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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello folks,

I was going to tackle this matter within my PS3 thread, but I couldn't be sure that PCH people would read it.

I bought an A-110 a couple of weeks ago and, although I continue to be excited by its potential, I'm becoming frustrated.

For a start, it looks like the external (independently powered) USB hard drives I own aren't compatible with the A-110. When I connect them, the PCH 'thinks about it', but the drives don't appear on the GUI and, after something like two minutes, I get an error message to the effect of "request cannot be processed". Does this sound to you, the people who know about the A-110, like a typical drive compatibility error? If not, could someone help me to get these drives working? I'd rather not throw away 2TB of storage for no reason...!

Secondly, does anyone have any idea why I'd be getting audio dropout when playing back DVD rips (in video_ts folder form) from an internal hard drive? I mean, the transfer rate required to playback DVD video and audio is hardly intimidating. I would expect this playback to be perfect.

Thirdly, is it just me, or does an internal hard drive get ridiculously hot? Like, touch-it-and-it'll-burn-your-finger hot. Surely, this must cause some performance problems?

Thanks for reading. I hope you can help.


DH.


EDIT: ... and Merry Christmas!
 

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There shouldn't be any compatibility issues with a USB drive, the PCH will just see a USB drive, not like connecting an internal drive. I've tried 5 different externals and never had any issues, including seagate, wds, samsungs, SATA and IDE.

Does the drive work ok when connected to a pc?

No idea about the dropouts, mine has no problems playing 1080p h264video with 5.1 sound so a dvd rip shouldn't tax the unit as much as that. Only thing I can suggest is make sure you have the latest firmware installed.

My internal drive does get quite hot, but not hot enough to burn your fingers, I've ran an 8 our FTP session when I got it and the lid was hot enough for me to be concerned about but no way would it burn you. My internal drive is a 500gb samsung SATA. There is a simple fan mod that can be done, look on the NMT forum in the hardware section.

Hakka.
 

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I love numbered questions. Also, to start with, ditto on the updated firmware.

1) Never had a problem with external drives. What file system is it formatted in? By independantly powered, I'm assuming you mean the plug in the wall variety, so a powered USB hub likely wouldn't help.

2) Once again, never had the audio dropout problem. Does it happen at the same spot in the movie everytime?

3) Yep, it'll get hot, but that shouldn't offer an performance decrease. It may, that's may, shorten the life of your drive, but with the price of storage these days, you shouldn't be keeping anything on there that you're not willing to loose. You can certainly fan or otherwise mod simply enough.

Let us know if you get anywhere with the detective work. I'm sorry you're having so much trouble with yours. Mine, aside from occasionally freezing a requiring a reset with previous firmware, has been working swimmingly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey guys,

Thanks for getting back to me. And on Christmas Day, too...!

I had assumed that the A-110 would automatically download the most recent firmware on setup. Clearly, this is not the case. I'll download a firmware update and get back to you.

... oh, and, I checked as to whether the dropout happens in the same places each time, and it doesn't. So, the rips are definitely fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Right, well, this seems to get only more complicated...

... the USB drives I'm using are definitely fine - they get on perfectly well with my PS3, 360 and laptop. But my A-110 isn't interested. Even after the firmware update, the same thing happens - two minutes of ruminating, followed by "request cannot be processed". Hardly an unreasonable "request", surely...?

I borrowed a 160GB external WD drive from my father, and it worked. At least, it appeared on the GUI, I navigated to a movie (Star Wars), and it started to play... then, as if by unmagic, the A-110 stopped taking instructions from the remote, and shortly thereafter, hung. So, I pressed the reset button on the front and restarted the machine, downscaled my ambitions, and decided to run Scrubs from the internal hard drive again to see whether the audio dropout problem had resolved after the firmware update... and the machine hung again.

Seriously, guys. How many kittens did I drown in a former life to deserve this...?


EDIT: The offending hard external drives are Fujitsu-Siemens, by the way. And it really sucks that they don't work with the A-110, because they're great drives otherwise.
 

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Since this is a recent purchase, maybe it's time to request another unit from the seller?

And maybe leave a bowl of milk out for the faeries, it couldn't hurt. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sure. If I spend the whole of Christmas and New Year trying to get this working and I'm still in World o'Hatred, I'll send it back.

