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Focus Enhancements FireStore
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 02:28 AM   #1
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Attempted 250GB hdd install in FS-4, failed

The goal: install a 250GB PATA 3.5" drive in an FS-4.

It was quite a hassle to just get a FAT32 250GB partition created and formatted as the FS-4 could not properly partition and format the disk itself. After I prepared the disk on a separate machine, I connected it back to the FS-4. While the FS-4 recognized the large disk/partition and accepted it, the unit showed 000 minutes remaining and refused to record.

So, I performed a format from within the FS-4, knowing that it was correctly partitioned, and the disk then showed 488 minutes remaining. I believe it's hitting the 127GB limit. This is an old FS-4 (as evidenced by the flat IDE cable inside), so it's possible that a new firmware version corrects this, but I doubt they would upgrade such low-level components of the OS in a simple firmware update.

I did a 'repair disk' afterwards and that brought it up to 516min.

The disk is not accessible through the DD utility, but I can record to it.

So there you have it: mission mostly failed.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:04 AM   #2
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A hearty attempt to benefit everyone though...
Thanks
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:31 AM   #3
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too bad. The project could have lead to part 2 -- how to attach a car battery to your Firestore to match the 17+ hour record time. Just picture it balanced on top of your tripod! LOL.

-Terence
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:47 AM   #4
 
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I suspect that there are remnants of windoze 95 that run on the processor inside of the firestore. it's probably hard coded and not changeable as firmware.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 10:48 AM   #5
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I suggest that you do a disk clone. We have a machine that does disk to disk clones but I know symantec offers a product that will do it as well. I upgraded my 40gb fs-4 to a 80gb drive with no problems.

My ADS Pryo DV Drives are much easier to upgrade.

Jon
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 12:24 PM   #6
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We have 4 FS-4HD's that we upgraded to 100Gb Hitachi Drives - same as the OEM drives and 2 with 120Gb Segates w. 8mb, etc. All run perfectly. The 120Gb in .m2t mode gives us something like 720+ minutes of record time, and the 100GB give us around 600 ish minutes. I always heard that there was a 120GB fat32 limit, so we've never tried to go bigger than that, but putting in the 250GB definately confirms everything. Thanks
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 01:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kit Hannah View Post
I always heard that there was a 120GB fat32 limit, so we've never tried to go bigger than that, but putting in the 250GB definately confirms everything.
Yes that's basically correct. Technically, FAT32 is good up to 2TB. Realistically, very few OSes and apps properly access FAT32 disks above 127GB. Windows XP won't even let you format a FAT32 partition greater than 32GB, but it will access an existing one without trouble. I'm guessing the OS in the firestore, being as old as it is, just can't correctly address that large of a partition.

This is not a personal attack on the device; at the time the firestore was designed, large hard disks were simply uncommon and expensive. Besides, 600-700 minutes should be enough. I wouldn't want to keep more than a day's work on something that wasn't at least raid mirrored. Now if the firestore could wirelessly offload its data while idle...

My ultimate plan was to rig a hotswap (or coldswap) bay with an IDE switch so I could slide the hard drives in and out during the days of a shoot. I could mount the firestore semi-permanently and keep the cam usable while downloading video files. It should still be possible to use an IDE switch, but for 120GB hard drives, meh.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 03:11 PM   #8
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Well, what was really nice about the FS-3's is that you had the hot-swappable hard drives. Made it very convienent to pop hard drives in & out. I wish they would come out with an HD version like that.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 12:37 PM   #9
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I have the FS4HD pro 60gb version. If I wanted to upgrade the Hd to a 120Gb one, would I just take the screws out of the back, pop the new one in and hit format on the FS4 and it owuld be ready to go?

Patrick
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 03:25 PM   #10
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Re a less abitious upgrade path.............

I perused this then simply used an 80Gb drive I had to upgrade my 40Gb FS-4...no problems at all and I saved heaps.


http://dvinfo.net/conf/archive/index.php/t-63372.html




Ian SChutt
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 06:25 PM   #11
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Yes Patrick - Note that it will VOID the warranty, but it's worth it. No files are kept on the hard drive except for video files - the OS is probably on some kind of Eprom chip.

A couple things to remember:

Must be 120 GB or less
Must be an IDE 2.5" 5400 RPM Drive (4200's are too slow, 7200's run too hot)
Must have 8Mb of cache (not 2Mb)

We have successfully used the same OEM drives that Focus Uses - The Hitachi Travelstar, but have also installed 2 Segate Momentus 2.5" 120Gb Hard Drives that work perfectly - I would almost venture to say that they work better than the Hitachi's.

When you open up the case, be very careful not to bend the pins when taking the IDE cable off. It is on there pretty tight. Also, make sure you remember which way the cable went. It is very easy to put on upside down and get a hard drive error, then you'll have to take it apart again to flip the cable. Once you replace the drive, it will ask you if you want to partition / format it, say Yes and you should be good to go. Don't use windows to format the drive - the Firestore will automatically detect it and you'll be golden.

We first started doing the hard drive upgrades when we had the FS-3. I don't understand how people pay $800 - $1000 more for a 100GB hard drive instead of just going to circuit city or new egg, getting a 120GB drive for $150, and doing it yourself.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 03:07 AM   #12
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Be very careful if your firestore has a flat cable vs. ribbon cable. The flat cables become brittle over time and will break very easily. Focus ended up changing the cable in later versions, but early firestores will have the more fragile flat. In the case that you do get a 'no disk' error and it is likely the flat, you can find a 44-pin F-F ribbon on the internet in several places ~$10
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Old April 6th, 2007, 10:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit Hannah View Post
Yes Patrick - Note that it will VOID the warranty, but it's worth it. No files are kept on the hard drive except for video files - the OS is probably on some kind of Eprom chip.

A couple things to remember:
Must be 120 GB or less
Must be an IDE 2.5" 5400 RPM Drive (4200's are too slow, 7200's run too hot)
Must have 8Mb of cache (not 2Mb)

We have successfully used the same OEM drives that Focus Uses - The Hitachi Travelstar, but have also installed 2 Segate Momentus 2.5" 120Gb Hard Drives that work perfectly - I would almost venture to say that they work better than the Hitachi's..
Hey Kit -
I was just wondering - is the upgrade a "straight up swap"? take one drive out and put the other one in? I'm just a little nervous opening up the case since it's been less than a year... also is this drive suitable?
http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2221594...PM%208MB%202.5

Thanks in advance for your help

Kris
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Old April 7th, 2007, 02:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit Hannah View Post
I don't understand how people pay $800 - $1000 more for a 100GB hard drive instead of just going to circuit city or new egg, getting a 120GB drive for $150, and doing it yourself.
I don't understand the blatant GREED of Focus Enhancements for charging so much more for the larger hard drives!

I wonder if they actually sell the ones with 100 gig drives in them.

Danny Fye
www.vidmus.com
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Old April 7th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Fye View Post
I don't understand the blatant GREED of Focus Enhancements for charging so much more for the larger hard drives!

I wonder if they actually sell the ones with 100 gig drives in them.

Danny Fye
www.vidmus.com
i agree with you 100% - i done so much research on the product that i came to the conclusion that they sorta dominate THAT particular market and you know what happens when 2 or maybe three companies make a certain product...monopoly - but that it's changing with the P2 cards and built in hard drive cameras, the only reason I'm going thru so much trouble is; i love DVX100... :)
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