Pioneer DVR-533H - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-12-2012, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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I think my hard drive is shot and hoping to rectify problem before I attempt to have this repaired or toss it in the garbage.
My DVR is in an endless loop where the display either indicates "WAIT" or powers off. I have tried to press the STOP button and STANDBY button to reset to factory settings, disconnected the DVR from the power source, pressed the various return/menu button to try and go through the Initial Setup menu, etc., but to no avail.
Any suggestions/recommendations - I love being able to record to the hard drive and being able to take content from the hard drive and record it to a disc - and not finding suitable replacement DVR players these days.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-12-2012, 10:14 AM
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The Pioneer 531-533-633 are extremely difficult to repair once they break. No factory-authorized service is available today: Pioneer went bankrupt in 2008, and themselves stopped accepting these models for non-warranty repair long before that. Your only repair option is DIY, which I don't recommend. I've been restoring broken Pioneers since 2005, and these three TVGOS models are by FAR the most aggravating. But if you have a lot of time on your hands to tinker, this is the tutorial of what you must do to replace a corrupted HDD:

http://www.pioneerfaq.info/english/r...&model=DVR-530

Note there are five parts to the tutorial, navigated on the left hand blue panel with white text indicating "Part 1" etc. Be sure to follow the instructions for the North American models with TVGOS, which are very different from the European (Guide+) and Middle Eastern models. In brief, you must format the boot blocks of a replacement drive with the incredibly fussy TVGOS software, which is unbelievably difficult to install. You need to download the proper software (for 531, or 533/633), boot a PC under Linux, attach the new HDD, and follow the procedure to format the HDD under Linux and install the TVGOS. You then replace the HDD in your 533, and "mate" it to the recorder motherboard using a special Pioneer/Sony "Service Remote" and "Service I.D. Data Disc DVD." The remote can be ordered from various remote vendors for about $30, the service disc can be downloaded with the help of the tutorial website (make a small donation to help fund the site expenses, then ask for assistance).

The "gotcha" is that the whole process almost never "takes" on the first, second, or even third try. I've often had to re-format the new HDD and reinstall the TVGOS five or six times before the 533 finally recognizes and accepts the drive. It can take days or weeks, and some units just refuse to ever recognize a replacement HDD. Pioneer itself got so disgusted with warranty repairs on the 531-533-633 that they turned to a partnership with Sony to rush out the 640 series by the end of the model year: at that point they simply swapped broken 533 recorders for new 640s. rather than expend the labor cost to repair them (many MANY went back for warranty repair: the TVGOS system was very fragile and prone to corrupt the HDD).

Quite frankly, at this point I would not even bother. I won't accept these for repair anymore myself, its just not worth the effort and repaired units all too often fail again within a few months because of Pioneers fundamentally faulty TVGOS engineering. You should go to the WalMart, Target or jandr.com websites and buy a Magnavox MDR513 (320 GB) or MDR 515 (500GB). These are the last of the DVD/HDD models to be sold in USA/Canada, they have modern ATSC 16:9 tuners and most of the features of the 533 (except no ability to rejoin split segments and no TVGOS). More important, they are much more reliable and replacing their hard drives is a simple swap. The Magnavox recorders are just about to go out of production: grab one now before prices skyrocket on the secondary eBay market. J&R sells like-new refurbs for $169-$198, Target and WalMart sell new sealed units for $198-$248. If you can afford to spend $365, consider the grey-market-import Panasonic EH-69 or EH-59 sold by B&H website. These have all the features of the 533 plus many more convenience upgrades to the editing interface. However, no tuner and no TVGOS.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-12-2012, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks CitiBear ... very helpful and you just saved me a lot of time and unnecessary frustration. Thank you also for the recommendations for "better" substitutes.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-12-2012, 10:39 AM
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The way to fix a Pioneer 533 or 633 is to make a clone of its hard drive before it fails. Then, if you have a service remote and the ID disc, it's not that big a deal to fix it.

To anyone who has one of these machines I strongly recommend doing this. Just be sure that you have the service remote and ID disc before you start, as you'll still need them to reactivate the machine even if put it back together with the original drive in it.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-17-2012, 08:28 AM
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I need a ID# from a DVR-533 or 633!

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post #6 of 9 Old 02-10-2012, 09:59 PM
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It seems that new members can't post! So I was asked by Claprade to post this for him:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

The Pioneer 531-533-633 are extremely difficult to repair once they break. No factory-authorized service is available today: Pioneer went bankrupt in 2008, and themselves stopped accepting these models for non-warranty repair long before that. Your only repair option is DIY, which I don't recommend. I've been restoring broken Pioneers since 2005, and these three TVGOS models are by FAR the most aggravating. But if you have a lot of time on your hands to tinker, this is the tutorial of what you must do to replace a corrupted HDD:

http://www.pioneerfaq.info/english/r...&model=DVR-530

Note there are five parts to the tutorial, navigated on the left hand blue panel with white text indicating "Part 1" etc. Be sure to follow the instructions for the North American models with TVGOS, which are very different from the European (Guide+) and Middle Eastern models. In brief, you must format the boot blocks of a replacement drive with the incredibly fussy TVGOS software, which is unbelievably difficult to install. You need to download the proper software (for 531, or 533/633), boot a PC under Linux, attach the new HDD, and follow the procedure to format the HDD under Linux and install the TVGOS. You then replace the HDD in your 533, and "mate" it to the recorder motherboard using a special Pioneer/Sony "Service Remote" and "Service I.D. Data Disc DVD." The remote can be ordered from various remote vendors for about $30, the service disc can be downloaded with the help of the tutorial website (make a small donation to help fund the site expenses, then ask for assistance).

