DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

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DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby Jerome32 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:03 am

Swapped the hard drive in my Sky+ HD Amstrad DRX890 to a Western Digital WD20EVDS 2TB drive 2 weeks ago.
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. 8)
It was easy enough to do thanks to the excellent guides available on these forums! :)

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. :D 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.

Stuart - Many thanks once again for your truly fantastic Copy+ software. Your charity and dedication to continually updating and providing support for it is commendable! I gave you a small donation back in June 2006 - it's time I sent you a bit more beer money! :)
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby pcbbc » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:36 am

thanks for an excellent upgrade report - Glad everything went well with your upgrade and I wish you all the best with your new drive and box.

Jerome32 wrote:Stuart - Many thanks once again for your truly fantastic Copy+ software. Your charity and dedication to continually updating and providing support for it is commendable! I gave you a small donation back in June 2006 - it's time I sent you a bit more beer money! :)

NP - Never one to turn down beer money (although I don't really expect a contribution every time you use it!) ;)
Thanks.
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby jedpause » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:40 am

Hello, I just bought an Amstrad DRX890 off eBay, and also got the WD20EVDS yesterday.

I don't need/want the recordings that may have been on the 500GB disk, I just want the new disk fresh, empty and clean!, Do I just put the disk in and do a hard reset, or must I use Copy+ to format it first? (A saw differing answers in the forum)

If I do, do I have set the Anytime space vs My recording space (I also saw that hard rest auto-sets Anytime to 250GB in the box)

Thanks and regards
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby pcbbc » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:47 am

jedpause wrote:I don't need/want the recordings that may have been on the 500GB disk, I just want the new disk fresh, empty and clean!, Do I just put the disk in and do a hard reset, or must I use Copy+ to format it first? (A saw differing answers in the forum)
If it was the DRX895 it would just be plug and go.
I am afraid I do not know the definitive answer for the DRX890 as to if it will natively recognise the larger disk. Obviously the way to find out is try a Full System Reset and see if you get what looks like full capacity...

If I do, do I have set the Anytime space vs My recording space (I also saw that hard rest auto-sets Anytime to 250GB in the box)
No need to adjust anything for Anytime. The box reserves this space automatically (250GB on the DRX890).
Just leave the Copy+ capacity set to the full size of the disk - 2000GB (which will be what is selected by default).
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby jedpause » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:05 pm

Thanks pcbbc, that was quick!

So based on the feedback, I will try:-
- a hard Reset and see if it shows me full space available (1.750/250 My Recordings/Anytime).
- If not, I will format with Copy+ and put it back in the STB.

Is it advisable to do a software upgrade on the DRX890 before or after the new disk is inserted, or no difference since I guess it writes to a firmware chip, not the Hard Disk?

Thanks in advance! :D
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby pcbbc » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:20 pm

jedpause wrote:Is it advisable to do a software upgrade on the DRX890 before or after the new disk is inserted, or no difference since I guess it writes to a firmware chip, not the Hard Disk?
As you say the firmware is on EEPROM, so it makes little difference.
My thoughts would be to get the stock unit up and running with the supplied disk first so you can check it out. Only once you are happy start fiddling. Otherwise you will have no idea if the unit was faulty in the first place (hopefully NOT, but you never can tell with eBay - occasionally you get a bad'n).
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby jedpause » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:30 pm

pcbbc wrote:
jedpause wrote:Is it advisable to do a software upgrade on the DRX890 before or after the new disk is inserted, or no difference since I guess it writes to a firmware chip, not the Hard Disk?
As you say the firmware is on EEPROM, so it makes little difference.
My thoughts would be to get the stock unit up and running with the supplied disk first so you can check it out. Only once you are happy start fiddling. Otherwise you will have no idea if the unit was faulty in the first place (hopefully NOT, but you never can tell with eBay - occasionally you get a bad'n).


Thanks, good advice, will let Forum know outcome... :D
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby Jerome32 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:40 am

pcbbc wrote:I am afraid I do not know the definitive answer for the DRX890 as to if it will natively recognise the larger disk. Obviously the way to find out is try a Full System Reset and see if you get what looks like full capacity...


