I want to arm you with key words for your research.
Look up XFSTOOLS on google and see if you or your friend can try that.
The issue is well known and is not considered a problem as the content is not ours to keep. I am not going to enter any debate about this but want you to know about the issue and how the makers think about the content.
Hi, I have a Panasonic Vierra Th-P42GT20Z TV and I have been using an external 2TB hard drive for over a year to record TV content. Its been fine but recently, after the hard drive almost filled up, the TV fails to connect to the HD. There were only a few GBs left so we deleted content in the normal manner to make more room. The next day I went to record something and the TV said "USB HDD: error". Now even though the HDD is registered and recognised, it won't connect. In HDD setup it has an extra entry line for the same HDD and it says it can connect but to register this it needs re-formatting, as below:
CONNECT PRODUCT NAME
No Ext HDD 1021 USB HDD 1
Yes Ext HDD 1021
So I could try to format the 2nd entry for the HDD but would lose all the content already saved and I don;t want to do this. No matter what I try the existing registered HDD will not connect, but the 2nd registered existence of that same HDD (no idea where this 2nd record came from unless from my disconnecting and reconnecting the physical drive) shows that it is connected but not formatted. I don't have the option for deleting the 2nd record so I can't check if there it is a conflict that is causing this problem.... Any one come across this before? Please help!