Sony RDR-HX780 Upgrade Hard Drive - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 04-24-2014, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I've read that it's possible to upgrade the Hard Drive in the Sony RDR-HX780 DVD/HDD Recorder ,but when installing a 500 GB HDD using the Sony Service Remote and P Run key it only formats new HDD to 160 GB 9same size as original).

 

Does anyone know how to get the larger sized HDD formatted/recognized to it's full size ?

 

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 35 Old 04-24-2014, 08:19 AM
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Hello member it cannot be done it is in the machines firmware chip that is set to the hdd size at the factory.

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post #3 of 35 Old 04-24-2014, 10:41 AM
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It can be done, but it is extremely difficult to the point you may as well forget the idea.

You need access to another Sony/Pioneer model in the same series that originally came with a larger HDD than your model. I had a friend in Florida who records vast amounts of NASA footage from satellite, so he was like a dog with a bone in his quest to fit higher-capacity HDDs in his Pioneer/Sonys. He knew it was possible, because specialty dealers in Hong Kong offer terabyte-retrofitted units on eBay (they keep their methods secret). Eventually he reverse-engineered a way to trick the 160GB SATA models (Pio 550, Sony 780) to recognize 500GB and terabyte drives, but it involves temporary installation of the new HDD in a Europe or Asia-spec model, then some tinkering with a PC before finally initializing it to the 160GB unit.

I've been servicing and upgrading Pioneer/Sonys for nearly ten years, yet I could not make heads or tails of his procedure no matter how many times he explained it to me. IOW, it can be done, but you need access to both a higher-end grey-market model and Stephen Hawking's brain. Since you need to buy one of the $1000 Hong Kong units before even trying, it kind of defeats the purpose of wanting a cheap capacity upgrade to the Sony 780. It only makes sense if you plan to upgrade multiple recorders for a special project, and have money to burn.

Consider buying an older Pioneer to supplement your Sony 780 instead: USA/Canada models 540 and 640 show up on Craigs List at good prices now and then, esp if you live near the Canadian border. These have the same user interface as the Sony 780, were the last Pioneer/Sony models with EIDE drives, and they will happily recognize replacement HDDs up to 750GB. There are some drawbacks to these 2006 units, however. They don't have HDMI connection for HDTV, only analog component HDTV connections. The 540 has no USB or DV camera input jacks, the 640 only has USB. And discontinued large capacity EIDE HDDs in good condition are in high demand by people with older recorders and computers, so they're scarce and expensive compared to SATA. Some AVS members have managed to install cheaper new large SATA HDDs in older EIDE recorders by using a EIDE<>SATA adapter plug, but success varies depending on individual compatibility.
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post #4 of 35 Old 04-24-2014, 03:46 PM
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I bookmarked this link back in 2009 when I first purchased my RDR-HX780. I have no personal experience as I have never attempted to upgrade my HDD and I won’t attempt doing so until my HDD dies.

Note one poster wrote
Quote:
Some models, like my RDRHX780, is model MRX-1790/CA2.
If you check the model chart above this model cannot have a hdd larger than 160 due to the resistors connected to IC101 pin 15(See service manual pg.4-15 from sila1999).

But a model in the AEP1 column e.g. MRX-1735/EC1 can have 4 different hdds since the resistor connects IC101 pin 15 to ground(pg.4-5). The exact model is then setup using the service remote and entering the model from the list on the screen.

If you have a model in the AEP1 column all you need is the service remote to upgrade to 500G. But with the other models you need to 'fool' the unit into thinking it is an AEP1 type.

You can confirm your model hdd sizes allowed by doing the model number setting procedure(pg.1-2) and see what model numbers are displayed on the setup screen.
If the setup screen shows a model with a [04xx] code then you can upgrade to the 500G, [03xx]=250G, [02xx]=160G, [01xx]=120G.

