Friday, 7 December 2007

MY HARD WAY EXPERIENCE OF SKY+ PACE TDS470N PVR3 HDD UPGRADE


SYSTEM DETAILS
Manufacturer: Pace
Model Number: 4.044
Version Number: 9F2211
Operating System Version: 1.31B03
EPG Software Version: 5.02.f

I used the following method to upgrade my Sky+ HDD:

Existing standard Sky+ HDD Upgraded new Sky+ HDD
PATA / IDE HDD: Seagate ST3160212ACE 160GB Seagate ST3750640A 750GB 7200RPM
Laptop: Sony Vaio Pcg-fr415b
Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition SP2
Software: Copy+ - The Sky & XTV Disk Copier version 1.1.0.9
Connection: USB to IDE USB to IDE / SATA
Method:
Transferring / copying directly from old 160GB to new 750GB
Time Taken:
est. 17 hours from 34% free out of 160GB, not including Sky Anytime TV data
Thurs 6th Dec 2007 00:30 to Friday 7th Dec 2007 17:00 (16:50)

Pictures of Seagate Hard Drives

  
Left Side: ST3750640A  Right Side: ST3160212ACE

  
Here is my screen shot showing the contents in Sky+ Planner


Noting the Series Links

Firstly, press Services, Select SKY+ Setup, set "Instant Rewind" option to "Off" and select "Save New Settings".
Also, disable Sky Anytime TV feature (I think that's where the other reserved 80GB out of 160GB hard drive is taken from) by setting the "Sky Anytime TV" option to "Off" and select "Save New Settings". 
Otherwise, when using Copy+ software, it will record all the unnecessary programs / movies / news from Sky Anytime TV on top of your stored programmes / movies as well included the Standard Sky+ HDD.

Put Sky+ in standby mode, disconnect all the wires including the power cable. The way I did in this exact order as follows:
  1. Power cable
  2. Telephone cable
  3. RF Output
  4. Sat Input 1
  5. Sat Input 2


Since I'm self taught IT Technician and gained a lot of experience with experimenting electrical goods as well having much more confidence, I didn't allow to wait 15mins for the standard Sky+ HDD to cool down or wear Anti Static Wrist strap, I just take the Sky+ box to my bed as shown above.

I used both Silverline 100pce Screwdriver Bit Set & Silverline Ratchet Bit Handle as shown above, purchased from eBay for me to remove all four screws using T10 Torx-Type Security Bit.


Slide and remove the cover carefully, you'll see the pattern, the way I did it with the screws, and I used a small knife to open the VOID seal carefully without ripping it.



Here a close-up picture of the inside of Sky+ Pace PVR3 box.

Unscrew and remove all four screws in the rubber mounts either side of the hard drive using the same T10, carefully unplug the 4 Pin power cable first, then I gentle pull the hard drive out, making it more easier to unplug the IDE connector from the hard drive and I put the sky+ hard drive on my bed, note the pattern I did with all the screws, making it easier to remember which screws has come from which side of the Sky+ box.

  
Now its time to connect the two hard drives to your PC or laptop with USB 2.0 installed. As for me, I have used Sony Vaio Pcg-fr415b for the transfer process. Here is my screen shot showing Disk Management from Computer Management. Note the Sky+ drive is connected, its says "XTV_STR_DSK" as a label for Sky HDD and its formatted in FAT32, as it can be easily formatted in MS-DOS, Windows 98 / 98SE / ME / 2000 / 2000 Server. 



I'm using Copy+ software, which it can be downloaded from the internet for personal, free use. When you connected the HDDs first, then start up afterwards, it'll reads data from both disc drives.
Here is my screen shot showing my complete list of my favourite programmes which they are stored on standard existing 160GB HDD, I have to delete some of unneeded programmes and disable Sky Anytime TV to reduce the copying process time. I set the Size (GB) dialogue box to 750GB to copy onto my new 750GB HDD which is unpartitioned at the moment.



Then, this warning error message come up as follows:


But I ignore it, by clicking on Ok to continue, then another message come up:


Several hours later, I decided to take a liberty of taking a screen shot to show the status of the copying process, you'll notice different colours appearing on the screen, but its nothing to worry about! Basically, the ones which is coloured in Green indicates that the copying of the recordings are have successfully transferred onto the new hard drive, Blue highlighted indicates that the recording is currently transferring onto the new hard drive and the white highlighted indicates that these recordings are pending, not transferred onto new hard drive yet. And bottom of the screen shows how time left when the copying process have been fully completed!


When the copying process is successfully completed, you'll see a message saying "Drive copy completed" with all the recordings highlighted in green. Close the Copy+ software and shut down your laptop or PC. Remove the connections and carefully put your new HDD inside the Sky+ box, connected up.

Now the new HDD installed inside the Sky+ box


Now to assemble, put all the screws back


All you have to do is now, do everything in reverse order to power up your Sky+ box as follows:
  1. Sat Input 2
  2. Sat Input 1
  3. RF Output
  4. Telephone cable
  5. Power cable




Wait for 2 mins, during that time, no matter of many key presses on the remote control won't make any effect to turn your Sky+ box to turn to green light. After 2 mins is up, press the Sky key on the remote control. Perform "Sky+ Planner Rebuild", in order to do that, press Services, 4, 0, 1, Select. Then press 7 to select "Sky+ Planner Rebuild" option to start the Housekeeping task.

