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hard-drive replacement

This modification involves replacing the original Jukebox hard-drive with a larger drive.  This is the most simple modification on the site, but you should only attempt this if you are confident working with sensitive electronic equipment.  Having said that, if you are comfortable pulling your computer apart you should be fine.

WARNING  The following instructions are given by the author in good faith.  You will invalidate your AJB6000 warranty by performing these modifications and if you are unfortunate or careless you will destroy your AJB6000. The author takes not responsibility for the fitness, completeness or accuracy of these instructions.  They are for your information only; follow them at your own risk.  It is not a step by step guide .... it is simply what I did.  These instructions should also be valid for the Archos Jukebox recorder. 

What you require
Tools to disassemble your AJB (Phillips No0 or smaller, T10 star bit)
Large capacity 9.5mm 2.5" hard-drive
2.5" to 3.5" hard-drive adaptor (optional for faster transfers)

UPDATED 20 April 2004. 
I haven't updated this page in a while but several of you have pointed out difficulties in partitioning in WinXP. Specifically Windows XP (and maybe Win2000?) do not allow you to create FAT32 partitions over 32GB in size. So if you have a nice new 40GB or 60GB or 80?!GB drive you need to work around this in one of the following ways;
1 / Partition and format the drive using fdisk and format on a Windows98 / WindowsME computer or
2 / Partition and format the drive using Partition magic in any version of Windows (obviously this costs money!) or
3 / Standby for instructions on how to do this using a custom linux boot disk (free!)

If you don't have a hard-drive adaptor, copy all of your music and files off the Jukebox first.  If you have an adaptor you can copy the files off the hard-drive once you have removed it.  I wouldn't recommend doing this unless you are familiar with IDE drives, master / slave etc.  I will mark paragraphs that are only relevant to the hard-drive adaptor method or usb method with ADAPTOR ONLY, USB ONLY etc


Remove the front fascia.  There are four screws, two at the top (headphone jack end) and two more at the bottom (USB end).  Using a small phillips screwdriver remove the screws (tip .... make sure that you use a correctly sized screwdriver, and be careful.  It is very easy to strip the head off the screws). Carefully remove the front fascia by lifting it vertically up.  Now remove the battery covers (a lot easier once the front fascia is removed).  Remove the batteries.  Place all of the bits that you are removing in a safe place / container.

Remove the four hard-drive screws on the sides of the AJB6000.  You require a star bit to do this. 

UPDATED 20 April 2004. 
Again more input from helpful people (Jan Coolen), there is an easier and better way to disassemble and reassemble the Jukebox, ie those pesky bumpers. The easier way is to leave the bumpers on both ends of the Jukebox and squeeze and work the USB end bumpers so that they fit through the bottom of the case, clearing both sides and lifting the two bumpers with the internals of the Jukebox, leaving the outside shell. You can see this in the series of photos below.

You will probably bend the metal case a little bit, but it is not noticeable once reassembled. Lift the top two blue bumpers clear of the circuit board and then wiggle and slide the main body of the AJB6000 out of the metal case. Finally remove the two USB end bumpers from the main body.

Turn the main unit upside down.  We now need to remove the hard-drive.  The hard-drive is plugged into the AJB at the headphone end.  To remove it we need to clear the circuit board at the USB end and then disconnect it from the main unit.  Carefully lift the USB end of the hard-drive up and away from the AJB.  You only need to lift the drive end to clear the circuit board at the end of AJB.

Now using a flat blade screw drive work the hard-drive out of the connector.  Make sure that as you do this, it continues to clear the USB end of the circuit board.  Once you have the hard-drive loosened away from the connector a bit, you should be able to carefully wiggle and pull it out of the connector.  Place the main Jukebox unit somewhere safe.

Here we can see the original AJB6K drive beside its replacement.  I have replaced the drive in the AJB6K once before, but found the drive (a 20GB Travelstar) was to sensitive to motion. 

ADAPTOR ONLY  Skip the following photos (to reassembly here ) if you have already copied your files from the Jukebox, don't need to, or don't have a 2.5" to 3.5" adaptor.

ADAPTOR ONLY  The pin indicated by the red arrow is pin one.  (yes it is bent!)  Make sure that when you plug in your hard-drive adaptor, that you have pin one at the same end.  Some adaptors are numbered (like mine) but I have seen others that are not.

ADAPTOR ONLY  Plug the hard-drive into a spare IDE port.  (Red stripe to pin one).  The drive will be configured as master (as will most new drives).  Reboot your computer etc, and copy your music / files from it. 

ADAPTOR ONLY   Shutdown your computer and replace the drive with your replacement drive.  Boot back into Windows.

PARTITIONING  If you are running Win98/ME you will have to partition your drive using fdisk and then reboot and format it.  If you are using W2K or XP you can partition and format it in Disk Management.  However you do it, make sure that you format it as Fat32.  Under Win98/Me you will have no choice, but under W2K/XP you will

Since my replacement drive is 30GB I decided to split it into two partitions.  One 25GB partition for music and 5GB for files.  The AJB6K will pickup the first partition, but not the second.  However when you plug your Jukebox into your computer via the USB cable, it will see both drives.  I made both of my partitions primary, which I know you cannot do with Win98/Me.  I do not know if the computer will see an extended logical drive via USB, but I guess it will.

ADAPTOR ONLY  Once you have formatted the drive and copied your music / data back over, shutdown and disconnect it from the computer.

USB ONLY  Once you have partitioned and formatted the drive, copy your music back onto the device.  Make sure that you have the Jukebox plugged into the mains as writing uses a lot more power and your Jukebox is more susceptible to problems when writing to the disk, as opposed to reading from it.

REASSEMBLY Remove the metal plate from the back of the original drive.  It is stuck on with two adhesive strips.  If you carefully remove it you should be able to get some of the tape to stay on the metal plate.  Stick it onto your new drive.  I am not really sure what it is for, it seems to space the drive slightly away from the back of the case.  Note the breath hole that I have marked below.  Whatever you do, do not cover this hole.  Here I am fine, however on your replacement hard-drive it may be in a different place. (ie under the plate!)  Just make sure that you don't get any adhesive or tape over the hole, or next time you go flying in a plane, or skiing, your hard-drive may have a bad day!

Now carefully plug your new drive back into the main AJB6K body.

Reverse the disassembly procedure above by attaching the two USB end bumpers to the main body of the Jukebox. Slide the AJB body back into the metal case, carefully clearing the top blue bumpers. Wiggle and squeeze the USB end bumpers past the side of the case.

Carefully use a small screw driver or knife to pull and seat the USB end bumpers back into the square cutouts in the case.  Be patient and you won't bend your case!  Finally replace the top cover and all of the screws.

USB ONLY  Plug your AJB6K back into your computer and return back to the partitioning / formatting section to complete your modification.

Power up your Jukebox ... everything should be as it was, except now you have a larger hard-drive.  You can check the free space in the Menu / Harddisk option.

Done.  I apologize for the layout of this page, I realise it will take a while to download all of the photos on a modem connection, but I figured more detail etc was better than less.

Appreciate any comments or corrections ... steve@mctubster.com