http://www.tasweb.org/news/how_to_upgra ... 0pvrt.html
The hardest part was deciding which drive to buy. It's important that the new bigger drive doesn't draw any more current than the original, doesn't generate much more heat than the original, is an IDE (PATA) drive like the original, is at least as quiet as the original and is a type intended for a PVR application.
After much research I decided to look for a Samsung HD300LD (300Gig) or HD400LD (400Gig). I can't tell you exactly why these were the ones for me, but it it probably came down to the fact that they both met all of the requirements above, they weren't too old, and there were quite a few people posting recent stories in the forums that they had installed these drives without any problems. Others have gone for different drives, so if you are reading this hoping to do the same upgrade, then do your own research and make your own decisions.
I did my usual trick and sniped on a few Ebay auctions before finally winning a HD400LD at a good price. If you don't know what sniped means then keep coming back because I'll probably do a story on that some time soon. Suffice to say I saved a bit of money as a result! The seller was a guy with the name of wjytronic. I can thoroughly recommend this guy as the drive arrived via express post the day after the auction ended. It was brand new and exactly as described. I know some people have had mixed fortunes with Ebay, but I reckon it rocks!
The first step was to put the Topfield into standby via the remote and then disconnect it from the power. I unplugged everything and moved it out onto a table.
There were 5 little black screws to undo and one evil silver "Warranty void if removed" sticker. My warranty expired years ago so that wasn't an issue for me, but I still tried to remove it so that it could be reapplied later. It didn't work. The silver crinkled up and left a bunch of little round spots behind so it really is tamper proof.
With the lid off the existing drive is pretty obvious as it dominates the inside of the box. I took this opportunity to blow out as much dust as possible using the best super dry anti static breath that I could muster.
The IDE and power cables are easy to remove from the old drive and then you have to make a choice. Go the safe route and remove the four caddy screws, remove the caddy and then undo the six drive screws, or take a risk and try to undo the six drive screws with the caddy still in place. Remember my comment about making your own decisions, well that applies here as well. The six drive screws really are done up tight, but being the brave risk taker that I am I chose to go that route. Worked for me, but your own millage may vary.
With the old drive out you can now put the new drive in place, connect up the cables, but leave the screws undone. Just sit it there for now.
Plug the crappy old composite video connector into your telly (it may have lost it's brain and not have your component setup , so this is the safest option) and turn the thing on. If you still have the lid off then BE CAREFUL! You don't want to look like yesterdays toast.
The Topfield will boot up and then (this may depend on the version of your firmware??) pop up a box on the telly asking if you want to format the drive. Make sure it's the new drive you plugged in (should be or you wouldn't have seen that box), select yes and wait three seconds. The new bigger drive is now formatted as a Topfield drive. If the box doesn't pop up on boot then there is an option to reformat the drive under the system settings.
At this point I noticed just how quiet the new drive was. It wasn't doing much of course, but it was almost silent. Very happy with this!
I bought up the recordings list (empty of course) and it told me I now had a 381528Meg drive (381Gig). Someone (ceiling cat?) stole the rest of my Gigs. If you see them please let me know! Seriously, I assume this is because sometimes 1k is called 1000 and other times it's called 1024. The maths seems to work out (381528 * 1024 = 390Gig) , so I'm happy with that.
If you don't want to copy anything from your old drive and just want to start from scratch (the safest option) with the new one then that's it. Your finished. If you do have stuff you want to copy over and you have a good techo understanding of hard drives and stuff then read on for the slightly risky option.
Now you have to put the box back into standby and remove the power before removing the new drive from the Topfield. Take both drives over to your desktop computer and do nothing. You first need to download a cool little program called TopfHDRW (look for it on the left hand side of the site about 2/3's of the way down under the "other authors" section). This thing enables you to copy the contents of the old drive over to the new drive. Install the software (Windows only) and then shutdown your computer and remove the power.
You have to ensure that one drive is set as a master and one as a slave. This is done with little jumper thingies on the edge of the drive near the connectors. Work out how to do this yourself because every drive may be different (I stuffed this bit up, but more on that later). It doesn't matter which one is which, but I left the old drive as a master as I didn't want to touch it just in case I had to go back to it at some stage.
Look for your IDE cable. That's the big flat ribbon cable that probably plugs into your CD/DVD drive. If you don't know what it is then stop now! In my case I have Sata drives so only my DVD drive was plugged into the IDE cable. I simply unplugged that and then plugged both drives into the two connectors on the ribbon cable. As the photo shows, it wasn't elegant, but I did make sure nothing electrical was shorted and it did the trick.
Now boot your computer back up and hopefully you will see your normal Windows login. In my case I didn't. I had an error that said "Reboot and select proper boot device. This was because the silly computer thought that my little old Topfield drive looked much better to boot from than it's normal big Windows drive. I had to go into the system BIOS (DEL key on bootup for me) and change the boot priority to fix it. If you don't know what this means then stop now!
If at any stage your computer starts up a new drive wizard or prompts you to initialise, partition, format or add a new drive then run away. Don't do it. You do not want to be able to look at the drives in MyComputer. If you do any of those things then you will need to reformat your new drive back to a Topfield drive and you will have lost all of the info on your old drive. Don't do it!
If you want to take the risk (I did of course) then open up Computer Management under Control Panel | Administrative Tools and click on Disk Management (Windows XP SP2). In my case an evil wizard (Welcome to the Initialize and Convert Disk Wizard) then popped up. This is one of those things that will trash your old drive, so make sure you click "Cancel". I was then able to see the two Topfield drives marked as Unallocated. Leave them this way, this is a good thing! Whilst you are here though check the disk sizes and make sure they look correct. I didn't check that and paid the price later.
Open up TopfHDRW and it should find one of your Topfield drives and probably your C: drive. Make sure that both sides of the application are looking at the two Topfield drives. Now select the stuff that you want to copy and hit the copy button. I had a bit over 50Gig of stuff and it took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to copy. That's after I solved a tricky problem.
I chose to select a folder (I had a recipes folder) and just copy that at first. It appeared to go OK but then failed with a few "Damaged Subdirectory" errors. This sounded very bad and I wondered if my new drive was dodgy. It wasn't. When I set the new drive as a slave I misread the jumpers and had told it that it should only have 32Gig of space instead of the normal 400Gig! The Disk Management thingie mentioned above told me that. I shutdown the PC, changed the jumpers, rebooted and everything copied fine after that.
Once you have copied everything (don't forget the programs and Auto Start folders as you want to copy over any TAP's and their data as well) then you just shut down the PC, install the new bigger drive in the Topfield and enjoy your new found space!
If like me you have any TAP's that use a registration key based on the drive serial number then you will have to obtain a new key. I use PBK (Progress Bar Keys). This TAP rocks and I couldn't live with my Topfield without it. You have to pay for it and it's one of the ones that uses a key based on the drive serial number. When I rebooted it started up in the free demo mode. It was about 9pm on a Friday night. I sent the guy (Andy Cullen) that writes it an email asking for a new key (you have to obtain the new secret number from the TAP first and include that in the email) and would you believe he replied 5 minutes later. Awesome!