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Old April 8th, 2008, 12:44 PM   #1
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Formatting the GZ-HD7 Hard Drive??

Question 1: Is the GZ-HD7 hard drive Fat32 or NTFS?
Question 2: Other than its internal functions for formatting, can it be formatted using my computer??
Question 3: Any way of being able to record continuously without any size limits??

If the GZ-HD7 hard drive is Fat32, than that will explain the 3.5-4GB limit clips it creates (which is a pain!), and if it can be formatted to NTFS, than I expect the recording time can be larger?

I tried searching and couldnt find my answers, dont give me a hard time if its out there. Thanks!
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Old April 29th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #2
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You can only use the camera to format the HDD. If you format it some other way you may find that the camera does not record information.

I would love to do it for you but I dont want to take a bullet if it dies on me.
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Old April 30th, 2008, 05:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Colon View Post
Question 1: Is the GZ-HD7 hard drive Fat32 or NTFS?
Question 2: Other than its internal functions for formatting, can it be formatted using my computer??
Question 3: Any way of being able to record continuously without any size limits??

If the GZ-HD7 hard drive is Fat32, than that will explain the 3.5-4GB limit clips it creates (which is a pain!), and if it can be formatted to NTFS, than I expect the recording time can be larger?

I tried searching and couldnt find my answers, dont give me a hard time if its out there. Thanks!
The GZ-HD7 has a HDD format in FAT32.
The file size limit is 4Gb. If a recorded sequence is longer than 4Gb (= one shot of more than 18 minutes in Full HD or in HDV compatible mode), the first file is closed and a new one is created.
Note that there's no 'clever' thing regarding the closing of the GOP or the synchronization of the sound at the cut point between the 2 files: if you need to edit on PC a full complete sequence without having problem of image and/or sound at the cut point, the better way is to merge the 2 or more files in 1 full file with a dedicated software (or with DOS command: COPY /B FILE1 + FILE2 FULLFILE).

It's not possible to format the disk in NTFS: the firmware of the GZ-HD7 has no 'driver' to work with this format (that would require some extra royalties...).

The disk has a special tree of directories: don't format it from a PC. Instead, make a 'bit for bit ' copy on a bigger disk on PC (see 'Ghost' tool).

I don't know the physical interface type used by the GZ-HD7, but a 1.8" HDD with a higher capacity in the same type of interface could be surely put in place (and surely too, the JVC warranty would be lost...). Format the new 1.8" HDD in FAT32, copy the content of the removed HDD into it, or better, move back the 'bit to bit' image on the new disk, expand the partition size to the full capacity of the new HDD with a Disk tool software.

Some recent stats show that the actual SDD (without any moving part) have the same, or even worst, failure rate than the HDD. So that's not a good idea for the moment.
But in some months, when the SDD technology will be improved on the failure side, and when the price will drop too, it will become a good solution to replace the internal HDD by a SDD module.

Until this future date, the only advantage to use a SDD instead of the factory HDD, is to break the altitude limit: a HDD is limited to 10000f/3000m (yes, you must not use a HDD camera if you are fan of skydiving...).
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Last edited by Bruno Donnet; April 30th, 2008 at 10:22 AM.
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Old April 30th, 2008, 08:52 AM   #4
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Wow, people finally decided to step up to the question. AWESOME! But my question wasnt answered! haha. Its all good. I just need to know if anyone has been able to accomplish this? Or at least accomplish somehow making the GZ-HD7 record more than just 4gb clips. Even if I throw the clips on a timeline and combine them, the still see & hear the skip between them. A small second counts! I feel like taking one from the store, trying to format it and doing a little computer science magic on it to see if I can get NTFS format on the HDD. Keep posting guys!
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Old April 30th, 2008, 10:04 AM   #5
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Gary, re-read my previous post...
Formatting a disk under NTFS with a PC is unusefull: the firmware of the GZ-HD7 is not able to recognize and use this format. Full stop.

It's true that the majority of the Editing softwares, if not all, are unable to merge correctly 2 Mpeg-2 files on the Time-line: at the best, either the sound flow is kept correctly but 1 or 2 images are missing, or the image flow is kept correctly but a sound gap occurs.
The AVCHD camcorders have the same 4Gb file limitation, but due to the lower bit rate (around 16mb/s in max PQ), thanks to the Mpeg-4 AVC compression, the 4Gb split is encountered only after around 28 or 30 minutes of continious recording.

