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  1. Member
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    Orsetto

    I had swapped the controller board and put it into the new drive as you had explained, mine has 4 ribbon cables 3 white and 1 gold. Is that what you would expect.

    Unfortunately I has removed the drive before I got on this forum, and in my ignorance had cut off the foil pieces and the black tape cloth. Wrapped masking tape around the bezel this evening and put some foil tape I had on the casing, same thing, drive wont open.

    Not sure if it's the grounding issue that's the problem or my new cable. Strange thing I noticed is that the chassis has 90 Volts AC running through it, not sure if this is normal. Not sure why the silver tape would make a difference as the case is grounded to the chassis with the brackets. I thought it was anti tamper tape. When you had problems with 'something shorts in the recorder chassis' was the drive not responding as mine is.

    Ive just refitted the 109 ide system board back in to the drive and tried it on the computer and it burned a disk, so the problem lies in the Pioneer recorder

    It's been worth a try and has taught me to spend some investigating these things on the web before I grab hold of the screwdriver.

    Thanks for your input. Any further suggestions would be appreciated. It's more of a challenge now than ever.

    Monky
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  2. Hello all - my first posting on this site! Have found this thread very useful indeed, especially Orsetto, thank you.

    I have two problems with the DVD drive in my Pioneer DVR-433H-S, (with DVR-R09-XP drive). The initial problem was that the DVD tray would not open. Having worked out that there must be an "emergency open" hole somewhere, I removed the top cover and then the front cover, and - oh joy! - there was the "emergency open" hole. This enabled me to open the tray. Once open, it will power close, and it will play a DVD just fine. So I figured I could live with this by drilling a small hole through the front cover to give easy access to the "emergency open" hole (it looks possible without hitting the circuit board). But before doing that, I tried to do a copy to DVD from the HDD. It copies just fine, and appears to finalise just fine, BUT the resultant copies will only play on the Pioneer DVR-433H-S or else on my Dell lap-top under Dell Media Direct (which would appear (from testing) to be happy to play non-finalised DVD's). It will not play on my other DVD player, and it will not play on my lap-top under the normal film playing programs. So it's as if the Pioneer isn't really finalising the DVD's even though it says they are finalised. Prior to today, the finalised DVD's produced by my Pioneer DVR-433H-S have always run on other DVD players no problem.

    All of which to ask, please, what might be the cause of the DVD tray refusing to open, and is the problem with non-finalisation related? Or any other ideas on the non-finalisation issue? Should I be trying to buy a DVR109 tomorrow?

    Many thanks
    Tony
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  3. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tonycharente
    All of which to ask, please, what might be the cause of the DVD tray refusing to open, and is the problem with non-finalisation related? Or any other ideas on the non-finalisation issue? Should I be trying to buy a DVR109 tomorrow?
    I'm not one of the tech people around here, so I don't know what to tell you about the tray. But I have a strong suspicion that any of the Pioneer DVR models of the last few years are capable of finalizing each others not-yet-finalized discs. I'm certainly able to go back and forth that way between the 520 and the 640. That might not be immediately useful to you, unless you have access to another Pio deck. But it might be an argument in favor of buying a good condition spare unit on the used market. I did just that for the 640.

    I'm not familiar with the 433 model, but in your place, if I happened to like that 433 a lot, I'd probably go looking for the spare burner for it as well.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  4. monky, so sorry but I have not been able to duplicate your "drive won't open" issue. (You are correct, the burner controller board has three white ribbon cables at its edge and one tiny gold cable that pokes thru a hole in the center of the board). Since the drive opens when you test it in a PC, something in the recorder-drive interface is not working right. I know how incredibly tedious it is to swap drives into the recorder, but have you tried returning the original drive to the recorder and seeing if it will open and close that one? If it does, then you might be the first person to encounter a "different" production run of the generic 109 burner that just won't communicate open/close with the recorder motherboard. That would be extremely odd, but stranger things have happened. If you could find one cheap enough, I'd recommend trying another replacement burner, but I know these are harder to locate and more expensive in Europe than USA.

