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Old March 6th, 2009, 08:51 AM   #1
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Edirol R-4 Pro Internal Drive

Has anyone had to replace the hard drive in their Edirol R-4 or R-4 Pro? With today's technology, I see this as being the biggest potential trouble point for this device. It seems that you could replace the drive with a Solid State Drive (SSD) and eliminate both the fragility and noise factor associated with it. You would in sense have a "hardened" version of this recorder, or a super version of the R-44 that uses SD media, not to mention that it would run cooler and probably increase the battery runtime. Replacing the drive should be easy as long as it is just a standard drive (probably) using a SATA or IDE interface.

Yes, I know that this might void the warranty by opening the case, but the menus would seem to allow this by providing the necessary hard drive formatting support, etc. It seems to me that trade-off of possibly losing the warranty would be less of a risk than the overall risk of having a disk crash resulting from moving the device when it is powered on, or having someone bump it.

Any thoughts?
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Old March 6th, 2009, 09:40 AM   #2
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Perhaps you can just replace it and keep the original drive in hand in case you have to return it for warranty.

If the R-4 crashes just because you bump or move it, I wouldn't spend a single dime on that machine.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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Well, any device with a mechanical hard drive may experience this type of issue due to vibration or bumping, even a laptop, so its not just an issue with the R-4. I am assuming that it is using a laptop HD which is normally somewhat more resilient, however the manual (pg. 6) dedicates half a page to warnings and disclaimers about using the device in environments and situations that can negatively affect operation, including bumps or using the device where SPLs exceed 110db.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 10:17 AM   #4
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I've put my R4-Pro through a good deal in my Eargonizer-2 for a few months now and nary a hiccup.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mulligan View Post
Well, any device with a mechanical hard drive may experience this type of issue due to vibration or bumping, even a laptop, so its not just an issue with the R-4. I am assuming that it is using a laptop HD which is normally somewhat more resilient, however the manual (pg. 6) dedicates half a page to warnings and disclaimers about using the device in environments and situations that can negatively affect operation, including bumps or using the device where SPLs exceed 110db.
That is true.. I'm not sure what kind of environments you plan on putting your R-4 through, but I have put my 744t through some bumpy rides and haven't experienced any issues. The HD is nicely isolated from the chassis so much of the bouncing around is absorbed. I don't know how the HDD is mounted in the R-4 so I can't give you any insight on the precautions they have made to protect their HDDs.

I understand that it's good to be on the side of caution, and if you're very worried then perhaps get an SSD and see if Edirol can install it themselves so it doesn't void your warranty.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 11:31 PM   #6
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On replacing the internal drive in an Edirol R44 Pro

(note: bit of a typo in the subject line - I'm referring to an R4-Pro, not an R44)

I recently tried to replace the hard drive in my R4 Pro -- not because it failed, but because I wanted something a little less fragile -- I tried to put in a solid state drive.

The built-in drive was a Fujitsu MHV 2080AT parallel ATA ( PATA ) 80 GB 2.5" drive.

I attempted to replace it with a Transcend 64 GB solid state disk ( TS64GSSD25-M ).

The Edirol reported errors on boot up and would not work with this drive. I could not even get to the point where I could execute an HDD format command. I can only assume that Edirol loads some boot software onto the hard drive. This means that drive replacement is a factory thing, I guess.

It looks like my next purchase will be a Sound Devices recorder with Compact Flash media. Spinning hard disks and on-the-go recording in a bag just seems risky, to me.

Having said all that, the R4 Pro has been a super performer. No problems, terrific quality and works well with my SD 442 mixer.

Last edited by Stephen Hall; March 6th, 2009 at 11:36 PM. Reason: (changed R44 Pro references to R4 Pro)
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Old March 7th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #7
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Stephen, this is exactly what I was trying to determine, in my round-about circuitous manner ... whether there would be some technical roadblock to doing the swap. I'm pretty sure that some third party software such as Acronis could be used to snapshot the drive and create a disk image that could be used to format the new drive correctly. It is likely that the drive is just a FAT32 formatted drive ..

