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DVR fudged up, need some recordings from it.

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#1
Hello all. My bosses DVR for his bar recently keeps messing up. Called Swann(manufacturer of DVR) for tech help twice and ended up with RMA.

Here's the issue. A very close town/family friend just passed away and some people want the some of the nights recordings of her as that's the last people saw her was there before her accident. So i took the HDD out of the DVR and plugged it into my PC. It's recognized just fine and dandy however no drive letter so i couldn't access it. So i went to computer management for the disk manager, run via administrator, and i am unable to change the drive letter or assign one...any ideas? this is super important and i'd very much like to find a way to access those couple nights to burn to DVD's for everyone.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: i can convert to dynamic disk..however i'm curious as to how that would affect the recordings. reading up on what a dynamic disk is as i type.
 

Mussels

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#2
converting will likely toast the data.

you will need to leave it IN the DVR, and find out how to officially export the files.
 
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#3
yea i would however as i said the DVR is messing up. can't access anything because the view doesn't fit to the screen, like its blown up or set on a higher resolution. It used to do that and then flicker to the correct ratio/resolution? but now it doesn't. and my mouse cursor won't show on the screen and the menu doesn't pop up when its in this state, so i literally can't do anything.

yea i was worried about that, i suppose i can just try and try tomorrow and hope that i get a few moments or reboot where it start up right.

any more advice on this is greatly welcomed.
 

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#4
If they are RMAing the unit, can you put the old drive in the new unit they are sending you?

When I had a camera DVR die they shipped me a new one without a drive in it, I swapped the old drive into the new, and shipped the old one back. The new one was able to read the old recordings.

Alternatively you can see if the DVR manufacturer makes a special software to read the DVR hard drive.

A lot of DVRs don't use NTFS or FAT to format the drives, instead a lot are Linux based and so they use ext3/ext4 formatted drives. So you might try booting from a Linux Live CD and seeing if the drive is recognized there. Then you can pull the files off to a USB flash drive or external that is formatted in something Windows can read.
 
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#5
Hello all. My bosses DVR for his bar recently keeps messing up. Called Swann(manufacturer of DVR) for tech help twice and ended up with RMA.

Here's the issue. A very close town/family friend just passed away and some people want the some of the nights recordings of her as that's the last people saw her was there before her accident. So i took the HDD out of the DVR and plugged it into my PC. It's recognized just fine and dandy however no drive letter so i couldn't access it. So i went to computer management for the disk manager, run via administrator, and i am unable to change the drive letter or assign one...any ideas? this is super important and i'd very much like to find a way to access those couple nights to burn to DVD's for everyone.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: i can convert to dynamic disk..however i'm curious as to how that would affect the recordings. reading up on what a dynamic disk is as i type.
The DVR's drive might also be encrypted.
 
Last edited:

Mussels

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#6
try ubuntu and install the XFS package, i had to do that to read the drives in my NAS - they showed up as RAID1 even tho they werent in an array, causing issues detecting them.
 
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#7
thanks fellas. never even thought of ubuntu live cd. just as easy to make as 4 years ago im assuming. thats an option that i feel is promising. if the OS isn't linux based then what would it be?
 

Mussels

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#8
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#9
well i tried a pendrive Ubuntu since i couldn't find a blank cd/dvd. booted up and ran fine but no HDD recognition. So then i tried putting it all back into the dvr hoping that it'd work once. tried like `0 times. any idea's guys? is there a bootable program i burn to a disk that will let me access hdd? what about the ole Solaris Disk Utility?

EDIT: i just don't understand why in linux it wasn't even there on the left side of the main folder you open(not too familiar with linux), and why i could see it in windows but not access it. Does this mean it's encrypted.
 

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#10
well i tried a pendrive Ubuntu since i couldn't find a blank cd/dvd. booted up and ran fine but no HDD recognition. So then i tried putting it all back into the dvr hoping that it'd work once. tried like `0 times. any idea's guys? is there a bootable program i burn to a disk that will let me access hdd? what about the ole Solaris Disk Utility?

EDIT: i just don't understand why in linux it wasn't even there on the left side of the main folder you open(not too familiar with linux), and why i could see it in windows but not access it. Does this mean it's encrypted.
seriously, you may need to install the NFS package or whatever its called in the thread i linked to. if it thinks its part of a RAID array (common problem) it simply wont show in linux without the raid manager package installed.