    tonycharente, we need to first figure out if your 433 is still finalizing discs at all. Take one of the problem DVDs to a Pioneer dealer, and ask them if you can try finalizing it with one of their display models. If the recorder refuses or shows an error alert, you will know your 433 is making bad finalizations. If the dealer's recorder proceeds to finalize your problem disc normally, and that disc then plays OK in a regular player, then we know your 433 is not finalizing the discs. You can then ask that dealer to let you finalize all your problem discs, perhaps offering to pay a small fee. Or you could use ISObuster software on your PC to rip the the video from the problem discs, and make finalized copies onto new discs using authoring software. In any case you will need to replace the burner in your 433, using the methods described in this thread.

    One last thing to note for all x33 models is they occasionally garble their interlocking code numbers shortly after a burner replacement. 90% of the time, all you need to do is swap the controller boards as described earlier and the recorder will accept the replacement burner without incident. But in rare cases, the recorder fails to lock back on to its own controller board, causing random burner symptoms (usually failure to high speed copy). If this happens you need to follow instructions in our other Pioneer 520 threads, and at the pioneerfaq website, to obtain or create the Pioneer Service Disc and Service Remote (these items are necessary to "re-sync" the recorder with its drives). Again, this rarely happens after a burner swap, but is a possibility.
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  5. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    You can then ask that dealer to let you finalize all your problem discs, perhaps offering to pay a small fee.
    So, I guess brick & mortar dealers over there still have some recent models they are selling, as may still be the case in Canada ?

    Was I correct in my assumption that any Pioneer model from (say) 233 / 410 / 510 onwards can probably finalize the discs from any other Pioneer models to date, or is the interoperability much more limited than that ?
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  6. Originally Posted by Seeker47
    So, I guess brick & mortar dealers over there still have some recent models they are selling, as may still be the case in Canada ?
    One can hope, although a couple weeks ago most dealers pulled their Pios from store display and advertising in Canada, following their discontinuation. They are still being sold in Europe for the moment, no idea for how much longer.

    Originally Posted by Seeker47
    Was I correct in my assumption that any Pioneer model from (say) 233 / 410 / 510 onwards can probably finalize the discs from any other Pioneer models to date, or is the interoperability much more limited than that?
    You were correct, I just figured tonycharente would have an easier time visiting a dealer than finding another Pioneer owner. I have "swap-finalized" discs between every Pioneer model from the x10s of 2003 to todays' x60 models and it always works. The only models that might be a problem are the 500 series combos and 230 series "bargain" models of 2005: these are technically not Pioneer-made machines and may use different finalization routines (they are also limited to text-only menus). The very early 7000-series Pios are also a little different, on the off chance you still have unfinalized discs from 2002 (!) you can finalize them in a later Pioneer but the format is restricted to text-only menus (no thumbnails).
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  7. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    The other example we overlooked -- maybe because it's kind of obvious -- is DL discs: No DL-capable burner or accounting-for-DL firmware in the Pio deck, that disc is very unlikely to be finalized. I believe the DL disc capability got introduced in the 6xx series, which may include the overseas model equivalents (540 ?).

    No longer sold in Canada, 'ay ? Must be why that "Joe" dealer in Quebec that you liked has gone silent. Looks like I may have passed up my chance to get one of those from the last couple model series. But then, I was somewhat put off by what you had to say about their SATA connectors and a couple other points. For my purposes, it may be that the 640 was the ultimate Pioneer DVDR model . . . although I do like the 520 a lot too, especially after that thread where Puzzler went over the DV Out thing.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  8. Good call! Forgot the whole "DL" issue, cuz I never use DL media myself. If someone has unfinalized Pioneer DL discs, they can only be finalized using the more recent x40, x50 or x60 recorders. A few of the x30 series, like the American 531-533-633 and European 433 and 530 machines, were DL-capable but they weren't very good at it: for DL you really want a 2006 or later model.

