DMR EH75V intermittently stops scheduled TV shows after 10 seconds

I have a Panasonic DMR EH75V DVR recorder. I am having a problem with scheduled recordings running for only the first 10 seconds then stopping. This is totally intermittent and happenes when no one is touching the unit or TV. I could be scheduling 3 shows back to back and it may only affect one of them… no rhyme or reason I can find! Has anyone experienced this problem and if so, is there a solution for it? Thanks so much!

Are you recording to the HDD or directly to DVD? and also what is your source? eg. basic cable, cable from a STB or antenna?
When it stops does it have the little 2 boxes icon in the thumbnail? That would indicate copy protected content otherwise it could be a dirty spindle, does it ever grind when editing discs or finalizing?

I am recording from cable TV (non protected programming) to the HDD. It starts and shows “Rec” as expected in the status window for 10 seconds then stops. When I look at the listing of my recorded programs, it shows up with no title below it and with those 10 seconds of recording.

So when you look at the thumbnail in direct navigator do you see the icon that looks like 2 overlapping boxes? Your scenerio sure sounds like the machine is thinking the material is CP’d and then stopping the recording. If not that I’m really not sure what’s going on.
How often does it do this? One out of ten recordings etc. You could send your machine in to Panasonic for the $130 flat rate repair but it would need to be something that they could see fail. If it only happens rarely it may not act up for them.
Have you noticed if it tends to happen more on one channel or program more than another? HDD recording is usually very reliable, especially on a Panny like yours.

I don’t see the two overlapping boxes on the display. Also, this affects shows that normally do record like network TV shows (i.e. The Big Bang Theory). This happens about 4 or 5 times a week… no exact pattern, but I’d say 1 in 10 is about right. I will start tracking what channels / programs it happens on and see if that helps in the analysis. I really love this unit and don’t want to shell out those kind of bucks to fix it. I suppose the only other choice I’d have would be to buy a new one. I am going to try one thing soon: I will clear off all shows on the drive and do a factory reset and see what happens going forward.

The best deal for repair of your EH-75V is Panasonics $130 flat rate repair(only available in the US). It’s really a good deal for a machine of your caliber. Nothing was ever made before or after that is as highly regarded as the EH-75v.

Information concerning the $130 flat-rate repair through the corporate Panasonic Digital Service Center in Elk Grove Village Illinois is found in this post:

http://club.cdfreaks.com/f106/panasonic-dmr-eh75v-failure-panasonics-woeful-customer-service-248098/#post2111599

I believe I have found the solution for the 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

I did all the above. The HD tested no errors but i low level formatted it anyway and place if back in the machine. One thing you forgot to mention was that you will have to let the machine reformat it and then add the current firmware to it. Unfortunately, I still have the same problem. I didn’t think this would resolve it since I have had the same problems with the dvd and manuel scheduled recordings. Panasonic is useless in helping. They will not let me talk to a technician sayings it can’t be done. Even though I have had technicians call me to help troubleshoot things in the past. They want the $130 to maybe fix it themself. O well only $400 wasted on this product. It would be nice if the error noted had alittle more detail so I could troubleshoot it. It just staes there is an error in the history. I am sure there is a way to get the information but panasonic isn’t helping me find it.

[QUOTE=nc72msp;2279513]I don’t see the two overlapping boxes on the display. Also, this affects shows that normally do record like network TV shows (i.e. The Big Bang Theory). This happens about 4 or 5 times a week… no exact pattern, but I’d say 1 in 10 is about right. I will start tracking what channels / programs it happens on and see if that helps in the analysis. I really love this unit and don’t want to shell out those kind of bucks to fix it. I suppose the only other choice I’d have would be to buy a new one. I am going to try one thing soon: I will clear off all shows on the drive and do a factory reset and see what happens going forward.[/QUOTE]

Have you had any luck figuring out if only certain channels or programs do this? I have the same machine as you, and it does the same thing (records for 6-7 seconds and stops, with no title appearing under it on the direct navigator screen). I, too am recording shows directly from cable (network stuff, nothing copyrighted). I find that it happens both when I record to the HDD as well as to a DVD. I haven’t seen any common thread yet as to why it does it (it happens at different times of the day/night as well). Puzzling for sure.:confused:

Well after I redid the hard drive without helpin the problem, I started to set up recordings one at a time no daily or weekly recordings. I still get some dropped recordings but much less. I have only had 1 drop in 20 recordings. I try not to set up more than 5 recordings at a time. It seems that when you set up weekly recordings the times don’t adjust each week in the set up. I think I was rerecording the same time and an error was occurring. In my case the low level format of the harddrive was uaeless since the same problem was happening with the dvd recording. I don’t miss that many recordings and can watch the shows on the internet. I was looking into upgrading the tuner for digital broadcast. But it looks like the sodered the tuner to the board. If it gets too bad will set up a media center computer and record that way.

[QUOTE=arjano;2458178] I was looking into upgrading the tuner for digital broadcast. But it looks like the sodered the tuner to the board. If it gets too bad will set up a media center computer and record that way.[/QUOTE]

The tuner itself is not all that’s involved. The Digital PCB has to support a digital tuner in order to have digital tuner functionality. For use in North America there are no Panasonic Digital PCBs that also support a hard drive. An “upgrade” to a digital tuner for a North American Panasonic hard drive model will result in a non-functional machine.

For receiving digital broadcast stations one may connect a CECB to an input and record from the input. My favorite CECB is the Zenith DTT901. I also have the Zinwell ZAT-970A that has an eight event channel changing timer. Both these CECBs have analog pass through to allow recording US “low power” or Canadian stations that continue to broadcast analog signals.

There are also a few HD/Digital tuners in the marketplace. I have a Centronics (the 501A model) but I don’t use it.

For recording ATSC or clear QAM channels I use the Magnavox 2160 or 2080 HDD/DVD recorders; or the Magnavox ZV450MW8 and ZV450MW8A VHS/DVD recorders. I also have Philips 3575 and 3576 HDD/DVD recorders. The 3575 is enslaved to a Comcast STB, recording through the RF input on analog channel 3; the 3576 is set up for ATSC reception through an antenna. (The 3576 was found to have weak clear QAM performance.)

While I also have four Panasonic EZ series “digital tuner” recorders, all of these machines are enslaved to a Comcast STB, recording through composite inputs or the RF input on analog channel 3, thus [B]bypassing the Panasonic “digital” tuner[/B]. In my experience the Panasonic “digital” tuner may be satisfactory for ATSC but seldom satisfactory as a clear QAM tuner.