IT TOOK THE DRIVE!!!
Slapped the old 250 in the dead machine just now, did the skip code, it came up with basic machine info like drive status OK, HD status OK, power on time, then at the bottom it had like test and format, can't remember exactly but seeing how this drive didn't seem to show the self test at all I just hit format. Machine started spinning up the drive and then appeared to shut down but fan kept spinning and drive was making noise, after about a minute I heard a loud click like the drive had parked itself and the machine was off.
I figured well it didn't take the drive after all, so I powered back up, no titles shown or anything, then just for grins I hit record and the light came on, so I ran it a sec, then stopped it. Now it has a title on it and it shows the snow I recorded as I just did a quick hookup to svideo so I could see the screens and do what I needed.
I now have 105? hours of space in SP mode, go for it guys, the hard drive part is fairly easy to just unplug and redo, normal IDE cables adapted to the ribbon so just be careful you don't over tweak the ribbon part or unplug others while redoing things.
My bet is you can format a drive, then the machine will see it, so might be possible to do a external adapter and Power supply to do multiple external drives one at a time...
I'll play some more and report back...
here's what you need to do this... basically a Philips screw driver and your hands. Like I said just be care full not to mess up the ribbon cables and you should be good to go. They are normal IDE drives and every drive should have the mounting holes needed for the rack the drive mounts in.
The power plug was pretty tight so I used a small screw driver to ease each side of the plug out till it popped loose, pretty easy to put back in afterwords though, just be care full not to stab yourself or slip and damage something if your plug is hard to remove.
And remember, UNPLUG IT, preferably for 10 minutes, to drain down any backup power inside while your doing all this mucking around, also very good idea to touch the case before going in so you don't static zap something, or use a ground strap. The drive and mounting cage is held in by 3 screws, then there are 4 screws underneath holding the bottom side of the drive to the cage, there also is a ground spring thing that you need to remove and replace to the new drive, preferably before you put it back in the cage.
Look at the pics posted for the basic location of the drive and layout and it might help you figure out how it's laid out and works before you jump in.
REMEMBER there is always the chance you might brick the machine, so don't do any of this unless your comfortable working on electronic devices and that sorta thing.