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Tascam DV-RA1000HD problem - looking for assistance

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by JonL, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. JonL

    JonL Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I have a Tascam DV-RA1000HD that I haven’t used in a very long time.

    Recently I tried to use it and it does not operate. I got the following results:

    After turning on the power switch the display shows “Initializing DVD Drive…”, then displays “Please Wait”. The display stays this way without changing. The ODD light is on. If I press the HDD button the display shows “FAT could not be mounted. So cannot change to HDD mode.”

    In addition, if I press the “Open/Close” button, the display shows “Close”. The DVD tray will not open on repeated pressing on the button. The “Close” message will not turn off.

    When I check the FirmWare version it says:

    Ver. 2.01

    Build. 0049

    Drive Ver. (blank)

    Also, I checked the battery, the screen displays what appears to be a battery with the inside image solid white. Since the date display was correct, I assume this means that the battery is still fully charged. The Owner’s Manual is not clear on showing what is displayed for a fully charged versus dead battery.

    So here are the questions I’m hoping someone can help with:

    1. Any idea what is wrong with the unit, basic things to check? Are the two issues related?

    2. Is there a service manual available? I searched online but did not find any documents.

    3. I have seen in a few old posts that owners have replaced the DVD drive as well as the HDD using non-Tascam factory parts. Does anyone have the specifics of the make and model of the drives used and the procedure involved? Again, my search efforts found nothing.
    Of course sending the unit to TEAC/Tascam for servicing is possible as a quick phone call revealed that factory parts are still available (but this option may be cost prohibitive).

    Thanks.
     
  2. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I've never popped the cover on mine, but I think that these units might be old enough to use IDE drives. Assuming that it is IDE, then any working IDE drives should work. The only question is the formatting, but I'm guessing that they might using something like FAT32.

    However my guess is that your HD's bearing has probably frozen-up. This can happen with HDs which sit for too long. I've seen IT guys who I work with give old drives a hard knock against a table before to get them unstuck, and then they worked again. So this is something that you might want to try.

    Also, take a look at the DVD Drive and see if it has a tiny hole in the front of it. If it does, then press a paper-clip through this hole to open the drive manually. That might be enough to release the stuck tray mechanism to get it working again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  3. JonL

    JonL Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the tips.

    I did find a hole in the front of the DVD drive. Note that it is behind the front panel door of the Unit which is separate from the DVD drive housing. I was able to open the DVD tray using the paper clip method. The tray seemed to be free and can be moved open and closed manually, and the belt seemed normal, not loose. The tray does close by itself if left open and the power to the Unit turned on, but the “Close” button has no effect. The drive does spin up if a CD is loaded, but does not play. The drive is a Pioneer. Question, does your unit display “Open” when you press the open/close button?

    I decided to bite the bullet and open the case of the Tascam. The DVD drive and HDD are easily accessible. I was able to get the Tascam to attempt to access the HDD. It did spin but made clicking noises which I may not have heard with the case cover in place. The HDD is a Western Digital 80 GB.

    So the problem seems to be a bad HDD. Once I a get a replacement HDD and install it I will post the results.

    In the mean time, I’m hoping someone will chime in regarding the use of another make/model of the DVD drive and the use of another size, make/model, or interface of the HD drive.

    Thanks
     
  4. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Are the drives IDE (as I suspect) or are these SATA? FYI - IDE uses a wide ribbon cable, but SATA does not.

    If it these are SATA, they should be relatively easy to replace. But if these are IDE, then you will need to source some very old drives. And there is a good chance that the HD controller will probably not recognize drives larger then 250Gig. However you will probably need to format it to fat32 using an old windows PC first.

    But again, I recommend removing the HD, and banging the edge once moderately hard against a desk to dislodge the spindle. You really have nothing to lose since this drive is dead otherwise.
     
