I have been tasked with fixing my dad's pioneer 469h HDD DVD recorder. We replaced the hard drive no problem but haven't found anyone with a service disc! Anyone have any luck finding one or leads on one in 2021? Willing to pay to get this fixed as Dad does use this for his home business (preserving precious memories from all forms of tape onto dvd). Any help appreciated!
A desperate daughter!
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The Pioneer DVR-550 is an excellent unit, sorry to hear yours is ailing.
You need a "Type 2" Service Disc, usually version GGV1321. These were most commonly obtained with the help of the PioneerFAQ enthusiast website, which was unfortunately forced to close down last year due to mounting expenses vs dwindling interest in DVD recorders. Nearly all discussions and links to Pioneer service materials point back to that now-defunct site.
If you are patient and wait a week or so, the proprietor of PioneerFAQ will probably notice this thread and offer some assistance. He goes by the member name "Hkan" here on VideoHelp, but doesn't frequently post anymore because DVD/HDD recorders are a dead product category that fewer and fewer people are interested in discussing as years go by. I'd suggest you send a PM directly to Hkan, letting him know you need help getting a service disc: he is the best source of advice among us remaining Pioneer users.
Note you will need a Service Remote along with the service disc: if you don't already have the special remote, generic versions are still available from dealers like this one. I recommend looking specifically for the "Sony" service remote instead of the "Pioneer": they function exactly the same, but generic service remotes marketed specifically for "Pioneer" are priced 2x-3x higher (due to the much higher awareness and demand for the Pioneer name).
Last edited by orsetto; 18th Mar 2021 at 18:51.
Looks like the last time hkan logged onto VH was about a month and a half ago, so I wouldn't expect him to see this post in a timely manner, I'd agree with the PM which if he has notifications turned on, he should get an email.
Thank you for the responses! I will make sure to send that message, and we have ordered the service remote as of this afternoon. My dad is disabled, but always had a knack for all things audio and video, starting in the 1990's with a VHS player that we could convert PAL to NTSC. It's since gone onto taking peoples home movies on betamax, mini dv, basically any format that has been able to be in a home video recorder, and putting them to DVD. We have repaired broken tapes, managing to salvage all the tape and get it put onto DVD to save the memories. So this machine is really special to him, and definitely worth repairing to keep the customer's happy, and a little income flowing. Thank you so much for the information. It has been very very helpful!
It appears neither you nor your father has ever previously replaced the HDD in a Pioneer recorder. While a simple enough task that takes less than ten minutes once you get the hang of it, the necessary steps involved are a little tricky and counterintuitive to those haven't yet performed the procedure. Many instructions posted on websites, even the esteemed PioneerFAQ, leave out some tiny piece of info or present it in a confusing manner. In the interest of saving you some time and frustration, below please find my own personal checklist of steps. I wrote this up some years ago after stumbling across a couple of small but key points that were missing from the websites I'd consulted:
1. Remove all connecting cables from the recorder including the power cord. Let the unit sit for about an hour, so the interior has a chance to cool down to comfortable room temperature. During this time, examine the layout of the service remote and memorize the locations of the ESC, STEREO (or STER), STOP, CLEAR and SEARCH buttons. You will need to be able to find and press these quickly.
2. Look on the 450 rear panel for a secondary small white label with a bar code and nine-digit code number, its located near the fan or the AC socket. Write down the nine digits, or take a pic of the label with your phone: you will need this code number later.
3. Remove the screws from the cabinet sides and the rear panel that hold the top cover in place. Set aside the screws, noting which were on the sides vs the back panel (the side screws are slightly different on some models). Remove the top cover by pulling out the bottom side edges slightly and tilting the cover up at the rear until you can pull it out of the front bezel. Set the cover aside.
