How to transfer recordings from one EHD to another.

RandallA

RandallA

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Dec 13, 2004
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Last week I attempted to move the recordings from a 250 GB EHD to a new 500 GB EHD using Ghost. I had to upgrade the EHD because L449 broke playback from the 250 GB EHD. While I'm sure imaging using Ghost works, I would've lost the extra space from the new 500 GB. So I attempted a second time using an Ubuntu box and I was succesful. I'm sure this can be done with any Linux box.

I don't believe I'm doing anything illegal here but if the mods feel this is not appropiate go ahead and remove it. All I did was copy directories from one drive to the other. This procedure should help others move their recordings from one EHD to another one for whatever reason.

This is what's needed:

2 USB drives
622/722 receiver
Computer with Ubuntu installed and enough disk space to copy recordings (explained why below).

When you connect an external HD to Ubuntu, it will display two partitions. The first one is a 1.0 GB partition and has one folder "Lost+Found". The second partition is where all your recordings are and the size depends on the size of your EHD. The second partition has two folders, "Lost+Found" and "DishArc". Your recordings are in the "DishArc" folder, under some folder name like "20b0dec0". Each of these folders have 4 files, "bm", "cat", "tsp", and "wtt". I won't go into any details for the files as they're encrypted.

Here is the procedure:

- Connect new EHD to the 622/722 receiver and let it format and create the new partitions.

- I could not connect the two USB drives at the same time in Ubuntu so I had to connect the old EHD to Ubuntu first and copy the folders from "DishArc" to a directory in Ubuntu. I used the Desktop since I was just testing a couple of folders. You should create a new folder in the Desktop and copy your recordings there. Example: "Recordings". If you can connect both EHD drives at the same time, just wait until you have write access to the folder "DishArc" to copy your recordings from old EHD to new EHD.

- When finished copying the recordings, disconnect old EHD and connect new EHD. You don't need to if you're able to see both at the same time in Ubunutu. :)

- Open a Terminal session by going to Applications, Accessories, Terminal.

- Change to super user by typing "sudo -i"

- Type "fdisk -l" to list your drives and note your USB drive. In my case, it was listed as "/dev/sdb1".

- Type "mount /dev/sdb1" to mount the USB drive. It will tell you that is already mounted but it will also show the USB EHD directory. In my case it showed "/media/disk-1" and I'll need that for the next step.

- Change to that directory by typing "cd /media/disk-1". You can do a listing to see if the two folders are there by typing "ls -l". You should see two directories, "DishArc" and "Lost+Found".

- Change the permissions for the folder "DishArc" so your username will have write access to it. Type "chown randalla DishArc". Of course, you'll use your username. :) Leave Terminal open, we'll come back to change the permissions back to root.

- Go back to the Desktop and open the second partition for your USB drive and look for the folder DishArc. Copy all your recordings from the Desktop to the "DishArc" folder in the EHD. If you were able to connect both drives at the same time, just copy the recordings from the "DishArc" directory on one EHD to the other.

- When you are finished copying the recordings, go back to terminal and type "chown root DishArc". This is to put the permission back to root.

- Connect the new EHD drive to your 622/722 receiver and you should be able to play the recordings.

I would like to try moving a recording from an EHD married to receiver A to an EHD married to receiver B. This way you don't have the limitation of 3 moves. I would try that in the next few days.

Edit: I just tried moving a recording from the EHD connected to a 722 receiver (Receiver A) to a 622 receiver (Receiver B). The procedure lets you copy the directory, you can also view it on the 622 when you go to the EHD but it won't play on the 622. I just got a black screen and had to press "Live TV" to get out it.

I just did this with the Ubuntu Live CD, I did it on my Windows computer and all I needed to do was boot from the Ubuntu CD. There's a minor change in the procedure when you boot from the Live CD since there are no users but the root user. You computer will also need to see both EHD drive at the same time since you're running from the CD not the Hard Drive and you won't be able to copy the directories to a CD. :)

Instead of using "chown randalla DishArc" you will need to use "chmod 777 DishArc" to have write access to the folder. Once you're finished moving the directories, change back the permission by typing "chmod 755 DishArc".
 
