Backup Images and Copy Prohibited Recordings

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Bee_Dee_3_Dee

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Backup Images and Copy Prohibited Recordings

#1

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:24 pm

After I restore a backup Image of my C Drive (with Acronis); all attempts to play recordings that were made after the time that the backup Image was created, end up failing to play if they're Copy Protected. Even though it IS on the same computer on which it was recorded.

Is there a file or folder that that had previously been on the C Drive, before the backup image was restored, that I could restore in a separate process that would allow the recording to play?

Thanks! :)

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#2

Post by voltaire10 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:32 pm

I wish I could help you, but I had the same issue as you when I moved to a SSD within the last year. I read hundreds of forum posts and tried two different products that people had success with (acronis being one of them) but could not get the restore to allow my "Copy Once" recordings (basically everything). I gave up after five or six tries. I hope you have better luck than I did.

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#3

Post by foxwood » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:22 pm

I think you had a different issue - the changes that you made made PlayReady decide that it was a different PC, so the protected recordings no longer matched your system. In Bee_Dee_3_Dee's case, he's restoring an old backup.

Here's an old KB article about backing up and restoring DRM licenses in XP. I've never heard of anyone doing this successfully for Windows 7, though, so I don't know how useful it will be for you:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/891664

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#4

Post by Scallica » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:44 pm

Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote:After I restore a backup Image of my C Drive (with Acronis); all attempts to play recordings that were made after the time that the backup Image was created, end up failing to play if they're Copy Protected. Even though it IS on the same computer on which it was recorded.
The image of your C: drive does not contain the DRM keys needed to unlock recordings made after the image creation; therefore, it is not possible to view those recordings after a restore of the image.
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#5

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:01 pm

Scallica wrote:
Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote:After I restore a backup Image of my C Drive (with Acronis); all attempts to play recordings that were made after the time that the backup Image was created, end up failing to play if they're Copy Protected. Even though it IS on the same computer on which it was recorded.
The image of your C: drive does not contain the DRM keys needed to unlock recordings made after the image creation; therefore, it is not possible to view those recordings after a restore of the image.
Exactly!

it's as if i'd traveled back in time. ;)

So, is it possible to restore a backup of the necessary data?

Or maybe even configure it to be saved in a different place? with for example Symbolic links or Junctions maybe? therefore it would remain unchanged after restoring a C Drive.

Thanks! :)

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#6

Post by richard1980 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:26 pm

Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote:it's as if i'd traveled back in time. ;)
That's the point of a system image...to create a copy of a drive at a specific point in time.
Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote:So, is it possible to restore a backup of the necessary data?
Yes...if you have a system image that contains the keys, just restore that image.
Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote:Or maybe even configure it to be saved in a different place? with for example Symbolic links or Junctions maybe? therefore it would remain unchanged after restoring a C Drive.
I doubt that would be a very reliable method. You'd be better off creating periodic system images.

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#7

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:36 am

richard1980 wrote:
Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote:So, is it possible to restore a backup of the necessary data?
Yes...if you have a system image that contains the keys, just restore that image.
can't i just extract the keys from the image. then boot into safe-mode and restore them? :)

richard1980 wrote:
Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote:Or maybe even configure it to be saved in a different place? with for example Symbolic links or Junctions maybe? therefore it would remain unchanged after restoring a C Drive.
I doubt that would be a very reliable method. You'd be better off creating periodic system images.
idk, it might be the best way possible. Because if it did resided on another drive, then no matter when one or more recording were created, they would always be current after restoring a backup of the C Drive. Regardless of when that backup was created or restored. it would be perfect. i just don't know what to link.

Maybe Link, "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\DRM" to another location?

http://ipggi.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/w ... ard-links/

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#8

Post by Scallica » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:57 am

Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote: can't i just extract the keys from the image. then boot into safe-mode and restore them? :)
No, because the keys for those recordings are not on the image. The keys were created when the recording was created, which was after the image.

As richard suggested, you should increase the frequency of your system images to avoid this issue again.
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#9

Post by richard1980 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:06 am

DRM keys are stored in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Playready. Specifically, the file you are interested in is called mspr.hds. Good luck! :)

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#10

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:09 am

Scallica wrote:
Bee_Dee_3_Dee wrote: can't i just extract the keys from the image. then boot into safe-mode and restore them? :)
No, because the keys for those recordings are not on the image. The keys were created when the recording was created, which was after the image.

As richard suggested, you should increase the frequency of your system images to avoid this issue again.
imagine that "the keys" are on a backup image that i DO have. And say, for example i make an image every morning before ever using WMC. And every night after no longer using WMC. Maybe, the necessary keys, could be extracted from one of the images?

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#11

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:13 am

richard1980 wrote:DRM keys are stored in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Playready. Specifically, the file you are interested in is called mspr.hds. Good luck! :)
"Cache" folder inside of PlayReady; some or all of the contents?

