Backup Images and Copy Prohibited Recordings

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Bee_Dee_3_Dee

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Re: Backup Images and Copy Prohibited Recordings

#21

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:07 pm

richard1980 wrote:Personally I can't say how reliable backing up and restoring mprs.hds will be. It works short term, but I've never done any long-term testing....and I don't know anyone that has. I also don't know if there is any correlation between the contents of mprs.hds and the contents of the Cache folder, or between the contents of the Playready folder and any other data on the OS partition. Microsoft won't release any technical data, so there's really no telling what kind of interactions exist. There's only one sure fire way to ensure you have a reliable backup of the DRM keys and that is to create periodic images of the OS partition. If you choose to use some other method, you do so at your own risk.

As for the junction/symlink idea, I think that's a terrible idea. There are simply too many unknowns and there's too much risk of failure. WMC may not like the junction. Playready may not like the junction. A Windows/Playready update may break the junction. The target drive may crap out. There might be some other data that correlates with the Playready folder, so the Playready junction may only be part of the equation. The list goes on and on. Again, your best bet is to create periodic images of the entire OS partition. You should be doing that anyway.
Exactly!

So until all possible tests have been completed and absolutely nothing adverse related occurs there no reason for anyone to try it.

I'll do it with complete Backups and in a Scientific way. Create an environment and test. Then recreate that same environment and test over and over until all checks out or all fails. And only then maybe ask someone to step-up and try too. But only if they also have complete backups. I'd also qualify them in regards to having tons of experience with anything related hardware and software.

Junctions and symbolic Links have worked just fine for me the past three going on four years (this May). But I haven't tackled using them yet for the said purpose of moving the PlayReady folder.

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#22

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:54 pm

Crash2009 wrote:Well, haven't you guys been working on some great stuff! I have nothing to add, just wanted to mark the post.
Cool. after all testing is completed i will start a "Wanted: PlayReady Guinea Pigs!" Thread. :lol:

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#23

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:34 pm

Update!

A video card upgrade and some bad RAM has slowed me down.

But, I've finally gotten around to doing some further testing. And all is well. 8-)

Here's my latest entry (notes) in regards to, How to play, Copy Prohibited Recordings after Restoring Backup image(s):
Thursday, March 21, 2013

1:15 AM, Restoring Incremental Backup Images of C and D drive made March 20, 2013 at 8:34 AM.

Also, while running the Acronis Live CD; before restoring backup images of C and D drives; I backed up the existing (current) “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\PlayReady\mspr.hds” file, in Data format. Then after booting into Windows; I restored the backup (current) “mspr.hds” file. But first, I had to stop the “Windows Media Center Receiver” Service. I restarted “Windows Media Center Receiver” Service when I was finished restoring the current “mspr.hds” file. Note: I backed up the existing “mspr.hds” file (from the March 20 image restoration) for practice sake. All recordings on my Recordings drive, made before and after March 20, 2013, are AOK.
Note: “Current” = Thursday, March 21, 2013. “Existing” = whatever file is in the place (folder/ path). :wtf:

So now, the question is, How to avoid forgetting to backup the “mspr.hds” file?

I don’t think any human being can be trusted to always remember to manually back up the “mspr.hds” file before restoring a full backup image. So an alternate method of backup/ restore of the “mspr.hds” file is still a must.
So what are the possible ways to backup a single file?

It's so simplistic. But also becomes, in no time, very complex.

Use a Batch files?

Use a Junction Link?

Others?

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#24

Post by foxwood » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:46 pm

Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote:So what are the possible ways to backup a single file?

It's so simplistic. But also becomes, in no time, very complex.

Use a Batch files?

Use a Junction Link?

Others?
Just set up a scheduled job to run nightly to copy the file to another location. If you want to keep multiple copies, just tack the date into the name. It's probably small enough that e-mailing it would be practical, but unfortunately scripting e-mail isn't as easy as it used to be back in the day!

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#25

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:16 pm

foxwood wrote:
Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote:So what are the possible ways to backup a single file?

It's so simplistic. But also becomes, in no time, very complex.

Use a Batch files?

Use a Junction Link?

Others?
Just set up a scheduled job to run nightly to copy the file to another location. If you want to keep multiple copies, just tack the date into the name. It's probably small enough that e-mailing it would be practical, but unfortunately scripting e-mail isn't as easy as it used to be back in the day!
Cool. :)

can u describe in a few steps, doing so? (whenever)

It would take care of 99% problems playing recordings after a restoration. ;)

For example, it WOULD be a total solution for any and all recordings, completed any time, before, the last scheduled job to run nightly backed up the “mspr.hds” file.

But, what if someone's HTPC has completed a very important recording; but the backup u suggest (scheduled job to run nightly) has not been created yet; and the PC crashes and or it just has to be restored and someone wants to watch said recording?