My unit only displayed [02xx] types so I 'fooled' it into thinking it was a MRX-1799/EC1 which allowed me to change use the [04xx] type. i.e. 500Gigs
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post #5 of 35 Old 04-24-2014, 05:05 PM
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The "fakeout model setting" technique alluded to by Super Eye is actually stage one of the process, assuming you are a Hong Kong specialty dealer needing a base HDD formatting deck or you're upgrading a standard PAL version of the 780. But playing with the model settings via the service screens is a dangerous ploy for Canadian Sonys and Pioneers: they have significant board differences from the more prolific Europe and Asia versions. Falsifying the model setting is effective on the PAL recorders because there actually are multiple PAL models in existence based on the same motherboard. However, the final Canada offerings were down to only one for Sony (the 780 at 160GB) and two for Pioneer (the 450/460/550/560 at 160GB and the 650/660 at 250GB). The firmware service access in the Canadian units can permit the service remote to choose a video, tuner and HDD configuration that doesn't actually exist as NTSC spec, which may cause serious problems if you find yourself unable to back out of the change.

This is why the more "cautious" procedure, for anyone obsessive enough to be bothered, is to install a raw large HDD in a PAL-specific model that has been hacked to max out recognized HDD capacity. There is a bit more to it than moving a resistor and changing the model setting: that will only get you to 500GB. To format a recognizable 1TB drive, the "host" PAL recorder requires additional modification and the formatted HDD must often then be tweaked in a PC before finally being mated to the destination Canada NTSC version of Sony 780 or Pioneer 550/560.

There are some subtle differences in service mode between the Canadian Sony 780 and its Pioneer sisters, but the data Super Eye posted roughly correlates to both brands. My friend in Florida claims to have uprated both, but only described in detail what he did to get the Pioneer 550 to recognize a terabyte HDD. He lost me somewhere between hacking the donor/formatting deck and the PC HDD tweaks. We dropped out of touch some months ago, but if he checks in again I'll ask him to nail down his technique in writing (bearing in mind it does entail having access to a standard 250GB or 500GB PAL model).

Almost makes one pine for a Magnavox, which will cheerily format any SATA HDD capacity you shove into it.
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post #6 of 35 Old 04-24-2014, 05:50 PM
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I’ll get back to you after I go through some more notes but the poster in the above quote was updating a Canadian NTSC model.

The “MRX-1790/CA2” stands for a Canadian NTSC RDR-HX780 model.

I do agree that playing around is dangerous and a novice could brick his unit.
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post #7 of 35 Old 04-24-2014, 06:16 PM
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I thought that hardware wise (minus scart and a few other things) the Canadian version of a RDR-HX780 is the same as other 780 versions but dumbed down in the firmware to be NTSC only.

I do agree that playing around is dangerous and a novice could brick his unit. I'll be back with more info.
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post #8 of 35 Old 04-24-2014, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post


I thought that hardware wise (minus scart and a few other things) the Canadian version of a RDR-HX780 is the same as other 780 versions but dumbed down in the firmware to be NTSC only.

I do agree that playing around is dangerous and a novice could brick his unit. I'll be back with more info.

The various flavors of Sony RDR-HX780 appear similar until you dig into details. The base chassis, burner, and OS is the same across all variations, where you risk danger is in setting a "fake" model identity that doesn't match the secondary hardware of the one-off Canadian version. AFAIK, all the other "identities" you can choose are PAL or PAL/NTSC models, referencing the appropriate tuner hardware, timer software for EPG, default video system and region code. Such identity tinkering has been known to backfire spectacularly in the Pioneer Canada-branded units: the Sony 780 is a fraternal sister to the Pioneer 550/560 right down to the instruction book and service manual.

I will certainly concede that Super Eye may have come across a hobbyist who discovered the identity workaround for the Sony Canada version may not be as risky as doing it with the Pioneer Canada units. The Sony service mode is somewhat simplified and a bit less stringent about certain aspects of identity (it doesn't rely on an "I.D. Data Disc" to permit hardware mods, for example). Although the model setting diagram for the Sony is rather similar to the Pioneer, it is possible the Sony will fail gracefully if set to the "wrong" identity and simply ignore elements that don't match the hardware, while still allowing the larger HDD capacity and reasonably normal operation. The Canadian Pioneers, OTOH, tend to go haywire if set to a PAL-based identity: when rebooted they get confused looking for a PAL tuner, EPG and video subsystem that isn't there.

