Is the forced 're-hit' a required part of the upgrade? I do not have easy access to do that. Are 'hits' sent to all receivers on a regular basis (like once a day)?
When you do a factory reset you will have to have a re-hit. It is not done on a regular basis by SD. When the re-hit is done through their website it is sent to all receivers on your account. You can always call SD and thell them you are missing some channels and they will send the re-hit for you.
7ninty: can you take pictures of each step and put them up on flickr or similar photo sharing site?
There is no need for a step by step picture explaination, although I know it is nice to see pictures. I may post a few later, but it is really simple, just take the three screws on the back side out to take the cover off. Remove the single connector to the hard drive. Next, take out the screws to the bracket holding the hard drive. Take out the screws to the original hard drive. Then just do the reverse for the new hard drive and then do as I said above with a factory reset and send a re-hit or two to get your programming back.