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Tech: Flashdrives?

Gurney 04 Jun 12 - 04:51 PM
JohnInKansas 04 Jun 12 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Peter K (Fionn) 04 Jun 12 - 07:50 PM
Gurney 05 Jun 12 - 12:22 AM
JohnInKansas 05 Jun 12 - 02:18 AM
GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison 05 Jun 12 - 11:22 AM
Gurney 05 Jun 12 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison 05 Jun 12 - 06:23 PM
JohnInKansas 05 Jun 12 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison 05 Jun 12 - 08:20 PM
GUEST 05 Jun 12 - 08:25 PM
Bill D 05 Jun 12 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison 05 Jun 12 - 08:37 PM
Bill D 05 Jun 12 - 08:44 PM
Bill D 05 Jun 12 - 08:45 PM
Bill D 05 Jun 12 - 08:46 PM
Bill D 05 Jun 12 - 08:48 PM
GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison 05 Jun 12 - 09:39 PM
GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison 05 Jun 12 - 09:45 PM
Bill D 05 Jun 12 - 10:04 PM
GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison 05 Jun 12 - 10:15 PM
Bill D 05 Jun 12 - 10:32 PM
Bill D 05 Jun 12 - 10:41 PM
JohnInKansas 06 Jun 12 - 12:07 AM
Gurney 06 Jun 12 - 03:28 AM
Geoff the Duck 06 Jun 12 - 11:36 AM
GUEST 06 Jun 12 - 12:48 PM
GUEST 06 Jun 12 - 01:06 PM
Gurney 06 Jun 12 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison 06 Jun 12 - 06:08 PM
Gurney 07 Jun 12 - 12:16 AM
GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison 07 Jun 12 - 10:00 AM
Gurney 07 Jun 12 - 04:28 PM
Gurney 09 Jun 12 - 12:42 AM
JohnInKansas 09 Jun 12 - 02:20 AM
GUEST,CJB 09 Jun 12 - 04:29 AM
JohnInKansas 09 Jun 12 - 07:05 AM
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Subject: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Gurney
Date: 04 Jun 12 - 04:51 PM

Anyone know a lot about them?

I've been trying to record digital TV programmes on one, and it doesn't seem to be able to take very long files. It's a good make, and 16gig, but after about one-and-a-half hours it seems to switch off, wait a half-hour, and then start recording the signal again.
Unfortunately, that means it misses the last quarter of one show and the first quarter of the next.....

Is there a thermal or other overload in the flashdrive, or will a bad sector do that? Do flashdrives have sectors? Is there a download that will check it out?
My 8gig one will just fill up and switch off.
Chris.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 04 Jun 12 - 06:39 PM

The weak link for flash drives is usually the USB connection. Original USB was/is pretty slow. USB2 is quite a bit faster, and USB3 is a lot faster.

The controller in the computer has to be able to handle the faster ones, and if the controller is old you won't get anything faster than what the controller can handle by using a flash drive that meets the later specs.

If it's a connection speed problem, the file transfer will stop when you overrun the buffer capacity in the computer.

An option, if you have the hard drive space, is to record to the hard drive, and you should then be able to copy from the hard drive to the flash drive without hitting any connection speed problems, since the computer can vary the "read" rate to accomodate a slower "write" capability of the flash drive.

The flash drives themselves can be formatted in various ways. Older ones were often pre-formatted as FAT16 which can impose a limit on the maximum size of a single file. FAT16 can't handle an 8GB drive, so you can assume a drive that large won't be formatted that way.

More recently, nearly all flash drives have been formatted FAT32 or NTFS, either of which allows much larger single files; but you still may hit a file size limit less than the full drive size. I haven't been able to find specs on whether there are real single-file size limits for either, but without better information you should probably consider, as a possibility:

The total size of the drive doesn't necessarily mean you can write it all in one file.

Some of the earliest flash drives were observed to have "problems" if you tried to reformat them to a different kind. I think that difficulty has been overcome with more recent ones, but I haven't seen comment that specifically says so. You might want to check with the maker of the drive you're using for instructions about reformats.

