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raymac46

Sunday Tampering

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raymac46

So when my son-in-law got a new HDTV back in 2008 he gave me his old RCA SDTV and a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 DVR with it. My wife uses the 8300 in the basement along with the old TV. She records her soaps in SDTV as a backup to our HD-PVR and enjoys watching them on SDTV (don't ask why.)

Last week the 8300 ceased recording. When I checked it it said "Trouble with Recording Disk - record and playback unavailable." I tried a reboot and reformat of the HDD with no luck. Looks like hard drive failure.

But this thing is 12 years old, isn't sold any more and its technology is archaic. It was working OK as a tuner but my wife was unhappy.

Who the heck has an IDE PATA hard disk these days anyway? Well turns out I did. I checked my junk parts drawer and found a perfectly suitable WD 160 GB from 2010 - it was in an old Dell Optiplex I had long since recycled. Problem solved, right? Well not exactly.

I ran into Ray's first law of repair - no matter how many tools you have collected over the years, you won't have the one you need for the job. This box's cover was secured to its chassis with tamperproof screws - and I did intend to tamper. I had to go to Home Depot to get a special security screwdriver set, but I got into the beast. After that it was no more challenging then swapping out any PATA HDD.

After a reboot the PVR started giving me messages like "HDD+" which was encouraging. After it got through with a data reload, the recording was back - although I did have to reschedule my wife's soaps. That was the most difficult part.

Tampering - such a pleasant way to spend a Sunday.

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securitybreach

Sounds like fun

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raymac46

I needed a tamperpoof Torx screwdriver to get into the case, a regular Torx screwdriver to remove the drive cage, and a Phillips screwdriver to free up the old hard drive, The actual repair took about 5 minutes if you have the right stuff. Remove and replace about 12 screws. Not exactly toolless mounting.

Edited by raymac46

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securitybreach

Luckily I bought this set last year for work iFixit 54 Bit Driver Kit. That model isn't available anymore but a set from them costs about $30

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abarbarian

"I ran into Ray's first law of repair - no matter how many tools you have collected over the years, you won't have the one you need for the job. "

 

Yup that seems to be a standard over here too. :breakfast:

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raymac46

Yes Ray's rule is adapted to mechanics from Mr. Micawber's financial philosophy:

 

Screw=specialized Tool=Specialized screwdriver Result:Happiness

Screw=specialized Tool=Vise-Grip pliers Result:Misery

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Digerati
Who the heck has an IDE PATA hard disk these days anyway?
Surprisingly, they are still readily available. Not sure how much recording time that 160GB will give her (I suspect plenty since it is not HD) but should recording space become a "nagging" (if you catch my drift ;)) issue, or if that one fails, I note Newegg has a pretty large selection of 500GB or larger starting at $67
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raymac46

She's been getting by with 80GB so she'll have double the capacity with this new(er) drive. It already recorded its first soap so I'm happy. According to the log 1 hr. took about 1% of the drive so she should have 100 shows before the drive is full. Given she records 10 shows a week that is 10 weeks worth of soap. Enough for me at least.

If I didn't have a drive around I doubt I would have fixed this PVR since you can get used ones on Kijiji for less than the cost of a new HDD.

The replacement HDD is a WD Blue 7200 RPM model which doesn't have a lot of service time so I hope it'll last a while

Edited by raymac46
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raymac46

I did find it surprising that IDE drives are still being sold new. I guess certain applications like the PVR, an old security camera system or other specialized tech might still need one. Honestly I haven't seen one in a PC made later than 2005. I kept this WD drive around because it was relatively new but unless someone had a really old unit that needed a replacement drive it was useless. Never thought about the PVR going south but I'm glad I kept the hard drive just in case.

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V.T. Eric Layton

I have quite a few working IDE drives out in the shop, but only two of them are being used in a system (ericsshop02-wifi); my shop system, actually. The two systems in the house (ericsbane07 and 06) are running SATAs.

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Digerati

I'd almost be interested in buying one of those "new" IDE drives just to see the manufactured date. That is, I wonder if IDE drives are still being manufactured today, or if these are just new drives still in inventory that were never sold due to SATA taking over? Oh well. I am not that interested. ;)

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raymac46

That is my thinking as well, On Amazon it looks as if most of the IDE drives are sold by Amazon's partners - possibly they are New Old Stock or even reconditioned drives.

I was lucky to have this old drive around - it is quite low mileage and should extend the life of the PVR for as long as I'll want to have SDTV in the house.

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Digerati
or even reconditioned drives
Well, at least with Amazon, Newegg and other retailers selling in the US, if reconditioned, refurbished, open box (or what ever adjective that means it was previously used or sold and returned), they have to state is not "new". I note in that Newegg link in my post above, I set "New" as one of the filter conditions in my search, otherwise there would have been listed "Refurbished" drives too.

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raymac46

It looks like with Newegg Canada at least you can specify "New" but I don't see that option with Amazon Canada.

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goretsky

Hello,

 

Out of curiosity, did you replace the security screws with something more commonly available, like Philips?

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

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raymac46

No now that I have the security screwdriver set it was just re/re and away we go. This thing has security Torx, regular Torx and Phillips screws in it just for the hard drive.

Edited by raymac46

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