Therefore, the need to get to the file while in DOS (or while running any Live CD) before the PC boots into Windows, is the only way for now to recover it. (So hopefully I can describe in a few steps, doing so before too long.(whenever))

Now, if the “mspr.hds” file was kept in a place other than on the C drive, then u could always watch all recordings after a restoration of the C drive. No matter when the recordings were created. :)

Hence, a Junction (Symbolic) Link might be a 99.99% solution. It might not be too complicated. After all, the "Documents and Settings" folder and several other folders, are Junction Links. (By default when u install Windows).

The only source I have on How To Make Symbolic Links: http://ipggi.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/w ... ard-links/

I think Symbolic Links may be the best way to go. But it doesn't have to be done in CMD. It can also be done np in a GUI program.

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#26

Post by foxwood » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:21 pm

Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote: I think Symbolic Links may be the best way to go. But it doesn't have to be done in CMD. It can also be done np in a GUI program.
A Link is NOT the solution you want - you still only have a single copy of the file. What happens if your destination drive craps out, but your C: drive doesn't?

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#27

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:47 pm

foxwood wrote:
Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote: I think Symbolic Links may be the best way to go. But it doesn't have to be done in CMD. It can also be done np in a GUI program.
A Link is NOT the solution you want - you still only have a single copy of the file. What happens if your destination drive craps out, but your C: drive doesn't?
That's were a Monthly Full/ Daily incremental Data backup plan kicks in. ;)

The data is saved in one or more places separate from the original place every day. So the odds of loosing both the original Partition or drive AND the Partition or drive that the Backup(s) are on, is pretty small.

Hardly anyone backups everything on the 1st day of the Month. But if u do, (and I do) then Incremental backups every day take literally a few seconds to complete. For example, if u have say 13GB in ur My Documents Folder, it could take more than 7 minuets and a lot of space to backup. Maybe as much as 10GB to backup; because much of the Data is already compressed.

But, Daily Incremental Data backups of My Documents Folder, only takes 10 seconds and as little as 300MB of space.
Adding the “mspr.hds” file would be as simple as it gets. :)

Another solution is with a folder Sync App that automatically keeps two or more copies in two separate places. AllWay Sync is my favorite folder sinc app. URL: https://allwaysync.com/

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#28

Post by richard1980 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:49 pm

I don't understand why you are wrapped up in this symlink/junction idea. I fail to see any benefit to it, but there is a lot of potential for things to go wrong. If you are concerned about keeping an up-to-date copy of the file elsewhere, just write a script that copies the file to another location. Then create a scheduled task to run the script periodically. If you really want an up-to-date copy, set the scheduled task to trigger off of the Event Log entry that is logged when a recording is successfully completed (Log: Media Center, Source: Recording, Event ID: 1). I use that same trigger to move recorded movies out to their own folder so they don't clog up my Recorded TV library.

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#29

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:18 am

richard1980 wrote:I don't understand why you are wrapped up in this symlink/junction idea. I fail to see any benefit to it, but there is a lot of potential for things to go wrong. If you are concerned about keeping an up-to-date copy of the file elsewhere, just write a script that copies the file to another location. Then create a scheduled task to run the script periodically. If you really want an up-to-date copy, set the scheduled task to trigger off of the Event Log entry that is logged when a recording is successfully completed (Log: Media Center, Source: Recording, Event ID: 1). I use that same trigger to move recorded movies out to their own folder so they don't clog up my Recorded TV library.
The "mspr.hds” file I restored last night is working perfect. Thanks again, richard1980! :)

i had a bunch of Recordings I wanted to watch.

"...scheduled task to trigger off of the Event Log entry...." awesome!

i just played around with the EV a lot the past 4 weeks (for the first time) and have gotten very accustomed to using to it. i would have never guessed u could do that. Thanks! :) just as priceless knowledge as u telling me about the “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\PlayReady\mspr.hds” file.

as far as the symlink/junction idea, and being wrapped up in it goes. the only reasons i haven't already implemented it is due to a video card upgrade. i never thought i'd need one. And a bad set of RAM put me off another week after the Video card upgrade. And now, i'm recording all the NCAA Basketball Tourney games. Or else i'd have implemented it weeks ago.

three years ago I moved "My Docs", "Program files", and "Programs Files(86)" on two PCs, to another drive (D:\). I haven't had 1 single problem. i can't wait to getting around to moving the PlayReady folder. I eat too many unknowns every day for breakfast. :wtf: Or maybe i'm just too into gedankenexperiments. ;)

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#30

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:48 pm

Update!

Here's my latest entry (notes) in regards to, How to play, Copy Prohibited Recordings after Restoring Backup image(s):
11:14 AM, I just created Junction Link of “N:\PlayReady” in “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\PlayReady”.

11:16 AM , Tested Copy Protected Recordings and Live TV. Everything seems AOK.

11:28 AM, Created a Scheduled Full and Incremental daily Data Backup in Acronis for, “N:\PlayReady”. The backup(s) are stored in, “W:\Acronis Data Backups\PlayReady Backups”.
Edit 1: I should have said,
11:14 AM, I just created Junction Link of “N:\PlayReady” in “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\”.
And should have also noted the fact that I moved the original (existing) "PlayReady" folder to my N drive before creating the Junction Link to it.