USB is a tremendous improvement over the older serial port, but it is possible to run into "port corruptions" if you've used several USB devices, especially ones that are connected and disconnected fairly often. The recommended procedure for cleaning things up (in Windows) is to disconnect "everything USB" then go to Control Panel and "delete all the USB ports," reboot with NO USB DEVICES CONNECTED and connect the USB devices back one at a time to let the system rebuild the port setup. Unfortunately, it's impossible to find a mouse or a keyboard in my locale that isn't USB and I haven't figured out how to do a clean reboot without at least one or the other. (This isn't very likely to be your problem though.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST,Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 04 Jun 12 - 07:50 PM

Wow, useful answers, John, to many questions I didn't even know to ask.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Gurney
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 12:22 AM

Well, that answers some of my misapprehensions, John, but in fact I'm not using a computer in this instance.
In this country we are shortly moving to digital-signal television, and I have obtained a 'Freeview' digital set-top box, which records (called PVR) through a USB2 port. Everything is near new. Signal from satellite.

I have a choice of moving my music from my stand-alone hard-drive and recording TV on that, (And putting the music where? It is mostly laboriously re-recorded LPs,) or reluctantly buying another HD, or going with Sky Television, or sorting out why this bigger flashdrive behaves differently from its 8gig brother.
That 8gig behaves perfectly up to 2 hours of recording, and on the one occasion that I filled it, it just 'switched' itself off. Three files on it, though.
Ok, I'll get in touch with the flashdrive manufacturer. Hope they'll answer. In English.
The good thing about this set-up WAS, I just plugged the 8gig flashdrive into the computer and made a DVD of a programme that was on it, using Nero. It won't play on older DVD players, though.

These freeview boxes are full of traps-for-young-players unless you buy the top-of-the-line, at five times the price. With a built-in HD, and twin decoders. Like that Sky rental box.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 02:18 AM

A really cheap "converter" we picked up with the intention of converting VHS tapes to DVD is hard wired to the assumption that you're burning to DVDs so it arbitrarily cuts off at ~2 hours, since that's all that can be burned (at normal TV signal compression) on a standard 4.7 GB DVD. (The program has zero editing features.)

That's good enough for most movies, but of course there are a lot of more recent ones that run "'till your butt gives out" that we'd have to split between two or more disks.

That converter records the TV signal to Hard Drive on a computer and then passes it to the DVD burner in the computer, since it apparently assumes some burners don't write fast enough to keep up with signal rates during direct-to-DVD burns, even though they can play back fast enough. Unfortunately it automatically limits each input recording to 2 hours max and then "it just stops" receiving/recording the input.

If your setup is intended to be used for recording from TV, and if it expects you to want DVD storage, it might have a similar (intentional?) limit built in for similar reasons, but that's just a SWAG since I'm not familiar with the devices described.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 11:22 AM

> More recently, nearly all flash drives have been formatted FAT32 or NTFS, either of which allows much larger single files; but you still may hit a file size limit less than the full drive size.

Actually, there is no NTFS file size limit, but there is a limit of 4GB on FAT32 - depending on bit rate, that is about 2hrs worth of SD Freesat video. As many flash drives are formatted FAT32 by default, this is probably the problem that the OP Chris is up against.

Suggest reading the TV manual very thoroughly, or asking a question through the manufacturer's website, to determine what drive formats the TV understands. Likely ones other than FAT32 are, as already mentioned, NTFS (the default format for all Windows Operating Systems, OSs, since W2k/NT), and ext3, possibly ext4, which is understood by Linux. The main reason that the latter is popular despite the relative lack of end-user PCs is that, being and open source OS, it is used for preference for many bespoke boxes such as routers, set-top boxes aka STBs, and TVs.

If, as is likely, Chris has a Windows PC and the TV will understand NTFS, then (s)he could try reformatting it in the PC as NTFS. Be aware, however, that sometimes attempting to do this can actually 'break' the stick, because at the lowest level not all of them behave exactly like a conventional rotating hard disk. ISTR that such 'broken' sticks can be be repaired by special software, but I have no personal experience of this.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Gurney
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 06:01 PM

Aha. 4gb maximum file size on a FAT32 flashdrive. That will be it. Thank you, Charles.
I still do not understand why it has a tea-break when reaching its maximum file size, though. If it had just turned off-then-on-again, you'd hardly notice, but we lost the last bit of 'CSI' and the first bit of 'House.' Ruined both programmes. Two weeks in a row.

Having now (in desperation) read the destruction manuals, The STBox requires a FAT32 system but suggests a HDD, 500mb with 4 partitions.

My personal chancellor of the exchequer seems fairly OK with the purchase of a HDD, having had it explained to her. "But not off the web!"
Spoilsport.
Chris.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 06:23 PM

> Having now (in desperation) read the destruction manuals, The STBox requires a FAT32 system but suggests a HDD, 500mb with 4 partitions.

Well, I don't know who wrote that for them, but if you've quoted it correctly it's insane!

500MB is about 20mins SD video, depending on bitrate. Perhaps 500GB was intended, that would be fine, the max supported under FAT32 is 8TB.

