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    Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review

    This is a discussion on Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review within the Sky+ HD Supertelly forums, part of the Other Sky help and support category; Swapped the hard drive in my Sky+ HD Amstrad DRX890 to a Western Digital WD20EVDS 2TB drive 2 weeks ago. ...

    1. #1
      Jerome32's Avatar
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      Post Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review

      Swapped the hard drive in my Sky+ HD Amstrad DRX890 to a Western Digital WD20EVDS 2TB drive 2 weeks ago. This is the 2TB version of the WD15EVDS 1.5TB drive used in the Amstrad DRX895.
      As previously reported by others:
      1) the factory installed drive was a Seagate Pipeline 500GB.
      2) there are no warranty related tamper-proof seals/stickers anywhere in the box.
      It was easy enough to do thanks to deanoDRX980's excellent guide also hosted here

      I used Copy+ 1.2.0.7 Beta to transfer my existing recordings (from an Amstrad DRX180 PVR2 with 500GB) over to the new drive with no hitches. Both boxes are Big Endian, so no conversion required. I had 415GB of recordings, now showing up as 77% free on the planner which is what one would expect with 1.75TB Personal recording space and 250GB taken up by "Anytime".

      I did not try initialising the 2TB drive with the box alone since it would have meant an extra sequence of plugging and unplugging the box to test this.

      I can't really compare to how the DRX890 would normally perform with the factory Pipeline 500GB drive as I never used the box prior to the upgrade. As far as the DRX890 / WD20EVDS combination goes:
      1) TV Guide - super fast access and scrolling. This also applies to all other areas of the EPG except "Anytime" and "Planner" (qv. points below)
      2) Anytime - up to 2sec lag before fast scrolling is possible
      3) Planner - up to 7sec lag before fast scrolling is possible. I suspect that this is likely to get worse as the planner continues to fill up. How much worse, who knows; but at present, I find this more than acceptable. YMMV.
      4) Play/Pause/RW/FF - all function smoothly and respond immediately to remote control keypress
      5) Hard drive access clicks are relatively quiet and only audible when TV volume is muted. YMMV.
      All of the above were tested with 2 recordings going on in the background.
      6) Cooling fan - remains off whilst box is in standby. Spins up 1min after box is turned on and remains running. Stops running about 30secs to 1 min after standby. Spins up in standby when "Anytime" is downloading to the hard drive.
      It's a reasonably quiet fan and is not audible when audio volume is at normal listening levels. Might be hard to ignore if one had this in a bedroom! I have no idea whether the native Pipeline drive would have similar fan behaviour. I'd be interested to find out, but I'm unlikely to be able to swap the drives once again to test it given how much SWMBO uses the box!!

      In summary - an excellent upgrade in my book (made possible by the generosity of the creator of Copy+, which remains freeware for personal users!)

      Update 18th Sept 2010:
      Just to update my original post with respect to my my DRX890/WD20EVDS combination since the OS/EPG Update of Sept 2010:
      Operating System Version SYSF26.28.05
      EPG Software Version 38.2.1.6_1

      1) Full System Reset will natively format the drive to 1TB only. To get the full 2TB, one needs to initialise the drive with Copy+ (but there are other issues - see below)
      2) Cooling fan - no longer spins up when the box is on. Posts on other forums indicate that when the native Seagate Pipeline 500GB drive is in place, the fan rarely spins up. This suggests that the updated OS now recognises the WD20EVDS drive and therefore does not cause the fan to spin all the time when the box is on.
      3) Copy+ 1.2.0.7 Beta - no longer appears to recognise drives that have been run in the DRX890 with this OS/EPG combination. However, a 2TB drive can still be initialised by Copy+ 1.2.0.7 Beta to the full 2TB capacity prior to installation into the DRX890.
      Last edited by Jerome32; 18-09-10 at 03:26 PM.

    2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jerome32 For This Useful Post:

      nochos (27-01-11),Scubbie (28-11-10)


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    4. #2
      5KY's Avatar
      5KY
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      Re: Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review

      Hi Jerome

      Can you give the forum an update on how things are with the drive now?