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ekengle

ekengle

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Mar 1, 2008
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Great guide, I will have to try that out. I've been wanting to move some stuff over to a larger drive but was hoping to have a dual copy of some older shows that I don't want to lose if anything happened to one of the drives. I knew there had to be a better way than moving them back to the box then moving them again to the new EHD and ending up with only one copy.

Here is another question. Is there a way to view or find out the names of any of the files before you transfer them over to the larger drive. That way you know what you are moving and don't have to move everything, just the ones you want dual copies of?
 
RandallA

RandallA

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Dec 13, 2004
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Here is another question. Is there a way to view or find out the names of any of the files before you transfer them over to the larger drive. That way you know what you are moving and don't have to move everything, just the ones you want dual copies of?

Good question. Actually there is one way to see what you're actually moving. Open either the file "cat" or the "bm" in a text editor and you'll see the description. The "tsp" file is the show itself and since it's encrypted, I didn't do anything with it.
 
S

SickPup404

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 15, 2006
99
1
Good question. Actually there is one way to see what you're actually moving. Open either the file "cat" or the "bm" in a text editor and you'll see the description. The "tsp" file is the show itself and since it's encrypted, I didn't do anything with it.

I noticed the "cat" & "bm" files (while working on my attempt) had different data in them - one has strictly the show you recorded, the other has both the program before and after too. I think one is for the program info when you're in the DVR menu, the other is for when you're watching the program and hit info, especially when you start early and/or end late and pick up a few minutes of the programs before and after the one you wanted. (Ex. If you record "Survivor", one file will have "Survivor" info only. The other file will have "60 Minutes", "Survivor", and "CSI:Miami".)

I forget which file is which...
 
L

like2watch

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Oct 26, 2006
31
0
Much thanks for the information

Ubuntu LiveCD is wonderful. One minor note. If you use the GUI to do copying of files, it assigns the user/group ubuntu/ubuntu rather than root/root if you're using a shell and are superuser.

My situation was a bit different. I have only one 622 receiver. I had a 500GB Seagate FreeAgent that went to an 866 state after several months of use and 250+GB of stored programs. I got a second one while waiting for Dish to fix, but they didn't, so I used this to recover my programs.

I first tried to copy one program (directory) from the old (866) drive to the good drive. It appeared in the list but played "black" and I had to front panel reset the receiver to clear a "recording being played" message. I believe that the "black" playback is due to some kind of encryption (see further below).

I then copied all the old programs to another drive attached to my PC. Then I attached the old drive to the receiver, got the 866, and allowed it to reformat. After, I copied back one program. When I attached the drive I got a 788 message. Answering yes was quick and I was able to view the program. So I then copied back all 250+GB of programs. When I attached it to the receiver again I got the 788 message again. When I answered Yes this time it took a while, appearing to be hung (no progress displayed), but when it completed all my programs were accessible and playable. I believe that the reciever code was going through each directory and re-encoding each program to that drive/receiver.

It is my intention to get back to one drive in the future. I'll empty one of the drives, copying programs to the other EHD or a PC drive, attach the emptied drive to the receiver and let it format or 788 then copy all of the programs back to this drive.
 
steve4810

steve4810

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 27, 2006
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Randall,

Great post. I'm glad to see we seem to have a safe way to backup. I had just mounted the EHD to my Windows laptop and put copies on my drive and found I could "restore" them to the EHD but never had any confidence that I could restore the entire contents of a drive to a virgin disk and your research seems to re-enforce the hidden pitfalls to just using Windows and a linux drive mount utility.

like,

I was also glad to hear the Ubuntu Live CD works as well among (at least a couple of) sat-heads as I'd heard it does in the Linux community

Thanks to both guys for doing the heavy lifting to solve a worry-some problem.
 
