Hey AA123! I was eagerly awaiting word from you!
Your advice, so far, is helpful, but I have a few questions.
First, however, I would like to mention that when I put the new HDD (500gb) into the A5 and select format, it takes about 30 minutes (sometimes longer... I have tried many times) and either says "please wait" or "setting up media". It never asks me to connect it to the computer. It often just turns off after a while... hangs at the penguin screen or goes back into recover. So, did you do something to your new drive straight out of the box before you installed? Format? Does NTFS or FAT32 matter? The A5 is FAT32.
When I start the A5 up with the OE 250gb I see "Patched Bootloader v1.7.11" with our penguin friend on display. I fear this may be an issue...
Here's another question I just thought of: Did I have to put a pre-patch firmware on here??? Could I have just used the v1.6.54 from the initial firmware patch? Also, on the pre-patch firmware list wiki page, there are 2 columns. I took from the left column... the one that had the AVOS and patched bootloader.
In all of my attempts, I accidentally lost the identity of the new drive (it wasn't recognized or showing up on any machine, winVist or linux). I was able to fix that in windows disk manager and then I reformatted it to NTFS... which feels like it took a year... and it's still not done formating (maybe another 4 hours or so).
Did you use 1.7.02? I hope I'm not SOL for using 1.7.11....
The additional info RE the formating of the HD (if needed out of box), NTFS or FAT32, and the patch version (also if I could just use the initial patch and not load a prepatch ((may be too late)) firmware).
Your steps so far are VERY helpful and definitely expand on your previous thread.
Do you have skype? or other vchat methods? It may be easier... just a thought... You can PM me your skype id.
Thanks again! I may sleep a little tonight!