Pioneer FAQ
Instructions for replacing the hard drive in Pioneer DVR-53X/63XH
DVD Recorders Version 3.8
Before you start you should be aware that changing the hard-drive will invalidate your
warranty. You are doing this at your own risk!!
Apart from being comfortable with taking apart your DVD Recorder, you will also need
the following tools:
A medium Philips screwdriver.
Some tweezers are good if you drop a screw.
A large and quiet HDD. 300-500Gb/26-27 dB
A Pioneer service-remote control model number GGF1381/GGF1595 alternatively a Philips
Pronto, Palm, Harmony or a OneForAll etc…
The current infrared codes for your emulating device.
A Pioneer DVD Recorder Data Disc (GGV1239*).
A note with your players 9 digit individual “CPRM ID No”. This is located at the rear of the
player, just under the RF antenna socket or just right of the cooling fan (533H) .
A CD with a functional firmware for the DVR-53X/63XH. An update disc should work
An anti-static wrist band is recommended
A CD with Linux if you do not have a firmware CD. Or the
Part 1: All Pioneer DVR models
Part 2: All Pioneer DVR models
Part 3: Pioneer DVR models with Guide Plus+(Europe) or G-Code (Australia/NZ)
Part 4: U.S and Canadian Pioneer DVR-53X/63X models.
Part 5: The rest of the world.
A product of
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© 2007 Håkan Wassberg
Pioneer FAQ
Part 1
Remove /Assemble of the HDD
I. Disconnect all the cables (especially the mains cable) that are connected at the rear of the recorder.
You should also take sensible precautions against static electricity and the use of an anti-static
wristband (such as you would use for computer work) is highly recommended.
II. Loosen and remove the screws that hold the top case. Remove the top case by sliding it back away
from the front slightly then lift it away.
III. On the picture above, the front of the recorder is at the top and the hard drive is located at the top
of the picture slight left of the centre. You will also find the HDD IDE and electrical connections
at the top. The HDD in the picture is a Western Digital 250Gb.
The disc is mounted in a stand. It is an ordinary IDE hard disc and it is important the jumper
settings on the hard-drive are set as “Cable Select” or “CS”.
Pioneer has tried to make an exchange of the HDD as hard as possible, this is done by leading the a
cable from the front (at the top of the picture) to the circuit board at the back right over the HDD. It
is no problem to loosen the black textile tape that goes right over the rear of the HDD and with a
firm grip, as close as possible to circuit board connection without bending the IDE cable, with
caution wiggle it to the right and left at the same time that you pull it upwards. The Circuit board
connections are very easy to reconnect.
** The aluminium tape function is a ground strap and must be restored on new HDD
**A tip: When you have removed the IDE cable, reconnect it before you mount your new HDD as
this will make any future upgrades easier.
IV. When you have loosened and removed the 4 screws on the stand, it is time to carefully unplug the
IDE and the electrical connections to the HDD. The cables are short and it will require some skill
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© 2007 Håkan Wassberg
Pioneer FAQ
to do this.
V. Remove the HDD, still attached to the stand, out of the recorder.
VI. Now that you have removed the hard-drive, pull away the IDE connector on the circuit board from
the old hard-drive and then re-attach this to circuit board to the flat white wire using the same firm
grip to push it home.
VII. Remove the old HDD from the stand and replace it with the new one. Restore the aluminium tape.
VIII. Double check the HDD is set to Cable Select mode (CS).
IX. Carefully assemble the HDD in its place inside the recorder. Reconnect the interface for IDE and
the power cable and tighten the 4 screws.
X. Replace the case of the recorder and fasten it with the screws.
XI. Restore all rear cables for power, sound and video. Ensure that you have a note of the number
from underneath the RF connection, you will need it next.
You have now finished part 1!
Go to part 2
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© 2007 Håkan Wassberg
Pioneer FAQ
Part 2
Make the recorder accept the new HDD
Here you will need the DATA disc GGV1239* and a remote control that can store and send the
commands of the service remote. If you have a Philips Pronto remote control this is ideal. You will
need to use the following service remote control buttons:
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Esc, Stereo, Play, Clear, Search and Stop.
Turn on the DVD Recorder where it will complain with an HDD-ERROR message.
You now need to erase and then put back the CPRM number, this allows the hard-drive to be
recognised by the recorder as it’s own.
With the Remote Control
Press ESC and then STEREO. Now press the 9 digit number you wrote down on the note
before you started all this and finish it with STOP.
You have now erased the old settings, this allows you to re-enter them and so prompting the
recorder to update the new hard-drive with the number. The DATA-ID disc will be required in
the next step.
Press ESC and then STEREO, type in the 9 digit number and then press SEARCH to store the
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© 2007 Håkan Wassberg
Pioneer FAQ
The recorder replies: Input the ID Data Disc!