In any case these identity tricks seem to top out at 500GB. Getting either brand to recognize a terabyte HDD is more convoluted, and many users are interested in that now-common raw HDD capacity (despite it being wildly impractical to navigate and harder for the recorder to maintain reliably).
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post #9 of 35 Old 04-25-2014, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Citibear and Super Eye for your replies, even though i can't totally understand everything you guys are saying it certainly is enlightening and educational.I've read online that a lot of the Sonys (780 included) can be upgraded to a larger HDD by switching the model number to one that has the desired HDD size ,then using Service Remote P Run.For example changing model 780 to 980 or 1080, but i'm not clear on the procedure to do that.I don't need to go to 1 TB, i'm perfectly happy upgrading from 160 GB to 500 GB.If either of you gentlemen know the procedure for "changing" Sony model 780 to 980 or 1080 and whether that will allow having said larger HDD recognized to the larger size that would be Awesome! BTW i happen to own both Canadian and European RDR-HX780 models if that makes any difference here.

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post #10 of 35 Old 04-25-2014, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention that i'd be happy even if i could only upgrade my European 780 model because it is dual PAL/NTSC Format and is compatible here  using Composite Inputs with a Cable Box for Recording TV Programs here.Obviously though i'd like to also be able to upgrade my Canadian NTSC only 780 model to 500 GB if possible.

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post #11 of 35 Old 04-25-2014, 10:43 AM
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moviecollector, if you have both the Canadian and grey-market versions of the Sony 780, my advice would be leave well enough alone with the Canadian unit and focus your attention on the grey-market PAL/NTSC unit.

There isn't much in the way of handholding we can give you regarding the model identity change: Super Eye posted the relevant page of the service manual showing the chart of optional identities and the steps to do with the remote and service menus. Each individual version of the recorder will have a slightly different set of identity choices that may not exactly match those shown in the service manual. For example, the "grey market" PAL/NTSC versions (both Sony and Pioneer) are considered bastard stepchildren not clearly covered in the service manual, which is optimized to the official country-specific identities.

You change the identity by first locating the original correct one on the chart. The basic model numbers (as you would see on the front panel) are on the top row of the chart: move your finger to the right until it lands on RDR-HX780. You then go down that column of countries until you find your specific Canadian version, which SuperEye has nicely circled for you. Reading to either side of the CND (Canadian) row, you'll see there were no other higher or lower model identities authorized for the Canadian units. Which means there are no 100% safe and compatible Canadian identities you can choose that had larger HDD capacity. If you're not entirely sure what you're doing, this should be sufficient to stop most casual tinkerers in their tracks.

But DVD/HDD recorder owners are an obsessive/compulsive bunch hellbent on massive HDD upgrades, hence the steady supply of bricked recorders for sale on European eBay. It is a little safer to play these games with a PAL-country-specific 780, because the alternate identities are all PAL, greatly reducing the risk of confused tuner and video operation. Even so, you will see on the chart that most countries only have one authorized alternate identity (RDR-HX980) that their 780s can assume. The 980 identity only gets you up to 250GB: hardly worth the tampering risk. To reach 500GB, you need the RDR-HX1080 identity, which you'll see in the chart is officially supported for the "AEP1" 780s only. I'm fairly sure the "AEP" models are the grey market, non-country-specific PAL/NTSC version sold in the Middle East, so that option might be available for your own grey-market PAL/NTSC 780. You could try it, and see what happens. At worst, the option may not be available or you might get weird changes like display language or timer snafus. Write down each service screen step exactly as you do it, so if all goes awry you can backtrack and return to your original identity.
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post #12 of 35 Old 04-25-2014, 08:15 PM
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To initialize the new HDD:
(Thanks to CitiBear for giving me very clear instructions in real English.)

1. Unplug the AC
2. Install replacement HDD
3. Plug AC back in
4. On the service remote, press ESC then P.RUN, one right after the other.
5, The recorder will format the HDD, this takes a few minutes and will display a lot of gibberish on the front panel.
6. When format is finished, B.COMPLETE will appear on the display
7. Press the power/standby button
8. The recorder should reboot normally with the new HDD ready to go.

