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Thomson HD Box - Walkthrough on how to change the Hard Drive

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This tutorial will show you how to upgrade the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) in your Sky / Thomson HD STB (set top box)

All I have used is a normal Philips screw driver for this, but you should try and make it a thin one.

One thing that I did, was to let the box cool down for about 10 mins before I did any work. I also ensured that I had grounded myself, before opening the box and the metal case.

The Hard Drive used is WD 1TB My Book. The reason I am using this, is because I got a few of them cheap, but you can use whatever disk that you have. For me, this was a good option as the WD Disk makes a good usb caddy for the transfer of your old Hard Drive and the Sky image and then copying your files over, using copy+.

1) You will only need to remove the one screw from the back.



2) You will need to remove the 6 screws on the bottom and prise up the 3 clips.



3) You will notice that the top PCB is screwed down and is soldered to the box, just under the screws and bend the ribbon clear.



4) Undo the 3 screws and then you will be able to lift the top lid off.



5) Now this is the area on which being slow and careful is an absolute must. You will see that the hard drive caddy is screwed to main PCB.



6) Undo the 4 screws and gently lift the caddy up slightly, so you can see the fan wire, it is just plugged into the main PCB; gently pull the fan cable away from the board. You will then find it easier to remove the sata power cable and hard drive cable. (Please take care and lift the caddy upwards and away from the PCB)



7) Now remove the green acoustic pad from the hard drive, you will note that the pad has been stuck to the hard drive and as you remove it, it will take the warranty sticker with it. As my Sky box is out of warranty I was not concerned with this.





8) Turn the caddy over and undo the 4 screws holding the hard drive in place. There is also a warranty sticker over one of the screws and you can try and remove if you want but I did not.



9) This is the inside view of the WD 1TB My Book.



10) This is the image of the PCB removed from the drive it contains all the sata connections, power and USB connections; it just slides away from the drive.



11) Swap the hard drives over to reverse the whole process.



12) Don't for get to reattach the fan cable because I forgot and had to take the case off again to do it and we all know how much a pain it is getting the case on.



13) Place the acoustic pad on the new hard drive.



14) Replace the lid and case and away you go.

Any questions feel free to ask in our forum thread here. Thanks to ezdub for taking the time to make this tutorial.

Comments (26 posted):

Brian69 on 26 December, 2008 16:49:07
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When refitting the small pcb back to the top of the box, do check that the pcb has insulation on the print side. There are supports on the top and these can cause problems if they wear through the print
gavbiggs on 28 December, 2008 16:09:55
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Great info thanks, i've been waiting for this moment ever since I got the HD box in 2006!!!

Is the hard drive purely for recordings i.e. where is the sky EPG firmware stored etc... I also heard that orignally the Sky HD box has a 300GB hard drive 160GB of which is for the user so what is the other 140GB used for and whatever it is used for does it need transferring to the new HDD you install??

Basically is it really as simple as the guide you've written or is there hidden hardwar and software/firmware changes that need to be made??

Thank you very much for posting this info though.

Regards
gavbiggs
NewsreadeR on 31 December, 2008 14:01:19
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You would need to use Copy+ - there is plenty of information on the forums.
Lolly on 12 January, 2009 16:44:32
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Does the hard disk have to be SATA?
NewsreadeR on 13 January, 2009 15:10:35
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On the HD boxes - Yes.
Undecided Adrian on 14 March, 2009 19:26:11
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This is a fantasic walkthrough, the bit about the drive fan could catch people out if they weren't expecting it.
Fi on 19 May, 2009 18:07:02
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Can I use a S-ATA II Hard Disk?

Thanks
NewsreadeR on 20 May, 2009 10:23:45
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Should be fine.
dazzza31 on 07 July, 2009 15:00:47
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can anybody give me the model number of the 1TB WD HDD and what size hard drive ie 2.5" ??? without me having to open up my sky box until new drive arrives
Thanks
NewsreadeR on 07 July, 2009 15:11:05
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A Thomson HD box uses a SATA 3.5" HDD
mustardy on 05 August, 2009 23:17:56
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Good Thread Thanks.
Is there a size limit (500Gb or 1 Tb etc)to the exchange HD, before you need to change any other component, such as PSU or fan etc?
Cheers
mustardy on 06 August, 2009 10:11:29
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When chosing a new drive is there a recommended spec?
5400 or 7200 rpm?
8, 16 0r 32 Mb cache?
Thanks again.
paolo on 15 August, 2009 12:53:44
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I've just upgaded my drive using a Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA11 32MB Cache Dual Processor. Its much quiter than the old drive!
Old_nick on 25 August, 2009 06:32:08
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1TB drives that work in the Thomson box:

Samsung HD103UJ (7200 rpm)
Samsung HD103SI (5400 rpm) - runs quieter and cooler than the 103UJ.
Daniel Swain on 16 November, 2009 20:32:54
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I just bought a Seagate Pipeline 1TB and its the business.

