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Author Topic: Replacing hard drive. NII usb 2.0  (Read 12440 times)
nodestination
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« on: May 07, 2008, 03:33:40 pm »

aloha, neuros community

just writing to let you all know, that after a little research on these boards. i have successfully swapped out my 80gb hard drive for a 160gb drive. (i've got a music addiction) (i used the seagate Momentus 5400.3 Ultra ATA 100 Notebook Hard Drive... as recommended by teh porkchop express)

couple notes however:

- battery life is about 20% less than what it used to be. (this is a rough estimate cause i usually keep it plugged in when and where i listen)

- the performance is about the same if not a little better (and definitely not worse) as far as recalling previous play position, start up, shut down, rewind etc. every once and a while there's a slight pause in playback (aside from the occasional 'long' pause that used to pop up w/ the 80gb drive)

- after formatting the available space is only 128gb (and should really be around 150gb+.... which kind of sucks, and is probably a limitation in the NII's motherboard)

- that's pretty much it. i got the drive a couple weeks ago for $90 something delivered, and putting it in was really easy. closing the unit back up though was a bit tricky

and neuros if you're listening:

this is still the best sounding music player on the planet. every time i AB test a player the neuros always wins. coupled with a nice pair of grados and i'm in heaven. (i've converted some long time ipod users as well- there's no denying sound quality)

(and come on where's the NIII. seriously. but if you do make the NIII make it all about the sound. don't sell out. i know i'm not alone here in saying that if you release a product with sound as good or better than the NII you've got a winner)

later
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g4cru
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2008, 04:15:25 am »

Glad it worked well for you, I have 'just' finished the same though with a Seagate ST916082A.

Now a different question.
I notice you are using Grados.
Do you use a headphone amp or do find the NDAC copes well with the drive requirements?

Also are you ripping your music to ogg? if so what q settings do you favour.

Tks
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nodestination
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2008, 04:41:22 pm »

grados: yeah the nII drives the grados w/ ease w/o an amp. they're the sr80 model. i would think that as you go up in the grado line they may require a headphone amp. my buddy has the sr225 model and the neuros works well with those too. (after listening to both i think the sr225s are between 10% to 20% better- depending on the music. not sure if this marginal increase in quality is worth another $100 but i'd buy the sr225s if i had to do it again).

ripping: i've got a mac and i use 'max' to rip. this is definitely the best program out there that i've used. besides being completely free, it rips and tags in any format and uses the best possible encoders. i rip to both wav and ogg (wav for archiving). i started using ogg quality setting 6 (because 'they' say that's the level ogg achieves transparency.. and also lossless stereo coupling). but then i switched to 7 (i've got the room so i figured why not. i've only notice a small difference in fidelity but find it worth it... maybe it's just peace of mind)

hey did you notice you didn't get the full drive capacity available to you when you switched
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Schizoid
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2008, 02:02:09 am »

That's good news!

I need to change the battery on mine, so I might as well replace the hard drivel.

Just a few questions if I may....

  • 1. Aside from needing a T6-screwdriver, I can't find any instruction guides on disassembling the Neuros II.
    Is it just a simple matter of removing the screws off the backpack, or is there something tricky I need to be aware of?
  • 2. It appears that you replaced your HD with a 160gb, but the Neuros identifies it as 128gb.
    Therefore would I be correct in assuming that the same size limitation would be the same if adding a 250gb HD to the unit?

I'd greatly appreciate if someone could help answer these questions.

Thanks Smiley

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ChadV
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2008, 08:23:47 am »

1) There is a slight trick to it...  Just be gentle especially when removing the HDD...  Once the screws are removed, the only thing holding the HDD to the circuit board is the data connector.

2) Theoretically you should be able to get >128GB available, not sure why nodestination lost so much space...
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nodestination
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2008, 01:09:22 am »

there's a great website that describes step by step:

cool4u2view
http://www.cool4u2view.com/Neuros_files/Page721.html

looks like the site's down right now though

you'll also need the t10 screwdriver

and wtf w/ only getting 128gb. any ideas out there. i have a mac. i plugged the drive in the player and went through all the reformatting steps. then i think i had to format with my computer too (i forget); maybe the formatting through the mac did something??
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Schizoid
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2008, 11:34:53 am »

Thanks for the kind feedback and word of caution  Smiley

I went ahead and purchased a 250GB Western Digital Scorpio WD2500BEVE Hard Drive (5400rpm - Ultra ATA/100).

Once after I receive and format it, I'll post the results.
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g4cru
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2008, 11:48:59 am »

Sorry for not responding.... had to go away for a while.

Replacing the drive IS really easy without ANY electronics skills required (just common sense and careful handling).
Yes my 160GB ended up as 128GB too.
I even took this up with seagate support (they don't know much at all!) who didn't 'get' the 1024 v 1000 byte versions of capacity.
Even so, my drive still showed up under Windows XP as having a raw partition of 128MB, which to say the least is puzzling, as Seagates own utilities will set the drive to 160GB and report it as so.

