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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:15 am 
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Hi Guys,

With the help of postings on this forum I've been able to replace my 30GB HD in my Archos av500 with a Compact Flash drive.
I will discribe how I did this.

Introduction
Although the AV500 is perfect for recording from a helmet cam, the 1,8 inch harddisk might give up on rough terrain; while snowboarding for example. So I decided to replace the harddisk. I note here that I had a working AV500 with a functional harddisk before I began the upgrade. Futhermore I Had to downgrade the firmware of the AV500.

Both replacing the HD and downgrading the firmware will void your warrenty and will possibly damage you're av500 beyond repair. It worked for me, wether it workes for you? Who can say? Please don't send me any e-mails with questions such as "will you upgrade my Archos", I'm not into that!.

What do you need?

1) Get the downgrader from http://www.archopen.org/tiki-download_f ... ?fileId=73
2) Unzip the downgrader file into a folder. When you automaticly unzip, winzip creates a folder named Av500_1512_to_1312_Downgrader_v1. This is the best way to go.
3) Get the official 1.3.12 update file, put it somewhere on your PC. You need to get it from archos web site: http://www.archos.com/support/download/ ... _AV500.AOS. Do not put this file into the same folder as the downgrader since they have similar filenames!
4) Get yourselve a HD to Compact Flash adapter. Try searching in google on 1,8 HD zif Compactflash male convertor. Or try ebay.
Be sure that convertor has a ZIF connection and that you get a ribbon cable to. I bought a all in one package form this ebay shop:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1-8-ZIF-CE-hard-d ... m153.l1262
5) An old CF card for testing the setup.
6) a CF card (16GB are around 36 Dollars now)
7) A torx screwdriver number 4 (very small) and a very small philipshead screwdriver (A pointy knife will also do).
8 ) A piece of paper and a pair of scissors.

Getting started
Before opening up your AV500 and swapping the drive you have to check, and when needed, replace the firmware. This is how I did it. My method differs from the one on Archopen.org, cause that didn't work for me.

1) Check the firmware of your machine. (Setup->System->Firmware vers. on the AV500), When it is 1.3.12 or older then you do not have to change it.

2) When the firmware is newer than 1.3.12, make sure that it has firmware v1.5.12 if not, upgrade or downgrade normaly to 1.5.12.

3) Connect your AV500 to your PC using the usb cable. Also hook it up to a powersupply!

4) Copy the UPDATE_AV500.AOS file from Av500_1512_to_1312_Downgrader_v1 folder in the root folder of your AV500 (where there's Music Video System ...) of your Av500. Be sure you have the downgrader firmware and not the normal firmware (you will need that later!). The downgrader file is around 9.00 MB in size.

5) Remove the USB cable from your AV500

6) On your Av500, do 'Update firmware' with this file (in Setup->System).

7) You should see lot of green text then you should get back to the main menu.

8 ) Without shutting down the Av500, plug in the USB cable.

9) Copy the official update from ARCHOS (That you downloaded in: What do you need? Step 3) on your Av500 (overwrite the previous one). This file is around 1,98MB in size.

10) Unplug the USB cable.

11) On your Av500, do 'Update firmware' with this file (in Setup->System).

12) Check the firmware of your machine. (Setup->System->Firmware vers. on the AV500), it should now be 1.3.12.


Opening up your AV500 and replacing the harddisk.
When you work on this machine be very sure that you do it in a non static envoirement. Do not ware woolen sweaters or anything that could cause a buildup of static energy. This will harm your AV500. Also be very carefull with the ribbon cables and zif sockets of the original harddrive and on the AV500; these are easily damaged.

1. Remove the battery from your AV500.

2. Remove the 4 Torx screws. These are on the top and bottem of the left half of the AV500.

3. Remove the very small philipshead screw that is located in the middle next to the battery compartment.

4. Remove the backside from the AV500, you'll see the harddrive.

5. Gently pull out the harddrive, it is now only attached to the AV500 by the flat ribbon cable.

6. Pull out the ribbon cable from the connector in the AV500 by gently pulling the ribbon cable towards the side of the AV500. The connector should kind off 'slide' open and release the ribbon cale.

