Question about Panasonic DMR-EH75 DVD Recorder/VCR/HDD Recorder

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Intermittent Recording My Panasonic DVR-EH75V sometimes records scheduled programs, and somethimes it quits after 5 seconds. The problem arises for both recordings set using the TV Guide and the cable box and recordings set manually to be taken straight from the cable. Sometimes, they work; sometimes not. I already have reset the machine to the factory settings and gone through the setup and also already have reformatted the hard drive. I upgraded the firmware a few years ago but can't figure out on the Panasonic site what the most current release is (or even if the patches are cumulative).

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  • DParker44 Feb 16, 2009

    Jeff- Many thanks for your post. I'm not sure what you mean by changing the video format. Where do I find that? And why would it matter only some of the time? I have quadruple checked my settings. I am recording to the HD. Please advise how to check the firmware, also what is the most recent version and where to get it. NEW INFO: In the History on the Schedule, the programs that did not record show up with broken red balls on the right. Info says "Recording was stopped by the system. Reason: Error has occurred/stopped recording." The elapsed time is 00:00:05. I would appreciate any advice you can give me. David

  • DParker44 Jul 26, 2009

    I believe I have found the solution to my own problem of intermittent recording on the Panasonic DMR EH75V. It’s a long story, but the ending is that I low level reformatted and then checked the hard drive (a Samsung 80 GB model SV0802N), and now all seems to be running fine. The solution exceeds the message length allowed by FixYa, so i am breaking it into sevel parts.



    The Machine:



    Is a dream. It has a hard drive with room for over 30 hours of programming at Standard Play (more at Long or Extended Play), as well as a DVD and a VHS drive. It can record to or play from any of the drives, and copying from any of them to any of them is a snap. (Great for transferring your old VHS recordings to a DVD.) Editing programs on the hard drive, including adding chapters for easy navigation, is quite simple. Copying a program of up to two hours from the hard drive to a DVD takes only minutes. (Longer programs take longer.) Programming the machine to record via the cable box or directly off the cable is quite easy (once you figure it out). The machine has all types of input and output jacks, including an HDMI out.



    When my DMR started acting up, I tried to buy a new one, but it’s not made anymore. In fact, hard drive recorders are hard to find generally. (Maybe it’s because the drives themselves fail too often – read on.) And I certainly couldn’t find one with a DVD and VHS drive, too.



    The Problem:



    After years of faithful service, my Panasonic DMR EH75V became undependable. Sometimes, it would perform scheduled recordings just fine; sometimes not. There was no rhyme or reason to when it would work and when it wouldn’t. Whether the recording was scheduled using the TV Guide or manually, whether it was to record via the cable box or just directly off the cable, whether it was a one time or a weekly recording – nothing mattered. Sometimes the show would be recorded, sometimes not. For weekly recordings, sometimes one week would work and another one wouldn’t. When the DMR did not work, it would start just fine and then stop after 5 seconds. In the History on the Schedule, the programs that did not record would show up with broken red balls on the right. Info would say "Recording was stopped by the system. Reason: Error has occurred/stopped recording." The elapsed time would be 00:00:05.



    The Caveats:



    This solution worked for me. I do not know if it will work for you. Try it at your own risk. If it works for you, great. If not, please do not blame me. I can accept no responsibility if your machine does not work or is made worse by the attempt to fix it.



    This procedure requires opening up the DMR, removing the hard drive and working on the hard drive. I assume it will void any warranty you may have. If so, please do not blame me.



    This procedure probably will erase any programs you already have recorded on the hard drive. Be sure to copy to DVDs any programs you want to keep. If you lose any programs, please do not blame me.

  • DParker44 Jul 26, 2009

    This is Part 2. Prior Efforts:

    I called Panasonic about a billion times. They are clueless. They had me run the format function on the hard drive (copy whatever you care about first, go to Functions, Other Functions, Disk Management and Format). No go. They had me restore the setup to the factory settings (hold the channel up and channel down buttons together for 10 seconds). No go. They had me download and install the latest firmware. A story in itself, since there are various versions of the firmware on the website, and Panasonic can?t seem to figure out which one is the most current full install. Suffice it to say no go. They had me hold the Power button down for 10 seconds (to unfreeze the system, even though it was not frozen). No go. I arranged for them to have a senior technician call me. Never happened. I thought about sending the machine to them, but based upon others? comments on the web, and since the problem was intermittent, I figured Panasonic would just tell me that the DMR was fine and working properly. Did I mention that Panasonic was clueless?

    The Solution:

    I figured there must be bad spots on the hard drive, so I low level reformatted it using a computer and ran chkdsk. After about 3 weeks of hard use, the DMR seems to be working fine.

    How to Do It:

    You will need a Phillips head screwdriver and a computer that has a parallel (IDE) connector for the second hard drive. You also will need a small bowl to hold the screws you remove and the jumper you may need to remove from the hard drive. You may need a utility for formatting a drive larger than 32GB in FAT32.

    Copy any programs you don?t want to lose.

