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Upgrade of Panasonic DMRE85


Standard Member
Hi everyone,

Don't know if this has been done anywhere, but has anybody installed a larger hard drive into this Panny recorder or any other for that matter?

Is it as straightforward as doing the upgrade on a Sky+ digi-box by any chance? Would it need any sort of formatting, or is it just plug and go and let the player itself sort it out.

I guess there would be the case of making the warranty invalid, but that's not an issue.

Thanks for the help


There is another thread on AVForums about someone (MAXWAN) who has replaced the HDD with a larger one, but he didn't think that the unit is making use of the extra space, i.e. it appears to have just formatted the larger HDD to 80Gb. - and people say that the E85 firmware if limited to an 80Gb disk.

I posted a question to the forum yesterday to ask if anyone knew what sort of HDD was used in the E85, i.e. IDE or SCSI etc, but I didn't get any replies.

My theory was that even if the E85 firmware had a disk formatting limit of 80Gb, it may be possible to hook the new HDD to a PC and format it on the PC - which may bypass the 80Gb limit on the E85.

I just bought an E85, but don't want to take it to bits yet, and at the moment I only have a laptop, so I couldn't hook up the HDD to a PC anyway.


Well-known Member
Why do you need a bigger hdd? Just that having the Panny myself I have always felt thay 80GB is sufficient. Especially when dvd-r disks are just 20p each when bought in cake packs of 25 at a time, (plus p+p).


Standard Member
Thanks Guys,

Good info there and something that hadn't occured to me - the firmware in the Panny being limited to recognising 80GB max.

I posed the question on behalf of a colleague who was thinking of purchasing the Panny to go with his NTL set up.

I've being looking at maybe buying Sky+ and putting a bigger HDD in that instead of the standard 40GB. We figured why not try it on a HDD-DVD unit too.

As you say, blank DVDs are a lot cheaper now anyway.




Standard Member
It has been thought of many a time before. In fact the older DMR-HS2 with 40Gb HDD had a japanese equivalent where the firmware could be upgraded to allow the installation of an 80Gb HDD but it was never adapted for the UK market. It is true that the installation of a larger HDD in any of these machines renders the remainder of the HDD space unused due to the way the machine sorts its space out (remaining time for example). If you want more space then the DMR-E85 has then there is always the option of buying the bigger capacity DMR-E95, although an interesting theory would be if it were possible to get the E95 firmware instide the E85 to allow you to fit a 160Gb HDD, maybe this would work by buying an E96 EEPROM/EAROM (assuming they don't arrive blank, otherwise there must be a disc or PC based method of uploading the firmware?)


But has anyone analyzed the disk to check and compare the structure betwen the 85 and 95? And as well, if one slams in a 160gb in the 85 and then lets it format it; what about once again analyze the disk and see what it did and not did. It might be true that the firmware itself is limited to create an 80gb partition; but by creating the correct partition settings from a PC one might be able to get around the firmware?


khaverblad said:
It might be true that the firmware itself is limited to create an 80gb partition; but by creating the correct partition settings from a PC one might be able to get around the firmware?

I doubt it. If the firmware creates an 80GB partition, it will look for an 80GB partition when it writes to it. No harm in trying though, except for invalidating the warranty.


Standard Member
Oh I forgot to mention BTW. The DMR-HS2 has a Maxtor IDE drive as I had one in my PC for a while. Silly me formatted it in the PC before checking it though.......Dohh!!

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