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#31

Post by UCBearcat » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:56 pm

I just wanted to add that I'm following this thread with some curiosity. Thanks for testing and documenting your findings.
I don't think I noticed... what version of Acronis are you using?

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#32

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:42 am

UCBearcat wrote:I just wanted to add that I'm following this thread with some curiosity. Thanks for testing and documenting your findings.
I don't think I noticed... what version of Acronis are you using?
Cool. :)

ATI 2011.

I haven't had to restore a backup image since Post#30 (Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:48 am). But I have created a couple of Backup images that I'll try sooner or later.

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#33

Post by 1454 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:19 pm

So, could one copy the mspr.hds from my HTPC to my laptop and play all the copy protect recordings on my laptop over my network? I can already watch my non copy protect content, but I wonder if "backing them up" to the playready folder on my laptop would allow them to be watched?

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#34

Post by foxwood » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:08 pm

No, because the PlayReady system compares the fingerprint of the mspr.hds file with the fingerprint generated by the hardware it's running on, so copying the mspr.hds file between 2 different PCs won't work.

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#35

Post by 1454 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:24 pm

foxwood wrote:No, because the PlayReady system compares the fingerprint of the mspr.hds file with the fingerprint generated by the hardware it's running on, so copying the mspr.hds file between 2 different PCs won't work.
Oh, ok. What about hardware upgrades? I guess that is a no no also?

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#36

Post by richard1980 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:31 pm


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#37

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:14 pm

1454 wrote:So, could one copy the mspr.hds from my HTPC to my laptop and play all the copy protect recordings on my laptop over my network? I can already watch my non copy protect content, but I wonder if "backing them up" to the playready folder on my laptop would allow them to be watched?
I've been using Junction Links rather than Symbolic Links the past four to five years because they were best suited for the task(s) at hand.

I was wanting to move both, "My Documents" and "Program Files (x86)", from my C drive to my H drive, and D drive; in order to make the C drive smaller. The purpose being to reduce the total size of backups. Plus reduce the time it takes to DE-fragment and make backups of the C drive. But it IS also a great technique for ppl that purchased SSD drives, for multiple reasons.

Therefore, with all the success I've had with Junctions, I chose to also use a "Junction Link" in order to test moving my PlayReady folder, too. (Versus trying a Symbolic link for the first time ever.)

But, I've been waiting for the opportunity to question and test whether or not doing two of the following was possible:
(So TY user 1454, for asking just the right question! :) )

A. It may be possible to have multiple Symbolic Links on several PCs (on the same LAN) that point to the same folder. (Because it is most definitely NOT possible when using Junctions). *fingers crossed! :)

Example:
I just successfully tested a Symbolic Link called "Test 123", that points to a folder on a Mapped network drive called, "Test 123".

Next, I created a text document inside of that folder and called it, "Test 123.txt". I can open "Test 123.txt" from 3 locations:
(1) The original location.
(2) The symbollic link's location.
(3) The folder on the Mapped drive.

And to prove the Symbolic link is fully functional from all three locations, I tried adding the text to the "Test 123.txt" document. And saving and opening from 3 locations:
(1) "123" on the first line.
(2) "456" on the second line.
(3) "789" on the third line.

All that (above) being said, one should ask:
B. Why not have Multiple Symbolic Links that all point to the same PlayReady folder? :) THAT WOULD BE THE ANSWER! (Answer to: How can somebody watch Protected content from multiple PCs. After all, if Whole house Entertainment systems can? Why not us?! ;) )

I've successfully tested a Junction Link for over a week on a single PC that points to the PlayReady folder. (NP whatsoever!)

All I have left to do, is switch from using a Junction Link that points to a copy of my PlayReady folder. And instead, start using a Symbolic Link. Because it will function over a Mapped drive.

And, (finally) answer the question:
Can a Symbolic Link on one PC and a Symbolic Link on a second PC, both point to the same "PlayReady" folder?

*fingers crossed! :)

Even if it doesn't work, at least the everyday possibilities with Symbolic Links versus plain old Junctions Links are infinite versus just countless and finally using them is a big plus. ;)

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#38

Post by nathagt » Wed May 15, 2013 12:59 pm

Thanks for all the info. I just started using Arconis 2013 so I'll be sure to make copies of the mspr file before doing a restore.

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#39

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Wed May 15, 2013 2:19 pm

nathagt wrote:Thanks for all the info. I just started using Arconis 2013 so I'll be sure to make copies of the mspr file before doing a restore.
np :)

Have u ever attempted a restore before, with a previous version(s) of Acronis or other Imaging software?

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#40

Post by nathagt » Thu May 16, 2013 6:14 pm

No, but I'll be doing it tonight or tomorrow night (now that OKC is out of the NBA finals). I currently have my OS on a 32GB SSD but it's not enough space. I'm restoring to a new 120GB SSD and I'm hoping that won't break my DRM keys.

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