BTW, is it SATA or IDE?
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Old March 7th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #8
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RE: On replacing the internal drive in an Edirol R4 Pro

Stephen, this is exactly what I was trying to determine, in my round-about circuitous manner ... whether there would be some technical roadblock to doing the swap. I'm pretty sure that some third party software such as Acronis could be used to snapshot the drive and create a disk image that could be used to format the new drive correctly. It is likely that the drive is just a FAT32 formatted drive ..

BTW, is it SATA or IDE?
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Old March 8th, 2009, 11:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mulligan View Post
Stephen, this is exactly what I was trying to determine, in my round-about circuitous manner ... whether there would be some technical roadblock to doing the swap. I'm pretty sure that some third party software such as Acronis could be used to snapshot the drive and create a disk image that could be used to format the new drive correctly. It is likely that the drive is just a FAT32 formatted drive ..

BTW, is it SATA or IDE?
John,

It's PATA ( parallel ATA or IDE ).

Cheers,

Stephen H
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Old March 9th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #10
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Photos of the R4 Pro interior and drive mount

Just in case anyone else is curious, I have attached some images of the interior of the R4 Pro that I took when attempting the drive replacement.

One shows the general interior layout and the other is a closeup of the drive mount.

The drive is mounted held by what appears to be soft, silicone "pucks" that seem to do a good job of isolating the drive.

Stephen H
Attached Thumbnails
Edirol R-4 Pro Internal Drive-r4pro_interior.jpg   Edirol R-4 Pro Internal Drive-r4pro_disk_mount_cu.jpg  

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Old March 19th, 2009, 05:28 AM   #11
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Considering doing this to mine

Thanks for the pics! I've also noticed, that certain machines only accept certain brand CF cards. Could this be the same with HD's? (since it's not actually a real computer)
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Old March 21st, 2009, 04:10 PM   #12
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Chris,

I don't really know about the hard drive. I didn't have a drives available from different manufacturers to try.

If there's interest from others here on DVinfo about the R4 Pro and drive replacement, I'll see if I can contact Edirol and get some information.

Cheers,

Stephen H
Stephen Hall, Location Sound Recordist
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Old April 14th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #13
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Hi Stephen,

I'd be very interested in learning more about replacing the internal drive. I ordered a backup drive that is the same model as the original and I'm about to try making a ghost of the original image to put on the backup.
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 10:48 AM   #14
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R4 Pro Internal Drive - the official word

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean McCormick View Post
Hi Stephen,

I'd be very interested in learning more about replacing the internal drive. I ordered a backup drive that is the same model as the original and I'm about to try making a ghost of the original image to put on the backup.
I spoke with a great Edirol tech support guy this morning. I asked him whether the R4 Pro drive contained any software required for the unit to boot.

He said that the drive doesn't contain any boot software.

He recommended that units with failing drives be sent to Edirol for repair. (My unit is out of warranty and replacing the drive doesn't scare me, so I will probably replace the drive myself, should it fail.)

He recommended that the drive only be replaced with the exact same model, the Fujitsu MHV 2080AT parallel ATA ( PATA ) 80 GB 2.5" drive. He said that Edirol had found that this drive is properly matched to the physical mounting system they use to maximize vibration resistance.

So, that's the story.

Cheers,

Stephen H
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Old April 26th, 2009, 04:31 PM   #15
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Portable Audio Recorder w/o H.D.

Hey Guys: I went the other route & purchased a Marantz PMD620. It records on SOHC cards. You get 2 1/2 hrs. of WAV file on a 4gig card. Found it for $309- & am waiting for the $100- rebate. Sounds great & has illuminated level meters, (great for stealth recording of classical cocerts).

Bought it to get wedding vows for my wedding videos. MSRP $499-, but you can find deals if you look around.
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