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E100 Hdd Crash?

494 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Steve McDonald
As I was clearing off the hdd in my E100, the last three movies made nothing but coasters, despite repeated tries. At first I thought the disc drive was bad. So, I grabbed some RAM discs to try and get the rest of my stuff off the hdd. Most things copied to RAM fine except the three movies.

So, I formated the hdd and it shut down before the format was finished, doing a 'self test' then displaying the message, 'error has occurred'. So I tried again and it formated to the original maximum time on the hdd.

Tonight I copied a movie to the clean hdd, but it would not playback, instead going into the 'self check' and 'error has occurred' routine. I can not access the hdd at all, but can record directly to the dvd disc drive.

I think the hdd has died. Strange, my $100 TiVo runs 24/7 and it's been running a lot longer than the $800 E100. The hdd just doesn't have that may hours on it. Ah, well.

So, what to do? The unit is about 11 months old and still should be under warranty. Send it back to Panasonic? Any idea how long this will take?

If I put a new off the shelf hdd in the machine (of the same size), will it recognize the new drive and format up ok? If I replace the drive myself, what size is the drive? RPM? Cache? Or don't those things make a difference? I am a broadcast engineer and would have no trouble replacing the drive. But, maybe I should just do the warranty thing...?

Of course this would happen on Halloween week - a busy time for video recording!

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Originally posted by John Alan
...If I put a new off the shelf hdd in the machine (of the same size), will it recognize the new drive and format up ok? If I replace the drive myself, what size is the drive? RPM? Cache? Or don't those things make a difference?...
The drive size is 120GB. Using a larger drive reportedly will not increase the machine's capacity.

I would shoot for 5400rpm if you can still find one. I believe the E100 has a fan controlled by a thermostat, and a 7200rpm drive would probably trigger the fan, since they run hotter. I don't think the fan ever activated on my E100; most likely it has a 5400rpm drive, but I have never opened it. As far as cache is concerned, I suspect it doesn't make any difference.

Does anybody know if the E100 service manual is available online?
I would send it back to an authorized repair center before the warranty expires. Why would you spend your time, energy, and money to fix it yourself if you can still exercise the warranty?
Make sure you send it to an authorized FACTORY service center. I took my E80 to an authorized repair center (i.e., an independent repair shop) in May (because it was within driving distance) for a failed optical drive and I didn't get it back into my hands until late August (because of work backlog and the need to order replacement parts from Panasonic). On the other hand, people who've used the FACTORY service centers have had their units turned around it a week or two (this included the time it took to ship the unit there and back). Usually, the FACTORY service center will give you quicker turnaround (even if you have to ship it rather than walk it in) because they are set up for higher volume (more than the one or two technicians that you'll find in a "local" authorized repair shop) and can usually just get the replacement parts off the shelf or from an on-site warehouse. Good luck.
Vic, I would agree---get it fixed by panasonic. but where---well here is my story...

my burner died while recording a movie. and it kept getting worse. i could not save anything on the hdd to dvd-ram or -r. i copied my "most want to save shopws" to vhs. it also had a dvd stuck inside, cuz the drawer would not open.

i took it to the local panny authorized repair shop, which had never seen a dvr before mine.

it took 10 days for them to look at it. they called panny and panny sent them a new board.

@2.5 weeks, they installed the new the new board, and while the symptoms changed, the dvd still did not read. panny sent them a new dvd burner.

@3.6 weeks, the burner was installed and everything worked.

@4 weeks to the day, i picked it up, and once connected, the disk was reformatted, and all setting were restored to factory defaults. and it burns fine for me--in fact the centering of the dvd in the drawer is now fixed.

I suppose it's sop, but reformatting the hdd was not necessary--i lost tons of programs which i will never recover...

AND the worst part---the month it was in the shop does not extend my warantee by that amount!!!! i have about another 3 weeks left.

when i have something like this to do over again---i'll send it to the factory repair shop, rather than a local shop----

just my $.02,

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Thanks guys. It's off to the Panny repair shop.

The warranty has about a month left, so probably when I get it back the warranty will be up.

Ah, well, it could have died a month AFTER the warranty was up, so I'm lucky.

But WHY did it have to happen around halloween?!?!? Everything (that will fit) will have to sit on my tivo drive until I get my burner back.
If the breakdown of a product occurs before a warranty expires and it isn't properly fixed, you're entitled to keep sending it back as many times as it takes them to do the job right. Even after the warranty period is over, they have to fix conditions that existed and were reported before then. It's just like a football game that

can't end on a play that had a penalty called on the defense, even if time has expired. And don't let them tell you otherwise!

Steve McDonald
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