The "gotcha" is that the whole process almost never "takes" on the first, second, or even third try. I've often had to re-format the new HDD and reinstall the TVGOS five or six times before the 533 finally recognizes and accepts the drive. It can take days or weeks, and some units just refuse to ever recognize a replacement HDD. Pioneer itself got so disgusted with warranty repairs on the 531-533-633 that they turned to a partnership with Sony to rush out the 640 series by the end of the model year: at that point they simply swapped broken 533 recorders for new 640s. rather than expend the labor cost to repair them (many MANY went back for warranty repair: the TVGOS system was very fragile and prone to corrupt the HDD).

Quite frankly, at this point I would not even bother. I won't accept these for repair anymore myself, its just not worth the effort and repaired units all too often fail again within a few months because of Pioneers fundamentally faulty TVGOS engineering. You should go to the WalMart, Target or jandr.com websites and buy a Magnavox MDR513 (320 GB) or MDR 515 (500GB). These are the last of the DVD/HDD models to be sold in USA/Canada, they have modern ATSC 16:9 tuners and most of the features of the 533 (except no ability to rejoin split segments and no TVGOS). More important, they are much more reliable and replacing their hard drives is a simple swap. The Magnavox recorders are just about to go out of production: grab one now before prices skyrocket on the secondary eBay market. J&R sells like-new refurbs for $169-$198, Target and WalMart sell new sealed units for $198-$248. If you can afford to spend $365, consider the grey-market-import Panasonic EH-69 or EH-59 sold by B&H website. These have all the features of the 533 plus many more convenience upgrades to the editing interface. However, no tuner and no TVGOS.

It can be done. I just succeeded!!

First you need to be very patient and follow the advice in the second paragrah of this post. Personnaly I corresponded with //Hakan who I found to be very generous with his time. (I hope I dont get him in trouble by mentioning his name)

My main problem at the beginning was not having "Wiped" my new HD properly. (and the HD does not need to be brand new) I actually "Wiped it" with 2 pass and used EasUs partition manager to do it.

Be carefull (and it is mentionned in de pioneerfaq) to properly "jump" the HD at each stage. That is when it is in you computer using Linux Knoppix V6.7 that the HD be on SLAVE and when you put it back into de DVR that it be on Cable Select "CS" (I believe this to have been one of my problem why I was not succeeding.

The firmware to use if your DVR version is 1.30 or over is Pioneer4.iso(1.30) which once extracted will show in your Firmware as newpio.iso

The master drive ID in my case was sdb1 and not hda
The slave drive ID in my case was sdc and not hdb

As for the "superuser" in Knoppix V6.7 there is no need to mount or remount.
Once the folder on desktop is opened, locate your master drive and click on it. From there open the terminal emulator and there become the "superuser" by entering "su root".
From there you may enter into the critical part ie., dd if=/media/etc.,etc.,etc.,

I hope I will be of help to someone, just as //Hakan was to me!!

Claprade

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post #7 of 9 Old 10-24-2013, 01:45 PM
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Claprade,

    Where did you get the "Service ID Data Disc"? (GGV1179)

 

Thanks,

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post #8 of 9 Old 10-25-2013, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anyhoo3 View Post

Claprade, where did you get the "Service ID Data Disc"? (GGV1179)

The most reliable versions of these discs are found with the help of the pioneerfaq site, noted many times in this (and other) Pioneer repair threads. Just send a PM to AVS member Hkan (above), or post your request directly via the pioneerfaq help link (supportATpioneerfaqDOTinfo). You will be steered to a download link after making a small donation to the site to cover expenses (send a few bucks to the PayPal link). Note the GGV1179 disc is outdated, so is the only disc image in general web circulation for random downloading. Many of these are corrupt or dysfunctional: it is much safer to donate a couple dollars to the worthy pioneerfaq site and get the more current GGV1256 or GGV1302 disc for a 2005 model 531, 533 or 633 recorder. A clean GGV1179 can work, but was really optimized more for the ancient models 210, 310 and 510 of 2003.

Virtually ALL of the DIY Pioneer HDD repair info you can find online initially came from pioneerfaq: the site has been a lifesaver for Pioneer owners for nearly a decade. It is the only source that instructs how to extract and reinstall the tricky TVGOS and Guide+ software, due to the donated efforts of some truly dedicated AVS members who solved the puzzle and wanted to share their info with other owners.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-25-2013, 07:58 AM
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Thanks. I did make a donation to http://www.pioneerfaq.info/ (support@pioneerfaq.info) and was given a link to download the Data disc GGV1256. Anyone that is reading this make sure you contact Pioneerfaq first as they do not response to the donations with a 'Thank you" they do that ahead of time as stated on the site.

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