Panasonic DMR hard disk replacement with SSD .. success !

riku2

Standard Member
I have managed to replace the HD in my Panasonic DMR with an SSD, so here’s a report of how it was done .. at first failure then success.

I have a DMR-BST700 which is about 8 years old and the hard disk has started making a lot of clicking noises, I think when it’s converting the DR recordings in the background. I read several posts about replacing the hard disk and copying the first few MB from the existing disk to a new disk. This didn’t work for me and the player would never work properly after swapping the disk. I tried an SSD, several 3.5” hard disks, disks exactly the same size. Resetting things in the factory menu etc. Nothing worked and always an error afterwards about the HD.

I followed the advice in a few posts but suspect they work for other models but not DMR-BST700

Panasonic DMR-BS850 Hard Drive Died - Replace?
DMR-BW780 Hard Drive HDD Replacement

Eventually I gave up on the recorder, the hard disk was still working but seemed on its last legs and since replacing the hard disk with one from Panasonic is at least half the price of a new recorder I decided to buy a new recorder.

I bought a DMR-BST760 and decided straight away to open it up and change the hard disk in the BST760 for an SSD. When ordering I wondered if it might use an SSD since they only mention the amount of storage (500Gb), so why not use an SSD in 2021. But inside there was a very slim 2.5” SATA Toshiba hard disk.

Before even powering it on for the first time I took the disk out and connected it to my PC and copied the first 8Mb from the Toshiba hard disk to a 700Gb Crucial SSD that I had lying around. I was not trying to increase the storage space available (that’s a whole other issue) but have an SSD that would be silent and not suffer any mechanical failure.

The link Panasonic DMR-BS850 Hard Drive Died - Replace? explains how to use HxD to copy data and only the first few Mb are needed. Before reading that post I thought that copying the whole HD was needed but in the post 1.5Mb is mentioned and I copied 8Mb onto the SSD just to be sure (this is almost instant).

The older thread is written from the point of a failed hard disk and using a file where you have the 1.5Mb data in a file taken from an existing working disk but in my case I had the new Toshiba disk so copied from it. This means the first 8Mb on my SSD is identical to the supplied Toshiba HD.

I put the SSD into the DMR-BST760 and started it up and there was a warning about disk space but I went to the HDD maintenance page (normal user menu, not the service menu) and formatted the hard disk. Since the player was brand new there was obviously nothing on the disk I cared about.

After that, success. The SSD works fine, recordings work and live TV can be paused. I’m not sure if it takes advantage of the 700Gb instead of supplied 500Gb since I never started the machine with the 500Gb disk in place. But I’m really happy that it uses an SSD now.

To summarise:​

  • The player was brand new, never even started before I replaced the HD with the SSD.
  • It is for the German market because I needed the satellite tuner version although I think other versions (T and C) are similar but with different tuners.
  • It’s noticeable that the number of ports on the back gets less and less but at least the DMR-BST760 has a single scart input for analogue recording.
  • I am not concerned about the recordings on the old DMR, I will copy them to my PC since the disk still works (although noisy).
  • The new player was 370e which I think is a lot cheaper than players in the UK and a new hard disk from Panasonic for my old player would be at least half this, so a new player was a good choice.
 

hooperman1

Novice Member
Hello,

Please can anyone share the custom iso image of disk (containing this custom bootloader firmware) ?

My idea is to write that iso with Rufus or simmilar tool to the disc on PC, and install it back to Panasonic. Or other methods ( HxD to copy data ...).

My device is DMR - BCT 730. I do not have the stock HDD to copy this from, nor know anyone in my vicinity with it.I am trying to use new SSD Crucial 240 GB.I tried the firmware upgrade procedure from Panasonic site, with SD card hoping that this procedure will format/create boot file on new SSD disk but with no changes at all.

Thanks very much in advance if someone can spare some time and effort to do this.

SC
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Yes, an iso or an image of the bits needed would be helpful. I have a Panasonic 120 PVR which is a good 8+ years old now. At some point, it’s disk will fail, and I’d like to keep it going if possible. I’d be trying this using a Mac, so things potentially would be easier using the Unix dd command, but of course, until I try it …

As for using an SSD to replace spinning rust, not so sure. They aren’t designed for PVR-type applications so I’m not sure on how long a device like that would last.
 

hooperman1

Novice Member
Hi Clem, thank you for support.
It would be a pitty to see these nice devices fail and not be used at all (as in my case). I tried to source this image around the net with no sucess so far.

Good point on design of PVR apps around spinning rust ones :). I have laying around also standard HDDs that can be used for purpose - been hoarding and repairing PC stuff for years.

My main idea behind SSD vs HDD was spin noise late at night. Even if it lasts year or 2 due to extensive r/w i will accumulate more upgrade leftovers for replacement.

Thanks to anyone reading and thinking of assistance!

S
 

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