Note:
1KB = 1024B
1MB = 1024KB
1GB = 1024MB
1TB = 1024GB

Whatever the media, you cannot create a file larger than (2^32)-1 bytes (this is one byte less than 4 GB) on a FAT32 partition.

So using a HDD instead wouldn't solve the problem. I'm afraid that either your TV is crap or at least that its instructions are crap.

I suggest that you try to borrow an old HD, connect it to your PC via a powered USB caddy, format it as NTFS in Disk Management (BEWARE: make sure you format the right one), then connect it to the TV via the same USB caddy, and see if it will recognise it.

If it doesn't. Download a Linux Live CD image, eg whatever the current version of Ubuntu is, burn the CD, boot the PC from it, then off the right hand end of the menu options choose Disk Utility, and then partition and format the drive as Ext3, and try again.

If both these fail, I'm afraid your f**ked, though you could try looking on the manufacturer's website to see if there's a firmware upgrade that might solve the problem.

Limitations of the FAT32 File System in Windows XP.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 07:40 PM

GUEST Harrison. You apparently used the mudcat "linkmaker" that sometimes fails by adding some extraneous mudcatmudbits to the URL. Some people use it with no problems but I'm not quite that smart, I guess.

Limitations of the FAT32 File System in Windows XP (KB314463)

Gurney -

I'm not sure you can still buy a 500 MB hard drive??? The smallest in stock at retailers in my area seem to be 20GB, so far as I've seen. I also suspect you meant 500 GB?

Should you decide on an external USB hard drive, I'll warn you of a "negative experience" recently with a particular Western Digital one.

Most new hard drives come with some "trashware" preinstalled, and occasionally they have something useful that might help get the drive mounted. In one portable external USB 500GB Western Digital Drive they cleverly(?) "formatted a partition as an optical drive" and put all the garbage there. You can't write to the optical partition so it's pretty much useless, and you can't delete the trash that's there.

The problem is that the "optical drive" mounts as another drive separate from the actual (writable) hard drive, and it acts like a DVD drive with a disk in it so that everytime something pings at the USB controller you get the popup asking what you want to do with the "unknown disk" in the optical drive.

Western Digital does say that you can "disable" the optical portion, but it requires an "update to BIOS" and it permanently deletes that part of the device so that it can never be restored. (They're not really clear whether the BIOS update is for your computer - a permanent injury - or to a BIOS internal to the drive.) The optical partition is nearly 100 GB of the drive capacity you paid for, so whether or not you delete/disable it you only get a 400 GB drive to use, not the 500GB you paid for.

There are NO INDICATIONS on the external packaging to indicate any difference, so I don't know if this "feature" appears in any other models of their drives, but I won't buy another WD until I get some new assurances - that WD doesn't seem willing to provide.

Wanting a new HD would be most likely if you can verify that you could use NTFS or one of the other formats suggested with your recorder, but on a larger drive you could format an appropriate sized partition with FAT32 and use another format for the rest of the drive.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 08:20 PM

> GUEST Harrison. You apparently used the mudcat "linkmaker" that sometimes fails by adding some extraneous mudcatmudbits to the URL. Some people use it with no problems but I'm not quite that smart, I guess.

No I didn't actually, but thanks for correcting it.

I created the URL myself directly from the address of the MS page, which I still have open in another tab, by pasting its address between the quotes of the href attribute of the <a> HTML tag. Mudcat must have shafted it when I submitted the post. If so that's really, really bad, not much better than malware.

WARNING! THREAD DRIFT AND RANT!

More generally, Mudcat seems to have been written by (a) rank amateur(s). It's a blasted pain to use.

:-( Firstly, it comes up as white text on a white background on my PC, because whoever wrote can't do a simple thing like style a colour scheme properly, or test it adequately when done. For a fuller explanation of why, see (let's try this again) here:
Windows & Web Colour Setting Bugs

:-( There's no way of editing one's own posts if you've made a mistake.

:-( When you go into a thread in doesn't take you automatically to the latest addition, and although you can click the d option for the longer ones, you still have to scroll past all the post links, so that is really not much help.

:-( There's no way of watching particular threads and ignoring others.

:-( Now we find it's behaving like malware in corrupting valid links.

Really, the standard of web design and programming these days is p*ss-poor!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 08:25 PM

> Windows & Web Colour Setting Bugs

Well that one worked at least.

