Amstrad HD Box: Step by Step Drive Replacement

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Amstrad HD Box: Step by Step Drive Replacement

Postby dmaidmen » Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:33 am

I recently upgraded my Amstrad DRX780 HD Sky HD box and took some photos along the way. The upgrade is very similar to upgrading a Thomson HD box but its made a little easier by the better construction and lack of a hard drive caddy.

These are the details of the box at time of upgrade:
Amstrad: DRX780
Model: 780-056
Version: 4F3001
OS: 1.32A0I
EPG: 5.10.k HD

What you need
Phillips screwdrivers. No funky security bits required.
New Hard Drive
A knife

Step 1 - The Box

Disconnect the Sky HD box from the dish, TV, etc and place on a flat surface.
Image

Remove the viewing card.
Image

Step 2 - Take the lid off
Losen the six screws marked in Red. You can take them out if you wish.
Image

Remove the single screw at the back of the box.
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Now turn the box over and use a knife or 3 to gently lift up the plastic tabs at the front.
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This should allow you now to slide back the cover to clear the anchor points for the clips. You can now turn the box over and lift the cover off.
Image

Step 3 - The chassis

You will now be able to see the metal chassis of the HD box.
Image

The first thing we need to do is remove the control board from the top. This panel allows you to operate certain functions of the HD box without using the remote. As its screwed onto the chassis lid, it needs to come off. Remove the four Phillips screws and gently lift the control board clear of the chassis lid. I left mine connected to the ribbon cable but you could unclip it.
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You should now be able to lift the front of the chassis lid and let it hinge on the back. The hinge at the back isn't fixed so just lift the chassis lid away from the chassis and put it to one side.
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Step 4 - Remove the old drive

You will now have access to the motherboard, psu and more importantly the hard drive.
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Next we need to remove the hard drive from its mount. Mine was fixed with the same sized Phillips screws as the control board. However user jjirvine reports that his used torx screws so bear this in mind. There are screws on both sides on the hard disk. The internal side
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And the external side. Remove all of them to proceed.
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Finally you need to disconnect the hard drives power and sata cables.
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Here is the hole left after the hard disk is removed.
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As you can see, my box had the WD3200AVJS installed.
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Step 5 - Copy+ source drive

This is where you should use Copy+ to take an image of the old drive if you want to migrate its contents. I'm not going to go into any detail as its covered in great detail elsewhere.


Step 6 - Copy+ new drive
This is where you should use Copy+ to restore your image of the old drive onto the new one. Again I'm not going to go into any detail as its covered in great detail elsewhere.


Step 7 - Install the new drive
There's a rubbery spacer on corner of the hard disk that's in the middle of the case
Image

and I transferred this across to the new disk.
Image

I chose the WD10EVCS as its a 1TB drive specially designed for PVR's. It also has an extremely similar spec to the WD3200AVJS.
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Now its time to follow the steps backwards to install the disk and close up the HD box.
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Step 8 - Replace the chassis lid and control board

When you replace the chassis lid, make sure the lid goes underneath the tabs on the back part of the chassis.Image

I put some insulation tape on the back of the control board as I was testing the box with the lid off and didn't want it to short out. This is an optional step and you should only test the box in this manner if you feel confident to do so.
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Replace the control board.
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Step 9 - Replace the lid

On to the lid. I find the easiest way is to have the chassis upright facing you. Then hold the lid again in its normal position facing you. Now drop the lid down onto the chassis about 3/4 down the length of the chassis (you may have to pull the sides of the lid out a little to ease it over).
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You can then slide it back
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to this position
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and ease the plastic clips back into place.
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Replace the six screws underneath the box.
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Then the one at the back
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Finally replace the viewing card.
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Job done. :D
Last edited by dmaidmen on Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:24 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Postby pcbbc » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:10 pm

Thanks for the guide and taking the time to document your upgrade!
Only thing I'd ask is if you could please reduce the size of your images slightly so they fit more easily on a browser screen?
As it is the instruction steps are getting lost between the massive pictures :oops:

If you are in need of something to do this with, I find Microsoft's Image Resize Power Toy very useful.

Look forward to reading the rest of the guide (and thanks for hosting your own pictures).
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Thank you for your time & trouble...

Postby colin-smith » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:40 am

...I look forward to the conclusion of your guide.