    Regarding eBay availability of the current Pio 460, several good sellers in Quebec and Toronto (including "joe") have begun listing them once more at BIN prices of $229-249 (CostCo must be dumping them to liquidators again). All the Canadian sellers with a history of selling at least a dozen of these are reliable, don't hesitate if you want one. $249 Buy It Now is a better bet than trying to win an auction-style listing: people always overbid past the BIN price. My remarks about the SATA drive cables should be understood as a positive: if you know to tighten the cable, your problems disappear, and so far the loose SATA issue does not cause any permanent damage to recordings. The 640 was not perfect: it had several teething issues that require firmware upgrades to fix, it doesn't have a DV connection, and EIDE hard drives are now more difficult to come by than SATA drives so maintaining a 460 into the far future might be easier. The 460 has video adjustments and HDMI not available on the 640, and a better 12-bit video encoder vs 10-bit. If you could get a new-in-box or mint 640 for the same price as a 460, there might be reasons to opt for the 640, but the 640 sells for way too much $ due to being the last model number Americans are familiar with. The 460 is a far better value, if you know about it .
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  9. Thank you very much for the answers - I shall be trying to find a friend or vendor with a Pioneer machine - would never have thought of that! But to return to my original query, are the refusal of the tray to open and the problem with finalising likely to be related (and both within the DVD drive)? I.e., I really don't want to replace the DVD drive only to find that the finalising problem was elsewhere and it still won't finalise... Meanwhile I have found a cheap way round the non-opening DVD drive problem that might be of interest... I very carefully drilled a 2mm hole in the front cover, directly opposite the emergency tray open hole on the front of the drive. Works a treat. I can now open the tray (to play a DVD) without having to start by removing the top and front covers.
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  10. Your Pioneer 433 is essentially a computer: a single-purpose, simplified computer, but still a highly complex piece of kit. We cannot "guess" accurately if the tray being stuck and the finalization issues are related: they might be, or might not. For instance the eject issue could be completely mechanical: you may have part wear in the burner which stalls the tray opening long enough for the "open" command to expire, so the tray never opens. We cannot probe this further with you until you check one of your "bad" discs on another Pioneer to determine whether your 433 is finalizing or not. If it is not, your little "hole" trick is not going to gain you anything: the unit is useless for making DVDs if it can't properly finalize. You would need to service it with a new burner, or use it strictly as a hard drive timeshifting box. Or, purchase another recorder.
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  11. Originally Posted by orsetto
    Your Pioneer 433 is essentially a computer: a single-purpose, simplified computer, but still a highly complex piece of kit. We cannot "guess" accurately if the tray being stuck and the finalization issues are related: they might be, or might not. For instance the eject issue could be completely mechanical: you may have part wear in the burner which stalls the tray opening long enough for the "open" command to expire, so the tray never opens. We cannot probe this further with you until you check one of your "bad" discs on another Pioneer to determine whether your 433 is finalizing or not. If it is not, your little "hole" trick is not going to gain you anything: the unit is useless for making DVDs if it can't properly finalize. You would need to service it with a new burner, or use it strictly as a hard drive timeshifting box. Or, purchase another recorder.
    Thank you again - I can't believe how very helpful you are! Yes, I can altogether see that you can't guess. But I am failing to understand something fundamental here.

    I already know that the machine has a finalisation problem, since on the one hand it is showing the discs as having been finalised, and yet on the other hand the discs won't play on my VCR/DVD combo (of another make) and nor will they play on my lap-top except under Dell Media Center (which I know from experimenting will read an unfinalised disc). DVD's finalised by my Pioneer 433 previously would happily play on other machines and on other PC software - but the newly produced and finalised copies won't. So I really do feel I already know that the machine has a finalisation problem.

    So the thing I am completely failing to understand is what I am going to learn by trying the problem DVD's on another Pioneer? If it plays them, then, well, it would do - it's another Pioneer, and would play them whether or not they were finalised And if it plays them AND successfully finalises, then that's very helpful as my problem DVD's are now finalised, but all it does is confirm what I feel I already know - my machine has a finalisation problem.

