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perse
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:09 pm

replacing a broken HDD for topfield tf500pvrc?

Post by perse »

Hello, newb here :)

My friend has a topfield tf500pvrc and it seems like the HDD has busted (at least, that's an uneducated guess). All in all, I've never actually opened a machine like this, but I've had my share of replacing faulty HDD's for many things. The internet seems to be full of information, and since some of it is conflicting information I thought I'd ask here before I start shopping for parts... the machine is void of warranty so why not open the thing and learn something.

1. Is it really as simple as just changing the HDD if that's what's wrong? Most information sources suggest it's pretty much just finding a suitable (preferrably 3,5" with IDE connection) drive and switching it pretty much like you'd do in a PC. Can you really just change it out of the box, I mean ...no preformatting, OS installations or anything? Sounds pretty ...strange to me :)

2. How can I be certain it's the HDD that's busted? I mean, the machine does keep a weird sound. Considering it works normally other than of course the obvious part where it can't write to HDD and erased everything and will not function any better through formatting. I've never worked with any of these things, is it "logical" to assume the HDD is busted or are there other more likely malfunctions that might cause this to happen? I've read that power failures are kind of common with topfields, that's something I can't fix with my understanding of the thing.

PS. Sorry if the English is gibberish at times, I'm trying my best here heh. Sorry if this is something obvious for you guys, but like I said many people say many things, so I thought it'd be best to come ask in a place where people probably know best
alan_m
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Re: replacing a broken HDD for topfield tf500pvrc?

Post by alan_m »

perse wrote:Hello, newb here :)

My friend has a topfield tf500pvrc
What is the model TF5800, TF5810, TF5000 or other?
and it seems like the HDD has busted (at least, that's an uneducated guess).
On a 5800 of around 4 years old a likely fault is the power supply which often stops the HDD from working correctly. A fairly easy DIY repair or a for a reasonable charge a couple of forum members provide a PSU repair service (or will supply a kit of capacitors for the DIY repair.)
PSU information at Wiki - it's worth checking the voltages first - post them here for further advice.
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Topfield_5800/PSU_Repair

A 5810 had hard disk problems but it not unknown for power supplies to fail on early models.
1. Is it really as simple as just changing the HDD if that's what's wrong?
Yes - but not all disk work. There is a list at
http://forum.toppy.org.uk/forum/viewtop ... 489#227489

Many people fit larger green disks requiring a PATA to SATA converter. Again not all work so...
http://forum.toppy.org.uk/forum/viewtop ... 083#193083

The disk is formatted in the Toppy, a 30 second job.
OS installations or anything? Sounds pretty ...strange to me :)
The "OS" (firmware) is in flash memory and not on the hard disk. The firmware can be changed via the Toppy's USB link.

[edit]
The topfiled 5800/5810 can run with a hard disk removed - it becomes a basic Freeview receiver.
[/edit]
2. How can I be certain it's the HDD that's busted?
You can check it on a Windows PC but it is formatted for a Topfield and not a PC so you have to run software (TopfHDRW 0.19) on your maching to read/write/diagnose the disk.
http://www.tapworld.net/index.php?optio ... view&id=75
(manual included in the download)
Last edited by alan_m on Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
Ex Toppy 5800 user - now migrated to Xtrend ET10000 Enigma 2 box with 2 terrestrial and 2 satellite tuners. Second box Zgemma H9S (Enigma 2, satellite)
underquark
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Post by underquark »

WARNING - there are dangerous live parts inside a Toppy so only do this if you are sure of what you are doing; otherwise, send to someone who does know.

If you can check the PSU voltages then do so (there are threads on this forum describing how to and the voltages to expect).

If the voltages are OK then tak out the disk and either plug it into an IDE cable on a PC or via an external enclosure and use TopfHDRW to read it and check for errors.