Thanks again,

Colin
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Postby jjirvine » Sun Jul 12, 2009 3:04 pm

One comment I would make re your description of only needing a Philips screwdriver - "no funky security bits required", is that I upgraded the same version of Amstrad HD box some weeks ago, and I definitely DID need a Torx security screwdriver, to remove the screws on the inside of the box, to gain access to the hard drive etc. I can't be sure if this is the case for every Amstrad box, as you obviously didn't need one, but it seems strange your box had no security screws, whereas mine did.
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Postby dmaidmen » Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:52 pm

pcbbc wrote:Thanks for the guide and taking the time to document your upgrade!
Only thing I'd ask is if you could please reduce the size of your images slightly so they fit more easily on a browser screen?
As it is the instruction steps are getting lost between the massive pictures :oops:

I was expecting some sort of sizing in the forum software.

pcbbc wrote:If you are in need of something to do this with, I find Microsoft's Image Resize Power Toy very useful.

This was a great help. I run Vista on my main machine but used an XP host to quickly resize all the pics to the smallest option. Thanks for the info.

pcbbc wrote:Look forward to reading the rest of the guide (and thanks for hosting your own pictures).
Stuart.

No problem. Hopefully it wont cause my web space to go over its usage quota. :lol: Apologies for the long delay in completing the guide, got distracted by work/cricket etc..

jjirvine wrote:One comment I would make re your description of only needing a Philips screwdriver - "no funky security bits required", is that I upgraded the same version of Amstrad HD box some weeks ago, and I definitely DID need a Torx security screwdriver, to remove the screws on the inside of the box, to gain access to the hard drive etc. I can't be sure if this is the case for every Amstrad box, as you obviously didn't need one, but it seems strange your box had no security screws, whereas mine did.

Interesting. I assume you mean the screws that hold the disk in the internal caddy? I added a note on that step but let me know if I have misunderstood.
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Postby pcbbc » Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:06 pm

dmaidmen wrote:I was expecting some sort of sizing in the forum software.
Would be nice, wouldn't it? But unfortunately not.
So thanks for resizing manually!

pcbbc wrote:This was a great help. I run Vista on my main machine but used an XP host to quickly resize all the pics to the smallest option. Thanks for the info.
Oh - does it not work on Vista?
That's a bit limiting then.. :?

pcbbc wrote:No problem. Hopefully it wont cause my web space to go over its usage quota. :lol:
I doubt it - this isn't exactly the most visted forum on the planet.
But if you get problems do let me know, and I can fairly easily move the hosting onto the skycopyplus site.

Apologies for the long delay in completing the guide, got distracted by work/cricket etc..
Not a problem - Just thank you again for taking the time to contribute. :)
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Re: Amstrad HD Box: Step by Step Drive Replacement

Postby Paul406 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:55 am

Thanks very much for the guide. I have just used it to install a new WD10EVDS 1TB disk and the guide made it very easy.

I have a fairly new Amstrad box - 4F3006. No torx screwdriver was required. There are some torx screws on the top of the hard disk but they are part of the hard disk and should not be removed.
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Re: Amstrad HD Box: Step by Step Drive Replacement

Postby pcbbc » Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:15 am

Paul406 wrote:There are some torx screws on the top of the hard disk but they are part of the hard disk and should not be removed.
Yep - do NOT remove them :shock:
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Re: Amstrad HD Box: Step by Step Drive Replacement

Postby hotgossip » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:13 am

I new to site, can you tell me why I am not seeing your pictures.. or are they only available if I print the page. Sorry if this is a stupid Q, but not too sure what I'm doing. Landed on this site by fluke and found it really interesting.
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Re: Amstrad HD Box: Step by Step Drive Replacement

Postby pcbbc » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:34 am

hotgossip wrote:I new to site, can you tell me why I am not seeing your pictures.. or are they only available if I print the page. Sorry if this is a stupid Q, but not too sure what I'm doing. Landed on this site by fluke and found it really interesting.
Unfortunately the images were hosted on the OPs own website, and the links are now dead.
Sorry.
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Re: Amstrad HD Box: Step by Step Drive Replacement

Postby dmaidmen » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:07 am

Hi, I can probably restore the pictures if you like but this guide is probably quite out of date unless you have this exact model of HD box.
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Re: Amstrad HD Box: Step by Step Drive Replacement

Postby dmaidmen » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:27 pm

Pic's re-linked. Sorry they are a bit big, I re-sized them last time but can't find those files at the moment. Hope they are what you are looking for.
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