More of CitiBear’s info to me.
Unfortunately there's a "gotcha!" lurking in the background that I can't get a clear answer on. Both the service manual and forum threads cryptically refer to "write down the four digit number in the HDD return screen". I don't know if this is a necessary step that isn't explained, because no one ever follows up saying what number to write down and where/how you should re-enter it. You can view the HDD Return Screen by pressing ESC+CX+0+1+1 on the service remote, but I see no 4 digit code there at all, and there's no indication the recorder ever asks you for it during the HDD format process.

To the original poster.
Unless you have experience in tinkering with service modes or unless you really need to replace a bad HDD – I advise against doing anything to your RDR-HX780

If you decide to proceed, come back here after and let us know how it went.
There is a final check SELF TEST (SMART TEST) that can be performed after initialization.
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post #13 of 35 Old 04-28-2014, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Super Eye you are exactly right, all online instructions i've found on changing the model number stop at explaining where to find the 4 digit code and how to enter it.The rest is self explanatory but useless without that final step.I much appreciate your replies as compared to the condescending tone of Citibear who doesn't miss the chance to put me down, thinks he knows all but is missing the key point on the 4 digit code that nobody explains how to do as far as i've been able to determine.

 

Without anybody actually doing this upgrade successfully and explaining the finer details on how they did so (including the supposedly critical 4 digit code)  i'm not playing Russian Roulette with either of my 780 models.They are Fabulous machines and i'd be foolish to risk destroying one.Thanks again Super Eye for your very informative,thoughtful , and respectful replies.

 

 

BTW Citibear i've upgraded over a dozen Pioneers including the 540,543,640, 550,560,650, and 660 and have had no problems with any of them.The only models that are tricky are the 560 and 660, which require using a 550 model as a donor to initialize the hard drive first before installing in the 60 model.Considering ATA Hard Drives are ancient and it's impossible to find a new one your suggestion to upgrade a 540 or 640 instead of a 550 or higher model is just plain foolish.If you're UPGRADING the Hard Drive why would you do so with a 8-10 year old hard drive instead of a New SATA Drive, not to mention having HDMI Output with the SATA models.Only in the Bizarro world would someone choose an ancient Hard Drive ATA Drive over a new SATA drive to Upgrade their recorder.

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post #14 of 35 Old 04-28-2014, 06:32 PM
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I was not trying to be condescending to you, moviecollector: you did not specify in your OP that you've already upgraded every Pioneer Canada model that was ever released, or that you had a 550 variation in your rack that successfully formats larger HDDs for the units that will accept that trick. Had I known that background, I would not have gone into as much detail on the various snags AVS members have encountered with the different versions (the grey import PAL/NTSC and country-specific models don't always tolerate the "format the HDD in a random 550 and it will work like magic in any other SATA Pioneer" stunt, and the Sony 780 models employ different HDD lockouts and service mode options depending on production run). These repair threads are read for years after posting by people looking for such info, so the more angles they can get in one thread the better. Maybe you or I or Super Eye can tell when a unit is on the verge of bricking because it doesn't fit the mold of the typical upgrade path, but a novice will not know, and can easily trash their recorder if not warned of the risks.

I never claimed to know "everything": in my very first reply, I told you I had a friend in FL explain how he upgraded to huge drives in some of the trickier models, but that I wasn't able to fully understand his method and would try again when he got back in touch. Few of us know "everything" because we haven't had hands-on time with every single variation of Sony/Pioneer chassis, and there are more than you imagine.

Regarding the four digit code that may or may not be requested by the Sony-specific HDD return screen, I didn't mention it because no one has posted anything definite about it that either I or Super Eye could find so far. I was actually surprised when Super Eye quoted me on that issue in his last reply to you: it has been so long since he and I discussed it that I'd nearly forgotten. The "HDD Return Screen" code in the Sony versions doesn't appear to be as critical as the CPRM Code of the Pioneers: European Sony owners I've spoken to haven't figured it out either. It might only apply to certain models with optional software installed directly on the HDD, or it might be a mistranslation or mistake in the service manual (Sony had several Pioneer-hybrid model series prior to the x80 with notably different service protocols).

