Transferring old recordings to new hard disk

TonyC

Member
OK, usual apologies if this has been covered elsewhere before...

I've just bought a new 2TB drive as an upgrade to the 500Gb in my HDR-Fox T2. I'm wondering how best to do the update and preserve my recordings.

It seems from some other threads (which I can't locate right now :) ) that the latest firmware is able to format a 2Tb drive directly in the machine, rather than needing to format it on a PC. So that seems like the best approach.

In terms of getting the old recordings off the 500 Gb drive and onto the 2 Tb, can I just put the old drive in my PC, use something like Ext2Fsd to make it "readable", and then FTP the files back to the Humax?

Am I right to think that encrypted files will still be playable, because the encryption is locked to the machine and not the hard disk? (I have CF so could unencrypt if required, but to do that with all 500 Gb of files will take quite some time)

Alternatively, could I put the old drive in a USB caddy and copy the files onto the new drive via the Humax? I'd be reluctant to do this because it means spending money on a caddy that would almost certainly never be used again, but I could do if required.

My least preferred option is to FTP everything off the Humax (with small disk), swap disks and then FTP back, but that would take several days I expect, and with recordings going on all the time, it would be difficult to not miss something. For the same reason, I don't want to install both drives in my PC and copy the files across (which I believe is the "official" recommended process) because then the box is completely out of action for some time.

(I know I could just attach the new drive as an external store via USB, but I think the performance and reliability of the Humax will be better if using the internal drive)

Advice / comments gratefully received!
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Alternatively, could I put the old drive in a USB caddy and copy the files onto the new drive via the Humax? I'd be reluctant to do this because it means spending money on a caddy that would almost certainly never be used again, but I could do if required.
Do it this way. You'll spend £10-£15 on a USB-HDD adapter (you don't need a full caddy), and the adapter comes in very handy when doing any kind of drive fiddling.

(I know I could just attach the new drive as an external store via USB, but I think the performance and reliability of the Humax will be better if using the internal drive)
Not so much as matters.
 

dma

Member
I just put a 2TB disk in mine but I used a Linux boot CD in an old PC to run gparted to get all the partitions and data across. Firmware 1.02.32 only formats to 1TB sadly. My new drive seems to be more quiet than then Seagate Pipeline!

As Black Hole says, the easiest method would be to use a USB enclosure and plug into the Humax box. Not sure how long a full copy would take. SATA to SATA my 400GB stockpile copied in 2 hours.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
TonyC if you do get the Humax to format your 2GB drive could you report it here, you are correct in saying that it has already been reported that the Humax can format 2GB drives using 1.03.xx firmware, but it's always good to have it confirmed. Could you also state whether you used 1.03.06, 1.03.11 or 1.03.12
 
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TonyC

Member
As Black Hole says, the easiest method would be to use a USB enclosure and plug into the Humax box.
I wonder if there is any issue with the Humax drive having multiple partitions? Does a USB-to-SATA adapter typically "see" all the partitions (as different drive letters, presumably)? Can the Humax cope with reading data from an external disk with multiple partitions?
 

prpr

Well-Known Member
Does a USB-to-SATA adapter typically "see" all the partitions (as different drive letters, presumably)?
It effectively sees sectors on a disk. Anything else is some bit of software's problem.
 

dandnsmith

Forum Supporter
I wonder if there is any issue with the Humax drive having multiple partitions? Does a USB-to-SATA adapter typically "see" all the partitions (as different drive letters, presumably)? Can the Humax cope with reading data from an external disk with multiple partitions?
It can cope with any partition which has a format which is supported - I've used FAT, EXT and NTFS (on the same device)
 
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TonyC

Member
OK, thanks everybody, I'll be giving it a go this weekend and will let you know how I get on.

One last question: is there any easy way to back up things like package settings, recording settings, etc? I presume all these are stored in files somewhere on the hard disk, but I don't know where. FTP doesn't show anything but presumably if I knew where to look I could copy them via Telnet?

I can just check all the settings via WebIf and note them down, but if there's an easy way to do it without lots of typing, that would be nice...
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
You can just copy the /mod folder, but you need the betaftp package and the standard one turned off, because the standard FTP is locked to the media sections of the HDD. I would be inclined to reinstall from scratch, just to make sure it is clean (and you can ditch packages you don't use). A screen shot of the WebIF package management "installed" tab will be enough to remind you what packages you have.

