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Joined: Feb 2006
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As you can see a number of posts by me for this particular voicemail system, I've decided to try using a Compact Flash drive as a hard drive rather than these old hard drives that came with them.

Obviously, anyone who's pulled one of these apart can tell that it's a 2GB - FAT16 partition. Unfortunately, from what I've seen so far, the motherboard BIOS [phoenix PICO 4.05] only recognizes hard drives that are <2GB, OR have the 2GB limit/clip installed.

What I'm going to do is install with a Compact flash - 2 - ATA[IDE] adapter and a 44 pin IDE -2- 40 Pin IDE cable with power.

What this will accomplish is 2 things.

1. Better reliability of the drive.
Since the drive won't need to run 24/7 and create all that heat, we can expect longer life-span

2. Ease of replacement. I can buy a new 2GB flash drive for about $10, and it's not like they go bad on the shelf.

So I've already copied the drive [freeware partition clone] I'll post details of everything once I get started.

I'll let everyone know how it goes! Maybe this is a new fix for these drives!

Ryan

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What size drive your motherboard can see will depend on the BIOS version. However, even the oldest version should see a drive up to 8 gig.

I believe with the newest version 40 gig drives were used in production, but the top limit is higher. Since the unit runs DOS, only a 2 gig partition will work, but the physical drive can be any size the motherboard can detect.

You need to make a partition and open it "all the way" using FDISK. This will create the 2 gig partition the motherboard can run, no matter what the capacity of the drive is.

The DOS "ability" in Win2k/WinXP/Vista will NOT work correctly, you must boot in a "real" DOS 6.2 environment to FDISK and format the partition.


Always be nice to everyone. You never know when you will encounter them again! (Perpetual Lurker)
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I've notices a few things so far about hard drives. The board I have only seems to be able to recognize drive 2GB and smaller.

That being said, it is possible to use a larger drive if it has the capability to limit itself (via jumper, etc) to 2GB MAX. I noticed that on the harddrive that came with this voicemail box, the drive is a samsung 4.3GB drive, but it has a clip/jumper set to limit it to 2GB.

I've also gotten an IBM 13.5Gb drive to work, but only after "jumpering" down to 2GB.

I've tried other drives, (4.3GB, 8GB, etc) and have created 2GB partitions on them from Acronis, Norton, and other various partitioning tools, and it still won't work for me. the machine hangs after recognizing the drive, and gets stuck before loading dos.
Perhaps i am doing something else wrong, but for now, the 2GB clip/jumper works fine.

Regardless, we'll see how the 2GB compact flash drive works on this. I'll try both 2gb and 1gb to see if it makes a difference or not.

Ryan

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Compact Flash DOES work!!!

OK, so I finally received all my parts from Ebay. Total Spent = $10

(1) 1GB Compact Flash Chip
(1) Compact-Flash-2-IDE(40) adaptor
(1) Spare ATX power supply laying around...

Hooked up the original drive and the compact flash adapter to a spare pc laying around, and cloned the disk to the flash card.

Removed the power supply, fan, and hard drive and mounts from SVP-4 case and installed the compact flash adaptor. (See Pic) [Linked Image from ryanhull.com]

No need for a fan, as the compact flash makes no significant heat. Nor do any of the chips on the motherboard itself.

Everything hooked back up and working! Don't forget you'll need a little bit longer IDE cable to reach over where I put the adapter.

On a side note, anyone who is familiar with the boot-up process can see that after the system boots and runs scandisk, it begins a sort of maintenance on the mailboxes. With a regular hard-drive, this only takes a few moments, and is generally very quick.

However, the compact flash drive moves very quickly throughout the bootup process until it gets to that maintenance mode. It takes a long time to complete (appx 5 minutes for my 5 mailbox system) but it does finish and loads normally. The system does not hang, and the drive is showing activity.

I'll write again when this has been running a few days to remark on reliability.

Ryan

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You ripped one of my babies apart! frown

clap

Good job. As long as you got it running it *should* be fine. It's a little different from some other mods I have seen, but it looks good. Keep me posted.

Oh, and be sure to check the voltage on your battery if you have not replaced it.


Always be nice to everyone. You never know when you will encounter them again! (Perpetual Lurker)

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