The Sony 780 and similar Pioneers were the final evolution of that "obsolete" 540-543-640 recorder design, but they were only two years newer. My suggestion you consider supplementing your existing 780 with an earlier Pioneer that is easily upgradable to very large HDDs is the same I would make to anyone who was having difficulty with a 780 upgrade. Bolting 500GB into a 540 or 640 is a cakewalk compared to a 780, and once the DVDs are burned one still has the 780 to play them via HDMI. With the Sony burners now near-impossible to replace, it can help to keep two compatible recorders on hand for heavy use, and thats exactly what many here do. The 540-543-640 are also much less prone to sudden HDD errors than the Sony 780 or x50/x60 Pioneers (the transition from EIDE to SATA in the later models was not entirely smooth). My NASA friend feels EIDE drives (or SATA via EIDE adapter) connected to the older models are more reliable for HDD swapping or heavy use. Each model year has pros and cons: the x40 is easy to upgrade with big HDDs and is cheap second hand, but takes the old drives. The x50 (depending on specific motherboard run) will allow larger HDDs, but the SATA is flaky and the second-hand prices are absurd even in Canada. The x60 and Sonys are a total PITA to put larger HDDs in, and cost a king's ran$om second hand. So, yeah: when in doubt, I say jump on an x40 if you want a reasonable backup unit.

I apologize if my posts struck you as "condescending," that was not my intention. I just didn't want you to join the long list of Sony/Pioneer owners who got into a pickle trying to upgrade their capacity-locked model version. Again, had I known in advance you'd already upgraded as many models as I have, I would not have focused as much on the warnings. We probably only have 10% of the repair geeks still contributing to this forum that were here six years ago. So any of us still answering feel obliged to stress caution, since there won't be the wide variety of replies we saw in years past (and these machines are irreplaceable).
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post #15 of 35 Old 04-30-2014, 06:16 PM
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As I understand it the "write down the four digit number in the HDD return screen” is for swapping ANY HDD size, even 160GB to 160GB on any Sony RDR-HX680, RDR-HX780, RDR-HX785, RDR-HX980, RDR-HX1080. I only brought it up because CitiBear’s “initialize the new HDD instructions” seem very clear and to the point and in this thread, those instructions haven’t been given yet. I posted them for others who may come across this thread and are unfamiliar with the procedure. Although in the service manual I don’t see them specifically referring to a 4-digit number but referring to HDD info. So I imagine the the 4-digit number is 02xx for the Canadian 780 and if you change the model you can use a 04xx number like what the guy changing the Canadian 780 did? Some models, like my RDRHX780, is model MRX-1790/CA2…. My unit only displayed [02xx] types so I 'fooled' it into thinking it was a MRX-1799/EC1 which allowed me to change use the [04xx] type. i.e. 500Gigs…

Anyway from what I have read – it is possible to replace a 160 GB HDD with a 500 GB HDD in a Sony RDR-HX780 Canadian NTSC model. I won’t know until I try it. As I said when my original 160 GB dies I will do this and post my experience here – until then, good luck to anyone attempting this and do so at your own risk.


From the Service manual:




Here is a part of Section 6. (Page 6 only.)
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post #16 of 35 Old 05-31-2014, 12:58 PM
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Hi folks, well I believe I have messed up my RDR-HX780. I would be in someone's debt if I could get my RDR-HX780 working properly again. I tried to upgrade the hard disk and ended up in the Model Name section. The problem is that the list which has been placed in this forum does not match what I see on the screen. Please see attached image.

 

There seemed to be now way out of this menu so I entered the best match. 0416 for the MRX-1799/EC1.

 

Everything seemed to be okay until I switched the RDR-HX780 off and back on. The picture has shrunk with a black boarder around it. Now it does not matter which number I enter, the black surrounding remains on the picture. Have a triggered the fake flag? If so or if not, please could someone explain how to correct the picture size.

 

I have put back the original hard disk. This seems to work. The  RDR-HX780 was purchased in Germany. 

