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#280657 - 2018-12-02 09:45 HowTo: MC200 drive swap
Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,582
Ian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government
Ian Offline
President of the Imperial Galactic Government

Registered: 2004-08-07
Posts: 7,582
Loc: Surrey, England, UK
Having been given the nod to write this, here is some guidance on how to create a backup of your MC200 drive to protect you from future drive failure. BEWARE, if you get it wrong, you could TRASH your original disc. These instructions only cover making an identical sized backup, it does not cover changing the size of the music library, although this can be done.

THIS IS YOUR RISK - I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILY SHOULD ANYTHING GO WRONG.

Whilst accessing MC200 internals is quite easy and quick, the disc clone and optional repartition will take a considerable amount of time (iirc > 24 hours in my case), during which you will be without music from MC200. There will be long periods of time when the process appears to be doing nothing, you need to be patient. Read up carefully on any cloning or partitioning software/hardware you choose - some may not behave quite as expected, so check reviews etc on any updates to manuals - iirc icybox progress lights did not progress as I had expected, resulting in an aborted first clone.

On the MC200, there is a single internal drive which contains both the operating system of the MC200 and your music library. They are inseparable. However, the Sooloos architecture does allow multiple music libraries, so your music library may reside on another networked store device. The drive of the MC200 is locked to that physical MC200. I am not aware that it can be transferred to another physical device - I suspect that it is locked via serial number. This probably goes some of the way to explaining the high cost of a replacement MC200 disk.

Access to the MC200 drive is quite straight forward. To undertake a drive swap, you will need:

A suitable crosshead screwdriver(s)
A Torx (T25?) screwdriver
A 2-1/2" SATA disc drive of at least equivalent size to the original ie 500GB or 1TB.
An anti static wrist strap - best practice.
Patience - the process will take many many hours.

You will also need a means to perform a low level copy of a non standard format drive. By low level, I mean, bit level full disc cloning. For ease, I used an Icybox with disc cloning facility which did not require a PC, but there may be tools available for PC/Mac that do similar. Dominic also recommended this similar to Icybox:

Originally Posted By dpstjp
I have an Inatek Clone Station that does the job very well. Other makes of Clone Station are available.

The disc drive does not require any special performance, reliability and thermal compatibility is key. I chose a WD Blue 5400 RPM drive, described as being cool and quiet with low power consumption. I would avoid 'Eco' drives if you can as their sleep functions can cause issues in some applications. If you go for a disc drive larger than your original, you will not be able to make use of the extra capacity without repartioning the drive - a process not covered here.


These instructions are deliberately vague for two reasons. First, I'm not to go through a full dismantling just to write this guide and secondly, this process is not without risk, so should only be carried out by someone confident they carry it out. Its not hard and does require a bit of thought, planning and common sense, which is probably most of us.

Instructions:
  • Backup your music library.Now, if you had not worked that out for yourself, maybe this procedure is not for you - as mentioned, it needs a bit of common sense
  • Fully disconnect your MC200 and place on a soft non static surface that will not damage it nor infest it with dirt/hairs etc.
  • Using crosshead screwdriver, remove both feet
  • The sides of the case slide off towards the bottom - ie direct direction of what was the feet. I found that a smooth but forceful slide, with palm of the hand in centre of ali side will do it, making sure that the rest of the case does not slide.
  • Once the sides are off, you will see the black case again has removerable sides, held on with many torx screws. You only want to remove one of these sides. Look through the grill, top or bottom of the case and see which side is the motherboard and which side are the components. You want to remove the component side. Keep all the little screws safe.
  • Now, you need to earth yourself, either with and antistatic strap, or discharge yourself to a safe earth such as a metal radiator.
  • Gently lift up the side cover, paying attention to the fact that the hard drive will be attached to it and will be tethered to the motherboard. You will find one position where the cover can be folded over onto its back and remain connected to the motherboard.
  • You now have access to the disc drive, although it needs to be unscrewed from its cage by removing the small screws on sides.
  • Disconnect and remove the drive
  • You now need to bit copy/clone the drive. This is not without risk. Use your chosen method but make sure that you get source and destination right otherwise you may wipe your MC200 drive with an empty image. This cannot be undone. If you are using a disk cloning station, make sure that you put the source MC200 drive in the correct slot. This process will take many hours. I suggest leaving it overnight. Also consider if using a PC whether it will go to sleep - these are dependent on your chosen method.
  • Once complete, put the new drive back into the MC200, connect to network, turn on and test. After a short period of time, http://YourMC200IPAddress/debug will hopefully show that the new drive is working. Troubleshoot if it is not. As a last resort, replace your original drive.
  • If you wish to resize your new drive to take advantage of a larger capicity, remove it and repartition it as required. This is very error prone and again very time consuming. Try looking at something like the bootable live version of GParted and boot from a USB stick on a PC. That is all I am going to say on the subject. You are on your own here.
  • Whilst your case is open, you may want to consider changing the button battery - typically a CR2032 lithium battery. I don't know for sure. Again, you are on your own here, not sure what will happen with BIOS settings when battery removed as MC200 is mostly headless, so power on bios setup is not possible without removing motherboard.
  • In Haynes manual fashion, reassemble in reverse order.
  • Its your choice as to where to keep using original drive or move to new one. I would suggest moving to new one, even if you ultimately swap them back once you are happy that new disc is working fine. However, be aware that old and new drives will diverge in content from here on, so if you do need to swap things over in the future, settings, software versions and music libraries may differ. So always keep a Sooloos backup of your music library.
  • Store the removed drive in a safe place, like the box and anti static bag that the new one came in.