    I feel I must be misunderstanding something. What outcome of testing on another Pioneer would enable me to know whether the finalisation problem is internal to my DVD drive or whether it is external to my DVD drive?

    I fear that you're going to say that the only way to know this is to change the DVD drive and see whether that fixes the finalisation problem?

    Many thanks again,
    Tony
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  12. Tony, its a little confusing because we're trying to scope out multiple problems at the same time, and they're all interconnected. I understand you just want to "get it fixed", and you're really not interested in trying your discs on another Pio, but theres a method to this madness: the Pioneer 433 burner swap is a pain to do and doesn't always work without additional Pioneer service items like a special remote, burner-motherboard matching disc, and so on. Before you yank the burner out, it would be useful to identify exactly what is wrong with your 433 so you'll know what look out for after its repaired. The reason I want you to check the discs in another Pioneer is that depending on the results, you may not have only a burner problem but a hard drive or motherboard issue as well: if thats the case, repairing your 433 becomes far more complicated and not really cost-effective.

    If your "unplayable" 433 discs finalize normally in another Pioneer, and then play on any random hardware, the problem with your 433 is likely localized in the burner, so changing the burner out will probably solve the problem (when worn out they will often burn but not finalize). BUT, if another Pioneer refuses to finalize your "bad" discs, then your 433 is making bad finalizations. This could stem from a motherboard communication problem, corruption with the recordings on your hard drive, any number of issues. Replacing the hard drive (as opposed to the burner) is an extremely complex task not recommended unless you have tons of patience and real technical savvy- I won't do it anymore, it gives me a headache. I guess what I'm trying to say is that its a lot of work, and some expense, to swap out the burner- better to know ahead of time what you're up against if that fails to solve the "unplayable discs" problem. If you can afford the expense of a 109 burner that you may end up not needing, by all means plow ahead and just give it a try. You could always resell it on eBay as a "replacement burner for Pioneer 433 DVR".
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  13. Thank you again for all your help and advice.

    In the end I have taken the easy way out - I bought an ex-display SONY RDR HX680 from a major on line seller here in France for 140 Euros with a year's Sony warranty as this seemed a viable low-cost solution.

    The Pioneer has become a second recorder in another room, so I can record two things at once if and when the need arises.

    Thanks once again for your kindness
    Tony
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  14. Glad to try and help, Tony- you can be sure I didn't learn all my Pioneer skills by myself, I got a LOT of help and advice from other members here along the way!

    I don't know if you were aware of this, but the Sony x80 models are based on Pioneer chassis designs. They use similar burner controllers and the Pioneer operating system (menus, etc). Your new Sony should be able to finalize your Pioneer 433 discs: try it and see. It might also be able to play them and copy them to new DVDs, "fixing" them in the process. Worth a try.
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  15. I had noticed that the menus / programs seemed to be very close to the Pioneer's and thought they probably were shared.

    The Sony WILL read the Pioneer disc, but won't finalise it.

    In the end I did a machine to machine copy, (via cable) and then burnt a DVD on the Sony from that copy. Worked just fine.

    Thanks again,
    Tony
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  16. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    Where would you obtain the correct firmware from to flash your normal 109 to make it useful as a 109R???
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  17. You do not flash the firmware, instead you need to exchange the green internal controller boards between the new burner and the burner you remove from the recorder. Once you put the "old" controller board inside the "new" 109, it becomes a recorder-compatible burner. Scroll back to the top of this thread for details on doing this.
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  18. I have a DVR-533 and as my recorder does not work anymore so I ordered a DVR-109PB. I wanted to know if one is compatible with the model DVR-533h and two, how to install? What cable I need? Thank you
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  19. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    Superb thread.

    orsetto, thanks for all the tips and ideas.
    Last edited by [_chef_]; 8th Dec 2010 at 10:44.
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  20. I'm also having problems with my DVD-burner (I posted a separate thread about this but haven't received any replies so far) and believe I need a replacement.
    I'm wondering if it's possible to use a DVD burner from any Pioneer DVD-recorder as a spare part, or does it have to be the same model number recorder?