If anyone has an explanation (technical or not) as to how it is that a 160GB drive renders as 128GB I (and I suspect others) would be most interested to hear.
160GB * 1000/1024 = 156GB in rough terms, so even allowing for a HUGE 10GB overhead still does not compute....

As for ogg and q6 to q7 etc... I use q8 and rip using Exact Audio Copy, Cans are Denon AH-D2000.
Will be building a headphone amp and modified crossover unit even though the cans are driven well.

Have you noticed any anomalies in the audio? like occasional soft clicks? I seem to have that in mine, though never in the same place.
Must try lower q settings in case q8 cannot be handled for some reason.
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Schizoid
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2008, 04:28:40 pm »

Surely there is a BIOS issue concerning the FAT32 limitation, and I guess the size reported would vary depending on what operating system your using.  I read another post on this forum by 'minimatt' who upgraded to a 160GB hard drive, and Vista shows it as having 134 gb of free space. A friend suggested that I try using Partition Magic, but first use the format tools delivered by the manufacturer. Then create two partitions with partition magic and then join the 2 parts together again to create one large disk.

If your running WinXP, like me, Microsoft has an article covering on how to enable 48-bit Logical Block Addressing support for ATAPI disk drives in Windows XP: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303013

Here's another solution I've read: http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/fat32format.htm
« Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 04:39:57 pm by Schizoid » Logged
nodestination
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2008, 06:48:23 pm »

sorry it also took me a long time to reply. been away for a bit

if it's of any consequence i use a mac for everything. which may suggest no correlation between OS and available GB (g4cru uses XP)

so how did the 250GB drive work out. does it function, and how much room does it show

performance wise i haven't noticed too much of a difference. the firmware i'm using has always put a click between tracks, it's the 'gapless' firmware. also when adding music the ndbm does hang up every time i rebuild the database. i can work around that but i gets a bit time consuming. and battery life has taken a bit of a hit. for listening in planes i bought a mobile power source. not too big and pretty powerful
 
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Schizoid
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2009, 01:11:24 pm »

Nice to hear back from you nodestination. I must apologize for my long absence as well.
I'm curious though, did you ever get passed that 128gb limitation for your 160gb drive using the MAC?  

As for me and from the help of Darren (thx), I finally did manage to format that large capacity 250GB hard drive in fat32 under WinXP. However, I never did get passed the darn 48bit LBA block for the Neuros II.  It seems that for the Neuros to function properly, the new hard drive must be formatted via the Neuros "diagnostic mode" after slapping it in. Not to mention re-building of the database in the following step. As a result, that kills any attempt to upgrade with a larger hard drive due to the fat32 128GB capacity limit.  Sure the new hard disk may appear at full capacity (250GB) using the hard disk utility or other formatting tool. Nonetheless, Windows will still report the drive as a raw partition of just 128MB, and by the looks of it, you MUST allow the Neuros to format the drive in order for the unit to recognizes it.

I had worked trying to solve this dilemma for weeks on end, but found no way of working around this problem. Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of time either (family, job, economy, etc) and have since abandoned that project quite awhile ago. So for now my Neuros is just collecting dust in the closet. I truly had enjoyed my Neuros over the years (beats the crap out of those gay ipods) and intend to pickup where I left off as soon as I have time. In the meantime, I guess the only solution is to accept the 128GB capacity limit, and perhaps get a 2nd backpack if capacity is the issue. That is unless of course someone finally develops 48bit LBA support for large capacity hard drives for the Neuros audio player.

Keeping my fingers crossed!
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 01:21:37 pm by Schizoid » Logged
ChadV
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2009, 12:15:27 am »

...due to the fat32 128GB capacity limit.

The 128GB limit is not FAT32, it's from LBA.  And I don't know if there's a way to fix it in software or if the controller chip would have to be replaced...
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Schizoid
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2009, 12:46:05 am »

Thanks ChadV,

True the LBA block is a real pain in the ass, and like you, I wish there was an easy fix.

One would think that today's manufactures of portable digital audio players (iPod, Cowon, Zune, Zen, etc) would finally get wise & provide a high capacity (or expandable) hi-rez audiophile player, rather then those small & puny (1, 5, 20 gig) storage devices that fit into a shirt pocket.  It's ridiculous!

The Archos 7 320GB Internet Media Tablet comes close, but severely lacks in audio playback quality along with weak format support as I understand.  As of now, the HifiMAN HM-801 PMP seems to be a good replacement for my Neuros.  However it has no internal storage, but it is expandable via SDHC cards with a max capacity of 32GB.  The huge downside to this is that at $75-$100 per 32GB,  it would be real expensive when the need arises to swap out a card.

Sure would had been nice if  Neuros had continued their development for the Neuros III & beat the pants off those stupid iPods. We wouldn't have to go through all this crap!
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