So I suspect that the fool(s) who wrote this sh*te forum software expected every external URL to begin http://www.something.or.other and set thing up so that, for one that doesn't, it tries to create a local relative URL out of it. Bloody idiot(s)!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 08:32 PM

It and a few thousand "Bloody idiot(s)!" who come here have been happy for 17 years now.... and we still have 'almost' all the threads & posts.

Mudcat was written in a perfectly good format 17 years ago... you want to volunteer to completely redo it?

If not, appreciate it!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 08:37 PM

> Mudcat was written in a perfectly good format 17 years ago... you want to volunteer to completely redo it?

It might, just, have seemed adequate 17 years ago, but now it just looks rank bad. There's plenty of decent forum software out there, some Open Source, and some even get the simple basics such as colour schemes right. Why not use those?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 08:44 PM

"( There's no way of editing one's own posts if you've made a mistake.

THAT is by design. It has been discussed, but that would allow certain "bloody idiots" to say nasty stuff and edit it to claim they didn't.

Editing is available and done regularly by mods if needed.

:-( There's no way of watching particular threads and ignoring others.

That would defeat the purpose of what we do here....that 'feature' exists in certain pre-digested forums where everything is mostly 'live conversations'.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 08:45 PM

"There's plenty of decent forum software out there, ...

It has been discussed many times... 95% of us don't WANT anything else.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 08:46 PM

Sign up AS a member and ask Max....


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 08:48 PM

(BTW...insulting the forum and owner is hardly the way to debate the issue)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 09:39 PM

> (BTW...insulting the forum and owner is hardly the way to debate the issue)

I'm not insulting the forum or its owner, just the software that it uses.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 09:45 PM

> Sign up AS a member and ask Max....

This email was sent to Max on 05/02/2010, but the colours are still broken:

Hi Max,

I've always liked mudcat as a resource to look up lyrics, etc, but also it has always greatly annoyed me because I have to go out of my way to be able to read anything on it, because the site's CSS styles are broken, and on my PC it comes up as white 'ink' on white 'paper'.

The mechanism by which this occurs is that your styling is non-compliant in only setting the 'paper' (background-color) and allowing the 'ink' (color) to default, and is explained further here ...
        http://www.macfh.co.uk/Test/ColourSchemesBugs.html

Please improve what is already a good site by fixing the broken styling asap. Either let both colours default, or set bot explicitly.

Regards Charles Harrison

http://www.macfh.co.uk/CEMH.html


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 10:04 PM

I'm not insulting the forum or its owner, ...

Oh? Really?


...the fool(s) who wrote this...

...rank amateur(s)....

...Bloody idiot(s)!...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 10:15 PM

> I'm not insulting the forum or its owner, ...
>
> Oh? Really?
>
> ...the fool(s) who wrote this...
>
> ...rank amateur(s)....
>
> ...Bloody idiot(s)!...

As I said, not the forum or its owner, rather the software writers.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 10:32 PM

The forum was written BY the owner & his staff when he had a business in 1995-1998 or so. That is why I, having been a member since Oct., 1996, know who is being insulted!
It was written in Cold Fusion. There were some plans to do otherwise, but I don't 'think' it ever worked out. Ask Max

If you think all sites & forums use some 3rd party templates, it's time to learn otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jun 12 - 10:41 PM

more...from May 2005

There are many reasons why things are what they are.... and BTW, the Mudcat servers have always lived in Max's office or house! Not bad for 17 years. We have had rough spots, but Max & this community have made us special.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 12:07 AM

If the site comes up with white text on white background it's likely because a persons browser has been set to white on color, or for some other default when a site color scheme isn't specified. I've known three people who preferred it that way, but two of the three were "instutuionalized" and had limited computer access so it didn't matter much to them. The third was a rather antisocial person, so she didn't matter much to me. If you have a vision problem that makes it more appropriate for you to use an unusual setting, you have my sympathy.

And we all know here that highlighting a selection of "invisible text" will make it visible, and even rank amateurs should know that Ctl-A will highlight the whole page and change the colors to reveal all.

The link that was "changed" when a "perfectly legal URL" was posted is rather questionable, since it appears that what was pasted was "support.microsoft.com/kb/314463" which is a perfectly legal local link if you're at the site where that is bookmarked; but since we use a lot of local links here to help people move between threads, it is perfectly appropriate that when you paste a local link or something that looks like one here the site automatically assumes it's a link to a bookmark on this site and supplies the site URL as a leader to simplify copying the link to post it on another site. The result was that the link posted was to http://mudcat.org/support.microsoft.com/kb/314463 which is of course a non-existent location. That IS and SHOULD BE expected site behavior, so far as I'm concerned, although I haven't seen much comment from those it's intended to help.