7. Put away the harddrive.

8. Connect the new ribbon cable to the AV500. The contact points (silver coloured) should be pointing to the circuitboard. I used the cable with the white backside (not the blue) cause this one fits the socket slightly better. The cable should go in a bit deeper than only the black part of the ZIF connector.

9. Close the ZIF connector by pushing the black part into the white part. This can be a bid of a drag and the black part might come off. You have to put it back, but be very careful not to break the little pins on it!

10. Connect the other end of the ribbon cable to the ZIF socket of the Convertor. Let the ribbon cable stick out of the AV500. Take the convertor. The part where the CF card go's in should be facing the sky (or ceiling (-; ). The ZIF connector should be pointing towards the ribbon cable. Push in the ribbon cable gently and close the ZIF connector.

11. Place and old CF card (a 256 MB should already work). Let the convertor hang out of the AV500. Put back the battery and test the AV500. It should recognise the CF as a HD. You might need to format the CF.

12. Shut down the AV500. Remove the battery.

13. Cut out a fitting piece of paper. Place it so that it coveres the entire circuitboard of the aV500.

14. Place the CF card that you want to use as a harddrive.

14. Place the Convertor on top and fold the ribbon cable between the circuit board (paper) and the convertor. It should fit after some fiddeling around) The backside of the convertor should be facing the sky.

15. Place a second piece of paper on the backside of the convertor to avoid a shortcut between the metal backplate.

16. Close up your AV500.You cannot use the Torx srews anymore. I taped up my AV500.

Finished.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:45 pm 
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Hi there flipje....

Nice description on how to change the HDD...

I did it myself, but my needs where more space instead of solid state, so I went to the 80GB HDD way.....

The main difference with your process was that my HDD barely fitted the space so no paper was used.... also I needed to get a ZIF cable and risk to break the ribbon... cause I had to bend it so badly it looks like origami.....

I do get static shock if Im not very careful, mostly when Im starting the player AND plugging a flash drive to the USB Host cable or plugging powered speakers to the headphone jack at the same time...
(My original 30GB HDD are in perfect shape with the original ZIF cable too, safely kept)

I was not able to screw all 4 torx screws... But I did manage to put 2 of them (the ones at the corners... silver ones)... maybe due to the pressure of the 80GB on the backplate... but they did screw in.... AND I also put the little philip screw... so those 3 are enough to secure my drive...you should try to do this instead of taping it.... (discretion)...


I would like to ask you about the performance of the player using a CF disk and also the adaptor.... Do you get any lags?... and how is the battery life?....

The 80GB hdd I put does not have a 2MB buffer as the original did.. it only have a 128kb buffer with SOC integrations and I think this make it a little slower with the interface.... (though not very noticeable)... on the brightside, the battery life was improve a little...... (on my original cell from 2006.... I got 5h16m on my video test)....

SO cheers mate to accomplish this upgrade with success.... I would have liked to put a SanDisk SolidStateDrive of at least 32GB.... maybe 64 given that some already have a ZIF connection.... but the price of them are extremely high right now....


I almost forget... I do not get any lag during video recording... so this important task was not crippled... :D

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:13 am 
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Hi BUC,

Thanx for your reaction. My goal of replacing the HD was to make the AV500 more shock resistant. I chose a set up of a converter and CF card because the CF card is relatively cheap compared to real solidstate disks.

Currently I use a 256MB CF card for testing the setup. It shows no lags in recording or playing video. The AV500 uses 100MB for around 4 minutes of video. This is on quality VGA PAL 4:3 2500KBS (I think these are the best quality settings for 4:3 Video). So I'm going to use a 16GB card, then I should be able to record something like 10 hours of video. Also 16GB are affordable (around 35/40 euro). Maximum capicity CF cards at the moment is the 32GB but these are around 150 euro.

I do not have any problems with static electricity, I just put in a warning about static electricity issue's, because static envoirements should be avoided when [u]working on[u] electrical equipment.
Besides your problem doesnt sound like a static electricity problem to me because it only accures when you hook the AV500 up to other devices. In my opinion it could be a grounding problem you should check your GND connections wether they contain any power. When this is the case it is usually due to a defective capicitor in the power convertor of one of the machines. You should also be very careful cause this problem might damage other machines when they are connected to the defective machine.

