Newbie has 'unformat' problems with DMR- HS2

Hallo, I’m new here, I hope someone can help me with my problem.

I have a Panasonic DMR-HS2 DVD recorder, and I’ve had no problems yet, till recently.
I had programmed several TV programs. When I came home, I saw that my DVD recorder was in the standby mode. I put it on, then I got on the display “recover”, that took a while, then suddenly I got on my screen the following message: “Formatting HDD. Formatting the Disc will erase all contents. This will take approximately 1 minute. Start formatting the disc? Yes - No”
The only option is to click on “Yes”, which I haven’t done. But I can’t choose the “No” option.
In the meantine, on the display of my DVD recorder, it says “UNFORMAT”.

What is the problem. Has my hard disk crashed? I hope not, cause I had a lot of personal things on my hard disk.
Has anyone of you had this problem before, and is there a solution?

Sorry for my bad English, it’s not my mother language.
Thanks in advance for your help.

Hello Tom, your English is very good. I’m not sure if you have given up on the recorder and formatted it, as I see that your post was dated some time ago. I had the same problem with my hard disk, and I was told by Panasonic that there was nothing they could do. They actually said I should have backed up my programmes. I cannot see the point of having a hard disk if you have to back everything up, and it is not as if they provide any backup tools or cheap DVD-Rams either.
Even more bad news, the same thing happened to me again about a year later, and once again I lost all my programmes. I sent them some very rude messages, and they replaced my machine, but now I just don’t trust it any more.
What country are you in? If in Europe, I did complain to the European head office, so perhaps you should do the same.
Sorry I couldn’t help more.
best regards

Probably too late for you Tom, but am posting this hopefully to help someone in the future…

I have just had the same problem, I was dubbing something to DVD and when I returned to the machine it was in standby. When powering up it insisted on formatting the HDD. As I had been dubbing I guessed it might be something to do with the DVD-R. Instead of answering ‘yes’ I powered off. After a few power off/on cycles I managed to eject the DVD-R and the next time I powered up all was ok with all programmes still on the HDD.


Zentree and chrisgw3, thanks for your replies.

I didn’t want to format it myself since I absolutely wanted to save the programs I recorded. So I brought my Panasonic DVD recorder to the shop and they would send it to Panasonic to check out the problem.
I had two wishes:

  • If the hard disk is broken, please replace it with a new hard disk, if possible a larger one (the DMR-HS2 has only 40 GB)
  • If possible, please try to save all the programmes which I had recorded on my hard disk.

Zentree, it’s unbelievable that Panasonic says you had to make a backup your programs. What do they expect, that we buy two Panasonic DVD recorders?

The shop promised me I would get an answer to my questions (and how much it would cost me) within two weeks. It’s now three weeks ago and I still haven’t heard from Panasonic. What a bad service.

Zentree, your post convinced me to not buy another Panasonic since you experienced the same problem twice. I live in Europe. I’m waiting for an answer now from Panasonic before I can do something else.

A collegue of me has a Sony DVD recorder and he’s very happy about it. I might go for a Sony DVD Recorder, I don’t know which brand has the best reputation for DVD recorders.

Thanks for all your replies and help. I appreciate it.

Hi Tom, I hope that your programs are saved, I also asked the Panasonic techie to save mine, but I don’t think he even tried. It was months before I got the machine back, here in Portugal there is no proper Panasonic agent, and I had to do a lot of screaming to the European head office. As for the backups they say you can back up to DVD-Rams which cost a fortune and it takes a long time. Not a very satisfactory solution.
My hard disk failed the first time when I was dubbing to a DVD-R like Chris, and I didn’t reformat, just called the dealer and asked them to fix it and save my programs (ha!). I wish I had thought of doing what Chris did.
However the second time it just blew up for no reason at all, when I switched it on, it immediately started to reformat the disk without even asking!
I hope you have better luck with Panasonic, I am now trying to be sure that I save copies of any programs I really want to keep, but it isn’t a satisfactory solution, and next time I’ll buy something else. Let us know what happens and what you decide on.
best regards

Hi guys,

Here’s what happened:

1 November 2005:
The hard disk of my Panasonic DVD-recorder crashed, I went to the shop and asked them to send it to Panasonic to fix it. I requested to save the TV-programs which I had recorded and if possible, put a larger HDD (not 40 GB but 80 GB or more) into it.

10 December 2005: I got a letter from Panasonic:

  • Reparation: Replace the hard disk: 278 Euro
  • No reparation: Panasonic would send it back to me: 40 Euro
  • No reparation: Panasonic would keep it and destroy it themselves: 20 Euro
    So whatever I decided, I always had to pay !
    Anyway, I choose that they would replace the hard disk (278 Euro). I hoped they could restore my TV-programs and put a hard disk with a larger capacity in it but that they didn’t mention anything of that in the letter.