The reason for not permitting people to edit their own posts has been explained.

The reason that all thread links don't take you immediately to the last post is that many of us here consider it exceedingly RUDE to post irrelevant comments without reading what has preceded in a thread. And even the most illiterate should know that Ctl-End or Ctl-Home will take you immediately to either end in the event you need to go somewhere else. Once a thread has been around long enough to be split up, it is assumed (not always reliably) that only those already familiar with the prior content are likely to add to it, so the "d" sort is not objectionable and is of some convenience for those active in a thread.

I, and most others who've been around her for a while, find the present setup quite satisfactory, and specifically appropriate for the purposes for which the site exists.

And, just for reference, there are at least three other KB articles at Microsoft giving slightly more complete descriptions of both the limits on FAT32 formats and differences (and limits for) the other FAT versions and for NTFS, but they've been moved (or removed) and didn't come up when I did a quick search there. I apologize for being too lazy to find the copies I have saved on my own computer before commenting, but general comments seemed sufficient at that point in the discussion. Your additional information was appropriate and appreciated by the time you entered the discussion.

The one you linked has, FYI, been rewritten since the most recent copy I have on file was up, which is itself a re-write of what appeared when WinXP was new, although I didn't see much significant change in the content of any of them.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 03:28 AM

Guest Charles, I did indeed quote incorrectly from the destruction manual: It should have been a 500Gb HDD.
I can only plead that the bright revelation of the probable reason temporarily blinded my cortex, causing a typographical error.
And the fact that I was translating chinglish.

The problem arose because, although the STB unit has recorded faultlessly for approaching 6 months on the 8Gb flashdrive, TV channel programming changes have necessitated a larger storage unit, to take 3-4hrs of video. Assuming that, if it worked on 8Gb, surely it would work on 16Gb....
No it didn't.

Sorry about the delay in replying, I've been out all day. 7.30pm here now.

Chris.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 11:36 AM

:-( There's no way of watching particular threads and ignoring others.

If you become a member, There is a "Tracer" function allowing you to follow individual threads
Quack!
GtD


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 12:48 PM

> From: Bill D
>
> The forum was written BY the owner & his staff when he had a business in 1995-1998 or so. That is why I, having been a member since Oct., 1996, know who is being insulted!
>
> It was written in Cold Fusion. There were some plans to do otherwise, but I don't 'think' it ever worked out.

Then I am unrepentant - the basic errors made speak for themselves.

> From: JohnInKansas
>
> If the site comes up with white text on white background it's likely because a persons browser has been set to white on color, or for some other default when a site color scheme isn't specified.

No it isn't anything at all to do with the browser. It's because I have my Windows desktop colours set to have white text on a black background, because I commonly work in a darkened room, and that combination is less glaring and tiring on the eyes. If you had bothered to read the demo page I linked earlier, you'd know that.

Mudcat's colour schemes are broken because they are only setting the paper color to white, which means that the ink colour defaults to that of the user's desktop, which in my case being also white, the result is unreadable. Approved practice, which I have actually seen somewhere in an official HTML or CSS document, but couldn't re-find it last time I looked, is to set either both 'pen' (color:#RRGGBB) and 'paper' (background-color:#RRGGBB), or neither, precisely because of this sort of reason.

More generally, a web-designer cannot possibly know in advance what sort of device - desktop/laptop/mobile/TV, monochrome/color, screen-size, printer, etc - the content will be displayed on, or who - disabled, colour blind, partially sighted, or totally blind using a screen reader which might be a seperate physical device trying to read directly off the actual screen display, or a driver trying intercept video output, or a piece of software intercepting the HTML and parsing it - will be reading it, therefore it is fundamentally flawed to make assumptions about either. Thus there is a strong case to be made for not setting *any* colours at all. Why should anyone presume to dictate what colours I or anyone else uses to view a site?

However, practically speaking, browser software writers also make mistakes, and current versions of Opera in particular display a completely unstyled page as black-on-black on my PC. Thus on my own site I grasp the nettle, and set both colours rather than neither.

> The link that was "changed" when a "perfectly legal URL" was posted is rather questionable, since it appears that what was pasted was "support.microsoft.com/kb/314463"

No, what was pasted was "http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314463"

> That IS and SHOULD BE expected site behavior, so far as I'm concerned, although I haven't seen much comment from those it's intended to help.

Your starting point is erroneous, so your conclusion is invalid.

> The reason for not permitting people to edit their own posts has been explained.

I can see the reasoning why a guest such as myself cannot edit even my own posts, but it is perfectly possible to track which members have made which posts and allow some sort of editing of them. If you find someone is consistently lying about what they've posted, you just turf them off.