About the screws. I wasnt able to put any of the screws back because the convertor does not have any mounting points for screws. Currently I'm working on a solution for this. I will make some nuts from a copper or aluminium rod that fit in the AV500.

I havent been able to test battery life yet but I will do that since I'm going to use the av500 under extreme conditions (cold weather while snowboarding). I will post my findings.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:48 am 
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Good work. I wish I could have updated my AV500. The original harddrive failed because of triple battery swelling right at the point I was to downgrade the firmware.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:01 pm 
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Hey flipje

I am getting ready to memory mod my AV500. This is a great post  just what I was looking for. I have a question re the firmware portion of the mod. What is the purpose of the downgrade? I have the most current firmware flash on my Archos (1.5.12). I read the post several time and I am a little confused at this section of the mod.

Can you help me with my mod

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:35 am 
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The downgrade is used to override a protection mechanism that links the original HDD to the AV500 Unit... so you must do this to make other drives recognizable....

After you downgrade and put your new drive (could be a CF card, or a higher capacity HDD or even a SSD if you got the money) well you can safely upgrade to the version you currently have....

I also have the 1.5.12 on my upgraded unit...

With the CF cards Im not sure if you will have to Format (with the built in formatting tool) each card you hook to the adapter... I had to format the 80 GB HDD but only once... after that I was able to hook the original 30 GB HDD and the newer HDD back and forth....

Good luck, keep updating

PS: Also note that for those of youi who swap out a good original HDD... you can use an enclosure on those and then use it as external Hard Drive and it will work with the USB Host feature on the Archos without any other power source... so its a good way to give used to the old HDD... for extra movies, music or whatever...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:10 am 
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At least the 250GB drive didn't go to waste. I was able to use it to upgrade a Motion Computing M1400 from 40GB to 250GB! So the 250GB drive ended up to be a good purchase anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:59 am 
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The 80Gb HD in my av500 has given up the ghost BEFORE I was able to downgrade the firmware in order to replace the failing HD. What are my options? Could I configure a replacement harddisk in an other (downgraded) AV500 and then swap this into my own av500?

I've removed the hard disk and slaved it to my PC, but it is well and truly knackered (clunk clunk), so no way of getting a downgraded firmware on there.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:01 am 
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you need to make the hdd work long enough to downgrade... open up if necessary (carfully) and try to separate the head of the disc... assembly and plug to AV500.. and downgrade....

dont give up... I think thats your only chance...... Once downgraded I was able to swap the original and the new hdd (already formatted to FAT32) even at v-1.5.12

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:25 pm 
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Archos5Fan wrote:
Good work. I wish I could have updated my AV500. The original harddrive failed because of triple battery swelling right at the point I was to downgrade the firmware.


I know it is off topic, but I am relieved to hear that I am not the only one that dealt with the battery swelling. I was able to get Archos to replace it, but it swelled also. What causes it?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:25 pm 
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caseyatbt wrote:
Archos5Fan wrote:
Good work. I wish I could have updated my AV500. The original harddrive failed because of triple battery swelling right at the point I was to downgrade the firmware.


I know it is off topic, but I am relieved to hear that I am not the only one that dealt with the battery swelling. I was able to get Archos to replace it, but it swelled also. What causes it?


This is generally caused due to overcharged devices or excesive discharge... also excesive pressure can lead it to swell..

My "thin" Archos500 had suffered from sudden shut down cause of extreme hot... (at the beach) luckily this ended well and the original battery still performs at around 60-65% what it used to.

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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 10:32 am 
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Just wanted to share my experience with my AV500-30GB CF Mod:
My AV500 broke (dropped it, HDD dead) some time ago, so I decided to give the "SSD-Mod" a try. I ordered this CF-to-ZIF-Adapter (comes with two cables, allows for some bending without fear of breaking) and the cheapest CF card I could find on ebay.
Firmware was still downgraded (from some experiment few months earlier, thanks to archopen), so it worked just fine.
Luckily, I was impatient enough to buy a CF card the day the adapter arrived and did not wait for the CF to arrive the second day, because the ebay-CF did _not_ work, as opposed to the CF from the electronics store.
Due to the sideways shift of the ZIF connector inside the AV500 it did not fit at first, but a hacksaw solved that...lots of "dead" circuit board could be cut away.