C

ciarabelle

Member
Dec 6, 2009
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rural,va
Has anyone had any success with copying the data and then using it on a different rcvr... my situation is i backed up my shows on a ehd... then changed rcvrs -- from a 722 to 722k... and now it tells me that its a different rcvr and it needs to format (of course i said no)... if i format the New ehd w/ the new rcvr - then copy the data over as instructed will it be able to read it on the new rcvr since the new rcvr formatted the destination ehd?
thanks
ml
 
whatchel1

whatchel1

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Sep 30, 2006
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Great High Plains
don't format it

Has anyone had any success with copying the data and then using it on a different rcvr... my situation is i backed up my shows on a ehd... then changed rcvrs -- from a 722 to 722k... and now it tells me that its a different rcvr and it needs to format (of course i said no)... if i format the New ehd w/ the new rcvr - then copy the data over as instructed will it be able to read it on the new rcvr since the new rcvr formatted the destination ehd?
thanks
ml

You are talkinga bout 2 rcvr on the same account right? If so that is exactly what happened to me when i got a new 722k and it turned out to have problems. I then went back to my 622 and then got a replacement 722k. The 2nd unit wouldn't read the HDD w/o format and tech support forced me to format the HDD. They wer full of S**t. They could have sent a hit to the newer 722k that would have allowed it to work correctly but the CSR was ID 10 T certified.
 
C

ciarabelle

Member
Dec 6, 2009
6
0
rural,va
no its not the same acct... we had an acct under another persons name (with their permission) for 2 years since we just moved to usa...
when we wanted to change the acct to our name... dish told us we had to close the old account... send back all the equipment... etc (what a waste of money) dish would not let me buy out the old equipment either (ie what i paid in rent towards their msrp)

so i bought new equipment outright... copied over the shows from the 722 old dvr to an hd... set up the new acct... and the new dvr's ... had them re-activate for ehd (that whole racket irritates me since i OWN the dvr... i shouldn't need to pay to activate) ... i attempted to copy the shows over to the new dvr - 722k.. and it says they came from a diff rcvr and it has to format (to which i said no)...

i haven't called ts... i have never had good support from them... and getting it on a sunday is even less likely... (every other time i have called about something they had NO idea what to do - and once wanted to replace my dvr cause i wasnt getting local channels....)
 
FitzAusTex

FitzAusTex

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Jan 3, 2007
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Austin, TX
no its not the same acct... we had an acct under another persons name (with their permission) for 2 years since we just moved to usa...
when we wanted to change the acct to our name... dish told us we had to close the old account... send back all the equipment... etc (what a waste of money) dish would not let me buy out the old equipment either (ie what i paid in rent towards their msrp)

so i bought new equipment outright... copied over the shows from the 722 old dvr to an hd... set up the new acct... and the new dvr's ... had them re-activate for ehd (that whole racket irritates me since i OWN the dvr... i shouldn't need to pay to activate) ... i attempted to copy the shows over to the new dvr - 722k.. and it says they came from a diff rcvr and it has to format (to which i said no)...

i haven't called ts... i have never had good support from them... and getting it on a sunday is even less likely... (every other time i have called about something they had NO idea what to do - and once wanted to replace my dvr cause i wasnt getting local channels....)
I know of no way to move recordings on an EHD associated with one account to another account. I was hoping we'd be able to do that, but I'm about 100% sure it's not possible. I tried it once by bringing my EHD to a friend's house (who also has E*) to watch some stuff I'd recorded, but it was a no-go.
 
T

trumanhorn

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Nov 1, 2007
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Missouri
Pardon my ignorance, but is there no way to connect both hard drives to a single Windows-based computer and simply drag and drop onto the new hard drive?
 
bookworm370

bookworm370

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Jul 11, 2009
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Pardon my ignorance, but is there no way to connect both hard drives to a single Windows-based computer and simply drag and drop onto the new hard drive?

Not that easy I'm afraid, the drives are formated in Linux Ext3 format.
 
harshness

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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Pardon my ignorance, but is there no way to connect both hard drives to a single Windows-based computer and simply drag and drop onto the new hard drive?
The filesystem is Linux and Windows is one of the few current operating systems that can NOT natively deal with Linux filesystems.