      Thanks


      5KY

    5. #3
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      Re: Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review

      Thanks for the extra info on this subject Jerome32

      I have been reading forums for days and mulling over whether to upgrade my DRX780UK from a 320gb to a safe-ish 1tb?, a not so safe 1.5tb? or I am not so sure?! 2tb???. Obviously it who be rude to write off the 2tb option and that is what I want really!!

      Not sure if a DRX780UK will take a 2tb drive though??

      I looked at a brochure from Western Digital and found that the hard drive fitted to my unit appears to be a WD3200AVVS. I am thinking that it is best to stick to the same product line from WD and pick a bigger drive from this brochure. These drives are all designed specifically for video recording and playback in PVR's and HDD recorders.

      http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/librar...879-701250.pdf

      The 3 models I have in my sights are the 1tb WD10EVVS, the 1.5tb WD15EVDS or the 2tb WD20EVDS.

      It appears that Copy+ will cope with formatting a 2tb to Sky's file system and its down to my box and whether it will cope with 2tb?? Also various IT work friends have suggested ghosting the drives instead of Copy+?

      I also have access to a DRX890 if my upgrade does not work with my DRX780 but this is last resort as this my Dad's which is still in Warrantee.

      Gonna take my HD box apart tonight and check if the drive is what I think it is!

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      Re: Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review

      Just took my DRX780UK apart and the hard drive is a WD3200AVJS

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      Re: Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review

      Hi Everyone

      I am new here so please go easy on me.

      I had a brand new drx890 installed on friday with a 250gb hdd

      Model Number SYSF26.09
      Version Number: 4F3107
      Operating System Version: SYSF26.09
      EPG Software Version: 37.1.19.6

      What I would like to know is can I take out the 250gb hdd and replace it with a 2tb?

      Also if I take it out will the box format the new drive at 2tb or do I need to use copy+?

      The model drive I am looking at is a western digital WD20EVDS.

      Any help would be great

      Mark...

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      Re: Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review

      Since this review was written, Sky have introduced their Darwin operating system.

      The instructions for fitting your 2TB drive are still valid, but Copy+ will not work.

      I've answered the remainder of your question in the thread that you started here.

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

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      Re: Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review

      I have Just upgraded my SkyBox HD+ to the 2TB Seagate Pipeline, I am using the PVR 4 so the updated darwin made it impossible to copy anything across, but the space is unbelievable. Recorded 20+ HD movies and only used about 7% space.

    10. #8
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      Re: Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review

      But I'm guessing (based on the comments to my 2TB post at Amstrad HD Box - Walkthrough on how to change the Hard Drive) that you're not actually getting the 2TB if you did a system reset. Apparently you have to put a pre-darwin image onto the drive and then do something else to that to get the box to recognise it as the full 2TB.

      But the advice on that seems to be much less clear.

      It would be really handy if there were a page that were kept up to date rather than having to scour through forums, some of which are updated at the top but then changes come in on page 8/9, of what to do!

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      Re: Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review

      It can be difficult to keep all the guides up to date.

      When they were initially written Darwin wasn't present and has mucked up things for people.

      I would be really lovely if someone could update Copy+ but there has been no news for some time now.

      If it helps, mrmt32 has written a program to extract recorded material from a Darwin formatted drive. Unfortunately this only means that you can watch unencrypted material (i.e. BBC, ITV, Ch4, Ch5) on your own computer.

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

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      Re: Amstrad DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB Upgrade - Mini Review

      Quote Originally Posted by jpmoriarty View Post
      But I'm guessing (based on the comments to my 2TB post at Amstrad HD Box - Walkthrough on how to change the Hard Drive) that you're not actually getting the 2TB if you did a system reset. Apparently you have to put a pre-darwin image onto the drive and then do something else to that to get the box to recognise it as the full 2TB.

      But the advice on that seems to be much less clear.

      It would be really handy if there were a page that were kept up to date rather than having to scour through forums, some of which are updated at the top but then changes come in on page 8/9, of what to do!
      I've just pulled a 500GB Seagate pipeline out of a DRX890-R and it's a fairly straightfoward format, a single Primary partition formatted as FAT32. All the files are readable on on my PC. I don't have a replacement drive to try it out on but creating a similar layout on a new drive would be worth a try I imagine

     

     
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