On the recorder:
Press OPEN/CLOSE, put the DVD disc (GGV1239*) in the disc tray, press
OPEN/CLOSE to close the disc. Reading of the configuration data starts and ends
Remove the DVD disc and press CLEAR. Press Power Off and Power On…
You must now initialise the HDD. This function can be found in the Home Menu –> Disc
setup –> Initialise HDD section.
You have now finished part 2!
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© 2007 Håkan Wassberg
Pioneer FAQ
Part 3
If you do not have a firmware CD go to Part 5
This is for the European/Australian DVR-530/630H, but should be the same for other DVRs
Guide Plus+(Europe) / G-Code (Australia/NZ)
Now that you have changed HDD, the GuidePlus+/G-Code system and timer settings will not function,
and when you turn on the recorder it will again produce an HDD ERR message. It is here that many
have given up and accepted that they have destroyed their new recorder, however now you have our
solution that is actually very simple to make your recorder work again.
To make Guide Plus+/G-Code work again you need to reinstall a (complete?) firmware version as this
will reinstall all the files you needed to reboot your Guide Plus+/G-Code system.
Get a CD with a firmware. The ‘multiregional’ firmware v. 3.34 (European) works just fine for this.
For Australian/New Zealand you can use version 7.19. It seems that even a firmware update CD will
work OK to restore the recording software, Guide Plus+/G-Code.
Then follow the 8 steps below.
Turn on your DVD. Put HDD/DVD in DVD position.
Put the disc in the tray, do NOT close the disc tray.
Press & hold REC STOP*
At the same time press OPEN/CLOSE, when the tray closes release the buttons.
After a while the disc tray will open, remove the disc. Do NOT close the tray, the display will
cycle through various download messages, this is normal.
7. After several minutes the tray will close and the recorder powers off.
8. You are now done! Turn your recorder back on and enjoy your larger HDD, but if you still get
a HDD ERR message read on.
If you should get a HDD ERR when you turn your DVR on again, reinstall the firmware a second time
following the 8 steps above, this is a known issue and you shouldn’t worry.
*REC STOP is indicated by a red square, its button 10 showed on page 21 in the manual.
Now you will have a fully functional recorder again with a larger HDD.
Good luck!
Your are doing this at your own risk and are invalidating your warranty.
For feedback or more info where to get the stuff you need, write to: with the
subject “Change of HDD in 530/630H” Specify what you’re looking for.
* 1179 is OK to use as well, latest version is GGV1256.
For none European/Australian DVR-530/630H or if you do not have the firmware
CD see Part 5 below.
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© 2007 Håkan Wassberg
Pioneer FAQ
Part 4
For U.S. and Canadian versions of DVR 53X/63X.
Procedure to replace a failed or corrupted hard drive.
This procedure will install firmware for TV Guide and Timer Record for U.S. and Canada models. If you have
firmware version above 1.27 you should use the Pioneer4(1.30) or it will not work for you!
Part 4 was written for use on a computer using two IDE drives, since then many more computer configurations have arrived on the scene.
Linux recognizes IDE drives as hda, hdb, etc. SATA drives and USB drives are recognized as sda, sdb, etc. That leaves Part 4 open to some
interpretation, if you were to connect a SATA drive as the slave drive, it would be sdb and you would have to modify the command line in
the procedure to reflect that. Since computers are constantly upgraded with new devices, it would be very difficult to list all those variations
in here. The important thing is knowing your own drive configuration and correctly labelling the drives when using the dd command.
For DVR-531H download at
For DVR-533H download Pioneer(533).zip at
For firmware versions above 1.30 use Pioneer4(1.30).zip at
2. Make a folder in Windows under local disk C:, name it Firmware*. Extract the pioneer4.iso contained in
the .zip package to it. Exit Windows and shut down the computer.
3. Obtain a bootable version of Linux, I use Knoppix and the procedures used here will pertain to that
version, other versions will work just as well providing you have the knowledge to use them.
4. Attach your new hard drive as "slave" to your computer, make sure it is jumpered that way, the disk is
clean, and that it is not partitioned. Used drives can be cleaned and have their partitions removed by
any number of software programs available as shareware or freeware, new drives usually arrive that
5. Turn on the computer and access the BIOS (hitting delete during boot does it on mine, yours may
require a different key). Make certain your new drive is detected as the slave drive. Also check that your
computer is set to boot from CDROM before the HDD. Insert the Knoppix CD into your drive and exit
BIOS by clicking on Save changes & Exit. The computer will now re-boot to Knoppix.
