Hacking a Sky+ Box

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday July 19 @ 12:40 pm

Hacking a Sky+ Box

The following guide applies to the V2 (white) Sky+ box manufactured by Pace. The internal configuration of the Amstrad version of this box may be different.

Note: No PC Is Required For This Upgrade, Just A Brand New 3.5in IDE Hard Drive
(The Drive Does NOT Need Any Preparation / Formatting, Etc.)
Suggested 250Gb Drive For The Upgrade Is :-
Maxtor 5A250J0
Suggested 160Gb Drive For The Upgrade Is :-
Maxtor 6Y160P0
Suggested 120Gb Drives For The Upgrade Are :-
Maxtor 6Y120L0
Samsung SV1204H
Samsung SP1203N
Suggested 80Gb Drives For The Upgrade Are :-
Maxtor 6Y080L0
Samsung SV0813H (Difficult To Obtain In The UK)

(The Standard 40Gb Drive Fitted In Sky+ V2 Is A Maxtor 2F040L0)

Do This Upgrade At Your Own Peril!

Sky+ V2 Rear View

Before you start, Press Services, Select SKY+ Setup and set “Instant Rewind” to “Off” and “Save New Settings”.
Make a note of all your series links as these must be re-entered.
Put Sky+ in standby and disconnect the power cable. Also, if you’ve got the patients, allow 15 minutes for the old drive to cool down.
Unplug all other cables, remove the lid, it slides back (T10 Torx-Type Security Bit Required) (Screwfix Direct) or (Maplin Code GU60Q)

Sky+ V2 Under The Bonnet

Unscrew and remove (else they will fall out) the four screws in the rubber mounts either side of the hard drive.
Lift up and carefully unplug the IDE and 4 Pin power cable from the hard drive.
Remember to take all necessary precautions to prevent damage by static discharge.

Sky+ V2 Drive Mount Area

Make note of the four thermal transfer pads (one out of site as IDE cable is in shot).
Make sure these line up well with the main chips on the underside of your new drive.

Sky+ V2 Old Drive

Take the hard disc assembly to a suitable clean antistatic work surface.
Slide out the four shock absorbent/anti vibration feet.
You can now remove the two plates from the sides of your old drive (Philips screwdriver required) and mount them on your new drive.

Sky+ V2 New Drive

Set the new drives jumper to make it “Cable Select” as per the drive you removed.
Slide the four shock absorbent/anti vibration feet back into position and refit the drive in your box again taking care re the alignment of the four thermal transfer pads.

Sky+ V2 With New Drive Installed

Once your box is fully assembled, power it up, wait two minutes and press the Sky Key.
Perform a “Full System Reset” (Press Services,4,01 Select,8 Housekeeping)
Wait for box to restart (normally < 3mins for a 120Gb drive and < 45mins for a 250Gb drive), again wait two minutes and press the Sky Key.
Test for correct operation, re-enable “Instant Rewind” and re-enter your Series Links.

If you find the drive noisier than the original you may wish adjust its acoustic management. In order to achieve this the drive will have to be connected to the controller of a PC with an IDE controller. Click here for details.

Thanks to humvee.co.uk for this info.

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