  5. JonL

    JonL Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Jersey
    The HDD is IDE. I found out that the Tascam will format the HDD. I tried the banging method, as well as rotating the drive CW and CCW rapidly, and as the last resort freezing it. When I put it back in each time the result was the same as I described above. In my research I did find people mention using SATA and even CF drives, requiring adapters, Unfortunately, the specific details are lacking.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  6. JonL

    JonL Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Got a replacement HDD, Western Digital – WD 800 BEVE 80GB. Decided to just replace it with the same as the original so as to keep further trouble shooting to a minimum in the event that something else is also causing a problem. Note that the drive uses FAT32 per the Tascam owners manual.

    Installed the new HDD. Formatted the drive upon first powering up the Tascam. Once complete, powered the Unit off. Upon powering up the Unit again, everything seems to be operational.

    So, to answer my own question, yes, the problem with the DVD drive was related. With the new HDD installed the DVD drive is fully functional again.

    Still interested in getting a copy of the Service Manual if one is available.

    Also, still interested in finding out what other DVD drives and HDD will work.
     
  7. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Hi, I too have a Tascam DVRA1000HD where the hard drive just gave out (or at least, I hope it's just that). I took it apart today (quite a jigsaw puzzle to get the drive free; took lots of photos in case I have issues putting it back together). Same WD 800BEVE as in yours.
    I'm still considering trying to replace it with a SSD or maybe a SATA HDD, but like you, the info I found where people claimed to do that was lacking in details.
    Since your last post, have you come across any more info on a retrofit with different storage than the factory WD drive?
    thanks.
     
  8. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    I'm going to take a chance and have ordered a 250 GB SATA SSD, and a IDE to SATA converter. The converter would replace the small interface board currently in the unit. As best I can tell, the factory interface board is not doing anything special, is entirely passive, and its absence shouldn't matter.
     
  9. JonL

    JonL Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Hi,
    Since the time I got the Unit back up and running I haven't done any further research on alternate drives/interfaces. It looks like you probably found the same references that I did.

    I am still interested in the conversion that you mention. If you could do a followup post with the results that would be great.

    Regarding the DVD drive, what unit does your DV-RA1000HD have? Mine came with a Pioneer DVR-116.

    Thanks
     
  10. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Yes, sure. I didn't want to list model numbers yet, until I can confirm it works (don't want to inadvertently steer someone in the wrong direction). But will add all that info if it does work.

    I couldn't find any info on the potential 250 GB limit TarnishedEars mentioned (I found an old limit of 137GB but this product came out long after that). But I just ordered a 250 GB SSD, just in case. That should be plenty. Thankfully I had backed up all the files I had saved to the Tascam, but looking at the manual, it seems like a tedious process to put them back onto the drive in the unit.

    Re: DVD drive, mine has a Teac DV-W5000, which is apparently intended for industrial use. Hopefully that translates into a long lifetime. I could not locate a manual for it.

    PS, my '1000HD unit has a 2009 date sticker on the back, next to the USB port. How about yours?
     
  11. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Since there aren't many details about removing the HDD from the Tascam DVRA1000HD, and since I disassembled far more than was needed, I thought I'd post some annotated pics of how to do it.
    Part 1:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  12. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Part 2:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    TarnishedEars likes this.
  13. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Great job @hacksaw99 ! Have you tried the larger drive yet to see if it works in there? I think that you are right about the exact drive size limit. I just remembered that it was somewhere in that ballpark.

    But I would not personally assume that the Tascam hardware is safely beyond this size limit, as the computer technology in this unit was way behind the times even when this unit was built.
     
  14. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Well it looks like it's not going to work with the 250GB SSD.
    First I tried plugging in the bare, unformatted drive since JonL mentioned his new 80GB drive was recognized and formatted by the Tascam.
    The DVD came back to life but it didn't recognize the SSD.
    Then I took the drive over to my PC and using a 3rd party utility I formatted it FAT32, then tried again.
    Still won't recognize the drive.
    The on-screen message on the Tascam is:
    "FAT could not be mounted. So cannot change to HDD mode."
    I wish I had a SATA drive under 137GB to hook up just to see if it recognizes it and to confirm the interface board, but I don't.
    Any ideas on other things to try? I was going to try and create a primary partition less than 137GB (i.e. wasting the rest of the SSD capacity) but Windows 10 disk management doesn't seem to allow you to create partitions (or at least not on a drive formatted as FAT32).
     