6. During the boot up, screen listings will show:
hda master drive ID
hdb slave drive ID
hdc Atapi CDROM
When fully booted, the KDE desktop appears, close the Konqueror browser by clicking the X in the
upper right corner, the icons along the left show your drives. The CDROM is labelled Knoppix, the
master drive is hda1, and the slave drive is hdb. Click on hda1 to mount it, Konqueror opens and
displays folders, find and click on the Firmware folder, there is your pioneer4.iso. The path is
/media/hda1/Firmware/pioneer4.iso. Close Konqueror. Along the bottom of the screen, 6th icon over
from the left is Konsole, click on it to open. In the terminal, type su root then hit enter.
You are now the superuser.
type mount /media/hda1 -o remount,rw hit enter **.
7. Now for the critical part, be sure to double check your typing for mistakes.
type dd if=/media/hda1/Firmware/pioneer4.iso of=/dev/hdb seek=4 bs=512 hit enter.
When it finishes you should see:
8000+0 records in
8000+0 records out
4.1 MB's copied.
You have now written the pioneer4.iso to your new hard drive starting at sector 4 leaving the boot
sectors open for the ID write from GGV1179
8. Close Konsole, click on the first icon , bottom left, Kmenu. Select log out - Turn Off Computer.
When the CD tray opens - remove the disk - close tray and hit enter. Computer shuts off.
9. Remove your pioneer hard drive from the computer, re-jumper it to CS (cable select) and install it in
the DVR according to Part 1 of this guide.
10. Now follow Part 2 of the FAQ exactly. After you INITIALIZE the HDD, your TV GUIDE and
TIMER RECORD functions will be available. Congratulations on your new drive install.
* This is just something we call a firmware, it is NOT a real firmware.
** There is a space between mount and /media/hda1, a space between hda1 and -o and a space between -o and remount. Also -o is the small letter o, not a
zero. More info about this procedur according the use of SATA discs in the end of the document.
All Rights Reserved
© 2007 Håkan Wassberg
Pioneer FAQ
Part 5
For None European/Australian/US/Canadian versions of DVR-53X/63XH
(or if you do not have a Update CD)
Remove HDD drive from DVR
Boot up Linux from CD and make sure it see's both hard drives; if a drive is not
correctly identified, you may need to change the drives’ CS/Master/Slave jumper
settings for the PC. Don’t forget to return the jumpers to the “CS” or “Cable Select”
position when you are finished.
Open a terminal window and become root user (su root)
Check which is the source and destination drive once more
Assuming hdd = the 80gb source drive, and hdc = the new drive
Copy the entire 80gb drive to the new drive as follows
dd if=/dev/hdd of=/dev/hdc
This will copy the entire /dev/hdd device to the /dev/hdc device - the partition table
and partition contents (note: it is ultra important you get the if and of parts round
the right way - otherwise you'll wipe your old 80gb drive)
Obtain a bootable CD version of Linux
Attach old drive from DVR and new target drive to your PC (i would recommend
disconnecting all other hard drives to avoid the slight chance of destroying your
normal PC hard drive contents)
Find out which devices the two hard drives are ("dmesg | grep hdd" should do this
- it should tell you something about your hard drives - you are looking for which
device is the 80gb one, and which is the new bigger one)
10. Put the new drive in the DVR, run through the CPRM ID setup as you had done
before, and verify it now works ok (no HDD ERR, etc etc)
11. Put the new drive back in your PC and boot Linux again (I'd recommend not
having any other drive plugged in)
12. Assuming the new drive is still /dev/hdc, do the following
13. "cat > /dev/hdc1"
14. Type some garbage (jdfjlkdfjkldsjklfdkjljkl) and hit enter and type some more
garbage a few times
15. Press Ctrl-D to save your garbage
16. Put the drive back in the DVR, turn it on, and hopefully it should say the file
system is bad or something of that nature, you may get an HDD ERR messages
instead, if this happens, don’t worry. The Disc Initialise menu should now offer you
the chance to initialise the new HDD.
Now you will have a fully functional recorder again with a larger HDD.
Good luck!
All Rights Reserved
© 2007 Håkan Wassberg
Pioneer FAQ
Your are doing this at your own risk and are invalidating your warranty.
For feedback or more info where to get the stuff you need, write to: with the
subject “Change of HDD in 530/630H”. Specify what you’re looking for.
Thanks to:
Janne M for help with ideas and info etc
Philip for cleaning up my translation to proper English language and added some changes.
Christophe OLIVIER Photos in part2, from a DVR-520H
Jahodges for the Linux way to make the new HDD work.
Corona Procedure of Part 4
TR House Provider of Pioneer4.iso
Andrew Kendel Provider of Pioneer4(533).iso
jjmdtw Provider of Pioneer4(1.30).iso
Pioneer for being there making the hardware for us to mix with ☺
For donations go to
The information contained in this document is subject to change without prior notice.
All Rights Reserved
© 2007 Håkan Wassberg
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