Panasonic Encryption (Panasonic DVD-Recorder DMR-EH55 S)

[qanda]This thread is about the Panasonic DVD-Recorder DMR-EH55 S. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]Any teenaged hackers out there with too much time on their hands, that want a bit of a challenge?
It seems that my DMRE55 (north america) has blown the main controler board. This piece is a bit difficult to obtain but I could get one.
The new controler won’t however solve my biggest problem and that is how to retrieve the 160 gigs of video on the hard drive.
It seems that some brilliant engineer at Panasonic thought that not only would it be a great idea to encrypt the video on the drive but it would be an even better idea to ensure that the encryption is unique to each and every machine.
Hence my problem. The encryption is contained on the ROM of the controler board. Put in a new board, the encryption code changes, and the drive is instantly formatted and any data is lost forever.

Has anyone successfully retrieved data from the drive of one of these machines?
When hooked to my computer, the bios recognizes the drive but Windoz won’t.
Is there somewhere a hack or program to allow access to the drive, retrieval of data and then allow a reformat?

Some people have used a type of hex format converter to see there HDD on a PC but it’s rather labor intensive. Also AFAIK the drive isn’t married to any particular board, people send there Pannys in for service all the time and usually report everything is left of the HDD (of course unless the HDD is bad).
Instead of trying to fix your irreplaceable EH-55 yourself you should consider the $130 flat rate repair that Panasonic offers. You just can’t beat it when you consider the cost of parts.
Oh basically every DVDR mfg. uses a proprietary format on there HDD, it’s not just Panasonic.
Here’s a link to a post where someone was able to read his HDD on a computer.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1010518
Here’s a link to a thread talking about the $130 flat rate repair, complements of Digado
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1056657&highlight=

[QUOTE=olddancer;2243500][qanda]This thread is about the Panasonic DVD-Recorder DMR-EH55 S. Click here to see full specs[/qanda]Any teenaged hackers out there with too much time on their hands, that want a bit of a challenge?
It seems that my DMRE55 (north america) has blown the main controler board. This piece is a bit difficult to obtain but I could get one.
The new controler won’t however solve my biggest problem and that is how to retrieve the 160 gigs of video on the hard drive.
It seems that some brilliant engineer at Panasonic thought that not only would it be a great idea to encrypt the video on the drive but it would be an even better idea to ensure that the encryption is unique to each and every machine.
Hence my problem. The encryption is contained on the ROM of the controler board. Put in a new board, the encryption code changes, and the drive is instantly formatted and any data is lost forever.

Has anyone successfully retrieved data from the drive of one of these machines?
When hooked to my computer, the bios recognizes the drive but Windoz won’t.
Is there somewhere a hack or program to allow access to the drive, retrieval of data and then allow a reformat?[/QUOTE]

There is AVS Forum discussion of the Digital PCB, a Panasonic’s “brain.” The hard drive controller board is connected by a ribbon cable to the Digital PCB. (The Digital PCB serves as the DVD Drive controller in 2006 models.)

While Digital PCBs may share “VEP” numbers with Digital PCBs found in other models of the same model year, these Digital PCBs generally have a model-specific factory configuration and feature-set so they may not be swapped between models with different feature sets. Perhaps the hard drive controller boards are also model-specific. (There are also some differences between the Digital PCBs fitted to a single model, e.g., I posted comparative photos of two DMR-ES35V VEP79132 Digital PCBs, one with a ribbon cable connector for the hard drive controller board ribbon cable and another DMR-ES35V VEP79132 Digital PCB without that ribbon cable connector. The DMR-ES35V is a combo recorder not equipped with a hard drive.)

As to hard drive compatibility, at least one AVS Forum member mentioned temporarily swapping a hard drive from a non-functional DMR-E100H (with a non-hard drive related problem) into another E100H and dubbing that hard drive’s contents to DVD, after which the original hard drive was returned to the functional E100H. This indicates that there is no machine-specific “encoding” of the hard drive.

There are also AVS Forum discussions related to hard drive replacements/upgrades for Panasonic machines.

While I own many Panasonic DVD recorders none of them are HDD/DVD models. I also own one Philips and two Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders. A few days ago I upgraded one Magnavox with a larger hard drive, a thirty-minute project.

[QUOTE=jjeff;2243571]Some people have used a type of hex format converter to see there HDD on a PC but it’s rather labor intensive. Also AFAIK the drive isn’t married to any particular board, people send there Pannys in for service all the time and usually report everything is left of the HDD (of course unless the HDD is bad).
Instead of trying to fix your irreplaceable EH-55 yourself you should consider the $130 flat rate repair that Panasonic offers. You just can’t beat it when you consider the cost of parts.
Oh basically every DVDR mfg. uses a proprietary format on there HDD, it’s not just Panasonic.
Here’s a link to a post where someone was able to read his HDD on a computer.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1010518
Here’s a link to a thread talking about the $130 flat rate repair, complements of Digado
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1056657&highlight=[/QUOTE]

Thanks but the “flat rate repair” is not an option open to me as there is about 1500 miles and the 49th Parallel seperating me and the repair centre. Will attempt the other option when time permits.

Yes I think that option is only available in the US. Good luck!