  15. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Update: I dusted off an old Windows XP SP2 machine and plugged the interface board and SSD into its IDE cable and all worked fine. diskmgmt.msc recognized the drive, that it's FAT32, and its full capacity, and I could write to it and read from it. So the interface board and drive are both OK. Something in the Tascam is the problem, maybe that old 137GB limit for an old incarnation of IDE mentioned earlier.
     
  16. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Update #2:
    I've got too much time invested to give up now. As one last shot before just going with a factory replacement using a mechanical HDD (the WD800 BEVE), I'm going to try a 120 GB SATA SSD, which should work if the 137GB limit of older implementations of IDE is really the issue.

    We know (from JonL's experience) an 80 GB HDD works, and the next lowest IDE limit before 137 GB was apparently 8.4 GB, so a 120 GB drive should come in between those limits. If it doesn't work, i.e. if 80GB is the max, it would seem to mean that Tascam put some artificial limit into its firmware.

    I would have ordered an 80GB SATA SSD if any inexpensive ones were available, but there weren't any (and it would have left an open question on whether you can exceed 80 GB at all). There are several choices for 120GB SATA SSD's in the $18-20 range, and I guess I'll just use it as an oversized flash drive if that still doesn't work in the Tascam.

    FYI info on the IDE limitations timeline: ATA Drive Capacity Limitations | Upgrading and Repairing PCs: The ATA/IDE Interface | InformIT
     
  17. JonL

    JonL Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the progress report and photos. To follow up on the DVD drive manufacturer/model - my Tascam unit is dated 2008. I have seen reported in other threads that the same TEAC drive unit as yours was used on earlier units as well. So there appears to be various drives used, I guess based on availability during assembly.

    Back to the HDD, how did you attempt to format the HDD? The method I found mentioned, and used, is to press the HDD button and hold it in while powering up the Unit. It should go right to the format menu. There are several menus to go through and then the final continue or cancel option. Not sure what happens when you power up the Unit without formatting the HDD first as I did not go that route.

    As far as the HDD size is concerned I saw mentioned that people did install drives "much larger than 60GB" stock drive. Unfortunately no one mentions the actual size used, or if the disk space is fully accessible. Note that the first Units were equipped with 60GB HDD which was then increased to the 80GB in later Units.

    If your not yet fully committed to a SATA SSD, you could try a larger IDE HDD. According to the spec sheets Western Digital did make IDE drives in the same BEVE 2.5 inch family in 60, 80, 120, 160, and 250 GB sizes, and up to 320 GB in the SATA versions.
     
  18. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Ah, I wasn't aware of the 'easter egg' to access the formatting menu. Thought it would just recognize it as unformatted on power-up.

    Thanks to JonL's tip, I re-installed the 250GB SATA SSD and IDE to SATA interface board, and holding the "HDD" button while powering on, it recognized the drive and formatted it. SUCCESS!
    Well, sort of.
    I copied a couple CD's to the SSD and played back thru headphones, just to make sure basic write and read works, then pulled the SSD out and took over to my Windows10 PC, and under disk management, this is what I see for this 250GB SSD drive:
    [​IMG]

    So...a SATA SSD does work, but this was how it auto-partitioned it. It gave me no say in the matter.
    If a person installed a 320GB, maybe up to 2TB, it would appear to have "worked" if you didn't pull the drive out to check how it formatted and partitioned. But most of the capacity wouldn't be accessible.

    Bottom line, there's no point buying larger than 137 GB advertised size (most SATA SSDs in this range are 120 GB advertised size) because the Tascam will not be able to use beyond 128GB of (binary) capacity (137GB decimal capacity = 128GB binary capacity). A 120GB advertised size SSD should show up as about 111GB binary size after formatting.
    (The volume label was automatically assigned by the Tascam unit.) Will add more later.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
    tonesteroc likes this.
  19. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Installing a SATA SSD (137GB max usable capacity) into the Tascam DV-RA1000HD:
    PART 1 of 2:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. hacksaw99

    hacksaw99 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Part 2:
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     

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