX.
- Install custom firmware as per Quick Guide to Custom Firmware.
- From a web browser: WebIF >> Settings >> Advanced Settings, set key from old HDR-FOX (computed from MAC and S/N)*.
- 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.
- (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).