Replacing and upgrading the DVR530 Hard Drive (will Void your warranty!) - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
ARR
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,190
Replacing and upgrading the DVR530 Hard Drive (will Void your warranty!)

Quote:
About the Author and this thread - ARR is a former Shaw employee who worked for several years assisting the Star Choice team that developed and tested the Star Choice DVR530. He previously posted on the Digital Forum as digitaldude.

This is a revisit of a topic discussed in previous posts and hopes to shed some clarity for those interested.

DISCLAIMER: If your unit is under WARRANTY, then this procedure is NOT recommended.

A little history:

The very initial hard drive in DSR530's were Maxtor, but never went into production with that model as it proved unreliable and not up to the task.

The CE version was chosen for it reliability and performance.
Read the specs here: http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/data...disc/ds_ce.pdf

A little known fact is that ~ 30K 'special' dsr530's were shipped with the Seagate 250GB hard drives for in house use at a major N.A. auto manufacture that operates their own DCII transponder and had been using Moto DSR4XX units, but needed a DVR and the 530 was the ONLY DCII DVR around.

While its easy to criticize Moto/*C for selecting the 160GB, initial plans which I took over spec'ing originally had the 80GB and the 120GB was only a consideration as they were being used by the cable HD PVR's and only recently in the DCT6416 went to 160GB. I examined the cost and made a case for our current 160GB, so be thankful we got that.


continued....

Last edited by hugh; 2008-02-12 at 10:03 AM.
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post #2 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Part 2

Before we get carried away, 2 things;
1. The Seagate 250Gb is KNOWN to work and work well.
2. Other sizes 'may' work, but early tests in October 2006 with the 400GB showed possibilities, but mixed results.
Now I admit, I've not tried it since, but code back then was probably BC or something close and was now where near as stable as the code we enjoy today.

(Click on Thumbnails for larger picture)

Here is Diags R showing 356GB:
{sorry image no longer available}

And an almost nostalgic look back on the infamous blue guide showing 283SD / 70 HD hours possible.
{sorry image no longer available}

So while it clearly went in, formatted and was recognized, material recorded, but playback was unpredictable.
Of course, YMMV* (Your Mileage May Vary)

continued...

Last edited by hugh; 2008-02-12 at 09:44 AM.
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post #3 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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Part 3

Before you begin, you may want to obtain the security bit to make life easier removing the case screws.
One possible source is Newelectronx.
Here is a closeup:
{sorry image no longer available}


Remove the top cover:
{sorry image no longer available}

To reveal all the goodies:
{sorry image no longer available}


continued...

Last edited by hugh; 2008-02-12 at 09:45 AM.
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post #4 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
ARR
 
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Part 4

Once inside you'll notice the Seagate 160Gb hard drive mounted with heatsink on each side.

{sorry image no longer available}


This was a VOOM specification that later paid off well as we'll see.
To extricate the drive;
1. Detach the USB cable from the main board.
2. Detach the power cable for the rear adapter board.
3. Remove 4 screws holding the drive/heatsink assy. from the chassis.
4. Remove 4 screws holding the heatsinks and pry loose. They are attached with a thermal tape.
5. Carefully remove the USB adapter board.

{sorry image no longer available}


This little board is why you MUST use Seagate drives.
Other manufactures will not have the same 40 pin connector to 4 pin power plug spacing.
There was a different board for the Maxtor drive in development with different spacing.

continued...

Last edited by hugh; 2008-02-12 at 09:45 AM.
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post #5 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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Part 5

Now that the drive is removed, you'll see the cooling fan that caused all the fuss with noisy machines in the beginning.

{sorry image no longer available}

This is a high quality fan, but the noise was caused by the very close proximity of the fan to the bottom of the drive and while spinning, the back pressure cause the fan blades to deflect.

{sorry image no longer available}


Later software turned it off unless absolutely (69 C) needed and this is were the extra design of the heat sinks paid off handsomely.

continued...

Last edited by hugh; 2008-02-12 at 09:45 AM.
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post #6 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Part 6

When replacing the drives,

{sorry image no longer available}

Take particular note of the jumpers and ensure they match the original.

{sorry image no longer available}


To install the drive, reverse the steps in part 4.


continued...