In this instance, the OP isn't entitled to the files anyway as they belong to a different account.
 
Foxbat

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Over a year ago, I had done this using a Knoppix CD for both the 211 EHD and 622 EHD (not between the two; that doesn't work). I wanted to shuffle recordings from an older 500GB drive to a 1TB drive. Step one is to let the 622 format the target drive. P.Smith did a lot of work on this, too. One "complication" was the partitioning of the EHD: no partition was greater that 512 MB. This may change in the future depending on Dish's updates.

On my 3 GHz P4 notebook, this process basically took overnight. I didn't know if it was a driver issue with the Knoppix CD distro or what, but I wasn't in a big hurry. I used the GUI to copy the folders as root as noted before. I was surprised (and happy) that it worked.
 
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J

jcrash

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Sep 26, 2003
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Tulsa
I'd pay $25 for someone to do this. I am technical, but only on Windows and have no desire to get that deep into it. Someone go into business!
 
C

ciarabelle

Member
Dec 6, 2009
6
0
rural,va
ok so i formatted the new ehd w/ the new dvr.... and dh was kind enough to follow the copy instructions and copy the shows over to the new ehd.. ... plugged it into the new dvr w/ much anticipation... nope -- wants to format

seriously why do they need so much protection?? is there really a a huge amount of people trying to copy dr. phil from one dvr to another ? especially with most shows having online viewing (which is not really an option for me - slow isp). (i use the dr phil reference loosely lol - in my case its lost and fringe... i like to record the whole season then we watch it all in one weekend... or at least we were going to.. grr)

sigh

and not knowing what special identifier file is required to be kept from the new dvr... or if its darn-well encrypted in each recording (likely knowing dish)...

bloody stupid.

for this i pay over a 100 a month.

thanks for trying everyone..
 
whatchel1

whatchel1

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Sep 30, 2006
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Great High Plains
Provider

ok so i formatted the new ehd w/ the new dvr.... and dh was kind enough to follow the copy instructions and copy the shows over to the new ehd.. ... plugged it into the new dvr w/ much anticipation... nope -- wants to format

seriously why do they need so much protection?? is there really a a huge amount of people trying to copy dr. phil from one dvr to another ? especially with most shows having online viewing (which is not really an option for me - slow isp). (i use the dr phil reference loosely lol - in my case its lost and fringe... i like to record the whole season then we watch it all in one weekend... or at least we were going to.. grr)

sigh

and not knowing what special identifier file is required to be kept from the new dvr... or if its darn-well encrypted in each recording (likely knowing dish)...

bloody stupid.

for this i pay over a 100 a month.

thanks for trying everyone..

Wasn't E* choice blame the providers for forcing them to heavily encrypt the HDD's.
 
J

jcrash

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 26, 2003
221
0
Tulsa
for this i pay over a 100 a month.

thanks for trying everyone..


I've been a DISH user for over ten years and I am already telling my wife we need to just cancel and go Hulu nation on them. We just cancelled our premiums for now, but I think within 2 years we will be off Dish and just using our ISP for shows.
 
KKlare

KKlare

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Nov 18, 2003
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I have had to call twice for a "hit" in 2.3 years I've had EHDs and 10 disks I have used. So it should not happen often that you will need to refuse formatting except for new disks. Forgot to include one case in olden days where we were limited to 3 moves and that I got by.
-Ken
 
harshness

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
17,429
3,273
Salem, OR
seriously why do they need so much protection?? is there really a a huge amount of people trying to copy dr. phil from one dvr to another ? especially with most shows having online viewing (which is not really an option for me - slow isp). (i use the dr phil reference loosely lol - in my case its lost and fringe... i like to record the whole season then we watch it all in one weekend... or at least we were going to.. grr)
It is important because DISH's content providers demand it.

The concern isn't so much about Dr. Phil or other network programming. It is about first-run movies on HD Movies and other content that would cut into optical disc or online download sales.
 
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