Disk swap in DMR-Ex98


Active Member
My DVR developed some problems with the HDD, beeping at startup with a HDDERR error message on the display. I removed the disk from the machine, connected it to a PC and was able to recover all the recordings very easily using ISOBuster. Nice! I then tried to create an image backup of the HDD using ISOBuster but this failed with 6 bad sectors that could not be read, preventing a 100% finalised image backup from being taken.

At this point I managed to get hold of a replacement HDD of the same capacity/make as the original and in my ignorance I tried it in the machine blank and got either a HDDERR error message or FMLIST followed by DL/ERR and the DVD tray opening. After doing some reading up I discovered that the DVR can't just format a blank disk so I used ISOBuster to write just the LBA sectors from zero to the offset of the 'Panasonic' partition (as suggested in a AVS forum thread, which in my case was around 800MB of data) and was expecting this preinitialised HDD would be enough to start the machine up and for it then to allow me to reformat it, however it just beeps and produces the same 'HDDERR' error message as it did with the original HDD. Any ideas/suggestions on what to try next?

One stupid thing I did was to do this over a period over several months and not take any notes! Can anyone confirm what the HDD jumpers for the IDE HDD should be set to in these machines? I thought it was cable select, but have also tried master now as well, but in either case I still get the dreaded HDDERR error message...

I also reached out a couple of times to Panasonic about this but they are just wanting me to send it to a service center.

Any thoughts/suggestions appreciated.


Active Member
Looks like I can answer this myself.

After some further checking I observed theat the HDD is not spinning up when powered by the DVR, hence the consistent HDDERR error on both disks... Using an external power connection the DVR appears to work normally. Looks like I'm going to have to take a closer look at the PSU and HDdD power cable.

In terms of the jumper, it looks like it has to be either cable select or slave.

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