The hard drive on my AOpen MP45-DR failed after about two months use. I suspect that the hard drive got too hot. I'm wondering if a solid state drive would work better.
I installed two of the AOpen atsc tuner cards, so that TWO over-the-air digital broadcasts could be recorded at once, using Windows Media Center.
OS ==> 64-bit Vista
Memory ==> 2 x Kingston KVR667D2S5/2G, for 4 gig total. Memory OK per AOpen RCL (RCL means "recommended component list" I think.)
CPU ==> Intel Core 2 Duo P8400. CPU OK per AOpen RCL.
Hard Drive ==> Western Digital Scorpio Blue 320 gig (WD3200BEVT). AOpen RCL lists 120 gig Scorpio Blue, not 320 gig, but I assumed the 320 gig would be OK.
The MP45 became unresponsive during a TV recording session. WD diagnostics showed that the drive was bad. WD replaced it under warranty with a 400 gig version of the Scorpio Blue.
I installed the 400 gig drive, reinstalled Vista and everything else. Since I suspected an overheated drive, I also installed S.M.A.R.T monitoring software to check the hard drive temperature.
For S.M.A.R.T tools, try the following searches (I cannot post the URLs, since I am a new member - just Google the search term, and you will find the download site!)
You can try Hard Drive Monitor - Google "harddrivemonitor". After the install, run it as administrator.
You can try DiskCheckup - Google "DiskCheckup".
I scheduled two over-the-air TV shows, and monitored the WD 400 gig temperature. After less than 10 minutes of recording, the temperature got to 58 degrees Celsius, so I stopped the recording. The max operating temperature for the WD 400 gig is 60 degrees Celsius, which is a common hard drive max operating temperature.
I removed both tuner cards, and then used Windows Media Center to play back a TV show stored on a Windows Home Server box. The temperature got up to about 52 degrees Celsius.
So, the hard drive gets hot! Even if I run it at close to but less than 60 degrees Celsius, I assume that the life of the drive (and maybe other components in the MP45) will be significantly shortened. And, as an HTPC, not having a tuner is bad!
Could some of you check your MP45 temperatures? Try one of the S.M.A.R.T tools above. Maybe check things while one TV show is being recorded and another recording is being playing back, to thoroughly exercise your hard drive.
Lastly, if anyone has a solid state drive (ssd) installed, could you try the same temperature tests? An ssd should run a lot cooler (and max operating temperatures are typically 70 degrees Celsius).
I'd appreciate your comments!