If it is the disk at fault then look on the thread here for known working models and you will see some recommended disks both IDE and SATA and the SATA adapters needed. To format a disk just put it in the Toppy and there is a Menu item to do a disk Format.
A 5800 and a 5810 still in use with various dead ones and bits lying around, one Toppy with UPS and dedicated aerial; MyStuff 6.6; QuickJump 1.72; EPG2 MEI; Various remotes - URC1056B01 (my fav.), URC11-7140 R02 (to learn new codes) programmed using tools from the excellent JP1 site.
alan_m
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Post by alan_m »

underquark wrote:WARNING - there are dangerous live parts inside a Toppy so only do this if you are sure of what you are doing; otherwise, send to someone who does know.
Good point. The back end of the power supply is rectified mains and many omponents are running with 350V, even with the box in standby.

The front half of the power supply, where you measure the voltages, is all low voltage.

There is a heatsink at the back of the power supply. If you touch it with the mains still switched on you can kill yourself. If you accidentally short it out to the chassis (such as when removing the hard disk with a metal screwdriver) you can kill some compoents in the power supply. Leave the box unplugged from the mains for a least 5 minutes before changing hard disks.

See the warning on the photo :
http://www.admac.myzen.co.uk/toppy/
To format a disk just put it in the Toppy and there is a Menu item to do a disk Format.
I believe that the menu option is for a re-format. The Toppy will detect a unformatted disk and offer to format it on coming out of standby.
Ex Toppy 5800 user - now migrated to Xtrend ET10000 Enigma 2 box with 2 terrestrial and 2 satellite tuners. Second box Zgemma H9S (Enigma 2, satellite)
perse
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Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:09 pm

Post by perse »

The model is supposed to be just tf500pvrc.

Yeah, I'm not looking forward to power supply/circuitboard fiddlings ...I think that'll result in a news item where an idiot got killed by current from an electrical appliance.

I think the box is about 5 years old (like said, it's not mine) and worked like a charm until the HDD just refuses to read or write. Basically, it's an overpriced receiver for now. If it's the power supply breaking the HDD's, that's tough luck then.

It's of course a blind assumption that it's the HDD, but considering a 250gb IDE drive doesn't cost much and in all likelihood I might have a suitable one ...perhaps I'll just switch the HDD and hope for the best. I don't have the confidence for any "real" electric work, and the hassle is too much for the guy that owns the receiver to send it out for repairs (some people are like that, shocking I know :) ).

Thanks for all the tips, now to see from that HDD list if there's any luck with my HDD's.
alan_m
Frequent contributor
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Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:11 am

Post by alan_m »

perse wrote:The model is supposed to be just tf500pvrc.
There are a few models in the 5000 series, and, as far as I'm aware, none in the 500 series.
If it's the power supply breaking the HDD's, that's tough luck then.
A couple of regular contributers to these forums repair PSU at a reasonble cost.
perhaps I'll just switch the HDD and hope for the best.
If it's the PSU the new disk will also fail as well as a few more components such as the tuners etc. A failure in the PSU caught quickly with a quick repair often results in no other components failing. Often the HDD works afterwards as well. If you leave a PSU fault the failures often result in the voltages becoming higher and killing other components.

If you are going to try a "gash" drive then anything but Hitachi may work in the smaller sizes. A lot of disks in the list are from people attempting to fit a larger disk than Topfield supply. a 2.5" is also unlikely to work. To see if a disk works you should try recording two programms while watching a third program and then playing back one of these recordings while still recording something else.
Ex Toppy 5800 user - now migrated to Xtrend ET10000 Enigma 2 box with 2 terrestrial and 2 satellite tuners. Second box Zgemma H9S (Enigma 2, satellite)
juwlz
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Post by juwlz »

If it's the PSU that's failing, the longer it's left switched on, even if only operating as a Freeview receiver, the more chance there is that more (for which read "more expensive") damage will be done.

To be on the safe side, switch off at the mains / unplug until the voltages can be checked.

Julie
5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+BmC0CfCtFsIMPePsR3UUuUxZ
5810, TS On, F/W: F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 +BmCfCtFsR3Z
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Harmony 885 remote. Sig date 8 April 2012
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