The WD 120gb upgrade hard drive in my 5504 finally went after 8 years. Yesterday, the unit reset and was stuck in the dreaded please wait loop. For many months, I ignored stuttering and needed restarts because it always came back and worked like a champ. Even the one-time loss of all recordings from the replay guide didn't phase us. After all these years of faithful service, I figured it was just a matter of time and there was likely nothing I could do about it but be there at the end.
After a short but heartfelt moment of silence, I popped in the original 40gb drive and all worked fine. So the MB, fan and PS must be fine, right?. I went to my hard drive reserve and pulled out a Seagate 160gb 7200.7 model that should be compatible (fingers-crossed). But before I formatted, re-imaged and patched that drive, I had a thought. Why not hook up the failed 120gb drive instead and see if I can run a diagnostic? I mean a failed hard drive shouldn't work with my PC, right?
Using my IDE to USB adapter (best $10 I spent after getting a SATA-only PC), I ran both the quick and extended WD diagnostics on the WD drive and everything passed. So I patched the drive hoping to save shows and placed it back in the 5504. No change - still please wait.
So I decided to re-image and patch the WD drive using the image from the original 40gb drive. After that, I popped it back and IT WORKED. Back from the grave, I was able to setup all my inputs and settings, and enjoy live tv on my old friend last night.
However, this morning brought bad news - the dreaded please wait loop was back. A few restart attempts after disconnecting/reconnecting the drive, tightening screws, and checking connections made no difference.
What is a ReplayTV hobbyist to do? Is it possible to revive a HD that your ReplayTV has rejected? Was I dreaming last night when it worked? Should I try more steps like a low-level format, other diagnostic software, or another image?
Or is it over? ... please be gentle.