Replacing a small HDD

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by jpanhalt, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. jpanhalt

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    I have an HP4101 mfp laser printer that destroys HDD's. The printer was made with various a 2 to 8 GB Toshiba 2.5" drives. The printer does it's own, proprietary (I think) formatting. By "destroy," I mean after a few days the drive just makes a grunting sound as if it won't get up to speed. HP's solution is to buy a new I/O card @$800. I replaced the Toshiba drive once with a new one (not remanufactured) and it worked fine for about a week or two, then same thing.

    I am thinking of using a SD to 2.5" IDE adapter, such as this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Syba-Connecti...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B0036DDXUM

    Does anyone have experience with such adapters? Any advice? Do you know of an adapter that will actually fit in a slot for a 2.5" HDD or does one need an extension cable?

    John
     
  2. shteii01

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  3. thatoneguy

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    From that thread, it sounds like you can swap in any brand of 2.5" drive, then upload firmware to the printer, which will format the drive.

    I didn't see where there is a size limit, but there usually are with file systems, so I'd suggest the lowest capacity you can find.
     
  4. jpanhalt

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    Thanks for the advice. I have been there and done that. Got my printer in the 2004/2005 timeframe.

    When the original drive failed, I went to the Internet and found that and similar forums. All forums confirm the problem. It is claimed in some that HP got a bad batch of chips (HP won't confirm that). I don't recall the exact chip, but it was related to the drive controller. HP had an unannounced warranty recall for drives that failed and replaced them free with an upgraded EIO controller. When mine failed and I called, it was about 3 months after the end of the program. HP stopped supporting the printer and that $800 price was from its authorized support HP referred me to.

    Ebay sellers have "new" EIO cards for about $130 to about $500. The $130 isn't bad if it is the upgraded version, new, and works. But, I don't really trust that is the case.

    I was thinking that if it is a drive controller chip, a solid state device might be substituted, have less power demands, and might work.

    I have not paid much attention to solid state drives, SD cards, etc. So my simple question is whether those adapters really emulate an IDE hard drive well enough to be plug and play.

    John
     
  5. thatoneguy

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    I've used the SATA to IDE and IDE to SATA without any detection problems on older hardware (and newer hardware without IDE ports). These were with SD cards for faster boot, two adapters connected in a couple cases.

    This is with PC motherboards from 2000 to present, though. I'm not sure if the adapters are "PC Specific" for what commands are translated.

    There may be an issue similar to USB to Parallel Port adapters, where Parallel port bit banging routines cannot work since USB needs complete packets for each transaction. The adapters DO work fine as a bi-directional printer connection, though.

    Final answer: You can try it out for not very much money and improve the world's knowledge. I think worse case is that it won't work, but won't destroy the printer I/O. :D
     
  6. jpanhalt

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    I will probably go for it. Worst case, I ruin the solid state memory. More likely, I end up adding it to another computer for backup.

    It is frustrating that such a heavy-weight printer has such a weak link in its design.

    If/when I get it done, I will post the results.

    John
     
  7. thatoneguy

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    It may be voltage surges that are killing the drives.

    I know a Laser Printer / Copier appears as a massive load when the fuser is warming up, which is the reason they will destroy a UPS if plugged into one.

    I could see big voltage swings making a drive "give up" after a period of time. You may want to check power to the drive if you have a DMM with a min/max/avg function and 1mS sampling.
     
  8. jpanhalt

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    A Syba adapter and 16GB CF card was just ordered seconds ago. I expect to have them by X-mas. I hope it is a Merry Christmas. John
     
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