5 January 2006:
I got a phone call, my DVD recorder was ready. Unfortenately, all the programs were lost and the new hard disk had the same capacity (40 GB).

27 February 2006:
Believe it or not, but the DVD recorder was out of order, again!
I couldn’t record or play programs anymore, but I didn’t get the same error message of the first time (november 2005) when I always got the screen "start formatting the disc: yes or no"
So I went to the shop again, they said normally I wouldn’t have to pay since it got our of order within three months.
But this time … it might be a problem with software/hardware and not with the hard disk. If that’s the case, I would have to pay again!!!

I’ve had enough with it, I didn’t want to wait two months again, so I decided to buy a Sony DVD recorder 910 with a hard disk of … 250 GB. It only costed 695 Euro … When you know I had to pay 278 Euro in January to make my 40 GB Panasonic DVD recorder, I realize now what a stupid decision I made back in January.

But I also sent the Panasonic DVD-recorder back to Panasonic with the message that I didn’t want to pay again for something they supposed to make two months ago. Now, I’m waiting for an answer from Panasonic…

Similar thing happened to me :frowning: but the unit was still under warranty :wink: . The retailer I got the unit from got me to take it to the local “approved” repairer - I gave the guy written instructions not to trash the HDD under any circumstances and if it needed replacing I wanted the orginal back. A week later I get a call from the repair centre to say that as it was a panasonic unit it would have to go to panasonic and that I would have to collect it and send it to them. I got the retailer (in New Zealand warrantee issues are up retailer and can be enforced even if outside of manufacturers warranty :smiley: ). to sort it out - they sent the unit to panasonic along with my original written instructions. 5 weeks later after many phone calls I got the unit back with a new 40G HDD and the orginal faulty 40G HDD. By this time I’d been without the unit for 6 weeks ! Not only is the disk blank but all the channel tunning and program bookings gone - took ages to retune and set up channel name and book my favour programs. I noticed the HDD was a MAXTOR brand - I work with PC and this brand is bad news - they fail far more than anyother brand. I connected the HDD to a PC as a secondary drive and run the diagonsics from the MAXTOR site - it reported disk as faulty but at least the PC was ablre to access it and the disk was spinning and heads moving etc - so I’ve sent the drive to a local data recovery centre to see if they can recovery anything. I intend claiming back the expense of datarecovery from the retailer as New Zealand consumer law is very strong on consumer rights - NZ consumer law even overalls manufactors exclusions on warrantees - basicly goods must be fit for thepurpose for which they are sold. I’m sure you’ll all agree that when we brought these units all the advertising lead use to believe that they were replacements for recording to tape - and I’m sure no one would have expected a VHS record to destroy their ensure tape collection!

Does anyone know what file panasonic use on HDD?

The “Consumer Guarantees Act” is a wonderous thing. Best part is that the vendor can’t contract you out of the Act. The Act override everything.

I know this thread is old, but I have been having the same problem with the hard disk. A few months back the darned thing just packed up and said RECOVERY then complained that the hard disk was not formatted and should it do it now? I didn’t want to lose the data on that disk, so assuming the problem was the hard disk itself, I replaced it with another I had handy. Now the HS2 comes with a 40g hard disk, and I read somewhere online that you could put in a larger disk but it would only use 40g no matter what the size of the replacement disk was. I put in a 60g drive and that worked … for a while. That one had the same problem about a week ago. It seems that both times this occured the space had been almost compleely used up. Now I had taken the 60g out and put in another … and that one lasted one week before it did the same thing! And this time it was nowhere near full!

  1. does somebody know what is going on that it keeps mangling the hard drive this way?

  2. does somebody know how to read data off one of the HS2 drives? There appears to be no filesystem…

  3. as a last resort I would like to replace this, but apparently all the panny dvd recorders these days have no hard disk … I really like to record to the disk, edit the commercials out, then burn a dvd-r. is there something out there these days that I can do this with? Most DVRs seem to be TiVo, and I have no phone line near the tv so that is out. Also, it would be nice if the DVR/DVD-recorder device were compatible with the Panny-made DVD-Rs…

Any help and advice welcomed!



Perhaps the Jazzguy1233 post in this thread may be relevant to your problem:

Thanks. I will look into that.


[QUOTE=zentree;1176620] They actually said I should have backed up my programmes. I cannot see the point of having a hard disk if you have to back everything up, and it is not as if they provide any backup tools or cheap DVD-Rams either.
Even more bad news, the same thing happened to me again about a year later, and once again I lost all my programmes. I sent them some very rude messages, and they replaced my machine, but now I just don’t trust it any more.

The hard drives on these DVR units aren’t much different than the ones for your personal computer, notebook, etc. They do fail or crash. You should backup any data or television programs that you consider important. It’s better to be safe than sorry.