 

Many thanks,

 

Lawrence

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post #17 of 35 Old 05-31-2014, 01:44 PM
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Since you were fortunate to have the unit accept its original HDD back and it is running normally with it, perhaps you should "leave well enough alone." The catch with ID tampering, as you may have gleaned from the discussion above, is there weren't always any compatible higher-capacity models marketed in every country that you can fool that country's 780 into accepting as its new I.D. If that was the case in Germany at the time your specific unit was sold (as it was in Canada), your 780 won't accept "higher" identities without side effects. Nothing is impossible for the dedicated geek, but it may take some research on German-language forums.
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post #18 of 35 Old 05-31-2014, 01:56 PM
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Hi Citibear, thanks for your quick and full response. Everything is okay again except for the shrunk picture. I can't get the video picture back to the full size of the screen.after probably putting in the wrong model number. Do you know the model number for the German RDR-HX780? If not, can I get this from the RDR-HX780 itself? If I find out the correct model number, will this fix the shrunk video problem?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

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post #19 of 35 Old 05-31-2014, 04:29 PM
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Hi SuperEye.I've been able to replace a defective hard drive in the Sony 780 without using the 4 digit code. However no matter what size hard drive i put in it formats to the original 160 GB.So it's my understanding that the 4 digit code is only used to trick the mainboard into thinking it's another model with a larger hard drive so the replacement hard drive you install is formatted to the larger size.So far i haven't found any precise instructions on the 4 digit code so i haven't dared gone there.I do know that the Sony 750 is upgradeable to at least 500 GB because someone is selling one on E Bay, and the 780 is a very close simile to the 750.

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post #20 of 35 Old 05-31-2014, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimbledon2014 View Post

Hi SuperEye.I've been able to replace a defective hard drive in the Sony 780 without using the 4 digit code. However no matter what size hard drive i put in it formats to the original 160 GB.So it's my understanding that the 4 digit code is only used to trick the mainboard into thinking it's another model with a larger hard drive so the replacement hard drive you install is formatted to the larger size.

That's good to hear. I think I heard some members in another forum say that they did have to put in a 4-digit code after a 160Gb to 160GB swap. I would urge anyone to write down any numbers that pop up before doing a swap. So I take it your swap went totally smooth, the only thing is the HDD only reads as 160GB and no other problems? Good to hear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimbledon2014 View Post

So far i haven't found any precise instructions on the 4 digit code so i haven't dared gone there.

I’m gonna try it once my original HDD fries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimbledon2014 View Post

I do know that the Sony 750 is upgradeable to at least 500 GB because someone is selling one on E Bay, and the 780 is a very close simile to the 750.

I believe the 750 came out before the Sony/Pioneer collaboration which included the Sony RDR-HX680 / HX780 / HX785 / HX980 and RDR-HX1080 models. So if that’s correct the 750 would have a very different procedure of doing things. But that’s only my opinion.
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post #21 of 35 Old 05-31-2014, 06:08 PM
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Lawrence,
in my service manual I don’t see any dedicated German model. So either the model sold in Germany has its own service manual or most likely Germany uses one of the AEP models. Looking at your screen shot the number I would think may be your unit is “MRX-1735/EC1” as in my service manual that is listed as a “AEP1 RDR-HX780”.

You really didn’t write down the original numbers before doing this???
Are you sure you didn't tamper with anything else? All the research I did I haven't heard of this symptom of screen shrinkage after doing this. You may need to totally clear the model info and start again. I can’t remember off hand how to do this.


Can you post a new picture of the service screen with the “shrunk picture” so we can all have a better idea of what it looks like? Or is this the shrunken screen?



A warning to others.

1) You really need to write down any original numbers or other information before attempting to change anything.

2) Any tampering in service mode is taking a huge risk.
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post #22 of 35 Old 05-31-2014, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post

I believe the 750 came out before the Sony/Pioneer collaboration which included the Sony RDR-HX680 / HX780 / HX785 / HX980 and RDR-HX1080 models. So if that’s correct the 750 would have a very different procedure of doing things. But that’s only my opinion.

I was about to agree, but thought I should double check my service manuals to be sure. Turns out the Sony-Pioneer "hybrids" began sooner than we thought: with the Sony x50 series. With some variations, the service manuals for the x50, x70, and x80/x90 depict similar service screens and mention use of the dedicated Sony Service Remote.

Earlier "pure Sony" recorders like RDR-HX710, RDR-HX715, and RDR-HX725 use a different service mode that does not require a special remote. Instead, engaging service mode involves plugging the TV into a specific video line out connection at the exact same moment you plug in the AC power cord.
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post #23 of 35 Old 05-31-2014, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrenceh View Post

Everything is okay again except for the shrunk picture. I can't get the video picture back to the full size of the screen.after probably putting in the wrong model number. Do you know the model number for the German RDR-HX780? If not, can I get this from the RDR-HX780 itself? If I find out the correct model number, will this fix the shrunk video problem?