    In my case I have a DVR-630-H (I think it uses the DVR-R09-XP burner), and I've come across a "barely used" Pioneer DVR-220 for sale cheap. I haven't been able to find any service manuals online for the DVR-220 so I have no idea if it uses the same DVR-R09-XP or something entirely different which isn't compatible), but was hoping to simple take out the burner from the DVR-220 and replace the (presumed faulty) DVR-R09-XP drive inside my DVR-630-H.

    Oh, another thing: my DVR-630-H has been made region-free. I assume this has to do with the firmware of the burner itself and not the complete Pioneer DVD burner. If so, can the burner which sits inside the DVR-220 also be made region free?
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  21. The 630 is a 2005 model and as such requires the DVR-R09-XP. These are long since gone as new replacement modules, your only alternative is to follow the instructions given here to track down an old but still operational DVR-109 or DVR-A09 that was sold for generic use inside PCs. You must open the burner case and swap its main controller board with the one inside your original recorder burner. This will maintain the match between recorder and burner, and should also retain any region-free modifications you made previously. DVR-109 or -A09 burners appear several times a year on eBay for under $50, you might need to purchase from a seller outside Norway and pay for international shipping/customs duty.

    You cannot use anything but the 109 series burner in a 2005 Pioneer recorder. The previous Pioneer 5100, 310, 510, 220 and 520 series used the much larger 106 and 107 burners which will not fit inside the 2005 recorder chassis, they also use different internal connections. Pioneers made after 2005 were mfrd in cooperation with Sony and use a radically different burner/motherboard system.
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  22. Thanks for explaining, Orsetto.
    A quick eBay search comes up a few "109" models including DVR-109BK and DVR-109VA. Will any "109" drive from Pioneer work?
    I guess if I buy a used one its life may not be very long, so if I'm to buy one from abroad with import duties, shipping and all it better be a new one if that's possible to find.
    On that note: our DVD-drive had problems from day one: is the 109 genereally an unreliable unit?

    PS: the solution you mention sounds doable, but are there any step by step guides with photos available online?
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  23. Originally Posted by tigrr View Post
    PS: the solution you mention sounds doable, but are there any step by step guides with photos available online?
    It doesn't matter which of the many "109" model variants you find: they are all suitable replacements as long as they are working OK. The 2005 Pioneers are very hard on their burners and most previously-used-in-a-PC replacements don't last more than a year or two, so if you can get more than one at a good price I suggest stockpiling them. I don't see any complete step-by-step illustrated "handholding" tutorials anywhere online, so best I can do is post the instructions I once sent another VH member via PM. Other readers, be warned, this is a VERY long post meant to cover every last detail of a Pioneer burner swap: if you aren't interested in this specific info, just skip past this entire post.

    1) Disconnect all cables except the power cord, then remove the top cover of your 531 by unscrewing the four screws on the side, two on the top, and five on the rear panel. Each set of screws is slightly different and you want to put them back in the same area, so set them aside on a paper you mark accordingly. The two screws on top of the cover are of different sizes: note which hole the smaller screw goes into.

    2) Power the unit on and give it a minute to clear the "please wait" stage. Open the disc tray. Leaving the tray open, disconnect the power cord from the rear panel to cut off power (do NOT use the standby button- this will close the tray). Carry the unit to a comfortable work area with some space to lay out a couple of parts.

    3) Gently but firmly, grasp the front of the tray with thumb and forefinger of both hands on each side. Use your thumbs to press up on the bottom edge of the decorative Pioneer tray front until it slides off at the top. This takes a fair amount of pressure and wiggling, but you can tell by feel when its about to release and come off. Set the decorative panel aside. Press the front of the now-bare tray all the way back into the recorder until it stops.