> The reason that all thread links don't take you immediately to the last post is that many of us here consider it exceedingly RUDE to post irrelevant comments without reading what has preceded in a thread.

I agree that to do this is rude, or even RUDE, but ...

a)        The briefest of glances through any long thread shows that lots of people still do this anyway, despite the current arrangement, so the current arrangement obviously doesn't make a significant improvement to such behaviour.

b)        Usually one is reading and/or replying to only the most recent one or two posts in a thread, having previously read and/or contributed to it before, and therefore it's inefficient to waste the majority of users' time by not going to them by default.

> And even the most illiterate should know that Ctl-End or Ctl-Home will take you immediately to either end in the event you need to go somewhere else.

But these keystrokes often don't work properly in all browsers, for example in some versions of FF, their behaviour seems inconsistent, sometimes they appear to work, sometimes not.

> I, and most others who've been around her for a while, find the present setup quite satisfactory, and specifically appropriate for the purposes for which the site exists.

Whereas I, and therefore I suspect others, find the forum very unergonomic, inefficient, and exasperating to use.

However, now that we've all had our say, I suggest we concentrate on the OP's problem ...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 01:06 PM

> From: Gurney
>
> Guest Charles, I did indeed quote incorrectly from the destruction manual: It should have been a 500Gb HDD.

Guessed as much - it's easy enough to do.

I'm more concerned that your TV's manual claims that it only recognises FAT32. If that really is true, that's a serious limitation. It means that that any long program will need to be split into files 4GB or less in length, and if it's designed to work with FAT32, the TV should be doing that automatically, but, judging from your initial description of its behaviour, it seems that it isn't. Rather, it's choking when it hits the file size barrier, so what is probably happening is an attempt to write fails because of the file size limit, so the TV thinks the disk is full, until some indefinite time later some other process causes it to reget details of the disk usage, whereupon it finds that it isn't full, and then perhaps it tries to restart the recording, very possibly using the same file name, which will either overwrite what has already been recorded earlier, or else try again to append to it, which again will cause another error, and so on.

Take a look on the manufacturer's site, and see if anyone else is reporting a similar problem, and/or report it yourself. See what the manufacturer says about it. It may that there is already a firmware update you could apply that fixes the problem.

Failing that, despite what the manual says, try what I suggested earlier, using NTFS first, and Ext3 second, to see if you can get it to work with either of those.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 05:02 PM

Guest, it is the STBs manual that says it records "System required FAT32." If it recognises any other protocol, it doesn't say so. It "Records in MPG" Which obviously (well, to me) converts on playback to something the TV recognises.
This manual also says that the maximum file size will be 3.8Gb,(Approx 4 hours) at which length it will "automatically create new video file to continue recording your TV program."
It is the lengthy gap between the two files that I'm complaining about.

So far as I've found with the somewhat exhaustive but largely non-technical TV manual, it recognises several inputs but doesn't include NTFS. The default seems to be NTSC M, but includes six PALs and four SECAMs. The TV is not absolutely modern, but it is a plasma.

More intensive reading has also revealed the STB manufacturers do not recommend use of "USB 1.1 or USB2.0 Key or Stick," because "A huge of different USB Key or Stick are indeed available in the market" and the STB may damage them.
And maybe HAS monstered the 16Gb 'stick.'


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison
Date: 06 Jun 12 - 06:08 PM

> It is the STBs manual that says it records "System required FAT32."

Yes, we know what the manual says, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's actually correct. That's why it might be worth trying another format. However ...

> If it recognises any other protocol, it doesn't say so. It "Records in MPG" Which obviously (well, to me) converts on playback to something the TV recognises.

MPG is a video file format, that is it describes the internal layout of a video file. FAT32 is the file system format, that is it describes the way files are stores on the media. The two are quite different.

> This manual also says that the maximum file size will be 3.8Gb,(Approx 4 hours) at which length it will "automatically create new video file to continue recording your TV program."

Ok, so it is trying to split the video into suitably-sized chunks, but is obviously throwing a wobbly when it tries to do so.

> It is the lengthy gap between the two files that I'm complaining about.

It's some firmware bug or other.

> So far as I've found with the somewhat exhaustive but largely non-technical TV manual, it recognises several inputs but doesn't include NTFS. The default seems to be NTSC M, but includes six PALs and four SECAMs. The TV is not absolutely modern, but it is a plasma.

Those are the inputs it recognises via its cable connections to other video sources, such as a DVD-player, again nothing whatever to do with a File System format such as NTFS.