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.
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby jedpause » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:49 am

Thanks for the heads up (i.e. that to recognise the 2TB it needs COPY+ to initialize, and FSR won't work...)

My first DRX890 ordered never arrived, so have a new one arriving tomorrow ±. A question since I tried the Copy+ 1.2.0.7 Beta....

- if I am not copying, how does Copy + initialize the disk? Do I use drop down target disk and find disk? And I guess then it pops up the windows initialization dialogue box?

(I know I should go to Disk Management and setup as a Basic Disk, but what do I do in Copy+? Sorry checked help and instructions and wasn't clear for a single disk with no copy. Thanks
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby pcbbc » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:00 pm

jedpause wrote:- if I am not copying, how does Copy + initialize the disk? Do I use drop down target disk and find disk? And I guess then it pops up the windows initialization dialogue box?
This has to be the most asked question about Copy+.

You must copy from an initialised disk. Copy+ requires some preinitialised files from a donor disk in order to make a new one - even if the disk is empty it contains some pre-initialised files that Copy+ can not create from scratch.

If you do not have a donor disk, do a FSR on the disk in the Sky box and then a backup and restore with Copy+ to obtain full capacity.
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby jedpause » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:04 pm

Oops, thanks for that, soon after raising the question I see you had answered it elsewhere on another thread (first rule of forums! Sorry), Regds
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby Jerome32 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:45 pm

pcbbc wrote:
jedpause wrote:- if I am not copying, how does Copy + initialize the disk? Do I use drop down target disk and find disk? And I guess then it pops up the windows initialization dialogue box?
This has to be the most asked question about Copy+.

You must copy from an initialised disk. Copy+ requires some preinitialised files from a donor disk in order to make a new one - even if the disk is empty it contains some pre-initialised files that Copy+ can not create from scratch.

If you do not have a donor disk, do a FSR on the disk in the Sky box and then a backup and restore with Copy+ to obtain full capacity.


Jedpause's question is more perceptive than he realises!
With the current DRX890 system software (Operating System Version SYSF26.28.05/EPG Software Version 38.2.1.6_1), Copy+ 1.2.0.7 Beta does not appear to recognise the hard drive natively initialised with a FSR - at least this is the case with my recent experience!

He will therefore require an existing donor disk image created from a box running previous software. Once initialised with Copy+, the 2TB drive can then be used with full capacity in the DRX890.

Interestingly, once the Copy+ initialised 2TB drive is installed in a DRX890 with the latest software and any recording is made, removing it and scanning it with Copy+ will find that the drive is no longer recognised! Note that this is my own experience only - it might not necessarily be the case for everyone else.

Jedpause: If you need a "vanilla" xtv image to initialise your 2TB drive, please let me know and I will forward it (10MB file zipped to 650KB - easily emailed). I created this image as a backup on my PC prior to the latest box updates and it contains no recordings. This is the image I used to initialise my own 2TB drive after problems with the recent system software updates. I have had no issues with my DRX890 ever since - all works fine including the Anytime service (qv other postings of Anytime crashing boxes post system updates).
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby jedpause » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:15 pm

Dear Jerome32, tks very much for the offer, I will see how I get along when the box arrives, I will update the software with existing HD, then try a backup from it & restore to 2TB drive... I guess the 10MB backup you have avoids that hassle though! Cheers, Jed
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby Jerome32 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:35 pm

Make sure you post back here if you manage to get Copy+ 1.2.0.7 Beta to read a drive initialised natively with a FSR on a DRX890 with the latest software (see above)! I'm still not convinced that my own experience is universal.
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Re: DRX890 and WD20EVDS 2TB - Compatible

Postby THeFofS » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:54 am

On reading these threads on the 2TB eVDS drive and the DRX890 I have decided to take the plunge.

Copy in progress at the moment, est 4 hours to complete(old 500GB was almost full)

I had to add the 1.5GBs jumber to see the drive on my PC, as its a little old to recognise the 3GB SATA speed.

New drive directly on MOBO. Existing via USB2 Caddy

When Its finished, i should remove all the jumpers??
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