I didn't realize you're having the shrunken picture problem with the original 160GB drive as well: your previous post implied everything went back to normal when you reinstalled it. Sorry I misunderstood. Since the unit is shrinking the picture on both HDDs then the issue is in the motherboard setting.

Something happened when you first changed the model ID, so the firmware/OS is now trying to run this hardware as a different model that it may be incapable of emulating completely. The most likely remedy would be to re-enter the original model I.D., but since you didn't write it down there is no quick easy way to do that. The recorder does not have a "failsafe" data screen that tells you how it came out of the factory: once you change the model ID, all the original info is lost. The only thing you can do now is try each of the model IDs until you hit the correct original one. I made a quick dive into a couple German-language 780 threads, the impression I got was Sony did not have a dedicated Germany-specific 780. Germany got the generic Europe version. So right away, you can rule out any model IDs that end in K (England) or RUS (Russia) or AU. The correct Generic Europe ID is probably one ending in EC1, EC2 or AEP.

The picture shrinkage is an odd symptom that may not be entirely related to the model ID (a really wrong model ID would be more likely to affect the timer system EPG and other operational details). When you reset the model ID, the unit may have defaulted back to factory video settings. So before you try other IDs again: have you tried adjusting the various video out options in the (non-service-mode) Initial Setup Menu? Playback>TV setting should be 16:9, or you'll get a black border for sure. HDMI settings should be 720x480p for your Sony LCD TV. Is the frame diminished even when using the old analog composite connection? Have you tried manually switching the 780's video subsystem back and forth between PAL, SECAM and NTSC? That might "unstick" the video problem. Pages 101 and 105 of the 780 (EU) user manual explain how to do this.
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post #24 of 35 Old 05-31-2014, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

The most likely remedy would be to re-enter the original model I.D., but since you didn't write it down there is no quick easy way to do that. The recorder does not have a "failsafe" data screen that tells you how it came out of the factory: once you change the model ID, all the original info is lost. The only thing you can do now is try each of the model IDs until you hit the correct original one. I made a quick dive into a couple German-language 780 threads, the impression I got was Sony did not have a dedicated Germany-specific 780. Germany got the generic Europe version. So right away, you can rule out any model IDs that end in K (England) or RUS (Russia) or AU. The correct Generic Europe ID is probably one ending in EC1, EC2 or AEP.

As I wrote in my earlier post
Quote:
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Lawrence,
in my service manual I don’t see any dedicated German model. So either the model sold in Germany has its own service manual or most likely Germany uses one of the AEP models. Looking at your screen shot the number I would think may be your unit is “MRX-1735/EC1” as in my service manual that is listed as a “AEP1 RDR-HX780”.


You suggesting going back and fourth between the PAL, SECAM and NTSC settings is a great idea. Resetting the non-service mode settings for intial playback to the correct aspect ratio of the TV is also a great idea. Although his HDMI settings should be 720x576 for Germany 4:3 SDTVs. If that’s a WS TV with a shrunken picture than set the playback to 16:9
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post #25 of 35 Old 06-01-2014, 08:13 AM
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Hi Super Eye and Citibear, thanks for your replies. I will try looking at the normal settings first but if I have to change the model id, I need to

take the service remote, press ESC 1 CHAT, enter the number. Do I need to press Enter 3 simultaneously or something else.?

 

I wish you both a pleasant remainder of the weekend,

 

Lawrence,

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post #26 of 35 Old 06-01-2014, 05:29 PM
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Yes SuperEye there's no problem switching the hard drive in the 780 as long as you have the service remote and use P RUN as per the instructions in the service manual to format the new hard drive.It takes about 5 mins to format the new hard drive and you're good to go.Whatever size the replacement hard drive is (assuming it's not less than 160GB) it'll be formatted to 160 GB,so at least you can replace a defective drive yourself without having to pay somebody $200 .Now we're still back to where this thread started......how do you Upgrade to a larger size? I know it can be done with the 750, so i'm pretty sure it can be done with the 780 as well.Somebody knows how it's done.......let's hope we hear from someone on the ins and  outs.BTW there's a fellow who has a very list of Sony Models that are upgradeable and he has the 750 and 780 on that list.His instructions on how to do the upgrade are the same that you've posted here, and he doesn't give any specifics on the mysterious 4 digit code.I'd post the link but there's no new info there , just material that you've already divulged.

