Linux USB drive corrupted by Xp

By jeff1 ยท 11 replies
Sep 13, 2007
  1. Hi Guys, this is my first post. I have a pvr that uses Linux. It records in .ts files.
    This pvr (personnel video recorder) uses external USB hard drives that must be previously formatted into Fat 32, and insure that the drive never reaches a sleep mode.

    After that the firmware on the pvr does a quick format. Many users report that after they connect the external USB drive to their XP computer to retrieve or copy the .ts files , then when they reconnect that external drive to the pvr, the drive is corrupted.

    After that, the pvr will only recognize the drives size or serial number but absolutely refuses to see the any .ts files.

    Then they are forced to write zeros with Seagate (in the case of FREEAGENT PRO) utilities. This causes them to loose all the previous recorded movies.

    It makes me very apprehensive to connect my freeagent 750 gig to Xp. It appears that Xp adds a flag or bit to the drive rendering it unreadable by the Linux OS of the pvr.

    I wonder if there is a way to clone the external Linux drive (fat 32) directly to another USB drive, so that I can manipulate or watch the drive on an Xp machine without altering the original drive.

    I only use Xp.

    Any advice is extremely appreciated.
  2. acrobat

    acrobat TS Rookie Posts: 25

    Well, I know nothing about video cameras and stuff, but I know my computers.

    It is easy to clone a drive (usb/external/whatever). But you obviously would have to connect it to a computer to do that :)

    So if just connecting it to an XP machine, ruins it, then that is out of the question. So your only option, would be to find someone with a Linux machine, and ask them to clone it for you.

    There are other possibilities though I suppose. First off, it may be possible that connecting the drive to an XP machine is ok... and the problem only occurs when the data is read off or something... So basically, you would have to somehow find out, exactly what causes the drive's formatting to be screwed up.

    The only other possibility I can think of, is that you make yourself a Linux partition on your computer. Am I right that Linux is free? If so, all you need is a hard disk in your PC, with some free space on it. You can partition it into part XP, and part Linux. So when you restart your PC, you get to choose if you want to boot up in to XP as usual, or boot into Linux.

    I'm not sure how hard it is to learn how to use Linux, but that may be a possibility for you anyway. Then, when you wanted to use your PVR's hard drive, you could just boot into Linux and do whatever it is you need to do with it. You could even maybe then copy the stuff off it safely, on to your computer's internal hard drive (or even another external one), and then when you reboot back into XP, you would have the copied data, and the original PVR drive never has to interact with XP.

    Hope that helps. If not, hopefully someone else can help. Good luck.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I'm pretty sure XP doesn't corrupt the filesystem all by itself. As acrobat said, you should do some testing to find out which actions exactly make things go bad.

    It may be that Windows creates a Recycle Bin (or some other folder) on the drive or some file with a long name, or names with international characters or whatever..
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,158   +986

    FAT32 is not specific to Linux, but rather is a very general filesystem that is
    usable on almost all known systems eg Mac, Win/*, Linux, Unix.

    ALL USB Thumb drives come formated in FAT32 for this very purpose.
    I have a large capacity USB HD that I've formated like this to also get this 'freedom of use'.

    >After that the firmware on the pvr does a quick format.
    this is suspect. first it's unnecessary and PVR code can be mistaken in the
    execution of the task. Q.F. only moves all sectors to the free list so the
    entire capacity is available.

    You apparently have a Linux system, so try this;
    install samba and get it config'd for sharing.
    offload your video to the shared area.
    get your windows to access the linux shared directory.​
    Now you can access the files from windows and also have a backup copy.

    NOW you can attach directly to Windows and test it all for your self.
    If it all goes badly, you can always reformat the drive [ format dl: /fs:fat32 ]
    and copy your files back onto it.
  5. jeff1

    jeff1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks guys

    appreciate your inputs. I'll look into Samba. Someone suggested booting from a Linux CD on my xp laptop. It's 2am I can't think anymore, goodnight
  6. jeff1

    jeff1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey guys what is your opinion about ? Is that safe for my xp laptop and the linux pvr?
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,158   +986

    I have the 5.1 version of the CD -- works great :)
  8. jeff1

    jeff1 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Then you might be able to answer the burning question. If I boot from that CD could I use the Xp laptop like a linux hub and copy the freeagentpro usb fat32/ linux to a bare usb drive without corrupting either usb drive and not altering/damaging Xp C: drive and drivers for the dvd/cd drive and usb drivers?

    Would copying the .ts files from the second usb cloned drive into C: risk crashing C: ?
    thanks, jeff
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,158   +986

    this should work ok
    hum; what's the .ts file? nary seen one myself.
    what directory is it located in and do you have any idea what it might contain
    or be used for?
  10. jeff1

    jeff1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Jobeard, see my first post in this thread, then google " .ts file extension "
    It is an Transport Stream MPEG-2 Video Stream video format that the PVR uses, I play them on the Xp with
    K-Lite Codec Pack\Media Player Classic\mplayerc.exe
    So far I've not had a crash but other people have, since the PVR is linux. Which makes me apprehensive to connect the freeagentpro back to y xp again.
    What I did on my first experiment was connect the freeagent to xp and launcg mplayer, then use mplayer to look inside the usb drive open the .ts file then use mplayer to "save as" on the c: drive
  11. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Hasn't it occurred to you that the people who had problems just did something wrong? Or maybe it's just a glitch in the PVR firmware that has been fixed in later versions?

    Linux has been working perfectly with FAT32 for ages and there are no incompatibilities at the OS level. The only problem that could exist would be in the PVR software itself being stupid.

    Instead of going bananas over this hypothetical issue, try to reproduce it yourself.
  12. jeff1

    jeff1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks 4 that

    Well, (1) I'm trying to find a solution to other peoples problems and (2) I don't want to go looking for trouble to break my own stuff.

    Both of your answers are logical, and I tend to believe you, since the one and only time I connected my drive to Xp, nothing broke, thought I just got lucky.

    Nope the recent firmware has not changed anything.

Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...