The ONLY universal solution is to merge the 4Gb files in 1 full file before to import it on the Time-line: search on the net a shareware with an Windows interface permitting to do it, or do a manual DOS command as explained in my previous post.
For example, type "Simpli-File Split and Merge" in Google or Yahoo, and you will find a Freeware doing the job.

You can use too a small shareware utility, made by a French compatriot, costing only 20 Euros (in Paypal donation mode) and available with an English interface: 'Converio HD'. After the same kind of discussion on a French forum, the author has recently added the merging funtionality (version 2.3.6): you need to send a mail to the author, because the version proposed on-line (at the date of this post) is still the previous one.

In every case this utility does many things very usefull for the owners of an Everio HD camcorder (a simple free version, non HD, is freely available too, usable with the Everio SD cams).
Due to the fact that this guy doesn't run a real commercial activity, I hope that the fact to give the link to his web site doesn't offense the Forum rules: http://pagesperso-orange.fr/gilles.bihan/index_uk.html
The web site version in French language (push the French flag to access it) is more one-line documented (you can use Babelfish or equivalent to translate it in english).


And finally, to answer your other question "Has somebody already done a disk upgrade on a GZ-HD7?", the lack of reply answers by itself your question: No...

The reality is that a 1.8" bigger than 60Gb still costs quite a lot, an SDD costs even more, and the JVC warranty would be lost: maybe in some months, when the warranty terms will be finished, and the cost will drop down, somebody will decide to take the risk to open the cam... Maybe YOU will be the first one...
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Old April 30th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #6
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haha Bruno, re-read my post. 1) Never did I ask about switching out the HDD, the HDD is not the issue, its the format. 2) Its the 4gb limit, or the inability to merge the files, that Im questioning. But as you have stated, programs/scripts have been made to do so (merge files correctly), so something in computer scripting is working.

Trust me, Im not the only one going after this so vigorously. Im sure there is someone out there changing the firmware on the actual cam trying to get it to work with larger than 4gb files. Thats what "computer magic" ment. Sometimes it can be done, sometimes it cant...no harm in asking? But if it is being done, I want to know!

GC
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Old April 30th, 2008, 11:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Colon View Post
haha Bruno, re-read my post. 1) Never did I ask about switching out the HDD, the HDD is not the issue, its the format.
The opening of the cam, to take the HDD out of the cam, was implied by you 2nd question on your 1st post...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Colon View Post
Question 2: Other than its internal functions for formatting, can it be formatted using my computer??
... because the only solution to format the HDD in NTFS with your computer is to take the HDD out, plug it to your PC and format it with Windows.

The higher capacity or the usage of a SDD module was partially a mix with a reply to the Barry Smith post following yours. Sorry, for the misunderstanding of my words, but the 2 problematics have some common points.
I will try to do better next time ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Colon View Post
Im sure there is someone out there changing the firmware on the actual cam trying to get it to work with larger than 4gb files. Thats what "computer magic" ment. Sometimes it can be done, sometimes it cant...no harm in asking? But if it is being done, I want to know!
Yes, no problem to ask again...
But usually, when a firmware is hacked by somebody it's only in small details, here, the complete file system coding must be replaced: even if somebody knows how to do it, the NTFS is protected by patents (owned by Microsoft), so the guy will certainely use an another file system having not the 4Gb limitation (like the ext2/ext3 format) --and your PC will need a special driver, because theses types of format are not in standard in Windows--; at the end, it's not sure that the GZ-HD7 has enough internal memory (holding the firmware) to be able to store into it a new and more complex FS.

But the fact that is sure, is that a guy having this skill would have already created for himself a trivial script to merge automatically his 4 Gb files on his PC ;)... and so, he wouldn't care to hack the firmware of his cam...

There're lots of more chances than JVC proposes a new firmware solving the issue: but the GZ-HD7 is now too old... maybe on a GZ-HD8 or GZ-HD9.
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Old April 30th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #8
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lol Implied? No. You can format the HDD while connected through USB. Anyways, there would be many ways of either merging the files, or making the file capture size bigger, just like there are many ways of making or buying a 35mm adapter. The fun is in exploring ALL the possible ways. Either way, if there is a program that does merge the files, it still not what I need because even the 1 milli second that it might skip...its still a skip. So not what Im looking for. Im looking for someone with enough time and brain power to really put their computer skills to test and create this "firmware." Im still in school, I dont have that time and power. I could perhaps create a program that "merges" the files, but thats a waste of time because its not what I need. So...whenever that guy decides to come out from hiding...come see me.

GC
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