Seagate Pipeline HD hard drives deliver the reliability, capacity and performance needed by the next generation of high-definition DVRs and media centers.

Seagate Pipeline HD drives deliver unprecedented levels of acoustic, power and vibration performance for high-definition DVRs. With the ability to support up to 12 simultaneous streams and operate at drive case temperatures of up to 75°C, they provide reliable storage that enables consumers to take full advantage of premium services like video on demand. Seagate Pipeline HD drives are the gold standard for high-definition performance and capacity.

Misco £69 + 4p&p if you want one
James on 30 November, 2009 10:17:15
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All good info, but what about formatting the new drive?
Sky Nut on 15 December, 2009 10:49:18
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Fitted a Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 32MB SATA 2 WD10EADS, ordered and received from EBay for about £65. it took 15 minutes to follow your instructions and get the HD box up and running. The world is a better place with helpers like you around, thank you Karl
Martin on 19 December, 2009 11:36:21
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My technical skills are extremely limited - Change a plug and that's about it - But I was able to swop out my old hard drive for a quiter 500GB drive. Many thanks for the effort you have put in to creating this excellent tutorial!
Martin on 19 December, 2009 12:27:52
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My electrical skills are limited to changing a plug but despite this and thanks to this excellent tutoria,l I was able to swop out my old hard drive for a new and quieter 500GB drive.

Many thanks for the effort you have put in to making this available to all.
keith on 19 December, 2009 15:31:37
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What about using the Seagate OEM 1.5TB ?Will that work ok too ?
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seagate-Barracuda-7200-11-Internal-7200RPM/dp/B001IKKCLI/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1261239950&sr=8-5
District69 on 31 January, 2010 07:30:29
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Did this on my Thomson box. Very easy when you follow the tutorial. The only problem I had was with the new drive. When I connected it to my PC it couldn't 'see' it. Had to click 'start', right click on 'computer' then initialize the new drive. It took a while to play with the settings here but once I got them right it was easy. Thanks for the tutorial and thanks to the makers of Copy+.
bob on 19 March, 2010 16:03:36
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Do you have to use Copy+ and copy an image of the old drive onto the new or can you just put a new formatted HDD in (if you don't want to keep any saved programs etc) basically, i'm asking if there is some sort of 'running software' on the drive that sky needs in order to work (and needs to be transferred over). Thanks for the help (excellent guide)
Shamus Fitzsimons on 31 March, 2010 16:24:58
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Hi there,

My local computer guy has a Hitachi HDS721010 1 tb hard drive in stock with 7200rpm/SATA.
Will this work in a thomson hd box?
Kenedin on 02 April, 2010 12:16:07
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Just upgraded my Thomson with a WD5000AVDS. Very easy, thanks to the guide. No need for Copy+, so just did a Full System Reset as soon as the hard drive was in, and that was that. No problems with the bigger drive. Nice and fast navigating around the menu's Also, upgraded the PSU at the same time with a Satcure Mk2 caps kit. Well worth the effort. Here's hoping for a good few years with this box.
Tim on 13 April, 2010 17:27:39
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Many thanks for this lifesaver! I used it to successfully resuscitate a dead Sky HD box by replacing the defective original disk.
Jof on 13 August, 2010 06:53:40
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Did a bit of research on Net because thompson HD box would not come out of standby - Common Problem with the PSU failing - EBAY Shop for a replacement £16inc postage and arrived before HD, followed the above to get top off and then its 5 screws to replace (one is hidden under fan front left of box).

Whilst having top off upgraded the hard drive to a WD 1TB ECO Green drive which was £47 - Works very well and runs quieter/cooler than original. From a full disk now have 82% available.

In answer to above no need to initialise the drive as Windows does not need to see the disk, copy+ will see it.

Do use the disk to disk copy as a near full disk to File was going to take 3 days to write but the disk to disk took 2 hours to copy.

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