After the cooling process is completed, press the Sky+ button, now to test the new hard drive to see it working, starting off by selecting "TV Guide" and press the Green button to enter into "Sky+ Planner" to check all your copied programmes / movies and Series Links are there, showing with a new bigger free space figure.

As for me, all thanks to Copy+ software, after all the successfully copying process with the whole lot in one go, all my series links, all the bookmarks stored from previous recordings, everything is all there stored in my planner exactly the same as it was from before in my old hard drive except with much more bigger storage space for all my future recordings (programs) to be recorded and saved in extra 94% capacity left!!!!!

All my movies, programmes e.g. WWE all become to 1% each, no matter how long it is, like 134mins will become to 1% instead of 7% or 8% out of my existing 160GB HDD. As for 200GB HDD, WWE comes up as 4% or 5%.

Now its time to re-enable Sky Anytime TV (Services, option 6 - Anytime TV Setup, set "Enable Anytime TV" to "Yes" and select "Save New Settings"), and then set Instant Rewind to the maximum 1 hour (Services, Option 5 - Sky+ Setup, Instant Rewind >> 60 Mins, "Save New Settings"). After that, you can now start to rewind / fast forward, record while watching some of the programmes / movies, to see it still working perfectly.


Notes:

  • Cannot select any part of the recordings, using Copy+ software, it must be copied complete list of recordings all in one go, if you're planning to leave your PC or laptop on all night in your bedroom (like I did), make sure that all the electronic equipment that you're using have plenty of air and very cool temperature to avoid from overheat and preventing from catching on fire, and make sure that both HDDs are separate away from the 2, using 2 books as a support for HDDs. Here's what I did after finishing copying from 750GB HDD to Maxtor 200GB HDD, I have to move the laptop and 2 HDDs for me to maneuver and take this photo as shown below.


  • Must disable Sky Anytime TV first, before removing the HDD out of Sky+ box and use the Copy+ software, otherwise it copies a complete list of Sky Anytime TV data as well, making it even more waiting time to complete the copying process.

     
  • Cannot use Sky Broadband via Ethernet connection to browse the Internet at the same time when using 2 x USB to IDE adaptors connected to the laptop or PC, otherwise, its keeps interrupting the copying process, and making quite a lot of bong sounds, giving you a error message in Copy+ software.

     
  • Best thing is to copy a complete fresh blank formatted (empty) Sky+ HDD onto the new HDD otherwise the copying process will be exactly the same as real-time recording on Sky+ box, e.g. when recording 2 hour wrestling WWE on Sky+ box, then it'll take 2 hours to copy a program from the existing HDD to new HDD.

     
  • It makes no different when using the most powerful laptop with USB 2.0, it still takes longer to copy depending on how many programmes / movies you have stored on your existing HDD, hopefully, not including Sky Anytime TV data as well as the transfer rate from the USB will be EXTREMELY VERY SLOW!!

     
  • Cannot copy or move any Sky+ data, only you can view them on Windows Explorer, even trying to change the properties on particular folder, it won't let you apply the changes, all you can do is cancel the changes. 

     
  • Pressing Left and Right combination until the circle is flashing, don't work when you put the unpartition HDD e.g. 750GB HDD into Sky+ box, its just stays strong green circle, no matter how long you hold down these two buttons. And no matter key presses on the Sky Remote or Sky button have no effect on turn the Sky+ box to green, its just stays Red. You must use the Copy+ software first, then you can put the hard drive, wait for 2mins, then its turns to green.  

     
  • Update on 11/12/07: Sky+ V3 box cannot handle larger HDDs, e.g. 750GB, as its takes longer to read the data from the HDD, e.g. its takes for ever to load up "Sky+ Planner" and the same when put in stand by mode, and switch the Sky+ box back on, it'll take ages to load up, causing all your recordings to Fail, but its ok with 200GB HDD, as its loads instantly exactly the same as the existing 160GB HDD. So I realised that it must be only up to 250GB or lower, otherwise, it cannot handle it, waiting for a long, long time to load up "Sky+ Planner", making it very unreliable.
     
  • I don't see the differences when using normal regular PC HDD and CE (Consumer Electronics) HDD, its does exactly the same to me, I mean no jerky playback, no sound distorted, nothing, its all nicely and runs very smoothly.
     
  • I strongly recommended to use Maxtor HDDs instead of Seagate because they are the best, very reliable and very quiet, even when the Sky+ box is on or recording while its in Standby mode, its the same very quiet operation as if its in Standby mode, unlike the Seagate HDD, its very noisily same as the original Sky+ HDD which is Seagate ST3160212ACE 160GB 7200.
     
  • Update on 29/6/08: According to Suggested Hard Drives for Sky+ and SkyHD Upgrades... web site, Sky+ PVR3 receiver can be fitted with a maximum drive size of 500GB HDD!! Previous, it only handles up to 250GB!! This limitation was removed when my Sky+ box downloaded and updated with new firmware update from Sky as follows:
     
    SYSTEM DETAILS
    Manufacturer: Pace
    Model Number: 6.003
    Version Number: 9F2211
    Operating System Version: 1.31B06
    EPG Software Version: 5.04.d

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