4. With the cover off, use your phone to take photos of the inside, particularly the arrangement of any silver, yellow or white adhesive tapes and pads that might be affixed to the HDD and/or its bracket. Once you have the pics, look for three or four screws holding the bottom of the HDD bracket to the chassis. Remove these and et them aside, noting where they came from (there are different types of screws holding the bracket to the unit and the HDD to the bracket). CAUTION: be very careful not to let your hand slip and poke your screwdriver into the power supply section! This can short out the circuits with any power left in the storage caps, destroying the recorder (ask me how I learned that the hard way).
5. Use your judgement about the best way to unplug the red/black power and data cables from the HDD. Sometimes its easier with the HDD half pulled out of the unit, sometimes with it fixed in place. Whatever you decide, unplug the cables.
6. Remove the bracket with attached HDD from the unit. You might need to cut a plastic cable tie to free the bracket, and do some acrobatic wiggling to get it out.
7. Carefully (VERY carefully) peel off any cushion pads and silver or yellow or white tapes from the HDD and/or bracket, and set them aside.
8. Remove the four screws holding the HDD in the bracket, set them aside. Remove the original HDD from the bracket and set aside.
9. Fit the new HDD into the bracket, and replace the screws that hold it in the bracket.
10. Refer to the photos you took, and carefully put all tapes and pads back onto the HDD and/or bracket in the same places they were before.
11. Plug the power / data cables back into the HDD, and maneuver the HDD / bracket back inside the recorder. Make sure it seats properly with the feet of the bracket sitting flat on the chassis. Eyeball the bracket feet to be sure you have each screw hole lined up with the matching hole in the chassis. Replace the bracket screws.
12. Replace the top cover and all required cover screws. Connect the power cable, and the HDMI cable to your TV.
13. Power up the 450 and it will flash HDD ERR or CPRM Err on the front panel as well as your TV screen. This means you need to "marry" the distinctive CPRM code of the recorder motherboard to your new HDD, which requires the service remote and service disc.
14. On your service remote, press ESC and then STEREO. Service mode will activate and a service display will appear on your TV. Enter the nine-digit number you wrote down or photographed earlier, using the service remote number keys, then press STOP.
15. Press ESC then STEREO again, enter the nine digit number again, and press SEARCH.
16. The recorder will ask for the ID Data Service Disc. Load the service disc and close the tray. After a moment, your TV should display "Rom Write OK!" (If your TV displays Rom Write NG! instead of Rom Write OK!, don't panic. Sometimes the recorder trips over itself, or you enter the nine digits in the wrong order, so have to repeat steps 14 thru 17 over again. It nearly always "takes" the second time around.)
17. Press CLEAR on the service remote. The recorder will exit service mode. Remove the service disc BUT DO NOT CLOSE THE TRAY. Turn the recorder off, and the tray will close itself. PUT THE SERVICE REMOTE AWAY. Wait a moment, and turn power back on with the front panel button or the normal 450 remote. Your 450 should now start up normally with no ERR alerts from this point on.
When you press the HDD Nav button on the normal 450 remote, it should display an empty hard drive recording list, showing how many hours can be recorded on it. Usually this will be approx 80 hours with a 160GB HDD and the recorder set to SP recording speed. Note the recorder usually will not recognize or use the full capacity of HDDs larger than 160GB (i.e. if you install a 500GB HDD the recorder will only use the first 160GB of it).
A couple of clarification points that aren't always obvious from reading similar instructions posted elsewhere:
During steps 14 and 15, you will be entering the CPRM number *twice.* A lot of people don't realize this and get stuck. Step 14, you hit ESC+STER, enter the number, press STOP. Step 15 you hit ESC+STER a second time, enter the number a second time, then press SEARCH (instead of STOP).
In step 17, be careful NOT TO CLOSE THE DISC TRAY after removing the service disc. Just take out the disc and turn off the power, the 450 will close the tray by itself. If you close the tray by hand before turning off the power, the entire CPRM process can get corrupted resulting in HDD Err, meaning you have to start the whole thing over from Step 14.
All this is far easier/quicker to do than describe . I broke it down into many small steps to make sure anyone could follow it even if they'd never opened anything electronic in their lives. Hope this helps smooth the way for you!
Last edited by orsetto; 18th Mar 2021 at 20:09.