The recording schedule and user settings from Menu >> Settings are not stored on the HDD anyway.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
Your recording schedule and any favourites lists you have created are stored on the hard disk if the Custom Firmware is installed (something to conciser perhaps) , here e.g. :-
/mod/var/backup/auto-2013-Feb-22-18:06.rbk
 
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TonyC

Member
OK, all done now, here's some feedback for the benefit of others.

The 2TB drive (Seagate Pipeline, as previously recommended) formatted no problems using CF 2.20 ("Humax Version: 1.03.06" according to the Web-If). Took about 5 minutes and then reported 1803 Gb "available", 20 Gb "used" and 197 Gb "reserved" (for what, I wonder?).) It's only been in use for a couple of days but so far seems to be running without any issues, zero Reallocated_Sector_Ct up to now. So I think we can conclude that FW 1.03.xx handles 2Tb drives "natively" ?

I took Black Hole's advice and bought a SATA-to-USB adapter for an astonishingly cheap £2.69 including postage off eBay. (No power supply included at that price, but I had something I could use). The Fox seemed reluctant to "see" the old drive at first, maybe something to do with the sequencing of powering up different devices, but eventually did connect and from then on the connection was stable. The Fox reported seeing three drives on USB, one of which contained the all-important "My Video" folder. I started copying via the normal TV user interface, which worked OK but was very slow, presumably because it (rather pointlessly!) insisted on decrypting all the files on the way. I also tried FTPing the files off the old drive to my PC and then back to the new drive, which was probably twice as fast but more hassle, so in the end I did it all via the normal user interface. In total it probably took 30 hours to transfer 400 Gb, which is a long time but not ridiculously so for a one-off task.

Plugging the old drive into a PC and FTPing the files to the new drive would definitely have been quicker, but you do need to be able to read ext3 of course and Windows can't natively. (Paragon ExtFS for Windows gets some good reviews, but I haven't tried it.) Direct SATA-to-SATA is clearly far quicker, but does make the box unusable for longer.

As regards the packages etc, again I took Black Hole's advice and reinstalled from scratch, it wasn't too much hassle


So, thanks to all for the advice, much appreciated. If anybody has any queries about the details, please ask.
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
Can you run the 4kalign diagnostic from the web interface and check if the disk partitions are aligned?
 
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TonyC

Member
Code:
>>> Beginning diagnostic 4kalign
Running: 4kalign
 
--> This is an Advanced Format (AF) drive.
 
    Model Number:      ST2000VM003-1CT164                   
    Logical  Sector size:                  512 bytes
    Physical Sector size:                  4096 bytes
    Logical Sector-0 offset:                  0 bytes
    Nominal Media Rotation Rate: 5900
 
Disk /dev/sda: 2000 GB, 2000396321280 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 243201 cylinders, total 3907024065 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
 
  Device Boot      Start        End      Blocks  Id  System
/dev/sda1              8    2104510    1052226  83  Linux
/dev/sda2        2104512  3886043166  1941969330  83  Linux
/dev/sda3      3886043168  3907024062    10490445  83  Linux
 
 
*  OK  * - partiton /dev/sda1 is properly aligned.
*  OK  * - partiton /dev/sda2 is properly aligned.
*  OK  * - partiton /dev/sda3 is properly aligned.
 
>>> Ending diagnostic 4kalign
So I guess that means it's OK?
 

dma

Member
I'm wondering if it might be an idea to add a note to the 2TB Disk Installation Blog stating that 1.03.xx can format 2TB drives


That would be a good idea as I didn't know about this until someone posted it was possible. Had I have been on 1.03.x I would have assumed I need to format it externally using Linux.

Also, I'd clarify the rather alarming statement about WD drives...

The WD drives (the realistic alternative) will apparently attempt to park the read heads once every 8 seconds for the life of the HDD which is just horrible!

I think this is referring to the IntelliPark feature which was included on a lot of older WD drives, e.g. the EURS range. This problem can be worked around by using the wdidle3 tool to increase the auto-park time to 5 minutes (WD don't recommend disabling completely for some reason). Newer drives shipped from 2013 have IntelliPark feature disabled as default. It's worth checking this before you buy though.

If you buy a EURX (like me) IntelliPark was not included in the feature set so you don't have this 8 second park problem.

Also, I can only speak for my EURX, but it's very quiet - I can't really hear it spin up or down or during read/write operation. The old Seagate Pipeline used to make a screaming click when it powered off - this doesn't happen on the EURX.

The article read to me like I should avoid buying WD drives - this is not my experience of WD covering a 15 year period. Although I do accept their green range is a budget range - reflected in the 3 year warranty (5 years with the black range).
 
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