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Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old September 29th, 2008, 09:01 AM   #1
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Media needs to be restored (PHU-60K)

Hi folks,
I've been reading the posts about the dreaded "Media needs to be restored" messages, but don't see anything like my experiences.

I am using the PHU-60K external hard drive unit and got the message several times now in real work settings with no tripod.

I go thru the motions of restoring the media - turning the camera off, then on, then choosing to restore, etc. etc. then shoot about 20 seconds before i have to do it all over again. it is quite frustrating and have even aborted the shoot since the camera is rendered useless!

I also have the SxS cards which are usually full, and the reason for using the PHU-60K, but which sometimes have a minute or so remaining on them, and the message seems to apply to them as well.

This does not happen all the time. The only situation is seems to have happened is while recording in extremely loud environments: 2 ear-breaking rap shows (i used ear plugs!) and an evangelical church service (no ear plugs!). It happens with both internal and external microphones - and i've even tried turning the input all the way down and choosing external mike when there is none.

any thoughts?
douglas
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Old September 29th, 2008, 01:30 PM   #2
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Could the loud audio be physically causing the hard drive to vibrate. Vibration would certainly give any hard drive issues. I've seen HDV and DV tapes that have had problems due to loud audio levels causing the decks to vibrate and then the tape to mis-track. With the even tighter tolerances and smaller parts it wouldn't take much to cause write errors on a hard drive.
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Old September 29th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #3
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I thought I read in another thread here the PHU-60K drive was sensitive to shock.

I don't own this drive, but I have YET to hear one positive post without mentioning restore media errors.
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Old September 29th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #4
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Hi,
Thanks for the comments. Yes, I too thought maybe the vibrations might be the reason. But it also seemed to happen to the Sony SxS cards, although I can't really be sure. I'm thinking maybe somehow the whole system decided "does not compute" when the external disk could not be read anymore.

pretty lame to have such a great camera system which becomes a paper-weight on location!

douglas
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Old September 29th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #5
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I can say I have only seen the media restore error using Sony SxS cards once and never during recording. It was only after deleting a file from the SxS card using the camera's menu.


Based on ALL the Kensington expresscard reader and SDHC card testing,
the "restore media" error is DIRECTLY related to memory access and data rate.

When testing slower SDHC cards (confirmed slower by using PC test utilites and it's ability to overcrank (higher date rate write on the EX), restore media errors were frequent. In fact, testing a slower AData SDHC card, it errored and had "restore media" after seconds of use.

The SanDisk Ultra II 15MB/s and new Extreme III 30MB/s SDHC cards were found (so far) to have no errors with the Kensington expresscard reader.

If all of the Sony PHU-60K have a lot of restore media errors, they need to recall them.
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Old September 29th, 2008, 04:22 PM   #6
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Went through 3 PHU-60K's all had problems. I have heard this from many other users. The units were used on 3 different cameras (all EX3's) For no reason (tripod or not, loud music or not, ballerinas, bridezillas or b-roll) the drive needs to be restored periodically and randomly. I have since returned the units and traded them in for the Kensington 7in1 and the 16 GB Sandisk Ultra II SDHC . 2 weeks going strong. NO PROBLEMS with this setup so far (No over-under cranking I use my SxS cards for this). Saved about $2500 and better performance (they actually work!). Sony puts out alot of crap so be careful. They obviously did not test these units before shipping to consumers.

PHU-60K the Sony Hard drive. Go with SD cards instead.

Death by SxS
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Old September 29th, 2008, 04:32 PM   #7
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I hear you Matt.
Sony may as well recall these drives... Unreal they could release something SO EXPENSIVE that does not work!
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Old September 29th, 2008, 04:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steven Thomas View Post
I hear you Matt.
Sony may as well recall these drives... Unreal they could release something SO EXPENSIVE that does not work!
In my book the PHU-60K is the best thing that ever happened to the EX1. The drive itself may be crap BUT it made using SD-memory possible!!! :-)
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Old September 29th, 2008, 04:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ola Christoffersson View Post
in My Book The Phu-60k Is The Best Thing That Ever Happened To The Ex1. The Drive Itself May Be Crap But It Made Using Sd-memory Possible!!! :-)
Lol!

Very True!
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 01:11 PM   #10
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I feel pretty lucky that I used the PHU all last week on a shoot and never had a problem. It was a dream recording 2 plus hour interviews without every having to "change tape". I'm curious, Matt, could you say more about your Kensington/Sandisk setup--Are these 4GB cards and how many minutes are you getting on a card?
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 01:22 PM   #11
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Why use 4GB cards?????

I used an Ultra II 4GB to test the SDHC card with the Kensington (NO errors in HQ modes), but others have already verified the 16GB Ultra II 15MB/s SDHC works fine without any errors. Also, it holds 55 minutes HQ.

I have the 16GB SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s card that also works great with the Kensington. No errors in HQ modes and I've used it every day for three weeks.

We will soon hear about the SanDisk Ultra II 15MB/s 32GB SDHC cards ($150) which holds 110 minutes of HQ footage. This card is about to be release any day now. With two kensington cards and two 32GB SanDisk Ultra II 15MB/s SDHC cards, this will offer a VERY portable 64GB solution for event footage
(220 minutes of HQ footage) for around $400 USD.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 02:46 PM   #12
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I second that. Steven is the man. I have been using the Kensington 7in1 with the Sandisk Ultra II 16GB card. Works same as regular 16GB SxS (do not over/undercrank on this setup use the SxS cards for this). I am glad to hear the PHU-60K'n thing works for you but BEWARE!!! it is a ticking time bomb. I went through 3 units before giving up on this junk module (see other posts) Wait until you see the dreaded MEDIA NEEDS TO BE RESTORED message in the middle of an all important shoot and you have no SxS cards to film those hours long interviews. Plus why do you want to invest ALOT of money on a hard drive solution (its been said before many times before about hard drives, not if they will fail but when) Just return it and get some SD cards, rest assured. 2.5 weeks of intense testing and NO PROBLEMS... You are the first I have heard that did not (eventually) have problems with this drive. The drive is crap, and is bound to fail. Sorry to jinx you, but be warned. You heard it here fourth...

Death by SxS
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 04:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mike Chandler View Post
I feel pretty lucky that I used the PHU all last week on a shoot and never had a problem. It was a dream recording 2 plus hour interviews without every having to "change tape"
And just think, in a few more days when those 32GB UltraII's start shipping for the rest of us, the SONY PHU-60 will be all but obsolete. All good things come to those who expect reliable performance rather than luck for their hard earned "green backs" and still have a little patience left over for Sony technology.

The silver lining in all this is that Sony is going to sell a boat load of EX1/3's because the price of admission is no longer dependent upon extra "kilo-bucks" for SXS cards. Cheers!
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 05:53 PM   #14
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Thanks, Matt, for the warning. I'll be interested to see the results of the 32gb cards.

One concern I have is how much slower the SD cards will be to download. Presuming you can put the Kensington in the Sony USB reader (I'm using an older MBP without Express34), has anyone done a comparison of download times. It's already slow coming in over USB, and in the middle of a shoot, this was the one part of tapeless that drove me nuts.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 06:27 PM   #15
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How fast is the Sony PHU-60K when transferring to the PC?

The SanDisk Ultra II is around 18-19MB/s to transfer to the PC. Around 1.1GB / Minute

I would be surprised if the PHU-60K offered more than 1.8GB / Minute (which equals 30MB/s data rate)
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