Hope it works for you and gives your MC200 many more years of life.


There is no problem so bad that politicians cannot make any worse.

Meridian owner since 1992
DSP5000 96/24, MC200, roon (ROCK 8Gi5 Nuc), Prime & PSU, Focal Elear, Explorer 1 & 2, F80, 200/203 and various Sonos.
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#280666 - 2018-12-02 14:04 Re: HowTo: MC200 drive swap [Re: Ian]
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,508
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner Working on the ultimate question
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,508
Loc: Lexington, South Carolina, USA
Thank you for posting this. It would be of benifit to many here in preserving their hard drives. I would assume the same could be done with MD600 and MC600?


www.cmbintegrations.com

Personal System #1 Trinnov Altitude 32-8-16, 818v3, DSP8000.2SE, DSP7200SEHC, Revel F228be, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, ATI 200WX5 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Denali 6000S, Alpha power cables, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB
Mark Levinson No515 Turntable

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#280667 - 2018-12-02 14:24 Re: HowTo: MC200 drive swap [Re: CMB Integrations - Bruce]
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,562
Ratbert Offline
Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Ratbert Offline
Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal

Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 3,562
Loc: Europe
The MD600 and MC600 store the OS on a DOM not on the disk so cloning the disk would backup only the music library.


Never pass up a good chance to shut up!
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#280668 - 2018-12-02 14:25 Re: HowTo: MC200 drive swap [Re: Ratbert]
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,508
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner Working on the ultimate question
CMB Integrations - Bruce Online content
Meridian Partner
Working on the ultimate question

Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 1,508
Loc: Lexington, South Carolina, USA
Thank you Russ.


www.cmbintegrations.com

Personal System #1 Trinnov Altitude 32-8-16, 818v3, DSP8000.2SE, DSP7200SEHC, Revel F228be, Revel B112, Monitor Audio Silver 10, ATI 200WX5 Amp, JVC RS15, Shunyata Denali 6000S, Alpha power cables, Black Diamond Zero Edge screen. QNAP TS-251 3TB
Mark Levinson No515 Turntable

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#280694 - 2018-12-03 21:59 Re: HowTo: MC200 drive swap [Re: Ian]
Registered: 2009-06-16
Posts: 84
Paul Lane Offline
Hitchhiker
Paul Lane Offline
Hitchhiker

Registered: 2009-06-16
Posts: 84
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I upgraded my MC200 with an SSD drive about 18 months ago. I used a 500GB drive as I did not need additional capacity and repartitioning looked to be not worth the effort. The SSD offered the following benefits (in decreasing order of importance to me):

- a backup copy of the operating system/software for when the original drive eventually dies, which they all do
- much lower thermal load, which should mean longer life for both the MC200 and SSD drive
- completely silent operation
- much faster response and access times

I too used an ICY box (or equivalent - there seem to a number of brands here in Australia that appear physically identical). It was not very expensive and did the job. The process is slow and the instructions were somewhat opaque.

I have used my MC200 with the new SSD drive ever since and retained the original drive as my backup. With disk drive prices continuing to fall I will probably clone the SSD to another new drive at some stage so I have a double backup. Good IT practice is to always have two backups.

Good luck to anyone having a go. The hardest bit for me was working out how to remove the side panels from the case. It wasn’t obvious how they came off and I was loathe to use too much force.


Paul
G68, DSP speakers. F80. Oppo 103 (with Vanity Lite card), Unused G91, 500 series CD/preamp and 204 tuner. John Bowers Active 1 loudspeakers (ancient but much loved)
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