Last edited by hugh; 2008-02-12 at 09:46 AM.
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post #7 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Part 7

Now the drive needs to have its 'special' format.
For the curious, it's VxWorks.

Fortunately there is a quick and simple method to do it.
Goto Options 6-4-9-8-8-6 and do a FACTORY RESET and choose the ERASE hard drive option.
This formats the drive, but has the unfortunate effect of also de-authorizing your box.
A quick call to Starchoice to obtain an authorization re-hit should do the trick nicely and take only a moment.
They don't want people resetting the boxes, so tell them you've been renovating and it's been disconnected for over a month and doesn't work or some suitable story.

Once that is done, check you work by going into Option 6-4-9-7-7-1 and cursor right until Diags R comes up.

{sorry image no longer available}


{sorry image no longer available}

You should now see a value larger than the 134GB that the original 160GB shows if you upgraded as opposed to replaced.
The 250GB yields 217, while the 400GB gave us 356.

continued...

Last edited by hugh; 2008-02-12 at 09:46 AM.
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post #8 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
ARR
 
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Part 8

The DVR list will also now have improved storage values:
{sorry image no longer available}




It should now be possible to match and exceed the storage of even the newest and next release of the Bell HD PVR's as they currently tout a mere 50 or so hours in spite of the massive disks.

If followed carefully, the procedure will permit an out of warranty repair or upgrade with minimal hassle.

You may want to retain the original 160GB should you sell or need to send it back for some reason.
IF you prefer to recycle the drive, check you jumpers for Master/Slave/Cable select as needed for your PC system and then use the Seagate utility to do a ZERO fill of the drive and then proceed to partition and format for your O/S.

continued...

Last edited by hugh; 2008-02-12 at 09:47 AM.
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post #9 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
ARR
 
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Part 9

I personally know of at least 2 members that are successfully running the 250GB configuration.

As much code has passed since my October 2006 experiments with the 400GB and the very low cost of storage these days, I encourage those pioneering souls to try their hand using the 320GB, 400GB, 500GB and 750GB and report back their findings.

Always TEST, TEST & TEST to make sure everything is running as expected if your recordings are important.
We are not aware of any special bios or size limitations and fully expect most drives to work, but just because it says so on the Diags R or DVR list, make sure you can record and playback before going to far and try and verify that you can actually store 40 to 70 hours of HD.

For the more adventuresome, you may want to try using an EXTERNAL USB enclose and plug it into the mainboard where the IDE/USB adapter cable went.
Double check the colour coding and signal wiring as I thought it might have been slightly non-standard.

This could potentially open the door for many volume archiving if the externals work.
Early reports are IMPROVED performance with the 250GB, presumable do to the 7200 RPM and larger cache sizes over the 5400 RPM OEM drives.
Keep in mind the the 7200's WILL run a bit hotter than the 5400 and that's why they were chosen for 24/7 PVR service.
I use a 120MM PC case fan that has connectors allowing it to sit inline with the drives power connector and it keeps the power supply and drive area very cool and is easily detached if needed.

I have no particular reason to explore this myself, as I'm quite satisfied with the current 160GB storage and may try at a later disk following a disk failure, but with 3 other HD PVR's with various large drives, I see no need.

End of tutorial.

Let the experiments and discussion begin.

Last edited by ARR; 2007-11-11 at 04:51 AM.
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post #10 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 07:24 AM
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Just excellent, thanks ARR

I've been wanting to try this with a 320gb seagate drive I've had laying around.

Last edited by WolfDV; 2007-11-11 at 07:49 AM.
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post #11 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 02:39 PM
 
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Excellent posts ARR!! Thanks a lot.
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post #12 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-11, 05:45 PM
 
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That is a good read thanks Arr
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post #13 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-12, 07:40 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Thank again Arr

Since the beginning, I know that someone will be abel to change the hard drive. Like you said Arr, it's simple and will not cost to much money.
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post #14 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-12, 08:22 AM
 
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Location: Muskoka, Ontario
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Very Nice!

Given that most people are still getting replacements out of warranty, that may hold some people back.

Also, will any Seagate IDE ATA100 drive work, or is it a specific model?

Another question - does your 120mm fan suck air out of the unit - can you post a picture to show how/where you mounted the fan.

Thanks again
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post #15 of 232 (permalink) Old 2007-11-12, 02:27 PM
 
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Great stuff, thanks!
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