> More intensive reading has also revealed the STB manufacturers do not recommend use of "USB 1.1 or USB2.0 Key or Stick," because "A huge of different USB Key or Stick are indeed available in the market" and the STB may damage them.

And actually there's worse. Many cheap USB sticks are a scam - one that claims to be, say 16GB, actually turns out to be, say, 2GB. Thus it fills up after 2GB, when you think it should have another 14GB to go. Yet, when examined in Disk Manager, it may still say 14GB free!

I suggest putting it into your PC, copying off it any video or other files that you want to keep, then deleting them all off the stick, so that it's completely empty (don't forget to delete any files in any Recycle folders - the surest way to do that is simply delete the folder itself, it it exists; on a FAT32 drive it will simply be recreated next time it is required, though of course any deleted files that were formerly in it will have gone for ever). Then try copying a series of files to the stick until it fills up, and check how much you were actually able to copy. Choose a file of about 1GB, and copy it repeatedly giving it different names: Test1.ext, Test2.ext, etc. Then you can see at a glance when the process stops. If it's a lot less than the token size of the stick, then you've got a duff one, and should return it.

However note the following. Disk sizes are usually quoted in units of 1000s, whereas OS systems usually give directory and file information in units of 1024s (nearest power of 2, 2^10). Thus you will never copy as much as 16GB to a 16GB stick. The calculation runs as follows:

        1GB (stick manufacturer) = 1 x 1000^3 = 0.93 x 1024^3 = 0.93GB (OS)

So your 16GB according-to-the-manufacturer stick will fit about 14.9GB according-to-the-OS, actually a little less than that after allowing for file system overheads.

> And maybe HAS monstered the 16Gb 'stick.'

Maybe, or maybe it was duff to begin with.

Also, don't forget to check the manufacturer's website for firmware upgrades.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Gurney
Date: 07 Jun 12 - 12:16 AM

Another lengthy post just disappeared. Damn.
Yes, Charles. Your thinking parallels mine, except that you seem to know what you are talking about.;-)
The STB seems to record on anything. It works with a SD card in a card reader, and all three of my flashdrives. The 8Gb one takes 2hrs of video, but I've never tried longer files. Just the big one that I bought specifically for the STB that gives problems, and then only on files approaching 2 hours.
I've also thought of leaving the current shortened programme on it, and seeing if it will fill the rest of the drive up, in 3.8Gb chunks.

I used to have a Seagate program that would examine HDDrives in minute detail and allow partitioning and other mods. It would be nice to get a similar program that worked on flashdrives.
That 16Gb drive is a Toshiba, which I thought was a pretty good make.

I said the cheap STBs have traps. This one can be programmed to switch on and off at selected times, but NOT to switch on and record! You can also only record the TV channel that you're watching.
What bloody use is that? Only to record a whole evening when you're out of the house.
Don't buy cheap STBs. Chris.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST,Guest Charles Macfarlane Harrison
Date: 07 Jun 12 - 10:00 AM

> From: Gurney
>
> Another lengthy post just disappeared. Damn.

Don't get me started again :-)

> The STB seems to record on anything. It works with a SD card in a card reader, and all three of my flashdrives. The 8Gb one takes 2hrs of video, but I've never tried longer files. Just the big one that I bought specifically for the STB that gives problems, and then only on files approaching 2 hours.

"The 8Gb one takes 2hrs of video" - do I take it this is High Definition (HD) then? Here in the UK, by comparing the playing times against the files sizes of the recordings, it's easy to work out that both Freesat (satellite) and Freeview (terrestrial) Standard Definition (SD) come in at around 35mins/GB, so 8GB should be able to hold about 4hrs:40mins of UK SD. I don't have figures conveniently to hand for UK HD.

> I've also thought of leaving the current shortened programme on it, and seeing if it will fill the rest of the drive up, in 3.8Gb chunks.

As you know, or at least think and hope, that the 8GB drive is working, you can do a test of the STB to either eliminate or incriminate the way it breaks up recordings greater than 3.8GB, by recording a program larger than 3.8GB onto this 8GB drive - in UK SD this would be longer than about 2:13, but say 2.5-3hrs to be certain; you'd have to work out your own equivalent for your local broadcasts.