Great spelling of "faeries", by the way... like it!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Stop the press - potential good news!

Since the firmware update, I've had no audio dropout. I watched seven episodes of Scrubs in a row (149 minutes... I like Scrubs, but that's just too much), and the playback was perfect.

So, I conclude from this that either the firmware update resolved the problem (which would be good), or alternatively, that this is an intermittent fault that will rear its head again as soon as I let my gaurd down (which would be a right son-of-a-youknowwhat).

More news as we get it, campers...!
 

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Not sure of the model numbers of the drives, I bought a few A-110s for family members for christmas and the drives went with them. I had them connected to mine to make sure they worked.

The one I still have here is a Samsung HD501LJ 500gb SATA drive. The others were IDE drives, hence the need to run them as external.

Do you know anyone nearby with an A-110 that you could test your drives on?

Hakka.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No, mate. I'm not sure what the situation's like in Australia, but over here in the UK, nobody's even heard of them.

Sweet Christmas for your family members, I must say...!
 

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If there someone knowledgeable to get it setup, it think the popcorn hour and other NMT make the perfect video jukeboxes for the less than technically inclined.

Glad to hear that yours is somewhat back on track. Let us know if you run into bumps again.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've made a potential discovery. I've just been posting my findings on the Popcorn Hour official site...

... remember I said that the two Fujitsu-Siemens Storagebird Solo 1TB USB drives that I have don't work with the A-110? Well, another user set me straight and said that his used to work before he reformatted these drives to NTFS through Vista; and now they don't.

I bought two WD Elements 1TB USB drives this afternoon, having been told that they worked with the A-110. I brought them home, connected them to the A-110, and they lit up beautifully. "Awesome", I thought - "problem solved"...

... then I reformatted them to NTFS with Vista. AND THEY NO LONGER WORK.

I'm currently testing the extent of this realisation. The two drives I bought today were pre-formatted to FAT32, and I used Vista's "convert" function to change their filing systems to NTFS, which takes a matter of minutes rather than hours. What I'm doing now is reformatting the drives to NTFS again - one in Vista, but with the 'real deal' "format" function, and the other in Windows XP. I'll then compare the results and see whether it's NTFS, Vista, or the "convert" fuction's fault that so many drives are apparently "incompatible" with the A-110.

These reformats are going to take about six-thousand years, so I won't have any findings to publish for until tomorrow, at the earliest. But as soon as I do, you'll hear about it.


DH.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update - XP formatted one of my drives to NTFS in three and a half hours. Vista, on the other hand, is around a third of the way through the format after over four hours. Would someone please remind me why Vista exists...?!

The good news is that, after an XP format, an external NTFS drive is visible by my A-110. I'm now going to copy a movie over to this drive to ensure that the playback's okay. I'll let you know ASAP.

And I'll get back to you about the other drive in 2012...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Playback from the XP-reformatted drive is fine. It seems that issue's now resolved...

... but, for the love of God, what's the issue with Vista?! It's been reformatting the other drive for more than six hours, and it's less than halfway through. And the Vista PC is a 2x2.00GHz Duo, whereas the XP PC is a 2.66GHz P4 - it must be five years old!!!

Honestly... why is Vista so terribly slow?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You might also try formatting in NTFS using a program like swissknife: http://www.compuapps.com/Download/swissknife/swissknife.htm

Hey man,

Thanks for the recommendation. Sadly, all that this install of Swissknife does is make my laptop hang.

I'm convinved there's somebody somewhere having a joke at my expense. Seems that everything I try falls squarely onto its backside, catches fire, burns for several minutes, then gives rise to an angry ghost that tries to rape my grandparents.

Sincerely, has there ever been anybody anywhere who's had so much grief from an A-110...?


If there's anyone out there who's had a worse time, I'd love to hear from you. I could do with a laugh.
 

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I went through some issues with mine, no playback issues but I could hear the hard drive spinning up and seeking through my ht speakers and was getting mains noise, I went through 2 days of troubleshooting before I traced it back to a faulty power supply. I also ended up buying a heap of new parts that I didn't really need while trying to get it sorted.

Hakka.
 
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