    4) Locate the burner cables inside the DVR and detach them from the burner: there is a standard power plug and a custom ribbon cable. Pull out the white power plug. The ribbon cable is held by friction- gently tug it out of the burner using a side-to-side motion.

    5) Look for the screws that hold the burner brackets to the bottom of the chassis. Take these out. One of them is in a tight spot- a magnetic or "sticky" screwdriver will help with removing/replacing it.

    6) Lift the burner up at the rear and start wiggling the entire thing out of the chassis. Be careful of the tuner module at the left rear of the chassis: it is loosely mounted so it can bend a little to let the burner clear past it, but you don't want to bang it too hard while pulling out the burner. Slow and steady will get the damn thing out.

    7) Once the burner is out of the recorder, remove the mounting brackets on both sides of it. Note the orientation of the burner and brackets when you remove them so you can put them back the same way. Set the brackets and their screws aside.

    8) Carefully unwrap the black cloth tape from around the front of the burner. Set this aside somewhere you can lay it flat fully unwound, or just hang it from a shelf.

    9) Turn the burner upside down. Carefully remove the four silver foil grounding tapes from the bottom plate. Set these aside somewhere safe where they won't get damaged.

    10) Look at photo # 1: this shows the front of the burner when it is upside down. Note the arrows pointing to the four catches that hold the front panel in place. Use a pen tip or small screwdriver to push these in and release the front panel. Remove the panel and set it aside.

    11) Remove the five screws from the bottom plate (you'll need a small Phillips #0 screwdriver). Set these aside. You may want to note the hole each one came from: they like to go back in exactly the same place. Lift off the bottom plate, from the front edge. Set it aside.

    12) Look at photo # 2. This shows the controller board of the burner. The way you repair a Pioneer recorder is to swap this custom controller board with the otherwise identical board in your replacement burner. This converts the replacement burner from PC use to recorder use, adding the specialized connections and transferring the CPRM code. It is easy to remove and swap. (This photo shows the generic 109 controller board: the one from your recorder will not have the big rear EIDE socket but a small ribbon slot instead).

    13) Note the white arrows pointing to three primary ribbon cables: these are held in place with friction catches, you can release them with a jewelers screwdriver tip or your fingernail. Pull the released cables from the board.

    14) Note the blue arrow pointing to the small gold ribbon cable in the center of the board: this is held by pure friction, just pull it out carefully with your fingers.

    15) Note the black arrows: these point to the two plastic clips holding the board in place. Use your fingers to pull them back and release the controller board. Set the board aside. Set the rest of the burner aside.

    16) Place the "new" burner upside down on a table. You will need to open the tray by pushing a straightened paper clip into the emergency release pinhole under the tray. With the tray open, remove the decorative bezel the same way you removed the tray lip from the recorder burner. Push the tray all the way closed. Open the burner following the same steps outlined above. Remove its controller board. In its place, install the controller board you took from the recorders burner. Thread the small gold cable up thru the hole in the center of the board, and snap the board into its retaining clips.

    17) Reconnect the three ribbon cables, and secure their catches. Reconnect the small gold cable that pops up thru the board center. Put the bottom plate back on the burner and replace the five screws. Find the black front bezel of the original burner and snap it into the front of the new burner.

    18) Put the four silver foil tapes you removed from the original burner on the same places of the replacement burner. Wrap the black cloth tape around the front just like it was on the original. Screw the mounting brackets onto the new burner.

    19) Bring the new burner to the recorder and reconnect the white Molex power plug and the ribbon data cable. Make sure the ribbon cable is fully secure in its friction socket. Lower the front of the burner into the front of the recorder chassis, and carefully clear the back where the tuner module gets in the way. Line up the tray exit openings and the bracket mounting holes, when all fits properly screw down the mounting brackets. If there are any cushion pads, grounding pads or black tapes stuck to the top cover of the original burner, transfer them to the newly-installed replacement.

