Here is my story.
I was going to write a tutorial to help those who have mistakenly deleted their files from a hard disc camcorder. This would also have been relevant to people who have ones that use memory sticks as well, but I ran into one big problem.
They wouldn't help me when they knew I'd used a third party programme to recover the files from the hdd.
My Mom and Dad celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary at the end of August 2008. As a present my brothers and I sent them on a luxury 5* holiday to Rome. My Dad used his new HD Sony HDR-SR10 hdd based camcorder to record the memories. On their return, he mistakenly deleted all the video and stills, instead of copying them to his pc. A full 40gb of stuff.
I took the cam and used 3 programmes on it, undelete2009, EasyRecovery Professional 6 and finally DRS Media investigator. This last one found all 40gb of files. So they now hopefully safely sit on my pc, hopefully as recovery is a fine art and they may be corrupted.
I try to play the files, as it has found 600 or so .rm files. Real won't play them though.
I'll phone Sony, I thought. Speak to a techie person and get the info I need as to what file they should be, how I might be able to play them, and what file structure is needed to put them back on the camcorder.
I spoke with Angela, who was very nice, but didn't know as much as me. She kept referring to the manual and asking a colleague for help. Then she asked what programme I'd used to recover the files.
I told her.
She came back to me and said she couldn't help any more as I'd used a 3rd party programme. I asked for the name of a Sony programme to use, she said she couldn't help with that. A little discussion on why tell me to use a Sony programme, but not tell me which one ensued. She went away again and then told me there wasn't any Sony programme. I should use a 3rd party company to do the recovery.
Sorry, by the time I'd stopped laughing and then crying, I asked her what the difference was.
They'd know where to put the files back on the cam.
Apparently if I copy a file back to the cam in the wrong place or a file which isn't supposed to be on there it will damage the cam. She couldn't tell me how, when I asked.
I've phoned one, no they don't, they'll recover but that's it.
When I've worked it out, I'll post more info, but in the mean time, my recommendation is DON'T buy a SONY product if you want customer service. I wonder if any of the other manufacturers will comment on this. I'll make some phone calls if I get time and ask what their stance is on 3rd party recovery software.
All I wanted to know was the file structure on the cam, so I could put the files back in the right folders and see if they played on the cam, but this was too much to ask of Sony. I can of course record some new material to the hard drive on the cam and work out what files go where, but anyone with any understanding of file recovery knows, it gets so much harder to recover files the more recordings are made on top of them, and if I do need to try to recover these again, I don't want any extra hassle.