So, besides the test of copying from the PC to the 16GB drive I suggested earlier, I suggest that you also test the STB recording to the 8GB stick as follows:

1        Calculate how many minutes per GB your STB records at, note that there may be a differences between different stations, particularly if there is a choice between SD and HD;

2        Copy, or rather move, everything off the 8GB drive that you want to keep;

3        Delete all the remaining files on it, as explained previously;

4        Try and record a program long enough to go well over the 3.8GB file size limit, according to your previous calculations;

5        Check that the entire program plays back alright;

6        Check that when you plug the stick into a PC, you can see at least two suitably-sized and named video files.

If everything works on the 8GB stick, then you know that the STB is working ok, and your problem is with the 16GB stick. If not, you know that your 16GB stick is probably alright, and the STB is the problem, and you need to visit the manufacturer's website, to seek further advice, as explained earlier.

> I used to have a Seagate program that would examine HDDrives in minute detail and allow partitioning and other mods. It would be nice to get a similar program that worked on flashdrives.

Sorry, can't help with that.

> That 16Gb drive is a Toshiba, which I thought was a pretty good make.

Yes, I would expect Toshiba to be good, especially as they joint-own one of the two major flash fabs, but the ways of the 'grey' business world are obscure, and therefore unexpectedly fascinating. I have just refound the original thread in a Linux newsgroup where I first heard about these fake chips.

This is the complete thread ...
Flash Drive Recommendations
... but you may wish to go straight to the most relevant post, #9 ...
Theo Markettos

The link to a manufacturer's blog in the latter is also worth reading, if you get sufficiently interested in the case.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Gurney
Date: 07 Jun 12 - 04:28 PM

Charles, New Zealand is in the process of switching to digitally transmitted HD television, both terrestrial and satellite.
I have both, because I was once a Sky customer, and the lounge TV and the STB is on satellite.
Freeview, as it is called here, use the Sky satellite and the old terrestrial transmission system.
The bedroom TV is an old CRT set on a terrestrial aerial. Soon useless without another STB.
STBs are either one or t'other, and mine is satellite.
Satellite digital signals are erratic in heavy rain. I'm told that the terrestrial signals are, too. Bloody pathetic.
All I want is a machine that will do what a cheap VCR did twenty years ago. Too much to ask, obviously. Double bloody pathetic.
Chris.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: Gurney
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 12:42 AM

It is difficult to be accurate without using a stopwatch, but with our HD TV, 3.8Gb is about two hours television. Wonderful. About.
I will time it accurately when I am prepared to watch Glee all the way through. It still has a tea-break for some unknown period before it starts recording again.

The STB is indeed recording 3.891Gb segments, according to the computer.
So, the STB is never going to record an evening's TV without irritating breaks whilst we are out for the evening, nor a televised film of any length.

Sky is the obvious way for us to go, or another STB which is WAY upmarket of this one. Makes you want to spit.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 02:20 AM

The Seagate Hard Drive Utilities are probably available for download at Seagate Downloads. The one I've used most recently for Hard Drives should be the "SeaTools" in the Utilities section, but they are OS-specific.

I don't know how helpful they'd be for Flash Drives, but if they're not suitable for them, they should just burp at you and "decline to test." (You might want to try them on a small - cheaper - flash drive first to see if they work wirh rhem?)

I didn't dig down on the site to see if they have anything more specific for Flash Type memory.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 04:29 AM

"but we lost the last bit of 'CSI' and the first bit of 'House.' Ruined both programmes. Two weeks in a row."

All available from a myriad of torrent sites.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Flashdrives?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 07:05 AM

Temporary thread drift:

Several web sites (even including some that normally give good advice) have mentioned a problem with "reduced capacity" on flash drives that my be the cause of the "defective drives" comments made here.

It appears that there are two separate causes that may be fairly common, with one being a "write protected" attribute being applied to some or all of the files on a drive, or to the entire drive.

The other possibility is that reformatting with changes in the format used (as when moving back and forth between Windows, Unix, and Mac) can result in partitioning of the memory with some partitions being "invisible" except in the OS that makes them, so that only "the rest of it" can be formatted by another OS.

While most of the "suggestions" to fix the problem don't work - typical for the "social network help" that Microsoft thinks is sufficient since they (temporarily?) took down their Knowledge Base to try to get rid of Win98(?) - a few places say that "free download special programs" have solved their problem, or that flash drives with "lost space" can sometimes be reformatted, to recover all of the drive, using Windows' Drive Management Tools (in Control Panel) instead of just the Right-Click|Select Format that usually should suffice.

Several "free programs" are suggested, at least some of which are reported to have worked, but I can't vet any of the sources, so I'll leave it up to anyone who wants to work this problem to see what's available in that kind of help.

Note that this doesn't appear to relate to the problem under discussion, but I was a little puzzled that people have had significant trouble with lost capacity on flash drives. I don't use flash drives enough to have seen the problem, but it does seem to bother a fair number of those who do.

John


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