    20) Put the cover back on the recorder but don't secure it yet. Move it back to your TV and connect all cables and AC power. Turn the recorder on. It should start up normally: no hesitation or error displays. It should recognize the new burner as if it were the old one, no changes. The only difference is you now have a fully-functional laser. Test the burning function by copying a short program from the hard drive to DVD-R and DVD-R/W media. Both should now work. If they do, eureka: your problems are solved. Put all the screws back into the top cover. Open the disc tray. Unplug the power cord to lock the tray open. Snap the decorative Pioneer tray front back onto the tray and push the tray closed. Power back on and happy recording!

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    Last edited by orsetto; 10th Feb 2011 at 14:11.
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  24. Awesome! Thanks for those instructions.
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  25. Well, I've looked around a bit for a DVR-109 and it turns out that while I can find them for sale they're all used and will end up costing about half as much as a new replacement drive (DVR-R09-XP, part no. VXX3142) from my local Pioneer service centre. And considering they might already have been used for a while there's no telling how much more life they have in them.
    Then again that new replacement drive from Pioneer costs the same as a brand new DVD recorder these days (Sony or LG)

    If the DVR-109 drives are as unreliable and short-living as I've gathered from posts in this forum and there are absolutely no other "normal priced" standard DVD-burners which can be used it looks like my 630-H (it says "630-HS" on the back of the unit for some reason) will stay as a pure hard drive recorder or end up as a door-stop, forcing me to get a new Sony or LG recorder (hopefully with components inside that can be user-replaced more easily should I ever need to do so).
    Bummer
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  26. Think twice before opting for a new Sony or LG. The current LGs are none too reliable, and many new European Sonys are poorly-designed Samsung re-brands: the newest DVD/HDD models are featureless, limited units compared to older models. Some of Sony's previous models are still available new, if you can find (and afford) an RDR-HXx80, x90 or x95 model they are quite nice with most of the features you've grown used to in the 630. Sony and Pioneer co-produced those, they combine sturdy Sony burners with Pioneer encoders and user interface (same menus, etc). Go to a store and ask for a demonstration of the menu system: if the Home Menu and HDD Nav screens look like those in your 630, that Sony is one of the last "good" ones. If the interface looks nothing at all like your 630, its a Sony-branded Samsung: these are terrible quality with limited features (few dubbing options, no MN speeds, etc).

    The old Pioneer 109 burner is not "bad" per se, but like many recorder designs of 2005 the 630 chassis is tough on burners. Yours seems to have lasted at least 5 years, which is better than average (most last about 30 months). The average burner lifespan for all recorders is the same: approx 3 years. You can extend this lifespan considerably by never using the recorder as a DVD player, and only burning the higher-grade 8x speed media (TY/JVC or Verbatim DataLife Plus). Also note no DVD recorder has a burner that can be easily or cheaply replaced with random off-the-shelf PC burners: they all use proprietary designs unavailable to consumers. This problem of dead/dying burners comes up over and over again around the world with all brands. The only recorders with indestructible burners are made by Panasonic, the catch there is they attract dust and dirt and fail when they're dirty. You can revive a Panasonic burner by disassembling and cleaning its disc clamps, a tedious task which needs to be done a few times every year. If you're technically inclined and don't mind that, consider buying a Panasonic DVD/HDD: even if there isn't an "official" Panasonic made for your country you can usually find a generic import model that will suit.
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  27. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    Location
    Germany
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    tigr,

    if you have contacts to asia, dont hesitate to ask them for looking at ebay for you, 109 and S09 drives appear there all the time.
    *** Now that you have read me, do some other things. ***
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  28. Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Hungary
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    A BIG thank you for Orsetto.
    Pioneer service declared my DVR-530 as economically not repairable.
    Following your advice I made the repair from about 10 EUR plus some fuel and time.
    Well done again!
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  29. Glad to hear your repair worked, Tanja!

    Its always good to hear of another successful Pioneer restoration.

    We all want to keep as many of these wonderful machines functional for as long as possible.
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