In need of Panasonic EX98V firmware

whimsy

Novice Member
Hello. Long time lurker here but first time poster.

I wonder if anyone has the file needed to get a Panasonic DMR-EX98V working? I am referring to the file that has to be burnt to and loaded by CD.

Problem: HDD ERR. I removed the drive from the DVR and plugged into a pc and the drive does not appear, so I can't clone it or even use HxD to read any bits from it. The drive is also clicking so I am pretty sure its had it. A data recovery company with a clean room could probably repair but it just isn't worth that kind of money.

As luck would have it, I am a tech hoarder and have a spare working 250gb IDE drive. What I have done so far: Searched the Panasonic site. I didn't find the right file. The closest I found was for DMR-EX99. I tried this file and wasted a CD. And also a DVD actually until I learned from a post on this forum that I needed to use a CD, not a DVD. I found the details for the panasonic FTP site, scoured it, and came up blank. I emailed Panasonic - no response. I called Panasonic, they were frustratingly unhelpful.

The device started to throw errors last year and eventually failed which I determined to be a power supply issue. When I first opened the box up I found various bulging and leaking capacitors. After ordering replacements from RS and waiting several weeks for all of them to come in, waiting for a free afternoon where I could get to soldering, I completed the capacitor replacement job last weekend. I was pleased with myself. After I powered the machine back up, only then did I get the first HDD ERR. I was gutted. If I can't get this device working its not a huge deal. I don't really need it these days as I stream everything anyway. I really just want to see if my soldering job on the capacitors worked or not.. After having this box since 2008, having really good use from the box until last winter, and expending the most effort I have ever, to rescue any old electronics, it's frustrating to be thwarted by software! and a company that wont help when they easily could.

Thanks for reading.
W
 

crockett

Active Member
I might be able to help you with this having gone through a similar thing recently with my EX-98V. I have a small image backup taken with ISOBuster that I was able to use to initialize a blank HDD that my EX-98V then recognised. Let me know if you want to give it a try and I'll send you a link for the image.
 

crockett

Active Member
No worries. You should be able to download the image HERE that you need to write to your blank replacement HDD. As I mentioned previously this was created with ISOBuster, which if you are unaware, can also extract recordings from this range of Panasonic DVR's..
 
Last edited:

whimsy

Novice Member
Well, what can I say... I am properly chuffed. I made up the disk with your file, plugged it in, and I really wasnt getting my hopes up, but then instead of the dreaded HDD ERR, I didn't get any error and the machine just flashed: please wait for a few minutes. Then my screen came to life and asked me to format the disk. crockett, you are a legend. Thank you. What an amazing place the internet is!
 

Gavtech

Administrator
:thumbsup: @crockett

I notice that the file you provided for whimsey has the filename EX99start.dsk

Was it originally from an EX99 ... which evidently works with an EX98... or is it just a naming error since you say yours is an EX98?
 

crockett

Active Member
Well, what can I say... I am properly chuffed. I made up the disk with your file, plugged it in, and I really wasnt getting my hopes up, but then instead of the dreaded HDD ERR, I didn't get any error and the machine just flashed: please wait for a few minutes. Then my screen came to life and asked me to format the disk. crockett, you are a legend. Thank you. What an amazing place the internet is!
Perfect, once the HDD is basically partitioned the DVR is happy to adopt it. Glad to hear all your soldering efforts were not wasted!
 

crockett

Active Member
:thumbsup: @crockett

I notice that the file you provided for whimsey has the filename EX99start.dsk

Was it originally from an EX99 ... which evidently works with an EX98... or is it just a naming error since you say yours is an EX98?
That was a typo from me and it really was from an ex-98v, however I would expect it to work with other models of this same generation as I think they all share a common partition layout...
 