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post #27 of 35 Old 06-01-2014, 05:43 PM
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Super Eye i'm not sure when the Sony/Pioneer collaboration took place but in this instance i think it's a red herring.Even after the collaboration the process for replacing the hard drive in Sony and Pioneers is vastly different, with you needing the CPRM number and Proprietary Data Disc to replace the hard drive in a Pioneer, but you only need a service remote to do the same in a Sony 780 ( i know this from first hand experience not heresay).The 750 and 780 model Sonys are virtual clones, i'd bet a month's salary that whatever procedure is used to upgrade the 750 is the same one to upgrade the 780.

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post #28 of 35 Old 06-03-2014, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimbledon2014 View Post

Yes SuperEye there's no problem switching the hard drive in the 780 as long as you have the service remote and use P RUN as per the instructions in the service manual to format the new hard drive.It takes about 5 mins to format the new hard drive and you're good to go.Whatever size the replacement hard drive is (assuming it's not less than 160GB) it'll be formatted to 160 GB,so at least you can replace a defective drive yourself without having to pay somebody $200 .Now we're still back to where this thread started......how do you Upgrade to a larger size? I know it can be done with the 750, so i'm pretty sure it can be done with the 780 as well.Somebody knows how it's done.......let's hope we hear from someone on the ins and outs.BTW there's a fellow who has a very list of Sony Models that are upgradeable and he has the 750 and 780 on that list.His instructions on how to do the upgrade are the same that you've posted here, and he doesn't give any specifics on the mysterious 4 digit code. I'd post the link but there's no new info there , just material that you've already divulged.

The four-digit code is right there on the screen-shot provided by Lawrence. Yellow hi-lighting is my doing.

START Disclaimer = only my hearsay.
It looks like Lawrence’s RDR-HX780 is the MRX-1735/EC1 which is an AEP1 RDR-HX780 model and has a 4-digit code of 0218. (at least it looks like 0218 to me)
END Disclaimer = only my hearsay.

It seems to me what the poster with the Canadian RDR-HX780 did is he changed the model name from MRX-1790/CA2 (o2xx) to a MRX-1799/EC1 which allowed him to use the [04xx] name. See the quote in post #4. Anyone posting anonymously can say anything on the Internet but I don’t know why that poster with the Canadian RDR-HX780 (MRX-1790/CA2) would of lied about this. As I said, when my original HDD quits I will try this. Until than I will not fool with my deck, I won’t even go to that HDD service screen until I have to. Everyone is on their own until then.
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post #29 of 35 Old 06-04-2014, 02:05 AM
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Hi,

 

after checking many things,it seems that the picture shrinkage is connected with the wrong model code. I have tried to enter code 0216, but this makes no difference. I don't think I am entering the code correctly. After I have entered the code, do I need to press anything else on the remote control, like Enter 3? After entering the 4 digit code, the screen disappears.

 

Thanks

 

Lawrence 

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post #30 of 35 Old 06-04-2014, 05:24 PM
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A German RDR-HX780 should be the MRX-1735/EC1, which is an AEP1 RDR-HX780.
To confirm this take a look at your remote control that came with your deck. I’m talking about the NORMAL remote, not the SERVICE remote. At the bottom it should have the # RMT-D250P – that is for a AEP1 RDR-HX780 that is sold in Germany.

My Canadian RDR-HX780 is a MRX-1790/CA2 and comes with a remote control # RMT-D246A – again this is the normal (non service) remote that comes with the Canadian unit.



An AEP2 RDR-HX780 would have a remote control # RMT-D249P.
There is no AEP3 RDR-HX780.

As for entering the four-digit code – yes the screen should disappear when done.
See post #7
6. The model name setting method is complete. (Screen disappears.)
Service manual section 1-2 (page 6)
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