    Remember you will probably be voiding your warranty.

    Remember you may be destroying your machine.

    Make a diagram for all of your wires and then disconnect all of them. Especially the external power cord.

    Remove the cover by taking out 4 screws from the sides and 3 from the edges of the back. Put all the screws in the bowl so you don?t lose them.

    Unplug the power cord (white plug) and parallel connector (long rectangular plug) from the hard drive.

    Remove the housing for the hard drive by taking out 4 inside screws and 2 screws from the back. Note that you probably will not be able to put one of the inside screws back ? no worries. Put all the screws in the bowl ?.

    Remove the hard drive from the housing by taking out 4 screws. Put all the screws ?.

    Look at the jumper and the diagram on the hard drive for the jumper settings. The jumper probably is set for CS or Cable Select. Reset the jumper to Slave. (Depending on your drive, setting it to Slave may mean removing the jumper entirely. If so, put it ?.)

    With the external power cord to your computer unplugged, open the computer and connect the hard drive to a spare parallel connector in your computer and a spare internal power cord.

    Reconnect the external power cord to your computer and boot it up.

    If you?re lucky, your computer will ?see? the drive as a FAT32 drive. If so, you can skip the formatting steps if you want to and go right to fixing the drive. (Skipping formatting may save your programs, but you already backed them up, right?) I was not so lucky. So I had to format the drive.

  • DParker44 Jul 26, 2009

    This is part 3.

    Reformatting the Drive:

    First, install a primary partition on the drive. Go to My Computer and right click it. Select Manage and click Disk Management. The primary drive should show up as Disk 0, and the drive from the DMR (now the slave) should show up as Disk 1 but without a partition. Right click that drive and follow the prompts to install a primary partition on it. Note the drive letter Windows assigns to the drive (call it x for purposes of these directions).

    Next, reformat the drive. Windows probably formatted it in NTFS, but the DMR can?t use that file system. You?ll need to reformat it in FAT32. Launch the command prompt (Start | Run | Type cmd | Enter) and then type the DOS command:

    format x: /fs32

    where x is the drive letter assigned by Windows to the drive. After all of the warnings about losing all of the data on the drive, the computer should proceed to format the drive in FAT32.

    NOTE: This formatting procedure will not work for all drives. It worked for me on the Samsung 80 GB drive I took out of the DMR but not on a Western Digital 80 GB I wanted to use as a spare or a Maxtor 250 GB drive I was just testing. On the Western Digital and Maxtor drives, the formatting process stopped after a while with an error message stating that the volume was too large for FAT32. I don?t know why it worked for one 80 GB drive but not the other.

    If you run into this problem, you will need to use a utility that lets you format a larger drive in FAT32. I use Acronis True Image for my backups. I booted the computer using the Acronis rescue CD and used the Add Disk utility to create the partition on the Western Digital and Maxtor drives and to format them in FAT32.

    Fix the Drive:

    Open My Computer. Right click the drive and go to Properties and then Tools. Select Error Checking and check both Check Disk Options (Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors). It takes a while, but it seems to help. For redundancy, I suggest also going to the command prompt and typing:

    chkdsk x: /f

    where x is the drive letter assigned by Windows.

  • DParker44 Jul 26, 2009

    This is part 4 of 4: Put the DMR back together:

    Shut the computer down, disconnect the computer?s external power cord and remove the drive from the computer. Put the jumper back on the drive where you found it ? probably for Cable Select.

    I suggest trying the drive by laying the drive housing in place, reconnecting the white power plug and parallel connector, laying the drive on the housing and laying the DMR cover in place. Then reconnect all of your wires, leaving the external power cord for last.

    Turn the DMR on and see what happens. In my case, it went straight to the DMR?s format screen, so I ran the format function on the DMR (apparently a high level format). All of my recorded programs were (of course) gone, but all of my settings were intact.

    And it worked! I have been running it for about three weeks, recording about 20 programs without a hitch.

    Obviously, the screws needed to be replaced at some point. So the wires needed to be disconnected, the drive had to be screwed back into the housing, the housing had to screwed in place (I could not get one screw back but the housing is secure without it) and the cover had to be screwed on, too. And then the wires reconnected.

    Just for fun, I tried the Western Digital 80 GB drive, but it did not work. Neither did the Maxtor 250 GB. I can understand that the Maxtor 250 GB might have been too big for the DMR?s BIOS, but I don?t know why one 80 GB drive would work and another one wouldn?t. If the Samsung fails again, I will have to try to find another one.

    So there you have it. Based on what I?m reading on the web, the hard drives in Panasonic recorders are the weak links ? unless you count Panasonic?s customer support which is abysmal. But there is a fix that seems to work. Maybe Panasonic does not want to admit that it has a problem, but why Panasonic is keeping the fix a secret is beyond me.

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In you menu change your video format , check all settings,what type disc are you using ? are you recording to hd or to dvd, ? check your
firmware update
still have problems call 0403960527 jeff
email jcshepard55@hotmail.com

Posted on Feb 16, 2009

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