So, how does it work? Perfectly fine. Due to the lack of a spin-up, the response is just way swifter than with the original drive. If, during playback, I jump to the next song, it comes withing a small fraction of a second (minimal audible delay), and "gapless" playback is way better than with the hdd. Also, I toss it around and man, it sure feels good to not need to fear about a dead hdd anymore :)
Battery life seems increased to me, but I have no hard data to support that.

The downsides: I only got a 4GB CF, and I already thought the 30GB was too small... Also, transfer speeds to and from the CF are in no way close to the speeds of the hdd. I have a IIx CF, if you shell out the necessary money for a IVx card, transfer times should not be a problem anymore.

Some time before, I had the 605 4GB version. I returned it after a week because it was just horrible - the response of the system was sluggish, there was incredible latency when buttons were pressed and transfer times were just long! - I was pleasantly surprised to find that the CF mod did not show these symptoms.

So if I might recommend to all those with a working AV - downgrade to 1.3.12, it's worth it :) And if you have a dead AV, try to resurrect it. I was not certain if I had 1.3.12, and man, did it feel good to see that Startup screen turn into the standard Standby screen :))


Oh yeah, about my CF cards: the ones that worked were a SanDisk IIx 4GB and a Hama "cheapo" 1GB; the Lexar 512MB did not work.


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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 3:32 pm 
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Thats great to hear...

Cause I was able to upgrade my HDD from the 30GB to a HDD of 80GB but the lack of internal buffer has its pros and cons... PRO: even though its a bigger hdd (storage) I get better battery life than original....
CON: without buffer and with SOC (system on chip) integration, the response time is a little bit slower

But overall is not sluggish at all... I just dont get "gapless" playback like you do..

I would like to know how does your AV5CF ;) performs under video recording or a high bitrate video playing.... Please test and let us know if there is lag while recording... cause that would be important for many av500 users...

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 9:07 am 
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I tried a short recording (23 sec) at optimum/2500kbps, and it had no problems. I just assume that there is no internal storage inside the AV so that the video data is written directly to the CF card. If not, just tell me and I will record a longer test. But the video was alright, no studdering or something.


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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 2:09 pm 
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That's great, it writes directly into the cf card. And it seems the av500 can handle all these formats we are creating. Awesome, thanks for your time.

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:35 am 
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Not a problem. I am just very happy to have my AV500 back :) - There is just no other machine like it!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:23 pm 
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@flipje

thanks for the write up... I realize this post is a couple of months old but now SSD drives are really coming down in price...

Is there any chance you have pictures of taking it apart?

Thanks again

Q


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:05 am 
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great stuff good to know that if my hd dies i have options

just thinking but has anyone tried a zif to usb with a usb flash drive ?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:24 pm 
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i found this on searching ebay and was wondering if anyone here could comment on compatibility and which model would be appropriate (for the AV500).

Also, could someone tell me how many pins the zif ribbon contains?

Thanks

Q


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:23 am 
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lee786:

One could check out your idea, but my AV500 is very fragile after the transition... I dont want to risk breaking the ZIF connector to try... but it sounds very very possible... and now with those micro USB drives that looks like Trident Gum... sounds interesting

qryptiq:

The problem with the Drive you show on ebay is the same problem I had with my 80GB 1.8" HDD... and its that the ZIF connector its in the top middle instead of a little to the left (from the picture point of view)... and you would have to bend the cable like I did (it was A LOT) and it was hard to get the good straight connection... but it is possible...

Check out my pictures at the end of this page: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=6293&start=20

After those pictures I was able to bend like origami the cable (the one that the new HDD brought) and make it fit, and I never took the HDD out again... but I still use the original HDD as a 30GB external drive... and keep the original ZIF cable just in case

Im not taking anymore risk with my drive... but if you are, or at least you're considering... then the first thing you need to do its the downgrade to the 1.3.12 firmware... cause if your HDD dies with a newer firmware there is no fix...

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