grimsby

Novice Member
No worries. You should be able to download the image HERE that you need to write to your blank replacement HDD. As I mentioned previously this was created with ISOBuster, which if you are unaware, can also extract recordings from this range of Panasonic DVR's..
Hi - any chance you'd be willing to share again? I just signed up for the transfer spot/file had expired... I'm hoping ISOBuster would know how to consume this file and write it to a black drive so that the drive would be recognised in the DMR (in my case a DMR-e95)
 

whimsy

Novice Member
I'll let Crocket share but fyi, I realised you don't need to pay for ISOBuster if you are just trying to get at the image data. In Windows, I used the free Virtual Clone Drive from Slysoft. From there, even though Windows won't understand the image and may complain about an unrecognised disk (that is a good sign), HxD can open it. Then you can just copy and paste the bits you need. ISOBuster comes into its own when ripping mpeg data off Panasonic's proprietary volume, but the image file ISOBuster creates is standard.
 

crockett

Active Member
Hi - any chance you'd be willing to share again? I just signed up for the transfer spot/file had expired... I'm hoping ISOBuster would know how to consume this file and write it to a black drive so that the drive would be recognised in the DMR (in my case a DMR-e95)
Sure no problem. I have hopefully updated the link in the original message I posted. The image was generated by ISOBuster and its what I used to write to my blank HDD. Good luck and let us know how you get on!
 

grimsby

Novice Member
Thank you kindly! I was able to download successfully! I have a long road ahead - DMR-e95 went into the "please wait" issue. I pulled the main board and saw several bulged capacitors, and eventually replaced something like 20 or more of them - they had terrible ESR, some infinite. They were of similar brand and all were terrible. I was able to leave the ELNAs and a very small amount of other caps. The PSU had no capacitors with bad ESR, so I left it as-is. The unit made some gains, but did not awaken fully.
Haven't been able to boot properly yet, so now I am revisiting and replacing all of the PSU caps and 3 key regulators. If after all of this, it proves out to be a faulty HD, then I will use the file to make a new disk that will initialize using the file. Thank you for the thread and the contributions!
 

crockett

Active Member
Sounds like you have your work cut you! I originally thought I had an HDD issue on mine with a HDD ERR error. I assumed this was the HDD but it turned out to be dodgy caps as the error went away if the HDD was externally powered. Whilst sorting that I took the image of the HDD and extracted all the recordings with ISOBuster and in doing that I noticed it did have a few bad sectors, so as I had a spare I replaced the HDD whilst I was at it.
 

KaeptnNuss

Novice Member
No worries. You should be able to download the image HERE that you need to write to your blank replacement HDD. As I mentioned previously this was created with ISOBuster, which if you are unaware, can also extract recordings from this range of Panasonic DVR's..
Hello! Could someone provide the file a second time here?
 

KaeptnNuss

Novice Member
Thank you very much! I was able to download successfully. Unfortunately the DMR-E98 still does not work. I will have to have it repaired.
 

grimsby

Novice Member
General question! ISO Buster reads a properly-working Pana HDD and detects a file structure as:
SAMSUNG SV1604N
- Partition 00
--HS1_Recorder
--DVD_RTAV (recorded files reside here)
-- Panasonic (recorded files reside here)

If I wish to strip off only enough of the formatting, and copy to a new HDD, must I image the entire Volume, or is it possible to image only the required bits which avoid the machine's desire to format (which reside in which part of that file structure)?
 

crockett

Active Member
@grimsby I'm not too sure exactly what it is you are trying to do. Using ISOBuster if you view the properties for 'Panasonic' and get the LBA sector and then image from zero to that sector, (which is what I did on the image from my HDD), that image should if written to a new HDD not prompt for format if used in the same machine the image was originally taken from. If used in another machine (as Whimsy did) it will prompt for format as an identifier the format process writes into that partition data won't match.
 

C4s3y

Novice Member
I am struggling a bit with this, am I missing the obvious, how to I write this file to the new HDD? I have the HDD connected to my PC and it is recognised, I cant seem to find a way to write the file.
 

crockett

Active Member
@C4s3y I used IsoBuster for to do that as I already have a license for it. Any disk imaging tool should be able to open the image I supplied and write it to a blank HDD. There are a number of freeware options available I believe...
 

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