Panasonic - rescue old recordings suggestion


Novice Member
I have an old Panasonic DMR-EX78. There is a lot of valuable (non-copywrite protected) data on the HDD which I had intended to copy to DVD - but the DVD drive is broken.

I now have, in addition, a new DMW-BXT850 recorder. Sadly, the only input this will record from is the RF input or HDMI link. I've tried linking via the HDMI sockets, but this doesn't work. It has no SCART socket. It does however have a USB port for external HDD.

Two options occur to me:

I could transfer the old HDD to the new machine temporarily - in order to copy out to DVD. My anxiety about this - from previous experience - is that:

a) the new box might modify the old HDD and make it unrecogniseable when I return it to the original old player, and/or

b) when I re-install the New HDD back to the New player, it may recognise a change of HDD and either refuse to play it or demand a Panasonic re-format. (I believe this requires a special CD-ROM, even if I could find one).

Alternatively, how about:

I can hook the old HDD to my PC and using my bit-copy cloning software make an identical copy to a suitable HDD from my box of computer junk.

I then attach the copied disc to my new recorder via a usb-ide adaptor, and try to read (and copy from) this cloned HDD.

My suspicion is that the new recorder will want to "register" the "new" drive and in the process lose all the data.

Any ideas?

Many thanks


Welcome to the forum.

Neither of these approaches has any chance of working for several reasons in each case, unfortunately.

You really need to fix the DVD drive (Is there a 'disc in' symbol on the display even when no disc is present?) If so a new laser module would put it right. There is a thread about this procedure.

One other possible route would be to use a capture device with a PC and transfer titles ( in real time only) to the computer and network the computer with the '850 to play the titles... but it is almost always a lot more trouble than it is worth... and almost invariably there will be many problems encountered.


Novice Member
I'm not surprised - i tried and failed before with the previous generations of Panasonic recorders. And I have in the past resorted to video-ing the TV in playback, (recordings which now include the dog barking and the doorbell ringing). I realise that repairing the laser is probably the only answer, but it's too much trouble. Would still be a victory if there were a "software" solution.

Why oh why do Panasonic make everything so proprietary. Others can make DVR machines using standard FAT16 discs - I have one that cost £5.00 (new!) Thanks for your time to reply.


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