And/ or "mspr.hds" (inside of PlayReady) too?

Edit 1: i failed to read all. i saw the PlayReady folder part and stopped reading.lol sry

Edit 2: i have one Copy Protected Recording from about two days ago to test it on. And i also have a Backup image with the "mspr.hds" on it form after that recording was made. So i guess i can attempt to swap "mspr.hds" in safe mode and see whether or not it plays.

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#12

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:24 pm

richard1980 wrote:DRM keys are stored in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Playready. Specifically, the file you are interested in is called mspr.hds. Good luck! :)
It worked. Thanks, richard1980! :D

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#13

Post by foxwood » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:40 pm

Just to clarify - are you saying that you were able to watch protected recordings made after your system image, by copying C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Playready\mspr.hds from a newer backup onto the old system image?

If that works, it needs to be a sticky somewhere - coupling regular backups of that file with occassional system images would make life a lot easier for some people!

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#14

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:15 pm

foxwood wrote:Just to clarify - are you saying that you were able to watch protected recordings made after your system image, by copying C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Playready\mspr.hds from a newer backup onto the old system image?

If that works, it needs to be a sticky somewhere - coupling regular backups of that file with occassional system images would make life a lot easier for some people!
Yes, but let me clarify, if u will. After all we're dealing with time-travel. and nothing is more complicated than time-travel, right? ;)

Maybe the beginning of a draft i started writing this morning will suffice:
(and reading wat u just asked combined with the following may simplify things i hope)

The copy protected recording I couldn't play was made on 02-23-2013. (It didn't play as a result of restoring a backup image made before that date.)

A.
I found a backup image from the morning of 02-24-2013. Extracted the "mspr.hds" inside that backup image and saved it to a temp folder. And renamed it, "mspr.hds_022413_0755".

B.
Booted into safe-mode, and pasted a copy of "mspr.hds_022413_0755" into the "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Playready" folder. Then took the existing "mspr.hd" and renamed it, "mspr.hds_030113_0055".

C.
Then I made an additional copy of "mspr.hds_022413_0755", and renamed it, "mspr.hds". (And left "mspr.hds_022413_0755" and "mspr.hds_030113_0055", in the "PlayReady" folder. But only to keep them handy. And maybe just to see if it was possible for them to reside in the PlayReady folder along side the "mspr.hd", for the sake of having a convenient place to archive them while testing.)

D.
Booted back into normal-mode to test the copy protected recording that previously wouldn't play (the one made 02-23-2013), and Voila!, it WORKED! YAY! :D
(Note: The Recording's greyed out Thumbnail was eventually replaced with a normal Thumbnail. All I had to do was to play some of the Recording. Then stop it. Exit the Recording Menu. Then the next time I went back into the Recording Menu, a regular Thumbnail was there.) :)

Does all that make sense?

ur right that it is important, but even better is:
now i have all the confidence in the world that Linking the "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\DRM" folder, to another location, might very possibly work out after all. YAY! Most likely I'd place it onto my E Drive. And that way I'd never have to worry about the "mspr.hds" file's creation date. Because it would remain current. (As long as the E Drive remains AOK. ;) and it should np.)

wouldn't that be cool?

are u hip to the following? (only play around with this kind of stuff if ur a backup master! ;)) http://ipggi.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/w ... ard-links/

i only have C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86) Linked to a D Drive. So i'm not terribly familiar with linking. i just know it works.

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#15

Post by xnappo » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:12 pm

Very nice.

I can't believe after all these years there isn't a more detailed write-up of exactly how PlayReady works, how to deal with the issue you described, what will and will not break it etc. The info is our there, but I have yet to see it well organized anywhere.

xnappo

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#16

Post by foxwood » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:03 pm

I'd be more inclined to just make a daily copy of the mspr.hds file, if I thought needed it. Hard Links should work, but if anything every went wrong with your E: drive, you could be doubly screwed - you've now got two points of potential failure, E: and C:, not just C:.

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#17

Post by Bee_Dee_3_Dee » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:30 pm

foxwood wrote:I'd be more inclined to just make a daily copy of the mspr.hds file, if I thought needed it. Hard Links should work, but if anything every went wrong with your E: drive, you could be doubly screwed - you've now got two points of potential failure, E: and C:, not just C:.
yep. that was my 1st idea too.

because with an HTPC, it so little changes that a full image backup only needs to be made maybe once every 60 to 90 days.

Have u heard of the free File Synchronize called "Allway Sync". http://www.allwaysync.com/

A few years ago I tested over 20 different apps for file syncing and Allway Sync was the only one that never ever ever failed.

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#18

Post by foxwood » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:26 pm

It's not something I've paid any attention to - I tend to be ad-hoc about that sort of thing.

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#19

Post by richard1980 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:06 am

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.

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#20

Post by Crash2009 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:40 am

Well, haven't you guys been working on some great stuff! I have nothing to add, just wanted to mark the post.

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